Season’s Greetings to All

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Best wishes to you all for the festive season and may 2013 bring you love, peace and happiness.

 I have talked about the delightful animated cards from Ojolie.com in  another post this month so I thought I would send one to you all to see why I find them so appealing. Here is my favorite for this year for you all to enjoy.

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Keeping in Touch at Xmas

Nearly Christmas time again and the end of another year – it's amazing how fast the time goes by.

Christmas is a time for family and friends, for catching up with those you haven't seen for a while and for telling others you appreciate them and how much they mean to you. What better way than to send them a greeting whether as a phone call, a letter, a card in the post or an e-card or perhaps a personal video greeting. 

 

Do not be daunted by some of these ideas as they can be fun to make and your sentiments are appreciated by the receiver. Let's start by examining the options: 

If you want to make your own greeting cards, or just want some festive icons to add to emails or web pages, you can get these great Xmas icons free from Mighty Deals – just click on their "Free Stuff" tab. They come in 3 sizes, 64 x 64, 128 x 128 &  256 x 256 so come in very handy for a variety of projects. Mighty Deals also have Xmas stickers free just now – they are on currently on page 2 of the Free Stuff. There's heaps of other graphics in the free stuff as well, so check them out.  

 

Xmas Icons For e-cards with a unique touch, you can't go past Ojolie.com  –  I first heard about Frederikke's cards way back in 2008 (see my earlier blog post for more information) and have renewed my very low priced membership ever since ($12 for one year and $18 for 2 years). I've lost count of how many cards there are available, but there's a wide selection for all sorts of occasions and the great thing is that the membership area keeps track of that cards you have previously sent to the people on your email list there. They have a nice selection of free cards as well for you to try for yourself. Many of my friends have commented on the delightful cards I've sent them, so check them out at Ojolie.com or on facebook.

 

If you'd like a video to share this Christmas, try Animoto – they make it easy to use your own photos, text & even videos to produce a professional looking video message.  You can make a free one of 30 seconds or less with some limitations on the number of your own photos you upload but the cost is reasonable if you want to a bigger project. The free one below was made in about 4 minutes just as a demo.

The compliments of the season to you all. Trish

Make your own photo slideshow at Animoto.

Promote Your Home Business

Use the same marketing tools as a standard brick and mortar business, to promote your at home venture.

Advertising your service or product, is just as important, if not more, when you work from the home. It is important that the public knows how to find you and that your business exists. In order to find success in running your own home business, you must be totally comfortable promoting yourself.

As the owner of a home business, you will need to talk up your business to a large number of potential customers. You have to be able to make your customers feel that your business and products are of the highest quality. Learning to successfully self-promote, is one of the keys to making big time profits.

Participate in trade shows that focus on your particular product or service. Trade shows provide a great way to network with others in your industry. It is also an effective way to promote your business to many potential customers by providing you with a setting to demonstrate your product or service.

Create a mailing list for your home business. This can either be through snail mail or the internet. Let others know about any special deals you are offering or just promote your business.

You can also send out small updates or newsletters to your customers to let them know what has been going on. This will increase traffic to your web site.

Examine all of the ways your home business appears in the marketplace and be sure you have a consistent message and presentation.

Whether it is your business cards, web site or social media business page, keeping your messaging professional and synchronized helps you promote your business appropriately and clearly across multiple channels.

Having a home business does not mean you have to stay home.

Get out of the house to network and promote your home business.

Promoting your business will help make your business grow and in turn make you more money.

Being active in the community will help to spread the word of your business. Business cards are a great way to promote your home based business and get your name out to the community.

Search for free business cards online and then distribute them wherever you go, including grocery stores, dentist offices and your children's schools.

Set up an advertising and promotional item budget for your home business and make sure you stick to it.

Advertising, free products, printing and more can add up quickly.

When you stick within your allotted budget, you help your business stay on track. Your budget will grow over time and you will be able to spend more money to promote your business down the line.

Promote your home business by offering a coupon for a free sample or a discount for your services. People are attracted to free offers, so this is a good way to bring in new customers. People are more willing to try a new business if they do not have to risk their own money to try it.

If you are caught by what is being called the "latest recession" and you are  wondering, "How is my family going to get by?", see if some of these ideas and helpful tips can help you survive and improve your financial situation.

Beating the Christmas Blues

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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.

Freebie for the month


Hi everyone, the free ebook for new registrations this month is “Google Adsense for Newbies”.

This powerful training course contains everything you need to know  so you can start making dramatic profits from Google AdSense quickly.

You’ll learn:

      • How YOU can get Google to stream ads onto your website for free.
      • How Google AdSense ads are specially selected to match your site’s topic.
      • How YOU earn money every time a visitor to your site clicks on one of the ads.
      • How YOU can get killer content for your site that you don’t have to write yourself!

And much, much more!

I currently sell this ebook here for $17, but if you would like a free copy, fill in your name and email over to the right, and then hit the “click to download” button. You will be sent a confirmation email to verify that you asked for information.

After you’ve clicked the link in the confirmation email, you’ll be taken to the download page where you’ll find a download link, plus instructions, if you need them.

 

If you would like a copy of this ebook but get an error message say you are already subscribed, send an email to [email protected] & we will send you the download link.

Cheers
Trish

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Share Folders Free with Dropbox

A very useful tool I use, mainly for backing up online and sharing files within my own network , but it has the potential for much much more is Dropbox. Yes, there is an upgrade option, but you can use the free version very well. There is also an option to get more free storage space when someone you tell about Dropbox signs up.

So what does it do?  It lets you share your files and folders with others by sharing an existing folder on your PC or creating a new one to share. Once you add other members to the folder, it will appear in your friends or colleagues own Dropbox just as it does in yours. Any changes made to the shared folder’s contents will appear instantaneously to everyone who is a member of that folder. You can create a folder in your Dropbox folder just as you would anywhere else on your hard drive.Can you see the potential in this?

There are two ways to setup Dropbox, as a local application or online. The procedure is pretty much the same either way.

Read more

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 more

Affiliate Marketing – some thoughts and ideas

Affiliate Marketing – what exactly is it?

Put simply, it is process where you as the affiliate sell or promote someone else’s product or service and you receive a commission for your efforts. Affiliate Marketing is usually considered to be the lowest cost business model when starting an Online Business, and as such is the most popular method with many newcomers to Internet Marketing. The owners or licence holders of the product you promote can be called authors, publishers, merchants or other different terms, depending on whether it is a physical or an information product that you are promoting and how the commission payments are organised.

This business model can take many different forms but are commonly called Affiliate Programs. You join the affiliate program a merchant is using to sell a particular product you are interested in promoting. The most common types of programs are as follows:

  1. Pay per click – each visitor you send to the merchant’s site will earn you a commission.
  2. Pay per lead – each lead you send to the merchant’s site will earn you a commission.
  3. Pay per sale – commission will be paid by publishers for each sale made at his website or on sites such as clickbank or paydotcom.

Each one of the above methods returns a certain payment for delivering the click, lead, or sale. By far the largest number of businesses utilizing this model work on a Pay per Sale system. There are hundreds of affiliate networks that you can join where the owners of the site have numerous publishers registered so you can choose products & promote them without have to join up to all the separate affiliate programs. Examples of such sites are Commission Junction, Clix Galore, Clickbank, PayDotCom and Click2sell.

Many Internet Marketers will guide the beginner into Affiliate Marketing because it is considered to be the cheapest and simplest business model to get started and develop, especially when all the marketing tools such as a web sales page, promotional emails, articles, press releases etc are provided by the publisher.

Your main costs will be in the promotion of the product or service. All costs associated with the product, sales page, delivery, after sales services, as well as merchant services set up and costs, will be paid by the merchant providing the product.

When starting your Internet Business through affiliate marketing there are five steps to follow:

  1. Find your niche market which shows enough demand as well as a reasonable supply, as well as one that would support future business growth.
  2. Find out what the market is searching for in terms of solutions to problems, or a product/service for which there is a shortage of supply or even a deficiency.
  3. Research the available affiliate products and services for something that will fill the deficiency or fix the problem.
  4. Promote the product by every means available to you.
  5. Although this is not necessarily essential, owning your own website can increase your methods of promotion, but more importantly it allows you to pre-sell the product before redirecting them to the merchant’s sales page.

The final item regarding your own website needs serious consideration as it will be the best way towards developing and growing your business and to start creating an opt-in list of targeted potential customers.

Creating a trust between yourself and your customers, as well as your partners, is of prime importance to your business. This trust will serve you well as your customers will gradually consider you to be their expert in this niche and they will take your recommendations and buy.

To help build this relationship of trust, give value to potential customers by offering something useful to them for free. The more value you give them, the more they will be inclined to make purchases from you at a later date. Do not think for one minute that without it you will be able to succeed in affiliate marketing or any other type of business if you do not build a relationship of trust with a list of potential customers.

Using E-Cards Safely

If you send or receive e-cards (electronic greeting cards), you may not think too much about whether they are safe for your computer or not. They are free and fast, making them a popular and convenient alternative to traditional greeting cards.

To send an e-card, you simply go to an e-card site, choose a card from a number of different categories, and then send it off to your recipient with a personalized greeting. Some of the more well-known companies are Hallmark, 123Greetings, American Greetings or Blue Mountain, but it’s worth doing a search as you’ll find many great e-card sites specialising in topics such as sports and nature & also charity e-cards.

Receiving an e-card is fun too. Often, these cards come equipped with short video or music clips. Millions of people receive e-cards for special days like Christmas, Easter and personal birthdays every year.

E-cards are created the same way Web sites are; they’re built on the Internet just like this page. So when you send someone an e-card, you’re actually giving them a link to click, which takes them to the online greeting card you created for them.

Not all e-cards are harmless cards, though; some may contain viruses, spyware, adware, phishing attacks or spam. At best, this is annoying and can involve pop-ups, lots of unwanted junk mail, or other minor disturbances. At worst, these viruses can crash your system or hack into your email contacts.

There are a number of ways you can protect your computer from unwanted surprises that come in the form of e-cards. The following are some tips for online safety for e-cards.

Know what to look for:

The best way to be safe from online viruses is to keep your eyes out for anything suspicious. A good indication an e-card is not legitimate includes:

  • There are misspelled words or names. The inclusion of non-letter characters such as * @ # $ % , if your name is misspelled, words are spelled with letters in the wrong order such as “Best Wsihes” or are misspelled in other ways, there is a possibility that it is spam or a virus.
  • Make sure you recognize the sender’s name before clicking on any links. The sender should always be recognizable, either in the subject line or the e-mail itself. People don’t normally send e-cards to strangers, so you should probably avoid opening e-cards from anyone you don’t know.
  • The e-card has an attachment. Most e-card companies that are legitimate don’t put their e-cards as attachments. Rather, they have a link you follow to the company’s website that takes you directly to the card. By downloading attachments, you can unknowingly be downloading a virus or other type of unwanted intrusion onto your computer.
  • Be cautious. If you have any suspicion that the e-Card you have received is fraudulent do not open, and do not click on any links within the e-mail if you do. Legitimate e-mails will always give you the option to pick up the e-Card by typing in the address of the Web site, rather than clicking on the link.
  • Preview a link’s Web address before you click it. If the link doesn’t show an address, move your mouse pointer over a link without clicking it to see where the link goes. (The address should appear on the bottom bar of your Web browser.)

Keep your anti-virus & firewall etc software up to date.

You should also have anti virus software, a firewall, anti-spyware and anti-adware installed on your computer to help to detect threats and protect your. In most cases you can get all these programs free, but they do need to be updated and run regularly to give you the best protection. Spyware and adware not only compromise your computer’s security, they will often slow your system down.

Read fine print and terms of service.

If you receive an e-card that has a check box saying you agree to their terms of service, be sure to read the fine print. If you are like most people, you simply check the I Agree box without even looking at the print. This can be a big mistake, because with spam e-cards, you might be agreeing to have them download spyware or adware or even to have access to your computer’s address books.

When in doubt, delete.

If something doesn’t look right, such as the name of the sender or vague subject lines, just delete the card. It’s better to safe than sorry.

E-cards are fun to receive and send, as long as you’re careful when doing so. The above tips will help you be safe online with e-cards.