Why Most Bloggers Never See Their Blogs As a Business

Two bloggers, Martins and Smith were walking on the road and the following dialogue ensued:

Martins: Smith, how do you consider blogging?

Smith: Well, I think blogging is a big business

Martins: Blogging, a big business? How?

Smith: Because it is run like any other business

Martins: Don’t you think other businesses are different from blogging?

Smith: How do you mean?

Martins: Other businesses are operated by real businessmen while blogging is operated by bloggers

Smith: Oh! I see! But what makes a business?

Martins: Businesses involve investment and they generate profits too

Smith: Really?

Martins: Yes!

Smith: Don’t you invest time, money and intellectuality into blogging?

Martins: Yes, we do

Smith: Don’t blogs generate incomes from AdSense, advertisement, affiliate sales, sponsored posts and links, flipping, membership, etc?

Martins: They do

Smith: Then how are blogs different from other businesses?

Martins: Hmmmmmmm! I never considered these questions before. I thought only those businesses with a tag are qualified to be called a business.

Smith: Anything that involves investment of any kind and then yield profits is a business

Martins: Oh, I see! Thanks for the clarification. I will start taking my blog as a business from now henceforth.

Are you still in doubt?

Do you still wonder if your blog is a business? Did you start your blog as a past time? Did you build your blog because you just wanted to share your thoughts with the world? A lot of people started for one reason or the other – share thoughts, update personal album, promote business brand, sell products, solve people’s problems, provide tutorials, etc. So everybody actually started with a dream, and each person’s dream could be different from the next person’s.

However, some of these dreams get modified as time goes by. New ideas crop up and get integrated into the dreams. Those who started with the purpose of sharing their thoughts, updating their albums, providing tutorials or solving problems begin to see why they should add a little way of making money so as to keep maintaining their blogs or take care of other personal needs.

What makes blogging a business?

The following characteristics make blogging a business; and if your blog has any of them, then you should consider it for what it is – business:

Generates Income: Businesses generally generate incomes for their owners. Income could come from selling products on your site (profits), earnings from advertisements, membership fees, consultancy, etc. So if your blog gets money from any of these channels, your blog is a business.

It’s an investment: Business involves financial investment in order to get make profit or interest. Wikipedia defines investment this way, investment is putting money into an asset with the expectation of capital appreciation, dividends, and/or interest earning

In other words, your blog is an investment because you are paying for web hosting, website design/development, templates, plugins, special scripts, webmaster services, etc, with the intent to make some gains either in the immediate or in future. Apart from investing money, you are also investing your time on a very serious note. Hope you agree with me on this?

Employment generation: Employment generated by blogs is a two-fold thing. The blog owner is gainfully employed, and secondly, he employs writers or maintenance engineers to keep things moving smoothly on the blog. To be able to create employment, you are either a businessman or government.

Retirement plan: A good business helps to secure the future of the owner. Good businesses are assets for the owners to lean on during their pension years. Blogging also provides that security if it is well handled and given the necessary attention it requires.

Similarities between blogging and other businesses

When it comes to business, there are a few distinguishable types of businesses that readily come to mind, and they include the following:

1. Sole proprietorship: This is the type of business that is owned and managed by one person. Decisions making is done alone, and the death of the owner could also mean the death of the business. Most blogs are similar to the sole proprietorship kind of business in that the blogger runs his blog alone. He takes decisions alone, expands slowly and he’s a jack of all trade.

2. Partnership: Partnership business involves two or more persons coming together to do business. While conventional businesses can operate on a partnership level, blogging can also be a partnership investment. A good example of partnership blog is the LeapZone Strategies where Isabelle Mercier Turcotte and Margarita Romano have been working together since 1996. Of course they both invest their moneys and also share profits and loses together.

Other forms of business exist but we are okay with just these two. At least they have helped us to make our similarities. Now that we have seen the different types of businesses, that takes us to the next point.

Why then do blogging businesses fail?

Before now, some of us were not seeing blogging as a business. But now that we know, it is good to understand why a lot of blogging businesses fail. You don’t know some blogs fail? Well, they do, really! The nagging question that needs an urgent answer is why do blogging businesses fail?

1. Failure to invest: One of the things I talked about earlier concerning business is that business requires investment (both finance, time, intellectuality, etc). Unfortunately, a lot of bloggers who are hoping to make money with their blogs are not investing real money to raise the standard of their blogs in order to make them marketable. Relying on freebies to run your blog in all aspects would at best make your blog a dumping ground for substandard materials.

2. Lack of focus: Failing to focus on one’s dream or niche is one of the greatest reasons why a lot of bloggers fail to make it in their businesses. It has happened to me in the past. When I started my blog in 2009, it was pulling traffic and growing by the day. Suddenly I lost focus and began to pursue other dreams. That blog eventually paid the price of my loss of focus.

3. Not driven by ambition: If you are not ambitious enough as a blogger, it would be difficult for you to succeed in your blogging business.

“There’s no luck in business. There’s only drive, determination, and more drive.” -Sophie Kinsella, Shopaholic Takes Manhattan

“To become successful, one must put themselves in the paths of giants!” – Lillian Cauldwell

The moment some bloggers attain a particular height, they feel they have arrived and there is no more need to improve or grow. The zeal to add more flavor, innovation and new features is simply not there anymore.

4. Neglecting your customers: Customers are the real gem of every business and they must be treated with care and love. Unfortunately, a lot of business owners do not realize that their sustenance is ensured by the patronage of their customers. They simply treat their customers with disdain.

“It is not the employer who pays the wages. Employers only handle the money. It is the customer who pays the wages.” – Henry Ford

“If you do build a great experience, customers tell each other about that. Word of mouth is very powerful.” – Jeff Bezos, CEO Amazon.com

“Quality in a service or product is not what you put into it. It is what the client or customer gets out of it.” – Peter Drucker

My word of advice

We live in a world of intense competition, and only those who are willing to go the extra mile to do what others are not willing to do actually make it. As a blogger and a businessman, for you to succeed in your niche, you need to add the following to your portfolio:

Invest in your business: Stop depending on freebies to run your business. The fact there are freebies and still there are paid versions of the same product is enough to convince you that freebies and paid products are never the same. In as much as you would need some freebies, you need also to invest real more to add some cutting edge to your business.

Remain focused: If you chase two rats at the same time, you are going to end up getting none. Once you have a dream, make sure to pursue it to a logical end. Don’t get unnecessarily distracted along the way. Distraction and lack of focus are dream killers, and so they must be eliminated at all cost.

Be driven by ambition: Don’t just go into any business because others are there. You must have the ambition and enough hunger to succeed in your chosen niche. If the ambition is strong enough, adequate energy would be released to help accomplish your dream.

Treat your customers like gold: Yes, you heard me well! Your customers don’t deserve anything less. They pay the bills, and if they withdraw their patronage, you are nowhere. One satisfied customer brings 20 more; but one dissatisfied customer chases away 100 more. Do you agree with me?

Conclusion

Blogging is a business and needs to be treated as such. Stop treating it with levity because your future could largely depend on it. If you want your blogging business to prosper, you must be willing to invest money, time and intellectuality into it. Freebies alone can never give you the best in your business. Remember that you don’t pay the bills, the customers do. So never treat your customers shabbily because they are the reason you are still in business.

Well, I would love to hear from you. Share your contributions or leave a question. Was this article helpful to you in some ways? Then remember to share it with your friends.

Forex Education Tips – 5 Steps to Successful Forex Trading

Close to 95% of all Forex traders will lose money. We’re not just talking about novices, either. Whether you trade Forex for a living, as a hobby or just for fun, odds are against your success. That’s a simply astonishing fact. However, the remaining 5% of Forex traders somehow manage to break even and there are those lucky few that actually make money in the currency market – consistently!Like the TV show says … “How’d they do that, anyway?”That’s the million dollar questions, isn’t it? Countless books, seminars and expos have been hosted to answer this very question. That sad fact is that thousands of books have been written and countless seminars and interviews have been conducted in an attempt to answer the magic questions. The reality of the situation is that there is no magic formula; no one single Holy Grail of Forex trading.So what do the successful traders do that the rest of us have simple not comprehended. They have mastered a process of winning where they combine and customize several factor to produce consistent results. They have mastered the Process of Trading.The Process of Trading is:Strategy > Money Management > Self-MasteryHere are some simple Forex Education tips to help you master the process of forex trading:Success Tip #1 – You’ve Got To Have a PlanYou must have a written business plan that will detail all aspects of your trading. When are you going to trade, how much to risk, strategies for entries and exits are just o name a few. To become a consistent (profitable) Forex trader you have to plan your trade sand trade your plan.

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Simplicity rules! Don’t make this plan too complicated. One sheet of paper for you mission statement and another for your trading plan should suffice. Anything more is probably too complicated.Success Tip #2 – Focus on Your Personal PsychologyKnowing yourself will allow you to master the discipline necessary to execute high quality trades with solid money management techniques. Lack of discipline is fatal in Forex trading. Go on a personal journey to identify you attitudes towards risk and money. Get intimate with your strengths and weaknesses as a trader and build in to your trading plan strategies to minimize those weaknesses and maximize your strengths.Different personalities lend to different trading styles. Get familiar with all the different styles and over time you will begin to gravitate towards one particular style. Don’t fight the urge like I did. I insisted I was a day trader, but had only limited results. I found my winning percentages were much higher when I entered swing trades. Guess what’s my bread and butter strategy now!Success Tip #3 – Be Realistic About Your ExpectationsThis is a hard one, I know! I am on the internet every day and the amount of advertising is staggering. Brokers are offering free education (fox in the hen house if you ask me), forums of all different trading styles and points of view. Gurus pushing their system as “the one” that will make you the big bucks. How do you get through all that noise?Let me tell you loud and clear right now – everyone is right and everyone is wrong. You have to make a personal commitment to become a successful trader, find a trading style that works for you and expect a slow and steady approach to wealth building through Forex.What works for me may not work for you. Expect to go through an exploratory period where you are learning and at the same time exploring yourself as a trader. Keep an open mind and don’t pay attention to all the noise out there.Success Tip #4 – Exercise PatienceRome was not built in a day and neither will your trading account. In fact, I tell all of my students that while they are studying to become successful Forex traders they should not look solely at their account balance as an indication of success or failure.By tracking and increasing your percentage of high quality trades you execute is a far better barometer of your progress than your account balance. Cause and effect rule here. Over time when you increase your probabilities through the execution of high quality trades your account balance will respond accordingly.Keep the focus on the process and with time your results will blow your mind.Success Tip #5 – Money Management Is Top PriorityI would rather have a shaky strategy and excellent money management techniques than the other way around. This topic warrants its own blog post to do it justice. Limited your exposure (read “risk”) allows for you to stay in the game and allow the laws of probability to work.

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Let’s take a casino for example. They need gamblers to frequent their slot machines to make money. Why? They have a game that has a greater than 50% chance of making money for the house. The more people that play the slots, the greater the casino’s profits.The casino controls risk by payout tables (always favoring the house!) and increases their probabilities by keeping gamblers at the slot machines (read “free drinks”). As a trader you must limit your risk by committing only 1% – 3% of available capital to a single trade. When you execute enough trades with a high probability strategy you too can clean up like the casinos – but only by staying in the game long term.In conclusion, Forex trading is not easy. It’s hard work and will test the limits of your patience and perseverance. If anyone tells you otherwise .., buyers beware! It can be a very rewarding and profitable venture if done correctly. In the end it is a profession that requires a learning curve and practical experience, no different than an airline pilot or engineer. Understanding how to approach and learn this game will allow you to reap all the benefits advertised. It is your Forex Education that you will master the Process of Forex Trading.

The Energy Healing Power of Natural Medicine

Natural medicine is a system that uses a variety of therapeutic or preventive health care practices such as homeopathy, naturopathy, chiropractic, and herbal medicine. Alternative medicine is also known as traditional, naturopathic, natural or holistic medicine. Proponents of alternative medicine are not refuting the validity of discoveries in and the practical uses of conventional medicine, but are merely trying to put some things into perspective. Due to the widespread interest in natural medicine along with the disappointment and disenchantment with Western medicine, many people, especially in the United States and Europe, where conventional medicine has taken a dominant foothold, are seeking the advice and treatment from naturopathic physicians. These practitioners include herbalists, acupuncturists, naturopaths, chiropractors, and others, who advocate preventative health measures as well as recommend wholesome foods and nutritional supplements for their patients and clients. Considering the growing popularity and effectiveness of alternative health treatments and products, certified and licensed professional practitioners of such medical practices should be given their rightful and respectful place in medical society. Natural medicine has been proven not only to be safe, but more effective than Western medicine in treating many chronic illnesses such as diabetes, hypertension, asthma and many other diseases as well

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The history of Natural Medicine and its roots can be traced back thousands of years to ancient cultures such as India and China. Ayurvedic (E. Indian) and Chinese medicine, along with their diagnostic and herbal systems, are still used in these countries extensively, as well as in the United States, especially in Europe, where alternative medicine is well respected. Chinese herbal medicine has a documented history of over 2500 years in China, and is now widely used by practitioners all over the world. It has been legally practiced in the United States. since the mid seventies by licensed acupuncturists. Homeopathy is also a well-known form of alternative medicine discovered in the 18th century by German physician Samuel Hahnemann, but was practically stamped out in the U.S. in the late nineteenth century by the American Medical Association. In 1938, though, the U.S. Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act finally recognized homeopathic pharmacopoeia as the legal equivalent of allopathic medicine.Another more contemporary and popular form of herbal medicine, called Western herbalism, can be traced back about two hundred years in America. Samuel Thomson, born in 1769, is considered the father of Western herbalism. He discovered over sixty different medically effective native plants by clinical testing, and on the basis of these findings, devised a theory of disease and botanical drug action. Randy Kidu, D.V.M., Ph.D., writes in his articled entitled A Brief History of Alternative Medicine: “The history of herbal medicine is interesting because herbs have been a part of our diet and pharmacy since man began roaming the earth. Coprophytic evidence (seeds and other plant part(found in preserved fecal pellets) points to herbal use by cavemen. Early herbalists practiced their trade since before recorded history in all parts of the world including China, Egypt, Greece, Rome, Africa, England, the Americas, and Europe. Many herbs are also mentioned in the Bible. Today, based on sheer numbers of folks who use one form of herbal medicine or another, it remains the most-used medicine worldwide.”Twenty-five hundred years after the advent of allopathic medicine, modern medicine is still grappling with the idea that herbal medicine could be an effective treatment, and not just quackery, although thousands of years of recorded history has proved its efficacy. A new model of understanding in medicine needs to be incorporated into the existing allopathic model. Because of the growing popularity and effectiveness of natural medicine, practitioners may eventually be given their deserved place in medical society. The incorporation of natural medical practices into the existing model of conventional Western medicine, including the training of new medical doctors, is now called Complimentary Medicine. In order to solve our health problems, this modern paradigm for treatment in medicine must be promoted. This can only truly emerge when bias, self-interest, greed and discrimination is discarded and diverse medical knowledge is promoted and shared, not only between university trained scientists and medical doctors, but among Alternative Medicine practitioners, philosophers, metaphysicians, and other intelligentsia of society as well.

Skip The Lines – Bring The Amusement Park Right To Your Own Back Yard

There’s no shortage of things to do in Atlanta. From professional sports to amusement parks, there’s something for everyone. In fact, Atlanta is proud to house some of the nations largest amusement attractions, including the ever popular Six Flags Over Georgia. Children (and adults) love the thrill and adrenaline rush of the large roller coasters. However, one thing most people don’t like about amusement parks is the long lines. By the time it’s all said and done, you can spend several hundred dollars for your family to have an afternoon of fun, and only get a few rides in. This year, instead of spending the day waiting in long lines for short rides, why not bring the fun right to your back yard? With today’s technology, you can literally do just that! One of the advantages of living in a large city like Atlanta is that we have large rental companies that can make your special event feel just like a trip to Six Flags… complete with a train and an ice cream cart!

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If you’re trying to replicate the amusement park feel, there are definitely specific items that you’ll want to be on the lookout for. As mentioned previously, ice cream carts and trackless trains help make the special event feel more like a day at Six Flags.In order to make your next special event more special, try some of the following tips:

Head online to do some research on the party rental company that has the selection your looking for. If you want an ice cream cart to complete your theme park adventure, look around until you find what you’re looking for.

Don’t settle for the first website you see. There are literally hundreds of inflatable party rental companies in Atlanta. Keep looking for a website that offers a wide variety of rental items that you’re looking for.

It’s better to rent everything from one company. Renting in bulk can help you save money. Larger companies will offer discounts for larger purchases of multiple units and rental items.

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Having a day of amusement park fun is cheaper and easier than ever before. By bringing the amusement park to your front door by using a party rental industry, you can include more people at a lower price. So next time you’re planning a special day, instead of spending tons of money for just a few people and braving the long lines of amusement parks, invite the whole neighborhood and bring the amusement park right to your own back yard!