Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Would you do it all again?


After nearly setting my house a blaze this afternoon, it really put things in perspective…I need to recheck my smoke alarm (darn thing didn’t go off…I could have died!). Besides that, it made me think “what if I had lost everything and had to start over?” Would I choose the same business model?
Would you?
Imagine for a minute that you’re rebuilding your business, starting from scratch. The only difference is you know what you know now. With the same information, would you stick to the business concept or would take a completely different road.
Sometimes it’s not until we’re forced to start over before we relook at everything. Take the recession for example; it wasn’t until companies were laying employers in masses that people seriously started rethinking their spending habits as well as their job security.
While you may love working from home, for your own reasons, if you had to do it all again…would you? And would you do it the same way?
For me, I might get others involved earlier on, instead of putting every nail in my business structure on my own. I’m doing that more now however, and seeing more success as a result. That said-- I would keep my business. I like it. 

Sunday, January 24, 2010

What not to do on your affiliate review site


A number of people wonder why after they have spent time writing and creating their affiliate landing page, their leads don’t covert. If you’re getting the traffic, why aren’t you making any sales?
One of the biggest problems is the way people present their site. Often, I see affiliate review sites looking like carbon copies of the merchant site. The affiliate basically does a copy-paste job, where they basically list the features the merchant placed for the product and write a blurb about how great the product is, which in some cases no more than what the merchant wrote.
This is an absolute no, no. It doesn’t work to generate sales and here’s why.
1. You ruin your credibility. If all you have is a list of features without a genuine review pointing out your pros and cons, the prospect is going to wonder if they can trust you. If they don’t trust your review, they won’t click to see the merchant site. Now, suppose they do visit the merchant and see a similar landing page with the same list of features and benefits, they are even more wary.  It makes it seem as if you didn’t try the product. And if you haven’t used it, how can anyone trust what you have to say about it.
2. It’s impersonal. Reviews are a chance for you to share your opinion about something. Simply listing off the product features and benefits isn’t a review. Reviews that sell products are personal and have personality. The writers behind them have something tangible to say about the products and services they use. This allows readers to feel like they’re connecting not just with the writer but are gaining a better awareness of the product. The more connected people are, the easier it is to sell them.
I read a great review on bebe.com (fashion site) the writer wrote how the shoes defined her personality exactly. Now, if my personality is anything like hers guess what…I’m buying the shoes too. I now have something to connect to. It’s the whole “I’ll have what he’s having…because we seem like the same type.”
3. Doesn’t give readers a chance to learn more about the product. Even if you’ve listed every feature, consumers will still wonder what they’re buying. Personal reviews give users a chance to learn that extra something from another consumer’s point of view. You can point how the product smells to you; if it’s an ebook, was it long read or did you finish it in a night. Things like that, help consumers move closer to what they’re buying. When you’re selling online this is key, since we can only shop with a few of our senses. The closer the prospect gets to the product, the harder it is for them to walk away.
4. They just look fake. Consumers are smarter and are not buying into hype so easily these days. This is why having a list of benefits makes your review look fake. It brings to the consumer’s mind, “what’s wrong with it?” Even if you loved the product, nothing is perfect. Mention just one thing you would change about the product. Perhaps it’s expensive but worth it. Or maybe it doesn’t come in enough colors. It doesn’t have to be a major flaw, but even the littlest thing, can add more credibility to your review.
If your affiliate review site looks like a copy-paste job of your merchant’s it’s time to rewrite it.
Think about what prompted you to by in the first place. Did it do its job? What you like about it and one thing you would change about it. 

Friday, January 15, 2010

Home office accessories that are funny, smart and cute.


Is your work at home office looking a little drab? Mine was. But after a quick browse around the internet I found a number of cute, funny and smart items to spice up my home office. Here are some of my favorite.

I laugh every time I see this. Talk about multitasking.


Another fun way to organize books.





One of the coolest coffee cups I've seen around lately. It looks so real; I might forget and throw it in recycling.


This poor teddy bear is willing to let you decapitate him so you can store your files. And no, he's not a regular teddy bear size.


It's girly, but I can't help loving it. What a pretty way to keep your files organized.



 Great little ornament for your desk that also keeps your paperclips tidy.










                                                                                                               For the artsy work at home business owner, a Picasso note bad.


I love this pen holder. Morbid but funny.












 Looking for more home office ideas? Check out this article.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Calendar Craft: Using a calendar to decorate a desk

One of my goals for 2010 was to make a video, and I did it.
This video shows you how to reuse an old calendar to decorate your work at home office desk. Actually it can be any desk, but it's a fun calendar craft or collage craft to do.
This is my first video, please keep that in mind when you're watching.
And please leave comments so I can improve for next time.
video

Saturday, January 2, 2010

How to set an effective work at home resolution



The New Year has been rung and most likely you’re thinking of all the things you want to accomplish this year. Even if you never set New Year’s resolutions, I encourage you to set one for your work at home business, because a new year’s resolution is simply a goal you want to achieve in order to make your life, or in this case your business, more satisfying and successful.

I believe the main reason people fail to obtain their goals is because they don’t know how to properly set them. Thus, I’ve given a step by step guide on how to set an effective work at home resolution.

Identify a problem
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In order to make a change, you need to know what needs changing. Usually, you can take a look at your business and realize some of the problem areas. However, sometimes you’re too close and may need someone else like a business coach or even an unbiased friend to look at things and point out areas of improvement.

This year, find one thing about your work at home business you feel making a change could improve. Understand however, you don’t need to change things just because. Your work at home resolution may be to keep things running as they are. If you already have success then the goal is to maintain it.

When identifying what you need to change, include a realistic time line.

For example, if you want to increase traffic give yourself a date in which you will measure the growth. So your goal would then be. I want to increase my traffic to {website name} by 18% by March 14. Check back on that date to see how you are doing.

Here are some common changes home business owners want to make.
a) Improve navigation of website
b) Dedicate more efforts to a traffic building method
c) Increase level of knowledge in niche industry
d) Boost self esteem and self confidence

Be sure you only choose one thing to change. Giving yourself more than one thing to focus one can set yourself up for failure. It’s better to just have one thing you can focus and dedicate time to.

State your why
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After you have identified something specific about your work at home business you want to change, write why you want to make that change. Your why is your motivator as well as your benefit. When you give a real purpose to your New Year resolution you increase your chances of success. You now have a personal reason for achieving it.

Examples,
I want to rewrite my sales page by next month, so I can attract more work at home mom since they are my true target market.

I want to continue writing 3 articles each day, so I can maintain my increasing traffic level and subsequently my profit margin.

I want to redesign my website by April, so I can create easier navigation that will encourage users to remain on the site longer.


Create your steps


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It’s not enough to know what you want and why, but also how. Your how are the specific steps you plan taking to achieve your goals. They should be personalized and clearly defined. Here are tips for creating your ‘how’.

a) Locate one of your talents and apply it to your goal. We all can do something well and even if you don’t realize it, your talent can be applied to any goal. If you are good at analyzing and you want to increase your profit level. Then you can use your skill to carefully track ad results. Your natural ability to analyze will help you see what is and isn’t working.

b)Always make your steps realistic. Don’t give yourself too much to do. If you’re too hard on yourself you’ll give up too soon. Create steps that work with your lifestyle and personality. This way you can maintain it until you reach your goal.

c) Make use of resources. Getting advice and information on achieving your work at home resolution will help you avoid mistakes and get you to your goal faster. To do this, find someone who has achieved the same goal you are working towards now. If you want to boost traffic, then talk to someone who has done this in the past little while. Also, read recent books and web content on the topic. You don’t have to take all the advice but even being made aware of one or two things can greatly improve your chances of success.

At this point you should have a specific goal with steps you can follow but how do you stay with?

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Most of us do great in the beginning. We’re enthusiastic and focused. However as time goes on we see ourselves getting bored, tired, and lazy. To be sure you stick to your goal even when you feel yourself slipping consider the following

a) Forget instant gratification. No goal worth achieving will be obtained quickly. It may take a couple weeks, months, or even until the end of the year before you see real results. Be patient and understand this is something you want in order to be more satisfied.

b)Share your goal. Once you have started the steps towards the goal, share it with someone. When we vocalize our goals we reconfirm its importance to us. This works especially well if you tell someone that will hold you to it.

c) Refer back to your why. When you get less motivated, reread your goal especially your why. This can often help to recharge you.