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Time Management Myth

Wall clock

Lately, it feels like time is my enemy, keeping me from being as productive as I should be. The clock ticks on whether I complete a task or not. With the increasing workload of my freelance business, I’m realizing the need to schedule my time more intentionally. Until recently, I have been able to get work done in “spare” hours throughout the day. I’d work a little here, work a little there, work a lot after the kids went to bed. But with freelance jobs being sporadic, I didn’t work on my freelance every day, just as needed. That has changed. Read More…

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To Blog or Not to Blog

When college student Justin Hall created the very first blog in January 1994, he was making history. In eighteen years blogs have become an online staple. Some blogs are personal diaries or links to websites about similar topics much like the first blogs were, but others have adapted to become much, much more.

Many people viewed blogs as a fad when they started, but blogs have evolved into a growing industry. Today blogs are used by everyone from people who want to document their lives and share their thoughts with the world to Fortune 500 companies who use blogs to tell people of their company, products, and build a community of consumers.

A good business blog can add value to your business, boost customer loyalty, establish you as an expert in your field, and attract potential clients. On the other hand, a bad business blog can negatively impact your business and your reputation. So, the question is: Is a business blog right for you?

When deciding to start a blog for your business, there are a few things to consider. What do you hope to accomplish with your blog? How much time do you have to commit to a business blog? What kind of legal liabilities might arise? Luckily there are thousands upon thousands of resources on and off the Internet.

I’ve been researching this topic for an article I’m writing, and it amazes me the impact a blog can have on a company or individual. Some companies have used blogs to greatly increase their customer base and improve their standing with the masses. Others have crashed and burned. What’s the main difference? The blogs that have been successful offer quality content, are genuine in nature (i.e., not just a glorified commercial), and listen to their readers, responding accordingly.

While having the opportunity to blog, doesn’t necessarily mean a person has to blog. But those of you who are trying to decide whether to start a business blog, do your homework first. Read everything you can before starting, then dive right in. If you are sincere, offer value, and give a place for people to discuss your topic, people will forgive any mistakes you make. It’s an evolving field. Who knows, maybe you’ll start something new in the blogosphere.

According to the article,  “Blogs Will Change Your Business,” by Stephen Baker and Heather Green in BusinessWeek OnlineBlogs are a phenomenon that you cannot ignore, postpone, or delegate…blogs are not a business elective. They’re a prerequisite.” Blogs give business more marketing bang for the buck. So why not give it a try?

I’d like to hear from anyone who blogs for their business. What tips or advice can you give to those of us who are new to the business blog community?

Self-Publishing Pet Peeves

I’ve recently been introduced to the self-publishing world—e-books to be exact. I knew that websites such as smashwords.com and lulu.com were out there, but I’d never actually downloaded a book that hadn’t been published by a brick and mortar publishing house—until recently. I am not encouraged by this trend. Read More…

Blog Tips

I’m still researching business blogging for an article I’m writing. As you can imagine, there are thousands upon thousands of resources out there on this subject. Here are a few websites/blogs I’ve found to be helpful or at the very least interesting: Read More…

Connecting with Other Bloggers

Admittedly, I’m not a very outgoing person. Writing is a pretty solitary profession. You sit in front of a computer for hours typing things that come into your head. I liken it to playing God, because you are able to create a world in which you are omniscient and all-powerful. (Although many novelists will tell you that their characters take on a life of their own, but that only furthers the metaphor.)

My point is, you typically don’t become a writer for social reasons. However, I’m learning in my research about blogging, that becoming active in the blogging community (or blogosphere) is key to having a “successful” blog (i.e., one that people actually read.)  Read More…

Social Media

There has been a lot of buzz about using social media to promote your small business, cause, or organization. Anyone with a Facebook page (and who doesn’t have one of those?) knows the satisfaction of clicking on the “like” button and seeing that little “thumbs up” icon. (I personally enjoy getting an email that someone has read and “liked” one of my blog posts! It makes my day, hint, hint.)

According to the book Social Media Boom! by Jeffery Gitomer, “social media is the new cold call” when it comes to sales and marketing. Social media includes, blogging, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and websites like LinkedIn. These different platforms offer easy and inexpensive ways to get the word out about your business.

But small business owner, beware. There is a right way and wrong way to go about marketing yourself and your company through social media.  Read More…

Being Successful in Business

I recently ran across a very interesting article on http://www.entrepreneur.com titled “25 Common Characteristics of Successful Entrepreneurs.” The list has some very good points, and has inspired me to apply many of them to my own business strategy. While the thought of applying them all to my work is exhausting, I was struck by a reoccurring element found in most of the points in the article—attitude. Read More…