Learn to Simplify your Website and Content

I’ve been working on my internet business for a long time. I tried blogging first because it was what I felt I had the time and ability to be successful with. That lead me to quite a few webinars for SEO strategies and also reading many books including HTML for Dummies and other things related to blogging and how to present your ideas the way the internet seemed to want it. That worked but the growing pains are still in the memory banks.

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I reviewed myself after a couple of years of throwing many new and trendy things that at the time I believed people wanted to see on a successful website. What my review turned up was that I may have been a little too impressed with the things I had learned about other subjects, and as my daughter who likes to bake may have said there’s too much icing and not enough cake. In my defense of course I could always retreat into that” a lot of websites are doing the same thing” excuse.

You want to look successful in order to win over prospects, but too much icing and not enough cake can ultimately lead to feelings of mistrust among brand new visitors to your site.  Don’t focus entirely on flash and flare – show people a great functioning website with highly useful content that answers questions and delivers value.

You can learn these lessons the hard way or you can check get advice and guidance from those who’s been in your shoes in order to make the best use of your time and effort. There are many successful and experienced people available at Wealthy Affiliate – spending some time in the in the active community and going through WA training can produce powerful results when it comes to growing your online business.

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Finding your Passions is Easy

The internet entrepreneur wants to excel where others have failed. Most business coaches will tell you finding your niche starts with identifying your passions. The reason being very simple-they’re what you know. A passion for fitness is a very popular place to start, but it’s not really enough information to rely on to establish a niche.

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Establishing a niche means more than taking a passion and identifying how you can make it pay. It means making a difference in a field in such a way that your customers will get passionate about you and your site.

One of the ways is to identify the competition and see what are their strong points and of course weaknesses. That is where your approach to the business can differentiate itself. After identifying your passion try out some keywords relating to that part of your passion that can lead to profits. I like fitness but it’s walking that I have the most have time for so walking shoes may be the best fit for me to establish my niche.

Keyword searches for walking shoes may turn up some information that shows the largest retailers may be missing a certain market. The concentration on attracting the younger demographic could be missing the senior citizen boat; those who most likely choose walking as the main part of their fitness regimen. Gaps like this in the competition’s presentation are what you’re trying to find, and exploit.

When you do identify that passion remember, it is a passion so don’t get too emotional if it doesn’t look like it can pan out profitably. Keep an eye on the bottom line. Too many have made the mistake of investing too much time, effort and money on a deep personal desire that just doesn’t have enough market share available to be profitable. Decide on your niche after the other research, don’t stop at identifying your passions.

 

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Swimming with Internet Sharks

The internet has a seductive siren song playing to the desires of the at home entrepreneur in us all. Whether it’s just a way to make money as a part time proof reader or blogger, or the yearning call to establish the next successful online vendor for a product gone viral; the lure of working when you want is indeed very powerful.

But as has been stated many times before working for yourself means you will have less time available for anything other than your business. That is just as true of carpenters, painters, and other construction contractors going out on their own as it does for those who want to mine the internet for a great paying job.

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Since this is a very competitive environment there are many out there that may be offering great advice at the start, but the fees and come-ons start to pile up and you come to the realization that you’re in the ocean swimming with sharks and the blood in the water is red ink from your business.

Luckily the internet giveth not just taketh away so to speak. You may need some help though, as things can get challenging perched alone in front of the computer all day. I enjoy writing blogs but still rely on help with things akin to design, algorithm updates and best practices for new social platforms. More than one time a little constructive criticism from another set of eyes has proven invaluable – just as a different approach to marketing your skills and services may hold the key to your success.

There are powerful platforms like ClickFunnels that can not only help you sell a product but also the service you offer, whether as a personal trainer or an online business mentor, or even a dentist. And while these kind of sites are also not free, ClickFunnels does offer a free trial period. Even if you choose not to continue on with their program, you will still be able to glean some unique ideas from the platform which may turn out to be a necessary departure from your current mind set.

This exercise may come to be your version of a second set of eyes. Just remember watch out for those sharks – you never can have too many sets of eyes for that.

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Don’t Neglect Your Health

I get it – you work a 9-5 (or more) every single day; you’ve got a family to take care of; AND you are trying to launch a business.  That all takes a tremendous amount of time and effort.

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If you are sitting all day at your regular job, sitting through dinner and to help the kids with their homework, then sitting for 5-6 hours into the we hours of the night plugging away at blog posts for 5, 6 or 7 days per week – you may be doing irreparable damage to your health.

I’m guilty of the above behaviors – too much sitting, too much snacking (or not eating at all), not enough sleep… Truth be told, it’s great to have a good work ethic and to put in the hours – but there can be a fine line between hard work and health risk.

Make sure you take time out of your day to move – even for just 10-15 minutes a few times per day.  Take a walk by yourself, walk the dog, sneak in a mini workout on your lunch break… Also, take time to consider what you are putting into your body throughout the day – man (or woman) can’t like on diet coke and snickers alone.

Your are building an empire in your “spare time,” make sure you take the necessary actions so you are alive and kicking to enjoy the $$$ when the money that you are working so hard to produce finally starts rolling in.

If you need a kick in the rear to get yourself going, take a look at the info on Basic Instinct Fitness – good info on short workouts, starting out your fitness journey and just getting your butt moving.

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Finding the Right Keywords to Attract Prospects

Long gone are the days of “keyword stuffing” an article or blog post to get search engines to push traffic to your site.  Top search engines actually now have algorithms in place to punish website owners who are creating keyword laden posts just for the simple fact of trying to attract visitors.

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That doesn’t mean that keywords are dead – in fact, quite the contrary.  Now you just need to be more more careful and calculated with your choice and placement of keywords in order to keep your content within the parameters of search engine algorithms while delivering the highest quality possible to your prospective customers.

I’m not going to lie – it can feel like a bit of a tight rope walk when you are balancing keyword placement and quantity while still taking great care to deliver the best possible reading experience to your visitors.

Thankfully, there are resources designed specifically to help you identify the perfect keywords for your niche.  This will allow you to build quality content around low competition keywords that your prospective clients are actually searching – putting you in the deal position for conversions.

Check out the Jaaxy search tool here:



Use this super simple tool to identify what your audience is actually searching for – so you can build high quality, shareable content and put yourself in the best possible position to turning visitors into customers.

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Avoid This Major Mistake to Make Progress in your Business

Knowledge is power – and the more you know about running a online business, the better off you’ll be.  If you can connect with the right influencers, learn from people who’ve been in your shoes and educate yourself on best online earning practices you should be able to put yourself in the best possible position for success.

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Now that we’ve established that education is great – let me clear up one point of critical importance.  Don’t let yourself fall prey to what I call “eternal student syndrome” or what others call paralysis by analysis… in short, don’t become so totally absorbed in the educational aspect of your business that you don’t have time to actually work on your business.

There are almost infinite pieces of information out there on everything from starting an online business to building your first website to best SEO practices to business social media… There are ebooks, print books, white papers, blogs, webinars, live seminars, etc., etc., etc. some of which provide tremendous value, others that aren’t worth the time it takes to read or listen to them.

This is part of the reason I strongly recommend the community at Wealthy Affiliate.  WA gives you access to proven tactics that produce results that you can participate in at your own pace – short 10-20 minutes info packed videos (instead of 120 minute webinars) that you can watch, digest and begin utilizing immediately to improve the performance or appearance of your site, to attract more readers or to improve your conversions.

In addition to just providing instruction, the courses at WA have action items to follow that will help ensure a greater chance for success.  And you have access to an active forum where you can pose questions to and get answers from entrepreneurs who’ve been in your shoes, instead or “flying blind” with info you don’t fully understand.

If you want to succeed you have to be prepared to spend some time learning the tricks of the trade (really successful people never stop learning), but you also need to be fully prepared to take action on the knowledge that you gain instead of spending every moment studying.

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Succeeding Online and Succeeding in Life

I’m sure you’ve heard the phrase “It takes a village” before – in most cases, people use it in reference to raising a child.  The idea is that parents need support when it comes caring for little ones.

And while there are folks who do make it through the process almost completely on their own, it does most certainly help to have a solid support structure behind you when taking on such a monumental task.

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Today we are going to apply that term to starting a new business venture – because the very first steps in entrepreneurship are not all that dissimilar to the challenges many face as a new parent.

There are long days, filled with hard work and stress, there are sleepless nights and constant nurturing.  Fear of the unknown and and unparalleled desire for success.  And just like embarking on the journey of beginning a family – having a solid and experienced support structure in place when starting a business can help ease some of the stress and smooth out what might otherwise be a bumpy transition.

You can get the help you need to speed up you success in business in a number of ways.  You can look for a mentor who has walked a very similar path with success in the past; you can hire a professional business coach and work with them one on one to strategize; you can join a local networking group and participate in regular meetings; or you could join a reputable online community.

When I first started my journey into online entrepreneurship there weren’t as many possibilities out there for help.  There weren’t a multitude of business coaches who specialized in online earning and the structured communities were few and far between.

As a brand new entrepreneur, with little in the way of start-up capitol and very limited knowledge, I tried the “do it alone” approach.  And while I’m still alive and kicking and earning money online today, I believe that my journey would have been much easier and much more lucrative if I’d had the help of some knowledgeable support people along the way.

I highly recommend that new online entrepreneurs and online earning hopefuls join the Wealthy Affiliate community.  There are different levels of membership (one is completely free) and you get access to hundreds and hundreds of experienced professionals, countless online training modules and a very active hub for asking questions and seeing other’s successes.

You can sign up for a free Wealthy Affiliate account here and you can read my in depth review of WA here.  Don’t waste any more time – join a community that can help you make positive steps immediately with the support and training you need to succeed.

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Never Get Stumped for a Blog Post Idea

So you have launched your website and you came out of the gate like a ball of fire.  Everyday there was a new idea, a brand new killer blog post that you couldn’t wait to type out for readers and prospective clients…

Now, just a few months later the post ideas are getting harder and harder to come by.  Some of the initial excitement about starting your online journey might be waning and delivering content on a regular basis might seem like a grind.

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The good news is – even in what some might consider to be fairly narrow niches, there are still almost endless pieces of content that can be created.  And, coming up with those ideas doesn’t have to involve beating your head against the wall.  In fact, a simple Google search can help you come up with dozens of potential ideas in a matter of minutes.

Simply begin a search that includes your niche or a key aspect of your niche, and allow Google auto fill to give you direction to questions that prospective clients are actually looking for answers to.  This simple trick can provide enough fodder for multiple posts.  And if you deliver the same high quality content that you have been cranking out for the last few months while you are answering critical questions in the niche, you are doing more to position yourself as the “go to” expert.

Need even more content ideas?  Take a look around forums that deal with your niche, peruse sites like Yahoo Answers and even troll your competition.  Don’t ever copy or plagiarize another author’s content, but you can certainly address a topic that has already been addressed or answer a question that someone else has already answered – especially if you can put a new, helpful spin in your content.

There is enough material out there for hundreds or thousands of additional posts – don’t get discouraged by a little writer’s block.  Spend a half hour on one morning every week searching for fresh ideas and keep focused on delivering high quality content – the effort will pay off in a big way if you stay focused and keep working!

Need more help getting your online business going?  Join the community at Wealthy Affiliate here.

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Be Honest with Yourself When it Comes to Your Entrepreneurial Skills

In our last post we talked about evaluating your business website from your customer’s perspective.  You should have been able to pick out several things that could be done to improve your user experience (if you didn’t find anything at all, you view is likely off kilter as even the biggest business perfectionists and smartest business minds make mistakes – go back and look again).

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Not that you’ve got a list of things that need fixing, it’s time to separate them into tasks that you can quickly and confidently complete on your own and those you can’t.  You don’t have to necessarily do it all – in fact, you might be much better off outsourcing some of the tasks on your list to freelance professionals who are experts at whatever the task might happen to be.

If your posts are rambling and a little difficult to follow because writing isn’t necessarily your strong suit, consider enlisting the help of a freelance writer to tackle some rewrites.  The ideas/concepts will still all be yours, but they can make the language flow, keep the reader engaged and pepper in critical keywords and key phrases without it sounding forced.

If your posts sound great but are littered with spelling, punctuation and grammatical errors, talk to a proofreader or editor to tackle going through your site to straighten things out.  If your design is a mess and you don’t know the first thing about html or code, hit hit Fivver or Freelancer to talk to someone who is proficient in those skills.

Admitting that your site needs work to be as beautiful, functional and user friendly as it could be is just the first step – getting the repairs made in the fastest and most suitable manner possible could be even more critical to the speed of your success though.

Think about it – your time is worth money.  If you spend hour after hour toiling away at a task that you could have a professional complete (with a much better result) for $10, $20 or $50, you are actually flushing money down the drain.

I’ve been there, thinking that I’d save money and reap even greater rewards by sucking it up and handling every single task on my own.  If I had just had the foresight and good sense to realize that some tasks are better left to others, my earlier sites would have likely looked a lot better and been more profitable.

It’s tempting to try and save money, especially when you are just starting out, but sometimes that small investment can make a powerfully positive impact on your business that will result in much greater rewards.  Focus on the tasks that you can deliver on better than anyone else in your niche – and kill those tasks every single day, the tasks you have difficulty managing well – leave those to the freelancers.  This approach will give you more time to take care of what you need to take care of day in and day out and keep you from getting frustrated by trying to juggle too much all at once.

 

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Get in Your Customers’ Shoes

I spend a lot of time talking about creating quality content for your customer – which is a critical part of earning money online.  Today we’re going to talk about an equally important part of earning online that many new online entrepreneurs tend to overlook.

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When prospects happen upon your website – is it easy for them to use?  Is it pretty, but not cluttered?  Does it load quickly and properly?  You can have the greatest content in the world, but if your site creates issues for the user when they visit, odds are very high that they won’t stick around long enough to make a purchase.

So, your job today, is to visit and explore your own website – not as the Admin, but through the eyes of a potential customer.  Take in everything from the perspective of someone who has never visited the site before.

Examine everything – how do the colors of the background and the text look together, is the font easily readable, are the pictures clear and properly sized for the content?

Dig through your “About Me” and “Contact Us” pages, open and read posts to check for grammatical or context errors, make sure internal and external links are functioning properly… Take notes as you go through and determine things that you can adjust or fix to make your site more user friendly to visitors.

No matter what your niche is, there is likely a decent amount of competition out there.  Make sure you stand out from the crowd by not only having the best content, but also by creating the best experience on your page for current and future customers so you can build trust, lasting relationships and recurring business.

 

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