Best place to host your blog

Best place to host your blog

The best place to host your blog is one of the main challenges we face as Internet entrepreneurs. There are so many options out there with so many different features that we can begin to feel overwhelmed making this one seemingly simple decision. Of course, we want a blog that loads fast. Safety from spammers and hackers is another high priority. Limits on traffic can be another concern.

One of my very most important considerations remains tech support. When something goes wrong, I want to know that I can get help 24/7 and fast. When critical, I need to know that I can get in touch with a real live human without having to wade through help documentation for hours searching for an obscure answer. With all these considerations in mind, I looked at several options and tried a few before settling on Wealthy Affiliate as my hosting platform. You may have heard of Wealthy Affiliate before because they are big in providing training for affiliate marketing. And, indeed, they have an absolutely awesome affiliate program. If you would like to know more about that, click here.

At the same time, I have found over the course of three years that they are the best place to host your blog as well as being a great resource for affiliate marketing. Let me share what I have discovered about Wealthy Affiliate as my domain hosting company. First, what is Wealthy Affiliate? Well, in simple terms, It is a comprehensive platform for anyone. Whether a novice or an expert in building an Internet business, you will find what you need in this program.

How do you join Wealthy Affiliate – the best place to host your blog?

To become a member, you simply need to sign up with your email address. That’s it. No credit card required. At this level, you become a Starter member and can have one blog hosted. They offer quite a bit to Starter members. Even better, once you are ready, you can become a Premium member and gain full access to everything they offer including the ability to host 10 websites at no additional cost.

The Starter membership really is free – to start and to stay as long as you want. Free does mean free. No need to provide a credit card that will later be charged monthly. Once you are ready to fully commit to building your business, you can become a Premium member for only $49 per month or $359 annually.

The annual membership saves you a substantial amount of money over the monthly payment. However, when I started building my business, I really appreciated being able to pay a smaller amount each month. Since that was all I could afford at the time, I paid $49 until I could save/make enough for annual membership. Are you ready to get started? Sign up by clicking below.

What does membership provide in the best place to host your blog?

For both memberships, Wealthy Affiliate provides a lot!!!! In addition to a robust hosting package, membership includes extensive training, support, a committed and supportive community, and research tools. All of these benefits were the primary reason that I decided Wealthy Affiliate was the best way to grow and the best place to host my sites.

Even better, everything is in one place. I discovered that the hosting companies that offer very cheap hosting charge extra for the “goodies” that come with Wealthy Affiliate account at no additional cost. Once you buy all the extras from cheaper hosting companies the annual bill is frequently much higher than the annual charges from Wealthy Affiliate. Furthermore, most hosting companies do not offer a monthly payment plan for those who are just beginning.

Benefits of hosting at Wealthy Affiliate

Whether just getting started online or looking to grow several businesses to new levels, the hosting platform (called “SiteRubix”) remains robust and powerful every step of the way. People are literally running million dollar businesses on their platforms at Wealthy Affiliate. So, they can support your business now. And forever.

And, even better, you get 10 managed WordPress sites included in your Premium membership. That alone saves you a substantial amount of money over hosting companies that charge you for every site .

SiteRubix is their hosting platform and it is robust. Translation? FAST and safe. The average page load time is 1.3 seconds. In addition, they have a uniquely brilliant “load limiting” process that monitors your websites to make sure they are always running optimally. That means no down time.

Your website is always ON

Unlike any other hosting platform in the world, Wealthy Affiliate offers all clients “double hosting”. Which means, your websites have full redundancy. If one of your websites were to for some reason to go down, they have a “mirror” of your website running at all times that they will swap in. Instantly! This layer of redundancy provides “uptime” that is unparalleled in the industry.

Preventing hacking and spam before it happens

Every day, you hear news about some site being hacked. So, you know now critical it is that you be protected from an attack. Wealthy Affiliate knows WordPress plain and simple. They live and breathe it.

Because of their innate knowledge of the intricacies of WordPress and the security vulnerabilities that can occur within the platform, they prevent hacking or spam before it happens. With several layers of security, your websites are shielded 24/7/365. In the past year, they blocked 27,195,900 hacking attempts. That is 27+ MILLION. So, you can sleep easy knowing your websites are protected.

Daily backups

We all make mistakes when playing around with technology. Especially when we are newbies learning the ropes. Wealthy Affiliate understands that. With the managed WordPress hosting experience at Wealthy Affiliate, you have peace of mind knowing that they take daily snapshots of your website.

If you ever mess things up, they can help get your website back and running for you. This is an advanced service that very few hosts offer, but one that comes standard with ALL of your websites.

So, let’s take a look at what hosting at Wealthy Affiliate looks like

In addition to all the above, what do you get for a Premium account at Wealthy Affiliate? As you are comparing the prices at other hosting companies, make sure that they offer the following. Remember, all the below is included at Wealthy Affiliate for a Premium membership of $49 per month or $359 annually.

  • Hosting for 10 websites
  • Instant DNS setup
  • Amazon.c3.large hosting speed (That means fast!)
  • 30 GB website space
  • 500K visitors/month per website
  • FREE SSL certificates
  • Site Builder
  • Staging Environment
  • Full redundancy
  • Enterprise security
  • Daily website backups
  • 24/7 access to server administrators
  • Unlimited email accounts
  • BotNet security
  • SiteHealth checks
  • SiteComments
  • Website feedback
  • Community access
  • 1-on-1 marketing membership

The only additional cost to you when you are a member of Wealthy Affiliate is the cost of reserving your domain name, should you decide to get your own domain.

Why should I start with Wealthy Affiliate?

If you, like so many others, want to find out how to start an online business as a primary source of income or as a side-hustle, you can do so for FREE. Let’s face it – learning about this business requires knowledge. But, it can be hard to do on your own. That’s why it is good to hear that Wealthy Affiliate will be there with you every step of the way.

Honestly, eventually, you will want to invest in your business if you want it to become a primary source of income. But, you only have to invest money when ready to do so. You quickly learn all you need to be successful before spending a penny – or you can take your time learning the ropes without spending a ton. So, the catch on the Starter membership is simply some limitations on what you have access to and how many sites you can build. But, again, if you are serious about growing your business online, you will want to have your own site with  your own domain name as quickly as possible.  No matter where you decide to host your website as you grow, it will cost some money.

So, bottom line, how much does it cost for the best place to host your blog?

Starter membership
  • FREE – no credit card required
  • For the Starter Membership you get one free site using their domain. That means your site will have the name you choose with “siterubix.com” at the end. And yes, it is absolutely free.

When you become a Premium member, then you can build 10 sites at no additional cost to be hosted at Wealthy Affiliate. Quite a bit of room to grow there. But, you can remain a Starter member as long as you need/want to do so.

Premium membership
  • $49/month or
  • $359/year – specials are frequently offered in the fall for annual membership

If you have websites and want to transfer to Wealthy Affiliate as your hosting company, it is very easy to do. And, tech support is there to help. If you are ready to start your Premium membership today, click here.

Read on to see what all Wealthy Affiliate has to offer and I think you will be amazed at the bargain for a Premium membership, when ready to grow your business.

One stop for virtually everything in the best place to host your blog

I really can’t stress the importance of having everything in one place. There are lots of details you will be responsible for as you build your business. It seems like to me that every “detail” comes with yet another login needing another username and password to access. With all the numerous requirements for usernames and passwords, this can quickly drive you crazy.

Some companies want an email for the username, others want you to select a unique name, and still others assign one to you. This can quickly get unwieldy – particularly if you don’t use the accounts every day. So, the fewer usernames and passwords I have to access each day, the better. The fewer charges on my credit card at various times of the month and year, the better. The more that everything can be automated for me, the better.

To give you examples of how this is beneficial – each year, Wealthy Affiliate automatically renews my domain names without bothering me. I can write my posts in Wealthy Affiliate and with one click upload them to my blog. If I want to log in to WordPress to tweak my post, I can jump to WordPress through Wealthy Affiliate and don’t have to remember how to login to yet another login page. When ready to conduct keyword research, I can access the tool through Wealthy Affiliate. I can even hunt for affiliate programs when I am logged into Wealthy Affiliate. If I have domain emails (highly recommended), I can log in through Wealthy Affiliate.

Logging in to ALL your sites is easy peasy

If you have more than one site, you can easily login to any of the WordPress sites under any of the users you have set up with one click. That is so-o-o-o-o-o-o much easier than having to login to multiple places just to work on your blog.

When I first started, I was using a hosting company and had to figure out where to go to work on my blog after logging in to their hosting company. It was my ignorance, I am sure, but it took me hours to figure out I was on the wrong WordPress login because WordPress had both .com and .org. Who knew?  They are not interchangeable. It was almost enough to make me start screaming! OK, I admit. I did start screaming for a while.

Look, all this back and forth can be daunting. Especially when you are first learning. Even more so later, when you have so many details to remember in your business. So, the more you can conduct your business through one location, one username and one password, the easier it will be for you. That is quite simply one of the best things about Wealthy Affiliate.

Tech support makes Wealthy Affiliate the best place to host your blog

Best place to host your  blogAs a premium member, you have access to tech support 24/7/365. I will say this – they are fast getting back to you. Even at 3 AM. In addition, they are super friendly. I will admit, I have asked some pretty stupid questions. Although, I didn’t know they were dumb at the time.

On no occasion did the support staff act rude or condescending. They simply answered my questions quickly and without judgment. In addition, they stuck around until all questions were addressed and the issue was solved. Now, I try not to pester them too much looking for the answers myself if I can find them. But, there are times when I exhausted all my knowledge and contacted tech support. Every time, they answered quickly to fix the problem.

Support community

These days, it can be quite difficult to learn everything about Internet marketing on your own. I mean, we are all isolated enough just from CoVid. But having to do everything alone can truly be fear inducing. That’s where the Wealthy Affiliate community comes in.

With 1.4 million members in the community at varying levels from beginner to expert, you will always be able to find an answer to your questions. Or just an “attaboy” or “attagirl” when you need the support. I have found the members to be very friendly, helpful and supportive. The good thing is that even the experts have been where you are right now and can guide you to become a more successful marketer.

Ongoing training available at the best place to host your blog

Wealthy Affiliate is known for their training. So, in addition to all the hosting solutions they offer, they also offer extensive training as part of the package.  Lessons and videos will guide you every step of the way. And, they really work hard to show you fast ways to work. For example, click here to take a look at the lesson on starting a website in 30 seconds.

To date, they have more than 1,800 expert coaches that want you to be successful. At least 52 live classes per year provide training to members. The training is recorded for members to watch later or review over and over as needed. In addition, they also have a database of lessons on any topic you are interested in learning with more than 400 hours of training available and more created each month.

If interested in learning how to start your business online, even the Starter membership provides in depth training.

First, there are two tracks available in the Starter membership: The Online Entrepreneur Certificate and the Affiliate Marketing Boot Camp. The twenty lessons open to the Starter Membership get you up and running fast. With the Starter Membership you gain access to 10 lessons in The Online Entrepreneur Certificate and 10 lessons in the Affiliate Marketing Boot Camp. Click below to find out more details or keep reading.

Online Entrepreneur Certificate

So, let’s first look at the Online Entrepreneur Certificate. In the Starter Membership, you gain access to all lessons in Level 1. That includes 10 lessons for free. You learn what affiliate marketing is, how it works and how you make money. If you complete Level 1, you will have a website up and be ready to begin growing. In fact, your website will be up by the end of Lesson 4. Wow!!!! That is awesome!

Best blog hosting company - reviewAs a Starter Member, you can also gain access to Phase 1 of the Boot Camp. This includes 10 lessons in the Starter Membership.

In Phase 1, you will learn:

  • What affiliate marketing is all about and how it works
  • How to find your direction by narrowing your audience and building a brand
  • How to set up your website on Wealthy Affiliate and how to get your own domain
  • Effective ways to build your site, update and navigate the platform
  • Methods to get your website ready to be found by Google and others
  • How to build a site framework that you can use to build an effective site
  • What keyword research is, why it matters and how to do it on the Wealthy Affiliate Platform
  • How to build your audience from effective reviews
  • Next steps for building your business.

The complete Affiliate Bootcamp training is a seven Phase (70 lesson) series of courses walking you through the process of creating and establishing a business in a niche related to the promotion of Wealthy Affiliate. The complete training is open to all Premier members.

Not only the best place to host your blog, but an affiliate program that rocks

If interested in becoming an affiliate marketer, they have a program that rocks. Even better, you can start earning commissions for their affiliate program as a Starter member. When you upgrade to Premium membership, you can earn even more.

Access to research tools

Since you want others to find you on the Internet, it is critical that you conduct key word research. This means finding out what people out there are searching for so you can address their interests. Wealthy Affiliate offers an outstanding keyword tool for members called Jaaxy. Starter members get 30 free searches. Unlimited searches for Premium Members.

In addition to everything else, they have tools to search for additional affiliate programs that are related to your niche.

Everything for one low price at the best place to host your blog

And, so, you can see that hosting on Wealthy Affiliate offers much more than just hosting. You might not need any of the training and community support. But, having it there provides a level of comfort. Even if you are just looking for a host for your website, you can see that Wealthy Affiliate offers a substantial package at a very low monthly or annual price. To my mind, they are truly the best place to host your blog!!!

Ready to get started? Host your first site for free and begin training today by clicking on the blue Build it Now button below.

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Finding profitable keywords the correct way

Finding profitable keywords the correct way

This post contains affiliate links to products. We may receive a commission for purchases made through these links.

how to conduct keyword research Online marketers clearly understand the benefits of well-chosen keywords. In fact, the quest to find profitable keywords is a main component of success in online marketing. But, with a lot of snippets of information about selecting keywords, confusion about how to conduct research frequently happens. However, finding profitable keywords leads to critical success. So, in the next five minutes, if you stick around, you will understand the three important basics and will be able to conduct your own research effectively and efficiently.

10 minutes to your destination: Research success!

Look, there is a lot of stuff to be done as an online marketer. You could spend all day looking for the perfect keywords and not get to the main thing you need to do – build content. On the other hand, you could spend all day building content and without the correct keywords, no one will ever read that content.

So, you need to focus on three critical concepts that will provide you with the best keywords to use that have the greatest potential to drive traffic to your site. So, let's get started.

Three pillars of effective and profitable keyword research

First Profitable Keyword Pillar: Under 300 QSR

1.)  LOW competition. First, look for keywords with low competition. Makes sense – no?  With too much competition on certain keywords, then you are not as likely to be ranked high in the search engine. Low rankings mean no one will find you.

No rankings mean wasted efforts.

When I conduct research on the correct keywords, I look for low competition using a metric called QSR. That stands for Quote Search Results. I know of only one tool out there that offers the information to you quickly and efficiently. That tool is called Jaaxy.

QSR tells you the EXACT number of competing pages in Google. In essence, that is your REAL competition. I typically look for a QSR of under 300 (that is, 300 competing pages in Google).  If I have two keyword choices, one that has a QSR of 300 and one with a QSR of 120, I will opt for the lower QSR of 120.  Simply, while you don't want to use a keyword with a QSR over 300, the closer the QSR is to ZERO, the better.

Second Profitable Keyword Pillar: Minimum of 50 searches per month.

2.)  Must get SOME traffic. If no one is searching for your keyword, then it makes sense that you won't get any traffic. Now, if you look at a keyword that has a high number of searches AND a high QSR (competition), then it doesn't really matter how many are searching. They are unlikely to find YOU.

So, I look for the sure thing. Although it may seem low, I go for the search term that gets over 50 searches per month. Yep, 50. But, for this, volume adds up. Get first page ranking for 10 pages, 20 pages. . . heck even 100 pages and it starts to add up.

In addition, lower competition, moderate traffic keywords are typically more relevant to the niche and convert better anyway. This is just an added bonus.

Third Profitable Keyword Pillar: Keywords must makes sense!

3.)  MUST makes sense. Keywords that don't makes sense or are missing words should be avoided. That means putting in the transitional words to bring clarity to your keywords.

Instead of “how find keywords” you want to use “how to find keywords.” Otherwise, your content is awkwardly worded and will sound unprofessional. You definitely want to avoid that.

That's it. Simple, right?

Jaaxy meets needs of the three keyword pillars

Let me explain why I recommend Jaaxy. This program takes data from ALL search engines. Then it runs a search through their data normalized algorithm to produce the most accurate traffic data. Keep in mind that all data is just an estimate at the end of the day because there are many fluctuations throughout the year in any search activity. But, the keyword data you can rest assured is very reliable within Jaaxy.

As for keyword competition, if you don’t have this important piece of data you don’t stand a hope in knowing which keywords you can quite easily rank for and which ones you don’t stand a chance for. Remember, rank means traffic beating the proverbial path to your door.

The QSR metric within Jaaxy will tell you exactly how many pages in all of Google (and all search engines for that matter) that you are competing with. This is a keyword researchers dream metric.

Ready to start?

OK – with the three pillars in hand, ready to begin searching for your keywords ?

Take a test ride by taking a topic from your niche and plugging it into the search tool below. Be sure to follow through with the THREE keyword pillars to be on your way to building posts that generate traffic.

If you have any questions, please let me know and I will be more than happy to help you out.

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How to Maintain a Success Mindset

How to Maintain a Success Mindset

First, never forget that success requires much hard work. And as you are moving toward success, you will likely have many failures before you are successful. This is especially true of anyone who is a successful Internet marketer. But in the face of multiple failures along the way, to be successful, you must maintain the mindset of success. However, this can be difficult because most of us have a very negative feeling about failure. This is especially true about personal failure.

I think we learn early on in life that making mistakes is a bad thing. As a child, one of the first words we learn is, “No!” This is because this word is repeated so often when, as a learning human, we make frequent mistakes. Thus, we tend to internalize this: “I made a mistake, I was told NO and so I am bad. Therefore, stop doing what I am doing so I can be good again.” And probably, the urge to be a good person is something that drives us all.

However, to maintain a success mindset, you have to rethink your original (2-year old) belief about failure. Now, after all the failures that you have faced in life, all the times you were told “No” and all the times you felt like a failure, I want you to start looking at mistakes in a very different way. Instead of mistakes being failures, mistakes are simply tools for learning. I want you to take some time to go back in your life and think about when you learned something important. How did you learn? If you trace it back, I think you will find that failure was the only way that you learned to do something really well.

Mickey Rooney quote on Success Mindset

Wow, that is a powerful statement: Failure is the only way that you learn to do something really well. But, take something simple like learning to write. Did you learn how to write better by your teacher or mentor saying, “Good job”? Or, did you learn most when your teacher scribbled endless red notes on your paper highlighting the mistakes you made? If you learned a sport – how did you learn to excel? By doing it wrong, learning that way didn’t work, modifying what you did and trying again. That often entailed a coach yelling at you every time you made a mistake. But, you changed what you did and you got better at the sport. Your failures indeed lead to your success.  And rethinking how you feel about failure leads to a success mindset.

James Joyce said it well: “Mistakes are the portals of discovery.” Really, mistakes are quite magical because they are such valuable teachers. We are constantly making mistakes, learning from them, re-trying and then succeeding. This can be something very simple like learning exactly how far to turn the handle on the new faucet so that you get hot water – but not scalding hot. Only when you turn the handle too far, do you learn not to do it – or risk getting burned again. Your mistakes lead you to your successes.

Mistakes can be wonderful portals of discovery as you build your online business. Indeed, the more mistakes you make, the more you are doing. And the more you are learning and moving toward success every day. So, the next time you make a mistake in building your business, CELEBRATE!!!  All the mistakes indicate that you are much closer to succeeding.

Ralph Waldo Emerson quote

The success mindset that you need to maintain is a simple recognition and acknowledgement.  You have the guts to attempt something when so many other people won’t even get to that first step. So many people will fall off the first step and fail to get back up. But, you have the strength to get up and keep going. This is what happens to many people when they fail. They tell themselves they were stupid to even try. Negative self talk takes over. They tell themselves they should have known better to even try. This negative internal feedback can break your spirit and your will to continue. So, instead take a moment to reflect on the beauty of your mistake.

That's right. I said the beauty of your mistake. Looking at mistakes as beautiful things leads directly to a success mindset. Think about the mistake that you made and what you have now learned because of it. Change your mindset to reflect this outlook – a grateful feeling that you failed. Instead of knocking yourself down that you made a mistake. remind yourself of this: “I missed something. I need to try again.” That simple reframing of a truth can change your entire outlook. The new internal dialogue you feed yourself can be your greatest ally in building a successful business. It can give you the energy to pick yourself up and keep going – with a smile on your face. Because when you see failure as one more step forward to figuring out what will work, then you will find the success you seek.

Zig Ziglar quote

Keep this in mind. Even though we often hear about overnight successes, those are myths. Everyone in life who has ever done anything big has failed. The difference between successes and failures however, is that those who are successful did not let that failure define them. Failure is not the period at the end of an attempt. Instead, failure is a comma. A pause. A way to regroup after your learning experience. Failure or making mistakes is a way to be stronger as you get up again – and move forward.

Another thing that can easily happen in your journey learning about online business is a sense of feeling overwhelmed.  There is so much to learn in so many different areas that are all linked together. As we learn something new, we may discover that what we did in the past was wrong. But, rather than feeling overwhelmed with new information (and the mistakes you may have made), you must learn to acknowledge those mistakes as benefits in the online world.

Elbert Hubbard quote to maintain a success mindset.

Sustaining a positive attitude in Internet marketing is ALL IN YOUR MINDSET. If you are lucky, you have already failed in some way with marketing. Perhaps, the surefire method you had didn’t work. Maybe the product you were counting on did not sell. Maybe after months and months, the traffic you needed never materialized. But that doesn’t mean YOU are a failure. It means you have to figure out what element didn’t give you the outcome you expected.

Perhaps you went into marketing with limited understanding of what you needed to know about promoting. Maybe you still have to learn the hundred and one details that can make or break you in the world of marketing. In this case, you just need to continue studying to learn what you need to know and do.

Mary Kay Ash Success Mindset quote

Perhaps you did not do enough homework before you launched the product. That doesn’t mean the door to success is closed permanently. All it means is that you need to hit the drawing board again to look for a new – and often improved – way of doing things. Again, maybe you have the perfect product already. But, you simply need a different marketing plan.

Therefore, the most critical thing that you need to do as you are working toward success is to keep your mind on the eventual outcome. Keeping your mind on the eventual goal will ensure that you have the mindset of the successful Internet marketer. You must not focus on the little setbacks that are part of every business. Instead, keep your eyes on your end goal. As you keep your mind on your goal, use everything that others might view as a failure as the thing that teaches you perseverance. In your perseverance, you will come up with a better method of becoming successful.

Albert Einstein quote about success mindset

So, how do you maintain the mindset of a successful Internet marketer? It is so simple. And for some of us it is so hard, at the same time. Instead of looking at failure or mistakes as a bad thing, you must look at them as good things. Simple right? But, sometimes, we have an ingrained idea that failure is bad. Then, we make mistakes and allow them to get us down. We allow mistakes to give us a reason to quit. However, to sustain the mindset of a successful marketer, you often need to consciously tell yourself that you have made so many mistakes that you are clearly on the path to success.

It might take putting posters on your wall with quotes for success to remind you to keep going when you inevitably make a mistake. You might want to come up with a mantra you repeat to change your automatic thinking that failure and mistakes are bad. Or you might want to keep articles on hand that remind you to maintain a positive mindset. And above all, to paraphrase Winston Churchill’s powerful words, “Never, never, never give up!” Get up and keep going toward success. You've got this!!!!

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How to Set Up Your Home Office

How to Set Up Your Home Office

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setting up the home officeHow to set up your home office is critical for those who work from home. And in these days and times, more and more people conduct their work from home. If just beginning to work from home – whether blogging, Internet marketing, or being a new CoVid 19 work-from-home employee, you may not have everything you need for your home office. However, setting up your home office correctly increases your efficiency. Many people work better with work materials accessible. For sure, productivity climbs way, way up with a properly equipped home office.

But, you don't have to spend a lot of money to set up your office. Simply having a workspace set aside with a few key items can be highly beneficial. While possible to spend big dollars to set up your home office, you can also do this on a very tight budget.

Primary equipment needed for Internet marketing home office

When starting to figure out how to set up your home office, the most obvious equipment you will need is a computer.  The computer can be a Windows-based computer or an Apple computer. Either will work just fine for your marketing effort. Keep in mind that most Internet marketing software is created for the Windows based operating system. So if you have a Mac, you may need to make adjustments by running a Windows emulator, or installing Windows on your Mac.

If purchasing a computer, you can usually find a Windows computer good enough for Internet marketing for a couple hundred dollars. A Mac computer will cost substantially more. If you do buy a new Mac, then be sure that it can run Windows programs.

The computer definitely does not have to be a high-end model unless you intend to do a lot of extreme graphics work or video editing. Most Internet marketing tasks can be accomplished well even on systems that are several years old. If funds are limited, consider a used computer. Also, depending on the time of year you are reading this, very good sales are offered on computers near Christmas.

How to set up your home office: desktop or laptop?

For Internet marketing, you can use either a laptop or a desktop model. Personally, for my heavy-duty work, I prefer a computer with a very large monitor. Perhaps that is because I “grew up” on desktop computers, but I like space to spread out on my screen. OK, I admit, it could be my age and fading eye-sight, too!

Having made this true confession, keep in mind that if you are building a business online, you will be spending many hours in front of your computer. So, you do want to select a monitor that is large enough for you to comfortably work without squinting or straining your eyes. You also want to make sure it can block blue light at night to protect your vision.

Many people feel perfectly comfortable conducting all work from a laptop computer and that is just fine. The advantage of the laptop is that you can easily move around with the laptop – not nearly as easy to do with a desktop. If you will be conducting some of your business out of the office (such as at the local coffee shop), then a laptop may be a better choice for you. Laptops are also easier to move at home as well. Sometimes you may just want to go outside to work or move to the bedroom, away from the family activities. The laptop allows you to do this easily.

Optional monitor for laptop

As an alternative that meets both the need to be mobile and to see a large screen, you can always get a monitor to hook up to your laptop. If you do this, you have the advantage of actually having two monitors, if needed. When you hook up a monitor to your laptop, you have all the advantages of a desktop computer and the added bonus of being mobile when needed.

One more comment about working from a laptop. For those of us lacking touch pad dexterity, you can also connect a mouse to your laptop. I find when I am doing a lot of moving back and forth across apps and working with graphics, I really need to have a mouse to work fast. Might be my age – but I have never been able to work as quickly on the touch pad as I can with a mouse. This largely depends on how you learned to use a computer, I think.

Although you may want to use a tablet for your business, I discourage this choice for conducting the bulk of your work. On the tablet, it will be difficult to do many of the tasks you will need to do. The tablet can definitely serve as a backup to use when out of the office.

In a nutshell, the bulk of your work in Internet marketing will probably need to be done on either a desktop computer or a laptop computer. This choice is really up to you. The correct choice will depend on your space and work preferences.

How to set up your home office: Internet connectivity

You probably need a high-speed wired Internet connection for building your business. Having said that, if like me, you live out in the country, you may not have that option. You might have a choice between satellite Internet or mobile hotspot. Satellite way out in the country (at least where I live) was a no-go. While the TV worked OK, Internet connections were too slow. So, I switched to a hotspot and can do pretty much anything I need.

One challenge in building your business using satellite or a hotspot is the limited data limit. Another is the expense of buying more data. You must be creative in spending your data wisely. For example, I download YouTube videos instead of streaming them. This is faster and allows me to go back and watch videos at my leisure. I found 4K Video downloader to be a great program for downloading and it saves a ton of bandwidth each month.

Supposedly, 5G solves all these challenges. However, while good for the cities, 5G won't be available in the country for a while. At any rate, no matter which connection you choose, look for stability as much as possible. Speed is good – but stability is better.

If you have wired Internet, obviously you want to have a connection in your home office.  If you are using wireless connectivity, realize it will not be quite as stable. However, I use wireless because I have no choice and honestly can say it hasn't been a problem.

To print or not to print at home?

When looking at how to set up  your home office, you might wonder whether a printer is necessary. Although having a printer is not a requirement, I come from a time when it was common to read – not on the screen but on paper. I learned by highlighting books and basically interacting with the printed words, carefully taking notes and making comments in the margins. So, in my case, I really do need a printer. If I see a long article that I want to study, then I print it out and basically interact with it. I find it easier in some cases to organize my frequently used “stuff” in a notebook. So, while I might type up a list of categories on the computer, I also print it out to keep in a notebook or hang on my wall as a reference.

If you are anything like that, then buying a printer might be a good investment for your business. Off and on, there will be things that need to be printed. If you don’t have a printer, then you will have to stop working to go get something printed for you.

Combination printer/fax/scanner

A combination fax machine, scanner and printer can be a very good purchase. Some companies will require you to print and fax documents like a W-9 tax form, although that is increasingly being done online. PayPal occasionally restricts accounts for various reasons, and often require you to fax certain documents to them in order to reactivate the account.

Having a fax machine/printer can save you from having to travel to office supply stores while you’re panicking because your account is restricted during a big launch! When looking at printers, consider getting a laser printer. While they might be a bit more expensive than an ink jet printer, in the long run, they cost less because toner is usually less expensive per page than ink. Often, a printer will sell for almost nothing, but the ink will be quite costly throughout the life of the printer. Although color printers are nice, good black and white laser printers can fit in a small budget.

If you have a very limited budget, wait until you really need it to purchase a printer. Likely you will know when it becomes necessary because you will feel frustrated when you have to stop to go get something printed. When you “feel” the critical need, you can find a budget option. Like computers, printers are frequently offered for great prices at Christmas.

How to set up your home office: Location for your work space

Now that you have your computer and Internet, possibly your printer, you need to decide where to locate your office. I have discussed location pretty extensively in a previous post. To summarize, though, you don’t have to have a separate office in your home. On the other hand, it is important to make sure you can have a quiet place that allows you to work without interruptions.

If you live in a small apartment with a family, you may find it difficult to get any privacy or quiet even in a separate location. If this is the case, a good set of noise-reducing headphones and a good white noise CD or MP3 can really help. White noise will help block a lot of bothersome noises, thus helping you focus on your work. Music can also work to block out background noise, but it may be too distracting for some people.

Desk/workspace and chair

Now that you have your equipment, you will need some place to actually work. For this, you need a desk or workspace with a comfortable and ergonomic chair. A desk does not have to be fancy and can be built in a few hours, if you like DIY projects. Primarily, you need a flat surface on which to house your computer, monitor and space to work. If just starting, you can quickly build a desk on top of two filing cabinets or even concrete blocks. As you grow, you will have a better idea of what type of desk you want.

An ergonomic chair is very important because you will be sitting in it quite a bit. At least in the beginning. Believe me, the chair will be much better if it has rolling wheels. This allows you to easily move around while working. A chair with arms tends to be a bit more comfortable for long periods of time. There are many styles of chairs available and a good office chair can make a big difference in how your back and legs feel at the end of the day.

A clutter free environment

Most people find they’re most productive in a clean room with limited distractions. Your work surface should be as clear of clutter as possible. This gives you space to hold folders ready for projects, planners and books for work. A writing surface for taking notes and making reminders also helps. If you are like me, you want space for a cup of coffee or glass of tea to sip while working.

With the above essentials, you are ready to begin working in your Internet marketing business. Eventually you find other equipment that will make your work more productive, but this bare minimum will be very functional for many hours of work.

Ready to get started

To recap. Establishing an office is as simple as setting up the following

  • Computer (possibly a monitor)
  • Internet connection
  • Printer (optional but recommended)
  • A space to work
  • Desk/work space
  • Chair

This is likely the bare minimum of equipment that you will need to build an Internet marketing business. Good news – many of us already have most of this equipment already. Thus, no need to invest in equipment at first. Since working on Internet marketing doesn't require a great amount of speed, computer equipment can be older. And, for sure less powerful than you need for gaming or streaming movies. The desk can be made and the chair can be used.  With these guidelines, setting up an office allows you start on your road to becoming a highly successful Internet marketer.

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Write Copy to Improve Sales

Write Copy to Improve Sales

writing copy to improve salesLet's face it – one of the most challenging parts of blogging is writing copy.  Probably everyone except perhaps Steven King has faced an empty page with dread. You know what you want to write about – but where to start and how to finish have you sitting there almost paralyzed. But, if you want to blog for a living – or really any type of Internet marketing, you need to learn to write copy to improve sales.

The great news is that there are a handful of simple changes you can make to improve your sales on your blog. One of those simple changes comes from tweaking the way you write content on your blog. Believe it or not, there really is a formula that copywriters use to convince people to buy products. You, too, can use that same formula on your own website to increase your audience and to improve your sales.

So, if you are looking for quick and actionable ways to write copy that will improve your sales, stick around and read on.

First, present the problem for your audience

Yes – you really need to address a problem right off the bat, in case your reader does not know they have one. Thus, in order to more effectively reach your niche audience, the first step to take consists of making sure that you present the problem. Why do you need to present the problem? Well, when you write copy to improve sales, you have to guide your audience,  Keep this critical, hyper-important fact in  mind.  And as you read on, think about what makes you do something to see how this problem-solving concept applies.

In basic terms, without a problem in place, people have no needs to be met. Without a problem, there is no reason for anyone to take any kind of action at all. For humans, these problems come in the form of hopes, fears, dreams and desires. In my opinion, fear is the biggest driver of action and closely related to all problems and the search for a solution.

As an example of what I mean about fear, many people “hope” that they are attractive to others. But, the hope is driven by the fear that they are not attractive. For this they need a solution – a way to become more attractive. Someone may “dream” of being a famous actor – but they fear they are not talented enough. Or not skinny enough. Maybe they fear they have the wrong color of eyes. So, they are looking for a solution to overcome the fear, whether it is acting lessons, a diet or contact lenses to change their eye color.

You can really see fear in action these days!!! The fear of CoVid is driving sales in hand sanitizers, soap, bleach, and face masks to unprecedented numbers.  What other than fear could explain the difficulty of finding toiler paper in almost every store in the nation, perhaps even the world? Indeed, fear is a powerful motivator. So as you begin to write copy to improve sales, you need to consider how you can reduce fear in your audience.

Presenting people with a problem that revolves around hopes, dreams, desires and the fear that comes from those components alerts them that they need to do something. This can be something as simple as reading your article to find solutions (thus driving traffic to your site). Or, it could also call for purchasing something that solves the problem.

Once your audience understands the problem you have presented, your copy should provide a way to solve that very problem. With your help, then, your audience can take the necessary action to resolve the problem you presented. In essence, you are “exposing” the problem and then presenting the solution to said problem.

Identify with your audience as you write copy to improve sales

First, tell them what’s wrong from your standpoint. You want to write about it from the perspective of someone who totally understands what they are going through. This can be because you, too, have faced the problem. In presenting your point of view, share that not only have you gone through the problem, but you can also offer solutions you have discovered to solve the problem. When writing, you do not want to alienate your audience by looking down on them. For example, if you are writing about how to get out of debt, don’t want an attitude that comes across as superior by saying something like, “While I would never let myself get into debt, here’s how you can get out of it.” Instead, you want to write from the “Hey – I’ve been there too” point of view.

Thus, show you audience that you understand. Let them know that you walked the same road and have felt the pain in your own life. By spending the time to establish a common bond, you build trust. You show that your solution has merit and can help them. I believe this is even more critical today because we feel so much more isolated due to the CoVid shutdowns and quarantines. So, as people go to the Internet, they are looking for a critical human connection. You want to provide that connection through your writing.

Provide the solution

Once you have established trust through your connection to the audience, show them that there is a solution to their problem. The next way to write copy to improve sales is to then present your solution. Because you have presented a problem, then your audience understands the significance of your copy. When you build trust by indicating that you too have faced the problem, you have gained trust. Then, since you are on the other side of the problem, your solution has validity. Your solution is something that your audience will want to consider.

Present the solution in digestible chunks

However, when you write copy to improve sales, keep this in mind. Your solution might seem easy to you because you have worked your way through the problem and are on the other side of it. But, to your audience, basically in the middle of the problem searching for a way out, the solution might seem confusing. One of the biggest mistakes most people make when presenting sales copy with a solution is failing to break it down into bite-sized chunks. You have spent time on presenting the problem and creating trust. Thus, you must spend time presenting the solution in an easy to follow format. The presentation of the solution then becomes hyper critical.

I suggest breaking your copy up into small bits of information with step-by-step directions. When words are written together in long paragraph form without breaks, readers tend to skim rather than read the content if they read it at all. Thus, they could easily miss a critical element of your solution or get confused and click away from your site without taking any action at all. This you must avoid at all costs.

Use headlines to guide your readers

To get your solution across, write your copy in a style that flows easily.  One of the best ways to make copy flow is to use use clean, crisp headlines for each critical point. Each headline should make sense while summarizing and previewing what is coming in the text.  So, be sure to break up more complex and lengthy ideas into sub-headlines.

With significant headlines, your reader is able to skim the content. And let’s face it – that is what we all do when reading. Very few times do readers go through all the content on a page. They skim to find that information that they need before taking action – or moving on. Thus, you want to facilitate skimming for those who are just looking for key points. They will like you for doing that and will be more likely to stay on your site longer because your content is audience-friendly.

Condense ideas with bullet points

Another way to write copy to improve sales consists of using bullet points in your copy.  This also facilitates skimming. Bullet points serve an important purpose – they take long paragraphs and put them in an easier to read format. Paradoxically, providing key points in bullets make for easier reading. This encourages your reader to actually stay on your page longer to read more. Because it is much easier (and less daunting) to read key bullet points than it is to read huge blocks of text, the reader is more inclined to continue on your site. These bullet points immediately draw the focus of the reader. Within each bullet point, you can point out important details you want them to understand.

Write copy to improve sales by providing a call to action

The next thing you need to when you write copy to improve sales is probably the one thing that many beginner writers leave out. Once you provide the problem, build trust and then present the solution to the problem, you then want to write your call to action. People, in many cases, really do want to be told what to do next. This is what you need to do in your copy. However, you must provide this call to action in a way that promotes doing something specific.

This could be an action like clicking a link, asking for more information, buying something or signing up for a newsletter. Sometimes using the same old phrases (Buy now! or Order today!) can backfire simply because it has been seen thousands of times. When you frame your call to action to things that motivate people, then you are more likely to encourage them to act.

In his book Copywriting Secrets, Jim Edwards provides 10 motivators that encourage people to act. As you read through the reasons, reflect on how much they motivate you to action.

  • Making money
  • Saving money
  • Saving time
  • Avoiding effort
  • Escaping pain – either mental or physical
  • Getting more comfortable
  • Achieving more – cleanliness or hygiene to achieve better health
  • Gaining praise or recognition
  • Feeling more loved
  • Increasing popularity or social status

Indeed, these are powerful motivations to act. I encourage you to do a little exercise to reinforce these concepts before moving on. Write down the last five to ten things you purchased. See where they fit in the above list of motivators that caused you to act. Don't forget that underlying each of these is often fear. See if you can identify the underlying fear related to each motivator.

Going back to the problem to address the call to action

As you are writing your call to action copy, look back to the original problem that you presented to your reader. Here’s where understanding what the problem is can work in the call to action. For example, if you were selling products that successfully treated acne, instead of having a “Buy Now” call to action, you could use, “Yes! I want to get rid of my ugly bumps starting today!”

As you create your call to action, put yourself into your customer’s shoes. How is the problem hurting their life? What emotions are they battling because of it? Embarrassment? Social anxiety? What fears are coming from the problem and how can your call to action eliminate those fears.

Summarize and emphasize your copy to improve sales

As you are writing your copy, don’t forget to use a PS and PPS on your page. Why is this important? Some people skip the sales copy and head straight to the price point and postscripts to see what the page is summed up about.

Let’s face it. There is truly more information out there on the Internet than we can ever consume. I am frequently guilty of skipping all the blah, blah, blah and looking for the final point. I often skip down to the bottom – sometimes to see if I even want to spend time looking at everything written at the top. If the PS and PPS is interesting enough, then I go back and read what I skipped over. So, summarizing and emphasizing your key points are critical for the end of your copy.

Finally, at the end, it is important for you to show the readers what they will risk if they don’t take advantage of your offer or your call to action. This is a great time to focus on the good things that come from action and the bad things that happen with no action. Again, focus on the motivators discussed above to show the reader what they will miss without action – whether it is losing money, wasting time, losing love or any of the other motivators related to the problem solution.

If interested in even more in depth discussion of writing good copy, I highly recommend purchasing Edwards book, Copywriting Secrets: How Everyone Can Use the Power of Words to Get More Clicks, Sales and Profits… Not only will his book provide outstanding assistance to improve your copywriting, he also includes multiple resources for the Internet marketer. To learn even more copywriting secrets, click the link below.

While these tips are easy to follow, they require you to think carefully as you are producing your copy. You almost have to think backwards. You have a call to action in mind – so first figure out what problem your call to action solves. Once you have figured that out, you can frame your writing to persuade your audience and your copy will flow.

Happy writing, all.

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