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18 of 20 people found the following review helpful
on May 11, 2008
This book was a little better than OK, but I can't say that I particularly liked it. I'd love to rate it a 3.5 star, but I have to give it either a 4 or a 3. Well, I'll throw it a bone - voila! It gets a 4. The book has five sections and 19 chapters as follows:

I. What's new online? (1&2)
II. A new mindset (3-6)
III. Developing your 7-step action plan (7-15)
IV. Completed plan and beyond (16-19)
V. Appendix (A&B)

1. What's important to today's Web marketer?
2. Changing roles
3. Creativity and innovation
4. Think like a direct response copywriter
5. You're a publisher now!
6. Your new social media Web site
7. The 7-step action plan
8. Step 1: Niche
9. Step 2: Brand
10. Step 3: Story
11. Step 4: Search
12. Step 5: Content
13. Step 6: Tactics - Social Media
14. Step 6: Tactics - Tried and true
15. Step 7: Results
16. Putting it all together
17. Let the message work for you
18. Collaboration with colleagues and customers
19. Tracking your success
A. Bibliography
B. Worksheets

I loved Chapter 5 on being an infopreneur. But I would have liked more coverage on emailing, ebooks, webinars, and teleseminars.

The author has her own online marketing and design company called "Digital Media Works, Inc" which you can easily find by doing a Google search for that name. I was about as impressed with her company Web site as I was impressed with her book. Clearly this book is a marketing piece for her company.

It surprised me that a book on Internet Marketing only devoted one chapter (Chapter 6) to the ins and outs of designing a Web site. And it surprised me that a book on Internet Marketing that included a bibliography did not include more books (and current ones at that) on Internet Marketing. Chapter 14 covers email sigs, article marketing, online press releases, and ezines.

If you are interested in Social Media Marketing, then this book is one you may want to take a look at. It does a reasonble job discussing the subject. I was surprised there was not a chapter on blogging just after Chapter 6. I would have included a chapter on blogging there. Then at Chapter 13 I would have gone into marketing tactics used when blogging. I was surprised there was not a chapter on social networks (Linked In, MySpace, Facebook, etc.) just after Chapter 6. I would have included a chapter there on the social networking sites, and then at Chapter 13 I would have gone into the marketing tactics used when doing social networking. None of this was done. 3.5 stars!

PS. Other books I have read on this subject which have received favorable reviews from me on Amazon are: "The New Influencers" (ISBN: 1884956653), "Marketing to the Social Web" (ISBN: 0470124172), "The Age of Engage" (ISBN: 0979802806), and "Marketing in the New Media" (ISBN: 1551807319). None of these books were cited in the bibliography included in the instant book being reviewed.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on May 25, 2008
Marketing is probably the biggest challenge for small business owners and executives. We typically spend so much time running the business day to day that establishing and maintaining a marketing focus just doesn't happen. The accelerating pace of Internet marketing change makes it all that much more challenging.

Happily, Stephanie Diamond has written that rare book which both forces us to think in new and different ways about marketing issues-and simultaneously provides a detailed roadmap so that we can put those thoughts into action. Once you have finished the book, you will be ready to develop and deploy a successful Web marketing strategy.

Her new book, Web Marketing for Small Businesses, is a much-needed addition to the literature of online marketing. This book enables us first to grasp complex concepts and then to put them into practice with easy to follow steps. Even solopreneurs will find significant value in Stephanie's book. I know that I have already begun to implement several of the strategies about which she writes so knowledgeably.

Stephanie conveys so much valuable content in her book that it is difficult to do it justice in a short review. So, I will simply share some of my favorite stuff.
My 7 favorite lessons learned:

1. Making it easy for your Web visitors to buy from you is essential, but it's even more important to make it easy for them to tell your story to others. This is the key to word-of-mouth marketing. You must tell stories that are so compelling and memorable that dozens of others will be retelling your stories to dozens of others.
2. Power has shifted from sellers to buyers on the web. This means that your web presence must provide plenty of compelling content that makes it easy for buyers to take action. Don't give them an excuse to look elsewhere for essential information.
3. Develop a precise and in-depth understanding of your buyers. Create a `persona' for your buyer that makes her a flesh and blood human being for whom you can craft just the right messaging.
4. Simplify. Simplify. Simplify. Make it incredibly easy for your web visitors to understand why your products and services will provide perfectly tailored solutions for their most important needs.
5. Always think of what actions you want your visitors to take. Provide content within an information architecture that will lead your visitors to take those actions naturally and effortlessly. This action-focused approach applies to every part of your website.
6. Your website is effectively a direct response mechanism. Therefore think like a direct response copywriter and ask "so" questions. For example, "our widget is the lightest in the industry." So? Then finish the equation... "so you can carry it with you wherever you go."
7. You must do usability testing no matter how small your marketing budget. It's really just a question of recruiting several users who know nothing about your company, your products or your website. Put them in a room in front of a computer and let them figure out what your company and your products are all about-and what action you would like them to take. Keep repeating the process until even the most clueless user instantly and intuitively understands what your website and your company are all about.

7 step plan for "explosive business growth"

Plenty of variables may affect the business growth you can achieve by following Stephanie's seven step plan. But, because so many of us will never create a thoughtful and realistic plan on our own, her seven steps are just what the marketing doctor ordered to spark significant growth.

Stephanie devotes an entire chapter to each step with description, references, and examples. I think you will find just about the right amount of information in each chapter to begin developing and deploying your strategy. Here are bare-bones descriptions of the 7 steps:

1. Niche-precisely define your perfect customer and developer niche to match.
2. Brand-make it "obvious, repeatable, and ready for storytelling by the customers who will carry your message."
3. Story-tell stories about your company, its people and its products that are true, compelling, and unique. Make sure these stories are easy to retell.
4. Search-be easy to find on the web. Craft your content so that it is search engine friendly and so that it can be found quickly by your ideal customers.
5. Tactics-social media-carefully consider core social media methods such as business blogging, videos, podcasting and the social networks. You can experiment with each of these inexpensively and should probably choose one or two as a starting point to avoid straining always limited resources.
6. Tactics-tried-and-true-although for some small businesses these tactics may be somewhat unfamiliar, they have been effective online for a decade or more. Among these tactics are: eNewsletters, article marketing online press releases surveys and loyalty programs.
7. Results- you must continually reassess each of your online marketing initiatives to determine what's working, what's not, and what to change accordingly. Measurement online is easy and essential.

Plenty of practical elements in the book

Stephanie gives just enough description and explanation so that those of us who are not steeped in Internet technology and leading-edge marketing practices can understand fundamental principles. And, most importantly, she teaches us just how to put those principles into practice.

Throughout the book she provides worksheets that enable readers to begin laying out a practical plan for a successful Web marketing strategy. These worksheets lead you from where you are today to the new kind of thinking you'll require, to a definition of your customers and your niche, and ultimately to the action plans to execute your Web marketing strategy.

Thanks to Stephanie's book, developing a successful Web marketing strategy has now become eminently doable for even the smallest organization.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on October 24, 2008
Several years ago there was great suspicion about the Internet and websites because some of them were fake. While some fake sites still exist, this suspicion has largely disappeared and in fact, completely reversed. Now the web or Internet is often the FIRST place that people turn when they have a business need.

If you are a small business owner, you need to harness the power of the Internet to increase your own bottom line and visibility. WEB MARKETING FOR SMALL BUSINESSES is an invaluable resource. With detailed and current examples, Stephanie Diamond helps every reader understand the changing roles and the necessity of a new mindset. Then she walks the reader through a seven-step action plan to discover your niche, capitalize on your brand, tell your story, jump higher in the search engines, write good content (persuasive landing pages, minisites and sales letters), social media tactics and finally tried and true tactics (newsletters, article marketing, white papers and much more).

Stephanie Diamond is a seasoned expert in this field and writes with authority about a subject that she knows intimately.

This easy-to-digest text is a book that I will use over and over. The worksheets alone in the back are worth the cost of this book. Small business owners who follow the wisdom in these pages will profit in many ways--and I mean much more than your bottom line. You will gain a presence and visibility which will only enhance your financials and increase your business.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on September 8, 2009
This book is like a super check list of all the things you need to do when building your website. From defining your niche to helping people find your site, Stephanie Diamond lays it all out for you. Start out with the tips in this book and you won't have to go back later to figure out what you're doing wrong!
My favorite part was tips on how to get the most from using google adwords: How to find key words that cost less and how to tell if your ads are getting you what you need.
This book summarizes what it took me two years to find, seeking information from marketers on the web, plus more!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on June 7, 2008
If you have a product and/or service worthy of selling, please do us all a favor: Right now, buy this book. When it arrives, USE IT IMMEDIATELY!!! And yes, I know I am yelling, thank you very much.

As far as I know, there is no other book out there that has such useful information that is this easy to implement with such immediate results. Measurable results are the gold standard in business. An increase in profits and return business are two of the side effects of using Stephanie's book. Thank you Stephanie for sharing such a gem with us.


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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on May 27, 2008
I am a web developer and I deal with issues described in Web Marketing for Small Businesses every single day. I would spend hours and sometimes days researching things that are presented in this book in a simple, clear and very well organized format.
This book is packed with practical recommendations for the small and not so small businesses who want to make money online.
Whether you are a small business owner or a search engine optimization marketer, in this book you will find tons of information you can use every day.
I am rating this book as 5 stars!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on September 3, 2008
The internet is a powerful tool for many things, such as marketing. "Web Marketing for Small Businesses: 7 Steps to Explosive Business Growth" is a guide for small time entrepreneurs who seek to use the internet to turn their companies around. With advice on finding the right tools and methods to doing so, using the concept of 'Web 2.0', connecting with your customers, online selling, and keeping track of this massive monster, "Web Marketing for Small Businesses" is a must read for any small time business who want to expand.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on November 23, 2009
Although I have not finished this book from cover to cover - I have skipped thru to a couple of sections of particular interest. I find it well directed and easy to understand. And it has given me some inspiration to move me forward with my marketing.
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