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Grow Your Business:

The Everything Guide To eCommerce Marketing And Increasing Sales

26 Things You Must Do To Continually Grow Your Business

Increase Your Site Traffic (SEO)

6 Things Entrepreneurs Are Doing Wrong

Website Security And PCI Compliance

How A POS System Security Scan Can Protect Merchants From Target-Style Security Breach

Importance Of PCI Compliance

What Are Trust Seals? Are They Necessary? 

How To Protect Yourself From A Security Breach (Informative yet awkward video)

An Overview Of Data Breach Legislation 

PCI DSS Security Version 2.0 Or 3.0

Everything You Should Know About Website Security 

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epic eCommerce Featured
epic eCommerce

The Everything Guide To eCommerce Marketing And Increasing Sales

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Friends of mine are often surprised when I tell them they need social media for their small business, or to promote themselves as the artsy types they are. They’re surprised because the game only recently changed, and people who don’t work in online marketing, like yours truly, are often totally blind to it. Publishing houses now expect authors to promote themselves via social media and blogs, and are much more likely to take an author who already has a large Twitter following. Seriously? Yep. The last journalism job I applied for required a minimum of 2,000 Twitter followers AND high emotional intelligence which is also totally a thing now. The truth is, without social media and marketing knowledge it’s not likely that your Etsy store, eCommerce biz, or blog will get off the ground or that you’ll be able to compete effectively on the interweb of MEGA COMPETITION.

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ridingthewave
ridingthewave

Converting Interest To Sales With Trust Seals By Harper Roark

We all know that the single greatest way to convert interest into sales is to build trust between your company and your customer.  But establishing that trust can be more difficult than it initially seems.  What are the best strategies to build trust and increase sales?  There are a lot of different pieces to the trust puzzle, but most of them can be categorized into the following 3 main ideas: be authentic, be uncompromisingly scrupulous in how you deal with your customers, and take web security and the privacy of your customers seriously.

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3Xi7q2My_QFl-Uc8-tdtNZZQUzK04qIc8PQ0W8I7QgE

Great Business Resources To Check Out This Week By Harper Roark

1. “8 Steps to Effective Content for Social Media” – If we want to convert new contacts into new customers, we cannot merely create informative content about our brand.  We must also engage our potential customers by telling stories and sharing images.  This article by Michael Brenner briefly covers eight strategies for creating more helpful and entertaining content for your viewers and readers, including listening better, finding the right rhythm, following the “golden rule” of effective content (being helpful), and more.  He also links to his slideshow that provides examples of effective content and how to create it.  For the complete list and examples, visit the article here http://www.b2bmarketinginsider.com/social-media/8-steps-to-effective-content-for-social-media

2. “Want a Retweet? Include a Photo” – Think twitter’s 140 character limit is keeping you from really getting your message out to your followers and other potential customers?  Wrong!  To get more retweets and reach more new people, you just need to include a photograph.  In this article, Kurt Wagner reviews recent studies that detail just how much a photograph will increase your likelihood of being retweeted (hint: it’s a lot).  But not any photograph with do, links to other imaging sites, like Instagram, don’t yield the same results.  For the full details, read the entire article here http://mashable.com/2013/10/07/retweet-photo/

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A Fresh Look at Using Story for Branding: A Review of Chase Reeves’ Podcast On Fizzle.co By Harper Roark

The concept of using story for brand building is certainly not a new one, but once in awhile I come across a marketing professional who can really bring the concept to life in a new way.  Enter Chase Reeves, co-founder of Fizzle.co, who has spent considerable time creating what he calls “mash-ups” of his reading about story and his work creating stories for clients and for Fizzle.co.  In a recent Fizzle Show podcast, he describes his strategies for better using story for marketing.  While I will go over a few of his points here, giving his actual podcast a listen would be well worth your time.

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facebook-vs-google-advertising
facebook-vs-google-advertising

Facebook For Business; A Comprehensive 8 Step Guide By Harper Roark

Everyone who works in marketing, new media, or eCommerce has read a thousand times how important it is to use social media to promote your business or organization online.  But if you have a new business or blog, or are new to the concept of using social media for eCommerce, figuring out which of the 100+ social media networks to use and how to best use them can be tricky.

As the largest social media network (by a lot), Facebook is both the best place to start and the most important social media network to master.  Facebook currently has more than 1.23 billion active users worldwide.  The number of active users who log onto Facebook every single day is 757 million, and more than 128 million of those daily active users are in the United States. This truly massive group of potential customers is on Facebook every day, ready and waiting for you to reach them with your great content and target them with your advertising.

But where to begin?  Many guides on using Facebook for business focus on either inbound marketing or outbound marketing strategies, with little attention to analytics.  In this article I will cover what I consider to be the most essential aspects of all three elements of marketing for Facebook.

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#heartbleed
#heartbleed

Heartbleed bug; What Business Owners And Customers Need To Do

If you haven’t heard about it yet, let me introduce you to the encryption flaw, HeartBleed, the largest vulnerability the internet has ever seen. It’s that big (big enough that Canada has temporarily shut down their government sites), and it’s here to make all of our lives difficult. If you’re like me, you probably have dozens of passwords, for dozens of sites that all hold a varying degree of personal information. I personally spent the past five hours changing passwords. Bank accounts, airlines, hotels, social media sites, my dog walker, they all have my personal information. About 66% of the internet was vulnerable to HeartBleed so chances are most of the sites that hold my information were vulnerable too. Pretty much everyone was vulnerable, including but not limited to Google, YouTube, Facebook, and Instagram. The bug affects web servers running Apache and Nginx software. Potentially, the bug could expose otherwise “secure” information like passwords, credit card numbers, etc., that users enter into websites, applications, web email and even instant messages.

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Content Marketing
Content Marketing

Article Roundup: The Best Business Articles This Week By Harper Roark

1. “5 Things Entrepreneurs Need to Know About the Changing Workplace” – One of the best ways to make sure you are staying connected to your customers and employees is to constantly monitor trends and changes in the workplace.  In this piece, Vivian Giang expertly outlines five things you should do in the current workplace environment: hire candidates with in-demand skills of the future, hire for “soft” skills (including critical thinking and problem-solving skills), provide learning opportunities for young employees, learn to criticize constructively, and start a blog.  To read more about these strategies, visit the full article here http://www.businessinsider.com/5-things-entrepreneurs-need-to-know-about-the-changing-workplace-2013-9?utm_source=buffer&utm_campaign=Buffer&utm_content=buffer23ab9&utm_medium=twitter

2. “5 Things Super Successful People Do Before 8AM” – Did you know that the world’s most successful people are frequently very early risers?  Many CEOs and influential government officials wake before 5AM and they have many early-morning habits in common.  In this helpful Forbes article, Jennifer Cohen outlines 5 pre-workday activities that successful people have in common, including: eating breakfast, exercising, mapping out your day, visualizing, and more.  To learn about these activities in more detail, read the full article here http://www.forbes.com/sites/jennifercohen/2013/10/02/5-things-super-successful-people-do-before-8-am/?utm_source=buffer&utm_campaign=Buffer&utm_content=bufferf5729&utm_medium=twitter

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2qsxOxKv4huSuBF8CFAHvl1FHRjvCKdw0-o2-3x7XBE

6 Things Entrepreneurs Are Doing Wrong (And They Don’t Even Know It) By Striker Evans

1. Providing facts instead of a “vision.” When you’re negotiating, or trying to make a sale, facts will only take you so far. “We have a money back offer! We offer 24/7 support!” These are just facts and they’ll limit your potential. Give the other side the real information, give them what their life could look like with your product or service.

2. Not having a decent defense for your cost or fees. If you’re providing something valuable you’d better have a good reason as to why you’re charging a certain amount. You’re worth it, convince the other guy, and tie it to your vision.

3. Every moment is a moment wasted. Any time that you spend with any potential clients could be time spend negotiating to some extent. This doesn’t mean that you should hard sell your t-shirt business to your father-in-law during Sunday brunch but you could sell him a vision during brunch. After-all, that waitress wouldn’t be calling him “Grandpa” if he was wearing a more modern, outfit, similar to what your brand offers.

4. Waiting. If you’re waiting for good things to happen to your business, you’ll be waiting a long time. Take initiative, get in there, and drive your team.

5. Taking employees for granted. A company is only as good as their employees. If you value your employees, show them, and listen to their suggestions. You’d be surprised by how many employees of today are multi-million entrepreneurs tomorrow.

6. Don’t put all of your ducks in one basket. Or eggs. How does that go again? The point is this: Don’t put all of your marketing efforts into FB and Twitter. Many entrepreneurs put all of their hope in social media stuff, they SPAM the world with their stuff, and they are disappointed with the poor results. The best way to run a business account is the same way you’d run a personal account. You wouldn’t SPAM your friends so don’t SPAM potential clients. Make friends, care what others are saying and doing, and post things of value without trying to push your products constantly. Bam! Winning.

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learn-all-the-marketing
learn-all-the-marketing

Great Business Resources To Check Out This Week By Harper Roark

1. “eCommerce Blogging: How to Drive Conversions with Content” – Have you been wondering how to get started with Inbound marketing strategies, which draw potential customers to your site using interesting content rather than paid advertising?  Try blogging!  In this article, Shannon Good thoroughly explains four simple best practices for eCommerce blogging: blog to drive traffic to your site, promote your products without pushing a sale, give readers a reason to come back (by consistently having fresh and relevant content), and make your blog social media share-friendly.  To read the full article, go here http://savvypanda.com/blog/beginner-level/ecommerce-blogging-how-to-drive-conversions-with-content.html

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WHY A CUT-RATE SITE DESIGN ISN’T WORTH THE “SAVINGS” By Andrew Brandley

This is a very, very basic article. If you understand the concept alluded to in the title, feel free to move on. But for those who are just venturing into the wonderful world of E-Commerce, there are so many temptations to skimp on site design that someone needs to explain the reasons why it should never happen. So here goes:

Studies show that you have seconds to convince an online shopper your business is not only legitimate, but  secure. Let me emphasize that: SECONDS. If anything about your site makes them feel insecure, they will leave and likely never return.

A good example of people following this gut reaction in the non-digital world could be the different types of ice cream trucks that drive down our streets. Imagine for a moment that the two ice cream vans below sold the exact same type of ice cream.  If both of these vans drove through your neighborhood, which one would you buy your ice cream from?

       

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