Thursday, October 30, 2008

Start Your Own Information Marketing Business

This book written by Robert Skrob in conjunction with Entrepreneur Press is an excellent guide for those wishing to incorporate information marketing into their business model. It is presented as a step-by-step guide to success in launching and nurturing an information marketing business. The book's author has spent 12 years marketing products, newsletters, and seminars to 32 different business and professional occupations. He generates millions of dollars a year in subscription income and meeting registrations. In 2004 he worked with a group of info-marketers to create the Information Marketing Association, the trade association for the industry.

Entrepreneur Press (EP) is an arm of Entrepreneur Magazine. EP publishes books regularly on the subject of business start-up and success. Entrepreneur Magazine is published monthly and is seen as a handbook for small to medium businesses and a guide to those in the start-up stage of their business, providing inspiration and tips for avoiding mistakes and realizing goals.

One strong aspect of the book is the fact that each chapter is a compilation of information contributed by a specific information marketing expert who provides their best tips on a particular aspect of launching a successful information marketing business. This gives you access to 100 years of combined experience in the business. Another is that the information the reader gains details not only WHAT to do but HOW to do it. This short book of 156 pages is filled with case studies, outlines, financial tips, resources, and a glossary of terms. Learn about such subjects as:
  • Replacing Manual Labor by "Multiplying Yourself" and Leveraging What You Know
  • Protecting Your Information Marketing Business
  • Financing Your Information Marketing Business
  • Simple and Easy Strategies for Creating Products You Can Sell For Years
  • The Five Keys to Effectively Marketing Your Business
  • How to Sell Your Information Product Online or Offline
  • Getting the Lifestyle And Income Of Your Dreams By Using Joint Ventures
  • Maximizing Online Info-Product Sales
  • Using E-zines As A Fast And Practically Free Way to Sell More Info Products Online
  • An Alternative To Professional Publishers
  • Build A Coaching Program From Scratch
  • Speed Implementation
  • Info-Marketing Resources
I would highly recommend this book! It delivers a wealth of information on things you might not consider as you are moving toward your business goals. It's author Robert Skrob has done an excellent job in presenting the information. You can learn more about him from his blog at

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Starting an Online Business For Dummies

“Starting an Online Business for Dummies” by Greg Holden is one of the latest (published in 2007) additions to the “for Dummies” series that we all know and love. It was written to be an instructional manual for those of us who have aspirations to use the Internet to make money, but do not have the technical background to implement that plan without a little help. In short, the book is about just what it says in the title, how to start an online business. It mainly provides specific technical help and options. It includes numerous website URLs that are relevant to the current topic being addressed so that you can actually find the companies and websites that the author suggests.

This book is broken out into groups of specific topics. These specific sections include nifty numbered lists and bulleted lists. In addition, the book provides icons to let you know when you need to pay special attention. For example, a “warning” icon points out possible pitfalls that can become major problems. This book has a lot of competition out there. The other books in this genre are mostly books that are also trying to teach the novice how to start their own online business and get rich quick doing it.

Greg Holden, the author of this book, has written more than thirty computer books. In addition to his books, he is also a contributor for Computer Currents and PC World. Mr. Holden has his MA in English. I guess he learned his computer skills on his own.

The strongest aspect of this book is the depth and practicality of the information given. This book is so practical it even provides some step by step instructions on how to sign up with different software packages. It also give a clear and honest professional opinion about each company, service, product, everything. Mr. Holden writes with a sense of humor and honesty throughout the book that makes what could be construed as a boring topic by some people very entertaining to read.

The book is lacking in some aspects. While the book does a great job of giving you the specific information you need to start an online business, it leaves out much of the underlying “foundation” of knowledge required to run a successful business. The ever-changing nature of technology assures that this book will be obsolete very soon

I would definitely recommend this book to anyone interested in starting their own small business online that really is a beginner or “dummy”. Anyone who already has a fairly good knowledge of the internet and websites would find this book be very simplistic and not helpful. Overall, I think the book does a good job at what it is trying to do; help out us computer dummies.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

The Complete Guide to E-Mail Marketing by Bruce C. Brown

The Complete Guide to E-Mail Marketing by Bruce C. Brown is a practical “how to” book for small business professionals seeking to use e-mail marketing to reach their audience and boost their sales.

This book begins with a general history of the development of the internet and e-mail marketing. Brown then focuses on e-mail marketing and provides ideas for using it in combination with other marketing strategies such as direct mail and web advertising.

When properly executed, e-mail marketing is not spam. A summary of the Can Spam Act arms readers with confidence in implementing spam-compliant marketing campaigns. An important part of spam-compliance is ethical list-building that uses single or double opt-in as well as a clear offer to opt-out.

Brown provides tips for creating and growing your e-mail list. Proper targeting and segmenting of your list will help prevent people from unsubscribing. When customers opt-in to an e-mail list, give them what they expect if you want to keep them from unsubscribing.

Once your target market is identified, you must craft an effective e-mail. Brown provides tips on how to write an e-mail that will not be overlooked by subscribers and will boost click-through rates and result in increased sales. Special attention is paid to the subject line, as well as when e-mails should be sent, how often, and at what time of day.

Search engine optimization (SEO) is an important aspect to a successful e-mail campaign. Readers learn how to use their e-mail campaigns to boost SEO.

Extensive case studies and tips and advice from e-marketing industry experts provide readers with practical applications. The topics addressed in the case studies are varied enough that readers are sure to find at least one example that is directly applicable to a problem they face in their company.

Brown does an excellent job of summarizing information and providing the right balance of general and technical information. He gives readers enough information to understand what they do not know and he points them in the right direction to learn more. Readers should be aware that this book focuses heavily on small businesses with a B2C rather than B2B strategy. It also does not emphasize how to assess the effectiveness of an e-mail marketing campaign through use of web analytics.

Brown is a U.S. Coast Guard officer, small business owner, e-marketing consultant, web designer, and author of 7 books on various e-commerce topics. You can learn more about his books at his blog:

If you are a novice in the field of e-mail marketing and you are looking for a reference book that will give you a step-by-step guide for implementing an e-mail campaign, then this is a book for you.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Robin Williams Web Design Workshop

By Robin Williams, John Tollett, and David Rohr

How can one know if a web site is good or bad? Are sales results the only measure? Good design and function can help build traffic to a site. Without having to read a multitude of manuals, Robin Williams Web Design Workshop simplifies what a functional and effective web site should be. This is a must read for anyone in e-commerce. And for the price of the book, you can visit the associated websites for an uplifting and educational ride into the worldwide web.

Web Design Workshop is a guide for advanced design and web principles that appeal to those with or without advanced training. While this book will not enable you to create a web site from start to finish, it will give you an “eye” for what works, looks good, or is functional on the web.

The authors cover the following:
A prelude into web basics – glossary of terms, using clip art and images, basics of photo editing, creating a horizontal design space, working with internet browser limits, and using layers to simplify your work.

Creating the plan – organization of a web site should start with a plan, targeting your web customer, tying in with the corporate brand, technical influences, browser influences, building for both computer platforms, relational mapping, tips for testing a site, and searching on the site.

Advanced techniques – breaking away from HTML, comparative essay on backgrounds, advice on navigation and buttons, and site indexes.

Movement on web pages – dynamic pages, the good and bad of frames, flash and rich media, and functional forms.

The authors show examples the good and bad of design technique. The reader is able to follow advice given through pictures.

Robin Williams makes available to readers a last chapter to the book online at The Virtual Last Chapter of the Web Design Workshop. The web site is an extension to the book offering examples displayed in an online environment. She provides basic web design education in “For Your Clients” where she lists 10 points for a non-web client about web development. And although the book was published in 2002, in her “Resource Links” the reader is brought up to date to the latest in web design and corporate links for resources.

Dreamweaver CS3: The Missing Manual

Dreamweaver CS3: The Missing Manual is the most fantastical tale ever written. It is as if the digital hand of God reached down and personally penned this enticing memoir, giving us a deeper look into his feelings and intellect regarding Web site development and the popular Web development software known as Dreamweaver CS3. From page 1 I felt emotionally attached, and found myself wishing there was more as I breathlessly turned the last of the book's 995 pages. The characters were engaging and the main heroine (the Westie on the cover) was someone I could relate to on an intimate level.

In actuality Dreamweaver CS3: The Missing Manual, or CS3MM, which us people in the know call it, is more or less a reference guide, which could very successfully serve as an extremely knowledgeable "right hand man" for the entire gamut of Web Developers whom are using the Dreamweaver software.

David Sawyer McFarland, whom authored the book, has gone all the way with Dreamweaver several times and has enough E-credentials to explode my 500 word limit several times over, provides enough intimate detail to let us as the reader become immediately familiar with the software without becoming overwhelmed. McFarland effectively presents the material in a manner that can be digested by any newbie, just dabbling his tiny feet into the baby pool of Web development, to any professional, looking to make a splash in the giant waters of the World Wide Web. CS3MM simply put, can take the user and connect him to the Adobe software in a way that will let him/her bring their brilliant Web site ideas to life.

The true beauty McFarland's book and of CS3MM is its context. CS3MM is structured very intelligently and in a manner that strategically takes the user through the 7C's of a successful website beginning with content and ending with customization. Each chapter is broken down into manageable sections, which help the user master the software in a way that logically builds upon the 7C's until the final product can be as dynamic and self sustaining as the user so wishes. CS3MM does not stop there, as it also goes beyond Web site development and provides guidance in the realm of Web site management, providing instruction on how to use Dreamweaver to create and use templates, snippets, libraries, and even Dynamic content, necessary for companies requiring large catalogues or hundreds of Web pages.

Before running out and looting your local Barnes & Noble for a copy of CS3MM during the next plunge in the DOW, it is important to remember that a solid foundation and understanding of the 7C's will help tremendously. Although CS3MM provides the medium to navigate the tools provided by Dreamweaver and utilize the 7C's, in no way does the book provide you with the vision and understanding of how to successfully implement those tools.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Purpose of this blog

The "MBA Students Favorite e-commerce Books" will present a collection of reviews of books that were selected by each student as part of a course requirement for Marketing 670, e-commerce, in the College of Business at the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs.

For this assignment, each student selected a book of her or his own choosing with the following restrictions:
1) the book must fit the course objectives (i.e., be directly related to some aspect of e-commerce)
2) the book must have a 2006 or later copyright (there are some e-commerce classics, but the field changes so quickly, that students need to be reading current material)
3) no two students can read the same book. So it's first-come, first served, or you snooze, you lose.

In addition to reading the book, students must prepare a 2-3 page written review, and an 8 minute in class presentation. The blog postings are a condensation of the information the students put in their written reviews and presentations.

The blog will have, at mimimum, a set of reviews of 25 books related to e-commerce, a set that reflects what interests a group of MBA students in Colorado.

If you have come to the site and are not part of the class, feel free to make comments to the postings. I hope you find it helpful.