Saturday, January 28, 2012

Blog Contest for all of my Blog Readers

I am running a contest on my personal blog.  It is open for all of my readers of all my blogs, you are all invited.  Awesome scrapbook software giveaway.  It is a fun software to design to your scrap book, it is a lot of fun with really cool features.  This contest is completely free-no purchase to win.  The winner will not need to enter any credit card information so there is no strings attached.  
I have been having a lot of fun with this software myself! Go ahead and check out the contest details and join today- Blog Contest, Software Giveaway.  The free software is a $40 value and I am sure you will enjoy making some great memories in this.  Good luck to all, make sure you enter the contest!! The contest is free and simple with a great product.
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Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Wednesday's Online Business Mistake-Too Many Distractions

It is Wednesday again? Yes, I guess it is.  Time for another Wednesday's Online Business Mistake.  Today we will talk about distractions.  I know I have talked briefly about them in the past, but they are too common! I still get distracted easily here but I am able to recover from distractions much easier now then I did in the beginning.

When you have an online business, many times you are running this business from your home.  Working at home is wonderful but you can be distracted much easier.  There are some things that are beyond your control (such as family issues) but there are also things that draw your attention away from work and then you forget what you were doing.  How many times have you been working your online business at home and you see something (whether you find it in a magazine or during your research) that catches your eye.  You want to look up more about it online, even tho it has nothing to do with your online business.  This is ok for break time, but it can be distracting if you look it up while you are working.  

There are many examples of distractions when working at home with your online business.  I used to think that "this is my online business and I work at home so I can do what I want for now.  I will get back to work later."  Not a good idea!! It is too easy to think that because you work at home or because it is your online business (you have no boss beside yourself) that you can step away from work to look at this or to do that.  If you are in the middle of working but decide "hey, I am going to do something else and get back to work later," guess what? You will probably forget what you were doing before you stopped working or you will not end up finishing the great ideas that you had (whichever you were working on at the moment.)  I know, I have done this.  I have got distracted while doing research about business in the beginning.  A few times it ended with me getting involved in scams or me finding something else and completely forgetting what I was doing.  I have had this happen too many times and now when I am in the middle of doing something, I will wait until I am at a "break point" to stop.  

Of course I still get uncontrolled distractions (school nurse calling for example), but I recover better from them then I did when I allowed myself to get distracted too easily with "controllable distractions."  One great example of a controllable distraction would be Facebook.  This can be a big distraction unless you are marketing on Facebook at the time.  Don't get me wrong, Facebook can be fun and yes I like to play my Farmville but it has to be on a break time!

There are many distractions that you will encounter, try to make sure you do not get distracted in the middle of your work.  Remember to set a break time so that you can do all of your fun online stuff when you are taking a break or done for the day.  I like to set an amount of things I am going to accomplish before allowing myself to take my break-at least that is how I do it now! Wish I did it that way in the past.
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Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Wednesday's Online Business Mistake-Affiliate Marketing

Wednesday here again! This time goes by fast.  For this week I would like to talk about my mistake in  Affiliate Marketing-this is also a common mistake.  Many people have made a lot of money with Affiliate Marketing.  It is also a way to earn without spending any money.  It can be profitable and the only thing you would have to pay for is advertising if you chose to.

Affiliate Marketing is promoting somebody else's product.  It can be an easy income if you know how to advertise effectively.  You don't need a product, you are promoting somebody else's.  You also don't need a website, the person's product will already have a website.  Sounds great, right?

Well, I am not the perfectionist at Affiliate Marketing.  I am not one of the huge 7 figures a year Affiliate Marketers, so I don't have an exact blue print to follow for everybody.  One thing I can tell you tho is don't make the same mistake I did in the beginning!

In the beginning, I didn't know much about Internet Marketing and didn't know a thing about Affiliate Marketing.  You can imagine that when I heard these "gurus" claiming 7 figures with easy steps, I was so excited! My biggest mistake with this was I believed too many "gurus" and I promoted whatever looked like an eye catching product.  Yes, you want to sell what is hot but you also need to make sure it is legit.  I repeat-my biggest mistake was promoting any product that looked like it would catch people's eye.  Now you can make sales with this but you will do much better if you promote things you know work.  I found it easier to promote (and also morally right) products that I have physically tested and know that they are worth the price.  It is easier to talk about it as you know the good points from experience with the product.  If you share it on your own website or blog, you will know that you are promoting something of value if you personally like it.  This helps with your reputation.  Think about it; you keep pushing a product that ends up being garbage (even if it is eye catchy and hot), once people start to catch on this product is bad it can come back on your reputation.  People who bought through your link because they trusted you will no longer trust you.  This will hurt future sales.

Rule of thumb, don't promote anything that you have not personally tried.  You can have paid sponsors on your site but I would list them as sponsored or advertisements so you are not completely endorsing it.  If you are actually promoting and recommending a product, make sure you tried it and it is of value and legit.

I have been battling a bad migraine headache for the last couple of days, I apologize if this is not as well written as I have been under the weather.  I didn't want to miss the Wednesday Online Business Mistake tho!
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Sunday, January 15, 2012

Market Your Business to be Memorable

Do your customers remember you? When potential customers think of a product your business offers, do they think of you? Well they probably don't unless you give them a reason to remember you.  When you are marketing your business, you need to do something that is memorable.  You want your customers or potential customers to remember you when they think of the product and not a competitor.  If you just advertise with a simple message that is kind of generic, people probably won't remember you.  Make sure you stand out from the crowd, many business have competitors and you want to be in front of them in the customer's mind.

A great example of memorable marketing is the KIA Soul.  They have the life sized hamsters that drive the car and are always "getting down" to some music.  I am sure you have seen the commercial where the hamsters team up with robots and dance to LMFAO's song Party Rock Anthem, it has been on TV a lot.  My kids love that song and also love the commercial.  Every time we hear Party Rock Anthem on the radio, we picture the dancing hamsters in our heads.  My kids start dancing and say "Mom, the dancing hamsters are on!" KIA did some memorable marketing here.  I started laughing in the local convenient store when this song was on and somebody in line behind me made a comment about the KIA.

Another great example of memorable marketing is the Snickers Peanut Butter Squares commercial.  I am sure you saw this one too.  It is quite memorable, you know the one with the sharks.  Sharks are at the table in a conference room setting and they appeared to be taste testing.  When Steve was mentioned eating the Snickers Peanut Butter Squares, the shark says "Steve was delicious."  At the end of the commercial (tho the end was not played as often) a guy pokes his head in for the Snickers Peanut Butter Squares and the shark says "Eat both squares please."  This is definitely memorable marketing.

Now if you market in a memorable way like Snickers and KIA did here, you will definitely have customers and potential customers thinking of your company when they think of the product.  I remember KIA before any other car manufacture commercial.  Be creative, it will pay off!

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I Won the Daily Contest at RedGage

I talked about RedGage in a couple of posts back.  You can earn a little extra money uploading your pictures and sharing your useful links.  It is a fun site with a nice community and it is completely free to join.
I have been there a week now and got an email earlier that stated: Congratulations you are the daily contest winner! Nice.
They have a daily contest where the winner wins $25.  It is a nice little bonus from a site that is so easy to use, free to use and is fun to share pictures with! I love this site.
Would you like to earn a little extra money uploading your pictures and also gaining back links to your useful blog posts and articles? Come join me for free here: http://www.redgage.com.  Maybe you will be the next daily winner! If you like to take pictures, I recommend them especially if you are not a professional.  There are other sites that you can sell your pictures on but I honestly do not know many of them as I am a photographer by hobby not professional.  You do not actually sell your pictures here, you upload them and earn money based on page views.  It is not a site to get rich on but you can have a lot of fun and earn a little extra easy cash.  


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Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Wednesday's Online Business Mistake-List Building

It is Wednesday again! Hard to believe time goes this fast.  You know what that means, right? Yup it is time for our Wednesday Online Business Mistake.  This week we will talk about list building.
I am not a pro in the list building department which is why this is one of my online business mistakes.  In all reality being a blogger since 2007 and sharing valuable information since, I should have a great list of people waiting for my emails right? Truth is, no I do not.  It is really my own fault and mistake that I do not.  I have been told by many that I should focus on email marketing.  I never really got that involved with email marketing for the most part.  I wasn't consistent enough either.  I do have the form on the right side of the bar and I had great ideas for my weekly newsletter, but I never followed through with it in the past.
I can't really say what my main reason is as I am not sure, tho a lot of times when I had something to good to share I usually posted here.
List building is very important for your online business.  It is a great way to connect more with your readers and your customers.  I would like to start to work on building a list and faithfully put out a weekly newsletter.  Maybe provide valuable updates or at least legitimate opportunities for my readers and subscribers.  As I said, I am not a pro at this topic.  I do know that it is a very powerful tool for any online business and that you need to be consistent if you are going to be doing it.  However, I do not recommend creating a list to just sell, sell, sell to.  I think your reputation could be hurt and you will lose subscribers if all you do is email "buy this."  I believe it would be of more value if you create a list of subscribers and offer them real information or at least offer free tools that would benefit them.  Of course you could also use it to market to your subscribers but let them know that you are not just out to make that quick sale.  Let them know that you value them as a reader not for money!
If anybody has any tips on list building and email marketing for your online business, we would love to hear your comments! I am looking into which company I would like to use for my list building and for my newsletter.
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Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Work at Home Online-Don't Forget Breaktime

I have some days more then others that I put in many hours of work online.  Yesterday and today were days of more hours of online work then off! I often have to remind myself on these days, yes it is a good thing to take a break.
It is easy to get caught up in what you are doing and figure you will just keep working until it is all done.  Sometimes tho, your body needs to be away from the online work (or even just be away from the online part) for a few.  You are more productive if you give yourself some time to do something else not online work related.  Yesterday I didn't take much of a break and phew I wore my mind out.  Today, I jumped right into work and kept going.  Started to feel like I was having a hard time concentrating and was starting to feel tired.
I then remembered that I pushed myself yesterday and now started to today as well! It was then I shut down for an hour (I already had my oatmeal for breakfast) and went for a nice long and fast paced walk.  Not that I was in a hurry to get back but sometimes a nice fast paced walk in the brisk air with the sun shining on you is enough to refresh you.  It was nice to see and say hi to people I know along the way.  It is also good to get up and exercise too.

Just a friendly reminder to allow your body and mind to take breaks from online work.  I know I need to remind myself from time to time.  It does some wonders! Ok, now I must get back to work.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Earning Money Online With Your Pictures

There are many sites that you can earn some extra money online with your pictures that you take.  I am not a professional photographer so I don't belong to many of these sites at the moment.  One site you can earn money online for your pictures is called Redgage.
This site is cool as you don't have to be a professional photographer.  I am not saying you are going to earn a lot of money online in the beginning with them, but they pay you per views.  The more views your content gets, the more you make.  This can add up as you upload more content.
You know what is another great feature on this site? You can share your content from your blogs or your articles.  You can also write documents to share there.  I just recently discovered them thank you to a friend, and I have found them to be a cool site.  You can earn a little for the views you get to the links you share too.  If you share a link to a post on your blog, you gain traffic and a good quality back link.  You then can earn money for sharing the link to your online content.
There is also a raffle everyday with a chance to win a $25 pre-paid card.  Redgage is completely free to join and upload.  There is no fee to use the site, no upgrading at all.  Check it out today and have some fun! Oh and earn a some extra money online too.

Join me in earning with your pictures and links here: Redgage.com
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Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Wednesday's Online Business Mistake-Keeping on Track of Business

In the beginning of my online business adventures, I didn't even think goals were important let alone know how to stay on track with them.  I did discuss goals and their importance in the beginning of my Wednesday's Online Business Mistake postings.  However, making goals is only half of the battle.  You need to make sure you stay on track with those goals! What good are goals if they are only going to get set aside on the shelf?

In order to stay on track with your online business goals, you need to first make sure you view them weekly.  This is at the very least! It is too easy to set them aside and not look at them or think that you will get back to them.  One of the best things you can do to make sure you stay on task is make a list of things that you need to do each week.  From that list, make a schedule so you fit all of this into your week-make sure you make this a doable schedule.  Now as you are working your own online business working at home, it is easy to get too laid back from your schedule.  I used to do this.  If I had something else that I would like to do, I would do it instead of staying on task.  If there was research that I wanted to do, I took way too much time to do it and my schedule fell behind.  It is too easy to fall behind on your schedule when you are working at home with your own online business.  It is too easy to think: well, it is my online business or yeah I work at home so I can do it later.  No you can't.  Not recommended, it will become a habit of putting things off!

I recommend that you make your list and make sure that you finish a certain amount of things before rewarding yourself and doing something fun.  For example, if I finish what I needed to accomplish before taking a fun break, then I can go out for a little while and do what it is I wanted to do.  You are now rewarding yourself for getting so much work done instead of putting off your work for something fun.  I know how easy it is to get off track and I make sure that I do what I need to do with my online business before I go do fun things.  Of course some things such as kids activities get put right into my schedule from the beginning.  But anytime I want to do something for a day or so, I make sure to accomplish things I need to.

Trust me, it really is too easy to put things on the back burner when you work at home with your own online business! Don't let it happen to you.  Sure you work at home with your own hours, you do need to accomplish things by maintaining a schedule.  Sure it is your own online business and you are not working for a boss, all the more reason to want to push to succeed!

Too many times I have put stuff off, please learn from my mistakes! I know this post sounds like a broken record but it really is important and worth being repeated.


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Monday, January 2, 2012

A Fresh New Year-Get Rid of the Bad Ideas

With the beginning of the 2012 here, we need to think about what worked and what didn't work in 2011.  Now is a good time to get rid of ideas that didn't work.  We all get ideas and some are great while some are not so great (it happens to us all.)  As I go back through the year of 2011, I look at all the ideas I had- all of the marketing ideas I tried for business.
Dust off the ones you tried, liked but forgot to go back to.  If you tried and liked it but forgot about it, try it again! Sometimes you get into something that looks great but you get into so many other things that you forget to go back.  That happened to me last year-with a couple sites!
The sites you use all the time and are happy with, of course we will continue to use them.  Look at the ideas and sites that you may have tried and they did absolutely nothing and don't show you much potential.  If it looks like something that just isn't or won't work for you, don't use it anymore.  If it hasn't worked but shows potential, try to use it a little differently and see if you can get it to work!

Just go through all your ideas and all of your marketing efforts.  Get rid of things that show no potential and push more on the ones that are working or showing potential.  I know this sounds obvious, but sometimes we get involved in other things and forget to go back to things that really work.  I found myself doing this over 2011 and I have been reminded lately of good sites I used to use but somehow got busy and away from them.


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Can I Become Successful Online Too?

Running a business isn't as easy as it sounds, but it is worth it overall.  You may see others talking about how successful they are wit...