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  • 7 Steps To Validate Your Business Idea By Building An Email List

    Tuesday, June 21, 2016 by
    Building an Email List You’ve read a bunch of articles on how to validate a business idea. You understand the importance of talking to your initial target customers, learning about their problems, and creating a Minimum Viable Product.

    Yet you continue to wait for the perfect idea because you have no clue how to actually execute what you’ve read. Or (just as bad) you incorrectly assume you’ve validated your idea, and spend your time on the wrong things.

    But what if you could leverage proven validation strategies from successful founders? Real life case studies with actionable advice you can follow.

    Validate Your Business

    That’s exactly what I’ll show you how to do in this article. You’ll learn:

    • How to validate your business ideas by building an email list
    • How to find out what problems your subscribers have
    • And how to deliver a solution people will actually pay for.

    Let’s get started…

    (Read all the way to the bottom to get 5 more strategies the pros use to make money BEFORE even having a product)

    Step 1: Find Your Target Audience By Being Your Own Customer

    Traffic doesn’t matter if the visitors aren’t targeted or don’t convert. Before you even have a business, you need to have an idea of the type of customers you want to target.

    One of the best ways to start a business is to solve your own problem and to be your own customer. By targeting an audience that shares similar traits as you, you’re marketing to yourself and will then have an idea of the needs & wants of your target audience.

    For example: I was an aspiring entrepreneur looking to start a low-cost business to gain experience. I didn’t have a programming background, didn’t know how to create a website, and had no previous entrepreneurial experience.

    By targeting myself, I had a good idea of who I’m targeting, everything that they believe, what type of lifestyle they lead, goals and dreams, challenges and fears.

    Step 2: Stalk Your Target Audience To Find Out Their Interests

    At this stage, you’re not trying to find out what your audience is willing to pay for. You’re just trying to find out what they’re interested in, so you can bring traffic to your website. To do this, I recommend doing market research on Quora.

    Quora is a platform where people ask questions. What better way to find out how to help your audience than being fed questions they have on the top of their minds? All you have to do is search for topics in which your target audience would be interested.

    Business Ideas

    For example: By searching for “business ideas”, I could see the specific questions that my target audience is asking. You can then dig deeper into each question and see which type of answers are the most popular.

    Do this several times and you’ll start to notice similar types of questions that are being asked. Those are the type of questions you’ll want to address because that’s what your target audience is interested in.

    Step 3: Build Your 80/20 Website

    The most important thing to remember is that you’ll want to do the bare minimum and take an 80/20 approach to building your website. There’s no point in spending hundreds of dollars on a professional website until you’ve validated your business.

    To build an 80/20 website, I first set up a domain on HostGator and installed Wordpress. I then downloaded the SumoMe Wordpress Plugin to create a landing page with Welcome Mat that took about 30 minutes and looked like this:

    Landing Page Example

    Once you have the general design of the site created, you need to make sure your website has an effective headline that makes it clear to visitors exactly what your website is offering. Use words that clearly explain the benefits your audience will receive by being on your website.

    Once your website is up and running, it’s time to drive traffic to it and get your first set of email subscribers.

    Step 4: Get Your First 100 Email Subscribers

    Many people have a tendency to try and keep their website “secret” to their friends. But if you were opening a restaurant, you’d tell all your friends and family to drop by. You should do the same for your website.

    To get your first 100 email subscribers, you’ll want to leverage your personal network. They might not be your target audience, but they may have friends that are.

    First 100 Subscribers

    For example: I sent a message to 223 people on my Facebook network that looked like this.

    Facebook Message

    As a result, 64% of the people I reached out to joined my email list, and many of them referred other friends who joined as well.

    Another benefit of leveraging your personal network is that you’ll gain some initial feedback on the type of words and problems your target audience has.

    Here’s an example of some feedback I received:

    Facebook Feedback

    Based on the feedback, I learned that some of my target audience were tired of their typical “9-5 desk job” and were having problems with gaining the “courage” to quit their job. I would use these learnings for ideas for articles, and also by leveraging the same language my audience uses in my sales copy.

    After signing up your personal network, you’ll need to get specific feedback from people you don’t know. You’ll need to start marketing your website to acquire your first 1,000 email subscribers.

    Step 5: Get Your First 1,000 Email Subscribers

    Why 1,000 email subscribers?

    Well, 1,000 subscribers is enough to notice common trends in the type of problems your target audience is experiencing.

    There are many ways to actually grow your email list. The right method depends on your industry, and it’s up to you to run experiments.

    I decided to create evergreen content to attract my target audience to my website. I would promote the content on Quora by answering relevant questions, and include a link to my site:

    2016 Business Ideas

    Once visitors were on my website, I collected their emails by using pop-ups. Pop-ups are still a very effective way to collect emails. From just one article, I was able to collect 147 emails (conversion rate 6%). Here’s an example of my pop-up:

    Popup Example

    By repeating the same process, I was able to grow my email list to 1,000 subscribers within a month. I now had a large enough audience to engage with to find out their main problems.

    Step 6: Find Your Audience’s Biggest Problem

    Once you have 1,000 subscribers, it’s time to find out what your target audience’s biggest problem is. And what’s the best way to do this?

    Ask them.

    Send an email to your subscribers asking them what their biggest problem is. Here’s what my email looks like:

    Survey Email Sample

    I would then get responses like this:

    Survey Email Responses

    Based on the responses from your subscribers, you’ll start to notice common trends and problems your target audience is experiencing. From these trends, you should be able to create a product hypothesis to help solve their problems.

    Step 7: Create A Product That Solves Your Audience’s Problem

    The subscribers who reply to your email are going to be your most engaged users. These are the people who are most likely to purchase a product from you.

    Before you actually spend the time to create the product, you’ll want to validate it by sending your subscribers a survey. For example, Bryan Harris would send a survey with details of his product to his subscribers to validate his online course:

    Survey Form

    The key question he was looking for was “do you want to buy the course?”

    If a subscriber answered “yes,” he would follow it up with a link to a sales page with an early bird discount.

    The results? He gained 39 pre-orders before even having a product ready.

    Pre-Orders

    Bryan only sent the email to 225 subscribers. You don’t need a massive email list to validate your business. By applying the same approach, you too can validate your business before spending too much time and money on an idea.

    Remember, the best form of validation is when people are compelled enough to pay you money, even when you don’t have a product ready yet. Only once you’ve tested your product hypothesis and validated it with pre-orders, should you begin to spend more resources on making the product and getting more traffic to your site.

    Get More Case Studies On How To Validate Your Business

    This is just one method to validate your business without having to create a product first. It might not work for your specific business, it’s up to you to gauge if this strategy will work for your individual circumstances.

    For more inspiration on how to validate different types of businesses (e-commerce, online course, subscription sites, and more), SumoMe has created a collection of five additional case-studies of how you can validate your business by making money before you even have an actual product.

    Get the free report with 5 more strategies the pros use to make money BEFORE you even have a product


    Wilson Hung writes actionable step-by-step guides for SumoMe. Join our Sumo community of over 450,000 subscribers to learn how to grow your website and build your email list. Click here for 5 more strategies the pros use to make money before even having a product.

  • How To Create Brand Loyalty With Your Small Business Customers

    Tuesday, June 14, 2016 by

    How to Create Brand Loyalty

    Only 31 percent of business professionals believe that improving customer engagement is a priority.

    That’s shocking. Because in order to build brand loyalty, small business owners must constantly engage their target audiences.

    Loyal consumers expect unprecedented customer service, improvements from their feedback, and attractive rewards programs. Customers deserve your brand’s attention.

    “You want to be able to interact with your customers in the context of their daily lives. Not only are you able to provide them with better, more immediate service, but you also gain loyalty and stay in the forefront of their minds,” writes Wendy Lea, CEO of Get Satisfaction.

    You should always strive to establish a human connection with your customers. Let’s explore how to effectively build brand loyalty.

    The Value of Brand Loyalty

    As a small business owner, you may lack capital or need more staff members. However, your team can still remain profitable by serving your current customers.

    Studies show that 67 percent of business leaders don’t understand the value behind their brands. They’re missing the opportunity to gain lifelong consumers.

    Brand Loyalty Research

    The key is to learn about your customers from the very beginning. A report noted that “48% of consumers said that the most critical time to gain their loyalty is when they make their first purchase or begin service.”

    Offer a consistent brand experience that addresses their hesitations and solves their problems. Understand the ins and outs of how the customer experience affects brand loyalty.

    “When your customer calls to ask for help, don’t be passive. Familiarize yourself with a customer’s background so you can take charge of the conversation,” says Guy Nirpaz, CEO and founder of Totango.

    Moreover, learn to stand out from your competitors. That means becoming an indispensable asset within the market.

    “Position yourself at the forefront of your industry through the mastery of your craft. When you put out valuable and innovative content, your brand will become associated with expertise. Obviously, quality is better than quantity,” writes, Fred Hernandez, marketing copywriter at Business on Market St.

    Brand loyalty is a worthwhile investment for your company. Offer value in order to become invaluable to your customers.

    Focus on the Relationship

    It’s reported that by 2020 “89% of customers will shift to companies providing better customer experience and engagement.” Your competitive advantage must focus on building consumer relationships.

    [bctt tweet="89% of customers will shift to brands providing better customer experience and engagement." username="hostgator"]

    Gone are the days where businesses only sold products. The transaction economy is dead. If you want brand loyalty, it’s time to treat customers like people, not numbers.

    “Listen to what your best customers are telling you. Don’t be a transaction-making machine. Be a real person and build a business to serve real people. Care about them and they might just care about you. This is the key to cultivating brand loyalty,” write BJ Bueno and Scott Jeffrey at The Cult Branding Company.

    In this global economy, companies must sell to the individual. And that includes starting an ongoing conversation around a common cause.

    According to a study published in the Harvard Business Review, 64 percent of consumers cited shared values as the primary reason for their relationships with brands.

    Similar to superhero movies, people enjoy rallying behind a specific ideal. Nike does this well by declaring that everyone is an athlete. The footwear company inspires people to be active no matter their body type.

    Also, be mindful that relationship building is a company-wide endeavor. It’s not just for your customer service reps. Brand loyalty is everyone’s responsibility.

    [bctt tweet="Brand loyalty is everyone's responsibility. It's not just for your customer service reps." username="hostgator"]

    Brian Sheehan, an associate professor of advertising and author of Loveworks, says:

    “In order to grow brand loyalty, brands need to prove themselves at every step. Performance is the ultimate table stake. If it's too hard to use, people will find an easier solution. If it's unreliable, it will be discarded. And performance isn't limited to just product; it's corporate governance, customer service, and commitment to delivery.”

    Build meaningful relationships with your customers. Learn to serve them, not your services.

    Strategies Worth Executing

    So, how do you transform buyers into loyal advocates? Well, it’s not easy.

    Work with your team to cultivate long-term strategies. It starts with optimizing your customer interactions. Try these four techniques:

    1. Engage on Social Media

    Use social media channels, like Facebook and Twitter, to talk directly with your customers. It’s an effective way to discover your consumers’ interests.

    “Social media is a marketing imperative. It allows brands to showcase their expertise, cement their place in communities as industry experts, do valuable market research, network with others, and show off what the brand is about,” states, Adam Stetzer, president and founder of HubShout.

    2. Send Quality Content

    Earn your customer’s attention. Develop compelling content that will offer solutions and make people live better.

    “After people have opted in to your newsletter, send them information they care about. Yes, send them coupons and information on upcoming sales, but don't stop there. Figure out a way to include engaging content,” says Dylan Love, a former tech reporter for Business Insider.

    3. Create a Rewards Program

    Nielsen reports that “eighty-four percent of respondents globally said they were more likely to choose retailers that offered a loyalty program.”

    Customer Loyalty Programs

    Give customers incentives to be part of your brand. Deliver unique products or offer VIP event invitations.

    “You can’t just throw together a customer loyalty program and then forget about it. You need to spend time researching your customers, exploring different options for your loyalty program, and testing out different variations of the loyalty program. All of these things take time,” writes Bill Williams, president and CEO of SafeCardIDs.

    4. Bring Emotion to Your Brand

    Give your brand a personality. Start by adding a human touch to your company.

    Michael Spencer, copywriter and personal brand consultant, wants businesses to create more emotional brand advocacy. He recommends the following:

    • Develop seasonal campaigns with very specific goals and defined incentives;
    • Start a gratitude campaign targeted to your VIP high-value customers; and
    • Feature customers and user-generated images and videos on social media.

    Tools You Can Use

    Small businesses need more than a team to implement strategies. Be prepared to gather the right tools as you venture into brand loyalty. Below are a few platforms you should explore.

    1. Customer Analytics

    What’s the difference between an engaged consumer versus a disengaged one? To understand customer loyalty, your team must track your customers’ behaviors.

    SessionCam improves your online performance. With heat map technology, quickly know where your customers click and scroll on your site.

    2. Customer Communication

    Communication helps you learn more about your audience. From email to text messaging, talk to your consumers on a regular basis.

    Customer.io assists your team by sending personalized messages. You also can create a segment-triggered email to reach out to inactive shoppers.

    3. Customer Service

    Prepare your team to track and measure customer interactions. That means documenting customer feedback and complaints.

    Zendesk brings all your customer conversations into one platform. Plus, you can build a knowledge base to help your customers answer their own questions.

    4. Mobile Loyalty

    Over the years, consumer expectations for loyalty programs have risen. Ditch the simple spend money and earn points system. Customers want to access their rewards on their mobile devices.

    Belly boosts customer loyalty with unique perks. Moreover, their integrations with Facebook, Twitter, and Yelp let your customers share their experiences with friends.

    Examples In Action

    It’s one thing to talk the talk. But can you walk the walk? There are a few businesses mastering the art of brand loyalty. Learn from these industry leaders below.

    Shoes Feet Gear, an Australian podiatry practice, offers its customers the world’s best footwear, podiatry service, and training gear under the one roof. They believe in going the extra mile for both customers and non-customers.

    Brand Loyalty Examples

    Peter Charles, owner of Shoes Feet Gear, says, “We try and do something little such as giving customers a new pair of socks when they are trying on shoes. Even if customers don't buy the shoes, we let them have the new socks. They can’t believe we are just giving them socks without buying something, and this normally goes a long way with loyalty.”

    Strong customer service builds brand loyalty. Mint & Mirth is a traveling cocktail bartending service. They offer simple per guest pricing and trade services. Their brand signature is ensuring a high level of personalized experiences.

    Loyalty Marketing

    StriVectin, an eCommerce brand specializing in haircare and skincare, flaunts its loyalty program called Inner Circle Rewards. Shoppers earn points for joining the program and buying and reviewing products. Then, customers can redeem points for exclusive items and discounts.

    Brand Loyalty Programs

    Brand differentiation can grab your audience’s attention, too. Since the 1980s, Allan Domb has been known affectionately as the “Condo King.” His agency Allan Domb Real Estate has used the persona to dominate the condo business in Philadelphia.   

    Brand Loyalty

    From delighting non-buyers to creating a high-end rewards program, use these examples as inspiration to build your brand loyalty. Your customers will thank you.

    Earn Loyalty

    To win the hearts of your customers, build your brand around engagement and trust. Train your small business team to cultivate relationships.

    Value your customers by listening to their feedback. Implement strategies that center around your audience’s needs. And select tools that will help execute your plan.

    Engage your customers. Earn brand loyalty.

    What are your tips for cultivating brand loyalty? Please share in the comments!

  • How to Monetize Your Blog in 5 Steps

    Monday, June 13, 2016 by

    How to Monetize Your Blog

    Making money from your blog can be a pipe dream for many people. The mere thought of being able to write about something you’re passionate about and have that result in actual money in your pocket is enough to make anyone smile.

    However, with all of the blogs in existence only 14% make any money at all. In fact, it’s actually quite difficult to make money from your blog if you don’t start with the end goal in mind. For instance, having a blog about underwater basket weaving might not be a topic that can actually turn into profit. We’re not saying it’s impossible, but it’s going to take a lot of dedication and perseverance to build a profitable blog.

    Below we dive into a process that will help you monetize your blog and turn your passion into a real-life business.

    1. Choose a Niche That Can Be Profitable

    The overall profitability of your niche will determine how much money you can make from your blog. If your niche is too small, then you may not have enough interested people to actually monetize your blog.

    One great way to choose the right niche is to select an evergreen niche. These are proven topics that people have spent money on, and will continue to invest in over the long-term.

    Some of the most common evergreen niches include:

    • Business and finance
    • Relationships
    • Health and wellness

    When choosing a niche it’s important to also select a topic that you enjoy writing about, have experience in, and have some innate ability. Without these traits it’s going to be difficult to stick with your blog over the long run. Making money from your blog isn’t a short-term endeavor, as building an audience and cultivating authority takes a long time. 

    2. Create Share-Worthy Content

    You need to create stellar content if you want to create a blog that’s actually worth reading. The content you’re creating will be the backbone of your blog. By failing to invest the time and energy it takes to create amazing content, it’s going to be very difficult to actually build an audience around your work.

    Content that stands above the rest must be educational, entertaining, offer a unique perspective, and be thoroughly researched. Go above and beyond and your audience will thank you for it.

    3. Have a Website That Promotes Your Goals

    Your website must be professional and assist your monetization efforts. It’s going to be difficult to profit off your blog if your design is overly amateur. Luckily, there are a variety of ways you can easily build a professional looking blog.

    To start we recommend using a CMS like WordPress. WordPress is a great blogging platform for beginners and will allow you to choose from a variety of free and paid themes that will take your site to the next level.

    WordPress is great for bloggers as there are also a variety of plugins that will enhance the functionality of your website. Be sure to check out our post on the top 4 free WordPress plugins for bloggers.

    • Part of having a professional site is having your own domain name. Register your domain and get an affordable hosting plan with HostGator here.

    4. Grow Your Audience

    Posting blogs on your own site is great. But, what if no one is reading your blog? How will they find out that you even exist? It’s important to have a variety of outreach methods that’ll send traffic back to your blog and make other people aware of your work.

    We outline a few of the most common traffic generation methods below:

    Choose a Social Media Platform and Stick to It

    Social media can be a great way to grow your audience and sends swarms of traffic back to your blog. Building a social media presence takes a lot of work, so it’s important you choose a single platform and stick to it. Once you’ve grown your audience on one platform, then you can branch out to other platforms.

    Grow your social media presence by sharing your own articles, sharing other relevant and valuable information in your niche, and creating specific content focused on that platform.

    Guest Post in Front of Larger Audiences

    Guest posting is a very effective way to get your message in front of large and overlapping audiences. Sure, you’ll have to work to find the right guest posting opportunities and create brand new content. But, you’ll receive the benefits of gaining exposure to new segments of your audience and obtaining relevant backlinks to your site.

    Most sites you guest blog on will give you an author bio where you can link back to your website. If you guest post on sites with large enough traffic numbers you can expect your posts to send a flood of new traffic to your site as well.

    Consider Syndicating Your Published Content

    Content syndication is a great way to gain additional exposure from blog posts that you’ve already written. Essentially, you’ll be posting the same blog you published on your site on a bunch of other blogs in your niche.

    A few popular sites that enable you to post things that have already been written include Medium and LinkedIn.

    Network With Other Bloggers in Your Niche

    The relationships you build with other bloggers in your space are incredibly valuable. They’ll not only be able to share and promote your content, thus growing your blog, but you may be able to partner by selling each other’s products to your audience as well (we go into this a bit more below).

    You can get started building relationships by leaving thoughtful comments on their blog posts, responding to and sharing their social media posts, and even sending gratitude emails about how one of their posts helped your life in a certain way. Relationship building is a long-term game, make sure you build up rapport before you go in for an ask.

    5. Choose the Right Monetization Method

    How you choose to monetize your blog will depend upon how much traffic you’re getting, the type of niche you’re in, and what feels best for your business. We recommend experimenting with a few different monetization methods until you find the one that aligns with your own business goals.

    The most popular monetization methods are outlined below:

    Affiliate Marketing

    Affiliate marketing is essentially selling other peoples’ products to your readers in exchange for a commission per unit sold. Digital products usually have a very high commission, which makes this a great way to monetize your blog.

    If you’ve been thinking about spending time creating a certain product for your readers it could already exist. By promoting this product you’ll save yourself the time and energy it takes to create a new product from scratch, and you’ll be able to recommend something valuable to your readers.

    Some common ways to promote affiliate products are by creating a review post on your blog with a link to the product, or promoting the product to your email list.

    • With HostGator's affiliate program, you can earn up to $125 per sign up. Learn more here!

    Setting Up Advertising

    The two main methods of advertising on your site are either selling individual ad slots, or by using Google Adsense or a similar platform. Essentially, you’ll post ads on your site, within your content, and on the sidebar of your website. Then you’ll receive income either based upon clicks or ad impressions.

    Usually, advertising only makes sense if your blog receives a lot of traffic, otherwise this method won’t be very lucrative.

    • Did you know HostGator hosting plans come with $100 Google AdWords offer? Learn more here!

    Selling eBooks and Courses

    Ebooks and courses are a great way to package up your knowledge and sell it to your readers. One of the best ways to ensure the profitability of this method is to create a blog post that tests out the idea, or by running a survey to find out the deep needs of your audience.

    This will allow you to see if your readers are actually interested in the course or eBook you want to create.

    Monetizing your blog will take additional work, but it’s time well spent if you truly want to be able to get paid to write about something you care about. As you can see from the process above monetization is actually one of the last steps in the blog creation process. But, by following the steps above you’ll be able to make your dream of turning your blog into a business a reality.

    Have you had success monetizing your blog? Please share in the comments below.

  • 5 Tips for Creating User-Friendly Sponsored Content

    Thursday, June 9, 2016 by
    Creating User-Friendly Sponsored Content Sponsored content has become a booming business in its own way. Bloggers, media platforms, brand sites are all offering some kind of form of sponsored content promotion options, and why not -- it's a quick way to make a chunk of money, and it provides you with essentially free content. While smaller businesses and bloggers work together to create relationships that are based on direct online marketing, big media sites and businesses focus on sponsored content that can drive tens of thousands of visitors and ultimately a large portion of those are going to become leads. However, just because you are in charge of a particular content website, doesn't necessarily mean that you are the only one making all the decisions. Quite the opposite. Your readers are what makes the site exist in the first place, and disregarding them and their feelings when it comes to sponsored content can quickly lead to a situation where readers will abandon your site, simply blaming it on 'selling out'. Let's take a look at a couple of tips that will help us craft user-friendly sponsored content, while keeping the soul of our community alive.

    1. Tell a story

    Depending on who is providing the content, you or the person wanting to advertise on your blog, you should aim to create a story about the brand, product or service that you are helping to promote. Instead of talking directly about the features and benefits that they provide, instead talk about the experience you had directly with whatever it is that you're promoting and give the readers a reason to read the sponsored content till the end.

    2. Incorporate proof

    The best performing sponsored content always involves the use of visual content such as video and images that actually showcase your personal experience with the product, or brand. Look to create the kind of content that fully compliments your ideologies and style guides.

    3. Skip the marketing jargon

    There is nothing more boring or un-entertaining that reading a sponsored post that's full of marketing jargon, sales terms, and generally coated with the kind of language that only praises the company without really talking about the real aspects of what the user can expect in terms of service and quality of product.

    4. Infuse it with a sense of worth

    You as the owner of the particular blog that you manage have the full understanding of your own audience and readers, so you automatically become responsible for providing the kind of sponsored content that compliments the needs and ideas of your existing readers. Giving your readers sponsored content about the latest developments in car industry when everything else on your blog is about crafts... well, that just won't fly so well with your audience, and more often than not readers are more important than a single one-time payment.

    5. Be honest

    Organic blog communities consist of conscious users who know that in order for them to receive the kind of content that they receive from you, there must be some form of financial support, whether direct or indirect. Be honest with your audience about the kind of sponsorships you are entering, and if possible ask for their advice on what they would like to see promoted, reviewed and so forth. Do full disclosure every time you publish a sponsored post and your readers will actually want to engage it.
  • Starting a Website: Linda’s Story

    Monday, June 6, 2016 by
    Starting a website can be intimidating. Maybe you’re not sure what topic you should focus on. Maybe you’re not sure it will be successful. Or maybe you’re not sure you would attract an audience. Our recent Facebook contest winner, Linda, has proven that taking a risk can have a large reward. Linda won our Facebook contest where we asked, “How did your HostGator website change your life?” We received over 100 entries from people all over the world in industries ranging from hospitality to seasoned entrepreneurs to novice business owners. Although all of the entries offered insights to how having an online presence has changed their business, Linda’s story offered a unique perspective. [caption id="attachment_11116" align="alignleft" width="300"]Linda with her son, Colin Linda with her son, Colin[/caption] Two years ago, Linda’s son died from cancer. While this is hard in itself, Linda and her family found it difficult to live with the knowledge that what he wanted most to accomplish in his short life was within reach but denied by poor communication between her son and the medical professionals taking care of him. This was her inspiration for starting her website. Examining the Examiner is committed to improving communication and promoting meaningful dialogue between patients and their health care providers by providing an interactive forum that can be accessed by patients and physicians. Examining the Examiner was created as a forum for patients to share how medical professionals can best meet their needs in communication. Patients and caregivers are welcome to respond to questions and interact within the forum. Linda’s website has not only helped her find closure, but it has impacted the lives of hundreds of other patients. Linda demonstrates that not all websites need to be used for running a business. Websites can be used for blogging, promoting, generating leads or showing off your portfolio. Her advice to us? To take the plunge. She says, “This is one of the best endeavors that I have ever tried to bring to fruition, and one that I was least sure about being successful.” Her site certainly has been successful allowing Linda to help a countless number of people, inspiring all of us to bring our websites to realization. Inspired by Linda? What type of site is right for you?
    • Online business/ecommerce
    • Job board
    • Blog
    • Fundraiser
    • Portfolio for photography, web design, copywriting
    • Online auction
    • Coupon site
    • Forum/online community
    • Fan site
    • Podcast
    • Video sharing
    Get your own domain name and build your website today with HostGator - click here for a great deal! Want a chance to get our Web Hosting Business Plan for a year for free? It could be as easy as entering our latest Facebook contest - click here to answer the question, "How has the internet impacted your business?"
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