Adventures in internet marketing: here’s where I go next

Running a business is all about matching up what you can offer with what the market wants. So as 2012 began, I decided to talk my market and see how I could best help them.

My plan was that I was going to start out as an internet marketing consultant. I wasn’t planning on just offering advice and information, I planned to provide services too. So if a business needed a mailing list setting up and managing, I would do that for them. If they needed a new website complete with copywriting and SEO, I could do that too. I didn’t plan to do everything myself, I would work with a team of freelancers (after all, I know plenty of mums offering these services!)

Back in January I kicked things off by offering a free consultation to one of the members of my mailing list. (I send things to my mailing list that you don’t see on Business Plus Baby, so you might like to sign up here?)

This was the email: Continue reading “Adventures in internet marketing: here’s where I go next”

What to put on a website: Online business basics

(This is the sixth article in my Online business basics series. You can find links to the other posts in the series on this page: Online business basics)

Your mind is buzzing with great ideas for your business. You’re ready to create a fabulous website to showcase the exciting things you do.

But where on earth do you start?

This post is going to look at the structure, layout and graphic design of your new website. To find out about where and how to get yourself a website, see my post: Setting up an online shop: Pros and cons of each type

Pages/features your website needs

First of all, there are a few basic features that pretty much every website should have: Continue reading “What to put on a website: Online business basics”

Earning passive income: Online Business Basics

(This is the 6th article in my Online business basics series. You can find links to the other posts in the series on this page: Online business basics)

I’ll let you into a secret…

It’s only recently that I really understood that passive income was actually possible. Up until then, a part of me still thought it was the kind ‘business opportunity’ being sold by dodgy get-quick-rich scheme promoters. While there are many people out there happy to sell you misleading courses – and of course we all have to be careful to avoid them – passive income is really possible.

I know that  because I’m now making some myself.

For many people, passive income is the holy grail of internet marketing. After all, what could be more appealing than money coming in day in and day out with no work? Unfortunately, there are so many misconceptions around passive income that people often have unrealistic expectations that keep them from creating it.

So how does passive income work, really? What can you really expect if you want to start creating streams of passive income?

It takes upfront effort to make passive income

We’re so used to exchanging an hour of effort for a sum of money that it can take a while to really ‘get’ how passive income works. Passive income is a bit like a rocket. It takes a lot of energy to get it off the ground. Once it’s off the ground however, it requires far less energy. The effort is no longer on getting the rocket moving, but on steering it.

(The way we’re used to working is more like a steam train – each shovel of coal you put in takes you a a little way down the track.)

So to earn passively, you must be willing to put in the upfront work.

Ways to earn passive income online

There are many ways to make passive income online –  think in terms of getting people to a website and getting them to buy or view something, but without you needing to be there.

So for example, if you brought people to your website and sold them an e-book, that would be passive income. If you recommended them a product as an affiliate, that would also be passive because someone else would be dispatching the product and paying you commission. There will be work involved, because you’d need to set up the website and get traffic to it (e.g.  by getting it to rank highly in search engines) and maybe provide some customer service, but once you’d set it up right you wouldn’t need to be there to print, pack and post your orders.

Ways of earning online that aren’t passive would be using a blog to sell your freelance services or running an online shop. Although if you paid someone else to do your customer service and dispatch, then the online shop could be passive income too.

You can combine passive income with other ways of earning. In fact it’s a good idea to do this because passive income strategies can take a long time to learn and get right. Do you use any products in your business that you could recommend as an affiliate, for example? Could you put some of your knowledge into an e-book and sell it from your website using EJunkie?

However, it’s important to remember that nothing is 100% passive. Even if you have an e-book that can be bought and downloaded automatically, you still need to make sure your website stays high up in Google, for example. You can’t just ‘set it and forget it’.  You’ll always have to do some degree of monitoring and maintaining.

Robert Kiyosaki, author of Rich Dad Poor Dad, once said: “Never get involved with a passive income vehicle you don’t love. If you do, you won’t maintain it.” That’s more true than ever online.

If you enjoyed this post, why not join my mailing list?  Sign up and I’ll send you copy of  my e-book Running a business around a family: 9 steps to success

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Online business basics: How to be a better blogger

(This is the fourth article in my Online business basics series. You can find links to the other posts in the series on this page: Online business basics)

A blog is now crucial for most online businesses. A steady stream of fresh content keeps your human visitors coming back for more and keeps your website high up in the search engine rankings. That’s if you do it right!

Being a great blogger is a skill that has to be learned (and it definitely improves with practice, too!) If you want to attract more people to your blog, have more people return regularly and to make more money from your blog, here are five tips to help you: Continue reading “Online business basics: How to be a better blogger”