How a strong content marketing strategy benefits you

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"Here's a useful post by Tim Pike about the advantages of a great content marketing strategy. In fact, I would go so far as to say that content is the genesis of all online marketing."

By this point, unless you have been asleep for the best part of 2013, you will have heard of the biggest new trend in digital marketing: content marketing.

Content can mean just about anything you publish and share to help build awareness of your brand and drive sales.

How to grow a small eCommerce business

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"The following guest post by Adam Green has some interesting tips on how to handle, plan for, and manage growth in your eCommerce startup - growing too fast can be a double edged sword."

Starting a business comes with all sorts of challenges, and becoming an entrepreneur for the first time is also a big personal challenge and learning experience.

But once you have successfully gotten a startup off the ground, what next?

How to hire a startup team on a shoestring budget

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"Here's a great guest blog by Mike Hourigan about how to use small business software and services as your very own startup team - perfect for home or small business startups."

When you’re first starting out as a small business owner, the thought of hiring a startup team may seem as ludicrous as renting an enormous office space or dropping a cool mill on marketing.

Chances are that in the beginning, it’s just you, a laptop, and a dream.

But even startup solopreneurs are entitled to a little support. Luckily it's possible to wrangle an entire startup team without much startup capital.

Share your startup ideas

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Sharing your small business ideas by submitting them to SME Pals' ideas database could help a lot of entrepreneurs get their start.

Not only that, but by submitting an idea, complete with a business plan startup pack, you can make money.

SME Pals offers three ways to share ideas, and this article will highlight each one, and provide information, guidance and resources to help you get started.

Business plan startup pack

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Starting a new business takes a lot of time and effort, and much of the work you need to do is pretty standard stuff that applies to virtually all startups in your niche.

But there's also a lot of research work that is unique to your particular business and niche.

A business idea startup pack helps take a lot of the guesswork out of starting up by providing you with the information, research and resources (both general and specific) you need to get started .

Because startup packs are customized and specific to a particular business idea, the research that goes into them, is specific to that idea's niche industry and target audience.

How to use email marketing services effectively

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Email marketing services offer great potential for sustainable, long-term growth for small businesses who know how to use them properly.

Bearing in mind that, while the figures vary, most experts will tell you that around 90% of all emails sent worldwide are spam - so clearly there are some challenges.

The constant bombardment of email spam makes potential clients and customers very wary of receiving emails from businesses like your own, which means you have to be smart.

5 top eCommerce website design tips

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eCommerce website design plays an important role in building trust and authority with potential customers to ensure that an online store converts sales efficiently to generate revenue.

Unlike other types of website (blogs, for example), Web design in eCommerce sites plays a more direct role in the success of that online business, because the design impacts conversion rates and sales directly.

It's also important to note that when we talk about "Web design", we aren't referring only to the theme or template (i.e. the look and feel), but also the functional design, SEO, and performance.

The small business phone service & VoIP marketing war

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SEO keywords like "small business phone services" and "small business VoiP" are currently a marketing battleground, driving CPC (Cost Per Click) prices upwards of $80.

Leading cloud based phone solutions offer everything from online phone and fax, to complete, virtual PBX office communications systems that are quick and easy to set up, and low cost.

And, new technologies and services like this are disrupting the online status quo, causing unreal prices on highly valuable, niche search phrases.

5 top niche blog ideas

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Check out this list of great blog ideas/topics that will help you to be succesful by working from home on your own, highly profitable site.

Choosing the most profitable topics that target valuable keywords to drive lots of juicy organic search traffic is quite hard - especially when you factor in competition levels.

That's why I've compiled this list of five niche ideas that focus on niche markets that have reasonable amounts of Web traffic, but also command a fairly high CPC (Cost Per Click).

Search influence vs. social influence

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The current buzzword in advertising and Internet marketing circles is "social influence", which strikes me as odd since search influence (content + SEO) is much more reliable and sustainable.

The phrase search influence is really a synonym for high page rankings in Google search results that drives plenty of targeted organic search traffic.

So someone with search influence would likely be able to get a piece of your content (i.e. a press release, blog post, or article) to the top of Google search by posting it to their blog or website.