Who Reads Blog Posts on Christmas?

Question mark

Photo (CC) by colin_K, on Flickr

What to write today? Will anyone read this? If so, when?

This is a major holiday for many, a time filled with family, friends, and relaxing. Our blog focuses on helping people with their business. So will anyone stop by for some business tips on Christmas? I wonder.

Or might they read it later? For the latter, I am skeptical because of all the new content posted every day, the shelf life of most social media is pretty short.

So if you do stop by, I would appreciate knowing. Answer our poll question. As a business tip, this is market research. I am just trying to learn when our audience gets their news.

Merry Christmas.

PS – Now what am I going to write next week??


Online Marketing Webinar Series begins in January 2014

eXtension Online Marketing Webinar Series
January 9, 2014
2:00 p.m. ET/ 1:00 p.m. CT/12:00 p.m. MT/11:00 p.m. PT
Crafting A Consistent Marketing Message!
Glenn Muske, NDSU Small Business Specialist and Connie Hancock, UNL Extension Educator
The eXtension Entrepreneurship webinar winter series focus is
marketing online and enhancing their online marketing strategy.
January 9 – Crafting A Consistent Marketing Message!
Glenn Muske, NDSU Small Business Specialist and Connie Hancock, UNL Extension Educator
2:00 p.m. ET/ 1:00 p.m. CT/12:00 p.m. MT/11:00 p.m. PT
Getting the attention of customers is harder today than ever before.  Learning how to craft a marketing message that draws customers to your website where the information you provide benefits them personally.  Crafting the message involves understanding landing pages, call to action, and relating that to your marketing goals.  Glenn Muske and Connie Hancock will provide tips on how to Craft that Marketing Message.
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February 13 – Blogging For Food
Presented by Jennifer Lewis, The Soup to Nuts Resource for Artisan Food Entrepreneurs
Starting your own business is not an easy task especially if you are involved with the food industry – after much research it was evident there were few resources where ‘foodies’ could ask questions and get helpful information. Jennifer Lewis will share her experience with creating a blog to provide resourceful knowledge to the artisan food community.   Learn how a blog could be useful for your business to engage with customers.
March 13– Incorporating Video into the Marketing Strategy
Presented by Jeremy Doan, Rolling Plains Adventures
Video today is as important today as content marketing.  Learn how Jeremy Doan, Rolling Plains Adventures uses video to explain what their business is about, how they can share customer experiences, and what it takes to create short video segments to benefit your business.

All webinars will air monthly on the second Thursday at  1:00pm (CT); 12:00pm(MT); at https://connect.extension.iastate.edu/etc-cop.  Webinars are recorded for your convenience and are archived at https://learn.extension.org/events/recent

Balancing Life and Work as an Entrepreneur

It’s always a good time to think about balance. This message reinforces the idea that entrepreneurs are doing this because they enjoy the challenge.


Sometimes we don’t think about ‘balancing’ life and work as they do get mingled together but it is reassuring to know that people who have chosen a entrepreneurial path are happy about it!

Take a look at a recent article from Docstoc.com – http://www.docstoc.com/article/165305008?utm_source=email&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=222&utm_content=6499

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I Want My Own Business But…..

Walt Disney quote

Photo (CC) by Celestine Chua, on Flickr

Having your own business is a dream held by many. And although many people do indeed start a business, there are lots who still wish it could happen.

The reasons for not starting a business are many. One of the more common reasons is the belief that you don’t have the right skills or traits. That is simply a myth. Most of what you need to run a successful business are things you can learn or find a way to overcome. Some of the skills you may not like to do but, again, you learn what you can and then do the best job. It does get easier. It may mean finding a partner who brings those skills to the table.

The idea of learning brings up another reason for not trying – the fear of failure. Everyone fails and some of us, such as myself, make it a regular habit. Failure means you are trying. Failure brings with it opportunity for growth. Failure is a learning experience. Yes it can cost time and money but those should not stop you from trying something you really, really want to do.

Not moving when you really, really wanting something is might be hesitation or feeling the time isn’t right. If you are thinking along those lines, you may want to step back for a time before you take the plunge. However when stepping back remember you are not giving up. Starting a successful business is a timing issue. Is it the right time in the market and is it the right time for you?

Sometimes the hesitation comes from not knowing where the money will come from. Many companies start for less than $1000 and entrepreneurs are often great at bootstrapping or finding the resources they need through creative techniques.

So, there is no special set of skills or traits that you need. Go into the endeavor knowing that failure is a distinct option but know that it also is learning. You will be much smarter the next time (and the odds are there will be a next time). Money – well there is typically no free money and you need to be prepared to put some of your own funds in the business. But you also just need to think of ways to stretch your dollar. Barter, trade, find no cost marketing opportunities, etc. All are possible.

Bottom line – If you want to start a business you can.

Talking to Myself

Marketing Message

Photo (CC) by AndrewPeterFogg, on Flickr

As a business owner, do you ever feel that sending out a marketing message is like talking to yourself? You have no idea what the response will be.

I just returned from doing a radio talk show where, in many ways, it felt like I was doing just that. Actually today I was doing the show with Extension colleagues from Morton County so there was a chance for some feedback. But I have done some spots on talk radio in the past with no one present, not even a station employee since I was doing it over the phone. Do you know how long 12 minutes feels when you are just chatting on alone in a room? And while you are doing it you have no idea if you have an audience or not?

But I am getting away from the topic. Do we know if anyone is listening to your marketing message? Do you know if anyone is interested in what you have to say or sell?

So what does this mean? Effective marketing occurs when you know who your audience is, how that audience would like to get your message, and what they might find interesting in a message and, finally, will get them to take action. Additional useful information is to gather some data on the type of response your ads are getting. Certainly you want to know what was the key part that made them take action. But also through what medium did they get it and, for others who got it but never responded, why not?

Sounds like work. It is. Sounds like research. It is. Sounds like something you need to do. IT IS!!!

The competition is fierce for your business. Your competitors would be very happy if you just “talk to yourself.” Can you let that happen?