How to Make More Money with Your Black Friday (or Cyber Monday) Special

At the risk of being heavily “booed,” I admit to loving Black Friday. I know there is more and more resistance to the commercialization of a holiday that is suppose to be reflective of gratitude for what you have, rather than a race to acquire more of it. And I get that. In fact, until 3 years ago I thought Black Friday shoppers were crazy. No price was worth arriving at 3:00 a.m. and standing in the cold, hoping to get the magic number needed to score the $100 computer. I slept peacefully while others endured that madness. And then one year my 12-year-old niece wanted to get in on some midnight shopping. Naturally, I agreed to go. Not because the whole store was 50% off. Not because I could get a 50″ flat screen TV for $200. And not even because the first 500 people in line got a chance to win a million dollars. I started my Black Friday shopping tradition because it made me feel good. And I keep going every year because it makes me feel good. The second year, my eight-year-old daughter joined us. This year, three generations of my family ~ my mom, me, my daughter, and my niece ~ intend to continue the tradition. And I have to tell you, I have no idea who will be offering the best deals. Nor do I care. Deciding Where to Spend Your Money So what stores will we hit on Black Friday? The ones we like. The ones we recognize. The ones that have given us value in the past. It doesn’t matter if...

The 8 Most Important Words You’ll Ever Write

Could the livelihood of your business really come down to just 8 words? Yes. I know, if I gave you 8000 words, you could dazzle me with your brilliance and convince me that I should listen to and buy from you, and only you. But, no one is going to give you 8000 words, or 800, or even 80. Why do you only get 8 words to capture your audience of potential clients? You know the answer to that one. Just take a look at your day. You go to your email inbox, and choose which ones to read based on this:   Your RSS reader likely presents the blog posts from the day in a similar fashion. My Feedly inbox looks like this: On Twitter, you’re limited to 140 characters. Facebook claims status updates of 90 characters or less do best. And even Google+ has taken the “description” out of the snippet that shows when you share an article there, leaving you with just the headline of the article. Not only are we too busy to make decisions based on more than 8 words, we’re conditioned to make such decisions by what we’re given. So, what are those 8 words? You guessed it ~ your headline. (Yes, it could be a few more words, or a few less, but “6-10” wouldn’t have made a very compelling headline for this article . . .) Whether it’s the headline of your blog post, or the headline of the email you send to your subscriber list, you better treat it like a college final, or else . . . your audience...

Is Your Blog Hurting Your Online Business? (Part II)

  When you started your blog, you undoubtedly had high expectations. After all, if a blog is a must have for your online business, it must be because it’s going to do amazing things for you. Right? In a perfect world, yes. In reality, sometimes. In the first part of this article, we talked about 3 things your blog does that could actually hurt your online business. And here you were, just trying to help . . . Here we’re going to look at those 3 factors again, and this time talk about how you can use each of them to help your business. (Now would be a good time to take a look at the first part of “Is Your Blog Hurting Your Online Business?,” if you haven’t read it yet.) 1. Are You Updating Your Blog With Great Content? The issue here is two-fold. One, you have to be consistently updating your blog. And two, you have to be providing your audience with great content. Defining “consistent” Perhaps the good news, and the bad news, is that “consistent” might mean something different to your business than it does to mine. I’ve been blogging for five years and I’ve had people tell me I needed to post every day, once a month, and about every number in between. And the thing is, none of them were wrong. They were all successful with the way they were doing it. Here’s what I can tell you about the meaning of “consistent:” You need to have a schedule. Don’t post 3 times this week, then just once next month. Pick the...