Crissy Says

  • Website Security: Start With A Good Host & Secure Server

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    Start with a Good Web Host and A Secure Server

    Many new solopreneurs and beginning marketers feel intimidated when it comes to getting their websites up and running. But if you plan on doing business on the web, then a domain name and a good web host are essential. These two things will form the foundation of your online business. If you choose a bad host, then that foundation is at risk for crumbling.

    What is Web Hosting?

    If you’ve never built a website, then all of the terms might be confusing at first. Think of the process like you were going to start a brick and mortar store. First, you’d find and buy property in a commercial area.

    In this case, the property is your hosting. But you wouldn’t tell customers to drive until they see your sign. You’d tell them exactly how to come to your store by giving them an address like ‘123 Mulberry Lane’. This is similar to registering a domain name.

    You tell potential customers to find your products on ‘MulberryLaneCandles.com’. Now, you have the property (hosting) and the address (domain name) so you can build your shop.

    How Do I Find A Host?

    Now that you understand why you need hosting and how it works, look for a reliable host. You can use Google or another search engine to find reviews of different hosts. But be careful with this approach. Sometimes, affiliates of web hosts will post glowing reviews in the hopes that you’ll click their link and they’ll earn a commission.

    I personally use & recommend MomWebs. Not only will MomWebs help you get your website set up, they also offer a hotline you can call when you need WordPress assistance. This means you’ll have access to experts that can advise you on how to fix common website problems.

    What Should I Look for in a Host?

    One of the first things you should consider when searching for a host is the uptime guarantee. Uptime is the amount of time that the server is online and functional. The industry standard is 99% uptime. However, the host may have scheduled downtime during which they perform maintenance and other tasks.

    Pay attention to a host’s customer service options. Some web hosts offer 24/7 telephone and chat support. Some hosts have an extensive knowledge base that’s searchable. Customer service may not be a big deal to your right now. But if something goes wrong, you’ll be glad to have it.

    Another thing to keep in mind is that most hosting companies aren’t responsible for backups. That means if someone hacks your WordPress site and you don’t have a backup, you may lose all of your hard work.

    Learn how to keep your website safe when you download your free checklists.

    Just enter your name & email!

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  • How To Increase Your Social Networking Productivity

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    Social networks can help you nurture relationships with your community and grow your business. They can also help you stay on the cutting edge of your industry and give you a way to communicate in real time.

    But the downside of using social networks is that they can become a time suck. You may have logged on to just post one update and found yourself still browsing three hours later.

    Social media is too valuable a tool for most small business owners to stop using. But that doesn’t mean you have to be consumed by it. You can learn how to manage your social accounts more effectively by following these social networking productivity tips.

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    Use Apps To Track Your Time

    You may be surprised to know how much time you’re really spending on networks like Facebook and Twitter. Try installing time tracking software on your laptop or work computer to monitor your social activity.

    The biggest advantage of using a time tracking app is that it forces you to acknowledge your social media habits. Once you know how much time you waste on social networks, you can take control of your usage and change your ways.

    Log Off

    After every social media session, you should log out of your account completely. When you stay logged in constantly, it makes it much easier to tell yourself that you’re just going to check Twitter for a ‘few minutes’.

    Schedule Down Time

    You don’t have to stay constantly plugged into social networks. It’s not healthy and can distract you from what you’re working on in the present. Many small business owners find that having a regularly scheduled down time is helpful.

    This time period could be from 8pm to 6am or any time slot you choose. Having regularly scheduled down time prevents overwhelm and boosts mood. It also shows you that the world won’t crumble if you don’t respond to every comment the moment that it comes in.

     Go Offline When You’re Working

    One of the biggest productivity killers is constantly checking in on social media. When it’s time to get down to work, block your internet access for an hour or two. You’ll be amazed at what you’re able to accomplish. If you can’t find the willpower to block it yourself, look for an app to help you. Some apps will lock down your internet access for a period of two or more hours at a time. This usually works well because the only way to re-gain internet access is to shut off your device and reload your operating system.

    Social networks are valuable marketing tools. To get the most value from these tools, you need to set clear guidelines so you know when you’re being productive and when you’re not.

    Stop letting social networks and other time sucks take over your life.
    Sign up for this FREE Productivity Hacks Workbook & Journal

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  • Say NO To Busy Work

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    Busy work is a thief that steals your productivity without your knowledge. You get to the end of your day and you haven’t made any real progress on your goals. Maybe you re-organized your desk or updated your blog. But you haven’t done anything to will truly help you build your business.

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    Busy Work = Urgent

    The important thing to understand about busy work is that feels urgent. However, busy work never adds value to your business. An example of busy work would be checking your social media accounts the second your phone dings. Doing this makes you feel productive even though you aren’t.

    In order to say no to busy work, you have to be willing to say ‘no’ to seemingly urgent tasks. For example, if you’re working on a client project and you get a message that it’s time to update your website software, then it’s easy to get off track. Before you know it, your day is over and the client project is still waiting for you.

    Busy Work = Procrastination

    For many people, busy work is a form of procrastination. It might not look like procrastination. In fact, you may tell yourself that before you start on a project, you just need to make a giant to do list and organize your resources.

    If you want to say no to busy work, you have to understand that it causes you to make a lot of plans. But it’s the follow through that makes the difference. It might be helpful to say, “Before I begin on this project, I’m going to take 10 minutes to make an outline”. When the ten minutes are up, start working even if your outline isn’t completed yet.

    Busy Work = Overwhelm

    Busy work frequently masks overwhelm. Maybe you’re overwhelmed at the thought of learning new software or creating an e-course. So you spend most of your time doing less important tasks instead of focusing on what’s going to grow your business.

    If you find that you’re using busy work to avoid overwhelming projects, try to sit down and pick a deadline for just one task. You might say, “By [your date], I will hire a virtual assistant that can install this software and teach me how to use it”.

    In order to keep busy work from stealing your productivity, you have to understand what it is. Even more importantly, you need to know why you’re doing this busy work, so you can tackle the real root of the problem.

    Take back your day with this FREE Productivity Hacks Workbook & Journal

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  • Do You Know What Your Most Valuable Tasks Are?

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    You may have heard of the 80/20 rule. This rule states that eighty percent of your income will be generated by twenty percent of your actions. For most business owners that means they’re filling their days with tasks that aren’t truly valuable.

    The best way to deal with this problem is to find the twenty percent of tasks that are the most important. When you know what these tasks are, you’ll be able to make smarter business decisions. These are the questions you need to ask yourself to determine if a business activity is truly valuable.

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    Can This Task Be Done By Someone Else?

    Your most valuable tasks will always be the ones that can only be done by you. If you’re a New York Times bestselling author, then your most valuable task would be writing. If you’re a coach, your most valuable task would be coaching your clients.

    If you’re working on a project and there are elements that someone else can do, don’t be afraid to outsource. By outsourcing, you’ll be able to concentrate on bringing your very best work to the project.

    Does This Task Make Me Money?

    Your most valuable tasks are income generators. This is important to understand because many business owners spend too much time on activities that aren’t profitable. Tasks like spending two hours fussing over your Facebook header or nitpicking the colors of your website are not producing income.

    If a task doesn’t earn you money, then you need to ask if this is something that truly needs to be completed by you. Outsourcing mundane tasks lets you focus on big picture tasks that increase your income.

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    Am I Energized By This Task?

    Your most valuable tasks are the ones that energize you. If you love a task and it fires you up, chances are high that it’s a valuable task. Most business owners dread the small, mundane tasks because they already know these tasks don’t matter that much.

    When it comes to activities that you don’t enjoy, you need to evaluate whether they even need to be done in the first place. It could be that you’re holding onto outdated advice or that your business has changed so much that you no longer need to do this task.

    At the beginning of each new year, you should evaluate your work, looking for the truly valuable tasks that are on your plate. Don’t be afraid to let go or outsource your eighty percent tasks so you can embrace your twenty percent ones.

    Discover your most valuable tasks when you sign up for this FREE Workbook & Journal

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  • How To Increase Your Email Productivity

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    Email is a great way to connect with your community and stay in touch with them. But just like every other business tool, you have to know how to use email properly or it can easily consume your days.

    Many business owners have difficulty managing their inboxes. As a result, they stayed buried under an avalanche of ever growing messages. If that describes you, then consider trying some of these email hacks.

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    Don’t Check Your Email Constantly

    This one is difficult if you have your email account synced to a mobile device. It’s tempting to drop everything and check your email the second you get a new notification. But when you check your email too often, you’ll be tempted to respond to messages later. This can make you more likely to forget or ignore the message.

    Instead, set a designated time to check and respond to messages. It’s usually best to have 1-2 times during the day that you stop and check your email. Many business owners find that checking your email in the morning and again before you stop working is the best way to go.

    Create Templates

    As a business owner, you may get the same questions frequently. For example, if you offer WordPress themes, you might receive emails from new buyers asking how they should install their WordPress theme. In cases like this, it’s helpful to have a saved response. Now all you have to do is copy and paste your response each time you get the same question.

    Make Decisions Quickly

    Procrastination is the enemy when it comes to email productivity. You only have a few basic options when it comes to handling email messages. You can respond, file, delegate, or delete your emails.

    Once you make a decision, ask yourself if you’ll need the information again later. For example when you get an electronic receipt for a business purchase, it’s usually best to file it. But emails that aren’t important or that you don’t have to follow up with can be deleted.

     Know When To Pick Up The Phone

    Sometimes, an old fashioned phone call is required. With a phone call, you have the advantage of tone and inflection. This is important when dealing with situations that might be tricky like negotiating a price with one of your clients or when collaborating on a project with a business partner.

    Mastering email can be difficult. But with the right systems in place, you can make it more manageable. Take control of your inbox and end the electronic avalanche.

    Stop Living In Overwhelm…
    Download Your FREE Productivity Hacks Workbook & Journal

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  • How To Increase Your Content Productivity

     

    twitter-contentYou want to create content that is valuable. Your content should be helpful to your community while making your business shine. But creating quality content takes time. If you struggle with content creation, it may take you hours to write a simple blog post or article. You dread each creation session because you know it’ll be hours before you’re done.

    But it doesn’t have to be this way. You don’t have to spend hours agonizing over each piece of content that you create. In fact, if you follow a few basic content productivity tasks, you’ll shave hours off the creation process and may even grow to enjoy it.

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    Start With An Outline

    This is not your high school teacher’s idea of outline. Your outline can be simple with just a few bullet points or it can be more complex with complete paragraphs that will need to be fleshed out later. Whichever method works for you is fine. There’s no right way to make an outline.

    The reason you want to create an outline is because it’s much easier to write when you already know the main points you want to cover. Start by writing down several points you want to touch on then go back and number them in order of importance. You’ll want to share your most important points early on in your content.

    Write A Terrible First Draft

    Many people struggle with content creation because they’re trying to craft the perfect content piece. But it’s much easier to write a terrible first draft and edit it later than it is to create perfection the first time around.

    The best way to write your first draft is to set aside a timer. Using only your outline, start writing. You don’t have to start with the introduction if you don’t want to. You can start by writing your conclusion if that’s what you prefer.

    Feel free to jump around as you create your content, but write it as quickly as possible. Your goal right now is just to get your ideas on the page. Later, you organize or edit those ideas.

    Block Out Interruptions

    A common reason for difficulty with content creation is repeated interruptions. When you’re interrupted frequently, you lose your original thought and have to look back to discover where you were. Once you enter the creative state, it’s best to stay in it until you’ve completed your project. Most interruptions really can wait until later.

    Create In Batches

    If possible, write several blog posts or articles back to back. When you work this way, you’ll stimulate your creativity and will come up with even more ideas. As a bonus, you’ll now have content that you can schedule in advance later on.

    Content productivity is a skill that anyone can learn. Don’t think you have to use every single content hack you hear about. It’s fine to ignore the advice that doesn’t work for you. Instead, just focus on the content hacks that make you the most productive.

    Want more productivity hacks?
    Grab your FREE Workbook & Journal

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  • How To Stop Procrastinating And Tackle Difficult Projects

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    Getting started on a new project can be hard. It’s even harder when that project involves tasks that you find dull or difficult. To avoid the unpleasant parts of the project, you may end up avoiding it by doing things like checking your email, networking on Facebook, or playing a computer game. But the problem with procrastination is that no matter how long you avoid the task, it’s still going to be there at the end of the day.

    Like ripping off a bandage, it’s better to get unpleasant tasks done as soon as possible. Not only will you get rid of the dread you feel, you’ll also experience a productivity boost. If you’re procrastinating, here’s how to start getting stuff done right now:

    Create an outline.

    Outlines save you time. They keep you from having to do extra work and they make it easy to see holes in your projects. It’s also easier to move around parts of your project if you have an outline.

    You should try dumping all of your ideas about this project into a blank notebook or a digital one, like Evernote. From there, you can brainstorm more ideas and organize your thoughts into an outline.

    Depending on your project, you may need a really detailed or really short outline. do what works for you but keep in mind your outline isn’t carved in stone. It’s fine to move parts of your project around until you find the best fit.

    Break It Down

    Big projects can be intimidating so break them down into smaller chunks. For example, you’re writing a 30-page e-book. You can break that down into 6 chapters of 5 pages each. Now, just focus on writing one chapter at a time.

    How you break it down depends on what your schedule looks like and how you prioritize your time. You may be able to write several pages a day so you can finish your e-book in a week or you may write slowly and find you can only create one page of content a day.  That’s fine, too. The important thing is to keep moving forward with your project.

    Have Fun

    When you can’t seem to get your head in the game, go to YouTube and put on some music. You can find videos with soothing instrumental music that will help you quiet your mind and help you focus. If you prefer a bit more noise and don’t feel lyrics distract you, then look for the soundtrack to one of your favorite movies.

    Set a Deadline

    When you think you have all day to tackle a project, you’re probably going to procrastinate a bit. But if you have a firm deadline, you’re less likely to do this, so set another commitment in place.

    Then say to yourself, “I’m going to the dentist at 4 this afternoon so I have to get this new blog post scheduled before I go.” This type of firm deadline from an outside appointment can be just the push you need to get started.

    Tackling big projects can feel intimidating but they don’t have to be. Remind yourself how good you’ll feel when your project is successfully completed and focus on that as you work.

    Discover how to keep procrastination from derailing your business when you download your free workbook & journal today

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  • How To Host A Summer Challenge

    Do you want to grow your email list and sell more of your products & services this summer?

    Silly questions, right? Of course you want to do all of those things!

    Hosting a Summer Challenge is a great way to have fun, connect with your audience – and you’ll be growing your list and selling more of your products & services, too!

    Watch this video for tips on How To Host A Summer Challenge!

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    Guess What? I Have created some pre-written content that you can use as a base for your challenges!

    Just click the link of the content you want to download it. (yes, you can download them all, if you want!)

    Free Pre-Written Content That You Can Use For Your Challenge

    How To Have A Motivated & Productive Summer

    Welcome To WordPress

    How To Have A Positive Mindset

     

     

  • 3 Ways To Grow Your Email List This Weekend

    3 Ways To Grow-na

    If you have some extra time this weekend, and you want to do your business a favor – I suggest you spend a few hours on building your email list.

    Your email list can be your best marketing tool! Your business (and income) will grow faster when you are putting more effort into growing your email list.

    Here are a few things you can do this weekend that will help your business long-term:

    1 – Make An Awesome Freebie. (Or Several)

    Some people call this a “lead magnet” or an “opt-in gift.” Whatever you want to call it, you should have at least one really good one. Personally, I recommend that you have several. Why? Because it’ll grow your list faster!

    Let’s say you have a gardening blog. And your freebie is a video on how you plan your vegetable garden. But what about the people who visit your site looking for info on container gardening? Or flower gardening? Having more than one freebie will attract more people, and your list will grow!

    This weekend, spend some time creating a freebie, and then promote the heck out of it on social media! Post about it on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook. You can post it on your personal page, as well as your business page, and in any groups you belong to that also allow you to post about your business.

    2 – Trade Guest Posts.

    Do you have any business friends? Ask if you can trade guest posts with them. If you’re friends, and you’re trading posts, and you both agree, you can include the opt-in code for your email list at the bottom of your guest post. If your friend doesn’t want a sign-up box at the end of the post, you can ask to include a link to a page on your site that does have an opt-in form.

    For example – if you are a dog trainer, and you write a guest post about housetraining a puppy, link to an opt-in page on your site, so people can get your freebie and sign up for your email list.

    3 – Host An Event.

    A great way to grow your list fast is by hosting a free online event, such as a 5 day challenge or a virtual conference. These things take time – but you can pull them off without spending a lot of money. And like I said – they will grow your list fast!

    To Learn MORE About Growing Your List –
    Click Here To Sign Up For My Free Webinar,

    10 Ways To Grow Your Email List
    Without Spending A Fortune On Facebook Ads

     

    Psst… Another way to grow your list is to join me as a partner in The Big Awesome Giveaway!