It’s important to share your passions with others and one way to do this is through the use of a blog. Whether you are traveling abroad, wish to keep in touch with those at home or simply want to share some tips and tricks with others, blogging is a great way to do this. Read the following tips for some great blogging advice.

An excellent tip for blogging is to make use of WordPress. This particular platform is extremely flexible with the various plug-ins that are used when it comes to blogging. WordPress is being utilized by over 12% of a million of the largest websites. It is currently the most popular CMS being used today.

Headlines are what your readers tend to read first. They act like bait. If your bait is good, they will “bite” into the blog post too. However, if your headline is dull, repetitive, commonplace, predictable, or just not intriguing at all, your readers may decide to skip the entire thing.

An important part of having a blog is to voice your own opinions. Find a subject that you are truly interested in and are knowledgeable about and then put yourself out there. People like to hear the opinions of others. Opinions usually get a reaction and reactions garner readers and comments.

You need to post regularly if you want readers to visit your blog over and over. Posting new items frequently keeps your readers’ interest so that they’ll keep coming back. The best blogs have regular content posted to them at least once every day. If you can’t imagine maintaining that pace, then pre-write several weeks’ worth of content. This content can be used when you do not have time to develop content or are having difficulty coming up with content.

Design your blog to keep not just the reader’s interest but also your interest. If you grow bored with what you are writing about, you won’t be likely to keep blogging. Even if you do, the quality of your writing will suffer. Your readers will be able to tell that your writing has lost some of its punch.

Have your blog feel friendly and warm to visitors. Reply to comments that people leave, and this means more than just thanking them, try to have real conversations. If you can develop a relationship with your readers, they will tend to be more loyal to you, and keep coming back.

Make sure you blog is in good health. This simply means performing the regular maintenance a blog page requires for smooth operation and posting highly interesting, updated content. This ensures that your readers always enjoy visiting your blog.

If you can, you should make use of a custom WordPress theme. In today’s time, readers have the ability to recognize themes that are very generic in nature. Using these generic themes are just fine as long as you change up your header design so that it is more unique.

Starting a blog doesn’t have to be as complicated as you may think. By using the tips above, you are well on your way to starting your very own blog. No matter what the use, it is sure to be a success with the wonderful information in the above article!

SuccessIf you were to walk up and ask successful and unsuccessful entrepreneurs what they did to succeed or fail, most of them would cite some mentor or lack of trait… Blame genetics or outside influence. But if you were to ask the exact same group if they used this secret, 99% of successful entrepreneurs would say yes – and almost all of the unsuccessful entrepreneurs would ask what you were talking about…

The secret to being a successful entrepreneur is very, very simple. It is called “Quantifiable Goals”. It might sound complicated, but when you have finished reading this article you will completely understand what it means – and why it is so important.

Let’s say, for example, that you walk into a room full of entrepreneurs, and ask them to state their goals. To state why they are ultimately in business for themselves. Most of them will respond something along the lines of time or money. But watch them puzzle when you ask them WHY they want to earn money or have that extra time. This is the most essential part of Quantifiable Goals. Any John Doe can say he wants to make money, but why? Is there something in particular he wants to buy? Something he wants to do with that time?

Once you establish WHY you want that extra time or money, you have just taken a big step towards success. You now have a goal. For example, you want that extra money to buy a house. Buying a house is your goal. Now comes the Quantifiable part.

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Goals – we have a love-hate relationship with goals. We love them because they are such a great idea and are a superb way to motivate us to achieve and then to evaluate our progress; but we hate them, because for much of the time, they go unattained and simply frustrate us. This isn’t what goals should do!

Having been a Life Coach for many years now I would like to suggest some straightforward and practical techniques on how you can set goals you can achieve! After all, what good is a goal if it isn’t something you can achieve?

• Life Coach tip no 1 – You have to want it!

Firstly – do not bother to set goals for things you don’t really want. For example: if your partner says they want you to quit smoking or lose weight but you do not want to, why even bother setting this as a goal. If your goal(s) are not something you personally want to accomplish, and they are not relevant to you, you are unlikely to succeed – because deep down you don’t really want to.

State your goals in a positive way – a goal should always be something you want to have, or change. Not things you or someone else think you should.

Always ask yourself on a scale of 1 to 10, with 10 being totally committed and 1 being zero commitment. How committed are you to reaching your goal? If it is less than 8, you might want to reconsider the goal.

• Life Coach tip no 2 – Focus

Start small. Pick two or three areas that you want to work on. Too many people say to themselves, “I want to do this, and this, and this, and this……” and they end up achieving nothing! Most of what you do throughout your day can be done without a lot of mental effort, but change isn’t one of them. So try to keep your focus down to a couple of things. This way you can get success in your identified areas. Here are some aspects of your life you might like to think about: Physical, Intellectual, Emotional, Spiritual, Financial, and Relationships. Now, which is the first thing on your list? The others can follow later, but for now, you should focus on two or three, no more.

• Life Coach tip no 3 – Goals – the long and the short

So you want to lose 50 pounds? Good. Long-term you will. But for now, think short-term. Don’t think about losing 50 pounds by February. Think about losing 10 pounds by October 1st.

This does two things. First, it makes it pressing and urgent. Instead of saying, “I still have 6 months to lose the 50 pounds” (6 months quickly disappears into 2 months, into one month – with the 50 pounds still securely in place!) your first goal is only a few weeks away, so you have to get started. This is far more successful in terms of reaching your goal. Secondly, as you reach these smaller goals (your mini-milestones!), you achieve a success, which gives you regular motivation and encouragement to keep going.

• Life Coach tip no 4 – Make it manageable

Instead of saying, “I am going to quit my 20 smoking a day habit straight off” change this to: “I am going to smoke no more than 15 a day for a week, then 10 the next week and so on.” Give yourself small victories a little at a time. It is far easier to accomplish many smaller goals that make up a large goal – rather than trying for the large goal straight off!

• Life Coach tip no 5 – Reward yourself along the way

When you lose the 10 pounds by October 1st, go and order yourself large mocha with cream from Costa’s (just the one though!), then get back to your goal for November 1st. This puts a little fun back into the process of self-control and self-discipline. You will look forward to and enjoy the reward and when the going gets tough, you will say things like, “two weeks to go, and only two more pounds to lose” etc – I can do it, then I can enjoy my mocha guilt free!

• Life Coach tip no 6 – Be specific with your timeline

Don’t just say, “I am going to lose 10 pounds.” Say, “I am going to lose 10 pounds by December 1st.” This way, when you start being tempted into Thornton’s Chocolates in the middle of November – under the guise of buying early Christmas presents for other people, you can say, “No way, only 5 more pounds to go in three weeks and I am not going to blow it now.”

• Life Coach tip no 7 – Post it where you can see it

Keep your goal in the front of your mind at all times. Instead of allowing yourself to ‘forget’ that you are trying to lose weight by ordering a big slice of cheesecake, your visual reminder will help you to choose something a little on the lighter side but at the same time keeping on track – having your cake and eating it! This will help you beat your desire and stay focused.

Post your goal anywhere you will see it regularly, like maybe the fridge or a mirror, on your wardrobe door – you know where is best, you must be able to see it regularly throughout the day.

• Life Coach tip no 8 – Encourage, respect, and accountability

Explain to a friend or family member what your goal is, including the timeframe, so they can help you with it.

This person should regularly ask you, how you are doing etc? They should hold you accountable, but at the same time keep you motivated and encouraged. Obviously they must be the encouraging type! (If not, ask someone else who is) If you are blowing it, they can tell you so, but at the same time gee you up and say things like “Well, that’s okay, it’s done now, don’t sweat it, just get back to it tomorrow.” If you are doing well, they can say, “excellent, well done etc” and make you feel great.

• Life Coach tip no 9 – Write (and then reap) the benefits

If you are trying to lose weight your benefits might look something like this: Feel better, better self-esteem, longer life, clothes are more comfortable, a bigger choice of clothes shops to shop it, your husband says you look 25 again and so on. For quitting smoking, it may look like this: Fresher breath, no more brown fingers, less wrinkles on my face, no more red eyes, no more smelly clothes, longer life, and the wife won’t make me spend two hours a day on the back porch in the pouring rain anymore! By making a list you will be able to you see what you will benefit from accomplishing your goal.

Again it is a good idea once you have thought of these benefits to write them down with your goal (On the fridge, mirror etc) so that when you review your goal everyday, you’ll also see the benefits to achieving it.

• Life Coach tip no 10 – You have succeeded – reward yourself!

This can be anything – large or small. If you dropped the fifty pounds, really treat yourself, plan to go out and buy yourself that size 12 dress you have always longed for – and then wear it with pride.

Make a deal with a partner or friend that if you reach your goal they will take you out for a meal or and spoil you.

Whatever it is you plan, make it personal, enjoyable and desirable to you, so you will look forward to it.

Do not miss this part out – it is one of the most important bits. It will help to keep you motivated when you’re struggling and give you something enjoyable to aim for.

Make sure you reward yourself for all your hard work!

Remember folks – goals aren’t just for footballers! They are for us real people too!

MentoringWhen most entrepreneurs look for mentors, they tend to look for generic “business mentors.” People who can help guide them on their path to success. However, entrepreneurs often forget to look for niche mentors. Often times looking for niche mentors is better than trying to find a general business mentor.

What is a “Niche Mentor?”

A niche mentor is someone who knows just one specific area of your business model very, very well.

For example, let’s say you’re a rapidly expanding eCommerce website. You’re getting to the point where you need to switch from dropshipping to running a warehouse. Unfortunately, neither you nor anyone on your staff has any experience running a fulfillment operation.

You don’t know what the right equipment is. You don’t know the processes. You wouldn’t know a good employee from a bad one. You don’t know where to start.

Instead of looking for a “business mentor,” you should instead be looking for someone who understands just fulfillment very, very well.

This concept applies to just about every business. The expertise you need might be financial, it might be technical, it might be in manufacturing, it might be in going abroad. Whatever the case is, sometimes it makes more sense to look for mentors in a very specific arena rather than generic mentors.

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Have you ever wondered why some people are successful in life while others are destined for mediocrity? Well a big part of succeeding in life is to know exactly what you want and taking continuous action towards achieving it. Unfortunately, most people do not know what they want. They seem quite clear about what they do not want in life but they certainly do not know what they want. This is a big oversight on their part. If you want to succeed in life you have to know exactly what you want. If you are vague and unsure about what you want you will likely be unhappy and unsuccessful in life.

“All successful people have a goal. No one can get anywhere unless he knows where he wants to go and what he wants to be or do.”
– Norman Vincent Peale

It is unfortunate that a lot of people really do underestimate the power of goal setting. It is important to set goals to give you direction, a sense of purpose and focus in life. Goal setting provides you with a road map of where you want to go in your life. If you do not know where you are going, do not be surprised when life takes you to a place where you do not want to be. For you to achieve your goals you have to know where you want to go or be. At the same time you have to know where you are at the present moment. Only by knowing these two crucial details, are you able to guide yourself in the right direction. It is the same as using a map to get to a place. To get where you want to go, you have to know where you are. In life you have to do the same.

A lot of good and hardworking people end up in unfulfilling lives because they do not set goals for themselves. They let external events dictate the course of their lives. They react to circumstances in their life instead of orchestrating circumstances for their future benefit. With the hustle and bustle of everyday life, they get caught up with the day to day activities. Most people are on survival mode. They are living for the present only. They are busy from morning to night, making ends meet and making sure they and their family are fed. Sadly most people do not plan for their future. They may plan for the immediate future but certainly not set goals for where they want to be in twenty or thirty years.

The reality is that if we do not set goals and set our priorities in life, we are going to wake up one day and realize that we have not accomplished much in life. Without goals, we wander aimlessly through life. The truth is we are always going to be busy and if we do not prioritize our actions we may find that at the end of the day we have nothing to show. Do not mistake being busy with being productive. You can be busy every day and not accomplish much.

Something magical happens when we set goals. Goals focus attention towards goal-relevant activities and away from goal-irrelevant activities. When we have a goal, we focus our time, energy and talent on what we want to accomplish instead of squandering our lives away. The next time you are about to do something, ask yourself, “Does it move me closer or move me away from my goal?” Make sure you minimize the activities that move you away from your goal and embrace activities that get you going towards your ultimatum.

Make sure you plan your future. If you fail to plan, you plan to fail. Do not wake up one day and regret that life has gone by you. Goal setting is the vehicle that can transform your life from a mediocre one to a rewarding one. Take action now and set your goals to live a fulfilling life.

MentorsWe’ve all heard that having business mentors can help you develop yourself and grow your company. But what is it exactly that these mentors can do for you? How can they help you move your company along?

Knowing exactly how you want your mentors to help you move forward can help you find the motivation to find these mentors, as well as give you the fire you need to ask your potential mentors for help in a compelling way.

Here are the five main benefits of having a business mentor.

Benefit #1: How to Structure Your Company

Most entrepreneurs don’t spend a lot of time thinking about how to structure their company. Yet most mentors will insist on making sure you have your business structure correct from the get go. They’ve made structuring mistakes in the past and paid for it.

Do you have a solid options plan in place? Do you have iron clad operating agreements between all your partners? Are you operating with a legal entity that minimizes your personal risk and reduces the amount of taxes you need to pay? These are all structuring questions mentors can help with.

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Affiliate Marketing is a derivative of Internet marketing where the advertisement publisher gets paid for every customer or sales provided by him. Affiliate marketing is the basic for all other Internet marketing strategies.

In this type of marketing, affiliate management companies, in-house affiliate managers and third party vendors are effectively utilized to use E-mail Marketing, Search Engine Marketing, RRS Capturing and Display Advertising for the success of the product. The web traffic can be traced with the help of a third party or own affiliate programs. A lot of work is involved in this process. At first marketing by this method involved lots of spamming, false advertising, trademark infringement, etc. But, after the invention of complex algorithms and advance security this has been regularized to make it safer for doing business and shopping online. This even led to the better scrutinizing of the terms and conditions by the merchants. Affiliate marketing became more profiting with the opening of more opportunities but at the same time it also increased the competition in marketing.

Due to this pressure in house affiliate programs for merchants became a thing of the past and were replaced by out-sourced programs. The companies that offered this service have expert affiliate and network program managers who have various affiliate program management techniques.  These affiliate networks have publishers associated with them who help them with the advertising part.

Affiliate marketing was started by cdnow.com who had music oriented websites. They placed list of music albums on their site and they paid others if they put those links in their websites when a visitor bought their album through their site. The first company to link with cdnow.com was Geffen Records. Two months later, Amazon was offered by a woman that she would sell Amazon’s books on her website and she should be paid a certain percentage in return if she sold Amazon’s books through her site. They liked the idea and started the Amazon associates program. It was more of a commission program where they received a commission if a visitor clicked their links and banners on other’s site and bought anything through it.

Since its invention, the affiliate network has been adopted by various businesses like travel, education, telecom, mobile, gaming, personal finance, retail, and subscription sites, the most common being adult and gambling sectors. In UK alone, affiliate marketing produced £ 2.16 billion.

The compensation methods used are Cost per sale (CPS), Cost per action (CPA), Cost per mile (CPM) and Cost per click (CPC). The first two are the more famous methods today. This is because in CPM and CPC, the visitor which turns up on a particular website might not be the targeted audience and a click would be enough to generate commission. CPS and CPA have a compulsion that the visitor not only clicks on the link but also buys something or signs up for some service after it which proves that he is among the targeted audience. Only in the above case the affiliate gets paid. So the affiliate should try to send as much targeted traffic as possible to the advertiser in order to increase his/her returns and for this reason affiliate marketing is also known as performance marketing because it totally depends on the performance of the affiliate. The affiliate team can be differentiated from a sales team from the nature of their jobs. The job of the affiliate team is to drag targeted traffic to a point and from that point it’s the job of the sales team to influence the visitor to buy the product or the service.

This is a very effective kind of method because the money is being paid only when results have been achieved. The publisher incurs all the cost except that of initial setup and development of the program, which is incurred by the merchant. Many businesses give credit to this method of marketing for their success.

google ad wordsThe biggest well known secret in generating wealth in the internet based business or e-commerce is Traffic. Everybody knows it; every site wants it and every site needs it. The point of websites is to be visited and viewed. Many elaborate designs, money and countless hours of developing a site to make them beautiful and attractive are utilized. Without traffic, it is for naught.

With traffic comes a potential customer which basically means sales which in turn means profit. While many sites have collapsed in the past with the downturn of many internet based business, many smaller sites have generated good money by concentrating on a certain niche and some subniches.

This is a reason why e-commerce site laser target certain groups of people and drive them to their site to showcase their sites and products. Precision marketing is essential so that you could count on all the traffic on your site as potential customers.

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MarketingCreativity.

This is one virtue a site must possess to lead the race in the ruthless competition in the Internet based business. With so many competition and rivalry going on, every method of marketing must be employed and utilized.

It doesn’t matter if you have a killer product or a fantastically designed website, if people don’t know that you exist, it doesn’t matter, and you are not going to make it big. Worse of all, you business could just get killed.

While there are so many methods and schemes used by so many e-commerce sites today, there are still some of those that can help you with an extra boost in the popularity ratings. One of these is the so called Viral Marketing.

While the term Viral easily depicts a virus, a word very much dreaded by all computer owners, it is not what it seems. You do not actually use a computer virus to spread your business; on the contrary it just might kill you. Everyone has had enough of all those pop up ads and spywares.

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Marketing strategy helps organizations to focus their attention to complete resource utilization to increase sales and win over their competitors. Every company applies some kind of marketing strategies to maintain existing customers, attract potential customers and also to maintain and enhance their reputation in the market.

When designing a marketing plan, first a marketing strategy is taken into consideration. The marketing plan consists of steps to be taken so as to attain success in the implementation of the marketing strategy chosen. Big projects involve selection of different strategies at different levels. Usually a strategy consists of well-sketched tactics. They are meant to meet the needs and finally reach marketing objectives. Each of the strategies has pre-calculated results because when a particular strategy is chosen at a particular level, its outcome becomes the goal of that particular level. If there is an absence of a well thought strategy in a marketing plan means it is supposedly lacking a good foundation. A reasonable marketing strategy should not only facilitate marketing goals, but also the action sequence of a campaign.

At regular time intervals the firm should analyze the marketing decision. This is done with the help of strategic models and the 3C’s model is considered for this purpose. To calculate the company’s strategic position, Ansoff matrix is used. The 3C’s model determines the factors, which leads to the success of a marketing campaign. There are three key parties involved in this model the corporation, the customer and the competitors. The involvement of all the three key parties leads to positive results and this involvement is known as the 3C’s or strategic triangle.

The role of the corporation is to increase the strength of the company in the success critical areas, when compared to that of the competitor. The customer and his interest form the basis of any strategy. The competitor also plays a vital part. The competitor-based strategies are based on the functioning of business competitors like design and engineering, sales and servicing, and purchasing.

When making a marketing plan depending on some particular strategies known as mix strategies are used. 4P’s model is used to calculate whether the plan is sticking to the strategies or not. The four Ps stand for product, price, place and promotion. Products are goods produced by the company on a huge scale for the purpose of selling them and earning profit. Price is the money paid for a product by the customer. The price is based on many factors like competition, market share, customer perception and product identity. Place where the product is sold can be either physical store or store on the Internet. It is also known as distribution channel. To make the customer knowledgeable about a product, the marketer does promotion. It involves advertising, public relation and point of sale.

There are different types of marketing strategies based on some criteria.  Challenger, Leader and Follower are types of market dominance strategies. Market dominance strategies are used to dominate the market. Cost leadership, Market segmentation and Product differentiation are types of porter generic strategies. Porter generic strategies are built on strategic strength or competing abilities and strategic scope or market penetration. Close followers, late follower and Pioneers are types of innovation strategies. Innovation strategies are meant to trigger the rate of product development and model innovation. It helps the firm to incorporate latest technologies. Intensification, Diversification, Vertical integration and Horizontal integration are types of growth strategies. Growth strategies facilitate the growth of the organization. Marketing warfare strategies are conjunction of marketing strategies and military strategies.

A marketing strategy or a mix of them is chosen only after thorough market research. A marketer should always be ready to face any kind of situations like if the strategy is changed in the middle, he should be able to perform another market research so as to choose the proper strategy, within a short period of time. This can be done easily if you have experience.