Peak SBC, LLC  



The SBC Small Business Newsletter

presented by the Peak Small Business Center



October 12, 2002

Table of Contents



Quote of the Week


Featured Resource - MIT OpenCourseWare Pilot

Parting Comments

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Quote of the Week

Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a very persistent one.

- Albert Einstein



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Featured Resource

MIT OpenCourseWare Pilot

Want to get an education at MIT? For free? Okay, you can't get a degree online for free at this point, but MIT plans to put all of the materials from its 2,000 courses online by the 2006-2007 school year. Many of them are already there, including courses from the Sloan School of Management. Course materials include the syllabus, class assignments, exams and answers, reference materials and even some video lectures.

This is going to be one incredible resource, folks!

Staff Article

by: Cary Christian

Marketing your business online is getting tougher by the day. Email marketing is becoming more and more difficult, even when you have a large opt-in list to market to. The problem is that people are being bombarded by so much email they never asked for. The email address harvesters are working overtime and are on the verge of killing off email marketing for good.

I believe it's time to start concentrating heavily on increasing traffic to your website in creative new ways . . . and time to seriously revisit some old standards. Let's start out by looking at a few new ideas.


If you've been reading this newsletter for awhile you know that swapping links with other websites that are similar to your own can generate lots of targeted traffic and help you rank better in the search engines. This technique is still very much worth using, but let's take it a step further.

Can you write? If you can't, can you get someone to write for you? I'm talking about a standard article, maybe 700 to 1,000 words in length, that relates to your website and is rich in keywords that apply to your site. Either write one or have it written, and then investigate the possibility of exchanging articles with similar websites instead of just links.

Links can be very effective, but let's face facts here. Many links pages contain so many links you're not likely to get a lot of traffic from them. You will get some traffic, and it will be excellent quality traffic, but your host is not going to be complaining about all the bandwidth you're using as a result of these links.

The article, on the other hand, will get noticed by those interested in your subject matter. You'll also get hits as a result of the other site's search engine positioning if your article is properly linked within the site. Ideally, the link to your "guest" article will be on a page that is ranked well on the search engines. In time, your article page may even get spidered by the search engines and rank well on its own. Of course, you'll need to do the same for the site you're exchanging with.

One other benefit is that you will also get a link back to your site from this article exchange. So you get the same results as a link exchange, only better.

Want a quick example? We have information on our site about accounting systems for small businesses. Let's say you sell accounting systems. You write an article for me about tips and tricks on using an accounting system effectively. Your article links back to your sales page. I write an article for you on evaluating accounting systems. My article links back to our sales page for our book on accounting software selection.

Our products are complimentary and our articles each provide value to our visitors. It works well for both of us.


These are sites that accumulate very narrowly focused links to sites that serve a specific niche market. Some of these sites become very popular and are able to charge for listings. If you operate in a niche market, you should check out these sites. Getting listed could generate a tremendous amount of traffic for you.

If you can't find a niche aggregate site for your niche, consider starting one. If you are the first to do so, you might find yourself a gold mine. These animals are coming on strong. Consider right away how they might figure into your marketing future.

How focused are these sites? How about a site dedicated to wine cellar software? Check it out here:

How about a site dedicated to cartoonists? Check it out here:

When I say niche, I mean niche. For example, accounting software is not focused enough. How about accounting software for stores that sell toy trains or accounting software for beauty salons? That's focused!



You're probably getting tired of hearing about them. You know they're a favorite of mine. Use them. They work. When used properly they produce high-quality, prequalified, highly targeted visitors to your site at a very reasonable cost. Enough said.


Yes, there are a few left. You can submit to these four in a matter of minutes:

1. All the Web - (Fast) Add URL page:

2. HotBot - Add URL page:

3. AltaVista - Add URL page:

4. Google - Add URL page:

It may take a month or two to get listed, and there is a possibility you won't get listed, but it's free and can provide you with a lot of traffic for many years to come. It's the proverbial gift that keeps on giving.

And of course you should submit to DMOZ / The Active Directory Project. This will take more than a few minutes but it will get you into a lot of search engines. The add URL page is located here:

Marketing online is changing rapidly. Then again, that's the nature of and the beauty of the Internet. With every difficulty introduced by change, there are also opportunities for those who are able to adapt.

Copyright (c) 2002

Guest Article

By: Wendy Hearn

Fast forward yourself to the end of December and as the year closes, how are you feeling about your achievements during this past year? Really get in touch with your feelings, live them, breathe them and don't let them pass by. Are you feeling any disappointment, regret or frustration for the things you haven't done or achieved? Do you find yourself thinking, "This past year has flown by and what have I done", "There is so much more that I wanted to do" or "Why haven't I done the things that I'd
said I'd do".

Now bring yourself back to today. You still have time before the end of the year to get on a track to achieving what you want. Imagine starting the New Year knowing that you've been consistently moving in the right direction and will continue to take the necessary actions.

Lack of planning is one of the reasons why many people get to the end of the year and feel they haven't achieved what they want. Planning often isn't seen as a priority or much fun. Hold on! If it's not fun, that's the way you've chosen it to be. Instead you can choose to have fun with your planning and perhaps even make it into a game. If planning isn't a priority for you, then have you considered the messages that you're giving to yourself. Messages such as, "I'm not that important in my life", "I don't deserve these things" or "I'm not likely to do what I say I will".

However, the people who do have plans often make them too rigid. Their plan is stuck to word for word, without any room for flexibility. A plan that you set today needs to be open to regular reviewing and changing. A clue that your plan needs changing is when you find it difficult to follow through with the actions and don't feel inspired.

You've now got an opportunity to end this year with a feeling of achievement. Seize the opportunity and make the most of it.

Start by defining for yourself your vision, dreams and desires. Make this specific and exciting so that you feel inspired to follow through with action. You may need to break this down into smaller pieces. For instance, if you want to grow your business, there may be a number of different opportunities that you choose to explore. Now define the strategies that you'll use, how you're going to do it. In the example of growing your business, your strategies may include research, sales and marketing, increasing employee numbers or finance. Now go through each strategy and brainstorm possible action steps. Go for as many as you can, being open to different and creative action steps, rather than sticking with what you would normally do. Sometimes the most outrageous actions steps turn out to be the best and most productive.

Then at least once a day visualize your dream; the achievement that you want to make and see what you feel is the next thing to do. Visualizing keeps your plan alive and you inspired, and allows you to see the right actions to take. Taking committed action every day moves you towards your desires. At the same time give yourself the opportunity to step back and review what you want and what it will take to get it. Time spent regularly stepping back and re-evaluating your plans can save you a lot of time as you see what no longer needs doing, doesn't serve you or needs to be done differently.

What I want for you is to be achieving and on the right track to your dreams by the end of the year.


Wendy Hearn
Personal and Professional Coach

She works with business owners, professionals and executives to
discover and unlock their own inspiration, to effortlessly take
the actions required to have the success they desire.
To receive Wendy's free newsletter, send an email to:

Copyright 2002, Wendy Hearn. All rights reserved.

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