Should You Be Blogging?

Small business owners have obligations and responsibilities that require constant attention and take significant amounts of time. Understandably, these individuals may wonder if it is worth their valuable time to start a blog for the business, and the answer to that is, in a word, yes. While it can be a moderate time commitment, blogging is actually a very cost-effective manner by which a business or company can connect with potential clients and garner attention. Frequent posts can drive more traffic to the website, ultimately boosting exposure and profitability.

A blog is not a magical solution for a struggling business, but it can offer several benefits that make this process well worth the effort. First of all, blogging can boost a website’s search engine optimization. This makes it more likely that people will find a particular site through their search engine of choice. Secondly, a blog can allow a potential customer to gain a better understanding of the company and the personalities of the people who run it. This emotional connection is the first step in establishing a long-term relationship with a repeat customer.

Blogging also allows customers the opportunity to share their experiences with the company. It is an extremely popular practice to share blog links through Facebook and Twitter. If a business owner writes regular, interesting blog posts, the greater the chance that someone will share it, exposing the business brand to many more people. In actuality, blogging can be one of the cheapest, or free, sources of positive publicity.

After establishing a blog schedule and adjusting to the routine, many business owners find that it is not such a huge effort to keep a blog updated. For those new to blogging or business owners who have particular concerns about search engine optimization, it can be useful to reach out for assistance. At Virtue Marketing, we help businesses of all types develop and update blogs, increase site traffic and draft strong content for websites. We are happy to explain how a blog can contribute to the success of a business, and we also help business owners take these important steps.

Your annual budget could be the key to success

Even with all of the drive and motivation in the world, a business cannot continue to function without one very basic thing — money. While your budget should be able to accommodate various events by either slightly stretching or shrinking when necessary, it should otherwise remain on point.

The first step you should take when developing an effective budget is establishing your expenses. Make sure that you distinguish between weekly, monthly, quarterly and annual expenses. How much will it cost to set up an office or maintain a website? What do the outgoing bills look like? If this is your second, third or even fourth year in business, and you still find that you struggle with these types of figures, go back and review previous expenses to get a better idea of these costs.

Sales estimates and projections are another important consideration in your budget. Keep in mind that an estimated income from sales is more than just a guess. This figure is usually a carefully calculated total that takes a variety of factors into account, including seasonal fluctuations.

Once you have the basic cash in, cash out aspects of your budget handled, you may be discouraged to find that your expenses outweigh your income. This is where successful and innovative entrepreneurs really have the chance to shine. Part of running a successful online business is having ingenuity. When a budget is unbalanced, you will need to find areas to make up this loss. Two examples of this include reviewing expenses for unnecessary costs and finding innovative ways to bring in a little extra cash from other products or services.

If your business is struggling to stay afloat in the online world, consider revisiting your budget to set things back on track.

Turning your purpose into profit

Most people know someone who is a veritable wealth of knowledge on at least one subject. If none of your friends fit that bill, then that fountain of knowledge just could be you.

From tips for keeping a marriage happy to fashion tricks that can keep you up-to-date on fashion trends for half the cost, some people simply find joy in learning the latest secrets for success and then sharing them with others. While those types of individuals might have vital information across a wide array of subjects, they may not realize that there is an actual market for their knowledge.

Information marketing can combine your purpose for keeping up with the latest tips and tricks with a bit of hard work and effort to create a steady and meaningful paycheck. A large number of people who log online do so in search of some kind of helpful information; however, without someone there to supply those answers, their searches can end up fruitless. Articles addressing specific types of needs are in high demand, and people who have the passion and drive to learn and share with others are an invaluable aspect of the entire process.


Whether Internet users are searching for “Tips for building a shed” or for “How long meat is good in the fridge,” they need help. Could you be the one to provide those answers?

Muzio’s founder utilizes love of travel for business success

Muzio — an app development company — thrives by remaining open to new and innovative ideas for the mobile platform. CEO and founder Reshma Chattaram Chamberlin helps foster that company-wide attitude from her own love of traveling, which often places her in the midst of new and exciting cultures. Prior to starting Muzio, Chamberlin spent time as both an app developer and manager for large groups of web developers, positions that took her all over the world.

Perhaps, one of the most remarkable aspects of Muzio’s start-up was that Chamberlin and her partner were able to fund the project entirely by themselves. Without any commitments to investors, she was able to exercise her best-judgment and skills to design Muzio and its very first app — Muzio app — in such a way that allows for continual improvement and innovation as the company faces different challenges or new ideas arise.

Chamberlin acknowledges that others may be quick to dole out advice or opinions to entrepreneurs who are ready to strike out on their own, something she is quick to caution other entrepreneurs about. Chamberlin believes that prospective entrepreneurs can gain much more by paying careful attention to their own instincts and experiences. Her success is due in part to realizing that no one person has all the answers, and she has built an extremely successful career out of primarily relying on her own skills.

Want the clicks? Don’t leave room for deliberation


When a piece of copy has been crafted to accurately represent a product or service to its target market and also includes unique and recognizable key words, it can be easy to wipe your hands clean of a project and walk away.


Now that your customer has not only found your website (see “Customers unable to find your website? Your keywords could be to blame”) but has a solid understanding of what the product is, what are they supposed to do with that information? From the business’s point of view, the answer may seem obvious, but things can look very different from where a customer is seated.

A quick perusal of well-written copy around the Internet reveals that they all have one thing in common: a call to action. Do you want readers to click a link or make a purchase? Making that call to action clear and concise can be extremely effective at getting your customers to act. Take the following for example:

Ready to learn more? Click here to find out how.

  • Join us as we bring technology into the future.
  • Keep up with new developments – sign up here.
  • Broken computer? Let us handle it.

Consider both a piece of copy that includes a call to action and one that does not. Once a customer has finished reading about a product without any call to action, he or she might still decide to proceed with a purchase or inquiry, but it is equally as likely that he or she might instead choose to put the decision off until a later date. A call to action should encourage a customer to take action now, not later when work and dinner and a mile-long to-do list have had time to take over.

When the right call to action is paired with the best copy possible, businesses should be able to count on those clicks from customers.

Twitter For Business: Make Every Tweet Count

Have you ever felt overwhelmed or intimidated by the social media world? Individuals, organizations, politicians and businesses–everyone is on Twitter, and everyone has an opinion. With so many people, tweets, links and voices all contending for attention and recognition, how can you, as a business owner, make your tweets stand out? Fortunately, there are some simple methods for making the most of your 140 characters and properly publicizing your product.

First of all, it should be noted that the Twitter account for your business should not become confused as your personal social media outlet. It seems obvious, but business owners should refrain from posting personal pictures, political rants, controversial statements and anything that could be offensive or misconstrued. Tweeting for business should be focused on what your company offers–products, services, special promotions and showcasing new offerings. In addition to promoting your business, Twitter can be a wonderful platform by which you can connect with existing customers and interact with potential ones. When tweeting for business, it can be useful to remember the following things:

  • Connect: Twitter is all about connecting with other people. Be fun and showcase the personality of your business, but always remember to be professional. Post articles and blogs that relate to your product, allowing your Twitter followers to gain a better understanding of what you have to offer.
  • Engage: Twitter is one of the easiest ways to start a conversation with your clients/customers. Ask a question about what customers want, take a poll regarding the popularity of a certain product or ask an opinion. Twitter followers and potential customers feel valued when businesses make the effort to dialogue with them.
  • Reward: If you need to gain more followers, it can be beneficial to have a giveaway or reward, available only to those who follow your business on Twitter. A simple discount or prize drawing can attract a lot of positive attention.
  • Inform: Twitter limits you to 140 characters, but that should not stop you from being informative and educating your followers regarding your products and the unique aspects of your company. Showcase your offerings with a simple introductory phrase beginning with “Did you know what we offer _______,” followed by a brief explanation and a link to your company website.

There are numerous benefits to using Twitter for your business in a responsible, practical way. If you are new to Twitter or to social media overall, it can useful to seek guidance regarding the best way to launch into this new territory. With the correct help and understanding of this particular platform, you can make your voice heard and bring attention to your company in the Twitter universe.


Learning from Her Mistakes Crystal Paine Built Successful Blog Readership

In 2004, Crystal Paine knew that she had to find a way to support her goal of staying at home with her soon-to-be-born first child. Already well versed in the art of living on a budget (a skill that she credits her mother for teaching her), she embarked into the world of online blogging. She had one goal, to help other parents reach their own money-saving goals. Although her readership for MoneySavingMom grew quickly and she began to monetize various aspects of her blog, the road to success was not exactly seamless.

Paine had failed to realize just how much time and energy was actually needed to run a successful blog that also turned a healthy profit. The job that she had once envisioned as part-time soon grew to encompass much of her life, and her days as a stay-at-home mom became more about the blog and less about her children.

Ready for a change, Paine learned that she could not take on every new opportunity that arose and that bringing on help is often necessary. Her frugal ways initially prevented her from hiring any employees, but extra hands proved to be priceless for striking the right balance between home and work life. She detailed the changes that she implemented in her personal and business life in Say Goodbye to Survival Mode.

Many online entrepreneurs start their business from their own homes, which from an economical standpoint is often a valid option. However, as Paine of MoneySavingMom soon discovered, without a detailed business plan that includes a budget of time and activities, business activities can easily spiral out of hand. Fortunately, a failure to take this initial step does not mean that a business has no chance of ever being successful. Paine took the opportunity to learn from her mistakes, subsequently implementing necessary changes that helped her blog become more successful than ever.

Make Working in Your Purpose a Habit

Establishing a new business can be an enormous leap toward financial independence. Even though the vast majority of entrepreneurs truly love and enjoy what they do, does that automatically mean that they also find purpose in it?

Unfortunately, the answer to this question is often NO.

However, that does not necessarily mean that things have to stay that way. While most people likely feel that they have a single, large purpose in life (such as serving others or creating a helpful product), this can neglect the myriad of other smaller purposes that might drive a person and his or her personal goals. After all, it is not one, large act that represents a person’s purpose in life, but the combination of smaller instances that accrue over time.

Many of these smaller acts can have a big impact. An extra 15 minutes spent training an employee or giving a certain worker a chance to develop his or her talents on a special project may seem insignificant from afar, but for those whose purpose is to help others succeed, it can be the fuel that drives them to wake up and strive for excellence each day.

No matter what line of work an entrepreneur sets out on or what his or her service and products entail, part of working and living in your purpose is simply finding the aspects of life where you can apply it. When this becomes a daily habit, working within your own purpose can become the easiest and most enjoyable part of the day, even if the situation is not otherwise ideal.