14 Tips to Keep Your New Year’s Resolutions for Business Success

Did you know that about 45% of Americans make a New Year’s Resolution?

And while nearly half the country makes a resolution, only 8% are successful in actually achieving their resolution. That’s the word from a study put together by the University of Scranton, published in the Journal of Clinical Psychology.

Why is it that so many plans fall apart?

When it comes to business plans for the New Year, the last thing you want is to have them fall apart.  That’s because the start to a New Year can impact the rest of your year. With a good start you’ll gain momentum that may carry over for months ahead. A bad start can send you spiraling out of control until you’re able to turn it around.

So if you made business goals for the New Year (or even a new quarter or new month), what can you do to ensure you stick with them?… Continue Reading >>

Top 2014 Predictions & Trends in Online Business

What as online business owners should we be looking ahead for in 2014? What trends should we expect?

As 2014 gets underway you’ll see a number of predictions including areas the experts believe you should focus on. Often there are so many predictions that you walk away not knowing what to actually focus on.

To cut down on this, I interviewed 26 small business owners on their 2014 online business predictions. These business owners are all in the trenches daily; many are actively running their own business, a few are strictly marketers, and several are small business experts.

The full quotes are below, but first, I put together a visual on the areas they believe will have the biggest impact on your business in 2014. The percentages are based on the number of times each trend was mentioned in the interviews:

According to the interviews, there are 5 main areas that will see the biggest growth and shake-ups in 2014.… Continue Reading >>

How Did You Find Your First Customer? 26 Stories From Small Business Owners

As small business owners we often spend a lot of time creating and refining our product or service, putting the finishing touches on our website, and then waiting for that first customer to magically appear.

But those who’ve already gone through this process know waiting is the wrong way to go about things. You’ve got to be active and go out there. You’ve got to put your business in front of the right people.

It’s often a testament of will.

To gain my first customer I had to put my product on Ebay. That was back in 2001 when there weren’t nearly as many options as there are now. And it was hard. I felt like giving up before I ever got started.

Since getting that first customer can be so hard, most people remember it.  So I decided to ask small business owners how they found their first customer. The answers made great stories and I’ve shared the top 26 of those with you here.… Continue Reading >>

15 Tips on How to Find Your Niche Market

Deciding who you’re going to serve is one of the first things you need to do when starting a business. It has to happen before you build a website, select a domain name, or ever consider placing an ad. Before we get into the tips, here’s a little background on what a niche market is.

A niche market is where you take a broad market like dresses and drill down further. In the process you may simplify your marketing by tuning into a specific audience.

So instead of just selling dresses and competing with giant companies like ‘Ann Taylor’ and ‘JCPenny’, you could go into a niche market and offer summer dresses. Or dresses for toddlers.

With a water purification business you could niche down to selling to families or go in a different direction and sell to businesses. Even a certain type of business, like large corporations. Now you know exactly who you’re selling to.… Continue Reading >>

46 Entrepreneurs Share Their Tips for Staying Motivated in Business

All businesses hit rough patches. You may run out of ideas, run out of steam, or things may just not be working out the way you want them to.

So what can you do to pick yourself up and get back on track?

No matter what decisions you make, motivation plays a huge role in turning things around.

Entrepreneurs & Small Business Owners Share Tips on How to Stay Motivated

There’s definitely something on the list below that will motivate you when your business hits a rough patch. To re-charge yourself and gain new inspiration, check-out the following list of tips on staying motivated in business:


1.  “Instead of doing things the same way as everyone else, have fun and find ways to be disruptive in your industry. Say things differently. Do things differently. Turn left when everyone else turns right. Besides standing out, you might also hit the one thing that turns a rough patch into a launching pad.”

- Gregg Murset, CEO and Founder of My Job Chart

2.… Continue Reading >>

15 AdWords Marketing Experts Share Their Top Strategies

Kristina Cutura

Founder/SEM Consultant KristinaCutura.com, Author of Advertising on Google: The High Performance Cookbook

What is your best quick implementation tip for companies and individuals trying to increase exposure and their profits through AdWords?

Pick highly relevant keywords, avoiding the more general, expensive ones. This sounds counter-intuitive because most companies believe that adding a lot of high traffic keywords increases your exposure. However, adding too many keywords can hinder your efforts at achieving good quality scores and the keywords that you choose could cost you more.

With Google, it’s all about relevance. Google wants their users to see ads that relate to what they are looking for. So, AdWords rewards advertisers who choose relevant keywords and write appealing ads by giving them better quality scores. AdWords discourages advertisers who choose keywords that are too general through poor quality scores. When you have better quality scores, you need to pay less for each click.… Continue Reading >>

Google Adwords Certification: Costs, Details, Tips and Study Guide

AdWords is a fairly complicated advertising platform. Complicated enough that it’s easy to burn through a decent sized budget on AdWords, sometimes in just a few days.  Anyone who’s ever tried AdWords with no previous experience or without investing in some training first can probably tell you that.

And that’s why many small businesses hire an AdWords specialist to help them turn a profit on their AdWords campaigns.  Those with a big enough budget hire a full or part-time employee as a PPC (pay-per-click) Manager. Others outsource their AdWords campaign management to a PPC firm.

The thing is, these small businesses need a way to figure out who’s really skilled in AdWords.  If you’re either:

a) Looking for a job as an AdWords specialist or,

b) Want to offer your services by starting a company or side job helping businesses use AdWords,

Then the AdWords certification is a way for you to show that you’re competent in AdWords.… Continue Reading >>

Learn Google AdWords

Did you know that Google gets over 1 billion searches per day?

That’s crazy. Just writing out the number is mind boggling:


That’s a lot of zeros.

And that’s PER DAY on the Google search engine.

Those searches are actually split through SEO and the paid listings run through AdWords.

If you want a piece of that 1,000,000,000 pie, then you need to get your website ranking high through natural search or AdWords (or both).

I love it when my webpages rank high naturally. It’s free traffic and I’ll take all of that I can get.

But AdWords can work well also, especially if you spend the time to properly optimize your ad campaigns. Even though you have to pay for AdWords listings, as long as you can make back more than what you’ve spent, it’s well worth it.

A really nice advantage of AdWords is it’s faster than SEO.… Continue Reading >>

Should You Do What You Love?

Do you really need to follow your passion to be happy and successful?

I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about passion in what we do in life. And I’ve come to the conclusion that although there are a lot of success quotes on how you should ‘do what you love’ and if you ‘follow your passion, the money will come’ it’s not that simple.

I’m going to take the idea of figuring out what you’re passionate about and break it down to a few components. I think this is really important because no matter what you do in life, whether you have a job or you run your own business (or both), getting started is what’s important.

And the whole idea of doing what you love and figuring out your passion really holds people up. They debate about it endlessly and use it as an excuse to basically, do nothing.… Continue Reading >>

Google Penguin Update: A Look at How the Algorithm Works

The Google Penguin update looks at a number of factors. But the main focus is on a site’s link profile. If you’ve been impacted by Penguin, you may want to consider who’s linking back to you.

Google’s algorithms have always looked at links as an indicator of popularity. But Penguin has added a level of sophistication to how they try to filter out links that essentially weren’t given by merit.

So although Google’s manual spam team has always trolled the search engine results pages for websites that don’t seem to warrant the top spot due to heavy manufacturing of links, Penguin was the first algorithm to attempt to automate this on a large scale.

Which I’m sure the folks at Google are just tickled pink over.

But many in the web community are pretty shaken and rightly so as Google seems to not only discount the links they don’t like, but they are even lowering a site’s rankings because of them.… Continue Reading >>

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