Wednesday, March 31, 2010
Anyhoo, today's post is about coming up with new ideas for your blog. Whether you're just starting out or have been blogging for a few years, it can be hard to come up with new and interesting topics. Hopefully, these tips will help:
Read, read, read. That's the number one way I find new ideas for my blogs, and I think it's one of the easiest. For example, to get ideas for my blog, for colored gurls, I read magazines like "Essence" and "Marie Claire," self-help books and other lifestyle blogs and articles.
Consider your interests. If you're interested in a particular subject, chances are a lot of other people out there are, too. Also, when you write about things that interest you, your passion comes through in your posts. Additionally, you can think about what others around you are interested in and talking about.
Think about individuals you know or have access to. The people you know can help you get blog ideas and sources for posts. For instance, maybe someone in your community is starting a cool business that your readers might be interested in.
Consider your knowledge and expertise. If you have a degree in a certain topic or have studied a subject extensively, you could share that information with your readers.
Please share your tips for coming up with ideas for your blog.
Monday, March 29, 2010
- Begin with your home office. No matter how small your office might be (it might not even be a real office), give it a complete cleaning. This means decluttering, putting away the documents you don't use on a regular basis, organizing the ones you do and recycling old items.
- Clean out computer files. Do this by archiving your old client files into an external drive or an online file storage service- just choose how long you will keep client files. Additionally, delete sensitive client files that you don't use anymore like passwords or other log-in info.
- Shine the light on your marketing. Since it's a new season, it's a great time to evaluate your marketing efforts. Get rid of those that haven't been working, continue using the ones that do and explore new methods you havent tried.
Friday, March 26, 2010
Thursday, March 25, 2010
If you're anything like me, you probably search the Web for resources to help you succeed in your career and business. Last year, I ran across a work-at-home mom and entrepreneur Lashanda Henry.
Lashanda runs several helpful websites including Black Business Women Online (social networking + tips) and Sista Sense. She also writes ebooks about internet marketing, making money, entrepreneurship and much more. I have read a couple of Lashanda's ebooks, and they have really helped, especially with marketing and planning for my business. For instance, one of her ebooks, Create Your 2010 Action Plan, helped me to come with a plan and goals that I can use for my business this year.
If you're interested, click below:
[This is an affiliate post. If you click on the link above and make a purchase, I will receive a commission. I also want to point out that I wouldn't recommend something that I don't know or believe in. ]
Wednesday, March 24, 2010
Sylvia Browder shares five tips on her blog to help women entrepreneurs succeed in their businesses. Her first tip:
Set a specific goal...and just do it!
Successful women entrepreneurs know how important it is to set goals that are easily measurable and obtainable. A common mistake is setting unrealistic goals- too vague and unachievable! This can be avoided by setting simple and specific goals. For example, instead of setting a goal to increase your internet marketing presence, you might want to list several specific ways that you can do so.
Determine what your priorities are and then focus on one or a few at a time. By prioritizing your goals, you are focusing on those that are important to the overall success of your company.
Check out the other four tips: 5 Super Successful Tips to become a Successful Woman Entrepreneur
Sylvia Browder is CEO of Browder Consulting Group, a virtual small business consulting and coaching firm. She is currently employed as a Project Director, business coach and consultant for the Women's Business Center, Inc., a non-profit economic development organization with a mission of empowering women to start and grow successful businesses. She also serves as a volunteer SCORE counselor, an organization dedicated to educating entrepreneurs and the formation, growth and succcess of small business nationwide. She is also a Technical Assistant Provider for SBA's Community Express Loan Program. For FREE weekly articles, go to Sylvia Browder's Blog for Women Entrepreneurs, http://www.silviabrowder.com/. She can be contacted at email@example.com.
Monday, March 22, 2010
You may not know it, but I'm a huge fan of America's Next Top Model, and I have been since it first aired back in 2003. The season 14 premiere was a couple of weeks ago, and one contestant, Krista, really stood out to me because she said she tried out for ANTM for most, if not all, seasons-- that's seven years!
Most people would have given up after the first year, and while I agree you should know when to go for a different goal, you shouldn't be so quick to give up on it- especially if it's your dream and something you're really passionate about.
Becoming successful and living your dreams takes time and work, and I think Krista really proves that. Modeling is a cut-throat industry, but she came back year after year to go after what she really wanted; and she ultimately got a spot on the show. Even if she doesn't win the title, I think she'll still be a successful model because she seems to be that determined.
What can we learn? If a writing career is your goal and you know it's what you were put here to do, then don't give up until you get there.
Friday, March 19, 2010
- Understand that customer service is an attitude. Starting your day on a positive foot contributes to having a positive attitude.
- Dedicate yourself to the task at hand. Try to clear your head of outside (personal) stress when dealing with customers. Focus on the here and now.
- Build upon basic etiquette: Smile and greet! It gives a great impression to customers.
- Get to know your customers. Ask open-ended questions and be observant.
- Be knowledgeable. Know your products and what complements them.
- Be willing to go the extra mile. Customers love having their expectations met, but exceeding them takes things to a whole new level. They will share the experiences with others, and in turn, boost your bottom line.
- Know your strengths and weaknesses. Play up your strengths and commit to working on your weaknesses.
- Make the customer feel appreciated, even for their consideration. Even if she didn't use your product or service now, if you her experience was pleasant, she'll keep you in mind for future opportunities.
- Treat every experience indpendent of the next. Don't take out your frustrations from a previous experience on the next person.
- Be willing to acknowledge your mistakes. Honesty is the best policy. Accept the mistakes you made, and make the decision to learn from them.
- Know what your options are. Understanding your limitations will allow you to assist your customers more effectively. If there is something you're asked to do that is beyond your limitations, knowing who can make decisions past your limitations will help you service the customer more efficiently.
- It's not what you say, but how you say it. Show compassion and understanding in your voice. It will make a world of difference to your customers.
Wednesday, March 17, 2010
The author of the post is Alexandra Levit, a career advice columnist, and the first tip she gives is to go back in time. She says the first step to overcoming self doubt is to recognize that it's there in the first place.
"Are there particular situations (for example, dealing with a new boss, speaking in public) that prompt you to feel this way? Make a note of the times in the past when you doubted yourself but ended up coming through with flying colors. Knowledge and recognition of your past successes will bolster your courage regarding what you can achieve in the future."
Read the rest of Levit's tips: 5 Great Ways to Conquer Self Doubt.
And Happy St. Patrick's Day! : )
Monday, March 15, 2010
Friday, March 12, 2010
Happy Friday, everyone!
On Wednesday, I wrote about why your website matters. Today, I want to share some tips on how you can improve your site. I found this really great list of 101 things you can do in just five minutes to enhance your web home. Here are a few:
Tell you readers why they should perform a task. People are trained to follow a request as long as you give them a good reason to do so.
Emphasize benefits. Make sure your copy tells readers exactly how your product/services will benefit them.
Be concise. Be sure your copy is only as long as it needs to be to get your point across reasonably.
Make navigation consistent. Make sure that your site navigation is in the same place on each page so visitors don't get confused.
Turn off music. No one wants music to greet them every time they click a link, so turn off the music, or offer an easy option for disabling it.
Fix broken links. Don't send search engines and users down dead ends. Clean up links for better search engine optimization and usability.
Put important info "above the fold." Move the most important content high on the page so you can be sure visitors will see it.
Keep background colors and images to a minimum. Backgrounds are often less than visually appealing and can make your site load slowly.
See the rest of the tips: 101 Five-Minute Fixes to Incrementally Improve Your Website. If you have any tips to share, feel free to leave a comment.
Wednesday, March 10, 2010
And more! Click here to see all services provided.
Also, feel free to check out my writing samples and testimonials from satisfied customers.
If you need more info or have any questions, please contact me: firstname.lastname@example.org or (864) 202.9568.
As you all know, I'm on several social networking sites, and I interact with lots of entrepreneurs and business owners. I check out many people's websites, and sometimes what I see is not-so-good-- the sites load too slowly, have too much going on animation-wise and sometimes they're not even completely finished!
So, today I want to tell you why your website matters:
1.It reflects you as a business owner and a professional. If your site looks professional, prospective customers will see you as professional. If it looks amateurish, you'll be seen as, well, an amateur.
2. Even if you have an actual store, a good website can get you extra business. Local people frequently search online, and if they come across your site, they may be encouraged to pay your store a visit. On the other hand, if they discover your competition, and the competitior seems better than you, you could lose business.
3. A website can translate into global business. Because your site is visible almost everywhere in the world, you increase your prospective client base by millions.
4. Your site can produce media interest. Suppose a reporter is seeking an expert in your field for a story; she or he will probably select a business owner with a clean, professional website instead of one whose website doesn't look the part. And as I'm sure you know, a media mention is great for business!
Monday, March 8, 2010
Photo from: sicamousdevelopments.com
Friday, March 5, 2010
- Give your customers an outstanding experience. If you treat customers- prospective and current- like royalty, you will help them remember you, and they will think of you first when they need something. Additionally, it increases word-of-mouth-marketing which is a great promotional method.
- Network. If you don't put your brand out there, then guess what? No one will know about it. Some experts believe people have to be exposed to a brand at least three times before remembering it. This means that you have to continuously network with your customers and others in your industry to assure they know you. By creating brand recognition and getting involved with social media, you expose you and your business to thousands of potential customers and clients.
- Provide value. Share what you know with others by creating a blog, writing guest posts on others' blogs, writing articles or an ebook. Doing this helps you establish credibility which means recognition for your business.
- Consistency is key. Be sure to use your colors and logo on your website, social media pages and promotional material. Come up with a theme and image you want to portray and maintain it so others can start identifying you and your business.
Source: How to Boost Brand Recognition
Wednesday, March 3, 2010
- If you work from home, set some office hours (I am so talking to myself here). To do this, figure out what time you are most productive, then think about when your clients' businesses are open. Ideally, you want them to be able to get a hold of you 50-60 percent of their workday. After setting your hours, publicize them so people will know when to contact you.
- Have a weekly catch-up day. Instead of trying to do administrative tasks during the week, save the not-so-urgent stuff (like filing and low-priority emailing) for one day or afternoon each week.
- Work in blocks of time. (I got this tips from surefirewriting.com). Robert Earle Howells, freelance writer and creator of Sure Fire Writing, says during those blocks, schedule only one task, and devote yourself to it for the entire time. He uses two hours, but you could probably use as little or as much time as you want (I'd say 30 minutes at the least and two hours at most). Also, during this time, you should turn off email alerts and phone (or put it on silent). I actually started trying this technique last week, and it works, for the most part-- hey, I'm a work in progress...
Source: My So-Called Freelance Life; Photo from: infoforwoman.com
Tuesday, March 2, 2010
- Gain enough clients to make the amount of money I want <-- Primary Goal
- Email 10-15 businesses a week
- Visit local businesses (to let them know about MW)
- Sumbit one-two DS articles per week
- Marketing and Branding
- Do fabulous work with my ongoing client
- Post in this blog at least three times a week
- Make my other blog, for colored gurls, more fabulous and gain more subscribers
- Work on my ebook
- Start blog redesign
- Stay organized (incl. cleaning out emails weekly)
- Keep track of my progress
- Stay focused & encouraged
- Use my time wisely
Photo from: momaroo.com
Monday, March 1, 2010
In her blog, See Jane Soar, she gives five tips for building resilience:
- Rebuild yourself. Failure isn't a fatal flaw that renders you helpless and unhappy. It's not a permanent condition. It doesn't make you less worthy, less intelligent or less capable. Failure isn't who you are. It's simply an event. How you cope with it- not the failure itself- is what determines your future as a successful [individual]. To build resiliency, accept that you'll often be rebuilding your self, your business, your life.
- Stop and think. Figure out exactly what caused the failure: Did the location of your business lead to bankruptcy? Were you fired because you weren't focused? Be honest and specific. To build resiliency, accept your mistakes and take responsibility.