The One Thing Your Online Business Must Get Right

Do you ever feel like you’re writing and no one’s reading when it comes to your online business? You post on Facebook, Twitter, and even Google+.  You pour your heart and your knowledge out into your blog on a regular basis.  You’re a content-creating queen (or king!). And yet the comments don’t come.   The interactions aren’t there.  That “relationship building” that’s suppose to be happening still eludes you. “What’s wrong?,” you wonder. While there is no “one size fits all” answer here, there is one thing that you simply have to get right if you ever want things to fall into place. You must be creating the content that your market wants. And ~ newsflash ~ this may be totally different than what you know your market needs. One of the biggest lessons I’ve learned in my home business development is that you must give your market what they want and not what they need. This can be quite a blow to the ego.  After all, you are the expert.  You are the leader in your market.  To help others, you must give them what they need, right? Wrong. If you’re not giving them what they want, they’re not going to read it.  So it won’t matter whether they need it or not, because they’ll never see it.  And your online business will continue to feel as empty as the midnight echo of your voice atop a deserted mountaintop. But how do you know what content your market wants from you?  Chances are, you thought you were giving them what they wanted. Shouldn’t they want what they need?...

2 Big Reasons Your Online Business Needs WordPress.org

One of the most basic, yet most important, questions for online business owners is “how do I put up my website?” The good news is, even the most technically challenged among us no longer has to hire someone to put up a website.  My 7-year-old could do this. Many online business owners operate on a tight budget to begin with.  The temptation therefore is to use WordPress.com (or, less frequently, Blogger.com).  Both of these platforms allow you to set up a blog for free. If you are serious about your online business – I mean if you want to make any money at all – resist the free temptation and lay out a few bucks to host your own site using WordPress.org. When it comes to using WordPress.com versus WordPress.org, you do in fact “get what you pay for.” Now I don’t always buy into the “you get what you pay for” theory.  I’ve never tasted any difference in the store brand macaroni and the name brand.  But, the $20 jeans I buy my kids do have fewer holes in them than the $10 ones. And WordPress.com will serve your hobby well, but could destroy your online business. We could talk about the need for WordPress.org all day, but really, there are two big reasons your home business must have it.  So let’s just get to the heart of it. → First, You Need to Own and Control Your Content← With WordPress.com, you don’t own anything you put on your site.  You don’t pay for hosting – they do.  Which means they make the rules.  And the rules are...

3 Roads to Online Business Success Through Product Creation

One of the biggest concerns I hear from new or prospective online business owners is “What will I sell?” You may have a burning desire to help people lose 100 pounds like you did.  But how do you turn that passion into an online business if you have no “how to lose weight” product to sell your clients? The obvious and easy answer, of course, is that you can become an affiliate marketer.  It’s definitely possible to create a healthy online business through selling other people’s products.  And I know there are people who swear by it. But, even the most super-successful affiliate marketers all seem to come out with their own product — about how to become a super-successful affiliate marketer. Having gone the affiliate marketing route in my home business for several years, I realize that I could have served more people, and made more money, if I had overcome my fear and just created a product much sooner than I did. Like most things, affiliate marketing is okay in moderation.  I still promote Jim Rohn’s One Year Success Plan.  It made a huge difference in my life.  It complements my own products.  I think it’s a perfect place for everyone to start.  And, since I’m about serving my clients in the best way I can, I recommend it.  And make a little money when people get started on the plan. I also recommend that you start your online business with an affiliate product if you don’t have a product of your own ready to go.  Work diligently on your product creation.  Give yourself a deadline. But...

3 Lessons I Learned From Steve Jobs

Steve Jobs died this week.  He was only 56 years old.  I don’t believe anyone dies before his time, so I’m not having any thoughts about what should have/could have been. I have been a fan of his for a long time.  Mysteriously drawn to a big company’s CEO for reasons I can’t articulate.  I tend to run in the other direction from corporate types. But I always felt Steve Jobs had a good soul.  He put off good energy.  (And yes, I’ve read all the stuff about what a driven tyrant he could be.) As I reflect on what I got from Steve Jobs, 3 big lessons stand out.  They are important.  To your “self,” and to your business.  So I share them with you here. First, it doesn’t matter where you came from. Steve Jobs was born out of wedlock (at a time when that mattered, I suppose).  His birth parents made an adoption plan for him.  Steve’s adoptive parents were an accountant and a coast guard veteran/machinist.  He dropped out of college after only 6 months. That Steve Jobs was adopted strikes a chord for me.  My boys are adopted.  Largely because of choices their birth mothers made, people often have lower expectations of my boys than they should.  They are still young, but I try to raise them as if they are completely “normal” and were born with every advantage life has to offer. Steve Jobs’ life always reinforced my belief in my boys.  (Along with Wayne Dyer’s story of growing up in foster care under tragic conditions.)  It doesn’t matter where you came from. ...

How to Help People by Not Helping Them

I stopped to get gas the other night and was approached by a woman parked several pumps down.  She gave me a sad story about needing a dollar to get gas.  She was on empty and was trying to get enough gas to get to her mother’s house, which was about 30 minutes away. She was a “normal” looking woman.  Rather plain.  Simply dressed.  But in no way offensive.  She appeared to be in genuine distress. But I wasn’t born yesterday.  I’ve spent most of my adult life working with people who are in genuine distress — due to drugs, alcohol, poverty and/or their own wrong-doing.  So you can’t call me a pushover. Honestly, I usually tell people who ask me for money that I don’t have any cash.  Not because I don’t want to help, but because I cynically believe they won’t use it for food, or gas, or diapers . . . or whatever need they claim. For some reason, I said yes to this woman.  I don’t know why, because I didn’t even take time to think about it.  I reached for my purse and instead of grabbing a $1 bill, I grabbed a $10 bill. When she realized that I had given her $10 she spontaneously hugged me and expressed sincere gratitude. I don’t know what she did with the money.  She went in as if to pay for gas, but was still sitting in her car at the pump as I left.  I’m guessing there’s less than a 1-in-10 chance that she used the money for gas.  But I decided that I didn’t care....