Avoid These Common Business Blogger Mistakes

If you’re setting up any type of business, you need to develop a strong Internet presence. There is simply no way around that. Even if your website is not the main focus of your business, you need to maintain an online presence so potential and current customers can refer to your site for things like store hours or contact information. The ultimate goal is to have your website place high on search engine ranking pages. That will ensure that traffic is directed to your company (which in turn means more business for you). One of the best ways to pull in that heavy traffic is to create and maintain a blog. Oh no, a blog! Don’t panic; it isn’t as complicated as you might imagine. Managing a blog is actually pretty easy, but despite that, many small businesses end up making the same mistakes when it comes to their company blog. Here’s the kind of thing you need to avoid:

 

Blogging

What your blog marketing plan should look like. Image Source: Flickr user TopRank Online Marketing

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Written by Rick B.

April 21st, 2015 at 9:13 pm

Mobile Army Monday: Complete A Mission, Earn Reward

“Complete a mission; earn a reward.” That is a simple formula for success. You have to wonder why more people aren’t using the iPoll app to put cold, hard cash in their wallets. After all, there are no strings attached, no contracts to sign, and no bosses looking over your shoulder. You get to “work” your own hours. If you finish one mission a week or ten, it is all up to you. Will you be able to retire on the money you make from iPoll? Probably not. Will you be able to pay some bills, go out for a date or do some shopping? Absolutely. Complete a mission; earn a reward. That should be your new mantra to start every day.

 

Los Angeles Airport

It looks a lot better when it is lighted up at night. Image Source: flickr user: Phil Whitehouse

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Written by Rick B.

April 20th, 2015 at 5:32 pm

iPoll Quiz Results: Scar Stories

Have you responded to an iPoll quiz yet? You should. We asked, and then you shared. This week, we’re talking about your scars. It’s hard to imagine anyone getting through life without earning themselves at least one notable scar. Even if a cut didn’t require stitches, maybe it left a lasting impression. Much like tattoos, every scar tells a story. Here are some of the stand-out stories about scars courtesy of our iPoll members. Hot tip: these stories also earned their members ten extra dollars in their rewards accounts.

 

Lion King

Yes, this is Scar but not a scar. Trying to avoid freaking you out! Image Source: flickr user: Andrew Coyle

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Written by Rick B.

April 17th, 2015 at 10:15 pm

Picking The Right Contractor Will Save Money On Your Remodeling Job

This week we learned that improving your home’s curb appeal can add value to your property. You can take that to the next level by tackling a remodeling project. Any time you give your kitchen a makeover, redo a patio deck or add a bathroom, you’ll be significantly bumping up the value of your home. The goal is to make sure your remodeling project doesn’t go over budget. So, yes, you have to start with a budget. This is where hiring the right contractor comes in. The contractor is like the job supervisor who will be in charge of all aspects of that job from drawing up the plans to pulling the permits to hiring the crew to buying the materials. All aspects of the job flow through the contractor, so it’s a pretty crucial position to fill. If you have a problem, your first point of contact is your contractor. See how important they are? Having the right contractor will also ensure that there won’t be any delays or cost overruns.

Before you look for a contractor, try to get a good idea of your project. For projects like these, visualization aids in preparation; for instance, if it is a kitchen remodel, then pull together photos from online or in a magazine of what your ideal kitchen would be like. You can present these ‘inspiration boards’ to the contractor during the interview phase. This in turn will allow them to put together an estimate of the work. That is what your budget will become. Next, line up the potential candidates.

 

Kitchen Makeover

Let's hope this remodeling job will be finished soon! Image Source: flickr user: woodleywonderworks

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Written by Rick B.

April 16th, 2015 at 6:18 pm

Personal Finance and Taxing Situations: Tax Factoids and Strange Taxes Around the World

For many, April 15th is a day of dread. Yes, it’s tax day. Either you’ve already filed and hopefully feel pretty good about your personal finances, or you’re racing to complete the forms and get them in by midnight tonight (and maybe regretting that you waited until the last minute —again!). Of course, you can also file an extension but then you might be hit with penalties. No matter the scenario, you can expect to pay taxes at one time or another. Whether they take so much out of your check that you get a refund or you end up writing a big check to the government, you can’t avoid those taxing situations. For most of us, filing and paying taxes isn’t that complicated. It does provide plenty of opportunity for people to gripe, but comparatively speaking we have it pretty good. There was a time in the U.S. when the top marginal tax rate was 90%. Other countries have current tax rates as high as60%. Are you ready for some tax factoids to brighten your day? Of course you are!

Monopoly

Quite possibly everyone's first lesson in taxation: The Monopoly Luxury Tax. Image Source: Flickr user philip taylor

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Written by Rick B.

April 15th, 2015 at 12:00 pm

Tips to Help Improve Your Curb Appeal and Possibly Increase the Value of Your Home

If you are a homeowner, you have a valuable investment in your property. Even if you’re still paying off that mortgage loan, your home can put money into your pocket in the form of an equity loan. Of course, if you are planning to sell your house, then you could land a decent profit depending on the circumstances. The best way to bolster your chances for an increased home value is to improve your curb appeal. This is the first impression your home makes on a potential buyer or appraiser. For a little investment up front, you can literally transform your home… up front. Here are some tips to help increase the value of your home by boosting your curb appeal:

Garden

This is the kind of curb appeal that says, "Welcome home." Image Source: Flickr user jeffery tucker

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Written by Rick B.

April 14th, 2015 at 11:30 am

Mobile Army Monday: iPoll Quizzes Can Earn You Big Bucks

$2,520,700. That is how much the right answers were worth to Ken Jennings. Of course, it took him 72 straight wins on Jeopardy to earn that much money, and those answers had to be in the form of a question. Still, it is amazing to consider that simply sharing your thoughts can earn you such high rewards. Here at iPoll, we’re asking questions all the time. Full disclosure: You won’t be earning two million dollars. However, you can certainly earn enough for a fantastic date night, a trip to the spa or just some cool stuff from Amazon. Before you can spend, you have to answer some questions. The good news is that these questions don’t require a lot of knowledge; they are all about your opinions or your personal history. We’re talking about iPoll quizzes, and there are some awesome ones loaded up in the app. Why not make your Mobile Mission today all about quiz answers? You could find yourself a bit richer.

Cash

Wouldn't it be great to have this kind of cash laying around the house? Image Source: Flickr user keith cooper

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Written by Rick B.

April 13th, 2015 at 8:52 pm

Get Ready to Take the Throne: Game of Thrones Recap

Anyone know where I can score some nice mutton? I’m guessing that is the best thing to serve at a Game of Thrones viewing party. Yes, GOT is back for season five (has it really been a year?) Well, if they can top season four, then we’re all in for a wild ride. Or should I say, “wilding ride?” For the purposes of this post, we’ll assume you’re all caught up on the first four seasons…in other words: SPOILERS AHEAD. There. Now we can dish about what happened in season four.

GOT Box Set

Are you ready to take the throne? Image Source: flickr user: Robert

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Written by Rick B.

April 10th, 2015 at 11:44 pm

Finding the Right Staff for Your Startup Business

So you’ve finally got your startup business up and running. Good for you! If you’ve followed the advice offered in this blog, then you’re business is a runaway success by now! More good news. Does this mean you’re ready to start hiring? The goal of every business should be to expand since you can only make more money by taking on more clients. Many startups rely on family members for the initial staff period; this is especially true with new restaurants. The drawback with hiring family is you might have trouble firing them. Yes, if your cousin Claire isn’t working out, she’s got to go. But before you develop your firing skills, you need to hone your hiring skills. Here are some great tips to help you find the right staff for your startup business.

Employee Resume

Somewhere in this stack of resumes could be your new employee. Image Source: Flickr user woodleywonderworks

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Written by Rick B.

April 9th, 2015 at 9:00 am

Opening a Restaurant? Avoid These Common Mistakes Many New Owners Make

Are you one of those people who receives rave reviews for every meal? Whether you’re making a holiday dinner or a birthday cake, do you have friends and family lining up at your door for a taste? No doubt, all those folks have told you at one point that, “You should open up your own restaurant.” That is a very noble dream and one that can be both financially and emotionally rewarding. It can also be financially and emotionally draining. Opening a restaurant is going to require a large investment of capital and time. Let’s assume that you’ll have amazing food. But guess what? That’s unfortunately not enough to create a successful restaurant. Here are some common mistakes new restaurant owners make that spell doom:

Eatery

Cool restaurant space. All they need now are customers. Image Source: Flickr user Sam Howzit

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Written by Rick B.

April 8th, 2015 at 9:30 am