Thursday, November 29, 2007

Subscribe by Email!

Now you can subscribe to this blog by email and get photo lovecat posts in your inbox! If you're reading this in a feed reader, CLICK HERE to visit the actual blog and use the email subscription form on the right to get new posts emailed to you!

I love using bloglines as my feedreader, but lately I've been so busy that the only things I've been looking at are the things that come through my inbox. Also, many of my own clients don't really track various blogs through a feedreader, so an email subscription is perfect for them because they get the blog content delivered directly and automatically to their email. The only email feeder option I've found to accomplish this with tons of additional features is FeedBlitz.com.

If you're a sporadic blogger (like I am with this blog, even though I'm very active on my personal blog), or if you find it difficult to keep a blog and a newsletter, this could be the perfect option for you and your readers! FeedBlitz.com has a lot of different options for customizing your feed and making it look more like a newsletter. You can also specify which posts get subscribed to by limiting a subscription to only certain tags.. for example, you could only have items tagged "personal" sent to a friends & family subscription, or only items tagged "portrait" sent to your portrait clients. You can also decide how frequently your blog gets emailed- if you post daily but only want to send an email to your clients once a week, you can set the frequency with which the posts are emailed. You can also track when your feed has been forwarded to others, and you can check click-through rates all within FeedBlitz! There's so much more, but I'll let you read about it on your own:



I'm just using the free option right now (which includes ads)- so you're welcome to see what it looks like by signing yourself up for new posts from this blog, and then you can unsubscribe safely whenever your heart desires! (Of course, I hope you'll love me so much that you won't... but I hate unnecessary email as much as the next person!) Check it out and see if this is something that will make life easier for you & your blog readers!

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Free Resources for Small Business Owners

A lot of creative people don't go into business to run a business. They go into business because they want to make a living from their art, their passion. Well, if you're making a living from your craft, than you need to get real with yourself and face up to the fact that you are, in fact, a business owner and that your ability to make a living is dependent on the ability of others to pay for your product or service. Unless you've hired a manager, publicist, and secretary - YOU are the manager, publicist, AND secretary all rolled into one! So, what? Why am I making a big deal about it?

By becoming a business owner, you have joined a new "club" of people who enjoy working for themselves. Running a business certainly isn't the easy way out, but the more you know about business, the easier it becomes. In order to survive as a small business owner, it's important that you stay on top of the latest business trends, news, and information. While it's important to know about the latest innovations within your craft, many of the daily issues you face in your business are common challenges that all small business owners face, and your ability to handle those challenges will determine your success. Some of the best ideas for new ways to overcome challenges, market or brand your business, or create innovative products can be found by simply keeping up with the general business world at large and by staying current with the latest books and trends OUTSIDE of your own industry, because the clients you serve are being affected by the trends of the larger business market as a whole. The more you know about your client and the messages they're receiving from the overall market, the better you'll be able to identify and communicate what makes your service and product important to them. The economy is changing, not just financially or globally, but the decisions people are making and why they are making them is changing as well. To understand these changes and to find resources for running your business, I've put together a few links for you to check out...

Web Videos, Blogs, and Forums for Business Owners
Small Business Television
All Business Advice & Forums

Government Sponsored Web Resources (yes, your tax dollars pay for these!)
The IRS's Small Business and Self-Employed One-Stop Resource
U.S. Small Business Administration

Non-profit Small Business Resource Websites
SCORE: Counselors to America's Small Businesses
America's Small Business Development Center
Tool Kit

Online Magazines for Business Owners
INC
Entrepreneur
Fast Company

Blogs from Business Authors & Motivational Speakers
Tim Sanders
Seth Godin
Duct Tape Marketing

Randomly Interesting Things for Trend Spotting
Digg
Boing Boing

It's much easier running a small business when you know you have people you can talk to about your business challenges. See if you can find a local group of small business owners, perhaps through your chamber of commerce, who you can meet with on a regular basis to talk about these challenges. Sometimes it's easier to find business support outside of your industry, since people are more likely to share information when they feel as though their personal business won't be threatened by the competition. You may also find more creative and abstract solutions to your problems by simply talking with someone who looks at things in a very different way. Having a community of support will help you keep your business on track, and pull you through when times are tough.
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