Getting Started With A Blog For Your Business

getting started with a blog for your businessGetting started with a blog for your business is a worthwhile use of your time and effort. Choosing a blogging platform is the first step in getting started. I highly recommend that you go with a ‘hosted’ site, rather than one that is on a free platform. The one used by the majority of people working online is

The hosted option eliminates the hassle of finding a host for your blog as the company takes care of that for you.  This option would cost you a monthly or annual fee.  I’ve used both Blue Host and Host Gator to host my WordPress sites, but have now switched over to Liquid Web for all of my blog hosting because of recent changes in service and performance with those larger companies.

What you want to completely avoid is a free blogging platform, such as,, or I compare this to setting up a lemonade stand on the corner as opposed to leasing a space in the mall. You’re setting up a blog for your business, not for a hobby that may go by the wayside in the future. is the other blog platform you should know, which is a standalone option.  If you are already hosting some of your websites with a web host, is ideal for you.  Not only is free for unlimited use, but it is the best-supported blog platform there is.  For ultimate control of your blog, this is as good as it gets.  It is the blog platform of choice of today’s savviest bloggers.

Visit the sites I’ve mentioned above and if you’re going for the hosted option, simply sign-up for an account and you’ll be ready to start blogging immediately. It’s truly a simple process to set up WordPress through your hosting account, and they will be happy to help you to do it quickly and easily.

Choosing a Name for Your Blog

If you already own a website, you understand the significance of choosing a good domain name.  A good domain name not only enhances the branding of your business and makes it easy for your readers to share with others.

If your blog is going to play a significant role in your business, then spend some time choosing the right domain name for it.  People tend to remember memorable domain names that end with a dot com to spread it around easier. I recommend using GoDaddy as the registrar for all of your domains. I currently own almost six hundred domains and appreciate how they are handled through this company.

Choosing a Template / Theme for Your Blog

With the free platforms like and, the need to hire a Web designer is eliminated.  These options already have blog templates (often called “themes”) ready for use.  Just pick a design that works well with the theme of your business and get ready to start blogging. The downside to this is that there is only so much you can do to alter its look and feel.  What you see is what you get.

With however, you’re free to hire a Web Designer to design the style of your blog from the ground up.  There are no limitations to what you can do with your design.  There are templates that are also freely given away by the WordPress community with no strings attached.  You have full rights to grab any of these templates and alter them to suit the theme of your business blog.  If you need a recommendation for someone to help you set up a WordPress blog that’s exactly what you are thinking of, contact me and I’ll give you some names of the people that have helped me with my sites.

You can search on Google “Wordpress themes” and you’ll get a variety of sites to choose from.  One of the more popular ones is found at  


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Driving Targeted Traffic To Your Blog

targeted traffic Driving Targeted Traffic To Your BlogYou may have seen the movie Field of Dreams, where Kevin Costner builds a baseball field in the middle of the countryside and people come from far and near to visit. This concept of ‘if you build it they will come’ is a romantic one, but does not apply to your business. Probably the trickiest part for any online entrepreneur is getting targeted traffic to their sites.  This is more science than art and has spawned an industry all of its own.  Search engine optimization or SEO as it’s more affectionately referred to, is a major player in how you get targeted traffic to your sites or in this case, your blogs.

Driving Targeted Traffic To Your Blog

There are other promotional and marketing strategies that you can employ to get traffic, but it all starts with optimizing your blogs for SEO.  If you want your blog to be found, you have to optimize it for the search engines. Google and the other search engines will crawl you site to see what it’s about, and then send traffic (people) who are searching for those specific topics. It must be general enough to garner attention, yet specific enough to weed out those you are actually searching for very different information.

The level of optimization you can perform on your blog depends once again on whether you’re using a free platform or a hosted one.

A blogging platform like is the best way to go for SEO purposes.  There are no limits as to how you can customize your (hosted) blog.  But because most beginners tend to use the free blog platforms, we’ll explore SEO tactics that everyone can benefit from.

Split Your Blog’s Search Engine Optimization into Offsite And Onsite SEO

Offsite SEO can be summed up as just this – inbound links.  This means blogs other than your own, are linking to your blog and a wide variety of your content.  Inbound links are quite possibly the most important SEO tactic that could get your blogs highly ranked in the search engines.

So how do you get others to link to you?  Here are some ways to get you started:

Write Quality Content – Nothing gets you links faster than writing content that affects your readers.  If a little bit of controversy helps, throw that in.  As word gets around about your posts, bloggers will inevitably link to you.

Post Comments On Blogs You Read – Don’t hesitate to post worthwhile comments on other blogs, be it your competitors or not, but realize blog comments themselves don’t have impact on your SEO results. You may get a follow-up with a link pointing to your blog.  And if that happens to be from a competitor with a huge audience, you’ll be looking at some major traffic influx to your blog.

Submit Your Blog To Directories – You can submit your blogs to blog directories to generate more inbound links.  Apart from buying links, this is something many bloggers do to get more traffic. and are amongst two of the more popular blog directories right now, but you can perform a Web search to find more.

Onsite SEO requires customization within your blog itself.  Here’s how to get started:

Optimize Your Content With Targeted Keywords  – This topic really requires intense study, as it is one of the more important subjects when discussing SEO.  But in a nutshell, your blog posts should contain the keywords or keyword phrases that your potential customers or readers would most likely type into the search engines to find what they are looking for.

This requires advanced research of keywords on your part so that you can place these targeted keywords within your blog content.  The result would be a highly optimized blog for the very information your potential customers are looking for.

Have each of your posts focused on one specific topic so that you can moderate the keywords going into your content.  Over-stuffing keywords can make for terrible reading which defeats the purpose of finding and keeping your customers.

Make your posts as original as possible and update your blog frequently, at least three times a week.

Place Your Keywords Here Too – Within the URL of the page, page and post titles, heading tags such as H1, image alt tags and meta tags.  Bold your keywords where you can too.

Create A Good Linking Structure Within Your Blog – Create links that link from a certain post in your blog to another relevant post which you had written previously.  This interlinking makes it very easy for search engines to re-index your blog, allowing for more of your pages to be indexed.  Categorize your information and place them on your blog’s sidebar.  Create a sitemap once your blog starts growing larger in size.

But one thing to remember is not to over-optimize your blog. Write naturally and don’t overdo it with keywords. Use descriptive wording and use synonyms rather than repeating the same keyword phrases over and over. Following these strategies will increase the amount of targeted traffic you receive to your blog, and will ultimately increase your bottom line as well.

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Is Blogging a Challenge for You?

blogging challengeIn 2009 I started the 30 Day Power Blogging Challenge. The idea caught on and I repeated it two more times before deciding that others should carry on their own version of the Blog Challenge. There are now so many blogging challenges I have lost count. There’s even one for therapists to get them started with blogging! Every time I see another one pop up I smile, knowing that my original idea was innovative and continues to help so many people.

So, What Is A Blog?

A blog, or web-log as it was originally called, is an online diary or collection of thoughts and ideas.  But actually it is much more sophisticated than that.  Your blog is a website that publishes your entries, known as posts in reverse chronological order, with the most recent post shown first, at the top of the page. Readers are also able to comment and share their own blog’s information so that the conversation around any topic becomes an interactive one.

But the true beauty of having a blog lies in its simplicity.  There is no need for you to learn HTML code or web design, otherwise needed to operate a traditional website.   You can also update your blog via any Internet connection, whether you are on another continent or even using your smart phone.

Setting up a blog can take as little as thirty minutes and then you’re ready to publish your content.  It’s honestly that easy.  This is definitely a skill worth having.

How Is Blogging Applicable To My Business?

The ease of publishing your content on a blog makes it a perfect marketing vehicle for any type of business, online or offline.  Whether you are working from home or are the CEO of a Fortune 500 corporation, blogging on a regular basis will enhance your marketing strategy.

I’ve always said that your blog is your ‘Home on the Internet’. It becomes the ‘face’ of your business that prospects can identify with and become a part of through comments and the ability to join your list. These days we all like to be a part of the conversation and actively participate in the conversation. it is typical that a new reader will leave a comment on one of my posts and then join my list, prompting me to take a look at their site and reciprocate in some way. That’s the beginning of a relationship in my mind.

Huge corporations and entities like General Motors, IBM, Huffington Post, and Microsoft have set up blogs to effectively market their services or products as a cost-effective way of communicating quickly with their prospects and current customers.  By providing a venue for people to talk about their product, companies can easily find out what they really want and then tailor their products and services accordingly.  This ongoing virtual conversation between the company and the customer has dramatically cut costs and increased revenue because they receive first-hand research information at almost no cost to them. It’s the perfect way to get instant feedback.

If you are an online entrepreneur working from home, the same strategies apply.  Use your blog to:

  • Build relationships with people who are interested in what you do
  • Provide relevant content on your niche topic
  • Find new readers and prospects through your keywords
  • Establish trust with your prospects while gaining credibility
  • Create deeper awareness about what you have to offer
  • Test new ideas and research your market by encouraging your readers and to participate in discussions

Are you blogging regularly, or is it a challenge for you? I’d love to hear from you and take a look at your blog, so please leave a comment below.

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Become A Local Celebrity to Grow Your Business Exponentially

cadario sb 300x300 Become A Local Celebrity to Grow Your Business ExponentiallyWhen you become a local celebrity and the world can be your oyster. Recently I had a special dinner with a friend at an Italian place in Santa Barbara called Ca’Dario. The owner is an overnight sensation thirty years in the making, who followed his passion when he came to America to learn the restaurant business. I think many of us can relate to this in that everything we achieve during our lives is the result of many years of hard work and preparation. Knowing exactly what you want at a young age can certainly be helpful, but this does not ensure that it will take less time or effort.

When I met the restaurant’s owner I complimented him on the food and the restaurant and then asked how he had learned to market his business so well. His answer surprised me; he said that he told a few ‘key’ people what he was doing as he went along. He knew they would spread the word, helping to make his restaurant a success.

This is brilliant, and you can do this for your own business as well. It’s not the same as word-of-mouth advertising; it’s more of a focused way of letting people know who you

are and what you have to offer them. Especially in a small town like Santa Barbara, this type of face to face interaction can catapult you to the top of your field very quickly.

Have you identified some key people or groups in your city that would be interested in knowing more about what you are doing in your online business? Take the time to make a list, and then seek them out to share your thoughts and ideas. I’ve done this with some of the charities I am involved with and have found the people to be quite open to spreading the word about my business.

Some examples of this are that I now write a monthly column for a local print magazine that is owned by someone in my Rotary Club; I’ve been interviewed on the radio as a result of connecting with the owners of the station; and I was given an award by my city’s Arts Council when I connected with someone on the City Council.

Make the effort to become a local celebrity and your business may grow exponentially.

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The New Normal for Business: Having an Online Presence

Online-PresenceHaving An Online Presence

Once upon a time it was possible to start a business and become successful without the help of the Internet. Those days are long gone as we enter the age of online marketing, visibility and credibility as a way to build a prosperous business with a future. This is now the new ‘normal’ and those who understand the importance of having an online presence will be far more likely to prosper.

Crystal wrote to me to ask for help with her newly launched interior design business. She began offering her services to clients during the summer of 2013 and wants to know if she must spend money on a website and get involved with social media to grow her business as quickly as possible. The answer is yes, as an online presence is absolutely necessary if you are going to compete in your industry alongside people who ‘get it’ when it comes to online marketing and sales.

This doesn’t have to be expensive, as long as you know what to do and how to do it, which I will explain in detail here. And, coupled with more traditional marketing and offline methods can almost guarantee that you will have the very best chance of success.

First, have someone set up a WordPress site for you, using a domain for your business. This may be your actual business name, your name, or a name that includes your industry and location, such as or Both of these domains were available as of this writing, which just goes to show that you will be ahead of much of your competition if you follow what I am sharing here.

Next, start creating content on your topic in the form of written materials, audio recordings, and short (under five minutes is optimal) videos that you can share with your prospects and current clients and customers, as well as with family and friends. Many businesses, such as Crystal’s interior design company lend themselves well to this, while others take a little more creativity to build interest.

Add your content to your new website as blog posts, to article directories such as, social media sites (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Pinterest), within your email newsletter, and in a short report you can make available on Amazon. Start an Internet radio show on Blog Talk Radio and add your ‘show’ (it can be five minute segments if you wish) to iTunes as a podcast. Start a channel on YouTube using your company’s name and upload your videos there on a regular basis.

Be sure to add an optin box to the upper right-hand corner of your website, using a service such as Aweber ( gets you started for just one dollar) to stay in regular contact with your prospects and clients.

Now it’s time to tell the world what you are doing through press releases, live appearances, and traditional print advertising. I use a service called WebWire ( to send press releases inexpensively – about twenty-five dollars each as of this writing – and they will be distributed far and wide to help you get the word out about what you do and how you can help others by doing it.

Have fun with live appearances by offering to speak at local meetings such as Rotary, the Chamber of Commerce, and any trade shows that are appropriate to your business. Have a one page flyer and a business card ready to give out, and be sure to collect the names and email addresses of those who show interest in your business.

And do not forget about traditional advertising and marketing. The publications you reguarly is the first place to start.  It is my belief that the people who are serious about doing business locally will always begin with a local publication to connect with people who can do what they need done.

Educate all of the members of your business team about the importance of having a website and creating relevant content. Work on increasing your online presence and your business will thrive and prosper in 2014 and beyond.

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Podcast: Sue Guiher on Coaching and Transformation

guiher sue Podcast: Sue Guiher on Coaching and TransformationSue Guiher is a powerhouse when it comes to coaching and marketing, and that’s why I wanted to interview her for my podcast series. After spending more than twenty years in Corporate America working in marketing and sales, Sue decided to step away from that world in favor of a life as an coach and entrepreneur where she would have more time with her family. She also teaches at the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania.

We discussed how she came to leave the corporate world and become an entrepreneur. After working from a laptop in the hospital as she awaited an emergency C-Section for the birth of her son in July of 1999 she realized that she had become a ‘corporate-aholic’. While on maternity leave she had an epiphany around the life she wanted to create for herself and her family. With a passion for teaching and helping others to reach their full potential, Sue sought out mentors who could help guide her path. She began working with Michael Port and now trains his coaches on how to serves their clients with high level business coaching.

She is an expert in taking people’s information and knowledge and turning it into programs by ‘modulizing’ it into a system that works so that everyone benefits. She does this for a variety of industries, including Internet marketing and online training. She teaches about ‘Core Essence’ and how that should show up in what you offer others. Sue feels that my Core Essences are around security, connection, and service in helping people to earn income through an online business and I agree completely with that assessment of what we discussed. Hers are teaching, transformation, and thriving. This is fascinating information that we can use to change our lives through our work. As long as you’re moving forward you can thrive and prosper.

Sue takes people through a transformative process to see where their strengths are and how they can best use these to serve others. Her clients have experienced huge shifts simply by working with her to find out more about their core values and exploring what type of business would best serve their needs.

Sue also takes us through an exercise during this interview to help us leave perfectionism behind and move into the space of creating the business we desire as quickly as possible. This will shift your thinking and attitude immediately and get you into positive, inspired action.

She has set up a special page where you can go through the Core Essences Exercise to gain better insight into what you are doing as an entrepreneur. I’ve done that and I encourage you to do it now while you are thinking about it.


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Starting An Internet Business – Online Marketing Tips Podcast

Online Marketing Tips Podcast

Online Marketing Tips Connie Ragen GreenStarting an Internet business is the way to financial freedom and great success in your life, and you need help to get there quickly. That’s why I started this online marketing tips podcast for my community.

Is there a way to increase our SEO (search engine optimization) for each of our blog posts? Are you using private label rights content (PLR) in your online marketing? Does article marketing still work as a way to drive targeted traffic and build my list? In this episode of the Online Marketing Tips Podcast With Connie Ragen Green, my newest podcast series, I discuss these questions and more. We also discuss the most effective strategies for writing and marketing your content for Kindle.

During this call we also discuss Black Friday events on the Internet and which ones are the best ones for you to attend and pay attention to as you build your own online business. I also address the idea of writing down your plans and goals for the coming year. I’ve been goal setting since 2005 in this way and it has made a huge difference in my personal life and in my business.

All of my open calls are interactive so that your voice may be heard. During this call I am joined my many of my students and subscribers who share their questions, concerns, and accomplishments with their online business in regards to content creation, list building, social media marketing, and more. This time we discussed using article marketing effectively to promote yourself and your online business, creating an irresistible free giveaway, PLR (private label rights) and content creation, how to know when the time is right for you to set up an autoresponder sequence, tips on getting more Facebook fans, pricing a new information product, using royalty free music for your podcast and other websites, Jason Fladlien’s Measure My SEO plugin, and much more.

This podcast and these online marketing tips are intended to teach you how you can take your business to the next level quickly and effectively, and as a way for me to share my very Case Studies, secrets, and advice on creating a profitable and lucrative online business using the ‘multiple income streams’ approach. Each session is first recorded live as a teleseminar, and then repurposed into a podcast to extend my reach to the world. Please join my list to be included on these calls, and be sure to introduce yourself and share your site for optimal exposure for years to come!

Also, you can now pick up my popular training on winning affiliate contests and other online marketing tips for only seven dollars at Affiliate Contest Secrets. Use the discount code CONTEST to bring the price down to $7. This training has been updated for 2013 with the latest information, strategies, and Case Studies for you to use in your own business.

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Podcast: Carol Amato

carol amato Podcast: Carol AmatoCarol Amato is one of the most interesting people I’ve connected with during 2013. She is relatively new to online business and marketing, yet has already become someone others turn to for help with setting up their own businesses. We first became acquainted through the site ‘Just Retweet‘, where she was kind enough to retweet my Twitter posts and join my list. Soon we were emailing and that’s when I decided that I must introduce you to her by having her as a guest on my podcast series.

Something I learned about Carol is that she speaks fluent Carinise, a Sicilian dialect, and speaks it like a native according to the people she knows in Sicily. She and her entire family are self-proclaimed foodies and enjoy everything about delicious food. She and her husband live in northeastern Pennsylvania and they have three adult children.

During this interview Carol shares how and why she came online in 2011, what it’s like to have an online business, and how she helps others to get started. We share a deep respect and affection for Dennis Becker, and speak about that as well. I love how we connect with someone and then end up connecting with many other people as well, all as a result of having an online business as an entrepreneur.

Carol is an example of someone who saw the opportunity available to those working online, jumped in to learn as much as could, and took immediate action to build her business quickly. I hope you are doing the same thing as you get closer to having an online business you can run from home or from wherever in the world you happen to be.

I know you will enjoy my conversation with Carol. Be sure to visit her site and join her list if it is of interest to you. I believe you will learn much by connecting with Carol there and on social media.

Subscribe To All Interviews In The Podcast Series

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How To Sell Your Ebook

How to sell your eBookHow To Sell Your Ebook for Long Term Profits

eBooks are a quick way to get content out there in front of your target audience. They help build your credibility and show your expertise. If you’re interested in writing and publishing an eBook but not sure where to start, this post will definitely help. It’s an excellent marketing tactic and not only does it build your credibility, it also simultaneously builds your brand and increases awareness for your business. So where do you start when you want to write and publish an eBook?

Self-Published or Traditionally Published?

In most instances, business owners choose to self-publish. When you self-publish, you control every aspect of your book, from getting the ISBN number and creating the book cover to creating and editing the material inside. Traditionally published books mean that you convince a publisher, like Random House for example, that your book will sell and has a unique topic and approach.

They sign a contract with you to publish your book. You get an advance, generally, and a percentage of sales. They control the editing process as well as the book’s outward appearance. Yes, to answer your question, many traditional publishers are now publishing eBooks. They also facilitate distribution to stores and in some cases they may help promote your book. Choose the self-publish option and you manage the distribution to stores and you keep a majority of the profits.

I have my own small publishing company, Hunter’s Moon Publishing, with Geoff Hoff. We refer to our company as a ’boutique’ publishing house that takes care of everything you need. Contact us if you are ready to move forward.


If you go the self-publishing route, you may worry about the distribution of your book. How do you get your eBook into online book stores? It really isn’t anything to worry about. The solution is actually not nearly as daunting as you might imagine.

For example, you can create a seller account with Amazon’s Kindle and upload a book today. Your book will show up in Amazon’s Kindle store within a day or two and you can start selling. The same is true for Barnes & Noble, Kobo, and other online book stores. Each store has its own steps to follow to format and upload your book. In general, the process is easy and you can have a book uploaded and ready for sale within a day or two.


Smashwords is an eBook service that distributes your book to a variety of book stores, book distributors, and libraries including iBooks and Barnes & Noble. They also facilitate presales so you can build buzz for your book before it’s released.

Because they distribute to such a wide variety of book stores and libraries, their formatting requirements are a bit more difficult than uploading your book to one book store. However, they offer a free formatting guide and they can send you a list of book formatters who are familiar with the requirements and can manage the task for you for a reasonable fee.

Marketing, Promoting, and Making Sales

The most important aspect of writing, in terms of long-term profits, is how to sell your ebook once it is completed. Whether you publish your book traditionally or you self-publish, and whether you sell your book only on your site or you make it available in stores, the responsibility for marketing it and promoting it is yours and yours alone. Leverage your resources and use what you know about marketing to promote your book. The hard part has already been accomplished – writing it.


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