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In last week’s post, I talked about how we, as women with busy schedules, can find more time to blog and work on our business. A few of you got back to me and said that watching a lot of television cuts into their time to work on their blog and business. I completely understand the lure of the television and the power it has over us. Some of my clients really struggle with it. It has all the shows and movies you want to see at the click of a button. And with television, FOMO (Fear of Missing Out) is real and there is so much good stuff on every day. What’s a girl to do?
Now, I rarely turn on the TV during the day, but that was not always the case. When I was writing my dissertation, I just could not turn off the television. It was my escape from all the hard work I was doing. Bad thing was that I was spending so much time watching “The Young and the Restless” and reality TV that I was barely getting any work done on my dissertation. My research advisor voiced his concern to me about my lack of progress. That was a turning point for me and I knew I had to get help or this whole PhD thing wouldn’t turn out so well. So I enlisted the help of a mentor to get me back on track. With the help of my mentor, I was able to rein in my TV watching and finish my dissertation. YaY! But what I learned about being productive and still watching television applies to anyone trying to complete tasks, get work done or reach goals. And now, I want to pass those tips on to you so you can use them to be more prolific and profitable on your blog or business.
But before I pass on those tips, do you have a blog yet? If not, don’t despair. I am here to help you though the whole process. In just 5 minutes you can get your blog up and running. Check out this blog post where I give step-by-step tutorial on how to start a blog. The instructions are clear and easy to follow. So get started on your dream today by clicking HERE to start your blog.
About to watch a really good show on Netflix called “Marcella”. Great name for a show, by the way!
Need to blog and work on your business but can’t turn off the TV, here’s a few suggestions:
- TiVo it. The greatest invention after the television is TiVo. If you have to work on your business, TiVo what you really want to see or don’t want to miss on television. Buy it. It is worth the investment.
- Be patient because if you forgot to TiVo it, it will probably come on again.
- Get Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime or some other streaming service that lets you watch television on demand. So when you have a free hour, watch the show you really want to on demand.
- Watch your favorite shows while you are working out. I do this religiously. When I’m doing my cardio, I’m not listening to music. No way! I’m watching Netflix. Depending on how long you work out, t’s a great way to get in anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour of tv watching.
- Here’s a trick I used in graduate school when I really wanted to watch something but had a ton of work to do. Watch it live when it comes on but work only during the commercial breaks. Or watch it on TiVo but don’t fast forward through the commercial breaks. This only works for shows and movies that have commercials. Honestly, I probably write most of my blog posts during commercial breaks. Try it. You will be amazed at how much work you get done.
What are some tips that you use to keep your TV watching time in check? Do you struggle with watching too much television? Is it affecting your work time? If so let me know in the comments. Also, let me know your tips and tricks on how to be more effective at getting work done during the day.
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Valentine’s Day is right around the corner. Love is in the air! Can you feel it? Are you ready for Valentine’s Day? It’s right around the corner so it’s time to get ready. But I’m not talking about buying flowers, chocolate or jewelry for your boo. Nope! I am talking about using Valentine’s Day to get more readers to your blog and even make a few sales. So depending on where you are in your blog and your business, here are a few love-inspired ideas that you can use.
If you already sell products and services on your blog, then read on…
Create a Gift List! Since everyone is searching for the perfect Valentine gift, give your readers gift ideas featuring your products and services. Most people buy traditional Valentine’s Day gifts like candy but why not show them that your products and services can make their loved one happy too? They won’t know until you tell them, so show them and (hopefully) make the sale.
Package it Up! You can even create special packages for the holiday that are only available for Valentine’s Day. Be clear about what products and/or services are being offered in the package and the pricing. If you can, offer several packages at different price points to attract a range of customers. If your products and services aren’t love-themed, try using red or pink packaging instead. I realize these ideas may take more than a week to implement, so be sure to give yourself enough time to give your products and services “the look of love”.
Gift Card, Anyone? Another great option is to allow customers to buy your products and services as a gift to a loved one. This works for a wide range of products and services. And if all else fails, give your customers a coupon that can only be used on Valentine’s Day. The coupon code can be the word “LOVE” or another holiday-related term. If you have an email list, shoot them out a quick email Valentine’s Day morning letting them know about the special coupon code and see what happens. Hopefully, the sales will start rolling in.
Target Different audiences. When we think of Valentine’s Day, we think of romantic love, right? And that’s what the holiday is all about. But other people in our life need love too. Show potential customers that your products and services will make great Valentine’s Day gifts for parents, children, co-workers, friends and even pets. Yes, people love their pets and treat them like family members, so why not?
If you are not at the point where you are selling products and services yet,
No worries. I still have some ways you can use Valentine’s Day to pull in more readers to your blog.
If your blog has nothing to do with love or Valentine’s Day, you can still use the holiday to get more readers. For example, if you blog about vintage Ford Mustangs, you can write a blog post called “10 Reasons to Love the Ford Mustang” or “5 Rom-Com Movies that Feature Ford Mustangs”. Take some time over the next few days to think about what you want to write about and try to come up with some cool ways to incorporate Valentine’s Day into your blog.
As a side note, I bought a bright red Ford Mustang when I finished my master’s degree. I sold it when I had my first child because I couldn’t fit my stroller in the trunk of the car. As you can see, I have never quite gotten over that.
It’s Valentine’s Day, spread love on social media
If you plan ahead, here are some lovely things you can do on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.
Create love-themed posts on social media the week leading up to Valentine’s Day. Now be sure to mix it up. Use quotes, funny memes, pictures and even videos hyping up to Valentine’s Day. You can use your posts to advertise Valentine’s Day specials that you are offering or to just send readers to your blog.
Create a Hashtag that brings awareness to Valentine’s Day but also promotes your blog. You can use your hashtag on Twitter and Instagram. But just remember that hashtags are not owned by anyone and can be used by anyone. So it is possible that someone else can use the hashtag you’re using for Valentine’s Day for a something totally different.
Photo Contest – If you are not selling anything, use your hashtag as a photo contest. The way it works is that readers can post pictures on their Instagram or Twitter account using your Valentine-themed hashtag. But only the best photos or top 10 winners will get retweeted on your Instagram or Twitter account. And you’ll be surprised. If you use this method, I bet you’ll get a lot more participation than you anticipate. People don’t always need the promise of winning something to get involved. Just giving someone the opportunity to be recognized and promoted is more than enough motivation for some people. Try it out and see how it works for you.
In closing, use one of these ideas to get your readers in the “mood for love” by showcasing your products and services or reading your blog. The key is to be creative and think outside the box. I know you can come up with something special, thoughtful and fun that your readers will just love.
In the comments, tell me which idea you are going to use this Valentine’s Day on your blog. Or tell me about an idea that I haven’t talked about. I can’t wait to hear from you!
Blogs are everywhere! Every newspaper, magazine, organization, company, school, niche, hobby, public figure, etc. has a blog or blogs associated with it. Statistics show that there are over 300 million blogs online and that number is increasing.
But why have blogging exploded? Not only in journalism but also among women who run small businesses looking to “get out of the rat race” and obtain financial freedom?
Well, because blogging works!
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Just in the last decade, blogging has not only become a standard in journalism but also a super effective way for solo female entrepreneurs to work location-independent, do fulfilling work that they love and make money. Lots of it. That’s right, you can make massive amounts of money blogging. There has never been a better time for you to get out there, get online and start blogging.
Now, you may be saying to yourself, my business, product or idea doesn’t lend itself to blogging. You may sell tennis balls and think there is no reason for you to blog. But, I am here to tell you otherwise. Blogging is the single most effective way to turn a person just perusing your site into a customer. Wanna know why? Because a blog educates and informs its readers. And when you educate and inform your reader about your ideas, products and services, they are more likely to buy from you. Why? Because you are showing your readers that you are an authority and expert on that topic. Soon, they will come to trust your opinions and recommendations and ultimately become your customer. So the next time you visit potterybarnkids.com to order something for your kids and you see a blog post about “How to Organize the Playroom“, you’ll know what they’re really doing.
But you’ve got to blog the right way.
And I’m here to help with that. Check out my Blogging FAQs page to find out what exactly is a blog, the differences between a website and a blog and much more. I offer some pretty cool eCourses on blogging. But in the meantime, you can click on the links below to get FREE training on blogging. And make sure you sign up for my email newsletter so you’ll be notified when I offer my next blogging eCourse. Trust me, you don’t wanna miss it!
7 Steps to Write Blog Posts that Sell
Want to Create a Blog? Read This First! – A Beginners Guide on What to Do Before You Begin Blogging
10 Ways to Turn Your Blog into a Bank
4 Tips to Help You Blog Consistently
10 Creative Blog Post Ideas that Attract Customers
Anatomy of a Blog Post
You finally made the decision to start an online business. Yay! You get your blog up and you’re ready to start making money. But wait a minute…. You slowly to realize that you’re forking over lots of cash for service to run that business. You’ll need over $1,000 for webinar service, about $250 for an email subscription service, $120 a year for social media management, $300 or more for Leadpages and the list goes on and on. You begin to ask yourself, “Do I really have to spend money on all these services to run my online business?” Signing up for these services can easily cost you thousands of dollars per year. Well, right now you might be thinking to yourself, “There are lots of free services out there, Dr. Wilson!” Yes, that’s true. However, I am a firm believer that you get what you pay for. So today, I will discuss the essential paid services you need to run your online business.
I am speaking from experience here. This is something that I debate and struggle with on a regular basis. I run an online business and make money so I can contribute to my family. However, I need services that help me run my business more efficiently. Again, I can hear you saying, “But how much money do I have to put out?” Well, I have spent thousands if not more in email subscription services, social media management software and more. Plus I have spent thousands more on coaching and training courses to learn more about setting up and running a successful business. I shudder to think how much money I put out even before I turned a profit. I was making a lot of other businesses successful before I could get mine up and running properly.
How did I get all the money for services? All of my free or personal money went to services for my business. And if I didn’t have enough money, I’d ask (beg!) my husband for the money. It got to the point where he was just exasperated with me always asking for money for some service that would “explode” my business. I recognized I had to make some changes when it came to the money I spent on services. I purposed to pare down the services I was paying for by getting rid of the ones I didn’t need or use. I also realized that I paid for convenience and that I could actually do a lot of the services myself if I just carved out some time to do it. So I took a really hard a look at my needs, my budget and made some tough decisions.
One thing I decided to do was use money that I earned from my business to pay for services. For example, last year I created numerous websites for various small businesses. When I got paid for making those websites, I didn’t immediately go to H&M with that money – which is what I would have normally done! I put that money in my business account and use it to cover monthly and annual services I needed for my business. My goal each month is to generate more money than my services cost. If I have any extra money, I just reinvest that money back into my business. Now I know that seems intuitive and basic – because it is. I mean, I knew I should do that, but I wasn’t. I was just signing up for all these services even before I made any money.
3 Ways to Get Cash for Services your Business Needs:
- Use your own personal money initially to cover the costs of the services you need.
- Do a few small jobs first to use as seed money for your business expenses.
- Research the costs of different services. Is it cheaper to pay annually or month to month? Is this a service I can do myself to save money? Can I barter with someone else who offers a service I need to cut down on expenses?
The #1 Service EVERY Business Needs
But what services do you really need to run your online business? Well, I don’t know what type of business you run or know its specific needs. However, I know that EVERY business needs to collect email addresses of their customers. Why? Because every checks their email all day every day. And if someone gives you their email address, that means they want to hear more about your products, services, sales, events, coupons or whatever you have to offer. That’s powerful! Every entrepreneur should start collecting email addresses the first day that their blog is up and running. There’s a saying among internet marketers – The Money is on the List. Meaning, if you don’t have an email list, you won’t be making any money. So, do yourself a favor. If you really want to make money from your business, set up an email subscription service today. Personally, I use aweber to handle my email subscription services. I have used aweber for years and highly recommend them. If you want to try aweber out free for 30 days or learn more, just click HERE.
So what did you think of this blog post? How much money do you spend monthly on your business services? Leave me a comment below and let me know what type of business you run and what paid services are a must.
Hey! This is the second part of a two-part blog post series. So, if you didn’t catch “Why I Started Blogging – Part One“, click HERE to read it. But if you’ve already read it, let’s pick up where we left off…
Since I was home with my children, I felt that there wasn’t much I could do to stay current in the field of technology. I felt out of the loop because I wasn’t working day in and day out in my industry. Now, don’t get me wrong, I was happy and blessed to stay at home with my babies. I was also fortunate to be able to work out of my house. However, I knew that once I started job-hunting, my resume would not be as strong as someone who worked fulltime at a tech company or a university. I needed a way to stay current. I needed an edge. Then one day it came to me.
One day, I was watching an entertainment show and they were talking about fashion week in New York City. During fashion week, the media is always focused on who is sitting in front rows of fashion shows. You’ll see magazine editors like Anna Wintour and Andre Leon Talley of Vogue. You’ll see socialites or celebutantes like Kim Kardashian and Paris Hilton. You’ll see former fashion models like Tyra Banks. You’ll also see actresses and singers like Emma Stone and Beyoncé.
But this show I was watching focused on how fashion bloggers were sitting front row at all the shows and how their blogs were impacting the fashion industry. Right then and there, a light bulb went off in my head. These fashion blogs were started by people who love and have an interest in fashion. But for some reason or another, they were not able to land a coveted job in fashion. Therefore, they started blogging about fashion to give their opinion on new trends, up and coming fashion models and industry gossip. Many of these fashion bloggers gained huge followings and became experts in the fashion industry. Overnight, fashion bloggers had become the hottest fashion stars.
I also noticed that fashion bloggers were getting work. Like real paid jobs. I was really interested then. When I read a magazine, I noticed that fashion bloggers were writing editorials in magazines. I saw them in commercials and advertisements promoting brands. I turned on my favorite news and talk shows only to see them discussing the seasons latest fashion trends. I also saw them as judges on reality competition shows. I was like, what! All this from blogging? I thought to myself, how can I be down with this!?!
Now, of course, I had an advantage because my educational background is in computer science and my graduate research focused on online social networks. Thus, I was familiar with the technical aspect of blogging. However, my education did not focus on blogging as a way to build income, become an expert or build a brand or business. I wanted to learn more about how blogging could build by reputation and increase my income. I saw lots of people in magazines, online and on television talking about technology. They were touting the latest tech products, advising parents how to keep their kids safe online and discussing public figures that had inappropriate photos pop up on their social media accounts. I thought, if they can do it, so can I. I wanted to learn more about these people and how blogging helped them get to where they are.
But more importantly, I wanted to use blogging as a way to stay current in the technology industry. Even though I was changing diapers and making bottles during most of the day, I needed a way to stay viable in my industry. And in the ever-changing job market, it’s important to stay marketable. As a result, I set out to learn more about how blogging could build my career.
So basically, I started blogging so I could stay current in tech even though I am a stay-at-home mom. How many of you reading this can relate? Well, that’s my story of how I started blogging. What’s yours? In the comments below, write a comment and let me know why you started blogging. Or if you haven’t started a blog yet, why you want to start blogging.
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So you’re interested in starting a blog, huh? Wanna learn how it can help you break into the career that you dream about? Maybe you want to find out how it can build your business? Or you want to become the next great food, style, fitness or DIY blogger? Well, I’m not a genie with a crystal ball so I can’t predict your future. But I can tell you all of the wonderful and amazing things that have happened to me since starting a blog.
Why I Started a Blog
Like me, I’m sure you are very busy and juggle many things in your professional and personal lives. I have been blogging off and on for about 5 years. When I started blogging, I wasn’t committed to it because I was still in grad school and having babies. Honestly, I really didn’t have time to focus on it. I was kinda doing it just because I thought it was fun. But then I had some life changes which prompted me to start blogging seriously. I began blogging with a purpose about 3 years ago. Once I got serious about blogging, amazing things began happening to me. Here are just a few of the wonderful opportunities I have experienced because of blogging:
Do You Need Help?
If you are reading this blog post, I am going to assume that you are starting a blog for a specific purpose. Maybe you want to attract more business to your physical store. Or maybe you want to be a mommy blogger who earns thousands of dollars per month via your blog. Yes, you can do that. Whatever the case, it is important to know why you want to blog. But, how to blog? Well, that’s a whole different story. Many don’t know how to blog. In other words, some folks out there want to start a blog but they don’t know how to do things like set one up or write a blog post. Well, that’s where I come in. It is my passion to help people blog and use social media to build their business. Starting a blog doesn’t have to be a chore or something to dread. Let me help you.
To help you get started blogging right away, grab my FREE eBook on blogging called “Want to Create a Blog? Read this First! A Beginners Guide on What to Do Before You Begin Blogging” Just enter your name and email address below and I’ll send it right to your email inbox.
Dr. Marcella Wilson