Sales & Marketing

Ning Turns Pay-Only, But Free Software Here to Stay

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Ning, a popular online provider of social network platforms, recently moved to discontinue its free service and focus only on paying customers.  This has raised questions about the future of free online applications in general. Ning may offer a service that is sufficiently valuable and reputable at this point that they can survive with a paid-only model, but “free” isn’t going anywhere anytime soon.  On the contrary, there are more and more free (and free versions) of online applications being offered every day. (more…)

Internet Marketing Is More Than Just Your Website

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By now, all small business owners have gotten the message loud and clear how critical it is to have a great website.  We’ve been told to focus on clickthroughs, vistors, page hits, and how to use search engine optimization (SEO) to make those numbers as big as possible.  We were then encouraged to start sending email newsletters to maintain our customers’ interest and keep them coming back to our website.  Next we heard that we should invest in “pay-per-click” or “pay-per-impression” advertising to drive more visitors to our website.  While it is important to have a professional website that reflects your business and your brand, and to use search engines and email marketing to increase visibility and traffic, that is only the starting point these days.  Your website is merely the ante that gets you in the game.  Your goal shouldn’t be simply to get as many people to your website as possible, it should be to connect and engage with your customers wherever they may be.  There are many ways to accomplish this that are inexpensive or free. (more…)

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