MEME: BizLuv in Support of Small Businesses

Great Depression Soup Line

Great Depression Soup Line

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Even if the economy is not directly impacting you or your family, it will do so indirectly.

Each person who reduces their spending for any reason will cause the businesses you use regularly to have lower sales.

Declining sales may cause these businesses to lay off employees. As more people are laid off the ripple affect could cause even exceptional businesses you love to fail.

Are you visiting your favorite restaurants, shops and service providers as often and spending as much as you once did? Are they still thriving?

There are simple actions each of us can do to support your favorite businesses. One easy way to thank them and send them new customers is to add a review for them on the sites below.


  • Yahoo! Local – If you have a Yahoo ID simply enter a location and the name of a business and click Write a Review
  • Google Plus Local – If you have a Google Account simply enter the name of a business and where they are and click Write a Review
  • MyLocalLookup – Simply search for any business and click Rate It. You don’t even need an account. Businesses can get a free MyLocalLookup listing.
  • Yelp is a community oriented around specific locations. It is a great way to find out which businesses others in your geographic area prefer. Sign up for a Yelp account to read and leave reviews of local businesses and receive discounts and coupons. Businesses should strongly consider getting a Free Yelp business account and reviewing other businesses they use.
  • Merchant Circle is another geo-targeted community where neighbors share their opinions of the businesses they use, see special offers, discounts and coupons. Businesses can get a free MerchantCircle listing and consumers can save time and money using the new MerchantCircle Neighbors and Q&A programs.

Every business should have a listing in each of these sites. The easy way is to use the Universal Business Local Search Listing service.

If you are willing to write a review for any business and can not find them on the above sites share this information and link with them. You may be instrumental in keeping them in business. Encourage them to either use that service or at least manually add their business to the above five sites so you can review them and they can be found online.

If you are a business planning to review other businesses be sure to read How to Write a Review and How NOT to Write a Review. While those posts were specifically about Merchant Circle, the advice they contain applies to any site that accepts reviews. Note that some sites prohibit soliciting or incentivizing reviews so be sure to read their Terms of Service carefully.

Many traditional offline businesses will not understand the importance of being easy to find in digital local directories.

Even people who have no computer are looking for you online and you really need to be easy to locate. Let me share a couple examples of why this is so very important.

  • Your loyal customer with a GPS (standard in many cars today and popular as a handheld device) decides to call to see how late you are open or whether you take a particular credit card. They can’t find you so they don’t know if you will be closed – but they DO find a coupon for a competitor they never knew about before. You may have just lost a customer.
  • Most of your customers have cell phones now. Did you know they can use a cell phone to look for you from anywhere? When is the last time you saw a pay phone booth with a printed copy of the yellow pages anywhere? If they can’t find your phone number they WILL find other special offers from other businesses. How many more customers can you afford to lose and stay in business?
Tamar's StumbleUpon Avatar

Tamar’s StumbleUpon Avatar

If you use Social Networking sites like Twitter, FriendFeed,StumbleUpon, Facebook, Reddit or any others you can recommend your favorite businesses online.

I highly recommend first reading Tamar Weinberg’s Social Media Handbook.

Business Owners should read her book The New Community Rules: Marketing on the Social Web.

Facebook is the most challenging to figure out of all the Social Networking sites so I would not even think of using it without first reading Jesse Stay’s and Jason Alba’s I’m on Facebook; Now What? How to Get Business and Professional Value From Facebook.

Wondering how you can Promote Blogs and Businesses Online?

Review their content, Tweet about them, go out of your way to share when others ask for recommendations – each of these actions may seem small but can make all the difference.

Do only share what you believe in and what others will find interesting.

I am a huge proponent for small businesses and in this economy many can really use our help. I am asking that bloggers join me in a new Meme.

I propose that we each blog about our favorite small businesses and give them linkluv with the best possible anchor text to make them easy to find.

We can publish each others’ efforts and even organize them by niche and make more comprehensive posts available as guest posts. Don’t worry about all that for now.

Do your favorite businesses a favorpublish a post about them.

Downturns in the housing industry, residential and commercial construction, and real estate have been particularly severe so remember any friends, family or businesses you work with that operate in those areas.

As spending is reduced, businesses must become more visible and attract leads and sales from a larger geographic area.


Good Millwork Avatar

Good Millwork Avatar

Good Millwork is an excellent role model for traditional businesses for how to use the Internet and Social Media to expand their market.

They installed two SEO optimized WordPress blogs using the Thesis Theme that are highly interactive blogs with threaded comments.

Both of their blogs are 100% dofollow and have CommentLuv and KeywordLuv installed which allows other businesses and bloggers to benefit from reading and commenting in them.

KeywordLuv allows you to select what keyword phrase is linked to your site. Many consider this the most important factor in getting better search engine positions. Where your site ranks in the search engines determines how much traffic your site receives.

By supporting high quality small businesses like Good Millwork you can benefit your own business and make you both easy to find online. Visit their sites. Blog about them and be sure to link the words that are most beneficial.

Here are some examples so you understand the concept.

I included these examples so you could clearly see what proper anchor text usage looks like.

Notice that I did NOT link to the names of their blogs.

If you are searching for the name you already know about their site. We want to help Internet users who don’t know the name of his or your business find them.

Notice that I DID link to the best keyword phrases for each product or the phrase someone seeking specific information would type into a search engine.

I even shortened the link to How to Install Crown Molding Like a Pro to include only the strongest part of that phrase.

I also hope to encourage other bloggers to add some or all of these links to your site to benefit this fine business.

Why would a blogger want to do that for a business they don’t know? I have introduced you so now you do know them. Here are some reasons why I believe collaborating with Good Millwork and Good Moldings will benefit your blog or business:

  1. They are providing you a way to leave comments that benefit your blog, or any business that wants to interact with them, or even to allow Search Engine Marketing companies to benefit their client’s businesses. (We recognize that not all business owners have the time to manage their own commenting and Social Networking.)
  2. Good Millwork and Good Moldings are very active on Social Networks including Twitter (GoodMillwork, Moldings, CrownMoldings, MoldingDesign, ReclaimedWood), StumbleUpon, FriendFeed, Facebook and Delicious.

I’ve even made it easy by making each paragraph and this entire post easy to reblog using the Zemanta browser plugin. If you don’t use Zemanta contact me or @GrowMap at Twitter and I can email the html for the entire post or any particular section.

I will even work for free one-on-one with anyone who needs assistance with keyword research, using anchor text or reblogging.

Like this blog, Good Millwork and Good Moldings believe in paying it forward. We are all happy to publish guest posts and add links for deserving businesses, blogs and non-profits to posts we write.

If you include any links for Good Millwork on your site or share content for them on Social Networks, please leave a comment in this post or contact us on Twitter, FriendFeed or StumbleUpon or use our contact form to let us know. We WILL go out of our way to return the favor.


  • List your blog and find blogs in your niche using MyBlogGuest created by SEOSmarty SEO Consulting Services Blog – (Twitter)
  • Use Unique Article Wizard (UAW) to generate and distribute unique articles to hundreds of article directories and blogs. See the trackbacks on this Crown Molding post to evaluate the quality.
  • Automatically generate a unique version of that Crown Molding related article. (Click the link, then copy and paste a unique version of that article.)

We will be writing posts about MyBlogGuest and UAW with more information on these exceptional finds. They are both fairly new and their instructions are not always clear. The UAW system will become easier to use as they continue to improve it, but still complex because it is so powerful. Help spread the word by Tweeting This Post!

TweetThisBirdPointingHelp spread the word – Tweet This Post!

Use This TweepML link to easily follow Twitter accounts mentioned in this post

Want to participate but need something easier? See the BizLuv MEME template.

  • My Why Marketing is Not Evil post provides even more details on why we simply MUST stop supporting multi-national corporations who have already transferred half of all the wealth to an elite few and use the rest to take advantage of the poor everywhere. Please do read it.


These posts show proof that the USD has been in decline for a long time. This is extremely serious for all Americans.


Posts indicating how seriously the U.S. real estate has declined. Do not be fooled by temporary recovers in certain areas – the overall economy will keep declining. The sliding value of the U.S. dollar will attract buyers who have stronger currencies so that is one bright spot you could use.

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Gail Gardner

Small Business Marketing Strategist at GrowMap
Creator and owner of, Gail is primarily known for mentoring small businesses and encouraging bloggers to join collaborations to share skills and support small business.


  1. Gail, what a great job you did putting all these excellent ideas and resources in one handy place. Thank you!!

  2. Roy Acuff says:

    can any one help to find what’s different between dofollow link nofollow links i am new in bloging so please someone help me.

    Roy Acuff would love you to read ..NICL Assistant Exam Admit Card 2013 – http://www.nationalinsuranceindia.comMy Profile

  3. Article Marketing says:

    What do you think works best? Unique Article Wizard or Article Marketing Robot?

  4. That’s really avery inspiring post and I fully agree, we need to support small local businesses as much as we can
    Robert would love you to read ..Auto Blog Samurai – Review & Bonuses for Auto Blog SamuraiMy Profile

  5. Your are so right – small local businesses need our support more than ever.
    Julia would love you to read ..Swopper Chair ReviewMy Profile

  6. Great post . As a small business selling badges it is not easy. Thanks for sharing your opinion.

  7. Name Badges says:

    Its so very hard now for the small business, and i have also stopped spending on luxury items, its very hard for the small business in my local town.
    Name Badges would love you to read ..Name Badges Used In RestaurantsMy Profile

  8. So basically If you already optimized your business online. Have the right listings. Twitter, Facebook, linkedin pressence etc. and business drops, you are screwed.
    If your business was doing good without all these optimizations but because of the economy your sales are dropping, you can do this.
    Danny would love you to read ..Remington RM1015P 10-Inch 8 Amp Electric Pole chain SawMy Profile

  9. Ha, this is awesome. Please keep it up in support of small businesses, even those of us that are sitting at home, on the couch, trying to run our own instead of being out spending money AT the local businesses. Keep up the good work!
    Ernie would love you to read ..Top Search Engine OptimizationMy Profile

  10. Thank you… you have the perfect blend of ingredients when discussing an online strategy. I know we appreciate everything you do in supporting local businesses .
    Galvin would love you to read ..Construction Heavy MachineryMy Profile

  11. All great stuff. Thank you Gail for all your hard work here. I wanted to share another new local initiative we have going. I know you’ve written about it and I’ll say, it is growing. If you’re a localy owned in business, be sure to check out

    It’s a grass roots movment that’s really picking up steam.

  12. Great post, these days writing a review for a small business is one of the best services a customer can provide in return for a good service, it can help the small local business in many a ways :-)

  13. Times are hard…a great review not only sends business but boost morale in these tough times..thanks for sharing the links
    Buffalo Tees would love you to read ..Buffalo Cool Place T-ShirtMy Profile

  14. I checked out a couple of the sites you listed and looked around. I also created a Yelp account. The sites are definitely worthy of spreading the word about to generate business, especially local business like “My Local Lookup”, where people don’t have to sift through national or worldwide listings to find a business in their specific area. We should all help each other like you have done here.

  15. Hi Gail,

    I believe we are on a similar mission. To help local businesses get the word out (i.e. market themselves) on the internet. I started my website, to give free business listings to any local business, and ONLY local businesses that wanted more backlinks to their site. I also provide email marketing help, and SEO help for those that want to take things a bit further.

    Would love to find out how I can do more for local businesses. Because I truly believe supporting local businesses will benefit everyone!

    Would also love your thoughts on my website and how I might improve it.

    Jeremy would love you to read ..70 of people go online first to find local business informationMy Profile

  16. great tips, i think helping out your favorite small business is great. Reviews are becoming more and more important these days and taking time to help out a business you like can really help them thrive.

  17. Hi! I read your post for the first time and I am moved by your campaign to promote small businesses. The article you wrote was very informative and relevant. I will be be reading more of your articles.
    Thank you.

  18. I know you wrote this post last year, but it’s still super relevant. Great job!

    I love all those link luv you give and sources you put in your posts, it takes me forever to read all the sources. :)

    I really believe we should all review more too to support local SMB’s more, the getlisted crew have a review wed now too, so regular folk and review and even maybe win something fun.

    loving your posts!
    Matthew Hunt would love you to read ..GetListedorg Gets All Canadian On Us!My Profile

    • Hi Matthew,

      When I write I intentionally choose timeless subjects for most of my content and then I continually improve and update key posts like this one so they remain valuable reference resources.

      To me, links are essential to providing context, additional details, and properly support my opinions – and I know full well (unlike many) that what I write IS my opinion because many things are complicated and only the naive think there is only one right answer to any complex question.

      Please feel free to share anything I write with anyone. The more small businesses and consumers we can collectively reach the more good we can do in this world. Attribution and links are always appreciated, but I do not write for the recognition – I write to assist as many as possible as quickly as possible. So if it doesn’t fit in a Tweet or elsewhere just share any way that works for you (and others reading this).

      We must get more consumers using alternative search engines, Social Networks and solutions and writing reviews. That is why I put links to where we can review small businesses and how-to in this post and am available to answer questions live as often as possible.

      I encourage anyone willing to write reviews to ask me or anyone else like me for assistance as needed. Now more than ever it is essential that we support small businesses to keep them from closing.

      See the post I will put in CommentLuv in this reply for some exceptional links to everything we need to know about why the economy is going to get much worse and what we can do about it.
      growmap would love you to read ..Why the Economy is In Decline and What We Can Do to Improve ItMy Profile

  19. And it is so damn true. I am so sad to see that more and more restaurants and places I usually frequent are closing each day. I have this whole financial crisis. It’s affecting us all. Like you said, if it doesn’t affect you directly, then it is surely affecting you more or less in a indirect way.

  20. Josephine says:

    Wow! All I can say is thanks for the resources included on this post.
    It will be very useful indeed.
    I will come back to check your articles often.

    Thanks :)
    Josephine would love you to read ..Mastering the Cash Injection- The Impression of IncreaseMy Profile

  21. I loved you post, it makes sense in many aspects. Here is what I think how BizLuv should be done. Economical recession is always followed by small business going to bankrupt, so what causes Economical recession? A: Economical Recession is caused because capital flow stops. So If we want to support our small business we should promote the flow of capital. Encourage people to consume, as they consume their chances of still having incoming will be better.
    Daniel would love you to read ..Slipper socksMy Profile

    • Hi Daniel,

      You’re absolutely correct – and the reason capital stopped is because we collectively have foolishly allowed the wealthy few to control too much capital.

      As we are both recommending, all we have to do is make sure whatever money passes through our hands goes to small businesses instead of Big Brands, multi-national Corporations, and the greedy elite.

      Anyone who wants proof of what is going on only needs to read the statistics I included in my Word of Mouth Marketing post on who controls the money of the world.
      growmap would love you to read ..Word of Mouth MarketingMy Profile

  22. Hi John,

    I am always happy to see someone making it easier for local businesses to build an online presence. You’ll want to check out the post I’ll put in CommentLuv in this reply. Local SEO is key to any business that operates in a specific geographic area.
    .-= growmap´s featured blog ..Local Search Directory Listings =-.

  23. Hey this is a great post, thanks for the share.

    • Welcome JV,

      I know you are new to blogging and commenting and wanted to let you know that most bloggers will assume short comments like yours are spam and you’ll end up flagged by Akismet as a spammer which makes it really difficult to get comments and links in blogs.

      When you comment make a point of mentioning something specific to the post you leave it in so the blogger will know you’re a real person and not a spam bot.

      Check out the post I put in CommentLuv in this reply. Join us and you won’t have to learn how to improve your blogging by trial and error. One other thing. I have friends who are gazebo builders that have some beautiful photos on their blog. You can use them on your site as long as you link to their site from the photo and/or in the blog post.

      If you would like to collaborate with them just ask me. I co-manage their blog for them.
      .-= growmap´s featured blog ..Why I Recommend BloggerLuv- CommentLuv- SBC =-.

  24. Great post Gail.
    Best explanation of Anchor Text I’ve seen so far.

    I think I was scaring people with my keyword name of Toronto Dentist :)
    So I was thrilled to find CommentLuv and KeywordLuv coordinating so perfectly. Now I can be friendly and keyword driven at the same time!

    Ideally I could collaborate with some like-minded dentists who understand the power of anchor text and reciprocal links. For now, I guess I’ll have to fly solo and chime in on terrific posts like this one.
    .-= Dr. Joe @Toronto Dentist Blog´s featured blog ..Dentists are Tooth Carpenters & Dental Hygienists are Gum Gardeners =-.

    • Welcome Dr. Joe,

      Thank you. My calling is to take something complicated and make it easier to understand. If you like the explanation in this post do read the one about how to build traffic by knowing what keyword phrases to target.

      You are an early adopter. Eventually there WILL be more dentists you can collaborate with but it will take time and you may have to recruit them yourself.

      There are other niches you could collaborate with such as one for a specific geographic area. Why not connect with health related or alternative health related bloggers? Those could write posts related to dentistry.

      I have much more that I could share with you. If you would like to join our private group of serious bloggers use my contact information to reach me or send a Tweet to @GrowMap on Twitter.
      .-= growmap´s featured blog ..Word of Mouth Marketing =-.

    • Hi Dr. Joe,

      I wanted to let you know there is a new tool that would be perfect for you at CommentLuv. It allows you to use keyword phrases in your CommentLuv links and land them on whatever page or post is most related.

      Andy calls them default links and you can read about how to use them in a post I did about CommentLuv anchor text links.

      You may also want to join our blog collaboration and ask other blogging dentist to join too. We can show you strategies far more powerful than comment links.
      growmap would love you to read ..Join Bloggers Supporting Bloggers NOWMy Profile

  25. I want to keep spending but my wallet doesnt have any money in it. I will still try to do my part. Thanks for the post!

  26. great list – anyone can start a business – most of them fail not from working hard but from not knowing where their customers are

  27. I think now would be a good time start something. The economy has just revived and its up and running..Surely if you manage your business correctly, it would as go in flow with the economy. So yes I do think its the best time to start a business.

    • Hello Jinnie,

      While the media is doing their best to promote the illusion that the economy has revived (and many will believe that so it may help businesses temporarily), I assure anyone reading this that the economy is NOT going to recover.

      I base that opinion on the declining value of the dollar and the number of unemployed and underemployed (statistics in my word of mouth marketing post.

      As the dollar buys less and less, even those with the same jobs they’ve always had will be forced to reduce spending and that will impact almost every business.

      It is always a good time to start a business IF you are willing to work hard enough and implement continuous improvements until you are firmly in the top 10% and striving for the top 2% in your field.
      .-= growmap´s last blog ..Why Marketing is NOT Evil =-.

  28. Jake Jacob says:

    Just watching about Katrina again and it just re – reminds me of how important it is going to be to help small business grow and compete with the big box stores
    .-= Jake Jacob´s last blog ..SEO:Basics for Local Tucson Businesses =-.

    • Hi Jake,

      The interest in getting small businesses listed in Local Search directories is at an all time high. I had someone call seven restaurants yesterday and six of them were HIGHLY interested, asked for the Web page I will use in CommentLuv in this reply and wanted to be contacted for followup.

      I have a complete system that anyone can use to offer this service including a form for gathering all the necessary information and the really short, simple script I wrote for him to make the calls. If you want it just ask for it via the contact form. I may write a post about that too for those who are too shy to ask but might use it if they had it.

      I am not normally ever in favor of cold calling or emailing any business as most people who provide excellent services are too busy for that and many who are sell useless or unethical services.

      I made an exception for this to see how much interest there is and to help more small businesses who would never think to look for this blog. The response is even higher than I expected. There is a huge, untapped demand for those who can help businesses get these listings.
      .-= Gail @ Support Small Businesses´s last blog ..Free Business Listings in Local Search Directories =-.

  29. Jake Jacob says:

    Local, local, local. Trends Institute says that local is in and big and if our country is going to make it we had better get busy getting back to local.
    Thanks All!

    • Hi Jake,

      What people simply must understand that what is important is supporting small local and online businesses INSTEAD OF major chains for the reasons I explain in a post I wrote about the importance of Word of Mouth Marketing.

      Half way into that post I shared statistics and examples that clearly show that only small businesses keep the money in circulation. Sucking the money out of our communities is what has caused the economic crisis we are currently in that will keep getting worse.

      Buying locally from those same multi-national giants will not do us any good at all. Here is an excerpt from that post which I hope everyone will make the time to read. It is THAT important!


      “”Income inequality now is at an all-time high: The top 1 percent of Americans earn a quarter of all income, and the top 10 percent earn 50 percent.”

      If 50 percent of all income is in the hands of 10% of all Americans how much of that money do you believe is kept circulating where it can support other businesses and improve the economy?

      How much of YOUR income do you spend? For a huge percentage of Americans the answer would be ALL of it and then some!

      If we put more of our money directly into the hands of people who spend it our economy WILL improve and so will our standard of living!”

      .-= Gail @ Support Small Businesses´s last blog ..Why Marketing is NOT Evil =-.

  30. This is one of my favorite posts that I have read in awhile. I love to see other people supporting small businesses. I’m not a big fan of the corporate world. I left it to start my own small business. I am now developing a site that will help other small businesses in the industry to operate their business better. Thanks for the support! This is my first post, but you will see me around a lot now!

    • Welcome Jumpness,

      I’m glad to see you’re one of those rare people who read multiple posts and really get into how to be successful. I shared some links in one of your other comments with what I would consider your highest priorities for growing your business faster.
      .-= growmap´s last blog ..Who Can You Benefit by Sharing GrowMap? =-.

  31. I agree. You have a great number of resources here that will certainly help me keep growing our criminal defense practices online presence. Thank you.
    .-= David@New York City Criminal Lawyer´s last blog ..24 Hour New York Criminal Lawyer – Why Do We Do It? =-.

    • Hi again,

      I hope you’ll be a regular commentator David. There are tons of resources here and if you ever have any questions just ask. If I haven’t tested a specific method I am bound to know others who have. I tell my friends never to spend a dime online without checking with me first because there are so many selling what doesn’t work and that includes traditional advertising.
      .-= growmap´s last blog ..Why Marketing is NOT Evil =-.

  32. Thanks for all of the useful resources. I have tried a few local listing services but you mentioned quite a few I haven’t tried yet. Thank you for the help.
    .-= David@NY Divorce Lawyer´s last blog ..New York Uncontested Divorce: NY Times Says Its Less Harmfull to Those Involved, Especially Children =-.

  33. FreakoNomics says:

    Economies are so intertwined its impossible for one aspect not to affect the other. Government regulation will constantly battle with free market activities and legislators will continue to pass laws with good intentions that result in unintended consequences. Its the American way.

  34. While I can agree with the premise of what you state with respect to economic downturns, reality is that people cut back on spending because they fear that they are going to be out of work soon (if not already). There is an old economist joke,
    One person asks an economist, “What is the difference between a recession and a depression?”
    The economist responds, “A recessions is when your neighbor is out of work. A depression is when your out of work!”

    As long as people feel like their jobs are soon going to be toast, they will reign in spending.

    Now businesses don’t want to spend because they are afraid of all the expansion the government is doing and the unknowns that come with it (for the business). New taxes will sure squelch any thoughts of a business from doing significant hiring.

    • Hello James,

      While I agree that negative expectations do impact actions, the reality is people have far less money to spend because jobs pay less, many are unemployed or underemployed, and credit is being tightened.

      While some may be able to spend and ignore the eventual consequences, that will become far less likely as the economy contracts.

      One real truth about Fiat currency based economics is that artificial prosperity is always followed by a real crash. I recommend this video on Money, Banking and the Federal Reserve. While I have the urge to make it run faster it is worth watching and every person needs to understand what IS going to happen.

      I encourage everyone to also read Jake’s post on the only economic solution that is viable.

      Should anyone doubt the cause of what is happening I assure them that is it totally by design. The solution is for us to make choices that create stable lives for everyone. See my comments in that post.
      .-= growmap´s last blog ..BizLuv MEME: How to Support Your Fav Businesses =-.

  35. It is definitely important to help stimulate your economy. Local farmers markets and other small businesses allow for direct impact on your local economy. With the big corporate structure of today, it can be good to get back to the basic roots.
    .-= Pat@snuggie pattern´s last blog ..Weezer Snuggie Letterman – band Weezer joins Snuggie Cult =-.

  36. I almost forgot – get some gold, silver and a horse if possible and destroy all credit cards.
    .-= Jake Jacob @Tucson Marketing´s last blog ..Pepsi opts out, Doritos opts in both use Social Marketing,Forums et al =-.

    • Hello Jake,

      Great changes are coming and few will be ready. The wise will create self-contained communities that look much like the original frontier towns and the small towns that have died in the past 50-100 years across rural America.

      Yes, we may end up going back to using horses for both transportation and farming; however, alternative energy sources may make that unnecessary and living and working locally we won’t need to travel far.

      I have the horse expertise and the horses (although they are not yet trained – I can do that when I am not busy online any more) and will be seeking a remote community that has (at least for now) high speed access probably via direct wireless and not Satellite Internet Access.
      .-= growmap´s last blog ..Search Engine Positions: Easy Free Ways to Track =-.

  37. Listen, I escaped Zimbabwe and that is where we are heading faster than a speeding bullet. I am convinced it is by design and I would strongly recommend anyone reading this move out of a big city. Learn to grow food. Have an ample supply of toilet paper, bullets, and whiskey and solar energy to power your laptop and generally be prepared for the worse. If you’d like reasons why I know this will take place I’d be glad to share them but I’m sure like most Americans you’ll think I crazy

    • Welcome Jake,

      I don’t think you’re crazy at all. I think you are paying more attention than most. I am even launching a new blog to share with people how to grow food, live more frugally and healthier, move somewhere less expensive far from a big city and work online or locally instead of for a large business.

      We just ordered seed for this year’s spring garden last week. The price of food will continue to escalate and who knows what each individual’s income may do. Growing food is a much wiser investment than working more hours for dollars that may not be enough to buy food.

      For those who just are not into gardening (and even a few plants in a container can supplement your food supply) I recommend Consumer Supported Agriculture and Organic Food Coops.

      Most younger Americans have no idea how to grow food or even how to cook inexpensive meals. They don’t know you can eat healthier food for $0.25-$0.50 per person per meal or what foods you can buy that will keep you fed for months even if you have no income.

      I can’t wait to get started with that blog; however, I must finish some major projects and get a blog content syndication solution in place first.
      .-= growmap´s last blog ..BizLuv MEME: How to Support Your Fav Businesses =-.

  38. i’ve look the picture: its ironic i say. i thought saving more expanding can make better money saving. but this realize me: its not. will it be online marketing replace traditional market? i think we should ask more to the economy experts.

    • Hi Nick,

      It is illogical to believe that anyone who works for a living can save enough money to retire or get through long-range unemployment because what any particular sum of money will buy in the future can not be accurately predicted.

      I used that picture because no matter what we as individuals accomplish, that IS where this economy is headed. If we work together we can save some percentage of businesses and those will in turn support more families and feed more hungry. Only the wise will survive this.

      Traditional businesses must turn to online marketing to grow their ponds. Online businesses must be more proactive because spending per person is down.

      I would be very cautious about listening to any talking heads (economy experts) as they are primarily about propaganda selling a recovery illusion.

      .-= Gail @ Social Media Marketing´s last blog ..MEME: BizLuv in Support of Small Businesses =-.

  39. Ya its one of the great post as ever i fallow.

    I feel the internet popularity and indulgence is growing in leaps and bounds and so is the trade and commerce associated with it. With every passing day, businesses of all sizes have been crowding the web with their unique (or rather similar) services and products to grab user attention. Hence, the birth of the never-ending online business competition!

    • Welcome Vancouver,

      As the economy continues to decline (and it must because the new jobs being created pay far less than the ones that have disappeared) and the price of staples like food and shelter go up only those businesses that learn to fish in a larger pond will survive.

      By that I mean if you had a business that operated in a specific geographic area successfully in the past you need either a larger market share in that area or a much larger area to maintain the same lead and sales volume.

      Businesses in related niches must immediately start collaborating because that is the fast track to their mutual survival. It has taken me a decade to learn what I now know about online marketing; businesses do not have a decade to do the same. They MUST work with those who already know what to do and be willing to promote each other.
      .-= Gail @ Social Media Marketing´s last blog ..Twelve Generous FollowFriday Folks =-.

  40. Dennis Edell says:

    So much for Googles 100 link rule! LOL

    Great post Gail, really; just a shame those it’s targeting may never see it. I don’t get around much these days due to injuries, but I’ll do what I can when I do. :)
    .-= Dennis Edell´s last blog ..Welcome Aboard Part 2! All The Info You’ve Been Waiting For… =-.

    • Hi Dennis,

      Perhaps I will finally learn to write SHORT posts. I could turn this one into half a dozen or so and then link each of them to this post. That way maybe I can keep Google happy without short-changing my readers.

      My philosophy is to write for the benefit of the readers and use blogging communities and social networking sites to spread what I do. Although search engine traffic is nice to have and this site should be easy to find in them, I will only bend to what the search engines and especially Google want as long as it does not detract from being beneficial to my readers.
      .-= Gail @ Social Media Marketing´s last blog ..Search Engine Positions: Easy Free Ways to Track =-.

      • Dennis Edell says:

        OK I was kidding, I knew you’d jump on a Google comment. 😉

        Since you bring it up though, knowing the time/attention span of todays blog readers, I really think shorter/less busy might be better for the reader in the long run.
        .-= Dennis Edell´s last blog ..Welcome Aboard Part 2! All The Info You’ve Been Waiting For… =-.

        • Hi Dennis,

          I promise to write shorter blog posts soon – very soon. Mine are too long; however, what I share is complex and I know there are others like me who want comprehensive information.

          Check out the BizLuv MEME I started. It would be perfect for sharing your new site with us. And thank you for all the traffic you’ve sent over here lately. I really appreciate it.
          .-= Gail @ Social Media Marketing´s last blog ..BizLuv MEME: How to Support Your Fav Businesses =-.

          • Dennis Edell says:

            Oh I get the comprehension part, and sometimes ya gotta do what ya gotta do with an article. :)

            I didn’t realize I was sending you that much traffic lately…from your comments maybe?
            .-= Dennis Edell´s last blog ..Welcome Aboard Part 2! All The Info You’ve Been Waiting For… =-.

          • Yes, probably from comments I left there. Your regular readers are probably keeping tabs on your move so more of them have seen my comments lately.
            .-= Gail @ Social Media Marketing´s last blog ..BizLuv MEME: How to Support Your Fav Businesses =-.

  41. Jeff Palmer says:

    Great post here… as usual, you have the perfect blend of ingredients when discussing an online strategy. I know we appreciate everything you do in supporting local businesses so thank you!

    You mentioned our MyLocalLookup Online Yellow Pages in your post as a great website for local businesses. I wanted to share with all your readers that we want to do our part in supporting local business. Visit our Local Search Directory. We have a short video that discusses the benefits of Local Search and if you like what you see, sign up.

    We have set up a discount code for all GrowMap readers. We will offer you 75% off our normal fees when you use the code “growmap” at check out. Be a part of more than 2000 local businesses already being featured in MyLocalLookup. We want to feature your business today!

    By the way – set a new record in January, just shy of 500,000 unique visits with over 2 million page views – People are searching for your business!

    Oh, and you can count on the fact that my family will be visiting our favorite local restaurants this weekend.

  42. Thanks for the nod toward my blog!

    Greatly appreciated and your project looks very interesting. I need to see if I can find the time and join in. God knows local businesses can use some help!
    .-= Alex Sysoef @WordPress Guides´s last blog ..2010 Winter Storm Notes =-.

  43. Very good work, I have seen a couple of my favorite places fold and the chains seem to be hanging on though not near as busy as I remember. kepp sharing the good work
    .-= Alberta Business Plans´s last blog ..Government of Canada Grants $900,000 in Funding to Viandes Laroche Inc =-.

    • In the interests of teaching SEO companies and others how to leave better comments and what NOT to do I am not going to delete this comment but I am going to use it as an example of Copied Comment SPAM

      Copying the writing of someone else is plagiarism. It is stealing. And it WILL get you banned from being able to leave comments in this and many other blogs. Many will just delete every comment you’ve ever left and you won’t know why.

      CJ wrote “I have seen a couple of my favorite places fold and the chains seem to be hanging on though not near as busy as I remember.” in her comment above and you “borrowed” that for your own comment.

      I sympathize with those whose native language may not be English and those who feel their writing skills are not up to the task of leaving original comments. Yes, I know what you copy sounds better, but that does not make it right.

      I may not catch all of them but I do delete those I do catch and I often delete every other comment that person ever left. I am willing to work with those who leave comments here and keep them even if the English can barely be comprehended. Please don’t steal what others write.
      .-= Gail @ Social Media Marketing´s last blog ..Better Twitter Retweets From Favorite Twitter Apps =-.

  44. That’s a very thoughtful internet Meme and I am definitely going to be part of it. I recently joined another meme, saving Indian tigers, it seems there are only 1411 of them left and if we don’t do anything, within a couple of years the whole population of these magnificent animals will be extinct.

    Coming back to small business, I have done my bit for my favorite local coffee vendor, but unfortunately many small business are not able to keep up with the advances in technology and the way people are now finding businesses online rather than by browsing yellow pages. I guess another movement for ‘educating’ small business owners should be started in order to derive maximum benefit from our reviews and blog posts about them.

    • Welcome Nick,

      While I have always loved and been concerned about animals and their treatment and am still involved with an animal rescue non-profit, the current situation for people must be addressed immediately while there are still resources to do so.

      I can tell you from personal experience that educating small businesses is too slow. What they need to do is so complicated and so outside their current knowledge that they aren’t going to be able to get up to speed in time. If they are already struggling financially they can not afford to pay for assistance.

      That is why those of us who already at least have the basics down must step up and do for them what they can not do for themselves. Start by helping them get listed in Local Search Directories, writing reviews for them and most importantly linking to them with the best anchor text to increase their incomes.

      If they don’t have a Website we can help them by showing them how to get a domain and at least pointing it at a free site like the ones Yahoo! Local and many other places offer. Worst case simply send that anchor text to one of their Local search directory listings or a free business listing on a site like Manta.

      At that point they will understand what needs to be done and have the resources to hire any bloggers interested in providing that kind of services.

      Don’t let them hire just anyone and end up with less than they deserve! Guide them to an SEO and usability savvy Web designer who knows how to build a succesful Business Blog.

      If they are Internet savvy and already using Twitter or Facebook, encourage them to join their local MerchantCircle, MyLocalLookup or Yelp community. They will get far more benefit from them than any other Social Networks.

      An account in one of these local communities can introduce you to those who live and work near you. Businesses can recommend each other there. Make time to review your favorite restaurants, stores and service providers to benefit other users and them. The odds are good they will return the favor and you will end up with new customers.
      .-= Gail @ Social Media Marketing´s last blog ..Search Engine Positions: Easy Free Ways to Track =-.

  45. This is really a killer article, being a small business owner and someone who certainly impacts the economy on a personal level and certainly on a business level, I have had the chance to see this entire situation from both sides.

    In business we have been pounded for over a year, while the cost of doing business has doubled in almost every category across the board.

    On a personal level in order to not reduce staff or have layoffs my wife and I stopped getting paid in March of last year, this of course has brought personal “fun” spending to a hault.

    Great post, wish you had a handy retweet button on this bad boy. This dumb new reader I’m using doesn’t have a share feature of any use.
    .-= Extreme John´s last blog ..What is One Thing You HATE about this Place? =-.

    • That is great that you are doing everything you can to help keep your employees employed.

      You should add the Tweetmeme bookmarklet to your browser – then you can retweet articles easily without having to worry about them having any buttons on their page.
      .-= Kikolani @ Blogging Tips´s last blog ..Becoming More Accessible on Social Networks =-.

      • @Kikolani Is that the TweetMeme Button Plugin in WordPress? I love that plugin. I installed in on all my blogs and recommended it for a couple of clients. It’s a wonderful addition to a post. What would be cool would be the ability to select a profile from a list when rewteeting.
        .-= CJ@Online Technical Writing´s last blog ..A Blog is NOT A Website =-.

        • John, Kristi,

          Both of you can be instrumental in getting this MEME off the ground. It is so very important.

          I am working on a follow-up post inviting bloggers to write a paragraph about their favorite businesses loaded with their best anchor text leading to their best landing pages. To reward bloggers who participate I am asking them to do the same for their blogs.

          I will be creating as many pages as necessary to benefit all participants and hopefully other bloggers will do the same.

          There will definitely be separate pages (with that much more linkluv) for keywordluv enabled blogs, commentluv using blogs, all dofollow blogs and then niches such as home improvement, real estate, golf, horses, product review bloggers and so on.

          At a minimum each participant is guaranteed their paragraphs with all of their links (barring any that are offensive) will be published on at least six other blogs. I expect that to me more than a dozen and if we can get this off the ground it could be hundreds.
          .-= Gail @ Social Media Marketing´s last blog ..MEME: LinkLuv in Support of Small Businesses =-.

  46. These are some really great ways that everyone can help out their favorite small businesses. The reviews on local sites like Yelp do go a long way, as the more reviews a business gets, the better their review ranks on Google. If your favorite business has a Facebook / Twitter, just following them and boosting their numbers goes a long way.
    .-= Kikolani @ Blogging Tips´s last blog ..Fetching Friday – Resources Mashup, Best Week Ever & Timelapse =-.

    • Thank you for supporting this idea, Kristi. Most businesses do not realize they are at risk of losing their existing customers right when so many are reducing spending.

      Having reviews at Google Maps, Yahoo! Local and elsewhere make your business stand out from all the others. Google has a sort by user rating and Yahoo lets us sort by highest rated. The businesses that have positive reviews are going to be tried by vastly more new shoppers.

      Reading what others have written makes trying a new restaurant, mechanic, store or service provider far less risky. Businesses that don’t have reviews – or worse yet – aren’t even listed – are losing out on a huge source of leads and sales.
      .-= Gail @ Social Media Marketing´s last blog ..Twelve Generous FollowFriday Folks =-.

  47. well i completely agree with all the facts discussed here since every person will affect by the economy rise and fall sooner or later if it has some business and if he has small business than it suffer more.
    .-= sarika@gist´s last blog ..Boudoir. Betty. =-.

    • Hi Sarika,

      So many are already being affected but it is not being covered in the mainstream media because they want to present the illusion that the economy is recovering.

      I practically live online so I know few offline. Among those few the husband and wife neighbors on one side of me both got laid off from the same company and another neighbor two door down is unemployed and so is his son.

      Businesses I personally know that have never had reduced sales did last year. Others have seen sales literally drop off a cliff. Those who are still working are taking pay-cuts and getting less hours in. This is very serious and we haven’t seen anything yet.

      Even those who have never participated in a MEME before and don’t even know what one is (see that great link at the beginning of this post to find) can be angels in this situation. I ask everyone to please do all you can.
      .-= Gail @ Social Media Marketing´s last blog ..How to Use TipTop for Real Time Market Research =-.

  48. Thanks for mentioning my little new project – I hope it will turn useful!
    .-= Ann Smarty´s last blog ..The Roast of the Silver Surfers =-.

    • Hi Ann,

      While I have signed up at MyBlogGuest I have not had the time to learn to use it yet and others have asked how it works. Would you mind elaborating here or pointing us at a link where we can find out more?

      Specifically, is your intention to let us find each other or are you going to go futher? What we really need is a way to create our own personal syndicates of bloggers who want to send and receive posts to and from each other while maintaining control of what we publish.
      .-= Gail @ Social Media Marketing´s last blog ..How to Use TipTop for Real Time Market Research =-.

      • Hey Gail, currently the site is executed as a forum, that is you register and post your announcement in the appropriate sub-forum and category.

        There are also other ways to help members find each other but they don’t seem to as effective as the above one.s. Anyway, here are the ways:

        – Tags: the site / members search is run by tag. Thus the more tags you add and the more relevant they are, the better chances you have to be found. There is also tags suggestion algorithm to help members to use tags that have already been mentioned by others.

        – Categories. All blogs submitted should fall in one of the categories. Members can track new submissions by RSS or email updates.

        “What we really need is a way to create our own personal syndicates of bloggers who want to send and receive posts to and from each other while maintaining control of what we publish.”

        As for this question of yours, that’s a really great suggestion. I’d ask you to post it in the “Suggestions and feedback” thread at MyBlogGuest (if you have time) for all of us to discuss this and find the best way to implement this.

        The project is very new and I still encourage members to submit feature requests for me to be able all possible needs.
        .-= Ann Smarty´s last blog ..6 Benefits of Guest Blogging + 9 Tips for Better Guest Blogging =-.

  49. Love this, and it really resonates. Most of us know how painful it is trying to rise in the rankings… this is a no brainer. I need to be better about this.

    As I’m a photo-blogger, I sometimes end up shooting at commercial locations. I’m leaving a recent post as my CommentLuv below; the employees at National Music, Inc. were very generous and I wanted to say thank you in the blog post.
    .-= James@free photos´s last blog ..Guitars =-.

    • Welcome James and thank you so much for your comment. I just left one in your post about Good Millwork supplying deadhead sinker cypress and mahogany for other uses like guitar making.

      Maybe you could participate in this MEME by including their links in a post you write about the beautiful woods used in making guitars or add a couple links to that existing post?

      My comment in your blog also explains where I’m going with this MEME so until I get the next post published those interested can visit your blog using the CommentLuv link in your comment and read it.
      .-= Gail @ Social Media Marketing´s last blog ..How to Use TipTop for Real Time Market Research =-.

      • Gail – thanks for the comment, and I loved that you left a link to another, related business on the post.

        Fact of the matter is that Google like related links. If we’re having a conversation about guitars and the wood used to make them, your link on my blog actually makes the post more relevant (my blog is set up for that to be do-follow). Win-win-win… we get a nice dialog, the companies in question get some link love, and everyone goes home happy.

        I will commit to continuing to share the love. It’s a great way to reward excellence when we find it in our communities. Heck, I did it again in the Moon post (my new CommentLuv link below).
        .-= James @ photos for your blog´s last blog ..Moon =-.

        • Thank you James. I am working on a way that bloggers can syndicate unique versions of what they write to increase their incoming links and visibility. Contact me through this blog if you would like to join our collaboration.
          .-= growmap´s last blog ..Why Marketing is NOT Evil =-.

  50. Good post. I didn’t realize that I could help local businesses in this way. Guess my head was buried too deep in trying to keep my small business open and finding some attention in the vast virtual world.

    Sadly, I have seen a couple of my favorite places fold and the chains seem to be hanging on though not near as busy as I remember.

    I will be adding this to my schedule so that I make sure to that the smaller businesses I love so much get some more attention.

    Thanks for pulling my head out of the virtual world.
    .-= CJ@Online Technical Writing´s last blog ..A Blog is NOT A Website =-.

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