Top 5 Blogging Mistakes that’s Frustrating Your Efforts (and How to Fix Them)

Top 5 Blogging Mistakes that’s Frustrating Your Efforts (and How to Fix Them)

When I started this blog back in 2009 the subject of making money blogging was just at its infancy. A lot of people back then were jumping in and starting their own blogs.

Many of these bloggers became overnight gurus dishing out how to make money blogging tips. Every where you turn there was a blog on how to make money blogging. A lot of times the same tips were just being tweaked and re-posted on different blogs.

On the surface it does appear that most of these bloggers were really making a ton of money from their efforts. However, over the years I have observed a lot of these “guru bloggers” drop by the wayside!

I can attest to this fact because every time I do a general review of this blog I’ve always seen a huge number of broken links. Most of these broken links are mostly from blogs that I have linked to over the years.

But why would someone who have always shown that they are making money from their blogs and have taken it upon themselves to teach others how to make money blogging suddenly abandon their blog?

The answer to that question is not far fetched. The truth is most of those guru bloggers were only putting up a front. While they may appear to be successful on the surface the truth is most of them were making next to nothing from their blogs.

For example, while a recent report indicated that about 67.5% of bloggers blog to make money online only about 5% of bloggers are actually making a full income from their blogs!

This is why a lot of bloggers after struggling for years trying to scrap a living from their blog end up throwing in the trowel. Of course, it’s  frustrating to put in so much and yet get nothing out.

In this post I want to share with you the top five mistakes that I have found, over these years, to be main reason why many bloggers fail. Matter of fact is, if you’re presently struggling with your blog, one of these mistakes might just be the culprit!

Recommended: The Beginners Complete Guide to Making Money Blogging

Why Seemly Hard -Working Bloggers Fail!

Mistake #1: Blogging without a Definite Purpose

How make money blogging

Do you have a purpose for your blog?

What is your motivation for starting the blog?

Do you have a story to tell?

It’s unfortunate that many of the blogs out there are nothing but “just another blog!” From design to content; and tactics, there’s really nothing that separates them from other blogs.

In fact, many of these blogs were started because the blogger was impressed by the results being posted by other probloggers out there.

The truth is, if you want to make money with your blog it is important that you have a definite purpose for the blog. You must be able to answer the question, WHY this blog? Not taking care of this before you start will put a whole lot of boulders on your way. 

So, if you are in this boat right now it’s important that you take some time off and settle this issue. Ask yourself questions like: 

  • Why am I really blogging?
  • I’m I here just to share my thoughts and opinions or to make a living?
  • If I’m here to make money how do I do that?
  • Should I be promoting affiliate products or selling my own product/service?
  • And what do I need to do to accomplish this?

Doing this right now will help you get a clearer picture and the focus of your blog.

Mistake #2: Blogging without a Plan

Not having a blogging plan

It’s unfortunate that many bloggers do not have a plan and worst still they never care to have one.

As the common saying goes, when you fail to plan you’re planning to fail. Unfortunately, not many bloggers who want to make money blogging really care to take this to heart.

I encourage you to read this post on how to set SMART goals for your blog.

Once you have decided on the purpose of your blog, designing a plan on how to achieve that purpose will greatly help on your journey. A blogging plan should answer the question of how you expect to make money with your blog and what you must do to achieve that goal.

Your plan for making money from your blog will determine the type of content you showcase on your blog. It’s definite that a blog that is designed to sell advertising space would be different content-wise from the one that is focused on selling your consulting practice!

Mistake #3: Not Building a List

This is really a big one.

Despite hearing it over and over again that the money is in the lists, many bloggers have not seen the need to start an email list. They are content with just writing content, interacting with other bloggers in the comment section of their blogs and connecting on social media sites.

As much as these things are good, you must know that an email list is your greatest asset when it comes to marketing online. Let no one deceive you with talk about email being a dead online marketing tactic. Indeed, many internet marketers may have put a bad name on this because of their spammy email promotions but don’t let that put you off.

Offering email subscription on your blog is the easiest way of turning your blog into a money making machine. Remember, not everyone who visits your blog will return except you have a system to bring them back. Capturing their contact info and adding them to your email contact list is the best way to do that.

You may have an RSS feed subscription on your blog but that has many limitations which an email list will help you overcome.

Here are some industry recognized autoresponder services that will help you build a list:

  1. GetResponse.com – Widely used by internet marketers
  2. MailerLite.com – High-quality service for an incredibly low price. You can use the system for FREE if you only have 1,000 subscribers or less. (Highly Recommended)
  3. RapidMailer.com – Your best choice if you want to run your own autoresponder. It’s a one-time payment.

Mistake #4: Choosing the Wrong Market

Choosing a blogging niche

I did a post some time ago on spooky business start up tips where I clearly stated that if you start a business just based on what you love without carefully checking for profitability, you’re bound to struggle.

This is more so when blogging to make money!

Of course, it is important that you choose your blog topic based on what you know and you’re interested in as this will help you greatly in writing content and showing your expertise. However, except your desire is to share your thoughts with your family and friends, it is important that you research the profitability of your target niche before you jump in.

That being said, it will be an uphill task if you choose a blogging niche simply because of the money. Focusing only on the money will ultimately lead to frustration.

So, what to do?

Choose your blog niche based on market profitability and your passion.

The good news is, if you know little to nothing about a niche you can spend a few weeks to research the topic online. Doing this will set you on the path of becoming an expert in that field in no distant time.

There are thousands of online tools available that you can use. If you’re already blogging and you discover you are having problems with this, take some time off, do the necessary research and then reposition your blog.

Mistake #5: Not Driving the Right Traffic

I must say that this is one problem that many bloggers are having without really knowing it. Over these years I’ve come across very wonderful and passionate bloggers. From all indications they appear to be doing great with their blogs. Superb blog posts, impressive blog comment sections, social buttons displaying the envious number of shares, etc.

But, when you ask how much they are making from their blogs the responses are a nothing to write about!

Many of these bloggers cover up with things like: blogging is not about making money but connecting with like minds! But I don’t really think these bloggers love working their butts off just because they want to be known as a blogger. Or, do you?

But, what is really the problem here?

It is this: these bloggers are simply driving the wrong type of traffic to their blogs!

Like we have seen above your blog exist for a specific purpose. In the same way, your blog should be targeted at a specific group. If you have clearly defined the purpose of your blog from the beginning knowing your blogs target audience will not be a problem.  And this will determine your promotional tactics.

When you have these sorted out you wouldn’t waste your time running round other blogs, commenting and interacting with other bloggers, except they are your targeted audience.

To drive the right type of traffic to your blog, go where your target audience is and then entice them to your blog. This way monetizing your blog traffic will become easy.

Conclusion

I don’t know which of these blogging mistakes is holding your back from making money with your blog. But the truth is if you will take the time and work on these ones you will soon begin to see a change in your blogging success.

Feel free to share your thoughts on these blogging mistakes in the comments below. Is there any of these mistakes that you are presently making with your blog? Is there any one you will want to add?

Let’s connect in the comments section.

How to Use Social Media & Email Marketing For More Value Online

Given an option between and email , which would you choose as a small ?

Now, for many small owners this is really a hard decision to make. Of course, with the buzz about social media, especially Facebook and its huge user base, many will readily go for social media.

But, what if I tell you that scientifically proven stats states otherwise? What if researches over the years have proven over and over again that email marketing trumps social media marketing when it comes to marketing your business!

Surprised?

You should be because that’s not what the social media marketing experts want you to believe. But frankly, many of these are only concerned with selling you that super duper program that will help you create the much desired success on social media.

But no matter what any person says, as a small business when it comes to marketing your business online you definitely want to focus on those activities that produce the desired results and not just the noise.

This is not only wise when it comes to investing your money but for the fact that you have limited time to run and grow your business.

Now, comparing social media and email marketing is really like comparing apples and oranges. There may really be any area of comparison. However, like I have just said above, when it comes to marketing your business, you should focus on results. You want to judiciously invest your limited budget on the strategies and tactics that gives the most results both in time and resources put in.

So, the purpose of this post is to help you make the best choice and, as you will soon see, get the MOST from both worlds!

email marketing and social media showdown

Social Media Poor In Turning Readers Into Customers?

This might seem counter-intuitive considering the buzz about social media marketing. But the tell-all stats are glaring.

Let’s consider a few:

1. McKinsey & Co. – This survey result in 2013 by McKinsey & Co. clearly puts email far ahead of social media in effectiveness when it comes to acquiring customers!

Social media marketing vs Email marketing

As you can see in those results, email is nearly 40 times more effective than Facebook and combined!

2. OpenMoves.com – Recently, Amir Chitayat from OpenMoves published results for one of his clients where he revealed that the results of email marketing are more tangible and with better ROI if you are looking for leads or sales. The results of the test showed that email generated 1,192 direct transactions and 872 assisted transactions – that’s a total of 2,064 transactions standing at a ratio of 0.73. This means, email marketing generated more direct conversions than assisted! Now, note that he uses both email marketing and social media and spends about the same amount of budget on them.

Social media, on the other hand, generated less direct transactions (only 173) as well as 1010 assisted conversions. This is a ratio of 0.58. What this mean is that social media had less direct conversions and contributed less to assisted conversions!

3. Getresponse.com – In it’s “State of Email Marketing 2016” report Getresponse.com reported an average open rate of 21.73% for email marketing. This is in an industry where, for example, Facebook and Twitter have an organic reach of about 6% and less than 2% respectively!

Getresponse state of email marketing 2016

The import of this is that if you have 3,000 email subscribers, 3,000 Facebook fans and 3,000 followers on Twitter, what you will likely get is:

  • 652 people will open your email
  • 180 Facebook fans will see your message
  • 60 Twitter followers will see your message

From each and every one of those reports, it is very clear, that email marketing far outperforms social media in terms of reach and ROI.

Now, the BIG QUESTION:

Should You Abandon Social Media Marketing?

Combining email marketing and social media

Does the above results mean your investment every day, posting and tweeting on the various social media platforms, is a waste of time and resources?

Not really!

I want you to take a look at the McKinsey & Co. report again. Did you notice that between 2008 and 2012 there was a 20% decline in e-mail usage while social media networks, instant messaging and mobile-messaging had some form of increased usage?

I’m sure you will agree that that trend has not changed over the years. Personally, I believe that the slow-down in email usage is not unconnected with the increase of spam emails and the social media buzz which had led to many businesses investing in social media than email marketing over this period of time.

So, taking all these reports into cognizance, instead of abandoning social media the better route would be a marketing strategy that combines the power of both email marketing and social media.

Remember, the two insights from these reports are:

a. Email beats social media when it comes to customer acquisition

and…

b. Social Media usage is on the increase and generates more assisted conversions!

As a small business you can actually have more value for your marketing spend by combining the two. By so doing you create a win-win situation for your business marketing. You simply need to:

1. Use social media to grow your email list – Your potential customers are already socializing on platforms like Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter, etc. All you need is a well designed strategy to move them over to offers and build a list to help you turn them into customers.

I advise that you download this Facebook marketing guide for small businesses.

2. Use email marketing to boost your ROI! – You’ll need an email list management service like Getresponse.com to do this.

For a detailed guide on how to put this strategy together I encourage you to read this post:

“The 3 Scientific Steps to Using Social Media for Online Selling!”

Bonus Read: How To Use Social Media Marketing To Acquire Loyal Customers!

Conclusion

These reports on social media and email marketing are indeed an eye opener for small businesses who wants to use social media marketing for their online promotions. One thing that is clear from these stats is, social media is not the right channel if you expect short term rewards in terms of revenue or profitability. On the other hand, to use email marketing you will need to understand what permission marketing is all about.

Simply posting updates about your business on social media and broadcasting marketing/sales messages through email will not help you achieve your business goals. A carefully crafted marketing strategy, as outlined in this report (Click here to download!) is what will help you do the magic.

So, what do you think? Are you having great success with your social media marketing as against what this research report states?

How to Turn Customer Pet Peeves into Your Advantage

As a business person you are aware that your business exist to create customers and, that involves doing a whole lot of things to keep the customer happy.

Unfortunately, there’s no way you’re going to please all of your customers all the time. In fact, if you try doing so, you’ll definitely go crazy!

While its easy to say that the customer is always right you’ll however agree that this can be taken too far by some. For example, like when a customer is always complaining all of the time.

It’s annoying right?

Indeed. it’s not a problem for customers to have issues with your business because there is none that doesn’t have complaining customers. But then there are some complaints that are an annoyance. What we have come to refer to as customer pet peeves! But what does that really means?

What Is A Customer Pet Peeve?

Annoying pet peeves

According to Vocabulary.com,

“A pet peeve is an annoyance that’s nurtured like a pet — it’s something someone can never resist complaining about.”

This means a customer pet peeve is something that the customer has nurtured like a pet and has turned into a frequent subject of complaint. No matter what you do as a business this customer has a way of finding faults and complaining about it!

Now, while this could be annoying you can actually turn such complaints into your business’ good. For example, you can use such complaints to provide you with insight that will help you improve your business, products and/or overall customer experience.

So, when your customers do complain, don’t take it that your company is bad or that it has some serious issues. Rather take it that your company is like any other – it has its own faults. And, instead of focusing on how you can eliminate these faults you should rather focus on how you can move forward and adjust.

To do this, you need to understand the issues customers might have with your business and find ways to avoid them. In this post I want to share with you some of the common customer pet peeves that you need to watch out for in your business.

How is your customer service?

4 Common Customer Pet Peeves to Watch Out For

1. Excuse Me, I’m Talking To You

If your Twitter feed is filled with customers complaining that they have no way to talk to your business or engage with you, you have a big problem. This suggests that there is no relationship between business and consumer.

If that’s the case, there’s a good chance that customers are going to feel undervalued and unimportant. They hate this, and they will have no issue spending their time spreading their thoughts and feelings to other people who may have otherwise taken a chance on your business.

Correcting this is easy. Make sure that you always have an open dialogue with your customers. If there are any issues even on social media feeds, respond to them promptly, and you will dazzle customers with your speedy responses to their issues.

2. Hey, What’s Taking So Long?

That probably means that you have a problem with your turnaround time and more broadly your supply chain. Perhaps you never took your supply chain management masters, and as such you don’t know how to keep things rapid and efficient.

If that’s the case, then you could correct this by taking an online course, but the main thing to focus on here is making sure you deliver the goods promptly and keep a high level of quality in your service.

Handling supply issues, companies often jump towards the possibility of an outsourcing business. It’s not the worst idea in the world, but you do need to make sure that you can trust the company you choose to handle things the right way. Otherwise, you’re just creating something else for customers to get irritated at.

Shocked And Appalled!

3. I Am Shocked And Appalled!

This isn’t so much as a pet peeve as it is something that will cause customers to scream ‘boycott’ at the top of their lungs.

Scandals in businesses are more uncommon than you think, but they do happen. If they hit the public spotlight or your consumer base gets word of them, it can have a crippling impact on sales.

To handle this issue, there’s a simple solution. Just make sure that you are doing what you can legally to stay on the right side of the line. Do this, and you shouldn’t have any issues with scandals taking town your company.

4. What A Rip Off

And finally, there’s the issue with prices. It’s not so much about how much you’re selling your products for but rather how much other people are selling theirs at. If your price isn’t competitive, you will struggle to keep customers on board and buying from your business.

So, do your research and make sure that a key competitor isn’t undercutting you.

Conclusion

Eliminating customer frustrations is a sure way to making your business more successful in the marketplace. If you note the above customer pet peeves and find ways of taking care of them then you can be sure of having more and more happy customers and of course, more success.

Need an Income Boost? Here’s How to Do It

Would you be interested in raising your income? Have you recently thought about how you can easily boost your income to meet up with some immediate financial needs?

There’s no doubt that from time to time situations arise that warrants us going something like: how I wish I had some more extra funds!

This was the situation with a friend a few weeks back. He was in a desperate need and because what he had with him could not solve the situation, he reached out to me. Unfortunately, I too didn’t have to help him because of a project I recently started of which he is aware. In frustration he blurted out, only if I could just have some way of boosting my income right now!

That got me thinking of how I could help him out in that aspect – that is, find some ways to help him boost his income. Though I’ve written a post a few days ago on making some extra income online, I wanted something that really did not demand so much. And so, after some much thought and looking around, not to overwhelm him with too many choices, I picked the following 4 simple ways and shared them with him.

Now, I know there aren’t many of us that would turn down a boost in income, especially if they’re in a desperate need like my friend was. I have decided therefore to put the simple ways I shared with my in a post knowing that it might just help someone else is looking for ways of making some extra money.

So, whether you want to pay off debt, or you have a one-off expense you can’t really afford right now or perhaps you’ve just realized that you can’t survive properly on what you’re making, you should be happy to know that there are simple ways of boosting your income.

Here are the ideas I shared with me friend.

How to Boost Your Income without Any Much Stress

1. Go Freelance

Being a freelancer isn’t always a secure job, but it can be a fantastic second job to boost your income. If you have a particular skill set, you may find that many employers are willing to work with you on a part-time basis so you could work during the nights and evenings. Freelance jobs include anything from writing to data entry and graphic design to photography. It’s an ideal way of pursuing a passion and making some money out of it while you’re at it. There are also plenty of call centers looking for native English speakers to work night and weekend shifts from their own homes.

boost your income with freelancing jobs

2. Get Qualified

You may want to boost your income without having to work two jobs. To do that, you may need a change of career to secure yourself better financial prospects for the future. Many people give up at the first thought of this because studying and working at the same time can be very difficult. However, if you opt to study online, you can choose from thousands of different courses and study in your time. As long as you get your assignments in by the deadlines, it doesn’t matter when you do the work. For example, doing an online marketing MBA could mean that your employer hires you as an addition to the marketing team.

boost your income by getting more qualifications

3. Start Your Own Business

Got a great business idea? What’s stopping you? Lots of small businesses start off from home, in the owner’s spare time. Starting a business can be an ideal way of boosting your income, doing something you’re passionate about and setting up a future for yourself. It’s safe because you can stay employed as you build the business up and only exit employment when the business is making enough money for you to take home a decent wage. Take a look at some tips on how to market a new business through social media.

boost your income with a business

4. A Second Job

If you only need a boost in your income for a short period of time, you could consider getting a temporary second job. There are always companies looking for delivery drivers during the evenings, like local take-aways. You could also consider weekend work, but it doesn’t necessarily have to be something mundane. There are lots of exciting weekend jobs, like working in Santa’s Grotto during Christmas or being a team leader for children’s outdoor activities during the Summer. Think outside the box and you may just find something you love doing.

Get a second job to boost your income

Conclusion

While there may be many others ways you can use to boost your income starting today, any one working with these tips can turn around their income situations right away.

Do you have some really simple ways you want to suggest for those who want to boost their income? Share with us in the comments below.

 

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Simple But Lucrative Ways of Making An Extra Income Online

That the internet has become a part and parcel of our everyday life is an understatement.  Not only has it opened up new and more effective ways of communication and doing business, it has also opened up many ways of earning a handsome income working from the comfort of your home and at your convenience!

Today, there are various ways you can make some extra money online. This could be full-time or part-time. Some of these ways include writing articles, doing online market research or surveys and also offering technology services.

Technology services you could offer online include, but not limited to, coding work, software development or jotting script and programming. Making good money from technical projects that suit your skills and expertise can be easy and interesting.

In this article I want to show you some ways you can make money online offering technological services.

Make money online as a freelancer1. Projects Involving Software Development, Programming And Testing:

As the name indicates you can offer services that involve software development or programming. You can also use your database administration skills, or software testing skills to make money online.

There are a number of websites that allows freelance developers or testers to work on different projects.  Other sites will allow you to bid for such projects and work on them if the employer awards you the project.

How To: Register and create a profile for yourself in sites that act as a platform for employers and freelancers to interact. Build your profile with care, adding details of your education, projects and strengths. Also add some sample or links of works to highlight or showcase your talent. Bid on projects that match your core strength and bid reasonably. Read the project description carefully before bidding.

2. Projects Involving Animation, Graphics, Web Design:

Not only programmers or software developers have the opportunity to make money online.  Good web designers, animators and graphic designers can also earn handsomely with their skills and expertise.

Many employers look for freelance developers for websites and other graphic designs. This may involve photo restoration, creating effective website banners, short animation films or videos, etc. Others may include redesigning websites, logos and a host of other creative works that involve graphic designing skills and creativity.

How To: Register and build a profile in freelancing websites like Elance.com, freelancer.com, guru.com. Add a portfolio of work samples. Make sure that your portfolio works have watermark placed strategically on them. If possible build your own website and add that link also. Add some website or sources where your work is on display. Do not deliver any work without a milestone payment. Verify employer credentials thoroughly before starting a project.

Home Business Tips for Growing Your Business Online

3. Security Consultant:

Another technology service that has a huge prospect of making money online is security consultation. Having a good and in-depth knowledge of website, internet and software security issues is one of the pre-requisite for this service.

The basic job involves consulting companies or websites about the security flaws and loopholes in their websites or products. This involves a thorough understanding of the security systems, and the world can be your workplace.

How To: Register and build an impressive profile and portfolio in the freelancing websites. Make sure that you mention your credentials and qualification in detail. Add certifications and recommendations if any. Bid for works/ work that suits and matches your strength, read the project details carefully before bidding.

4. Projects Involving Technical Support:

Make money online offering technology servicesCountless companies and individual entrepreneurs look for freelancers for technical support for their companies or projects. They may involve voice or non-voice support for their company or products. Looking for the ones that match your skills and expertise is the key.

5. Other Kind Of Projects:

There are a lot of other kinds of projects available to make money online offering technology services that might not involve deep knowledge of technology. Some of these include:

  • Medical Transcription: This involves writing down a doctor’s conversation or speech as a medical document. Expertise in English and some know-how about medicine or medical transcription is needed.
  • Online Teaching: Many online sites out there will pay you for a job as an online coach. The subjects may vary as per your expertise, and you may be needed to coach students from different parts of the world. You can do this on a freelance basis also.
  • Article Writing: This may vary from writing articles related to traveling, product description, dissertation papers and every kind of writing you can imagine. You need to understand your forte and proceed.

Some other jobs online that involves good money are offering virtual assistant services, translation services, data entry work, web scraping and even voice-over and speaking services.

Bookkeeping Services

How to Summary:

The very first step for making money online offering technology services is to register in sites that offer a platform for employers and freelancers to interact. There are many sites like this, but be careful as some of them are also scammers. Join the trusted site. Join as a basic member and then you can upgrade to premium ones when you have started earning good.

Build an impressive profile, with pictures, qualification, projects done already, and add some samples also. It is always good to build a profile which highlights your strength and core expertise. Know your strengths and expertise and only bid for those kinds of projects and works. Good feedback from employers will always improve your chances of getting more projects and better paid ones.

Another thing that you must keep in mind is the fact that many of these sites are full of scammers.  So, read the job description and the employers profile before selecting to work. Check if the employer has verified his payment mode or not. Another thing is that read the terms and conditions properly. Insist on a milestone payment before starting to work. That will give you a confidence about the payment.

Finally:

Though being competent in your skills is one of the most important aspects of being successful online, another thing you need to keep in mind is, be punctual and keep the employer informed about the progress of the job. Always try to finish the work by the deadline.

I do hope this information will help you in your quest to make some serious money online offering technology services.

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Top 4 Most Common Small Business Website Mistakes To Avoid

In our today’s digitally connected world any business that desires successful must, by all means, have some form of digital footprint – a website, a good social media profile perhaps, and of course, some form of presence when it comes to web searches.

However, there are often many mistakes that a lot of small business persons make when it comes to building their websites. As someone who wants to leverage the power of the internet to promote and grow your business and brand, it is important that you don’t make any of these mistakes yourself.

I have specially put this post together to help you avoid making these common mistakes. I invite you therefore to carefully read it.

Common Small Business Website Mistakes

Website Mistakes to Avoid

Mistake #1: Ignoring Search Engine Optimization

Search engine optimization is key to ensuring that your web page is seen, especially when people use specific search terms directly for your business in popular search engines like Google. SEO is where you focus on keywords in your copy and on your web pages. It also involves getting your website linked back to from other websites and sites with a high domain authority.

When other sites link to your website it shows the search engines that you are deemed “important” and subsequently will direct their clients to your site if it deems fit with the wording used in the original search.

Search engine optimization can be a great way to ensure that your website gets seen when someone is searching within your industry. Ignoring it in your website design is a big mistake you must strive to avoid.

Ignoring Search Engine Optimization

Mistake #2: Underestimating the Power of Social Media

So many people turn to social media these days for personal and business uses. Research shows that almost 70% of people from nations that have active Facebook profiles alone check their feeds at least once a day.

Despite this, many small businesses do not use social media to their advantage. Having a clear and consistent social media strategy can often be an industry leading best kept secret to ensuring that your business is seen by the masses and not by the few.

A professional tone with consistent content will be key to ensuring that your business is seen by a wider audience. Not to mention the various advertising options within sites like Twitter, Instagram.com, and Facebook which can enable you to showcase your business to a massive audience within specific demographics.

Power of Social Media

Mistake #3: Not Analyzing Data and Website Efficiency

A good looking website is one thing and even making sure people can see it and visit it often. But if your website isn’t running smoothly, has low page loading times or is inefficient, then you will lose potential customers and clients.

The good thing is that with websites like Stackify.com you can ensure that the internet information service systems you have, will be providing you data to analyses efficiency.

Not Analyzing Data and Website Efficiency

Mistake #4: Failing To Create a Memorable Brand

Your brand is very important to how your website looks. It’s the one chance to make a decent first impression.

If your website doesn’t look good or particularly inviting, if your brand doesn’t speak volumes about what you stand for, If your website isn’t easy to use or have the content in which it needs, then it just won’t work for you.

It’s important to ensure that your website ticks all the boxes in order to stand out.

Dealing with downturns in businesses

If you do everything you can to avoid these website mistakes you can be sure of carving out a place for your small business in the online marketplace.

10 Quick Small Business Safety Tips: #8 Is A MUST!

All businesses are at risk to a degree, but small businesses are particularly vulnerable.

Because they lack the resources to defend themselves against every threat that’s out there, they can sometimes be targeted by would-be criminals and other threats. However, a lack of resources or finances doesn’t mean small businesses can’t do anything.

Most threats can be managed without spending a penny: it just takes a little bit of time and effort to make sure things are under control. Below, we outline ten safety practices to keep your small business out of harm’s way.

Small Business Safety Tips

10 Safety Practices for Your Small Business

1. Open Dialogue

The first step you can take to create a safe business and workplace is to foster an open dialogue in the workplace. Things can begin to fall apart when the communication channels break down. For instance, if an employee noticed a vulnerable aspect of your business but kept quiet because they assumed you already knew, you’d be putting yourself at risk for no good reason at all.

Make sure that you have strong, open communication with all your employees, from the lowest, ranked all the way to the top. Your company will be much safer – and stronger in other ways, too – if your workers feel comfortable talking to you about their concerns.

Encourage employee communications for business safety

2. Rogue Employees

Though it’s not a particularly nice thing to think about, sometimes it is our employees who present a threat to our company. If you think an employee may be intentionally harming your business, you may be able to dismiss them on the spot: take a look at 5 common examples of gross misconduct to see the kind of things that merit instant dismissal.

Your job, as the employer, is to be vigilant when it comes to your employees, and also encourage other employees to speak up if they see someone doing something they shouldn’t. You can also reduce the chances of this happening by making sure you follow up on all references and background checks when you employ a person in the first place.

Discourage employee gross misconduct

3. Perform a Review

Sometimes, we don’t even realize just how vulnerable our business or workplace is until we perform a review. You should be taking a look at all aspects of your business from the eyes of someone who might want to do you harm.

How easy would it be for them to achieve it?

If you don’t know exactly what you’re looking for, get an outside security expert to perform an analysis of your business. Once you know where the holes in your company are, you’ll be in a better position to improve your security practices.

Review your business for safety

4. Securing the Goods

You might think that your workplace is unlikely to be targeted by thieves…but that’s what everyone who doesn’t invest in security measures thought before they were targeted. You can never really know if a thief would target your space, but if you have expensive equipment, then why take the chance?

[instantazon id=’wpis_1499861778′]Computers and key documents should be stored away at the end of the day so that, even if someone were to illegally gain entry to your site, there would be nothing to take anyway. Think about how much money you will have spent on your infrastructure, and the cost of buying and installing a safe will make sense.

You can also invest in some form of spy cameras to monitor your workplace 24/7. There are a number of these that can be found on Amazon.com and other online ecommerce stores.

5. Outsource Your IT

When it comes to staying secure, your biggest obstacle will be your IT. This will be one of your most vulnerable aspects of your business because it’s where hackers and other criminals make their most money, and they nearly always target small businesses. Because of this, you’ll want to make sure your IT security is in tip-top condition.

Unless you’ve been studying IT, you won’t have the necessary skills to keep your IT safe, and as such you’ll be better served by outsourcing the work to an IT company. Aside from keeping you safe, doing this will also improve other areas of your business and allow you to keep your focus on the things that you do best.

 Outsource Your IT

6. Teaching Your Employees

Your employees are your first line of defense when it comes to keeping your business safe. But they’re unlikely to know how they should do this if you’re not teaching them the procedures you want them to follow when they’re at work.

It’s particularly important that you discuss how they should be using their computers, including setting passwords and which links they open. When you have new ideas on how to improve workplace security, hold training sessions. Keeping your employees up to date with this will help make your entire operation more secure.

7. Social Media Engagement

Of all the online areas in which your business can suffer, none are more threatening than your social media pages. While they have the potential to deliver plenty of positives to your business, it’s also where the most damage is done. Most of this concerns your company’s reputation: nothing will hurt it more than sending an inappropriate tweet or Facebook post.

Not taking the time to vet each post to ensure they don’t contain any sensitive data and so on can also be problematic. Make sure that only the staff who are authorized to post on social media are doing so, and that they know exactly what is allowed and what isn’t.

Social Media Engagement

8. Back it All Up

As a business, you’ll have plenty of data that is crucial to your daily operations. What would you do if suddenly, all those important documents were to disappear, and never be brought back? The risks are small, but it does happen, and when it does it can pose big problems for business. That’s why it’s crucially important that you backup all your data so that, should you have a problem with your main database, everything is safe and secure elsewhere.

Of all the options, cloud storage is best, as this cannot be destroyed even if your computers or other hardware fail. All your documents will still be there, in a safe online space.

Back it All Up

9. Site Safety

How safe are your actual premises, both from would-be criminals and from a health and safety point of view?

To ward off thieves, it’s always a good idea to make sure the outside of your building is made to look unattractive to thieves. This can involve making sure it’s well lit, hard to get into, and having visible security cameras.

On the inside, keeping all safety exits – and also teaching your staff where the safety exits are – will ensure everyone can leave should they be required to suddenly down tools and leave the building.

Site Safety

10. Always Review

The art of keeping your business safe lies in constantly monitoring and reviewing your safety operations. Criminals, especially online, are always coming up with new and clever ways to target a business, and if you’re not aware of the new things they’re doing, then you’ll be a risk.

Every few months, take the time take another look at your security and safety practices and see where and when it can be improved. You always need to stay one step ahead of the people who intend to do you harm!

Conclusion

It’s unlikely that your business will suffer from any of the attacks outlined above, but it always makes sense to be prepared. You never know what will happen in business, but if you’ve taken steps to stay safe, then you’ll have little to worry about. With your peace of mind intact, you’ll be able to focus on improving your business knowing that you don’t have to worry about any harm coming your way.

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How to Ensure Success with Your Small Business Accounting Records

Whether you’re just getting started or you’ve been running your small business for some time now, you should know by now that owning a business comes with a lot of tasks you need to handle. One of such is your accounting records.

As a small business owner you can never boast of success if you allow your accounts to get out of your control. It’s simply one of the most basic things that business owners need to get right.

That’s true for new, young entrepreneurs and experienced business leaders alike. The moment you take your eye off the ball, things are bound to slip away from you.

But there is really no need to be too daunted by the prospect of looking after your business’ accounts properly, though. It’s something that certainly can be done if you’re willing to learn and put in some hard work.

To get started and regain control of your small business accounts, you need to first know the basic rules. These rules apply to all kinds of businesses. They are the basic principles upon which good business accounting practices are based.

When you know and understand these rules, your task will become so much easier, which can only be a good thing for you and your business.

You will also need to know about some of the common pitfalls and mistakes that are experienced when managing a business’s accounts.

Below is what you need to know about small business accounting so your business run smoothly and profitably.

Small Business Accounting Rules to Follow

1. Track Each and Every Expense

Every little thing your business spends money on should be tracked and recorded. This is something that many people don’t realize is necessary. But all those small expenditures will mount up over time, so it’s always best to be clear about where the business stands.

To do this properly, you will need to have a system for organizing the business’ receipts. Remember that some of these small expenses might be tax deductible, meaning you could get a chunk of money knocked off your taxes later on. This makes tracking every expense and keeping every receipt even more worthwhile.

2. Develop a System for Bookkeeping

Do you have a good bookkeeping system in place for your business?

If you don’t, your business needs to fix this fast. You need to be using the best software available in order to ensure that you don’t make any mistakes. There are so many accounting software options out there, and they make your job of keeping control of the accounts so much easier than it would otherwise be.

You can also use things like intuit checks to add some extra security and oversight to your business’ finances. The system you eventually develop will be unique to your business; just make sure you have one.

Design a system for your accounting operations

3. Separate Business and Personal Finances

For many people who run small businesses, there is some crossover between their personal finances and the business’ finances. It’s important to make these separate from one another if you want to succeed and keep the finances in order.

You should aim to set up the business in a way that allows you to have limited responsibility. This will mean that if the business has debts, they won’t have to be paid by taking away your personal possessions. This is important for anyone who is setting up a business by themselves. If you fail to, your home and other assets could be at risk if things go badly wrong.

4. Follow Up on Invoices

Invoices are important because everyone wants to get paid when they’re owed money. But when you run a small business, it’s often a case of sending out the invoice and then forgetting about it. This is not the kind of practice that will be good for your business’s finances, though.

You should make sure that the invoices you send out are tracked. That way, you can follow them up and make sure you receive payment. For many companies, unpaid invoices are a real problem. And if you let them pass by without ever getting paid, the business will be deprived of its money.

5. Set Up a Strong Payroll System

If you hire anyone to work for you, even if it’s not on a full-time basis, you will need to have a payroll system in place. It’s not as simple as it might sound because you will have to make sure that the company is withholding the right amount of money to be paid in taxes.

If you don’t have a proper and professional payroll system in place to deal with these tasks, you will never manage your workforce properly. Things will become messy and, inevitably, mistakes will get made.

Setting up the payroll system isn’t a huge task, but it will certainly save you time and stress later on, so don’t put it off for long.

6. Determine Your Tax Obligations

Finally, you need to fully determine your business’ tax obligations. There are big consequences for businesses that fail to pay their taxes. It’s not a situation you want to get your business in, whether it was intentional or not.

If your business is run as a corporate entity, its tax obligations will be separate from your own personal tax obligations. And that means that it will have to pay corporation tax.

If you are confused by the situation in any way, don’t hesitate in hiring a professional tax advisor who will be able to clear things up for you. It’s better to do that than to make a big mistake.

Know your tax obligations

Major Small Accounting Mistakes to Avoid

  1. Simple Mathematical Errors

It’s sometimes the case that simple mathematical errors, even if they seem small at the time, can have a big impact on the overall accounts. It’s these simple errors that could lead to you getting a view of the business’ accounts and financial situation that is less than accurate.

When you have inaccurate records to use, you will make decisions that are wrong because they won’t be based on the real situation that the business is in. So, always check and double check the records before pressing ahead. This is an important thing to do, even if it might seem trivial now.

Little account mistakes could harm your business

2. Taking a Short-Term Approach

Taking a short-term approach to your business finances is not an option that is even worth considering if you want to sort things out properly. When you only focus on where the business’ finances are heading in the immediate sense, you won’t be prepared for what could be heading your way further down the line. That would be a big mistake and leave the business unprepared for future challenges.

So, to ensure that your business is sustainable in the long-term, you should take an approach that takes into account the future of the business. How is it going to adapt? Is there going to be money for future investment? These things are important.

3.  Getting Too Far Ahead and Forgetting the Basics

When you try to get too far ahead of yourself, you start becoming concerned with things that might not be so important. Yes, it’s a good thing to want to learn more about accounting. But only do this if you think that you have a firm grip on the basics. The basic things are the ones that matter most. And if you can’t get those right, then you’ll have a problem.

So, don’t try to complicate matters if they really don’t need to be complicated. It’s a classic mistake, but one that doesn’t have to be made. When you run a small business, you only need to get the basic things right to keep your business in strong financial shape.

4.    Not Getting Help When It’s Needed

Many business owners just assume that they are capable of going it alone when they start out managing their accounts. For small business owners with relatively simple financial situations, this might be the case. But you should be aware that if you are focusing on the financial side of things, then you will probably have to make sacrifices in other areas. You can’t ignore that fact.

You only have so many hours in the day, and it’s up to you to split your time between different tasks. If you think that you’re not going to be able to dedicate the necessary amount of time to the accounts, you might want to hire some help.

Get help when neccessary

5. Falling Behind

Falling behind with the accounting tasks that you need to take care of is one of the biggest mistakes of all. And the dangerous thing is that it’s so easy to do.

If you step back and stop paying attention to what you’re doing and what needs to be done for even a couple of weeks, you can fall really far behind. Making up that ground and fixing issues and problems that have arisen while you were distracted can be a huge challenge.

In truth, many business owners never manage to regain control of their finances once they stop paying attention to them. So, make sure that this is something that you are focused on all year round.

Conclusion

Now that you know more about what it takes to manage your small business’ accounts properly and professionally, it’s time to get down to work. Let the information and warnings above aid you as you try to make your business’ accounts balanced and healthy in the future.

15 Ways a Beginner Blogger Can Appear Like a Pro [Expert Tips]

Okay, today I’m going to do what I have not done for a long, long time – that’s feature a guest blogger on this blog!

Yes, if you read my “Write for Us” page right now you will discover that I have stopped accepting guest posts on this blog. However, when my friend, Theodore reached out to me on doing a guest post for the WebIncomeJournal.com, I had to think twice. But then I said, “Send it across!”

Now, you may be wondering why I decided to accept this one even when I have stopped accepting guest posts for close to two years running?

No, it isn’t just because he’s a friend but Theo (as I used to call him) is one passionate blogger that I know to over deliver in any of his posts. And so, I know he was not going to do anything below par.

And, was I right!

You just have to read this post to know what I’m talking about. And by the way, he has a special FREE GIFT for you at the end of this piece. So, do yourself some good and read all the way through the post so you don’t miss your gift!

And with that, let me step aside as I invite to the podium our special guest…

…over to you Theodore!

Expert blogging tips for the beginner blogger

Hey folks, it’s nice to write to you today from the corner of my girlfriend’s room. Yes, she’s just gone out and I thought I could quickly wrap my head around this and show you the world of better !

I must however, admit that there are a lot of articles flying everywhere online about this topic that you almost get really irritated at another sight of it.

Like you, I am tired but realizing that I still make some silly and common blogging mistakes, I decided to share my top 15 blogging tips which I hopefully believe will help the beginner blogger blog better. Hope you truly enjoy it as much as I am writing it!

So here are my best tips for your perusal and application. Enjoy reading! And please don’t hesitate to drop your two cents with me in the comment section of this page.

15 Blogging Tips for Beginner Blogger

1. Know Your Audience

The secret to stardom as a blogger is in knowing and understanding your target audience as to providing them the kind of content that they would love to read and share with their friends.

Knowing your audience well will help to get to their hearts with your content and as such help you make money online doing what you love.

So folks, if you’d like to start your online , it’d be great if you will check Chadrack’s powerful post on how to do just that. It is quite resourceful.

2. Embrace Truth-Telling

Many people in the bid to make money online lie to their audience by providing them stolen and get-rich-quick-scheme content that don’t add value to the audience but only enlarge their pockets. You don’t become great online when your trust level is on downright low!

Write from the heart

3. Pick A Topic

I have never seen anyone succeed in the online space, let alone in any endeavor by doing and talking about everything.

It’s good to practice what the mantra instructs – to know something about everything and everything about something – but it’s pretty important not to get lost trying to be everything to people.

You will only succeed in failing and burning yourself out. This is why you need to pick a topic to discuss with your audience and really stick to.

For me though, I majorly discuss blogging and make money online subjects.

Get the drift?

4. Stand Yourself Out

There are a lot of people out there practicing mediocrity. You don’t want to join that bandwagon. You want to be a unique YOU.

You don’t want to add to the already noise out there but create awesome and quality-filled contents that will be helpful as well as useful to the people in which you are serving them to.

5. Be Wary Of Stat-Checking

Is good to check your metrics so that you know what you are doing right and the things that you are doing wrongly. But what is not cool is when you base all your energy and focus on checking your blog’s stats.

You are still a beginner I assume. So what you should be doing at this stage of your blogging life is creating content and religiously promoting your blog.

Now, please, don’t get me wrong. It’s good to check your stat, to see where your traffics are coming from and how best to target them next time, but it’s not just cool at this early stage of your blogging career.

Get me now?

6. Make Your Content Shareable

I visited a blog the other day and I was shocked to find that I could not help them (the blog editor) share the content on my social accounts – and you can almost trust that this blogger wrote a really fantastic article – but one that won’t get noticed, after all.

Beginner blogger, listen to me, make sure you install and use social sharing plugins, the likes of “Social Warfare” (I use this one on my blog), “DIGG”, and “Share This” plugin. They have a way of getting the words out about your contents.

The more people hit those buttons, the more traffic you get and the more you increase your chances of making money online.

Maybe you should read Oleg’s post about the 44 Impressive Ways You Can Use Social Media to Grow Your Business Overnight. You can trust that it would worth your whiles.

Create shareable content

7. Encourage Community

I learned this one from Jeff Goins. He said, “Write unfinished posts, and ask your community to complete the conversation.” This way, you are sure to increase the chances of your blog ever going viral in the blogging space.

8. Network Daily

The difference between the not-so-popular blogger and the really popular blogger is nothing but effective networking with other bloggers and the people that come together to make up his community. The importance of connecting with folks online and offline cannot really be overemphasized. That’s the truth!

9. Write For People

You must have heard the rants of how important guest posting are to building a blog to the point where it becomes extremely successful.

Have you?

Now that’s pretty correct!

See, if you dream of having a really popular blog, then you must learn to write for other blogs, just as I am doing with this post.

Write for the community

10. Build Your Email List

I wish I had started building my email list when I started my first blog in 2011. My bad, I started late. Though now paying off.

You must have heard the mantra, “There’s money in the list”. I must also add, in fact, there is plenty money to be made via list building!

What having an email list does is that it connects you directly to the folks who are ready to listen to you, learn from you, buy from you and apply the lessons learned from you. It’s the best way of reaching your target audience. Take it from me.

I found a good resource here on Web Income Journal about Social Media Vs Email Marketing and I am sure it would of course worth your while if you take time to check and study that post.

Build an email list with your blog

11. Give Away Free Stuff

To become extremely popular in the online space – to grow your blog to the place it becomes extremely successful – you’ve got to learn to give away a lot of free stuff.

You don’t have to be afraid; you can give out contents in forms such as PDF, video, audio and the likes.

Be sure to do these things religiously till you start to get hits/buzzes in your inbox to do deals with you.Mind you, these folks might evenend up becoming your loyal blog audience.

12. Be Consistent

“Common buddy, consistency is the key to growing a successful blog.” Those were the words of Adrienne Smith to me at a time when I was experiencing a lot of frustrations back in 2014. Actually, she was right.

And in the words of Neil Patel, “Consistency is one of the most important things that bloggers tend to forget. It’s much easier to lose your traffic than it is to build it up, so make sure you consistently blog.”

Let their advice guide you to stardom!

13. Keep It Short And Loaded

Have you ever read Seth Godin’s opinions, that is, blog posts? God, they are habitually short, straight-to-the-point and are loaded with take home points. This is what you should strive to doing as a beginner blogger that you are.

Derek Sivers shared this, “Biggest lesson I learned in my past year of blogging. Keep it in the 1–2 minutes read-time length.”

14. Publish Timeless Contents

If you’ve been on the web for most time, you’d notice that old contents are often perceived as outdated and irrelevant.

Not so?

Well, what you should do is not to write a post but a resource that will be cited in weeks, months, even years to come. That’s what I call ‘Epic Shit!’

Make post timeless

15. Don’t Give Up

Maybe I need to stress that – Don’t ever think of GIVING UP! You win when you stick with what it is that you do, in this case, blogging.

BONUS TIPS

I have definitely got a bonus tip for you and it’s a resource I yet again found on Web Income Journal – it simply states the reasons Why 80% of Bloggers Fail and How to Avoid Being One. You can trust me on this that you can never go wrong with this article being your compass-guide. Go read it NOW!

Wrapping Up

These are my Top 15 blogging Tips for Beginner Blogger and I am sure if you would but put to practice this checklist you will enjoy your life as a blogger.

Do make sure to share this with your friends and don’t forget to comment your thoughts. That’s like really important. I need to know what you feel about this article. Was it helpful, useful, or not?

Author Bio

Theodore Nwangene is a blogger and Freelance Writer. He’s currently on a journey to help bloggers and entrepreneurs write kick-ass contents, build a better and profitable blog, increase visibility and boost their online authority. He just wrote a kindle book titled: 21 Writing Hacks: A Cheat Sheet for Writing Compelling Articles That Will Open Doors and Land you Clients. Click Here to Get Your Free PDF Copy Now >

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