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Should You Start To Get Serious About This Blogging Thing?

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As you first start out on your blogging journey, you don’t always know where it’s going to take you. First of all, it’s often going to be something you start as a hobby. Maybe you love a certain topic and you want to share your thoughts on it? Maybe you want to write, and so you start to write about anything and everything that you love. Maybe you’re a big blog reader and you just wanted to create your own little corner of the internet? When that’s the case, you can often fall in love with all things blogging. So much so, that you start to want to do it as a job. Or maybe you’re even getting a lot of hits and you really believe that you can turn it into a business. Either way, when you think that you’re ready to get serious about blogging, here’s what you need to do.

Defining Your Brand

The first thing you need to think about doing is defining your brand. And this is crucial. If you want to turn your blogging hobby into a legitimate business, branding is the key. You need to figure out who you are and what you stand for, the build up a brand identity around that. Visually speaking, this will mean that your logo, your colours, and your fonts all need to fit in with the idea of who your brand is. Then you can start to brand everything you do and really establish yourself in a business sense.

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Marketing More

From here, you then need to think about your marketing. Right now, it’s highly likely that you’ll have social media platforms that you share your content on. But now, you need to get serious. You need to market as much as possible and have a plan of what you want to achieve too. Think about why you’re marketing on each platform, who you’re reaching, and what you can do to add more value to the content that you’re putting out.

Setting Up An Office

If you just tend to write from your bed or the couch, you need to change that. It’s time to cut out distractions and get focused on building your business. So clear out your spare room or attic space, put everything into storage like www.mybekins.com, and work on creating an office. Think about setting everything up so that you feel motivated to work and that you have everything you need around you to do a better job.

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Monetizing Your Content

Then, you need to think about how you’re going to monetize. And take your time. Look into options like www.neilpatel.com and find out what will work best for you. Start off slow and then you should find that you start to earn real money by doing something you love.

Creating A Game Plan

Finally, you then need to think about where you want to take things. Work out what your overall goals are and then pull a business plan together. This is going to be that one step that helps you to get serious about your blog and turning it into a profitable career path.

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Money on my mind…SoCS

No one likes money woes, sadly there’s hardly enough in circulation for most of us, which means that most of us struggle to make enough money to make our ends meet not to talk of having extra money to save.

Well, I’m speaking for myself. I hate financial strife, and it seems that of late especially, my budget is shoe-string thin and stretched that it literally takes Gods’ grace to get by.SoCS money

I love the freedom that having money buys and hate having to worry about funds for basic needs. Whether we like it or not – money is still a vehicle that helps us achieve a lot of our goals and having unpaid bills and indebtedness hanging around one’s neck like an albatross has a way of dampening one’s life and stifling creativity.

In recent times, I’ve had to get truly more creative with money management. I’ve had to try many tricks in the book on how to stretch a dirham to achieve the goal of three dirhams, on how to earn a bit extra and as a matter of fact, I have an unfinished post in my draft about the lessons not having money has taught me.

Maybe one day soon I’ll finish writing the post – it’s a lesson in progress – and down the line, I’ll share my lessons as well as my personalized tips with you. Though money is not everything, it definitely matters and if you don’t mind my saying so, yes, I love money or at least dreaming about having enough money and the freedom that it would bring.

Stream of consciousness Saturday – mon

Good Debt Vs. Bad Debt

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When it comes to debt, most of us would probably like to be completely free of it altogether, but for most of us that simply isn’t practical – not all the time anyway – and actually, there are ‘good’ and ‘bad’ debts to have. For example, if you’re using debt to acquire something that is truly essential to your life, or to do something that will actually enrich you in the end, then it cannot be said to be bad now, can it? The key is to be able to make the distinction between good and bad.

To help you differentiate between debts that are okay and those that should most probably be avoided, here are some examples of good and bad debts:

GOOD DEBTS

Student Loans

There can be few things better than borrowing money to advance your education so that you can earn more money over the course of your life, Sure, there are probably some people who regret their student loans, but for the vast majority, they are a debt worth taking on.

Loans for Medical Bills

Although it’s much better to spend your money on medical insurance, if that isn’t possible, or your insurance doesn’t cover the kind of treatment you need, it is obviously sensible to take out one of the best low-interest personal loans to pay for your treatment. After all, there is nothing more important than your own life, and no debt worse than a death!

Mortgages

Taking out a home loan can be pretty daunting, but by buying your own property, instead of effectively throwing your money away on rent, you are investing in your future, and many home loans are actually cheaper per month than rent, so you’re saving money too. It’s a no-brainer.

BAD DEBT

Credit Card Debt

You might not think so since their use is so ubiquitous in our society, but credit card debt is almost always a bad choice. Why? Because credit card interest rates are much higher than the average personal loan rates, which means that your spending can spiral out of control pretty quickly.

Non-Essential Debt

Whether it’s loans, credit cards or store credit, any time that you use credit to buy the non-essentials in life such as expensive clothes, gadgets that you could easily do without and a lifestyle that is really beyond your means, it is a bad decision that will leave you much poorer in the long-term.

Money Borrowed from Your 401k

It is possible to borrow money from your 401k, but most of the time, when you do this, it represents a bad debt because you will be hit with lots of early withdrawal penalties if you don’t pay it back on a timely manner. The only circumstances when it might make sense is if you have a medical bill to pay or you want to invest in a property that you can live in.

The Bottom Line

Financial matters in the modern world can be difficult to deal with and many of us will need to borrow money, but as long as we know the difference between bad debts and good ones, this need not be a worry if we can stay on track.

Staying In Business In Those First Few Months

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The first few months after you set up your business are the most crucial ones in your whole time as a business owner. It is the time you will figure out what it really means to be the owner of a business, and you will know whether or not you have the financial and mental strength to run it. If you want to make sure that your first few months go smoothly, here are some of the things you will need to think about.

1. Identify Your Business Leader

If you are starting your business alone, then the leader will be you, however, if you are coming together with a group of people in order to run a business, someone is going to have to be the leader. Although it is nice to think you are all equal and have the right to make the decisions, within the business there always needs to be a clear leader if you are to succeed. If you love being in business but aren’t great on the leadership side of things, leave that to someone else to do instead. You can still be the owner without being the leader.

2. Profit doesn’t equal cash

As a new business owner, you will likely be very optimistic and believe in the magic of business from the off. However, it is important not to stray from the truth and make sure that you keep your head firmly on your shoulders. It is crucial that you project your cash flow at least six months into the future in order to understand where your company will be REALISTICALLY in six months time. A small profit is not enough to keep you in business, so remember that. You can also benefit from looking at the best small business credit card companies in order to give you a buffer in that first few months once you know that you can afford to keep up the payments. Always make sure you have a buffer to fall back on should you have a slightly less profitable month.

3. You Always Have More to Learn

When you begin in business you need to bear in mind that you are not an expert. Just because you have built something for yourself does not mean you should be giving lectures on business in colleges around the country. It is incredibly important to know that you don’t know everything and to be willing to learn new skills every single day. If you are not great at a certain aspect of the business, simply get someone in who is experienced. Business is a huge learning curve, and you need to be thick-skinned to deal with the tension it will put on your mind.

4. Choose the Right Role

You might be the owner of a company but that doesn’t mean you should be the leader. As we discussed above, you need to play on your professional experiences and skills to find your role in the business. It might mean employing someone to be the leader, someone to cover marketing and someone to cover sales whilst you handle the finance. Make sure you play to your strengths.

3 Reasons Bad Debt Will Always Let You Down

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In our materialistic society, it is ever more difficult to resist the lure of stuff. We want our houses to be beautiful and filled with beautiful things; we want to go on holidays so that we can upload snaps to Instagram and show off our worldliness; we want everything and we want it now.

Unfortunately, this attitude can lead to some serious money troubles. High-interest loans might sound tempting but they can saddle you with far more debt than you thought possible and truly ruin your lifestyle.

Bad debt will always let you down and you should break up with it sooner rather than later.

Interest Quickly Racks Up

Bad debt is usually high-interest with a long repayment schedule that threatens your ability to make ends meet each month. Essentially, it is a debt that the customer won’t be able to repay. These debts are often in the form of credit cards, personal loans or payday loans.

Unfortunately, all of these loan types are marketed to people like you who want a better lifestyle now and don’t want to have to wait. And once you are on their list, more loan companies will market to you and encourage you to take on more debt making the problem worse and worse as your interest costs get higher and higher.

You Feel Stressed all the Time

Money is fundamental to living and if you are constantly worrying about whether you will have enough to do a food shop or pay your bills, your stress is going to increase dramatically. This will also have a knock-on effect on the rest of your health making you feel unwell and more susceptible to infections.

Even when your debt has brought you lovely things, the real effect is that you will look at those things and worry more about them being taken away than enjoying having them. You will probably regret that you stretched your finances so far in the first place. No amount of stuff is ever worth risking your health for and if you are worried about your financial future, you need to deal with the problem as soon as possible.

A Debt-Free Life Feels Impossible

When you are spiralling into further and further debt, it might seem that living a debt-free life is now completely out of reach. Don’t give up. However bad your debt problem is, there are government credit card debt relief options that can help find the best way to manage your finances and reduce your debt to zero, essentially helping you to get a fresh start.

These options range from financial counselling to help you create more sustainable spending budgets to bankruptcy. Whatever you choose, always ask a financial advisor for help and look for companies accredited by either the NFCC or the FCAA to help you out.

Reaching your debt-free goal will take time and determination. It can take years of effort to get back to a debt-free lifestyle that is sustainable and stress-free. But it is well worth it.

Start today.

Partners WANTED!!…

In this journey, you simply can’t go it alone. A lot of times you need to team up with others to achieve certain goals and that is one of the essence and rules of public engagement.

Blogging and writing are public engagement. Yes indeed, we write for ourselves, but when we lack readers, after a while, our zeal wanes.

This is a topic that I have given much reflection over the past few months and as a matter of fact, I put up a page on my header that reads ‘I am for hire.’

I am sourcing for blog partners who are interested in renting prime advert space on my sidebar which will be at a very nominal fee and arrangements can be made for convenient durations of 3 months, 6 months, 1 year…

What are the benefits?

  • It will be a growth focused team effort.
  • A mutually beneficial endeavour.
  • The blog’s logo/URL will be hosted on my sidebar under the title ‘My partners’ and a click will take an interested party directly to your site.
  • A weekly feature of partners post.
  • The high possibility of more visibility.
  • As I search for more room for growth, I take you along with me.
  • It will support me to maintain my blog.

Inspired Beacon is my first partner and if you look to my sidebar you’ll see the logo nicely emblazoned there. I also find that I have a lot to learn from Kaylaa Blackwell the blog author.

Asides from brilliant, inspiring posts that she publishes, she’s setting up an enviable e-commerce store. Inspired Beacon is a forward-focused blog and I admire such entrepreneurship and positivism.

Will you take a chance on me?

Would you like to work with me?

I’m sure that it will be a worthwhile opportunity for growth.

You can send me an email: JacquelineObyIkocha@gmail.com or use my contact page on the header.

I look forward to hearing from you and my door is open for suggestions.

Sincerely,

Jacqueline Oby-Ikocha

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Below is my first Poetry Book “Out of the silent breath” which is available on Amazon and Smashwords.

When you buy my book, you support me in an invaluable manner.

Out of the silent breath

 

Never leave me lonely

With words left unsaid

You walk away into the dark

Like a mist, that melts away.

My Breakup Letter To Debt.. First Guest Post.

Yay! My very first guest post is from Pamela of ‘My money counts – money, modest living and enjoying life.’

I met Pamela in the blogosphere several months ago and I have totally enjoyed our interactions. Her posts are insightful, fact-filled and very hands on approach.

Her witty letter to Debt  is a personal relationship with being indebted and how she got out of it. I enjoyed reading it and I am sure that you will 🙂

Dear Debt,

It’s been a roller coaster ride with you, but it’s time we part ways. I don’t know how much more uncertainty I can take from you. You said you would always be there for me. I thought you had my back, but you lied to me.

There were so many secrets and lies you kept from me. How can a relationship grow that is built on lies? Like the time you said you had my back and convinced me to buy my living room furniture on credit. You told me we could afford it. You said we would be ok, so I listened. Or when you told me that you would take care of me once I was done school and encouraged me to spend the little I had and more without giving a second thought. But I am done school now and your words were just empty promises. Where is the help? Where were you when I needed you, debt?

Why am I even surprised? You were never satisfied with what I could give you. You always wanted more and more from me. The more I got for you the more you wanted. I felt like I could never do enough for you. Like the time I got us the big screen T.V and game system, but that wasn’t enough for you. You wanted the new laptop and cell phone too.

Was it ever enough for you? Did I ever make you happy? You used to make me happy. I used to get so excited to see you. We had some of the greatest times together you and I. Like the time we went on the road trip together or bought all those cool things together. You used to whisper sweet nothings in my ear. You had me wrapped around your finger. Then the trips, gifts and promises stopped coming. Then you stopped coming around. Now when I look at you, I can’t trust you anymore. You deceived me…so I am moving on.

I will just come right out and say it, I met someone else. His name is cash and he is so good to me. He never lies to me or deceives me. He always has my back and is satisfied with what I can give him. We are building new memories and going on our own adventures together cash and I.

I want to say, thank you, though because if it wasn’t for you, I would never know how great a healthy relationship could be. Cash is the love of my life and I have you to thank for it.

So long and have a good life. Please change your ways so you don’t mess up the next girl’s life. Oh and don’t forget to lose my number.

Your Ex,

Pamela

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An excerpt about Pamela in her words. She can be contacted through this link: MY MONEY COUNTS.

Hi I’m Pamela. I am 30 years old African Canadian personal finance blogger that likes to help other millennials eliminate their debts. My professional and educational background is in accounting / finance, but I was not always good with my own money. After some life lessons learned, my husband and I embarked in a journey to pay off $120k of debt in 2.5 years. We now live debt free and our building our wealth. This letter is a comical relief on my experience with debt.

If you are interested in guest posts, you can contact me through my contact page on my blog or through this email address: JacquelineObyIkocha@gmail.com