Live Within Your Means

When I am short on money, I know that it is time to decide to live within my means. One thing that has been bothering me for months was the amount of money I spend on fuel. I decided that it was time to do something about it. I took the matter into my own hands and started planning the way I use my car. I only go where I really have to. For example, I try to only go to places to shop that are on my way to work. If a grocery store is too far, I do not bother to go there anymore. I used to drive for fun in the past taking my family to various places around the town, but I do not do it anymore as I try to save money on gas.

Types of Online Scams

In my opinion, avoiding scams or having the ability to recognize them might be as important as being able to recognize legitimate opportunities. Scams will either just waste your time, or time and money. I will try to give a few examples:

-Programs that will not require any payment or deposit, but will never pay you for their work even if you reach the minimum payout.
-Programs that will not require any payment or deposit, but will not pay you because you did not reach the minimum payout. The scam here is that the minimum payout is so high, that taking into account the pace in which you earn money, it could take you a year or more to accumulate such an amount of money. During this year you might stop being interested in earning money online, the company can stop existing, or it can have financial problems and will never pay you. It requires some experience and knowledge to spot such scams.
-Programs which require a purchase of an “attractive” product, which is supposed to make you money. It may be a pyramid scheme or something else. Into this category I would also include websites that charge a membership fee before you make any money. It might be called a business start-up kit. What all of those programs and websites have in common is that you are not going to earn any money because of them, but rather waste your time and money.

What are your thoughts on different type of scams? Which are the most dangerous?

Saving Money in a Down Economy

I sometimes wonder if it is even possible to save money in a down economy. Do you for example have any savings? When it comes to me, I do not know when was the last time I had some money on my savings account to spend on whatever I wanted to spend. One of my New Year’s resolutions is to have more savings. I know that the resolution might be a little ambitious, but I am not ready to give up just yet. This time I am going to try really hard to make sure that I accomplish my goals. I will try to go through the list of my expenses and see what I can reduce. I will try to let you know about everything I managed to accomplish.

It is not enough to plan your budget once and then leave it be. Your situation and your expenses might change often, even more often than you might expect them to change. You need to be flexible with your budget. I try to adjust my budget almost every month. I try to see if something has changed. Maybe I have one more extra expense or maybe there is something I decided not to buy anymore. If this is the case, it might be a reason to remove it from the budget and replace it with something else or nothing at all.

A Call To Action

I think it is important not to forget about a ‘call to action’ on your website. Creating a call to action does not have to be difficult and it might result in higher sales or in higher subscriber numbers. Let me give you an example. If you are a blogger, then there are a few things you may want to do. You can ask your readers to subscribe to your feed. This is a good example of a call to action and it often works if your articles are interesting. You may also encourage them to sign up to your newsletter or even encourage them to leave a comment. Do you have any thoughts what is the best way to achieve it?

Separating Business and Personal Life

As a business owner, you need to remember about separating your business life from your personal life. One of the ways to accomplish this is to use your business credit cards and your personal credit cards separately. Every time you decide to purchase something for your business, make sure that you are going to use one of your business credit cards. If you plan to shop in a grocery store, which has nothing to do with your business, always use your personal credit card. Separating business and personal life will allow you to keep track of your cash flows. It will be also easier for you to keep track of your taxes.

Credit Cards and Restaurants

Do you think that your credit card details are safe at the restaurants you visit? Even though in most cases your credit card details are safe, hackers have ways to hack into cash register terminals in order to steal credit and debit card numbers. Such details are often sold later on the Internet, and you can imagine what problems it might cause.

I remember that a few years ago, there was a situation like this, as two hackers managed to hack into 11 Dave & Buster’s cash register terminals. It has been said, that they captured data of about 5,000 credit and debit cards, which is a quite large number considering those were only two hackers. While I am not saying we should not visit restaurants, I think that we should look a little bit deeper into possible security vulnerabilities at such establishments.

Revising Your Business Plan

Writing your business plan before starting your online business is one thing, but revising it on a regular basis is another thing. You will need to revise your business plan from time to time simply because so many things change very rapidly. Even if a strategy used to work in the past, it might not work anymore and you might be forced to revise your strategies.

-Learn to use constructive criticism to your advantage. I know that sometimes listening to criticism might be hard, but if somebody has to say something about your business and he is right about it, do not hesitate to listen to him and implement his advice in your business plan.
-Make sure the data you included in your business plan is accurate and up-to-date. Since many things change every day, what used be true yesterday does not have to be true today.
-Check regularly whether your ideas worked in the past. Also, check regularly whether your business plan worked and whether your business follows the path you described in your business plan. If your business follows another path and is brining you money, do not hesitate to adjust your business plan to the new path. Remember that your business plan can be flexible if this is what you want it to be.

Business and Blogging

It seems that many business owners quit blogging. Are you interested what the reasons are? Are we really that different from business bloggers? We also try to “sell a product”, but in our case it is our blog itself. Here are the reasons why many business people give up on blogging:

1. They are not happy with the amount of comments left by visitors.
2. According to them, they do not have enough subscribers.
3. They do not observe an increase in traffic coming to their main website.
4. They find it difficult to come up with fresh new content for the blog every day or week. Blogs that are not being updated often might not serve their purpose.
5. They cannot work out how to promote products and services via their blog. It is not that easy to promote different products from various industries on a blog.

Maintaining a blog costs money. That is why if there are going to be negligible benefits, then it is a wise choice for a business to delete such a blog. Regular bloggers are in a different position, as they are not oriented on increasing their income. They are rather focused on having influence over other people and interacting with users all over the world. That is why there are some blogs that have been out for years, and they are still performing very well.

Represent Your Business

Organizing your work space might be one of the best things you can do for your business. If there is a chance that somebody might drop by and pay you an unannounced visit, you need to be prepared for any unexpected visitors. You need to learn to represent your business with style. Many things can add to the style of your business. Organizing your work space is one thing, but having a few business cards prepared for your visitors is another things. If you plan to have some business cards prepared in advance, make sure that they are designed in such a way that they are likely to attract the attention of your customers.

Be My Guest

This time I would like to discuss guest bloggers and content stealing. A well-written guest post might be considered valuable content according to readers. This is especially true if the topic of the post relates closely to the main topic of the blog. So in this case, I would like to discuss a situation where a guest blogger copies posts written by somebody else, and claims that he wrote them. Not only if somebody finds out about this, all of his guest posts might be removed from different blogs, but it would also be a huge blow to the reputation of the blogger himself.
Reading other bloggers guest posts and writing similar ones is not content stealing in my opinion. However, if one clearly copies and pastes another person’s posts, then this is definitely content stealing. He should worry about somebody finding out about this. It might be a good idea to list all resources that you use to write a post. Did you get inspired after reading a newspaper article? Feel free to indicate that in your post. This way everyone will know that you write your own articles and your articles are also going to look more professional. After all, all of the dissertations being written in universities often indicate various sources where that particular information.