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November 1st: Torsten Jacobi, CEO of Creative Weblogging, joins host Anita Campbell. Sponsored by Six Disciplines. Show details.
Sunday, June 19, 2005
PowerBlog Review: Small Biz Sense
Read all the PowerBlog ReviewsEditor's note: It is with great pleasure that we bring you the seventieth in our regular weekly series of PowerBlog Reviews of business weblogs. This week's review is being guest-blogged by Lynne Meyer. Lynne Meyer, APR, is president of A Way with Words.

By Lynne Meyer

"Practical ideas that the time-starved small business owner can put to use immediately."

That's the appealing tag line Ruth King puts below the name of the Small Biz Sense blog. As a small business owner myself, the term "time starved" got my attention right off the bat. Can you think of a catchy tag line to use under the name of your blog that will draw potential readers in?

Ruth is founder and CEO of BusinessTVChannel.com, which is "internet television for business people by business people," and her company is almost totally Web based. Ruth blogs from Atlanta, Georgia to help give small business owners access to practical information to help them run their businesses.

Ruth does three things in her blog that I like. Her posting headlines tell you exactly what the post is going to be about. Here are a few examples: "The Power of Word-of-Mouth Marketing," "How NOT to Get a New Customer," "Finding Time When It's Busy" and "A Great Website to Help You Start Your Business." These straight-forward titles enable time-starved readers to quickly decide whether or not they want to take time to read a post.

We all have business reading we're obligated to do. And let's face it, some of this mandatory reading is a chore to plow through. That's why I appreciate the tone of Ruth's blog. It's conversational and friendly, making it easy and effortless to read. A chance to give your weary gray matter a little break, but you still learn something.

The third nice technique Ruth employs is sharing personal experiences to frame business tips she has learned. Ruth frequently uses her hobby -- running marathons -- as in this post entitled "Find Someone to Help When You're Stuck":
"About 10 miles into running the Boston Marathon, I wanted to quit. Fortunately, I met a woman who offered encouragement by telling me that even if you walk to the finish line you're still going to finish. I walked/ran with her for a mile or two. Then I caught up to another person who helped me go farther. I got my 'second wind' and finished the marathon. I didn't know either of these people, but they were kind enough to help a stranger."
Ruth says she realized there was a lesson for business in this experience.
"Many times we want to quit. We make a comment to someone, and it turns out that person helps us see through the problem, the challenge, and we make it to the finish line. So if you find someone who's contemplating throwing in the towel, help them out with some encouraging words."
Inspirational? You bet! Think about it. You may not know the names of the people who read your blog, but maybe one of them is having a bad day in which nothing seems to be going right. What a nice lift (and gift) you can give him or her with your own anecdote. And we all need a reminder from time to time to offer an encouraging word to others.

It's not going to get your blog written up in Inc magazine, but framing business tips in a personal experience is a nice touch.

Whether you're having a good day or a bad day, you'll want to read Small Biz Sense.
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