If you're not familiar with ad blockers, you're now in the minority. Ad blockers are extensions you can install for your browser that, well, block ads.

The technology has varying degrees of success based on exactly which ads you don't want to see. Although they may not be flawless in their pursuit of an ad-free experience, they are extremely effective. In fact, ad blockers have become so good that for the first time ever Facebook recognized ad blocking technology as a significant risk factor to it's business model in their annual 10-K filing.

Interest in ad blockers was relegated to techies for a long time and remained relatively stagnant from 2005 until mid 2012. However, beginning mid-2012, interest in ad blocking technology has exploded and ad blockers have now gone mainstream.

If you read my stuff regularly and atually listen to my advice, you should only be mildly concerned about the affect this may have on your business. Why? Because I am constantly urging you to create original, compelling content, increase your organic search results, think of your business as a media company regardless of what you sell, and to continue (or begin) to invest in print marketing.

By creating unique, compelling content, you're giving people something they want to see rather than annoying them with an ad they want to block.

Optimizing your website for organic search to increase your search engine rankings means you're oging to be found when someone is looking for you, whether or not they have an ad blocker installed.

Investing in print means giving a client or prospect something they don't have the ability not to see. There's no such thing as an ad filter for the United States Postal Service, and if you're using print effectively, you should be sending something your recipient wants to see anyway.

Thinking of your business as a media company means learning how to be an amazing storyteller (or hiring someone to help). By telling a story instead of pushing a product, you can continually reinforce who you are and what your brand stands for. And by doing it extremely well, you're entertaining instead of annoying, and hopefully creating something people want to talk about and share.

Chris Searles is President of Searles Media and specializes in helping small businesses maximize their available resources to market themselves effectively using a wide variety of media. Visit Website

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