How to Write Informational Articles for Small Business Online

If you are going to write articles for the small business community, then it pays to have had a little bit of experience in the sector. One thing that bothers me is when I talk to other online writers who create content for this category, only to learn that their only experience is perhaps a little e-commerce website, and then I ask myself; what on Earth do they know about business? The answer is not much. Now then let's talk about this for a moment shall we?

Not long ago, I was discussing this with someone who had an MBA, and often worked as a consultant writing business plans for small business owners and startups. He said all the right things and used all the right vocabulary and buzzwords, but he surely didn't know what he was talking about when it came to marketing an actual business, dealing with customers, or strategizing for their future growth - this is problematic - and consider if you will he's putting information out online, and small business owners are reading it, and making businesses decisions based on it.

Therefore, before you write a single article about how to run a smaller type business, I suggest you go out and get yourself some experience. Next, writing blanket statements about how business operates is rather silly because every industry is different, and very little is the same when it comes to running these businesses. Oh sure, the accounting standards are the same, and the employment law is the same, and at least some of the financial information such as how to get a bank loan or fill out paperwork might be the same, but basically it stops there.

Further, if you're going to produce an abundance of content in these kinds of categories then you should be custom tailoring your articles with case studies, talking about actual businesses in various industries. Each time that you use a case study, it is easier to get your point across, and your reader will remember the information longer. This will help you if you are trying to bring in targeted traffic to your website, or get new clientele, and it will also help them put all the information into the proper context so they can use it.

Consider that a value added technique in writing and producing quality informational articles for the small business community. Is my sincere hope that you will please consider all this and think on it, and that you do it right, don't add to the debris of nonsensical business articles online.

Lance Winslow has launched a new provocative series of eBooks on Small Business Topics. Lance Winslow is a retired Founder of a Nationwide Franchise Chain, and now runs the Online Think Tank;

Mobile Marketing - A Guide for Small Business

What is Mobile Marketing?

It has never been so easy for businesses to keep in touch with their customers whenever and wherever they choose. Smart phones, for example, are increasingly common, with 52% of Australians owning one - a figure which is expected to rise by a further 10 million by 2015.

Mobile marketing taps into the ubiquitous nature of mobile phones to stay in touch with consumers wherever they go. It's a massive opportunity for advertisers and brands, who can reach their customers in more ways than ever before. Here are just a few examples:

Text message marketing- communicating brand messages, special offers or advertisements via SMS.

Multimedia messaging services - the ability to send pictures and video via MMS.

Mobile search marketing - targeted search results based on the user's location.

Mobile display advertising - the ability to display banner ads and rich media on a mobile phone.

Mobile video advertising - interactive videos and animations which can be displayed on a small screen.

Mobile applications - ranging from e-commerce to information services, mobile applications make executing a task via mobile phone simple.

Mobile bar codes - otherwise known as QR or 2D codes, mobile bar codes embedded in a magazine or display board can be scanned into a mobile phone to lead the user directly to specific, trackable online content.

How Mobile Marketing has increased.

Mobile bar codes (or QR codes) are already in use in 136 countries around the world and mobile web is expected to reach nearly 2 billion users by 2015. This is a growing industry that is already seeing results - already, one third of consumers shop online via mobile rather than on a computer or in person.

QR codes are an increasingly popular way of providing on-the-spot information about products, brands or promotions. In some countries, 50% of Smartphone users have an application capable of reading QR codes. It is this ability to provide immediate information that can encourage consumers to convert - by making it easy to make a purchase, find out about a promotion or sign up for an event.

The impacts for small and medium sized businesses

Many businesses are successfully using mobile marketing to launch, manage and assess their advertising campaigns. But is this new way of marketing limited to companies with a large team of expert marketers in-house, or can it be embraced by smaller businesses too?

For small businesses operating on a local level, mobile marketing can be great for securing business from customers in the local area, thanks to location-based searches.

How much does mobile marketing cost?

Compared to above-the-line advertising channels such as TV and radio, or print marketing in magazines and newspapers, mobile marketing is inexpensive. That's not to say that certain campaigns won't cost - building a mobile-ready website or developing an augmented reality application for example won't come cheap.

However, it's possible to set up an SMS or QR code campaign on a relatively small budget, and with marketing as flexible and multi-faceted as mobile marketing, there will always be options to suit lower budgets.

It's usually possible to run various mobile channels either as a fixed, regular cost or a pay-per-service, depending on the scope, timescale and size of your campaign.

For more information please visit