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5 Valuable Lessons that Transformed my Online Business Skills (+ Introduction)

5 Valuable Lessons that Transformed my Online Business Skills (+ Introduction)

Sure, I took the time to design a nice website and a killer about me section, but you still don’t know me.

Blogs are around every corner of the web and so are most of my business services, but my story is what sets me apart.

This isn’t my first rodeo…

From a professional standpoint, I’ve had plenty of experience in the traditional and non-traditional workforce.

I went from a lengthy career in financial services to working from home online. While taking on projects such as audio transcription, chat customer service, English tutoring and social media evaluation, I eventually settled into blogging.

This is the fourth blog I have owned. My first was a fitness and nutrition blog. Shortly after that I started a travel and food blog. A few years later, I shut down the fitness blog and launched my lifestyle blog. My last blog was to teach English as a Second Language. A few of these were short lived.

Most of the plug pulling on these blogs was my own impatient reaction combined with a need to revamp my process and presentation.

With each one, I learned more and more about blogging, web design and online business. I also learned some general business lessons that have helped me to this day:

5 Habits for a Successful Online Business

Lesson 1: Blogging and digital business requires transparency.

For a huge chunk of my blogging career, I remained anonymous. Blogging as a ghostwriter took priority over my own blog. Fear took priority over revealing my identity.

This was partially due to noise and lies from naysayers who promised negative feedback if I showed too much of my personality. They told me I wouldn’t be able to handle the judgement.

Truth is, the negative feedback came from people NOT knowing who I was. No one wants to do business with a Gravitar behind a keyboard. They do business with the person they get to know, fall in love with and grow to trust.

It’s okay to share some details about your life and company. There is a way to blog and get personal while still protecting those you treasure.

In life and in business, always be transparent. Be true to yourself and open about who you are. As a result, you will gain more of the right people in your circle.

Lesson 2: Solving a problem should be your main focus.

I chose fitness, travel and food as a niche for my first two blogs. The topics had solid connections and endless content to choose from.

These blogs with high demand topics could have worked well to help others and provide a thriving business for me.

So, what was the problem?

My blogs within these niches didn’t have a core concentration on fixing my readers’ issues.

I didn’t profile my ideal readers, followers and clients. Didn’t research what they wanted or needed. I did not use a sales funnel process to begin with the end goal in mind.

Most important, I did not satisfy my audience.

The people were speaking, but I was not listening.

In the early years, I focused more on what I liked and wanted to write about. Yes, passion is an important component, but so is providing satisfaction.

I should have concentrated on the questions readers asked in comments, on social media and in groups. That tactic can be just as valuable as keyword research.

Monitoring responses, testing and refining is necessary to achieve any business goal.

Lesson 3: Mastering digital marketing is non-negotiable for success online.

I built it, but no one came… until I learned how to draw them in.

Entrepreneurs, giganomists and blog bosses are heavy in the digital environment.

A blogger inexperienced in digital marketing will see a similar business as competition. Someone who knows how to market their blog will see others in their industry as allies and friends.

Working Pinterest marketing and social media groups are strategies that will change the dynamic of your business and blog traffic.

Knowing the digital marketing tools and how to use them is the difference between success and failure in online business.

Lesson 4: Even free spirits must always, always be intentional

Procrastinator, night owl, free spirit. Those are a few of the labels I used to disguise my lack of planning.

All of these characteristics are okay, but none of them mean planning is not possible or necessary.

You can still choose a deadline and set it in stone. Write it in your calendar, even if you wait until the last day to make it happen.

There is a huge difference between waiting to get started and never making it happen.

I am now a planner— a structured free spirit, if you will. I write the vision, create the to-do lists, set the dates and make it happen. My dreams are no longer deferred.

What changed?

For one thing having a new WHY, a critical reason, a clear purpose that takes priority over most.

Someone who depends heavily on me changed my life and business. We’ll go further into that in a minute.

Right now, pay close attention to Lesson 5. Internalize it.

Lesson 5: Lack of belief in yourself will draw doubt from others

I did not believe in myself. I thought I did, but my actions sent the opposite message. That means my thoughts must have been faithless too.

I hid myself and my talents, stayed in my shell and did not demand my worth. I did not even know my worth.

Not believing in yourself means lack of faith in the Creator who promised you these things.

Confidence, speaking the words and acting on your beliefs puts thing into existence.

Believe in yourself and others will too!

That’s enough for you to let your mind marinate, so let’s shift gears for a moment.

Who am I?

In addition to a creative, I am a daughter, sister niece, aunt, mother, partner and friend.

My circle is small and close knit, yet powerful.

I am the youngest of five siblings. My family dynamic is a unique and interesting one.

My days are filled with hugs, kisses, laughter smiles, laundry, diapers and messy meals with a little guy who has my whole heart. He’s a free spirit just as much as his mommy.

During my food and travel blogging days, I spent much of my time exploring new restaurants, hotels, attractions and cultures.

I love trying new foods, cooking and experimenting with recipes. Making smoothies and DIY baby food recipes for my chubs I a part of my weekly routine.

My partner, who brags on being the cook in the relationship, assists me in stuffing my face on the regular.

We both love to watch movies and save our thoughtless TV time for a good film instead.

Sometimes I allow my movies to be a good read. Digital books, other blogs, online magazines and some traditional print books consume a corner of the space on my full plate.

I also like to experiment with my wild head of big, naturally curly hair.

The beach, bike riding, and working out on the regular are some of my favorite pre-newborn pastimes that I will welcome back in the near future.

Every moment of life hasn’t been sunshine, but the rain helped me appreciate better seasons.

Like most women at some point, I’ve had a few heartbreaks. Not only during romantic involvement, but also by others who were appointed to guard my heart.

Those experiences changed my life, eventually in a good way. They hurt and healed me, matured me and prepared me to be a strong person and good mother.

Life has thrown me some curveballs, taught me how to navigate through rough waters and weather storms.

I’ve had some pretty awesome experiences along the way too.

It is as if every circumstance sequentially happened at the right moment.

Combine these areas of life (professional and personal)— as they often do on their own— and I have a wealth of experience to advise you on managing life and business.

Welcome all Dreamers Doers!

Each week on my blog and podcast, you will find something new and refreshing to encourage you in business and life.

If you are trying to get started on a project, I will help you take that leap of faith.

For those who need motivation to keep going, we will do it together.

Need advice or to learn? I am here to teach you and introduce you to others who have experiences to share.

Exposure is just a matter of requesting it. Sign up to be a guest on my Dreamer’s Den podcast or a guest blogger on the website.

Let’s grow together

I get excited when I see entrepreneurs creating something great. I love being a part of that process, whether it’s designing a logo or website, creating content or helping with plans.

What’s in it for me?

Of course I want my business to be prosperous. I want to do it in a way that benefits you and helps your business flourish. When you win, we win!

Don’t be modest. Get involved.

I love getting feedback and I’m excited about connecting with you. Take a moment to comment on the blog and share your thoughts. Send an email if you have questions or even just to say hi.

Most important of all,

“Dream Until Your Dream Comes True”

Danielle Towner

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Danielle

Danielle is a creative and digital marketer at Towner Enterprise, LLC. She has a passion for helping startup entrepreneurs and small businesses make their dreams come true. Her blog features business and lifestyle growth tips and “Dreamer’s Den Podcast: For Creative Entrepreneurs, Dreamers and Doers”. During Danielle’s sporadic moments of free time, she enjoys travel, movies, books and the endless joy of her little one.