Last Updated May 1st, 2018

20 Quick Ways to Promote Your Online Business

20 Quick Ways to Promote Your Online Business

Promotion is one of those things I’m not as good about as I should be. It’s too easy to think of it as something that takes a lot of time, but it doesn’t have to. Some promotional efforts take only a few minutes a day. It’s vital to promote your online business regularly.

1. Use Pinterest

Many bloggers and website owners have found that Pinterest can drive great traffic if used consistently. Take the time to make pinnable images for every post. Pinterest suggests images be 600×900 pixels, or a 2:3 size ratio, up to 600×1260 pixels or a 1:2.1 size ratio. They also say square images are acceptable, although everyone I’ve seen post about it finds that they don’t get great results from square images, and prefer longer ones.

Pinterest also encourages you to have multiple pinnable images for each post.This gives you several chances to attract people’s attention. Spread these images out – don’t pin them all to the same board at the same time. There are a lot of places to find great free images if you don’t want to make your own, as well as free image editing tools so that you can customize them.

Use Tailwind to schedule your pins across all of your appropriate boards. This will save you a ton of time.

2. Post on Your Facebook Page

Facebook is another easy choice. I suggest doing more than just adding the link to your post – have something to say, at least the title of the post. Some people find that the get better results without the preview of your post showing beneath it, while others say it’s better to post something and then put the link in the comment. The second one is harder on people using mobile platforms, who don’t see the link right away, however.

Facebook is always changing how much exposure your posts to your page will get, making them something of a pain to use.

3. Share on Twitter

A few words on what it’s about, a link, and you have a tweet ready to go. Make it interesting – you know how fast things move on Twitter. Remember to use appropriate hashtags. You can use Hootsuite to schedule your tweets to make this easier.

Twitter has recently become picky about sharing the same post over again on their platform, even across multiple accounts that you own. If you share your posts more than once, make sure that you change up what you say about it.

4. Have A Contest

People love contests. Figure out what you can offer as a prize, and you can have a contest on your site. Most websites do some sort of sweepstakes, where people subscribe to a newsletter or follow the site on social media to get entries.

Make sure you know the laws about contests in your area. This will vary from place to place. You don’t want to get into legal trouble when you’re just trying to promote your online business.

5. Promote Old Posts

Promote some of your older posts on your preferred social networks. You don’t have to stick to your most recent work, after all. Make sure you change what you say about it, try new images, and generally test things to see what gets you the best results. Once again, use Hootsuite so that you don’t have to spend a lot of time promoting old posts – you can automate a lot of it with tools like Hootsuite.

6. Comment on a Relevant Blog

Keep your comment relevant to the subject at hand and make it interesting. “Great post” isn’t going to drive many people to click on your site. It’s best to stick to your real name rather than keywords in the Name section of the comment form too – some blogs will delete your comment if you do the keyword thing. No extra links in your comment unless they’re really relevant and you know the blog owner won’t mind.

This can also help you develop a relationship with other bloggers in your niche. If you want to do guest posting, this is a huge help. It also improves the chances that other bloggers will choose to link to your blog as a resource in their own posts.

7. Put a Signature in Your Emails

Most email platforms will allow you to have a signature automatically added to all your emails. Take advantage of that. You can include your name, URL, and relevant social media profiles. Think about what you most want to get in front of the people you’re contacting.

8. Participate in a Relevant Forum

This can be tricky, as not all forums will allow you to have a signature line with a link. Watch those rules when you join forums, and be very careful about promoting your site outside your signature. Also make sure that you aren’t getting sucked into spending an excessive amount of time on the forum, especially if you end up reading more than participating. As with blog commenting, keep it relevant and not to promotional. Most people aren’t on the forum to read an ad from you, and excessive advertising is one of the quickest ways to get banned on a forum.

9. Respond to People

Whether you’re replying to emails, blog comments, tweets aimed at you, Facebook comments, etc., take a little time to respond to people who have contacted you. People remember things like that.

10. Write an Email Template

Got some questions you receive regularly by email? Make a template for your standard answer. This is a huge timesaver when going through your emails, plus you can really think out what your best answer is beforehand.

I have several templates I use. They have to be updated occasionally, but it’s so nice to have an easy way to answer common questions, rather than having to look up the link to information I’ve shared many times before.

11. Review Your Analytics

While this doesn’t directly impact your website promotion, it can give you ideas for posts that are getting traffic, and the sites that send it. Knowing which of your efforts have been most effective is vital.

12. Do Some Keyword Research

While it’s a good idea to do keyword research when writing blog posts, it’s helpful to do it in general too. I find some good ideas just by really digging into different keywords I’ve considered.

One of my current favorites is Answer the Public. When you put in a keyword, it will come up with all kinds of queries people have made on that subject. I like to download the CSV of the information and review it that way. Then I have it on hand the next time I want to use that keyword.

13. Look For Ways to Interlink Your Content

Linking within your site to your own content gives visitors the excuse to keep looking around your site. Make it easy for them by linking relevant posts and pages to each other.

The best way to do this is taking a little time to find relevant posts every time you write a new one. Sometimes you will also find that an older post should be linked to a new one. Think about your old posts as you write, and drop in the appropriate links.

14. Link to Other Relevant Websites

Want to be a great resource? Link to other great resources. Not only are you giving your visitors more of what you’re looking for, other site owners will see you linking to them and possibly driving traffic to them, and may return the favor.

15. Find Places to Guest Post

Writing a quality guest post should take more than a few minutes, but doing a search for places to consider can be done quickly. Search for sites in your niche that allow others to write for them. Read through the qualifications, subscribe to the RSS feed of the site or otherwise make sure you can keep up on what’s getting posted. I keep a list of sites to consider.

Do not guest post on low quality websites! This can damage your search engine rankings. Go for the best websites you can get to publish your posts. This will take patience, as some sites take several weeks or even a few months to tell you if they’ve accepted your posts.

16. Answer Questions on Q&A Sites

Sites such as Quora can be excellent for promoting your site – just don’t overdo it. Be relevant, especially when you include links to your own stuff in your answers, don’t be afraid to link to things you don’t own if they’re the right resource, and remember that you don’t have to include a link every time. You don’t get the best attention on Q&A sites by answering a lot of questions – you get it by providing the best answers.

17. Make Videos

YouTube and other video services are great for promoting your business. You probably don’t want to be purely promotional – people prefer to be entertained or informed. If what you’re saying can be boiled down to “my business is so great, my business is so great,” you won’t get many views of your videos.

It’s amazing how well some people do with videos. There are people making significant money unboxing products, playing video games, or playing with toys. I’m often amazed by what my kids like to watch on YouTube, and by how much some of these people earn with their videos.

18. Go Live

Many marketers are getting great results by using Facebook Live. People who are online right at that time can watch you and interact with you. You can answer questions directly in your video as they come up, or have someone type in answers for you.

Obviously, you must be well prepared to go live on video. I would suggest that you rehearse whenever possible. Going live is likely to be easier if you have recorded videos in the past. It’s much the same, except you can’t edit out your mistakes.

19. Make a Magnet For Your Car

A magnet with some information about your business attached to your car can help you promote your online business. Keep it quick and simple – no one has time to read a long ad while driving.

20. Celebrate an Unusual Holiday

There are “days” and “months for just about anything. April, for example, is National Humor Month, International Guitar Month, Keep America Beautiful Month, Lawn and Garden Month, Mathematics Awareness Month, National Poetry Month, National Pecan Month, National Welding Month, Records and Information Management Month, Stress Awareness Month, Sexual Assault Awareness Month, and many more. Today is Mother Goose Day, as well as May Day. Search for unusual holidays and see what comes up.

For that matter, you can make your own pretend holiday. It won’t be anything official to anyone else, but it could give you something fun to celebrate on your site each year. Make it fun enough, and people might start talking. But if you choose something like “My *$&#@$!#* Computer Crashed Day,” try not to repeat it next year.

How do you like to promote your online business? Are there any interesting promotion tactics you have tried that have worked?

Disclosure: Some of the links in this post may be 'affiliate links.' This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission.

Last Updated March 12th, 2018

7 Fantasies About Online Home Businesses

7 Fantasies About Online Home Businesses

It amazes me how much people want to believe that it’s easy to earn a spectacular living from home. I know all the big sales pages for internet marketing products make it sound like that, but it’s really not that simple. They encourage fantasies about online home businesses that don’t hold up once you get started.

If you want to know just how unlikely it all is, just take a look at the disclaimers. No matter how much they talk up the ease of big earnings, they have to admit that big earnings are the exception, not the rule. Most people will fail, or at least not do as well as the big earners, by a long shot.

I get how much fun it is to have fantasies about online home businesses. The dream sounds wonderful. It happens for some people. But even the little things you might fantasize about while planning a home business may not happen the way you want them to.

Fantasy #1
More time for your family

How I’d love for this to be true! I’ve been working from home since before my oldest daughter was born, and I’ve run my own websites for 16 years now. Running my business hasn’t always made it easier to have time with my family. I still have to plan it.

Your mileage may vary, but the simple truth is that any business is hard work, especially in the early days. If you don’t work hard, you slow down the growth of your business and it may never take off.

That said, there are some advantages to an online business. You have more freedom to decide when you work, and that’s a big help. You can run most online businesses from home, and that means you can at least be physically present, even when you’re kind of busy working.

And if you work hard, eventually you get to where you can take time off more easily, as well as learning more about when you work best. It does get better from the early rough days of not having enough hours in the day to handle all that your business needs, never mind everything your family needs. If it doesn’t, it’s probably time to hire some help once you can afford it.

Fantasy #2
Easy money

I hear this one all the time. “I’ve been working at this for x months and I still can’t quit my job!”

True. You can’t.

I worked my online business for three years before I was able to quit my medical transcription job, and it was a risk even then. There are times I wish I still had that assured income.

That’s because this doesn’t come easy. If getting rich were as easy as all that, inflation would probably make us all poor again. But it would be fun while it lasted.

If getting rich were as easy as all that, inflation would probably make us all poor again.

Failure in any business is easier and more common than success. Even the most successful business owners usually have a number of failures not only in their past but in their future. Failure means you challenged yourself. It’s only a bad thing if you let it stop you.

Fantasy #3
Lots of tax writeoffs

The trouble here isn’t so much that there aren’t a lot of tax writeoffs for online businesses. Any legitimate business expense is a writeoff come tax time.

The trouble is that many people think they can write off all sorts of things that they really cannot. And that gets them audited.

You have to think before you write off any expense. Is it really a cost of doing business or are you lying to yourself?

If you buy a new computer, for example, is it really for your business or will the whole family be using it regularly? My computer is just for business; we have a separate family computer that the kids and my husband play their games on. If I were to replace it, that would be a business expense. Replacing the family computer would not be a business expense.

My home office is not only my home office. The room is also used as a guest room. This means I cannot claim the entire room on my taxes as a home office. My desk is the only area that is exclusively my office – and I make sure everyone knows to keep their hands off!

Fantasy #4
Build it and they will come

Long, long ago, in the early days of the internet becoming popular, maybe this was true. Now, with so many other websites to compete with, not a chance.

You have to market your site. Get the word out. Advertise. Whatever you want to call it, you have to do it.

The same goes for your social media accounts. They aren’t going to suddenly have a ton of followers. It takes time to build a solid social media following. You have to be interesting. You have to stand out.

And that whole going viral on social media thing? Not as easy as you would like it to be. By a long shot. A few people hit it lucky and go viral with no effort at all. They probably won’t be able to repeat it if they tried.

Be ready to grow your business slow and steady. You might be one of the lucky few to go fast, but if you aren’t prepared for things to go slow, you’ll get frustrated long before things start happening for you. As fantasies about online home businesses go, the dream of going viral with little to no effort is way up there. Worse, it can do more harm than good.

Fantasy #5
Tons of traffic is always a good thing

Nope. Not even close. Not if you want to earn a living from this internet thing anyhow.

There’s good traffic and bad traffic if you’re looking at earning money.

There’s good traffic and bad traffic if you’re looking at earning money. Good traffic has a decent percentage of people who will buy from you or otherwise help you to earn money. Bad traffic overloads your server and doesn’t earn you anything, or only very insignificant amounts.

If you’re serious about your online business, you want buyers! People willing to spend money!

It’s a blast having the traffic on your website take off. I can tell you from experience that it’s even fun if it knocks your server down. Frustrating, but an ego boost nonetheless. It means you’re doing something right even as you scramble to get back online and take advantage of the traffic.

If you don’t earn anything, the ego boost is all the benefit you’re getting. That doesn’t pay bills or put food on the table.

This is the bad side of going viral. Too often it doesn’t do what you would like it to in terms of income and long term improvements to your home business. If the surge in traffic doesn’t include an increase in income, it’s not a good thing, especially if you had to upgrade your website hosting to cope with the traffic.

Fantasy #6
You just need to be an expert on your topic

Being an expert is very good for your business. You need to be one. But it’s not enough to bring you success. There are a lot of experts online, and probably a good number in whatever niche you’re in.

You still have to market your site. No one knows you’re an expert if you don’t tell them. Show your expertise elsewhere. Comment on blogs, join relevant Facebook groups and participate on forums intelligently. Be helpful, but don’t push people about going to your site. If you’re interesting and helpful enough, your signature or profile links will do that for you without annoying the forum or blog owner with blatant advertising.

It may also be a good idea to submit guest posts to relevant websites so that you get in front of their audiences. Find out who publishes the best content in your industry and see what it takes to get something you’ve written shared there. Alternatively, see what it takes to become a resource that they quote. Find a way to get in front of that audience that you want and they already have.

No one will discover that you are THE expert they need if you haven’t spent time marketing your online home business and building a reputation. The internet is big and you are small, no matter how brilliant you are. Do the work so that people will find you.

Fantasy #7
Anyone can succeed online

I see this a lot. Sales letters promising that the system they teach is so easy that anyone can do it. Yet somehow most people trying any one system will fail at it.

Some of that is from people not trying. Most of it is because what works once doesn’t necessarily work twice online. Another part is that working online simply isn’t for everyone.

That’s true no matter what you’re talking about. There is no one type of job or business that is right for everyone. Some people really can’t stand the isolation common to running an online business. Some just never get comfortable with the tools and processes needed to work online. Some fall too deeply for the idea that buying the information and throwing up a trash website should be all it takes. Some give up too easily. Some honestly cannot afford to take the risk of either time or money.

That’s just life. It doesn’t matter what you want to do, sometimes it won’t be the right choice for you and you need to find a new path. Other times it all clicks and is wonderful. Only way you’ll know how it’s going to go is to give it a try.

Disclosure: Some of the links in this post may be 'affiliate links.' This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission.

Last Updated February 5th, 2018

How Do You Get Time To Run Your Home Business?

How Do You Get Time To Run Your Home Business?

Running a home business can be one of the most challenging and rewarding things you can do for yourself and your family. Being there for your family while dealing with the demands of a business is complicated. Getting time to run your home business can be difficult. There are a number of things you can do to get more time to really focus on your work.

Set Up A Daily Routine

Have a daily routine that gets you moving. Start your day taking care of all the personal care things that need to get done, as well as any childcare issues that must be handled, and any chores you prefer to get done first thing. This keeps you from thinking all day about the things you need to get done that aren’t your home business.

For example, if I need to go grocery shopping, I do that right after dropping the kids off at school. I’m already out and about anyhow. Taking care of it first thing means I don’t have to think about it the rest of the day.

Have a daily routine for your home business as well. Set times to check your social media and email, and don’t let them eat up an excessive amount of time each day. Give yourself time each day for your routine business tasks.

Many people find it helpful to outline their tasks for each day. This can be easiest to do at the end of your workday for the next day. You’ve been working on stuff all day, and you probably know exactly what you need to work on next. Write that task list while your needs are fresh in your mind so that you don’t delay later.

Squeeze In A Little Work Where You Can

Running a home business often isn’t a strict 8-5 kind of thing. Many successful home business owners break up their workday to suit the needs of their family.

Make a list of all the little jobs you can do for your home business that only take up a little of your day. When you find time to work on them, do so. These should be things that you won’t mind so much when someone interrupts you. It’s better to get a small amount of work done than to do none at all.

Have Your Spouse Help

If you’re married or living with someone, you can ask them to be in charge of the kids when you need to work. It can be hard to get the kids to quit asking you for things if they have a habit of asking you first, but it’s good to get them used to the idea that either parent can care for them.

Depending on what your spouse does, they may not always be able to care for the kids right when you need them. I don’t mean that you should let them give any old excuse to not help – being tired from their own day at work or wanting to do something else is not always enough reason to refuse to do their share of the parenting. Other times they will have a good reason why they can’t care for the kids right when you need them to.

If your spouse is sometimes reluctant to help out, talk about where the problem is. Both parents have to shoulder their part of the parenting burden to make these things work. If your spouse truly supports the work you’re doing on your home business, they’ll help you get time to run your home business, even if that means they have to do work around the house or be the main parent while you get some business work done.

Have Family Help

Other family members can be extremely helpful as well. When we lived close enough, my inlaws took my kids overnight most weekends. We no longer live close enough for that to be practical now, but it was quite nice back then.

If you have a sibling with children close enough in age to your own, trading childcare can be nice all around. You get time to run your home business while the kids get time with their cousins. Once the kids are out of diapers, extra kids may not be that much more work for the parent in charge of them at the time. Sometimes it’s even less work, as the kids entertain each other, rather than relying on adults to play with them.

Trade Childcare

You can also trade childcare with friends. This can be done informally by taking turns, or you can use a babysitting co-op app or website to keep track of who has done how much babysitting. There are quite a few available, some free, some paid, such as:

Sit4sit
BabysittingCoop 
SittingAround
BabysitterExchange
Care.com co-ops

You can also set up your own co-op with a group of friends. Agree on some rules and set up a place where you can ask for babysitting time or tell someone you’re available. A secret Facebook group is an easy way to do this without having all your information out where just anyone can see it.

Of course, you will want to make sure you know the other families well. It is best if you all take a look at each others’ homes, so you know how child safe the home is, if guns are kept, what pets are there, and so forth. Most co-ops, once established, require a member’s recommendation for new members to join, and then they must be approved by an additional member. Some have slight fees to pay for basic supplies.

You will want to have your rules spelled out to keep members from feeling as though they are being taken advantage of by others. Sometimes one member won’t be good at reciprocating, which annoys the other parents as they feel that they’re being taken advantage of. It can also damage friendships.

This is why a co-op needs written rules and a way to track hours. It’s too easy to take advantage if others can’t directly point out where the problem is. Having clear rules and tracking can make it a little less personal.

Pay For Childcare

There are times when you will have to pay for childcare. Sometimes the free and cheap options just don’t work out with the time you need to run your home business.

For example, you may need a regular daycare situation for your kids because you work a lot of hours on your home business and can’t be distracted by kids. In that case, a more traditional style of daycare can be more practical than relying on family or friends.

You can look for local daycares on your own or use a service such as Care.com or SitterCity.com. These may be able to help you find a babysitter or daycare whether you need one daily or just once in a while.

Work While Others Sleep

If you’re a night owl or an early bird, you may be able to work while other members of your family sleep.

This won’t work for everyone, of course. The kind of work you do may not be suited to working nontraditional hours. Such hours may also not work for you personally. If you’re too tired at those times to work, working late nights or early morning is probably not for you.

Ignore Household Chores During Work Hours

One of the big ways work at home parents lose time to run their home businesses is by doing too much around the house when they should be working.

It’s not all about the kids. It’s the laundry and the dishes. Cooking dinner. Cleaning up stuff that really doesn’t have to be cleaned right now, but you decide to do it anyhow.

Don’t let the household chores get in the way of running your home business. Save it for outside your work hours.

I like to be efficient when it comes to making dinner. It’s not always possible, but using my crock pot, Instant Pot and planning ahead makes my days go better.

Some people like to set a day aside to prep freezer meals, for example. I very rarely do that. Instead, I try to make two meals while prepping one. The extra goes into the freezer rather than be cooked. It’s almost as easy to make two meatloaves as it is to make one, for example. Doing it while cooking another meal means that I don’t lose a whole day to meal prep, yet I often have an easy dinner in the freezer.

Don’t Turn On The TV

It can be tempting to binge watch your favorite show while you work on your home business. Don’t. Just don’t.

Having the television on is a huge distraction, and it will cut down on your productivity. At some point, you are going to start watching rather than working, more likely than not.

Save the TV time for when you aren’t working. You’ll enjoy the shows you watch more because your work won’t distract you from them.

If you want background noise, play some music from your collection or use a service such as Spotify. Many people feel they are more productive with at least a little background noise rather than complete silence. Music is generally far less distracting than a television show.

Set Aside Time For Reading Online And Social Media

While you should read relevant blogs and participate professionally on social media, there’s only so much of that you should do during your regular working hours. You need to set aside an appropriate amount of time for these things that won’t eat into your day.

Separate out your personal use of social media from your professional side. Don’t get into chats with family or friends when you should be working. Do share your latest blog posts or work on some social media marketing in appropriate places. Don’t get sucked into the unproductive parts of your social media presence.

It’s Up To You To Make Time To Run Your Home Business

You have to do what it takes to make time to run your home business. Others may help by taking care of distracting children and household chores, but if you don’t take your work hours seriously, you’ll always feel as if you don’t have enough time for your business.

Whenever you feel as though you’re running low on work time, take a look at where the hours are going each day. The odds are good that you’ll find places where you can squeeze in a little more work. It’s amazing how productive you can be in a short time if you’re really determined.

Disclosure: Some of the links in this post may be 'affiliate links.' This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission.

Last Updated January 25th, 2018

Celebrate The Small Milestones In Your Home Business

Celebrate the Small Milestones in Your Home Business

How big are your dreams for your home business? You want to earn at least a few hundred or few thousand a month from it. You want it to last for years. But all you can seem to get is a few dollars here, a few visitors there. Nothing to celebrate. Or is it? Are you at all excited about the small milestones in your home business?

Even these small triumphs are worth celebrating. You don’t go from zero to hundreds of dollars all in one step. These things take time, and the fact that you’re earning anything or getting visitors means you’re doing something right.

Pick Your Small Milestones

A home business milestone is whatever you want it to be. Posting a certain number of times can be a milestone. So can earning a certain amount in a single day, week or month. Your first post to reach 100 pins on Pinterest can be a milestone.

These things do not need to be big, at least not yet. Save the big goals for later. They’ll take more time to reach, and frustrate you if they take too long to reach. Little goals are a better place to start.

Don’t make the milestones you celebrate too small. You don’t need to celebrate every post you make or every sale. But there is something to be said for being proud of your first blog post or your first online sale.

Break that big goal into smaller milestones. Want to earn $5000 a month from your home business? Celebrate your first $100 month or $500 month. Celebrate your first $2000 month. While you have small goals to reach at first, there’s always something bigger beyond it, so that you keep pushing yourself.

Keep your focus on your progress toward your goals, rather than on how far away they are. It’s more helpful to note how things are improving rather than focusing on how you haven’t reached your big goals yet.

Improve On Your Small Milestones

The other reason to celebrate your small milestones in your home business is so that you can improve upon them.

Pick something that is starting to go right, and be proud of that. But don’t settle for that. That milestone is something you can improve upon.

Take a look at what went right. How did you reach that milestone? What can you do to step things up to a more challenging milestone?

Money Is Not The Only Goal

While earning a good amount of money is vital to a successful home business, it should not be the only goal you pay attention to. There are a lot of factors that go into making your business successful.

Learn new skills that will help you improve your home business. You can take a course through Udemy to improve how you use social media, for example. Another choice would be to work on how you network in person.

If you have a service oriented business, you could learn new skills so that you can offer a greater range of services to your clients. The ability to do more for your clients or to do your work better and more quickly will help you earn more money.

You won’t always feel as though you’re getting anywhere, and that’s frustrating. But if you pay attention to the places where you are making progress, you can acknowledge the places where it’s getting better, as well as where you need to try harder.

Disclosure: Some of the links in this post may be 'affiliate links.' This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission.

Last Updated January 10th, 2018

Is Your Online Business Suffering From Too Much Information Or Too Little Action?

Is Your Online Business Suffering From Too Much Information Or Too Little Action?

How often do you get frustrated with how your online business is growing? Are you spending a lot of time learning how to run your business well? While you may feel as though your online business is suffering from too much information, you might be wrong. It’s probably suffering from too little action.

Learning how to run a successful business online is a good thing. There is a learning curve, and buying online courses to help can speed things up. But there can be too much of a good thing.

That point comes when you spend so much time learning what to do that you never do it! What is the point of learning something for your business if you don’t use it? Many online business owners waste a lot of time and money this way.

How Much Information Is Too Much Information?

You know you’re dealing with too much information when you can’t process it all or make use of it. When it eats up your work day and you don’t have anything to show for it. When you can’t decide which thing you’ve learned to try first… or ever.

Those are the times that you need to take a break from learning. It’s time to focus on the action side of things.

Take something you’ve learned and use it to take action. Apply your knowledge to your online business. See if it works. Make adjustments for your business model. Keep trying.

Here’s a simple example.

You’re starting a blog and you want a great WordPress theme. You spend hours, maybe even days looking through themes for just the right one.

This is time that could be better spent elsewhere. Any theme will allow you to start your WordPress blog. The search engines are more interested in the content of your blog than how it looks.

You’re far better off picking a theme quickly, and spending more time crafting your first posts. You can always change how your blog looks later. Getting your posts up now means they start getting indexed sooner, you start getting traffic sooner and you start earning an income sooner.

Find a better theme when you don’t have more important things to do.

How Can You Avoid Having Too Much Information?

Avoiding an excess of information is simple. Don’t go looking for more information on how to run your business.

If you see an information product that sounds promising, bookmark it. Don’t buy it until you’re ready to use it.

Spend less time on business forums and social media. While you can get some excellent information for free from these sources, much of the time spent there is wasted. Limit your time on business forums and social media to times when you have already finished your productive work for the day.

If you have no idea what kind of business you want to run and keep looking for more information to help you get started, stop. It’s probably not helping matters.

Take some time and figure out what kind of online business you want to run. Once you know that, you’re more likely to make good choices in the information you seek out to help you run it. All that other information will just slow you down. Stop taking courses and start working.

Spend More Time On Action Than On Information

Taking action is far more likely to help your business than spending a lot of time on learning. You should spend 80-90% of your work day taking action. Write blog posts. Promote your website. Email your list. Create a product. Do things that will help your business grow.

The rest of the time you can use to learn things. Evaluating your results. Spend a little time in your favorite business groups. Keep up on your industry. Look for that tool that will help your business grow.

Do not scatter your efforts throughout the day. Focus on one thing until it’s done. Multitasking doesn’t work for the vast majority of people. The more you scatter your efforts, the harder it is to tell what’s working.

Action is your first priority, always. Information is merely a way to take better action.

When Should You Buy An Information Product Or Course

There are times when you should buy an information product or take a course to improve your business, even if going through the product will take more time than you usually allow for learning in your work day.

That time is when you deliberately decide it’s in the best interest of your business to do so.

Not when it’s another product in a long line of them with no action taken. Not when you’ve just seen the sales letter and feel as though you need to buy the product now. No.

Only buy something when you know that you’re going to put it to use right away. That’s the right time.

Special pricing doesn’t matter. Who cares if you saved 90% off the regular price of something you never use?

Most people will spend far less on information products if they stick to buying things they’re ready to use, even if they end up paying full price because they missed the discount. That’s because they didn’t buy 20 other products at great discounts that they never got around to using.

This is not an easy thing. Successful marketers are very good at creating urgency. When you find something you think you could use, throw the link in your bookmarks. If it’s really going to be useful, you’ll find it there at a later date when you’re ready for it. If it wasn’t going to be useful, it will sit there in your bookmarks and not cost you anything.

What If My Online Business Isn’t Growing?

A lack of growth in your online business can be frustrating. You want things to get better, and get better fast. You need to do something!

That’s right, you need to do something. And most times it doesn’t mean you need to buy an information product.

Take a look at how you’re spending your work day. A real look. Be honest with yourself.

Are you working hard enough on things that will grow your online business that you already know? What about creating enough content? Are you promoting it through email and social media? Are you taking all the steps you already know how to do? Every day?

Most times, your online business isn’t growing because you aren’t taking action. You don’t need to know more, you need to do more.

Other times, yes, you need to know more. There’s something you haven’t figured out, and it’s important. It’s time to look for that information.

That’s when you spend the time and money to find a solution. You know there’s a gap in your knowledge and more or less what you need to learn. You can buy something specific to your problem.

Once you’ve made this commitment, be ready to make use of what you learn. Knowledge is nothing without action.

Evaluate Your Results

As important as taking action is, you need to spend sometime determining how effective it has been. What worked? What didn’t? Could you have done better?

Evaluating your results helps you learn where your weak points are. If you never look at your results, you don’t know if something worked.

Test things. If you run ads, test more than one version. Post on social media at different times and see what the results are. Post more or less often. Write different styles of posts. Try video or podcasting.

There are so many actions you can take to improve your online business. They are what will improve your business. Reading up on new information only helps you if you use it and evaluate your results. Otherwise, it’s just a waste of time.

Disclosure: Some of the links in this post may be 'affiliate links.' This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission.

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Disclosure: Home with the Kids is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com. I also review or mention products for which I may receive compensation from other sources. All opinions are my own.