Dreaming and Reviving Bricks

My horoscope for July 10, 2014

Dreams of a new career, particularly one that pays well, could fill your mind today – perhaps because of too many stresses in your current one. You might even be thinking in terms of becoming a movie star! Go for your dreams if you feel that this is what you want, but remember that any moneymaking enterprise, no matter how creative, is still a business. Make use of your natural business head to find out what you need to know.

Reviving Bricks

You just inherited a dilapidated, crumbling-down grand mansion in the countryside. Assuming money is no issue, what do you do with it?

My Take on Dreaming about Renovation

Logo for This Old House (PBS)
Logo for This Old House (PBS)

Sure, this is one of my ongoing dreams, being a long-time fan of “This Old House” from the 80s. Although sometimes having a lot of money to throw at a project can actually hamper your creative visioning and not focus on either making it one’s own or flipping. Either way, you should consider the budget, more in terms that eventually the house will need to appraise out and there’s nothing worse…in my book…of over-improving a house.

Let’s assume for a moment that this is about maximizing the return on investment and I found the perfect run-down Victorian beauty that needed a face lift…and…the plan is to make this a profitable business venture by improving and reselling. With all that in mind, I would set about finding local, under-used and under-appreciated talent to provide a scope of work and approve the budget with an eye on the bottom-line: resale value in the marketplace.

Depending on just how bad the property was to begin with and all that would be entailed in fixing any underlying problems with foundation, rot, wiring, HVAC and framing, the amount available for actual improvements to interior layout and design would need to be balanced with curb appeal. Having a local real estate professional do an assessment of potential market value would tell me exactly the budget that would be needed to both maximize profit and a quick sale. The longer a property is held, the less profit would be available since, even if it was purchased outright, there are still holding costs like property taxes.

You can tell that I’ve thought about this a lot and would find it a fascinating venture…and a dream come true!



SEO Basics For Self-Published Authors – Pt. 1

SEO Basics For Self-Published Authors – Part 1

Posted on July 31, 2013 by admin Posted in eBook Publishing, SEO Writing

Anyone who works online should have a basic understanding of SEO or search engine optimisation. You may have created a blog for your latest book, or starting a business based on your expertise. No matter what your reasons for operating online, at some point you are going to require a basic understanding of SEO and how it works. You may find some of what you read online about the subject confusing, so in this two-part article I will look at two of the most basic principles of SEO. To begin, for this article I will describe in the simplest of forms what SEO means and why it is so important. In the second part I will discuss some of the processes you can use to improve your online position and how to use them.

The Search  & Your Ranking

An online search will usually begin with a few keywords. You may be looking to find an answer to a specific question or a way to perform a specific task. No matter what the reason we all do the same thing, we go straight to our favourite search engine. To start things off we may try to formulate a question or maybe just type in a series of keywords or phrases related to the subject into the search bar and begin looking through the results. According to Google, this happens more than 3 billion times each and every day, and that is just one search engine facility. Imagine the total searches performed across the hundreds of search engines available to us.

So what does this mean to us self-published, or “Indie” authors? The fact is, this is probably the most common task performed online. Why is this so important to us authors? It’s important because it can be the difference between success and failure.

Search engines such as Google and Yahoo are responsible for the bulk of traffic making its way around the Internet. The search engines role is to provide the best possible results to the questions and keywords people enter into the search bar.

Software programs (often called spiders) work like robots and move around the Internet non-stop looking over the content we post on our blogs and websites. They analyse the content and decide what questions and which keywords are relevant to the content.

When a search engine receives a question it analyses all of the content its robots have viewed and indexed and provides a result instantaneously that is most appropriate to the question asked. In a split second the user is provided pages of results relating to the query. Most users will click on the links on the first few pages of results. The further down the list, the less likely the results will ever be seen. This is why it is so critical that your pages appear in those first results.

via SEO Basics For Self-Published Authors – Part 1 – Pro-Content Blog.

Of Art and Money [reblog]

The Racewood Post | beyond writing

When I first read this article on HuffPost books I confess my initial knee jerk reaction was to write a sort of counter piece, about how publishing is a business and self publishing is ultimately also a business, and that if we’re ever going to pull the name of self publishing out of the muck we need more people who want to work at it to make it good, not just every Tom, Dick, and Harry who just wants to say they wrote a book.

Upon further introspection however it was plain to see that this was a far more complicated issue than it might first appear. On the one hand, publishing is a business. There’s no getting around that, but on the other hand, writing is art. It’s supposed to be about telling a story, entertaining readers, and expressing ideas and opinions. While wanting to make money from a book is great, it can’t and shouldn’t be your sole reason for writing.

Continue reading this post via The Racewood Post | beyond writing.

Is insanity getting in the way of running a successful business?

Stop the Blame, Stop the Insanity

Want to see a change in your business for the better? Try these 7 Steps To Success

  1. For a period of 30 days start your day by expressing gratitude.
  2. Begin your time in your office with something that will monetize your business. Stay out of email first thing in the morning other than to access any emails that are directly connected with monetizing your business.
  3. Minimize your time in social networks unless the time is directly related to your business growth.
  4. Be willing to end conversations talking about “how slow things are, my market is different, my business is different, you don’t understand, blah, blah, blah.” Engage in conversations about business growth, what the market wants, needs and is willing to pay for, trends and possibility.
  5. Map out your next 30 days. Put a plan in place to create something that will monetize and grow your business. Work the plan.
  6. Rather than assuming the success others experience is based on how lucky they are dig deeper and take a look at what they are doing to create their success.
  7. Look at their systems and be willing to model what they are doing. It’s likely when you do you too will experience a new level of success.

Here’s the deal; you can choose to continue on the path of the insane people who have the solutions at their fingertips but still do things their way or you can follow the path of those who are wildly successful.

The choice is yours.

via Is insanity getting in the way of running a successful business?.

The Songwriter & Social Media Tour–Matthew Moran

Workshops will be co-branded, co-marketed, and co-sponsored by colleges, business organizations, and private companies and will be provided a venues ranging from university campuses, coffeehouses, and private homes. The workshops are designed to provide case-study style information and will involve a high-degree of interaction and audience participation; providing an opportunity for the attendees to brainstorm and apply the strategies and tools to their own businesses.

Matthew Moran presents workshops nationally on technology, business, creativity, and social media content. He continues to perform as a songwriter in multiple venues, including in Phoenix and Los Angeles. Now, he is combining the two to create, The Songwriter & Social Media Tour –a combination musical tour supporting his new CD, “Girls, Songs, and Other Delusions“, and a series of social media & business technology related workshops co-branded or sponsored by chamber of commerce groups, colleges, and other professional organizations.

In addition to his new CD, songwriter Matthew Moran has a background as a blogger, podcaster, and business consultant. While planning a show, he was asked to provide a workshop on how to effectively use Facebook. From this request an idea was born.
Drawing on his experience as a workshop presenter, technology consultant, and as a performer.

“There is a lot of confusion about social media and technology for businesses and individuals,” Matt said recently, “and a lot of people feel they are going to miss the bandwagon if they don’t act quickly.”
But Matt cautions against the often knee-jerk, jump into social media, reaction that many businesses and individuals take.

“Social media is a tool and a potentially powerful tool but if it is not part of an integrated marketing strategy, it can be a huge time-waster,” he continued. “It is certainly not a panacea and will not make up for bad product, inefficient business practices, or the lack of a sales & marketing plan.”

That is why two of the workshops focus on directly social media as part of a broader marketing plan. “Don’t Waste Your Time: The Ugly Truth About Social Media” and “Online Presence Roadmap: A Top-Down Strategy for Exposure & Efficiency“.

Other workshops include: “Creating Your First Blog or Podcast Using WordPress”, “Creating Audio or Video for Nothing or Next-To-Nothing”“Online Collaborative Technologies: Using Google Applications To Share and Collaborate”, and “Technology, Social Media, and Strategy for Performers, Artist, and Similar Creative Personalities”.

Each is provided in a case-study and example format and include interactive question and answers to help businesses and individuals see where they can apply the tools and strategies in their own business.

About Matthew Moran
Matthew Moran is the author of, The IT Career Builder’s Toolkit: Your Complete Guide To Building Your Technology Career In Any Economy (published by Cisco Press) and numerous articles on business, technology, and professional development. He is a keynote and workshop speaker–having presented for Prentice Hall, McDonald’s Corporation, and numerous other companies, colleges & universities, and business organizations.

About The Songwriter & Social Media Tour
The Songwriter & Social Media Tour is a series of interactive business workshops put together by songwriter Matthew Moran as he tours in support of his current CD.

Workshops will be co-branded, co-marketed, and co-sponsored by colleges, business organizations, and private companies and will be provided a venues ranging from university campuses, coffeehouses, and private homes.

The workshops are designed to provide case-study style information and will involve a high-degree of interaction and audience participation; providing an opportunity for the attendees to brainstorm and apply the strategies and tools to their own businesses.

For additional information, go to Matt’s website: http://www.MatthewMoranOnline.com