The Beginners Complete Guide to Making Money Blogging

One question that I’ve been asked by a lot of beginner bloggers in the recent past has always been, how can I earn money from my blog?

While I’ve answered this question in a number of ways, depending on the situation of the person who was asking, I’ve finally decided to do this complete guide on how to make money with a blog for beginners as a reference resource for any other person who will want to learn about this subject.

So, if you’re still struggling with making money with your blog then I ask you to read this post very carefully!

How Do Bloggers Make Money?

How Do Bloggers Make Money From Blogging?

Some of the top questions I’ve heard over and over again are: how do bloggers make money from blogging? How do beginner blogs make money? What types of blogs make the most money? And, can I really make money blogging?

While there may be no problem with these questions however, a careful look will reveal that the focus of these people is nothing but the amount of money that you can make from blogging.

Of course, that’s not a bad thing. There are hundreds and thousands that are presently making 6 – 7 figures with their blogs. People like John Lee Dumas, Pat Flynn, Michelle Schroeder, Melyssa Griffin, and so many others.

But, focusing ONLY on the money will lead you on the wrong path. This is where many miss it.

For example, in a recent blogging statistics by BlogTyrant.com, it was revealed that out of 350 bloggers surveyed 69.4% reported earning zero income from their blogs and 59.3% reported ever starting a blog and abandoning it at some point.

That’s frustrating, right?

The good thing is that the most successful bloggers today don’t focus on making money blogging, they build sustainable blogging businesses.

You’re Not Just a Blogger – A Blog is Not a Business!

I’ve written variously on this topic. Please do yourself some good by reading these posts:

1. “The Shocking Truth about Blogging – Evolve or Go Extinct!”

and,

2. “Hey Blogger, Please Quit!”

There are some powerful nuggets of wisdom that you wouldn’t want to miss!

If you’ve been online for some time now you’ll agree with me that in the last few years blogging has changed from what it used to be when “make money blogging” was still in its infancy.

Back then blogging was not different from keeping an online diary. Many didn’t think of it with the commercial intent that we do today. People simply wrote about their personal thoughts, activities and sometimes, their favorite recipes.

Also, social networks weren’t as popular as they are today. But as the World Wide Web continued to evolve and people realized that sharing on social networks like Facebook and Instagram is much easier than writing a long blog post, many transitioned sharing their personal stories to the social networks.

The result is that blogging is now more of a commercial venture than it used to be. Nearly every business now has a blog. It doesn’t matter whether it’s a one-person or a Fortune 500 business; every one now blogs!

Not only has the blogging landscape changed, the competition has also become rife. The last time I did a search I discovered that there are currently over 440 million blogs out there. Besides, since the beginning of 2014 tens of thousands of new blogs are being started every day.

there are currently over 440 million blogs

Think about that and consider the fact that back in 2005 there were only about 64 million websites (with just a small portion being blogs). But then the number of blogs rose to about 173 million in 2011 and now we are talking about over 440 million blogs.

Can you just imagine what it’s like out there?

Your guess is mine!

Unfortunately, many newbie bloggers, mislead by articles and blog posts written some 5, 6, or 7 years ago (which in internet years is decades), take on the toga of “Blogger” without taking into cognizance the realities of the day. The result is that many discover too late that they’ve not only wasted their precious time but also their meager resources.

So, if you’re still relishing in being tagged a “blogger” please QUIT because you’re not just a blogger you’re an entrepreneur who blogs.

For your own good please quit blogging and build a business!

And, that’s what this guide is all about – helping you build a flourishing online business with your blog.

How to Make Money through Blogging

The Blogging Business Model

There are a number of ways you can start making money with a blog. The classic make money blogging advice goes something like this:

  1. Set up a wordpress blog
  2. Go on the content creation hamster (Content is KING!)
  3. Follow and connect with others in your niche on social media
  4. Comment on similar blogs, and
  5. Monetize your blog traffic with paid ads and Google Adsense.

Now, this is actually a faulty blogging business model. The 6 – 7 figure income bloggers never grew their blogging businesses to that income level following this classic “make money blogging” blueprint.

To understand the blogging business model you need to understand the CORE function of a blog.

Just take a critical look around today. Why is it that every business now has a blog?

Why do you think companies like Coca-Cola, Disney, Starbucks, and American Express invest time and resources on creating blog posts?

The answer is: Marketing!

Businesses invest in blogging because a blog is principally a marketing machine. It’s important that you understand this.

So, when you hear some people ask questions like, “what types of blogs make the most money?” or, “how do beginner blogs make money?” it’s clear that they have a wrong understanding of the core function of a blog.

This is because, blogs don’t make money. Businesses do!

Whether online or offline businesses make money by gaining customers. And they do this by selling them something.

However, to sell them something, they will need to gain their attention first. And that’s the purpose of the blog – to generate leads.

So, the blogging business model is all about building a list of prospects and turning them into paying customers!

This is how to really use a blog to make money. It’s the tried and tested business system that’s based on true business principles of all ages.

Alright, let’s now step through the blogging business model.

Steps on How to Make Money Blogging

Build your blogging business

Step 1: Define Your Blog’s Purpose

It was Mark Twain who said, “The two most important days in your life are the day you are born and the day you find out why”

For me that’s truly profound. And I’d say, “The most important day in your life as a blogger is the day you find out why you are blogging and pursue it with all your passion!”

So, do you want to build a blogging business? First, find out your WHY!

Recommended: 5 Little Known Blogging Mistakes that Could Be Frustrating Your Efforts

Step 2: Define Your Target Audience

Who’s your ideal blog reader? Who do you want to target with your content and offers?

Defining your target audience right from the start will help you avoid wasting your precious time in activities that does not add any positive returns to your business. So, with your blog’s purpose in mind decide who your idea customer will be.

Truth is, no matter the amount of traffic you drive to your blog or the number of followers and friends you acquire on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, etc. if you have not defined your blog’s target audience all your efforts will amount to nothing.

Never delude yourself by the huge growth in your social media following. The truth is social media is great for driving traffic to your blog but those who will help you meet your purpose are those who are interested in your offers.

This is your target market. Ignore this and you will simply waste your time chasing the wrong crowd.

I can tell you this from my personal experience. Time past, this blog was averaging 50 comments per post. The irony was that this “highly engaged community” of fellow bloggers hardly clicked on any ad – not even Google Adsense on the blog – at least as a show of support!

Pick the wrong audience and you can be sure of frustration along the way. You really don’t want that.

Step 3: Define Your Product/Service

It was Robert Kiyosaki who said that except you’re the Central Bank or the government’s designated minting company, you don’t make money because…

Money is earned!

And, I’ve said this earlier, blogs don’t make money; businesses do!

Businesses make money by solving a problem for people or by filling a need. They do this by selling product(s) or service(s) that provide a specific outcome or transformation for their customers.

And so, to make money with your blog you need to have a system of earning that money. You need a product or service that your target audience is ready to exchange for their money.

Now, there’s something called product market fit. As defined by Marc Andeerssen, who coined the term in 2007, product market fit is “being in a good market with a product that can satisfy that market.”

Basically, what this means is that you need a market that’s large enough and a product that fulfills a need of that market.

From research, between 43% and 75% of businesses fail because they wrongly assume that people are interested in their product/service. And so, in defining your product/service you must avoid falling into this trap. You should research your target audience to pinpoint their pain areas and then offer products/services that will heal those pains.

Step 4: Architect Your Sales Funnel

Design your blog business Sales Funnel

We’ve mentioned earlier that the main purpose of a blog is for generating leads and converting those leads into paying customers.

… The system that helps you do this is the sales funnel.

The sales funnel is the “money-making machine” behind every one of the 6- to 7-figure blog businesses you see out there. It’s something that you hardly hear of among the “average” bloggers. Most of the typical make money blogging tips your read might mention list building but beyond that nothing is said about a sales funnel!

What’s a sales funnel?

A sales funnel is a series of steps designed to guide visitors toward a buying decision. The steps are composed of marketing assets that do the work of selling, like landing pages and email.

NOTE: Your sales funnel works behind the scenes to make sales for your business.

Unfortunately, most bloggers mainly focus on creating content and then chase after blog readers, comments, followers and shares on social media. This is because they are unaware of the power of the sales funnel!

A sales funnel can help you grow your business, from capturing leads to making the first sale and then turning that into repeat sales. The best part is that it can do all of these automatically, once you’ve set it up!

Your sales funnel over time will include 4 basic levels of offer. These 4 levels are:

(i) Your free offer – This is the exploratory phase and it’s where people are first introduced to your brand. The purpose is to turn “browsers” into interested leads. It’s obviously one of the most important components of the sales funnel. It separates those who are simply curious from those who are truly interested. It’s your “hand raising offer”!

(ii) The front-end offer – This is designed mainly for customer acquisition. The main purpose is to turn a lead into a customer. There’s a huge different between these two. A person who only opted into your list to get a freebie is worlds apart from the one who has bought something from you.

(iii) The Core offer – This is your main product which delivers the transformation that your business is centered around. Your core offer could be a training course, a service, consulting, etc.

(iv) High-end offer – Some more expensive offer that increases the overall customer value. Popular options include coaching, done-for-you service, etc.

Do note that a sales funnel is also a good way of achieving product/market fit because over time, your business will offer different products to your prospects when the time is right for them.

How to Create a Sales Funnel

There are countless ways you can do this. However, here’s a proven simple strategy:

(i) Offer potential customers a lead magnet

This is a free, value-based incentive that encourages people to join your email list. It could be anything from free videos, tutorials, Ebooks or special reports.

To maximize conversion, you’ll want to offer something irresistible and that instantly attracts attention.

There are a number of ways to get your free offer. You can do it yourself or get your hands on dozens of pre-made lead magnet packages. These packages come with everything you need – high-quality reports, responsive squeeze pages and even autoresponder follow-ups that will help you connect with your subscribers.

One of the places you can get pre-made lead magnet packages is….

(ii) Set up a lead-capture page

With your lead magnet ready you will need to set up a lead-capture page. The focus of this page is on capturing the lead via an opt-in form that adds the subscriber to your mailing list.

One of the best tools in the market right for making great lead capture pages is OptimizePress. With this tool you can easily create your own lead capture pages without any problem. Check it out here.

You’ll also need an autoresponder to capture and manage your mailing list. I suggest you check out GetResponse.com.

As I’ve mentioned above, the purpose of the lead magnet is to turn your blog traffic into leads. It’s important that you get this right because the more people that enter your funnel, the more money you’ll make.

It’s worth emphasizing that your sales funnel is the money making machine of your blogging business. It’s important therefore that you get it right.

You can get high quality, done for you Sales Funnels that converts at Funnels Now.

Step 5: Your Unique Brand Positioning

One of the top-most questions you must answer in order to thrive in the marketplace is “Why You?” Why would your potential customer choose you instead of the competition?

If you take the time to check out the 6 – 7 figure income business bloggers you will discover that they are doing so NOT by being “just another blog!” These top earners have built their brand over time and they have become the go-to experts in their niche.

You cannot do anything less and expect great results!

This is where you need a Unique Selling Proposition (USP).

Your USP is simply a statement of what makes you and your offers different from the competition. Its primary purpose is to influence your potential customer’s perception of your business – why they should care about you and your service/product and not the competition.

Put another way, a USP is why a customer should care about your Brand.

Your USP should clearly define the value you offer and the problem you solve. It should articulate a specific benefit that makes you stand out from the competition.

In order to define your USP you’ll need to consider carefully:

(i) Your target audience – Who is your ideal customer? Check step #2 again and be as specific as possible.

Don’t be afraid to exclude people. For example, this blog is targeted at digital entrepreneurs and entrepreneur bloggers. This is why you hardly see “make money blogging tips” and similar posts on the blog. My focus is more on entrepreneurship and building businesses!

(ii) The problem you solve – Ideally, your product/service solves a specific problem for your ideal customer. Think of the pain you’re eliminating. How is your customer better off after working with you or buying your product versus the alternatives?

(iii) Your uniqueness – This is what meaningfully sets you apart from other businesses that are similar to yours. As I’ve mentioned earlier you can differentiate yourself in thousands of ways: service, experience, technique, etc.

Focus on those things that make a tangible difference to your audience.

A great USP comes from a deep understanding of who your customers are, what they want, what they value, and what motivates them. It should also cause your prospects to crave your product or service.

You’ll likely have a different USP for each product or service you offer.

Step 6: Drive the Right Traffic

Fuel Your Business Machine with the Right Traffic

Traffic is the life-blood of every online business. Of course, that’s nothing new. However, there are a few things you must note when it comes to driving traffic as a business and not as a “blogger”.

First, you must understand that it is not about quantity but quality! You should identify the traffic sources that are right for your purpose and concentrate most of your efforts in those areas.

From my own experience I have discovered that the most reliable way to get traffic to your business blog is to buy it. You could buy traffic from Google, Facebook or even solo mailings.

Now, if you’re concerned with paying for traffic you shouldn’t because your sales funnel allows you to spend money on traffic without going broke. Simply learn the simple tricks of setting up a sales funnel and implement one for your business and you can be sure of recouping your investment in no time at all!

If you’d rather go for free traffic sources then I’ll recommend search engine optimization (SEO). But you must understand that this is really not free as you’d be paying with your time – and time is money!

Conversely, I have also discovered that the worst traffic source for blogs is traffic from blog comments. Comment traffic has only one value for your blog: SOCIAL PROOF!

If you aim to sell advertising space on your blog, the comment section of your blog could be an advantage. But beyond this depending on traffic from comments is a very quick way to go into extinction!

So, in driving traffic to your funnel choose wisely where to concentrate your efforts!

Pitfalls to Avoid If You Want to Make Money Blogging

Pitfalls to Avoid While Building Your Blog-Based Business

As you transition your blog into a full-fledged business online it is important that you note some of the common pitfalls that online entrepreneurs face all the time. Being aware of these real issues will help you greatly in your quest for success.

The following list is only a small fraction of what you should look out for. I have only included these out of the many pitfalls believing that these will greatly help you.

1. Not having a plan

A lot of average bloggers only focus on how to make money blogging and never care about making a plan. This is one reason why many of them struggle without any tangible results.

As a business you need a business plan.

Of course, you don’t need a formal twenty-something page business plan. Those big-format business plans have grown obsolete! What you need is a simple document that lays out who your customers are, what you are selling and what people are willing to pay for your product or service. In addition, work out how much cash you’ve got and how long it will last.

RECOMMENDED: The Plan-As-You-Go Business Plan

2. Giving away too much and not getting back

This is the bane of many bloggers. They are used to giving and giving without asking in return. You don’t build a business only by giving.

Of course, to establish your credibility in the marketplace you’re expected to offer something for free. However, your giving should be carried out with your business objectives in mind – turning a conversion into long-term customer relationship. This is the purpose of your sales funnel.

So, don’t give away the farm. Instead give strategically – offer something useful and intangible in exchange for a customer’s contact info so you can promote more of your offers to them in due time.

3. Spreading yourself thin on social media

Social media marketing is good for marketing and building your brand. But, without the right strategy in place it could become a time waster.

While the primary purpose of social media is for connecting and socializing, as a business you’re on social media with a different motive.

It’s important therefore that you clearly define who your target audience is and then choose one or two of the main social media networks where you know your audience congregates and then make a plan of marketing to them.

4. Ignoring your customers

The customer, they say, is always right! And as you must have known by now your business exist to serve the customer. Unfortunately, our human nature usually works against us as we are mostly focused on ourselves.

Not only that, as bloggers we’ve been counseled to do what we LOVE if we want to make money blogging. The result is that we go about our blog business with the mindset of succeeding simply by doing what we KNOW and LOVE!

Unfortunately, that’s only half the truth. Success in business is NOT about what you know or love but about what the market wants. The problem your business solves for your target market should be the problem that your market counts as important enough.

But how do you know this?

By listening to your customers. They have the answers you seek. Ignoring them is detrimental to your success. That’s why the customer is always right!

RECOMMENDED: How to Finally Locate Your ‘Blog Money Topic’ and Create Your First Profitable Online Offer

5. Having wrong expectations

I’m sure you’ve seen those ads that promise success working one hour a week and in your pajamas, right? The truth is, if you build your expectations on those promises you’ll only end up with frustration.

Building a successful business, whether it’s online or offline, takes massive effort. While there are tech tools that will help you automate most of the operations never expect your success timeline to be measured in weeks or months because there’s nothing like overnight success.

So, you must ask yourself from the beginning if building your blog business will still be worth it if it takes years to get there!

6. Business model jumping and niche hopping

This is related to #5 above. A lot of newbie entrepreneurs, because of wrong expectations, are easily moved to abandon their business or change strategies because they see someone else making money in another niche or market.

Instead of focusing on what is working for others find your focus and then stick with it until you make it work. Jumping from one business to another and from niche to niche makes nonsense of your efforts. However, simple, repeatable, and consistent action steps towards your goal will eventually get you there.

Conclusion

If your intention is to make money blogging then this is the proven path you must take. The blogosphere is evolving and you need evolve with it. It doesn’t matter your experience level if you’ll carefully follow these steps you’ll have your blog business up and running in no time.

Remember, it’s not about focusing on some isolated money making methods. It’s about implementing sustainable and automated online systems that keep pulling in new leads and turning those leads into customers that make you money day in, day out.

If your blog is already up and running it’s important that you start treating it as a business by building into it this automated business system. However, if you’re still thinking of starting your blog then you’re in luck. Read this post carefully again and take action right away.

Your Turn: Now I’ll love to hear from you. Do you already have a blog or you’re just thinking of starting one?

Is there any part of this post you’d want more info on?

Feel free to share your thoughts in your comments below.

And why not share the post with your social contacts if you find it helpful?

Blogging Statistics – Where Do You Stand as a Blogger?

Blogging has grown in popularity over the years. In the same vein it has evolved into its own online money making industry over this period of time.

But beyond these changes one thing that has continued to be a surprise to many is the variance in success level among bloggers in different genre.

In this blogging statistic infographic by BlogTyrant.com a whole lot of insights is revealed. Of course, there are various blogging statistics published by different sources yearly but I’m intrigued by this one that I’m sharing it here.

As you read through it I want you to ask yourself a few questions:

1. Where do I stand in all of these as a blogger?

2. Where do I hope to be in the next year with my blog?

3. What one stat can I work on to move my blog to the next level?

Why I want you to ask yourself these questions is because of some of the insights from the survey.

For example:

  • Over 43.3% of bloggers surveyed listed “Hobby” as the reason for starting their blog(s)! Really? As someone who is always encouraging you to a business and not just a blog, that’s really not what I expected.
  • A surprisingly 69.6% are making $0 income from their blogs while about 0.6% are making over 1 million. Wow! Please read that again and see the disparity. But that just correlates well with the fact that a big number only take their blog as a “Hobby”!
  • A resounding 69.4% give lack of readers/traffic as their biggest worries compared to security (16.7%) and lack of earnings (54.9%).
  • Over 60% have started a blog only to abandon it while 40.7% have been consistent with their commitment to the blogs they started.

Alright, let’s get it on…!

Blogging Statistics for 2018

Blogging statistics updated each year can be found here.

Your turn: Will love to have your take in your comments below.

The Quick and New Way to Uncover Best Products to Sell Online!

Are you thinking of starting your own ecommerce business or are you already running your own online store?

Do you have troubles finding the best products to dropship?

Would you love to have a list of hot, new and profitable ecommerce niche products to sell on your online shop, each and every day?

If you answer yes to any of these questions then you’d want to read this post very carefully. In the next few minutes you’ll discover how to easily uncover profitable ecommerce niches to sell online – without spending hours on research or wasting your time on guess work!

Why Do Most Online Stores Fail?

Right now ecommerce is exploding. With ecommerce platforms like Shopify, Big Commerce, Woocommerce, etc. making it easy for even the technically challenged to start their own online stores without breaking a sweat, and with more and more people turning to online shopping for their wares, the industry is growing in leaps and bounds.

Recently eMarketer in their latest ecommerce growth forecast, stated that ecommerce retail sale will reach $22.737 trillion by the end of this year – a 5.8% percent increase from 2016. Despite this however, 93% of online store owners struggle to break even!

For example, take a look at this screenshot from Shopify’s forum:

93% of online store owners are struggling to break even

As you can see there, that’s over 143,000 people struggling to get their online stores to make a profit. Most of these people have taken time to design their online stores. They are also spending hundreds of dollars on various types of ads. But that has not in any way moved the needle, in terms of making a profit!

But why is this so? Why are thousands of ecommerce vendors going broke even when the industry is growing bigger and bigger?

The reason is not far-fetched…

The fact is, while you can read books and guides and even attend some training on how exactly to start a successful, long-term online store, one very critical question that will determine your success is…

“What product are you selling?”

It doesn’t matter what niche you’re venturing into, it doesn’t matter whether you’re using Storeless eCom funnels, Shopify, WooCommerce, Amazon or Etsy stores, it doesn’t matter if you’re driving traffic using Facebook ads, Instagram or Google shopping, the ultimate determinant of your success is the product you choose to sell…

If you sell BAD products, you’ll never make any real money from your eCommerce store.

With the right product on your store, every other thing becomes easy. But without the right product you’ll only struggle and end up frustrated.

Unfortunately, finding a winning breakthrough eCommerce product is almost impossible. This is why if you’re just getting started your chances of success are very dim.

The good news however, is that a new powerful software is here to help you find and pick the top winning products every time. This new software does the painful product research for you and fast tracks your path to success.

In this post, I want to share with you how this new software, can help you get the perfect eCom products to sell and make profit every single time.

eCom Cache Review: A Quick Glance

Product Name: eCom Cache
Product Creator: Precious Ngwu
Release Date: 27th August, 2018
Price: $39.95 (launch special) and then $49
Niche: Software
Refund Policy: 30-day money back guarantee
Recommend: Highly recommend
Sale Page: http://getecomcache.com

What is eCom Cache?

eCom Cache review

eCom Cache is a brand new revolutionary software that gives you access to hundreds of top selling eCommerce products that you can easily deploy to your online store for massive ROI. No matter the ecommerce platform your store is built on, with eCom Cache you can now be absolutely sure of making real money from your eCommerce store.

Instead of wasting resources and precious time testing product after product and hoping it may workout, you simply log into this software and get access to hundreds of fail-proof top selling eCom products that you can launch right now and start profiting from. You don’t have to do any more painful research nor waste money on bad products. You’re also eliminating guesswork – just pick a winning product and launch to make sales!

Benefits of Using eCom Cache:

  • Instant access to WINNING eCom Products all the time
  • Zero Failing, Zero Guesswork, Zero Research
  • All the work is done for you.
  • No more wasting money on BAD products
  • Find out what’s selling right now at a glance
  • Fill in the Blank FB Ad Templates that Gets Sales
  • Works with any eCommerce Platform online – Shopify, Storeless, Amazon, ClickFunnels, WooCommerce, Etsy, BigCommerce etc.
  • No experience needed. Start today, see results today.

eCom Cache Review – About the Product Creator

A review of a revolutionary software like eCom Cache will not be complete without a brief word about the creators. It will interest you to know that for the past couple of years, Precious Ngwu and his team have launched several ecommerce products, many of which brought in $100k – $200k in revenue – all because they have a proven system of picking breakthrough eCom products to sell. Besides, they are the creator of the eCommerce platform called “STORELESS” which is used by over 4,000 active eCommerce vendors worldwide.

As a result of this hands-on experience as ecommerce vendors, software creators and also working one-on-one with hundreds of students as coaches they now have an UNFAIR advantage in the eCommerce industry – knowing exactly what the top vendors are selling and what products are bringing in the most profits!

With such a pedigree this team is one that you’d want to listen to when it comes to ecommerce. That’s why you need to check out eCom Cache if you want to save yourself the pains of struggling to make a profit with your ecommerce store.

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How Does eCom Cache Work?

eCom Cache is a simple to use eCommerce software. All you need is to log in and you’ll gain access to 100s of WINNING eCommerce products from which you simply choose the niches of your choice and then deploy them on your stores right away.

eCom Cache - how it works

Once you’re logged in there are three main modules carefully designed to help you decide on what type of product you’d want to sell. The three modules are:

Module 1: Editor Pick:

These are top suggestions that you’d want to check out every time. From this module you can choose a category, depending on your store’s niche, and from there you simply pick any winning product of your choice. Examples of categories from which you can make your pick are Maternity and Parenting, Sports, Home Improvement and Gardening.

Module 2: Weekly Top Sellers:

Just as the name indicates this module provides you with weekly top sellers. This is indeed a treasure throve because within this module you’re getting tons of winning products weekly. You don’t have to spend so much time on testing and finding products again. Simply log in every week and get your weekly top sellers to deploy on your online store!

Module 3: Shopify Connect:

The third module is another powerful feature of this revolutionary ecommerce software. As you do know many ecommerce vendors have their online stores on the Shopify platform. This is why this feature is a great time saver. With just one click, you can connect your Shopify store with eCom Cache. This makes it easy for you to import any winning products you like into your Shopify store without any hassles.

What Are The Pros?

  1. You can be easily applied eCom Cache to any niche market you’re targeting
  2. You don’t need any technical skills to work with ECom Cache
  3. It’s highly actionable and practical
  4. In case you have questions or issues, the online help desk is always open for you

How About the Cons?

Frankly, I have not seen any as at the time of writing this.

Do I Recommend eCom Cache?

My answer is a big YES!

Think of the many benefits plus the affordable price of $39.95 (if you purchase during this special launch period). Fact is, you definitely can’t beat this.

If you’re already running an ecommerce store or you’re thinking of starting one you can be sure that eCom Cache is not only a time saver but a tool that will help you avoid unnecessarily mistakes in choosing the products to sell. Therefore, you shouldn’t hesitate to claim a copy of this application now:

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eCom Cache Review Conclusion

Remember that more and more people are starting their own online stores and with this trend you can expect stiffer competition in the coming days. To get ahead of this, I recommend that you grab your early bird access today to save yourself the pain and hassle of running round in confusion trying to figure out what ecom products to sell on your online store.

Besides, it’s already the end of August and early Christmas shoppers are now getting ready. In about a month from now, the ecommerce market is going to BOOM big time. Sales will greatly jump very soon as marketers are going to start targeting early Christmas shoppers. I’m sure you don’t want to be left behind.

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How to Raise Capital to Fund Your Business Startup

Do you have an innovative business idea but you’re concerned about finance? Are you right now asking questions like, “How do you finance a startup business?” or, “What are the sources of finance for small business start-ups?”

Indeed, you may have heard it said that what you need to start a successful business is a great idea and not money. However, as much as that may be true, an idea will only get you so far. You must have a plan to turn that idea into reality. And this is where money comes into play.

Definitely, you need money to get your great business idea off the ground. It’s just like the old saying, “You need money to make money.”

At the barest minimum you will need money for things like product development, securing your location, procuring inventory and the resources necessary to complete your services. And, after you launch, you’ll need money to expand the business and of course, money to live on until your business become successful!

So, unless you have the money on hand, startup finance is going to be one of the issues you will deal with when you step out to build your own business.

In this article I want to share with you a few ideas on how you can easily find the needed funds for getting your business off the ground.

How to Raise Capital to Fund Your Business Startup

Sources of Finance for Small Business Startups

There are a number of ways that small business startups can source for capital. These include drawing on personal savings, getting loans from friends and family, and angel investors. But not many entrepreneurs have the privilege of getting funding from these sources. For such aspiring entrepreneurs the option open to them is to access funding through more traditional means like borrowing from the banks.

Unfortunately, getting business startup loans from commercial banks is a big challenge. This is because startup businesses are considered the most risky loans that a bank or lender might encounter.

When you approach even the banks that you have done business with before you may be surprised that they are not keen on committing their funds to your great idea.

Why Are Business Startup Loans Risky?

There are number of reasons why start up loans are considered as risky by banks and lenders. But they can all be classified into the four C’s of Credit which are, collateral, capital, capacity, and character.

Every lender expects you to have some form of capital before you are considered credit worthy. But as a new business it is clear that you’re going for the loan because you don’t have such capital

Also, it is expected that you have collateral. But again, as a new business you have little or no collateral. While in most cases you may use your personal assets you can also seek a co-signer with assets to pledge in order to overcome this demand.

Now, capacity is s track record showing that the business has the capacity to generate enough money to pay back the loan. But then as a new venture you don’t have this track record which the banks or lenders can bank on.

The final “C” which is character is primarily about a good credit rating. While this may not necessarily get you a business startup loan, a poor rating will definitely get you turned away quickly.

From the above it means that before you walk into a bank and demand a business loan you’ll need to prepare yourself.

start up loans are considered as risky by banks

Business Startup Finance Made Easy!

From what we have discussed thus far let’s now look at what you can do to ensure that the sourcing of your business startup capital does not in any way hinder the realization of your dreams.

1. Consider Your Needs

Walking into a bank and telling the loan officer about your idea will not get you financed because the loan officer, or any other funder, doesn’t really care about your actual idea. He or she cares about how you plan to implement it and how profitable it will become. Only then, will you be able to talk money.

This is why people write business plans.

Your business plan will detail your idea in a too-much-information format, which works well when you approach potential financers. You will explain your idea in detail, your business structure, marketing plan, how you will make money, future expansion plan, and your finances, both current and future projections.

You must tell people why your idea will be successful and how you will make it successful. You must tell people how it will be profitable. You mustn’t leave any stone unturned, including the monies you will need for any patents and/or trademarks and insurance coverage.

If you aren’t sure what insurance you’ll need, contact an insurance agency.

Business Startup Finance Made Easy!

2. Consider Your Sources

Once you have your plan in place, think about who is best to approach for money. It might be somebody you know, it might be a total stranger, and it might be both.

As we have mentioned earlier there are many ways startups get the funding they need to open their doors. But your first step should be to look in the mirror. How can you finance your business yourself?

The reason why this is important is, most financers will be more likely to lend you money if they see you have invested your own money into your venture first.

This makes sense because if you’ve put your own finances at risk, you’ll be more likely to succeed. And so, if you can put in some of your own money financiers will have more faith in your drive to make your business a success.

You can bootstrap your own assets to get money. Do you own your car? Do you own your home? Do you have savings, credit, and investments that you can turn into cash?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, you might be able to borrow against or cash in some of these assets to get money in your hands to open your business.

Next, look at other funding options. These include your family and friends, business partners, and crowd funders willing to donate money to your opening costs.

Angel investors are another approach to employ. These are wealthy individuals willing to loan you money in return for a stake in your business. This works, because they also offer valuable advice.

Finally, don’t forget to check out the U.S. Small Business Administration and your local, state, and federal government agencies. All are vested in helping small businesses open and grow in their communities, and many offer loans and grants to cover the costs.

Employ any or all of these to get the money you need to start your business.

2. Consider Your Sources for busines funding

Conclusion

While many aspiring entrepreneurs might find business startup financing complicated it shouldn’t really be. So, if you’re right now seeking for funds for your business startup or you hope to do so some time in the nearest future then you don’t have look any further. Use the above information as you guide and you’ll happier for it!

GDPR Compliance – A Practical Guide for Bloggers and Small Business Owners

Is your business or blog GDPR complaint?

If you answer “No” or, “What’s GDPR?”

Then, you should read this post very carefully!

In the last few days the online business space has been in a frenzy as online entrepreneurs and webmasters hustled to beat the 25th of May, 2018 deadline of being GDPR compliant. I’m sure that you must have received one of those emails telling you that their privacy policy have been updated!

So, what is GDPR compliance and what’s its implication for your online business?

If you are like me, then you must be asking these questions like right now. When I first heard about the GDPR I didn’t rush into updating my Privacy Policy instead I sought out different experts and also tried reading the GDPR document. But it wasn’t an easy task because the document is highly complex and simply unreadable.

I also found some articles and blog posts on Google but most of them had little to offer as they were mostly written to promote some product or the other. Many others were just a few thoughts on the GDPR document.

However, after much research and asking around, I was able to glimpse some insight into its meaning after which I reworked and updated my site’s Privacy Policy.

You can read the updated Privacy Policy here. It’s important that you read because it is the binding document on this site right now.

In this post, I want to share with you a few things on the GDPR and also give you a few tips on how you can easily stay complaint.

Related: Google’s New Privacy Policy: How Much Of User’s Rights Is Being Violated?

DISCLAIMER: I am not a lawyer neither am I in any away an expert on legal matters. What I have done here is to make this complex topic understandable and actionable for you, within my own understanding of the topic. This article is for informational purposes only. I recommend that you consult your legal advisor to determine your own GDPR needs.

That being said, let’s get started…

Is your business or blog GDPR complaint?

Part 1: An Overview of the GDPR

What is GDPR?

GDPR stands for General Data Protection Regulation and it is a new privacy regulation created by the EU to protect the privacy of all individuals within the European Union. Its focus is to give people more control over their personal data. This new regulation replaces the Data Protection Directive 95/46/EC and it is designed to harmonize data privacy laws across Europe.

While the regulation actually applies to businesses in the EU it however has effect on businesses outside the EU as long as they collect or process personal data of individuals residing in the EU.

This is where your blog or small online business is affected.

Of course, as an online business your operations are worldwide and persons from the EU do visit your website, blog or social media pages – except of course, if you’re blocking traffic from that part of the world!

Another very critical issue with this regulation is that though the deadline to be compliant was 25th May, 2018 it is also retroactive.

This means, if you have customers’ or subscribers’ data you’re storing or using even if these were collected before May 25th, 2018, you must ensure that you are also compliant on those too!

This is really serious and it will interest you to know that just a few day after the deadline Google, Facebook, Apple, Amazon, LinkedIn and others have been hit with serious GDPR complaints.

While these privacy activities may be targeting these giants for now, no one knows what they will be doing next. Remember that wise saying, a stitch in time saves nine!

If that does not give you some reason to be complaint, then this should…

The Penalties for Non-Complaint with GDPR

When I first noticed the panic this new regulation caused among online marketers I knew this was something special. And so, I was not surprised therefore when I discovered that most of the panic was actually because of the penalty – €20 million or 4% of your world-wide annual revenue, whichever is higher.

With that do you still want me to remind you at this point that you should take every step necessary to stay compliant?

The Penalties for Being Non-Complaint with GDPR

What Is Personal Data?

It is important you understand the definition of personal data according to the European Commission. This will help you better understand what you need to do to stay complaint with this regulation.

According to the European Commission,

“Personal data is any information relating to an individual (the data subject), whether it relates to his or her private, professional or public life. It can be anything from a name, a home address, a photo, an email address, bank details, posts on social media networking website, medical information, or a computer’s IP address.”

From the above definition (note that even a computer’s IP address is considered as personal data) it is clear that if you own a website or a blog, if you’re an online marketer, if you market on social media, if you use any form of tags for re-targeting customers…

… As long as you capture and record user data of any form, you need to be GDPR compliant!

It will interest you to know that websites and blogs, especially those that run on the WordPress platform, collect personal data in different ways. Some of these ways include:

  • Through registered users
  • Through comments posted on your blog
  • Through the use of contact forms on your site or blog
  • Through Google Analytics and other traffic monitoring software
  • Through email subscriptions
  • Through WordPress plugins

The Rights of Data Subjects Under the GDPR

The Rights of Data Subjects Under the GDPR

Now, while you might be tempted to simply update your Privacy Policy and think that will do the trick, the truth is, that’s just the beginning.

The crux of the matter is the rights of the individual under this new regulation. It’s expected that if you receive any request related to any of these rights, you should respond within 30 days. So, it’s important that you know what these rights are and how to go about protecting them.

To get the full details about these rights you may want to check out the official GDPR site referenced above. However, for the purpose of this post, here’s a brief summary of the rights of the individual under the regulation.

1. The Right To Be Informed

The individual is expected to know what type of data you collect about him or her and how it is to be used. You should provide clear and concise information why this data is being collected, how it will be saved, for how long, who has access to it and who is the data controller.

2. The Right Of Access

Beyond knowing how you store their personal data, the individual also has the right of access to that data whenever they wish. So, a subscriber to your email list or a user of your website can demand to have access to the data you have saved about him or her and you are obligated to provide such data.

3. The Right To Rectify Saved Data

The individual also has the right to have their inaccurate or incomplete data that is saved by you to be updated or rectified. Whenever, you or your data controller receives such a request you are obligated to take the necessary steps to have the data updated as requested.

4. The Right To Restrict

The individual also has the right to restrict the use of his or her data. In this case, you may record such data but not use same for any purpose.

5. The Right To Port Data

If the individual so wish he or she may request their saved data in machine readable or human readable formats. They are free to use this data for whatever purpose they so wish.

6. The Right To Erasure

The individual also has the right to withdraw their consent and request that their saved data be erased completely.

7. The Right To Object

The individual have the right to object the use of their data in a certain way. It is therefore important that you inform the user ahead of how their data is to be processed.

8. The Right Not To Be Subject To Automated Decision-Making

Where the data you saved about a user is to be used for some form of automated decision-making that will affect them legally or otherwise the individual has the right to opt out of such processes.

While all of these sound complex it is important that you understand them so you can stay complaint.

What Does GDPR Mean for Your Business?

From the above, every business owner, blogger, web master, internet marketer, etc. (as long as you collect and process personal data of users and customers) has the following responsibilities:

  1. Provide users your identity and inform them the type of information you collect about them, how and why you collect it, what you do with it, how long you store it, and who else have access to it
  2. Obtain clear and explicit consent from the user when you collect their data
  3. Give access to the user when they request such
  4. Delete any use’s data whenever such a request is made and show proof that you have done this
  5. Where there is any form of data breach, inform the users within 72 hours.

The question now is how do you ensure that you are complaint with all of these? This is what we want to look at next.

Related: How to Copyright Content: 5 Proven Tactics to Stop Content Theft & Ensure Your Content Is Not Copied!

Part 2: GDPR Compliance Checklist

Steps to Staying Complaint with GDPR

Let me repeat once again that the GDPR document is complex. The following is simply a basic guide of what you can do to be complaint.

Step 1: Update the Legal Pages of Your Website or Blog

These basically include your terms of use and privacy policy pages.

The terms of use or terms and conditions page on your site are basically the place where you state the rules that bind the user to your business. The privacy policy on the other hand deals with what type of data about your users and customers that you collect and process.

You will need to update these pages to include relevant information about GDPR compliance. Most of this will be on your privacy policy, since it is the document that deals primarily with consumer data on your site or blog.

Your updated privacy policy should specifically state who you are (which includes your name or organization name, address, contact information, etc), what personal data you collect, why you collect the data, how long you plan to retain the data, who else you share it with, how customers can download their data whenever they so wish, how they can delete or ask their data to be deleted, contact Information of your Data Protection Officer (which could just be your email address except you have a dedicated Data Protection Officer).

All of these should be clearly stated on your privacy policy page.

If you use WordPress for your site/blog then you will be glad to know that the latest version has a new feature that allows you to easily create your blog’s privacy policy.

WordPress 4.9.6 GDPR Update

To use this feature:

(a) Go to Settings -> Privacy

Wordpress Privacy Page Creator

(b) Create a new page or choose your already existing privacy policy page to set it.

Updating Privacy Policy with new WP feature

If you’re creating a new page, WordPress will populate the new page with the basic information that you need to have on your privacy policy. However, before publishing it you will need to review it, adding or removing data to agree with what you expect to have on your privacy policy.

Create new privacy policy

Step 2: Obtain Explicit Consent of the User before Collecting Their Personal Data

Since you’re required to get the consent of the user before you can process their data you should do everything possible to ensure that this is obtained. Look into the areas from which you collect data of users. This will include places like blog comments, contact forms, newsletter subscriptions, etc. Make sure you have the explicit consent of the user before capturing their information.

The easiest way to do this is to put a checkbox on all the places from which you collect data for the user to provide their consent. It’s important that you’re specific of what consent you’re asking for and include a link to your privacy policy. Also it’s important that you don’t pre-check the checkboxes.

Again the latest version of WordPress already has this feature for comments.

Wordpress GDPR feature for comments

Step 3: Clean Up Your Existing Email List

Since GDPR is retroactive you will need to clean up your existing email list to ensure that you only have subscribers who has given their consent. One way to do this is to send re-engagement emails so that your EU subscribers can re-optin to your list. Ensure that you clearly explain how you’d use the subscribers’ data and what content you will be sending them.

Step 4: Create a System for Data Subjects to Request Access to Their Data

GDPR requires you to allow users access to their data. It is not enough to state this on your privacy policy. You should also have in place a way for them to easily access the data when they so desire.

There are a number of ways you can do this. For example, if a user request to have access to the personal data you’re processing about them, you can take a screenshot of the customer record or you can export the contact details of the user in a CSV file and then send it to them.

This is another thing that the latest version of WordPress has made easy for you also. There are new tools for users to view their data, and even request deletion of their data. You can access these new tools by going to Tools.

WP GDPR Access the data

Here’s the process of using these tools:

  1. User requests to view or delete their data
  2. You go to Tools and then to the Export or Erase Personal Data Setting
  3. You enter the user’s email id, and click “send request”
  4. This sends a confirmation link for the user to confirm their request
  5. Once the user confirm the request you can then send them a downloadable file containing the requested data with the click of a button
  6. Once this file has been sent it will be deleted after 72 hours for security purposes
  7. If the request is for deletion, then as soon as the user confirms the request you can delete the data.

Conclusion – More Resources

There you have it, my simple guide to help you stay GDPR compliant. Please understand that, as I have mentioned earlier this is a complex topic. There’s so much that I have not touched on in this post. To dig deeper feel free to browse these resources:

Again note that violating the GDPR comes with a heavy fine of 20 million Euros or 4% of your revenues, whichever is higher. If however you take the above necessary steps, you’ll not have to worry much.

I do hope that this has helped in any way. If so, then show some love by sharing the post with your friends on your favorite social media!

Feel free also to share your thoughts on the GDPR in the comments below.

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Hardest Things in Programming

When, while the lovely valley teems with vapor around me, and the meridian sun strikes the upper surface of the impenetrable foliage of my trees, and but a few stray gleams steal into the inner sanctuary, I throw myself down among the tall grass by the trickling stream; and, as I lie close to the earth, a thousand unknown plants are noticed by me: when I hear the buzz of the little world among the stalks, and grow familiar with the countless indescribable forms of the insects and flies, then I feel the presence of the Almighty, who formed us in his own image, and the breath of that universal love which bears and sustains us, as it floats around us in an eternity of bliss; and then, my friend, when darkness overspreads my eyes, and heaven and earth seem to dwell in my soul and absorb its power, like the form of a beloved mistress, then I often think with longing, Oh, would I could describe these conceptions, could impress upon paper all that is living so full and warm within me, that it might be the mirror of my soul, as my soul is the mirror of the infinite God!

O my friend — but it is too much for my strength — I sink under the weight of the splendor of these visions! A wonderful serenity has taken possession of my entire soul, like these sweet mornings of spring which I enjoy with my whole heart. I am alone, and feel the charm of existence in this spot, which was created for the bliss of souls like mine.

I am so happy, my dear friend, so absorbed in the exquisite sense of mere tranquil existence, that I neglect my talents. I should be incapable of drawing a single stroke at the present moment; and yet I feel that I never was a greater artist than now.

When, while the lovely valley teems with vapor around me, and the meridian sun strikes the upper surface of the impenetrable foliage of my trees, and but a few stray gleams steal into the inner sanctuary, I throw myself down among the tall grass by the trickling stream; and, as I lie close to the earth, a thousand unknown plants are noticed by me: when I hear the buzz of the little world among the stalks, and grow familiar with the countless indescribable forms of the insects and flies, then I feel the presence of the Almighty, who formed us in his own image, and the breath of that universal love which bears and sustains us, as it floats around us in an eternity of bliss; and then, my friend, when darkness overspreads my eyes, and heaven and earth seem to dwell in my soul and absorb its power, like the form of a beloved mistress, then I often think with longing, Oh, would I could describe these conceptions, could impress upon paper all that is living so full and warm within me.

demo-attachment-457-person-with-long-curly-hair-PZ99QM2@2x

Women in Business

When, while the lovely valley teems with vapor around me, and the meridian sun strikes the upper surface of the impenetrable foliage of my trees, and but a few stray gleams steal into the inner sanctuary, I throw myself down among the tall grass by the trickling stream; and, as I lie close to the earth, a thousand unknown plants are noticed by me: when I hear the buzz of the little world among the stalks, and grow familiar with the countless indescribable forms of the insects and flies, then I feel the presence of the Almighty, who formed us in his own image, and the breath of that universal love which bears and sustains us, as it floats around us in an eternity of bliss; and then, my friend, when darkness overspreads my eyes, and heaven and earth seem to dwell in my soul and absorb its power, like the form of a beloved mistress, then I often think with longing, Oh, would I could describe these conceptions, could impress upon paper all that is living so full and warm within me, that it might be the mirror of my soul, as my soul is the mirror of the infinite God!

O my friend — but it is too much for my strength — I sink under the weight of the splendor of these visions! A wonderful serenity has taken possession of my entire soul, like these sweet mornings of spring which I enjoy with my whole heart. I am alone, and feel the charm of existence in this spot, which was created for the bliss of souls like mine.

I am so happy, my dear friend, so absorbed in the exquisite sense of mere tranquil existence, that I neglect my talents. I should be incapable of drawing a single stroke at the present moment; and yet I feel that I never was a greater artist than now.

When, while the lovely valley teems with vapor around me, and the meridian sun strikes the upper surface of the impenetrable foliage of my trees, and but a few stray gleams steal into the inner sanctuary, I throw myself down among the tall grass by the trickling stream; and, as I lie close to the earth, a thousand unknown plants are noticed by me: when I hear the buzz of the little world among the stalks, and grow familiar with the countless indescribable forms of the insects and flies, then I feel the presence of the Almighty, who formed us in his own image, and the breath of that universal love which bears and sustains us, as it floats around us in an eternity of bliss; and then, my friend, when darkness overspreads my eyes, and heaven and earth seem to dwell in my soul and absorb its power, like the form of a beloved mistress, then I often think with longing, Oh, would I could describe these conceptions, could impress upon paper all that is living so full and warm within me.

demo-attachment-473-diversity-young-teens-people-friends-concept-PTZ4RGN

Diversity in the Workplace

When, while the lovely valley teems with vapor around me, and the meridian sun strikes the upper surface of the impenetrable foliage of my trees, and but a few stray gleams steal into the inner sanctuary, I throw myself down among the tall grass by the trickling stream; and, as I lie close to the earth, a thousand unknown plants are noticed by me: when I hear the buzz of the little world among the stalks, and grow familiar with the countless indescribable forms of the insects and flies, then I feel the presence of the Almighty, who formed us in his own image, and the breath of that universal love which bears and sustains us, as it floats around us in an eternity of bliss; and then, my friend, when darkness overspreads my eyes, and heaven and earth seem to dwell in my soul and absorb its power, like the form of a beloved mistress, then I often think with longing, Oh, would I could describe these conceptions, could impress upon paper all that is living so full and warm within me, that it might be the mirror of my soul, as my soul is the mirror of the infinite God!

O my friend — but it is too much for my strength — I sink under the weight of the splendor of these visions! A wonderful serenity has taken possession of my entire soul, like these sweet mornings of spring which I enjoy with my whole heart. I am alone, and feel the charm of existence in this spot, which was created for the bliss of souls like mine.

I am so happy, my dear friend, so absorbed in the exquisite sense of mere tranquil existence, that I neglect my talents. I should be incapable of drawing a single stroke at the present moment; and yet I feel that I never was a greater artist than now.

When, while the lovely valley teems with vapor around me, and the meridian sun strikes the upper surface of the impenetrable foliage of my trees, and but a few stray gleams steal into the inner sanctuary, I throw myself down among the tall grass by the trickling stream; and, as I lie close to the earth, a thousand unknown plants are noticed by me: when I hear the buzz of the little world among the stalks, and grow familiar with the countless indescribable forms of the insects and flies, then I feel the presence of the Almighty, who formed us in his own image, and the breath of that universal love which bears and sustains us, as it floats around us in an eternity of bliss; and then, my friend, when darkness overspreads my eyes, and heaven and earth seem to dwell in my soul and absorb its power, like the form of a beloved mistress, then I often think with longing, Oh, would I could describe these conceptions, could impress upon paper all that is living so full and warm within me.

demo-attachment-474-business-PG3SVDZ

Plan Your Business

When, while the lovely valley teems with vapor around me, and the meridian sun strikes the upper surface of the impenetrable foliage of my trees, and but a few stray gleams steal into the inner sanctuary, I throw myself down among the tall grass by the trickling stream; and, as I lie close to the earth, a thousand unknown plants are noticed by me: when I hear the buzz of the little world among the stalks, and grow familiar with the countless indescribable forms of the insects and flies, then I feel the presence of the Almighty, who formed us in his own image, and the breath of that universal love which bears and sustains us, as it floats around us in an eternity of bliss; and then, my friend, when darkness overspreads my eyes, and heaven and earth seem to dwell in my soul and absorb its power, like the form of a beloved mistress, then I often think with longing, Oh, would I could describe these conceptions, could impress upon paper all that is living so full and warm within me, that it might be the mirror of my soul, as my soul is the mirror of the infinite God!

O my friend — but it is too much for my strength — I sink under the weight of the splendor of these visions! A wonderful serenity has taken possession of my entire soul, like these sweet mornings of spring which I enjoy with my whole heart. I am alone, and feel the charm of existence in this spot, which was created for the bliss of souls like mine.

I am so happy, my dear friend, so absorbed in the exquisite sense of mere tranquil existence, that I neglect my talents. I should be incapable of drawing a single stroke at the present moment; and yet I feel that I never was a greater artist than now.

When, while the lovely valley teems with vapor around me, and the meridian sun strikes the upper surface of the impenetrable foliage of my trees, and but a few stray gleams steal into the inner sanctuary, I throw myself down among the tall grass by the trickling stream; and, as I lie close to the earth, a thousand unknown plants are noticed by me: when I hear the buzz of the little world among the stalks, and grow familiar with the countless indescribable forms of the insects and flies, then I feel the presence of the Almighty, who formed us in his own image, and the breath of that universal love which bears and sustains us, as it floats around us in an eternity of bliss; and then, my friend, when darkness overspreads my eyes, and heaven and earth seem to dwell in my soul and absorb its power, like the form of a beloved mistress, then I often think with longing, Oh, would I could describe these conceptions, could impress upon paper all that is living so full and warm within me.

demo-attachment-475-rainbow-mountain-PUWHUHP

Travel and Work During Spring

When, while the lovely valley teems with vapor around me, and the meridian sun strikes the upper surface of the impenetrable foliage of my trees, and but a few stray gleams steal into the inner sanctuary, I throw myself down among the tall grass by the trickling stream; and, as I lie close to the earth, a thousand unknown plants are noticed by me: when I hear the buzz of the little world among the stalks, and grow familiar with the countless indescribable forms of the insects and flies, then I feel the presence of the Almighty, who formed us in his own image, and the breath of that universal love which bears and sustains us, as it floats around us in an eternity of bliss; and then, my friend, when darkness overspreads my eyes, and heaven and earth seem to dwell in my soul and absorb its power, like the form of a beloved mistress, then I often think with longing, Oh, would I could describe these conceptions, could impress upon paper all that is living so full and warm within me, that it might be the mirror of my soul, as my soul is the mirror of the infinite God!

O my friend — but it is too much for my strength — I sink under the weight of the splendor of these visions! A wonderful serenity has taken possession of my entire soul, like these sweet mornings of spring which I enjoy with my whole heart. I am alone, and feel the charm of existence in this spot, which was created for the bliss of souls like mine.

I am so happy, my dear friend, so absorbed in the exquisite sense of mere tranquil existence, that I neglect my talents. I should be incapable of drawing a single stroke at the present moment; and yet I feel that I never was a greater artist than now.

When, while the lovely valley teems with vapor around me, and the meridian sun strikes the upper surface of the impenetrable foliage of my trees, and but a few stray gleams steal into the inner sanctuary, I throw myself down among the tall grass by the trickling stream; and, as I lie close to the earth, a thousand unknown plants are noticed by me: when I hear the buzz of the little world among the stalks, and grow familiar with the countless indescribable forms of the insects and flies, then I feel the presence of the Almighty, who formed us in his own image, and the breath of that universal love which bears and sustains us, as it floats around us in an eternity of bliss; and then, my friend, when darkness overspreads my eyes, and heaven and earth seem to dwell in my soul and absorb its power, like the form of a beloved mistress, then I often think with longing, Oh, would I could describe these conceptions, could impress upon paper all that is living so full and warm within me.