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9 Different Ways to Get Business Financing for Your Blog or Business

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With more business owners, bloggers, and entrepreneurs either launching new businesses or startup of their own, or focusing on branding, it’s important to ask yourself if you are taking advantage of the financial upswing? The majority of site owners and bloggers start out with nothing, however, initial startup costs and financial investments are always going to be something to consider.

As unemployment rates flirt with record lows, consumer confidence continues to skyrocket. That has boosted the average annual expenditure consumers put towards goods and services.

The important question here is… What does that mean for you?

It means that if you can launch your business in today’s marketplace, your opportunity to recoup your investments and turn staggering profits are astronomical.

The only issue is that finding funding to launch your business can be a challenge.

With new businesses comes the need to fund office spaces, equipment, employee salaries, and more while you work to get a foothold in consumer’s consciousness.

The good news is that there are lots of ways you can secure business financing and in today’s digital age, it’s easier than ever.

Below you will find a list of nine solutions that can get your website, blog, startup or local business funded today.

1. Bank Loans

We’ll open up our list of funding solutions with what is perhaps the most conventional business financing option available to you: bank loans. Bank loans get acquired by setting an appointment with a loan officer at any major financial institution.

During that appointment, you’ll likely get asked to provide information regarding the business you’re looking to open up. You will also share what your plan is to turn a profit.

In the latest edition of the State of Online Banking, it was also highlighted that other factors like your current finances and credit will enter into the consideration of your prospective lender.

If your lender feels that your plan is sound and trusts that you’ll be able to pay back your loan, you will receive your funding at an interest rate agreed on by you and your lender.

Getting bank loans can be difficult given stringent criteria often set by lenders to mitigate their risk.

2. Online Loans

Online loans are similar in some aspects to getting a traditional bank loan.

When we say “online loans”, we’re referencing solely internet-based lenders. Typically, these loans come in at higher interest rates than what traditional lenders would offer.

The plus side to taking out this type of loan is:

  1. A) You can secure them quickly.
  2. B) You won’t have to answer many questions.

To secure an online loan for your business, you may need to do as little as just show you have income and a checking account. More thorough online lenders will also make it a point to run your credit.

If you go down the online loan path to secure your business’ funding, you’ll want to pay very close attention to interest rates and fees. Many online lenders border on predatory and falling into debt with one of them could spell ruin for your company.

3. Borrow Against Your Stock Portfolio

If you have extensive investments in the stock market but little in the way of cash to fund your business, there are companies out there that will allow you to use your stocks as collateral and borrow business financing against their value.

These types of loans solutions are excellent. This is because they provide another lever prospective business owners can pull to get their products to market.

There are regulations and details you’ll want to brief yourself on prior to exercising this option. Not all market investments will be eligible to borrow against. Which ones are eligible will be determined, in part, by each individual lender.

Be sure to do your research before transferring your portfolio to an online lender. Ensure that you’re not entering into a predatory arrangement that could result in the loss of your investments.

4. Credit Cards

Another go-to means of securing business financing are credit cards.

Many people have experience using traditional consumer credit cards. Business credit cards can be different in what they look for in applicants and what they offer to users.

For starters, in order to secure a business credit card, you may be required to provide an EIN number on your application. This number can get acquired for free by registering for one through the IRS.

For sole-proprietor businesses, some card applications will accept your social security number in lieu of an EIN.

If your application gets approved, your business credit cards will typically come with a much higher limit than you’d get through a standard card. It may also offer you perks that award cash back on things like internet service, transportation, and more.

As with all credit products, stay mindful of your card’s interest rate. Be sure that you’re managing your payments in a way that will keep your company from falling into insurmountable debt.

5. Consider Leveraging Your 401K

If you’ve worked as an employee for another company, you probably have a nest egg built up for your retirement. In most instances, borrowing against that nest egg would result in steep penalties.

However, investing your 401K in business financing, if managed by a tax professional who is experienced in setting up C corporations, can be accomplished without incurring fees.

The same is true if you to borrow against your IRA or ROTH IRA.

Remember, there are risks involved when funding your business with your retirement accounts. If your business fails, not only will you lose your job but your retirement gets lost too.

6. Crowdfunding

While not for everyone, crowdfunding is a low-risk means of getting a business idea off the ground.

Crowdfunding is the process of pitching average people on your business idea. This is typically done by showcasing a “media kit” online which gets made up of videos that describe your idea, information on how your idea can revolutionize a market, and more.

If enough people get compelled by your vision, they can pledge micro investments ($5.00 and up) to help you meet your funding goal.

In exchange for their investments, pledges get prizes depending on how much they invest. Prizes get described in an incentives document your organization will create.

The difficult aspect of crowdsourcing is that very few ideas get funded successfully. You’ll need to invest in a showy pitch/media kit to come anywhere close to your funding goal.

The good news is that if your idea does get funded, beyond giving investors their prizes as promised, you are not beholden to your investors. They are not entitled to royalties on your business’ future success.

Oculus is a notable project made possible through crowdfunding which was later sold to Facebook for 2 billion dollars.

7. Kiva

Kiva is a business financing provider that gives free funding to businesses that are usually based in 3rd world countries. Still, many businesses that are US-based can also get funded through the platform.

In order to get funded through Kiva, you’ll likely need to be part of a disadvantaged community as investors on the platform are interested in helping reshape economies by assisting underserviced populations open businesses.

Still, no matter what your background is, given that Kiva is 100% free, there’s no downside to putting your ask out on the platform.

Kiva offers a flexible payback structure on all business financing serviced through its platform and repercussions for not paying back loans are nominal. Despite that, given the incredible value Kiva provides to underserved entrepreneurs, the graciousness of borrowers has fueled a loan payback rate of 96.8%.

8. Family and Friends

If you’re lucky enough to have a great support network of family and friends, you may be able to secure business financing by pitching them on your idea.

For some, going into business with family members is a rewarding experience that can bring them closer together. For others, being in business with family and owing them money can lead to friction which can decimate relationships.

For that reason, we recommend you tread lightly when looking to engage family and friends for loans. Be sure that nobody is staking their livelihood on your success, and be honest in your intentions to pay people back.

9. Paypal, Kabbage and Online Lending Programs

As you can imagine, the internet has drastically changed the way financing and banking works in the world today.

To bring our nine point list of financial solutions to a close, we simply have to add some amazing opportunities that can be found through providers like Paypal and Kabbage. Both of these platforms allow for businesses to borrow money, almost instantly.

In both cases, all it takes is creating an account and filling in some company details.

For anyone using Paypal to collect and pay for business services online, Paypal Working Capital is perfect.

Kabbage is also great for Paypal users as well, as you can connect accounts and increase the credit line based off your income/revenue history.

Wrapping up 8 Different Ways to Get Business Financing

You have a killer business idea, and all that stands between you and your success is getting the funding you need to get it off the ground. To that end, we recommend leveraging any one of the business financing tips we’ve listed above.

Given their diversity of approaches, you’ll find the success you’re looking for leveraging at least one of them!

Want more of the most thought-provoking advice your business can leverage to find success? Do you want that information online right now?

If so, get the big picture when it comes to local and global economic questions. Start diving deeper the our content pool at Blogging Tips!

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Zac Johnson is a online marketer with 15 years of experience and also a blogger at ZacJohnson.com, as well as the founder of BloggingTips.com. You can also follow me on Twitter and Facebook

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5 Must-Do Tips Before Publishing A Lifestyle Blog

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Running a lifestyle blog can be very profitable. You can make a steady stream of passive income writing about everyday topics that you are passionate about. The best part is that lifestyle blogs are pretty simple to take on and keep going. Your blogs can be about travel, daily life experiences, or even a vlog (video blog).

However, prior to publishing your blog online, you need to adhere to a few important, yet simple principles. The most important step is finding your niche. Choosing the right niche can save you a tremendous number of headaches down the road. Once you selected the perfect niche, there are some other factors you need to keep in mind while finding your voice. We compiled a list of must-do tips for anyone ready to publish a lifestyle blog. Let’s dive in!

1 – What niche is best for your lifestyle blog?

Before you begin any work toward launching a lifestyle blog, you need to carefully define your niche. Some blogs have very broad niches, while others are much narrower. The blogs with a broader niche can generate a lot more revenue if they become prominent enough. However, it is difficult to succeed with a very broad niche without a massive budget and a willingness to create thousands of posts. If you are trying to get results more quickly and on a smaller budget, then you should stick a tighter niche.

If you plan on writing about your world travels, your niche could be traveling the world while blogging. If you plan on traveling by boat only, maybe your niche can be sailing and blogging. You can draw from a number of best boating blogs for inspiration on this.

Whatever your niche, be sure to have it clearly defined before doing anything else. Why? Having a solid niche market and idea in place will dictate the type of content you plan on publishing. It also helps keep your content unique and authoritative. People do like to read, but they would rather be entertained and engaged when doing so. Defining your niche can do just that. It also helps you stay focused down the road as well.

2 – Identify your ideal target audience

You can write until your fingers bleed, but if you don’t have a clearly defined target audience that is easy to monetize, it is all just a waste of time. If you aren’t specific enough when defining your audience, then you will not be able to create content that resonates with any of them. What steps should you take to define and get a better understanding of your target audience?

Aim for 1,000 true followers and the rest will fall into place. By having a very defined target audience, you can essentially write just for them. That is why 1,000 people should be your hallmark. Because if you can get 1,000 people truly engaged in your content, you can get 100,000 people later on. That’s because it is the same process, only scaled. And your 1,000 true followers will help you reach 100,000 by becoming advocates for you and your content.

3 – Have a clever blog name and tagline

You are not simply creating a blog and writing content for your target audience. You are creating a brand. You are your brand, and every successful brand has a clever name and tagline. This is essential if you want to have growth and success with some passive income rolling in.

With your niche on your mind, start brainstorming name and tagline ideas. It is best practice not to rush this process. By the end of a few hours of brainstorming, you should have at least 50 names and taglines on paper. After that, narrow it to 10, then three, then just one. Feel free to get family and friends advice too, because you may not be seeing something they can. Once you have it, check to make sure it is available for use on WordPress and social media channels.

4 – Choose The Right Blogging Platform For You And Your Budget

Once you have chosen a domain name and outlined the general direction of your blog, you should choose a blogging platform and content management system (CMS) that works for you. One of the best is WordPress. With WordPress, you can get a paid or free blogging website. It is best to go with paid, because you can lock in your domain name, serve up ads, and have more control of the user experience (UX) you deliver to your target audience.

5 – Do Detailed Keyword Research And Write 10 Blogs

This is going to be the hardest part of starting your lifestyle blog. You can’t just start writing content that you think readers will like. It needs to get attention and help you build your audience. Content is certainly great, but ensuring your content is ranking well on search engines, like Google, as well as having enough content for site visitors to browse is critical.

For example, if you attract a visitor to your site via one blog and they love it, but can’t find anything else, they will probably not subscribe to your site, or visit again. You just lost one of your 1,000 true followers right from the start. Instead, write 10 blog posts and have them ready to go when it is time to publish your blogging site online.

And do your due diligence when it comes to keyword research. There are plenty of platforms out there you can use to find great keywords that have low ranking difficulty with reasonable monthly search volume. Google Keyword Planner is useful for this, and free.

Good Luck With Your Lifestyle Blog!

Starting a lifestyle blog is exciting. The above must-do tips can serve as your quick startup guide, but they are certainly not all the aspects you need to know. Do your research and be sure to put your best foot forward when you decide to publish your lifestyle blog online. What is your top blogging tip?

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Every Blogger Starts Somewhere

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The NBA all star game went down during the past weekend.

Kyrie Irving, Ben Simmons, Joel Embid and D’Angelo Russel all made the all star team. These 4 bright, young stars share something in common; each was coached in high school by Kevin Boyle.

Kevin Boyle is one of the top high school coaches in the nation. Coaching 4 players who would be all stars during the same year is an unreal feat, when you consider the odds. Well before Kevin became a superstar coach at Montverde Academy in Florida or at St Pat’s high school in New Jersey, I remember him stalking the sidelines as a high energy, sometimes nutty, but always passionate, grammar school coach at St. Joe’s in Roselle, New Jersey, in the mid 80’s.

The coaching superstar who coached 4 future NBA all stars once coached little kids during a CYO game in gyms with capacity of, say 30 people.

As a grammar school CYO all star, I remember this intense coach trying to get his guards to trap me into a turnover. I had handles back then, so I danced through his press. Anyway, that passionate grade school coach persistently asked the athletic director at St. Pat’s for the soon to be open coaching job. Kevin was no veteran, but still hung out at the American Legion, where the AD spent time. Eventually, the athletic director hired Boyle, and Kevin built St. Pat’s into a national power, spawning NBA talents like Al Harrington, Sam Dalembert, Kyrie Irving and Michael Gilchrist. He made the move to Montverde, coaching stars like Simmons, Russel and Embid, as well as current Duke star Rowan Barrett.

But 35 years before he coached 4 NBA all stars, he stalked the sidelines as a grammar school coach, persistently pressing for a high school coaching job of a St. Pat’s program that had struggled for a decade.

We all start somewhere in life, blogging-wise, and often, the beginnings are humble.

I was an unemployed security guard who did not know the definition of blogging, 10 years ago. Yet today, I circle the globe through blogging, having been featured on world famous sites. Struggling bloggers wrongly assume I was always successful, but 10 years ago, I was a broke, laid off security guard, not a successful blogger.

We all start somewhere.

Virtually all of us start from humble beginnings.

Never assume successful bloggers:

  • had it easy
  • were connected
  • were always successful
  • never had to face daunting obstacles
  • had everything handed to them

You need to be:

  • passionate
  • humble
  • confident
  • clear
  • patient
  • persistent
  • generous

to succeed with blogging. You need to have a vision, too. Kevin Boyle did not see himself as just a grammar school basketball coach. He saw himself building St. Pat’s into a national power, landed the job through being persistent and being passionate about the game, took some lumps, and eventually helped build the basketball team into one of the top 5 or 10 teams year in and year out, before heading to Montverde and turning that program into the dominant power in high school basketball.

Fools assume that he was always connected, that he got lucky and that everything fell into place for him. I can personally attest; seeing him stalk the sidelines in 1985, at tiny OLP in New Providence, New Jersey, I knew he was different than any CYO coach I had seen. I eventually followed his St. Patrick’s program for some 15 years after my high school career and still keep tabs on his success at Montverde.

The high school coach who turns out more NBA all stars than Coach K at Duke had the most humble beginnings. Remember this, if nobody seems to read your blog, right now. Develop a vision. See through blogging obstacles.

We all start somewhere, seemingly light years away from where we will be down the road.

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1 Mental Block that Plagued Every Blogger Who Ever Blogged

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Unless you are the Dalai Lama, you, at one time or another, became highly attached to a single blog post. I do not care who you are. 8 figure bloggers allowed their fears to attach them to a blog post. 8 cent bloggers allowed fear to attach them to blog posts.

Now, the happiest, most successful bloggers face, hug and release this fear, for sure. But every blogger allowed fear to goad them to TRY LIKE HELL to drive traffic or profits to a single blog post. Or, being human and foolish, we allow fear-attachment to goad us into thinking that publishing a guest post on a blog with a million member community instantly leads to millions of dollars in blogging profits.

Nope.

I recall being featured on Virgin Dot Com. Floored and humbled, for sure, but I was kinda detached about the feature, being more grounded in love and gratitude, and less fear-attached to any single platform, post or opportunity.

Happy, successful bloggers own this fear-attachment, let it go and adopt an abundance mentality. While most bloggers publish a single post and try to SQUEEZE as much out of it as possible, due to fear and attachment, I developed an abundance mentality and published 700 posts on Blogging Tips Dot Com. Heck; I have published 70 guest posts on the blog of Enstine Muki. For most bloggers, publishing 70 guest posts in total is quite a feat. I published 770 guest posts….between 2 blogs alone.

Why?

How am I so prolific?

I have largely conquered the fear of trying to GET as much traffic and profits as possible through any single blog post. I blog from an energy of love, fun and abundance, mainly, not fear, tension and scarcity. Few bloggers have mastered this mindset; only the happiest, most detached bloggers become so prolific, it makes our heads spin.

You Are Human

Of course you become a little attached to any one blog post. This is not a problem. But you need to be honest; the attachment is fear, and as the attachment and fear grow, you move from abundance and worldly success, to scarcity and blogging struggle.

A Good Mindset for Abundance Mentality

Alonzo Pichardo wisely advises to publish content, and let it do what it does. I agree. I never check metrics. Genuinely; if blogging is energy and if I am having fun, I reached my goal. Increasing success is imminent. I trust my feelings, not inanimate numbers on a screen. This is the abundance mentality in action.

 

Why this Mindset Prospers

I appear to be in a million places at once because I never attachment to any one post or video. Per Alonzo, I let the content do what it does. Not being shackled by stats, I keep creating, expand my presence, appear to be all over, and see greater success. Meanwhile, most fear-scarcity bloggers write a single post and waste their time and energy:

  • trying to GET as much as possible through it, promoting it in thousands of places over the next 30 days
  • obsessively checking post metrics every few minutes, or, every hour, after publishing the post
  • panicking and bailing on proven strategies when a single post does not meet their expectations

All while this crowd makes all these mistakes, I am publishing hundreds of pieces of content over the same month, and also, meeting tons of new bloggers through genuine blog commenting, enjoying the ride.

Publish a post, promote it in a few spots, then move on to the next post, video or blog comment.

Develop an abundance mindset.

See increased blogging success and enjoy the ride.

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