Tips From the Trenches – Small Business Trends News

Recently I’ve given a couple of interviews. In the interviews I talk about lessons learned (most often painfully, the hard way) and about running a Web business.

Most of you know that I prefer not to write about my own business much. But I get asked a lot about it.

Interviews like these are a way to share some insights about the challenges of running a business like Small Business Trends LLC — from someone who’s made every mistake in the book and lived to tell about it. 🙂

  • The first interview was by Julie Powers, who is the Editor of The Internet Marketing Report, a print title of Progressive Business Publications. Julie writes both the print version and runs an associated blog. Don’t-miss quote from this interview: “…whatever I know about SEO (a piddling amount, unfortunately) I learned between Midnight and 2:00 AM, which is the only time I have available to teach myself about it.” Read: Marketer of the week: Anita Campbell.
  • The other interview is by Mehdi Hassan of Bangladesh. Mehdi writes for the South Asia Fair blog, and led an extensive interview of me. Don’t-miss quote from this interview: “If you want it [your blog] to become a business or a significant part of your business, then treat it like a business. That means, treat it as an entity separate from you the individual.” Read: Interview: Anita Campbell of Small Business Trends.

Many thanks to Julie and Mehdi.


Anita Campbell - CEO

Anita Campbell Anita Campbell is the Founder and Publisher of Small Business Trends and has been following trends in small businesses since 2003. She is the owner of BizSugar, a social media site for small businesses, and also serves as CEO of

12 Reactions

  1. “. . . from someone who’s made every mistake in the book and lived to tell about it.”

    I like your sense of humor here! Live and learn. Learning between midnight and 2AM – I’ve done a bit of that recently myself here. The interviews sound great and I’m off to check em out right now.

  2. I’m about to start out in the small business world and I know I’m going to be making plenty of mistakes at first….and I can’t wait! In my latest blog post I talk about how I’m going to take my time to learn the ins and outs of buisness and I recognize it’s not going to be easy. But with every mistake comes an opportunity to learn. Can’t wait to read your interviews!

  3. Listening to someone else’s experiences and mistakes is a great way to learn and get inspired. The interviews are great because we can feel more personally connected to you when others are asking you the questions. I too enjoy reading and working late into the night; the house is so quiet, the hubby and dog are snoring and there is no outside distractions. It’s just me and the cats in my nice quiet office.

  4. Matt, YFNCG – sounded wierd before I knew what it was about! Good luck!

    Anita, both are great interviews.

    “Treat your blog as a business” is valuable advice. I interpret it as ‘don’t treat your blog only as a marketing tool.’ And for you to treat a blog as a business, you have to understand it’s nature. Blogging rewards consistent players and over time. The more you publish and the more consistent you are, the stronger it becomes.

    I would like to share another learning I recently had. A friend of mine, who has had great success in blogging, told me – “a blog is not a knowledge sharing tool; it’s a relationship tool.” As much I want it not to be true, I understand the reality. Somehow, it has had a lot of impact on me and probably will guide my future posts.

  5. After reading your interviews, it is amazing to note that you have started this website/blog in 2003. I think for a lot of new comers to the social media circle, it doesn’t take long for someone (like myself) to realize the level of discipline needed to write consistently and diligently. I remember how excited I felt when I got my first comment from someone. I am still at the stage of getting comments once in awhile, but it feels good to know that someone was reading 🙂

    I think it is important to note the significance of “sticking with it” when it comes to running a web business.

  6. I think you’re going to have to elaborate on “Treat your blog as a business.” This is such strong advice that it needs some elaboration on the specifics. I’m very clear on what you mean yet, I still feel there is more to that statement. For example, treating you blog as a business might include:
    – Set goals for results i.e. rankings, comments, ad revenue, etc.
    – Work daily on the activities that will drive you toward those goals.
    – Be sure to have a strong brand or position for the value that you provide your audience.
    – Understand your audience is your customer – build loyal and profitable relationships.

    I think I could go on – but I’m curious to what’s on YOUR list, Anita?

  7. Martin Lindeskog

    Great interviews! I went to the sites and wrote a comment. I agree with Ivana Taylor regarding an elaboration on how to treat your blog as a business. My own EGO blog is not a real business blog, but it could lead to business relationships and opportunities in the future, and at the same time I see my blogging as a moral support for entrepreneurs and capitalists.

  8. Brent Leary

    Anita WE ALL like when the tables are turned and you are answering the questions. That’s how WE ALL learn from you and about you! Thanks for doing these kinds of interviews and please do more of them.

    I dug into my archives and found a link to a show last year when I got a chance to interview Anita about how small business folks can build an effective web presence. Please feel free to check it out –

    I can’t believe it’s been over a year Anita. I think it’s time for you to come back on!

    Thanks again.

  9. Anita Campbell

    Hi Chris,

    As I like to say, most of the time it’s not like we’re neurosurgeons with patients on the operating table and one slip of a millimeter means irreversible disaster.

    With many business problems, all you need is a good night’s sleep, some exercise and a positive approach and you’re prepared to start fixing anything that comes your way. Never take things too seriously — it gets in the way of solving problems. 🙂

    — Anita

  10. Anita Campbell

    Hi Matt R,

    That’s the spirit! Mistakes are to be embraced, because it means you’re learning. Besides, the big rewards come to those willing to take big risks.

    Nothing ventured, nothing gained, right?

    Good luck with your new business. Let us know here at Small Business Trends if we can help you.


  11. Anita Campbell

    Hi Paula,

    I learn a lot at night on the computer — it’s a good time to think and to experiment. Sometimes, though, I have to make myself step away from the computer. It gets addicting if you don’t watch out!


  12. Great interviews Anita and you can actually tell you run this as a business. As you said in one of the interviews – you need a plan and work it every day which is the way to run a successful business.

    My thinking on mistakes or setbacks is that they are great because it means that you can cross each one off the list as you overcome them and that it you are another step closer to success.

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