7 Easy Start Home Business Ideas

Photo courtesy Clayton800/PixabayIt’s a fact that some home business ideas require a lot more planning, preparation and money to start than others. Finding an idea for a profitable home business that doesn’t require a lot of time, effort or cash is a great way to start making money as quick as possible. Here are ten ideas to consider if that’s your goal.

1. Reselling. This can involve selling things you already own on Craigslist or eBay Classifieds, or holding a yard sale in your own backyard. Either way, all that’s required is to spruce up the items you have to sell, post some ads, get paid and repeat.

2. Housecleaning. While it’s not a job that everyone enjoys, everyone needs a clean house. Getting started as a paid house cleaner requires only a willingness to work and to do a good job. Clients can be found by placing online or local ads, or contacting a realtor in your area to ask for recommendations from her clients.

3. Child care. Love kids? Then child care may be the ideal home business for you. Let friends and family members know you’re looking for children to keep in your home and provide a safe, healthy environment and you’re good to go. Check with your state to see how many kids you can keep without a license before you grow too big, though.

4. Landscaping and lawn care. Lawn care is a huge business in most areas. This is true, in part, because so the majority of families have two working adults and it’s next to impossible for either one of them to find time to care for the lawn. That’s why so many people pay for this service and if you’ve got a good lawn mower, you can easily be the one they pay.

5. Sewing and alterations. If you have a sewing machine, and some sewing skills, you’re already equipped to start a home based business in this field. Place a few ads online and around town, let folks know your services are available and you may be surprised at how quickly you have more work than you can handle.

6. Event planning. You may think that event planning is just for businesses, but many individuals and families hire someone to organize and plan large birthday parties, family reunions, retirement parties and more. All you need to get started is an eye for detail and the ability to make phone calls and arrange necessary services.

7. Pet sitting and walking. Animal lovers have a simple, readymade business idea that requires nothing more than finding clients. By offering your services to sit with, tend or walk pets when their owners are away, you can make good money while providing a much needed, sometimes hard-to-find service that will folks will gladly pay for.

These seven home business ideas are all easy to start, require little—if any—investment, and can be used to build a home based business that is both fun and profitable. If none of these are what you’re looking for, they can at least get you thinking about what you might like to do and serve as a springboard for your own easy home business idea.

10 Tips for Writing Better Articles

Photo courtesy Unsplash/PixabayWriting articles and blog posts for your website or as guest posts on other websites and blogs has proven to be my number one business marketing tactic. And it costs nothing except my time!

Granted, I’m a professional writer who has been writing for nearly 40 years, have been published in a number of print magazines and newspapers as well as online, and have been paid well for my writing. But you don’t have to be a professional to write for an Internet audience.

Writing for the Web is much more casual and less rigid than writing for print. Most anyone with a basic understanding of English can craft helpful, readable content for use blogs and Websites by keeping these simple tips in mind.

  1. Keep your sentences and paragraphs short. Readers, especially online, like small “bytes” of information. Don’t “choke” them with too much at once.
  2. Don’t fill your page too full, either. White space makes for a visually short, quick read and time is certainly a high-priced commodity in today’s world. Someone scanning the page to decide if it’s worth his/her time will be much more likely to read your article if s/he sees plenty of white space surrounding the paragraphs.
  3. Bulleted paragraphs are great. They provide a quick outline that will attract the reader’s eye to the most important points you want to make. Bullet points are also easy to scan and make for quick reading by breaking up the copy into smaller pieces.
  4. Numbering your paragraphs is another way to break up the page. Be sure to number your paragraphs when your title demands it, as in “10 Tips for Writing Better Articles.” 😉
  5. Proofread carefully! This is crucial when writing anything – for online publishing or print. As a novice writer, no one expects you to know the proper placement of every comma (few professionals would), but you are expected to do your best to eliminate spelling errors and blatant mistakes in your writing.
  6. Don’t overdo the punctuation. It’s better to use too few exclamation marks (!), asterisks (*) or UPPERCASE letters than to use too many. Let the strength of your statements be in the words you choose.
  7. Decide what you want to say before you start to write. I’ve found myself many times writing an article with no idea of how it should end, only to write a full page and give up in frustration because I didn’t know what I really wanted to say. Don’t waste your time sitting down to write until you know what where your writing is headed.
  8. Follow the rule of “T.” “Tell them what you’re going to tell them; Tell them; Tell them what you told them.” The same format works well for an article or blog post.

    In other words, give a short summary of what the article is about, give the “meat” of the article, then recap the main points for emphasis. You’ll have a concise, well-targeted read that is clearly focused on your chosen topic.

  9. Along the same lines, stick to a single topic throughout your article. Don’t try to write about more than one thing in an article. If you’re writing about computer tips, don’t throw in details about how-to design a website. Stay on target and save the off-topic information for the next blog post.
  10. Don’t talk down to your readers! Share the information or tips you know, and share them well. But do so without giving the impression that you believe yourself to be an expert on the subject. Allow your readers to make that judgment for themselves. If what you’ve written is worthwhile, they’ll appreciate your honesty and humility, and will eagerly await your next article.

Writing for the Internet is different than writing for print, but it needn’t be more difficult. And it’s a tremendous tool for online increasing exposure for your website or blog.

If you don’t have the desire, time or necessary skills to write content for your blog or website, I can help! My professional writing services can provide you with all the content you need at a very affordable rate!

Where to Find Unlimited Article Ideas

Photo courtesy condesign/PixabayBeginning writers, and seasoned professionals alike, often struggle to find article ideas. The common cry is “I don’t know what to write about!” or a variation of the same. This simple exercise can help eliminate that fear of writing and phobia of the blank page or screen. Try these easy tips and you’re sure to come up with more article ideas than you could possibly write about in the next several years.

Grab a pen or pencil and a sheet of paper and make a list of every activity you enjoy, everything you know how to do, and even things you’d like to learn how to do.

• Hobbies and activities you participate in
• Jobs, careers, and position you’ve held
• Courses you’ve taken, or taught
• Seminars you’ve attended

Do you…
• collect stamps?
• ride a bike?
• teach kindergarten?
• hunt?
• fish?
• preach?
• sing?

Write it down! Every single thing you can think of that you know even a little bit about can potentially become an article.

Are you a…
• parent?
• friend?
• sibling?
• Christian?
• secretary?
• accountant?
• janitor?
• softball player?

Write it down! Include all the hats you wear every day and ones you only don occasionally.

Can you…
• win at chess?
• draw cartoons?
• paint?
• play the piano?
• grow African violets?
• upholster a chair?
• make beaded jewelry?

Write it down! Everything you do has value so don’t neglect even the smallest idea.

Do people say you…
• bake the best brownies in the neighborhood?
• have the nicest looking yard on the block?
• listen better than anyone else they know?
• sing more beautifully than anyone in the church?

Then you have something to write about!

Think about what you know and consider how you could turn it into an article.

For example…

Let’s say your passion is cooking. You can write about “The 10 Best Cookie Recipes in the South” or “Essential Ingredients for a Successful Loaf of Bread.”

You know what makes a good recipe. You know how to follow the necessary steps to create a delicious casserole or dessert. You find the ingredients, you gather the utensils, measuring cups and spoons, bowls, etc., you prepare your pan or baking dish, you mix the ingredients in the proper order, etc.

Use this concept to write an article!

• What constitutes a good recipe? Write about it!

• How did you learn to cook? Did you take a course, read a book? Write about it!

• What are the ingredients to a successful dish others might consider difficult? Write about it!

• What utensils and tools are mandatory for a well-stocked kitchen? Any software programs that might help, or necessary supplies? Write about it!

• How are ingredients properly mixed? How do you measure properly? What’s a “pinch”? Write about that!

I’m sure you get the idea. Simply consider how what you know could be shared with others through articles and blog posts. Select those topics that appeal to you the most and write about them. You may surprise yourself with your creativity and writing abilities.

If you don’t have the desire, time or necessary skills to write content for your blog or website, I can help! My professional writing services can provide you with all the content you need at a very affordable rate!

Free Business Forms and Templates

Photo courtesy PixabaySometimes you find you need a business form or template to create a specific document for your company. Whether it’s an employment application, a check register or papers for incorporation, you can find almost any free business form you online. Here’s a rundown of some of the sites I’ve found that make a good starting point in your search.

Some of these sites may require free registration, others may offer a paid version, but at the time of this writing, all these sites offered a variety of free forms for you to download, customize and use for your business.

  1. FreeBusinessForms.com
  2. BusinessFormTemplate.com
  3. FreePrintable.net
  4. Max-Info.com
  5. Office Depot
  6. Propinquity LLC
  7. Smart Biz
  8. SnappyForms
  9. Template Trove
  10. TidyForms

Know of another site that offers free business forms? Leave a comment below and let me know about it!

Marvin the Marketer Says, “Domain’s The Game”

A few years back, I created a character I called “Marvin the Marketer.” Marvin was a frequent contributor to my business blog at that time and always a favorite of mine, as well as my readers.

Recently, I came across some old Marvin the Marketer posts from that blog and thought you might like to learn from his wisdom and insight as well. As such, Marvin will be sharing with us occasionally and I hope you like what he has to say. 😉

Photo courtesy PixabayMarvin the Marketer decided he’d like to become the next mega-guru of Internet marketing. So, he created a free website with a six-foot long url, joined every affiliate program he could locate online, and wondered why he wasn’t making any money.

Don’t be like Marvin!

Follow the number one rule of successful internet marketing… get your own domain name! No one is going to take you seriously until you do.

If you’re determined to have a profitable Internet business, take the first step on the road to real success… visit GoDaddy now and fork over the $10 or so to register your business domain. It’s the first step to real online success and you’ll see the difference immediately if you’ve been trying to market on a free website.

Marvin says, “After all, if you can’t afford to spend $10 on your new business venture, you may want to reconsider whether you should start a business of your own at all.”

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