October 2010  
Real Bookkeeping. Virtual Assistance.
Volume 7 Issue 9  www.offassist.com

October is Here!

I love October! One of the things I love most about October is that things around the home office start to calm down a bit. Being back in school is, "old hat," for the kids by the time October arrives. The weather is less oppressive (I'm in Austin, Texas). Plus, with the drop in temperature, everyone's mood seems to lift a bit.

Okay, and it's also the month of my personal favorite holiday. I admit it; I absolutely love Halloween. It's the only time of year when adults are allowed to act like kids and get away with it. This is the time of year when my family, always big on practical jokes, gets to act on those impulses. We love kidding around and having fun with each other.

The flip side of that is not as fun, though. I recently realized that while I do a good job at teaching my kids to appreciate a joke, I'm not doing as well teaching them how to tell when the fun needs to end. My 4th grader was written up at school recently for telling some of the other boys that there was $500 hidden in the boy's bathroom. Fortunately for him a teacher walked by and stopped the boys from damaging school property--they were trying to pry open a locked supply cabinet to get at the treasure. My son told me he didn't realize it would get so out of control...

This is something we all need to watch for in our businesses, too. You all know that I'm all for having a good time. But... Sometimes, as business owners or employees, we need clear our throat, put on our glasses and spend quality time with the reports we don't want to deal with. Fun times will only get us so far.

Of course, that doesn't mean we can't go out for a margarita after we're done.

In this issue...


We get most of our articles from article directories. That means that every month someone I've never met has their work exposed to a host of people who would otherwise never have seen it. Pretty powerful stuff, huh?

Easy Article Marketing, 7 Tips to Get You Started
By Sandy T. Moore

Article marketing has been the backbone of search engine marketing as well as internet marketing for some time now. The importance of article marketing has always been undermined by more aggressive and short-lived techniques in the virtual marketing world, but, article marketing has always been on top for guaranteed and expected results. This article is a simple pointer towards good article marketing techniques that are guaranteed to work.

Tip 1: Writing the articles - This is the first step to jumping on the article marketing bandwagon once your plan is ready. If you aren't a good writer, you can always commission good articles. If you do this, make sure the writer knows it is work for hire and YOU own the copyright.

Tip 2: Title - Whoever writes your articles, make sure that the titles of the articles are eye-catching and allure the reader to read further. A good title sets the tone for a good article.

Tip 3: Length - Make sure that the writer is adept at judging the length of an article. Depending on your niche and the topic, it is wise to hit up on a good length. An article should be complete in itself and therefore have a length that is not short or take ages to read.

Tip 4: Links - In the event that you are using your articles for link building, it would be wise to have some good links embedded into your article. Links should be hyperlinked with your main keywords and placed towards the bottom of the article. Make sure that there are no more than three links since many article directories may not accept them.

Tip 5: Bio - Every article should have an author bio to be submitted for article marketing. Make sure that the bio is interesting and contains a hyperlink pointing to your website.

Tip 6: Writer - Hiring a writer is as easy as ABC, if you know where to look. Check out the freelancer platforms and put up your requirement sin the form of a project. You will see a lot of writers crowding at your door in no time.

Tip 7: Submission - Submitting articles may seem to be a boring chore. However, this is the most important step to make sure that your article gets the required mileage and back-links. Submit to as many directories as possible. Manual submission is recommended, however automatic submissions can also be made without a hitch using article submitter software, which is inexpensive to buy.

The above tips will get you going while embarking upon your article marketing plan. However, these tips are not limited and there are certain small ideas and tips that you can learn on your way to success. One piece of final advice is that once you begin your article marketing plan, keep it going, slower or faster, do not leave it midway. This is important to have a good search engine ranking and maintaining it.

Article source: Ezine Articles

About the Author: Sandy Moore is an entrepreneur specialising in internet marketing education and personal branding. Having discovered the GPT business model, Sandy is now an established entrepreneur and can show you her exact methods to dominating the Internet. http://prepare2succeed.com
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QuickBooks Tip

How do I make sure my auto-payments are put into my check register?

Q: I have some standard automatic payments that come out of my account every month for regular expenses. Is there a way to have them entered in my check register so I don’t forget to account for the amount coming out?

A: Yes! Auto-payments are a huge convenience many people utilize for paying bills. Once you have created the payment in your check register (with the correct amount, expense accounts, etc.), then choose Edit: Memorize Check (or CTRL + M). This will give you a pop-up box to enter some information related to this transaction. In the name box, QuickBooks will default to the vendor name. To have the transaction entered automatically choose “automatically enter” then select how often this transaction will be deducted (week, monthly, etc.). Choose the next date the transaction will be deducted, the number remaining (this works for times when there is a definitely end date to the auto-pay) and the days in advance you want it to enter. I usually have auto-pays post a week before they will be deducted so it reminds me that the amount is coming out.

Note: Check with your accounting professional before doing this to be sure that's how they'd like it done. YMMV!

Humor

Three animals were having a drink in a cafe. When the owner asked them to pay the bill they began to argue.

“I m not paying,” said the duck. “I’ve only got one bill and I'm not breaking it.”

“I’ve spent my last buck,” said the deer.

“Then the duck will have to pay,” said the skunk. “Getting here cost me my last scent.”

 
Tax Deadlines

October 15

- Net Operating Loss - Eligible Small Business carry back loss
- Personal Returns - FINAL DEADLINE
- Personal Returns due - Nonresident, US income, etc.
- Personal Returns due - Easy - Final Deadline
- Personal Returns due - Not Itemizing - Final Deadline
- Deadline for Schedule C filer to fund SEP-IRAs for previous year
- Net Operating Loss - Eligible Small Business carry back loss
-US Gift and Generation-Skipping Transfer Tax Return - Final Deadline
- Employers Make Monthly Payroll tax deposit on the 15th of each month
- Employers File Annual Return for Employee Benefits Plan 5500
- Employers File Annual Return for Employee Benefits Plan 5500-EZ

Tech Talk With Tom...

Stop your computer from napping

I think we could all use a nap now and then. A couple of extra Z’s could really be useful. Doctors have even found several medical benefits. But, when your computer takes a nap, especially when you need to access it remotely, stress can increase and your blood pressure can skyrocket!

Here is how to disable your computer's Sleep Mode:

XP

  • Click “Start”
  • Click “Control Panel”
  • Click “Performance and Maintenance”
  • Select “Power Options”
  • In the first dropdown box select “Always On”

Windows 7

  • Click “Start”
  • Click “Control Panel”
  • Click “System and Security”
  • Click “Power Options”
  • Next to “Balanced” click “Change Plan Settings”
  • In the dropdown box next to “Put the computer to sleep” select Never

Now this isn’t for everyone. Most people will want their computer to sleep (or hibernate) when they aren’t using it. But for those of us that need 24/7 access to our remote machines, our computer taking an inconvenient nap can make the difference between getting that new client or going back to the drawing board.

Personally, I’d rather get that new client and then take the nap myself.

Tom Beauchamp is the marketing and tech expert behind OffAssist. He can be reached at tom@offassist.com.

Spotlight On...

Chocbite

Disclaimer: We cannot be impartial about Chocbite. We love them. Just so you know.

Chocbite.com is still in its infancy but you'd never know it talking to Adeline Rem the woman behind the website, or, as she calls herself, Chocbite's, "Chief Chocolate Lover (CCL)."

Believe it or not, this custom chocolate company was inspired by dieting. When Adeline was dieting,

     "I negotiated with myself daily — did I want instant gratification or a special treat later? I opted for the special treat: a perfect piece of chocolate each night."

Her passion for good, high quality chocolate led her to explore Austin's high-end retailers looking for that perfect bite. Nothing was quite right; the add-ins (nuts/fruits/flavors) were wrong, the chocolate wasn't high quality, it wasn't fresh enough, etc.

Adeline decided the only way to get what she wanted was to make it herself. After that, the next step was obvious: if she wanted her chocolate her way, other people probably did, too.

At Chocbite.com you choose a base chocolate and the options run the gamut from white chocolate to a dark chocolate so cocoa-rich it's called black chocolate. That's the easy part. Once you pick your base you have to choose your ChocTops (chocolate bar toppings) and there are literally hundreds of options for billions of potential combinations. The hardest part of getting a custom chocolate bar from Chocbite is deciding what you want on it.

Want to build a bar for yourself or a client (yes, the traditional season of gift-giving is coming!), check out the site at www.chocbite.com. For more info on Adeline and the passions that drive this unique gourmet business, check out their blog at http://blog.chocbite.com.

 
Have you nursed a secret longing to be in the spotlight, center-stage, all eyes on you?

If you would like to be featured in the OffAssist spotlight column, and have not been featured in the past twelve months, contact Patty@OffAssist.com and we'll see if we can put you in the limelight.


Have an article you'd like to write for our monthly newsletter or want to be spotlighted? Have a QuickBooks question or something you'd like to see in the Tech Tip?

Email candy@offassist.com.

The OffAssist newsletter is made possible by the copywriting/editing skills of Ink Think VA, and the coding talents of Time Is Of The Es-Cents.