There are some that do an outstanding job selling without selling. Or at least are so subtle it implies a very rare set gets to enjoy their wares. Those doing online small business marketing well incorporate simple strategies artfully.
With humor, ingenuity, fun, useful information and consistency, it’s no wonder some folks have amassed a large and loyal following. While “unsubscribe” may be my most common reaction to most missives these days (see Too Loud to be Heard for my windup to this post), there are inbox moments I treasure.
If you’re looking for tiny bites of two minutes or less, I covered some of my favorite shorts in April.
Today, I’ll share some of the gems I appreciate for their longer reads.
Marcia Yudkin’s Marketing Minute
OK, one quickie before delving into the longer than a horse race fare. Marcia’s been doing her Marketing Minute since 1998 (think AOL, CompuServe and dial up). This was a brilliant idea then and continues to be a fantastic resource.
Her ability to bring complete ideas from start to finish in this short format is remarkable. Often her stories help illustrate and engage. She always sells in these missives, but leads with the “Marketing Minute”, saving her pitch for below the line. They arrive Wednesdays at 8 a.m. EST – with offers at the end that tie in with the theme of her message.
She’s created a lot of inexpensive products to complement what she offers in her “newsletter”. There’s no fancy formatting to this text only email – in fact it’s in courier type (done intentionally, no doubt). In the more than a decade I’ve subscribed, I don’t ever recall Maria using her list for other promotional mailings.
Naomi Dunford of Itty Biz
She’s back and now publishing a brilliant daily (Monday through Friday) newsletter with accompanying blog post. You may recall some controversy over this gal a few years ago. Let it go. Her humor is addictive and tutorial posts priceless. Even if you’re a seasoned business owner, she’ll make you smile and remember things you may have long forgotten to consider as important.
Generally, she’ll start each Itty Biz newsletter with a brief witty look back at this day in history. The meat of the newsletter doubles as the blog post for the day (she rarely recycles content). It ends with a quote. These come out at about 7 a.m. EST.
She recently started a feature called “I Don’t Get It” Wednesday. These are wonderful looks into topics of common vernacular most misunderstand or are afraid to look dumb asking about. Presented in a fun, easily understood way, you’ll finish feeling brighter.
Naomi sells consulting services (starting at $6000), but you’ll almost never see her promoting, unless it’s for her free guide on her website.
Dan Lewis, Now I Know
Dan publishes a daily (Monday through Friday) newsletter (also as a blog post) that highlights mostly pretty obscure stories to broaden your knowledge of the world. Think Paul Harvey (The Rest of the Story) meets Trivial Pursuit. He editorializes in an engaging, funny and unobtrusive way. His newsletter hits my inbox at around 8 a.m.
He’s been extremely creative about engagement in an effort to monetize his blog. Two recent additions are a daily quiz from Sporcle (that’s his affiliate link – his newsletter pointed me to this resource so seems only fair) and a Patreon campaign with an associated website thank you wall. Remarkably, his Patreon take is now up to almost $1600 a month.
The number and placement of banner ads in his posts are puzzling. It doesn’t present well, which he may be aware of given his Patreon milestones promising removal of some of these.
Dan has also (I’ll be gifting at least one of his audio books) produced two books from blog content. He’s figured out how to leverage ACX, Audible and Amazon effectively. It’s smart to look at how he’s doing this as a model for income opportunities.
Carolyn Nicarder Mohr, The Wonder of Tech
If Carolyn is selling anything, I can’t figure out what it is. I was an early subscriber (about five years ago), and have yet to see her promote her wares. She provides links to products and other recommended items sans affiliate links.
There are no ads on her website, nor a products or services menu. Perhaps, as her about page and homepage state, she’s merely doing this as a calling.
This is a daily blog (no longer available as more than teaser link via e-mail) Monday-Friday, arriving at about 8 a.m. (seeing a trend here?). I don’t read all posts, but click to her site weekly. She has a wonderful way of presenting material so anyone can understand and implement. Product reviews (only on those she likes) and announcements concerning new or improved items on the horizon are staples. A cell phone junkie, this attorney and mother is a treat for anyone thinking they don’t understand tech (and those who do too).
I’ll highlight what serves as great ideas for you to implement from these resources in a future blog post.
Over to you – what do you think of these? Any great other online small business marketing finds you care to share? Please look left and help spread the word if you liked this post.
17 responses to “Online small business marketing done right”
I may have to re-think my stance on signing up for new newsletters as I have recently unsubscribed from many because I had over 13,000 UNOPENED emails. I have since been able to get it down to 1,300 now. I am very intrigued with Marcia Yudkon’s one mentioned above since hers only comes weekly instead of daily like the others.
Great review on these newsletters!
I’m with you Elda. I’ve been on an unsubscribe frenzy of late. It saddens me to see so many sending mostly hype, gimmicks and affiliate promotions.
These listed are all clean (I can’t recall getting a single email not requested from a one of them). You’ll like Marcia’s posts. They’re quick, timely, useful and tightly written. She’s a great model to emulate. Plus, you’ll find wisdom to easily implement almost every week.
These look like great resources. Thank you! I have unsubscribed from many, not always because I’m not interested…I just have to make choices, set priorities. I’ll definitely check these out.
Me too, Michele – more because I’m not interested in weeding through the bevy of spam. So sad so many who used to provide great material seem to be following gimmicks offered by the “self-proclaimed gurus.” Do check these out. It’s a great mix of fun reads with very different focuses that not only provides a good respite in the day but useful ideas to implement (in the way they present and monetize without hype as well as the content they provide). Some might not appeal – hence the varied mix in hopes anyone will be able to find one that appeals). Thanks for taking the time to visit and comment.
THanks Nanette for the tips. I am all new to this stuff and every piece of information helps me a lot.
You’re welcome, Anna. Good luck to you. Hope you have fun with some of these.
Great ideas here and I will be checking out some of those bloggers. I rarely subscribe to anyone’s blog…that is not to say I don’t read them. I just find, like many of you, that my inbox is overwhelmed. I prefer to ‘bookmark’ my favorites!
I find if I bookmark, I rarely visit, Debbie, so it’s easier for me to get an email prompt. Of course, I’m getting a lot more selective about what I sign up for and a whole lot quicker to unsubscribe (those that follow up a sign up with daily sales pitches for weeks lose my eye balls). Still, it’s great to follow some of the more inventive marketers if only to watch what works and mimic it. Thanks for stopping in and commenting.
A nice collection of things to check out Nanette! I’ve always thought of blogging and newsletters as two separate pieces. Blogging as a wider-reaching get-to-know-me kind of thing, and then a newsletter targeted to a smaller audience who wants even more focused information and ways to connect.
Curious take on this, Deborah (and one I will consider more fully for this blog – a generalist approach that hasn’t been particularly effective).
Perhaps I’m a different case than most (relative to what has worked well for me – my revenue steam comes from a different blog) in that I’ve found newsletters to be integral to website traffic and associated purchases. I’m dealing with a very tight niche (on the HorseSenseAndCents.com blog) and a small list, but an extremely loyal and supportive audience. What I’ve found is the newsletter is an effective way to push people (all blog readers) to blog posts and products (no overt sales pitch, just a reminder to check out what’s there with a smattering of unique content – I do use the right column for thematically relevant links to products available). I’m terrible about getting newsletters out, but find when I do, product sales double almost immediately. I thank you for some food for thought to make this site work better.
In the Marketing Minute write-up, I think you mean “complement” rather than “compliment.”
Touche (don’t have diacritical marks available for the comment section), Scott. Error corrected.
Hi Nanette, Thank you for the mention and kind words. Yes, it’s true. I don’t sell anything at The Wonder of Tech. No affiliate links can be found at my site. I haven’t yet been paid at all for any article I’ve ever written. I want readers to know that I’m recommending tech because I think it’s great, not because I’m being paid to recommend it.
I am excited by tech and this is a very exciting time to live in with advances being made every day. By writing for The Wonder of Tech I can share news about the cool tech I find with others around the world.
Some people do volunteer work for schools, churches, hospitals, etc. I think of The Wonder of Tech as volunteer work for helping the world find and understand tech to help them in their daily lives.
You are most certainly welcome, Carolyn. If you have as much fun writing your blog as I do reading it, your community service time is well spent ;-).