Real Ways to Make Money Online

If you’re looking to make money on the internet, chances are you’ve run across a few scams already. Which methods of making money online are actually real and which ones are scams? Let’s take a look.

Real: Be an Online Writer
There is a nearly endless demand for people who can write easy to read, compelling, and informative articles for website owners.
If you want to try your hand at being an online writer, the first step is to get a little bit of experience. Perhaps try writing 10 articles for free first. Once you have a few samples, then you can easily find work on various marketing forums or companies that hire freelance writers, like Demand Studios.

Scam: Make Money Posting Links on Google
This is one of the most popular scams around today. It generally comes in the form of a story or news report of how a stay at home mom is making $6,000 a month from home posting links on Google.  The reality is, Google AdWords is quite a difficult skill to master. There is no easy way to make money “posting links online.”

Real: Be an Online Virtual Assistant
Business people and travelers all over the world need virtual assistants. The trick here is to find a real reputable company to work with.  Avoid companies that ask you to pay an upfront fee to “apply.” Avoid companies that try to make it sound like you’re going to get rich being a virtual assistant.  Find companies with a great track record of providing real service and develop relationships with those companies.

Real: Freelance Sites
Sites like eLance, Guru.com and Craigslist Gigs are great ways to make a bit of extra money. If you have skills in design, programming, audio/video editing you’ll quickly be able to find some extra cash.  Even if you don’t, there are many ways to make money: Modeling, voice overs, transcripting, you name it.

Scam: Fill Out Surveys Online
The sales pitch here is that businesses need people to take surveys for their opinions. While this is true, generally user-feedback surveys are done in person, not online.  Most “make money doing surveys” sites you see are scams. If it requires you to pay for a guide or pay to apply for anything, avoid it like the plague.

Figuring Out What’s Real and What’s Not
In general, if the opportunity looks like you’re providing real value for other human beings and getting paid fair value for it, chances are its real.
If it sounds too easy, sounds like you’re going to get very rich overnight, or sounds like it requires zero work, then it’s probably a scam.  If you want to make real money online, then be prepared to put in a little bit of work. Rest assured however – You can make money online. Many people do.

Julianne Alvarez-Wish is a military wife, mother, business owner, professional writer, blogger and legislative advocate. She is the Director of Communications for Our Milk Money, the Colorado State Leader for the National Association for Moms in Business and the owner of Buy By Mom and Buy By Mom Blog. She is the Colorado Springs Stay-at-Home Mom Examiner for Examiner.com. She also blogs at A Wishful Thought. Her passion, purpose and goal is to help parents work from home so they can be home with their children.

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Quick Tips to Help You Produce More Content

If you’re a content producer, sooner or later you’re going to come to the point where you have to ask yourself: “What am I going to write about?” Sooner or later, we all have trouble coming up with ideas. Don’t worry though – If you follow these quick tips, you’ll be on your way to producing great content in no time at all.
Tip #1 – Explain an Expert’s Concept
One great way to produce some killer content is to take some of your favorite quotes and expert ideas and use them as fodder for your content.  For example, if you’re running a business blog, you might take an idea like Donald Trump’s “it takes as much effort to think small as it does to think big, so you might as well think big” quote and turn that into a blog post about goals and planning.

Tip #2 – Mistakes to Avoid
Another great way to write articles is to teach people what not to do. What mistakes have you personally made in this niche? What are common mistakes other people make?
You can either list several mistakes in one article, or go in depth on one common mistake that they should pay attention to and spend the whole article on that.

Tip #3 – Share a Personal Experience and a Lesson
Is there a personal story you can tell that will help teach your readers a lesson? If you can tell your story in an entertaining and informative way, that will definitely be a great article.
For example, Zappos’ CEO Tony Hseih often shares the story of how he learned business lessons from playing poker. The lessons he learned later helped him sell his company for $1.2 billion dollars. The story is both entertaining and highly educational.

Tip #4 – Browse Related Websites
If you’re really having trouble coming up with ideas, go take a look around other websites in your industry. As you browse through what other people are putting in their content, a great idea for your site will likely hit you like a thunderbolt.  If it doesn’t, then go browse some niche forums. Specifically pay attention to questions people seem to be asking again and again and see if you can answer some of those questions in your content.

Tip #5 – Tell it Differently
If you feel like you’ve really exhausted everything you have to say, then take a concept you’ve already touched on and go deeply into it. Expand on it in depth.
In the spirituality industry, there’s one primary teaching that’s repeated over and over: “Be present.” This one concept is expanded upon again and again, filling up thousands of pages of content.  This concept doesn’t get boring because every time it’s told it’s from a different angle, with a different story or a different emphasis. You can do the same with your content. What’s one important concept you can expand on?

These are just some ideas of how to quickly produce more content. Use these tips to help stimulate your mind, then use your creativity to create some knockout content.

Julianne Alvarez-Wish is a military wife, mother, business owner, professional writer, blogger and legislative advocate. She is the Director of Communications for Our Milk Money, the Colorado State Leader for the National Association for Moms in Business and the owner of Buy By Mom and Buy By Mom Blog. She is the Colorado Springs Stay-at-Home Mom Examiner for Examiner.com. She also blogs at A Wishful Thought. Her passion, purpose and goal is to help parents work from home so they can be home with their children.

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Newsletter and Ezine Marketing Crash Course

Having a great newsletter can increase your business by as much as 5 fold – Or more, if you do it right! In fact, a newsletter is one of the most crucial tools in business, yet many beginning marketers miss out on it. Why is a newsletter so crucial and how can you start your own newsletter? Here’s the inside scoop.
Why a Newsletter is So Important
A newsletter is crucial because most people aren’t willing to pull out their credit card the first time they hear about someone.  Instead, they prefer to get to know you and your content bit by bit over time. As they get to know you and realize you’re the real deal and that you can help them, then that’s when they’ll be willing to pull out their credit cards and make a purchase.  To build this trust, you need to build a connection over time. A newsletter allows you to stay in touch with people even after they’ve left your site.

Getting Started With a Newsletter
The first step is to get an autoresponder service. There are many services, such as Aweber, GetResponse or iContact to choose from. If you have a shopping card system, that may have a built in autoresponder as well.  Once you have your autoresponder setup, the next step is to get people to sign up for your newsletter.
The best way to do that is to have your newsletter on the front page of your website. Clearly tell your readers what they’ll get by signing up to your newsletter. Then ask them firmly and powerfully to join your newsletter.

Consistency
It’s important that you have a set consistency at which you send your emails. In general, anywhere from once a week to once a month is a good consistency.
If you send your emails more than once a week, people may start to think its spam. If you send your emails less than once a month, people will forget about you.  Once you pick a consistency, stick with it so that people know what to expect from your website.

Building a Relationship
A lot of newsletter writers spend a lot of time on their headline. Because, that’s what gets emails opened after all. Right?  Wrong. Your real headline is in the “from” column. People look at who the email is from more than the subject when they’re deciding whether or not to open an email.  Your goal is to build a relationship with your readers, so that they know when they get an email from you that they’re in for a treat. It’s going to be interesting, informative and useful. You’re not going to spam them.  If you build a relationship with them like that, then your emails will get opened – Almost every time.

Again, having a good newsletter can increase your business by many fold. Start by creating your autoresponder and getting signups. Then, pick a mailing consistency and start to build a relationship of trust with your readers.

Julianne Alvarez-Wish is a military wife, mother, business owner, professional writer, blogger and legislative advocate. She is the Director of Communications for Our Milk Money, the Colorado State Leader for the National Association for Moms in Business and the owner of Buy By Mom and Buy By Mom Blog. She is the Colorado Springs Stay-at-Home Mom Examiner for Examiner.com. She also blogs at A Wishful Thought. Her passion, purpose and goal is to help parents work from home so they can be home with their children.

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Networking and Seminars Dos and Don’ts

If you want to succeed online, then meeting people who’ve already succeeded before you is going to be a huge help. In fact, this could be the sole difference between success and failure. How do you network locally and at seminars? This crash course will help you build relationships that’ll help boost your network and your business.

Make Friends First
In online business, this business axiom holds very true: “All things being equal, people prefer to do business with people they like. All things not being equal, people still prefer to do business with people they like.”
If you want someone to share with you their success techniques for building an online business, then the first step is to build a friendship with them.
Get to know them as human beings and allow them to get to know you. Show a little vulnerability, as well as curiosity and interest towards them.
Once you have a bit of a relationship, then talk business.

Give As Well as Take
If you’ve discovered a technique that’s been working really well for you, don’t horde it for yourself.
There has to be a give as well as take relationship in any kind of business relationship. Share your knowledge and your contacts freely and others will do the same.

Join a Mastermind Group
Meeting with other likeminded people on a regular basis can really help drive you forward.
There are two important things that happen when you’re around other people like yourself. First of all, you get to share ideas, techniques and stories that’ll help you figure out more ways to be successful.
The other thing that happens is that you start to build off of each other’s momentum. If one person is making more money than the others, everyone else will start making more money. Everyone will start taking more action. The energy begets more energy.
If there isn’t a mastermind group near you, then start your own group. It’s not that hard to find likeminded people near you. Get these people together and ask them to bring people they know. Soon, you’ll have a great group of likeminded individuals.

Find a Mentor
If you’re making $2,000 a month and want to be making $5,000 a month, then find someone who’s making $20,000 a month.
This relationship can be a paid relationship, a friendship or a mastermind group relationship. Whatever you need to do, just make sure you have someone in your life that’s where you want to be financially.
This will have a very powerful magnetic effect on your finances. You’ll slowly but surely start making more money.

The bottom line is, who you spend time with has a great deal of influence on your success. Make sure you’re networking properly so that you’re spending your time with the right people.

Julianne Alvarez-Wish is a military wife, mother, business owner, professional writer, blogger and legislative advocate. She is the Director of Communications for Our Milk Money, the Colorado State Leader for the National Association for Moms in Business and the owner of Buy By Mom and Buy By Mom Blog. She is the Colorado Springs Stay-at-Home Mom Examiner for Examiner.com. She also blogs at A Wishful Thought. Her passion, purpose and goal is to help parents work from home so they can be home with their children.

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How to Write to Connect with Your Prospects

There’s a big difference between stale writing and writing in a way that really builds a genuine connection with your prospects. Can you guess which one generates more sales and traffic? You guessed it – If you build real connection, you’ll see the difference in your bank account. How do you write in a way that actually draws people in and builds connections? Here’s how.
Share Yourself
Be who you are. Chances are, you’re not the only person teaching what you’re teaching! But people will listen to what you’re saying, not only because of your content, but because they enjoy hearing you share your experience.
If you had a specific experience that relates to what you’re talking about, share it. Believe it or not, this can actually have a big impact on people feeling like they can trust you. Because they feel like they know you more.

“What’s In It For Me?”
The “WIIFM” question is a question that you should answer as quickly as you possibly can. Internet content that rambles on and on without being crystal clear about what they’re getting does not get read, period.
Not only should your WIIFM be totally clear, but you should put it as early in your content as possible. That way, people will know why they should keep reading before they even start reading.

Be Conversational
Write like you talk. Don’t use corporate fluff speak. You’re having a person to person conversation, just over the internet.
Use slang. Start your sentences with “and” or “because” if it sounds natural to you.
And most importantly, put your passion and spirit behind your words.

Let It Sit
Before you publish your content, let it sit for a day or two. Then, come back and review it one more time before you publish it.
Often times the second time around you’ll pick up on things you didn’t the first time. These could be grammatical mistakes, or it could just be more information you can put in that’ll make your content even better.

Credibility
One crucial element to having people listen to what you have to say is credibility. There are so many people on the internet giving different advice; it’s hard to know who to listen to.  Have you helped over 1,000 people solve this specific problem? Make sure they know that. Have you been featured on Fox and CNN? Make sure that’s plastered all over your website. Have you done exactly what you’re teaching, in spades? Make sure they know that.
In short, the question of “why should I listen to you” and “why should I trust you” should be answered before you ask your readers to take your word on something.

Here’s the bottom line: If you write in a way that really connects with your readers, you’ll build more traffic, more loyalty, more referrals and more sales. Write to connect with your visitors.

Julianne Alvarez-Wish is a military wife, mother, business owner, professional writer, blogger and legislative advocate. She is the Director of Communications for Our Milk Money, the Colorado State Leader for the National Association for Moms in Business and the owner of Buy By Mom and Buy By Mom Blog. She is the Colorado Springs Stay-at-Home Mom Examiner for Examiner.com. She also blogs at A Wishful Thought. Her passion, purpose and goal is to help parents work from home so they can be home with their children.

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3 Parenting Tips for Battling the Winter Blues

Another great post sent to us by my favorite Parenting Expert, Amy McCready of  Positive Parenting Solutions! Just had to share with those of you who are also as excited as we are to learn from her interactively at our FREE PARENTING WEBINAR on Wednesday, Jan 25. 9pm EST/ 6pm EST .

There are still a few seats available, so RSVP HERE—>

3 Tips for Battling the Winter Blues

For families with young children, the winter months can seem like the most punishing time of the year:  shortened days, cold temperatures, and snow days all drive kids indoors.  How do we keep our kids happy, healthy, and active when we are already struggling to do the same for ourselves?

It can be done – use these tips to hold the winter blues at bay for your family:

Turn off the TV.  It’s easy for our kids to weather the winter storms by enjoying all their favorite shows, but Jacob watching four straight hours of SpongeBob is doing him more harm than good.  A little TV is fine, but other activities will be better in the long run to keep them mentally and physically fit.  Set limits with your kids, then encourage other pursuits, from puppet shows to hallway bowling to creating masterpieces from dried pasta. Still stumped? Plenty of websites offer fun ideas for bored kids and their parents. If it’s too cold for outdoor time, schedule a visit to a local YMCA or play place to go swimming, shoot some hoops, or even just run around.

Remember Routines.  With cold weather zapping everyone’s energy, and snow days throwing off our whole schedule, it’s easy to give in to laziness or chaos.  Combat this by making it a point to stick to set routines each day—even when bad weather cancels school or quells activities.  When the expectation exists that household chores and homework continue to be done daily, they’ll be no need for questioning or quarreling later.

Encourage Enthusiasm.  Keep the winter blahs out of your home by maintaining a fun environment.  Cold weather and shortened daylight hours often take away some of our kids’ favorite outdoor activities—which can be pretty disappointing to little ones. By encouraging any of your kids’ positive indoor pursuits, finding ways to get everyone active and staying upbeat yourself, you can make great strides in keeping your family happy and healthy, no matter how chilly it is outside.

While most of us still won’t look forward to winter, it helps to find some ways to survive—and even thrive.

How do you manage winter with your kids?  Visit our Facebook site and tell us about your favorite strategies and activities!

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How to Find More Clients Online

If you’re an online service provider looking for more clients, then read this article carefully and apply at least one of these techniques – Your bottom line will thank you. Below you’ll learn several different ways to add more clients to your client base almost right away.
Industry Forums

There are many internet forums where your clients may be hanging out in. These are great places to meet future clients, especially if they have a services section.
For example, if you’re a writer, then go on webmaster forums and create a services post about offering your writing services.
Craigslist

There are two ways to get business from Craigslist.
The first way is to post what you’re offering in the Services section. The key to success in doing this is to make it sound like they’re getting a deal – Because that’s what people go on Craigslist for.
The second place to look for clients is in the Gigs section. This is where others will post what they’re looking for in terms of service providers.

Work with Established Firms

If you’re a graphic designer, why go through the trouble of trying to find your own clients if others have already done it for you?
There are many firms out there that provide all kinds of services to clients. Many of them outsource most of their work.
For example, they may charge their clients $80 an hour for design work, and then outsource the actual work at $60 an hour. If that works for you, then just get in contact with a few different firms and ask what it takes to work with them.

eLance and Guru

eLance and Guru are both great ways to find potential clients. In fact, for many people who’re looking for service providers, this is the first place they look.
Keep in mind that eLance and Guru can be a little hard to navigate at first. Bear with the process as you learn your way through.
Depending on what industry you’re in, you might find it difficult to go up against low-cost service providers. You can either differentiate yourself based on value rather than price, or you can use other methods of getting clients.

Building Your Personal Brand

Having your own website that you’re driving traffic to is the ultimate way of getting more traffic. This method is slower than the other methods above, but once you start becoming known in your industry, you’ll start getting clients without having to work for it.
The end goal here is for people to really know what you’re about and what sets you apart. Once you build this reputation in your industry, then your perfect clients will come to you instead of the other way around.

Each and every one of these techniques described above is powerful enough to build a whole business around. Pick one that you’re not already doing and put it into action today! The results might just surprise you.

Julianne Alvarez-Wish is a military wife, mother, business owner, professional writer, blogger and legislative advocate. She is the Director of Communications for Our Milk Money, the Colorado State Leader for the National Association for Moms in Business and the owner of Buy By Mom and Buy By Mom Blog. She is the Colorado Springs Stay-at-Home Mom Examiner for Examiner.com. She also blogs at A Wishful Thought. Her passion, purpose and goal is to help parents work from home so they can be home with their children.

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How to Define Your Target Market

Defining your target marketing is one of the most important things you’ll ever do in your internet business. This one decision may very well determine whether or not you’ll have a profitable business a few weeks or months from now.

How do you find your target market? Where do you look for ideas? Once you have a target market in mind, how do you research it? Here’s how.
What to Look For in a Market

There are several factors that make for a good target market.

The first factor is that the market is small enough that you can be a major player, but not so small that you can’t make good money. For example, you wouldn’t want to start a new online dating site because Match.com and eHarmony clearly have the market in a stronghold.

However, you probably don’t want to start a site on underwater basket weaving, as it’s too small to make any money.

The second factor is that there is money being spent. Sure, “dog pictures” may not have a major player – But chances are, there’s no money being made!

The best markets are markets that have a problem that needs to be solved. People who have problems are more willing to spend money.

Where to Look for Ideas

There are several great places to look for target market ideas.

The first is Google Trends. Google Trends will give you a good idea of what things are hot right now. This can often help you identify new target markets and become a major player before others hop on the bandwagon.

Another great place to look is Amazon Magazines. If there’s enough of a market for a magazine, chances are there’s enough of a market for you to make money online.

eBay Pulse is another great place to look. Again, you’re looking for potential markets where you can become a major player.

How to Research a Target Market

Once you have an idea, then what? How do you do your research to see if it’s viable?

The first step is to check the volume to make sure there’s enough traffic for you to make a living. You can do this through checking the Google Keyword Tool.

Once you’ve made sure you can actually make enough money for it to be worth your while, the next step is to get to know the market and the market’s spending habits.

There are two main places you should look: Your competitors and the niche forums.  How are your competitors doing? Are they selling high ticket items, or are they scraping by with advertising? Are AdWords bids high or low? These factors will help you determine how much money is being spent.
Take a look at the niche forums to find out what are typical problems people have in this market. If someone asks a question and others say “I have that same issue!” then you should definitely take note.

Once you’ve brainstormed a few niche markets, identified the ones with promise and then narrowed them down to the winners through a good research process, then the next step is to take action and make it happen.

Julianne Alvarez-Wish is a military wife, mother, business owner, professional writer, blogger and legislative advocate. She is the Director of Communications for Our Milk Money, the Colorado State Leader for the National Association for Moms in Business and the owner of Buy By Mom and Buy By Mom Blog. She is the Colorado Springs Stay-at-Home Mom Examiner for Examiner.com. She also blogs at A Wishful Thought. Her passion, purpose and goal is to help parents work from home so they can be home with their children.

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Why do kids whine?

Editor’s note: The question had to be to be asked at least twice, because I’ve asked it at least a hundred times since I’ve had kids. I only have 2 boys- neither or even old enough to go to school full time- and they are both MASTER WHINERS!!! And the notion that girls whine more than boys is a complete and total MYTH.

If you have one of these whiners living in your house, this is not a post you’ll want to skip.

Here’s what my favorite Parenting Expert, Amy McCready of Positive Parenting Solutions has to offer on this common question (yea, just getting really repetitive now)

WHY DO KIDS WHINE?:

Because we, as parents provide a PAYOFF! When kids whine – we DO SOMETHING and that something offers a payoff that makes the behavior continue.

When children whine, cling or display other annoying attention-seeking behaviors, they are trying to achieve a particular goal, or payoff. These irritating, frustrating, maddening behaviors are actually symptoms of a deeper issue.

All humans are hard-wired with two basic emotional needs – attention and power. The whining and attention-seeking behavior the whining child is displaying is intended to fulfill those two needs.

They get results

We also have to remember that children only continue behaviors that “work for them.” That is – they continue behaviors that get results. For a child who whines, clings and displays attention-seeking behaviors, she realizes that “Hey, this is a pretty effective way to get them to pay attention to me” or “Hey, this is a pretty effective tactic for me to get my way”…the child learns that whining provides a payoff. This behavior – if left unaddressed – will continue well into the teenage years.

Every time you pick up a whining child you’re providing a payoff for the behavior. He doesn’t hear your frustrated tone or your annoyed remark. He only knows that whining got him what he wanted. Parents essentially “train” their children that if the child is persistent with their whining, they will eventually get their way. This behavior “works” for the child and so she continues it. When this happens, the parent typically responds by picking up the child to make her stop, or, they respond with a reprimand such as “don’t hang on me”, “don’t be so whiny”, or even “I’ll give you something to cry about.”

Better than nothing

Whether the adult response was positive or negative, it fulfilled the child’s need for attention, and therefore the behavior resulted in a payoff. As the frequency of the whining and clinging increases, the parent’s response is almost always a negative reprimand. The child really wanted positive attention; but negative attention is better than none at all. And the cycle continues…whine/cling –> adult reprimand –> attention basket filled with negative attention –> child repeats (“maybe if I keep doing this, I’ll eventually get the positive attention I need) –> parent repeats with negative reprimand, etc.

Here’s the deal…children WILL have their needs for attention met – one way or another. If we don’t fill their attention baskets in positive ways – they will use negative attention-seeking behaviors. They know this works!

What kind of attention are you putting in YOUR kids’ basket?

Amy McCReadyAmy McCready

Amy McCready is a wife and mom of two teenage boys. She founded Positive Parenting Solutions, Inc. in 2004 and developed the popular and successful Breakthrough Course that has changed the lives of thousands of parents through in-person seminars, speeches and online parenting training webinars. For more parenting articles and tips like the one above, visit Amy’s blog.

 

Get your kids to listen—the first time. No nagging or yelling required.

Parenting Expert Amy McCready Free Training Webinar Watch this 1-minute video to meet parenting expert Amy McCready, Positive Parenting Solutions Founder and TODAY Show Contributor and discover how this webinar will be your answer to better behavior and parenting peace.

 

1-hour webinar offers tools and strategies you can use right away

 

Wednesday January, 25 – 9 PM EasternBrought To You By: Our Milk MoneyWed. January 25 – 9 PM EST

 

Who Should Attend: Frustrated parents of kids ages 2-16 (Note: Please encourage your spouse or other caregivers to attend. Parenting is a lot easier when everyone is on the same page!)

What You’ll Learn: Amy McCready, Founder of Positive Parenting Solutions will present a strategy-packed, interactive, LIVE online webinar designed to teach you…

  • why kids really misbehave – it’s probably not what you think!
  • how your personality may actually fuel misbehavior
  • the 5 R’s of Fair & Effective Consequences so kids listen the first time you ask
  • training resources to reduce your parenting stress & stop nagging, reminding & yelling

REGISTER NOW!!! IT’S FREE!

 

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How to Build a Website – The Right Way

Building a website the right way will ensure you get plenty of traffic – Not just today, but repeatedly over time. Most people who get started in web marketing try to cut corners and end up getting nowhere. The reality is, if you build your website the right way from the start, you’ll be able to create a very nice steam of traffic and income for months and years to come.

What Makes a Successful Website?

A successful website is based on giving real value to your visitors. In other words, it’s not based on trying to game the system, not based on trying to earn a quick AdSense check, not based on any black hat or spammy techniques.

These are websites that people will actually pass on to their friends, because the content is so useful. If you create a genuine online asset, that’s when the payoff really comes.

Why Great Content Matters

There’s a saying in the world of journalism: “Content is King.”
It doesn’t matter how pretty your site is or how good you are at writing copy. If the actual content, the real meat of your website isn’t good, then you’re not going to succeed.

Having great content will mean having your content passed around, getting links and getting ranked. Make sure your content is truly first class.

Work With, Not Against, Google

It’s true that you can game Google for a short period of time. However, eventually Google will update their algorithm and put these kinds of sites out of business.

It really doesn’t make any sense to try and game your way around Google when you can actually give Google what it wants instead.
What does Google want? Good, high quality, relevant content for its searchers. If you give Google’s users that, then every time Google updates it’s algorithm you’ll win instead of lose.

Connect With Your Visitors

Connecting with your visitors is key. If you can build a real relationship with the people you’re serving, you’ll get both links and traffic.
You’ll also start to become better and better known in your market. If you treat your market as just a “target market” to market to, you will get some traffic and sales. However, if you treat your market like you’re talking to real people, then you’ll actually start to build trust and a reputation in your industry.

That’s when your site will start moving away from small-time internet website to a real business.

It Doesn’t Pay to Cut Corners

There are many, many marketers who’ve been trying to cut corners for years. They’ve started website after website trying the latest blackhat techniques to no avail.

Sure, you may make a few bucks here and there by cutting corners. But in the long run, you will spend far more effort cutting corners than if you just built an asset with real value right from the beginning.

Julianne Alvarez-Wish is a military wife, mother, business owner, professional writer, blogger and legislative advocate. She is the Director of Communications for Our Milk Money, the Colorado State Leader for the National Association for Moms in Business and the owner of Buy By Mom and Buy By Mom Blog. She is the Colorado Springs Stay-at-Home Mom Examiner for Examiner.com. She also blogs at A Wishful Thought. Her passion, purpose and goal is to help parents work from home so they can be home with their children.

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Different Types of Online Business Models

There are many different ways to make money on the internet. Instead of trying to reinvent the wheel, the fastest and easiest way to ensure your success is to replicate a model that’s already proven to make money. Here are five such models.

The Informational Website

The informational website is based on giving away free information. It’s primary source of income is AdSense, advertising and affiliate product sales.
For example, if you were to start a small website on fishing, put up 50 articles about various fishing tips and techniques and populated it with AdSense ads, you’d very likely get decent traffic as well as make a decent amount of money.

Affiliate Marketing

Affiliate marketing is when you’re making money by selling other people’s products. Instead of having to create a product, a detailed website, setup billing and handle customer service, all you need to do is bring in traffic.
Once you get the traffic to their website, their job is to make the sale. Once the sale is made, you get a percentage of the sale price. For physical products, the commission is usually between 5% and 20%. For digital products, the commission is usually between 50% and 75%.

eCommerce Stores

Another way to make money online is to actually sell products from an eCommerce store. Here, you would actually own a web store where customers would place orders and then ship them a physical product.
At first you might start out by having a dropshipping relationship with manufacturers so you don’t have to warehouse your own products. Then, as you become more successful you’ll want to start housing some of your own products to reduce your per item costs.

Infoproduct Marketing

Infoproduct marketing is when you’re selling products that teach people how to do things. These products can be anything from “How to Get a Girlfriend” to “How to Get a Babysitting Job” to “How to Increase Your Miles Per Gallon.”
The possibilities are endless. You need three primary skills to succeed in information marketing:

1) The ability to bring traffic to your website.
2) The ability to create good content in a specific area.
3) The ability to convince people online that your infoproduct is a good investment that will help them solve their problem.

Once you have these three skills, you’ll be able to produce many profitable infoproduct websites.

The Made for Acquisition Model

If you’re looking to build something larger than a website that’s making a few thousand dollars a month, then you’re looking at building a real company that’s meant for acquisitions or IPOs.

These are companies like LinkExchange (acquired for $250 million,) Facebook (valued at over a billion.)

The trick to building such a company is to find a market need to serve and to serve that need. In the process, you’ll generally have to learn how to raise capital from Venture Capitalists and angel investors.

Before trying to build such a business, it’s usually a good idea to build at least a couple smaller successful online bsuiensses using the models above.

There you have it – Five different online business models with a proven history of success. Just pick the one that sound smost actionable to you now and get started today!

Julianne Alvarez-Wish is a military wife, mother, business owner, professional writer, blogger and legislative advocate. She is the Director of Communications for Our Milk Money, the Colorado State Leader for the National Association for Moms in Business and the owner of Buy By Mom and Buy By Mom Blog. She is the Colorado Springs Stay-at-Home Mom Examiner for Examiner.com. She also blogs at A Wishful Thought. Her passion, purpose and goal is to help parents work from home so they can be home with their children.

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January Member Spotlgiht-Elysse Fleece of Kozzy Bottoms

Meet Elysse Fleece. She is a military wife and a mom to her Little Monster as he is called. She started Kozzy Bottoms from a love of cloth diapering and her passion for crafts. Its been a great way to keep the family together and it’s soothing for her. She has always loved to craft and to be able to do this for others is amazing. She never would have thought this would be her!

Please tell us about your business and the service that you provide.

Kozzy Bottoms is a online children’s boutique. We carry many “green” products that are associated with cloth diapering and parenting. Along with the accessories and diapers we hand make hair accessories, tutus, clothing and more. It’s a great way to get all your shopping done at one place.  www.kozzybottoms.com

What motivated you to start your business?

We started cloth diapers later in the game and loved it. We listened to everyone in the start how we would hate having cloth diapers and then when I actually saw a cloth diaper I was shocked! There are no pins to stab or boiling or trouble. You simply put them on just like a regular diaper and then wash it vs. trashing it. After doing cloth we found the advantages to be so amazing we wanted to help other families see this. The money you save, better for your baby and the environment and they potty train sooner. Its just a great thing to try, at least try.

What kind of background or expertise do you have in your field?

We cloth diapered our son and I remember vividly how intimidated I was when I bought my first used diaper. I was so scared and confused when I got it home. I wanted to help other from feeling that confusion and its harder to step in and try cloth diapers later. We cloth diapered my son before his first birthday so we have been there with the confusion and the frustration.

What trends do you see in your current industry?

Cloth is becoming a huge baby product! Its so great to see how people adapt to it and want to try it. The stigma that was associated with it; the pins, and tucking, and folding and diaper services and the poop are all a distant memory now. You can find pretty much every style, color or print of diaper that you want so there is no excuse. They are a great investment and as people have to pinch money now they are seeing the value in cloth diapers. It is so great to see how people are wanting to do better for their babies and themselves and cloth is something that people should consider.

What are the most demanding aspects about your business?

Time management. As a military wife I have to manage with a deployed spouse and the demands of his job, a very active toddler who is a boy (enough said right!) and still taking care of the family and house and create our products. Being able to give each thing the attention it deserves is something that I am still trying to figure out a year later.

What are the most rewarding aspects about your business?

I love getting pictures of children in our products. There is nothing more rewarding then seeing a smiling child because they are so happy. Or a parent who was so confused about diapers and then just seeing that moment when it clicks. Being able to help someone is such a great honor.

Being able to be home with my son is another reward all on its own. I love that I have been here for all his firsts. As hard as it can be to manage everything seeing my son happy and getting involved too is so much fun.

What advice would you give to someone interested in starting a business like yours?

Learn time management and do your research. It is so much harder to implement things then it seems. It all looks so easy on paper but to actually time things is so much harder. And ask for help, there is nothing wrong about asking for help.

What are you most proud of as a parent-preneur?

That my son is able to see his mom take something she truly enjoys doing and create a business from it. It is a great thing for my son to see that he is not limited by dreams and that with hard work he can make it a reality. That my son is also following in my footsteps already! He actually makes a couple of our products which is fun to sit down and create together. It’s a great bonding and learning time and to be able to do that with my son and still make it a business is the best.

How have you been able to balance your time between work and your family?

I still have the worst time with it. I find it makes for very very late nights where I am still trying to get things done but I am learning to ask for help or to just put things on the back burner. No everything needs to be completed right then and there; there is a time to do everything. Just make sure it’s on the calendar or I forget! I must have at least 6 calendars in my house just to keep track or orders, appointments, play dates and even when the garbage goes out. Its learning to find the balance that works for your and your family.

What has been the most effective way for you to promote and market yourself?

Facebook and word of mouth. We try all avenues for getting our product out there and we have great friends who have helped us along the way.

Finally: What does your “Milk Money” provide for you and your family?

The ability to one day take a family vacation! We want to be able to take our son to Disney and have a actual family vacation. There is always something preventing us from having a real family vacation and one day we hope to be able to turn off the phones, the computers, pack away the combat boots for a while and just enjoy time together as a family.

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January Member Spotlight-Melinda Herbert of JBF Milwaukee County

Meet Melinda Herbert of Just Between Friends of Milwaukee County

Please tell us about your business and the service that you provide:

Twice yearly consignment sale! Help other Moms and Dads make money on items their children have outgrown and save on what they need for their kiddos.

What motivated you to start your business?

Being able to help other parents save on what they needed but also make money on the items their children have outgrown.

What kind of background or expertise do you have in your field?

We have both worked many years in sale! We also feel we are Super Savvy in saving money.

What trends do you see in your current industry?

More folks are turning to consignment to scale back on what their family spends.

What are the most demanding aspects about your business?

Getting the word out about the sale!

What are the most rewarding aspects about your business?

Seeing the Moms and Dads run in to get the best deal then seeing their faces when you tell them their total. They are amazed at what they all just got for so little.

What advice would you give to someone interested in starting a business like yours?

Know it takes a few years to grow and make a profit. It’s more like a full time job then part time.

What are you most proud of as a parent-preneur?

Knowing how much we are saving other parents is the best feeling!

How have you been able to balance your time between work and your family?

I’m able to work while my daughter is in school or after she is bed! As well lots of family and friends that help out.

What has been the most effective way for you to promote and market yourself?

Word of mouth from other consignors, volunteers and shoppers.

Finally: What does your “Milk Money” provide for you and your family?

It’s a great way to stay connected to other parent-preneurs.

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January Member Spotlight-Just Between Friends of Germantown

Meet Andrea Maltz and Ammie Maltz.  Andrea’s background was in Bank and Retail Management while Ammie was a First-Grade Teacher.

Please tell us about your business and the service that you provide:

Our business is Just Between Friends of Germantown/Port Washington, WI and we host a semi-annual community children’s event, where local moms with kids of all ages can buy and sell gently-used items from clothing and toys, to baby gear and room décor plus so much more.

What motivated you to start your business?

Because saving money and being a ‘Savvy Shopper’ is a lifestyle choice for me, not just something that I do a few times per year.   So, when I heard about JBF, it was the perfect place for me to buy and sell my children’s items!  I became motivated to buy a JBF Franchise when I realized that my sister-in-law did not have a sale her area.   Ammie was motivated about the opportunity to bring this type event to the people in her community as so many families these days are struggling to make ends meet.

What kind of background or expertise do you have in your field?

Fortunately, with this type of event, our skills as moms and smart shoppers for our families was enough to help us connect with our consignors and shoppers.  Of course, my marketing degree and management experience has greatly helped in running smooth event, but both Ammie and I have networked with so many great moms in our area that all bring such varied skills and ideas to the sale that we have a very large pool of expertise involved in each of our events.

What trends do you see in your current industry?

The trends that I am noticing are that Consignment Sales Events are not going to be a “fad”, but rather another viable and even preferred shopping choice for many families during the entire time they raise their children.  Of course, I am also seeing too a social side to these events which is certainly unique to a traditional retail shopping experience.  Our consignors and shoppers actually look forward to re-connecting with other “JBFers” almost as much as they look forward to the wonderful bargains they know await them at our events.

What are the most demanding aspects about your business?

The most demanding aspect of our business is that while it is an event…there is never a “down-time” for the event to be as successful as it can be.  So, while our consignors and shoppers only show up two-three times per year…we are spending the other time throughout the year planning for and promoting the events.

What are the most rewarding aspects about your business?

By far, the most rewarding experience we have gotten from our business is the relationships we have developed with people we would never have otherwise met.  Plus…what a humbling moment to have someone tell you what a financial difference our JBF sale has made for their family.  Those things are just priceless!!  We can’t buy the things that mean the most to us from our events…we can only earn those with good service, a great event and a genuine interaction with those that we are fortunate enough to see during each event.

What advice would you give to someone interested in starting a business like yours?

Talk to your family and make sure that everyone is “on board” for it.  If you have young children, you will need to have a strong support system to help you as you plan the event and then most especially during the event as it is an all day, non-stop event which generally takes you away from the family until the last item is stored away until the next event.

What are you most proud of as a parent-preneur?

Well…simply the fact that we have done it!  We never thought that we would be operating our own business in which not only our family benefits but so many other families too.

How have you been able to balance your time between work and your family?

Planning, planning, planning!!  And…as mentioned above, having an awesome support system of people to call upon for all sorts of things from errand-running to childcare to proof-reading updated website/marketing data.

What has been the most effective way for you to promote and market yourself?

Networking with other families via in person appearances such as Fairs and Festivals to speaking with Mom’s groups to connecting with them even in Social Media outlets.  Word of mouth is the best, so…getting our info. into the hands of our target market with the message of  “Be sure to tell your friends”!

Finally: What does your “Milk Money” provide for you and your family?

Our “Milk Money” sometimes actually pays for the Milk (ie: groceries!), but it also helps us to be able to give our children some “extras” such as sports/dance team involvement to vacations to a fun evening out every now and again.  We always love when our “Milk Money” helps us to fund some current activity which will turn into memories that our children will look back on years from now.

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This is not the path I started out on

Remember what we were like before we became parents? Barely, but yes. When my husband and I decided to create a family, somehow we thought our children would just easily fit into our busy lives like a new puppy. We had no idea the culture shock…the physical, mental and emotional transformation that would come about once our children became the centerpiece in our lives. No matter how much we had prepared, how many books we read, how much research we did – everything took a detour once baby made 3.

For many of us, the desire to become our own boss didn’t fully transpire until we became parents.  Our careers may have suited us just fine before we took on the parenthood project. We didn’t necessarily leave our careers because we didn’t have time for them anymore. All of a sudden we had a new love, something that filled our hearts and gave us more purpose than before.  The dilemma came when we realized we still had more to give.

Now more than ever, there should never be a question how necessary it is that we claim our success and stand up for our smart and savvy selves. No one can travel down your path, hold your actions accountable, or celebrate your story as well as you.  All this requires is a little creative discipline, and you really can fit it all into one life. This may not have been the path that you started out on, but if your look closely, you’ll see that this one is better.

Self -employed Parent Enthusiast Ally Loprete is the Founder of OurMilkMoney.com, a nationwide online business directory of self-employed parents,  and the host of This Little Parent Stayed Home, a live weekly radio show, on The Toginet.com Radio Group which can be downloaded on iTunes.  Ally is on a mission to help other’s deal with the sometimes overwhelming prospect of leaving a full time job to start a new business, while running a full time household and raising kids. She is resolute about creating a haven in which parents across the nation will continue to thrive and obtain the support they need in their personal journeys. Self-employed parents, list your business for free at  http://www.ourmilkmoney.com. Private coaching is available at http://www.thislittleparent.info.

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Social Networking Crash Course

Social networking can seem a little daunting if you’ve never dipped your toes in. There are so many different sites – What is each one about? Which ones should you sign up for? How do you use them? In this crash course, you’ll learn enough about each social network to get you started.
Facebook

Facebook is the largest social networking website in the United States and Europe. Its main features are that you can add your friends and stay in touch, as well as see a constant news stream about what’s going on with the people around you.
In many places in the world, “Facebook me” is a common phrase. Being on Facebook will allow you to stay in touch with people you may otherwise slip out of contact with.

Twitter

Twitter specializes in fast, sound-bite sized 140 character messages called “tweets.” These can be anything from quick life updates to business tips.  Twitter utilizes a “following” system, where you can “follow” other people to see their tweets and others can “follow” you to see yours.

Blogging

Blogging allows just about anyone to publish a website quickly and easily. Through blogging, people who wouldn’t otherwise start a website can quickly become ranked in the search engines and publish their ideas to a lot of people.  A blog is short for “Web Log,” a sort of online journal. Blogs tend to be updated more often than other websites.

LinkedIn

LinkedIn is like Facebook for professionals. You can upload your resume, work history, references, and testimonials as well as have professional relationships online.
In many industries, especially tech related industries, your LinkedIn profile can be as important if not more important than your physical resume.

Digg & Reddit

Digg and Reddit are voting based news sites. Other users submit articles which are then voted on by the users. When you browse the front page, you’re presented with the highest rated articles.  That means that your news is chosen by democracy and end users rather than by magazine editors.

StumbleUpon

StumbleUpon is a unique social networking site that helps you randomly find websites that you might enjoy. It does it through a combination of the interests you provide as well as your previous habits.  Here’s how it works: First, you install a browser toolbar. When you want to “StumbleUpon” a new site, just click the Stumble button and you’ll be taken to a random website that the system thinks you’ll like.

Meetup.com

Meetup is another popular social networking website. With Meetup, however, most of the interaction happens in person rather than online.  Meetup helps create physical meetings where people get together around various topics, from philosophy to dating to hiking.

Taking Your First Steps in Social Networking

As you can tell, there are all kinds of different social networking sites out there. The best way to learn is to just pick one or two and get started. It’s a lot easier to learn than it looks!

Julianne Alvarez-Wish is a military wife, mother, business owner, professional writer, blogger and legislative advocate. She is the Director of Communications for Our Milk Money, the Colorado State Leader for the National Association for Moms in Business and the owner of Buy By Mom and Buy By Mom Blog. She is the Colorado Springs Stay-at-Home Mom Examiner for Examiner.com. She also blogs at A Wishful Thought. Her passion, purpose and goal is to help parents work from home so they can be home with their children.

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Nanny McWii

We held out as long as we could. And it wasn’t very long. I read a statistic one time that said something like 95% of boys play video games. 95%! How do you compete with that? My wife and I have two boys so our chances of keeping video games out of the house were pretty much shot the second the X chromosome laid eyes on the Y chromosome across the crowded DNA strand. We were never into video games before the kids came along. My wife didn’t like them because…well she’s a girl. Sorry to generalize and sound sexist, but that 95% of boy gamers drops to about 25% for girls. And while I played a video game or two as a kid, I never really obsessed over them…probably because I have the hand/eye coordination of a Tyrannosaurus Rex. With the popularity of video games today we knew it was inevitable, but we wanted to keep them out of the house for a long as possible. Maybe until they’re, say, 10? Stop laughing. We may have been naïve but we really thought we had a shot. Then my 5 year old discovered Super Mario Bros at a friend’s house earlier this year and those Italian paisan won the war. (Italians won a war. There’s something you never hear.) He was hooked. When the time came, he quickly hopped on Santa’s lap and placed an order. Santa rolled his eyes, but realized resistance was futile.

We decided to go with a Wii because the games are more active and get the kids up and moving. If they were going to play video games all day, they were going to work up a sweat while doing it. It sort of worked. One of the games we bought was Dance Party 3 which is a fun game in which you copy the moves of the dancers on screen. It’s a great workout and trust me when I say you’ve never seen anything more cute than a 5 and 2 year old dancing hip hop to “Pump It” by the Black Eyed Peas. Even their Mom and Dad danced a song or two although their Dad almost had a heart attack. My epitaph would have read “Death by The Pointer Sisters’ I’m So Excited”  But the “keep them active” plan backfired as well because the Wii console comes with Super Mario Bros included for free…which requires no activity whatsoever. And my son’s favorite game? Yup.  He’s a 5 year old junkie and that bastard Mario is his dealer. Completely addicted. He could play all day and would too if it weren’t for those pesky human functions like eating and sleeping. Notice I didn’t include “going to the bathroom” on that list. That’s because I constantly see him playing the game while hopping from foot to foot in a manic dance of “holding it in”. While I appreciate the fact that he is getting a little bit of exercise I have to yell at him,” Put that thing down and go to the bathroom now!” Every now and then I’m tempted to see what would happen if I didn’t say anything.

The key word in that last sentence is “tempted”. I’m wrestling with the Bad Dad devil on my right shoulder that is telling me that my job could be so much easier if I just turned that damn thing on and let him play it as much as he wanted. A free babysitter for as long as I need. I could get stuff done around the house; I could run errands without the constant “Why are we here? When can we go home? Can I have this or that or that?” I could, dare I say, relax with a good book! Remember reading, parents?! Just as I crack open a book that doesn’t rhyme or have pictures though, the Good Dad devil on my left shoulder appears and ruins everything. He shows me the future and there’s my morbidly obese 25 year old son, sitting on his bedroom floor in a filthy t-shirt and shorts about to reach the highest level of Super Duper Mario Bros. 26. Strewn on the floor around him are half eaten bags of Cheetos and empty Red Bull cans. I recognize his bedroom because it’s still in my house!! This thought alone is enough to make me reach for the “off button”. So video games have infiltrated our home like termites. Now it’s up to me keep them from burrowing too far into my kids’ brains.

Chris Loprete, aka the father of Our Milk Money, began writing his experiences as a new father upon the launch of Our Milk Money, calling his work, appropriately, The Daddy’s Den. Chris is no stranger to comedy composition. He wrote and performed his one-man show You’re from Philly, Charlie Brown, having successful runs at Circle X Theatre, The Lonny Chapman Repertory Theatre and The Comedy Central Workspace in Hollywood, California as well the Philadelphia Fringe Festival. Chris has performed all over the country in theatrical productions, television and film. He is an alumni of The Circle X Theatre Company and The Groundlings Sunday Company. Currently, he is a writer/producer for the Comedy and Reality Promo Team at ABC Television. Chris lives in Stevenson Ranch, California with his wife Ally, founder of OurMilkMoney.com and his two beautiful sons, Braden and Henry.

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You Don’t Need Supernanny to get Parenting Help

Definition of a “crazy” person: someone who does the same thing over and over again, expecting different results. Definition of a crazy parent: someone who does the same thing over and over again with their children, but doesn’t understand why there are NO results.

My definition of crazy “entertainment” is a TV show like Supernanny, which engages viewers by showing frustrated parents dealing with out of control children. But all ends well after Nanny Jo Frost swoops in, and by the time the credits roll, she has transformed the desperate parents’ bad habits that led the family to be “crazy” enough to even qualify for reality show casting.

But what if you don’t get picked to be on a reality show?
What if you don’t even want to be on a reality show?

What if you just want the craziness to stop?

Enter Amy McCready

My friend Amy McCready is the founder of Positive Parenting Solutions, Inc., and has been invited onto the Today show, Rachael Ray, MSNBC, CNN, etc., to share her tips on empowering both parents and children to change their bad behavior into positive behavior.

I’d been eagerly awaiting the publication of Amy’s book If I Have to Tell You One More Time… and now that I’ve read it, I can tell you that it’s everything it promised to be:  a step-by-step guide on how to parent “without nagging, reminding or yelling”, (yep, I’m guilty of all three.)  Amy’s book is an easy-to-read, easy-to-use “toolbox,” filled with ideas on how to avoid repeating the same mistakes that can turn you into a “crazy” parent.

Everything is covered here, from misunderstandings to meltdowns, and she not only presents new ideas but also offers new insights into methods that simply don’t work anymore.  Amy makes a good case that the “Time-Out” for example, which has become hugely popular, isn’t as effective as we all think it is.

(BTW – I’d love to have you JOIN us here on Jan 25 for a FREE webinar with Amy, on this exact subject!)

Amy’s approach is to avoid the “self-defense” mechanism that gets triggered in kids, which leads to defiance, arguments and the inevitable “power struggle” (which leads nowhere at all.)

Amy’s latest book focuses on the central idea that every human being has a basic need to feel powerful-with children being no exception to the rule. And when this need isn’t met in positive ways, kids will resort to negative methods, which often result in some of the most frustrating behavior they exhibit. If I Have to Tell You One More Time…provides the knowledge and tools parents need to address the deeper issues that inspire their children to misbehave.

Amy doesn’t just offer up the theory behind the method; she provides practical information, including:

  • 23 proven tools with step-by-step instructions on how to use them, when to use them, and even the words to say.
  • Real-life examples of common misbehaviors, and how to address them
  • Quizzes to help parents discover their parenting style and unconscious habits
  • Answers to frequently asked questions from parents

Simple and concise, this revolutionary program will help you navigate the inevitable challenges that all parents encounter. Whether you’re dealing with a willful two-year-old or a power-seeking twelve-year-old,  If I Have to Tell You One More Time… provides the tools that parents need in order to raise respectful, well-behaved, and well-adjusted children. Read this book and rediscover the joy of parenting!

If I Have to Tell You One More Time...Help Yourself and Help a Military Family

When you purchase your copy of If I Have to Tell You One More Time…  you can Pay It Forward to a deserving military family. For each book sold, Amy McCready, in partnership with Blue Star Families, will donate Positive Parenting Solutions Online training to military moms and dads who sacrifice every day to protect our country. Learn more about Pay It Forward Parenting and how your book purchase makes a difference!

Amy McCReadyAmy McCready


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Local SEO

Ranking for area specific terms can be a big boost to your business. Many people don’t think local SEO makes a big difference, but this isn’t the case.

The good thing about it is that it’s usually quicker to rank for local terms. This is because you have so little competition. While there might be tons of sites going for the keyword “weight loss,” there are significantly less going for the term “Orlando weight loss.”

So how do you get ranked for local terms? Here are four tips to make it happen:

#1) Use the keyword in your title and content

This is the most important factor in getting ranked. You should put the keyword at the beginning of your title, as well as in the content a few times. This lets Google know what the page is about. Therefore, it will make it more likely you will get ranked.

#2) Use anchor text to your advantage

When you do get links to your site, make sure the anchor text (the actual link text) includes your main keyword phrase. Google looks closely at the anchor text to let them know what the site being linked to is about.

So if you have one hundred links pointing to your site, and seventy of them say “Houston condos”, they will be able to surmise what your page is about.

However, you don’t want to have every single link to say the same thing. Google likes natural link building. So if 100% of the links say “Houston condos, they will view this as unnatural, and this may affect you in a negative way.

#3) Get links from quality sites

Every link is not created equal. Google puts more weight on the links from quality sites a lot more.  Therefore, be sure to target legitimate sites for your link building efforts.

#4) Geo-tags

This is not a new strategy, and it’s been around for a long time. However, many internet marketers aren’t familiar with it.

Basically, geo-tagging is where you put metadata in your HTML code. This lets the search engine spiders know where your site is located. You can do the same for pictures you put on your site. This will help you rank for localized searches.

The metadata includes your latitude and longitude coordinates, and sometimes other variables like altitude. If somebody is doing a search with geotagging enabled, your site might show up.

While geo-tagging does work, you can definitely rank without doing it. However, there’s no reason not to use it, as it definitely couldn’t hurt.

The bottom line is, getting ranked for local SEO terms is a great way to get more business. Implement these four tips and you should see results from your SEO efforts shortly.

Julianne Alvarez-Wish is a military wife, mother, business owner, professional writer, blogger and legislative advocate. She is the Director of Communications for Our Milk Money, the Colorado State Leader for the National Association for Moms in Business and the owner of Buy By Mom and Buy By Mom Blog. She is the Colorado Springs Stay-at-Home Mom Examiner for Examiner.com. She also blogs at A Wishful Thought. Her passion, purpose and goal is to help parents work from home so they can be home with their children.

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Local Marketing

What is local marketing, and why do smaller businesses need to engage in it? This means targeting people in your area.

Obviously many businesses can go after people around the country. However, others can only do business with local customers.

Restaurants and financial planners are prime examples of smaller companies that do business with only local people. There’s only so far people are going to drive to do business with you if you have a physical location.

However, if you have a business that lends itself to national customers, you can also target local customers separately. There are some people that would simply rather do business with local companies. Therefore, you might want to do some local advertising apart from your national efforts.

So how do you get more local customers? There are a number of ways that work. Here are four you can start with:

#1) Newspaper advertising

This is one of the cheapest ways to target people in your area. When done right, it can be effective.

The problem with it is that it’s very untargeted. The majority of people reading the paper will not be interested in your product. However, if even a small percentage respond, it can be effective.

#2) Yellow pages

This is another one of the “traditional methods” of local advertising. It’s been around a long time, and when done right it can again be effective.

#3) Direct mail

This is hands down one of the top local advertising methods. This is where you buy a list of people in your area based on certain characteristics. You can choose based on age, gender, income level, etc. then you would send out an advertising campaign to them.

This way, you can choose exactly who you want to focus on. Therefore, it’s more targeted than the previous two.

#4) Internet

Online advertising is another effective strategy to get local customers.

So how do you convert traffic into sales? Now that you know how to drive traffic to your offer, you have to focus on making sales.

Get their contact information.

This should be your main goal, so you can keep marketing to them. The average customer requires at least four to seven touches before they do business with you. Therefore, if you give up after the first contact you are probably missing out on the majority of your sales.

Track each advertising source separately.

You might want to track each advertising method, so you can tell what’s working and what isn’t. For this reason, you might want to send the traffic from each source to a different place so you can tell what’s working and what isn’t.

The bottom line is, local advertising can be effective when done right. Implement these tips, and you will get your marketing efforts on track.

Julianne Alvarez-Wish is a military wife, mother, business owner, professional writer, blogger and legislative advocate. She is the Director of Communications for Our Milk Money, the Colorado State Leader for the National Association for Moms in Business and the owner of Buy By Mom and Buy By Mom Blog. She is the Colorado Springs Stay-at-Home Mom Examiner for Examiner.com. She also blogs at A Wishful Thought. Her passion, purpose and goal is to help parents work from home so they can be home with their children.

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