A successful entrepreneur shares her thoughts on business success and failure.

Posts published in the Ask Erica category:

How To Become A Writer

How To Become A Writer Through a sort of strange coincidence, I found myself reading Tucker Max’s blog today.

If you know who Tucker Max is (and many people do), you may think I was reading his famous “asshole” blog. Interestingly enough, though, Tucker seems to have matured lately, and is now writing a more thoughtful blog on how to become a writer, run a startup, and get published.

He highlights a thought-provoking question on his post “How To: Find A Mentor”:

“‘Why do you want to be a writer?’ 99% of [people who tell me they want to become a writer] have no fucking concept of how to answer that question. They’ve never even asked themselves this most basic and fundamental question. They stutter and stammer and can’t come up with even one concrete reason. [And BTW--there is only ONE correct answer to that question, I will cover that in another thing I'm writing.]“

Interested, I thumbed through the rest of his blog, but I never found where he followed up with the answer. Since I’ve gotten this question too (although it more often comes in the form of “How do I become a blogger?” with me), I figured I’d answer it from my perspective.

I Struggle to Answer the Question

And then…something strange happened. I struggled to answer the question. I had a momentary panic attack: Was I one of those awful 99% of people who “wanted to be a writer” yet “had no fucking concept of how to answer that question”? But no, that didn’t feel quite right. (more…)

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Why Most Internet Marketers Fail

Why most Internet marketers fail.
Richard writes in with a question: “When can a person tell a blog is just about making money with affiliate sales vs. truly helping a person or business? Sometimes they sound really alike.”

This is a great question. Many bloggers–myself included–run promotions for both our own and other products on a regular basis. Some blogs are heavily promotional, with an affiliate link in nearly every post, whereas other bloggers make their money mostly through advertising and only rarely include affiliate links in their posts.

First, let’s look at things from a blogger’s perspective. Then, I’ll give you a few metrics to help you decide which marketers to follow online. (more…)

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oDesk Review: Is Outsourcing Worth the Effort?

oDesk review: Outsourcing.
oDesk review from a real user. Does oDesk work?
I wrote about how to outsource around-the-house tasks earlier, but many of you (including, most recently, Christine) wanted more detail on how to outsource jobs that can be done online.

I’ve definitely had success outsourcing jobs online. In this blog post, I’ll show you which tasks I recommend you outsource, how much you can expect to pay, and where to find good workers. When you’ve read this post, you can immediately take action and start taking some work off your own shoulders. (more…)

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Overwhelmed by "Getting Things Done"? Try This Instead…

overwhelmed by getting things done If you feel like you’re not getting enough done in your business, but complex systems like “Getting Things Done” feel like too much of a production, I completely understand. Here’s my simple to-do system–an alternative to “Getting Things Done”–that I have been using for years. Try it yourself and you just may notice a sea change in your productivity. (more…)

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How to Read People's Minds–And Then Create the Product They Most Desire

read prospects' minds What if you had a secret mind-reading device that grabbed thoughts out of your potential customers’ heads and told you exactly what they would pay for that you could create?

That would be pretty awesome…wouldn’t it? Unfortunately, such a device doesn’t exist (at least as far as I know!) However, you can get pretty close to reading potential customers’ minds with the two methods I describe below…and if you’re anything like most business owners, you’ve probably never tried either one of these. Use both, and you may just be unstoppable… (more…)

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I'm Erica Douglass.
After selling my online business at age 26 for over $1 million, I created this blog to help you grow your own business quickly.

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