Author Archives: Connie Ragen Green

How to Become Focused as an Entrepreneur

How to Become FocusedWhy is being focused so important in today’s world? What results happen when you learn how to become focused? Does being focused make you less stressed? Happier? If it’s so important, why don’t people focus more?

When you understand  how to become focused on one thing for a certain period of time this allows you to do a better quality of work, more work gets done quicker, and your creative ideas flow easier. Being focused on one task at a time is less stressful on your mind. And being less stressed allows you be happier.

It’s difficult for people to remain focused on one task for a variety of reasons. For one, we live in a world where we are constantly bombarded with TV, radio, cell phones, Internet social media, as well as a much larger population that lives closer together than ever before.

It’s difficult to get completely away from all these distractions. One way is to go to a room where you can shut your door and turn off your phone and email notifications.

  • When you focus on a single task, avoiding distractions, your brain becomes focused on that task alone. This lets you complete that task much more quickly than if you are trying to complete two or more tasks at once. For instance, let’s say you need to write a blog post, do your bookkeeping for the week and research information for an upcoming speech. The best thing to do is to set aside all but one task. So, for this example, you want to give all your attention writing your blog post. That means turning off the TV, cell phones, social media pings, closing your door and putting all your attention on writing.
  • By giving all your attention to the task without distraction, you can get it done much more quickly and with fewer mistakes. Your work will be higher quality as well. Another benefit to learning how to become focused is that your creativity will kick in too. You’ll come up with new ideas associated with the task at hand.

This is great if you are someone who creates in some way. This includes traditional creative types like artists, writers, photographers, designers and musicians, as well as online entrepreneurs who create products or services, teachers, researchers, executives, bloggers, and anyone who needs ideas. This means just about everyone can benefit. How to Become Focused

  • Being constantly connected to others and having many distractions that take away your focus can affect your stress levels as well as your productivity. When you aren’t focused, you don’t get as much done as you could if you were truly focused on the task you’re doing.
  • Focusing on one thing for a certain period of time helps you think better. Having your mind scattered over several tasks at once keeps you from thinking about what you are actually doing. You only have time to complete a task quickly before you must move on to the next one. All the while you are trying to remember everything that has to be done. When you focus, you are able to think about only one thing for that period of time.
  • Focusing allows your subconscious to do the work. Think about when you learned to ride a bike or drive a car. It was difficult in the beginning, but when you began focusing on what you were doing, your subconscious took over and helped you learn. The same is true in your everyday tasks. Once you begin focusing solely on one task, your subconscious helps you do them quicker and easier.

It’s important to focus on one task at a time to become more productive, do better quality work and be less stressed. Making the effort to learn how to become focused can help you be more creative and have more happiness.

I’m Connie Ragen Green and I work with new online entrepreneurs to help them get into profit as quickly as possible with information products, affiliate marketing, marketing for small businesses, blogging, authorship, and more. Download your Online Entrepreneur Blueprint and get started right away.

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Joint Ventures Made Simple: Here’s How

Joint Ventures Made SimpleHow to Create Joint Venture Made Simple

One way to take collaboration to the next level is to find JV (joint venture) partners. You’ll find JV partners by meeting colleagues and your competition. A JV partner is a joint venture partnership that can last for a few months to years. It all depends on the goals of the project. I have had successful JVs with many people over the years and they have all been joyous and success, enabling me to say joint ventures made simple is most definitely a worthwhile endeavor.

* Attend Live Events or Host Your Own Live Events – I met almost all of my JV partners at a live event, with the exception of two whom I met through one of the online courses I teach. Being connected in this way will make a huge difference in the level of success you can expect initially and over time.

* Start an Industry Organization – If there isn’t an industry organization yet for your career path, then start one. If there is one, get involved in it so that you can become one of the officers. When you’re in charge of the organization, you can guide everyone to work together for some common goals, which are to boost profit in your industry and ultimately your business.

* Develop a Facebook Group – If you don’t want to go as far as creating an organization, start a Facebook Group only for your niche or industry. Get to know the people within the group that you started, and you’ll soon find people that will make good joint venture partners to work with.

* Build More Relationships – As you meet your competition focus on building strong and trusting relationships with them. Don’t ask them for anything until you’ve built a good rapport with them. You really want to know as much as you can about them so that they end up coming to you for the JV deal unless you already have a partnership opportunity in mind.

* Bundle Your Products or Services – Once you have identified potential JVs, think of how you can bundle products or services to work together to promote what you both offer. Once you’ve worked out the details, then contact them. You want to make it easy for them to participate, almost a “no-brainer”. If it’s too much work, they probably will say no.

* Share Resources – When you put together a joint venture, you’re just sharing resources; you’re not merging your companies together. So, look at the resources you can offer and what they can offer too. You want to work with someone who has complementary resources to yours so that you both have something to offer.

* Learn from Your Competition – When you enter JV with a competitor, take the opportunity to learn from them. The more you can learn that works well and take with you to your company, the better. Remember, they’re going to be doing the exact same thing with you. You are still competitors, even though joint ventures made simple is your goal.

* Create Additional Value – When you collaborate with your competition, you can create more value for your mutual customers. Think of the show “Shark Tank”. Although each shark is a competitor, they work together sometimes. That’s because they each bring their own individual strengths to each project. Together they create additional value for the business owner asking for venture money.

* Keep Proprietary Information to Yourself – Ensure that everyone on your team knows what information is important to keep away from your competition, including joint venture partners. It’s important that everyone is on the same page regarding that, so that nothing happens to ruin the JV partnership.

Your competition is a great source of new ideas, energy, resources, and customers. You may as well join them and work together for the greater good of your audience. The goal is for you to embrace the idea of joint ventures made simple for your online business.

I’m Connie Ragen Green and I work with new online entrepreneurs to help them get into profit as quickly as possible with information products, affiliate marketing, marketing for small businesses, blogging, authorship, and more. Download your Online Entrepreneur Blueprint and get started right away.

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Leadership Through RYLA: Rotary Makes a Difference

District 5240 RYLA - RotaryI have just returned from RYLA, which is the Rotary Youth Leadership Awards. This is a camp for high school students around the country where they are immersed in the concepts around leadership over four full days. This is an annual event held locally by Rotary District 5240 at a camp deep in the Los Padres National Forest and hosted by Rotarians, business owners, and thought leaders. This year we once again had two hundred forty teenagers who were taught and encouraged to develop and hone their leadership skills through a series of trainings, workshops, and activities.

I’ve been a part of RYLA for eight of the past eleven years. Even though the event leaves me physically, emotionally, and mentally exhausted each year I wouldn’t trade the experience for anything in the world. I always return with renewed hope in our future leaders and with new ideas and insights as to how leadership fits in to everything we do in our personal and business lives.

District 5240 RYLA Goal Setting - RotaryPersonally, I enjoy sharing my expertise in the area of goal setting and achieving with the group of teens I work closely with over the four days. Many of them stay in contact with me over the years and have told me this was what they have used the most since leaving camp. One young man is now in his sophomore year at an Ivy League university and continues to use the goal setting techniques I taught him three years ago.

It is my belief that we are all leaders. It’s worthwhile to develop and hone your skills in this area to be more effective in all areas of your personal life and business. Leadership can mean the difference between success and failure. Leadership is inclusive. Leadership is beneficial to all concerned, one of the pieces of Rotary’s “4-Way Test”.

The components of leadership include team building, ethics, character, attitude, integrity, commitment, goal setting, communication, vision, courage, diversity, and execution. These are all areas where we have the opportunity to take the lead and change the world. How can you incorporate these concepts into what you do District 5240 RYLA - Rotaryeach day?

In my online business I host a virtual team meeting at least once each month. Everyone has a voice and will be heard, and I am the leader. Because my business is predominantly online, everything I write, say, and do may be visible to the world in a variety of ways. Long ago I made the conscious decision that I would hold everything I think, say, and do to the highest standards of integrity. This serves you well over a lifetime, as I have learned.

Include your family and business team members (these could be partners, employees, or independent contractors) in monthly or quarterly goal setting sessions. Goals must be written down and reviewed regularly to truly be effective. Discuss ethics, character, attitude, commitment, and integrity in a manner that draws out even the most introverted team member. Stress the importance of the Vision and Mission of your life and business regularly. Encourage honest and open communication so that relationships are strengthened over time and diversity is welcomed. And share the value of having the courage to execute your goals every day.

District 5240 RYLA - RotaryThis past weekend I witnessed life changing moments for hundreds of students and adults alike. Within this conglomeration of people from throughout the central regions of California a community or tribe was established. It encompassed diversity of background, thought, experiences, and opinion and culminated in a mutual respect and friendship that will carry through for lifetimes. Those who assumed they would be judged discovered that their uniqueness was a treasure to be uncovered by the rest of us.

Creating this type of safe haven for your family members and business associates may result in greater results than you could ever have imagined. And if you have the opportunity to be a part of the Rotary RYLA program in your area, step up and be a leader for the group.

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Small Business Branding for Online Entrepreneurs

Small Business BrandingWhen It Comes to Small Business Branding, You Are Your Brand

Here’s secret successful marketers know and where small business branding comes into play: customers don’t buy a product. They buy you.

Your personality. Your experience. The unique qualities only you possess.

There was a time when “branding” meant a corporate-looking logo and a slick catalog, but in today’s online marketplace, the real value is not in appearing to be a big company, but rather in just being you. And your personality shines through in a variety of ways.

I was at a conference recently where some of the top experts in the field of small business branding were teaching us how to effectively brand what we do online. Here are some tips they shared that you may find useful:

Your Authentic Voice

How you speak and write and even how you act on camera or in an audio interview has the power to instantly identify you to your audience. You can see this in action if you scroll through your Facebook feed. It’s easy to know who has posted a particular image or status update, just by recognizing the voice with which they generally speak. This is crucial to small business branding.

Here’s an even more important aspect of your “voice” though: it has the power to attract a specific audience. In recent years, a few high profile coaches and product sellers have become celebrities of a sort, largely because of their harsh, “don’t hold back” language. Ash Ambirge over at The Middle Finger Project makes no apologies for her use of offensive words, and her fans love her for it. And those that don’t? Well, as she says right on her home page, her site and services are “not for humorless bores.”

Snarkiness and foul language is not the only way to go, though. Carrie Wilkerson has built her brand almost entirely on her ability to be kind and generous. She always has a nice word, never appears defeated or overwhelmed, and is an inspiration to her fans and clients.

While very different in their approach, these two women have one thing in common: authenticity. It’s clear that if you were to meet either of them in person, they would speak and act exactly as they do online. And their brands are stronger for it.

Your Story and Small Business Branding

How did you get to where you are today? The backstory – which to you might seem boring and uneventful – is a powerful tool that can help solidify your brand and attract just the right audience.

Melissa Ingold tells of being a struggling single mother, and of creating an online business rather than simply choosing to work one dead-end job after another. Her success is an inspiration to her audience, and is a huge part of her branding.

Kelly McCausey speaks often of how she got started online when she was looking for a way to earn just a few extra dollars every month to keep the lights on. Creating graphics at $5 each quickly turned into a full-time online career.

Gary Vaynerchuk is an example of someone whose personal brand somehow became a little bigger than life. He says”…

“For those that don’t know me, in my earlier days as a budding businessman and entrepreneur, I took my passion for wine and turned that into one of the biggest shows and channels on YouTube. That show landed me appearances on The Conan O’Brien Show, Ellen, CNN, etc. while amassing a social following of millions and establishing me as a “guru” (I’m not a guru) of sorts in the Social Media, Marketing, and Personal Branding worlds. From there, I became an early investor in platforms like Twitter, Tumblr, and Facebook and co-founded VaynerMedia, which is now a 600 person digital agency that represents the social presence of brands like Pepsi-Co, General Electric, and Anheuser-Busch InBev.”

And my story includes details of how I worked for twenty years as a classroom teacher while simultaneously working in real estate. After multiple bouts with cancer and a serious work injury I was ready to change my life completely and became an online entrepreneur.

Your story doesn’t have to be dramatic, and you certainly don’t have to share more than you’re comfortable with, but it does have to be yours. Be your true self, and you’ll never have to worry about attracting the right audience. They will self-select, and your perfect client will find you.

I’m Connie Ragen Green and I work with new online entrepreneurs to help them get into profit as quickly as possible with information products, affiliate marketing, marketing for small businesses, blogging, authorship, and more. Download your Online Entrepreneur Blueprint and get started right away.

 

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SEO Made Simple

SEO Made SimpleSEO Made Simple: How to Create Engaging Experiences for Users

The fact is that user engagement and user experiences affect search engine optimization too. One way to make users stick to your site longer is to make your website simple to use, easy to get around on, and understandable. Plus, you need to offer engaging experiences for your users. Your website design plays an important role in this regard. Here are some tips for what I refer to as SEO made simple.

* Design for the User – You know that you need to design for your ideal customer, but it’s also important to design for the users. Users aren’t always clients. If your users are confused, they’ll click away and you’ll miss out on user engagement. This happened to me when I was first online.

* Study Your Audience – Always keep studying your audience. Those are the people who have visited your website, participated in your groups, purchased your products, and have an interest in your industry. The only way you can get close to a design that is pleasing to your audience and users is to understand who they are and what they are expecting and prefer.

* Develop User Group Types – Since all the people who come to your website aren’t customers but rather are users (users of your website), it’s important to create groups of the type of users that will come to your site so that you can offer the right content to them based on what they’re doing on your website.

* Make It Simple – When you are designing your site, don’t look at it from your vantage point; look at it from your least computer-savvy user’s eyes. Does that slider on your site make it apparent it’s a slider? Does that button show up good enough with the right instructions to click it to affect some sort of action? My SEO made simple is based on this.

* Label Clearly – Use simple, to-the-point text on all links. You want it to be very clear what happens when your users click on any button. User engagement will increase when you help them know exactly how to work things on your site. Clear language about what they should do needs to be a priority.

* Include CTAs – Calls to action are so important on a website. If you want your users to answer a poll, you need to ask them to do it and give them instructions so that they know what will happen and how to conduct the survey. If you want them to sign up for your newsletter, you should explain why you want them to do it and what’s in it for them.

* Make It Work Everywhere – Today, most users access the internet via tablets or mobile devices. When you design any type of website and user interaction features, they should work just as well on mobile devices as they do on a PC.

* Get Feedback – Ask your users what they think about your website design via a pop-up or pop-under short questionnaire. This is the best way to know whether the design you’re working on is working for them. Your website design is always in a state of flux and will continue to change with technology, so getting their feedback will help inform future updates and changes.

Finally, provide open comments on blog posts and articles, and make it easy for them to contact you. If you want engagement from users, focus on offering an engaging website that asks for interaction and engagement.

I’m Connie Ragen Green and I work with new online entrepreneurs to help them get into profit as quickly as possible with information products, affiliate marketing, marketing for small businesses, blogging, authorship, and more. Download your Online Entrepreneur Blueprint and get started right away.

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Segmenting Your List to Keep It Fresh

Segmenting Your ListWhy Segmenting Your List is So Important

Segmenting your list is something you do not hear much about, so I will explain what it means. When someone joins your list they have either opted in to a free offer you have set up or they have made a purchase of one of your products or courses. There are other scenarios also possible but in the interest of simplicity we will just discuss these two as examples.

The concept is that they are only interested in receiving emails from you regarding the offer they joined or purchased and do not want to hear about other aspects and parts of your business. There are exceptions to this rule, but for the most part this is how it works.

Different autoresponder services are set up to handle this in a variety of ways, but the easiest way is to set it up to remove someone from one or more lists when they opt in or join another part of what you are offering. Are you confused yet? You needn’t be as there are more simple ways to handle these different scenarios.

Imagine that someone joined your list in 2016. They were extremely interested in what you had to offer and over time they made purchases from you and through your affiliate link. Over time their interest wanes, and by 2017 they may have gone down a different path for their business. Then you send out a broadcast email to offer them a new free giveaway on one aspect of your business and they must choose whether or not to continue learning from you. This is a crucial moment in your relationship.

If they do nothing, you will know that their interest has subsided. If they choose to opt in to your new offer you will know they are still very interested. They have segmented themselves from the crowd with this action. Now you know that this new list you have created is fresher and more relevant to your business. These are the people who are your best prospects for what you have to offer right now.

Sometimes I make a new offer available over and over to an existing list through a p.s. at the end of my broadcasts. I also make this same offer at the end of my blog posts to find out who is reading them. Social media is also a place to offer people your latest free giveaway.

Keep the idea of segmenting your list regularly as simple a process as possible. Creating new free giveaways needs to be a part of your business strategy and the fact that it helps you to segment your list is a bonus. The most important takeaway from this is that you must continue to create irresistible reports and other content to keep your prospects and clients happy.

I’m Connie Ragen Green and I work with new online entrepreneurs to help them get into profit as quickly as possible with information products, affiliate marketing, marketing for small businesses, blogging, authorship, and more. Download your Online Entrepreneur Blueprint and get started right away.

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Cross Promotion to Build Your List

Cross PromotionAre You Building Your List with Cross Promotion?

Online marketing is similar to the offline, brick and mortar world in that it is a relationship business first and foremost. What I mean by this is that you can grow your online business much more quickly if you are willing to take the time and make the effort to connect with others who do something similar or complimentary to what you have to offer on the internet. This can lead to the opportunity for cross promotion to each other’s lists and communities which will grow both people’s businesses exponentially in a very short time. Expanding your reach in this way is valuable for years to come.

This cross promotion can begin in any of a number of ways, such as with guest posts on the other person’s blog, promotion of each other’s products through an affiliate link, co-hosting a webinar or teleseminar, and including more details of what each of you has to offer within a sequence of emails. Start slowly and build your relationship through this cross promotion strategy.

When I first introduce someone to my list and my community I like to do what I refer to as “seeding” my audience. This means that I will name drop the other person’s name in regards to how we met and what we have in common. The idea is to make sure your community is familiar with the other person well before you do any promotion at all. Once you do promote, even if it is for something that is free, your people will be more open to signing up and downloading something that is being offered by a name they recognize. Telling the story of how you are connected will pay off handsomely over time.

Once you do your initial cross promotion, don’t let too much time pass before doing it again. Repetition is important in our noisy world of online marketing so you want to keep the momentum going once it has begun. And using two or more types of media will also be helpful. I can introduce someone through my writing, but allowing my list to hear their voice will make a difference. You may also wish to use video, such as Facebook Live to share your thoughts and knowledge with others.

And be strategic with your cross promotion for best results. Make sure there is a reason to introduce this person to your community. If it’s a part of the story of how you are connected with them it will make sense to them. For example, if I introduce someone who helps authors write and publish books it makes complete sense if this person has been helpful to me with my authorship over the years. Think about and plan this with the other person before you begin and you will see the results you are hoping for more easily. The final result will be additions to both of your lists, more sales and downloads, and a greater reach to those who will benefit from being a part of your community.

I’m Connie Ragen Green and I work with new online entrepreneurs to help them get into profit as quickly as possible with information products, affiliate marketing, marketing for small businesses, blogging, authorship, and more. Download your Online Entrepreneur Blueprint and get started right away.

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Email Marketing Tips for Affiliates and Entrepreneurs

Email Marketing TipsEmail Marketing Tips That Work

Email marketing is an excellent way to let people know who you are and what you have to offer them that will enable them to move closer to the goals they wish to achieve. When I am sending out emails to promote affiliate products I craft them in a way that will enhance the credibility of the product creator, share a story about the product and how it will be helpful, and also explain the bonus I am offering and why it is relevant to what I am promoting. Here are some email marketing tips for affiliates as well as online entrepreneurs.

Recently I took part in an affiliate contest where I was promoting a package that included twenty-five coaching lessons on getting started with internet marketing. It was originally written and created by Sean Mize, who had then sold a package of this and many other products to Dennis Becker and Barb Ling. I know all three of these people quite well and have for many years, so it made perfect sense to me to offer this to my community. I knew it would be confusing to explain, so I set about the process of sharing a little about Sean and how I had already gone through all twenty-five lessons when he first released them a few months earlier.

Over the course of three days I sent five very detailed emails. I decided to come from the perspective of someone wanting to teach internet marketing to others and shared how they could repurpose each of the lessons into their own coaching program. I referred to this as an “earn while you learn” strategy that could serve them very well.

When questions began coming in about this product and how it could be used it became clear to me that my audience wanted and needed training on how to use PLR in their businesses. So my bonus package included a training webinar the following week on exactly that – using PLR to build an online business. This is an example of how the situation dictates what you could offer that would be the most beneficial to those who will be receiving it.

Each day during the three day promotion I shared more information on how this product could solve the problem of not knowing how to get started as an online entrepreneur and the importance and value of being able to offer a coaching program that you owned the rights to. I included examples from some of the lessons and shared even more about how well they were prepared. I could vouch for the quality and validity of this program because I had gone through it myself, so credibility was not to be an issue.

As the sales kept rolling in I became more excited about the bonus webinar training I was going to be delivering the following week. I added more details of that in my final emails and even more people came aboard and purchased. I hope these email marketing tips in relation to affiliate marketing have been helpful.

And yes, I won Dennis and Barb’s affiliate contest!

Be sure to take a look at Affiliate Contest Secrets, a training I created to share with you how I have been able to consistently win affiliate contests since coming online over a decade ago.

I’m Connie Ragen Green and I work with new online entrepreneurs to help them get into profit as quickly as possible with information products, affiliate marketing, marketing for small businesses, blogging, authorship, and more. Download your Online Entrepreneur Blueprint and get started right away.

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5 Reasons To Write a Book: Entrepreneurs, Coaches, Everyone

5 Reasons to Write a Book

Connie’s Books on Amazon

5 Reasons to Write a Book – Yes, You Must Become an Author!

When I decided to share this post, I thought about the 5 reasons to write a book and what that would mean to you. Are you struggling to build an online business or sign more clients? Not sure what to do next in your marketing plan? There’s one simple answer you probably haven’t yet considered:

Write a book.

It’s true. This one thing—especially if it’s an actual printed book rather than a Kindle or eBook—has the power to grow your business beyond your expectations. You’ll experience a whole new world of opportunities simply by having your name on the cover of a book. Here are 5 reasons to write a book:

Authority

Imagine you’re at a workshop or a conference or local networking group and you meet two people who both specialize in business branding—something you know you need help with.

One person says all the right things. She’s been in business for years and worked with some top-notch business owners. She has great ideas for how she can help you solidify your branding.

The other has a similar history and story, with one added bonus: she’s just handed you a copy of her latest book. It’s a professionally printed, substantial publication that practically exudes confidence.

Which person do you think shows more authority in her field? The one with the book, of course. There really is nothing better when it comes to establishing your authority in any niche than having a book with your name on it.

Expertise

So why does a book speak so highly of you and establish your authority so well? Because it gives you a platform to show off your expertise. It’s like being invited to present on any topic you choose on the world’s largest stage.

Not only that, but your readers are a captive audience. They’re listening—in that moment—only to you. That’s a powerful position to be in, and one that gives you an opportunity to really show off your stuff.

Market Reach

No matter how many readers Google sends your way, no matter how much traffic your YouTube channel receives, nothing will ever compare to the number of potential readers Amazon and other online booksellers can bring your way.

Positioned correctly, your book can reach millions of new readers, and thousands of potential clients. Combine that with the expertise and authority we know comes with being a published author, and that’s a recipe for success that can’t be beat.

Better Than a Business Card

If you’ve ever been to a conference, you have no doubt collected a stack of business cards. You get home and toss them in a drawer, and six months later you throw them out, without ever having contacted the people who gave them to you.

But if one of those people handed you a book instead, what happened? You’ve likely read it (or at least leafed through it). You almost certainly didn’t throw it away. And you remember it—and the person who wrote it.

Press Opportunities

Turn on your television to any interview show, browse through Huffington Post or Forbes, or listen to any of a number of popular podcasts, and you’ll quickly see that most of the guest speakers and interviewees have written a book.

The fact is, interview shows depend on interesting, insightful guests to keep their audiences listening, and there’s no better applicant than an author. Writing a book will open up many, many opportunities for appearances that you may never have without your name on that cover.

Do you have to write a book to be successful? No. But there’s no denying the fact that a published author will find she has a much easier time growing her business than the person who keeps putting it off until later.

I certainly hope these 5 reasons to write a book have been helpful to you. I wrote and published my first book in 2010 and am currently finishing my fifteenth. It’s still difficult for me to believe I have written so many bestsellers, and my business would not be where it is today had I not chosen to become a published author.

I’m Connie Ragen Green and I work with new online entrepreneurs to help them get into profit as quickly as possible with information products, affiliate marketing, marketing for small businesses, blogging, authorship, and more. Download your Online Entrepreneur Blueprint and get started right away.

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