Blogging – Crutial Do’s & Don’ts

Do’s And Don’ts Of Blogging For Small Businesses

Effective Internet marketing requires a certain touch. A business can have the best blog on the Internet but it does no good if no one is reading it. The purpose of good Internet marketing is to draw eyes to the content. Once a large group of people is following a business’s blog the quality can then speak for itself. There is an art to Internet marketing however, and the following do’s and don’ts will help a businessperson harness it.

Do: Make sure that any SEO that is done is based on the current SEO landscape. The ever-changing world of online business means keywords that were once very effective will lose their effectiveness over time. Therefore ongoing review of the business’s SEO content is essential. Also make sure the data that is being used is used correctly. Even good data, such as Google Adwords, can be misread and misused. Through proper use of SEO search results will lead interested people to a company’s blog.

Do: Make use of social media accounts. Because of scale a small business can react faster than much larger companies. With this faster re-action time a small business should use social media differently than a large one. Larger companies tend to favor social media for data mining purposes. A smaller business is better served by using social media to build up customer relationships and identify potential customers. The ability to speak with customers in real-time is very valuable. A well-written blog piece for example can generate a lot of discussion. Use this to engage with and interact with customers.

Do: Design for the modern Internet experience. Part of effective branding is a well made website and blog. Well made in the modern world means a site that looks just as good on an iPhone as it does on an iMac. Don’t only think of the desktop perspective make sure a blog is readable and easy to use on mobile devices. Studies show a frustrating to use site only drives away customers and they often go to competing companies to fill their business needs.

Don’t: Be overly emotional. While live discussion with customers allows an unmatched degree of customer interaction there are pitfalls to avoid. When discussing blog content with a customer above all be a professional. Overly emotional, angry, or simply snippy behavior tends to be remembered and all it takes is one bad moment to trash a company’s reputation. Blog comments and other social media needs to be taken as seriously as any other official communication. Remember it takes years to build a reputation and a minute to destroy it.

Don’t: Use outdated designs. While blog content matters appearance counts too. An official blog should look modern as outdated web design concepts cast doubt on the material before its even read. Things to avoid include: flash intros, too many buttons, too much unused space, animated gifs, and stock photos. A modern website is sleek, functional, and above all functional on mobile phones and tablets.

Read more informative and interesting articles related to do’s and don’ts of blogging for small businesses, Search engine optimization, Social media marketing, Web Development at Bloom Blog – Lotus Media.

Article Source: http://www.articlesbase.com/blogging-articles/dos-and-donts-of-blogging-for-small-businesses-6926488.html

About the Author

Johnny Reacher, 29 year old writer from USA provides fascinating insights on Blogging for businesses, Website developmentSearch Engine Optimization, Email Relationship Marketing and Social Media. With many awareness topics to write about, he is able to research and hopefully shed some light on the matter to somebody that was not aware in the first place.

Internet Safety

Learn the basics of Internet safety.
After reading these interesting facts be sure to check out the video below. Our kids must be kept up to date on the importance of internet safety. Children use a variety of online services, and each of these services can have different safety concerns. However, there are some basic tips which you can employ no matter how your children use the Internet.
Keep the computer in a high-traffic area of your home.
Establish limits for which online sites children may visit and for how long.
Remember that Internet technology can be mobile, so make sure to monitor cell phones, gaming devices, and laptops.
Surf the Internet with your children and let them show you what they like to do online.
Know who is connecting with your children online and set rules for social networking, instant messaging, e-mailing, online gaming, and using webcams.
Continually dialogue with your children about online safety.Learn the basics of Internet safety
Children use a variety of online services, and each of these services can have different safety concerns. However, there are some basic tips which you can employ no matter how your children use the Internet.
Keep the computer in a high-traffic area of your home.
Establish limits for which online sites children may visit and for how long.
Remember that Internet technology can be mobile, so make sure to monitor cell phones, gaming devices, and laptops.
Surf the Internet with your children and let them show you what they like to do online.
Know who is connecting with your children online and set rules for social networking, instant messaging, e-mailing, online gaming, and using webcams.
Continually dialogue with your children about online safety.

[youtube]http://youtu.be/yrln8nyVBLU[/youtube]

10 Home Based Business Niches You Can Use Now

One of the most common challenges to starting an online home based business is finding a profitable niche to target. In this article I have done a significant portion of the hard work for you so you can get your home based business started immediately.

Here are ten niche ideas to help you start your home based business today…

1) Being Successful – I can’t think of anyone who doesn’t want to be successful. Your home based business could target niches about making and reaching goals, motivational techniques, getting into the right mind set, etc…

2) Being a Leader – Many people want to be the leaders, or already are in leadership positions, and need guidance. You could target niches about leadership qualities, communicating with their followers, educating people, etc…

3) Finding a Job – Many people need to understand their role in employment, such as how to get a position or how to be successfully interviewed. Your home based business could target product niches about writing resumes, job listing services, job training, interview techniques etc…

4) Being Beautiful – Most people want to be attractive to others. You could target product niches about beauty products, plastic surgery, hair products, hairstyles, dressing for success, etc…

5) Being in Good Health – Most people want to be in good health. In fact, this is one of the biggest niches out there right now. You could make killing targeting niches about nutrition supplements, disease prevention, vitamins, healthy diet plans, exercising etc…

6) Accomplishing a Goal – Just about everyone has a goal they want to achieve in

their life and/or career. Your home based business could target product niches like goal setting information, motivational products, hypnosis, seminars, etc…

7) Gaining a Talent/Skill – Many people want to learn a new talent or skill. You could help them do this by targeting niches like educational classes, home training, personal training, how-to publications, how-to videos, etc… just find something that a lot of people are looking to learn and you could run to the bank with it.

8) Fulfilling a Craving – Most people want to fulfill a craving, especially when dieting. They would prefer things tasting fat or luxurious while not actually being fattening. You could target product niches like low fat foods, low carb foods, sugar free foods, etc… It seems like everyone is on some sort of “diet” these days so your home based business could explode with this one.

9) Being Organized – Many people want or need to be more organized. You could target niche product like schedulers, organizational tips and information, closet organizers, calendars, etc…

10) Fulfilling A Dream/Fantasy – Everyone has some sort of dream or fantasy that they would just love to fulfill. Your home based business could target niches such as finding exotic vacations, reviewing high ticket items, achieving dreams strategies, inspiration, etc…

There you have it… ten niches you can use to start your home based business with right now. Break them up, mix and match them, use them to generate more niche ideas, or do anything else you can with them. Just get going on making your home based business dreams come to life.

About the Author
Trent Brownrigg prides himself on helping others reach their home business dreams. Visit his Online Home Based Business website at http://www.home-business-team.com and he will personally help you succeed with your own home business. Please subscribe to his “Biz Tips” Newsletter by sending a blank email to: workathomebiz@aweber.com

10 Benefits Of Submitting Articles To Ezines

You’ve heard everywhere that submitting articles can increase your online exposure, but here’s a quick run down of all the other benefits you can expect. Believe me, it really is worthwhile writing articles.

1. You’ll brand your web site, business and yourself by submitting articles to ezines. You could include your name, business name, your credentials, web site address and email address in your resource box. With more articles published, your name will become synonymous with quality products.

2. You will become known as an expert on the topics you write about. This will give you and your business extra credibility which will help you compete against your competition.

3. Your article might also be placed on the publisher’s home page. If they publish each issue on their home page this will give you some extra exposure.

4. You might get extra exposure if the ezine publisher archives their ezine on their site. People might want to read the back issues before they make the decision to subscribe.

5. You will get free advertising. This will allow you to spend your profits on other forms of advertising. You could buy advertisements in other ezines that don’t publish your articles.

6. You might get extra income from people wanting to hire you to write other articles,

books, or even ask to speak at seminars. This is a great way to multiply your income.

7. You could allow ezine publishers to publish your articles in their free ebooks. Since people give them away, your advertising could multiply all over the internet.

8. You will get your article published all over the web when you submit it to an ezine publisher that has a free content directory on their web site. They’ll allow their visitors to republish your article.

9. You’ll gain people’s trust. If they read your article and like it, they won’t be as hesitant to buy your product or service. You will then be able to increase your profits.

10. You could get your article guaranteed to run in an ezine. You could agree to run one of their articles in your ezine if, in exchange, they run yours in their ezine. It’s a win/win situation.

The real benefit of writing articles is that it is a long term promotion strategy. Yes, you will get traffic straight away, but as time goes on, your article will be picked up time and time again.

Advantages and Disadvantages of SOLAR ENERGY

Many of us know that solar energy is good, but few really understand why.

Therefore, I compiled a comprehensive list of solar energy advantages and disadvantages that will enable you to make an educated decision whether on not Solar Power is right for YOU.

Solar Energy Advantages

1. Saves you money
• After the initial investment has been recovered, the energy from the sun is practically FREE.
• The recovery/ payback period for this investment can be very short depending on how much electricity your household uses.
• Financial incentives are available form the government that will reduce your cost.
• If your system produce more energy than you use, your utility company can buy it from you, building up a credit on your account! This is called net metering.
• It will save you money on your electricity bill if you have one at all.
• Solar energy does not require any fuel.
• It’s not affected by the supply and demand of fuel and is therefore not subjected to the ever-increasing price of gasoline.
• The savings are immediate and for many years to come.
• The use of solar energy indirectly reduces health costs.

2. Environmentally friendly
• Solar Energy is clean, renewable (unlike gas, oil and coal) and sustainable, helping to protect our environment.
• It does not pollute our air by releasing carbon dioxide, nitrogen oxide, sulphur dioxide or mercury into the atmosphere like many traditional forms of electrical generations does.
• Therefore Solar Energy does not contribute to global warming, acid rain or smog.
• It actively contributes to the decrease of harmful green house gas emissions.
• It’s generated where it is needed.
• By not using any fuel, Solar Energy does not contribute to the cost and problems of the recovery and transportation of fuel or the storage of radioactive waste.

3. Independent/ semi-independent
• Solar Energy can be utilized to offset utility-supplied energy consumption. It does not only reduce your electricity bill, but will also continue to supply your home/ business with electricity in the event of a power outage.
• A Solar Energy system can operate entirely independent, not requiring a connection to a power or gas grid at all. Systems can therefore be installed in remote locations (like holiday log cabins), making it more practical and cost-effective than the supply of utility electricity to a new site.
• The use of Solar Energy reduces our dependence on foreign and/or centralized sources of energy, influenced by natural disasters or international events and so contributes to a sustainable future.
• Solar Energy supports local job and wealth creation, fuelling local economies.

4. Low/ no maintenance
• Solar Energy systems are virtually maintenance free and will last for decades.Once installed, there are no recurring costs.They operate silently, have no moving parts, do not release offensive smells and do not require you to add any fuel.More solar panels can easily be added in the future when your family’s needs grow.

Solar Energy Disadvantages

• The initial cost is the main disadvantage of installing a solar energy system, largely because of the high cost of the semi-conducting materials used in building one.
• The cost of solar energy is also high compared to non-renewable utility-supplied electricity. As energy shortages are becoming more common, solar energy is becoming more price-competitive.
• Solar panels require quite a large area for installation to achieve a good level of efficiency.
• The efficiency of the system also relies on the location of the sun, although this problem can be overcome with the installation of certain components.
• The production of solar energy is influenced by the presence of clouds or pollution in the air.
• Similarly, no solar energy will be produced during nighttime although a battery backup system and/or net metering will solve this problem. See www.dsireusa.org for details on how net metering allows you to save electricity and money.
• As far as solar powered cars go – their slower speed might not appeal to everyone caught up in today’s rat race.

To learn more about solar energy, go to http://facts-about-solar-energy.com/

You’ll discover …
• what solar energy is
• how solar energy works
• interesting facts about solar energy
• how much solar energy costs
• passive solar energy for homes, and
• how to build solar energy systems

There’s a whole section for students, teachers and parents; whiles homeowners can obtain FREE QUOTES for their solar energy projects. You’ll find book and product reviews plus some helpful energy saving tips.

Please email any questions to info@facts-about-solar-energy.com

About the Author
The author strives to make make more people aware of the benefits of using solar energy through her website http://facts-about-solar-energy.com/

How Can Facebook Help My Business?

Below is an excellent write up on how to use Facebook to build your business. The article was written by Network Solutions.
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Facebook®, a social networking website located at http://www.facebook.com/, has recently gained popularity as an online tool to help market businesses. Accessible via the Web or the latest generation of smart cell phones and PDAs, Facebook’s mission is to give people the power to share ideas and make the world more open and connected.
Because of the large number of users visiting this social platform, many businesses have turned to Facebook as a way to connect to potential customers. This can be done with a Facebook Fan page.

A Facebook Fan Pages’ audience consists of “Fans.” These are the Facebook users who have elected to ‘Become A Fan’ of your business in order to receive updates about your business. The updates show up on that Facebook user’s “wall” (a wall is a Facebook user’s profile page) as they are added to the Fan Page. Many popular business Fan pages, including Victoria’s Secret®, Toyota®, and Starbucks®, have thousands or tens of thousands of users who display Fan page updates on their walls.

Determining exactly how you might want to use Facebook for your business is the first step to take. A plan should be in place before you even set up an account.

Should I Use Facebook for My Business?
There is no hard and fast answer as to whether a business should be on Facebook. Consider the following and then decide whether this tool is right for you:

1. Upkeep: Setting up a Facebook account “just to be on it” is not useful. Social media is a continuous process that requires regular attention. Think of it as starting a conversation with your customers and “friends” of your customers. You don’t want to just “go quiet” mid conversation. You will not attract new visitors or keep your current Fans coming back if you don’t keep your Facebook Fan Page updated on a regular basis.

2. Time: Once you decide to use Facebook as a marketing platform, another consideration is how much time you should spend making the most of this marketing tool. Though it can be a useful tool, generating fresh content and keeping the page updated can be time consuming.

3. Fresh Content: Keeping your page updated with fresh, original content will keep your current Fans coming back and can also attract new Fans: Your updates will be visible to their friends and family on your Fan’s wall and may entice them to visit your site and also become a Fan.

4. Monitoring the Discussion: You will also need to be able to monitor your wall and discussion boards to address and feedback your Fans are posting to your Facebook Page. Unaddressed or unnoticed issues can create more of a headache and is something you will need monitor consistently and be able to respond quickly.

5. Fan = Customer? Businesses should also be aware that a Fan doesn’t equal an active customer. Many people who become Fans of a page are simply saying, “I like this.” Facebook Fans don’t necessarily interact with the company more or increase their level of spend.

6. Strategy: For Facebook to make sense for your business, you should target a specific goal that’s relatable to your business strategy. Such a goal might be, “I want to increase revenue by 15% in 25-34 year olds.” Then you could decide whether Facebook is one of the right platforms to reach your business demographic or if you should be spending your marketing efforts elsewhere.

Getting Started
Once you’ve taken all of the above into consideration and you’ve decided you’d like to utilize Facebook to help your business, you are ready to begin. There are a few ways you can engage with Facebook via a Fan Page.

1. Use Facebook for your business only with a Fan Page: Business accounts are easily set up by creating a page without setting up a personal profile first. This can be preferable to some people who don’t want to provide a lot of personal information to get started. To create this type of account, just click on the link “Create a Page for a celebrity, band or business.” This will give you access to your Fan pages. From here you may also administer an ad campaign. However, this type of account (where you haven’t provided your information) will provide only limited access to your Fans’ profiles and other features on the site. (Facebook Help Center FAQs on Business Accounts)

2. Using Facebook for personal and business: Many people already have a personal profile they use to connect with family and friends. If you already have a personal account, you just need to create a Fan Page for your business. Facebook is set up to be tied closely to your personal profile and your business page, so you many want to update the privacy settings on your personal profile to ensure you don’t have any potentially embarrassing photos visible to business contacts. You can use Facebook Profile Privacy Settings to make updates.

3. Using Facebook for your business with a personal profile and Fan Page: If you haven’t signed up for a personal profile yet, you can start one. Keep your business in mind. In other words, don’t include personal pictures or personal information that’s not relevant to your business contacts. You can use this page as a professional networking source and add a Fan Page to create greater awareness of your business.

Fan Page Setup
Thousands of people have created Fan pages, so don’t be intimidated. It’s easy.

1. Fan Page Name – When naming your Fan page, keep branding efforts in mind. If you have been promoting your company with a particular name, you should use that as your Fan Page name as well. Also, use spaces and full words while entering your business name. Your business will be easier to find when people do a search for your company on Facebook or in search engine such as Google®, both of which may be helpful as you manage your online reputation.

2. Link to Twitter® – If you have a Twitter account already, you can link your Fan Page to your Twitter account. This will add your updates, links, photos, notes and events to Twitter and allow your Twitter Followers to view all your Facebook information. Keep in mind that the content on your Fan Page should be unique so your Fans will keep coming back and not just become a Fan and forget about you. The same applies to your Twitter account. Having unique content on both Facebook and Twitter can keep your Fans and Followers engaged.

3. Photo – You want people to know it’s your page with they arrive. Adding your logo as a photo to your Fan Page helps brand your Facebook Fan Page and can bring more awareness to your brand.

4. About – The next step is editing your page and providing useful information to let your people know who you are and what your mission is. You can list other ways people can connect with you: through your main website, blog, and social profiles you maintain.

5. Adding Content – Utilize the other Facebook tabs to add more content to your Fan Page. Changing these settings is only a matter of checking or un-checking a box on the Edit Page section of your Facebook Fan Page.

Wall – This tab is for viewing your recent activities and what your Fans are posting. If you are worried about what people will say when they add comments, you can limit what your Fans can post in the Fan Permissions area of the Wall Settings. However, not allowing comments might make them feel less connected with your Page and your business.
Discussion Boards – Allows users to engage with each other on your Page.
Events – You can let your Fans know about upcoming promotions, sales and other events.
Links – Make it easy for user to see your business’s main domain name, newsletters or other value-added information.
Images – Visuals are at the top of the online accessibility pyramid: show products, events, etc.
Reviews – Fans can leave reviews about your business. This can be a good tool to interact with your customers and hear honest feedback. However, you should monitor this closely and respond immediately to any negative feedback.
Video – Appealing videos can really help keep your content fresh and interesting so Fans will come back to your page.

6. Other ways to add more content: You can use your Fan Page to connect with your customers and keep them engaged. Here are a few ways that you can add content to your Facebook page:

Content you create: Post details about business events in the Facebook events tab or display exclusive discounts to your Facebook Fans. Provide helpful information about topics that are on the mind of your ideal customer. You can include intriguing details about your products or services, but don’t get too “salesy” or your Fans will feel “marketed to” and leave.

Auto Generated Content: You can include RSS (really simple syndication) feeds from your Blog(s) and Twitter® account. This will automatically insert the content from your blog posts and tweets into your Facebook page. This can help you to keep your content updated and help show activity on your site. Constant activity on your Facebook page can help your Fan Page rank higher in organic search engine results. However, you do want to be careful about having too much of the same information on a blog, twitter and Facebook. Having some information unique to Facebook will help entice your fans to return to your Facebook page.

Content your Fans create: There are many ways to encourage your fans to interact with your Fan Page, including discussion boards, surveys, and reviews of your products and services. Giving your visitors the ability to voice their questions and opinions on your Fan Page can keep them engaged and connected to your business. It may also give you more insight into your consumer’s wants and needs.
7. More Applications – Many applications are available and can be easily added to your page. For example, a popular application is Static FBML (Facebook Markup Language). This application allows you to add custom HTML (Hyper Text Markup Language) to a tab to give you more control over how your page looks. If you decide to set up a custom page, you can set that as the default landing tab in the Wall Settings.

Gathering Fans

Once your company’s Facebook profile is set up and you have added some information, it is a good time to begin building an audience of Fans. This should be done both on and off Facebook. This can be done in a number of ways:

Link to your company’s Facebook Fan Page on your home page of your company website.
Link to your company’s Facebook Fan Page in all email.
Become a Fan of your own Fan Page and suggest it to your Friends list.
Use Twitter to announce your new Fan Page and offer deals to new Fans.
Link to you Facebook Fan page on your Blog and other social profile sites.
Use Facebook content in email newsletters.
Post links from newsletter articles on Facebook.
Use Facebook to write about the latest news, worthwhile forum posts, controversial case studies, inspiring blog entries, etc.
Social Media Relations: It’s Not Media Relations
Social media sites and the networking opportunities they provide are changing the way people market their businesses. Instead of mass advertising, social media has ushered in an era of inbound marketing.

Word-of-mouth marketing and the many avenues available for customer engagement means that businesses can leverage their current, loyal customer base to help market their business to other potential consumers. For example, if you provide interesting content, other users will share your posts with others, who can pass along the information to even more Facebook users. This can build new readership and attract new Fans. Here are a few rules to play by now that you’re in Social Media Relations:

Play nice: What you publish on the Web, even though it can be deleted from Facebook, will still be archived permanently somewhere. Just as maintaining a reputation as a friendly source for helpful information can be good for business, negativity can have the opposite effect. Incendiary or extreme statements, heavy-handed marketing, or disrespectful language don’t go far on Facebook or in any social media venue.
Encourage sharing: Provide free information and encourage others to share it; this will engage new potential customers as it harnesses the power of bloggers with high readership and a large number of Fans.
Avoid coercion: Do not try to trick potential customers.
Lose control: This might sound scary, but it’s ok to lose control. Once the information you have published is out there, let people do with it what they will.

Conclusion
In many ways, using social media sites is based on common sense. Once you have learned the particulars of a certain tool like Facebook®, it becomes fairly intuitive. Be friendly, be helpful, share information, build a good reputation, and current and potential customers will know they can trust you. This is truly how to use Facebook to benefit your business.

If you have any questions, or if you would like for Network Solutions to set up a Facebook Fan Page for your business, contact your Account Manager at any time. We will be happy to help. For more information on Social / Network Marketing visit IRIEUSA.COM

Joint Ventures does have it’s Advantages

A joint venture is business association with two or more parties merging resources for a particular purpose or project. Setting your business goal/s is the first step when entering a joint venture. Your goal may one of the following: expanding a marketing coverage, sourcing out information and business links, building credibility with a specific target market, or accessing new markets that is hard to aim in a solo business. After you have set your goals, you should look for a trusted business co-participant who shares a common goal. Third step is exchanging business concepts with your chosen co-participant. Fourth step is securing the joint venture by written agreement. You need guidance of a legal professional guidance to do this. Here are the following advantages of joint ventures:

1. Access to new technologies – If you want to enter into global markets and have a prosperous business, access to state-of-the-art technologies is very important. Joint ventures can provide a thriving or growing business with right new technologies that a solo business cannot develop due to costs or other resources constraints. Investing on new technologies offers risk but if a purchase is based on well-thought planning, failure can be avoided.

2. Cost reduction – Costs of production, distribution, technology, transportation, and other needed capabilities can be reduced with joint ventures. It is much easier to focus on product or service enhancement when you don’t worry so much about exceeding and impractical costs. If this is the case, you are most likely to expand your business eventually.

3. Provide participants the opportunity to learn – Forming an alliance allows the participants to work with other businesses in the same or related industries. This provides participants with the opportunity to learn from each other’s successes and mistakes.

4. Sharing risks – Joint ventures allow participants to exploit new opportunities. To be successful in a project, participants must have rapport and open communication. The very important role in sharing risks is the square root rule which means the success of a particular project depends on the risk preferences of the venture participants.

5. Improves market credibility, penetration and access – All businesses struggle at the start in building acceptance, penetration and access within their target market. Joint ventures allow customers to have trust and confidence on a particular project. It also helps attract more customers and improves coverage.

6. Lesser chance of your partner becoming a competitor – Since your fellow participant in a joint venture alliance have similar goals, interests, and business perspective with you, merging resources upshot to lesser chance of competition when it comes to the particular project.

7. Better market feedback – When a business is able to provide state-of-the art technologies, better market coverage, enhanced credibility and penetration, customers are able to give feedback more. Joint ventures are healthy alliances that help a business understand better their market. By allowing you to focus on developing your strengths, joint ventures provide the ability to respond more quickly and effectively to change. In some cases, joint ventures also allow you to open up to global opportunities.

10 Setup Secrets for a Successful Home Business

Setting up a home based business doesn’t have to be intimidating, expensive or time consuming. When you make the decision to make a living working from home you simply need to go through a basic set up process to ensure you are ready. Visit http://www.irieusa.com for tons of free tips on Home Business and Internet / Affiliate Marketing.
Here are the steps for setting up your home business for success:

1. Attitude

* The key to your business success is your attitude.

* Treat your business like a business.

This is critical whether you are working part-time or full-time. One of my friends is a mom who works from home around her family. She always puts her family first, at the same time developing her business. She says, “I may work part-time, but I have a full-time attitude.” To put another way, “Have a hobby attitude, get a hobby income, have a business attitude get a business income.”

You can be successful working part-time and you can be successful working full-time but it is unlikely that you will be successful just working in your “spare time”.

2. Describe Your Business

Be able to describe your business concisely; a powerful one or two sentence description that someone can repeat in describing your business to others.

A unique and memorable tag line can also be invaluable for promoting your business. This is often referred to as your “elevator pitch” or “audio logo”. Think about it, if you ask someone about their business and they describe it as “a errr, well, I kind of take care of, you know, well in as much as…” would you be impressed? Would you think that you should really hire that person? It’s much better to be able to speak briefly and confidently about your business and what makes it unique.

3. Know Your Product or Service

Once you have chosen the product or service to sell you need to know your product intimately. If you are selling e-books for example, then know the content and its value.

If you are selling software then use it and know it “inside out”. You will develop a reputation of providing quality information and because of your product knowledge you can become the preferred supplier.

If it is not practical to use certain products (for example a woman may choose to sell man’s shoes or vice versa) then you won’t be using the product, however you can still know the benefits and features of the product intimately.

4. Get a Domain Name

Welcome to the twenty first century, you need a domain name for your business. You’ll need an account with a reputable hosting company who will provide a “space” on the web for your domain name and site. The fees can be as low as $4.95 per month and go up from there. If you do not have any knowledge of HTML there are hosting companies that provide “site builder” software via the web. This can be a great option but be sure you like the application before you plunk down your money as you will probably be using it a lot!

5. Email

Once you have your own domain you will have one or more email accounts for that domain. This can assist in the promotion of your business and promotes a more professional business image.

Using email smartly can help you in the task of organizing your business communications. For example, sales can arrive via sales@your-company.com, support and help requests via support@your-company.com and so on.

By setting up some basic rules in Outlook or other email program you can have the mail conveniently sorted into folders for you as soon as it arrives.

6. Payment Processing

You will probably need a way to process credit cards. You could use services such as:

* PayPal: https://www.paypal.com

* StormPay: http://www.stormpay.com

* 2 Checkout: http://www.2checkout.com

* Clickbank: http://www.clickbank.com

Paypal now has a Pro level of service that includes a virtual terminal, helping to keep the costs low. Once your business picks up you may need to look into your own merchant account for credit card transactions but any of the sites listed will certainly get you started and may be all you need for the life of your business.

7. Computer Protection

Your computer is the lifeline to your business dealings and must be protected including the data that is stored. You will need a virus scanner, personal firewall, anti-spyware and anti-adware and preferably an email scanner with the ability to delete suspect of spam email from

the server before it is downloaded to your computer.

Some suggestions are:

* AVG Anti-Virus: http://www.grisoft.com (free version available)

* Spybot S&D: http://www.safer-networking.org

* Microsoft Anti-Spyware: www.microsoft.com/athome/security/spyware/software/default.mspx

* Adaware: http://www.lavasoft.com/

* Mailwasher Email Scanner: http://www.mailwasher.net

A good all-round selection is one of the Norton products as they are kept up to date and have many if not all the features mentioned.

8. Working Environment

Getting organized is highly important, to ensure that you complete projects on time but also pay your bills on time and even bill your clients on time!

Having a working environment that help rather than hinders you work is also highly important. It can be tough but you need to establish a definite workspace for both yourself and any other people that are around.

* A space that you can call your own, free from distractions for your scheduled time.

* A comfortable chair and organized desk.

* Stationery supplies as required.

* Ensure you have a good computer monitor if you will be staring at it for long periods of time.

* Consider the value of a broadband connection. Your time is valuable and a broadband connection can allow you to get more done in a given time frame.

9. Administration

Use good record keeping practices… please!

You may need to consult a tax advisor who can let you know about the best way to set up your financial records and what records need to be kept. Your advisor can recommend record keeping systems and software may simplify this aspect of your business.

Additionally you can obtain advice on the best arrangement for your bank accounts. You will most likely be advised to have a separate account. Many banks now offer free checking for small business so do your research in to the options available to you.

Keep track of your various logins, usernames and passwords. This can be quite a big deal once your have a number of business resources online.

There are other useful tools for this also from a simple paper notebook to free and commercial password keepers. One popular solution is PasswordSafe.com. They provide a free web based service for storing username / passwords so you can access them from anywhere with an internet connection. They’ve been around since 1998 so the service is both trustworthy and reliable.

10. Schedule

Develop a schedule that works for you, your family and your business. When you mark off a block of time for work, then use that time for work. Equally important is to schedule time for your other commitments – family time, self-education (reading, listening and viewing), “health time” (exercise, cooking and eating), and leisure time. During these other times don’t work. Remember, one of the reasons to work from home is to spend more time with your family and you don’t want your working at home time to consume your family time.

You are working for yourself and your schedule (by your choice) is your “boss”. When you have people calling you or dropping around unexpectedly or maybe out-of-town visitors may want to catch up with you then you need to make a choice. Are you committed to your own business success? What will be your choice in these situations? Only you can decide what is important to you.

In a family environment you may need to negotiate with your family and have your business time agreed upon, during which you will not be interrupted. Put this schedule prominently somewhere so all family members are aware of your work schedule.

These are the ten basics of working at home. Some of these items may change a little depending on the type of business you choose but in essence, this is it. A home based business can be the most fun, most rewarding experience of your adult life as long as you realize there are a few simple rules to keeping everything on track along the way.

10 Quick Tips on How to Create, Distribute, and Profit from eBooks

eBooks are a powerful viral marketing tool that can literally provide you with an entire network of people who promote your business, absolutely free. Here are a few quick tips on how to benefit from eBooks. Digital Goodies Unleashed WWW.DIGIGU.COM website is loaded with digital content including eBooks covering  everything from Affiliate Marketing to Dog Training.

1. Provide Real Content.

This is the most basic tip, but it’s vitally important.A simple “click” of the mouse is all it takes for someone to delete your eBook. Don’t offer a simple sales pitch; provide your reader with valuable information. This will both capture his interest and build your credibility. He’ll be more inclined to view your other products if he likes what he sees — and even better, he may refer other business to you.

2. Use What’s Already Available.

Creating an eBook doesn’t have to be a long, painful process. For example, you could put together a related group of articles and simply add a few comments or an introduction. Or if you get a lot of questions about a particular topic, pick some of them and put together an eBook that offers the answers to these questions.

3. Make Your eBook Attractive and Easy to Read.

EBooks are usually either in ‘EXE’ format or ‘PDF’ format.There are advantages and disadvantages to both formats, but regardless of what you choose, create a layout that’s clean, attractive, and easy to navigate. Offer links to the major sections of your book and to places on the web where the reader can find more information. Use graphics sparingly, though; the more graphics you use, the larger the file size (and thus the longer it will take to download).

4. Provide Links Back to Your Site and Products.

For example, you can:
= Put your website URL and logo on the cover page.
= Embed affiliate links within the context of your articles, where appropriate.
= Write up a dedicated sales page at the end of your eBook to promote a related product.
= Refer to your own products and how it can help the reader. Keep it brief and use it only where appropriate; you don’t want your eBook to sound like a sales pitch.

5. Encourage Your Reader to Pass It On.

Make it clear that your reader is welcome to distribute the eBook, so long as nothing is changed. He can put it on his own website as a nice gift to his visitors, or offer it as a bonus when people subscribe to his newsletter. The more places your eBook appears, the more free exposure you get.

6. Offer Co-Branding or Re-Branding.

To encourage other webmasters to distribute your eBook to their guests, you can offer to ‘brand’ the book with their URL
and logo. Some eBook compilers include this as one of their features. One of them is the Activ E-Book Compiler, a solid affordable option available at http://buildyourhomebiz.com/ebookcompiler.html .

7. Promote, Promote, Promote.

There are plenty of ways to promote your eBook. These include:
= Listing it in eBook directories.
= Promoting it in your email (or message board) sig file.
= Posting to appropriate ‘announcement’ groups or lists.
= Creating a special page just for the eBook and submit that page to the search engines.
= Offer the book to your list of business contacts and let them know that they’re welcome to distribute it to their own guests.
There are many other ways to distribute your eBook; be creative!

8. Consider Selling Advertising.

If you have a heavily trafficked site and the stats to prove it, you may be able to sell advertising within your eBook. Naturally you won’t want too many ads … but a banner at the top and bottom of each page is fairly common.
You can also choose to use that space for your own ads … or offer them to select webmasters in exchange for some additional promotion.

9. Build Your File of Testimonials.

Chances are, if people love your eBook you’ll start to receive unsolicited testimonials. Ask the person for permission to use his or her testimonial within your marketing materials. It will show that you have a lot of happy customers – and help to persuade visitors to make a purchase.

10. Consider Using an Autoresponder for Follow-Up.

You may want to offer your free eBook in exchange for an email address. This gives you the opportunity torepeatedly market to the reader. Instead of giving him a free eBook and then never contacting him again, you ‘grab’ him while his interest is at a peak and continue to offer more free information through your follow-up autoresponder. At the end of your message, encourage the reader to take a look at what else you have to offer.
______
Angela is the editor of Online Business Basics, an exclusive newsletter for eBusiness beginners. OBB features ongoing tutorials on how to build a profitable Internet business on a shoestring budget. You don’t need a million-dollar budget to be successful! Find out how you too can join the thousands quietly earning a living online: http://www.onlinebusinessbasics.com/article.html

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