Sunday, January 31, 2010

Part 1: Setting Up Your Blog

Blogging is a lucrative source of profit and blogs are easy to set up and maintain. Imagine a life where you are paid to write on stuff that interests you, whenever you want, wherever you are. The mere flexibility of blogging makes it easy for you to just kick back, relax and go on a vacation whenever you feel like it.

In this article, we are going to look into the profitability of a blog and set up a blog of our own at no cost! Interested? Read on!

First, we need to obtain a blog. There are several options – host a blog on your own domain or get a free blog. For starters, let’s talk about the free blogs. You can obtain a free blog at www.blogger.com or the newer (and better!) www.wordpress.com. If you are a techie, you must have heard of Wordpress, a free blog engine that is robust and infinitely expandable.

Blogger.com is actually owned by Google, so it will be detected on Google’s radar faster and you will be indexed faster. Wordpress.com, however, is a relatively new option so I have no comparison on the speed of getting indexed by search engines. However, Wordpress is better in the sense that it has more advanced features such as Trackbacks and Categories. You can also manage your sidebar links more efficiently (more about this later).

Get a free blog at either Blogger.com (http://www.blogger.com/signup.g) or Wordpress (http://wordpress.com/signup/). Then, familiarize yourself by posting your first post on your blog and tinkering around with the options and templates.

Here are a few common “blog-related” words to help you out:

1)Permalink – Permalink stands for permanent link, which is a URL (uniform resource locator) that leads to an individual post that you make in your blog.
2)Trackback – When you post about someone else’s blog post elsewhere, your post will show up in their “trackback” section. This feature, however, is not available with a Blogger.com account.
3)Pinging – Blogging seems to be paired with pinging almost every time either one is mentioned nowadays. Pinging is actually the action where a certain aggregator is notified whenever your blog is updated, so that the aggregator may show the newest post of your blog on their website. This is a useful way to gaining traffic, which we shall discuss later.

For now, I shall leave you testing out your new blog and the features that come included with it. In the next articles, we shall discuss the many ways we can gain profit from a blog, as well as tips on how to write posts that keep visitors glued and keep coming back for more!

Sunday, January 03, 2010

Operating a Successful Candle Making Business

Making candles can be great fun. Some people choose to take their love of this art and make money doing what they enjoy spending their time on. There are many areas of the candle making business you need to consider before embarking on such an adventure. Knowing how to make quality candles is not enough. You need to educate yourself on ways to promote your candles, ordering supplies, offering customer service, and determining a price for your candles.

We all know candles are a very popular item, so the market for such products is out there. However, that market can’t purchase your candles if they do not know about it. You will need to establish a plan including where you plan to sell your candles, and then come up with a handle of ways to get attention to them. There are many places to sell candles. You can do so from your own home or rent space at craft shows. Often word of mouth will result in orders. You can also choose to advertise on the internet.

Advertising online can be expensive, but it does not have to be. Write about your business on a blog or purchase services from a web hosting company. They often offer excellent tools for setting up a web page and directing traffic to your site. In addition, they provide the shopping cart and even credit card processing for you. Most web hosting companies charge $20 per month, which is not a bad investment.

Placing your candles on Ebay or other online auction sites is a great way to generate sales. As you accumulate feedback for selling a quality product you will get more buyers. Before you can do any advertising, you will need to decide what types of candles to sell. You will generate more sells if you show pictures of your work with each type of candle you sell. People buying candles want to visualize the product they are purchasing. Once your business starts turning a profit, consider buying supplies in large quantities to get a discount.

The secret to being a successful candle making business is selling the product at a fair enough price that the consumer will buy it. Yet you also need to cover the cost of your time and supplies, while making a reasonable profit. Don’t be tempted to cut corners on the quality of your supplies as this can greatly alter the quality of your product. Once the word is out that your quality is poor, you will have a hard time maintaining sales.

To generate business, offer promotions. You can offer free shipping for your candle products at the online auction sites to have an advantage over the competition. Many auction surfers will buy a product with free shipping over one with low shipping. You can also offer a free candle with the purchase of three or even to send a personalized card if the buyer is going to use the candle as a gift.

Many successful candle making companies offer personalized service. This means customers can ask for a particular type of candle in a color and you will make it for them. This often costs the customer more, but they are likely willing to pay it. Make sure you communicate well with your customers and know exactly what they want before committing to such a project.

Every business experiences issues that come up. This is to be expected. Customers are likely to be more forgiving of such issues if they are provided with quality customer service. Make sure customers have a way to get into contact with you. Work out a resolution to any issues that you will both be happy with. It is best to outline return policies on your website as well so that there is a place customers can review such information.

Choosing to start your own business is a wonderful and exciting time. Selling your own candles gives you a business where you can be proud of the quality product you are making. Taking the time to learn the basics of the business before jumping in will help ensure this is a fun business venture for you and hopefully one that is going to be quite profitable.

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

My Friday Night Happenings






Chelsea signing her daddy's cast
Hubby's orange cast
Sewing project
Becky's sewing room
Mr. Kitty on catnip (he is 16 years old)

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

What a Wonderful Giveaway at Youcanmakethis.com

There is a wonderful give away over at Youcanmakethis.com. The prize is a Marie Osmond Quilter’s Companion sewing machine from Janome! Hop on over there and get your entry in!!!

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Automatic Seed Planting Chart

for the Lazy Gardener. How cool is that???

I just found this wonderful automatic seed planting chart at You Grow Girl! You just input your last frost date and it calculates it all for you! Such as 20-MAR-09 - if you don't use that format then it won't work. I figured that out the hard way. I hope you have as much fun with this as I did!
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