Learn How to Make New Years Resolutions Your Marketing Goal

New Years is the time for resolutions. Countless people make decisions to better themselves, to improve their lives, and to become different people.

What does this have to do with marketing? Quite literally everything. Learn just what New Years has to do with Internet marketing!

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Frankly Blogging 101: Your Guide to Starting Your First Successful Blog for 2016

Creating a bustling enterprise from scratch is one of the most common dreams alive. You, me and every person within whom the entreprenurial spirit’s flame burns inside wants to create this something from nothing.

Blogging is hands down the best way to do that.

The problem is that starting your own blog from scratch is more than just a simple challenge. It’s a momentous task, – I would know from personal experience.

That’s why I’ve decided to start a brand new section to my blog with a comprehensive guide to blogging. I’ll try to maintain some sense of order and cohesion by grouping every tip, trick and strategy I know about blogging into this series of post.

This post is Frankly Blogging 101: A Guide to Blogging in 2015. You’re going to learn about setting up your first blog, explore your options for setting it up, and discover how to erect the foundation of building a strong blog that people actually want to read.

 

1. What Kind of Blog do You Want?

There’s two major types of blogs: the kind you host and the kind that someone else hosts for you. The choice between the two is something that you’ll want to make before you even start dreaming about what kind of blog you want to run.

Self-Hosted Blogs

Self-hosted blogs utilize things like WordPress, b2evolution and Ghost. You’re given complete freedom in the type of plugins and themes you install on these platforms and how you use them, but you’re responsible for hosting, backing up your content and ensuring that your blogs stay updated.

If you plan to run a blog in conjunction with a business website or as your primary means of income (at a later date), then you should likely choose this option.

If you don’t yet have hosting, then I highly recommend that you go with HostGator. They regularly have deals, such as $1 for the first month’s hosting, that are extremely advantageous to the thrifty business or individual. They also have an amazing support system that has yet to fail me, even when I’ve had to contact them for technical questions.

Hosted Blogs

WordPress.com and Blogger are two examples of hosted blogging platforms. What you can use on these platforms and even what you say must fall within the policies dictated by the hosts, but this is the option you will want to go with if you don’t have the time or expertise to run your own blog.

Do keep in mind that you will pay down the road if your blog ever becomes a successful hit. Domains, extreme storage and custom themes tend to cost a pretty penny, which means that it’s definitely worth learning how to manage your own blog now rather than having someone else do it for you later.

A Quick Cost Comparison: Self-Hosted Versus Hosted

Self-hosted blogs are incredibly cheap to run int he beginning. You can pay around $5 to $10 for a top-level domain and $5 to $10 per month for the actual hosting. You don’t (and probably shouldn’t) pay any more than that until your blog becomes a bustling hit.

Hosted blogs require quite a bit more. While are free to begin with, they’re also minimal versions of what you could have. Domains can cost $20 to $30 per year in addition to the actual cost of a domain, extra storage can cost $10 to $50 and “premium” themes can cost $50 to $200 or more.

My recommendation is to go with a self-hosted blog. Again, HostGator is my recommendation for hosting.

2. What Do You Want to Blog About?

Once you have the logistics out of the way, the next step is to decide what you want to write about. This is the one step that can change over time, but you should generally try to stick with the topics you choose.

Here’s what you don’t want to do when you’re choosing a blog topic:

  • Don’t pick a subject because it seems profitable or just because other people are writing about it.
  • Avoid topics that you intensely care about, but few other people are interested in reading about. The rights of marsupials in kitchens, for example, is something that you should probably avoid.
  • Don’t choose something that seems boring to you. You’ll burn yourself out quickly and your blog readers will see right through your posts.
  • Refrain from jumping around multiple topics. Related ideas are fine on occasion, but big shifts are generally bad ideas.

Pick Your Topic

For your first blog, you want to choose something that you enjoy writing about. You want to choose something that you can create a unique viewpoint on. You want to pick a topic that other people will love to read about.

Take my blog as an example. I love entrepreneurship. I enjoy business. Internet marketing is my thing. I find social media and such fascinating. I love helping others.

So, I made Frankly Making Money. I wanted to offer a unique and trustworthy viewpoint that few other Internet marketers wanted to reveal.

It’s as simple as choosing something you love to write about. You’ll never go wrong when you do that.

What Happens If You Can’t Come Up With a Topic?

There’s going to be times when you can’t come up with an idea that generates traffic. You may flounder about while trying to reach the perfect theme for your blog.

That’s okay.

If you’re in that stage, then you might just keep trying things until they work. Some of the best blogs on the Internet were originally personal blogs filled with poetry and feelings about politics that slowly grew into realizations about life and business.

When you pick an idea, just make sure to stick with it. Give it three months before you jump to a new idea.

If you find yourself lacking enthusiasm or visitors at the end of those three months, then try something new. You’ll eventually hit your mark.

3. How Do You Set Up Your First Successful Blog?

When you start your first blog, here are the five things you need to address before you begin writing your first post:

  1. Your Blog’s Name – This may be linked to your blog’s address, so you should definitely come up with something.
  2. Keywords – These can change over time, but you should have some keywords to describe your blog. You’ll want these when you craft your first few posts and decide upon things like your blog’s motto.
  3. An About Page – Every blog needs an “About” page. You can write about your blog, your company or yourself. This allows readers to connect with you.
  4. Privacy Policies – While creating this is beyond the scope of this post, you will need a privacy policy. You can use Google to find some templates that will suffice.
  5. Affiliate Disclosures – The FTC now requires websites to have affiliate disclosures where appropriate. If you don’t plan to monetize your blog, then you won’t need to worry about this.

4. Your First Post

Now that you have everything else in order, it’s time to finally craft your first post. It doesn’t have to be anything groundbreaking, and I honestly don’t think it should be. It should be something to let people know what to expect from your blog.

“Hello, World!” posts are ideal for this. You can brainstorm topics while working on your blogging persona.

If you have keywords, make sure to use one or two of them here. Don’t focus on keyword stuffing, but do use them where they’re appropriate.

What Comes Next

In Blogging 102, we’ll cover how to begin working on your first few posts. We’ll also briefly touch upon a few tools that you might want to use while trying to build your blog from the ground up in the year 2015 and onward.

Interested in learning more about blogging? Take a look at my Learn About Blogging page!

Do You Have What It Takes to Make Your Business Successful? 17 Entrepreneur Qualities You Need to Have

It doesn’t matter if you’re a solo entrepreneur, work-at-home mom or someone just trying to make an income using affiliate marketing; there’s a certain level of excitement that comes with running your own business.

You-Need-Certain-Qualities-to-Make-Your-Own-Business-SuccessfulYou’re in charge of every decision that you make, and, unlike traditional jobs where you work for someone else, you have to take credit for every success and failure.

Today, I’m going to cover something rather ordinary with a personal touch. I want to address everyone who’s trying to start their own Internet business or who might be interested in the idea by going over some of the things I’ve discovered while working with my own business.

I’m going to go over 5 core principles that you need to have to be able to ensure that you’ll be successful with your ventures, and walk through 11 characteristics that you’ll want to have as your own boss.

Do you have what it takes to be successful? Let’s find out!

 

The 5 Core Principles of Running Your Own Internet Business

While Internet businesses come in all different sizes and shapes, one thing remains the same among them all: You need to have the right set of core principles to ensure that you’ll persevere until you find success.

Below are the 5 core principles that I believe anyone needs if they want to be a successful business owner:

  1. You need to be able to make prompt decisions. – Whether you’re demonstrating it to your customers or your employees, you need to be able to give off an aura of leadership. Making difficult decisions quickly, including the kind of decisions that could make or break you, is something you need to be able to do.
  2. You need to be able to adapt. – Few things ever go as planned in life, and business is one thing that conforms to this statement. That means you need to be able to change your plans to work no matter what surprises business has in store for you.
  3. You need to be creative. – The biggest problem I encountered when I began working in Internet marketing is that I only knew how to copy others and to follow instructions. I learned the hard way that you need to be creative, and, even if you do follow someone else’s plan, you need to be able to add your own unique spin to things. You’ll fail otherwise.
  4. You need to be enthusiastic. – Another reason that so many people fail when they begin running their own business, Internet marketing especially, is that they’re in it for the money. You need to be in it because you love what your business is about, not because you have dollar signs in your eyes.
  5. Above all else, you need to be bold. – If you want to see big gains, then you need to make bold statements. You need to take risk and embrace new opportunities if you really want your business ever to succeed.

Do you have these core principles in mind? If you’re slightly off when it comes to one or two, then that’s no real challenge. You just need to find a way to make those qualities work or to help yourself change.

 

What Other Characteristics Do Successful Internet Marketers, Work-At-Home Moms and Business Owners Have?

Like you might expect, there’s plenty of other things that will contribute towards the success of your own Internet-based business. The core principles I’ve laid out above give you a rock-solid start.

Let’s take a look at #NUM# of the characters that I’ve personally found that business owners tend to have. These should really help you decide if owning your own business is really for you.

Will Your home Business Lead to Success or Failure

1. Do you do what you enjoy?

Even though you need money to live, doing something because it provides you with money is wrong. Your business will ultimately fail if you don’t do exactly what you’re enthralled by.

If you want to start your own business, then you have to do what you love. There are no exceptions to this rule.

 

2. Do you plan to take your business seriously?

I’m going to be Frankly honest about this, but the first few months I started doing Internet and affiliate marketing were the absolute toughest times I’ve ever had with any job in my life.

This is coming from someone whom worked full-time during the night in a busy, bustling cafe while studying for her college degree without the support of anyone.

The challenge is that you won’t have anyone looming over you and measuring your results. You have to take your business seriously if you want it to succeed. Half-hearted efforts will only lead to disappointment.

 

3. Do you know how to manage your money?

Remember the point I touched upon concerning what you should invest in when I wrote 3 Signs that Buying that Next E-Book or Internet Marketing Course is a Bad Decision?

In case you don’t, I said that you should invest in things that you or your business needs. These things have to be high-value objects that continue to work for a prolonged period of time, which means that they should contribute towards your business’s capital.

With all the products and get-rich-quick schemes out there, it’s absolutely vital that you know how to manage your money. You need to tightly clench onto it when you catch wind of products that likely won’t help you, but you need to know when to let go of it when you do need to purchase something.

 

4. Can you focus on the customer?

I’ve touched on it multiple times, but the most important part of your business has to be your customer. Without them, your business is all for naught.

So remember that while it’s important to try to make sales and to produce profits, your customers and solving their problems should always come first.

 

5. Do you know your customers?

Customers, customers, customers. Your business is about your customers.

One of the biggest reasons that people don’t succeed with their own business is that they forget this. They stop focusing on what their customers want in order to get what they need, which is usually money.

Learn to love your customers by fostering relationships with them. My recommendation is to make ample use of social media to accomplish this.

 

6. Can you promote yourself?

One thing I’ve learned through the years is that you need to be the top promoter of yourself if you ever want to succeed. Nobody’s going to follow you or even respect your business unless you can do that for yourself already.

The only caveat you need to realize about this is that you need to stop promoting yourself before you become obnoxious. If you can’t do this, then you’ll begin to foster distrust among your customers and even other businesses that should be helping you to succeed.

 

7. Can you handle being recognized as an expert?

I’ll be Frank on another well-hidden truth: nobody wants to follow someone whom they don’t regard as an expert already.

That’s why my first action when I started Internet marketing was to spend hours upon countless hours reading everything I could, even if I was mostly restricted to things that were free because of my rather tight budget and unfortunate living circumstances at the time.

From the moment you commit to building your own business, you need to commit yourself to becoming an expert in your field. Learn, read, digest and interpret everything as best as you can because you’re going to need to begin proving to people that you are an expert about something.

 

8. Are you willing to invest in yourself?

I touched upon this in the third characteristic listed here, but I feel it deserves its own section. You need to be willing to invest in yourself, because it’s ultimately you that is the person whom determines if your business succeeds or fails.

It’s not your customers, it’s not luck, and it’s not some divine power. It’s you and only you.

That means you need to be willing to invest in yourself however much that you need to so that you can succeed. You’ll need to take classes to learn how to become an expert in whatever field you choose to conduct business in, be that Internet marketing, gardening, self-help or any other field that you could ever hope to pursue.

The thing to remember here is that investing in yourself is a sure thing. You are capital to your own business efforts, and that means anything you invest in yourself will always be a life-long asset for you to use.

 

9. Are you comfortable talking one-on-one with people?

Phone calls, emails, in-person chats and even interaction on social media requires that you be comfortable conversing with other people. You need to know how to act, how to conduct yourself and what to say to ensure that things go smoothly.

I’m going to be brutally honest about this characteristic. I didn’t really have it when I started doing business. I had (and still do have) severe social anxiety, but I’ve learned ways to cope through it so that I can feel more comfortable talking business with the people whom I need to do so with.

 

10. Are you willing to make sacrifices?

Running your own business requires you to make many, many sacrifices. You’re going to be working hard hours in the beginning with few profits that you’ll actually be able to bank, as most of what you earn should be reinvested into further expanding your business.

That means you’re going to bleed and sweat like you’ve never done before. The Frank truth is that this is a requirement for business that gurus don’t want you to know, because it might scare you off.

The good news is that after those initial sacrifices and when you find your first few pots of real success, everything gets so much easier. You begin earning in a way that only gets easier.

 

11. Can you take a break?

Another unfortunate truth I found out when I first started working as an Internet marketer with my own business is that it’s so easy to burn yourself out that it’s not funny. I’d work hard for days and weeks at a time, then I’d reach a point where I didn’t want to do something as small as getting up out of bed.

My passion for what I Was doing was just gone.

Eventually, I learned that you have to take smaller strides with your business. You need to learn when to work and when to take a break.

It’s not easy, even if that’s the way that it has to be done. One of the most difficult things I found was saying, “I’ve done enough for today. I’ll do the rest tomorrow.” when I was knee-deep in doing something thrilling that I loved like working on a social media campaign or designing banner ads for that next big product marketing campaign I had in mind.

Success-and-Aptitude

Do You Have What It Takes to be Your Own Boss?

I hope that I didn’t scare you away from the idea of being your own boss with your own business, but everything I’ve stated in this post is absolutely true. You can ask around if you don’t believe me, though you may find it hard to get straight answers out of people who want to simply make a profit like most “Internet gurus” do.

The good news is that I’m sure you have at least some of these core principles down and you already have some of the 11 characteristics I listed under your belt. That puts you off to a great start to start your own business, or, if you’ve already started your own but you haven’t quite found success yet, to be the most successful person that you can be.

So, do you have what it takes to be your own boss? What qualities do you think are the most important? What do you think that you need to work on before you find that sparkling gem of success that will propel your business forward into tomorrow?

Leave a comment below! I want to hear everything you have to say.