Nov 20, 2014

Running a Home Based Business While Caring for My Ailing Mother

Running a Home Based Business While Caring for My Ailing Mother

First, I'd like to thank the heavens for allowing me the opportunity to run a home based business while caring for my mother. Today's article isn't about business but a reflection (in a nutshell) of what I've been going thru for the past year... Running a Home Based Business While Caring for My Ailing Mother.

For the time being, I want to offer some explanation for where I have been, given this blog hasn’t seen my writings for nearly a week. Considering I have published something of my own on this blog at least once a week, I figured you might be wondering what happened to me.

You see, I've been managing my blogs and business while caring for my ailing mother; a very hard thing to do I might add. There were days when I've contemplated giving up on my blog(s) but something kept me going. I now believe it is the drive of not failing but of holding on, a quality my mom has taught me throughout my adulthood.

Today's article isn't about business but a little personal side of me.

For the past week, I've been busy arranging my dying mother's comfort and funeral. It is hard to believe that a week has past since her death. During this difficult journey, I've learned that a love for a mother is unconditional. I believe the reason why I've come through that realization sooner rather then later, is because I've learned it through the eyes of my own children. What an amazing circle of life we live!

A little about who she was

My mother was a strong, smart and good spirited person. To say she's been through so much is literally an understatement. She was always there for me for as long as I can remember. In the same way, I know I will be there for my children. My beautiful mother was a giver, she loved giving to others, without ever expecting anything in return. I can go on and on but I am certain of one thing, she was a phenomenal woman.

Family symptoms

Whenever there is a family member who is ill, everyone feels it. Adults will be stressed, worried and fatigued. Kids will also feel upset, neglected and fearful. My daughter the other day asked if it was her fault that her grandmother died. She said "Mom, it's my fault, I gave grandma candy and it killed her." My daughter got that perception because she had known that her grandma was diabetic. Even though diabetes was a part of my mother's condition, it wasn't necessarily the cause of death but it did add to other health complications. My daughter's words just crushed my heart. I then explained to her that it wasn't her fault, that grandma had been sick for a very long time. For the most part, she seemed satisfied with that answer...thank God! I know I have to continue to reassure her. My oldest son seems fine. He knows he can come to me and talk if he needs to.

My mother's care

To the very last minute, I made sure my mom was cared for. She had 24 hour care at my home the final week of her death. I thank God for the wonderful nurses and CNA's who were here round the clock. The love and dedication these wonderful care givers provided will forever be imprinted into my heart. They were here making sure my mother was comfortable and without any pain. They were my backbone when I needed time to myself to reflect on what was happening around me.

The amazing experience of sitting next to my mother as she took her final breath is something I will never forget and will cherish forever. As a wise person once told me, "Your mother Sonia, saw you take your first breath when you were born; now you saw her take her final breath as she joins her maker." Words I'll never forget...thank you Helen!

Good memories

I know my mom knew how much I loved her. I'm so fortunate to have been able to tell her how much during her struggles. I'm also grateful that I can hold on to the many wonderful memories I have of her. I will always remember her. I will teach my children every lesson my mother has taught me. I pray that while they're making mistakes of their own, that they will hold on and learn from some of those same teachings.

Back to business

I'd spend every other day, seven days a week, at the hospital with my mother. I'd go home to feed my family and do some chores I'd give myself each night (load dishes, wash clothes, pay bills, process email, etc.). Get on the computer, process orders, write a post/publish and do it all over again the next day.

I don’t feel upset that the past year my life has become so focused on the hospital and my mother's care because I couldn't imagine anywhere else I wanted to be. There was a job I had to do and wanted to do. It was challenging for my family but they were and still are my support system. Being elsewhere felt uncomfortable, though I did realize balance was necessary. I manage to do some exercise, meet a friend for lunch and do some more work on the iPad.

As you can imagine, I haven’t had much time to do additional writing on my blog(s), nor did I have a lot of motivation, especially during the last few weeks where everything was constant changes, big decisions and lots of communicating with people about what was going on with my mom. I consider it a real blessing that the entire time I spent next to my mother when all this was happening, my online business continued to function well. The fact that I work from home is truly a blessing in disguise.

Can your business run without you?

This experience has really challenged me to think what would happen if it was me facing a rehabilitation period of possibly years? What would happen to my business if I couldn’t do ANY of the work?

Beyond your own health, consider what would happen if you had a loved one suddenly need your attention. What would happen to your business? Would it keep working? These are questions we should all ask ourselves.

The new year approaching

It's hard to believe it's already November and another month before the year ends. Even though things will be different without seeing/hearing and being around my beautiful mom, I will hold on to those amazing memories of her. I will continue to focus my energy on my business and my blogs. I will keep those I care for most near and dear to my heart. I will think positive moving forward. May God bless us all!

Thank you for being a loyal reader at My Fashion E-Mall Blog.

About the author: Sonia Colon is writer/publisher of My Fashion E-Mall Blog & The Biz Buzz of A Latina Mom Blog. She is also owner at Books About Me. Sign up for the newsletter below and never miss a powerful business marketing article plus receive a FREE ebook on ‘How to Rock Your Business with A Blog.’

Nov 6, 2014

#ClearProof #VoxBox Review @Influenster

Okay, so I must admit I wasn't sure if the Clear Proof VoxBox from Influenster I received a week ago for testing and review purposes would work!

I mostly participated for my son who has oily skin. My son is a teenager and if you're a mom with a teen age child, then you know that for them, looking great on the inside is just as important to looking great on the outside. He's a wonderful boy and loves to look good inside and out. I've also seen his challenge on a daily basis of taking care of his skin.

Below, is my opinion on what I've seen so far.

Much to my amazement, the clear proof regime seems to work for him. As a matter of fact, this morning he mentioned how clearer his skin looked. Now, I'm not sure if these products are meant for women only but I can tell you one thing, it is working on my sons skin. I have noticed the difference in his skin as well.

Now, I must admit, I sneaked in a little of the moisturizer at night for me. I definitely noticed how smooth my face felt the following morning. I understand these products should be used as a whole four step system but if just that one moisturizer felt amazing, I can only imagine how my son's face must feel since using the four steps.

This is what the four step clear proof regime consist of:

(1) Clarifying Cleansing Gel

(2) Blemish Control Toner

(3) Acne Treatment Gel

(4) Oil-Free Moisturizer for Acne-Prone Skin

I'm so glad the MaryKay handbook was included in my box. I might just have to order a box for my son and maybe for myself too.

Finally, I want to thank Influenster Voxbox for allowing my family to try these amazing Mary Kay products. From the look of things, Clear Proof by Mary Kay is a great line of acne treatment! I would recommend these products to anyone who is in search of a good regimen system.

Order your very own Clear Proof at Mary Kay today!

Nov 4, 2014

How to Run a Successful Affiliate Program

How to Run a Successful Affiliate Program

The following 'How to Run a Successful Affiliate Program' article will help you choose the right affiliate marketing methods to start earning your own revenue.

Affiliate marketing participation is a fantastic method to make some added earnings. However, you must put time and effort into your affiliate marketing endeavors in order to be successful.

Your websites niche & affiliate product(s)

- Your website content should compliment the affiliate marketing product you showcase to your subscribers/readers. If for example your site is all about dogs, the affiliate ad should promote dog related items and not office materials. It's also always a great idea to test out the products yourself so that you know how it will benefit your readers.

Promoting your affiliate products

- A great place to start is your own opt in subscribers. Remember, to always provide quality based information first and foremost before promoting products to your subscribers unless it is absolutely necessary to their success as well. Also, promote your affiliate products in other websites e-zines. Both methods are terrific ways to reach out to those that are interested. If you're promoting your affiliate products on other ezines, make sure you choose an e-newsletter that is professional, compliments your own website theme and has an opt in subscriber base of at least 200 or more subscribers.

- You can add your domain name to everything that you own such as stationary, email signature and business cards. A constant reminder of your website will stay on an individual's mind and help expose your affiliate products.

Affiliate link placement on your website

- When offering affiliate marketing links on your website, attempt to place links that relate to each individual post. You may want to place your affiliate links after an article post usually toward the ending or maybe even within your byline (provided it compliments to your article) or within the article paragraphs. If using graphics, you may want to place your affiliate links on your website's sidebar.

- Make sure you're offering quality and helpful products that you've used yourself and that you are aware of the companies reputation.

- I recently found out that a particular plugin I was offering on my blog was providing a revenue generating app within its plugins settings; unbeknownst to me. I had no idea ads were offered via it's related content links and that for me was a BIG no no! The worst part was that the links had nothing to do with the theme of my business blog. Needless to say, I deleted the plugin and will never use it again on my site. When you deal with sneaky companies, they do nothing but lose customers. Trust is key! Partner with affiliate companies that you've heard good things about.

- Also, if you are going with affiliate graphics, a poorly-placed navigation or an amateur-looking graphic can easily undermine a consumers impression of an affiliate product. Concentrate thoroughly in this area and figure out the best placement of your affiliate link graphics within your own website layout.

List bullet points and links

- Bullet lists are a wonderful method of showing a products perks. Bullet lists provide readers, who do not prefer to read your whole article, (but want to get instant access via a link) a location to view what they prefer immediately. Just make sure to provide your input on a particular affiliate product and how it will benefit your readers as well.

Share, share and share some more

- Share the content on your site with your social networks who are likely to pass the info on to their contacts too. Ask them to re-tweet your posts, or share them on Facebook. In this way, you can widen the audience that is viewing your websites content. This method can drive a remarkable amount of traffic back to your site.

- Take the time to carefully test affiliate campaigns that can help you succeed with your own business and of your readers as well.

Good luck with your quest to affiliate marketing success!

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How are you using affiliate marketing? Please share by leaving your comment below. Thank you.

About the author: Sonia Colon is writer/publisher of My Fashion E-Mall Blog & The Biz Buzz of A Latina Mom Blog. She is also owner at Books About Me. Sign up for the newsletter below and never miss a powerful business marketing article plus receive a FREE eBook on ‘How to Rock Your Business with A Blog.’

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Oct 14, 2014

3 Tips on How to Use Email Marketing Effectively

3 Tips on How to Use Email Marketing Effectively

Email marketing is a form of marketing completed through electronic mail. It is direct marketing via an email form. 3 Tips on How to Use Email Marketing Effectively are below.

  1. Mail sent for opting in new customers, or to retain existing customers.
  2. Mail sent to maintain communication with existing customer.
  3. Using emails for placing advertisements and sending promotional materials.

Opting-in

Email marketing is also among the most popular forms of marketing for most businesses. Having a sign-up form on your website is an important tactic to gain opt-in subscribers which will allow you to create a list of potential clients. A double opt-in ensures that emails when used as a marketing tool, should only be sent after getting permission from the intended recipient and not be considered as spam.

Unlike websites, where you are dependent on a customer finding you via search engines and/or from thousands of other websites, this form of email marketing allows you to contact potential and existing customers.

Maintain Communication

Email marketing is a very cheap method of communication for reaching out to tens of thousands of existing and potential customers, as compared to other forms of direct marketing.

Effective email marketing is held in high regard by online businesses due to the high rate of conversations. This type of marketing allows targeting of high potential customers. Many email marketing campaigns are based on reliable data derived from previous experience and surveys. When you communicate with customers in the form of email marketing you're able to provide links of the subject matter for easy access.

Email for Advertisement/Promotion

As mentioned earlier, emails can be of different forms. The two main forms are email promotions and email newsletters. Email promotions refer to mails calling for immediate action such as a purchase, sign up, download or registration. Email newsletters aim at building long term relationships. Remember and use both interchangeably for a successful campaign.

Many campaigns are aimed at direct sales with the option of a sign up form. Your subscribers are giving you permission to send them promotional material. Email marketing is also a vehicle for building relationships, trust and loyalty.

It is important to examine the basics of email marketing. In summary, the first step is in building a list of potential and existing customers to whom the emails can be sent. Afterward, a well crafted mail has to be composed, depending on the purpose for which it is intended. Finally, it has to be ensured that the intended recipients do actually receive the emails via an opt-in form.

The best forms of an email list are the ones which are created on your own, with the permission of the potential recipients. When you craft your email, create value and a sense of urgency regarding the purpose of your intentions.

How are you using email marketing for your business? Please share your comments below.

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About the author: Sonia Colon is writer/publisher of My Fashion E-Mall Blog & The Biz Buzz of a Latina Mom Blog. She is also owner at BooksAboutMe. For additional powerful business articles and Internet marketing tips for maintaining a lucrative home business subscribe to her newsletter.

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Oct 11, 2014

10 Tips on How to Drive Website Traffic

10 Tips on How to Drive Website Traffic

Are you using the following 10 Tips on How to Drive Website Traffic?

Search engines are a vital part on how to drive website traffic. Keyword searches on popular engines such as Google, Yahoo and Bing are what people type in order to find something of value. Your website should include rich quality content that offer valued information to rank high on these search engines.

Writing articles related to your business niche with rich keyword content is very important in order to get noticed by those who are searching for the type of information your website offers.

1. Select the right keywords

- Again, I cannot stress this enough! Use keywords on your titles and article content. Google looks at a combination of relevance and authority to determine the best sites in the search results. Ensure your site is fresh and regularly updated with new content. Link out to other relevant high ranking pages. Get listed on key directories such as Dmoz.org

2. Select the right domain name

- When you register a domain name you’re actually renting it in order to have rights of using it; start your domain search here. Branding yourself first and foremost is a great starting point to a domain name. Most bloggers use their names as a domain name then offer their expertise on their sites. It is imperative that you select a domain name that will make you unique but offer relevant information for those seeking your expertise.

3. Use keywords in file names and folders

- Keeping organized is key to blogging success. Use your content rich keywords on your file names, folders and even images to distinguish your posts and information.

4. Use your keywords in your page titles

- As mentioned in tip one, you want to use content rich keywords on your titles and article throughout your content. These keywords must and should only be relevant to get the point across on your written article.

5. Use keyword text in your navigation

- Same as tip no. 4 above. Use keywords text throughout your content but keep it relevant. You want to keep your keywords to a minimum and do not abuse it as search engines will know the difference.

6. Create useful keyword content - repeat often

- Rinse and repeat tips 1, 4 and 5 above.

7. Make keywords part of your META Description

- The meta description should be engaging and encourage people to visit your site after reading it; should summarize your page well and should be less than 160 characters.

- Meta tags are blocks of text or a collection of keywords used to fill up those sections of your website code that is bound to show up in search results. Meta tags are instrumental in helping your website to be found on Search engine page listings. Online marketers use meta tags for generating traffic.

8. Secure high quality incoming links

- Quality backlinks on other websites/blogs that compliment your website/blogs niche but that does not directly compete with your business is a great way to attract website traffic.

9. Use keyword text (not "click here") in your links

- Link to other relevant sites by domain name or use a rich keyword link instead of the general "click here" link.

10. Create a site map

- A site map (or sitemap) is a list of pages of a web site accessible to crawlers or users. It can be either a document in any form used as a planning tool for web design, or a web page that lists the pages on a web site, typically organized in hierarchical fashion.

- Search engine spiders love "fresh content." This is a good and organic method to improve your ranking in search engines. In addition, when you provide good, quality information in your blogs, people will share your blog - creating "backlinks" which will help your site get noticed by search engine spiders.

- Social networks such as Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn are excellent at building relationships with your potential or existing clients and lead them to your website. Offer your visitors a CTA (call to action) for making a purchase and a FREE item for their e-mail addresses.

How are you driving traffic by to your website? Please share by leaving your comments below. Thank you!

Scribe: More Traffic and Leads, Less Time and Hassle.
 

About the author: Sonia Colon is writer/publisher of My Fashion E-Mall Blog & The Biz Buzz of a Latina Mom Blog. She is also owner at BooksAboutMe. For additional powerful business articles and Internet marketing tips for maintaining a lucrative home business subscribe to her newsletter.

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Sep 29, 2014

Infographic ~ 5 Important E-Zine Tips

Infographic-5-Important Ezine Tips

Are you using the above e-zine tips on your site? Do you include additional tips on your own e-zine? Share by leaving your comments below. Thank you!

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About the author: Sonia Colon is writer/publisher of My Fashion E-Mall Blog, The Biz Buzz of A Latina Mom and biz owner at Books About Me. For additional powerful business articles and Internet marketing tips for maintaining a lucrative home business subscribe to her newsletter below.

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