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Republicans Spotlight Entrepreneurs at Convention

Republicans Spotlight Entrepreneurs at Convention

Entrepreneurs are usually the ones doing the pitching, talking with investors and customers. But this week, the speakers of the Republican National Convention have been appealing to and promoting entrepreneurs with enthusiasm.

Even as Governor Mitt Romney formally accepted the Republican presidential nomination, introducing himself and criticizing President Barack Obama’s record, he spotlighted entrepreneurs in a few key moments.

First, to illustrate the risks and struggles involved in business, Romney highlighted the fact that legendary entrepreneur Steve Jobs had been once fired at Apple Inc. before he came back to the company “and changed the world.”

In addition, Romney made small business a key part of a five-step plan to add 12 million jobs. Calling small businesses “America’s engine of job growth,” he said he would champion small businesses by reducing taxes, simplifying regulations and repealing the health-care overhaul that Obama has put in place.

Romney capped off a week chock full of small-business talk. The catchphrase “Yes, you did build that” became a theme of the convention, in a response to a comment that President Obama made last month in Virginia:

“. . . If you were successful, somebody along the line gave you some help. There was a great teacher somewhere in your life. Somebody helped to create this unbelievable American system that we have that allowed you to thrive. Somebody invested in roads and bridges. If you’ve got a business — you didn’t build that. Somebody else made that happen. The internet didn’t get invented on its own. Government research created the internet so that all the companies could make money off the internet. The point is, is that when we succeed, we succeed because of our individual initiative, but also because we do things together…”

But this theme hit a snag Tuesday. The party had a Delaware small-business owner, Sher Valenzuela, speak to the convention about her struggles and sacrifices in growing her company. Her story became a controversy when it came out that her business had received government support in numerous cases along the way and also, her soft-manufacturing firm gets a lot of revenue from work it does for Uncle Sam.

On Wednesday, the Republican vice presidential candidate Rep. Paul Ryan (R., Wis.) talked about how his hero was a small-business owner — his mother. His mother started her own business at the age of 50 after his father passed away when Ryan was just 16.

“She earned a new degree and learned new skills to start her small business. It wasn’t just a new livelihood. It was a new life. And it transformed my Mom from a widow in grief to a small-business woman whose happiness wasn’t just in the past. Her work gave her hope. It made our family proud,” said Ryan. “And to this day, my Mom is my role model.”

Other small-business owners were invited to speak throughout the convention. For example, Steve Cohen, president of family-owned construction and mining equipment manufacturer Screen Machine Industries Inc., traveled from his home state of Ohio to Florida.

“It was a tremendous experience,” says Cohen, whose business has fewer than 100 employees. Romney spent three hours at Screen Machine Industries about a year ago on a campaign stop, he says. About two and a half weeks before the convention, Cohen was invited to speak there. It was 17 days to be exact — he says he counted down the days. During his time in the spotlight, Cohen talked about the need to protect intellectual property and limit regulatory burdens, critical issues for his Etna, Ohio-based small business.

Another small-business owner, Bev Grey, spoke at the convention Tuesday night. Her trade-show marketing business, Exhibit Edge, employs 20 people and is headquartered in Chantilly, Va. She talked about the struggles and sacrifices involved in starting a business. “We risked everything and succeeded because of our hard work and commitment. What President Obama doesn’t understand is that when businesses grow, unemployment goes down and people thrive,” said Grey.


Crafting a Mission Statement That You’ll Remember

Crafting a Mission Statement That You’ll Remember

Over nearly three decades in business, I’ve created a mission statement that work well and others that have not. To craft a strong mission statement that’s effective, follow these basic rules that I’ve learned along the way.

If you want to make a mission statement that you can actually remember, you have to make it personal. You must be personally invested in the process to create a mission statement that will really matter.

Other people may want you to include fancy words. Instead, use fifth-grade language that the average person can memorize in one minute. (And stop asking everybody else what they think. You know your business better than anyone else.)

1. Set the right boundaries for your mission statement. A mission statement helps you pin down on paper what you are going to achieve. For that reason, make sure yours has the right focus. Is your mission to serve the whole world with your fabulous barbecue sauce? That will be a massive undertaking.

You may be better off focusing on just the U.S. at first. Of course, you’ll also have to guard against being too narrow. So don’t let your mission statement constrain your business too much. Just make sure that your mission statement is sensible — but allows for growth.

7 Smartest Things You Can Do for Your Finances – Bright Ideas for Your Money

7 Smartest Things You Can Do for Your Finances – Bright Ideas for Your Money

Have you ever wondered what the best things are that you can do for your money and your financial future? Here is our list of the smartest things that anyone can do for their finances.

1. Create a Spending Plan & Budget

If you are spending more than you earn, you will never get ahead—in fact, it’s a sure sign that your finances are headed for trouble. The best way to make sure that your income is greater than your expenses is to track your expenses for a month or two and then create a budget. It can be a very simple budget, but you should have one.

2. Pay Off Debt and Stay Out of Debt

One of the best things you can do for your finances is to pay off all of your debt. To get started, focus on your most expensive debt—the credit cards and loans that charge you the highest interest. Once you have paid off all of these debts, focus on paying off your mortgage. For your mortgage, consider splitting your monthly payment in half and paying bi-weekly. Then pay extra as you can afford it. This will shave years off your mortgage and save you tens of thousands of dollars in interest.

3. Prepare for the Future – Set Savings Goals

Saving money for your future is crucial. If you don’t set savings goals and steadily work towards them, you will have to rely on credit when times get tough. You might even need to work through your retirement years to supplement your small government pension. Entering retirement may also be delayed or impossible if you are in debt because you need enough money to make all of your payments.

  • Start saving on a regular basis using a Tax Free Savings Account (TFSA) or an RRSP, or both
  • Plan for your retirement. Figure out how much money you will need to retire comfortably, and then start saving. This money also makes a great rainy day fund if you lose your job or suffer another unexpected financial setback.
  • Make sure you have enough insurance. Accidents happen. 1 in 4 people are hurt on the job. Natural disasters can easily cause thousands of dollars in damage to your home. Make sure you have enough insurance for the place you live and the lifestyle you lead.
  • Write a will and decide who will get your assets and/or take care of your children when you die. This lets you decide who benefits from all of your hard work.

4. Start Saving Early – But It’s Never Too Late to Start

Due to the magic of compounded interest, even when the rates are low, someone who starts to save for their retirement early doesn’t have to save as much as someone who starts saving later in life.

If two people decide to save for retirement, but one starts at 21 and the other at 31, the 21 year old can save $100 per month until they are 65 and accumulate $253,000 for their retirement (assuming a 6% annual rate of return). The person who starts at 31 on the other hand, will have to save $190 per month to have the same amount by age 65.

So the second person would have to pay almost twice as much per month to make up for waiting 10 years. It’s never too late to begin saving, but the sooner you start, the better off you will be.

5. Do Your Homework Before Making Major Financial Decisions or Purchases

Many people will do more research before buying a TV than they will before purchasing an investment or buying a home. Make sure that you’re not one of them. Buying a home and saving for retirement are two of the biggest financial decisions most people will ever make.

6. Sleep On It – Don’t Be Hasty With Big Financial Decisions

There are no major financial decisions or major purchases that need to be made on the spot. In fact, being pressured into making a hasty financial decision is one of the warning signs that the deal might not be as good as it seems.

All worthwhile opportunities will be there another day if you are patient. It is better to wait and learn a cheap lesson, then hastily rush into something and learn an expensive lesson.

When you take the time to sleep on big decisions you have time to consider alternatives, evaluate whether you really need to do this, and probably get some other opinions or information. These are wise things to do every time you make a big decision—but especially financial decisions.

7. Stay Married

Studies show that married people earn higher incomes, have twice the assets at retirement, and live on 25% less than what comparable single people would need to live the same lifestyle. Statistically speaking, staying married is good for your finances.

What’s the Smartest Thing You Do for Your Money?

You probably have bright ideas about smart things to do for your money and finances that others would like to know about too. Leave a comment on our Facebook page and share your good ideas!

10 Things That Set Entrepreneurs Apart From the 9-to-5 Crowd

Being an entrepreneur is similar to being a professional athlete, in the sense that many people want to play the role, but very few have what it takes to make it to the big leagues.

It also takes a great deal more than just a pre-determined skill set list to make it. Here are 10 things that set entrepreneurs apart from the regular workforce.

1. Visualize success. Entrepreneurs are great at visualizing success, due in part to pure drive and determination, along with the fact that there are so many positive role models to draw inspiration from. Entrepreneurs naturally believe that anything is possible. “Try not. Do, or do not. There is no try,” Yoda says.

2. Understands self-worth. Most individuals would consider their savings account or the stock market their biggest investment. An entrepreneur knows that they are their biggest investment and are not afraid to reinvest in themselves.

3. Not afraid of competition. Entrepreneurs embrace competition. To be the best, you need to compete with the best. Everyone remembers the older kid in the neighborhood that played with the younger kids so he could be the top dog. Where is he today? Probably waiting for 5 o’clock to roll around.

5 Deadly Sins of SEO and Online Marketing

5 Deadly Sins of SEO and Online Marketing

Internet marketing can be a minefield. There’s no official textbook on proper strategy or tactics. It’s up to business owners, and the marketing and search engine optimization (SEO) professionals they might hire, to figure out what works and what doesn’t.

Since becoming an SEO consultant several years ago, I’ve stumbled over many of these proverbial mines, and so have the clients I’ve worked with. Not every mistake is a terrible one, though some should have been avoided.

Here are five fatal online marketing and SEO mistakes that you should steer clear of:

1. Not having an onsite content strategy. Prior to Google’s Panda algorithm update last year, it was common to see small, one-page microsites dominating the search engine results pages (SERPs) based on the strength of their inbound link profiles — the links pointing to these microsites from external websites — rather than the quality of their onsite content.

One of the important changes that occurred as a result of the Panda update was the promotion of websites in Google’s search results with lots of strong, quality content. It’s nearly impossible to get ranked for any sort of competitive keyword if your website doesn’t have great content. Google differentiates high-quality from low-quality content by:

  • Quantity and quality of inbound links to the page
  • Quantity and quality of social signals linking to the page
  • Grammar and spelling on the page
  • Text formatting queues on the page (bold, italics, bullet points)
  • Use of subheads
  • Length of content
  • Outbound links from the page

When planning your onsite content strategy, create quality content that adds lasting value. Examples of ways to do this include:

  • Infographics that dissect data in a new way, offering a fresh perspective
  • Offering advice based on personal experience
  • Publishing internal data that isn’t available elsewhere and is difficult to gather

2. Not having an offsite content strategy. A strategic SEO link building campaign is critical for the success of your online marketing initiative. A few reasons why:

  • Inbound links are the heaviest-weighted factor in Google’s ranking algorithm
  • When highly-authoritative websites link to yours, you gain exposure, positive branding and referral traffic
  • Links are like roads to your website. Having more links can result in more paths for potential clients and customers to find your product or service

But when building links to your website, be cautious if you hire someone else to do it. Post-Penguin link building requires an intimate knowledge of the search engine algorithms and how they’ve changed. Building links that appear to be unnatural or manipulated can do more harm than good.

3. Not giving it enough time. Online marketing can be a lot like the stock market. Over time, the return on your investment should trend upward, but if you stop too soon you might end up worse off than when you started.

Before starting any SEO initiative, it can be worthwhile reading a post by Sam McRoberts, CEO of Seattle-based SEO services firm Vudu Marketing. It outlines the volatile nature of organic search rankings and why companies shouldn’t consider online marketing to be a short-term tactic.

4. Not devoting enough budget to the campaign. I’ve often seen business owners get lured in by low-priced SEO service providers promising them the world and delivering useless service. One time, for instance, after reviewing the previous work of a low-budget SEO firm, I discovered it had populated the client’s site with various posts that were written in broken English, keyword-stuffed and delivered no real value or service. They were all about 250 words in length, which is generally not enough to be considered thorough. My first thought was, “No one would want these posted on their website.”

Unfortunately, many low-budget SEO providers are stuck in a pre-Penguin era of SEO, convincing business owners that low-quality spam tactics still work, and taking their money while yielding negative results or none at all.

So, what types of tactics should you focus on?

• Build your personal brand by guest blogging
• Engage in social media marketing to organically build your brand’s social presence
• Design and execute a quality content strategy for your website to attract inbound links

5. Not distributing the workload. Online marketing is too vast and complex to be managed by a single person. To be done right, it requires a team of professionals knowledgeable across one or more of each distinct discipline. Of course, hiring an in-house team can be costly, which is why many business owners choose to source their online marketing to agencies.

For example, you could hire freelance writers and an editor from sites like Elance to write content for your company blog. You could also hire a social media marketer to manage your stable of social media channels.

Point is, there are cost-effective ways to perform many aspects of online marketing. Think outside the box and you can distribute the workload effectively and efficiently.

Brand Visibility: Techniques and Tactics

Brand Visibility: Techniques and Tactics

In his book Tweet Naked, online marketing expert and social media agency CEO Scott Levy provides the critical information entrepreneurs need to craft a social media strategy that will boost their brand and their business. In this edited excerpt, the author offers tips that can help you get noticed with the right content.

Your brand becomes visible by being shared, read and seen on social media, as well as on traditional media. From logos to slogans to photos to tweets, posts and advertising, your message must be consistent.

In an effort to create consistency, you’ll want to write down your brand objectives and consider your reasons behind building a brand. You’ll review the benefits and highlights of the products and/or services you offer, review what makes your business unique (which may tie into your corporate culture), and think about your motives for being in business.

You’ll then add to your answers the final ingredient: Who are your target customers, and what do they want? This question can be answered largely by engaging with like-minded individuals on social media. For example, if you’re planning to open a new brewery, you’ll want to find out not only whether people want lighter beers but also healthier ingredients? Better packaging? Greener packaging? Locally brewed beers? Darker beers?

The more you learn, the easier it will be to create a brand that generates a following.

To build a consistent brand, you’ll want to have:

  • A slogan and/or tagline that’s easy to remember and conveys your brand and/or your strength (what makes you different) in a single line.
  • A logo that’s easy to identify and visually depicts what your brand is all about.
  • Images and/or videos that highlight your company culture and your products or services, as well as the people (or person) behind the logo. The images should be consistent. For example, a brand selling retro clothing might want to have a retro look in all of their photos, perhaps in black and white.
  • A list of attributes so that whoever is promoting your brand for your business will feature the same characteristics in outgoing messages.
  • A consistent voice and tone so that your brand is conveyed in the same manner: upbeat, heartfelt, homespun, sexy or even comical, depending on what you’re trying to convey. Clearly Louie Anderson and Kendra Wilkerson are conveying different messages in their personal brands, and the voice of their postings or tweets will differ, as would those for Chuck E. Cheese and Oracle.

Color choices can also create very different images. The colors for a fast food place that caters to children will differ from that of a law firm that specializes in wills and estates. Look closely at choices of colors to determine what you believe they convey.

Brand integration means that all of the above need to be in sync. A funny, cheerful, kid-friendly logo with dreary colors and a very serious heartfelt message could be very confusing. Keep everything coordinated for brand consistency.

Before building a brand, you need to think about it carefully. You want to make sure you’re going to present a clear, concise and consistent message. It’s very difficult to switch gears midway through. People want to know what your brand is all about and who you are. If you confuse them with inconsistent or mixed messages, you’ll lose them as followers, fans and, ultimately, as customers.

The Worst Business Plan Mistake Entrepreneurs Make

The Worst Business Plan Mistake Entrepreneurs Make

Years ago, I was hired by a group of entrepreneurs to write a business plan I will never forget. That is because we made a fatal business planning mistake that caused the venture to lose it chance at VC funding.

The founders had a personal connection to one of the VC partners and they seemed interested in the business ideas. It felt like everything was set up for success until we met with them in person.

As the meeting developed, I became painfully aware of a problem. I wondered anxiously whether my clients saw it too, but couldn’t tell. They gave no sign.

The plan itself wasn’t the problem. It conceived a specialty computer product that would have addressed a real need for a large market of middle managers and small-business owners. The team had the experience and background it needed. We had a good-looking well-edited document, a detailed financial model and convincing market statistics. We had a good summary slide deck.

The problem, however, was that I had done the plan, built the financial model, written the text and shepherded the document through the painful coil binding, yet I wasn’t part of the team. I didn’t want to be. I was getting my MBA, in my early thirties, married with three kids and my part of this venture was writing the plan, period. I needed the money to pay tuition. I couldn’t afford to jump into a startup.

And my limited role might have been okay except that the three founders never really got into the plan. It was a hurdle they paid me to jump for them. Every meeting we had behind the scenes, generated new changes, so I would go back to the basement computer at the business school, and re-run the financial model. Since the team of three didn’t include a financial person, they left all the tweaking to me, which meant I was the only one who knew the plan. I’d re-run my financial model, edit the text, and publish a new version of the plan. They read paragraphs here and there, glanced at the numbers, but stuck with the strategy and left the details to me.
At key moments when VCs would ask critical questions, all heads would turn to me and I would answer. I knew the plan inside out. But I was the only one who did. It was my plan.

The same scenario played out at every meeting we had. The three entrepreneurs assumed that business planning was a function they could always delegate to someone with special skills, while they generated high-level strategy. However, founders who don’t know their own plan aren’t very convincing. So, in the end, they didn’t get financed, and the planning didn’t work.

A business plan should be measured by results, and in this case, good as the plan document may have been, it was a part of a failure.

The lesson here is as clear as day and as much a problem today as it was then. In general, business plans have to be the work of business owners and managers, not outsiders. A business plan can last only a few weeks without revision, so the idea of a finished plan is flawed. And business plans are about business execution and management, which means those in charge have to own the plan in the intellectual sense.

In those rare cases when having a specialist develop a plan as a consulting job could work, the owners must make very sure they still own it, know it, and live it. After all, it is their business.

Good Leaders Persuade. They Don’t Manipulate.

Good Leaders Persuade. They Don’t Manipulate.

From the moment we were born, we have been weaned and schooled in the art and science of manipulation. So much so, in fact, that we hardly recognize it anymore, both as targets and purveyors of manipulative influence.

It doesn’t take a cynic to admit that such ploys surround us at every turn, from a daily onslaught of advertising messages to organizational politics to a looming performance review. Our lives run on some combination of contingent consequence and tantalizing reward, the latter often simply being the avoidance of pain (obeying the law to sidestep a tax audit, for example).

To escape this vicious circle of doomed cause and effect of a manipulative management style — doomed, because it inevitably leads to a downward spiral of disloyalty and mistrust — you need to understand the difference between manipulation and the eminently finer art of influence through persuasion.

Manipulation is, by definition, a form of persuasion, in that the avoidance of negative consequences does indeed serve the needs of the target audience. “You get to keep your job” is one such tried-and-true example of a manipulative management strategy, one that becomes an effective enough response to anyone bothering to ask, “What’s in it for me?”

But the key difference between manipulation and persuasion, one that differentiates successful cultures from fractured ones, is that manipulation is almost always a short-term strategy, destined to self-destruct unless even stronger forms of manipulation are employed moving forward.

With manipulation, neither party, manipulator nor manipulated, benefit over the long term. Sure, in the short term, a manipulative strategy may yield the kind of results, which, in the mind of the manipulator, justify the means. But if that’s your modus operandi, consider changing it in favor of ethical influencing methods that build respect for you instead of corroding it.

Manipulation is all about getting someone to do something for you, rather than influencing them because of something that’s in it for them. The magic pill of the art of persuasion, conversely, is to get others to take action for themselves, and in a direction that serves the needs of the persuader. In other words, a win-win proposition. Where manipulation is inwardly focused, persuasion is an outward, connecting approach to exerting influence.

The fundamental element and criterion of effective and ethical persuasion is trust. Manipulators are heard, but persuaders are believed because they are trusted. Without trust, an audience only hears on one level: What are the consequences of either compliance or apathy? With trust, an audience cares about what they hear, they give the message every chance to be meaningful on multiple levels — their own and the manager’s.

Trust is the mortar that builds teamwork, while manipulation is the jackhammer that tears it down.

Manipulation is destined to expose itself as such, and quickly breeds contempt when the reality of it kicks in. People who are manipulated try to find ways to survive, sometimes to get even, and those goals rarely align with the shared goals of the team. They react with fear, rather than with passion.

It’s always preferable to persuade from within a win-win context, an approach that will pay dividends long after the task or project window has passed.

Only with an understanding of the difference between influence through manipulation and influence through persuasion can we then recognize it in our own experience, both on the receiving and dispensing end. Look out for these things:

  • Is the incoming information (or outgoing if you are the sender of the data) based on solid reasoning, or the fact that someone (perhaps you) is carrying a big metaphorical stick?
  • Are emotions being appealed to, and is that emotion fear or positive anticipation?
  • Are there alternatives on the table? To what degree is the recipient (perhaps you) being given latitude to choose a path, and is the path of least resistance the optimal choice given the consequences?
  • What does the presenter gain from the logical choice? What does the other party gain? Who wins here, and at what cost?
  • Do you trust the source of the information or choice being presented to you? Or if you are the sender, why should you be trusted as such a source?

How to Save Money Fast

How to Save Money Fast

No matter where you are on your financial journey, you need to know that it’s possible for anyone to turn their financial life around and start saving money. Sometimes all it takes is that first step in the right direction to get things moving in your favor. But, as with most things, sometimes that very first step is the hardest part.

That’s why we created this list of 100 ways to save money starting today. None of these tactics will be life-changing on their own, but they can make quite a difference over time if you’re able to implement more than one. Some of these suggestions take just a few minutes, while others require a bit of regular effort. Still, they’re all incredibly simple – anyone can do them.

Obviously, not all of these tips will apply to everyone. Just go through the list and find 10 or 15 that do apply to you and use them in your life. When you do, you may quickly find that you’re saving more money than you ever thought possible.

15 Fun Websites You Should Build Right Now

15 Fun Websites You Should Build Right Now

How many websites do you visit on a normal day?

A lot, right?

This is an amazing era for content. We have a limitless amount of content on any given minute right in our pockets. Lots of it.

And one of the pitfalls of that availability is that we get immediately into consumer mode. We consume content. But tend to never create it ourselves.

So it got us to think…

We are on a mission to show everyone the best way to create a WordPress site, but there are lots of people that have never created a website at all.

If that’s you, then you’re gonna enjoy this post. We put together a list of 15 fun ideas to create your first website. They are small. Concise. And most of all, easy to achieve.

These are small sites you could put together over a weekend, and start the next week with your own place on the web.

Why Create a Website?

Whatever the case is you probably have something to share that many people will want to read.

Interesting stuff your friends can learn from, memories you want to keep or news you want to spread. Having a website is like having your own Media Company to broadcast it.

But Wait, What About Social Media? Isn’t it the same?

Well, it COULD be similar. You could put all of this in your favorite social media. Theoretically.

The thing is doing that would be like writing a book on a piece of paper someone lends you and you have to return tomorrow.

When you create on a space you don’t control the rules for you can find yourself loosing everything you put out there. Not to mention your audience.

This is not to say you shouldn’t be creating content on social media. No one’s trying to leave Zuck without that photo of you as a kid that you’re not even sure should be public (yeah, we all have that one).

But this is your opportunity to build a project on your own land. On your terms, with your own rules.

What Do You Need To Begin

There hasn’t been a better time to start your own website. It can’t be easier than nowadays.

WordPress lets you create and manage your own website without even having to understand what “coding” means. It makes it accessible to anyone, no matter what your background is.

So what will you need for this?

1. A Hosting Account Provider

We recommend Siteground for this. It’s super affordable and you won’t feel the price in your monthly budget.

It comes with these 4 extra benefits:

  • Your plan includes a domain, so you won’t need to purchase it anywhere else, or spend extra money for that
  • They have amazing customer support
  • Your site will be FAST
  • It comes with automatic SSL certificates (your site will be secure and show a “Secure” green sign in most browsers)

And what’s even better, they have a one-click install for WordPress. You literally click a button and complete your website details and it is already live. Don’t believe me? Try it yourself.

2. A WordPress Theme

WordPress theme is what powers your site. Is what gives it that gorgeous looks people like to brag about when they’re at the grocery store line. Alright, not all people. But you know you’ll do that too.

You install your WordPress theme from within WordPress itself (by going to Appearance » Themes) and you’ll find there many free themes available.

Luckily for you, we have a free WordPress theme you can download like right now. It’s called Pepper, and we love it. It’s like working with a professional WordPress theme, but for free. Get it here.

With those two things you are now ready to create your website. So get your notepad out and jot down the ones you like the most from this list.

1. An Invitation to a Special Occasion Or Event

This one works for any kind of forthcoming event you want to invite people to.

If you have a round-number birthday coming on putting up a website for it can make it even more special. A high school reunion? Why not?

And of course, if you’re getting married this can be part of your wedding invitations plan.

What should you add in this website?

  •  A welcome message to let people know what the event will be.
  •  Some photos to start setting the mood
  •  Information on what can someone expect from attending
  •  A registration form so that your guests can register for the event and perhaps get directions via email

2. Your Resume’s Website

Having your resume on a website has a threefold purpose.

First, it shows future employers and companies you want to work with that you care for your work. What a better way of showing that you can overdeliver than creating a live resume, right?

Secondly, it tremendously expands the kind of things you can include. Instead of just listing your previous jobs with text you can also add images, video embeds and different sections for your skills, work experience and education, making it much more enjoyable.

And lastly, it lets you keep your resume updated for whomever reaches it. Got a new job? Add it in there and let the world know.

3. A Garage Sale

If you’re planning a garage sale you can help spread the voice by putting it up online.

This website can sum up the type of things someone can expect to find for sale, but also can work magically to tease potential buyers.

Instead of just letting people know you’ll be having a garage sale you could pick your top ten items and create a post for each of them.

Investing a little more time to take some nice photos of them (we all have a camera in our pockets so there’re no excuses) can help you sell those faster too.

Think how nice could it be to make the experience a little more personal by having a blog with posts about each of the big things on sale.

This website’s sections? A nice welcome message to greet online visitors and let them know about the sale, details of the type of items they can expect to find, and perhaps a leadbox so that they can give you their email addresses (a great way to remind them later when the date comes and pack your sale even faster!).

Bonus points: Add a blog page and tell a personal story for the things you’re selling.

4. A Group Newsletter

Get all old fashioned and instead of sending a plain email to your group of friends to tell them about your latest trip to Thailand, write it in a post.

Each member of the group can have its own user and write her own news too. Think of it as your own private social network.

Everyone can add new stuff daily and comment on the other news. And you could leave it as a public site to be read, or limit it so that only logged in members can see the content on it.

Ideas for different things this could work for: Family news, your work team stuff, even an apartments building could use it as a way to keep everyone informed on which floor is sharing that home made bread everyone’s smelling.

5. Your Special Hobby

Have a hobby you’re proud of? Why not make a deal of it and share it with everyone.

We tend to think the things that matter to us doesn’t matter that much to the rest of people out there. And we tend to be wrong about it.

There’s probably more people interested on that same hobby than you think, and you will find that people will be more likely thankful to you for taking the time to write about it.

For this one, mostly a blog where you can post often will do. Although a nice About page can help build you some credit too. After all, if you’re making these efforts why not receive the kudos by having your name out there?

6. Your List of Top Books To Read

We all love getting recommendations from people we respect. And if you’re an avid reader you know that having a full queue of books to read can get challenging after some time.

This site can work as a simple blog where you add short excerpts of the best books you’ve read lately.

And of course, people will want to know the genius mind behind these top notch recommendations so make sure to add an About Me page with a nice picture of you too.

If you want to get fancier with it, you could use a Portfolio feature like the one on our themes to automatically add media for each of the books you recommend (like photos of the physical book, snippets or quotes and even a video of yourself telling about what part of each one you find more impactful).

Top Books Website

7. A Collection of Summer Activities For Your Kids

This one can work as a personal file of ideas you come up with during the year, so that when the summer comes you never get out of things to do with your kids.

This could be set to private so that only you and your closest family can access it but could also be open so that other parents can get advantage of those ideas too.

A blog with a good navigation on top will do here. Be sure to classify the ideas in categories so you can get to them faster when you have to pick one next.

8. A Family Story Record

In my family we don’t have a record for having great memory. So I, personally, start typing every time someone starts telling an old story I think I’ll want to remember in the future.

Starting a family stories diary is a great way of investing in the future of the ones that will come behind us, and doesn’t need much more than a blog.

Having a user for each family member that wants to write is super helpful to make sure everyone participates.

You can use blog categories to filter your stories by characters (people, yes, but if we’re in story telling mode, why not?), events, places, etc.

9. An Outfit Ideas Catalog Shared Between Friends

Getting dressed is hard.

Alright, for some people, getting dressed is hard. But even if you find coming up with a great outfit an easy task, you can help your fellow humans by helping with your own ideas.

This one is as easy as getting a photo of every perfect outfit you find.

Bonus points: You can include recommendations with your own affiliate links to different shops.

Bonus points 2: If you really find this easy you can teach other people how to get dressed properly.

10. A Top Recommendations Website For The Neighborhood

Are you one of those people that know everyone and everything ‘round the hood?

Get that precious knowledge to work by recommending the best places to eat out, where to do laundry faster on Wednesdays and which park has the best benches for people watching.

Your neighbors will enjoy knowing the best spots around their place and the business owners will thank you for recommending them.

You can also add a subscribe leadbox to slowly start building your email list and email everyone once a week with the top activities to do in the weekend.

(by the way, a leadbox module is available in all our themes that connects automatically with both Mailchimp and ConvertKit, so you don’t even have to use a plugin for that!)

11. A Blog For Your Kids

There are many benefits to blogging and having your kids write every day on their own website is an amazing incentive to journaling.

WordPress lets everyone write on a website with so much ease that makes any technical barrier inexistent. Not that any modern kid will likely face a technical difficulty, I know. But it help us see it as a much easier to achieve task too.

This also comes with the bonus points of being you the one that puts the website up for them. So you can be sure they’re blogging in a safe and supportive space all along.

Modules Blog Ready Made Site

An example of the beautiful Blog Artisan website created with Modules Theme

12. A List of Places You’d Like to Visit

We all use wishlists, right?

We write simple lists even for the supermarket, let alone bigger stuff.

So next time you find yourself longing to visit a new exotic place or city why not write it all in your own website?

If you can get into know-it-all mode about it, do a thorough research about every place. You can write a compelling guide including for example:

  • Eat out recommendations
  • Average prices for stuff like food, transportation, gifts
  • Location picks (hotels, Airbnbs, best neighborhoods to stay in)
  • Best times of the year to visit

And you don’t need much more than a simple blog to add every place when you have a new favorite.

13. Your Favorite Recipes

Alright, so this can sound like a thrilled one, but don’t underestimate it.

We ALL have to cook. Every day. Multiple times.

We even have a list at home we complete every week with all the meals we’re going to prepare. And boy, it takes a lo-ot of creativity to come up with new ideas.

If you have recipes that are worth a share, go ahead and put them down so every one of your friends can also get advantage of them.

No need to be a Michelin star chef for this. Simple recipes work fantastically for mid-week days and you can be sure someone reading them will thank you for it.

14. A Photo Album of Your Wedding

This one works AMAZINGLY well if you also had a Wedding Invitation website. But will work great on itself too.

Of course you can upload your photo albums to Facebook. You will. On the same night. Before leaving the event, even.

But having them on your own site will make browsing through them so much special, and a gift you can share with all your friends and family too.

Pick a nice theme, add both your names on the top with a nice title, and use that space to tell the story of your most special day.

You can even separate your photos by different moments of the day, and pick the ones that are the funniest and put them on a dedicated section (or go nuts with it and create multiple sections so everyone will want to watch all of them).

15. Your For-Rent Apartment

If you have a place you are putting up for rent this is a super easy website that will do wonders for that.

Instead of just putting your apartment in places like Craigslist and hoping it stands out from the rest on its own, create a simple website for it where you can add all the media you want.

Nice looking photos with expressive descriptions, videos showing the place, a contact form where people can get in touch with you.

All super easy to implement stuff. If you’re using any of our themes you’ll find many ready-made websites you can import and modify to have this live in less than half a day.

Think how quickly you will have the apartment taken from your hands when it has it’s own domain on the web.


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