Wednesday, December 30, 2009
Thursday, December 24, 2009
Wednesday, December 23, 2009
You can create your own planning calendar strategically centered around holidays and special events throughout the year. Here's a list of days to do your planning for throughout 2010.
- New Year's Day
- Valentine's Day
- St. Patrick's Day
- Mother's Day
- Secretary's Day
- Father's Day
- Grandparent's Day
- Memorial Day
- 4th of July
- Back to School Day
- Labor Day
- Breast Cancer Awareness Day
- National Back Pain Awareness Day
Be creative and be successful in 2010!
Monday, December 14, 2009
I wanted to share something with you that is really beneficial in my business. It's a daily, monthly and yearly planning calendar. Planning for your business is the most important thing you can do to pave the way for success.
I was sort of shooting in the dark, doing a little of this and a little of that. I would do some blogging, write some articles, email and post links etc etc. I never really knew what was working and I had no plan.
Now that I'm planning, I have clear goals in mind and these planning calendars have been INVALUABLE.
I wanted to share them with you as they have been shared with me. You'll find it here > http://www.imspringcleaning.com/free-planning.html
It's for 2009 but you can change dates and use a 2010 calendar. The instructions included are what's important.
Enjoy and Be Prosperous!
Friday, November 27, 2009
Some may not realize it but writing is a great way (and recommended) to establish your business identity. What do I mean by this? Well, let's take my business for example. I have an online stress and pain relief store. However, in order to establish myself an authority on the subject, I write. I write about everything from stress relief tips to easing back pain with natural remedies.
You see, when a potential customer comes to your website, they may not come by way of the home page. They may come by way of an article you have written and included your website link in. If your article is rich enough in information, the reader will click through to see what else you have to offer on your website. However, it works both ways. If you are not writing anything, you aren't establishing anything and if you aren't establishing anything, how can you stand out in the crowd known as the World Wide Web?
By writing in your "voice" and still maintaining your professionalism, you are establishing your business identity. Of course, you want your writing to speak volumes to your professionalism and knowledge of the topic, so researching and planning is key. After writing a couple of articles, you get the hang of it and start cranking them out easier than ever.
Now, get writing! Having trouble? Check out an Article Marketing Course, Articology that I have been taking. It is VERY helpful.
Wednesday, November 4, 2009
5 Reasons Why Using Traditional Article Marketing Is A Bad Idea
by Eric Gruber
Here’s why most of what you have been told by other so- called article marketing experts and gurus is dead wrong when it comes to writing and submitting articles online.
1. Traditional article marketing rarely results in any new traffic to your site.
Links from hundreds or thousands of unimportant article directories and sites are only going to build an army of low-quality links that do nothing for your page rank in the search engines. And it certainly will NOT bring you any more traffic. This is a mistake that tons of people are still making everyday on the web, and most of them don't even know it. They just assume what they are doing will eventually work – because that’s what other experts are telling them.
2. Traditional article marketing does not establish you as an authority in your niche.
One of the biggest advantages of article marketing is that as soon as you publish your first article, you become a published writer in your marketplace. You will soon be considered an authority in your niche, which is great - but only if you are published at reputable sources. For example, my articles can be found on top websites like About.com, SiteProNews.com, MarketingProfs.com, Microsoft Community Dynamics and many more. Blasting out articles to a lot of low-quality sites makes you appear to be an amateur and not an expert, something that traditional article marketers tend to do.
3. Traditional article marketing promotes going for the quick-fix. There are a lot of marketing "gurus" out there who claim to have the magical solution for helping you obtain thousands of links back to your site just by the push of a button. There are others who claim to have a solution for the duplicate content problem - and promote something called spinning software, which will produce several variations of an article. The problem with these "old-school" quick fixes is that article submission software results in the low- quality link. And spinning software creates articles that read unnatural. This is Not an effective way to create REAL
traffic. It’s a waste of your time and money not to do article marketing the right way.
4. Traditional article marketing doesn't result in dollars earned.
Traditional article marketing is all about producing content for the sake of quantity and not quality.
Mediocrity is not the way to attract new business. Article marketing done right will grow into a powerful viral
machine that will continuously bring you fresh new targeted traffic and qualified leads day after day. Especially, once you learn what your market wants to learn. Writing quality articles to meet those needs is like money in the bank!
5. Traditional article marketing doesn’t give you a system for maximizing your article marketing efforts!
You spent time writing the article. Even if you used my article templates at http://www.StartWritingArticlesFaster.
* Mix your social media efforts with your article marketing efforts. You can Tweet about your new article placement. You can link to the article placement on Facebook and LinkedIn. You can answer people’s questions on forums and send prospects to your article for even more information.
* Get in front of your prospects face again. Send the high authority site’s link with your article to your
list. That’s how Kevin Berchelmann received a new, mid 5-figure client!
* Enhance your credibility on your blog. You can link to your article placements from your blog and show that you are the expert. Show how you’re different by getting published on a top website or online publications and not just sites like EzineArticles.com where everyone can get published as long as you follow the editorial guidelines.
* You can mention these placements in an auto-responder series. You can take the main take away lessons from your articles and turn it into an e-course. And than at the end of the day’s message, link to your articles
so people can get even more information from you.
* Turn your articles into videos. And, within these videos show how you’re published on top websites as
this will build instant credibility.
Now, if you’re ready to stop writing and submitting articles the traditional way – then check out my Online Article Marketing Course at http:
And, don’t forget that I have resources like my customized article marketing database and my article marketing service. Email me at Eric@articlemarketingexperts.com or call me at: 908-380-8564 for more information.
Reprinted from “The Article Marketing Expert’s Secrets & Breakthroughs Newsletter”, a free ezine featuring tips, tricks, tools, news, developments and trends that will help you generate free online publicity, build credibility, increase web traffic and boost your SEO ranking. Subscribe at: www.IWantMoreProspects.com/articlenewsletter
Privacy Statement: Article Marketing Experts will NEVER distribute your address to anyone. Period.
I love giving you all free information and I welcome any information you would like to share.
I did however want to let you know that I am putting my posts on hiatus until around November 15th due to an upcoming launch for my Fresh Radiant Skin site. I don't want to drive myself nuts trying to do everything.
If you would like to post information pertaining to home businesses, please let me know by filling in the form below and if your information is note worthy, you can guest post while I'm gone.
I will be back with tons of stuff to share. Don't go away!
Tuesday, October 27, 2009
Your business plan doesn't have to be complicated when you are first starting out. It just needs to answer the following basic questions to keep it simple:
- Who - Name of your business & how are you different from other businesses in your industry
- What - What do you want your business to accomplish? What's your mission statement?
- When/Where - Where do you see your business in 1, 3, 5 years
- How - How do you plan to accomplish those goals? (What are your plans for marketing?)
I realize that what I've just listed is not a Business Plan in it's professional format. However, the purpose of this blogs is to help newbie business owners with little finances to start somewhere. As your business grows, you can go for more of the "professional" stuff.
One of my small business websites is located at www.FreshRadiantSkin.com
If you are a woman of color, this site is for you.
Wednesday, October 21, 2009
Learning to listen has it's benefits. Listen to what your customers are saying. Listen to your suppliers. Listen to what is going on in your industry. Even listen (pay attention) to your competitors.
Listening helps you learn what's in demand, what you should be focusing on and what you need to do to improve your home business.
Friday, October 16, 2009
There are certain traits that identify a strong leader. Some people ARE born with these traits and others may need to develop them Some of these leadership traits include:
- Self Control
- Goal Oriented (including understanding & regularly reviewing goals)
Candee and Mandee are twins. Candee was more focused on fun, fashion, boys and partying. Mandee always appeared to look toward the future and knew what she wanted to become in life before she even graduated High School. Mandee was born with a spirit of excellence, regularly exercised self control and was committed to her future goals. She did not learn how to be this way by the age of 14. It was a part of who she was. Her sister, Candee was also a "good girl", and fun loving but she was like the average teen girl, focused on the hear and now. Of course, both women now lead successful lives but as you can see, one started out focused, decisive, and committed.
Today, Mandee is an attorney and Candee is a social worker. The twins were distinctly different in that one exhibited many of the traits of a strong leader naturally and early on, while the other learned to develop those traits later in life.
If you aren't a natural born leader, that's ok. You can become one by learning to develop the traits I mentioned above. Becoming a leader may take some time but it's well worth it to be successful in your home business and any endeavor in life.
Running your own business is not easy. There will be set backs and discouragements. Believe me, I know. However, staying focused on your goals and developing the traits of a leader I mentioned above, will help you tremendously when it feels like the rug is being pulled out underneath you.
I'm building my online stress relief site as a way to show my knowledge in this area. Stop by some time, read the articles in the Learning Center and shoot me a note to let me know what you think. I would LOVE your feedback!
Monday, October 12, 2009
Well, first off you need to know where to find networking events. I found a great place to find people of like minded businesses at Meet Up
At Meetup.com, you can join a meet up group and start networking right away. If you don't see a group of interest (and I highly doubt that since there's one for every thing...except maybe Ground Hog lovers), then you can sign up to be alerted as to when a new meet up group is started in your field of interest. Even better, start your own Meet Up Group and start networking right away!
Join me by checking out one of My MeetUp groups.
Thursday, October 1, 2009
When you start writing articles, it can seem so overwhelming at times. Well, to save time, energy and money I choose to learn from the experts and not just try to "figure it out" by myself. It's been a few months and I am seeing results (ex: increased traffic to my websites)
Articology - This is a course where you will learn step by step from Lisa Angelettie, article marketing expert, how to construct, write, publish and promote your articles. Article Marketing is the #1 free way to promote your business and position yourself as an expert in your field. The information is extensive yet easy to understand and is given to you in easy to digest formats. The best part is this course is EXTREMELY affordable. Take this course if you want to be successful at article marketing. Subscribe to the Articology Marketing Course today.
Ideas for Article Marketing - The other offer is a freebie I stumbled upon and it will get you thinking of more ideas to write about than you can begin to jot down.
It's a totally free pdf and it's all yours. Grab it here:
Tuesday, September 29, 2009
Tuesday, September 22, 2009
Friday, September 18, 2009
I spent the last week really promoting my own business. I attended a beauty tour, blogger summit and had an appointment with a retail buyer at The Plaza Hotel in New York.
On top of all of that, with all of the products I acquired on my beauty tour, I need to try all of these products so I can start blogging about them. I will be sharing my opinion on all of these products on my other blog, Fresh Radiant Skin if you are interested in following. I've started already but I have at least another 10 posts before I completely give my 411 on the various products and beauty giants.
I've been pretty mild on this blog as far as my 'tude goes but if you visit my other blog you'll see the real me! Well, I'm real here too. Let's just say you will see more of an extension of my colorful personality :-)
Again, check my other blog at http://freshradiantskin.blogspot.com for updates on my beauty tour and Fashion Night Out.
Friday, September 11, 2009
White Plains, NY
5:30pm - 8:00pm
More Information at http://www.wnfp.org
Michelle Howard Smith is referred to as an Infopreneur Extraordinaire. She runs a multi-faceted home based business researching information related to alternative health, skin care and more. Check out one of her stores: Stress & Alternative Pain Relief, Natural Skin Care
Monday, September 7, 2009
You can can easily create your own free online store in a matter of minutes. There are categories available for just about any type of product.
With Ecrater, you receive free website hosting, a free sub-domain and a administrative tool to manage your online store. Purchases can be seamlessly processed with Google checkout or PayPal.
Setting up is easy and here's a big bonus: All products are posted to Google Product Search. (LOL I should be an affiliate selling their product!)
Michelle Howard Smith is referred to as an Infopreneur Extraordinaire. She runs a multi-faceted home based business researching information related to alternative health, skin care and more. Check out her new Ecrater store: http://thenaturalskincareshop.ecrater.com/
Friday, September 4, 2009
Sample Container Store has really great prices for sample containers and related accessories. Her store offers:
Sprayers and Atomizers
Bags & Boxes
Labels (including custom printed)
Funnels & Scoops
Press & Seal bags
Vials and more!
I highly encourage you to visit this retailer. I made a recent purchase and could not believe how much I got for the money I spent.
Michelle Howard Smith is referred to as an Infopreneur Extraordinaire. She runs a multi-faceted home based business researching information related to alternative health, skin care and more. Check out her new Ecrater store: http://thenaturalskincareshop.ecrater.com/
Sunday, August 30, 2009
If you are building a business, you must recognize that your business is not just about you. It's about people and helping them. Think about it. For example, let's say you are a beauty products provider, when you sell a detoxifying dry skin cleanser you are not just selling a face product, you are offering help to obtain cleaner, more moisturized skin that ultimately becomes healthier skin.
Another example, let's say you sell pain relief products, you aren't just selling your clients pain management products, you are providing them with a solution so that they can have better days, more peace, a better night's rest etc. You get it right?
One of the ways I want to help others while building my own successful business is to offer free business features on this blog.
If you or someone you know is building a home business that offers: hair care, jewelry, flowers, clothing, paper products, electronics, household items, services or informational products, please feel free to post a reply. I will then request for you to send me a short personal bio , 4 images of some of your best products, and your website address. We'll take it from there.
Michelle Howard Smith is referred to as an Infopreneur Extraordinaire. She runs a multi-faceted home based business researching information related to alternative health, skin care and more.
Tuesday, August 25, 2009
Many businesses fail, small and large due to not understanding this critical element.
I too have struggled with understanding my target market and how to market to them. I figured that since I sell natural skin care products, my target market was women who prefer natural products. That's a broad market view and had me earning zilch. I needed to go deeper.
After some research and examining my past customers, I realized that my target market, while it may be women, it's actually women of color. Now, that's not because I'm a woman of color. It's because of the types of products I sell along with their benefits.......dry, sensitive skin and who suffers with those skin conditions the most? Women of Color! Specifically women of color in a certain income range (of which I won't share :-)
It was as if a light bulb went off. Now, that's not to say that my products are not for women of the Caucasian persuasion because they can also have dry and sensitive skin. The key to understand here is that when marketing, you can't please everybody....unless of course you are a multi-billion dollar corporation.
Finding your niche and knowing your target market BEFORE starting your business will certainly save you a lot of time and disappointment. Regardless of the fact, even if you've started your business, you can always back track (like I did) and go after your target market.
In my next post, I will share some resources that I've come across that can help you with finding your target market. Stay tuned!
Michelle Howard Smith is referred to as an Infopreneur Extraordinaire. She runs a multi-faceted home based business researching information related to alternative health, skin care, pain management and more. Michelle has helped a number of people to achieve natural pain relief, stress relief and healthier skin.
Subscribe to Michelle's The Skin Natural newsletter to receive information on black skin care and similar topics OR The Stress Less newsletter to receive tips and info on healthy living.
Monday, August 24, 2009
Rob Toth is offering a free download of his “How Can I Get Visitors To My Website” audio course, which tells you how to generate traffic, leads, prospects, opt-ins. This download consists of 4 “CDs”, a booklet , and a cheat-sheet.
You can download the e-course here: http://www.howtogetprospects.com.
Michelle Howard Smith is President of Reviyve LLC, a distributor of stress and alternative pain relief products. Subscribe to the Stress Less Newsletter to receive stress management tips, alternative health info and exclusive offers for subscribers only.
Sunday, August 23, 2009
- Kathy, tell us a little about why you decided to start your own business?
I worked in the insurance field for many years. In 2007 I became unable to work outside the home anymore due to chronic back problems. After several failed attempts at finding a legitimate work from home JOB, I decided to try my hand at a business.
- What encouraged you to build what appears to be a full online shopping mall?
I thought I would have more success if I offered a variety of products and several choices for each product. I have tried to offer something for everyone, which is why my site will always be a work in progress.
- What challenges have you experienced as a result of starting your own business?
I am fairly new to this, so trying to find ways to market my business has been a lot of work. Also, I don’t know a lot about SEO so that has been a real challenge.
- How have you met or how do you plan to meet those challenges head on?
I have been doing a lot of reading and asking advice from people who have done this and have been successful. I’ve joined several networking sites also.
- How are you currently marketing your business?
I market on the networking sites to which I belong. I also have begun to use Twitter. Finances are tight right now, so I look for ways to market for free.
- What appears to be your most effective marketing challenge (bringing in the sales)?
At this time, I would have to say contacting friends and family. They are also helping get the word out about my online mall.
- What are your business goals?
I would love for this to be a business that brings in enough money to help with our bills. I am not looking to get rich.
- Hey nothing wrong with being rich but how often do you run specials and how do you determine what deals to offer?
All of the stores on my site are affiliate stores, so I am unable to offer specials on my own. However, the majority of the stores do offer specials. I frequently get emails from them telling me of the deals they have going on and I add banners to the home page of my site advertising them.
- Any advice for others looking to start/build an online store?
Do your research and have a lot of patience!!!
- How can my readers get in touch with you and where can they view your selection of products?
I can be reached at kathykandlesko (at) aol (dot) com. My products can be viewed at http://www.the-eclectic-mall.webnode.com
Monday, August 17, 2009
Sunday, August 16, 2009
(¸.·´ (¸.·`¤... Jamie...
1- Tell me a little about yourself and what inspired She's Batty Designs
I'm Jamie Sabot and I'm the owner and artist behind She's Batty Designs. I'm also a university student finishing up her bachelors degree in psychology with a minor in fine/visual arts. I started off doing a double major in psychology and fine/visual arts but quickly realized that a major in fine/visual arts was not where I wanted to head (more on this below).
I'm highly passionate about animal welfare and worked for a number of years with the Ontario SPCA. Animal welfare is by far the cause I advocate the most for. I find a lot of my strengths and skills complement a career in animal welfare, and perhaps I'll end up working in that field again some day. Right now my efforts are focus on my 3 rescue dogs and my turtle. Each one of them has a unique story. I would love to share these stories but I think I'm already going to have too much to say for this blog feature! Contact me if you want to hear more or check out my brief (and a bit out of date) profile at the ASPCA ning community site.
My favorite time of year is autumn. It's when my all time favorite holiday takes place (Halloween), and I love all the sights, smells and weather that comes along with autumn. I decorate for Christmas with a lot of the same decorations I put up at Halloween because a lot of them are inspired by the Nightmare Before Christmas. I've started growing pumpkins this year and can't wait to harvest and carve my very own - home grown - pumpkins.
My love of arts and crafts was what inspired She's Batty Designs. After attending Fine Art school and not feeling totally satisfied with the direction my art was headed, I threw out all the "rules" and "norms" that has been drilled into my head. I gather up a bunch of art supplies that inspired me, a few pictures, and a lot of glitter. I crafted like I was a kid again and made art that made me happy. It was very refreshing to make art that didn't have to have a purpose other than my own enjoyment. It was inspiring, and enlightening to drop all the Fine Art baggage and make art without a struggle. Friend and family members embraced my works so I decided to start offering them publicly via She's Batty Designs.
2- What types of products do you sell?
Most paper products - greeting cards, tags, die cuts, and scrapbooking supplies. I'm getting more into candle making and currently offer a few different kinds of candles and melts.
I also offer my services as a photographer - one of the only things I didn't throw out the window after Fine Art school.
Graveyard cupcake candle
I love Halloween so much that I just had to make a spooky inspired cupcake candle to celebrate! I hadn't seen any candles like this before so when the idea popping into my head I wrote it down in my idea book, did a sketch and then sadly didn't come back to it for about 6 months. I was flipping through my idea book (6 months after the sketch was done), the pages immediately fell to the page with the sketch of this candle! I got super excited about my long lost idea and jumped into action! Now I'm super excited to release this candle under She's Batty Designs so everyone can share in the spooky fun :)
House on a haunted hill card
This is one of my fav recent creations. I love the colour scheme in this card. The golds and browns are so deep and give it a really "rich" look. I also got to use a lot of different techniques in this card including spray painting, crystal effects, stamping, and embossing. One of my most favorite things is glitter so this card is extra special to me because of the amount of glitter I was able to use in it without "over doing it".
3- How long have you been selling online?
I started selling online in April of 2008 at Etsy.
4- Do you sell your products offline at any events?
If so, what types of events are most profitable for individuals who make their own products
I have done a few events but they aren't something I participate in regularly because I haven't found any in my area that are worth while.
5- When deciding on a new design, what factors influence that design?
Mostly the supplies I have on hand and what I'm currently trying to create. Half of the time I walk into my studio without a pre-determined project in mind. Other times I walk in with a vague concept like "Halloween Tags". What is created from there depends on the supplies I have on hand. I focus on one holiday at a time so for a few months the tables in my studio are covered with Halloween supplies or Christmas supplies, etc.
6- Have you ever experienced creator's blocK? If yes, what advice can you give to others to come out of it who may be experiencing it as well?
If I have a creator's block it's usually not due to being out of ideas or supplies, it usually because of fatigue. I only get short bursts of energy due to having Ankylosing Spondylitis, so when I have the energy I do a lot of creating! When I don't, I spend a lot of time online listing my items, surfing around for inspiration, and talking with other artists on plurk and the AF forums. Although this cycle is not ideal from a health stand point, it really works well to keep away creator's block! When I'm creating I'm solely focus on that, and when I'm drained of energy, I'm solely focused getting passive inspiration and doing the less creative tasks of online selling. I used to get depressed about not having the energy to create more but I've realized over the last few years, that taking a different perspective about my whole situation has really helped me to be super productive when I DO have the chance to create.
7- Jamie, in your opinion what's best way for someone with a home based business to get more exposure?
The need to look at what venue they are using to sell. If they are selling online then that is where the majority of their marketing efforts (and money) should be spent. If they are working from home but selling at a market on the weekends, then they need to focus on creating enough stock for each weekend and encourage people to come and to their booth at the market - so they would need to market locally.
Online sellers have a really vast market to try to reach so they need to narrow down their reach. First they should figure out how their target audience is and focus their marketing efforts there. Once they've reached that target audience they can start to expand their online marketing efforts. Project wonderful ads have worked rather well for me as well as keeping a blog and sending out a month email update.
Online sellers should also try to list often and at targeted times. I find that if I list a few new items on a Saturday or Sunday, I do better than if I listed those same items on a Monday or Tuesday. Listing is free advertising if you're listing on ArtFire so it's a win-win combo! I would also suggest listing a couple items a couple days a week rather than listing them all on one day. You'll get more exposure throughout the week if you stretch out your listings. It will also give you a chance to really market each listing without overwhelming your contacts and social networks. Those are just a few of the basics that I have found worked for me. There's lots more info on Handmade News. I'm the editor of the marketing department so as you can imagine, marketing is something I'm highly passionate about.
8- Do you take custom orders?
Yes, I do! I really love custom orders because it give my creative muscle a workout! Custom orders help keep things fresh and innovative in my studio. I also love helping people so if I can help fill a need they have with my art then all the better! A lot of my "local" business comes from custom orders, particularly for custom photo invitations and cards. I really love creating these because not only do I get to work with a personal photograph but I also get a chance to use my graphic design skills :)
Add'l Featured Products:
Gocco Halloween party invitations:
Besides photography, the medium I loved the most to work with in Fine Art school was printmaking. I adore my gocco printer - it is my most loved "tool" in my studio. These invitations hold a special place in my artsy heart for a few reasons. One of those reasons is obvious - they are for Halloween! But the other reasons are so obvious. I designed these invitations my self on the computer using my graphic arts skills (which are self taught :)), I then transferred my designs to gocco master screens and printed them on card stock. I used two different screens - one for the black and one for the green pearl link. I really love the use of the green pearl because it's so shimmery and really holds its own next to the black. I really love making pieces that I can incorporate computer skills and traditional arts skills.
These postcards are super simple in their design but they are very special to me. These are made using my gocco screen printer again (like the Gocco Halloween party invitations), and were another design that I made on the computer. They are special to me because these were the exact postcards we sent out when we moved last year. I made twice as many as we needed. For the ones we sent out, I made a second screen to print our "moved" info on the back of the postcards and kept with a "batty" theme. I'm so happy to be able to offer the ones I left blank on the back to the public because perhaps there is someone out there as batty as me for this kind of simple, halloween-ish design.
9- Finally, where can people find your products online and how can they reach you?
They can find my products at:
I can also be reached via email: shesbattydesigns (at) hotmail (dot) com
Friday, August 14, 2009
If you've ever heard of Squidoo then you will understand the way the site works. On Squidoo, you create what are called Lenses. On Hub pages, you create hubs. Essentially what you are doing is creating an article about whatever topic of interest you want to write about. You can include, videos, photos, links, RSS feeds, you name it. The beauty about it is, you can also monetize your Hub pages. Join an affiliate program or Google Adsense and you can have ads posted on your hubs. Lots of people are making a decent residual income with Hub pages.
Creating a Hub page also helps you to spread the word about your product or service. Of course you can't be overly promotional but you can get your links out there and start creating Hub pages to show your authority in your area of business.
I wrote my first two hubs last week (I needed something to do while I was being pissed off for having people steal my articles online):
I encourage anyone with a business to start creating Hub pages. Two reasons:
- When business is slow, get to writing and earn some $$
- Get exposure for your business
Wednesday, August 12, 2009
However, with the low response rate I've decided to discontinue. Hopefully, my other content is more useful.
Sunday, August 9, 2009
I work with glass. I have two kilns and a torch, and use a variety of techniques to create unique home decor pieces, jewelry, and beads. People usually see glass as very fragile - I endeavor to make beautiful, yet sturdy pieces that will last a lifetime.
About four years ago, I dropped out of law school. I knew I didn't want to be a lawyer - there was too much of an emphasis on convention. I didn't want to have to wear a suit to work every day. And at that point, I started thinking, now what? I have always been "hopelessly creative", always seeking new ideas, and new things to learn about. So, while searching for some other career path, I turned to art. I had no idea that would become my path! It took me a while to realize that I could sell my artwork. I played with a bunch of different techniques, selling in local craft fairs, just trying to earn some spare change to buy more art supplies. I met other artists, and discovered glass fusing. As soon as I saw a piece of fused glass art, I knew that was what I wanted to do! I saved for and bought a small kiln. In teaching myself to fuse glass, I've developed a style of my own. The more I work with my glass, the more I decided that was all I wanted to do. In October of 2008, I decided to "get serious" with my business. I developed a business plan, began selling online, exhibiting at more shows, and investigating wholesale options. My plan is to be a full time glass artist by September of 2010.
3- How did you learn how to create and design glass art?
I am primarily self taught. Early in my explorations, I took a stained glass class, which helped me with glass cutting and other skills that are very much a part of what I do now. However, most of what I know now I've learned through experimentation. Glass fusing is 80% creativity, but 20% chemistry and physics - I've learned a lot more about science than I ever knew before! I wouldn't be where I am now, though, without the help of a few books. Warm Glass is one I would recommend for anyone beginning fusing.
4- What inspires your creations?
I find inspiration everywhere! I am influenced by nature, but also by man made things. Sometimes even flaws in the glass itself lead me to interesting ideas. Emotion is probably the biggest influence on my artwork; art for me is a highly emotional process.
Probably this piece: http://www.etsy.com/view_transaction.php?transaction_id=14959614. It is made from recycled glass pieces, and the method used adds a lot of randomness to the piece, so that no two are alike. I really like how this one turned out!
6- You sell quite a bit on etsy. What are your best sellers?
7- Please share any challenges you have experienced over the years with running a home business and how you overcame them.
My biggest problem is time! Since I have a full time job outside of my glass art business, it's very difficult to juggle orders, craft shows, and customer requests. Sometimes I can budget a whole day for my business, and then realize at about three in the afternoon that I haven't left the studio, and I really need to pack up orders! Instead, I have decided to stick to a schedule. Before I go to work, I get up and process any orders that are ready to be shipped. When I get home, I deal with the business work that needs to be done, like budgeting and listing new items online, or packing things up for a weekend craft show. After that, I reward myself with studio time. Early on, another problem I had was budgeting. I spent every dollar I earned on new supplies. While this helped me build up a full studio quickly, I realized that if I wanted to make a living off of my artwork, I couldn't keep buying supplies. So I created a budget. Now, I only buy supplies once a month, and I only buy the things I really need. The additional money I make goes to paying off debts or gets squirreled away so I have a nest egg when I quit my day job.
8- Do you do custom designs on request?
9- What advice can you give individuals who want to get into the glass art business?
Develop a unique product. That's probably helped me out the most. I can count on sales from certain items - the unique items - every time I make them. Also, if you're serious about business, develop a business plan. It will keep you on track to know what your goals are.
10- Lastly, tell my readers where to find your beautiful work online and how they can get in touch with you
Friday, August 7, 2009
"You want to talk about stress, how about the fact that I just discovered that two different people stole original articles that I have written and not given me credit for it!
I contacted both websites and no response so i'm blowing them up right here as well as reporting them. I work too hard writing articles and dumping my brain every day onto paper for people to come along and claim my work.
So here the two lying article thieves have stolen my work and now they are so cowardly they don't even have the decency to reply.
I wrote an article entitled, "STRESS: Is It Your Silent Killer?" and I submitted a copy of it to Ezinearticles (http://ezinearticles.com/?STRESS---Is-it-Your-Silent-Killer?&id=1080550) in March of 2008. The article thief posted it on their blog at burnettconsult.com/stress-is-it-your-silent-killer.htm (and no i didn't create it as a link because why should I help their search engine rankings) word for freaking word! On top of it, he or she has no contact info. on their blog other than a comments form for each post. He/she has not responded to me. The original article is on my site at http://www.stressreliefbyrv.com/stress. You'll notice in the article that I post scriptures in the Bible and everything. I even talk about a situation where I at work and had a difficult time with a co-worker. This person probably doesn't even believe in God!
The other article I wrote, "Understanding Adult Acne and Hormones" was stolen from ezine articles (http://ezinearticles.com/?Understanding-Adult-Acne-and-Hormones&id=2637614) where I am credited as the author but it's posted on kissawayacne.com/2009/07/understanding-adult-acne-and-hormones as if they are the author. The original work (mine) is also on my site at http://www.deadseastorebyrv.com/adult_acne_and_hormones. I talk about how I got adult acne and didn't have it too much as a teen. Notice however that on the original article posted on my site, there is one little line at the very end that does not appear in the ezinearticles version or the thief's copy. It says "I suggest the latter." It's on my site because I'm the author!!!
I guess I shouldn 't be shocked since there are always going to be devious dishonest people in the world but I am. I am so pissed off I can't even begin to express. I have experienced some horrible people talking about me like a dog for the last few days and now this. I don't bother anybody and I keep to myself. Is it too much to ask for people to treat me the way I treat them???
Blogging is a great outlet for me to write but I certainly don't appreciate that all of my writing is being done to be stolen and profited by someone else. However, the Bible says that you will reap what you have sown so for all of the article thieves, back biters, liars and the like I say this: "You will have your day when you have to stand before the God of the universe to give an account for every evil deed and you WILL pay for everything you have done unless you repent.
That's all I have to say. I'm going to try and enjoy my weekend and I hope everyone reading does the same."
Wednesday, August 5, 2009
A Home Based Service Business has many benefits including
- If you have a certain skill set or certain talents, you can meet a need that exists in the business world and get paid for it (cha-ching!)
- You can run your business right out of your home
- If your new service business consists of doing things that were once a hobby, hey you now probably have most of the supplies and equipment you need to take it to the next level
- You have very little overhead. No need to rent office space. You are already paying rent or a note on your home, not to mention other utilities. All that's left to buy now is any equipment you may need like a computer and fax machine (if you don't have them already)
- While you are accountable to getting work done for your client, you can now set your own hours
Here are some resources on a few popular home based service businesses that you may be interested in:
Sunday, August 2, 2009
2- Tell us a little about your professional background in the graphic design industry.
Right out of college I began doing freelance work and then interned at a denim store where I did all of the graphics for the company. I also started working for a clothing line, Vintage Blue, branding and doing all the graphics and marketing as well. I became so involved in both companies I became a partner. I continued to do my freelance design work on the side. For the two years the denim store, Denim Society, was open I was completely focused on the two companies and my design work was put on the back burner except for the business design work. Once our store closed down I started really focusing on getting my graphic design career off the ground.
3- Michelle, what have you discovered to be the most important marketing tool for small businesses and home based business owners?
I'm a big fan of just networking- through the internet, in person, whatever. Make conversation with people because you never know who you are talking to or what they may be in need of. It never hurts to ask- but it sure will help you.
4- Tell all my home business owners out there the basic items they should obtain to promote a professional image.
Obviously the quality of your product is important, but your brand identity is essential to providing a professional look. There are far too many businesses out there that look extremely unprofessional and that will reflect on your business. Make sure you have a logo, color scheme, and overall look and feel that fits your business. Make sure it is readable to your demographic. Invest in a good functioning website and email address that ends with your domain name because the online market is immense and if someone finds you on the internet and has no reference for who you are you may lose them.
5- Besides being a graphic designer, do you use your expertise towards any other business ventures you are connected to?
Yes, as I mentioned earlier I am the sole graphic designer at Vintage Blue, an eco friendly sportswear line for women.
6- Please tell us more.
I have some other side projects that are in the works but they aren't ready to be revealed yet!
7- I once read something you said about a brand having a consistent look and feel. Please explain further.
It's so important for your brand to be cohesive. It needs to look like everything fits together and makes sense. So for example, Vintage Blue is vintage inspired but is also putting a twist on the old and making it new. Our brand is old looking, but still vibrant and exciting. If you went to one of the pages on our website and all of a sudden started seeing really masculine fonts and black backgrounds it wouldn't fit. Each element implemented in your brand whether it's an email blast, printed flyer, business card, or website should all mesh together.
8- In your professional opinion are there any standards for website design?
Yes, of course. Usability is super important. If you have a pretty site and no one knows where to go you will lose them, which defeats the purpose entirely. You also typically want to keep your main navigation simple and either horizontal at the top or vertical to the left. A really great reference is a book I read in college called Don't Make Me Think! by Steve Krug. It's about keeping it simple and making sense. But still make it look good!
9- What should a small business owner or entrepreneur look for in a graphic designer?
Make sure they click with you. When you look at their work look at the details- make sure they are clean and forward thinking. I think it's important to build a lasting relationship with a designer you can trust who can really get to know your brand. This will help it evolve.
10- Lastly, tell my readers how they can get a hold of you and where they can find you online
Friday, July 31, 2009
Well, there are many options out there but you have to decide what's best for you. So, with that I've made it one of my goals (don't you you just love that word?:-) to also try and help those who are still deciding on what type of business (products or services) they want to run from home.
Without further ado, I'd like to introduce you to "Becoming a Virtual Assistant"
What does a Virtual Assistant do you wonder? What doesn't she do (or he)! A virtual assistant in lamens terms is an administrative assistant that performs an array of jobs for large and small companies. The difference is the flexibility to work from home and rather than work for someone else's company directly, you are a contractor.
Virtual assistant responsibilities may include managing emails, handling client inquiries, maintaining schedules, transcribing, typing, creating presentations accounting and even setting up profiles and accounts on social networks like Twitter, Facebook or Linked In.
How Do You Know That Becoming a Virtual Assistant is right for you?
Well you can start by asking yourself a few questions:
1- Do I like performing secretarial/administrative tasks?
2- Do I have access to a computer, fax machine, phone, and internet access?
3- Do I have strong office and business administration skills? If not, do I want to learn them?
The demand for Virtual Assistants has skyrocketed in the last few years. Companies can hire a virtual assistant to take care of a number of jobs without having to provide a desk or even health insurance. Virtual assistants can save companies lots of money but they can make lots of money as well. I don't know about you but if I had the choice of working in an office for someone making what they determine I should make vs. working from home so I can be near my family and setting my own rates based on what IIII determine I should make, I'll take the latter.
image courtesy of www.cybergirl.net
Michelle Howard Smith is President of Reviyve LLC, a n online based personal care products business and she's on a mission to help others fulfill their dream of working from home. To subscribe to one of Michelle's monthly newsletters, click Subscribe to Stress Less Newsletter OR Subscribe to Skin Naturale Newsletter
Thursday, July 30, 2009
Well, this is a great one and it isn't going to cost you much but it will cost you something...a little time and a little money. But hey it's worth it and nothing worth achieving is completely free.
It's all about article writing to increase your presence on the web. When you increase your web presence and begin to trust you, they are easier to convert into customers. One way to do this is with article marketing. Now, I've written quite a few articles but I don't yet have the level of traffic I want but I'm getting there. That's when I discovered Articology.
I recently read an e-book by Lisa Angelettie (Author of www.GirlShrink.com - the #1 Advice and counseling site online) about Article Marketing that has made me realize that I may not be doing my article marketing correctly ...or at the very least maybe I'm leaving some strategies out.
Lisa has an Articology Article Marketing Training Program that I subscribed to and I suggest all my home business owners with websites do the same. When you sign up for the program, you will learn the following:
- How To continuously generate content ideas that people want to read!
- Article submission secrets
- How To Creating weekly articles in 30 minutes or less!
- How to optimize your articles with keywords for the search engines!
- How to re-purpose your articles into MANY income revenue streams!
- How to test and track your articles and learn what to write more articles!
- Tricks and techniques for eliminating common article marketing mistakes
Visit Lisa at http://LisaAngelettie.com
Tuesday, July 28, 2009
This behavior is not productive and I've discovered that while I am a full time working mom, I can build more success with my internet marketing business if I develop some consistency and a plan....a daily marketing plan that is.
Building a successful online business is a lot of work. There are so many things that MUST be done on a consistent basis in order to maintain traction in the online world. So, now that I'm working from a daily schedule, here are the things I focus on:
- Spending specific time reading articles and commenting on Linked In
- Spending regular time interacting with folks on Twitter, participating in discussions related to my business and sharing information
- Writing 2 articles per week (1 for each of my sites) and submitting them to article directories like Ezinearticles.com
- Bookmarking my articles on social bookmark sites like de.li.cious, stumble upon and reddit
- Checking my ppc ad accounts once a week to check my ad performance
- Writing 1 Squidoo lens weekly to share information about topics and products related to my business and then bookmarking those lenses
- Working on my company newsletters once a week so I can have completed content by the first of each month
- Checking the stats for each of my websites and tracking changes
- Emailing my list specials on a weekly basis tailored just for their needs
- Blogging on my 3 blogs twice weekly (sometimes scheduling posts when I get a ton of stuff to say all in a short period of time) - 2 of my blogs Fresh Radiant Skin and Stress & Alternative Pain Relief are for me displaying my knowledge in my fields of natural skin care and alternative pain relief & stress management. My 3rd blog, the one you are now reading is for me to give back to the online community. I believe in helping others succeed one because no one ever just "arrives." We all have help along the way. Another reason is because I will also be helping pave my own way to success. In each of my blogs I like to display my personality so that you all can get to know me. I'm pretty transparent really. I like to joke around, exhibit a little sarcasm and even get a little serious when I'm sharing the latest news in the industries. However, I also love to write and converse with others in general which is why I hope my readership will pick up. How quickly you all will discover how much I have to say!
Finally, remember that Rome was not built in a day. Don't get discouraged. Hard work barely fails to pay off. You can be successful and I hope that we can be on this journey together. I will share my learnings while building my business and I hope you will share yours.
God Bless and Here's to Fruitfulness in Business!
Sunday, July 26, 2009
time, Suzanne enjoys reading and watching television.
1. So Suzanne, you appear to be a jack of all trades, creating streams of income from a variety of multi-level marketing sources. Please share those sources and tell my readers what’s working best for you
7. Your biggest failure (bear in mind that this is your perception and may not be