Time Management Tips For Small Business Owners
Do you love the idea of having an online business but feel daunted by the amount of time it takes to get everything done?
You probably know more than a few successful business coaches, experts and other types of online business owners who pull in some decent profits.
In fact, you routinely come across online entrepreneurs making six and even seven figures.
How are they managing to do this without being glued to their computers and devices 24/7?
The key to saving time in your online businesses is figuring out what you need to do to automate and streamline routine processes. This doesn’t happen overnight because of the learning curve.
But even so, it’s always smart to get an understanding of which online business elements you should put in place first. You’ll want to master how you should ideally go about things for fewer mistakes later, and built-in shortcuts to keep profits flowing in.
The first few years that you have an online business, you’ll be very busy trying to figure out how things work. Your mind will load up on all kinds of new information.
Things like which apps and programs make the best tools to help you run your business, how to find business partners online to help you increase your profits, how to develop relationships with affiliates who can help you make more money by working together, and other common tenants of online business ownership will occupy your mind for at least a few years.
You know you’ll be putting in a substantial amount of time and effort.
However, there is always a fast track to learning. So you may as well skip ahead to some of the best advice for business owners out there. If you do, you’ll spend less time glued to the details of your business and more time creating and launching products that make you money.
So if time saving is going to be the name of your business game, then keep on reading.
Up-Front Time Savers for Your Online Business Launch
Today we’ll discuss all of the basic time saving secrets that you need to successfully run a mostly hands-off online business venture.
Let’s kick things off with some internet business preliminaries to put in place. This way, you’ll be ahead of the game in terms of saving time, even before you launch.
The truth about an online business is that you can get things going in any approach that you’d like.
But just know that it's about great content. There's no getting away from the content aspect of this. So if you hate computers and can't fathom how to function on the internet in general, online business may not be for you.
But if you're someone who is constantly sharing content anyway, and you do things like upload beautiful pictures and tell your personal business story on Facebook, Linkedin, TikTok and other social sites, then it will be easy enough to transition to a money making frame of mind as you continue to share words and pictures on the web.
What basic elements of a web-based business should you put in place before moving forward with your plan to make money online?
Build Your List Now, Save Time Later
First and foremost: if you’re interested in rapid online business growth, you should start list building immediately.
To do this, you just need two things. One: content about a topic that you are intimately familiar with, which can one day be the basis of your niche website and product sales.
And two, a way to capture email addresses of the people who find and read your content, who want more.
Worry less about your logo and brand image at this juncture. All you're doing right now is getting used to constantly posting content on the web, and then making sure to get those email addresses of people who view your content with interest.
Pop quiz about list building: is it enough to invite someone to give your email their email address to you? The answer is no. You cannot and should not email people marketing-type messages or an email newsletter from your personal email inbox.
Because your email client and web server are built to only handle a limited amount of recipients.
The number might be 100, or it could have changed by the time you read this.
But if you’ve ever tried to email a group message to a bunch of friends, you will notice that after you reach a certain number of recipients, you'll get cut off and your email client will not permit you to send the message.
This is because of spam. Your email host is likely to interpret any mass emails that you send out as being spam.
And even though you might think that your email shouldn’t be classified as spam because it's from you and because you wrote it with love… if you’re mass emailing people without getting their permission, then it actually is spam.
So how do you get people's email address, along with their permission for you to send them messages in the future? Simple.
You sign up for a permission based email manager such as Aweber, Mailchimp, Constant Contact, or another service such as this.
What is the cost of such a service?
Well the year is currently 2021. If you go with Aweber as your chosen permission based email software provider, then you're looking at roughly $200 per year for a maximum of $5, 000 subscribers.
This is a rough number – so don’t quote me on it. Keep in mind this number will change... and by the time you read, this the information may not be accurate. Such is the way of the web.
We offer you the number to simply give you an idea that you can grow quite a large list and email people, with their permission at any time, using a service like a Aweber, and it will only run you about the price of a trip to the grocery store.
That’s pretty economical, considering how much time you’ll save with such a brilliant email marketing tool in place.
Time-Saving Steps to Begin Collecting Email Subscribers
What are the steps to start collecting email subscribers quickly?
If you're not shy about clicking links and copying and pasting, then it shouldn't take you long at all to get up and running with your own, lead-generating system based in an email manager like Aweber or MailChimp.
So let's talk about the steps that this takes to set up properly.
Step 1: Sign up for the service.
How quickly do you predict that you'll be able to grow a list?
If you're planning on publishing an article a month, then you probably won't end up with much more than 200 subscribers for the full year.
But if you're going to be pumping out constant content, you could maybe grow a list of 1,000 in a year. It really depends on the resources that you have and how well you set up your website to start attracting readers who want to buy things from you.
So choose your basic package with your email list management service such as a Aweber or MailChimp. Make your payment, and then get ready to log in and do the basic setup.
Step 2: Create a new list.
Once on the inside, whatever program you use should be able to walk you through the initial steps. First things first, create a list. Name the list so that you'll know who you’re sending mail to. A good list manager service will permit you to segment your subscribers.
That means you can create individual, targeted lists with unique messages and forms to drive traffic and sign ups to each category.
So create your first subscriber list.
Name it and then explain what the readers will get when they sign up. Maybe you intend on offering weight loss tips and discounts on popular fitness and wellness products. So say that in a short and concise way in the description area of your email list.
Step 3: Set up your confirmation email.
Next there will be a confirmation email. This goes out to your readers instantly and automatically after they sign up. How does it work?
There will be a form that they discover on your website and decide to enter their information in. You will be the person who changes the details of this form.
You'll do it right inside your member account. There will be some code that you'll copy and paste. But before you do that, your list manager will ask you to set up a standard confirmation email that goes out after people sign up.
To envision this, try to imagine that you are someone signing up for the list. You put your name and email in the into the sign up form and press return. Or click submit.
What happens next?
An email will arrive in the subscriber’s inbox asking them to open the email click a link and confirm that they would like to receive emails from this originating source. The source is of course, you.
So since we are on step three which is deciding what the confirmation email will say, when you're logged into your email manager program you'll navigate over to this area of your list setup.
They will generally be a boilerplate message that says something like please confirm your subscription as the subject. Inside you'll find a standard, all-purpose message that says something like:
”Thank you for joining such and such list. To confirm that you would like to hear from us, please click the link below.”
The key is to get people on this list. That is how you give them control of whether they receive mail from you or not. This is a good spam protector.
If people are able to control whether or not they remain on your list and which email they subscribe to hear from you with, then they’re less likely to become angered and report you as a spammer when your emails come in.
If you collect email addresses but do not get the permission and do not get the confirmation click, later on when you send out emails you won't know who still wants to hear from you and who does not.
This can make your subscribers angry – and then you're really likely to get slammed with the spam label. So please be sure to utilize an email list manager that offers permission based emailing. It's for the protection of you and your subscribers alike.
Okay... so we were moving along with the steps to start your email list building strategy.
You just refined or confirmed the email customers receive when they sign up. Next you get to create the form.
Step 4: Design your sign-up form.
Because this is somewhat complicated, we’ll discuss it in a new article.
Here’s a major time saving tip if you’re setting up subscriber forms on your website or blog.
If you paste raw HTML then you will have to hand code every form each time you update it wherever it lives on your website or other pages online.
Now that we know all this, you can navigate to the form creation area of your list manager.
If you use Aweber, you will automatically be walked through this step as part of the list creation process.
At this step, you will be able to customize your form. You can choose color, size of the form, any specific message to include there, details such as name, email address, home address and any other variables, and other things.
You even get to decide how the form will behave. Some people want to insert the form in the middle of their web page.
Some want to have it in the sidebar at a certain horizontal width. Some want the form to pop up when people are reading an article. Some want the form to block the content until people enter their information and click submit.
It's up to you to decide what your web form will do when people come across it on your website.
You can change the details however you like.
If you decide that you don't care for the way this form is functioning or if people are not signing up because the form is annoying or doesn't work properly, you can always log back into this area of your list management software tool, and create a new form for the same list.
In fact, you can create as many forms as you need to offer a single list.
You can place the forms in various spots of your website. Or, you can delete the forms if they become corrupt or if they don't work the way you want them to.
Please note that if you're in the form design area, the forms that you make will be coded for this particular list that you just created.
In other words, if you decide to create two lists, you’ll have to navigate to one of them specifically if that’s the list that you want to make forms for people to sign up to.
If you go ahead and decide to create a new list in your account, you will need to start from scratch and run through all of the above listed steps.
This includes creating the list, naming the list, describing the list, setting up a confirmation email, and designing a form which you then publish on your web pages and posts.
Content Sharing Setup to Save You Time and Headaches: Your Blog Goes First
Want to start growing your fan base and web presence?
Set yourself up to share content ASAP. Back when the web was new, there weren’t a lot of choices when it came to sharing content on the web. At the time, everything worked very slowly.
So instead of having a website, a person might just have had a single web page.
People who came there only could view a small amount of information that they would be able to surf through. The information would come very slowly and the pictures would take much longer to load.
Now that the internet is so speedy, we have many options for sharing content online. So for your first order of business, you're going to want to have your own blog or website.
You can get a website if you're comfortable working in HTML. But if you're a newbie, you probably don't know much about that.
There's a huge learning curve to creating HTML pages. Your choices are to take a paid course, or learn on the fly.
Most everyone in modern society chooses a blog format for their website. You don’t need to know HTML, and you can learn it on the fly thanks to the blog’s built-in editor that functions much like HTML email or MS Word.
NOTE: People get hung up on the word blog.
They think that developing a blog is some kind of an online diary.
That may have once been the case when blogs first came out. There were journals.
Really, a blog is simply a content management system. The most common one that is open source is called WordPress.
WordPress lets you login, type or paste in written content, import pictures, embed videos, create links that go to your own blog as well as other people's websites, and publish this content live on the web.
Here’s a handful of reasons to go with a blog format for your website:
No knowledge of HTML needed. You can start posting immediately, knowing nothing about how to code. You’ll learn as you go.
Cut out time waiting for a professional designer – also save yourself thousands.
WordPress has a ton of themes that you can download, activate and customize all with a few button clicks.
Once your blog is up and running, you can quickly make changes on the fly. Most designs have built-in editor that lets you change colors, fonts, content placement, site structure, navigation and more.
You can log in and blog from anywhere. Your bed, the car, your dentist’s office, the park… anywhere!
Blogs get indexed quickly by search engines. That’s a big shortcut to getting found online.
Avoid Hosting Hassles, Get a Domain Name that Dominates
In order to manage your own business blog, you must have your own hosting and a domain name.
Choose a domain company like NameCheap to brainstorm a domain that you might want for your business.
That’s going to be your .com (or these days you can get a .net, .co, .us, .org or other.
Then when it comes to hosting, you want to go with a good company that keeps a close watch on its servers.
A smaller, cozier web host where you can actually talk to real people is generally the best choice. This way, when you have a question, you can simply email your web host and you will get a human response that includes helpful details and instructions on what to do.
Momwebs is a great company for web hosting. In just a few minutes, you can set yourself up with their service, create a customer account and make your payment. It will only cost you probably less than $250 per year for both the domain and the hosting. Sign up with both companies. Try to hit a sale if you can. Go with BlueHost and Momwebs, or whomever you choose.
Once you’re all checked out with your purchases, you must connect your domain to your hosting. You'll have to log into the customer control panel of each website – meaning the site where you purchased your domain, and the site where your hosting lives – and then go back and forth configuring things between the two.
And if you use BlueHost for example, then you're going to have to change their name servers to reflect your host. Ask your hosting company what the name servers are.
Once you’ve typed or copied the name server URLs, you want to copy them into your name server area of your domain host.
Now if it's BlueHost, navigate to that particular domain in your account with them. Go to the name server area, and then click or check off that you want to choose your own name server. Paste in the URL that you were given by your host. Then click save.
Now you're ready for the fun part.
Your blog installation.
Your blog will live in a MySQL database on your hosting server.
Your first step is to install WordPress if you're using that.
Most web hosts now have one-click installation.
Simply indicate that you want to use WordPress by clicking a button. The database installs automatically.
After the domain installs in the domain area of your hosting company, you'll receive a login. This means that you can log into your blog from anywhere as long as you have an internet connection.
Store your login in a safe place so that you can type or paste it in from either your phone, your desktop or laptop computer, your iPad or any other device where you expect to be sharing content on the go.
Next, get some basics in place for your blog. Decide what you want on the homepage.
Most people list a standard series of pages including Home, About, Services, Products, Contact and a few others.
You can have any type of name for the pages that live in your main navigation.
You can decide that you don't want Home, About and Services pages there. Instead you can search engine optimize your pages by naming them with phrases that explain what the page is about in a way that will drive targeted traffic.
So if you're creating a website about skiing then your top navigation could be Home, Skiing Basics, Where to Ski, Skiing Equipment, Skiing Tutorials, and whatever else you plan to share in your main categories on the niche.
Again, we mentioned that branding really isn't important at this juncture. You’re getting the feel for the logistics of a well-built website.
So instead of worrying about whether or not the little bird is on the left or the right side of your logo, you can do that later. For now, you're just worrying about the basic content setup and the structure of your website.
Cut Production Time During Blog Posting Sessions.
Organize Your Content’s Structure Up Front
The more organized your website, the more likely it will be quickly and efficiently indexed by search engines. This means that categories do matter.
You will have a general idea of what you put in your website. But if you can narrow it down to categories you'll be better off.
Search engines like the content to be logically structured. Logically structured content is easy for them to crawl and find.
So for example, if you have that Skiing Equipment page, then you could add categories like brands, types of skis, outerwear, and that sort of thing.
When your website visitor clicks a specific category, this shows a specific grouping of posts in the list that have been labeled by the blogger using that category.
Your visitors can scroll through those, and browse and click what they'd like to learn more about and maybe make a purchase.
Once you have all of your main pages in place, this will help you get content creation brewing in the back of your mind. Don't overthink the content. Instead, think about what you would like to happen when people land on each individual page in your main navigation.
Would you like them to sign up directly from that page?
Then configure the page so that a form pops up right in the main content area. This means that there will be fewer clicks in order to get to the signup. The fewer clicks there are, the more likely you will be to capture interested parties and turn them into subscribers who later become buyers.
So since you already got your basic list manager set up with your first list, now is a good time to copy and paste the form code in.
You can get familiar with form code by switching your blog or website to the text-only mode of content entry.
That's because if you try to paste the code into your HTML editing area, you won't be able to see the form. It doesn’t show up generally, until you publish and are looking at your website from the live web.
So it’s there, but you can’t see it from your blog console. That will be confusing for you.
Anytime you want to see what your form code looks like, meaning the guts of it, flip to the text entry side of your blog post or page that you're entering in WordPress or another blog content management system.
To paste a sign-up form into your pages, go back to your list manager such as Aweber. Navigate to the forms area of the list that you are going to be marketing to with this blog that you're setting up. Go to the form that you want to paste in and have show up on your website.
Click on Publish My Form or whatever the verbiage is at the time that you read this. Do a control-A, then control-C to highlight all and then copy all of the form code.
Then navigate to the page where you want the form to appear. Click the text view so that you're working directly in the raw HTML. Control-V pastes in the code that you just copied.
Paste the code in. If you plan to type a message above or below the form, place your cursor at the start of the code and type some words in.
You can also place it at the end of the form where the code ends and type a message there as well.
So when people arrive on your page, it might say something like “Sign up for our list!” with a brief lead-in. Then they see the form and they get to enter their info.
If you want to design the written content that appears above the form such as changing headline treatments, then you should flip back to the View area of your post – and that way you can style the text in a straightforward way.
Speed Through Your Social Media Setup
What's the next step in setting up your content publishing preliminaries for your niche website and future monetization?
How about social media pages?
There was a time when there was no social media. It was definitely a less stressful time in fact. You had a website, and you put the content there, and then the search engines would find it and index it.
Or maybe there were a couple of information hub websites that you could share links from that website to your blog and therefore get traffic coming in from a quality source.
But now we have some major social media sites, and they're quite complicated and rather gargantuan.
Each contains its own content area to post pictures, images, videos, scripts and all kinds of content that you can use to get people to purchase from you and sign up via email or join your groups online.
It's a lot. You might do best starting with page setup. For example if you are using Facebook, and you want a facebook business page to match your blog, then you can log into your FB profile and head to the spot on Facebook where you can create a new business page.
Name your page according to whatever you've named your website.
For instance if your website is called cowboyhatsyeehaw.com then you can call your Facebook page Cowboy Hats Yeehaw. Say what it is so there’s no confusion.
Set up everything that you’d like to appear on this page.
Do you want to be the only admin, or do you want to have helpers who can also log in independently of you?
Would you like to advertise services on the page?
All these things can be customized on your Facebook business page. So set everything up.
Make sure that you include your web URL at the top because you’ll be using the Facebook content to drive traffic to your website where people will sign up for your list and later become your customers. That's the order of operations.
All of this sounds like a lot of work. But what you're doing is creating the basic structure of your website so that you can log in from wherever you are and copy and paste content from one place to another without having to start from scratch every time.
How Does Advance Tech Setup Save You Time in Your Online Business?
So now you may be wondering with all this basic website work that seems to be taking up a lot of your time, how will this manage to save you time?
You’re taking care of details now so you can streamline later. Put in the work in advance, and be sure things are in working order. This way, you won't be making mistakes that you need to redo, delete and start from scratch all over again.
The list building component is priority one. With your email list activated and the subscriber forms in place and the blog ready to accept your content, you’re ready to start generating new leads.
The content sharing will sharpen your marketing skills. No more sitting through painful meetings waiting for content approvals. With the tech in place, you’re ready to fly.
Proper setup means you can take content posting shortcuts. Soon you're on your way to dictating or typing content or copying and pasting it from one place to another no matter where you may be.
This is huge! It's really the key to getting content up on the web extremely quickly.
You can always get your logo and design elements firmed up as you go. Chances are, you might decide that you want to change fonts or upgrade your logo and you can do that anytime. No one will mind. The key, though, is to start publishing information as soon as possible.
Hands-Off Digital Product Creation Saves You TONS of Time
If you're planning on posting a lot of niche-specific content on your website with the intention of building an audience, that's a great idea. One day you’ll have fans, followers and subscribers. These people will get to know you and like you. They will enjoy reading whatever you share with them and begin to regard you as an expert.
Once that happens, they'll be more likely to sign up for your products each time you release something new. What can you offer to your email list? There are a number of options that can make you money. Your products can be in physical form and they can also be digital products.
Let's talk about digital products first. It's super easy to sell digital products online.
All you're doing is packaging up information that your readers are interested in learning about a specific topic.
Let's choose the weight loss niche. Weight loss is an evergreen category that will always have people who want to learn more. Let's face it, people are fat.
They don't understand how this could have happened and they aren’t sure how to fix it. They need tips on how to make healthy choices to help them slim down and improve their physical condition.
So what kinds of weight loss information products or digital goods can you reach people with to make money?
Many people don't know how to eat healthy. They need direction. They need choices and ideas. They need meal plans and recipes. All of these things can be packaged around a theme.
Ebooks continue to be a perennial favorite.
People want information and they don't want to have to wait for a book to arrive in the mail. They want to be able to read on their device directly from the internet, or download a document and read on their PC.
Set up an automated ebook selling area of your website. Soon you’ll be on your way to making money by creating and selling ebooks.
You can create an ebook as easily as walking around dictating into Google docs and then transferring the content to another format which you add design elements and then publish.
Getting back to the weight loss audience example.
How about offering exercise routines?
People get bored of the same old workout. They like to try different things.
One type of customer might go for a boot camp type of fitness training. Another might want to throw it back to Jane Fonda style aerobics.
For your holistic crowd, weight loss yoga for weight loss hold enormous appeal.
You can do an Exercise Plan of the Month in order to reach a different segment of your audience each time. Maybe this month it's the army workout, and next month you're doing water aerobics.
What about calisthenics, fitness hoop workouts, kettlebells, boxing?
There's endless potential for a variety of exciting and different workouts.
You can also target muscle groups and areas of the body to build programs around that. Maybe people want to get rid of their beer belly or postpartum pooch. Try creating an abs-specific workout.
What about the core?
Many recognize that the core is the foundation for entire full body fitness, strength, speed and coordination. Create a core workout.
Set Up Coaching Packages and Limit Coaching Hours to Free Up Your Time
Some people want to work one-on-one with the coach. Others prefer the reduced rate and comraderie of learning in a group setting.
Conduct Zoom Webinar Classes.
Email out videos.
Host a learning group on social media – such as a private group on Facebook that meets certain times per week.
In these examples, you're serving as a weight loss coach to guide your customers.
Instead of trying to convince clients to book more hours, set up coaching product packages. Offer your customers a variety of elements in their coaching package. Things like…
An ebook download that covers the topic in detail
A video tutorial
Access to the network where they can chat with other members
Email access to the coach for a weekly 15-minute Q&A
Emails that contain customized workouts for them only
When you put all the different elements of your program together and then reduce pricing for the complete bundle, this adds perceived value and people are more likely to buy.
Again, this may not seem like it’s saving you time. But when you set everything up the right way from the beginning, you can customize your content and repurpose your content and programs for different themes. Each year, you’ll get better and more skilled at this. Your content production will go very quickly!
Online Business Owners: Save Time by Talking to the Right People – Your Target Audience
Once you have your main program elements and products in place such as ebooks, courses, workshops, zoom meets, memberships if that's what you plan on having and other digital products, you can target each to a specific audience.
That's another way to save yourself time. Again, you're reusing the content that you already created, but now customizing it to a different group of people who have different needs and are searching for slightly different information.
There's a formula. It’s your formula to design as you like. You’re just tweaking that formula to fit a specific group of people who like their information delivered in a certain way.
Getting specific with your niche really seems to shrink the audience, doesn’t it? You’ll be reaching fewer readers, it’s true. But in reality, you're getting a more refined audience. If people can see themselves in what you offer, they're more likely to buy.
So your main category could be weight loss. But that's really broad. What if your weight loss products were targeted to moms? Moms who want to lose weight, of course.
Let’s get even more specific than that.
Are we talking about new moms after childbirth?
Maybe Mom wants to get back in shape and ditch the baby bod.
But In addition to that type of mom, other moms who don’t have new babies also want to lose weight.
You have your perimenopausal moms.
Women do have issues with gaining weight at this phase of life.
That in itself could be a weight loss market that you speak to, with specific information which appeals to only them. Then you have your moms and empty nesters who have put on the pounds, and want to make a healthy change.
Maybe this audience of moms, meaning the empty nesters, must work harder at staying slim now – and yet they do have more time in their schedule.
They're open to a different approach to weight loss that accommodates their various physical conditions and ability and works within their time constraint.
You may want to emphasize diet rather than and gentle exercise rather than intense workouts that are likely to be too much for women of this age.
What if you got even crazier with a weight loss niche for moms. Some senior women don't fit the mold of typical weight loss seeker.
These women might be body builders. If you have knowledge of weight training and an inside perspective on the industry, you could attract older women who devote all of their time and energy to extreme workouts.
Now that’s what you call extreme niche targeting.
Again, the more audience-specific you get and drill down into, the fewer people sign up.
But also, the more likely they are to buy.
Steps for Streamlining Your Coaching Programs: Try an Autoresponder Shortcut
Everything can be streamlined on the web. If you set up an email list management program, then your email client probably has space for you to add autoresponders.
Autoresponders can be configured in advance to arrive in your subscriber’s inbox at specific intervals from the original time that they signed up.
So for example, if you wanted to create an autoresponder series that teaches a specific topic, you could do that in a program like Aweber. You can also do it in your membership area of a website using your own downloaded software to manage the content in a database system.
This is a story in and of itself. Bu tit's just worth mentioning the option should you choose to pursue it as part of your profit producing activities on the web.
So let's say that you wanted to create an autoresponder series. We talked about weight loss for long enough, so now let's use gardening as an example.
Gardening has a specific season which will be unique to the region where you live.
So if you live in New Jersey zone 6, then your planting time for summer vegetables such as tomatoes, peppers and summer squash will be May 15th.
You can create a whole gardening themed autoresponder series around the planting schedule and all of the preparation steps involved.
This is a perfect autoresponder series to either offer for free or as a paid tutorial, for new gardeners to learn from.
So what you can do next is envision the end recipient of your content and the series of instructional emails that might be useful to them.
Start from scratch and write each email step by step. Make it very straightforward and include some detail, but not so much that the message becomes too long and overwhelming.
You want this to be easy for them to digest, and also helpful in that they can implement your tips without a lot of extra prep and fuss.
Use a word processing program such as MS Word or Google Docs to write your email autoresponders one by one. Edit and proofread. Make sure that you add a greeting and a closing for each email.
You may also want to include links to various product upsells. So if it's gardening, maybe there's a Topsy Turvy tomato grower on Amazon that you think your readers might like to order.
You can sign up as an Amazon affiliate and include your link to that product or many other instant approval affiliate programs.
Again, this sounds like an awful lot of work, doesn't it. The thing with the autoresponder series is that you can use the same template year after year.
So it may be true that during the first year you invested quite a good amount of time writing, adding pictures, customizing and copying and pasting the text.
Next year you'll be able to recycle this and market it again to a brand new series of readers who have never before seen your ebooks or courses and who might like to sign up.
Email Newsletters Can Be Advance Posted for a Future Date
Save time with your email newsletters. Set up one per month or one per quarter depending on your preference. Craft your messages one by one either for 12 separate newsletter emails, or for four if you only plan to email quarterly.
Please note this is not the same as email marketing or an email blast (also known as cold email strategies) such as an auto responder series. This is just your email newsletter.
Not everyone will sign up for your autoresponder email challenges or things that you promote on your website. Some people will prefer to sign up for your newsletter only. This is a great way to stay in touch from a distance and not overwhelm people with too much information.
Later on, they can decide to increase the frequency in which they hear from you. They might sign up for another list of yours that offers something slightly different.
Or they might sign up for an autoresponder series that teaches them a specific lesson on a topic of interest.
Again, you will not use your autoresponder series for your newsletter because it's different.
But what you can do is advance-date your email broadcasts that go out to members of your main list.
That's how you would set up an email newsletter and save yourself time by putting it on autopilot.
Speed through email newsletter content creation.
Step 1: Start a new broadcast.
Again, your email newsletter will go out to your main list (unless this is a newsletter for a subcategory of readers). But it's not an autoresponder. It's your email newsletter.
To create a draft of your email newsletter, head over to the Broadcast area of your list management service like Aweber.
Step 2: Name your broadcast.
If you're going with traditional communication maybe you call it January newsletter or winter newsletter and put your name of your company and whatever you brand with.
Be smart about the name so that months later when you log in, you’ll know what’s what and you can grab content quickly and easily.
Step 3: Choose an article topic to share in your newsletter.
Find an article topic that would be of interest to your readers. It can be an article that you've already published on your blog.
Or if you prefer to write your article from scratch and save it to release at that time, you can do that. You want to also match your article with something else like a helpful tip, Q&A from a reader, real or imaginary, and a product promotion.
Step 4: Refine the topic.
If you’re running a gardening newsletter, and this is your December issue, then your article might be about putting your garden to bed for the winter, cleaning out your garden space, adding a ground cover to protect the quality of the soil, disinfecting gardening tools, putting things in storage, and choosing a few plants that you might want to grow in the winter months such as kale and cabbage.
Step 5: Create your promotional offer.
Your promotion that you can set up in advance could be an ebook.
Maybe in continuing with the theme of tidying up your garden and putting into rest for the cold winter months, you can write an entire series of articles, maybe 15, to place in your ebook which you then create a cover for, and format as an ebook with pages and legal disclaimers and chapters and such.
To make your ebook even more ebook-like, add checklists, pictures, quotes, charts and products of interest with descriptions and reviews.
If you're good at setting up content you'll figure out how to make these products clickable so that your readers can click through and make a purchase on Amazon and then you can get the commission.
So now for your winter newsletter you have an article, and you also have a solid digital product to promote. This is all you really need. In your intro, you might give a little friendly greeting and say what you're up to.
You can generally fudge this if you intend to advance post the winter newsletter in September.
You’ll probably be getting ready for the holidays, or cleaning up after the holidays, depending on when you plan to publish this. So you can say something general about that.
In your intro Once your newsletter is written to your liking and you’ve added images, either from your own collection or from a stock photo website, you can set up your newsletter draft in your email list manager.
When everything is in place and all elements of your content are clickable, you can save the draft and set a date in the future for it to automatically publish. That's a huge advantage of having a list management service like Aweber or MailChimp. Because you can pay someone to do this work for you, or you can do it ahead of time.
The idea with this is that your content setup can be wash, rinse and repeat. So for Year One you can do 4 or 6 or 12 newsletters that you set up to go out on specific dates.
But then next year, you can do a save-as and create new drafts of the same newsletters to change up what's written there. Swap out an old article for a different, fresh article with a matching product feature. Or you can go with the same theme but take a little bit of a twist on it.
All of this can be advanced-planned and executed ahead of time... and that's the time saving element in this. The time saving actually comes later.
Again, like anything, the first year that you create something, you'll have to put the most work in.
But once you figure out that your content can be templated and versioned, and that you already have templates in the form of your original content, this will go much more quickly for you.
Year after year, you can pull out certain promotions and run a sale on the same products that you shared last year.
Time Saving Password Tricks for Your Online Business
One of the most annoying aspect of website marketing and content sharing is passwords. Passwords have been around for a while, sure. But with everyone using smartphones and posting content to social media on the go, companies have had to implement tighter security measures.
These security measures are designed to protect your accounts from hackers and prying eyes. But they're also irritating and disruptive.
What happens when you're looking to do a quick login, then you go to type your password but you're off by a number or a letter or a character? It's quite a hassle, isn't it?
Now you're being asked to verify something and get your phone and type in a number and the code and it's distracting you -- not to mention, now you're starting to feel like this is not an efficient use of your time.
So you give up and let the technology win. The problem with this is that although you opted to not spend a lot of time on the password, you didn't get done what you needed to. So this is not an efficient way to work.
To save yourself future headaches, you’ve got to come with a password creation strategy.
Idea: Instead of using just a single word, use short sentences and memorable phrases for your passwords, that you will be able to recall.
You can also replace letters with numbers. A 3 can become an e. A seven can be a y and @ can represent the letter A and so forth.
So let's say that you love cars. You want your website password to be Lamborghini lover.
You decide that for all your passwords, you'll have a rule that the letter g will always be capitalized and you will always use zeros in place of O's and ones instead of the letter i.
Now your password is LamborGh1n1l0v3r. And you will probably remember it!
You are not likely to forget your password and have to change it on the fly when you're trying to get work done, then later on have to scratch your head trying to remember the new password that you created.
A brilliant, strong password and huge time saver for your business!
Cut Production Time But Not Corners with These Content Posting Shortcuts
If you're looking to make money online by selling digital products or even physical products in an ecommerce storefront, you still need to post lots and lots of content. This is time consuming for sure, but you can devise a method to reduce the madness.
One content-saving system you should have in place is to make boilerplate documents where the original content lives. If you're at your home computer and you like to use MS Word then let that be your program of choice for stashing all of your content messages.
To save yourself time, every time you create a new piece of content, save it as a document and then save it in a folder that you have organized on your computer which is labeled categorically so that you can find it later. This means that you're creating templates all the time.
When you want to create a new message that’s very similar to a message that you’ve already written and published before, this is what to do.
Simply navigate to the folder where the old message lived and then do a save-as. Save the content to a new folder that reflects the new category or theme or an itch that you're now customizing this content for.
Now you have cut the time that you took to type out your message by a lot.
You can repeat this over and over and over. In doing so, you'll have much less content that you have to retype.
If you work for clients they're going to really love this method and they will think that you are a very speedy worker who is extremely efficient.
You'll also reduce the time spent correcting grammatical errors and typos.
If your templates are solid, you need only pop in certain customizable words and phrases and sentences. The rest of the content stays the same.
If you did a good job proofreading it the first time around, then all you'll have to do is give it a quick run-through to accommodate the new elements that you added to this message.
And then you're good to go.
Save Yourself Time By Creating Policies and Procedures for Your Helpers in Business
Another thing that takes up an awful lot of time in your online business is having to get new workers and helpers on board with how you do things.
You might envision that you have one VA or virtual assistant working for you.
This would be ideal, but it’s unfortunately not always how things play out.
Related: Hiring Virtual Assistants Online
Maybe your virtual assistant stays with you for 5 months and begins to really get a feel for how you do things. You're sailing along and your productivity is soaring-- but then guess what?
Something comes up in her life and she is no longer available.
Maybe your VA took a new job or had a baby or is in the process of buying or selling a home.
Now you're starting again from scratch.
You're going to have to explain everything to a new person that you already took the time to explain and work through with the first person.
This is kind of a bummer, but not if you have processes and procedures in place. Print or send these out by email so people can understand how you prefer them to work.
Do you have to create an employee handbook?
Not really. It’s a good practice, each time you find yourself explaining how you like things done and then sending that email out to your virtual assistant or your tech person, is to take the extra few minutes and prepare.
Copy and paste the message from your email into a document which you then save as a process or procedure.
Overtime, you will build up a method to your madness.
And instead of randomly having to explain things to people who work for you, you can whip out your processes and procedures to share with new people whom you outsource your business to from time to time.