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Why is Gmail best for Entrepreneurs?

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It might seem unnecessary to write a post about the benefits of Gmail.  Doesn’t everyone have a gmail account already?  I just thought it might be useful to review how I use gmail and make some suggestions for those already using it to be more productive as an entrepreneur.

One of the most helpful things gmail does, (which is a fairly recent development), is to sort your incoming emails into three different tabs, a primary one, a social tab, and a promotions tab.  (Actually sorting is also done for spam into it’s own separate folder. By the way, the spam checker in gmail is probably the most robust in the industry).
 
I reserve my primary tab only for the newsletters that I think are important, or communication from people from whom I have purchased products in the past. If you have given out your gmail address in order to download some free information, I don’t keep this type of email in my primary folder unless I find it extremely worthwhile.

Anything else I move into the promotions tab.  If you have ever purchased anything from JVZoo or the Warrior forum, it is certain that you will receive a fair amount of promotional email from both of them.  For me, all that belongs in the promotional tab. I reserve my primary tab only for the relatively important stuff.  All you have to do is drag an email to the promotional tab, and say yes.  All email from that address will now automatically be sent to your promotions tab.

I don’t have much going on in my social tab, since I have turned off email notifications from any of my social media accounts.  I have a completely separate address for my LinkedIn account, since even the weekly email on that account can be considerable. I suggest you do the same for your LinkedIn account. In addition, I have a separate email for any direct business communication from my website and other sources.

Although I use gmail for my primary email service, I also use Hotmail and Yahoo for my additional email addresses.  If you have an email address from your local cable Internet provider, or another source for your Internet service, I would not use that particular email address if you think you may be receiving a substantial amount of email using that address.  The spam filters are much less effective than other accounts.

That’s a quick overview of how I use my email accounts.  I also use Chrome for most of my browsing, since I like the number of extensions Chrome offers.  I have used Mozilla Firefox in the past, but I switched to Chrome.  It is always good to have an alternative browser installed on your computer in case one crashes, and doesn’t want to restart. You can use the other to download and install the latest version of the other browser in order to get to work again.

Good luck in all your endeavors!

For a complete and free consultation for your local business, visit

Goldfinch Digital Marketing

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How to Fall in Love with Printed Books Again

The link below is a post from Publisher’s Weekly. It is a reminder with which I wholeheartedly agree. We can’t forget the value of the printed book.

For all the benefits for publishers, authors, and readers alike of the various digital formats, we can’t forget that books are for first and foremost for readers. There is nothing that can compare with a good print book. There is the look and the feel, and even the smell of a new book. The act of turning the pages, and holding something tangible in your hand that a digital version just can’t match.

Do we need to read everything in print? Definitely not, but when you find a treasured book; something you would recommend to all your friends, maybe a children’s book that you would like your children, your nieces and nephews, your neighbor’s children, and even your grandchildren to read, go ahead and buy the hardcover, or paperback version as well as the digital version, in order to really treasure that book in a greater way then you ever could do with the digital version alone.

How a Digital Publisher fell Back in Love With Print Books.

For a free consulation on self-publishing or local marketing for your business, visit Goldfinch Digital Marketing

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How To Eliminate 90% Of Your Regret And Anxiety …

How To Eliminate 90% Of Your Regret And Anxiety By Thinking Like A Roman Emperor

Do you know what Steve Jobs, John D. Rockefeller, Amelia Earhart, and Ulysses S. Grant have in common?

They each possessed the talent of turning obstacles into opportunities drawn from the Stoic ideologies of Roman Emperor, Marcus Aurelius.

While living our lives, it’s very likely that you will run into some pretty distressing events, and at other times it’ll seem like everything is running exactly as it should with very few discomforts.

And arguably, the more interesting and worthwhile a life goal is, the more sacrifice and inconvenience will be required from you up front. Yet we often find ourselves complaining about all the little things that happen to us during this path for greatness.

It stems from the false assumption that somehow we can have it all: build that amazing startup and never deal with rejections; live your awesome lifeand remain unexposed by all of its obstacles.

To achieve greatness, you need to re-program your brain to not think this way — it’s unrealistic and self sabotaging. It won’t help you achieve worthwhile goals since worthwhile goals are almost guaranteed to put you through adversity.

Most importantly, your brain is telling you that you are dominated by circumstance and the decisions of other people, instead of letting it be a force of your own. You start to subconsciously prioritize pleasure over pain, making it really hard to truly start executing on your vision.

So the question is not how skilled of an entrepreneur, artist, or writer you are, but can you keep it steady and focus only on what you can change, no matter how much external events may fluctuate?

Part 1: Develop the Skill of Eudaimonia

 

Keeping your irrational emotions in check during tribulations is not easy to develop since your brain is always telling you the react the way it’s been conditioned to. But it’s a skill that can be cultivated so you can focus your energy on solving problems, rather than reacting to them. It’s the key to making your life successful all on your own.

The Greeks refer to this state as Eudaimonia, which is defined as a contented state of happiness. In a more literal sense, eudaimonia means to have a good indwelling spirit to make the right actions. Unfortunately, today we associate ‘happiness’ as a subjective feeling rather than an objective state that characterizes a well-lived life irrespective of the emotional state we experience.

Realize that it isn’t outside influence that make us feel something, it’s our inner thoughts that create our feelings (which often stress us out). When this happens, we point the finger at external events, but all that does is create more conflicts in our minds. When we avoid the reality of an uncomfortable situation — meeting a deadline, boss’s urgent email — we weaken our self-disciple and harm ourselves.

Another way of applying this principle is asking yourself:

Does getting upset or panicking provide your with better options?

Sometimes it does, but more often it does not.

If an emotion can’t change the situation you’re in, it’s likely a destructive one.

I’m not saying to stop feeling everything. If you need to take a moment, go right ahead and feel it. But be prepared to tackle emotions with logic because with enough logical questions and statements you’ll get to the causes, which are much easier to comprehend.

“Today I escaped anxiety. Or no, I discarded it, because it was within me, in my own perceptions — not outside.” — Marcus Aurelius

Part 2: Fear nothing

 

Fear can only enter the mind if you want it to. If you choose not to be afraid then fear will simply vanish.

Premeditatio Malorum is the technique of overcoming problems by vividly imagining what it would be like to face those misfortunes in order to practice gratitude and prepare for the worst.

Here’s some of mine:

I imagine losing my startup. We don’t close our next round of funding. Our main customer acquisition channel fizzes out. My co-founder leaves the company.

Everyday when I call my girlfriend, I feel in that moment that it could be the last time I ever speak with her. It keeps my appreciation fresh and strengthens our relationship.

A good one by Steve Jobs is reminding myself that I’ll be dead soon. It could be tomorrow or in another 80 years, but nothing helps me focus more than thinking about death.

“Remembering that I’ll be dead soon is the most important tool I’ve ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life.” — Steve Jobs

Part 3: Use Pain As Your Teacher

 

Just as physical pain is caused by a bodily injuries and sickness, mental distress is caused by the wrong belief system and incorrect judgements.

But living with pain could help us develop endurance and inner calm instead of mentally destructive passions. Remember, emotional reactions are natural — it’s how you respond to them that’s important.

Marcus Aurelius describes pain as something that is neither good nor evil. It’s something that hurts without discrimination, but like everything else in life, it will end eventually.

The Negative Visualization Exercise

 

Here’s a practical exercise I learned from Tim Ferris to accomplish big goals by defining your pains:

  1. Take an 8 x 11 paper and make three columns.
  2. On the top write something big you want to accomplish (quit your job and start a startup, move to Bali, write a fiction novel, whatever).
  3. On the first column write the worst possible things that could happen if you made that decision.
  4. On the next column, write how you could minimize all of that from happening.
  5. On the last one, write how you could get back to where you were originally. Like getting back to the industry you left to start your own business.

I did this when I decided to start LawTrades and not work for a firm straight out of law school. On a scale of 1 to 10 I assigned a pain level of about 3 (I could always work at a law firm if it didn’t pan out) and a life changing score of 10 (wake up everyday loving what I do).

“Named must your fear be before banish it you can” — Yoda

Part 4: Respond, Not React

 

Don’t react to the world. You may respond but not react. A response is an action taken based on logic. A reaction is an impulse based on an emotional state. Your reaction will not alter the world. Your reaction only changes you. Your response is what will change the world.

The Cheat Sheet

 

  • All is temporary
  • Do everything as if it were the last thing you do in your life
  • Have nothing you are not prepared to lose
  • Accept what can’t be changed
  • Refuse to be a victim
  • Practice misfortune
  • Negative visualization
  • Don’t let emotions override what your mind tells you

If you enjoyed this piece, hit that cool ‘share’ button to spread the love to the world. Thanks!

 

Stephen Hodgkiss
Chief Engineer at MarketHive

John Lombaerde

Digital Content Writing for the Web. Why do we do it?

Those who are new to Internet Marketing, may wonder, “Do I need to blog?” or “If I need to blog, how often should I post?”

The reasons may vary greatly from person to person, as well as the frequency of blog posts.  It could be a simple desire to sell stuff online, or maybe just a need to express yourself and communicate with others. For me, I think it is much more than that.

I would have to call on a Latin phrase to describe why I write, and why I blog. I have a condition called cacoethes scribendi. It is not medical, but loosely translated it means “an insatiable desire to write.”

I have done technical writing for nearly 20 years. I love to describe technical subjects in layman’s terms that anyone can understand. For an example, see an article I wrote quite a while ago here, VoIP Demystified. I have been a regular blogger since 2007, and I have been using WordPress for much of that time.  To see the first blog I set-up see NJ Writer’s Group on blogger.

When I look back over the past 8 years, it is really quite amazing how the Internet and especially content writing for the web has changed over that time. It is equally amazing that despite massive changes in Internet technology, some things remain the same.  My desire to write and to blog have only increased with each passing year.

I love to write about Internet Marketing subjects, and if I can simplify or make someone’s journey on that path a little easier, I am very happy to do that.

I am a founding member of MarketHive, a one-of-a-kind social network for entrepreneurs.

I have experience in digital publishing, and can help authors to self-publish.

I run a local Internet marketing agency called Goldfinch Digital Publishing.  I help local businesses take advantage of online marketing methods to increase sales by effectively finding and converting prospects into customers.  Services include everything from website design, to local SEO, social media, branding, and reputation management.

I can also create an entire automated marketing system similar those used by big businesses for a fraction of the cost of large-scale automation systems.

It is really not even an issue anymore that most all businesses need some sort of website.  Even if it just a one-page basic informational site, it is a given that even very small businesses should have a web presence.  If you are marketing any kind of product or service on the Internet, a website is a practical necessity.

I would recommend a WordPress blog that is hosted on a hosting service independent from WordPress, in other words, a website called a “self-hosted” website, that uses an independent hosting provider, separate from your domain name registrar.

There are probably hundreds of hosting providers to count on the Internet.  Prices and options vary widely.  I personally use a hosting company that offers a Virtual Private Server, but that is kind of an advanced web hosting system that beginning marketers would not need.  If you are interested in a VPS, visit this link.  Advantages of a VPS

Perhaps one of the strongest reasons to post on a blog on a regular basis is so that your website can be found on Google.  Regular posts on your blog help your blog to rank on Google and the other search engines.  This is too big a topic to cover here, but fresh content on your blog not only can satisfy the needs of readers, and subscribers to your blog, but it is an important factor in SEO, or Search Engine Optimization.

John Lombaerde – MarketHive Alpha Founder

10 Types of Content That Will Drive You More Traffic

Content marketing is more than writing blogs. Way more

If you’re just getting involved in content marketing, the first thing you need to do is launch your blog and start writing.

Then, when your blog is established and purring along, try throwing in a new type of content. I predict that you’ll immediately see a difference — fresh traffic, targeted visitors, higher conversion rates, and better SEO.

But before I share the 10 types of content that will drive you more traffic, there are a few things you need to know:

You don’t need to try all of these examples – different content types suit different brands in different ways. If you don’t think that a certain type of content will serve you, no problem. This list isn’t about must-haves. It’s about maybes.
Don’t be afraid to try new stuff – I’ve found that some people shy away from new types of content because they think it will take too long, be too hard, or fall flat. I understand your apprehension, but I encourage you to try it anyway. Want to get started with a video? You don’t need to buy a green screen, editing software, or a pro-grade camera. Use your iPhone and your YouTube account. Start small and work your way up.

Pick one and put it in your schedule – if you use a content marketing schedule, slot one or two of these into the editorial calendar for the next month. If you don’t plan it, you probably won’t do it. I challenge you to pick one and give it a try sometime in the next four weeks.

This list is not exhaustive – I encourage you to think of content not in terms of types but ideas. The form that the content takes is secondary. The idea is primary. First, develop your idea. Then, determine what it’s going to look like. The variety of content is endless. Heck, you may even want to invent your own type of content.

So, let’s get started…

Content type #1: Infographics

An infographic is the presentation of information or data in a visual way. Its name sums it up — info + graphic.

Infographics get shared more, viewed more, and loved more than most other content types. They are a powerful way to get your information out there in an explosively visual format. One study found that infographics were liked and shared on social media up to three times more often than other content. The viral potential is there.

How to do it

If you have a graphic designer in your professional network, tap him or her to make an infographic for you. Some graphic artists specialize in infographics. If you have it in your budget, you can use a service like Visual.ly. Infographics typically start at $1,000.

When to use it

Infographics are perfect for communicating almost any idea or concept. Data, research, statistics, and findings work especially well.

Things to keep in mind

Infographics can be expensive. The amount cited above — a thousand dollars — is pretty close to the standard price.

Infographics used to go viral just by virtue of being an infographic. That doesn’t work anymore. Everyone is making infographics. Today, you have to make it really good to make it shareable.

Make a gifographic. Gifographics use the infographic model but feature animated gifs instead of the static images of a conventional infographic. You can check out an example here.

Content type #2: Meme

You’ve seen memes. They’re easy to make. They’re viral. They’re hilarious.

That’s one of the great benefits of memes — their humor. People love something that they can laugh at, share, and get a kick out of.

How to do it

Memes don’t require graphic design skills. Meme Generator and Quick Meme are sites that allow you to add your own text to popular meme images.
Memes may not be the best type of content to share on your blog, but they’re primed for social media outlets. Twitter, Stumbleupon, Pinterest, Reddit, and Tumblr (especially Tumblr) will help your meme to spread.
Memes are just-because content. When the mood hits or a funny idea strikes you, go ahead and meme it.

Things to keep in mind

They are adaptable. The great thing about memes is that they can be adapted for use in any niche. Your niche is neither too narrow nor abstruse to warrant its own meme.

Memes can be low value, so don’t overuse them. When misused, they can devalue the message or brand that you’re trying to promote.

Content type #3: Videos

There’s a world of variety within videos. I could write a whole separate post on different types of videos. No matter what type it is, however, a good video communicates a message in a succinct and memorable way. Done well, a video can be extraordinarily persuasive. This video on Crazy Egg helps to bring in $21k every month.

How to do it

Whether you create a video of an office tour, an explainer video, or a music video (it’s been done), you’ve got to get the script right. A video isn’t only about the moving picture; it’s about the words that you say or display. Check out a few more tips for making an explainer video.
Put the video on YouTube and Vimeo. Both of these video sharing sites are great ways to garner social signals for SEO and improved results for video search itself.

Things to keep in mind

Making a good video is not cheap. You can start small, of course, but contracting a video specialist or a camera crew can cost quite a bit.

Videos aren’t supposed to be long. Two to three minutes is a good length.

Content type #4: Guides

A guide is a detailed and fairly long piece of content. Think of it as an epic blog post. It goes beyond the length, style, and approach of an ordinary blog post. My Advanced Guide series are some of the most popular types of content I’ve ever created. When you check them out, you’ll discover that they have more visual flair and are much longer than my blog articles.

How to do it

Writing a guide requires a good writer, a good designer, and a good idea. The writer needs to produce top-tier content. The designer needs to know how to present that content in an attractive way. And the idea has to be something that your audience wants. You may wish to present the guide as a downloadable PDF.

Things to keep in mind

Guides can be a helpful bait for harvesting email addresses: “I’ll give you this awesome guide if you register your email address.”

A guide needs to look good. Make sure you recruit the services of a capable designer as well as a writer. Readability has as much to do with layout and presentation as it does with great writing style.

Content type #5: Book reviews

A book review is a simple discussion of a book plus your take on it. You recommend good ones, critique not-so-good ones, and share the value that you glean from them. Book reviews are great because they help to position you as a thought leader.

How to do it

A book review can be as complicated or as simple as you want. I suggest a short-and-simple 7-point format:

  • Introduce the book: 1-5 sentences.
  • Introduce the author: 1-5 sentences.
  • Summarize the book’s major points: 1-3 sentences per point.
  • Share what you liked in the book: 1-5 sentences.
  • Share what you didn’t like about the book: 1-5 sentences.
  • Recommend it (or not) to your readers: 1-3 sentences.
  • Provide a call to action: Link to the book.

Things to keep in mind

Book review content works best if you have a readership that is inclined to read books.
Book reviews are especially helpful for thought leadership if you’re able to review new releases or pre-releases or interview the author.

Content type #6: Opinion post (a.k.a. “Rant”)

This style of post is substantially different from your typical blog post, mostly due to its tone. You may be used to publishing a careful and researched discussion of a topic. The rant or opinion, by contrast, may be stronger and more expressive. The more vociferous your position, the more it’s going to get read and shared.

How to do it

Occasionally, write a strong first-person take on a hot topic or big issue. It could be your opinion on a major industry change. I did this when Matt Cutts announced the demise of guest blogging. When you address popular topics, you’re able to get stronger search potential and shareability.

Things to keep in mind

This should not be a daily thing. Someone who is constantly sharing his or her opinions or ranting about a topic can become odious. Use with caution.

Be civil. Don’t let your opinions degenerate into people bashing. “Rant” does not equal “angry.”
Be clear about what you’re doing — that this is your opinion, your take, your position — and be humble about it.

Content type #7: Product reviews

Like the book review, a product review can help establish authority and leadership in your industry. Every industry has its unique array of products, software, and services. When you engage key developers, manufacturers, or service providers, you gain recognition and respect. All you need to do is share your experience with the product and provide your recommendation.

How to do it

Here’s a pattern for the product review:

  • Introduce the product
  • Introduce the producer
  • Describe the product
  • Share what you like
  • Share what you don’t like
  • Provide your recommendation
  • Provide a call to action

Things to keep in mind

If the product is a physical item, you may want to have a video component to the review. A video allows you to take a hands-on approach to the product as you review it.

Content type #8: How-to

The how-to is one of the most popular types of content, especially in my niche. On my blog, I write a lot of how-to guides. How-to articles have awesome long tail search potential due to these popular long tail query introductions: “How to…” and “How do I…?”

How to do it

First, identify a common problem. Then, come up with a solution. The model is simple:

  • Introduce the problem
  • Introduce the solution
  • Discuss each step of the solution
  • Summarize the discussion
  • Provide a conclusion

Things to keep in mind

The options for how-tos are inexhaustible. Think of one topic that reflects something you do on a daily basis. Next, write a how-to article based on that one issue. It could be industry specific or more general: “How to reply to every email in one minute or less” or “How to optimize your robots.txt for search engines.”

The more thorough your explanation is, the better. Diagrams, videos, and pictures can all help enhance the how-to blog.

Content type #9: Lists

Lists have endless appeal. We’re wired to love them. Chance are you’re going to see or read an article today that involves some sort of a list — “5 Security Breaches You Need to Know about,” “17 Ways to Rank Higher in Google in One Month.” Hey, you’re already reading an article with the title “15 Types.”

From the ancient Ten Commandments to modern lists of everything, numbered ideas are as popular as ever. You can’t go wrong with this content type. Even popular magazines use list appeal to sell issues.

How to do it

Pick a topic, then pick a number. You’re halfway to creating a list. A good example of this is this post on 7 ways to increase your rankings without leveraging content marketing.

When you write your list, use this simple format: introduce the topic, list your points, and provide a conclusion.

Things to keep in mind

The more detailed your list is, the better. Long lists are good too.

There’s no magic number for an awesome list. Odd numbers, round numbers, any types of numbers — they all work equally well.

Content type #10: Link pages

A link page is simply a post that provides links to great resources around the web. The great thing about link posts is that they spread link love to other sites, provide your own site with authoritative SEO signals, and assert your thought leadership within your field.

How to do it

A link page, often called a link roundup, is simply a list of links. Write down the title of the article, hyperlink it, and number it. Done.

Things to keep in mind

It’s helpful to add your own blurb or introduction for each link you provide. Although not necessary, it’s a good way to put your own spin on a topic or add a bit of value to the discussion. Besides, if a post is particularly good (or bad), you may want to point this out.


Stephen Hodgkiss
Chief Engineer MarketHive Inc.

John Lombaerde

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