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Preview: Catherine "Cat" Seda

Catherine "Cat" Seda

Internet & Search Engine Marketing

Last Build Date: Mon, 30 Oct 2017 18:43:14 +0000


The End of a Blog

Sun, 28 Mar 2010 23:40:00 +0000

Happy 2010!

It has been months since I’ve posted to my blog. And I’m okay with that. It’s the end of this blog. My business has been changing directions and I’m going with the flow to see where I go. So, instead of moving to WordPress or TypePad at this point, I’m leaving this blog as it is. There’s a decent amount of content here. Plus, I don’t want to break the links.

Thank you for reading my blog (and articles, newsletters and books). Every time I hear from a reader, it makes my day. I really enjoy helping my fellow entrepreneurs! You may see articles and/or blog posts from me in the future…perhaps in magazines or online communities…

Before I go, if you don’t have my Top 10 Internet Marketing Mistakes Report for 2010, you may want to download it now—it’s free.

Also, I’m often asked if I can recommend a few good freelance Web designers and graphic designers. I sure can. Here are great designers I’ve worked with over the years who could also be great resources for your business:

Sara Richardson-McCreery

Vic Spindler

Steven Kennedy

May this year bring you, your family and your business many blessings!


Search Engine Advertising Edition 2

Mon, 17 Aug 2009 03:21:00 +0000

If you haven’t picked up the second edition of “Search Engine Advertising” yet, get it today and get $200 in free clicks from Microsoft (the coupon code is in the book).

I also want to give Kevin Lee, PPC expert and CEO of Didit, big kudos for writing the second edition. In 2002-2003, Kevin’s team at Didit helped me catch click fraud and broken tracking links in my clients’ PPC accounts. I’ve always been impressed by how much valuable information Kevin shares—especially his use of statistics and case studies. I knew he would give the book a new perspective (PPC has really evolved since I wrote “Search Engine Advertising” in 2003 and there are so many different ideas to consider).

May the second edition help you with your PPC strategy! If you enjoy the book, please tell your colleagues about it. And if you could take a minute to write a book review on, we’d appreciate it.

I’ll see your site at the top!
Cat Seda

Hyatt Interview

Mon, 05 Jan 2009 22:34:00 +0000

Happy New Year! May 2009 be a year of joy, peace and prosperity. Will you be traveling this year? If so, you may want to check out yatt’it. “What’s yatt’it?” you ask.yatt’it is Hyatt's online travel community. It was launched in March 2008, with 43 Hyatt destinations featured. Currently, over 200 Hyatt concierges are participating in yatt’it, providing their perspectives as local experts, and 37 destinations were recently added to yatt’it for a total of 80 destinations. Amy Wang, Associate Manager of Hyatt’s Gold Passport Marketing, talks about yatt’it… What is yatt’it?yatt’it is Hyatt's online travel community where Hyatt Gold Passport members and Hyatt concierges can share insider tips on destinations worldwide. Everyone is welcome to browse and email/social bookmark helpful tips to others; however, only Hyatt Gold Passport members and Hyatt concierges can post content. yatt’it offers travel tips and advice from three key sources: 1) Hyatt Gold Passport members, 2) Hyatt concierges, 3) Frommer'sWe also have a partnership with FlightStats--a web based company providing real-time airport and airline information worldwide. Our partnership with FlightStats allows yatt’it users to use the FlightStats tool right within yatt’it without having to leave the site. There is also a mobile version of the site for users on the go: mobile.yattit.comHow many visitors a month does your community have?We are currently averaging 65,000 unique visitors a month with a 95% repeat visitation rate. There are 8,000+ yatt’it members. More Gold Passport members are joining yatt’it and new Gold Passport members are joining the program via yatt’it everyday.How did you, and how do you today, grow your community?During yatt’it development, we had an Alpha and Beta development phase where we invited Hyatt Gold Passport members and over 100 concierges worldwide to visit the development site to contribute their tips and provide feedback. Our launch communications plan included emails to our Hyatt Gold Passport members as well as print, online media and out of home advertising. yatt’it is also thoroughly imbedded throughout Hyatt websites. As we continue to add more destinations and features to yatt’it, we are communicating with our Hyatt Gold Passport members on a continuous basis.How do you measure your community’s success?For quantitative measurement we look at site traffic and membership growth, as well as engagement metrics such as posting volume, page views and tips viewed per visit, time spent on site, to name a few. We also monitor activities and results as yatt’it members cross over to other Hyatt sites and their activities on those sites.Since yatt’it launched, the site has also been featured in many print publications (the October 2008 Harvard Business Review) and team members have been invited to speak at conferences regarding yatt’it (TravelComm 2008 in Chicago).What specific impact has yatt’it had on Hyatt’s business?We have data that shows members who have not had a recent stay with Hyatt are still engaging with our brand through yatt’it, which is very important to us. This allows us to further identify who these people are and continue engaging them with Hyatt and Gold Passport. Even though yatt’it is about Hyatt destinations, we have also received occasional feedback regarding our hotels and services through yatt’it which then becomes a great opportunity for us to engage directly with these customers.Can you share a “sneak peek” at what you might do in 2009?We are currently still working on these enhancements with no ETA confirmed. However, we most recently added the social bookmarking tool which allows users to post their favorite posts on Facebook and iGoogle pages.[...]

VirtualTourist Interview

Fri, 12 Dec 2008 02:11:00 +0000

How did VirtualTourist, created by two travelers in 1999, become the colossal community it is today with over 1 million registered members? According to Giampiero Ambrosi, VT’s general manager, the key is to listen.

What is VirtualTourist?
VirtualTourist is a worldwide travel community where travelers and locals share travel advice and experiences. Among other things, we offer tips and reviews about everything from hotels to restaurants to nightlife, but aside from that we also have a real world community with active forums and offline meetings.

How many visits a month does your community have?
1 million registered members, 6 million unique users per month, 30 million page views per month, and 25 marriages (that we know of).

What are your community’s most popular features?
Our forums are hugely popular--85% of our forum questions are answered within 48 hours and each question receives an average of seven replies. We also monitor our forums very carefully, so unlike a lot of other forums, there’s no free-for-all arguing or “advertising” to wade through.

Our off-line meetings, which are entirely member-organized, are a big part of what makes us so popular. Sometimes the meetings are just a small group of people who get together for a day of sight-seeing and sometimes it’s a group of 200 who gather for an entire weekend. A lot of really hard work goes into them, and it’s something our members really look forward to.

How did you, and how do you today, grow your community?
It’s really the wealth of information on our site that grows our community. We also just use good old-fashioned customer service. We listen to what members have to say, use their suggestions, and do whatever we can to make their experience great.

How do you measure your community’s success?
Certainly we keep track of things like traffic and press mentions, but, although it sounds hokey, we really measure our success by things like member feedback. We’ve had people tell us that the site has changed their lives, that they were inspired to travel because of the site, or that they can’t imagine not being a member.

At what point did VirtualTourist become a successful business?
The business was started in 1999 with a lot of optimism and the dot-com bubble burst in March of 2000, so it was really a rough road. For a while we were running the business out of an apartment and surviving on coffee punch cards. It’s been profitable and successful for a long time and the future looks really bright. In July 2008, VirtualTourist was acquired by TripAdvisor.

How does VirtualTourist generate revenue?
Advertising is our main source of revenue, but that said, there’s a very clear line between editorial content and advertising. We don’t spare an advertiser bad reviews and we wouldn’t include a positive review just because someone is advertising with us.

Can you share a “sneak peek” at what you might do in 2009?
Aside from a whole new look, we’re going to make the site much more user-friendly, interesting, and above all, fun. Additionally, we plan to give our community more options to participate in sporting or charity events around the world. We had sort of a dry run this fall when we sponsored a VirtualTourist team in a motor race across the Caucasus Mountains and we’re already putting together a few more off-line events like that. We’re also in the planning stages of creating awards for some of our top contributors, which is something we’ve wanted to do for a while. All in all it should be a very exciting year.

How to Win Sales and Influence Spiders

Tue, 02 Dec 2008 20:23:00 +0000

I forgot to second book, "How to Win Sales & Influence Spiders," is now available in Polish and Japanese! To get the book in Polish, you can contact Malgorzata Jaroszewska (Malgorzata.Jaroszewska[@] To get the book in Japanese, you can contact Yoshio Kimura (Yoshio.Kimura[@]

I *hope* the second edition of my first book, "Search Engine Advertising," will be available next year. We shall see...


Extravigator Interview

Mon, 01 Dec 2008 19:20:00 +0000

Do you have a taste for luxury travel? Then consider joining Extravigator to trade tips with like-minded travel enthusiasts. With the abundance of travel communities on the web, Extravigator stands out by reaching out to a specific type of traveler. Dan Richman, founder of Extravigator, explains how NOT appealing to a mass market is best for his travel forum.

What is Extravigator?
Extravigator is an independent and open forum for world travelers, with discriminating taste, to share their advice and insider knowledge. Although it is free to join, not everyone who applies for membership is granted one. The application process is deceptively simple. Depending on what hotel people provide as their "favorite hotel" during the application process, we either grant or deny membership. It's a very informal way of weeding out those who do not fit the profile of our ideal member. Each application for membership is individually reviewed.

How many visits/unique visitors a month does your community have?
We launched in October 2007. Today we have roughly 4,000 unique visitors a month and growing. We also have about 850 members.

What are your community’s most popular features?
Photo uploads in comments.

How did you, and how do you today, grow your community?
Extravigator is a slow growing community. The main goal is to attract stylish travelers. It's not designed for mass market appeal. So, much of Extravigator's growth comes from word of mouth.

How do you measure your community’s success?
By the amount of participation in discussions. The home page of Extravigator currently states that there are now 227 discussions that have been started. On average, most discussions have between 3 to 6 comments in each discussion. Generally, the amount of discussion would be quantified as the number of comments per day. It's difficult to give a percentage of increased traffic since traffic has fluctuated significantly in the first year of operation. Oddly enough, the largest traffic spike came from an obscure web design blog named CSSMania. Other large traffic spikes came from blogs such as Luxist, All The Best, and an insignificant mention on Gawker. The LA Times also featured Extravigator in their Travel section earlier this year, but this was only detected from a large increase in traffic from Los Angeles. Most of these mentions often translated to a few hundred unique visitors for a 24-48 hour period and quickly tapered off after that.

At what point did (or will) Extravigator become a successful business?
In many ways, Extravigator already is a successful business. It's already made a slight profit in its first year. But it has a long way to go. The site will truly be successful when every discussion on the front page is less than 24 hours old at any given time.

How does Extravigator generate revenue?
Extravigtator has only had banner advertising since its inception. We are a member of the Halogen Publisher network.

Can you share a “sneak peek” at what you might do in 2009?
We're always looking for new ways to engage our members and get them talking about the best of travel...that's what we'll be focusing on in 2009. Right now we are focused on maintaining our traffic growth through the recession.

Travellerspoint Interview

Wed, 26 Nov 2008 17:23:00 +0000

What does it take to launch a successful travel community with more than 30,000 visitors a day from more than 220 countries? Sam Daams, co-founder of Travellerspoint, shares some of his experiences. Thank you, Sam!What is Travellerspoint?Our corporate objective is to "enrich the travelling experience by offering services, content and products that have significant perceived and added value for travellers worldwide.” In plain English, I'd say we try and create features that are not only useful for travellers on the road, but also help bring them together to share their thoughts, ideas and values.When did you launch Travellerspoint?We first discussed the idea for Travellerspoint in a MSN Messenger session in the middle of 2002, while I was living in the Netherlands and my brother, Peter, was living in Australia. Just three months later we launched Travellerspoint. (Check out a screenshot from the early days.)How many visitors does your community have?30,000 unique visitors per day, 3 million page views per month, members in over 220 countries.What are your community’s most popular features?The forum is a favourite. Because we code all our features ourselves, we can put in place great anti-spam solutions to keep it one of the cleanest and most spam-free travel forums out there. The photography and blogs features are two other favourites, and we're working especially hard to have our wiki travel guide added to that list!How did you, and how do you today, grow your community?Early on it was primarily by reaching out to other travel sites to get the word out. I think it was much easier to get a personal connection back then with other website owners than it is today, but today getting your new site on TechCrunch will get you the kind of early publicity we could only dream of back in 2002. Then again, early articles on Lonely Planet and a feature on the BBC World program 'Click Online' were big boosts for us too. Today, it's through a mix of member referrals, pay-per-click, Facebook and search engine traffic.At what point did Travellerspoint become a successful business?From early 2004, both Peter and I have been working full time on the site and paying ourselves a modest salary from site revenues for that work. If that's the definition of “successful business” then early 2004 is probably the point, so about 1.5 years after starting up. Obviously, we worked a year and a half with no salary, so an investor wouldn't view that the same way.How do you measure your community’s success?Personally, I think member count, forum/photo/blog and wiki contributions are the most important. Traffic will generally increase based on those metrics. Press mentions are especially fun to monitor, but I don't find them particularly representative of the health of a community. There are plenty of sites out there that get a lot of press mention due to their founders/investors and have disappeared 6-12 months later.How does Travellerspoint make money?It's currently a combination of advertising and sales of products/services (accommodations, insurance, RTW tickets, etc.).Can you share a “sneak peek” at what you might do in 2009?One thing we're really excited about is our new Social Bookings concept. This has just been released out of beta in our budget accommodation area. Early feedback is extremely promising and it combines the best of online and offline worlds together.[...]

Bobsleds and Spa Trips

Wed, 26 Nov 2008 17:19:00 +0000

It has been a year since I’ve blogged? Wow. How have you been? What have you been doing?

This year has been a rollercoaster for many entrepreneurs, including me. Swimming keeps me sane. Water is so relaxing…another reason why I love spas! Travel refreshes my spirit, too.

Talking about travel, when I wrote an article for Entrepreneur about company retreats called Go Out and Play I got to travel to places like Miraval Resort (the Spirit Flight spa treatment is an amazing experience) and Utah Olympic Park (bobsledding rocks). And as an 18-year spa enthusiast, I was so excited to share spa tips in an article for Girlfriend Getaways magazine. One of my goals for 2009 is to do more travel writing. Need a freelance travel writer or a secret spa shopper? Call me—my bag is packed. :-)

I’m also a team member of Spa Alchemy, a spa consulting group founded by my brilliant sister Dr. Jen Seda (she co-authored "Choosing Brilliant Health" which was published in May 2008—go Jen Jen). Luckily for me, we both love spas and travel.

As an ode to travel, I’ll be sharing several success stories of online travel communities. I hope you enjoy these interviews and I thank the participants for sharing their insight with us. Happy travels and happy marketing this holiday season!


Viral video marketing and Will It Blend

Mon, 12 Nov 2007 01:54:00 +0000

Thank you, thank you! I *really* appreciate all of the comments on my last post: Freelance Writer Needs a Break. Um, I can’t believe it has taken me two months to write my final blog entry—I obviously need a break from writing for a while. :-)What’s “a while?” I’m not sure yet; I’ll see what Q1 2008 brings…But before I go, here are a few more Internet marketing resources that may help you:Tag, You're It! Tagging content on social sites is serious business.(My October 2007 column for Entrepreneur magazine)Listen Up! Want to be heard? Here are 5 simple ways to promote your podcast.(My November 2007 column for Entrepreneur magazine)Search Engine Visibility(Book by Shari Thurow; second edition now available)Mastering Panama (Yahoo!)(Special report by Mona Elesseily)Radically Transparent: Monitoring and Managing Reputations Online(Book by Andy Beal & Judy Strauss—due out in March 2008)Entrepreneur’s “Women in Charge” conference, January 29, 2008 in Miami(Pitch your business to the magazine editors, attend educational sessions and network with other women entrepreneurs. I’ll be teaching “Online Marketing” and hope to see you there!)It’s a beautiful evening here in California. No hot, dry winds. Instead, storm clouds blanket the sky, bringing a refreshing coolness to the air. I’m drinking a hot latte topped with chocolate raspberry creamer and I’m listening to holiday music. I know it’s early! But I can’t help it. It’s that kind of day.Thank you again for reading my articles, books, newsletter and/or blog. I wish you a very Happy Holiday and a BRILLIANT New Year!CatOkay, onto my final Q&A…++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++QUESTION: In a recent seminar, you mentioned NOT to do hard sales pitches in online videos. You made reference to Dove, which is obviously using their foundation to get the PR, but I seem to see blatant abuse of the non-commercial use and just want to help my coaching clients when it comes to this issue.~ John Hollner, Hollner PromotionsCAT’S ANSWER: Whoops—thanks for giving me the chance to clarify, John. Your clients can use video to grow their business. But I don’t recommend creating an in-your-face, “BUY NOW!” ad. Viewers want information, entertainment, maybe both. For video to go viral, think infotainment.Here’s a fun commercial example: Will It Blend? by Blendtec. Watch the company’s CEO, Tom Dickson, blend golf balls, marbles, or a Chuck Norris action figure (that’s my favorite). Several months ago, when Tom blended an iPhone, publications like Engadget, PC World and InfoWorld talked about it. So did thousands of bloggers.I just interviewed George Wright (Marketing Director for Blendtec), about the success of this campaign. Here’s what he said I can share with you:* Since the launch of the Will It Blend? marketing campaign in November 2006, Blendtec’s Total Blender online sales have increased by 500% -- the Will It Blend? campaign is the single biggest factor in the increase.* Interestingly, the Will It Blend? campaign started as a brand awareness campaign.* Video views from YouTube and total nearly 70 million views.* Now, you can buy the video series for $9.93. This DVD offers the first 50 videos, out-takes, un-released video footage and additional information about the marketing campaign. This product was released in July and has already sold a few hundred copies.* Blendtec is working with other companies to create co-branded video clips.Hmm…I wonder what they’ll blend next?Thanks, John, for your question. Thank you, George, for sharing information on Blendtec’s viral video marketing success. And thank you again to everyone who has stopped by to read my blog.To Your Online Success!Catherine (“Cat”) Seda[...]

Freelance Writer Needs a Break

Mon, 03 Sep 2007 22:15:00 +0000

It’s true...I’m retiring.

Well, sort of. I need a break from writing. I’ve had “writer’s burnout” since I finished my second book How to Win Sales & Influence Spiders (which has already helped thousands of readers—YAY).

It’s also time for me to create better work/life balance. I want my weekends back! If you’re a hard-working entrepreneur, you can probably relate. That said, with a full consulting schedule and a little wiggle room to speak at conferences, I’m cutting back on writing to reclaim my weekends. Ahhh…

I’ll write just one more Q&A newsletter/blog post after this (you can visit to read my “Net Sales” column through December. Yup, I’m even taking a break from my Entrepreneur column—I’ve enjoyed five fabulous years with the magazine).

Can I ask you for a favor?

Have my articles, books or newsletter been helpful? If so, could you share a comment on my blog? I’d love to hear from you! It really makes my day to know my tips are helping my fellow entrepreneurs.

P.S. Want my 3 favorite money-saving tips for pay-per-click? Visit my blog to watch my 5-minute video interview with Dr. Ralph Wilson. Don’t miss it. :-)

To Your Online Success!

Catherine (“Cat”) Seda
12-Year Internet & Search Marketing Strategist
Entrepreneur Columnist

Paid Reviews on Blogs

Mon, 03 Sep 2007 22:08:00 +0000

Want a guaranteed review of your product or service? Why not pay for it? My September 2007 "Net Sales" column for Entrepreneur magazine explores this opportunity. If you've used one of these services (or others), can you share a tip or two? Did it work for you?

September 2007

Pay the Piper?

Paying bloggers to review your product could lead to fame--or shame.

A good review is gold. Unfortunately, getting a journalist to write about your product or service is not guaranteed. Wish it could be? Well, you can pay for reviews--not by journalists, but by bloggers. Proceed with caution, though: This emerging tactic has some tricky implications.

The first step is to find bloggers who write reviews. You can contact the top bloggers in your industry who do this and offer them cash. You can also use sites like Blogsvertise,, ReviewMe and These sites specialize in connecting advertisers with bloggers who are paid to write reviews and link to your site.

Here's how they work: After creating an account, you write a request describing what you want reviewed. You can usually specify the bloggers' qualifications, such as a minimum Google PageRank, Alexa score and/or Technorati ranking.

Today's pay range is anywhere from $5 to $1,000 per review. The paid review sites also charge a service fee, typically a percentage or dollar amount per post.

Does paying for a review undermine its credibility? Some bloggers have blasted other bloggers for accepting money to write reviews. Some bloggers have blasted the advertisers. These bloggers believe paid reviews are automatically slanted in the advertiser's favor. To minimize potential backfire, follow these guidelines:

* Choose blogs that are relevant to your product or service.

* Choose a paid review site that requires disclosure from bloggers.

* Don't choose bloggers or paid review sites that provide only positive feedback.

* Set a reasonable review fee; too little could get you a generic-sounding review, whereas too much could get you one that is overly promotional.

This emerging tactic blurs the line between editorial and advertising. To play it safe, be sure you're paying to get the review but not to control the content. Even with a risk factor, the potential pay-offs are powerful: feedback, buzz, traffic, link love--and most important, the opinion of an influential audience.

© Entrepreneur

Podcast and New Media Expo

Mon, 06 Aug 2007 03:28:00 +0000

Have you tried podcast advertising? If so, please share a tip or two with my blog readers. We'd love to hear from you!

Want to learn about podcasting and videocasting? Then attend the upcoming Podcast and New Media Expo show in California next month. The conference is only $299 for three days! I already registered (I heard the show sold out last year). Hope to see you there…

Podcast Ads

Mon, 06 Aug 2007 03:25:00 +0000

You don’t need to publish podcasts to profit from them. Try podcasts ads! In my article this month for Entrepreneur magazine, I share the surprisingly low costs of podcasting advertising and several companies that can help you reach a tuned-in audience.

Cast Your Line
Fishing for some customers? Podcast a line and make a sales catch.

Advertising on audio or video podcasts is a great way to deliver your message to an audience that's tuned in. An ad can appear preroll (before content) or postroll (after content). Or you can opt for a midroll (also called interstitial) ad, which is inserted within the content. Generally speaking, you need an MP3 file for audio and a QuickTime or Windows Media Player file for video.

Podcasting companies such as Kiptronic, Podtrac and RadioTail may give you demographic and geographic targeting options. And you might get to choose particular podcasts, too. Make sure to get post-campaign reports, which often include details like the number of podcast downloads, download origins and post-download activity, such as the number of clicks or purchases.

What's the cost? Expect to pay anywhere from $10 to $70 CPM (cost per thousand impressions, which in this case refers to the cost per thousand podcast downloads). The campaign minimum could start as low as $1,000. However, one podcast company executive we talked to said $10,000 is a recommended test campaign budget.

© Entrepreneur

Want More Business? Answer a Question.

Wed, 01 Aug 2007 02:55:00 +0000

In your business, do prospects ask you questions?

I bet they do! And I bet that you often turn those prospects into clients. So, why not answer questions on the web to attract more business?

Do you know about Yahoo! Answers? It’s an online community that lets you answer visitors’ questions. What a helpful way to showcase your expertise! And if visitors vote for your answer, you earn points to boost your reputation even more.

I’ll confess…I don’t know Yahoo! Answers. But Manny Hernandez does! He’s an Internet marketer who uses it to raise awareness for, his global community for people touched by diabetes. Manny shares these proven tips:

* Find Your Niche
Use the site’s search engine to find highly-targeted topics. It’s easier to show your expertise as a specialist rather than a generalist.

* Answer Questions Often
If you want points, log in every day to answer one question—you’ll get one point a day by doing this. If you can’t do this, try to answer at least one question once a week. Obviously, the more questions you answer, the more you shine. For more info on the point system, visit:

* Avoid “YES/NO” Answers
Almost any answer at least one paragraph long is an excellent candidate for a “Best Answer” vote (worth 10 points). Because “Yes/No” answers aren’t usually helpful, you won’t likely get “big” points (or business) for giving this kind of answer.

* Vote on Others’ Answers
It’s always a good idea to recognize the good work of others. Yahoo! rewards you for it. By voting for someone else’s answer, you’ll get one point.

* Only Link When Appropriate
Yes, you can link to other resources on the web, including yours, from within your answer. But don’t lace every answer with a link to your site because that’s spam. Never blatantly advertise your products or services—EVER.


Thanks Manny!

LinkedIn also has a similar service called “LinkedIn Answers.” Check out Manny Hernandez' Internet marketing blog about this topic.

Several of my family members have diabetes. Once while in a store with my dad a few months after his stroke, I mistook his low sugar attack for fatigue. Had an ambulance not been called, I would have driven him home to take a nap; he would have slipped into a diabetic coma and died. After that scary experience, I learned from other diabetics that while in a low or high sugar state diabetics might not remember if or when they last ate or took insulin. I hope communities like can help get life-saving information like this out to the world. Congratulations on reaching almost 600 members!


The 10% Lunch Video Contest

Tue, 10 Jul 2007 02:38:00 +0000

How's this for a contest: create the winning 30-60 second video inspired by BizzFlip's blog The 10% Lunch, and you'll own 10%, in private stock, of BizzFlip.

Whadda think?

Internet Legend Dr Ralph Wilson

Wed, 04 Jul 2007 02:52:00 +0000

WOW. Today, my book was given a "thumbs up" by Internet legend Dr. Ralph Wilson. Thank you, thank you!

SEO Your Blog

Tue, 03 Jul 2007 03:51:00 +0000

Want to know a simple SEO technique for blogs? Learn about “permalinks” in my July 2007 “Net Sales” column for Entrepreneur magazine (below). Has this technique worked for you? Please share your results!

Site Unseen?

To attract customers near and far, optimize your blog for search engines.

Search engines send out spiders to crawl the web looking for web pages to add to their databases. Blogs are spider magnets, especially if they have freshly updated content and links pointing to them--two delicious ingredients, according to spiders. But with more than 100,000 blogs being born every day, content and links aren't all you need to catapult your blog to the top of search results. Your blog must also be optimized.

Start by putting relevant keywords in the titles of your blog posts. For example, let's say you publish a blog about interior design. An effective title for one of your posts could be "Designer Home Accessories." This way, these keywords will become associated with that blog entry.

The blog publishing tool you use should create a unique web page for each post you write. That means the post title you choose usually becomes that post's permanent URL, called a permalink. For example, the permalink for a post titled "Designer Home Accessories" could look something like See why it's so important to use good keywords?

Wait, it gets better: When someone looks up a keyword in a search engine or blog engine, your post can appear as a top search result. The title of your post becomes the title of the listing shown. And your permalink appears as the URL of that web page. Not only will humans see what your post is about before they read it, but so will those all-important search engine spiders.

But be careful! Don't repeat your core keywords in every post you write. That's considered spam. When optimizing your blog (or website) for search engines, think humans before spiders. If what you write is illogical or annoying for people to read because of your repetitive use of keywords, it's definitely spam--and is not a good way to win customers.

© Entrepreneur

3 Tips to Boost Traffic to Your Blog

Sun, 01 Jul 2007 18:22:00 +0000

Every month in my Internet marketing newsletter, I answer a reader's question. Whoops! I forgot to post my June Q&A. Here it is:


I ended up going with a TypePad account for my new blog instead of a Blogger account. I have looked into several options for getting the word out about it, but there are so many different ways to do it. How can I establish a solid base to build upon?

~ Will Radcliffe,


I hear you loud and clear, Will. You don’t want 101 tips right now. Here are three quick (and powerful) tips to boost traffic to your blog:

1) E-mail your community of prospects, customers and fans. But don’t just tell them you have a blog. Post something delicious on your blog, then use e-mail to send them a “teaser” to check it out.

2) After browsing BizzFlip, and reading that it’s fairly new, send out a few press releases. Choose a newswire service that’ll let you link keywords from within the press release copy to your blog. That’s a quick way to get a little “link love” (good for search engine optimization)…from the original press release and all of the sites/blogs that’ll publish it for free.

3) MOST IMPORTANTLY, blog. Surf the blogosphere using a blog engine like or to find blogs that are similar to BizzFlip. DO NOT ADVERTISE. Instead, share a tip, tool or comment. By posting a comment, you’ll get a link to your blog which invites bloggers to visit it.

Thanks, Will. A lot of people have asked me about this lately, so your question is timely for many of my readers. Good luck, bloggers. Go forth and blog!

TypePad or WordPress

Wed, 20 Jun 2007 01:22:00 +0000

I know, I know. I *should* upgrade from Blogger to TypePad or WordPress. Now that my new site is live, that's on my To-Do list. Even though I know which one I'll choose, which do you recommend? Why? If you've used both, please say so. Your comments will help entrepreneurs who also need to make this choice. Thanks!

My New Web Site

Sat, 09 Jun 2007 02:49:00 +0000

FINALLY. It's been over a yeeeeeeear since I started writing my new web site copy. I guess time flies when you've been writing a book! It was time to ditch the agency-looking site and just be me. "Cat, the Consultant." That feels right.

You might want to check out my new Resources page. And sign-up for my bi-monthly e-zine to get my "Top 10 Internet Marketing Mistakes" report.

Thanks for stopping by!

How to Win Sales and Influence Spiders Review

Mon, 28 May 2007 22:48:00 +0000

My second book, How to Win Sales & Influence Spiders, is getting good reviews. Thank you!!!

Michael Mattis - Yahoo! Search Marketing Blogger
Andy Beal – SEO Strategist
Dr. Amanda Watlington – SEO Strategist
Manny Hernandez – Top 80 Reviewer
Monte Huebsch of AussieWeb Local Search
Steve Mertz – Denver SEO Consultant
Knox –Denver SEO Consultant
Lisa Manyon – Copywriting Strategist
Stephanie Diamond - Marketer
Aaron Weiche, Web & Multimedia Director of Prime Advertising – A full-service advertising firm
Christine O'Kelly, Create Business Growth

Hmmm…most of the folks who have blogged about my book are in the Internet marketing space. Don’t worry, this book isn’t just for Internet marketers! You can check out some non-Internet book reviews on

Have you blogged about my book? If so (and ya said something nice), let me know or post a comment and include that URL here.

Writing a book is um…a lot of work. So, I really appreciate hearing from happy readers because hoping I share something that helps your business is the reason why I write. :-)

Press Release Make-Over (after)

Tue, 15 May 2007 03:38:00 +0000

As I said in my last post, What's Wrong with Your Press Release, here's Stacy's "after" press release. Read my original post, then Stacy's "before" press release and this one before sharing your comments. What other tips could she share that would get your attention? Five Tips to Turn Wine Tasting into New BusinessWant new clients? This summer, start a wine tasting club to invite your clients, prospects and friends to do more business with you.(PRWEB) May 10, 2007 -- When most people think of a networking group, they think of business cards, stuffy suits and dry chicken. When most people think of a wine tasting party, they think fun. Why not combine the two and create a wine tasting club to bring in new business?Here are 5 simple tips to hosting a successful event:Tip 1: Choose Personality over ProfessionWhen launching a wine tasting club for business, personality counts. Don't invite people with great connections but poor people skills; they'll kill your event. Instead, invite colleagues who can share business contacts and good conversation. It only takes a few fun people to make a club dynamic so start by inviting 6 to 10 friends and ask each bring a fun colleague.Tip 2: Create a ThemeA simple way to liven up your event is to create a theme. For example, focus on a specific type or region of wine. How about a taste of Italy? Or, a Champagne celebration with French cheese? Why not pair white wines with summer fruits? Appetizers and cheeses are easy to offer and they promote mingling.Tip 3: Get the Word OutNetworking groups succeed because people get into the routine of attending a regular event, so stay consistent. For instance, pick the third Thursday of every month at 6:30 p.m. Put everyone on an e-mail list and send out a reminder one month, two weeks and then two days before the event to make sure people remember it.Tip 4: Share the Fun StuffHosts don't have to do everything -- in fact, they shouldn't. Inviting your guests to participate lightens your load while making your guests feel important. Ask your guests to bring a bottle of wine, an appetizer, or both. You can also consider printing a schedule and asking for volunteers to host future events; people will jump at this opportunity. By rotating the event location, the club will quickly grow because hosts will invite their colleagues to join in.Tip 5: Keep it FlowingHere's a successful ice-breaking idea: rate your wine! Pass out wine rating cards to let guests share their opinions. Pour one wine at a time and ask for group feedback. Or, let guests sample the wines available, vote for their favorites, then a winning wine will be chosen at the end of the event. Score cards encourage guests to talk about their favorites. If your guests are required to bring wine, you could award the winner a trophy which gets passed each month for bragging rights.By launching a wine tasting club, you can create a fun and memorable networking event. You'll also extend your community of friends and business contacts.Visit The Wino Club™ at to get fun wine facts, glossary, food pairing recipes, free newsletter and blog.Stacy Nelson is co-creator of The Wino Club™ (, the ultimate wine tasting party kit which includes step-by-step instructions for hosting a successful event. A portion of each sale is donated to Michelle's Place, a breast cancer resource center. Stacy is also a Reverse Mortgage Specialist in Southern California whose business is 100% referral based.C[...]

Press Release Make-Over (before)

Tue, 15 May 2007 03:34:00 +0000

As I said in my last post, What's Wrong with Your Press Release, here's Stacy's "before" press release. Check it out and then read her "after" press release before sharing your comments. Networking With Wine: 5 Easy Tips to Turn a Wine Tasting Party into a Monthly Business ClubTemecula, CA, February 12, 2007 - - Creating your own wine tasting club can be a very powerful tool for business people who want to build their business with referrals and relationships. When most people think of a business networking group, they think of business cards and handshaking, 10 second commercials and dry chicken.When most people think of a wine tasting party, they think of getting together with a few friends and spending the evening together enjoying wine and good food.Which do you prefer?People refer business to people they know and like. Getting to know your referring partners and meeting with them regularly is the best method of building a great business relationship. This is why the best business groups meet regularly, either weekly or monthly.Now imagine that instead of dressing in your business finest and passing out cards for a couple of painful hours, you were to toss on a pair of jeans, toss back some great wine, leave your cards in the car and still generate referrals? The relaxed atmosphere of a wine tasting party makes the relationship building phase of networking painless. By meeting in each other’s homes instead of at a hotel or restaurant, you’ve just moved from business relationship to friend. Forming a wine tasting CLUB rather than just throwing an occasional party creates a consistent presence with one another to reinforce those relationships.Tip 1: Invite Business People You LikeThat seems like an obvious thing to say, but when building a social business network, personality actually weighs in more than occupation. You may know of a person who is a great potential business referral partner but they are just so boring. Don’t invite them. This may sound counter-intuitive but keep reminding yourself that an exciting group will generate more community interest than a stuffy one. If your club is fun, it will attract more dynamic business people. You’ll have people begging to come.Tip 2: Write it offWe’re not tax professionals here, but if you are building a networking group that just happens to be called a wine tasting club, wouldn’t that qualify as a business expense? So go for the good cheese and some special napkins. You don’t have to make it a gourmet event (remember this is about relaxing with one another), but please skip the American cheese slices on Ritz crackers. These are business professionals you are inviting to your home and you want to leave them with a good impression. The wine will help a lot with that, but it doesn’t hurt to put in a little bit extra.Tip 3: Pick a DayNetworking groups meet consistently because if the meeting date is always the same people can schedule ahead. This is no different. Meet for example the third Thursday of every month at 6:30 pm. It’s easier to remember and people get in the habit of coming so scheduling is never an issue.Tip 4: Rotate Homes Every MonthWe know as a dynamic business person you will want to have it at your home each and every month but it will pay off much better to rotate around each month. You see, every person in your group knows 5 other people that would love to come and odds are that they will invite those people when the party is at th[...]

What's Wrong with Your Press Release?

Tue, 15 May 2007 03:28:00 +0000

Don’t write your press release like a press release.


What I mean is, write your press release like an article.

If you think “press release” you’ll write something that’s all about you—not newsworthy. If you think “article” you’ll write a story journalists salivate over.


Read the Q&A below first (from my May newsletter).

Next, read Stacy’s first press release here

Then read her final version here


I saw you speak at the Entrepreneur “Women in Charge” Conference and was so excited that I got home and wrote my article and submitted it to PRWeb... only to realize that an article was not what PRWeb really wanted. Now I'm confused. I wrote an article that was not a sales pitch. But now PRWeb says they want something more of an announcement or promotion. Could you please take a quick moment to review the differences?

~ Stacy Nelson, Co-Founder of


(Here are my five favorite tips I shared with Stacy. Happily, her new final version was just approved by PRWeb!)

* Use an Attention-Grabbing Headline

“Networking With Wine: 5 Easy Tips to Turn a Wine Tasting Party into a Monthly Business Club” is too long. Sell the result first. A wine tasting party sounds fun, but a monthly club sounds like work. Consider announcing the club idea a bit later. What about “5 Tips to Turn Wine Tasting into New Business” or something like this?

* Write a Summary that Sizzles

The summary is a sentence or two that should persuade readers to read on. You’ve got a good one; it’s just a bit soft. Shorten it up and tell me how a wine club can help me NOW.

* Create Creative Tips

Rework the 5 tip titles to be more mysterious. You want people to say “why?” or “how?” Some titles like “Choose a Day” seem too obvious.

* Slim It Down

Your press release is over 850 words! Yikes. As David McInnis, CEO of PRWeb, recommended in my new book, aim for 300-500 words. By staying focused you’ll keep readers’ attention.

* Only Advertise in the “About the Author” Area

Uh oh! Tip #5 pitches your wine tasting party kit. That’s not a tip. You can absolutely pitch your product; just do this in the “About the Author (or Company)” area.


Whadda think? Go check out Stacy’s old and new press releases, then share your comments. She’s got a great product. What info could she share that would attract YOUR attention?


Online Video Advertising: $775 Million to $1.3 Billion

Thu, 03 May 2007 18:48:00 +0000

Can you believe that U.S. Internet video advertising will jump from $775 million this year to $1.3 billion in 2008? Wowzers. Check out more eMarketer video stats in my May "Buzz" article for Entrepreneur magazine:

Visual Appeal

Move over, TV. Online video advertising is here.

More and more, TV-style commercials are appearing on the web. And companies are investing a lot of money in them.

According to eMarketer, spending on internet video advertising in the U.S. will jump from $775 million this year to $1.3 billion in 2008. That's an expected increase of 68 percent.

In its November 2006 "Internet Video" report, eMarketer stated that small and midsize businesses could greatly benefit from this hot technology. Online video ads are cost-effective to create, and they can act as marketing materials or even educational tools. It's also easy to promote them through your existing online marketing campaigns, and you can give them more visibility through video search sites.

A video ad usually falls into one of the following formats: in-page, in-stream or transitional. An in-page ad, or in-banner ad, refers to videos shown in a box within web page content. An in-stream ad, also called a preroll ad, is shown before the video content. Think of the video as a movie; the in-stream ad is the movie preview. A transitional ad, or interstitial ad, is shown to users while they're moving from one web page to another.

Generally, a video ad is 30 seconds long. However, because eMarketer's report states that 46 percent of users are only willing to view an online video for 20 seconds or less, it's a good idea to present your message and call to action before the end of your video.

© Entrepreneur