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Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Important Blogging Lessons that Work

Blog of the day once again
Blog of the day once again (Photo credit: the Italian voice)
By Don Contreras

If you're an Internet Marketer then you should be blogging; there are lots of reasons for this. Even though there are thousands of blogs that get created every minute, there are still a lot of online marketers who are scared to blog or think that it simply isn't important. In this article we intend to explore three blogging lessons that will help you understand how you can get the most out of your blog in the simplest way, which will give you a good enough reason to get started with it if you haven't...

Don't make your blog complicated because today people what's simple. If you try to get all sophisticated with your blog posts and end up confusing your readers - will it be worth it? No! This is the reason you need to keep your blog simple in every aspect of it. Even where your design is concerned, you should keep everything lightweight and focused on the point. Focus more on delivering the right kind value and even when you've got to explain something that's difficult to put in simple words, try to at least make it easy to understand. This is the best way to get your readers to trust you while also elevating the quality of your blog into something you can truly leverage.

Never forget that content is the most important thing--everything else: comments, design, plugins, etc. are a distant second. Your main priority and focus should be the content of your blog so that you are giving real value to your readers through the information that you're sharing. Once you've got the right kind of content published on your blog and when you're doing this on a regular basis, you'll find that your readers are happy, your blog is growing and there is a sense of achievement with each post you make.

Interact with bloggers on a regular basis both those who publish in your niche and those who publish outside of it. Grab their attention by leaving comments on their blogs that are funny and/or meaningful. Pay attention to the blogs on which you most want to comment; it's easy to do this if you subscribe to their RSS feeds so that you'll know as soon as new posts are live. The moment you notice that there's a new post on a popular blog that you're subscribed to, go and make the first comment. When you aren't able to be the first person to comment try to be among the first three.

If you look around, you'll see that the majority of the top Internet marketers out there have their own blogs and they even actively post on them. Even if you are starting out in, say, affiliate marketing, blogging should not be an activity that you ignore. Once you've started your own blog make sure you employ the lessons we've talked about in this article. In the long run, blogging and IM are quite complementary, so don't waste any more time before setting up your own blog or using these lessons to help you improve the blogs you already run.

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Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Top 10 Business Plan Myths of Solo Entrepreneurs

Gnomes' three phase business planGnomes' three phase business plan (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
A recent study of 29,000 business startups noted that 26,000 of them failed. Of those failures, 67% had no written business plan. Think that's a coincidence?
Here's the top 10 myths Solo Entrepreneurs often have about business plans-usually, the reasons why they don't have one. De-bunk the myths, and see how having a business plan for your solo business, can actually be easy and fun--and can jumpstart your success!
1. Myth: I don't need a business plan--it's just me!
Starting a business without a plan is like taking a trip in a foreign country without a map. You might have a lot of fun along the way, and meet a lot of friends, but you are likely to end up at a very different place than you originally set out for-and you might have to phone home for funds for your return ticket.
Solo Entrepreneur Reality: Successful Solo Entrepreneurs know that the exercise of creating a plan for their business really helps them think through all the critical aspects of running a business, make better business decisions, and get to profitability sooner.
2. Myth: I have to buy business plan software before I can start.
Business plan software comes in many shapes and sizes, and prices. Many are more geared at small and growing businesses with employees.
Solo Entrepreneur Reality: Software can be helpful-but it's not required. Software is more likely to help if you have a more traditional type business, like a restaurant or a typical consulting business.
3. Myth: I need to hire a consultant to write my business plan.
Consultants are expensive and don't really know as much about your business as you do!
Solo Entrepreneur Reality: Your business IS you-and you need to be intimately involved with the creation of your business plan. A better strategy, if you think you need professional help, is to hire a coach or mentor-someone who can guide you in what you need to do, not do it for you.
4. Myth: The business plan templates I've seen have all these complex-sounding sections to them-I guess I need all those?
The only time you need to follow a specific outline is if you are looking for funding.
Solo Entrepreneur Reality: Your business plan needs to answer ten basic questions-that's it! Don't make things more complicated than necessary.
5. Myth: My business plan needs to be perfect before I can start my business.
If you wait for everything to be perfectly detailed, you may never start.
Solo Entrepreneur Reality: If you have at least a first draft that answers those ten basic questions, you are ready to launch your business! Make your business plan a living, evolving document. In the startup stages, review and update your plan every 2-3 months. As you grow and stabilize, you can slow down the review cycle to every 6-12 months. All business plans should be reviewed and updated at least once a year.
6. Myth: I have to do everything I say I'm going to do in my business plan, or I'm a failure.
Many Solo Entrepreneurs never start because of this myth-which leaves them feeling that the success of their future business suddenly rides on each stroke of the pen or click of the keyboard!
Solo Entrepreneur Reality: Think of your business plan as a roadmap for a trip. Expect to take some detours for road construction. Be flexible enough to take some exciting, unplanned side trips. And don't be surprised if instead of visiting Mount Rushmore, you decide to go to Yellowstone, if that turns out to meet your vacation goals better!
7. Myth: A good business plan has a nice cover, is at least 40 pages long, must be typed and double-spaced...
Business plans intended for investors, such as a bank or venture capitalist, must meet certain requirements that such investors expect.
Solo Entrepreneur Reality: As a Solo Entrepreneur, your business plan need only satisfy YOU. It might be scribbled on a napkin, on stickie notes on your wall, or consist of a collage of pictures and captions. It might be all in one document or scattered among several mediums. As long as you know it in your head and heart without having to look at it, and and it is easily accessible to you when you have doubts, that's all that is necessary.
8. Myth: I don't need a loan-so I don't need a business plan.
YOU are the investor in your business-and would you invest in the stock of some company without seeing a prospectus?
Solo Entrepreneur Reality: Seeing your plan in black and white (or color, if you prefer!), can give a whole new view on the financial viability of your business. If "doing the numbers" seems overwhelming, remember you don't need fancy spreadsheets. Just lay out a budget that shows where all the money is coming from (and going), and have an accountant review it for additional perspective.
9. Myth: My business plan is in my head-that's good enough.
I don't know about you, but I sometimes can't remember what I planned yesterday to do tomorrow, if I don't write it down!
Solo Entrepreneur Reality: There is a real power in writing down your plans. Some schools of thought advocate that the act of writing a plan down triggers our subconscious to start working on how to manifest that plan. And, of course, it's a lot easier to remember when you have it in front of you. And a lot easier to share and get feedback from your non-mind reading supporters.
10. Myth: Friends and family are the best sources of feedback and advice on my business plan.
If your brother is an accountant and your best friend is a market research expert, then this might be true.
Solo Entrepreneur Reality: As well meaning as our friends and family can often be, they just aren't the best way to get honest, objective guidance. Instead, seek out folks that have specific knowledge that will help you, are willing to be candid with you, and that have a genuine interest in helping you succeed. A business coach is one resource to consider!
Terri Zwierzynski is a self-employed business strategist and marketing consultant to solo entrepreneurs, and a grassroots promoter of the solo entrepreneur lifestyle. She runs, the resource website for the self-employed which attracts thousands of solo home business owners monthly from over 100 countries on six continents (and was recently named a finalist for "Website of the Year" in the 4th Annual Stevie® Awards for Women in Business).
Find more articles about Business Planning at, plus get a copy of our new ebook, "25 Surefire Ways to Capture More Clients, Get More Done in Less Time, and Make More Money -- in 90 Days or Less."
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Monday, April 9, 2012

How Do You Find Affordable Office Space

Office SpaceOffice Space (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
By Orlando Ring

In our current economy, affordable is the key. Most people are looking for the most inexpensive way to do basic things like washing their cars, all the way up to starting a business. If you are shopping for office space, you probably already know many spaces are not exactly affordable. You can tweak your search to help you find options that will be more in your price range. Although business owners have traditionally wanted to set up shop in a permanent location, our current economy makes it sensible to take a different approach when finding affordable office space.

Many business owners find it difficult to secure a business loan in order to purchase a permanent location. This leaves renting as the only option. While it might initially seem like a poor investment, the money saved when you rent can actually help your business save money and reinvest. There are many cost effective rentals spaces that you might like for the long term business plan. Small businesses don't have a guarantee on returns, and many are facing bankruptcy. This has mad renting office space the new normal and leasing companies have catered to this new trend. There are more options than ever to suit the different needs of business owners.

Shared office spaces allow businesses to share the cost of leases for a designated period of time with other businesses. This ultimately allows each business to save an ample amount of money on rental payments per month. As such, this money can go back into the business where needed most. This is particularly advantageous for small businesses and for startups. However, more established businesses may find it a perfect solution to avoid paying huge amounts in rental costs that they will never see returned.

Short term office space is another trend in affordable office space. Offices are leased for a shorter term, so a business isn't stuck paying rent long after the space has become obsolete. Many of these short term spaces are offered fully equipped, which can save countless dollars on furniture and equipment. Not only does the business save money on the furniture, but the cost and hassle of moving it at a later date once a permanent location is found.

Established business that are looking for more affordable office space can take simple steps to go green and save money for existing offices. This can be done by installing energy efficient bulbs, as well as solar panels. The green movement is not only beneficial to the monthly expense account, but businesses may qualify for government incentives when installing energy efficient features. Find out about specific incentives in your area, and find out if investing in green energy is a way to save money on your office space.

There are many options when it comes to affordable office spaces so long as businesses are creative and open minded in their approach to less traditional leasing options. By breaking away from the traditional approach to acquiring and setting up permanent office locations, businesses are able to utilize a variety of existing options such as shared and short term offices spaces as well as the budding green office building incentives and ultimately spend the money they save on furthering the growth and the financial stability of their business.

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