Tips and Techniques on Running an Online Home Business

This series of articles looks at the mechanics of setting up and operating a business online.

I produced an online marketing blue print which brings together the mechanics of setting up and promoting a business website, It’s available on my WordPress services website but you can download it here.

You will, of course, need to consider book-keeping, accountancy, tax and other things like that. But I don’t cover those here, because those things vary from market to market. And, anyway, I’m not an accountant!

Click the headline to read the full article and leave a comment under the article (or contact me) if you need any clarifications.

Since I’ve been an Independent Trivita Business Owner I’ve occasionally been surprised at the reaction I’ve got from people when they’ve found out. They’ve ranged from me being told I’m promoting something illegal, to being called an Avon Lady promoting an unverified product. At first it came as quite a shock, especially as those reactions… . . . Read more

If I woke up in the middle of the night 6 weeks ago, needing to go to the bathroom, I could barely walk. The pain in my feet was excruciating. Getting up in the morning was the same: in both cases, just in order to get out of the bedroom I had to lean my… . . . Read more

If your customers aren’t paying you on time they’re costing you money. Worse, they may never pay you at all. Yet protecting yourself against slow or non-paying customers is not difficult – it just requires that you put a simple, logical process in place. Here’s the process I use: Lay down the ground rules at… . . . Read more

If you’re one of the millions who travel 2 hours to work each day and the same amount of time back, you’ve doubtless occasionally envied those who work from home. I certainly did. I’ve now worked at home for more than 2 years, and I love it. But it does require some self-imposed discipline that… . . . Read more

The economy has changed, fundamentally and forever. And, as a result, the days of mass employment as we knew it have gone. Since the crash of 2008/09, governments have employed well tried and tested methods to kick-start the economies in Europe and the US. And they’ve failed. Why? Because the old economy depended on consumer… . . . Read more

I wrote back here about why I started using Gmail as my email client (instead of Outlook or Thunderbird) and here about how to set it up. But I didn’t cover how to set up a professional signature. If you’re running your own business, having a professional email signature is a necessity. Not only does… . . . Read more

If you’re running a travel or locally focused website, making use of Google Maps is a great way to highlight areas of interest and engage your visitors. In your Google account (under Maps) you can create a map (via the ‘create a new map’ link) and then customize it to include areas you want to… . . . Read more

I wrote back here about moving my email to Gmail and how, by setting it up correctly, no one will ever know. You can make it absolutely transparent (so it appears to be coming from your own servers) and it’s easy to set up and link an effective signature. But I didn’t describe how to… . . . Read more

I’ve been self employed for 18 months now and I love every minute of the independence it brings me. Recently, I was contacted by a head hunter who was looking for someone to work for China’s ‘most used and largest internet service portal’ (at least, that’s what their website says). When I told a couple… . . . Read more

When I first got into Internet Marketing I struggled. A lot. But being up against it forces you to review your values, your priorities and what it is you’re really trying to achieve in life. I’m glad, now, that I struggled but I’m much more glad that I didn’t join the 95% of people who… . . . Read more

Editing the stylesheet of a website or theme designed by someone else can be a seriously frustrating exercise, because finding the correct element to edit is like looking for a needle in a haystack If you’re lucky, the original designer will have used sensible element names and commented their code in detail – which should… . . . Read more

I did a website for a client recently. It’s a sports bar and he wanted a calendar to display details and times of the different sports events he was going to be screening at the bar each weekend. I always try to use commercially (or freely) available solutions for my clients. First of all it’s… . . . Read more

I’ve been using Thunderbird as my email client for ages – years – and I’ve always been very happy with it. But last weekend a wave of emails containing the JS/Redir virus starting hitting me (and they’re still hitting me now). AVG spotted the virus (which was good) but couldn’t get rid of it (not… . . . Read more

A while ago I wrote an article in which I said that you almost certainly know more than you think you do about working online. And that once you realise that, you’ll suddenly find a whole bunch of business opportunities opening up. I described one in the article. So this week I saw another example… . . . Read more

When I first started working online I used the fact that I was a newbie to comfort myself when I wasn’t making any money. And then I saw others coming in, who were newer than me, making their first $100, or getting their first 10 sales, while I still had nothing to show. And panic… . . . Read more

Someone was asking how to verify a website in Google Webmaster Tools in one of the forums yesterday.This is such a useful tool (I did a video of it here) that I would recommend anyone who’s serious about their website to use it.So here’s a quick video on how to add a site and verify… . . . Read more

Seth Godin’s book The Dip has some inspiring lessons for people at all stages in their career or business. Its message is quite simple: all new projects and businesses will hit a dip – that point in time when reality sets in and the excitement of the new project has worn off. Suddenly it all… . . . Read more

Seems like the hackers are after me at the moment: 2 weeks ago my Twitter account was hacked and last week one of my static web sites was hacked. Last week’s hack was particularly embarrassing. I’d sent someone the link to my Web Services site. On the web design page there are some links to… . . . Read more

My Twitter account was hacked yesterday. It started sending out the ‘This You..??’ Direct Message to people I’m following. The DM has a link and, out of curiosity (and with bated breath), I decided to see where it went. I closed everything else down so I could invoke AVG quickly and get rid of nasties… . . . Read more

Another excellent article from Nathan Hangen this week, with which I totally empathized. It continues the theme I referred to here with the point that there’s a ‘freeloading’ mindset today. Along with ‘freeloading’ I would add ‘responsibility avoidance’. And it’s not healthy. I see it reflected in so many ways. It’s the kind of mindset… . . . Read more

It’s such a shame that people like this can’t channel their skills into something worthwhile, instead of screwing up other people’s PC’s. A friend called me on Saturday morning because his PC had caught a Virus. Could I help him sort it out, he wanted to know. We met up just after lunch and I… . . . Read more

Interesting article on Nathan Hangen’s blog this week: There’s More to Life Than Blogging. In it he asks why you blog and suggests you should know the answer before you start. It reminded me of the number of times I’ve seen this question (or something like it) on Twitter: “I just started a new blog… . . . Read more

I don’t do New Year’s resolutions. I’m continually making resolutions to improve the way I do things, so what’s so different about January 1st? But two articles recently caught my interest and, since it is January, they’ve provoked the closest thing I’ve come to a New Year’s resolution. It’s about being paid for my expertise… . . . Read more

I was helping someone restore their blog the other day. They had tried to add a new domain to their Hostgator account and the result wasn’t pretty. Their existing blog (the primary domain for their Hostgator account) was suddenly not available at all. In any guise. We couldn’t navigate to it as a visitor and… . . . Read more

I introduced some of the online Internet Marketing tools I use in this article, with the promise I’d review more. So here they are. Again, they’re all free to use although some do have some limitations. To get around them you’ll need to either upgrade or pay. The cost is usually insanely cheap, though, and… . . . Read more

In this post I described the primary desktop tools I use in my internet marketing business. This time I’ll take a look at some of the on-line tools I use. All these tools are free to use, although some have limitations – for example the sitemap generator will create free sitemaps for sites with up… . . . Read more

I was helping a friend the other day and needed to get FTP access to their site. So they fired up the web based FTP tool provided by their hosting provider. And it was one of the least intuitive applications I’ve ever seen! So I showed her how to install Filezilla and it took us… . . . Read more

I saw a question recently where someone was asking for advice on providing an Internet Marketing consulting service. It was apparently their first, or one of their first, consulting gigs. The question was full of vibes about how to protect themselves by making sure their client couldn’t take anything they came up with to another… . . . Read more

Thanks to my time and salary being cut by 30% at my day job, I’ve been able to work at home and focus more time on my Internet work. So what have been the benefits? Well it’s nice not to have to work until 1 in the morning because I’m doing 2 jobs, and it’s… . . . Read more