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How to Improve Your E-commerce Website in 2017

Nowadays, it’s highly important to keep your e-commerce frequently updated as new technologies are released on a daily basis, and your competitors can easily take your place at the top.

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Focus on simplicity

Your website must be as simplistic as possible due to the fact that customers don’t want to spend hours of searching for their desired product. Frankly, most of them don’t even know what they actually want. You must provide your client’s with a personalized experience that would guide them throughout the website so that they can choose the needed items.

Ensure that your website could provide recommendations based on their selections. This way, you will cut their time spent in browsing, which would result in more conversions. However, you should not give them way too many options, as they can get easily distracted when they don’t know which one to pick.

Responsive website is a must

You can’t have a successful e-commerce without having a responsive design. You must invest money to ensure that your website can be browsed from each and every platform, which includes not only laptops but tablets, smartphones, and personal computers.

Some designs might look magnificent on large screens, but they can be quite unresponsive on mobile phones, for example. In recent years, statistics show that more people are browsing the internet from their phones, rather than their laptops. This means that you might be losing a lot of money because your site is not optimized.

If your business is not ready for a professionally made application, then you must have a responsive design to convert your mobile customers.

Options & search bar

Incorporate a search engine in your website in order to have a user-friendly internet site, because clients want to navigate through the platform quickly and find what they need without any hassles.

The options you provide within your categories should not be cluttered, which means that everyone should find them quickly. These options should provide your clients with products that they have never even thought of. This way, you increase your chances of converting them. If your search engine provides recommendations or predictions, then it’s going to be even more used by the individuals looking at your website.

Straightforward checkout process

This is the most important aspect of your website, and you must make it incredibly simplistic. Remove all unnecessary product options and advertisements because they can distract the customer, which would lead them to another page.

The customer must know how many steps he has to take to finish the buying process and wait for his product. Making it complicated would result in far fewer purchases. Analyze your website’s statistics, and if there are far too many people abandoning this page, then you have to make the necessary steps to improve it.

The importance of live chats

The most important part of running a business is the customer service. You must be easily reachable when your client needs your help, no matter what the reason is. Live chats provide easy access to your team, and you can help them on-the-go. In most cases, this increases the conversion chances considerably.

When you think about it from the client’s point of view, the chances are that you won’t bother calling the phone either if you have a particular problem. E-mails are widely used on such occasions, but they are considered rather slow, and the client will probably choose to go elsewhere for the time you answer.

Chat services are instant, they eliminate a number of problems, and they will surely impress your customers.

Final Words

The idea is to keep the content of your website up-to-date, as clients wish to see new things more often. Don’t forget to update your blog with newer articles and change the featured and popular products every once in a while.

Optimize your website’s design regularly as well, because technologies change incredibly fast in modern days. A five-year-old design can be considered ancient by some of your clients.

Show your buyers why your website is better than the rest of your competitors. Is it easy to use? Are your prices lower than others? Tell people why you are the best and they will recognize you sooner or later!

The post How to Improve Your E-commerce Website in 2017 appeared first on Home Business Magazine.

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7 Amazing Women Founded Products

mixed chicksMixed Chicks

Mixed Chicks was launched by two “mixed chicks” on a mission to create a product line to meet the unique hair and skin demands of the multicultural woman. They’ve turned a dream into a reality, providing women of different ethnicities with hair care and makeup products that embrace their diversity.



With their Daily Hair Dress, they’re turning back the clock on dry, brittle hair using the healing properties of avocado, almond, and safflower oils. Their safe formula can be used as often as desired for an extra dose of strength and shine when you need it most! Mixed Chicks leaves your hair inviting to the touch by defining and locking moisture into every curl!

spattyThe Spatty

Cheryl Rigdon has always been a problem-solver, and when she got annoyed by not being able to access the product at the bottom of her expensive bottles of makeup and lotion, she came up with a solution. That solution was the Spatty! The Spatty is a new, innovative tool that fits perfectly in any small space in order to collect all the last bits of your beauty products. The BPA-free product comes in two sizes, 6-inch and 12-inch, perfect for just about any sized product! You’ll be amazed by the amount of money you’re about to save when you stop wasting the last of your makeup and beauty products!

Tempaper

This Women’s Business Enterprise was the first company to launch fashionable peel-and-stick wallpaper! Tempaper is family-owned and operated by the original founders Katherine Szilagyi and her twin nieces Julia Biancella and Jennifer Matthews. They continually try to reinvent the wheel with new textures and finishes. It quickly became one of the top solutions for many design problems and a fun alternative to decorating surfaces. The Tempaper collections reach many style categories to ensure that they can be used within any design project!

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samanthaSamantha Leibowitz

After launching her career at the age of 14 on the Fashion Board for Nordstrom, Samantha Leibowitz’s passion grew stronger for the fashion industry. Throughout the years, Samantha advanced her skills in pattern making, draping, designing, sketching and color. With all of her acquired knowledge Samantha Leibowitz New York was born! This stunning New York based fashion brand features all of the latest trends in dresses, tops, skirts, rompers, and accessories! Samantha L offers a twist of classic and modern styles, ensuring you feel comfortable and fashionable for any occasion!

Bosom Couture

Bosom Couture creator and founder, Dawn Jackson, had acquired a closet filled with fashion “hopefuls” that were just waiting (and waiting) to be worn…once she found that “perfect” bra!

Bosom Couture Boob Glue® finally give her and all women more options! This fabulous gel ensures that your breasts stay exactly where you want them in the most natural way possible. No more adjusting strapless bras or other uncomfortable remedies, because with Bosom Couture you control how your breasts appear!

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face atelierFACE Atelier

Do you ever feel overwhelmed by the multitude of choices of foundation that “match” your skin tone? Founder Debbie Bondar created FACE atelier in part because she couldn’t find a foundation that did just that! She decided to develop an edited line of sophisticated, versatile, age and race neutral makeup that simply works! FACE atelier emphasizes innovation over imitation, offering easy-to-use products driven by quality, performance and originality. The star of the line, FACE atelier Ultra Foundation, has its own following that includes Billy B, one of the most sought after A-list makeup artists in the world.

Hip Peas

From one mom to another, Stephanie searched without success for a child-friendly product to help with her daughters sensitive hair needs. With a bachelor’s in biomedical science, a master’s in healthcare administration, and her “street knowledge” as a conscious mom, she knew she had the scientific expertise, health-focused business training, and passion for the subject to create her own healthy hair care products! Thus, Hip Peas was born! Free of harmful chemicals and irritants, this brand is the safe choice for babies, children, and even sensitive adults. Not only do these products actually work, they are free of dangerous ingredients like parabens, phthalates, and petrochemicals!

  • peaTest out the Shampoo & Body Wash! Made with natural ingredients that won’t irritate sensitive skin or eyes because this rich foaming lather is hypoallergenic and has a light non-toxic fragrance.

  • The Conditioner gives your hair that special touch and actually works to hydrate your hair the health way.

  • The Detangler can wrangle the knots in any hair type and it even increases shine and eliminates frizz! This healthy collection is great for both men and women!

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Seven of the Best Reasons for Working in Construction

If you’ve been working in construction for a while now, or if you’re thinking about getting into it after school or college, you may be asking yourself why you got into it, or why you should. There are countless reasons, really – just take a look around you – humans need buildings, and lots of them! But there are lots of other, less-obvious things about a career in construction that should make you happy and proud. Here’s just seven of them…

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All those buildings that people need and rely on to function as a society – you helped to build some of them!

Not many other professions give you the opportunity to say that to yourself and to others. You may be walking or driving past a new hospital, or a new school and you can feel satisfied and proud that you helped to get the RSJs just right, or that you poured the concrete that the kids are now running around on.

As part of the construction industry, you’re the backbone of a strong economy

A country’s strength is closely allied to its construction industry. If there are lots of construction projects going on, there’s lots of new jobs being created, bringing new funds, new faces and new life into communities. This is without mentioning the long-term benefits of the new infrastructure.

You can make as much progress within the industry as you like

You’ll start off at the bottom, it’s true, but construction is an egalitarian kind of industry, especially if you work for a more progressive company like Lagan Construction Group. You’ll be able to work your way up the ranks, learning new skills and areas of expertise every day, from people who have been working in the job for decades.

You see immediate results

Construction is a very physical job (you already knew that, of course) and so you see the results of your labour every day. There’s no waiting for experiment results to come back, no big data to have to interpret – just making things happen and watching your team members doing the same!

Every day is different

OK, there’ll be the occasional boring day, but that just makes the non-boring ones even better. Each new site, each new project, brings something different to the table.

You’ll be able to work with a solid, cohesive team

Working together to build something and to solve problems is one of humanity’s biggest bonding experiences. You’ll learn people-skills and also make friends for life. The construction industry is known for its close networks as teams and companies often collaborate over the years and get to know one another. You’ll also bond strongly with the members of your own team; even though some of them might drive you mad, you know they’re great at their job and that you can rely on them.

All these great benefits and you get a decent pay packet, too

You’ll rarely be out of work if you go into construction and many companies offer generous overtime and bonus schemes to go alongside your basic salary.



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How to Ensure Your Real Estate Investment Has Positive Cash Flow

Copyright: dolgachov / 123RF Stock Photo
Copyright: dolgachov / 123RF Stock Photo

The holy grail of real estate investing, acquiring properties you can rent for more than it costs to own and operate them should always be your goal. Like any other business, to be successful, you must be profitable. Fortunately, there are some key strategies you can employ to ensure your real estate investment has positive cash flow.

The first thing you need to do is find an area with the potential for growth with which you are familiar—or can become familiar. Most investors start out buying near where they live. However, if you’re located in a mature (read very expensive) market such as San Francisco or Manhattan, you’ll likely be better off targeting a newer, more suburban area.

However, rather than going in blindly, spend some time getting to know the region. You want to get a solid understanding of the types of people who are attracted to a given neighborhood, what it costs to maintain properties there, and most importantly, how much rent you can charge and still be competitive.

Once you’ve studied the locale, it will be easier for you to recognize solid opportunities when you run across them. This is where working with a residential property management company like Onerent can also be beneficial to your enterprise. The best ones know the areas they serve and can make solid recommendations based upon your preferences.

When purchasing, ideally, you’ll want to get into your investments for at least 20 percent less than the location’s median price. You’ll also pay for inspections, appraisals and transfer fees when you purchase, so these should be factored into the purchase price. You can then apply the following equation to get a rough idea of the profit potential of the investment.

(Gross Annual Rent/Purchase Price) x 100 =

If the answer is eight percent or more, you’ll probably be fine. Anything over 10 percent is pretty much a slam-dunk. A number below eight percent is likely to be problematic. Keep in mind; this assumes you have your costs in line so they don’t eat into that eight to 10 percent margin. So before you get excited about it, take some time to calculate the expenses you’ll need to cover.

One of the most important costs is the typical vacancy rate for the area in which the property is located. Your local realtor board can usually supply this information.  Whatever the percentage works out to be, you’d be smart to hold a commensurate amount of the property’s annual income in reserve to cover it. Property taxes should also be included in your operating costs.

Repairs, maintenance and turnover costs usually come in at around five percent of the annual income, so you should set aside cash for those as well. While repair costs won’t come up all the time—if you’ve identified a sound property—it’s better to have the cash in reserve than it is to scramble to find the funds when an emergency arises.

Looking at all of these numbers, you’ve by now realized only a small percentage of the properties you’ll encounter will qualify as guaranteed profit-making propositions. This is why it’s so important to go in with your eyes open to ensure your real estate investment has positive cash flow.

Basing your decisions on solid math, rather than speculation — or worse, an emotional response — will help you keep your choices grounded in reality. While it’s very easy to fall in love with a pretty property, it’s important to remember beauty is only skin-deep. Negative cash flow cuts to the bone.



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20 Practical Tips for Choosing a Great Domain Name for Your Brand

Domain Name

When it comes to selecting a domain name for your brand, there are a lot of factors to take into consideration. Domain names should be short, relevant to your business, easy to remember and easy to pronounce. If clients can’t find your website easily and recommend it by word of mouth, you are lacking something. This piece takes a look at 20 important domain name tips.

..But first, where can you buy a domain name?

A quick search online would present you with numerous options for registering your company’s domain. You can choose any of the numerous registrars and work with them. Depending on the kind of domain you are seeking to buy, you can expect to spend as little as $10 on a name and as high as 6-digit sums for premium names. If you already have a chosen hosting provider, you should consider getting a domain from them, since many of them offer free domains when you purchase hosting, and it can help to keep domain name and hosting in the same place.

Now to choose your domain name

1 Choose a brandable name

This is why experts advise you to brainstorm domains as well, when choosing your company name. A brand name that is accompanied by the same domain name is beneficial. You only need to look at the biggest brands and their domains, and how they dominate the search engines to understand this point. It’s easy for Coca Cola, Amazon or Apple customers to find the business online because the brand name is the domain name.

2 The .com extension should be high on your list

…But don’t get fixated on it. There have been many arguments on why the .com extension is the king of domains and why you must get one. There is some backing to those arguments as many web users are still addicted to expecting a .com ending for a website following years of dominance by the extension. However, the landscape has changed a lot in the last few years. New generic Top Level Domains have been introduced, with more in the pipeline. Users are slowly acclimatising to the fact that businesses can use other extensions. However, if the .com extension is available for your chosen name, go for it.

3 Ensure ease of typing

The short attention span of the typical web user is well documented. They would rather not visit your company website if they have to copy and paste the address from somewhere else or they have to struggle to remember it. Keep things easy and straightforward.

4 Consider keywords

What is your business about? You should consider using keywords in your niche. This is even more important where you are unable to secure a brand domain name.

5 Choose a pronounceable name

If the name can’t be pronounced, you would not be able to take advantage of word of mouth advertising. Seek the opinion of several external parties to be certain that the domain name can be pronounced.

6 Beware of trademark infringements

If your chosen domain name would be seen as a clear infringement on an existing trademark, you could be courting lawsuits. This is why you should consider legal advice during the process of choosing the company’s domain name. If the domain sounds similar to the name of another company, avoid it.

7 Short and Memorable Wins

Can the name be remembered after a glance? Some of the best domain names are short and memorable. Examples include: Hubspot, Facebook, Twitter, Behance, MOZ, Alexa and more. Notice something about them? They are mostly one or two syllable names.

8 Avoid numbers and hyphens

…And all special characters. They are a drag. Most people would not remember them and those who attempt, could make mistakes that would either lead them to your competitor or to a parked domain.

9 Choose a name for the long haul

You need to carefully complete the selection process as changing your mind years down the line can be debilitating, when the name has built some traction with your audience and the search engines.

10 Confirm social media availability

As a brand, you’ll need to use the same name across your social media channels. Check the availability of the name for the brand’s social media platforms.

11 The right domain name extension is vital

There is no reason to limit your brand with a country specific domain if your brand has a global reach- it sends the wrong signals.

12 Research

If you have read to this point, you’ll understand that the brand name decision is not one you can make lightly. Spend time on research. Which brings us to the next point.

13 Use a Domain Name Generator

There are many of them online. Feed the generator keywords and they can generate good domain names that can also double as your brand name.

14 Avoid personal domains

Even if your brand is a small home based business, avoid using your name as the domain. Apart from the negative impact on marketing and credibility, using a personalised domain is risky because it can be a pain when the brand grows bigger than you expected.

15 Feel Free to Modify

If you find that your brand name is unavailable, you can drop a letter or two or drop vowels to come up with a modified version of the name. Consider swapping letters like using KS for X using Z for S.

16 Stay Unique

Remember, your brand name should be unique. Originality creates a positive impression and also ensures that you won’t infringe on any trademarks.

17 Register other variants of your domain name including country specific domains

When you buy other versions of your brand name, you can avoid cybersquatting cases in the future. You can also redirect the additional domains to make sure you are not losing traffic to “wrong spelling squatters”.

18 Consider the new premium domain extensions

If your chosen domain name for your brand is Xyzcars.com, check to see if you can register xyz.cars. New premium domains have opened up a lot of opportunities with their memorable and keyword rich nature.

19 Avoid trends

Are you considering to make a trendy addition for your domains? Find a name that would stand the test of time instead. Using trendy abbreviations of buzzwords should be avoided.

20 Avoid a naming disaster

Do a quick search online for funny domains and you would find many examples of domain name choices that have gone wrong. If people laugh out loud on hearing your chosen domain, it’s not good for your brand. Similarly, avoid using words that have other meanings in other locations.

Choosing a brand domain name is an arduous task and for good reasons. The name is the foundation of what could to become an empire. Put in all the work with these tips in mind. For more information on domain names and hosting see Freeparking.co.nz



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3 Time-Saving Software Innovations for Your Construction Company

Admin tasks are like weeds – you get rid one only to find another three have sprung up.

Whether it’s finalising quotes for prospective customers, filling in paperwork or catching up with an overflowing inbox, there’s no shortage of pesky little jobs to keep you busy.

If you’re not careful, you’ll soon find you have to practically chain yourself to your desk for the entire week just to get halfway through them all.

It’s bad news when you run a construction company.

Instead of getting out there to visit sites you’re stuck at base camp, working in your home office and relying on phone calls to stay up-to-date with your team’s latest triumphs and difficulties.

To free yourself from your paperwork prison, you need to figure out how to cut your admin time down – and we’ve got just the answer for you.

Here’s our pick of three of the best software innovations that’ll boost your efficiency and help you get back on site.

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Copyright: kzenon / 123RF Stock Photo

#1: Inspection software

As the person in charge, it’s your responsibility to ensure all equipment and projects are in line with safety regulations.

Failing to do so not only puts your employees at risk but also your business – should your standards slip, you could face a major fine or even a closure.

Inspection software from Motion Software is used in lots of industries, including construction, to keep comprehensive safety records. By quickly collecting data it reduces the time between inspection and final report, helping you effortlessly build evidence of compliance.

#2: HR software

Whether you run a construction company or a retail shop, looking after your employees is one of the biggest admin responsibilities you’ll have to deal with.

If you don’t have proper procedures in place to handle payroll, expenses and scheduling, you’ll soon find it takes up all of your spare time.

HR software from the likes of MHR can help you take care of the odd and ends associated with workforce management, keeping you in line with regulations regarding employee rights and keeping your staff happy.

#3: Building Information Modelling (BIM)

OK, BIM may be a little pricey but we still think it deserves mentioning, mostly because alongside streamlining your processes it could also help you win bigger clients – and the sizeable paycheques that come with them.

Data-based 3D models of projects can reduce mistakes (and the time and resources they waste) and improve productivity, all by making collaboration between team members much simpler.

Autodesk BIM software could revolutionise the way your company operates so, even if it’s not a realistic option right now, it’s worth keeping an eye on developments and prices over the next few years.

Have you got any other time-saving tips for business owners struggling to stay on top of admin? Leave a comment and let us know.



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Five Simple Ways to Make an Online Store Stand Out

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Some months ago, a colleague of mine ordered a pair of shoes from an online store. When they unpacked the parcel during lunchtime, there was a leaflet in it with pictures of three friendly looking men working in the shipping department of that online shop. With a marker, there was a cross below one of them, indicating that Toby was the person who packed the parcel. Did I need to know that? No, not really, but it did turn the anonymous online store into a likable business run by real people.



This is just one example of how online stores can make themselves unique. The competition is tough, so it is definitely a good idea to focus on what makes you distinctive and unique. Let’s be honest, often online shoppers do not care much if they buy a product in the web shop “Fashion Empire” or from their competitor “Empire Fashion”. These customers go with the shop who is offering the right product for the right price in the right delivery time.

If your shop offers a unique experience, you can become the unicorn in a herd of horses. Your customers are more likely to remember you and increase the chances of them buying again. In the best case, the buyer will talk to their friends about your online shop and how it made them feel.

Uniqueness can be achieved in different ways – some smaller, some larger in scale. You should always keep in mind though, that with all such retail efforts you should stay within the boundaries of logical convention.

A great shop design

When creating an online store, the first thing that comes to mind is design. How your shop looks is the first thing your visitors will notice. Creating uniqueness doesn’t mean you need to go overboard and design something radically new. It is important to stick to the fundaments of web design and usability, like the design and typography. Additionally, colors also play a big role when online shopping and are useful for setting a specific mood.

Ensure your shop software allows for freedom of fonts to choose from and colors that can be easily changed in the administration area of your shop. Nowadays, the layout and details of shop themes offer great opportunities to create a unique design for your store.

Be effective with photos

The images in your shop are another huge aspect of how customers will perceive your store. Besides making sure that the image quality is always high, exercise freedom to create something unique using pictures. Why not show off your shop’s categories on the start page with beautiful pictures, and present yourself and your team on the “About us” page? A bold background image that fills the whole screen is an interesting way to use pictures to stand out from other stores.

Unique content and copy

The catch phrase “content is king” may well be over-used, but there is truth in it. The wording on your website is a quick and easy way to communicate what makes your shop unique. Whatever voice you come up with, it should be consistent throughout. It can be confusing for the customer to read a funny, pun-filled start page and then read a boring, authoritative FAQ page or blog post. Keep in mind the wording should be optimized for search engines, you should be current on the right keywords and conventions of SEO practices.

Show who you are

If you run a small shop, creating a personal connection to your customers can be a big advantage over big players like Amazon. Some merchants go so far as to put a picture of themselves in the sidebar of their store, so it is visible on every subpage.

You can also optimize your “about us” page. This part of your shop is the perfect place to explain to the customer what differentiates you from all of the other online shops out there. Show pictures of your staff and office, tell the story behind your shop and explain why you are the best person for selling these products.

Small supportive elements

Use small elements that show the customer a high level of care for them and attention to detail. One idea is to hide a so-called “Easter egg” within your store. This can be a hidden message, an inside joke, which is not so obvious but can be found by attentive customers.

Finally, yet importantly, you can also take care of the offline details of your shop. Why not put a small, inexpensive gift into each package or use branded parcels showing your logo? As you can see, there are plenty of possibilities to stand out from the crowd.

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How to Convert HTML to PDF

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HTML and CSS are two of the most basic programming languages that are used today mostly in the world of web development. Both languages are independent of each other but they work together to create website pages, and describe how they interact with the user.



Even though these languages are very old they are still very common as they are used in writing code for most static web pages. Web pages are basically nothing else but a simple text document which contains information about the design and functionality of the page. If you haven’t ever seen one, check out the image below to get a closer look at a sample of a YouTube page:

HTML 1

As you can see from the image, to someone who isn’t familiar with programming and website development, it basically looks like gibberish. However, for the few of us that have encountered these types of files it is nothing new. In fact, we are so used to seeing them not only in text, but other formats as well.

Earlier we mentioned that web pages are basically a text file with a bunch of written commands and content. It is very important that none of those commands and no content gets lost, damaged or otherwise misplaced, and when you send files via internet or try manipulating it otherwise, that is just what might happen to HTML and CSS files.

Due to their simple nature, HTML and CSS files have little to no formatting. This is exactly why you must take care how you transport and manipulate these files, otherwise you might end up having just a messy text file online instead of a beautiful website.

One of the best and most safest ways to send your files is by converting them to PDF. Why? Well, Portable Document Format, or PDF, is built for sending files and safekeeping content and other types of files you need long term. Here’s a couple fun facts about why PDFs are the best format to send files in:

  • PDF files can be password locked
  • Content can not be deleted once it is inside the file
  • They are easily convertible and by far one of the easiest formats to manipulate
  • They are “read-only” and also designed to work on all platforms

So, what happens when you are on the road, your clients are demanding and sending you files to be reviewed and rewritten, or you need to do some quick changes to your file before sending it back to your development team? Or you have to do a quick email exchange and take a closer look at the file but you don’t have your laptop at hand? One handy app that might help you is PDF Converter Ultimate, a mobile converter that has instant free Text to PDF conversion.

HTML 2

The app works via a dedicated online server which converts all files in under a minute or two, no matter how big they are. The app has a very simple user interface so it really shouldn’t take you too long to figure it out if you are tech savvy. Basically what you need to do is open the app and tap on one of the offered cloud services such as Dropbox, Gmail, Google Drive and others, and select which file you want converted. Once you select it, the file is sent to the server for conversion and downloaded back to your device once the process is complete. The newly converted file will be in .txt or .pdf format, depending on which way you want the process to go.

All the integrated cloud services are available in the free version
All the integrated cloud services are available in the free version

The app offers another 5 different types of conversion that cover most of the standard MS Office documents. Aside from text files, you can convert PDFs to Word, Excel, Image, PowerPoint and even AutoCAD files.

As we have previously said, this app can convert both ways (PDF to Text, and Text to PDF), which means that you can quickly close the loop when it comes to managing your files, receiving and sending them out via email.

If you are a developer and you’ve had some experience with this type of problems feel free to try out PDF Converter Ultimate which is available on both iOS and Android.

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Get Paid! Leslie’s Lane Blogger and Author Unearths Popular Work-From-Home Sites

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Whether I’m speaking publicly, having an intimate conversation with others, or writing a post for my blog, without fail, I often get this question: “How can I become my own boss and work from home?” Although individuals pose the question and have the desire to do so, it appears they feel such a brazen thought is unattainable for them. Since the concept is so foreign and alien, they don’t entertain that notion for too long. They continue to work in inflexible jobs.



But there’s great news! Of course you can be your own boss! Of course you can work from home! I have written about this topic and shared precisely how you can do so in articles for international publications, Leslie’s Lane blog postings and in my new book entitled: Leslie’s Lane The Book! Your One Stop Internet Resource Guide to Links for Jobs, Inspiration, Discounts, FREE Stuff, Scholarships, Travel and More! (Amazon $14.95). So you’re searching for full-time, part-time, one-time, seasonal or supplemental income? No worries! Check out a few of my favorite sites that allow you to get paid as you work from home!

1. Rat Race Rebellionhttp://ratracerebellion.com/ – Subscribe to their website and get extra cash for work-from-home jobs that are updated daily. Founded in 1999, the site offers virtual work such as data entry, customer service, pay for watching movie previews, survey takers, adjunct professors, teachers, researchers, writers and numerous others unique and exciting opportunities

2. Clark Howardhttp://www.clark.com/work-home-guide – Okay! Clark Howard is my hero! I’ve interviewed him a few times for my publications. He really does his research and consumers can trust what he says. While viewing his site, you’ll see gigs from international companies such as Amazon, Google, About.com, Hilton Worldwide and Xerox.  But at the same time, explore and grow with new companies on the horizon such as Cashcrate.com, eJury.com, Foap.com, Zintro.com and Elance.com.

3. Mystery Shoppers, Inc. – http://www.mystery-shoppers.com/ – Oh yes! I love this! You get paid to call doctors’ offices to gather info and apartment rental offices to pose as a tenant. Get paid to do some online shopping at stores too. An added bonus is that you earn cash for doing what you already want to or have to do outside of the home! You have to go to the bank, get fuel from the gas station and go to the grocery store. You would like to go to nice restaurants for dinner, take the pet to the vet and spend time at luxury hotels! If you become a mystery shopper, you can enjoy all these perks!

Leslie's Lane The Book Hi Res Image Cover (1)

The post Get Paid! Leslie’s Lane Blogger and Author Unearths Popular Work-From-Home Sites appeared first on Home Business Magazine.

Source: Business feed

How to Build an Online Business from Your Own Expertise

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Let’s do away with the fluff: there are two elements that will make it easier and faster to create your own online business:

1. When you already have a core skill that your business can be built around. If you can base a business on a skill or talent you already possess, you won’t need to “learn the trade” of something new, which delays business building.



2. When you already know your target audience. Without marketing, any business will fail, and online marketing initiatives have to be based on a particular set of people: the target audience. When you have an intimate understanding of those you wish to serve, you’ll save hours of research time.

So although you have plenty of money-making options to choose from (seriously, there are thousands of ways to make money on the Internet), when you base your choice on these two pre-existing elements – using a talent you already have plus having an intimate understanding of your target audience – your business is likely to succeed faster.

What now? The first step to take is to create a talent inventory:

Step number 1: create a talent inventory

Take some time to scribble on a piece of paper, what skills you possess. It’s honestly not as easy as it sounds, because you’re likely to leave some off because you’ve forgotten them. A suggestion is to list your talents under each “area” of your life, like this:

  • Hobbies
  • Career
  • What people keep saying you’re good at
  • Knowledge you have that other people don’t have

Once you’ve come up with a list, consider ways you could generate profit from it. For example, if people often come to you for a good old chat in the office, you may be a good listener. If so, you could make money by teaching others how to listen better.

Step number 2: decide on your desired target audience

If you can hit on a talent that ties into understanding a particular group of people, you may have a winner. For instance, if you have a skill that involves customer service and you work in the IT industry, you could do customer service consulting for the IT industry.

Identify skills and talents, as well as the target audience you wish to serve (actually, the skill and talent may dictate the target audience, i.e. you won’t be able to choose the target audience if you’ve already chosen to use a certain skill). Using the same example of customer service consulting in the IT industry – the IT industry will be your target audience.

Make sense?

Why do you need to understand your target audience? Because online marketing is all about what your potential buyers see. You need to grab their attention, and to do this, you need to understand what will bring their eyeballs to the place of sale.

Step number 3: Brainstorm online options & tools

Now you’ve accomplished the previous steps, in what way will you facilitate your business? What will be the medium/s to accomplish your goals? What digital tools do you have at your disposal?

If we keep to the same example of customer service consulting for the IT industry, you could either 1) become a freelance remote customer service consultant, or you could 3) teach the IT industry how to provide better customer service, or you could 3) find affiliate products to promote that revolve around customer service in the IT industry.

Let’s dig in a little deeper as to how you would go about each of those 3 options. We’ll continue using the example of customer service consulting in the IT industry:

#1: Freelancing

The freelancing route is a great introductory way to start a service business online because there are freelancing websites that match freelancers to jobs. This is helpful because these sites already have traffic and potential customers already searching for remote help.

The key to getting business from these sites is through the proposals you write, as well as price. You may need to start by offering low rates, becoming pickier as you get more clients.

You can also make people aware of your service by using a tool like WiseIntro; without needing any skills, create a free webpage that displays your service. Simply distribute this page on your social media networks so that you can get more business.

Online Business 1
Create a free webpage on WiseIntro to let people know what you do and how you can help them.

#2: Coaching

You can set up a coaching business at the speed of light by using an online course builder like Kajabi, which offers everything you need to create an online coaching business, as well as to promote it.

Online Business 2
Kajabi is an all-in-one coaching solution.

There are other ways to do it like using membership and LMS plugins on a WordPress website, but since we’re talking about setting up a business as fast as possible, the all-in-one solution would be the way to go.

In order to attract traffic to your coaching website means that you’ll need to invest in content marketing.

Another way to coach your target audience is by using a webinar service such as ClickMeeting; people attend your coaching session via webinar, by paying the amount you set.

#3: Affiliate marketing

Affiliate marketing is promoting other people’s products for a commission. For a successful affiliate marketing business, you’ll need a website with a solid content marketing strategy, and your goal is not just to sell, but as with all online marketing, to build your email marketing list.

Because of this, affiliate marketing can be quite complex for the beginner, and a tad technical, as you need to promote unique links in order to get paid.

If you want to set up an affiliate marketing business pronto, you will need existing know-how, or alternatively, take some online lessons.

Basic steps to set up an affiliate marketing business:

1. Base the selection of products you wish to promote, on a target audience you already know well. This will save you time. Decide on whether you want to promote digital or physical products that require shipping. Note: you won’t be responsible for shipping; the merchant takes care of that.

2. Decide which affiliate marketplace to use. You may want to start with Clickbank, a marketplace for digital products, or Amazon where you can promote physical goods. You will need to take the time to learn how to use the marketplace effectively as an affiliate. When starting out, select one product and focus on that one. It will save you time if you have knowledge about the product and it’s benefits already instead of needing to learn about them before marketing them.

3. Now devise a promotional strategy based on providing value to your target audience.

4. To attract customers, you’ll need a website. Add links in your content that will direct traffic to a sign-up page so you can collect their email address.

5. Build an email marketing plan to generate and close more leads as well as to engage with previous clients.

Summary

The focus of this article has been to build an online business as fast as possible. To do so, you need to base your business on a talent you already have and not one that you would still need to learn, and you’ll save a substantial amount of time if you already know your target audience.

The steps to implementing a plan based on using two pre-existing elements, are:

1. List your talents, skills and things you enjoy doing in your spare time.

2. Think of a group of people you know well and see if you can combine it with your talents.

3. Consider online business options and helpful platforms that may speed up the process.

Some ideas you could choose from:

  • Freelancing
  • Coaching
  • Affiliate marketing

The post How to Build an Online Business from Your Own Expertise appeared first on Home Business Magazine.

Source: Business feed

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