9 01 14

Anyone operating a small business whether it is from your home or another office requires marketing skills and tools. There are many suggestions and as many if not more tools that can help you with creating a marketing advantage.

Website Magazine is one source of marketing information, ideas, and suggested tools.

Today’s article offers a few marketing tools to help you with gaining an advantage in not only marketing your business, but if you are a writer, another way to create relevant content. Research is key to any marketing or writing plan.

Click here to read 10 Apps to Make You a Better Content Marketer

Please let me know what you think of this article, and if you have a favorite tool you like using. I look forward to hearing from you.

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20 12 13

Freelance writing is a growing at home business anyone with the desire can begin. With a basic writing knowledge you can expand your skills and publish articles across the web. There are a few websites that cater to beginning writers and offer pay per click incentives to keep publishing. The more you write, the more you earn, the better you improve your skills.

A few tips for beginner freelance writers:

  • Put together a well written article on your selected subject and one that relates to the site you are interested in writing for. These articles will be used as part of your application.
  • When editing your articles, utilize a grammar and spell checker like Grammarly. This will help you to hone your writing skills. Read the reasons for the edit changes and make note. The next time you write an article for the publication sites, you will be one up on the writing rules.
  • Don’t know what you want to write? Research using a keyword tool like Google’s or WordTracker. Both offer free options and allow you to utilize the long keyword phrase search. Select the top searched for, but the lower competition keyword phrases and single words.
  • Take advantage of the free tips and tools freelance writer sites available. Copyblogger is one, Freelance Writers Directory and check your local library for books such as The Elements of Style by William Strunk & E. B. White. Writing for publications is not the same as writing for yourself. Another great book is the AP Style Manual, since most publications prefer it.
  • Research the topic, learn to write in sections concerning the chosen topic. Find appropriate pictures and develop a personal style that will fit with the publication’s audience.

Following are a few of the sites that pay writers to publish to their sites. Each one has a different requirement, so read the fine print.

  • Academia-Research
    Freelance online writing jobs are available from a freelance writing company. We offer well-paid freelance job opportunities for academic writers, content writers and resume writers.
    If you intend to write academic and research content, get very familiar with what it means. College level writing is not the same as article writing. Dissertations, essays, information to educate is thoroughly researched and uses a different style. If you have what it takes, then begin here.
  • Academic Experts
    How to become a freelance writer with AcademExperts.us. Apply for an online writing job free and start earning up to 20$ per page immediately. Academic writers needed.
    You absolutely have to have experience as an academic writer. To learn more and get started, click here.
  • Auction Bytes
    EcommerceBytes. Independent news and resources for online retailers.
    Writers for AuctionBytes and Collectors Corners should gear the content towards how to, reviews, tips and tricks, and other similar topics. Get started here.
  • CloudCrowd
    We’re working on it. Lots of us.
    Companies provide a project; Cloud Crowd breaks the project into bite size tasks. Upon approval, payment is immediate. Work your hours and tasks you want. Start here to learn more and apply. You will need a Facebook profile.

This is a beginning list. There are over a hundred sources to write for. As a beginner in freelance writing, your selection is well rounded. What are your interests? What gets you fired up and excited? Hobbies, education, pets, and a list of other topics are always in need of writers. You can create “How To,” instructional, informative, or educational articles to publish. There is no limit to the topics or styles. Be creative and have fun. The more you write the better you get and the more you earn.

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16 12 13

With the close of businesses over the past few years, working for self is grown to a strong way of life. Understanding the many options for home based employment is important. There are so many scams and hustles that only provide the originator with a solid and vast income stream. The person on the low end of the pyramid does not stand much of a chance getting ahead.

It is so important to gain an understanding of the terms and how they may be used interchangeably.

Just a short and quick insight to the difference between home-based businesses and working from home. The terms are not interchangeable and yet they are. A bit of a paradox.

When you operate a home based business you are working from and in your home. The difference depends on the choice of business. Developing a business that serves moms, like childcare or laundry service, can be operated in your home. Or you can set up a home business office and go out to see clients.

Home based businesses include network/multilevel marketing, clerical services, medical transcriptionists/billers, virtual office and personal assistants, there is no end to the titles and types. Most home based business requires some training and a monetary investment. There are those who pay very well per hour, per sale, per project. The options are about as unlimited as the type of home-based business opportunities.

Working from home means that no matter what you do, telecommuting or operating your own business, you have a home office. Again you may operate any number of businesses. Mostly working at home entails finding a job, like customer service, writing, web designing, etc. This usually means that the company hires you as an employee to work from your home and they pay you an hourly wage. Benefits are not usually included, sometimes the equipment is, but not always. In some cases you may be required to commute to an office or the client’s home once a week to meet, review and deliver your work.

Making a decision about which option you would like to pursue includes deciding on whether or not you have what it takes to do the job you are interested in. Are you comfortable with sales? Making cold calls? Answering phones and helping someone fix their computer? Can you handle the complaints and discontented customers for the company you hire on with? Do you have what it takes to sit on the phone or at a computer all day?

Research the options, take a serious look at your home, ask yourself the important questions. How much money do you need to earn, would like to earn? These are different totals. Can you sit at home all day, nearly every day? Do you need to shuffle between being a parent, caretaker, guardian, or partner and work? What type of schedule are you willing or desire to set for yourself? Actually some jobs require a set schedule so in this case know if it something you can stick with.

I worked as an English tutor for Chinese students who lived in China. Nearly every day I had to get up by 3 or 4 a.m. to be ready to take the first call at 5 a.m. which was about 8 p.m in China. (give or take a few minutes.) I did not mind the hours, but the pay was less than minimum wage p/hr in this country, yet it was a fortune to someone in China. I enjoyed it, but the early morning hours and low pay eventually wore me down.

There are business opportunities and job offers for those who are retired, full time students, or disabled. Search and read, get to know the small print for any organization you are considering doing business with.

Make a list of questions based upon what is important to you. Set aside the financial desperation, this is not the most important aspect to working from home or building a home-based business. When financial desperation gets in the way mistakes are made and money is wasted. So know everything you need about you and the options available.

Do not pay for the right to work, ever. There are those companies that offer you freelance work if you pay just $39.95, but wait that is not all. These offers suck, and you cannot always get your money back. They are designed to make those who own the organization rich. NEVER PAY TO WORK.

Again, set your desperation to the side. Be smart, read, and become informed. Then you can make a decision that is best for you and yours. Give it 90 days. Set a schedule, follow through. Keep learning, asking questions, keeping notes. A work journal will help you to keep track of everything you do in a day.

Need help? Contact me today. Let’s chat about getting you started on a new career.

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10 12 13

The holidays are coming soon, full of good food, family and presents. For many of us the holidays are the happiest time of year and something we look forward to for months. However, with all of the lovely distractions, it can be easy to forget other commitments—such as our desire to help the environment. Luckily, it doesn’t have to be hard to go green and still enjoy all of your favorite holiday traditions. Here are five ways how you can do just that.

1. Reuse Wrapping Paper

All of those beautiful wrappings are one of the biggest sources of waste during the holiday season. Instead of going out and buying new paper every year and then immediately throwing it away Christmas morning, save the paper that is salvageable and use it again the next year. The same goes for boxes, gift bags and ribbons. You can also make your own pretty wrappings out of paper bags from the grocery store by using a Christmas stamp or some pretty ribbon to dress it up. Functional wrappings, such as a scarf or towel, provide a quick option if you aren’t crafty or have a last minute gift to prepare.

2. Buy Used Decorations

There’s really no reason to spend our hard-earned cash on brand new decorations year after year. Instead, go to thrift shops to look for used bargain pieces that can get a second life, be used year after year and save your money for other things
(such as more presents or a killer Christmas dinner). Carefully wrap and store your decorations away after the holidays are over, and pull them out again next year. After 12 months, they will feel like brand new.

3. Cut Back on Energy Consumption

We tend to consume much more energy in the winter, as we are heating our homes through the cold winter months, and tend drive cars instead of walk in order to stay out of the cold. There’s no need to freeze out your holiday guests or yourself this holiday season in the name of saving the planet, but there are some easy ways to cut back on energy consumption. Many digital home automation systems come with a smart thermostat that will automatically turn the heat down while you are away and then turn it back up, so your house is nice and toasty when you arrive back home. Turning the thermostat down at night, or during a party, when the room temperature tends to rise naturally, are also good options.

4. Go Paperless

Receipts, family letters and Christmas cards all use up a lot of paper and are all thrown away in a matter of weeks. Instead, save paper and money by going paperless. Ask stores to email you a gift receipt instead of printing one, and send cards and letters via email or other e-card services. Most of these services will now let you customize your card complete with the traditional family photo and all for free, so no need to make sacrifices.

5. Watch Water Use

Water use tends to go up during the holidays as we are feeding big crowds and washing lots of dishes. Be conscious of how much water you use while you are preparing and cleaning up meals, and look for ways to conserve. Filling the sink up with suds to wash instead of leaving the faucet running, for example, can save gallons of water. Scraping plates into the trash instead of rinsing them will also save water.

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