Archives for May 28, 2012

Kristina : Start Up Business Contributor

For as long as I can remember I have always loved small business, and I always knew I wanted to be a small business owner. From the age of 8 years old, I watched my dad start his small business working at the computer desk in our basement doing his paperwork. From that moment I watched his business grow from a “one man operation” with a few accounts to having a flourishing business with a payroll full of employees and an ever growing list of company accounts; and I knew exactly where I wanted to be and what I wanted to do.

From the beginning of my working life, I watched how employers of mine ran their businesses. I watched for their strengths and their weaknesses. I watched how they interacted with their employees, observed their marketing techniques of what worked and what didn’t. I watched every aspect and made a mental note of all the things I would do so differently, and things that I would love to incorporate into my own business someday.

I love business. I love working with other small businesses, I love working with start-up businesses. It makes this sense of excitement stir within my soul that makes me so excited. I’ve been there – in that moment of a new venture.

Actually, I’ve been there a few times.

I’ve learned the capacity of the word “over-head” and I’ve learned the importance of starting small and taking baby steps. I’ve learned the courage it takes to put myself out there just a little bit more. I’ve learned types of businesses that work for me, and types that don’t. And the hardest thing I’ve learned – we all have to take chances, sometimes we rise and beat all odds, and other times we fall flat on our faces, but we have to learn from it.

When Ashley was looking for contributors, the moment I heard she had the start-up business contributor space available I jumped at it. Why? Because I believe that that initial start-up the one that excites you to your bones, is the most exciting part and you just have to start it off right. So whether you are pondering the path of self-employment, or you are standing on the edge of the water wondering if jumping feet first is your best option, or even if you have made that decision already – I’m so happy to have you along for this ride and please don’t be shy! Send your comments or questions too me!!

Mind Block Monday: Product Review Posts

Each week, we’ll be talking about a certain type of post or a way to get out of a creative rut – basically anything that may help you when you have writer’s block. Then if you write a post with that theme or concept in mind that week, you can link up the post and find others with similar posts that week. Along with that, you’ll be able to look through past MBM posts whenever you’re in a creative rut and hopefully find some inspiration.

This week’s topic:

Review posts are beneficial for SO many reasons, but here are a few ways review can help you grow your blog:

  • Do your own reviews. Choose a product you love, review it on your blog, and viola! You now have examples of your reviews to show to bigger companies that are interested in working with you.
  • Review popular products. Popular products get searched for so if you’re looking to make your blog SEO friendly, this is a really easy way to do so. It’s also a great way to encourage interaction of your readers by asking for their thoughts on the products that they’ve likely used.
  • Show companies your support (and possibly get something, too). There are three giveaways that I’ve done in the past that I was able to do because I truly loved the company and their products. (Think Sodastream, Skechers, Erin Condren.) I did a review of their product on my blog prior to contacting them so they already knew I had used and loved their brand. It was a great conversation starter and made the process much easier/less forced.

While they can be beneficial for both you and the reader, there are some things you should try to avoid:

  • Don’t do a review just for a free product. It may seem appealing, especially when you first start out, to do any review opportunity thrown your way. But if done correctly, product reviews actually take a lot of time and effort from you. To do that for a product you dislike or have little use for is generally a waste of time. It’s also unlikely to appeal to your core audience.
  • Neglecting the disclaimer. This one is such an easy one to do, but I see it left out a lot and it shouldn’t be because it can completely take away your credibility with the review. A simple one to two sentence review is perfect, simply stating what was given to you for you to do the review or if it was just done because you felt like reviewing a product. Also be sure to state when opinions/wording isn’t your own so people know what you actually think.
  • Don’t overdo it. Too many review posts tend to make most blogs pretty unappealing unless that’s all you do and that’s all people come to your blog for. You’ll lose readers rather quickly if you don’t otherwise.

do you use product reviews when it comes to deciding to purchasing specific items?

// <![CDATA[
// ]]>