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Looking for easy-to-implement tips for your small business? Check out these posts for information and ideas to improve your cash flow, reduce costs and streamline your small office.


Adding Chapter Links in Smashwords


How to Create Table of Contents Links For Smashwords

Step One

The first step when creating a linked Table of Contents for Smashwords is to create bookmarks everywhere you want a link to reside. In this case, we’re going to want a link to the words ‘Step One’ to the ‘Step One: Create Bookmarks’ bit in the Table of Contents, so we’re creating our first bookmark there.

Highlight the text where you want to create a bookmark.

Click ‘Insert’ in the Word menu and select ‘Bookmark’

Type the name of the bookmark with no spaces (make it easy to remember) and click ‘Add’

Repeat this process for each Chapter Heading, or other hyperlink in your document.

Step Two : Adding Links

Now you’re ready to link your Table of Contents to the bookmarks you just created.

Go back to your table of contents, and select the first item.

Click Hyperlink, and select ‘Place in This Document’

You should see all the bookmarks you created in Step One. Choose the one you want to link, and click on OK.

Step Three

If you’d like to make things even easier for your readers, add a ‘Return to Table of Contents’ link to each section. To do this, just bookmark the Table of Contents.

Then, add text that says ‘Return to Table of Contents’ under each heading – and link it to the TOC bookmark.

There! You’re done!

Here’s a guide with screenshots!

How to Create Table of Contents Links For Smashwords

Filed under Featured, Tips
Jan 10, 2014

Request Removal From Google’s Cache

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So you’ve got your articles back, but they’re still showing up in cache results in Google – what to do?

Remove them from Google’s cache – or more accurately, ask Google to remove them.

Get Your Posts Back: Where to Go

As usual, Google’s got all the answers. Go here:

Google’s Removal Request Instructions

Click on the Google Public URL Removal link.

Removing the URL from Google’s Cache: What to Do

Click ‘Create a New Removal Request’

Enter the URL of the article you’d like removed. This is the full URL that used to lead to your article – not just the homepage of the site where it used to be.

Google will analyze that page and then ask you to type in a word that used to appear on the page but no longer does. Put in your name or a unique word that was in your article and wouldn’t be anywhere on the site’s homepage.

Click ‘Remove cached version of this page’

Wait. Google’s pretty good about getting this done quickly, but it could take a few days to a week.

Filed under New Posts, Tips
May 19, 2013

Create an Ad for Author Advertising Plugin


Having trouble creating an ad for a revenue-share site that uses Author Advertising? This guide will walk you through creating the type of ad you need, in order to collect the adsense from banner or block ads that display on a multi-author revenue-share site.

Step One: Go to Google Adsense. Have you applied for an account yet? If not – start now! If you already have your account, click on My Ads and then on the ‘New Ad Unit’ button.

Then, you’re going to customize the ad. This is what the screen looks like:

1. This is the name of your ad. I like to be specific, because I have a lot of different ads all over the Internet, and I like to know where my money’s coming from, but it’s up to you.

2. This is the size and shape of the ad that will go to the right of your content. For this example, you’ll need to create 1 468X60 ad, and 1 120X240 ad.

3. Choose the text & image/rich media ad option, to ensure that you’ll have more ads, less blank space. Image ads do have a higher clickthrough rate, but there are not always image ads that fit your content – text ads will display in that event. If you specify only image ads, you may have blank space at some point, which means no revenue.

4. Show blank space as the backup option, unless you have another website with Adsense – you can use ads targeted to that website in the event of a blank space situation.

The rest of the options, you can just leave as the default.

Scroll down to the bottom, and click on Save and Get Code:

A window will pop up with a bunch of code in it. Copy it, and paste it into an email to me.

THEN – log in to your WordPress Dashboard, and look under the Dashboard tab:


Click on the spot that is identified as Adsense – this example uses Decoded Science, but your site will look different.

A window will pop up – enter in your Adsense ID and the Ad Slot IDs in the appropriately labeled spots.

Here’s a visual of the code – and which parts mean what. The 1st circled bit is your adsense ID. The 2nd circled bit is the code for your ad.

Tah-Dah! You’re Done!


Filed under Tips
Oct 17, 2012

Choose an Accountant Wisely


Hiring an accountant? Choose wisely!

Many small business owners hand over finances and taxes to their accountant blindly. When something goes wrong, they’re utterly flummoxed – the accountant should have handled it, right? Not necessarily. Accountants are human beings just like everyone else. They have specialties, and gaps in experience, and some are even not very good at what they do. (Someone’s got to graduate last in the class, right?) So what’s a small-business-owner to do? Do your homework, and don’t pick an accountant (or a doctor or a lawyer or a plumber) out of the phonebook.

  • Ask around, get referrals from your networking buddies. Chances are, they’ll be able to refer you to a great accountant.
  • Choose someone who specializes in small business or self-employed individuals, depending on your situation. He or she will know all about the best deductions for your situation.
  • Google is your friend – check out the accountant for consumer complaints, blog rants and any other information that might indicate a lack of experience, professionalism or competence.
Once you choose an accountant, don’t bury your head in the sand. Ask questions, follow up, and keep tabs – don’t expect your accountant to be perfect, and don’t forget: It’s Your Money!
Filed under New Posts, Tips
Sep 4, 2011

Benefits of Cloud Computing: Storage Options for Small Business


Benefits of Cloud Computing: Image by spekulator

What is cloud computing? The “Cloud” is a term used to describe the Internet. Information stored in “the cloud” is actually stored in servers all around the world, and accessed through the Internet. When you utilize cloud computing, you store data and software applications remotely, rather than saving information directly to your hard drive. This method of data storage has a number of benefits, including redundancy, convenience and improved operations.

Redundancy With Cloud Computing

Redundancy, or preserving data by ensuring that multiple copies are available at any given time, is an absolute necessity for business owners. By saving your critical data in the cloud, you’re reducing your chances of losing information due to a hardware failure, virus, natural disaster or any other calamity that can befall your computer. Online backups are a simple and convenient way to provide redundancy for all of your important files.

Convenience of Online Storage

Tired of messing around with CD backups? Too many thumb drives cluttering up your office? Try an online storage service, such as Carbonite, and you can enjoy the secure feeling of knowing that your files are safe without the hassle of performing the backups yourself.

Faster Computing Through the Cloud

Use cloud-based software applications, such as Chrome, Google’s online operating system, to speed up your computer. A computer has limited storage space to hold software and files. The more space you use, and the more programs you run on your computer at any given time, the longer it takes for your computer to perform common tasks. If you transition to Internet-based applications, your computer’s processor is freed up for other tasks, which tends to make everything move faster.

Choose a Provider Carefully

Before you choose a service provider for cloud computing, do extensive research. The company that provides storage and backup services for your business must be reliable and reputable. Do not choose a lower-quality service to save money – when it comes to storing your company’s critical information in the cloud, as with most other business decisions, you’ll get what you pay for.

Jun 7, 2011

How to Write A Recommendation Letter


Write a letter of recommendation for ex-employees

Need to write a letter of recommendation for a former employee? Try these sample character reference templates.

When to Write a Letter of Reference

If you’re forced to lay off a good worker, you might want to soften the blow with an offer of a recommendation letter, to help him get a new job. After you write the letter of dismissal, compose a letter of reference as well. Include information about the length of employment as well as special talents or strengths provided by the employee. Is he or she always on time? Positive? A great team player? Innovative and energetic? Include this information in the letter, and improve his or her chances of getting a new job.

Professional Character Reference Letter Template


Filed under New Posts, Templates, Tips
Apr 18, 2011

Small Business Marketing Tip of the Day: Be Consistent!


Use Your Small Business Marketing Plan to Maintain Sales

If your small business is doing well, and profits are high, you may be tempted to let your marketing efforts slide, but don’t do it! A consistent marketing plan will ensure that your business continues to prosper instead of experiencing unnerving highs and lows.

Small Business Marketing Plans

Whether your plan includes direct-mail, radio or print ads, a website, a newsletter, pretty tri-fold brochures or even just business cards to pass around town, make sure you are consistent with your efforts. Create a marketing plan each year, with monthly goals, and stick to it.

Filed under New Posts, Templates, Tips
Apr 13, 2011

How to Format a Business Letter: Free Templates

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Need help formatting a business letter?

Need help formatting a business letter? Here’s a quick and easy guide, and templates to make it even more simple.

Quick Formatting Guide

The most common format for a business letter is the left-justified block format. In this format, you simply line up all of the text on the left hand side of the page. Don’t indent, tab or center any text. The information you need to include is:

  • Your address
  • The date
  • Recipient’s address
  • Salutation
  • Body
  • Closing
  • Signature Block

Business Correspondence Templates

Don’t want to mess with the formatting? Just follow a simple business letter template with a guide to explain what information goes in each area.

Filed under New Posts, Templates, Tips
Apr 12, 2011

Writing an Executive Summary


Write a Stellar Executive Summary to Close the Deal

If you’re done with the rest of your business plan, but stuck on the executive summary, you’re not alone. Writing your executive summary can be the most challenging part of the entire plan, but don’t worry – these tips will save the day.


Executive Summary Tips

Follow these simple tips while you’re writing the summary of your business plan.

  • Remember the purpose of the summary: to get the attention of the decision-makers, and impress them enough to want to finance your venture.
  • Don’t be humble: brag about your qualifications. The bank needs to know why you’re the best person to open a new business.
  • Write a summary outline before you start. It’s easier to fill-in-the-blanks than to just sit down and try to write it all out from scratch.
  • Keep your business plan handy, and refer back to the facts and figures often.
  • Stay focused: your summary should basically be a condensed version of the business plan, so don’t go off on a tangent.

Whether you use a business plan template or write it off-the-cuff, make sure your executive summary is professional, attention-grabbing and clear.


Filed under New Posts, Tips
Apr 7, 2011

Business Backups: Cloud Storage vs. Local Storage


Should you choose backup media or cloud storage?

If you don’t want your business to crash and burn in the event of a disaster, you need to create a backup plan. You’ve probably heard a lot about “cloud storage” but should you trust your entire company’s financial records to the Internet?

What is the Cloud?

When people talk about the cloud, they’re just referring to the Internet. When you store information on the Internet, it’s not actually floating around in a cloud – it’s actually stored on someone’s servers. Most companies that provide cloud storage services offer robust security, to prevent hacking, and redundancy, to prevent data loss due to equipment loss at the storage facility. On the other hand, you never know… A sophisticated virus or a catastrophic power failure could result in the complete loss of your data.

Better Safe Than Sorry:

When choosing a method of backup, why not try both? An automatic online backup is a great way to keep your data safe, but augment it with monthly local backups, stored in an offsite location, and your data is irrevocably safe.

Need to choose between a paid Internet backup service and a free cloud backup? Don’t forget to do your research!

Filed under New Posts, Organizing, Tips
Apr 4, 2011