As a retailer, the best way to create an amazing shopping experience for your customers is to have an e-commerce store. However, setting up an e-commerce store might be the last thing on your mind when you are still trying to get your business off the ground. What then should you do? Throw your hands up in the air and give up. Wish or hope for a “better” tomorrow. Or follow Onpoint Success’s recommendation and build a free e-commerce platform that will make your customers keep coming back. I bet you will choose the later!

Building a free e-commerce platform is now easier than ever as lots of platforms are springing up and are offering business owners the opportunity to look “professional” as much as possible.

Today, I will like to share three of such platforms that allow you to create a free e-commerce site, so you can grow your business.

[Read: How to Earn Loyalty from Current Customers and Turn them into Raving Fans]

 

Weebly

This is a platform for e-commerce, websites and integrated marketing for creative entrepreneurs and small business owners. The company is headquartered in San Francisco and currently has more than 50 million customers around the world.

Weebly has a free online website creator which uses a simple widget-based site builder that operates in the web browser. All the site elements are drag-and-drop and the good thing is it automatically generates a mobile version of each website. This platform offers you unlimited storage, plus you have the option to have any url ending in .weebly.com, .com, .net, .org, .co, .info, or .us. (example.weebly.com)

Weebly has Android and iPhone apps that will allow you to monitor traffic to your website, update blog posts, respond to comments, and add or update products if you have an e-commerce online store. Another great thing is that the basic features of blogging and e-Commerce are supported. You can set up your e-commerce store and even integrate payment portals like PayPal, Stripe or Authorize.net.

[Read: 7 Ways to Monetize Your Skills]

 

Wix

This is an Israeli cloud-based web development platform. With Wix, you can create websites and mobile sites through the use of online drag and drop tools. It allows you to add functionality such as social plug-ins, e-commerce, online marketing, contact forms, e-mail marketing, and community forums to your website using a variety of Wix-developed and third-party applications for FREE.

This is what I used in creating my first e-commerce website and it was beautiful. However, because it’s free, you’ll need to deal with a long domain name and lots of advertisement from Wix on your website. Despite this, it’s worth checking out.

 

Free Web Store

This is my absolute favorite of all three and you’ll see why in a minute. Free Web Store has lots of amazing features that make it the number place to recommend for retailers who cannot afford to pay huge sums of money for their e-commerce store. With the Free Web Store, you have all the tools needed to list your product online and have customers shop with ease and peace of mind. Some of the features include a simple yet powerful eCommerce solution, designs that are mobile and tablet ready and will work on any device, free SSL certificate, graphics that are automatically added to new, sale or popular products to increase product visibility, Instagram integration for that extra wow factor and lots more.

[Read: 10 Ways to Drive Traffic to Your Website]

Once you build your free e-commerce store, remember that no matter how good anything free is, there’s always a type of limitation placed on it. That’s why once you build your free website, you should start looking into saving toward transitioning to a paid eCommerce site, so you can unlock all the possibilities.

 

Thanks for reading. Are you a retailer? Which of these platforms will you check out? Leave a feedback below and remember to share this post with a friend.

 

 

You applied for a job, your resume caught the recruiter’s attention, you got a call to schedule an interview with you and now what? It’s time to start preparing and coming up with a strategy to stand out during the interview and increase your chances of landing the job.

Interviewing is one activity that excites me because not only do I love being interviewed, it serves as a great learning experience for me. I remember my first major interview in the United States. I applied for a professional job at a time when many immigrants like me would choose to settle for less. As part of the interview process, I had to sit for an exam, get graded and placed on a selection list prior to being called for the physical interview. I prepared for the exam as though my life depended on it and then got a letter a few days after that I had been placed on the interview list. From that moment on, I started preparing for my interview and ensured that I left no stone untouched. Eventually, I was called for an interview and at the end of an arduous process, I landed the job. Several years after landing the job and rising through the ranks, I got to work and found a folder on my seat. I opened the folder to find some documents that related to how I was hired. The Human Resources department had asked for the reason I was picked among the candidates and the responses my then supervisor gave were quite telling.

Seeing this folder gave me an insider look into what people look out for during interviews.

Are you looking for a job? Are you scheduled for an interview? You need to keep reading so you can put your best foot forward on interview day and stand out from the rest of the interviewees.

[Read: How to Stand Out and Become Indispensable in the Workplace]

 

Preparing for Your Interview

Research: The most intelligent man in the room is he who has done his homework before submission time and that is why standing out during your interview will require that you diligently do your homework and research about the company you want to work for, the position you are applying for and what it requires to get the done. In researching, the first point of call is the company’s website and social media pages. Know their values, ethics and social responses and plan ahead to infuse those in your responses. Another point of call is the current employees. These people are a good source of insider information. If you know any employee who works where you are about to be interviewed, it’s a great idea to pick up the phone and call the person or take him/her to lunch. Also, Google is always your friend. Research the company on Google, learn about their latest news and updates and be prepared.

Read the job description and the requirements: One of the ways to stand out and increase your chances of landing the job is by reading the job description thoroughly and having a clear understanding of what it requires to get the job done. If you the position requires a specific skill set, be sure that you can deliver and if you need to brush up on some terms and acronyms, be sure to do that way ahead of time.

Update your resume: During the application process, you might have been asked to submit your resume but that should not stop you from updating your resume as you prepare for your interview. In order to stand out during your interview, your resume must simply be on point. You must elaborate on your skills and provide a cover letter that speaks to “what you intend to bring to the table.” Do not make your cover letter only about your skills and qualifications. Plan to let your potential employer know that you are also thinking about the value you want to add to the organization.

Maintain a clean social media profile: Another way you need to prepare for your interview is by maintaining a clean profile on social media. Employers are now checking social media before, during and even after the hiring process. You must be diligent and ensure that your social media profile reflects your core values. Avoid the use of vain or profane words or pictures or anything that might be questionable or prevent you from getting the job.

[Read: How to Present with Power and Confidence During Your Next Public Presentation]

 

Standing Out During the Interview Process

There is no one formula for standing out during the interview process but here are a few things you can do to stand out during the interview process.

Arrive early: One of the ways to create a great impression and standout during your interview is by arriving early. This is definitely a plus because it speaks to your work ethic. Arriving late for an interview no matter the reason decreases your chances of standing out. Some of the things you can do that will help you arrive early include knowing your route, staying at a place close to the interview (especially if you live out of town), and making plans for adequate transportation, allowing time for traffic. When I attended my first major interview several years ago, I arrived one hour early.

Dress for success: You must have heard of the phrase “do not judge a book by its cover” and while that is absolutely the right thing to do, people still do the opposite and judge a book by its cover. If you want to stand out and increase your chances of landing the job, you must be properly dressed. Why is dressing important?

The way you dress is a sneak peek into your soul, reflects your values and speaks volume.

It’s also the first thing your interviewers will notice about you and that’s why it’s important for you to pay attention. On a general note, the dress code for interviews is formal. However, you may also want to research what the dress code of the organization is. A quick check on the website will give you insights as to how to be properly dressed for your interview.

[Read: 7 Things That Hinder Success]

Let your passion shine through: There’s no way you can bring your highest potential into a job without being passionate about it. During the interview process, your interviewers must be able to perceive that you are passionate about the job you are seeking to get. No one wants to hire someone who’s only in for the money. Look beyond the compensation you are about to get and let your mind, body and soul be in tune. Your interviewers will notice this, and it will help you stand out from among others that will be interviewed for the same job.

Practice your introduction: This is big. Your introduction will set the tone for how your interview will go so it’s imperative that you practice your introduction ahead of time. Of course, you don’t want to sound like you are already programmed but a well-rehearsed introduction will leave your interviewers yearning for more.

Speak with Confidence: One of the things you can do to stand out during the hiring process is to speak with confidence. Your interviewers are not necessarily looking for the best candidate in terms of academic results, rather they are mostly looking for a well-rounded person that speaks with confidence without being condescending. In speaking with confidence, share your skill set and how it will add value to the organization. Answer the questions asked without prevaricating. When you are being asked a question for which you do not know the answer, tell the truth instead of polishing it or circumventing it. Another point worthy of note is to go beyond giving monosyllabic answers

[Read: How to Overcome Self-Limiting Beliefs]

Go with relevant documents to reinstate your facts or that back up your experiences: Take all documents that will reinforce your skillset and achievements with you. This shows you are diligent and prepared. It makes you stand out from the crowd.

After your interview, it’s not yet time to fold arms and wait for the call. Instead, take your time to send an email or a card to your interviewers to thank them for the opportunity to be interviewed. Doing this will create a great impression on their hearts and improve your chances of getting the job.

 

Thanks for reading. Do you have an interview coming up soon? Leave a comment below and remember to share this post with a friend.

 

 

Apple announced the launch of a new initiative called The Apple Entrepreneur Camp, on Monday, November 27, 2018. This initiative is designed for supporting women founders who are focused on app development.

The first session, which is free, will hold in January 2019 for two weeks. It is open to women-owned businesses which have developed or in the process of developing an app.

The program will have quarterly sessions for 20 app companies going forward, but the pilot session will select 10 companies.

“We wanted to focus on women who already have an app-driven business, and we don’t require them to have an iOS app,” Apple Senior Director of Worldwide Developer Marketing Esther Hare told Tech Crunch.

[Read: How to Start and Launch an Online Business]

After a successful completion of the two-week program, attendees will have access to a year-long membership in the Apple Developer Program, tickets to the next Apple Worldwide Developers Conference and access to the Apple Entrepreneur Camp Alumni Forum.

Do you know a woman-owned business or startup focused on app development? It’s time to tell them about The Entrepreneur Camp.

 

 

 

 

If you truly want to grow your business, you should focus on turning your customers into repeat customers.

Repeat customers are the ones who truly keep you in business because you can always bank on their patronage, referrals and loyalty.

They are also easier to sell to, more inclined to become raving fans and are instrumental in helping you pass your brand’s message to those you may not be able to otherwise reach by yourself. That’s why, as a business owner, it’s important to do all you can to have as many repeat customers as you would love.

When I started my building my brand, I knew that the only way I could grow to the level I dreamed of was directly tied to my ability to retain my customers. I made up my mind to do everything that was within my power to not only meet my customers’ expectations but also to exceed them. With this in mind, I went to work so my dream could come true. Today, over 50% of my customers are repeat customers who keep coming back and also bringing their friends with them.

[Read: How to Start Charging Customers What You Truly Deserve]

 

3 Reasons Why You Don’t Have Repeat Customers

As a brand strategist, I have had the opportunity to work with several entrepreneurs, business owners and startups in the last 5 years. During this time, I have learned many things about how to build successful businesses from working with other businesses. I have also learned among many things that most businesses do not have repeat customers because of 3 reasons. Many times, business owners find it hard to see what they are doing wrong but with my professional help, I point out the reasons out to them. Overall, there are 3 main reasons why you don’t have repeat customers. Let’s explore them below.

 

You overpromise and under-deliver

Each time you make a promise to prospects and customers alike and your delivery falls short of your promise, you are basically saying to the customer that your business is not worthy of doing business with. If you want repeat customers, you must learn to change your promise and more importantly, action.

Do not promise a customer something you know you have no capacity to fulfill. Always be open and transparent in your dealings and watch how customers will respect you for it.

 

You are a generalist instead of a specialist

People mostly come back to businesses that “catch their fancy.” If you want your business to catch the fancy of its customers, then become a specialist instead of being a generalist. Every customer wants to know that they are getting the best each time they patronize your business.

If you offer specialist services for a general skill, then you are sending a message to your customers that you do not deserve their money.

As a business owner, you must constantly update yourself and be sure that you are on top of industry news and trends. If you want to increase your repeat customers, then you need to become a specialist. Commit to knowing as much as you can in your industry so that your brand can become irresistible.

[Read: 3 Reasons Why You Need an Effective Marketing Strategy]

 

Your customer service is nothing to write home about

 If I am asked what alienates customers the most, it’s that many business owners treat their customers as inconsequential. Inconsequential is when you treat the other person as though they have no significant value. If this has been your attitude toward your customers, it’s time to press the “pause” button. Press the “pause” button so you can start treating your customers like the most important people in your life. If you start treating your customers like the most important people in your life, you’ll notice how they will buy, keeping buying and referring customers to you until they get tired.

 

Thank you for reading. What other reasons do you think there are for not getting repeat customers? Share your thoughts in the comment box below and remember to share this post with a friend.

 

Last week, I shared some tips about the four reasons why you should write a book and six steps to take before writing one. In continuation, this post is about the steps to follow to self-publish a book successfully.

Writing a book can be a very stressful process. I underestimated how stressful it could be until I stepped in those shoes. My goal was to write a book that will make a tremendous impact on the way women entrepreneurs think about and build a profitable brand online. Prior to that, I had read many great books on business success that focused a lot on the “what” but ignored the “how.” I wanted my book to change that. I titled it, UNEQUALED: The Power Woman’s Pathway to Building a Profitable Brand Online and started writing. By the time my manuscript was ready, I thought I had crossed the greatest hurdle in becoming a published author, but little did I know that it was the beginning of the beginning.

Everything I planned – the proofreading, the editing and formatting, the graphic design – didn’t go on as planned. It was as though I was watching a movie. The only saving grace was my patience and ability to see the bigger picture. I had to move my book launch by 6 months and I can tell you it was a wonderful learning experience for me. My patience was rewarded with astounding success and one month after I published, my book had reached readers in more than 20 countries across the world. That’s the reason I am able to write about it today.

[Read: 6 Practical Ways to Inspire Creativity]

If you truly want to reap the rewards that comes with writing a book and becoming a published author, it’s time to fasten your seatbelt and follow the steps below. If you follow them dutifully, you are on your way to self-publishing your book successfully.

 

1. Get a proofreader

As a self-publisher, the first thing to do when you are done writing is to get a proofreader. A proofreader is a professional who reads your manuscript and corrects all grammatical errors. Do not attempt to use the spelling and grammar check feature offered by Microsoft word to proofread your book because you’ll find out it’s not an effective tool to use. Instead, you should look for a professional proof-reader who pays attention to details and is ready to go above and beyond the call of duty. Once the proofreader sends your manuscript back, I would also recommend you get a second proof-reader to go over it again.

2. Get an editor

Once the proofreading is complete and you feel satisfied, you can move to the next stage which is editing and formatting. This process, like the proofreading, takes longer than many people realize. When my book was still being edited and formatted, I wondered why many of the vendors were dragging their feet until I had the opportunity to work with someone who formatted my book and gave me the access to watch the process live. I found out that it’s a skill that needs attention to details. If you have great editing skills or you are a self-learner, you can edit and format your book by yourself. The only challenge might be the time you need to invest to get things done.

3. Get a graphic designer

A graphic designer is responsible for designing your book cover. Many times, people who do editing and formatting are graphic designers as well.  When looking to hire a graphic designer, be sure to ask about the type of software your designer uses. This is important as it would help to determine what your book cover will look like. For example, the text and layout of your book cover should be compelling and distinct. Anything short of this will not give you the type of results you are looking for.

[Read: 4 Graphic Design Tools You Can Use in Creating Stunning Designs for your Brand Like a Pro]

4. Get your ISBN

The ISBN number is a 16-digit number that is used in tracking your book worldwide. This number can be bought via Bowker or if you are planning to self-publish through a vanity press (this is a hybrid version of the traditional publisher where your upfront cost is greatly reduced), you can get your ISBN from them. My recommendation is that you buy your ISBN number directly from Bowker.

5. Design a launching and marketing strategy

This is the crux of everything. Yes, you worked so hard writing your book but no matter how great the content of your book is, if you do not know how to launch and market it effectively, then it’s as good as having gold in a remote area no one knows about. To help people realize how great of an impact your book will make in their lives, you need to find a way to bring it into their consciousness. That way is by designing a launching and Marketing strategy that will help get the word out about your book.

6. Register on Ingram Spark/Create Space

One of the advantages of being a self-publisher is that it saves you the cost of printing books that might end up in your garage. Platforms like Ingram Spark and Create Space help you to sell your books by printing on-demand. On-demand printing means that the books will only be printed after someone has placed an order. Traditional publishers will not do this and you will be required to pay upfront to cover printing costs.

[Read: 10 Things You Can do to Drive Traffic to Your Website]

7. Create an author website

One of the ways to make your book more prominent is by having an author website. If you already have a website and you are short of funds, you can create a page on your website dedicated solely to your book. On your author website, you provide every information about how you started writing, why readers should buy and where they can buy. Also, share reviews from trusted experts and readers who recommend your book on your website.

8. Register your Copyright

 By the virtue of publishing your book, you already have copyright protection. However, if you take the extra step of registering for copyright on your book, then you have more protection. If you live in the United States and you want to register the copyright for your book, you can do so here. If you live outside of the United States, find out what your local copyright requirements and steps are and then register your copyright.

9. Save money

Book publishing is not cheap and even though selecting the self-publishing option might appear cheaper than the traditional publishing or the vanity press option offered by some businesses, book publishing is an expensive project that will eat into your finances. Having enough money saved will ensure that your book launching plans will not be halted.

Once you follow these steps, you are on your way to publishing your books successfully and experience astounding success in your endeavors.

Thank you for reading. What stage are you in your book writing process? Leave a comment or feedback below and remember to share this post with a friend.

 

 

Entrepreneurship. That one word encompasses so many different meanings, emotions, and thoughts, that it can be overwhelming. But how does one go about becoming one? For some, the direct sales route seems the most appealing → low risk, low buy-in, you get out what you put in. However, this system is not the only option out there. If you’re like me, you want to have a business that is solely yours, not tied to another party that will take a portion of your earnings.

How do you get started on creating your own business?

First things first: it starts with an idea. What do you have to offer, what skills can you share, what hobbies do you have that can be monetized? We’ve all heard the quote that goes something like, “When you love what you do, you never work a day in your life.” Now, that’s certainly a great ideal, but the reality is, you do have to work at it.

[Read: How to go from Multiple Ideas to Gaining Clarity in 5 Easy Steps]

So, after you’ve given yourself plenty of time to come up with a potential business idea, it’s time to break it down. Here are some of the questions I’ve asked myself when I was first starting out, as well as questions some of my fellow business owners asked:

  1. Is someone already doing this?
  2. How can I differentiate myself from the competition?
  3. What niche or target market do I want to focus on?
  4. How will I market this?
  5. Will there be startup costs?
  6. How will I fund my business?
  7. Will this be full-time or part-time?
  8. Will my focus be in-person or online?
  9. What do I need to have in place before I launch?
  10. Should I offer case studies, launch specials, get beta testers, etc.?

From there, comes some of the fun stuff → branding. Since I’m a creative by nature, I love when I get to flex those muscles. What goes into branding? That would be your color palette, your logo, the emotions and feelings you want your audience to feel and/or experience, your messaging, and your imagery. Don’t worry, there are plenty of resources out there to help with this step.

What my clients have done is start with their colors. It’s important to select a palette that will speak true to your brand. Why is this so crucial you may ask? Branding is all about putting yourself out there online and making your work and products recognizable to others. With your color palette, it will immediately let your audience get a feel for you. Is your brand high-energy or low-energy? Is it calming and soft, or edgy and sophisticated? When you delve deeper into color theory, you’ll be amazed at how integral this is.

[Read: How to Choose a Target Audience]

Once you have your palette, creating your logo will be that much easier (whether you do it yourself or hire someone to create it for you). Font selection will also come into play here, but that comes down to personal preference more often than not.

The key thing to get right when it comes to branding, though, is your messaging.

You want to be confident, bold, and never waiver. For example, if your brand is soft, feminine, and pink, using language that is counter-intuitive to that can send the wrong message (unless, of, course, you’re going for that ironic motif).

Let’s check in real quick: (1) you have your business idea; (2) you’ve answered some very important starter questions; (3) you’re developing your branding. Now, it’s time to create your offer. Depending on the business that you want to have, that can range from a physical product development (like a candle or jewelry) to online offerings (like social media management or virtual assistant packages) to services (like coaching or cleaning services). Regardless of the industry, you want to break into, you can find valuable resources that can help you navigate exactly what you’re looking for.

Now that you have your offer, you’re nearly ready for market. One thing that is so important for business just starting out is target market research.

You need to know what your audience wants, what they’re willing to pay for it if they see a need for it, and what demographic of people are interested in it.

The simplest way to do this is to create a quick survey and post it to social media. If you’re part of various groups, share it there as well, and see what your responses are. Don’t have a strong social media game? Emailing the quiz to friends and family, asking them to share it with their circles is also beneficial. At the end of the day, if you’re getting responses, you’re getting the tools you need to perfectly package your new business and offerings.

[Read: 5 Proven Ways to Boost End of the Year Sales and Finish 2018 Strong]

Whew, okay; you’re at the home stretch! With all this amazing work done, it’s time to check the legal (not as fun) boxes of your business before you officially launch. What do we mean by that? Depending on the state and county you live in, you’re going to need a business license. Added to that, you’ll more than likely need a DBA (doing business as a name), even if you’re a sole proprietor. Most entrepreneurs start out as sole proprietors before deciding to incorporate. Once you have your business name and business license, it’s time to get your business account. Most banks offer this, and trust me: keeping your personal and professional finances separate is a MUST! You don’t want any nasty surprises from the IRS down the line should you keep them co-mingled.

Have you checked all the fun and legal boxes? Have you done your due diligence with your research? Do you have a fully-branded offering that’s ready to go? If you do, it’s time to launch! Celebrate the fact that you have not only taken an idea and turned it into an innovative solution, but you’ve taken the first step to becoming a true entrepreneur. Get ready for some equally tough and rewarding times ahead, but trust in the fact that if you can get to this point, you’re prepared for what is yet to come.

Thanks for reading. Do you have a business idea? What’s stopping you from going all out? Ask your question below and remember to share this post with a friend.

So you are thinking of starting a blog, however, you have no idea where to start or the things you need to do before you start, this article is for you.

I started my blogging journey seven years ago and just like you, I had no idea where to start from neither did I have anyone who was willing to hold my hands. The only information I had about blogging was that there was a platform online where I could blog. I searched on the internet and found the “blogger” platform. That was how I registered my first blog. From that moment on up until today, I have made several mistakes than I could keep track of and if there was anything I wished I did differently, it was that I had someone to put me through.

I am glad that you are ready to blog and even more glad that I can hold your hands in this journey you are about to start. It is always a great thing when you have someone who can put you through.

Blogging is not for the faint-hearted and the journey is more of a marathon than a sprint. I have heard of some people who achieved tremendous success with their blogs within six months while many more had to wait for 1, 2, 3, 5 or even 10 years. Your success rate will depend on many factors most important of which is to make sure you get started on the right note.

[Read: How to go from Multiple Ideas to Gaining Clarity in 5 Easy Steps]

 

10 Steps to Launching a Successful Blog

1. Pick a niche: When I started my blog, I knew I wanted to write for small businesses and startup. I was and still is extremely passionate about small business success. Because I knew what I wanted and the audience I wanted to serve, it was easy for me to write a cohesive content that my audience couldn’t wait to devour. However, I have met many business owners who started with the mindset of wanting to write about everything. There is a problem with this and the problem is, trying to capture everyone’s attention in the marketplace is extremely difficult and mostly a waste of time, effort and energy.

One of the best decisions you can ever make before you start blogging is to have a niche.

Don’t say “I want to write about everything.” You may be good in a lot of things but you can’t be great at everything. Having a niche separates you from the crowd, helps you cut through the noise and attract the right audience who truly need to hear your message. Ask yourself, “what topic areas fascinates me the most?” “What can I write about and I’ll not get tired even if no one is reading?

Blogging is not for the faint-hearted neither is it for those who cannot withstand the pain that comes with patience.

It is not something you do with the mindset of just testing the waters. If you are only trying to test the waters, blogging is not for you. However, if you truly want to make an impact and build a platform that will become a force to be reckoned with, blogging is for you.

[Read: 3 Steps to Getting Customers Who Will Pay You]

2. Choose a Content Management System: Once you pick a niche, the next thing you’ll need to decide on is choosing your content management system. I do not want to confuse you but some of the most content management systems out there include WordPress, Drupal, Joomla, ExpressionEngine and Text Pattern. Out of all these, I recommend WordPress.

I started using WordPress in 2014 after making so many mistakes on my journey to building a great blog. Why do I use WordPress?

Based on market share statistics, it is the most popular content management system. It is used by over 28% of all websites on the internet, and by 59% of all websites using a known content management system, followed by Joomla and Drupal.

WordPress has two versions and these are WordPress.com and WordPress.org. If you are serious about building an empire from blogging, you need to create an account with WordPress.org. However, if you are yet to do so, don’t open an account yet, instead keep reading.

[Read: Yet to Register Your Business? Here are 5 Reasons Why You Should]

3. Secure your domain name: Your domain name is the URL you will give to people when they ask for your website. For example, if you asked for my domain name, I will tell you, it’s theonpointsuccess.com. For you, it will definitely be different. No two domain names are the same and when you are choosing a domain name, be sure to use a simple name that can be easily spelled by anyone. There are many platforms where you can secure your domain names but it’s preferable if you secure your domain name from your hosting provider.

4. Choose a hosting platform: In order for your website to function, you need a hosting provider to provide you with a hosting platform. Examples of hosting platforms include Site Ground, Blue Host, Go Daddy, InMotion etc. Most of these platforms are already compatible with WordPress and they offer one-click install option for your website. If you need a step-by-step direction in getting your domain name and getting started with your blog, here’s one.

[Read: Practical Ways of Reducing Your Overhead Costs and Increasing Your Profit Margin]

5. Choose a theme: The great thing about using WordPress is that you can buy a theme and determine the look and feel of your website. A theme is a template of how you want your blog to look and feel to users. Most themes are priced between $30 – $50 although there are premium themes that are priced way higher and if you do not have enough funds, you can use the inbuilt themes until you are ready to invest.

6. Find great topics: Once you have established your website following the steps I described above, it’s time to find topics to write about. Great topics are excellent ways you can use to drive traffic to your blog. Without traffic, the purpose of your blog will be defeated. No matter how small your blog or big your blog is, it is important you find out about great topics that your audience will love. My favorite ways of finding topics is to check focus Facebook groups, ongoing trends in my niche or even better still, I conduct a survey and ask people on the topics they want me to teach about.

7. Use a content plan: Your blogging success will depend on how well you plan your content. It is not how much you write but how well you write. Using a content planner will replace randomness with intentionality, help you prevent being overwhelmed, helps you stay on task and gives you the ability to recognize when your actions do not align with your vision.

A content plan is like the GPS that is leading you to your intended destination.

Always remember that as you blog, you are leading your readers on a journey to an expected end and once you derail, an average reader will notice it and they will stop following you. A content plan does not have to be complex and there are many content planners out there that can help you if you need help with that. But if you are operating on a lean budget, you can come up with your own content plan using your calendar.

[Read: 6 Practical Ways to Inspire Creativity]

8. Create an email list: Proximity is power and one of the best ways to have access to and influence your loyal followers is by creating an email list. When you have a list of your loyal readers’ emails, it gives you the power to influence them and impact them in ways they can never imagine. If you are yet to get on my email list, I invite you to join so you will never miss a post from me. In order to create your own email list, you have many options and these include Mailer Lite, AWeber, Constant Contact, Mail Chimp, Convert Kit etc. Out of all these, I recommend Mail Chimp for a start. It gives you the flexibility of creating a list of 2000 subscribers for free and I believe their plan is the best for starters. Once you start growing and your email subscribers exceed the 2000 limit, then you may start considering other options if you wish.

9. Create Blog Posts: Once you create your email list, it’s time to start creating your blog posts. Always remember that the internet has no restrictions and that there no limit to where your blog posts can reach. When you create your blog posts, have it at the back of your mind that your reader can come from any part of the world. Create quality blog posts that will be educative, instructive and compelling.

[Read: 10 Reasons Why No One is Reading Your Posts on Social Media]

10. Launch your blog to the public: Starting a blog is a lot of work and therefore it is highly imperative that everyone knows about it once you are ready. If you need a step-by-step guide in setting up your self-hosted WordPress blog, here’s one.

As you start your blogging journey, always remember that success comes from consistency. For your blog to succeed, you need to be consistent. Do not expect to become successful overnight. Focus on working hard and keep doing all you can do to make things work. In the end, everything will take shape.

 

Thank you for reading. Have you started blogging? What other questions do you have about the steps to take to get started with blogging? Ask your questions below and remember to share this post with a friend.

Prior to writing and publishing my UNEQUALED book in March 2018, I had always thought that writing and publishing a book would a walk in the park. This was because I have written over 1000 blog posts and published four ebooks in four years. Little did I know that writing a book would rank high in the list of the most tasking things I have ever embarked on. By the end of one month, my book had reached readers in more than 100 cities across the world including twenty-two states in the United States.

 

Why you should write a book

You may be reading this article but are quite unsure about whether you should join the league of published authors. Below I have listed five reasons why you should consider writing a book.

1. Establishes you as an expert: When people in my community think about where to go for unequaled tips, resources and training to help them succeed in business and prosper in life, it won’t be long before my brand pops up in their head. Consistently delivering content and publishing my book helped establish me as an expert. If you want to take your brand to the next level, you should consider writing a book.

2. Increases your reach: The beauty of writing a book is that you’ll reach a new audience. Many people who have otherwise not heard about you will know about you once you write your book. The opportunities that your book will bring to you is priceless. There you shouldn’t pass it up.

3. Increases your market value: Writing a book simply increases your market value. People value and respect you more because they know that producing a book is not child’s play.

4. Provides a steady source of income: Unlike other business activities that you do, a book is only one of the few things that consistently provide you with a steady source of income. Yes, writing a book can be extremely cumbersome but once you are done, it pays you and continues to do so for as long as you want.

[Read: The White Magic and the Secret Behind It]

All these reasons are great reasons why you should consider writing a book. However, if you are not strategic about it, writing a book will cost you an arm and a neck and at the end of the day, you’ll have nothing to show for it. Knowing this, what are the steps to take to make sure that not only do you have a great content but that your book is

 

Steps to take before writing a book

Since you are considering writing a book, I assume you already have an idea of what you want to write so I am not going to focus on that. However, I want you to My purpose is to help you write a book that people will buy.

1. Build an audience: I think many people underestimate the power of building an audience before writing a book. Building an audience before writing and publishing my book helped me greatly by the time I launched my book. In building my audience before I published my book, I shared content related to business success on social media daily. I also made sure I engaged with as many people as I can such that by launch day, I had many people who were ready to support and purchase my book.

 2. Build an email list: An email list have been frequently referred to as the money list. I started building my email list in 2015. I used and still use MailChimp. If you are not already building your email list then you need to start as soon as you can. People who sign up for your email list are the ones who love your content and are interested in learning more from your wealth of knowledge.

[Read: How to Start Charging Customers What You Truly Deserve]

3. Starting building relationships with influencers: Influencers are people who have audiences similar to your target audience and can help you push out your book by the time you launch. Having these types of people as friends is invaluable. The key, however, is that you should start building the relationship with them before you start writing. That way, by the time you are done writing and ready to launch, they can be a part of your launching strategy.

4. Decide whether you want to self-publish or go through a traditional publisher: There is a difference between self-publishing and traditional publishing. Generally, the self-publishing route gives you more control and may be less expensive than the traditional route. Knowing the difference between the two and the direction in which you want your brand to go will go a long way in helping you decide whether to go the route of self-publishing or a traditional publisher.

[Read: 10 Things You Can do to Drive Traffic to Your Website]

5. Design a book launch strategy: The time to start designing your book launch strategy is before you write your book. A strategy will give you a blueprint on how well your book will do once it hits the market.

6. Save money: I saved the most important for the last. One of the things I underestimated when I was writing my book was how much it costs to publish a book. Unless you are planning to publish a book of no significance, you need money in order to publish a quality book. This is especially through when you want to publish your book in more than one country. Depending on your country of origin and how conservative you are, you should expect

Once you take these steps, you are ready to start writing. As you write, there are many other steps you need to take before you launch. I will share some valuable tips with you soon. If you’d like to get on my email list so you don’t miss a thing, click here.

Thank you for reading. Are you considering writing a book? Share what’s stopping you below. Also, feel free to ask any question you have about what it takes to become a published author. Share this post with a friend too.

 

One of the things I learned as a child was that words don’t stick on people. However, as an adult, I’ve come to realize that though words spoken to you might not stick to your physical body, words do have enough power to stick in your heart forever. Words carry so much power. The right word said at the right time to the right person can positively impact generations. The same is also true for the wrong word. That’s why when people say things meant to belittle dreams, your heart can be crushed to the point that you may feel like throwing in the towel.

How to Handle People Who Belittle Your Dreams

When you think about how to handle the people who belittle your dream, you must first understand that people have different reasons for belittling your dreams. For example, if it’s coming from your parents, they might be scared based on past experiences or they might want you to dream even bigger. If it’s coming from a sibling, it might be because of finances. If it’s coming from a friend, it might be because of the fear of the loss of the relationship. Wherever the belittling is coming from, most times it is for different reasons. That’s why you should not generalize and say things like “nobody likes me.” Maintaining such a stance is suggest that you are not secured within. Instead, learn to separate the behavior from the person. If people knew better, they would definitely act better.

[Read: How to Speak with Power and Confidence During Your Next Public Presentation]

If you need coping mechanisms, here are 5 practical ways that will help you when you are surrounded by those who belittle your dreams.

1. Find a group headed in the same direction as you are: There is nothing as belonging to a community of like-minded people. This is one of the best coping strategies in a world filled with naysayers. If you don’t have a group of people who can serve a source of encouragement, your support system, and empowerment tonic, it would only be a matter of time before you get overwhelmed by the pressure that comes with negativity from the people who constantly belittle your dreams.

[Read: How to Overcome Self-Limiting Beliefs]

2. Listen to something inspirational daily: You are what you feed yourself with. If you want more positivity in your attitude and life, you need to be constantly fed with positivity. This same principle can be applied to counter the effects of the words people who belittle your dreams speak to you. When you fill yourself more with inspirational and motivational speeches, you begin to train yourself to get drawn more to positivity than negativity. This habit will, in turn, become a lifestyle such that when people belittle your dreams, it becomes meaningless to you.

3. Detach your emotions: Detaching your emotions mean do not take things personally. This is very hard to do especially because we are made with feelings and emotions. However, if you truly want to handle people who belittle your dreams you also need to learn how to detach your emotions from the words being said to you. That way, no matter what people say to you, it does not move you a bit.

[Read: How to Become Relevant in a Rapidly-Changing World]

4. Talk less: When you realize that people around you are more prone to belittling your dreams, it’s time to start talking less. Many people feel more threatened when you start sharing your dreams with them. In fact, when some people hear about your dreams, they become extremely uncomfortable and in order for them to feel more comfortable, they turn to look for ways to belittle in your dreams. Deal with them by pressing the mute buttons on your lips.

5. Let them go: It is a painful thing when those you genuinely love or those who you think should know better are the ones who belittle your visions and dreams. If you have people in your life who never take the time to understand what you do but goes ahead to belittle your dreams, it’s time to let them go. Letting go of people does not mean you don’t care, it just means you need time alone. Let such people go and see how lighter you’ll feel.

Thank you for reading. How do you handle people who belittle your dreams? Join the conversation in the comment box below and remember to leave a comment.

Twelve years ago in the month of November, a friend asked me what I do on Thanksgiving Day. I was completely oblivious about the Thanksgiving celebration held every year in the United States. In my response to her, I said, on Thanksgiving Day, I go to church and I give thanks to God. Confused, she asked, “don’t you get together with family and eat dinner?” I told her that there was no need to get together with family because most of my family members do not live nearby. At that point, she burst into laughter and then went ahead to explain that every fourth Thursday in November is the day set aside as a national holiday to celebrate Thanksgiving.

By the end of that day, I had combed and read through every publicly available documentation about the history of the Thanksgiving celebration.

According to Wikipedia, Prayers of thanks and special thanksgiving ceremonies are common among almost all religions after harvests and at other times. The Thanksgiving holiday’s history in North America is rooted in English traditions dating from the Protestant Reformation. It also has aspects of a harvest festival even though the harvest in New England occurs well before the late-November date on which the modern Thanksgiving holiday is celebrated.

[Read: How to Speak with Confidence and Power During Your Next Public Presentation]

It is an act of nobility to remember to thank God for one’s harvest. This is so because in the world we live in today people find it hard to give thanks to the people in their lives let alone give thanks to God. There’s a high sense of entitlement among people that makes them think everyone owes them something. Gratitude to God and others is not only the right thing to do, but it is also a form of humility.

This Thanksgiving, as you gather with family and friends, thanking God for a good harvest, it is also important to appreciate five types of people.

Helper: Everyone including you needs a helper. Who is your helper? Your helper is someone who’s always there to lend a helping hand come rain or shine and with no strings attached. Your helper does not delay or question why you need something done, he or she jumps into action right away. Do you know anyone who’s always willing to help you? Do not take such person for granted. Instead, take a pen and a paper and write the names of the helper in your life. Thank them and let them know that you truly care.

Mentor: Do you have someone you look up to as a mentor? Your mentor is that person who has been through what you are going through or perhaps farther ahead than you and always willing to share with you. When your mentor speaks he/she does so with wisdom. Your mentor’s advice is worth more than gold. Your mentor is that person who is secured and is not afraid or jealous that you’ll surpass him/her in achievement. Thanksgiving Day presents a great opportunity for you to express your appreciation to your mentor.

[Read: How to Overcome Self-Limiting Beliefs]

Teacher: We all have at least one person we all learn from either the person knows about it or not. That timeline you are always visiting to learn about one thing or the other. That person whose teachings you secretly watch at night or perhaps you glean from but never give credit. That one person whose blog you can’t do without visiting even if the person does not know. That is your teacher whether you acknowledge it or not. It’s time to appreciate such a person or people by sending them a note of thanks.

 

Pusher: Everyone needs a pusher in their lives and if you have one you are blessed. Pushers are great people and they may be your friend, they may be someone you’ve never met physically, but their conduct, words and actions propel you to go past your fears and achieve great things. It’s time to appreciate your pusher. A note of thanks appreciating him/her will go farther than diamond. Do your part, leave the rest and keep moving.

[Read: How to Remain Relevant in a Rapidly Changing World]

Hater: This one might be hard, but the truth is you need to thank your hater. Without your hater, you wouldn’t have tried so hard to take that step to prove that you are an overcomer. Your hater is that person who would do anything to prevent you from excelling. And despite all odds, you went ahead and succeeded anyway. It’s time to thank your hater for propelling you into greatness.

Thank these five types of people and then sit back to see what happens afterward. All in all, Thanksgiving should not just be limited to one day of the year. It should be something you do routinely. Be thankful for everyday blessings from God and those around you. Learn to appreciate even the seemingly little things and gestures and watch abundance flow your way.

Happy Thanksgiving!

 

Thank you for reading. Who else do you need to thank during Thanksgiving? Leave a comment below and remember to share this with a friend.