Top 10 Small Business Articles of the Year

These days, you can’t expose yourself to any sort of digital media without bumping into an indiscriminately-assembled Top 10 list.  But if you’re sick and tired of having the year’s most wealthy celebrities and hottest baby names repeatedly shoved in your face, there is good news: this particular Top 10 List might actually add some value to your life AND your business.

Although there are no hard and fast formulas for ranking small business articles, we did manage to consider about a half dozen factors when compiling our list, including the following:

  • Unique visitors to the article
  • Number of Retweets
  • Number of Facebook Shares
  • Number of article linkbacks
  • Syndication (number of times republished)
  • Number and quality of comments

With the above in mind, below are THEsmallCOMPANYBLOG’s Top 10 Small Business Articles of 2010.  If you have an article you would like to let our readers know about—regardless of who wrote it—please enter the name of the article along with a link into the “Comments” field at the bottom of this page.  Otherwise, we hope you enjoy our Top 10!

Article #10: 15 Signs You Might Lose Your Small Company Job

The year 2010 was marked by sweeping layoffs, massive unemployment, and a ton of insecurity on the part of people who were lucky enough to still be employed. Because of these conditions, almost any article related to employment was a guaranteed winner, and this one was no exception.

Article #9: Free Twitter Tools for the Busy Small Company Marketer

First released in May of 2010, this article actually drew enough attention to grab the #1 spot. Unfortunately, Twitter changed its API shortly thereafter, and two of the tools in the list (#1 and #2) no longer work. That said, the remaining three (SocialOomph, Twitter Tag’s Follow Friday Generator and TwitCleaner) are still operational, and make this article worth a read.

Article #8: 5 Ethical Ways to Grow Your Corporate Email Database

I still laugh every time I hear a self-proclaimed marketing expert announce the eminent ‘death’ of direct email marketing.   Understanding it won’t be around forever, the popularity of this article proves direct email still has legs. In fact, a second article I wrote on the topic for RainToday—one of the largest marketing and sales newsletters in the world—just won an award for “Best Marketing and Sales Article of the Year.”  Live on, direct email.  Live on.

Article #7:  The Secret Resume Killers Every Hiring Manager Looks For

For those actively seeking employment, 2010 was a less than memorable year.  This article focused on the process of getting a first interview not by making yourself stand out, but by avoiding some huge (and very common) mistakes on your resume. Along with several other easily-avoidable resume landmines, this article covered the dangers of pointing out your own flaws, communicating personal drama, and listing overlapping timelines.

Article #6: 33 Changes for the Small Company Manager

If you are one of the thousands of small company managers who requires an occasional change of pace—but NOT a change in jobs—this article is for you. Not only that, but it’s a great read for managers looking for a few last-minute New Year’s Resolutions. And if you’d like to add one of your own changes to the list, we’d love to have it.

Article #5: Great Reasons Your Employees Might Hate You

Do you allow your employees to challenge your ideas? Do you give them credit when things go well?  Do you involve them in important decisions?  If not, there is a good chance you are losing their respect—and their loyalty. This article focuses on seven common mistakes made by managers of people, and is a great read for both managers and employees.

Article #4: Article Marketing on Twitter: The Art of the Retweet

Although this particular article addresses a very specific audience (people looking to drive traffic to articles and white papers) it still attracts an overwhelming number of readers.  And given the increasing popularity of content marketing, it would not surprise us to see this article make our Top 10 list next year as well.

Article #3: 9 Ways to Increase Your Small Company Website Traffic

At small companies, bad economies usually come with an increased focus on bringing things in-house.  2010 was no exception, as small companies around the globe stopped paying consultants and SEO firms to generate their web traffic.  What these small companies did on their own was not only enlightening, but was the subject of our third most popular article of the year.

Article #2: The Unique Traits of Great Small Company Employees

For those of you keeping track, this is the third employment-related article in our list of Top Small Business Articles of the Year.  Written from the perspective of a hiring manager, this article discusses what traits to look for—and what traits to avoid—when searching for employees to work at a small firm.

Article #1: What Does a Social Marketing Manager REALLY Do?

Written in cooperation with a market leading internet-based company (LegalZoom) and one of the best social marketing managers I know (Carrie Yutzy), the popularity of this article is proof of two things: 1) social marketing is quickly becoming a mandatory function at marketing-centric companies, and 2) most people still have no idea what social marketers actually do.  If you’re one of the many who still believe social marketing is all about uploading YouTube videos and Tweeting in your pajamas, you’re in for a big surprise.

Comments?  Questions?  Feel free to reply to this post.  Otherwise a RetweetFacebook ShareLinkedIn Share or other type of social share (handy buttons provided) would be greatly appreciated. Have a successful and profitable 2011!

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