Yearly Blog Archives: 2006


Waiting for the perfect wave
Terri Zwierzynski - The Solo-CEO: Content Marketing Strategist

Someone in a class I was in last week drew some parallels between the waves on the beach and your business. And while I’ve forgotten the gist of it now, it made me think about how surfers approach the business of surfing — and how that might relate to how we run our businesses.

By Terri Zwierzynski


Niche…it’s so much more than just a target market!
Terri Zwierzynski - The Solo-CEO: Content Marketing Strategist

When I was starting out as a Solo Entrepreneur, I had what now seems like a rudimentary understanding of what niche was. In fact, in my mind, a niche was pretty much the same thing as a target market. So much for what I learned from my MBA!

By Terri Zwierzynski


Five Signs You May Need to Contract For More Help
Terri Zwierzynski - The Solo-CEO: Content Marketing Strategist
  1. Every time someone asks you how you are doing, your answer includes the words "work" and "busy". Every solo entrepreneur needs downtime: to think, to rest, to recharge. Even if you still fell like you are having fun, if you aren’t getting time for those things, that’s the first red flag that it’s time to start figuring out what to delegate.
  2. You find yourself procrastinating on the same tasks, over and over. We procrastinate for lots of reasons, many of which have to do with the task being difficult, distasteful, or even boring. You have a choice: keep doing those yucky tasks, draining your energy and allowing less time for your "passion" work — or hire someone else who finds those tasks easy, fun, and fulfilling.
  3. Your time spent on various income streams is disproportionate from the ROI (return on investment) from those streams. There are exceptions — like when you are starting a new income stream — but for the most part, percentage of your time spent should match the percentage of income you get from that stream.
  4. When you wake up in the morning (or when it is time to start your usual work hours), you find it hard to get going. If the joy has gone out of your work, that could be a sign that you are spending time on the wrong things. Take stock of your to-do list and see if there are projects and tasks that you’d just rather someone else did!
  5. You don’t seem to be getting the important things on your to-do list done. Early last week, I had one major goal: to get the sales page written and online by the end of the week. And here I am, end of the week, I’ve been working my tootsies off and that page still isn’t done! As I did, you can review what less-important tasks were getting in the way — and figure out how those can be done by someone else!
By Terri Zwierzynski


Niche and the Search Engine Optimization Game
Terri Zwierzynski - The Solo-CEO: Content Marketing Strategist

You may have seen those internet marketing “programs” that specialize in helping folks develop “niche web sites”. The premise is to search out keywords and keyword combinations that get a lot of hits, but don’t have many websites serving that niche. Viola’, you’ve found a lucrative niche.

This approach makes me cringe.

By Terri Zwierzynski


The Myth of Working For Ourselves
Terri Zwierzynski - The Solo-CEO: Content Marketing Strategist

One of the main attractions of being a Solo Entrepreneur is the chance to work for ourselves. After all, many of us spent too much time in the corporate world doing what someone else wanted us to do, dealing with the politics, and doing things not because they were good for the company or its customers, but because it made us look good at raise time. And we hated that, because it sometimes turned us into a kind of person that we really loathed — a very different person than who we were (or wanted to be) in real life, with our family and friends.

Which is why it is startling to me when I see another Solo Entrepreneur (or myself!) falling into some of those same traps we sought to avoid! Here’s three ways this can happen, and what we can do about it.

By Terri Zwierzynski


An Affiliate’s Quandary
Terri Zwierzynski - The Solo-CEO: Content Marketing Strategist

My relationship with members of Solo-E relies on trust. As does any solo business with it’s customers. And so I was dismayed last week to find that I had inadvertently done something that could betray that trust.

You see, at Solo-E I only recommend services and products and people I trust. I, or someone on Team Solo-E or occasionally a trusted colleague, reviews every article, ebook, and program. And we attend at least one teleclass from all of our teleclass leaders.

By Terri Zwierzynski


5 Simple Ways to Improve Ezine Signup
Terri Zwierzynski - The Solo-CEO: Content Marketing Strategist
  1. Give your ezine a catchy name. It might be related to your tagline, motto, a clever wordplay on your name, etc. Just something more than “John Doe’s Newsletter”.
  2. Add a link to a sample ezine. Now that your newsletter signup box appears on all (or most) of your website pages (right??), it’s easy to add a link to one of your issues, so folks can see what they’ll be getting. At Solo-E.com, we always post the latest newsletter at the same url, and use that as our sample.
  3. Ask for the bare minimum info. Asking for folks’ phone numbers, snail mail addresses, and other personal info can turn people off. You can go to the extreme and ask just for the email address, but I recommend also asking for the first name so you can personalize your emails.
  4. Optimize your privacy statement. It should be right in the newsletter signup box — a statement that assures folks you aren’t going to sell their addresses, etc. Chris Knight has an excellent tutorial on what words work best — and what to avoid. I also suggest adding a link to your complete privacy statement.
  5. Add a graphic. This could be a cover shot for the newsletter itself, a view of the freebie, a photo of you, etc. (Note: If your audience won’t automatically understand that your ezine is electronic and might misinterpret a cover as meaning it is a physical newsletter, you might need to add a disclaimer.)
By Terri Zwierzynski


You can’t leverage what you don’t have
Terri Zwierzynski - The Solo-CEO: Content Marketing Strategist

"I’m starting my own business. I don’t have any money — I need income right away. Can you help me?"

<sigh>

This scenario is all too common, and a bit sad. There are all sorts of get-rich-quick schemes out there that lull us into thinking it is possible to make ridiculous amounts of money right away, with miniscule investment, working just a few hours a day.

It just ain’t so.

By Terri Zwierzynski


5 Simple Makeovers For Your Website
Terri Zwierzynski - The Solo-CEO: Content Marketing Strategist
  1. Put a search box on every page. If you have a lot of content on your website that you want users to browse, make it easy for them to find it! Interactive Tools offers an inexpensive search tool, and their customer support is top-rate.
  2. Make your navigation consistent across your website. I’ve seen a lot of web pages where the order of the menu items changes, or some disappear and others sprout in their place randomly. This is easy to implement and update by creating one menu and inserting it on each page using server-side includes. Your web designer should know how to do this for you.
  3. Use simple, familiar titles for the pages/areas of your site. It’s fun to get creative, but your reader often has no idea what you are talking about, and ^click^ they’re gone! Peruse websites similar to yours and you’ll start to see the patterns of common naming conventions.
  4. Put your newsletter signup box on every page. You want people to sign up, right? Make it as easy as possible and they might.
  5. Cut 50% of the words on the utility pages of your site. Utility pages are the ones that introduce you, your service, your prices, how to contact you, etc. In other words, anything other than the intellectual-property type of content. Get concise. Use bullets instead of complete sentences. Help the reader pick out the important stuff by using font color, bold, italics, highlighting, etc. — just don’t go overboard!

For more information on improving your website, I recommend Don’t Make Me Think — A Common Sense Approach to Web Usability, by Steve Krug.

By Terri Zwierzynski


How Much Joy Can You Stand?
Terri Zwierzynski - The Solo-CEO: Content Marketing Strategist

Joy. When you dig down through all the reasons we all thought we went into business for ourselves, joy is sitting right there staring at us. And all of us could probably use a guide to experience more of it!

That’s why I was very excited to learn that Suzanne Falter-Barns is making her best-selling book available as an ebook for FREE!

If you’ve heard of Suzanne, you already know this is a great book. If you haven’t, what a great opportunity to learn about her and get more JOY in your life.

It is a fast read, and could be the book that gets you on the path to your dreams. And you can share it with your friends, colleagues and clients — no strings attached!

Terri Recommends How Much Joy Can You Stand?

non-affiliate link

By Terri Zwierzynski

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