Ending Soon! Save 33% on All Access

Web 2.0 Tools for Getting Noticed These latest web tools can help you differentiate your business.

As an entrepreneur you need to be nimble and quick. Whether you're an internet startup or a brick-and-mortar business, there are new techniques and tools you can use to separate your business from the rest of the pack. By using these tools, you can create more marketing buzz and increase sales for a low cost.

Blogging has been around for awhile, but it's becoming more and more mainstream. Over the past few months, the LA Times, SanFrancisco Chronicle and other newspapers have announced layoffs. Almost all major newspapers are experiencing decreases in circulation. On the other hand, blogs are being created at an astonishing rate. According to Technorati, an internet search engine that tracks the number of blogs, there are about 120,000 new blogs being created worldwide each day.

Many have very small audiences, but many bloggers are developing their own brands and large loyal audiences. Other entrepreneurs are putting together collections of popular bloggers and marketing them as separate networks and brands.

You can differentiate yourself from competitors through a blog by providing your own personality and communications online. It's your personal, interactive journal of business activity, which can be a great advertising tool for you to describe why your products and services are different. What other marketing medium allows you to interact and gain insights from your prospects and customers in a non-threatening forum?

If you decide a blog is right for you, the easiest technique for the average business person is to use a hosted blogging service. You can set up your own blog in a few minutes. Here are some of the more popular services:

Publishing Tools
If you want to publish your content using a more traditional approach, there are plenty of new tools available. Lulu is an independent publishing marketplace for digital do-it-yourselfers. If you want to publish a physical book, DVD, CD or calendar, you can outsource the project to the company. Upload your Word or PDF document, and you can publish one or thousands of copies of your book. Lulu is a "publish on demand" service that prints each copy when it's ordered.

You can also either distribute the book yourself or market it online via Lulu's marketplace.

Communication Tools
Twitter is an interesting study on people interaction, described as a "what you are doing" service. It allows people to update their contacts on what they're doing from their phone, IM or web browser. For some businesses, this is a great way to create buzz for what you're doing around a type of service or event. While this may not be an effective tool for every business, it's something to inspire new communication ideas and keep others informed about what you're doing.

Event Marketing
Are you using events to market your product or service? Do you need to market your events? There are plenty of new Web 2.0 social networking sites where communities of people can connect, and many allow you to promote your events.

Aside from MySpace and Facebook, Upcoming, a service provided by Yahoo!, is another web-based event promotion tool. Marketing events through these web channels are a low-cost way to promote your events to an ever-growing online audience.

The web continues to aggressively evolve. As an entrepreneur you need to evolve with it. A blog can be an effective marketing tool for your business if done right. Using the internet to promote events can help you increase demand for your product or service. As the web continues to mature, you need to make sure your business is being represented online, otherwise you'll be missing out on new sales opportunities.

Frank Bell is Entrepreneur.com's "Web 2.0" columnist and a principal atIT Strategists, a leading business and technology consulting firm in Southern California. He has consulted with many internet startups, as well as companies such as Yahoo!, Vivendi Universal, Disney, Toyota, Nissan, Deluxe Digital Studios, AEG, Sony and Ticketmaster.

Want to be an Entrepreneur Leadership Network contributor? Apply now to join.

Science & Technology

3 Major Mistakes Companies Are Making With AI That Is Limiting Their ROI

With so many competing narratives around the future of AI, it's no wonder companies are misaligned on the best approach for integrating it into their organizations.

Starting a Business

How to Find the Right Programmers: A Brief Guideline for Startup Founders

For startup founders under a plethora of challenges like timing, investors and changing market demand, it is extremely hard to hire programmers who can deliver.


How a $10,000 Investment in AI Transformed My Career and Business Strategy

A bold $10,000 investment in AI and machine learning education fundamentally transformed my career and business strategy. Here's how adaption in the ever-evolving realm of AI — with the right investment in education, personal growth and business innovation — can transform your business.

Business Ideas

63 Small Business Ideas to Start in 2024

We put together a list of the best, most profitable small business ideas for entrepreneurs to pursue in 2024.

Business News

He Picked Up a Lucky Penny In a Parking Lot. Moments Later, He Won $1 Million in the Lottery.

Tim Clougherty was in for a surprise when he scratched off his $10,000-a-month winning lottery ticket.

Business News

A University Awarded a Student $10,000 for His AI Tool — Then Suspended Him for Using It, According to a New Lawsuit

Emory University awarded the AI study aid the $10,000 grand prize in an entrepreneurial pitch competition last year.