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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Crissy Says

Why You Should Create A Quiz (And An Easy Way To Do It)

Have you ever thought about creating a quiz? Quizzes are AWESOME for your business! I’m sure you’ve seen quizzes on Facebook. People love taking them, and sharing their results.

(Would Buzzfeed even be Buzzfeed, without quizzes?)

Here are some reasons that you should consider creating a quiz:

Quizzes Can Help You Grow Your Email List

Depending on the quiz builder you choose, you may have the option of integrating the quiz with your email autoresponder service (ConvertKit, MailChimp, Drip, etc).

When people complete the quiz, they can choose to enter in their email to get detailed results. Since by the end of taking the quiz, people WANT to know their results, and that is why quizzes can have a high coversion rate.

Quizzes Can Be The Beginning Of An Automated Sales Funnel 

Depending on your autoresponder service, you may be able to assign tags and automations to your new subscribers. You can send them to an email sequence that you choose, based on their result, and send them targeted, special offers. Your quiz serves as the beginning of a sales funnel. How awesome is that?

Quizzes Can Help You Get Traffic To Your Site 

As I mentioned above (and as you’ve seen on Facebook), people love to share the results of the quizzes that they’ve taken. When you see your friend took a quiz and got the results they did, it’s only natural to be curious about the results you would get.

Quizzes go viral for a reason (and this is why Buzzfeed gets so much traffic).

If you embed the quiz on your site, it’s easy to see how traffic to your site will increase, once people start sharing the link to your quiz.

I’ve been wanting to create quizzes for a long time.

I have purchased two quiz builder plugins in the past, including Thrive Quiz Builder and Simple Quiz. I didn’t end up using them, though. Thrive Quiz Builder only offered a few styles, and I just didn’t think they were very good looking. Simple Quiz was anything but simple. That was so confusing to try and create a quiz, I just gave up (and I’m tech savvy!).

I have looked into even more quiz builder plugins for WordPress, and other quiz building software. There was always a catch. Some didn’t allow you to collect leads, but only in a spreadsheet. There wasn’t a way to integrate your autoresponder, which really defeats the purpose of using a quiz as the beginning of an automated sales funnel. The ones that did allow you to integrate with your autoresponder were pretty expensive.

After looking, and looking, and doing lots of research, I decided to try Interact.

The process of setting up a quiz was really easy.

I took A LOT of screenshots while I set up my quiz, so you could see what it looked like.

This is what I saw  when I logged in

This was my first time trying Interact, so I checked the “yes” option

Interact Walks You Through Setting Up Your Quiz

I chose to use one of the templates, as this was my first time trying Interact

You get to select what industry / industries you’re in

I chose blogging, business, coaching, and marketing. There were LOTS of choices, much more than pictured in this screenshot

Next, you decide which type of quiz you want to create

I chose to create a Personality Quiz

Interact showed me quite a few quiz templates to select from

I chose the What Kind Of Blogger Are You template.

I was able to edit everything. The template gives you a great start, and you are able to add your personality into it.

Now, it’s time to create your quiz!

This is where the fun really starts.

With Interact, you can edit all aspects of your quiz.

I didn’t change too much under “Branding & Styling.” I liked the background color, the font color, and the font that my quiz template used. I did change the button to reflect my brand’s colors, though.

The quiz template had default pictures for the quiz cover and results. I changed those by uploading my own pictures.

The questions were easy to edit 

You can choose to have questions with text options, or you can use images to represent the answer options. You can easily choose by picking “Answer Type” on the top left. One question in your quiz have have text answers and the other can have images. You aren’t limited to making your quiz one or the other.

I was creating a quiz titled Which Social Network Are You?, so I added a question about selfies. You can add any questions you like for your quiz.

Then, you add the correlations

If you look at the previous screenshot, you can see “Edit Result Correlations” in the top right of the screen.  When you click on it, you see the above screenshot.

You are able to quickly assign which quiz result is associated with that question’s answer choices.

Remember, my quiz was about matching someone’s personality to a social network. This was my question about whether someone liked taking selfies. If they chose “yes,” I assigned that to the Instagram result. If the person taking the quiz chooses “no,” that option is associated with the Facebook and Twitter results.

You can add integrations, call to action buttons, and set up social sharing

Interact has different plans, with different features and pricing. Depending on the plan you choose, you may be able to add an integration with your autoresponder service. This will allow you to collect email addresses and, depending on your autoresponder service, assign tags to your new subscribers. This allows you to send them special, targeted offers.

You can also set up social sharing buttons.

Next, you can publish and choose how to promote your quiz

Interact offers a lot of options to help you promote your quiz.

I chose to embed my quiz on a page on my website.

Click Here To See What My Quiz Looks Like (and take the quiz to find out which social network you are!)

I have been testing and researching quiz plugins and tools for a while.

Interact was the easiest quiz building tool I’ve used.

It was very intuitive to use, and I liked that you could start out with a template (it’s always easier to get started when you have a template to work with), but also edit everything about the template, to get a look that is customized to your personality and brand.

If you are looking to get started with using quizzes to grow your email list, create sales funnels, or get more traffic to your site, I definitely recommend Interact.

That’s my affiliate link – if you click on that link and decided to try them out, I’ll earn a small commission. Thank you in advance!

 

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Crissy Says

Growing Your List Without Facebook Ads

Growing your list is one of the best things you can do for your business!

You can have a million followers on social media, but you don’t own Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram. Those companies change their algorithms on a regular basis, and unless you’re paying to be seen, a very small percentage of your followers actually see your posts.

That is not the case with Email Marketing.

You do own your list. There’s no algorithm. You can email your list whenever you want, and your peeps will see it when they check their inbox.

Over the past few years, when people start talking about growing a list, they also start talking about Facebook Ads… and they don’t talk about much else.

Here’s the problem – Facebook Ads can be difficult to understand, they can be expensive, and if you don’t have a high converting ad, you are going to be spending money and not getting anyone on your list.

I’m not saying you shouldn’t experiment with Facebook Ads. If you want to use them, more power to you!

But there are many, many ways to grow your list without Facebook Ads – many of these options are FREE.

You should never put all your eggs in one basket, and that includes how you grow your list. I recommend you do several things (on a consistent basis) to grow your list.

Here’s a sneak peek at my class all about How To Grow Your List (Without Facebook Ads)

Want to watch the whole class?
Click Here To Learn More About How To Join Summer School

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