Crissy Says

Earning Money With Affiliate Programs + Blogging

Blogging is one way that people make their presence known on the Internet.What started out as simple, online journals in the 90s have become a phenomenon! One way to monetize your blog is through affiliate programs.

This type of program is great for a blog. Affiliate programs are everywhere now. They range from pay-per-click to pay-per-lead to pay-per-sale. It all depends on what you want to explore. With some of the bigger programs, you are almost guaranteed a profit on the brand alone.

Finding a Suitable Affiliate Program

All affiliate programs are not created equal. First, choose one that is suitable for the purpose of your blog. You wouldn’t advertise for hair care products if you blog is about gardening. The program product has to fit your needs.

Check out the commission structure. If you are going to promote this program, you want it to be worth your while. Many have a structure where you can earn money for your leads and also for referrals. Can you move up? A multi-level program gives you incentive to promote harder for the monetary gains.

Do you believe in the product? Remember, you are accountable to your readers on your blog. Promoting a product simply for the money would betray them and you would lose your audience.

Try the products you are promoting. Ask for feedback on the program if you have to. You will be more passionate about the product if you like it.

Go for the top. Why not Amazon or eBay? They offer popular affiliate programs that can help monetize your blog. Well established programs usually have more resources for the affiliates to use to increase their commissions.

Affiliate Directories

This is another way to get going with affiliate programs. This is like a marketplace where merchants can list their affiliate opportunities. You can apply for their programs. Here, though, you may be rejected if your blog doesn’t meet certain criteria such as length of time on the Internet.

Affiliate programs are an easy way to get started in the area of monetizing your blog. You can sign up for many even if your blog is new and get going in minutes.

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Crissy Says

De-Clutter Your Website & Blog

When you think of de-cluttering, you probably think of cleaning the clutter in your home — but let’s talk about taking care of some digital clutter. Specifically – let’s talk about your website and blog!  Those things need to get freshened up, too! Here are a few things to consider:

Links – Linking to other sites when you write posts, create a blog roll, etc are very helpful to your reader. But those links can become broken after time, as pages on other sites get moved or deleted. Checking your links every so often and making sure they are in working order is a good thing to do, and it can also make life easier for your readers. If you use WordPress, this plugin can check your links for you.

About Me – When is the last time you updated your “about me” page? Go read through it — if it says you are a single woman living in Paris, and since then, you’ve gotten married, had three kids and settled down in Buffalo, it’s time to change your bio! (okay, okay – you probably haven’t been through that many changes, but you get the point)

Press – Again, this is a page that should be updated! You want the public to view all of your latest press, right? So if you haven’t posted the links to your five most recent interviews, reviews, etc, now is the time to do so!

Header – Putting up a new header on your site is like going to the doctor for one of those non-invasive mini-peels or laser treatments. It will give a whole new look to your face without requiring any downtime.

Colors – Look at your site objectively… Are the colors pleasant and complementary? Or are they so garish they make you cross-eyed? So bland that everything blends together? Be honest! If they are less than awesome, it’s time to change ’em.

Theme  – If you are using a theme that no longer appeals to you or no longer meets your needs, it could be time to change it. Yes -this procedure can be a bit more invasive than changing your header, but you can have a new theme installed and customized with your colors, choice of font, etc in less than a week. That’s really not so bad, now is it?

 

 

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Crissy Says

Gaining Traffic From Social Media

Social media is all the rage. Business owners are smart to tap into these tools to drive traffic to their sites, yet many are missing the mark. Here are some tips:

1. Offer insight about your industry. When you’re online at your social networking site of choice it’s absolutely important to participate, but how you participate can make all the difference. If you’re merely commenting about what you had for dinner and your new car, then you’re not optimizing the site or your time. Instead, make sure to offer insight about your industry. This doesn’t mean every post has to link to an article or post of yours.

You can link to relevant content on other sites, offer quotes and data. So while it’s great to share your personality on these sites, it’s also important to establish your credibility and authority. Provide relevant and useful information, and people will automatically go to your site to learn more about you and what you have to offer.

2. Use attention-grabbing headlines, as well as  comments, controversy,  and how-to statements.

3. Offer giveaways. People still like getting something for free and you can promote your freebies and giveaways on social networking sites. Reports, online courses or tutorials, blueprints, ebooks and video and audio content are all great ways to motivate traffic to your site.

4. Use special promotions for your unique social media audience. If you have Facebook fans, consider offering them special promotions for signing up and for being a fan. You can do the same thing if you have a twitter account and so on. Consider giving each new friend/follower a coupon via a direct message to them. That coupon will motivate them to at least visit your website and may turn them into a customer or subscriber.

Be willing to test and track to see what works. You can create a special webpage to drive social networking traffic to. You can even duplicate that page and use a unique URL for each site you participate on. This way you can track your traffic from each post and from each social networking site to see what works. It’s a great way to gain insight to your audience and to ensure you’re optimizing your time and efforts.

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Crissy Says

Overcoming Time Management Obstacles in Easy Steps

Time management can be the single biggest challenge to working from home and being a successful entrepreneur. Learning to overcome these obstacles can be the key to managing and leading a successful business.

What are time management obstacles and what causes them? Many things cause time management obstacles including:

1. Perfectionism – Many people use perfectionism as a crutch; a way to stay busy doing what they know how to do and to let the rest slide. For example, you’re a skilled writer but detest accounting, which means you spend days on a sales letter and your books are so messed up you don’t know who owes you what or how much money you’re making or losing.

2. Procrastination – This happens for a number of reasons. If you’re facing burnout, then you’ll likely feel like avoiding anything related to your business. However, if you’re facing a task you don’t want to do it’s much easier to procrastinate.

3. An inability to say no – Guess what; not only should you not be doing everything – you can’t! And if you try to, something’s going to give. You’re not going to be able to devote your full attention to your business-related tasks, they’ll suffer and your bottom line will suffer.

4. Lack of planning – It’s easy to become caught up in tasks like

* Social networking
* Email
* Phone calls
* Checking stats and website analytics (This is important but you don’t need to obsessively watch the numbers)
* Surfing the net, reading blogs and industry information

One quick email check can turn into a full hour of back and forth email correspondence and before you know it, your entire schedule is off for the day. Planning, and sticking to your plan, helps you stay on track.

To overcome time management obstacles, consider these four steps:

#1 – What’s stopping you?

Look at what’s holding you up. Is it procrastination? Perfection? A lack of planning? What’s getting in your way?

#2 – Prioritize and set goals

Prioritizing and goal setting are two very important components of time management. Goal setting is easiest to accomplish when you set a goal that is attainable and measurable and when you break it down into smaller manageable goals.

Creating a task list is another item that, as strange as it may sound, needs to become a scheduled part of your day and your week. You’ll want to spend a bit of time prior to Monday morning creating a list of tasks and goals for the upcoming week. Keep in mind that some days may be set aside as planning days, days off or meeting days.

#3 – Schedule your day, week and month

Make sure you have time to accomplish the goals, tasks and priorities you’ve established. Set aside the time you need by planning your days, weeks, and even your month out.

To make this process easier, and to lighten your load, there are time management tools like a PDA, desktop scheduling software and the good old fashioned paper calendar, which can help you establish and maintain time management success.

#4 – Get help

Finally, if you’re feeling overwhelmed, it may be time to seek outside help. Consider hiring someone to manage the tasks that seem to get in the way. Often these are the administrative tasks. You can outsource them to a virtual assistant to lighten the load. You can also hire a housekeeper if daily chores are a distraction from your business. And don’t forget about technology. Many tasks can be automated.

Overcoming your time management obstacles is easy when you are able to acknowledge what they are and why they exist. From there it’s merely a process of planning how to overcome them and using the right tools to get the job done.

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Crissy Says

How Can A VA (Virtual Assistant) Help You?

Once you start an online business, and start meeting other online biz owners on social media, it won’t take long before you hear the term VA or Virtual Assistant.

VA stands for Virtual Assistant. A VA is someone who helps you with your business.

They can take on administrative, marketing, accounting – or any other task that you assign. They are called “virtual” because they work from their own home. Many businesses, both home based and non home based, hire VAs.

There are many reasons to hire a VA. For starters, it frees up your time and allows you to stay on top of the most important aspects of your biz. For example, let’s say that email takes up a huge chunk of your time. Well, give that task to a VA, and you can focus on creating your products. Do you hate marketing? Hire a VA to take care of that and you don’t have to worry about it anymore.

Giving the tasks that you do not enjoy to a VA can also make you more productive. It’s common for people to procrastinate on ALL of their business tasks when they know they have to do something they don’t enjoy, such as accounting. So, instead of taking care of other stuff, a person will just sit there frozen. When you hand your accounting to a VA, you’ll know it’s being taken care of and you’ll be able to get “un-stuck” and stop procrastinating on the stuff that needs to be done.

So how do you find a VA? Well, for starters, ask your business friends for recommendations. Whether they are people you know locally or via online, such as Twitter, chances are, they know a good VA, or can lead you to someone who does!

Other options include sites like UpWork.com, where you can post a job and people can “bid” for it. They will post the amount they are willing to be paid for it. Don’t just go for the lowest price. Really investigate the person and ask for the email addresses of former clients so that you can get a real opinion of their work.

You do not have to hire someone full time. You can start with just a few hours a month. You’d be amazed at how much a VA can get done in a short amount of time. And you’ll be even more amazed at how much work YOU can get done with a VA on your team!

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Life

What’s the Point of Self-Improvement Anyway?

There’s a paradox with self-improvement and it is this: the ultimate goal of all self-improvement is to reach the point where you no longer feel the need to improve yourself.

Think about it: The whole goal of improving your productivity is to reach the point where you never have to think about how to be more productive. The whole point of pursuing happiness is to reach the point where one no longer has to think about being happy. The whole point of improving your relationships is so that you can enjoy some drama-free cunnilingus in the McDonald’s drive-thru without almost crashing the car.

(Still working on that last one.)

Self-improvement is therefore, in a weird way, ultimately self-defeating.

The only way to truly achieve one’s potential, to become fully fulfilled, or to become “self-actualized” (whatever the fuck that means), is to, at some point, stop trying to be all of those things.

Original Article

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