Tag Archives: inbound

8 SEO Mistakes to Avoid

SEO - Mistakes

All search engine marketers are trying desperately to promote trends

Especially the trends that are aligned with traditional digital marketing. SEO is immensely important to enhance key to improving your website’s visibility, driving more traffic and better conversion rates.

The first thing one can do as an internet marketer is to avoid making mistakes. Following “SEO Best Practices” can be difficult for online marketers. With search engines changing algorithms on a periodic basis, every SEO strategy needs to adapt and adjust with the latest techniques while giving up on age-old practices. Here are some of the prominent mistakes made by SEO experts:

Mistake #1: Not optimizing images with rest of the content

Optimizing images is sometimes not part of the SEO strategy and can be over looked. Adding target keywords to images relevant to the rest of the content helps search engines understand them. A link to the image with just numbers and alphabets in odd positions does not convey anything but some relevant words and numbers would matter. One should incorporate descriptive keywords for every image. Including relevant alt text helps search engines to find images in relevant searches and even the accessibility of the site.

Mistake #2: Keyword stuffing

Nowadays websites contain varied types of content in terms of text. One needs keywords for SEO and use of right keywords is important for getting the right audience. Optimize them carefully to gain popularity in search engines. But keyword stuffing will only ruin your website ranking since cramming a keyword multiple times makes content worthless. Only keywords do not get customers to a website. Also, Google algorithms will get the site blacklisted and also issue a bad ranking.

Relying on large amounts of mediocre content can affect sites. Using specific keywords with strategic placement and relevant content is effective. Creating insightful info about a topic can can attract attention through different channels.

Mistake #3: Not Setting Up Canonicalization

When implementing an SEO strategy, one should make sure that you do not have duplicate content on the site. If there is identical content for online access using different URLs, you need to identify the right page for visitors and implement a canonical to help search engines know that it is not a duplicate version.

Mistake #4: Disregarding Pages by Not Indexing Them

One should not forget indexing pages. Pages that are broken or missing are going to avoid search engine results altogether because pages indicating 404 error are excluded. A high number of 404s leads to an increase in bounce rate and visitors will feel cheated of any information. Search engines crawl websites and rank them and 404 pages interrupt their process. It is important not to have broken links on your site and keep the website active.

Mistake #5: No updates on site

After spending months to create an interactive and attractive website, one should try to keep it dynamic with consistent blog posts or some other content. Companies fail to optimize the site with keywords and just sit back to watch the traffic decrease. Let in some updates that will help your prospects with relevant information and they might convert to leads.

One needs to make a schedule for posting different posts related to your field on a regular basis, and consistency will get you the attention of search engines too.

Mistake #6: Neglecting social media

Neglecting social media is a crime in this day and age. Social media is no longer an optional marketing ploy but a necessity for businesses. By being conversant and relevant on popular social sites like Facebook and Twitter, one can enhance a company’s image and credibility. Sharing your content will lead the search engines and drive potential visitors to your site. Social media following can also boost brand awareness amongst loyalists.

Mistake #7: Lack of internal links

One might think that it is erroneous to link to one’s own content and even think that search engines might read into it and even blacklist the pages. Despite what you may think, internal links to website is great for SEO and helps search engines to crawl to your website. One should focus on the most important pages of any site and strategize posts to link back to those pages. One should find a real connection between pages to do the linking task.

Mistake #8: Failure to measure progress

Improving SEO is like losing weight. One needs to check and measure your progress on a consistent basis. One should know the current standing when you start, and then track the changes. With solid metrics in place, one will know that the SEO practices have been working or not. If you do not think that there has been any progress, then it is preferable to drop it.

Credit: Keval Padia

Dennis Roeder

Contributor

Alan Zibluk Markethive Founding Member

Blogging for SEO: How to Write a Blog for Google!

Blogging for SEO

Source:  Rob Neu

Get Your Blog Noticed

It seems like a lot of bloggers, and people in general really, have a bit of a negative view when it comes to SEO (Search Engine Optimization) and how to utilize it to be one of the top entries of a search results page . It seems that lately opinions are moving in a more positive direction. I think this is awesome because SEO can really help bloggers get their content noticed. Ranking well in organic search is one of the best ways to share your voice with a larger audience and increase your authority on a given topic.

The goal of this article is to help bloggers understand that SEO is simply a tool, not the mystical black art that many have sold it to be. When you do SEO right, it really doesn’t need to impact your writing much at all. Once you learn the basics, it just sort of becomes something you do naturally without having to think about it very much. The places where most bloggers struggle are keyword targeting, strategic link-building, and technical SEO. Technical SEO is indexation problems, meta issues, and most of the other things that our SEO audits address.

None of these things should change the way you write significantly. Keyword targeting can be as simple as doing a bit of research to make sure you mention the right words a few times throughout your posts. Technical SEO sounds complicated, and can be sometimes, but if you’re a blogger using WordPress, chances are it’s actually a lot simpler than you think. Strategic link-building can be a bit tricky, but as a blogger you have a distinct advantage over other website owners in this area. Bloggers can update their site and display new content very quickly. Search engines love this kind of activity.

Harness Your Blog to WordPress

Facts don’t lie. As of this writing, WordPress powers over 38% of the Web. It is by far the most widely-used content management system and it continues to grow in popularity every year. It should be noted that this is the self-hosted version of WordPress, which is WordPress.org not WordPress.com. WordPress.com is a great place to get started, but if you’re serious about blogging and SEO you should consider self-hosting.

In addition to being popular, WordPress is also a very SEO-friendly CMS. Without doing anything extra, simply using WordPress will improve your chances of ranking. This is because it has a lot of basic SEO functionality, such as pretty permalinks and contextual page titles, built right in.

Moving to WordPress is (Usually) Easy

There are a lot of importers for WordPress that let you move your content from other systems like Blogger and Tumblr built right in. There’s also a bunch of great plug-ins and an entire guide to help make the transition to WordPress easier. One area that might be a bit of a challenge is choosing a new design for your site once you’re up and running. Lucky, there are tons of great free and premium WordPress themes for you to choose from.

Integrate Basic SEO Into Your Blogging

Once you’ve got your blog running on WordPress, you need to start thinking about integrating some basic SEO best practices into your blogging work-flow. A good place to start making some changes is in your keyword targeting.

Over time, you’ll start naturally writing your posts in a more search-friendly format, but when you’re getting started it’s best to do these things AFTER you’ve finished writing. When SEO isn’t familiar to you, focusing on it right out of the gate will just slow down your writing and frustrate you. Try to put it out of your mind until you’re done writing and think of it more as part of your editing work-flow.

You should also keep in mind that your SEO title and your meta description are going to be the way people see your post in the Google search results. Because of this, they need to be attention-grabbing. Getting this right is critical for convincing people to click on your post. A great title can even outdo a higher ranking in some cases, so definitely spend some time thinking about improving your headlines.

How Do You Know Which Keyword to Choose?

Choosing the right keywords for your posts is another area where most people struggle. Many times the title of your posts might not be exactly what people are looking for on Google. As you do this more, you’ll start to develop a bit of a 6th sense for choosing keywords, but starting out it can be a little tricky.

Don’t let this section intimidate you or stop you from optimizing your posts. Google is pretty smart and they’re getting smarter all the time. If your content is good enough, they’ll frequently rank you for the keyword you should have targeted if it isn’t something that’s super competitive.

That said, in a perfect world you’d always be optimizing your content for the ideal keywords. In order to get a little closer to that, you can use a few tools to get an idea of what people are searching for on Google.

Keyword Research is Hard, but Worth the Effort

In order to pick the best keywords, you need to do a little research. There’s a tool from Google called the Keyword Planner that will let you see how many people are searching for a particular group of keywords. The problem is it’s difficult to come up with variations on your original idea to see what might work best. Luckily, there’s a simple tool called Ubersuggest that can give you a ton of ideas to test in the Keyword Planner. Here’s a guide on how to use Ubersuggest.

Spending 5 or 10 minutes doing this can mean the difference between targeting a high competition, low volume keyword or targeting a low competition, high volume keyword. It’s hard to get into the habit of doing this, but if you take the time to learn it, you’ll understand the benefits pretty quickly.

Google also has another useful tool called Google Trends which lets you see the overall interest in a keyword or a topic over a period of time. This can be a good indicator for whether a keyword or a topic is worth focusing on. Keyword research is a pretty vast topic and it’s also one of the cornerstones of SEO. Don’t feel bad if you have trouble with it, you are far from being alone. Just chip away at understanding it a little at a time.

Participate in Your Community

Being an active blogger gives you a number of distinct advantages over other website owners. As a blogger, you probably already have a group of people you interact with and talk to online on a regular basis. This is a huge advantage! Keep track of where these people are hanging out on the web.

Stay active on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn in particular, among the Social Networks. All of these things mean that whenever you publish something related to WordPress, it’s pretty much guaranteed to get a lot of eyeballs and pull in a decent amount of links.

You need to do the same thing in your industry. Start searching for things related to your industry and follow the top results to find where everyone is hanging out. Find the popular blogs, see which social networks everyone is most active on, and pay particular attention to any forums your community is using.

Start leaving comments, talking on social channels, sharing your own content as well as the content of others, and posting in forums. Don’t spam anyone, but don’t be afraid to jump into the conversation either. Once you’ve established yourself in the community a little bit, don’t hesitate to start asking people for links when appropriate. If you’re a genuine person and you’re not just trying to leech off the community, you’ll be surprised how responsive and helpful everyone is.

Keep Track of Your Progress

If you’re not already using Google Analytics, you really need to start. Analytics can get pretty complicated and probably deserves an entire post of its own. That said, there’s a number of simple things you can look for in your analytics to help you keep track of and improve your blog’s content and SEO efforts. First of all, you’ll need to set up and install Analytics if you haven’t already. This guide does a good job explaining how to set up analytics and you can use this plugin to add analytics to your blog.

Rinse and Repeat

One of the biggest mistakes people make is they give up too early. The things outlined in this post take time! You can’t just target a few keywords, send a couple emails, and check analytics a few times if you want to succeed. You need to keep at it.

Don’t stop after you optimize a post or two. Do as many as you can! Go back into your old content and optimize it. Keep doing keyword research and learn how to anticipate what people will be searching for in your field. Keep your finger on the pulse of your community so you can be one step ahead of everyone and create content that people are thirsting for. You can do it! It’s not has hard as it seems, just keep working all the time and eventually you’ll get there.

Dennis Roeder

Contributor #markethive

 

Alan Zibluk Markethive Founding Member

How to Blog for SEO: Write Blog Posts to Rank Well

SEO Page Rank

You are probably writing a blog hoping your ideal customers/prospects will find it.

Some simple changes that you can make to help you with your campaigns will be found in this article. You can increase your search engine visibility, drive more traffic to your blog and generate more leads or sales for your business.

Focus on keyword-rich subjects.

Why are blog sites a tool that are is so powerful for SEO (search engine optimization) and online visibility?

Because every post you compose becomes another web page, and every web site is another chance to rank well for a search that is a specific client is performing at this time. Or in 30 days. Or in a year. Because good, evergreen content continues to attract visitors to your website or blog for decades, producing more leads/customers for your offer.

There are a number of techniques to create tips which can become content for your website:

  • Turn consumer concerns into “Dear Abby” style posts.

  • Scour websites like Quora, Yahoo Answers, LinkedIn or other forums where you can find questions to help solve.

  • Simply take some keywords through Google Keyword Planner that you’d like to rank well for and run them. This device is free for you to find how many individuals are looking for your phrases each month, recommends associated phrases that might be better opportunities, and lets you know just how competitive that search is. (The higher your competition, the tougher it will be to split the page that is to begin the search engines.)

Create a keyword-rich title.

By default, the title of your post becomes the title of your web page.

Search engines give more importance to your page title than just about any other variable.

Too often, businesses give blog posts vague titles like, “A Word to the Wise,” or “A Lesson from Man’s Best Friend.”

Unfortunately, your ideal customers aren’t searching for those phrases. And if they are, they’re probably not interested in your post specifically.

Here are some tips to title a blog post for maximum visibility:

  • Lead with your keywords. Search engines give more weight to the first few words in a title. Examples might include, “Pinterest Marketing: How to Generate Leads from the World’s Hottest Social Media Site,” or “Men’s Bowler Hats: What’s Hot This Season.”

  • Number your lists. I know many people hate numbered lists, but they speak to how busy we all are. “101 Ways to Save Money for College” or “3 Questions to Ask in a Job Interview” are generally more engaging, and will generate more click-throughs at the search engines, which may increase your overall rank.

  • The colon is your friend. If you have a couple of competing keyword phrases that both seem appropriate, use a colon (or some other spacer) to cast a wider net. Do you write an Asian cooking blog? Try “Chopstick Instructions: How to Use Chopsticks.”

Work your keyword phrase into your copy early and often.

Your title is critical, but it can’t stand on its own; it needs to be supported by the rest of your copy.

You should work your keyword phrase into the first sentence or two of your blog post, and then repeat it several times throughout your post.

If you feel it’s difficult to work your keywords into the first sentence, try this trick: open up with a one to two sentence overview of your topic. If you still can’t work your keyword into the overview, then your blog post probably isn’t about your keyword anyway.

Warning! If you overuse your keyword phrase it can backfire. This is called, Keyword stuffing.

Google and other search engines may punish you for “over-optimizing” your post.

How much is too much? There’s no magic formula, but if your post doesn’t read well and the keywords feel forced into the rest of the copy, you’re probably guilty of over-optimizing.

You can also break up your keywords. If you wanted to rank well for some certain phrase you could use that phrase exactly once or twice, but also use each word separately in other sections of the blog article.

Share your post through social networks.

Inbound links—links from other websites and blogs—increase your search engine visibility, all other things being equal. However, links from social media sites and the comments section of blogs often carry the “no follow” link, meaning no search engine benefits are being transferred.

The search engines are a little cagey about how much impact social buzz has on their search results, but there’s no question that Facebook powers Bing’s customized search, and Google+ affects your Google search results.

By sharing your post through these and other social media platforms, and getting others to do the same, you’ll drive more traffic and build awareness of your post. Even if a tweet or a LinkedIn update doesn’t boost your overall ranking, it might introduce you to a blogger who links to your post from within a post, which does carry search engine weight.

To encourage more sharing, be sure to add any appropriate “share” buttons to the top and bottom of your blog posts, encouraging visitors to share your content.

Transfer your blog’s search engine visibility to your website or e-commerce store.

Blogs are often more conversational, less sales-y than a traditional website. The non-sales-y approach often encourages other bloggers to link to you, where they wouldn’t normally link to a business website or e-commerce site.

However, your goal may not be to have the most popular blog, but rather to build your business. If you’d like to leverage your blog to grow your business, you’ll want to create keyword-rich links from blog posts to sales pages on your website.

A blog post about tips for growing tomatoes in a home garden might link to your page that sells tomato seeds. A post about finding the right nursing care for an aging parent might link to your page on transitional services for families.

Search engines focus on the words in links, so instead of creating a link that says, “click here” or “learn more,” you’ll want to create a link that says, “heirloom tomato seeds” or “transition plans for aging parents.”

By creating multiple blog posts—including leveraging guest blog opportunities—that point to a given page on your site, you can increase the search engine visibility of any web-page you wish.

Be the master of your own domain.

There is a huge following for WordPress blogs, however, never run a business blog with the WordPress.com domain. Or Typepad.com. Or Blogger.com.

When you blog on someone else’s domain, i.e., gardenshop.wordpress.com, you’re building their search engine visibility, not yours.

Many blogging platforms have gone under in the past few years. You might be able to save your blog posts from the wreckage, but you’ll never recover all your inbound links and the trust you built up at that domain.

It’s critical to your success that you blog at a domain name you fully control. This could be part of your current site, i.e, gardenshop.com/blog, or it could be a separate domain entirely, i.e., gardenshopblog.com.

Conclusion and Summary in a Nut-Shell:

To create a blog that generates search engine traffic and new leads for your business, follow this simple formula:

  • Build your blog on a domain you own and control.

  • Focus each blog post around a narrow, keyword-rich topic.

  • Create a title that starts with your best keywords.

  • Use your keywords early and often in your blog post.

  • Make your post easily shareable through the social networks.

  • Leverage your blog’s new-found search engine power by linking to critical pages on your website or e-commerce store.

Based on an article by: Rich Brooks

If you believe that my message is worth spreading, please use the share buttons if they show at the top of the page.

Stephen Hodgkiss
Chief Engineer at MarketHive

markethive.com


Alan Zibluk Markethive Founding Member

Spirit of the Entrepreneur!

Entrepreneurs posses a driving spirit:

You hear it all the time from famous business owners: They started flexing their entrepreneurial skills by selling lemonade on the corner, building gadgets in their garage or hosting weekly college beer pong tournaments before they were running multimillion-dollar companies. It would appear that behind every mogul that is successful a kid who was raised knowing these people were born for business.

But what is it that sets entrepreneurs apart from the remainder? What is it which makes people certain of themselves sufficient to just take the prospect of failure head-on and have the determination to emerge on the top? It requires a special types of individual to create a notion in motion, riding the highs and lows from humble beginnings to ultimate success.

The spirit that is entrepreneurial is a gift that inspires other people to end up being the best they could be. From passion and positivity to leadership and aspiration, here you will find the entrepreneurs that most usefully define the entrepreneurial character.

Passion:

No body embodies the term "passion" quite like Richard Branson, creator for the Virgin mega-brand. Part of Branson's passion lies in his insatiable appetite for starting businesses. Established in 1970, the Virgin Group has expanded to a lot more than 200 organizations, ranging from music, publishing, mobile phones and space travel. "Businesses are like buses," he when stated. "There's always a different one coming."

Element of Branson's appeal is he not only has passion for business, but an incredible passion for life. Branson is well-known for an adventurous streak and zest for a lifetime, making him the most admired business owners for their power to have a work/life balance that is successful.

Positivity:

Jeff Bezos knows the charged power of good reasoning. Living by the motto that "every challenge is an opportunity," Bezos attempted to create the bookstore that is biggest on earth with just a little internet startup called Amazon.

Amazon.com established in July 1995, was able to sell $20,000 per week within two months. By the  end associated with the '90s, however, the dot-com bust had brought Amazon's stocks from $100 to $6. To incorporate insults to injuries, experts predicted that the launch of Barnes & Nobles' competing website would wipe out Amazon. Rather than hiding for fear of losing, Bezos came out fighting with optimism and self-confidence, pointing down to critics most of the positive things his company had accomplished and would continue to do.

Bezos proceeded to expand Amazon, which now offers anything from publications to clothes to toys and much more. Bezos claims his spouse likes to state, "If Jeff is unhappy, wait 3 minutes." Thanks to Bezos' good thinking, Amazon.com has grown into a $5.7 billion company.

Adaptability:

Having the ability to adjust is one of the greatest skills an entrepreneur can have. Every business that is successful must be willing to enhance, refine and customize their services to constantly give customers whatever they want.

Google founders Sergey Brin and Larry Page take this idea one step further by not merely reacting to improve, but leading the way. Google constantly leads the internet with revolutionary and new ideas that allow people to see and do things in many ways they couldn't have did before (think Google Earth). Making use of their ability to often be one action ahead, its no wonder Google is one of the many powerful organizations on the net.

Leadership:

A good leader is some body with charisma, a sense of ethics and an aspire to build integrity within an organization–someone who's enthusiastic, group oriented and a teacher that is great. Most of these characteristics had been embodied by the late Mary Kay Ash, founder of Mary Kay Cosmetics, a company that has helped more than half a million ladies fulfill their fantasies of purchasing a company.

Ash's tale began as a mother that is single, working in sales for a home company many different items. Despite being one of many compannies with sales that are top for 25 years, Ash had repeatedly been refused the promotions and pay raises her male co-workers had been getting. Fed up because of the real way she was being addressed, Ash started Mary Kay Inc. in 1963 with $5,000.

Ash was most commonly known for being a motivator that was a powerful inspirational frontrunner, producing a business with a "You may do it!" mindset. Her sometimes over-the-top incentives included the famous pink Cadillacs she would provide top sales directors. Thanks to her effective leadership abilities, Ash was called one of many in a business that is influential in the last 35 years, and her company was recognized as among the best businesses in America.

Aspiration:

At age 20, Debbi Fields don't have much. She had been a housewife that is young with no business experience, but exactly what she did have was an excellent chocolate chip cookie recipe and a dream to talk about it changing the world.

Fields opened her very first Mrs. Field's store in 1977, despite being told she was crazy to believe a company could endure entirely on attempting to sell cookies. Fields' headstrong dedication and ambition helped her develop her small cookie shop into a $450 million business with 600 locations within the U.S. and 10 foreign nations.

Dennis Roeder
Contributor

  

Alan Zibluk Markethive Founding Member

Rise of the Entrepreneur — Get Started Now!

Rise of the Entrepreneur — Get Started Now!

While being your own boss can be scary and a little risky, it’s not as difficult as people think. You do have to be someone who loves his freedom, likes to be able to set his own schedule and likes to work on things he’s excited about.

Is that all there is to it? No, it takes a ton of hard work, and an ability to learn from your mistakes, and an ability to get up and go again.

Let’s briefly look at some of the things that will help you on your journey to freedom.

First: Can Anyone Be Self-Employed?
Not everyone should, because some people just love working where they’re working, they love the people they’re working with, and they absolutely love what they do. They couldn’t be happier working on their own. And, that is probably great if you want to be in the same situation year after year.

But … there’s a fallacy that those who start their own businesses or work on their own are somehow born with an “entrepreneurial spirit” that the regular workaday employees just don’t have. They aren’t “risk-takers”, they aren’t self-motivated, and they just can’t manage themselves.

That is just a load of excuses.
Sure, some people like the security of a regular paycheck, but if recent events have taught us anything, it’s that this kind of security is an illusion because they usually spend everything they earn and are no farther ahead at the end of the year as when they started.

Sure, some people are afraid of starting their own business, because it means they have to figure out things they know nothing about … but don’t we all do this, anyway?

No-one really likes being told what to do, or work on what someone else wants to do. We all like freedom, but we allow our freedoms to be sacrificed out of fear.

It’s this fear that stops us. And so the question really becomes: can anyone overcome this fear?

It is possible. Whether you’ll be successful at overcoming the fear, and at starting your own business, is another question — it takes work, and time, and an ability to accept failure and learn from it.

How to Overcome the Fear
Ask yourself: what’s the worst that can happen?

For some, it’s that you’ll lose your mortgage and become bankrupt. But that’s happened to millions of people recently, and they’re OK. They just can’t get another loan soon, but they’re still living. For others, it’s a fear that you’ll be out on the street or hungry. Ask yourself, though, if you have a safety net: family and friends who will take you in if it ever comes to that.

That’s the worst case scenario. Now ask yourself: is that likely to happen? Probably not. If things get bad, you can take a job with someone else, or try a new tactic, or figure something out so that things don’t get that bad.

Stay Lean and Small
Lean and small and hungry and nimble and flexible are good things. It means you don’t need to pay a lot of bills, you don’t need a huge amount of revenues, and you can change as you need to. Big corporations need to make huge revenues, need to sell millions, and have a hard time changing because of a massive corporate structure and thousands of meetings and lots of invested time and lots of people who are resistant to change. Small and lean has none of those problems.

Don’t start with a lot of expenses — start small, with zero or almost zero expenses.

Sure, not everyone can start for free, but you can start small.

Want to run a ballet studio or fitness studio? Start by going to your clients, or start in your home, or do it at schools and use their space. Want to start in retail? Start online, with a cheap host and free web software. Want to be a marketer? Do it out of your home, with a cell phone, a computer and a car. Want to be a landscaper? All you need is a lawn mower to start out. Want to start a health clinic? Operate out of your home, or make house calls, in the beginning.

There are lots of ways to start out cheap — if your business requires lots of money, think about scaling it back or finding a different way of doing it, for free.

Starting out cheap means it’s hard to fail and easy to succeed.

Start Right Away
Don’t wait for perfection. Figure out the simplest way to start, and just start. Don’t worry about taking a bunch of expensive courses — just do it, and learn as you go. You might even start for free if possible, so that you can gain experience and as you get better, you’ll get good word of mouth.

Start out without an office, a website, business cards, employees, and a lot of equipment and software. Sure, you’ll need some of those fairly soon, but you don’t need them to start. Well, unless your business is a website — then you’ll need a site, but those are cheap.

You can get a business card later. You can set up your accounting structure later. You can figure things out as you go. The important part is just starting.

Does that mean you don’t need to plan? Well, you should, but don’t overdo it. You should give a lot of thought to what you’re good at, what you can offer, who your target customers are, how you’ll make money, how much you should charge, how you can add value beyond what is already offered out there. But don’t let it stop you — if you can’t decide on something, just start and adjust your targets as you learn.

On Quitting Your Day Job
For most people, it’s best to keep your day job at first, just so you have some income while you get the business started. Work in the morning, on your lunch break, after work, even during work if you’re not super busy — just don’t get fired. This is a good way to fund your start up — have a steady income and get the business going until you’re ready to quit the day job.

For some, quitting the day job is best right away, because it gives them the kick in the butt they need to get moving. It’s scarier this way, of course, but there’s no better motivator. This is best for people who don’t have a big family to support — singles or couples without kids — or if you do have a family, perhaps you have some savings you can live on for at least 2-3 months while you get the business off the ground.

Even if you quit your day job, you might be able to do some freelancing or consulting business to get some regular income right away, as you also get the business going.

What to Do
First, you should choose something that you love and know a lot about. If you love gardening, do something related to that. If you love writing, do that. You should ideally have some experience, or be willing to put in a lot of hours learning at first. If you’re already good at something, and you love doing it, you’re off to a great start.

Next, you should figure out what you have to offer, and how it will be different than what’s already out there. How will you meet people’s needs in a new way? Who needs your service or product? How will you reach them? Where do they go now, either in the real world or online?

And what’s the simplest way you can reach them and offer your product or service? Simplest means the least work, the least amount of steps and complications, the easiest for the customer, the least expensive, the least amount to start up.

And how fast can you get started? What’s the bare minimum you need to get started? For many, this is signing up for a free web account and putting up some content. For others, this is calling the right people and meeting with them with an offer to provide services. And that’s all — get the basics started, and add the rest later.

Again, you can get the business card later. You can figure out accounting and corporate structure and all that later. You can refine your marketing and product later — just start, and keep improving.

Never Stop Learning, and Never Stop Failing
Failure is not the end of your business. It’s just the beginning.

You have to take the attitude that failure won’t stop you from making it on your own. If your business doesn’t get off the ground, learn from that. And try again, but do it better this time. You might need to get a job temporarily to fund your life as you make another attempt, but that’s OK. You do what you gotta do.

Failure isn’t a reason to get depressed, to quit. It’s a learning opportunity. Failure is a stepping stone to your success.

And if you make it, don’t take that as a reason to get complacent. You should always be learning, always improving — not because you’re not satisfied with what you’ve done, but because if you stop learning, you’ll stop having fun. There should always be new challenges, new things to explore, new skills to learn, new ways to grow.

One more thing: do not be afraid of hard work. You’ll work harder than you ever have. Becoming an entrepreneur is not about laying around in a hammock and drinking Margaritas. Although you can do that, when you want to. It’s about loving what you do, about working hard to build something you’re proud of, about pouring your heart and soul into something rather than giving it to someone else. Make no mistake about it: you’ll work hard, or you won’t succeed. But you’ll love every minute of it.

Should you Start in a Bad Economy?
Yes.

This is the best time to start. This is a time when job security is low, so risks are actually lower. This is a time to be lean, which is the best idea for starting a business. This is the time when others are quitting — so you’ll have more room to succeed.

And with social media and networking taking off, this is the easiest time to start a business, the easiest time to spread the word, the easiest time to distribute information and products and services.

And while the big corporations may struggle in a bad economy, you’re small and lean, which means you don’t have the fat that the big guys have, you are able to adjust to the market much better, and you’re less subject to the problems of financial markets, real estate markets, and other external realities.

But What If Everyone Were Self-Employed?
What if everyone were in business for themselves? Would this be a horrible thing? I can imagine a world of tiny businesses and free agents. I think people would collaborate — with many people — but they’d do so as free agents, not as employees. And that’s a huge difference. A world of difference. Because then they’d come in as equals, and they’d be collaborating because they want to, because they’re excited about a project. Then the world of trying to motivate employees disappears, because people are motivated already — they’re excited, they have freedom, they choose to do the work.

Origional article by Leo Babauta

Dennis Roeder Contributor

 

 

Alan Zibluk Market Hive Founding Member – http://markethive.com/alzibluk

How Inbound Marketing and Social Media compliment each other.

Social Media Addiction!

How Inbound Marketing and Social Media compliment each other.

What makes people addicted to social media?

Social interaction has been a human trait for as long as humans have been around.

However, relatively speaking, social media on the internet is only a recent phenomenon. Is it here to stay? There are many indications to suggest it is.

Only recently, Facebook announced they had one billion users on their site in just one day! There are so many aspects that attract people to Social Media.

…keeping in touch with friends and family; in some cases finding long lost friends and relatives.
…the ability to find new friends and associates interested in the same subject as themselves.
…attracting new customers to their business and keeping them informed of special offers, etc.
…keeping club members informed of events.
…carrying out research based upon answers to posts, etc.
The list goes on and on.
…but why has Social Media become so addictive? For example, why don't people stick to traditional methods such as the telephone to tell a family member about an event they are going to, or have been to?

There are many people who will even post a picture of their evening meal on a Social Media website but they won't pick up the telephone to tell someone what or where they have eaten.,
Is it because they can tell lots of people at the same time with just one post?
…or is it because they want to "show off" that they have been to a particular restaurant?
Maybe it is because they want to see the reaction from other people.

There is some research to suggest that the majority of people are basically insecure and many believe using Social Media as a means of communication and conversation is possibly less stressful than face to face interaction.

The kind of communication on Social Media is usually asynchronous, meaning the original comment and its response happen at different times. Therefore, a post is not always likely to receive an immediate response; sometimes it could be days, weeks or even months later (if at all).

Have you ever made a post on FB and then been disappointed that no one took the time and trouble to leave a comment?
Could the need for interaction be at least one of the hooks of Social Media? Of course it is.
Everyone is expecting others to join in their conversation. If not expecting, they are at least hoping. The "hook" is such that many people will log in "just one more time before they go to bed" to see if they have had a response.

It gets even more addictive. With Social Media on mobile devices being the current trend (a trend set to last a long time), many people are almost glued to their devices. It is no longer a case of waiting until they get home to switch on their pc. They are now in a position to see responses as soon as they occur. This creates even more "panic" amongst some users because every bleep of their device could mean someone is responding to their post or a conversation they are involved in.
Is it now a case of them wanting to be the first to know what is happening so they can then send a further response?

So what does all this mean for MarketHive?
Markethive.com is a Social Communication Platform designed for the Entrepreneur to compete with the Multi-Million dollar corporations in their quest to gain their fair share of business.
I expect that most people who become MarketHive members will be business minded. However, there will be some members who do not have a business.

There are many features in the MarketHive system for everyone, not just business owners.
All members of MarketHive are obviously potential customers for other members…
…and of course for MarketHive itself when optional services are offered.
…but as already discussed elsewhere, just having members is not enough.
Engaging the members will be necessary. They need to be 'hooked' on using MarketHive.
One of those hooks will surely be the Social Media sharing capabilities of the MarketHive system.

Origional article by: Thomas Prendergast, CMO, Markethive.com

If you believe that my message is worth spreading, please use the share buttons if they show at the top of the page.

Stephen Hodgkiss
Chief Engineer at MarketHive

markethive.com


Al Zibluk