Managing Your Biz

  • Are You Ready To Plan For 2011?


    Premium PlannersAre you ready to start planning for 2011 yet? I hope so! Planning now will give you a guideline of what you want to accomplish this next year, and it will make building your business a lot easier!

    I mean, working without a plan is like walking out the door, getting in the car, and thinking “Hmmm, I think I’ll drive to San Antonio today.” Well, you might know the general direction (for me, it would be southwest), but do you really think you’d get to San Antonio in a timely fashion, without running into several catastrophes? Probably not!

    I have found a great tool to help me plan blog posts, business projects, and all of that other “work” stuff I have going on: Premium Planners by Charlie Gilkey.  Here is what I like about them:

    • Lots of space to write – I hate trying to fit all of my stuff in a tiny calendar space. I need room to write down what I’m planning, for crying out loud!
    • You only print what you need – You download the file and only print out the month /week / day that you want. This saves paper, money, the environment, etc.
    • Adaptable – You get the file downloads for monthly, weekly, and daily views. I can pretty much just use the weekly ones and I’m set, but that is how I like to be organized. You might like things differently -and it’s okay, because you have all the options!
    • Fits A Creative Business – There is nothing rigid about these planners. This is not the “corporate drone” type of planner you are going to find at the local office supply store. They are cool. And they get you and how your brain works.
    • Affordable – they are only $1 per month, $12 for the yearly set!

    I could go on and on about them. But I won’t bore you. I’ll let you check them out yourself. Simply click here and you’ll be taken to a page with more in on them and you can even download a sample.

  • Building Incoming Links

    If you want to get your website noticed, the easiest way is to get to the top of popular search engines. While all search engines have different formulas, they all have one thing in common: links. All of these engines base you higher the more high quality sites link to you. That’s why it’s important to get quality links to your site. In addition, links not only bring in search engines rankings, people follow them too!

    Here are a few easy ways to get links to your website:

    *Social bookmarking. Social bookmarking sites are designed so people can save their bookmarks online and then share them with their friends, family, business associates, or pretty much anyone. You can also use this to post links to your website. Plus, if other people see your posts, they might just go and recommend your site to someone else.

    *Online directories. These are like a phonebook for the internet. However, many of them are very selective. They are divided up by type of website so people can find you easily, but since they don’t take everyone, many can provide high quality links to your site as well.

    *Blogging. If you have blogs you use to promote your business, these can be used to provide links to your related websites. However, if the blog isn’t a quality link, it’s not going to help your site at all. And microblogs like Twitter or commenting on blogs aren’t going to help your rankings either, but they may get traffic directly to your site.

    *Article Directories. These are online catalogues full of articles free for anyone to copy and use. You put a link back to your site at the bottom of the article. Just remember that if all the content from your site is on article directories as well, it’s going to be less unique and less valuable to search engines. You could choose to only put some of your articles on directories, or you can have two slightly different versions, one for your site and one for directories.

    *Press releases. If you’re releasing a new product or making some newsworthy change to your business, you can write up a press release and submit it to a news site. Press releases are a great link that will also provide a lot of traffic for your site.

    For more information on building traffic, I recommend Easy Link Love from Susanne Myers. She built over 69,000 links in less than  3 years, and gets  10,000 visitors to her site, everyday!  That is an incredible amount of traffic! She has put together her tips in a 3 month course that will walk you through the methods of gaining more traffic, in step by step, easy to follow directions! (Easy Link Love). The best part – it’s very affordable! To learn more, click here!

  • 5 Tips For Getting More Traffic

    If you have a website, blog, or any type of online business, you want TRAFFIC, and lots of it. The more people that come to your site, the more potential customers – and sales – you have.

    Getting a lot of traffic takes time – and hard work. Simply setting up a site and hoping people will come isn’t going to work. Here are 5 tips on how you can start boosting your traffic:

    Build Up Your Links – The number of incoming links you have is very important. Links are like “doorways” into your site. You want to have LOTS of opportunities for people to find your site. There are many, many ways to do this, such as posting in forums, article marketing, and more.

    Use Keywords – When people search for the type of product or service you offer, they are using specific words. Do some research with a keyword tool to find out what words are being used. (I wrote step by step directions to do this in this post.)

    Get Social – Let people know about your latest blog posts, sales, and other online events through social media sites, such as Facebook and Twitter! If you don’t tell people why they should go to your site, no one will!

    Speak Up – Don’t just read blogs, comment on them! This is a great way to build up your incoming links and introduce your blog to a whole new audience!  Don’t spam any blogs, of course, only leave worthwhile comments that add to the discussion.

    Offer Freebies – A great way to get people to your site is to offer a freebie. This could be anything from a free 3 page mini-report or a contest to win one of your products or services. Don’t go broke offering free stuff – only offer what you can afford.

    Start using these tips and you’ll see your traffic increase soon! Keep an eye on your stats – they’ll tell you what is working and what isn’t!

    For more information on building traffic, I recommend Easy Link Love from Susanne Myers. She built over 69,000 links in less than  3 years, and gets  10,000 visitors to her site, everyday!  That is an incredible amount of traffic! She has put together her tips in a 3 month course that will walk you through the methods of gaining more traffic, in step by step, easy to follow directions! (Easy Link Love). The best part – it’s very affordable! To learn more, click here!

  • Don’t Let Your Biz Fall Apart During The Holidays

    It’s the holidays. Life is busy right now. You can now add shopping, cooking, parties, and celebrations to the balls you were already juggling. There are going to be days where you don’t even feel you have enough time to breathe, let alone work on your business.

    This is the time of year when it can be really easy to just stop working. But don’t do it! It will be very hard to “get back in the saddle” when January rolls around.

    Here are some tips to keep your business going – and not go totally insane:

    Let Go Of The Guilt: Simply put, you may not have the time to do everything on your to-do list in the coming weeks. Do yourself a favor and let go of the guilt. Feeling bad about not being able to work your day job, shop for presents, make cookies, and work on your biz all in the same day. Stop feeling guilty about what you can’t fit in and focus on all of the things you did manage to get done. You’ll feel a lot better.

    Do What You Can, With The Time You Have: You need to write a blog post, create a new graphic, upload photos to your flickr account  and send out a few tweets. The problem? You have approximately a half hour of free time on your schedule. So, maybe you’re not going to get everything done, but you can write the blog post and send out the tweets. Or you can work on that graphic while your photos are uploading. Do what you can with the time you have! You may not get it all done, but you will get some of it done, and that is much better than not getting anything done!

    Blog In Blocks: One trick that I use around the year is writing in blocks, and this may help you, too – especially during this busy time of year. Instead of writing a blog post every day of the week, sit down on Sunday (or whatever day works for you), and write 3 blog posts. You can schedule them to publish throughout the week, such as on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.

    Take Time To Enjoy Yourself: As much as I love business (and working), I know that no one thinks “Man, I wish I spent more time working!” before they die. I know that people are thinking  “I wish I spent more time with my family.” So be sure to take the time to enjoy the holiday season. Make some cookies, drink some hot chocolate, watch Frosty The Snowman, tell the special people in your life how much they mean to you, and have a fantastic holiday season! You won’t regret it!

  • First Impressions Count

    I’m sure that I am not the first person who has ever told you that first impressions count. Your mom probably told you this several times while growing up, most likely when you were arguing over what outfit you were going to wear.

    Just like “the real world,” it’s important to make a good first impression online, as well. Here are a few areas that you might not have thought of:

    Your Blog
    Yes, it’s your blog. You can write about whatever you want. Just keep in mind that if you swear like a sailor or put up pictures of yourself in a sexy Halloween costume, some people (potential customers) might be offended. If you feel like you can live without their business, then great. Keep on swearing and posting questionable pics. But if you want to keep money flowing in, you’ll act professional.

    Now, maybe you’re not going to get carried away like the person in the above example. That doesn’t mean your off the hook. You also want to make sure that your blog looks good, is easy to read, isn’t cluttered, and so forth.  Look at it honestly. If it can use a makeover, give it one. If you don’t know how, hire someone to do it for you.

    Social Media
    This really is the first introduction many people have of us. As in the above example, keep your business stuff professional. You can have a separate Facebook, and you can feel free to make it private and only accept people you know as friends. And you can post all the half-naked pics you want. But if it’s business, think twice.

    Also, if you are constantly using slang or only posting about depressing things, you may lose out on some customers. Nobody likes a Debbie Downer. People don’t want to do business with her. I’m not saying you need to be a cheerleader and start throwing some pom poms around. Just try not to make your Twitter timeline sound like a country song.

    Remember – you want to make a good first impression. If you were looking at your blog or social media profiles for the first time, would you want to do business with you?

  • Free Preview: The Year Long Marketing & Blogging Plan

    Can you believe that there is only about a month and a half of 2010 left?

    If you would like to get more serious about your blogging and marketing in 2011, you will want to check out my Year Long Marketing And Blogging Plan.

    This workbook has 52 marketing ideas – enough for one idea each week, and 156 blogging ideas – enough for 3 posts each week for a year.

    To get a free preview of the workbook -5 marketing ideas and 10 blogging ideas, visit:
    https://www.indiebizchicks.com/preview-yearly-marketing-blogging-plan.pdf

    Normally priced at $30, you can get this workbook from now until Nov 15 for only $20.
    To purchase the full workbook now, click here

  • Taking Stock

    As I write this, we are nearing the end of October. It’s almost time for Halloween. The stores are already discounting the costumes and stocking the aisles with Christmas decorations. Make no mistake, the end of the year is drawing near.

    This is the perfect time to take stock. Hopefully, you wrote out some goals waaay back in January. Let’s say you did – just humor me, okay? So, pull out that list of goals and start crossing off stuff that you accomplished.

    Some of you may be able to cross off your entire list. Yay for you! Put a gold star on the page and call it a day!

    Some of you may not have anything crossed off. And the rest of you are going to fit somewhere in between.

    Now, before you start crying, take a moment to breathe. Let’s reflect a little bit….

    Unexpected things happen. Ten months ago, you might have thought you were going to work really hard and have a million dollars in the bank by November 1. With only a week and a half to go, you may be feeling a bit uneasy about your goal.

    Okay, so maybe you didn’t stretch quite that far in your goal setting. The moral of the story is still the same: Things Happen.

    Instead of looking at the list of things you didn’t finish, create a new list. Yes, that’s right. Make a new list of all the things you got done!

    My list would look a little something like this:

    • Moved into my new apartment – the first place I’ve ever lived in all by myself!
    • Went to New York City for the first time – to attend BlogHer for the first time – and met a lot of really cool people!
    • Partnered with Etsy on a live event where I spoke about blogging.
    • Learned how to make really awesome crepes
    • Finally did something with CleverChicks.com (the first domain I ever registered)
    • Got a new (used) car — and it’s a total UPGRADE from my last car!
    • Adopted my cat Franny

    Okay – you get the point…. Not all of this stuff is business stuff. A lot of it wasn’t wrote out on my 2010 goal list. But it is stuff that I accomplished.  And I’m proud of it!

    What’s on your list? Leave a comment on this post with the link to the post on your blog that let’s us know what you are proud of accomplishing this year!

  • What Kind Of An Online Class Can You Teach?

    I recently wrote a post about online classes and how they can be a great way to earn extra money. If you are feeling a bit stumped on what kind of class you could teach, here are some ideas:

    Crafty Class

    • Scrapbooking
    • Card Making
    • Sewing
    • No-Sew Projects
    • Kids Craft
    • Bead Work
    • Holiday Decorations (Yes, Holiday. They are approaching. This is the time to teach people to make holiday decor)

    Lifestyle Class

    • Budgeting / Saving Money / Using Coupons
    • Easy ways to recycle / Go green
    • Time Management
    • Reduce Stress
    • Healthy Eating / Healthy Cooking
    • Becoming More Organized

    Business Class

    • How to use Photoshop
    • How to install a blog
    • How to use a bookeeping software (like Quicken)
    • How to use an FTP program
    • How to use social media

    These are just a few ideas! In fact, there are so many possibilities that there wouldn’t be enough room on any blog to list all the types of classes you could teach.

    So, what are you waiting for? Why aren’t you getting started?

    My upcoming workshop How To Teach An Online Class starts November 1. Don’t miss out on this great 4 week workshop!

  • How To Earn Extra Income Within Your Business

    If you would like to earn extra income within your business, you have a few options. Obviously, you could sell more of your products and services. But that isn’t always easy, is it?

    An easier way is to share your knowledge – to teach other people what you know!

    For example, if you are a virtual assistant (or VA), there are some people out there who will never hire you. These people want to “do it themselves.” The problem is, they may not know how to set up labels within their gmail to organize it, or they may not know how to keep track of their business expenses in an Excel file.

    This is where you step in! You can teach them how to do those things – for a fee.

    By doing this, you will be earning additional income within your business AND you’ll be reaching a new market who may not have purchased anything from you (aside from that class).

    This theory can be put into any type of business. No matter what you do, there are people out there who want to learn it! So why not earn some money by teaching it?

    If you would like to learn how to teach your own online class, register for my 4 week workshop that walks you through everything, step-by-step! For more information, click here!