Archive for the ‘Blogging’ Category

What Exactly is the Grow America Springboard Competition?

Friday, May 18th, 2012

By: Colette M. Williamson

After months of neglect, I am finally writing a blog post. Yes, it’s been busy lately. We are intricately involved with the Grow America Springboard business competition. I wear several different hats, and the most entertaining one involves my interaction with the people who are participating in the competition.

Recently, I called a competitor and said, “Hello, this is Colette from the Grow America Springboard Competition.”

“I don’t know you,” he responded, and the line went dead.

Naturally, I called him back. “Hi Sir, this is Colette with the Grow America Springboard Competition, I…”


What Happens When You’re a Finisher Not a Quitter

Friday, February 10th, 2012

By: Colette M. Williamson

You know those antique wooden snowshoes that you see fastened above fire places in log cabins? My husband, Sam, and I are crafting two sets — one for me and one for him. When we went back east for Christmas recently, we discovered that Sam’s father had all the tools and knowledge to make them. (more…)

Ideas vs. Execution

Friday, January 27th, 2012

Why a novel business concept isn’t as valuable as it used to be

We’ve all seen it. An inventor on a TV show or movie has a flash of insight and sells his idea for millions of dollars to a roving businessman. This idea is so iconic that it has become part of the small business mindset. Entrepreneurs often struggle to come up with a truly original idea, and immediately get discouraged if they see another company starting something similar. (more…)

Make Them Think of You First: Establishing Your Brand

Friday, January 20th, 2012

By: Colette M. Williamson

Every company’s dream is to be known, far and wide, for “something”—and for that “something” to bring customers back over and over again. AND for their customers to tell everyone they know about that “something.” One reason consumers return to a particular retailer is because of the experience they had. Another reason is because the experience was memorable—in a positive way. (more…)

Infographic: Free Shipping Statistics

Thursday, December 1st, 2011

By: Colette M. Williamson

Recently a member of our team found this infographic. The statistics are fascinating, especially the one that said 52 percent of abandoned online shopping carts occurred due to the shipping and handling costs.



Another statistic I found fascinating was, during the holiday season in 2010 the average order value with shipping was $86.58, and with out shipping it was $125.20. A $38.62 difference may not seem likemuch, but it can add up in the end. Would you rather have people buying your products because you offer free shipping or abandoning because the shipping costs are to high?

These statistics reminded me of an experience. I wanted to buy a perishable food product that was difficult to find in regular stores. The price seemed reasonable so I went the website and placed it in the shopping cart.  As soon as I saw the shipping cost, I aborted my purchasing quest immediately. The product was five dollars and the shipping cost was $30! I was willing to pay a few dollars for shipping, but $30 was outrageous, especially since the product wasn’t very large or heavy.

If they had offered free shipping, I probably would have thought about buying more than one container. But since their shipping was ridiculously out of my price range they lost my business.

As business owners it is important to weight out the pros and cons of free shipping. It might be in your companies best interest to have a free shipping option, but then again it might not. You decide.

How to Get a Blog for Your Own Domain

Wednesday, October 5th, 2011

By: Colette M. Williamson

Starting a blog may seem complicated, but overall it is pretty easy. If you are interested in having a blog for you or your business and are interested in owning your blog’s domain name, rather than going through or, here are a few steps you can take. (more…)

Keywords Matter – Choose Wisely

Tuesday, September 13th, 2011

By: Colette M. Williamson

Being more involved with Internet marketing, I find myself changing simple habits. For instance, I use search engines more effectively now. Instead of writing long phrases, I’ve changed my strategy and now choose concise words to find what I am looking for. Even though I have a better idea of what keywords to put for a product search, I still run into walls.

Last year a family member handed us a little camcorder tape. They recorded my wedding and were kind enough to gift the footage. The problem was we didn’t have a camcorder, and finding a way to look at the video was futile. So, the tape sat in my drawer for over a year. I’m a little slow on the upkeep. (more…)

Google Analytics Dashboard

Thursday, September 1st, 2011

By: Colette M. Williamson

On my personal time I blog. I remember going to an Internet marketing class and there I was introduced to Google Analytics. It changed my world. Why? Well, instead of wondering if people visited my site, I could actually see. It was fun to go into my dashboard and find out how many people visited, where they visited from and how long they stayed. I’ll admit, I haven’t received much of a following, but that’s fine by me. I am happy when anyone comes and reads. (more…)

Saabs, eBay, Selling and Research

Monday, August 22nd, 2011

By: Colette M. Williamson

Have you ever heard of a Saab? I hadn’t, that is until I married a Saab fanatic. Now I hear about Saabs at least two or three times a day. What is it? It’s a car that was originally made in Sweden and was bought by General Motors in the ‘90s. That about sums it up for me, but definitely not for my husband. (more…)

How to Make Money from Your Passion

Wednesday, July 7th, 2010

By Adam Ward

Most people are passionate about something. Call it a hobby, or an addiction, or whatever. But it is something they spend a lot of time, energy and money on. Think about your passion for a minute. Now wouldn’t it be nice for you to actually make a little money from your passion, to offset what you spend on it? Maybe you could even develop it into a full-time career. Although it will take a lot of work, there has never been a better time to make money from your passion, thanks to the abundance of free, easy-to-use tools on the Internet. Here are three steps to get you started.

First, start blogging about your passion. Think about it—where do you currently get information about your hobby? Probably the Internet. How many blogs do you read where you think, “I know more about this than the blogger does.”? Starting a blog is as easy as creating an account on or You’ll want to make sure you have the flexibility of putting ads on your blog, though, so I suggest buying a domain (e.g. and a hosting account from GoDaddy (less than $10 a month), and then installing WordPress from within GoDaddy (it is free and easy to do).

Second, once you’ve got some posts on your blog, put up some ads. This is easier than it sounds. Think about the companies that sell products you use, would recommend, or might be blogging about. Go to their websites and search for “affiliate.” A lot of times you’ll see a link at the bottom of the page called Affiliate Program. That refers to you joining their affiliate marketing program (i.e. you become their affiliate), which is just a funny way of saying you’ll run their ads on your blog. If they run an “in-house” program, you’ll need to submit your blog information with them so they can accept you into the program. If they run their program through an affiliate network, such as Commission Junction or Share a Sale, they’ll require you to submit your blog information to those networks. Either way, there will be no cost to you. Once you’ve signed up, you’ll be given some html code that you have to copy to your blog. That places the ad on your blog, and includes a script that tracks people clicking through your ad. Whether in-house or via a network, the program will track click-throughs and sales, so you get credit for (and paid a commission on) those sales.

Third, use CRM software to manage your efforts. CRM stands for customer relationship management, and is useful for recording contact information of people you are (or would like to be) doing business with, logging communications you have with them, and scheduling your tasks and follow-ups. There are a lot of CRM companies out there, but a few have a free tier, including, and, which is designed specifically for online publishers.

Before my dad retired, he sold pet food for his living. He once told me he knew more about dog food than anyone in our state. Had he been a blogger, you can imagine how useful his blog would have been for all the dog owners out there. And you can imagine how eager the dog-food companies would have been to place their ads on his blog. If you know more about something than most people do, you could create the same situation for yourself by blogging about it and placing relevant ads on your site.