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8 Blogs to Follow to Stay in the Know on Ecommerce

If you’ve ever run a business you know that it doesn’t go smoothly all the time. Wouldn’t it be great if there were someone with a lot of experience to consult for free whenever your ecommerce business hit a hiccup for which you had no ready solution on hand?

Luckily for you there is help. This article will discuss eight blogs you can follow to stay in the know. Listed in no particular order, they offer advice regarding site design, marketing, SEO, finding your niche, choosing products, shipping and more.

E-commerce Related Blogs

eCommerceFuel

eCommerceFuel offers advice from Andrew Youderian, one of the most respected individuals in the world of ecommerce. Youderian started with blank screens and built two stores generating more than $1 million in annual revenue. Consequently, eCommerceFuel offers advice for those new to ecommerce. It touches on topics such as managing cash flow and how to conduct email marketing.

The blog is also rich with resources including a free book, a podcast, training videos and a vibrant forum.

E-Commerce Times

This one is more of an industry newsletter than a blog per se. Industry experts and professionals contribute stories to E-Commerce Times about the latest trends and developments in the industry. Straight from the field’s heaviest hitters, this is where you’ll keep abreast of the latest information likely to have a significant impact upon the way you do business.

Shopify

Shopify looks out for the little guy. Small startups and first-time entrepreneurs going solo will find information covering topics such as marketing, drop-shipping and improving the customer experience. You’ll also learn why every business needs a blog. Writers with a wide range of relevant experience contribute to one of the best ecommerce website builders and blog.

A Better Lemonade Stand

This blog documents the activities of Richard Lazazzera as he builds his ecommerce brand from the ground up. A Better Lemonade Stand chronicles his experiences with SEO, marketing, product ideas and revenue. Additionally, Lazazzera gets into subjects like drop-shipping, manufacturing, wholesaling and working with manufacturers.

Perusing this blog is like being a fly on the wall as a time-tested expert goes through the ins and outs of learning to build your own better lemonade stand.

Bootstrapping Ecommerce

Odds are, if you’ve run searches for any specific information regarding startups, Shabbir Nooruddin has appeared on your screen more than a few times. His Bootstrapping Ecommerce blog is loaded with practical information covering every aspect of launching an ecommerce site. Nooruddin’s strength as a blogger lies in the way he provides practical ideas upon which you can immediately act.

Groove

For your marketing-oriented needs, Groove is the blog if you want to take advantage of solid expert advice including live chats with CEOs. Even more impressive, Groove manages to deliver this information in an entertaining manner, so you actually enjoy reading the site’s content as you learn from it.

You’ll find useful expert advice in the form of well-written how-to pieces. Advice ranges from the best marketing metrics to targeting strategies to SEO insights.

KISSmetrics

Neil Patel and Hiten Shah, veterans of campaigns for large companies like TechCrunch, target the KISSmetrics blog to ecommerce entrepreneurs seeking information regarding marketing, testing and analytics. You’ll find articles on improving your conversion rate, tracking offline marketing campaigns and how to measure your true brand equity.

Practical Ecommerce

Considered by some the standard for ecommerce, the Practical Ecommerce blog delivers content for every stage of the ecommerce funnel. Whether you’re looking for information on marketing, conversion, shopping carts, design or social media, Practical Ecommerce has solidly earned its place on this list of eight blogs to follow to stay in the know on the subject.

Questions for Discussion: Who do you rely on for ecommerce advice? What is the biggest business issue you are currently dealing with?

Starting a Small Business in 2015

One of my goals for 2015 is starting a small business. I’ve been thinking about this for some time now and believe I have an idea that’s worth pursuing. It does relate to writing and blogging so I do have some experience in figuring out how this venture can turn out to be profitable.

starting a small businessNeedless to say though, when starting a small business there is so much to plan for. One can’t be whipped up in a night. While this won’t be an exhaustive list of everything that must be considered, here are the top five things I’ve been thinking through lately.

Pursuing an idea or passion that fills a need

Ideas are a dime a dozen. The light bulb goes off on a new one every day. But does a small town with five pizza stores really need another one? Probably not, unless there is a unique angle to it that differentiates from the others. You will have a hard time getting started let alone succeeding in a town filled with so much competition.

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My January Fuss-a-Thon at Business Owners Has Begun

Form_1099-Misc_2013

Download this form at IRS.gov

2014 has begun, and for me, and most other accountants, that means the start of busy season. This is because we are assisting our business clients with year-end issues – and sometimes “assisting” turns to “fussing at”.  With a smile, of course.

So, what do I need to fuss about the most? Here are two things (out of many) that an accountant wants you to know and do regarding year-end business issues.

1099s

What I am referring to here is Form 1099-MISC. This form is an information return that you as the business owner are required to give to certain vendors. The rules change from year to year, but for now, here’s who gets one:

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How to Be a Successful Landlord: 5 Key Areas to Focus On

how to be a successful landlordIf you are a frequent visitor to Luke1428 you know I have an affinity for rental real estate. I purchased my first property five years ago, mistakenly paying a bit too much for it. I didn’t know how to be a successful landlord then and let my excitement cloud my judgement. I simply wanted to get started…that was all I cared about.

I’ve learned many things since then and survived my share of dark moments. You may remember my post from last fall about the nightmare I went through during my first eviction. Ending up in front of the county judge to settle that dispute was frustrating but valuable all at the same time.

Nobody should become a landlord without doing some serious reading on the subject. That will help eliminate some mistakes you could easily make. But head knowledge can only take one so far. Some things are only learned through experience.

5 Tips on How to Be a Successful Landlord

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Year End Tax Planning For Small Businesses

Plan MazeThe following is a guest post by Kim Fourman.

Taxes may not be foremost on your mind right now, but they are important to think about before the year is over. It would be wise to know what kind of changes are coming and how that can affect you. For those in business, including the self-employed, here are two big changes coming for this year’s tax return.

Section 179

So what is Section 179 anyway? Well, first you need to understand depreciation. If you buy an asset (say, a computer), you are generally not allowed to expense (“expensing” means writing off or deducting) the entire amount in the year that you purchased it. Instead you are supposed to spread out the expense over several years.

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Considerations When Starting a Business

BusinessThinking of starting a new business? Congratulations and thank you from the rest of America! Small businesses are what keep our country running. I thought I’d post a few things to think about if you are starting a new business. Of course, this isn’t an exhaustive list, and I’d encourage you to take the time to speak with a lawyer and a CPA to make sure that all your ducks are in a row. The expertise is worth the cost.

Having said that, here are a few things to think about:

What type of business will it be? 

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