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Date: Wednesday, 13 Oct 2010 21:00

PersonalBlogTraining.com

Well, it’s finally here. Right when this blog post goes live, I’ll be 30,000 feet in the air on my way to Las Vegas to speak at BlogWorld. I definitely plan on tweeting while I’m at the conference, and I’m sure some blog posts will be inspired by the event. So if you’re not going to BlogWorld, I’ve got you covered (and so do a ton of other blogs, plus there’s going to be some live streaming of the event).

Sidenote: If you are going, and I don’t already know that, comment and let me know. There are some get-togethers that I’ve committed to, but I’ve largely kept my schedule flexible on purpose. I like “flying by the seat of my pants” at these things.

While I’m gone I’ve decided to do a sale over at PersonalBlogTraining.com. Until Monday, October 18th, personal blog training sessions are $55 each ($20 off). I won’t reprint all the details here, as you can see them at PersonalBlogTraining.com, but here are a few highlights:

  • We’re talking about 60-minute, one-on-one, recorded sessions where we attack your problems, your issues, and your roadblocks. Can’t figure out a technical thing happening on your blog? Wondering how you should tweak your design? Need mailing list help? Whatever it is, this is your hour.
  • I love working with people one-on-one. It’s what I do for a living and I’m straight-up passionate about it. I want to give people the opportunity to work with an affordable coach who knows the business.
  • I’m not really into dropping names or showing numbers to gain trust (my reputation speaks on my behalf, which means I don’t have to toot my own horn very often), but let me just say this: I’ve worked with some of the top bloggers in the business, and I’ve helped new bloggers get on the right track and begin seeing tangible results. My own earnings have tripled (yep, tripled) this year (and I’m not talking about from $10 to $30, either). Sometimes people see “virtual assistant” and think I don’t know what I’m doing, but rest assured – I know what’s up.

That’s it. No crazy sales pitch (I know the people who need help heard me). If learning something new with a one-on-one mentor, checking things off your to-do list, and feeling less overwhelmed sound good to you – jump on over to PersonalBlogTraining.com and schedule your session. I’d love to work with you. And let me tell you, after I get back from BlogWorld, I’m going to be fired up.

This is a blog post from LisaMorosky.com. Head over to the site and snag your free copy of "101 Ways to Kick Your Blog Up a Notch".
And don't forget to follow Lisa on Twitter, be a Facebook Fan, and connect with Lisa on LinkedIn!

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Author: "Lisa Morosky" Tags: "Everything Else, Project Updates"
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Date: Thursday, 30 Sep 2010 19:07

I’m writing a series of posts this week that are gut-wrenchingly (from my perspective) honest. If you missed the first post, you should probably check it out. This post picks up right in the middle.

My inspiration is Fear to Fuel – a new product by Karl Staib (of Work Happy Now) and Nathan Hangen that opens its doors next Monday. I consider this to be a movement. I could tell you that I’ve seen inside the program and love it. I could tell you that I love Karl and Nathan. I could tell you that I think this is money well-spent. But instead, I’m choosing to tell you about my own fear journey and how I’ve switched to allowing my fears to positively motivate me and impact my business, in hopes that if you’re still in the deep trenches of your own fear journey, you may find Fear to Fuel to be a precious resource to help you move past your business roadblocks.

Fear To Fuel

In early 2009, I just started to investigate into this thing called Twitter. One of my favorite bloggers at the time had written a few things about it. So I casually clicked over to his Twitter page.

And here’s where it gets ridiculous. The most recent tweet that was on Dave’s page at that time was one where he said he was looking for a virtual assistant recommendation.

I sat in my office chair at the job I hated and read that tweet about a hundred times. Here it was – my open door. That open door that appears every once in awhile. That life-changing open door of opportunity.

I had been thinking about virtual assistant work for some time. If there was one area of expertise I had at that point, it was administrative skills. And if there was one area I was passionate about, it was blogging and Internet marketing. I was mulling it over. I was taking some time to really think before I made a decision to reach out to Dave. That’s what I told myself, anyways. In actuality, I was too afraid of failure, or not being able to pay the bills (with my husband in chiropractic school, I was, and still am, the breadwinner), or looking like a moron to my friends and family. I mean, who looks at getting a new job, let alone starting their own business, in the middle of a recession? A crazy person, that’s who.

But then this opportunity presented itself. I could work as a virtual assistant, but in the industry I wanted to be in. And with someone I kind of had a blogging crush on (don’t worry, I’m over it now ;) ) and who could mentor me along the way.

In a sudden rush of confidence, I emailed Dave and sent him my (oh-so-unimpressive and embarrassing-to-think-about-now) resume. It was a shot-in-the-dark, I figured. And if he opens the email and laughs at me, I’ll never know.

By this time, I’m sure you know that’s not what happened. After some emails back and forth, I was on-board.

I should have been ecstatic. I was in a lot of ways. I had my first client. I was getting a great inside look at someone who was doing what I wanted to be doing down the road. But that fear, that damn fear, kept creeping back into my head.

What if I suck at this? What if I screw up this opportunity? How do I get more clients now? How do I compete as a virtual assistant with all the other virtual assistants out there? How do I do this and work my full-time job? How do I grow this so I can quit my full-time job? How do I market myself?

Deep In Thought In Rome

A candid of me, lost in thought in Rome, that my husband shot.

A couple months went by and I came about this close to giving up. Really, I could have. There wasn’t much to lose at that point. I had no real business reputation to ruin. But just when my confidence was at its lowest, I scored my second client. And she reached out to me.

Right when I needed it (in the midst of some heavy “what should I do with my life” thinking), my husband and I took a vacation to Italy. I had saved up every vacation and sick day so that I could enjoy these two weeks with my husband. And something happened to me in Italy. Perhaps it was the red wine, or the pasta, or the people, or the dramatically beautiful scenery, but I changed in Italy. On this trip, all of my fears were removed. It was just me, my husband, and total relaxation. For the first time in what felt like years, I was present in the moment. I was able to assess where I was in life and where I wanted to go without distractions.

I remember one particular night in Rome. I was checking my work email (because I love pain) and saw that someone had sent me an email about needing to order office supplies. In an instant, I thought to myself:

“I’m done. I wasn’t put on this earth to order office supplies or clean coffee pots. I have more potential than this. I have more skills than this. I have value to offer.”

In that moment, I faced fear. My arch-nemesis. See right then the need to be something and someone was so much more serious than the fear of “what-if”. To me, it felt like a life or death decision. Do I choose life, my life, and take a leap and develop a business and have faith in myself, my support system, and God that it’s the right step for me? Or do I choose death, an unfulfilling daily life?

In a hostel in Rome, I chose life. And I’ve been choosing life every day since.

My last post in this series is going to be about how I’m embracing happiness, how I’ve gotten comfortable in the uncomfortable, and how I’ve learned to ignore my fears and do great work (trust me, I’m a work in progress). In the meantime, the guys have an awesome new freebie for you. It’s a 45 minute audio interview with best-selling author, Gretchen Rubin, who left her job clerking for Justice Sandra Day O’Connor in order to pursue a career as a writer. You can grab it here. I don’t know about you (and tell me after you listen to the interview), but stories and courage like hers just totally gets me fired up.

This is a blog post from LisaMorosky.com. Head over to the site and snag your free copy of "101 Ways to Kick Your Blog Up a Notch".
And don't forget to follow Lisa on Twitter, be a Facebook Fan, and connect with Lisa on LinkedIn!

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  1. My Fear Journey

Author: "Lisa Morosky" Tags: "Everything Else, Reviews"
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Date: Tuesday, 28 Sep 2010 17:06

I’m writing a series of posts this week that are gut-wrenchingly (from my perspective) honest. My inspiration is Fear to Fuel – a new product by Karl Staib (of Work Happy Now) and Nathan Hangen that opens its doors next Monday. I consider this to be a movement. I could tell you that I’ve seen inside the program and love it. I could tell you that I love Karl and Nathan. I could tell you that I think this is money well-spent. But instead, I’m choosing to tell you about my own fear journey and how I’ve switched to allowing my fears to positively motivate me and impact my business, in hopes that if you’re still in the deep trenches of your own fear journey, you may find Fear to Fuel to be a precious resource to help you move past your business roadblocks.

Fear To Fuel

True story: I wrote this blog post, then deleted it, and now I’m starting again. The reason? An all-too-common theme in my life: fear.

In the case of this blog post, my fear took the shape of “fear of being exposed”. While I’ve been fighting that specific fear for a good portion of my life (and consider myself to be largely past it), my fear doesn’t stop there.

This is an emotion I’ve come to know intensely. And it’s manifested itself in my life in very real, tangible ways.

The first time I can recall being really afraid (in not a childish, “I’m afraid of spiders and the dark” way) is my first day of sixth grade. My family had just moved to Colorado from Pennsylvania and I was starting at a new school where I knew no one. My fear? Fear of being found out and fear of being alone.

The next time I can place my fear is in eighth grade. With my ear pressed up against the heating vent in my floor, I listened to my parents argue about twenty years worth of issues. My dad was sleeping in the basement. My fear? Fear of the unknown. When the inevitable news came that my parents would be separating, my fear transitioned into fear of abandonment.

As probably a lot of women will tell you, my high school years were riddled with fear. I had wonderful friends (that I was secretly afraid I’d never match up to). I was paralyzed on almost a daily basis about how I looked and what that said to others. When I developed a crush on a boy who was a year older than me (and a neighbor), and he proceeded to (what I’ve only come to realize in the last several years as) sexually harass me and drag my name through the mud at school by saying I did things at the age of 15 that I didn’t even understand back then, I was afraid of having a tainted future. I became close with a little guy called fear of rejection. In fact, high school was so riddled with fear for me, that I graduated early.

During the several months before I went to college and my first semester of college, I pretty much only acted out of fear. I had one boy who loved me so much it made me afraid that I didn’t deserve it, so I pushed him away until he was out of reach. I fell in love for the first time in my life with someone who used me up emotionally until there was no more “me” left. My fear then? Fear of losing someone. Fear of losing myself.

I could go on. I’ve also had dinner with “the fear of taking risks because when I leap I just fall on my face”, “the fear of not conforming”, and “the fear of trusting anyone or anything because nothing works out in the end anyways”. I am fearful. I’d say I’m fearful by nature, but I know nature didn’t make me this way. Life made me this way.

But in time, it became nature. Days went by. Fear ruled on. Life continued. Isn’t that the thing about living a fear-based life? Eventually, you forget the “fear-based” part, and it just becomes life.

I graduated college in December of 2007, married my wonderful husband in March of 2008, and moved to Illinois in April of 2008. At this point, I did what I was supposed to do. I applied for dozens of jobs. Probably even more than that. And when I didn’t hear back or didn’t get the job after an interview? I pressed on. That “you’re better than this, you have ideas you can run with” would rise up, and I would shove it down with all my might. After all, no one ever told me that designing my own life was an option.

I eventually got a job. I hated it. Every night I’d get home and (on the nights I didn’t start crying because I hated it so much), I’d research online. Online businesses. Blogging. Entrepreneurship. Social media. Internet marketing. I consumed as much information as I could. But, I didn’t do anything with it. Girls like me don’t take big chances.

But in early 2009, one of my fears became more intense than the rest. It pulsated within my head like a drum. It ignited in me a serious fight-or-flight response.

That fear? The fear of regret.

My next post is going to be about how I’ve faced fear (aka. my arch-nemesis, and yours). In the meantime, go grab the guys’ free guide entitled “Facing Your Arch-Nemesis”. There’s an exercise at the end of the guide that not only will help you get centered on what your business roadblocks are, but probably could have saved me tons of money on therapy bills. ;)

This is a blog post from LisaMorosky.com. Head over to the site and snag your free copy of "101 Ways to Kick Your Blog Up a Notch".
And don't forget to follow Lisa on Twitter, be a Facebook Fan, and connect with Lisa on LinkedIn!

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Author: "Lisa Morosky" Tags: "Everything Else, Reviews"
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Date: Thursday, 16 Sep 2010 15:02

Editor’s note: This is a guest post by Heather Green. At the end of this post, I share a couple thoughts as well.

Yep, I’m a hard core guest blogger who is addicted to blogging. I can not get enough of seeing my name in lights and if I’m breathing, I’m blogging. What I have learned (the hard way, unfortunately) is that there are unwritten rules to guest blogging and yes, I have been cussed out by blog hosts who have a little too much time on their hands.

Here’s what I’ve learned:

  • Try not to make the owner of the blog look like an idiot. I’ve insulted the blog host by disagreeing with their opinion on a myriad of topics and have been removed and flogged via e-mail by proving them wrong on their turf, and this is not advised.

  • Get in and get out. I like to talk, but that doesn’t mean people like to listen. Some of my most embarrassing moments have been on blogs. As I rambled on about subjects that I had a lot of information about, I noticed that the comments I would receive were about how my “know-it-all attitude” made it difficult to read and get past the first thousand words of my post. Point taken.
  • Have fun! If you get too serious about your post, people will attack and try to get under your skin. Keep it light and fresh, no one likes reading the same thing over and over and over (see?!?).
  • Don’t republish. This is the ultimate sin of blogging. If you so much as come close to another post you’ve written, you can be tracked down and blog beaten. Change it up and keep it new! Don’t risk the chance of being called out for republishing. If word gets out that you are a post repeater, you’ll be shunned and no one wants that!

Happy Blogging!

Heather Green is a Christian mom, freelance writer, pet lover and the resident blogger for OnlineNursingDegrees.org, a free informational website offering tips and advice on online nursing colleges.

Editor’s note: I have some thoughts here.

  • As I told Heather in an email, I don’t agree with her first point. Sure, you don’t want to make the blog author look like an idiot (and you don’t want to totally be the opposite of what the blog is branding itself to be). But I fully believe that you can disagree respectfully and intelligently on a blog you’re guest posting on (case in point, this post). And if the blog owner will flip out because of your difference of opinion (if it’s stated in a respectful way, that is), then that’s a problem with the blog owner, frankly. This could very well be a market-specific issue though. Heather is in a different market than I am and I’m not familiar with it or the bloggers in it.
  • If you’re in a totally different market than I am, I’m still open to guest posts from you. I’m open to guest posts from anyone who has something thoughtful and helpful to share on a topic that would be of interest to me and those who read my blog. What’s the blogging like in your market? What’s the audience like? What blogging/Internet marketing tips totally don’t translate to your market? I’m open, and I’m listening.

This is a blog post from LisaMorosky.com. Head over to the site and snag your free copy of "101 Ways to Kick Your Blog Up a Notch".
And don't forget to follow Lisa on Twitter, be a Facebook Fan, and connect with Lisa on LinkedIn!

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Author: "Lisa Morosky" Tags: "Blogging"
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Date: Tuesday, 31 Aug 2010 14:00

This is going to be a short post, because I really just want to pose these questions: do we mean what we say? And does it matter who we say it to? And why does asking these questions make me wince?

The advice you give, the inspiration that you conjure up, the tactics that you teach – do you mean it? Do you really want to create a following of people who are, in some ways, like you? Do you want people to do what you do, say what you say, feel how you feel, and create businesses like yours?

Because, isn’t that what we’re doing? When I tell you my online business experiences, and my takeaways and lessons learned and food for thought and advice, what I’m really doing is telling you what to do – mistakes to avoid, strategies to try, and the like. I am, in a way, fostering my own competition.

I know people will chime in and say, “I don’t consider other <insert what you are here – bloggers, virtual assistants, coaches, etc> to be my competition. We build each other up, JV together, promote each other’s work, and we’re all stronger, as an industry, in the end.”

OK. Sure. That can be true. But they’re also your competition. If I coach another virtual assistant (which I have, by the way), they are becoming my competition in some way. If I train bloggers to be better bloggers, they could very well be my competition (if they’re in the same market).

So while I always mean what I say in my content, does it depend on who I’m saying it to? I’m questioning my own intentions here too. I think it’s good to do that every once in awhile.

For example, those who preach lifestyle design, time management, and being the CEO of your online business in some way or another, do you get annoyed when those who work with you (contractors, freelancers, virtual assistants, etc) put into practice the very strategies that you speak about (limiting phone calls, dealing with email systematically, holding specific hours, etc)? Is it only OK if your readers take your advice?

So I’ll come back to it: do we mean what we say?

I wouldn’t be posing this question if I hadn’t had some encounters recently that made me question whether or not people believe their advice applies to whoever happens upon it, or selectively to the people they can benefit from. It benefits me when my readers and customers achieve success via something I did, said, wrote, or created. But what about a competitor? Or someone I’m outsourcing to?

There’s no tying-it-up-with-a-ribbon lesson at the end of this post (which turned out longer than I thought it would be). And I’m not even sure that the post makes sense. But this is where my head is at today, and I’m not going to pretend it’s elsewhere and post something else.

If you’re yearning for a lesson though, I guess I’ll give you this: mean what you say, and mean it consistently. Easier said than done, right? If you’ve figured out how to master this, write a post about it, and link it up below in the comments. I’d like to read it and learn from it.

So what do you think? Do we mean what we say? Do you mean what you say? Does it depend on who we’re talking to?

This is a blog post from LisaMorosky.com. Head over to the site and snag your free copy of "101 Ways to Kick Your Blog Up a Notch".
And don't forget to follow Lisa on Twitter, be a Facebook Fan, and connect with Lisa on LinkedIn!

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Author: "Lisa Morosky" Tags: "Ramblings"
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Date: Thursday, 19 Aug 2010 22:38

As I’ve mentioned, over the last week or so I’ve been pretty quiet. Aside from having more than enough projects (both personal and client-related) to work on, I’ve also been just watching and listening. I’ve been reading blogs in this space, and other markets. I’ve been seeing how people are interacting on, and what they’re saying on, Twitter. It’s been insightful to just sit back and observe.

And here’s one observation I’ve made recently: it seems like there are only three ways to act as an online entrepreneur. You can be reactionary, innovative, or stale.

Let me clarify those terms and what I mean by them.

Reactionary

These are the people whose only movements appear to be made based on someone else’s. They’re defensive. They’re really in sync with their competitors, and every move they make is based on a move a competitor made. They’re not afraid of change, but their change isn’t usually rooted in testing, but rather to match up with others.

An example? The billion and one bloggers in the make money online niche who all up and switched to PopUp Domination over the last few weeks. Now, don’t get me wrong here, this is a good product. And some people have had great results. In fact, those people (influencers in the market) who have had great results have publicly announced their great results, thus causing a wave of “you better fall in line because this is the new standard” across the niche. Did some bloggers switch because they researched the product and deemed it worthy? No doubt. Did some switch simply because “the cool kids” switched? Absolutely.

Innovative

You know these folks. You know these people because they’ve reinvented the wheel in some way or another. They’re driven by innovation, by new ideas. The creativity oozes from them. And often times, they’re pretty successful.

But I think the challenge with being innovative is that nagging feeling you get that tells you that you must always be creating and must always be one step ahead. And when you’re always focused on the next idea or product or service, you’re missing the opportunities of the present. And you’ll eventually burn out from the stress in one way or another.

Stale

I know – that word seems a little harsh. But these are the people who lack follow-through and intention. Time and time again they get passed by. Blogs go untouched. Products and services go unimproved and unsupported and unlaunched. These people may be paralyzed by perfectionism and have trouble getting out of “planning mode”.

An example? How about the 57 (I counted) blogs I unsubscribed from in Google Reader the other day? Blogs with business backends that just couldn’t, or lack the desire to, keep up.

Think about who you consider to be really successful. Which category do they fall into?

Well, if you were able to pick one category, you’re wrong. ;)

The most successful online entrepreneurs are a healthy balance of all three. People like Darren Rowse, David Risley, Nathan Hangen, Dave Navarro, Chris Guillebeau, David Garland, Gary Vaynerchuk, Ryan Lee, Jim Kukral – are all three. They’re not afraid to react in a moment’s notice if need be, and when they react it’s intentional. A lot of times their innovation is based upon improving the wheel, not necessarily recreating it. They plan and calculate and observe, but only for a period of time.

Where do you naturally fall? And how can you be more of a balance of all three?

Personally, I’ve bounced between all three at different times in my business. When I started out, I was mainly reactionary. I did what everyone told me to do and what those I admired did. Then, I sprouted some innovative wings and got carried away with being on top of a million different ideas. Then, I got stale. I got comfortable with where I was at and what I was doing.

My constant struggle is to be all three. I want to create new products and services, and improve on accepted methods. I want each reaction of mine to be thought-out and intentional and to move me one step closer to my goals. I want to have the presence to know when to stop, listen, and test.

And the only way I’ve been able to move towards a balance of all these characteristics is to make a true effort to stick to my plans and systems (and to create new ones, if need be).

So what about you? Where do you tend to fall? How do you keep yourself accountable and keep moving intentionally forward?

This is a blog post from LisaMorosky.com. Head over to the site and snag your free copy of "101 Ways to Kick Your Blog Up a Notch".
And don't forget to follow Lisa on Twitter, be a Facebook Fan, and connect with Lisa on LinkedIn!

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Author: "Lisa Morosky" Tags: "Online Business"
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Date: Wednesday, 04 Aug 2010 21:26

This is the second video in the short video series I’m doing called “Online Business Owners: 4 Tactics for Creating More Hours in the Day”. You can check out more about the series, and the first video, right here.

In this video, I’m talking about how and why to cut the fluff out of your day. You know what I’m talking about. All that stuff we do that, in the end, really doesn’t matter and really doesn’t work.

Check out the video and let me know what you do to keep the fluff from taking over your day.

This is a blog post from LisaMorosky.com. Head over to the site and snag your free copy of "101 Ways to Kick Your Blog Up a Notch".
And don't forget to follow Lisa on Twitter, be a Facebook Fan, and connect with Lisa on LinkedIn!

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Author: "Lisa Morosky" Tags: "Motivation, Videos"
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Date: Wednesday, 28 Jul 2010 18:48

Last updated: 9/13/2010

Join the Top Bloggers and New Media Experts in the World at BlogWorld Expo 2010!

I’m excited to be heading to Las Vegas on October 13-17, 2010 for the BlogWorld & New Media Expo! The conference itself is on October 14-16, 2010 – but I’ll be there early.

I had a blasty blast last year. I got to meet some cool folks (who have since turned into friends and clients), check out some good panels and sessions, take awkward pictures of Dave Risley, see a Cirque du Soleil show for free, and just enjoy the company of my blogging colleagues.

But, what’s cool about this year is that I’m speaking. Dave Risley, Nathan Hangen, Mike CJ, and myself will be doing a panel on Saturday, October 16th at 11:00am on “Treating Your Blog Like a Business”. Here’s the official, fancy-shmancy description of our panel:

A blog isn’t a real business – it should be the front-end lead generator for an actual sales funnel designed to pour out money. This panel will cut to the chase on how to treat blogging like a REAL business rather than a glorified hobby. How do you build a lasting, scalable business from a blog? What revenue models work? What should you be outsourcing? How do you choose the right market to begin with? We’ll look beyond the blog and get down to business.

We’re taking it up a notch with our panel – no “just throw some ads on your blog” talk here. We’ve heard that a thousand times, and there’s no business strategy in that. Instead, we’re going to be highlighting information bloggers actually need to know in order to operate successfully as online entrepreneurs – like market selection, list-building, defining your goals and objectives, creating business plans and budgets, and (of course) outsourcing. Our session is for bloggers who want to go deeper and aim higher.

Do me a favor, if you’re planning on going to our session, add it to your schedule. Also, link up your blog below so I can get to know you before the event. I’m checking out each person who adds us to their schedule and links up below. :)

And bookmark this post, because I’m going to be updating it in the coming weeks with get-togethers I’ll be at, and more information about the panel I’m speaking on.

This is a blog post from LisaMorosky.com. Head over to the site and snag your free copy of "101 Ways to Kick Your Blog Up a Notch".
And don't forget to follow Lisa on Twitter, be a Facebook Fan, and connect with Lisa on LinkedIn!

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Author: "Lisa Morosky" Tags: "Everything Else"
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Date: Thursday, 22 Jul 2010 19:24

I decided to do this video series after seeing a lot of comments on blogs I read about there “not being enough hours in the day”. C’mon now. Of course there are enough hours in the day. We, as online business owners and human beings in general, just aren’t intuitively all that great at managing our time. Anything worth having in life is worth fighting for, and having more hours in the day to do meaningful work (or whatever you consider to be meaningful) is worth fighting for.

So this is going to be a series of four short videos. Each will highlight a specific thing you can do to create more hours in the day.

I hope you find the videos to be helpful. I hate seeing people who are slaves to their lives (in one way or the other). Life is better than that. And your online business can flourish even if you don’t feel flustered and busy. Being busy isn’t a badge of honor like we make it out to be. It’s a clue that something isn’t going right at the moment and you need to shift priorities and workflow.

This is the first video in the series. And it’s all about the mindset you need to change, first and foremost, if you want more hours in your day.

This is a blog post from LisaMorosky.com. Head over to the site and snag your free copy of "101 Ways to Kick Your Blog Up a Notch".
And don't forget to follow Lisa on Twitter, be a Facebook Fan, and connect with Lisa on LinkedIn!

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Author: "Lisa Morosky" Tags: "Motivation, Videos"
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Date: Thursday, 15 Jul 2010 16:24

OK. So. If you’re in the blogging community at all, and certainly if you use WordPress, I’ve sure you’ve seen the ridiculousness that is grown men acting like fools over the WordPress GPL.

If you don’t know what I’m talking about, read this and this and this for starters. Or check out Chris’ Twitter or Matt’s Twitter. Then come back here. I don’t have the time or energy to rehash it all.

I’m not a lawyer. And also, I’m not a developer. But I’m both a WordPress and a Thesis (along with multiple other premium plugins and themes, not all GPL compliant) user (SpendLessOnLife.com is going to launch in the next couple weeks, using Thesis). I have no desire to spend my day following the he said, he said “facts”, or searching through Thesis code to compare it to WordPress code so I can point a finger at someone. I have a life.

But I will tell you (because surprisingly, I’ve gotten several emails and DMs on Twitter asking for this) what my opinion on this is:

There might be a lawsuit, but I kind of doubt it.
Matt feels the need to make an example out of Chris so that others don’t rise up and “disregard” the GPL like Chris has, but none of this would end happily in court for Automattic. Brian’s comment here is a good explanation why.

Both guys are being, in a word, buttheads.
Matt is discouraging people from buying Thesis (which is a jerk move, from a business standpoint, considering his pull in the WordPress world) and even offering to buy people a different theme. Chris is being pretty stubborn and conceited. What both men have failed to realize is that their public idiocy is bad for their businesses in general.

Even if the GPL thing were to work out (miraculously). If I’m a high-end Automattic client (which they have), I’d be worried about Matt’s very public display of frustration and retaliation. And for Chris, does he really want his customers to see that at the end of the day he doesn’t care about them and only cares about the money? That may be true for a lot of us, but we don’t publicly say it for fear that it would hurt our brand. Anyways, just an observation there.

Fear tactics, in any context, are ridiculous.
Matt telling people to buy a different theme is hinting at the fact that he’s going to “take Chris down”. And Chris is just egging WordPress folks on, begging for a lawsuit. Wouldn’t that look bad for WordPress. Spending money on a lawsuit instead of spending money on development. And Chris has a sneaking suspicion that this lawsuit wouldn’t go anywhere. Both men come off as terrified children.

I can’t help but think that this is all a little bit “big brother” on WordPress’ part.
Open source and propaganda go together like peas and carrots because it becomes a “movement”. I can relate to this tweet right here.

So where do I stand on the real issue?
On whether themes/plugins/whatever that are built to run on WordPress are covered by the GPL, and therefore should use open source code – this argument makes a lot of sense to me. I think forcing themes/plugins/whatever to be GPL isn’t a good idea – for so many reasons that you can see posted on Twitter and in articles on this topic.

This is, in a lot of ways, mainly just a case of two men disliking each other publicly, while flexing their muscles and yelling “I AM RIGHT” at the top of their lungs. There’s a real debate to be had here (and a real answer is needed), but these guys have taken it to another, personal level.

And a shoutout to my clients who are emailing me and asking me if they should switch from WordPress and/or Thesis because of all this – don’t give up on WordPress, or Thesis, or paid themes/plugins/whatever – at least not for this reason, and definitely not now when it’s all speculation and opinions.

For what it’s worth, I don’t know Matt or Chris personally. So I can’t tell you what kind of people they are, how they run their businesses, or anything else. This is all based on this altercation.

Thoughts on this nonsense? :)

This is a blog post from LisaMorosky.com. Head over to the site and snag your free copy of "101 Ways to Kick Your Blog Up a Notch".
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Author: "Lisa Morosky" Tags: "Ramblings"
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Date: Thursday, 01 Jul 2010 14:00

Are there set, everyone should abide by them no matter who they are or what they do, social media rules? Or does the way you utilize and approach social media depend on, and change with, who you are?

This is what I’ve been mulling around in my head lately, as I’ve caught myself reacting either positively or negatively (depending on the circumstance and person) to how other people use social media. And I think I’ve come to a conclusion. It’s a conclusion I’ve had all along, but it’s just that now I have experiences and more developed opinions to back it up with.

And if you think I’m going to tell you what that conclusion is at the beginning of this post, you’re just silly. Read on, my friend. Read on.

We’re bloggers. So we know how bloggers use social media, and we know what we think is right and wrong. But let me tell you a little bit about how other people, in other businesses, are using social media. These are all situations and people I’ve encountered.

You let me know if any of this sends shocks or icky feelings through you (like some of it did for me).

Person #1: This person is a business coach of sorts. Part of this person’s social media strategy is to take old blog posts from his or her own blog, and submit them as guest posts on a variety of blogs and websites every month.

Person #2: This person is a consultant of sorts. Part of this person’s social media strategy is to queue all of his or her’s tweets ahead of time. This person has never posted a spur of the moment Twitter update.

Person #3: This person runs a brick and mortar, service-based business. All of this person’s social media updates (tweets, Facebook status updates, LinkedIn status updates, etc) are about their own business, services, specials, etc.

There are some fundamentally wrong things going on here, right?

I mean, I’ll admit it. I thought Person #1 was screwed because they had posted the same content all over the place, thus impacting Google. Plus, their reputation must be shot to crap because they’re not even taking the time to create new content for these outlets. While I appreciated the attempt, I thought Person #2 was lazy and not really invested in Twitter. And Person #3, oh boy. I thought this person was committing the ultimate social media sin: no give, and only take.

But here’s a thought. Are we just thinking there are some fundamentally wrong things going on because of the limited view and understanding we have of how we should work social media?

It turns out that Person #1 isn’t doing anything wrong at all. See, this person is submitting to outlets that don’t care about reused content. Authenticity in that way isn’t valued in this circumstance. And the Google implications? Much less important than the positive impact of being exposed to a big group of this person’s target customers.

And Person #2? Well this person is anything but lazy. This person is so busy providing excellent services, that the only time they can break away to participate in social media is at weird hours. When no one is really listening. So they schedule updates (including replies) for when they’ll be seen.

Person #3 caters to a market full of people who don’t give a rat’s behind about “correct” social media behaviors. These are people who just need the information they need, without the fluff. So Person #3 is giving their customers what they want – timely information about their business.

So if you haven’t figured it out yet, here’s my conclusion: there is no right way to use social media. There just isn’t. There are too many variables. And if anyone tells you differently, they’re either confused and mistaken, or trying to sell you something. Before you jump on the “share, engage, be selfless, and all will work out in time” bandwagon, consider your market. Consider your customers. Consider your goals.

This is why social media consultants aren’t a scam, and aren’t a waste of money. If you need help figuring out the best plan of attack for you and your business (because it’s an individual thing, not a one-size-fits-all thing), a social media consultant is a good investment.

Back to the original questions. What do you think? Are there set, everyone should abide by them no matter who they are or what they do, social media rules? Or does the way you utilize and approach social media depend on, and change with, who you are?

This is a blog post from LisaMorosky.com. Head over to the site and snag your free copy of "101 Ways to Kick Your Blog Up a Notch".
And don't forget to follow Lisa on Twitter, be a Facebook Fan, and connect with Lisa on LinkedIn!

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Author: "Lisa Morosky" Tags: "Social Media"
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Date: Tuesday, 29 Jun 2010 15:44

Sometimes, I feel like both nature and corporate America are conspiring against me to make sure I get zero work done.

Such has been my life lately. With multiple Internet outages for long periods of time (at the fault of either nature or Comcast, or sometimes both) having happened so far this summer, I’ve actually been forced to write down what I should/could do in the event that I do not have Internet access.

And, sidenote, we’re a one car family. The husband takes the car to go to and from chiropractic school every day. So I, typically, do not have a car to drive to find myself a place that does have Internet access. So don’t comment and tell me to go seek out a connection. ;)

So here’s my “dammit, the Internet is out again and I need to do something to make progress on something so I’m not so far behind later that I want to cry” list.

Write.
There is truly no better time to crank out 20 blog posts (yes, I’ve done that recently) than when you’re sans Internet. So what if you have to go back and add images and links later? The bulk is written and ready to go. And that means you don’t have to write anything for a couple weeks (or however long) and you can focus on other stuff.

Don’t want to write blog posts? How about website copy, or newsletters, or autoresponder emails, or a new guide or eBook of some sort? There’s always writing to be done. Always.

Brainstorm.
When I lose the Internet, I open up Evernote and just dump everything that’s been swirling around in my brain into notes. Do you know how many times a day you have a great idea? Probably a lot of times. But we get so busy doing other stuff that we forget to make note of things.

Take the time to get down some content ideas, map out the next few months of your business, or plan a new product or promotion.

Organize.
The first thing to go when I get really busy is always any sort of organization. So when the Internet is out, I take the time to clean up my work area, back up files on my computer, and go through and organize files and settings on my computer. So when the Internet is back on, I’m ready to work and I’m probably more efficient.

Create audio or video content.
You don’t need the Internet to create a podcast. And you don’t need the Internet to make a video. Stockpile some of this content which can take longer to create and edit.

What about you? What do you do when you’re without Internet (other than curse and cry and the like)?

Image Credit: Fringe Focus

This is a blog post from LisaMorosky.com. Head over to the site and snag your free copy of "101 Ways to Kick Your Blog Up a Notch".
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Author: "Lisa Morosky" Tags: "Ramblings"
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Date: Thursday, 24 Jun 2010 22:45

If you’re feeling like you’re behind everyone else…
If you’re feeling like you’ll never make it and like you’ll never gain traction…
If you’re feeling tired, worn out, and like you need a day off…
If you’re feeling not into it anymore…
If you’re feeling stressed, like you’re going to cry, or like you could lose it at any second…
If you’re feeling like a fake, a phony, or an imposter…
If you’re feeling scared…
If you’re feeling like you’re out of inspiration, have nothing to say, and blank…
If you’re feeling frustrated, or like you’re all alone in a vast ocean…

…it’s OK. For some reason, we’ve stopped telling each other it’s OK to feel this way. But I’m telling you now, it’s OK.

It’s what being an entrepreneur, and running an online business, is all about. And while people continue to write and speak like all they’ve ever seen is success, I know that behind every success story is a million and one failures, sleepless nights, and “what did I get myself into” thoughts.

I’ve spoken to a lot of people this week (more than normal, actually) who have a lot of very real obstacles in the way of their success. I even heard this gem this week, pointed at yours truly: “You are so upbeat. So positive. It’s probably because you didn’t have these issues to deal with while you were trying to launch. I bet you never get stressed and frustrated like this.”

So for the sake of encouragement, I want to share how I’ve felt over the last week:

I’ve felt behind everyone else because I’m not launching a huge new product or service.
I’ve felt like a blog I’ve been working my butt off on will never go live, and never gain traction.
I’ve felt tired (oh-so-tired), worn out by my business (and life) responsibilities, and in need of more than just one day off.
I’ve had conversations with people about not feeling passionate about this or that anymore.
I’ve felt stressed about projects. I’ve cried on the phone to my mother. And I think I may have lost it once or twice on my husband.
I’ve felt looked at as a role model, as an example, but all the while been questioning my place as such.
I’ve felt scared to make big decisions that need to be made.
As I’ve stared at blank screens, I’ve felt, “I have nothing left to share.”
I’ve felt like I’m drowning, and there isn’t a life vest in sight.

But this is the road I chose. I knew this road would be full of tough terrain, but I’m weathering it because there have been (and certainly in the last week) amazing successes, and there has been extreme encouragement, along the way. The fire that lights me up every day is ignited by my clients, and my readers, and those who send me emails, and people who reach out to me via social media. I’m doing what I love, getting paid for it, and helping people in the process.

So it’s OK to feel all those feelings. Take them in and let them guide you. But please don’t give up, and please feel happy, strong, and proud. Your blog, your business, your product, your service – give it all a chance to be a success. Give yourself a chance to be a Cinderella story. Because no matter how much people tell you otherwise, Cinderella stories still happen. But not to those who buckle under the immense pressure of all those feelings.

This is a blog post from LisaMorosky.com. Head over to the site and snag your free copy of "101 Ways to Kick Your Blog Up a Notch".
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Author: "Lisa Morosky" Tags: "Motivation"
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Date: Tuesday, 22 Jun 2010 14:44

Yes, it can be done. Yes, it should be done. And yes, I do it.

And in just a few paragraphs, here’s how you can do it for yourself.

We all have a bunch of connections on Twitter. We’re all interacting on Twitter. And those interactions might include questions like, “How do you such-and-such?” and “What do you think about my such-and-such?” and “Can you help me with such-and-such?”. When your answers to those questions span more than a sentence, it’s time to upsell the person into consulting, or your product, or your service.

Here’s an example. Within the last few months, I’ve been getting more and more people replying to me and DMing me asking for advice, asking for blog critiques, asking for technical help, etc. If I can reply with a one sentence answer (that will ensure no follow-up questions on the same topic), I will. But if it’s a bit more difficult than that (e.g., “Can you critique my blog?”), and requires more input, I’ll refer people to PersonalBlogTraining.com or BloggerEmailConsults.com or another applicable service of mine. At the end of the day, I don’t have time to answer everyone’s questions and solve everyone’s problems for free (and I’m sure you don’t either).

And actually, I’ve earned some steady clients by going this route. Not to mention the few dozen email consults and personal blog training sessions I’ve done too.

See, Twitter is just as much a part of the sales funnel as your autoresponder series, or your landing pages, or whatever else. The reason you’re using it is to market yourself in some capacity. If you don’t take it one step further and monetize it, then you’re just left with another outlet full of people who may or may not pay attention to you, and who realize they can pump you for free information constantly as long as they do it via Twitter.

“But isn’t it wrong to straight-up sell via social media?” No. Wrong is in the eye of the beholder. And these eyes see it as capitalizing on sales that would otherwise be left untouched.

“Isn’t social media just for conversation and to drive traffic to where you need it to go?” While I love conversation, there would need to be a greater pull for me to use social media (money). Otherwise, it wouldn’t be worth my time and I’d be off somewhere else, using some other tools to make more money.

“Shouldn’t you spend the time selflessly connecting with people, and then later down the road ask them for a sale?” Twitter isn’t sacred. It’s just another way to establish yourself and your products and services.

What do you think? How can you, or do you, make money via social media outlets? Do you do it directly (via ads, or affiliate links, etc)? Do you do it more indirectly (like I mention above)? Do you not do it all? Why not?

This is a blog post from LisaMorosky.com. Head over to the site and snag your free copy of "101 Ways to Kick Your Blog Up a Notch".
And don't forget to follow Lisa on Twitter, be a Facebook Fan, and connect with Lisa on LinkedIn!

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Author: "Lisa Morosky" Tags: "Social Media"
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Date: Tuesday, 15 Jun 2010 14:00

Currently (as of June 14, 2010), the estimated world population is 6,827,237,322.

And yet, there’s only one you.

Often times, I take a quiet, listen-and-observe approach to the blogging and Internet marketing industries. Before I voice an opinion publicly, you best believe that I’m going to gather information, weigh it for myself, and make sure I can sleep at night after I say what I say. As a person, that’s just who I am. Quiet and analytical at first, then once I feel comfortable, there’s really no stopping my mouth. Which is, of course, a fault at times.

Anyways, I digress.

I’ve been taking a quiet, listen-and-observe approach for awhile now. I’ve worked with some of the top make money online bloggers and Internet marketers out there. Not only that, like you, I’m active in this market. I’m selling services. I’m following people. I’m engaging. I see things. I hear things. Sometimes I can’t believe what I’m seeing or hearing.

And one thing that I’m seeing and hearing right now is kind of making me nauseous. It appears that we’re either trying to “keep up with the Joneses”, or we’re “the Joneses” and we’re trying to teach people how to be just like us. And those are the only two options.

I know you see it too. Products teaching the same old information (aka. “be like me and do what I did”), but the pitch is spun in a new way. Bloggers springing up every other day that are either regurgitating everyone else’s information, or blogging their journey to “keep up with the Joneses”. The package might be new and different, but it all seems to come back to those two ideas: you’re either trying to keep up with and compare yourself to the masters, or you’re a master who’s teaching everyone else to be masters via your methodology.

I find it all to be a little weird, considering that:

  • At the end of the day, the reason you’re not like “the Joneses” is because you’re, well, you. You can’t replicate someone else’s life. You lead a different life. You have different challenges. You are a different human being who is motivated by different things. So, no recipe for success is going to fit you 100%, and equipping you with any amount of information alone isn’t going to make you succeed.
  • The masters most likely didn’t follow a step-by-step plan in order to become successful. They struggled. They failed (a lot). But, they did it themselves. They came up with a genius idea, followed through, and voila.

I can’t help but wonder what would happen if we all stopped comparing ourselves and our businesses to others’, and got more in tune with who we are, our passions and personal goals, and the path we need to build to reach our definition of success.

Sometimes I think we’re so obsessed with tools and other people, that we forget about the only things we have that are different from everyone else who’s trying to accomplish the same things as we are: our experiences, our outlook, our personality (aka. the things that really help you succeed in business). And when you hone in on those, you can create one hell of a product or service that speaks to the very core of who people are. That, I believe, is how you’ll get rich.

Maybe today we can forget about “the Joneses”, and focus on the unique attributes that we bring to the table individually. And, if you’re an equivalent of “the Joneses” in your market, perhaps instead of selling what’s easy, we can brainstorm how to best help our customers meet their true potential.

What do you think? Am I sipping on the “crazy person” Kool-Aid this morning?

This is a blog post from LisaMorosky.com. Head over to the site and snag your free copy of "101 Ways to Kick Your Blog Up a Notch".
And don't forget to follow Lisa on Twitter, be a Facebook Fan, and connect with Lisa on LinkedIn!

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Author: "Lisa Morosky" Tags: "Ramblings"
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Date: Thursday, 03 Jun 2010 15:00

FYI – Better read to the bottom of this post. That is, if you’re interested in good deals and saving money and such. ;)

If you’re on my list, or we’re connected on Twitter or Facebook, you’ve probably seen me talk about the fabulous new VAforBloggers.com. So, if you’re already privy to the details of the VAforBloggers.com changes, feel free to pass on this blog post. My feelings won’t be hurt (well, maybe a little, but I’ll be OK). :)

VAforBloggers.com has completely shifted and improved. I’m now offering several new services for bloggers who may not need, want, or be able to afford straight-up VA services. And there are more of you that fit in those categories than I thought – and you’ve reached out to me to let me know. I appreciate that.

Let me tell you a little about the new divisions of VAforBloggers.com.

SetUpMyBlogForFree.com
I’m going to set up blogs for free, when the person purchases the products and services they need to get up and running from VAforBloggers.com recommended sites. In addition, I’m going to provide the person with a free copy of “What Now? A Step-by-Step Guide to Launching Your Blog”, my guide that explains what they should do next after their blog set up is complete.

Think of it this way: people are going to buy a domain name, hosting, and a WordPress theme anyways. Now they just have someone to set it all up for them…for free. Not a bad deal!

Initial reaction: overwhelmingly positive. People are taking me up on this offer more than even I thought they would. Turns out there are a lot of people out there who needed something like this.

BloggerEmailConsults.com
“Blogger email consults” is a fancy way of saying “pack as many questions and issues into one email as you can, and I’ll respond within 48 hours with answers, resources, and help so you can get over these speedbumps on your own”.

If you need quick answers to specific questions, or you don’t want to spend precious time searching the Internet for the help and resources you need, this is for you.

Initial reaction: steady. I think people are still wondering how it works and how much value I can provide them in an email. But I love doing these. I’ve gotten emails with 10 or 15 specific questions, and I’ve replied with long, thought-out, detailed emails that (according to the customers) have saved them so much time and frustration. I love that I can do that for bloggers at a reasonable price.

PersonalBlogTraining.com
You guys know about my personal blog training sessions. They are hour-long, one-on-one sessions with me where we focus on your questions, needs, and goals. This is your time to ask questions and get help with specific problems. You’ll leave your session having new knowledge, having checked things off your to-do list, and feeling less overwhelmed.

But now, the process of booking a session just got a whole lot easier. Simply visit the site, purchase a session, then you’ll be directed to my online scheduler to choose a time that works for you. All automated, and all quick to do! Plus, a whole lot less hassle for me (yay!).

And you get a recording (audio if our session is done via phone, and audio and video if our session is done via Skype) of your session.

Initial reaction: popular. People have been taking me up on these for a couple months now. From aspiring virtual assistants, to the retiree wanting to sell their crafts online, it has been my pleasure getting to know such awesome, hard-working people. And hearing things like “you just saved me hours of time” is so rewarding for me.

And there’s one site still to come. Which I know people are going to love. But I’m not saying much about it yet.

In general, I’m expanding my line of products and services so that there’s something for everyone, no matter what their budget or skills are.
Yes, I still offer retainer packages for virtual assistant services. And another new offering is a 5 hour retainer package – for all those quick tasks.

I’m excited to have these new divisions in place. My desire is always to find new and better ways to help bloggers expand their businesses and relieve the stress that comes with operating an online business. I also want to work smarter, not harder. And these new offerings are yet another step in that direction as well.

Now let’s talk about these fabulous deals I have going on until 9:00am EST tomorrow morning (if you’re on my list, you already know about this):

1. Until tomorrow at 9:00am EST, when you purchase one personal blog training session, you’re going to get one free. Simply visit http://www.personalblogtraining.com and purchase one session. Then, when you’re redirected to my online scheduler, just schedule two sessions instead of one! Easy as that. And saves you $75.

2. Until tomorrow at 9:00am EST, when you purchase a 5-hour virtual assistance retainer package, you get one personal blog training session for free! That’s a $75 savings right there. Simply visit http://www.vaforbloggers.com/packages/ and purchase the 5-hour package, and then I’ll send you the link to my online scheduler so you can pick a time for your personal blog training session. So spend an hour talking about strategy and getting your questions answered, then give me a 5-hour to-do list to carry out for you! Sounds good, right?

Remember: this is only good until 9:00am EST tomorrow morning!

This is a blog post from LisaMorosky.com. Head over to the site and snag your free copy of "101 Ways to Kick Your Blog Up a Notch".
And don't forget to follow Lisa on Twitter, be a Facebook Fan, and connect with Lisa on LinkedIn!

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Author: "Lisa Morosky" Tags: "Project Updates"
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Date: Tuesday, 01 Jun 2010 15:00

Start Blogging Today

So, I want to talk about Start Blogging Today.

What is Start Blogging Today, you ask? It’s a training program, brought to you by Grant Griffiths (co-founder of Headway Themes), Michael Martine (Remarkablogger), Paul Coughlin, John Haydon, Danny Brown, Dr. Patrick MacNamara (my husband has been featured on his blog), and Tina Marie Hilton. The program provides the “training and tools you need to get your blog started and going today, with proven weekly lessons which will help make your blog stand out from the crowd”.

To take some info right from their site, here’s what you get:

  • Step-by-step guidance for greater ease and simplicity.
  • Streaming video tutorials for greater clarity.
  • Lessons delivered incrementally so you can follow at your pace.
  • Progress tracker and checklist so you know you are on track.
  • Detailed, in-depth reviews of other tools and resources.
  • A quickstart guide to both blogging and social media.
  • Access to live Q&A sessions, group coaching calls, members only forums and small mastermind sessions.
  • Guest experts on blogging and social media.
  • New tips, how-to’s and methods to keep you moving in the right direction.
  • Case studies from actual Start Blogging Today members’ blogs and social media strategies.
  • A support team available to you for the taking.

Not too shabby, right?

Grant kindly gave me access to the program, for the purpose of looking around for myself. We see so many training courses in our niche (and that’s an understatement), that I was excited to get in there and see what Start Blogging Today is about…and why it’s different than other courses we’ve seen.

I was pleasantly surprised. I expect great things from Grant (hello, Headway anyone?), but you have to wonder how many different ways the same information can be spun to make it new.

But that’s the thing about Start Blogging Today. It isn’t the same information. There are lessons on things I literally haven’t seen in other programs – like how to get noticed before and after your blog launches, aligning your blog to your business, copywriting, finding the right blog assistant, and a whole host of other topics.

Other things I like about the program include the WordPress tutorials, members only forum, and Q&A calls.

So who is this program for?

This is a program for business-minded individuals, run by business-minded individuals.

This is the perfect program for small business owners who are looking to get into the realm of blogging and learn how to sell their products and services via their blog.

If you don’t know where to start when it comes to blogging and social media, this is for you.

And if you’re an offline small business owner who’s playing around with starting a blog to market your products and services, this is your program.

Oh, and if you’re a virtual assistant? You’ll love this program. There’s major love for virtual assistants and their businesses here.

So who isn’t this program for?

Not every product or services is for everyone. It’s just the way it is.

If you already have expert blogging and social media knowledge, this probably isn’t for you. It might not challenge you in the ways you would need to be challenged.

If your blog is more of a hobby, this program isn’t for you.

If you’re not interested in spending some time, money, and effort developing your blog and business (hey, and some people aren’t), this isn’t for you.

Start Blogging Today makes two very big claims. They claim that the program gives you the tools and knowledge you need to start blogging today, and that Start Blogging Today is the only source and help you will ever need to get blogging and using social media.

True or false?

My verdict? True. In an organized way, the information you need to get started is there for the taking. And with the mentors you have on-board, I have no doubt that the information will grow and expand, thus rendering it as a one-stop location for all you need to know about blogging and social media.

If this sounds like the program for you, head on over to Start Blogging Today and sign up. I’m positive that you won’t regret it.

Have questions about the program? Post a comment below. If I can’t answer it, I’ll get in touch with someone who can.

Image courtesy of Start Blogging Today.

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Author: "Lisa Morosky" Tags: "Reviews, Headway, start blogging today"
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Date: Thursday, 27 May 2010 15:00

You know that “you have to be in the make money online niche in order to make money online” stereotype? While some stereotypes are true, this one is total crapola.

During my personal blog training sessions, I get to talk with bloggers in a variety of niches. But by far, the most popular niche that people come to me with is the make money online one. And I’d say the majority of the people I talk to are learning the basics of Internet marketing and how to apply those principles to their blogs in order to rake in the dough. I think it has to do with the monkey-see, monkey-do mentality. We see people teaching us and giving us examples using the make money online market, so to make it easier on ourselves we just stick with this market (even if we know nothing about it).

If the opportunity presents itself during the session, I’ll ask people what their hobbies are and what they’re passionate about. Then I’ll explain to them how they can take this Internet marketing knowledge they’re acquiring and apply it to other markets, markets that they’re passionate about and markets where no one knows what they know.

The reactions are sometimes mixed. Some people just want to stay in this market. Others respond like I had just told them the secret to eternal life.

“Really? This would work in that market? I hadn’t ever thought of that. Wow.”

I even had a moment of excitement today as I was researching a market I’m about to get into. I’m looking at blogs in the market – and 95% of people know nothing about Internet marketing and how applying basic techniques (like list-building, and selling your own products) could catapult them into higher earnings.

So if you know a little something about Internet marketing and the like, get the hell out of the make money online niche and jump into another niche you’re passionate about and start monetizing there. You could kill it. You know the secrets and how to apply them while most other people in your market probably don’t. There are huge opportunities for monetization out there.

Is there still money to be made in the make money online market? Absolutely. New people pop up and do it every day. I was pretty late to the party, having gotten involved in it in 2009, but I do well in this market because I carved a new little path.

But I’ll tell you a secret. My long-term business plans don’t include this market. Because I know, with my knowledge and expertise, I could totally kill it elsewhere with little real competition.

So what about you? If you have projects in the make money online market, do you have projects outside of the make money online market too? If so, how do the markets compare?

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Author: "Lisa Morosky" Tags: "Online Business, marketing"
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Date: Tuesday, 25 May 2010 15:00

There are a bunch of great blog posts out there on how to write a guest post that’ll get used and get you some results (in fact, there are entire products devoted to this topic). So that’s not what this blog post is about.

Frankly, I don’t write guest posts that often. I have several in the works at the moment for various blogs, so I’m making it more of a priority. But it’s not something I’ve spent a lot of time on in the past (I know, shame on me). So this post isn’t me standing on a soapbox telling you to do guest posts.

I’m going to write from a perspective I know very well – the perspective of a virtual assistant who is handling the proofreading, editing, posting, and coordination of guest posts on about a dozen pretty popular blogs in a variety of niches.

And I’m going to give you some guest posting reminders. Perhaps even things you haven’t ever thought about when submitting guest posts in the past (hence, the “palm meets forehead” reference).

For heaven’s sake, proofread and edit your work.

And when you think you’re done proofreading and editing it, go back and do it again. As much as we, as bloggers, say things like, “Oh, I write in a conversational tone”, when it comes to guest posts – it doesn’t matter. No one will publish a post that’s a tornado of grammar and spelling mistakes, and no one will publish a post that has no central theme or lesson.

And if they do publish a post with those errors, chances are the blogger (or their virtual assistant, who is paid by the blogger) just spent an hour editing it and rewriting it so it’s up to par. So you either wasted the blogger’s time, or made them pay out of pocket to have someone edit your work. Probably not the best way to get on a blogger’s good side.

Don’t submit something mediocre, or something with general tips we’ve heard a million times before, or something that sounds nothing like a post that is regularly published on this blogger’s blog.

Seems obvious, right? Wrong. I see this all the time. People think they can slap together a list post or some other post we’ve read a million times before, and a blogger will just publish it.

If you’re submitting a guest post to a popular blog, chances are they have a virtual assistant as the guest posts gatekeeper. I can’t speak for other virtual assistants, but I take that job seriously. And I know my clients (like, really know them). So I won’t hesitate to email you right back and say, “Sorry dude. This doesn’t mesh well with the blog.” Or “Sorry dude. This post is straight-up not good enough.” Obviously, you’ll get the chance to edit it and rewrite it and submit it again. But I’m protecting my clients’ brands. No crappy blog post is getting through because it chips away at the blogger’s brand.

Set yourself apart. And it doesn’t take much to do so.

You know what bloggers love? They love getting blog posts with unique spins on common ideas. They love getting blog posts that they read and think, “Wow. This sounds like I could have written it.” They love getting blog posts in HTML with bold and heading tags already in it. They love getting blog posts with images.

Oh, and virtual assistants who are responsible for guest posts on the blog love these things too.

Remember the Golden Rule? When it comes to guest posting, go by that.

What kind of guest posts would you like to receive? What details would make you stop and say, “Wow. This person really took the time and effort to write and format this for me.”? Then do those things for others.

And if you submit a guest post to a blog I moderate, watch out. Just kidding. Or am I? ;)

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Author: "Lisa Morosky" Tags: "Blogging, guest posting"
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Date: Friday, 21 May 2010 04:15

You know what’s difficult? Trying to go on vacation, or dealing with an unexpected trip, when you’re responsible for an online business. It’s tough leading up to the departure. It’s tough while you’re gone. And it’s tough when you get back. It’s just the nature of the beast.

I constantly struggle with this. Every three months, my husband and I pack up and take the show on the road during his month-long breaks from school. We like to take little weekend vacations. We like to go overseas. I enjoy going to visit family for a couple weeks at a time on a moment’s notice.

One of the reasons I do what I do is so I can take it with me and not be at home. Flexibility – I love that. I like to think I’m getting better about how I organize these times away from home, but it’s still difficult to deal with being away every time I’m gone.

After some trial and error, I’ve found that creating a standard list of what needs to be done before I leave has helped make the transition from home, to on the road, to back home again a lot smoother.

So here’s some of my “do this before you leave or you’ll regret it later” list:

  • Check my email and deal with it all. Bring the inbox down to zero.
  • Schedule tweets.
  • Notify the people who need to know I’m traveling (usually just a select number of clients).
  • Put up an email vacation message, if need be, and let people know I’m not checking email or checking email sparingly.
  • Schedule any email broadcasts that need to go out.
  • Schedule posts for while I’m gone.
  • Take a look at all the sites and make sure the technology is in working order (update plugins, update WordPress version, etc).
  • Finish my (and my clients’) current to-do list. Don’t leave anything undone for when I get back (it’s nice to have a clean slate to come home to).
  • Run some sort of a promotion.
  • Make a list of things that can be done while traveling.

Usually, that keeps me pretty grounded and focused. This is one list I’m constantly referring to, seems like. I was gone for two weeks at the end of April. I’m leaving again soon for another week. I’ll be on the road for several weeks in August/September. I’ve got BlogWorld in October. We may be headed back to Italy for Christmas (if not, we’ll still be away from home).

Life is busy. And business can’t stop just because I’m not at the desktop computer.

So what am I forgetting on my list? How do you deal with running an online business while being away from home?

Image Credit: jronaldlee

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Author: "Lisa Morosky" Tags: "Online Business, travel"
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