Four Tips to Improve Traffic to Your Blog

People visit the World Wide Web for information. Entrepreneurs capitalize on this need for information and generate revenue. There are a number of ways we can generate revenue on the Internet. Blogging is one of those.

One of the important things that one needs to keep in mind while advancing into the intricate world of blogging is to supply information that is concise and up to the point. People visit your blog for information. If they are presented with something else other than what they are seeking, they will be tempted to leave.

There is a popular notion that blogging businesses fail due to the reader being presented with a lack of information. This is true to a certain extent. However the most prevalent reason is that the user, in most cases, is presented with an excess of information. If users see too much of information in your blog, you can be guaranteed that they will choose to visit another blog of the same topic, in which case you are losing potential source of income.

There are four techniques that you can follow to ensure that your website receives maximum amount of traffic.

1) Present content in comprehensible and succinct sentences

The skill of writing in a clear and concise manner can only be attained with time and practice. The natural tendency for a beginner is to present too much information. In most cases, a novice tends to give out too many details that are guaranteed to bore the reader. The only way one can avoid this pitfall is by rereading a paragraph two to three times and making sure that it doesn’t get soporific.

2) Readers should easily be able to scan your content

Surfers are always on the prowl for content that is easy and efficient to comprehend. A good way to accomplish this is to write in an easily scannable manner. This is achieved by including headings and subheadings in your text. Headlines should mark the beginning of a new topic and subheadings should mark the beginning of a new subtopic. This method ensures that readers can quickly scan the entire article and easily find the information they are looking for.

3) Make sure you write without bias

Don’t include words that give readers the impression that you are opinionated. This sort of writing style gives readers the impression that you are trying to sell them something, which is something you are trying to avoid, as this is the primary factor that drives someone away from your blog.

4) Make sure you run your text through spell check

Grammatical errors disrupt the flow of your sentences. This kind of distraction is sure to form a negative impression in the reader’s mind and can drive them away from your blog. Another alternative to this is listening to your post being read out loud. Get yourself a good pair of quality speakers when you do this, so you can really hear how your post sounds when you are listening. We recommend reading this Edifier R1280db Review.

Once you start following these four principles, you can be assured that you will notice a considerable increase in the traffic to your website and the revenue associated with it.


Things to Look For When Renting: Renting Musts for New and Experienced Renters

It’s easy to get caught up in wants when searching for an apartment. However, there are other things to keep in mind that are quickly forgotten when “the perfect apartment” presents itself. Even seasoned renters miss things when rummaging through apartments, or fail to prepare for the unexpected. Consider these three matters when searching for future rentals.

Cleanliness

It’s awful to discover on moving day that what was perceived as “the perfect apartment” is in fact infested. Mice, rats, cockroaches, bed bugs – none are pleasant. While it’s common to see a mouse from time to time during the winter months, especially in older homes, infestation is a whole other ballgame. To know what to look for and how to identify an infestation, be sure to read up on common pests. In addition, these pests do not discriminate: they can be found everywhere from run-down houses to upscale condos.

What can be done? Pull out the fridge and stove to look for dead bugs or feces. Check out the cupboards. Look at the baseboards. If this issue is of great concern, consider having an exterminator come to the apartment prior to signing the lease to inspect the premises. It might seem like an unnecessary expense to have an apartment inspected, but consider the costs and inconvenience of having to face and deal with unwanted guests. If the rental is in a building, the cleanliness of the floors, the stairwell and the lobby are also a good indication of how well the property is maintained (and how quickly and efficiently the superintendent is likely to deal with an infestation if one is to arise in the future.)

Working Appliances

Many renters have faced months with faulty ovens or dryers. The appliances don’t have to be brand new, of course, but they do have to be clean and in working order. Open the fridge and freezer to check out both the amount of space and to see how cold they get. Try preheating the oven and turning on all the burners to see if they work as well. Do the same for the washer, dryer and dishwasher, if the apartment has them. If unsatisfied, ask to have the problem addressed and written into the lease agreement so that it will have been remedied by moving day. Be polite and reasonable, but be sure to let your landlord know that you will not tolerate sub-standard practices.

Water Pressure

Try out all the faucets both on cold and hot to know what to expect prior to moving in. Flush all of the toilets. Water (and access to it) is a basic essential; a tenant should be able to brush their teeth or wash their dishes. However, many a tenant has had to face a poor working faucet or faulty plumbing. If the apartment or building is older, inquire as to when the plumbing was last replaced. If renting a basement apartment, ask about flooding.

Water filtration is another important thing to look out for. We suggest utilizing a solid review site such as Barix to determine which kind of water purifier meets your needs the most.

Remember: there are many things that go into a fabulous rental. Be sure to outline what is truly important. Identify needs (proper ventilation) from wants (a fireplace.) If unsure, ask to check a place out for a second time, and bring an objective and more experienced eye along to weigh-in on the decision.

 


Tips for Being a Successful Employee

Tips for Being a Successful Employee

Except for some part-time, intermittent teaching, consulting and wedding officiating, I have always been someone else’s employee. Sometimes as line staff, sometimes as a middle-manager and sometimes in upper management, I have opted for the security of a guaranteed pay check and benefits over the higher risk and potentially higher earnings, of self employment. This is who I am and I know it. How well do you know yourself?

Being a successful employee is not simply a situation defined by the lack of having your own business. It is a choice and type of work well suited to some and a painfully poor fit for others. I have found that to be a successful employee – to work for someone else – to not be the person in charge making the decisions – requires certain mind sets and understandings. I offer the following list of criteria apt to enhance a person’s success at being a good employee.

To be a successful employee, one must come to grips with the following realities:

  1. You are always entitled to your own opinions. However, they are not welcome in every work situation and being asked for input should never be confused with the responsibility for making the decision. Sometimes, opinions that are at odds with those of the ‘boss’ are considered insubordinate, inappropriate and cause for either discharge (“You just don’t seem to fit in here”) or being frozen in a non-advancing position (“We think that so-and-so is better qualified. S/he thinks more the way that we like to see in our senior people.”)
  1. Eating crow may need to become a regular diet. Deferring to decisions you feel are mistakes are not uncommonly aspects of being able to survive a work environment – especially one where, particularly in public service, it does not appear to be the ‘cream’ that has floated to the top.
  1. You need to develop comfort and attain satisfaction from what you CAN accomplish given the constraints placed on you and your authority by the people you work for.
  1. There will be times when other people will claim (and be rewarded for) ideas that were actually yours. This is particularly irritating to creative types whose need for security keeps them in the employee group.
  1. You can’t always tell everyone (or sometimes anyone) how you really feel about things. Your feelings are apt to be regarded as signs of weakness and may reduce your value to the company.
  1. It is not reasonable to expect that you will like or be liked by everyone you work with. Figuring out who is who -and quickly – is a key element in planning an achievable career path iwithin an organization.
  1. Security, though likely with ambivalence, is a higher priority than risk-taking and higher earning potential, and finally,
  1. Regard no job as the ‘last’ job. Sometimes, as an employee, differences, much as they sometimes do in other human relationships, become irreconcilable. Leaving a job on your own volition in recognition of such a situation looks a lot better and is probably easier to explain than is being fired or ‘discharged’ by the employer. Like most other things in life, changes are generally preferable at your own initiative.

These are but a few of what might be a much longer list of guidelines. A lot of them are hard to swallow but working for others is just that, working for others who usually put their own priorities and values well in front of your own. This is reality.

Working for yourself is entirely different. You make the decisions and are responsible for what goes well as well as for what fails. There is no one else to blame. If you do well, you succeed. If you don’t, you fail. Self-employment brings a higher degree of risk and personal responsibility. There is no one else to blame if things don’t go right. There is no insensitive manager to hold responsible. It requires a higher degree of self-confidence and, simply, gumption!

Unlike some paid employment, you cannot continue to earn money if you don’t do things right. Sadly, the obverse is likely best personified in the public sector where actual performance and longevity or promotability seems to have little if anything to do with actual competency.

The old saw of “To thine own self be true” applies when it comes to how you decide to choose to make a living.

 


How to Deal with the Loneliness of Self-Employment

How to Deal with the Loneliness of Self-Employment

Being self-employed is a dream come true for many entrepreneurial spirits and work at home parents, a chance to break free of the 9-5 lifestyle and start enjoying the freedom of independence and self-managed schedules. Since self-employment means no more trekking to an office, it can also leave an individual with a different type of challenge–loneliness. Instead of being caught up in the daily buzz of an office, hanging out at the water cooler, and having lunch with coworkers, self-employed individuals are often left with a great deal of working alone and spending time as a ‘solopreneur‘ instead. If working alone has you cooped up at home for extended periods of time, it can be hard to think of creative ways to socialize and interact with people again. Here are some tips on how to deal with the loneliness of self-employment:

  1. Eat lunch out of the house. Eating at least one meal that doesn’t involve you cooking or preparing it is an easy way to increase your social interactions–even if it is just with the cafe barista. Getting outside and just going through the process of being around people can break up the monotony of eating at the desk or simply snacking (alone) through your day.
  1. Call someone new each day. This can be a friend, relative, or just the neighbors, but talking to someone for just a few minutes can help relieve stress. Pick a topic that is completely unrelated to work for maximum effectiveness. Schedule this for the end of the day, so you’re not distracted during the middle of a project.
  1. Join a health club or gym. If you’re working at the computer all day, chances are you’re not getting enough exercise. A health club or gym is a great place to get your daily exercise and workout with a friend or group as well.
  1. Turn on some healthy background noise. Look for ways to add some noise to your environment, but make sure it’s not distracting. Certain types of music, documentaries, and even light comedy on television can help you stay focused and productive far better than complete silence.
  1. Volunteer. Just a couple hours per day is all it takes to make a significant difference in someone else’s life, and you’ll have an easy excuse to talk with others and even socialize a little.
  1. Take a time out. It’s important to schedule time away from work, especially since you’re never really clocking in or out from the job. Make an ‘appointment’ with yourself to go see a movie, head out to the spa, or just take a shopping trip for a break from your usual surroundings.
  1. Join a club. A weekly club centered around a hobby or interest is a great way to stay connected with others, and since it will simply become a part of your schedule, it will be much easier to keep working the rest of the time, and not be distracted. A local running group, an artist’s gathering, or any other interest that inspires you can help you meet some new people and get involved in activities besides work.

Self-employment isn’t the ideal fit for everyone, and has its own set of challenges and setbacks. Loneliness is one of the biggest disadvantages of self-employment, but it can be overcome with a little planning and strategy! Try any of these tips if you’re having a hard time dealing with loneliness as a newly self-employed individual, and start making the most of your lifestyle again.


Use a Qualified CPA to Get California Tax Incentives

Use a Qualified CPA to Get California Tax Incentives

Being a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) is certainly not glamorous, but the fact is that without them, business and the free enterprise system would not function nearly as well – if at all. For example – do you know how work opportunity tax credits (WOTC) can save you money? Do you even know what the meaning of WOTC California entrepreneurs who start and run businesses may be very good at marketing and experts in whatever their businesses specialize in, but they don’t always have good information on the latest regulations that govern potentially beneficial things such as the enterprise zone hiring tax credit. Small wonder: legislators change these rules and and regulations as often as average people change their socks. This is what a CPA is for: to help small businesspeople such as yourself to stay on top of rules governing the hiring tax credit, the work opportunity tax credits and other way that the law can be used to your advantage.

For example, both the federal and California offer businesses millions of dollars in tax credits to set up shop in one of forty-two areas that have been identified as economically disadvantaged; each of these is known as an enterprise zone. Hiring tax credits are rarely taken advantage of by these entrepreneurs – simply because they don’t know about them! Even those who do know about the enterprise zone hiring tax credits often understate these when they claim them. This in one good reason to have a CPA on your side.

WOTC California is another opportunity that too many entrepreneurs fail to learn about. Work opportunity tax credits are one way that the federal government is attempting to put Americans back to work while stimulating economic growth. If your business is located in certain disadvantaged areas and you are able to hire certain people who have been identified as target groups (certain minorities, veterans, ex-convicts who meet certain criteria, etc.), you can take advantage of WOTC California.

Under current economic conditions, your small-to-medium sized business needs every advantage it can get. Enterprise zone hiring tax credits and work opportunity tax credits are two ways to help your business get ahead by saving on tax liability. In addition, each time you take advantage of a hiring tax credit, you are helping your community by providing employment to someone who might otherwise have difficulty getting a job. Learn more about hiring tax credits and work opportunity tax credits by speaking with an experienced CPA today.


The Best Vending Ebooks

Diving into any new business will always be a nerve-wracking experience, one which will plunge you into the tumultuous unknown, hampered by pressing inexperience and confusion. While everyone goes through this often-harsh learning curve, many emerge triumphant, armed with the knowledge they need to continue their path to success. No matter how well you prepare, there will always be more to learn, in the vending business or any other, but there are a few steps you can take to mitigate the eminent new-venture stress.

Success is certainly possible within the booming vending industry, a statement vindicated by the legions of enterprising individuals that have created a part or full time income from this unique business opportunity. These people know what it takes to succeed and, fortunately for you, many have made their knowledge available to the world by creating powerful ebooks.

 

A number of vending ebooks are available for download and purchase online, but the best are those written by personally successful vendors with plenty of experience. Some vending ebooks contain a broad overview of the industry (packed with invaluable tips of course!), while others tighten their focus and detail specific aspects of vending. These resources will help you avoid typical beginner mistakes while putting you on the fast track to success. A few dedicated ebook authors are even willing to consult with you personally to ensure that your vending business gets off on the right foot! Don”t be afraid to spend some cash on one or more of these ebooks (I suggest getting one ‘overview’ ebook and one that has a specific topic); they’re a critical part of your research and are much more valuable than any amount of free information. Who would put the sum of their knowledge online for free? If you find such a resource, great, but I suggest playing it safe and asking the experts before you risk any of your valuable time and money.

 

You can enter the vending business with a fairly small investment; a few hundred dollars to buy machines and supplies will put you well on your way. If your serious about pursuing success in vending, by all means, invest in the valuable information that ebooks provide.


Four Types of Retail Companies that Should Still Be Around in 2019

As we enter 2010, many people in the business world are speculating as to what companies, or types of companies, will be gone by the end of the new decade. As a business advisor, who likes to stay optimistic, I would like to share, with you, four types of retail companies that should still be around by 2019.

Do It Yourself

 

“Do It Yourself,” style retail companies should still be around in 2019. As long as people want things done, there will be people that will want to do it cheaper on their own. Granted, it is way too early to tell if the small corner do it yourself style stores will still be around, but the big boys like Home Depot should be.

 

Car Dealerships

 

At this point, there is no reason to think that car dealerships will not be around in 2019. Out of all types of retail companies, car dealerships are the most hands-on. Why would one want to purchase a car without taking it for a test drive? While we might see televisions and computers purchased predominantly online by 2019, car dealerships will still be in full force.

 

Liquor Store

 

Don’t worry about corner liquor stores going away before 2019. As long as people want the convenience of walking a block or two to pick up a six pack of beer, corner liquor stores will still be around. Granted, there has been a trend in some parts of the country to franchise these corner stores into a major chain, but that has yet to catch on.

 

Adult Book Stores

 

Many believe that traditional book stores as we know them will be gone by the end of 2019. As long as there are people out there that want porn, and can’t access it through the internet, there will be people to shop at adult book stores. While the push will most likely continue from Christian groups to have adult bookstores banned, the chance of this going through in every community is slim.

With all of the companies, and company types that will probably fall to the wayside in the next ten years, these four should hold through and pass the test of time. Do It Yourself style stores, car dealerships, liquor stores, and adult bookstores are four types of retail companies that should not only be here in 2019, but for a very long time after that.


Understanding Pricing: The Danger of Offering Low Prices

After browsing the internet reading up on new marketing ideas, I have a question I think all new business owners should consider – is offering low prices really such a good idea for your business?

Reading through a list of marketing ideas I came across was this long-standing piece of advice ‘offer very low rates to raise your profile and attract customers’. To be honest, I was a little dismayed to see this written without any further explanation or caveats.

 

The fact is, many new businesses people do try to start out undercutting the competition, and on the surface it makes sense. Quickly gain business, establish yourself, bring in much needed cash early on, and grow. Long term though, I think this strategy can have quite a few drawbacks. I’m going to run through them below.

 

Before I do this, I do need to point out that this information is obviously dependant on your market. If you’re setting up a discount shop in a high traffic location, it may be exactly the right strategy for you. If you’re selling products that are widely available elsewhere competitive pricing is important (but still not the only reason people may buy from you). I am thinking here of the many businesses set up either to offer their services, whether that’s accountants, electricians and web-designers, or those selling products that are maybe a little less widely available.

 

Firstly, what are the reasons new businesses often start out by offering lower prices than their competitors?

 

They genuinely believe that they can undercut their competitors, attract customers and still make a healthy profit.

They don’t fully understand the variety of ways they can market their business -undercutting their competitors is just another way of bringing people in.

Related to this point, the plan may be to attract custom then raise prices to a more realistic level after becoming established.

The new business person lacks self confidence in themselves, or their business.

The business needs cash quickly.

They don’t truly understand their break even point (yes, this happens all too often)

People new to the business world don’t value their own time and professionalism.

 

Whilst the first is a legitimate reason for low pricing, you can see that the others are not; they are built on flawed thinking. Unfortunately, I was able to write this list of the top off my head in seconds as I encounter these reasons all too often. Do you recognise any of them in your pricing strategy?

 

Now, you may be asking what the problem is. As long as you can undercut your competitors and still make a profit why worry about low pricing? The truth is, low prices can damage your business in many ways.

 

Firstly, don’t assume you can build a client base and raise prices later on. By offering low prices at the start, you are setting an expectation. Offer something then take it away and you upset people. You’ll have spent time and money attracting people (who in this case value low price above other considerations) only to now drive them away whilst you look for those customers who value other factors above the cheapest price. Not only will you be starting over again, in fact, you’ve already disadvantaged yourself here. Those higher paying customers now see you as a cut-price operator, not necessarily a quality-led operator. In many people’s minds low price equals low quality. Far better to start off offering quality at a fair price and attract the right kind of customers from the start.

 

You’re also leaving your company vulnerable to new competitors. Spend time building a reputation for quality, speed, service etc and it’s harder for a new business to take your customers. You’re building a loyal customer base here, who shop with you because of how your business works, and how you treat them. If price is the reason people come to you, you’ve always got to watch out for that new business undercutting you. There’s far less customer loyalty here, and they’re often ready to move to a cheaper competitor.

 

Finally, how do offering low prices affect your long term plan? Does it leave you with money to invest in the business, or just provide you with enough to live off month to month? Do you have a surplus to invest in marketing, customer relations or are you just hoping that the low prices keep drawing people in? What about your time? Do you need to work 60 hours a week just to earn a living? If so, how are you going to find the time to sit back and plan the next six months marketing, research new products, or think of ways to outflank your competitors?

 

If you were thinking of simply undercutting your competitors, I hope you can now put forward together a solid reason for doing this, and at least be aware of the negative effects that can result. Maybe you see that some of the reasoning was flawed, and that there are other, better ways of establishing a business that have more potential for long term success.


Business to Business

In the world of business, one is always trying to acquire a larger part of the market than the rest. Competition is a good thing and every business searches for that niche that will allow them to stay in business longer than their competition as well as give them a loyal customer base large enough and frequent enough to keep them busy for years. What would you say if I told you that the name of your business may bring in customers but will not keep them? What about the coupons, discounts and special incentives that you may offer. Would you be surprised to know that there is only one thing which will bring in customers and keep them coming back?

The main ingredient needed to bring in and keep a loyal customer base as well as given you the best form of advertisement known to business, word of mouth. This well-known ingredient is “customer service”.

 

This is quite easy to prove by looking at the number of restaurants in a certain vicinity and seeing how full or empty the parking lots are. Each restaurant may have a certain best selling item or items on the menu but the one thing that brings customers back each and every time is customer service. You can have the best prime rib in the world but if your customer service needs work, your parking lot will remain sparse. Not many customers are going to pay their hard earned money for the best meal in town if they are treated badly. Any business with excellent customer service can get away with selling common products and still manage to keep a loyal and in most cases growing customer base. People are more willing to loudly share their experiences out on the town if they enjoyed them but they will quietly speak if it was bad.

 

Take any course in business and many of them will give you a list of purposes for opening a business and the number one reason in most courses will be profit. Some where on that list will be customer service. Customer service should always be number one because with excellent customer service the profits will grow. To the majority of readers, this is nothing new but maybe getting this review will cause us to spend a little more time enhancing our customer service techniques. Treating others as we wish to be treated can never be more profitable.


Small Business Resources – What the Federal Government Offers Entrepreneurs

When it comes to the Small Business Administration, everyone’s a critic – whether they’re a small business owner or not. Most recently, the SBA was in the news for its latest announcement that it would set aside 5 percent of its contracts for female-owned businesses.

The government entity was criticized for taking so long to create the policy (seven years when it was ordered by Congress to create the rules in 2000). But when more people actually looked at the policy, it sparked outrage because only four industries were pointed out as preferred for contracts for female-owned businesses. National security and furniture cabinet manufacturing were among the small list of categories.

 

This little anecdote exemplifies the long-standing joke many small business owners see the federal government as when it comes to entrepreneurs receiving help to get their business off the ground or expand.

 

However, if you’re one of the many who do want to own a successful business, there’s no need to despair. Try not to look at the downside of things and eventually you will persevere – after all perseverance is one of the top characteristics of an entrepreneur.

 

No to mention, the federal government actually does offer quite a bit to help you on your way to the world of being your own boss via several information vehicles. You just have to take the initiative to look up and peruse this information for yourself.

 

To begin with, the Small Business Administration is a great starting point. If you need help navigating the agency, try answerdesk@sba.gov and you can ask any questions you want about its programs.

 

The SBA’s web site will be able to get you in touch with local resources, can offer you a wealth of reading material on starting a business and can also set you up with free, online entrepreneurially courses to have you on your way.

 

SCORE, which prides itself as being “Counselors to America’s Small Business Owner,” is a resource partner to the SBA and also offers a lot of information. Additionally, there are local chapters of SCORE that can pair you up with a professional to get free consultation about your business. You can also work with another professional in the industry you are entering via e-mail as well. The web site, www.score.org offers information including easy to digest articles on starting your business, financing your business and making it grow.

 

The organization also offers workshops with topics ranging from writing a business plan to marketing. All of the workshops are low cost compared to many private offerings on the same subject. Remember, knowing as much about what you are getting into, is just as important as having the financing to back you up. Sometimes making the loan the only point in your start-up endeavors is not always the most important point to consider (that’s not to say it isn’t important at all, however).

 

If tax matters are at the heart of all your worry over your small business, no need to despair, check IRS.gov for basic information. Before you start laughing, the Internal Revenue Service’s web site is not as difficult to navigate as you may think, and it actually has a section catering to the small business owner.

 

In addition, the IRS has online “mini” courses that will help you understand basic concepts of tax law you will need to know as an entrepreneur. Plus, the web site offers you updates to tax law, which you definitely need to keep informed on (especially when the IRS has been ramping up its resources that look into small business owners and making sure they pay all of their taxes during tax time).

 

Already thinking global? Well, the Kauffman Foundation and the Department of Commerce’s International Trade Administration partnered with www.entrepreneurship.gov to help small business with financing, counseling and expanding across the global marketplace.

 

Though still a bit new, check out the “Resources” tab to be linked with all sorts of organizations that are also around to help you on your way to being successful.