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Monthly Archives: August 2016

Know How To Turn Blog into Business

These days,it appears as though everybody is blogging: From wellness enthusiasts and explorers to corporate brands and administrators, individuals speaking to about each pastime and industry have something to say on the web. Running your own blog gives you the opportunity to communicate, bolster your interests and relate to other people who share your interests.

Whether you’re blogging as a promoting strategy for your little business or attempting to transform your blog into a wellspring of wage, here are three of the most prominent alternatives for archiving what you need to say, and how to profit from it.

# Traditional blogs

Some bloggers just want to write. There are numerous potential topics, ranging from hobbies (such as baking or fishing) to self-help. Oftentimes, these blogs may feature media, like a photo or video, that fits the piece of writing.

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Jill Nystul, founder of the blog One Good Thing, said that although she began her blog as a side project, she eventually succeeded enough to quit her day job and become a full-time blogger.

“It has been a good source of income for myself and my team of four full-time and two part-time employees for a few years now,” Nystul said. “There is good money to be made if you have decent traffic and can get in with a reputable ad network.”

Nystul advised aspiring bloggers to write consistently about topics in which they have particular expertise, and to use social media to their advantage.

“Roughly 50 percent of our traffic comes from social media right now … and that’s the lowest it’s ever been. It used to be closer to 80 percent,” Nystul told Business News Daily. “The longer we’ve been around, the more traffic comes from direct search — which obviously we prefer because it is more reliable. But if we want to continue to engage our core readers and find new ones, social media is here to stay.”

Networking is also important for success in the blogging industry, Nystul said. Creating relationships with other bloggers, which can result in collaborations and incoming links, helps increase traffic and credibility for your site, she said.

# Photo blogs

As content becomes increasingly visual, a photo blog is a great way to engage your target audience. Sites such as Tumblr allow users to post or “reblog” images and share captured or digitally created photos of their everyday lives.

Similar to traditional blogs, photo blogs can have words along with images, such as captions or words that complement the scene. However, the page is primarily lined with pictures rather than word entries.

Travel photographer Perlito R. Pagay recently started a photo blog on WordPress called Globaltrail, where he shares the beauty of the Earth through his own experiences.

“This kind of blog is more on seeing the real subject [through] images rather than using our imagination [through] narrative,” he said. The intention behind his photography is to share “entertainment, awareness, information and knowledge” of a particular place or event.

Pagay advised all potential photo bloggers to focus on a single subject, understand and maintain a specific purpose (e.g., entertainment, awareness), ensure clarity of the photos, and add descriptions below each image.

Zuzu Galova and Peter Sedlacik, founders of Lens Between Us, travel the world, taking photos of each other and sharing them on their blog. The duo started their blog almost three years ago during a trip to Portugal.

“We wanted to have something that would document our travels, almost like a diary, so if we look back, we know exactly where we were,” Galova and Sedlacik said.

Although the original idea was intended merely as a side project, Lens Between Us wound up going viral and is now a potential profession for the two photographers.

“If we could find a brand who would sponsor us, then we would be able to travel the world,” they said.

Galova and Sedlacik believe the most important component of a photo blog’s success is to be consistent. If you find a concept you like, keep working on it, they said; people won’t find you overnight.

# Vlogs

Vlogs, or video blogs, allow you to share your insight through videos, usually of yourself. YouTube has millions of budding vloggers, from makeup artists to comedians, who make up this rapidly growing segment of the blogging community.

YouTube star Tori Haughey, founder of Trending With Tori, said vloggers are “able to connect with their viewers through video, which makes things more personal and relatable.”

Haughey grew her following by focusing on topics that resonate with her, like fashion, beauty and baking.

“My channel consists of the things that I personally love, and I like to think that there is something there for everyone,” she told Business News Daily.

Emelyne Behr, a popular vintage-inspired vlogger, has more than 86,000 followers on her YouTube channel, SweetEmelyne’s. In addition to recording videos of baking and beauty tips, she writes for her personal blog, which she uses primarily for recipes.

Pairing the two platforms helps grow a connection with her audience. She also promotes all of her content on Snapchat, Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.

“It helps remind people to check out my content,” Behr said.

Behr noted that, although competition is getting steeper on YouTube, brands are recognizing the power of vloggers and are more willing to work with them.

“When I first started, it was much easier to get noticed than it is now,” she said. “However, now it’s also much easier to get sponsorships and brand deals with companies.”

Both vloggers offered the same advice: Be yourself. By creating videos that excite you and express your talents and passion, you allow yourself to stand out, engage with your audience and enjoy the process.

# Earning income from your blog

Blogging may seem like a “too good to be true” career choice, but with the right mindset, dedication and effort, you can succeed as a well-known and well-respected blogger. Paid advertising, sponsorships and e-commerce on your blog are all great ways to generate income.

Marketing blogger Amy Lynn Andrews has been blogging profitably for more than a decade. In this post on her website, she recommends blogging about topics you are passionate about and allowing the money to come organically. Though the process of blogging itself may not afford you a salary right away, the platform is the perfect point to start earning money.

“After proving their trustworthiness, bloggers use their blogs as springboards to launch other products and services that bring in income,” Andrews wrote. “Examples are e-books or books, speaking gigs, products, e-courses, etc.”

As you grow, you can monetize your blog in the ways that best suit you and your audience, she said. “For example, blogging about knitting? Sell knitting patterns,” she wrote. “Blogging about fly fishing? Sell your services as a fly fishing guide. Blogging about being a preschool teacher? Sell preschool curriculum.”

If you work hard enough and your ideas resonate with your audience and partners, you can make decent money, Andrews said. Take it from her — she makes six figures a year.

Where to start a blog
The following websites are among today’s most popular platforms for launching a blog.

  • Tumblr
  • WordPress
  • Blogger
  • Weebly
  • YouTube

Know These Steps Become Success Entrepreneur

A few people simply appear to be “conceived business visionaries.” From a youthful age, they’ve displayed the attributes vital for business achievement — energy, innovativeness, authority, persistence, and so forth — and when they declare their arrangements to dispatch a startup, their loved ones regularly say these yearning people were bound for it.

Be that as it may, there’s considerably more to business enterprise than having the right identity — and regardless of the fact that you have it, your identity doesn’t ensure achievement. You require some essential business know-how and an entrepreneurial attitude, both of which can, indeed, be educated. Specialists said something regarding how a training in enterprise, whether formal or casual, can help you and your business excel.

# Evaluate your skills to identify gaps
The best way to begin your journey as an entrepreneur is to take stock of what you already know. Wendy Torrance, director of entrepreneurship at the Kauffman Foundation, said startup founders should assess their skills, stage of life and whether there’s a good opportunity in the market for their idea. Then, Torrance added, they need to figure out how to address any potential shortcomings of their business by building a team to fill in some of their own gaps.

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“Sixty-four percent of companies fail because of people-related problems,” Torrance said. “[Entrepreneurs] should identify their strengths and weaknesses with respect to the people around them. They might have knowledge about a technology, but a co-founder might understand the market better and help the company.”

Once you’ve combined your knowledge with that of your team, you can figure out which skills you’ll need to improve.

“Educate yourself to improve,” Torrance said. “Education [can come] from anywhere — a course, a mentor, a program, etc.”

# Find a mentor

Regardless of whether you’re studying to become an entrepreneur, it’s crucial to seek out the wisdom of those who have been there before. One way to do this is by turning to a professional mentor to guide you through the early stages of your startup and provide valuable feedback on your business strategies and issues.

“Mentorship is everything in business,” said Melinda Emerson, American Express OPEN adviser and spokeswoman for the OPEN for Women: CEO BootCamp program. “Startup entrepreneurs need sounding boards of people who are interested in their success — people who will tell them the truth and give them support.”

Phillipe Christodoulou, CEO and founder of The Eco Laundry Company, noted that first-time entrepreneurs’ lack of experience makes them especially susceptible to the pitfalls of starting a business. A mentor can prepare them for these challenges and steer them in the right direction, as well as provide critical psychological support, he said.

“There are moments along the way where stress can become so intense that first-time entrepreneurs can become overwhelmed,” Christodoulou said. “Sometimes, simply being reassured from someone who has already been there that those moments of utter insanity are completely normal and not unique to the person experiencing them can be the difference between a breakdown and a learning opportunity. And that’s a big difference. Bottom line: A good mentor is the best insurance policy to protect your investment as well as your mental health.”

Business students may have an easier time building a network of advisers within their schools, but any entrepreneur can find a mentor through sites like SCORE.org.

# Learn to listen

As an investor in entrepreneurship training, Frank Rimalovski, managing director of the New York University Innovation Venture Fund, has found that one of the most important lessons a business owner can learn is how to listen to customers. A lack of customers, rather than the failure of a product or technological development, is often the reason startups suffer, and knowing what your target market wants is key to avoiding this pitfall. Entrepreneurs need to be able to identify their customers’ values and figure out how to align with them, Rimalovski said.

“We really focus on teaching people how to listen,” Rimalovski said. “Go out and talk to your customers. Don’t sell, but listen and learn about their problems in the specific domain that you’re addressing.”

Both Rimalovski and Luke Williams, a professor at NYU Stern School of Business and executive director of its Berkley Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation, say problems occur when an entrepreneur falls in love with his or her own idea and assumes others will feel the same way.

Customers “are not embracing your idea because it’s new, but because of the value,” Williams said, noting that entrepreneurs need to figure out how to persuade others of that value.

# Create good habits

Some people believe that there are certain personality traits that make a person more inclined to succeed in business ventures, but Williams said this notion creates a stereotype that is counterproductive to entrepreneurial education. It’s less about personality, he said, and more about asking which habits one needs to enable successful entrepreneurship.

“Anyone teaching has to believe that, given the right tools and opportunities, every student can be a member of the entrepreneurial class,” Williams said. “You can’t change personality, but you can change key habits.”

Williams said there’s a set of important habits that aspiring business owners should cultivate, called “the five P’s”: perception, provocation, possibilities, practicality and persuasion. Perception is crucial because good entrepreneurs must learn to perceive more opportunities by connecting seemingly disparate things. Provocation is about considering those opportunities and not automatically dismissing them. Realizing the possibilities is important in order to avoid jumping to the obvious solution and instead experiment with other ideas, to see what works. Once those possibilities are considered, identify the best, most practical solution, and focus on what you need to do to make that happen, Williams said. Finally, persuade your customers with a good story and pitch.

# Find the right resources

Not everyone will end up running a business, but there are many resources available for those who want to do so. These resources range from formal business courses and networking programs to seminars and websites offering guidance for business owners. It’s a matter of finding the learning style and setting that work best for you, Emerson said.

“Once people make the decision to be entrepreneurs, there are plenty of ways to learn how to be better,” Emerson said. “I believe in giving bite-size actionable advice to help people figure out small things they can do to make big changes.”

“We have to stop believing entrepreneurship is this magical, elusive skill or personality trait that only a few people possess,” Williams added. “We need to get it into a digestible process that people can learn like any other skill, regardless of their background.”

Smart Way to Budgeting Business

budgeting-businessYou’ve quite recently obtained or opened a little business and you know your exchange, however with regards to accounting and, all the more particularly, planning, your expertise set is deficient. It’s OK – the uplifting news is that it is conceivable to concoct a financial plan, or if nothing else a decent estimation of what will be required as far as dollars and pennies. Perused on for six basic tips that will help you set up together a first class little business budget.

# Why Budgeting Is Important

Assessing and coordinating costs to income (genuine or foreseen) is vital in light of the fact that it assists little entrepreneurs with determining whether they have enough cash to store operations, extend the business and produce pay for themselves. Without a financial plan or an arrangement, a business risks spending more cash than it is taking in or, on the other hand, not spending enough cash to develop the business and contend.

# Budgeting Techniques

Every business owner tends to have a slightly different process, situation, or way of budgeting. However, there are some parameters found in nearly every budget that you can easily employ. For example, many business owners must make rent or mortgage payments. They also have utility bills, payroll expenses, cost of goods sold expenses (raw materials), interest and tax payments. The point is that every business owner should consider these items and any other costs specifically associated with his or her business when setting up shop or when taking over an existing business.

# What To Do with Revenue

With a business that is already up and running, you can make assumptions of future revenue based on recent trends in the business. If the business is a startup, you’ll have to make assumptions based on your geographic area, hours of operation and by researching other local businesses. Small business owners can often get a sense of what to expect by visiting other local businesses that are for sale and asking questions about weekly revenue and traffic patterns.

After you’ve researched this information, you should then match the business’s revenue with expenses. The goal is to figure out what an average weekly expense for overhead, utilities, labor, raw materials, etc. would look like. Based on this information, business owners may then be able to estimate or forecast whether they’ll have enough extra money to expand their business, or to tuck away some money into savings. On the flip side, owners may realize that in order to have three employees instead of two, the business will have to generate more in revenue each week.

Let’s look at six tips that will help you plan your small business budgets.

# Check Industry Standards

Not all businesses are alike, but there are similarities. Therefore, do some homework and peruse the local library for information about the industry, speak with local business owners, and check the IRS website to get an idea of what percentage of the revenue coming in will likely be allocated toward cost groupings.

Small businesses can be extremely volatile as they can be more susceptible to industry downturns than larger, more diversified competitors, so you only need to look for an average here, not specifics.

# Make a Spreadsheet

Prior to buying or opening a business, construct a spreadsheet to estimate what total dollar amount and percentage of your revenue will need to be allocated toward raw materials and other costs. It’s a good idea to contact any suppliers you’d have to work with before you continue on. Do the same thing for rent, taxes, insurance(s), etc.

# Factor In Some Slack

Remember that although you may estimate that the business will generate a certain rate of revenue growth going forward or that certain expenses will be fixed or can be controlled, these are estimates and not set in stone. Because of this, it’s wise to factor in some slack and make sure that you have more than enough money socked away or coming in before expanding the business or taking on new employees.

# Look To Cut Costs

If times are tight and money must be found somewhere in order to pay a crucial bill, advertise, or otherwise capitalize on an opportunity, consider cost cutting. Specifically, take a look at items that can be controlled to a large degree. Another tip is to wait to make purchases until the start of a new billing cycle, or to take full advantage of payment terms offered by suppliers and any creditors. Some thoughtful maneuvering here could provide the business owner with much needed breathing and expansion room.

# Review the Business Periodically

While many firms draft a budget yearly, small business owners should do so more often. In fact, many small business owners find themselves planning just a month or two ahead because business can be quite volatile and unexpected expenses can throw off revenue assumptions.

# Shop Around for Services/Suppliers

Don’t be afraid to shop around for new suppliers or to save money on other services being performed for your business. This can and should be done at various stages, including when purchasing or starting up a business, when setting annual or monthly budgets, and during periodic business reviews.