Entrepreneurship

How To Minimize The Cost (And Maximize The Benefit) Of Eating Out For Business

I’m a pretty avid follower of the “brown bag club” – I take my own lunch to work very regularly and have some soup at my desk for the days when leftovers aren’t present. However, there are simply some times where, for business or social reasons, I must eat out with others. Here are seven …

Multiple Income Streams: How They Can Work For You

Not too long ago, the only method I had for earning money was my job. I’d get up, go into work, come home, and collect my paycheck – and I believed that was good enough for me. When I had children, though, I began to realize that my life was not all that different than …

Taking The Leap Into Entrepreneurship: Where Is That Financial Safety Net?

I’m a big advocate of entrepreneurship and I truly admire people who take the plunge. Here’s a question from a brave reader who went forward with his dream. I’ll call him Walt, for fun, after a character in one of my favorite books: I’m starting a personal training business, and I’ve been marketing for about …

Building a Better Blog: Celebrate With Your Readers

As you continue to blog, your regular readers will eventually grow accustomed to your voice as a writer, even if you write in a mostly factual fashion. Over time, you’ll come into contact many of your readers by email and comments and you’ll begin to establish a relationship of sorts with them. What does this …

Categories: Blogging

Building a Better Blog: Don’t Forget the Fundamentals

When I’m actively blogging, I often assume a great deal about my readers and their pre-existing knowledge of my topic. I often go so far as to assume that, even after I’ve researched a topic, I’m roughly on par with them in terms of really understanding the topic, so I focus on my own reflections …

Categories: Blogging

Building a Better Blog: Don’t Clutter It Up

When a visitor comes to your site, the first thing they’re looking for is content. They want to see what you’ve written and they don’t want to be distracted by confusing things. The more confusing options you throw out there, the less likely they are to feel welcome on your site and the less likely …

Categories: Blogging

Building a Better Blog: Talking To Other Bloggers

Many bloggers operate in a bubble. This bubble includes themselves and perhaps a small number of bloggers that focus on topics similar to their own. I know that this is often true, even for me: I talk to a lot of other personal finance bloggers, but I rarely communicate outside of my own “circle.” So …

Categories: Blogging

Building a Better Blog: Engage The Casual Visitor

One issue that has always interested me is how one can maximize the retention of visitors from social bookmarking sites like Digg. These visitors are only coming to your site to read a particular article; typically, they don’t stay around to read other things. A similar notion is true about visitors from search engines (though …

Categories: Blogging

Building a Better Blog: Post Consistently

After discussing the dangers of leaving your audience hanging, it became clear that a concise description of why a posting schedule is useful and how it should work is needed. Although many professional bloggers offer up the bromide of how important a posting schedule is, it is rare to find a description of the actual …

Categories: Blogging

Building a Better Blog: Write In Series

I’m often baffled by bloggers who confess to having a complete lack of ideas to blog about when the possibilities for dozens upon dozens of posts are sitting there right in front of them. All that you need for a large number of posts is one idea that can be broken down into a lot …

Categories: Blogging

Building a Better Blog: Use The Senses

The web is inherently a visual medium, and like any other visual medium, a big portion of success in the medium is sensory appeal. Many, many people recall things based upon imagery and visual impressions and blogs are no different: time and time again, we see that images help make for memorable posts. Take, for …

Categories: Blogging

Building a Better Blog: Don’t Know It All

In high school, I was friends with an individual who repeatedly acted as if he knew everything anyone was going to say. If you got him started on a subject, he would completely dominate the conversation with minutae and commentary on every aspect of the issue at hand, while everyone else sat around staring at …

Categories: Blogging

Building a Better Blog: Social Bookmarking

Most bloggers are familiar with the “Digg effect,” a flood of traffic that comes from reaching the front page of Digg, a popular social bookmarking site (if you want to know more about it, you can see my observations on it). Similar traffic boosts occur whenever a site becomes “popular” in any well-travelled social bookmarking …

Categories: Blogging

Building a Better Blog: Don’t Chase Away Your Readers

Recently, I visited a very interesting blog that focused on personal finance and political issues targeting twentysomethings. The author had a very distinctive voice and he clearly had his audience defined, yet there was still one problem: he was often posting things and making statements that were going to drive away a big part of …

Categories: Blogging

Blogging and Money: Six Trends For 2007

This entry was written as a part of the Reviews and Predictions group writing project at ProBlogger.net. As always, The Simple Dollar is looking to put a personal finance spin on things. Over the past several years, blogging has grown from a passionate hobby for a few energetic souls into a lucrative business for some …

Categories: Blogging

Building a Better Blog: The Mini Audience

Once you’ve figured out who your audience is, it becomes much easier to determine whether or not content is appropriate for your site. The simple question of whether or not it appeals to this group is enough to decide whether or not it should be posted on the site. Obviously, if your audience is broad, …

Categories: Blogging

Building a Better Blog: Search Engine Optimization Doesn’t Matter

Some of you are probably sitting there stunned right now. Without search engine placement, it’s very hard for a site to get a lot of attention from search engines, isn’t it? Yet I’m fairly sure that (to a degree) even SEO professionals will agree with the premise here when I make the case for it. …

Categories: Blogging

Building a Better Blog: Leverage the Past

Once you’ve reached a point where you have a healthy number of posts, you’ll find that even your best, most original ideas overlap with ideas you’ve posted on in the past. Some people see this as a problem; they worry that they’re out of original ideas. Successful bloggers, however, see it as an opportunity. Let’s …

Categories: Blogging

Building a Better Blog: Guide Your Users

I like to write long posts. I’ve discovered that length doesn’t matter, so I write and write to my heart’s content until I feel like I’ve completed my thoughts and said what I want to say. Quite often, though, this means I have a big block of solid text, a nearly unpenetrable slab of words …

Categories: Blogging