Business

Get Smart: 5 Worth-it Business Tools to Make Your Life Easier

September 13, 2017

You’ll know as well as I do that life as a solopreneur is a constant, fiery juggling act.

From over-delivering for our beloved clients to sounding savvy on social media to filing our receipts to overseeing every inch of our businesses – it’s complex, exciting, nerve-racking, joyful, frustrating… but we wouldn’t change it for the world.

What can make the difference between sink or swim are productivity-boosting tools which help us streamline and manage our day-to-day lives.

Here are the top 5 essential business tools I use, and highly recommend, to help run my online business as smoothly as possible.

The reason I recommend them so much is that they’re straightforward to use, have massively reduced overwhelm, and they’ve made a significant difference to my success.

Although I’m biased in cheering for these resources, I’ve included any downsides to keep my reviews balanced because, let’s be honest, nothing is perfect 100% of the time!

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Resources

Sunday Link Love: Email Sequences Blueprint, Build an Engaged Online Community & Get Inspired

September 10, 2017
Sunday Link Love: Email Sequences Blueprint, Build an Engaged Online Community & Get Inspired

Sunday Link Love is a recurring series of hand-picked digital marketing and entrepreneur lifestyle links from around the web.  The links are very, very rarely affiliate links, but if any are, you’ll see an * beside the link. Along with sharing my recent favorites, it’s also a way for me to keep an extra-personal touch to my blog. Social media is great, but my blog is still my home base!


Anticipating… Another round of The Imperfect Boss campaign is starting on Tuesday September 12th! 

“We have set out to liberate tens of thousands of creative women from perfect and empower one another to be real and confident in life and business. We are a rebel-hearted crew of women who are willing to create a ruckus for the sake of one another.”

I LOVE this movement so much that I decided to sponsor it this round. 

Anyone else planning to join? Let me know your Instagram handle in the comments, and I’ll be sure to follow!

The Imperfect Boss Campaign on Instagram

Loving… Mixing things up for fall.

I’m a restless soul. I crave change often. This time I channeled it into my hair. Thanks @manicpanicnyc.

A post shared by Danielle Zeigler (@danielleadairz) on

 

Now on to this week’s round up!

Marketing + Entrepreneur Lifestyle Round-up:

» Not sure what should be on your homepage to keep ’em on your site? Bluchic is sharing 3 key questions you should ask yourself so you can create a homepage that will attract your ideal client.

» I’ve personally used MailChimp to send out my newsletters for years. If you’ve never used email automation before, or aren’t sure how to set it up within Mailchimp, then you’re in luck. This MailChimp 101 post is your step by step guide to setting up your first automation and to getting more engaged followers.

» Speaking of newsletters. Now that you know how to set-up automation, what do you send your readers? Not to worry! I’ve got you covered. This amazing 7-step blueprint on how to write an email sequence not only shares what emails to send but the 3 major mistakes you should avoid!

» Do any of you use Gmail plugins to help organize and automate your emails? I recently learned about the Gmail follow-up tool called Gmass*. It sounds like a handy tool for anyone who does a lot of emailing with clients and/or pitches partnerships for podcasts, guest blogging or the like. Think automatic follow-ups for pending client approvals, automatic lead follow-ups, automatic emails based on clicks and opens, plus analytics to track everything.

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Health + Wellness

The Surprising Business Benefits of Hiring a Health Coach

September 6, 2017
the surprising business benefits of hiring a health coach

Today’s post is from Kate Tarratt Cross, a health coach dedicated to helping people make simple changes to boost energy and live better.

I work with many coaches and wellness entrepreneurs, and even have a holistic health coaching certificate myself, so I’ve asked Kate to share what helped her the most to get started as a health coach. The answer might surprise you!

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It’s so brave to choose entrepreneurship as a life journey, but I’m sure every entrepreneur out there will tell you that it’s not always easy. Many entrepreneurs are in charge of doing everything in the business themselves, so the hours in the day are just never long enough.

For most entrepreneurs, each day is a roller coaster of unexpected and sometimes “bipolar” type emotions, which run from elation to complete lack of confidence. To top it off there is a health revolution happening and we are now constantly bombarded with “healthy advice” or comparisons to make you feel like you aren’t doing enough to have that beautiful boundless energy or small waistline.

Does this sound like you? You want to get fit and healthy, but your hectic schedule and bombardment of health ads and information leave you overwhelmed.

Many people sign up for a gym membership with the hopes of turning their lives around once and for all. Just signing up leaves us with a sense of accomplishment, right?

We do this with every intention of visiting the gym regularly, only to find, a few short weeks later we start making more and more excuses to skip. The visits get fewer and fewer, stopping altogether for some. While the gym payments keep exiting your account, you’re in the meantime getting more stressed trying to make ends meet while your business takes off.

This is what happened to me, despite being an avid gym-goer all my life! So believe me, it can happen to anyone.

In order to maintain my health while still dedicating long hours to starting my business, I knew I needed a more sustainable approach to health and wellness.

So that’s why I’d like to share with you why I ditched my gym membership and took on a health coach, and how I could never have gotten my business up and running without one.

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Chasing Dreams Interview Series

Chasing Dreams Interview with Nora Conrad: Productivity Expert for Entrepreneurs

August 30, 2017
Chasing Dreams Interview with Nora Conrad, Organization & Productivity Expert for Entrepreneurs

Do you feel like you’re bombarded daily with subjects like “Reach 6 figures in 2 days!” and “While you’re sleeping I’m hustling to reach my dreams“?

I know I do. And instead of feeling motivated, I’m filled with anxiety and not-good-enough, not-doing-enough dread.

In today’s interview, Nora Conrad is getting real on the two issues we don’t talk about enough as entrepreneurs- money and energy.

Her approach as a productivity expert doesn’t involve learning how to function on 5 hours of sleep or adopting a one-size-fits-all magic formula. Instead, she’s learned how to maximize her own energy and helps clients do the same.

Her honesty around money and burn out are just two of the reasons I couldn’t wait to share her story. I’ve been following Nora for years and know she has a lot to teach us.

Let’s dig in!

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Resources

Sunday Link Love: Creating a Privacy Statement, Dealing with Indecision & Why Introverts are Great Entrepreneurs

August 27, 2017

Sunday Link Love is a recurring series of hand-picked digital marketing and entrepreneur lifestyle links from around the web.  The links are very, very rarely affiliate links, but if any are, you’ll see an * beside the link. Along with sharing my recent favorites, it’s also a way for me to keep an extra-personal touch to my blog. Social media is great, but my blog is still my home base!


Anticipating… Lots of new things are coming this fall, like my new website, getting back to work on a new program for introverts, and participating in two projects (The Imperfect Boss Campaign and the One Woman Shop bundle…details to come soon!).

Reading… I started listening to the audio book The 10x Rule but had to ditch it. The author sounded too much like a pushy salesman and I just couldn’t deal. Do you ditch books early on if you’re just not connecting with the content? Now I’m listening to Originals: How Non-comformists Move the World and it’s a much better fit.

Watching… We finished the Netflix series Gypsy the other night and I’m still not sure what to think. Who else has seen it?

Any recommendations for shows that are good to have on for some background entertainment while doing tasks like that?

Now on to this week’s round up!


Marketing + Entrepreneur Lifestyle Round-up:

» As creative entrepreneurs, the legal aspects of owning a blog and online business can be not only overwhelming it can also be intimidating. Jade is one of my favorite resources for legal tips, especially her recent post on how to create your blog’s privacy statement.

» We work so hard to attract the type of audience we’re passionate about helping to our site and our newsletter. Yet knowing and creating regular content for our newsletters isn’t always easy. Here are 15 emails you can send your tribe instead of a newsletter to get you started and give you inspiration.

» According to Deana Ward growing your business means getting comfortable with the uncomfortable. As an introvert, this can at times be even more paralyzing but this post helped me to understand the cost of indecision in my business and what I can do about it.

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Health + Wellness

Meal Prep Made Easy: The Work From Home Survival Guide

August 23, 2017
meal prep made easy: the work from home survival guide

When you’re running your own empire, it can be hard to fit in the basics like sleeping enough and eating well.

We usually think about meal-prepping as a thing for people who work in an office, but it can actually save you time and money when you work from home too.

I’m Jess Cording, a dietitian, health coach, and writer, and I do most of my work from home. When my #wfh clients (had no idea that hashtag was even a thing until recently) ask if they should still do to the #mealprep thing, my answer is always an enthusiastic, “Totally!”

When I first started working more from home, I’d cook from scratch every morning, noon, and night. When you factored in prep time, eating time, and the Instagramming my #lunchbreak time (sad, maybe, but comes with the food blogger-dietitian territory), it’s no wonder maintaining momentum was a struggle.

Be honest, have you ever found yourself on a call trying to do the dishes or chop vegetables as quietly as possible as 2 pm?

Um, yeah, me neither.

Having lived that reality, I’ve found prepping food ahead of time to be incredibly helpful, and my clients who’ve tried it have too. You don’t have to do the massive spreads you see on social media.

Here’s how some slight tweaks can help you make food prepping work for you so you can enjoy healthy, delicious meals that are quick to throw together.

You’ll also enjoy simple pleasures like real plates and utensils and without having to hunt for a comfortable spot in the cafeteria. 

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SEO

7 Authentic Ways to Get Free Backlinks for SEO (+ Free Cheat Sheet)

August 17, 2017
7 authentic ways to get free backlinks + how backlinks affect SEO

First up, let’s jump right into making sure you know what they are. Backlinks are simply links from other websites to your own website, and there are lots of straightforward ways to get free backlinks.

While you should never buy backlinks, you will need to earn them. I say “earn” because there is some effort involved, but the rewards are plentiful!

Why bother earning backlinks?

There are hundreds of algorithm elements which affect your ranking and how people search continues to evolve, but one factor that doesn’t change is: the presence of web links.

For Google, Bing and other search engines, backlinks are one of the more important ranking factors. They crawl the web 24/7 to understand how pages are connected, through web links on your website and beyond. They also determine the quality of those links.

Inbound links, where you link to other pages on your website, and outbound links, where you link to other people’s content, are both important SEO strategies; but earning backlinks tells Google YOU have authority – that your content is relevant and interesting enough for other sites to link to.

There are other benefits too.

Backlinks help you develop relationships, as well as growing your authority and traffic.

Quality backlinks nurture relationships + improve your rankings, meaning more traffic and more ideal clients. twitter icon

The word “backlinks” might sound dodgy, like a back-alley transaction at midnight! But there are several legitimate ways you can have other people, including influencers, linking to your blog.

Think of it as link-building.

Easy Ways to Get Free Backlinks

Whether you’re a service provider, product creator, local business or completely online, below you’ll find an array of opportunities to have backlinks to your website.

7 non-sketchy ways to get listed on someone else’s site {AKA link-building / earning backlinks}

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Resources

Sunday Link Love: How to Grow Your Email List, Website Psychology & Pricing Strategy

August 13, 2017
SLL 813 Email List Psychology Pricing (1)

Sunday Link Love is a recurring series of hand-picked digital marketing and entrepreneur lifestyle links from around the web.  The links are very, very rarely affiliate links, but if any are, you’ll see an * beside the link. Along with sharing my recent favorites, it’s also a way for me to keep an extra-personal touch to my blog. Social media is great, but my blog is still my home base!


Anticipating… I’ve spent the past two days moving my SEO for Solopreneurs ecourse to the Teachable platform. I’m loving the features so far and excited to start offering an affiliate program for the course! More details coming soon.

Loving… Cooler weather and a few sunny days in Pittsburgh this week. Working outside and even having a client meeting outside were highlights of my week.


Reading… I’ve been listening to the audio book The 5 Second Rule by Mel Robbins while running the past few weeks. It’s a super simple idea but has already made an impact on motivating me to do things I don’t want to do (like running).

Watching… Since I’ve had a lot of late nights working on tedious projects (like moving my course to a new platform) I’ve zoomed through a bunch of Netflix series the past week.

Any recommendations for shows that are good to have on for some background entertainment while doing tasks like that?

Now on to this week’s round up!


Marketing + Entrepreneur Lifestyle Round-up:

» We’re constantly being told how important growing our email list is. But the question is: how? Allison from Wonderlass is sharing her excellent 7 strategies she uses to get over 3K subscribers each month.

» Speaking of subscribers, what happens once they sign up for your newsletter? How do you keep them coming back for more? How do you build that relationship with them? Don’t miss this post on 14 ways to take your newsletter from half-ass to bad-ass.

» Workflows. Love ’em or hate ’em they can make your business runner smoother — giving you more time to focus and work on the projects that will move your business forward. Creating work flows doesn’t have to be hard. A good place to start is creating a client workflow template.

Continue Reading…

Blogging, Business

5 Simple Steps for a More Secure WordPress Website

August 9, 2017
5 simple steps for a more secure wordpress website & blog

Your website is your hub and home base. You dedicate hours worth of work for blog posts, respond genuinely to each comment you receive, and carefully crafted your About page to reflect your personality.

So what’s the absolute worst thing you can imagine happening?

Losing all of that work, right? What if one day your site was just …gone?

Unfortunately, we live in a world where people (and bots) hack into websites, gather personal information, and leave our lives a total mess.

Thankfully, there are ways to protect yourself from cyber attacks. Today’s post is from Mia VanValkenburg, a fellow digital marketing strategist, and she’s breaking down 5 simple steps for a more secure WordPress website.


P.S. Haven’t started your blog yet, but are doing your research to prepare? Don’t miss my post on how to start your WordPress blog in just 5 minutes!

If you’re running a blog or business online, there’s a good chance you’re using WordPress to power your site.

WordPress is the most popular content management system, powering 27% of all websites on the internet. And although WordPress employs a team specifically devoted to finding, identifying, and fixing security issues, it is not immune to vulnerabilities.

Take basic security precautions by following these 5 simple steps for a secure WordPress website. twitter icon

5 Steps for a More Secure WordPress Site & Blog

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Blogging

5 Ways You Can Stop Interrupting Your Ideal Clients (& Why You Should)

August 2, 2017
5 ways to use inbound marketing effectively to stop interrupting your ideal clients

There is a myriad of opportunities to connect with your potential ideal clients and customers, but the WAY in which you do so can mean the difference between enchanting them into brand ambassadors or annoying them so much that they’re put off for life.

While it’s important to take a holistic view of your marketing methods, I believe many business owners simply don’t realize the full power of inbound marketing and end up sticking with only interrupting their audience instead.

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