Beating the Christmas Blues

Christmas Holly

It's Christmas once again, and all around there's lights, food, song and cheer. Yet somehow the hustle and bustle only makes you more depressed and lonely. Do not fear; you are not alone! The holiday blues isn't uncommon, and there are lots of ways you can beat them and have more than a merry Christmas.

1. Know why you are sad.

Is it because of work, family, or the weather? Many people often find themselves feeling low for no apparent reason, but believe it or not, there is always a reason – you only need to find out what it is. Take time to reflect; stay in a quiet corner and allow yourself to think about what's really bothering you. Make a list of everything that's been troubling you for the past few days, the past year, or even your whole life. Understanding the "little details" can actually help to make you see things in perspective, and give you an idea how serious your melancholy is.


2. Accept, forgive, move on.

They say it's never easy to forgive (and forget), but the one reason it's so difficult to do is because we haven't first learned to accept that the thing happened at all. Whatever is making you unhappy is done and cannot be undone, and the only thing you can do now is to move on. However, before you can get to that stage, you must try and forgive yourself – for being weak and getting hurt; for letting another person make a fool of you; for not being able to stop something on time, when you felt you could.

Once you've learned to forgive yourself, it is only then that you can learn to forgive whoever or whatever has caused the pain. By this time, it will be easier to move on.

3. Practice empathy.

Now that you know the reason behind your blues and what to do about it, practice spreading cheer to others whom you think are in the same situation as you. Visit an orphanage; do a good deed for a total stranger; share a listening ear with a hapless neighbor. Or spare some time with the people close to you – send Christmas cards and letters to friends, or save one night where you can watch a Christmas movie with the family.

Christmas should be a happy time for everyone, so even with the blues you can still enjoy the season. All it takes is a little love and patience – especially on yourself.

Best wishes to you all for happy time with families
Trish

Tips On Beginning Your Own Home Business

There are a lot of things to consider when you work from home. If you need help getting through the do's and don'ts of a business you run out of your home, then this article will give you the help you need to understanding how to make it successful.

Commit yourself not to decisions but to action. Starting and growing a home business does not follow a linear path. It zigs and zags and requires constant flexibility. There is no way to make all the right decisions up front; you just have to jump in and start doing. Commit to action everyday, and have faith that you will be able to make the right decisions each time choices come up. 

There is no one product or service that everyone is going to need, want or be happy with. Do not try to morph your business to make everyone in the area happy. Concentrate your energy on the consumers that are interested in the things that you have to offer to them.

Provide transcripts of any video or audio you post about your home business products or services so that search engines can index it and customers who can't see or hear can read it. Making your content accessible to the widest possible audience will open you up to getting leads from any demographic.

A great tip for your home business is to try to include a gift or surprise with every order that you send out. This will speak volumes for you and your company and give customers a reason to come back to you. The personal touch is critical with your success.

Another great tip for your home business is to pay your takes throughout the year instead of waiting until tax time. This will keep you from being hit with an unexpected amount of money during tax season which might potentially hamper your business. Check with the Tax Office for specifics on how to properly submit your taxes quarterly.

Take advantage of new technology that allows you to charge credit cards from home. Most people want to pay with a credit card, so invest in a product that will easily let you do this. Many companies have figured out how to make this very affordable for home businesses.

To help promote your home business, consider joining forums that are related to home business generally and your own niche in particular. This is a great idea because you will be able to get free advice and many tips or tricks that you might not have been exposed to otherwise. Do your research on which forums benefit you the most.

People can't be bothered clicking through a hundred pages on a website to find out what your home business is about, so feed it all to them on the front page. Include what you do, who you are, quick testimonials, a photo of yourself or your product, and how to contact you, and your leads will skyrocket.

As was stated at the beginning of this article, having a home business requires a lot of work and follow up in many different areas. The tips and suggestions here should help anyone who has or is hoping to start a home based business make it more successful.

Low Cost Home Business Income from Affiliate Marketing

There are many ways to earn money online but one of the simplest methods is to use affiliate marketing. Probably the biggest advantages of affiliate marketing is that it is not necessary for a person to own a unique product and the process can get underway very quickly. An affiliate marketer makes money by earning commissions when they recommend and sell other peoples’ products.

The Affiliate Process

There are a number of different affiliate marketing strategies, but here is a good specific strategy that is relatively simple yet utilizes several current sophisticated features. The first step is to pick a niche (a sub-category of a larger category) in which there are numerous information products, such as ebooks, e-courses, or reports, available. A good idea is to pick a popular niche of personal interest and then to check the categories in the Marketplace of Clickbank.com, one of the top information product resources for affiliate marketers. Select a few products in the niche to promote and follow the steps to become an affiliate of each of the products and to gain access to the author’s affiliate tools, emails, images, and banners.

Next, use a keyword research tool, such as the highly regarded tool offered freely by Google, to find some ideas for a website domain name. Then, purchase a domain name from one of the many domain name registrars and select an affordable web host that allows easy installation of a WordPress blog.

The reason to use WordPress is that WordPress offers a huge variety of themes and functionality, and the blog platform will allow one to write interesting reviews and articles. Additionally, there are article directories and private label article sources that offer good articles that can be freely included on the blog site.

Now, select an autoresponder system from among the numerous reasonably priced autoresponders that are available. This step will provide the system for creating a series of emails to be sent to prospective customers and to allow follow up marketing to those valuable prospects.

Next, using the tools provided by the autoresponder company, create an opt-in box that will enable the collection of email addresses from prospective customers. Offer the customer a free e-course or series of reports that will provide free and useful information to the prospect. Research private label rights ebooks in the chosen niche online and use one to create a multi-part email series that can be loaded into the autoresponder and sent to the prospect at regular intervals. The benefit of this step is that in addition to getting the useful information the prospect can also receive a short promotion about an appropriate affiliate product that may interest them.

facebookLastly, open an account with Facebook and create a business page. The business page should reflect the blog site’s domain name. This Facebook page can then be used to offer bits of information, advice, pictures, and fun personal notices. The page can also direct the reader to the main blog site where larger articles and product reviews can be found, along with the opt-in box and affiliate product offers.

One of the great things about this specific affiliate marketing strategy is that once the pieces are in place the strategy can be easily repeated to create affiliate marketing opportunities in other niches, as the old saying goes, rinse and repeat!

Best wishes
Trish

IMA – A Review of Internet Marketing Apprentice

Is this the site that has all you need?

Membership sites are still going strong this year and for good reason – a good membership site can have all the tools and resources you need to get your internet business up and running and making money. The only reason that often they don’t is that you go flitting from one site or ptoject to another (like I used to) and don’t get on and follow the suggestions, plans or programs that these excellent sites offer.

Mind you, they are not all excellent sites, but most are run by people who with integrity and who want to do all they can to get you making money and living the same lifestyle of freedom that they themselves have. SO how do you know if a particular membership site will be one of the good ones?

Here are a few pointers to help you decide:

  • Does the site just seem to be a product with a download area and an optin box for your email?
  • Is there a whole lot of hype and trumpet blowing and very little factual information about what is included?
  • Does the advertising tell you up front that the “free” offering is just a lead in and once you sign up, you’ll have to pay a fee, perhaps a monthly fee, to have any real benefit?

Now, don’t get me wrong  – there is nothing wrong with a membership site that has a monthly fee and offers great value for that fee – I belong to a few of them myself – but they have always been open and honest up front about the pricing structure, letting you decide beforehand whether this is for you.

So, here are some clues that a membership site you are considering is good value:

  • Are you offered something that you deem to be good value before you are even asked for any cash? Especially important for those who are in their early stages and don’t have much to spare yet.
  • What sort of training is on offer?
  • Is it at a level appropriate for your stage of learning? Some sites will only offer basic stuff, while others will bamboozle a beginner, maybe putting them off forever.
  • What other resources are provided? Can you get products to sell, resell, brand or rewrite & make your own?
  • Do they help you get traffic to your sites? After all, the best website ever won’t make any money if nobody sees it!

OK, enough of my views – I want to tell you about a new membership site started by a guy I’ve learned to trust, Randy Smith and his partner Craig Dawber. It’s called Internet Marketing Apprentice (or IMA for short) and it incorporates all the elements I’ve told you to look out for in a good membership site. You can get free coaching newsletters sent every 7 days and you don’t need to pay anything for that.

 

However, for those who are ready for more, there many aspects to the membership.

Read moreIMA – A Review of Internet Marketing Apprentice

Google’s latest changes

GoogleTop search engine Google has announced that their latest search algorithm changes are intended to favor sites with original content over sites that reproduce content produced by others, in an attempt to reduce spam sites or sites that seek to improve their rankings in order to get sales from advertising such as adsense.

As a result, many sites that consist mainly or solely on automatically generated content,  such as articles, videos or news stories already ‘out there’ will suffer much lower rankings than in the past.

Naturally, Google wants to stay as the No. 1 search engine and to keep that slot, they aim to give searchers, their customers, the best quality search results.

There is nothing more irritating than to click on a link that takes you to a site that tells you nothing about what you’re looking for. I’m sure we’ve all had that experience, so these changes are welcomed for this reason.

However, the changes may well have a big impact on those who have sites  with some reproduced content on them. If you are one of those, then a post yesterday by Gail Bottomley called Duplicate Content – No Longer Allowed can help you fix things up. There is a great deal of particulary good content there as well as the replay of her webinar on the subject. I watched the webinar live and found it particularly helpful and positive.

Any changes to reduce spam either on websites or in our inboxes are to be welcomed and anyway,  it is believed that these latest changes in Google will probably not be noticed by most viewers.

Keeping your Brain Active

Free Gift Membership to “Learning to Earn” see below.

If you’re approaching retirement age and wondering what you can do to enjoy a long and healthy life in your golden years then consider adopting the attitude of a lifelong learner. Most people think of lifelong learning as being confined to academic endeavors however the lifelong learning approach covers all areas of life including spiritual, social, academic and physical.

Lifelong learning is based on an attitude of constantly growing and evolving in various areas of your life. The old saying that whenever anything is not growing it is decaying could be just as true for us as humans. No matter what a person’s age there are great benefits to be gained by challenging yourself in the different areas of your life, physical, mental and self-deveopment.

Physical challenges must be appropriate for your level of fitness, but regular exercise of some kind will leep your body healthier and your brain healthier too. Mental challenges do not have to be academic study, they can be a new hobby or interest, a new caring or chrity venture, more involvement with family. The most growth in personal development will come when you take on something that is currently outside your comfort zone (nasty words those, aren’t they? How we love to stay in our comfort zone, even when it isn’t all that comfortable really).

Lifelong learners live by the motto “you’re never too old to learn” and this attitude is a big part of the reason that people who approach life with this mindset are seen to perhaps live longer but definitely enjoy a better quality of life – is the so-called law of nature known as the “use it or lose it” true?

It does seem to be the case that those who are considerably inactive develop mobility problems as they age, whereas those who are quite active do not develop these mobility problems. A similar effect takes place with anyone who takes no part in any mentally challenging activity or pursuit. After years of mental inactivity

Read moreKeeping your Brain Active

Brain Training Can Improve Your Memory

banner_brainAll of us, in a certain point of our lives, experienced memory loss. It could be forgetting where we put the keys, if we have locked the door, etc. As we grow older, it is natural for some of our brain cells to age and die which would cause some problems with memory. Over the years, research on brain training showed that it could help in decreasing memory loss.

Dementia is one of the biggest health issues that the older generation is facing. Currently, about 24 million people are suffering from dementia. By 2040, the number could reach about 84 million of sufferers, making us one of the possible patients of dementia.

The same goes for Alzheimer’s disease which is affecting about five million Americans. Health experts project that Alzheimer patients could reach about 16 million by 2050. That is until the current generation would do something to avoid such problems with memory loss.

How does brain training help us in enhancing our memory?

Read moreBrain Training Can Improve Your Memory

Managing Time In Your Business

There are many tips on how to create time for yourself and to manage your time in your business. Here are several items that may just help you remember the basics.

Learn to say “No”. Many people find it hard to turn someone down especially if it is a customer or a good friend. You more than likely have your day planned as to what needs to get done in your business and then along comes someone and wants you to “help” them in whatever problem they are having with something in their private life or in their own business. Much of the time, the reason they are having trouble is lack of planning on their part or lack of understanding of your work time. If you stop and interrupt what you are doing, it can impede your progress in your own business, so learn to just say “no” when the time is not right for you and schedule another time that suits you both. Of course, if you are free to help, then that is fine.

Read moreManaging Time In Your Business

Have a Go at Selling on eBay

There’s something undeniably entrepreneurial about selling on eBay. It is true that there are eBay millionaires and there are also successful backroom eBay stores run by people with no more skills than the desire to make money under their own steam and it is the nature of selling on eBay that makes it possible for them and also makes it possible for you. A ready-made audience, instant search engine listings, ready payment systems and the ability to get started with no more than a product, a computer and a desire to succeed all combine to make very low barriers to entry.

The more sophisticated a business selling on eBay becomes, the more opportunity it represents. The scale of the marketplace is immense, for example a pair of shoes is sold on average every 3 seconds. Billions and billions of dollars are transferred every year from buyers to sellers.

There are constantly new niches and opportunities to exploit. Part of selling on eBay is to understand the marketplace and identify exploitable niches within your area of expertise. While there are many bargains to be had on eBay for buyers, it is also possible to achieve a higher price than that paid in shops for some of the items you sell, especially when you start with a low initial price, as this encourages bidding. Everyone loves to get a bargain!

When starting out selling on eBay choose a single, low value product to work with. It makes the whole learning process easier and less painful. Conquer that product before exploring other avenues of revenue. The experience that comes from actually doing it, along with the adrenaline and excitement when you finally make some money from the process is exhilarating. This is normal and healthy, but don’t get carried away. Keep it simple until you feel confident in approaching another market. More competitive markets will be harder to break into, so go for something you know about and feel you can realistically compete in.

Selling on eBay may not require a payment system or a website, but it does require all the other elements of a regular business. You need to be seen to run a professional outfit and to provide a professional service or customers will not return for a repeat visit. Worse than this, one of the features of selling on eBay is that users will leave feedback after their purchase.

Negative feedback can be the kiss of death to your business. Buyers are cautious not to trust their money in the hands of merchants who have provided poor experience for previous buyers and once you have negative feedback it will be seen by all of your prospective customers. Often, with so little to differentiate yourself from your competitors it is vital that you have as good a seller rating as is humanly possible.

A core component to maintaining good feedback when selling on eBay is accurate item descriptions and prompt delivery. The most common reason for poor feedback is slow delivery, although stock control issues, slow customer response times and bad packaging are all very important in order to maintain a good seller rating.

So, give it a go. Have a bit of fun! You’ll never know until you try just how this opportunity might turn out for you.

Best wishes
Trish