Bob Rankin is a small business owner - a writer, computer programmer and ecommerce expert who enjoys explaining technology in plain English. His work has appeared in Computer World, NY Newsday, and other publications. Bob is also publisher of Ask Bob Rankin, author of several computer books, and owner of Flowers Fast, the online florist service.

10 Proven Tips for Writing Effective Headlines

The headline of an article (or subject line of an email) is the most critical part of the entire message. It’s the first impression the work gives to readers and it determines whether they will read anything else. Writing headlines that seize a … [Continue reading]

Increase Sales With Affiliate Marketing

Driving traffic to your Web site is a never-ending, herculean task. You can work the search engine optimization and social media all by yourself, spending most of your day “trolling for traffic,” or you can pay other people to do it for you. Aff … [Continue reading]

Business Printer Buying Guide

Much as we would like to go paper-free entirely, it just isn’t going to happen. Thirty years ago, I remember a technology futurist saying “We'll sooner see a paperless bathroom than a paperless office.” He predicted that more computer usage would mea … [Continue reading]

Surface Pro 3: Your Next Business Laptop?

Has Microsoft finally gotten tablet PCs right, or has it jumped the shark with the new Surface Pro 3? Pundits’ opinions vary, with some gushing over the performance of the new “business laptop replacement” while others gasp at the price. Let’s take a … [Continue reading]

Here’s Your Free Business Fax Number

A reader asks: 'Every once in a while, I need to receive a fax, but I don't have my own fax machine. It's embarassing to tell business contacts that my fax number is the local Kinko's, and it's a hassle to drive there and retrieve my fax. Is there … [Continue reading]

Check a Company Background

The Web enables you to do business with just about any company in the world. But trust is also essential to doing business. Here's how you can check a company's background to learn whether you should trust them... … [Continue reading]

Free Clip Art and Stock Photos

If you're creating a newsletter, brochure, or you're looking for artwork to spiff up your website, you need clip art images, icons and stock photos to make it look professional. But those royalties can really add up! Fortunately, the Internet is a … [Continue reading]

Free Conference Calling Services

Voice teleconferencing remains a staple of business despite the proliferation of alternatives such as email, instant messaging, and webinars. When you want a meeting but can’t get everyone together in the same room, it’s natural to call for a tel … [Continue reading]

Email Marketing Best Practices

Email marketing can be a great tool to build your online business. Learn how to use email marketing to boost sales without offending potential customers, getting blacklisted, or worst of all, getting into trouble with law. Read on... … [Continue reading]

5 Low Cost CRM Options For Small Business

The smaller the business, the more valuable every contact with a prospective customer is. If you're not already using Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software to build and manage your customer lists, or you're interested in low-cost (or free) … [Continue reading]

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