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Last update: 2012-12-01

Amazon Prime: So I Crumbled…

2012-12-01

Every year Amazon have offered me the opportunity to try their Amazon Prime program for a month, for free. And every year I’ve gleefully taken advantage of the free month’s trial to get my Amazon goodies delivered within 24 hours straight to my doorstep. Here’s the deal with Amazon Prime in the UK. It’s a [...]
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Website of the Week: Text Fixer

2011-07-17

Ever have trouble cutting and pasting from a document into your HTML editor? Or paste text in WordPress only to have problems styling it? This little tool saved my sanity! Text Fixer This free online word converter tool will take the contents of a doc or docx file and convert the word text into HTML [...]
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Website of the Week: Digg

2011-07-11

This week’s featured website is Digg. Digg is a place for people to discover and share content from anywhere on the web. From the biggest online destinations to the most obscure blog, Digg surfaces the best stuff as voted on by our community.
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Website of the Week: Viralheat

2011-07-03

This week’s featured website is Viralheat   Viralheat is Social Media Analytics. It covers every corner of the social web from Google Buzz, Facebook, Twitter, Real-time web, to YouTube and provides insights for your social media campaigns that allow you to deliver a higher ROI. Great tool!
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Website of the Week: Foller.me

2011-06-26

This week’s featured website is Foller.me Foller.me is a web application based on the Twitter API, used to gather Twitter analytics from any profile – in seconds! Foller.me scans your Twitter profile, parses your latest tweets and followers. Tweets are separated into topics, mentions and hashtags. Followers are mapped out on a Google Map.  
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Website of the Week: Formulists

2011-06-19

I know, I know, you’re thinking I’m a little crazy with all the Twitter-centric Websites of the Week. But truthfully, there are a ton of GREAT Twitter tools and I want to share them! This week is Formulists. It’s a great Twitter list tool (great for a social media campaign or launch!). With Formulists you [...]
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Website Workout: Making the Most of a 404 Webpage

2011-06-16

When you build a new website it is important to think about what your visitors will encounter whenever they reach an error. Whether they type in an extension incorrectly, the site directs to a non-existent page or you’re yet to build the extra content it’s a good idea to think about what you want people [...]
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Website Of The Week: Namechk

2011-06-12

Find the best username with Namechk. On Namechk you can check to see if your desired username or vanity URL is still available at dozens of popular Social Bookmarking websites. Promote your brand consistently by registering a username that is available on the majority of the most popular sites.
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Website Workout: The Six Biggest Blogging Myths

2011-06-09

The Six Biggest Blogging Myths Myths arise from lack of information and in the case of blogging, often from inexperience. Some of the common myths related to blogging in general and business blogging in particular are: Myth #1: Blogging is Not Appropriate for Business Says who? It’s easy to see the reasons and benefits of [...]
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WordPress Plugin of the Week: Broken Link Checker

2011-05-31

Broken Link Checker This WordPress plugin locates broken links, missing images, deleted YouTube videos and more on your blog. It periodically checks older content and always checks new or edited content. It also gives you a list of all your links that you can search and filter. See how to do it here
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Website of the Week: About.Me

2011-05-29

About.Me is this week’s Website of the Week. About.me is a custom profile and personal analytics dashboard. You sign up to quickly build your personal profile page that points users to your content from around the web
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Website Workout: Using RSS Feeds

2011-05-26

If you have a website that is regularly updated, whether it be with new product information or events or even using a blog then looking into RSS feeds is important. This will let you stay connected to visitors to the site because they can choose to have all future updates sent directly through to their [...]
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Website of the Week: Quora

2011-05-25

This week’s Website of the Week is Quora. Quora is a continually improving collection of questions and answers created, edited, and organized by everyone who uses it. The most important thing is to have each question page become the best possible resource for someone who wants to know about the question. One way you can [...]
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WordPress Plugin Of The Week: Contact Form 7

2011-05-24

Contact Form 7 This WordPress plugin allows you to create multiple forms with customization.  Want to learn more? I’ll show you how to do it here
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Website Workout: Article Marketing Resources

2011-05-19

Article Marketing Resources Articles can be a useful source of extra traffic to your website. The first and most obvious results will be traffic from incoming links from article directories. There will also be some traffic from those sites have reprinted your article because of the bio or “resource” box you include which has a link back to your website. [...]
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WordPress Plugin of the Week: Datafeedr Random Ads V2

2011-05-17

Datafeedr Random Ads V2 This WordPress plugin allows you to place and easily rotate ads on your site. You can add different ad groups and then place them through the use of widgets. I’ll show you how to install it here
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Website of the Week: Untweeps

2011-05-15

This week’s Website of the Week is Untweeps. Unfollow Twitter users who don’t tweet often enough. UnTweeps uses the Twitter API to unfollow selected people you are following. Logging into UnTweeps is safe because they use Twitter’s login system which then allows UnTweeps to do its thing on your behalf. After logging in, enter the [...]
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Website Workout:Three Cool Reasons To Use Google Alerts

2011-05-12

Google Alerts should be a key part of monitoring the success of your search engine optimization. It’s very simple to set up and gives you important real time information about your website. Cool Reason # 1 Tracking Backlinks Google Alerts enables you to track whenever a backlink is connected to your website. By using this [...]
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Website of the Week: Norad Tracks Santa

2010-12-22

I can’t resist sharing with you one of my very favorite websites at this time of year – http://www.noradsanta.org/ – Twenty four hours a day, 365 days a year, NORAD tracks airplanes, missiles, space launches and anything else that flies in or around the North American continent amongst other very important missions. While the tradition [...]
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Website Workout: Using Market Research as a Publicity Tool

2010-12-21

Many businesses like to use the information gained from market research to improve products and services or create new ones that their customers will be interested in. You can also manipulate this process to use market research as a marketing tool, giving you access not only to customers but to getting feedback at the same [...]
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Website of the Week: Smashing Magazine

2010-12-13

This week is all about image sharing online so I thought I’d share with you a website all about using images and designs effectively. http://www.smashingmagazine.com/ Smashing Magazine is a goldmine for everything online design related. Here you can pick up freebie graphics, find out the coolest website themes and admire logos. I use it a [...]
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Website Workout: Why is it so Important to be Liked?

2010-12-12

So you’ve got a Facebook business page (Fan Page)? That’s a great step in the right direction. A lot of other small businesses don’t both to create their own page and they’re missing a trick. After all: • Facebook has more than 500 million active users • 50% of active users log on to Facebook [...]
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Website of the Week: Animoto

2010-11-29

This week I’ve written about creating video for your website simply and cheaply, so I’ll share with you one of my favorite sites – http://www.animoto.com. Animoto enables you to create a simple video, ready for use on your website, on videosharing websites such as youTube.com or even on your blog. It creates the video from [...]
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Website Workout: How to Create Videos Easily and Distribute Them to Hundreds of Potential Customers

2010-11-28

What if I told you that you could create a 5 minute video in less than an hour of work with no video editing skills and have it seen by hundreds or thousands of customers who’re interested in learning more about your product? It’s not only possible — It’s easy. Here’s how. Creating a Video [...]
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Website of the Week: COLOURlovers

2010-11-23

One of my favorite design websites is COLOURlovers is a creative community where people from around the world create and share colors, palettes and patterns, discuss the latest trends and explore colorful articles… It’s a great site to use if (like me!) you aren’t too hot on dreaming up exciting color combinations – or the [...]
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Website Workout: Why You Should Think About Naming Your Pages

2010-11-22

If you are building a website that has important information for potential customers on pages other than the main homepage you’ll want to ensure that you have adequately named your pages. This is also important when it comes to adding pages to directories and search engines. It’s much easier for the user to understand you [...]
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My Site in Cyperspace: Laura Morris

2010-11-21

In today’s interview series, we talk with Laura Morris of RentABuggy… My name is Laura Morris and I am a single mother to my beautiful daughter, Ashleigh, who is 4 years old. I founded my business www.rentabuggy.co.uk in 2008 and I am just coming into my second year. Rentabuggy allows families to ease cash flow [...]
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My Site in Cyberspace: Liza O’Donnell

2010-11-20

In today’s interview series, we talk with Liza O’Donnell with Dress Ups My name is Liza O’Donnell.  I am the mother to 2 fantastic little boys, Max (6yrs) and Paddy (4yrs), and wife to the Ramollescence Ryan.  I adore being a part of my wee family …so much so that I couldn’t bear to go [...]
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Website of the Week: Twitter Counter

2010-11-15

Twitter Counter is a really useful tool for measuring your Twitter stats – and, of course, there’s no charge to use the standard options. Twittercounter enables you to see your Twitter Followers, those you are Following and also your Tweets in a graph format. There’s a useful free profile checker and a widget you can [...]
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Website Workout: How to Show Off Your Product Images

2010-11-15

When running an online business, the way you showcase your products is very important.
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My Site in CyberSpace: Victoria Dixon

2010-11-14

In today’s interview we catch up with Victoria Dixon of Enhance Me My name is Victoria Dixon and I live in the beautiful Orkney Islands. I have two young children. Milly who is 5 years old and Robbie who is 2 years old. I offer a range of personalized Magical portraits that make a very [...]
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My Site in CyberSpace: Anna Seager

2010-11-13

For today’s interview series, we hear from Anna Seager of Little Crab Designs… My name is Anna Seager and I run Little Crab Designs (www.littlecrab.co.uk).   I create and sell nursery pictures and wall art for children. Why did you start selling online? Initially I started selling through craft fairs, school fairs, house sales etc – but soon realized [...]…

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Website Workout: Become an Expert in Your Field

2010-11-09

If your business is in a particular industry or you offer services to a specific field then you should consider your personal reputation. This means YOU! The professional behind the business, not your home life. While your business may be well regarded, if you can demonstrate that you are someone considered an expert in your [...]…

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Attend My Live Training Workshop-The SEO Workshop Workout

2010-11-08

The other week I attended a workshop for Nick-James.com members, and internet entrepreneur, Nick James, managed to twist my arm into holding a dedicated one-off workshop where I’m going to explain exactly how you can “beat Google” and get YOUR website to the top of the search engine results, using just my 7 really simple [...]…

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My Site in Cyberspace: Diane Hurford

2010-11-07

In the latest in our interview series, we catch up with Diane Hurford and her online company, Brolly Sheets , a company selling waterproof bedding that is attractive and easy to change. My name is Diane Hurford and I live in Auckland’s North Shore with hubby Glenn, and children Mia (8) and Lewis (6). I [...]…

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My Site in Cyberspace: Claire Willis

2010-11-06

Today’s interview series is with Claire Willis of Snugbaby. I am Claire Willis, and I live in Cumbria with my husband, Lee, and our two sons, Ben, 5, and Josh, 3. In 2008 I began SnugBaby, selling my brand of soft baby carriers, through my website, www.snugbaby.co.uk In 2009, I also set up another website, www.getyourhandsback.co.uk to [...]…

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Why It’s Important to Have Good Website Design

2010-11-03

At my first LIVE training event http://www.seoworkoutworkshop.co.uk/ I’ll be covering SEO and websites – it’s the first step in my online marketing success system. In the meantime, here’s some more info on website design and why it’s so important It’s important that your website layout is logical and easy to navigate. Internet users who land [...]…

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Website Workout: Why You should Consider an Automatic Email Response

2010-11-01

When you initially start your business and launch your online presence it’s almost instinctive to want tooffer personal responses to everyone who gets in touch. However as your business grows this can become more difficult but there is an easy way to avoid any back up or delays in contact. Another thing to keep in [...]…

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Website of the Week: Dropbox

2010-10-31

Need to share large files? Dropbox is a FREE online sharing tool that is easy to use and reliable!…

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My Site in Cyberspace: PhotoFairytales

2010-10-31

In the latest of our interview series, we talk with Sarah of PhotoFairytales My name is Sarah, and I run an online business called www.PhotoFairytales.co.uk. I’m a married mum to Amy who is now 7, and I run my business from our home in Norfolk. I specialize in creating unique personalized gifts, keepsakes and portraits for [...]…

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My Site in Cyberspace: Jessie Pengelly

2010-10-30

Continuing our interview series, we are talking today with Jessie Pengelly My name is Jessie Pengelly, I am a working mom to my 3 year old amazing daughter Alexandria.  I suffer from Endometriosis, Postnatal Depression and Narcolepsy.  I find working full time and balancing that with the needs of my daughter a constant battle.  I [...]…

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Big News: My First Live Training Event!

2010-10-27

The other week I attended a workshop for Nick-James.com members, and internet entrepreneur, Nick James, managed to twist my arm into holding a dedicated one-off workshop where I’m going to explain exactly how you can “beat Google” and get YOUR website to the top of the search engine results, (using just my 7 really simple [...]…

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Website Workout: Getting Great Use from Your Press Activities

2010-10-25

When you create a business website you want to be able to show your customers not only your products or services, but also why they should consider a business relationship with you.…

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Website of the Week: NutshellMail

2010-10-24

Nutshell Mail gives you a regular update of what’s happening on your social networks.…

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My Site in Cyberspace: Tracie Heasman

2010-10-24

In the latest of our interview series, we hear from Tracie Heasman and her home-based business generating 2D & 3D floor plans. Hi, I’m Tracie.  And I generate 2D and 3D floor plans for or real estate agents, builders & private home sellers. It’s useful for people wanting to see their prospective home in 3D before the [...]…

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My Site in Cyberspace: Teeny Munchkins

2010-10-23

In the latest of our interview series, we hear from Alison Pinney, mum of 4, and wife of 8 months. She runs Teeny Munchkins and Mums Business Club (Cambridge) and is also a full-time childminder! Teeny Munchkins was set up in August 2008 and is going from strength to strength. It has recently has a [...]…

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Frackin* Annoying Things About Facebook Friend Requests

2010-10-20

I’ve had a Facebook account for a couple of years now. About 9 months ago I did a kind of “cull” – I decided that I wanted to keep my Facebook account for peeps I felt that I knew and would recognize IRL IYSWIM. So I spent a couple of hours “de-friending” and felt comfortable [...]…

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My Site in Cyberspace: Chloe’s Mummy

2010-10-17

In the latest of our interview series, we catch up with Karen of Chloe’s Mummy. Hi, I’m Karen, known to the locals as Chloe’s Mummy thus the business name – lol!  My business is making and selling my handmade, personalized photo board books for babies and toddlers.  Customers can write their own stories, celebrate their [...]…

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My Site In Cyberspace: Bibble Dribble

2010-10-16

Continuing the series of interviews with online business owners we meet Sarah Williams, owner of slogan baby wear company, Bibble Dribble. Why I started a website I decided to set up my own website because I wanted to show off the many designs my partner and I were constantly coming up with for baby clothing. [...]…

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SEO Training Club Introduction

2010-10-14

Introduction to the SEO Training Club…

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Office Candy: Knomo Notebook Sleeve

2010-10-14

I’m a sucker for a handbag, and as regular readers know, I’m always on the hunt for the perfect but durable work bag to store my ever increasing array of must-have tech gadgets. Last month I spoke at the Mumpreneur 10 Conference about my Seven Steps to Online Business Success System. The Conference also hosted [...]…

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On Screw Ups and Forgiveness

2010-10-13

Last week I made a mistake. Of the technical error variety. Regular readers of my blog will have noticed that I have moved back to this domain recently. It was during the “house move” from blog to blog that the error occurred. Due to an unexpected connection (read completely undetected connection by myself) between my [...]…

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Special Offer: Start a Family Friendly Business

2010-10-08

I’m a sucker for a special offer, especially if it’s one connect with a bizz book! Here’s one that will be helpful if you’re a mum and are looking for a new business idea Over to you, gals! If you want find a family friendly way to work, an empowering and hands-on book by flexible [...]…

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Getting to Grips with: Foursquare

2010-10-06

I have a new social media addiction: Foursquare. Those of you who follow me on Twitter (@alisonrothwell) or are facebook friends, may have spotted some little announcements from me, saying where I am. These are all generated by an interesting social media app, Foursquare. The idea behind Foursquare is that you use your ‘phone to [...]
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The Post Where I answer the IttyBiz Meme

2010-10-05

One of the marketing blogs I love to read is IttyBiz from uber-marketeer Naomi Dunford. This week Naomi challenged her readers to answer a very scary question. “What do you actually do?” Since I am not a scaredy-cat, I thought I’d try and give it a shot. Here goes. What’s your game? What do you [...]…

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Geeks Day Out: Geocaching

2010-10-04

Last weekend I finally managed to get round to my first experience of geocaching. Wendy (baby friendly holiday guru) introduced me to the concept of geocaching a couple of months back, but I hadn’t found the time before now (or really “got it” if I’m being honest!). The concept is not as hard as I [...]
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Hoovering Up Bizz Freebies!

2010-07-16

This week I discovered that trade shows are not the only place you can bag a decent bizz freebie. Let me introduce you to my latest hobby – collecting wisdom from the Gurus. The hobby is not hard to manage. It work like this: Find a Guru Visit Guru’s website/blog Download freebie In the never-ending [...]…

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I Get to Grill Natalie! Hehe ;)

2010-07-06

Just a quick drive by ad for a free webinar I’m hosting next week over at my bizz, the SEO Training Club. I have managed to persuade Natalie, my other half here at Self Employed Mum, to spill her secrets about authority blogging – I can’t wait to ask her all about being a pro [...]…

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Shirker’s Secrets: Machinarium

2010-06-11

Friday afternoon again, and if you’re in the mood for a shirking session, I have just the online delight to share with you. Last year I raved to you all to Samorost, now from the same Amanita Design stable comes their latest masterpiece: Machinarium. It’s a simply stunningly rendered point and click adventure game in [...]
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Up With the Larks! My First Breakfast Network Meeting

2010-06-10

Last week I got an email from a virtual contact of mine. Someone who lives in my village but (to my shame) all our previous communication has been online via various business forums. I rang her for a chat and she suggested that I tried out a local breakfast meeting as her guest. Now, although [...]
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First Steps… In Online Retail – Writing Your Action Plan

2010-06-07

In the previous posts in this series we have looked at starting out with an initial idea, researching your idea and analyzing your competitors. Now it’s time to think about putting all that hard work together in the form of an action plan. I read a lot of debate online about whether you should write [...]…

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Six of the Best UK Trade Shows

2010-06-03

I’ve blogged previously about the usefulness of trade shows and how to get the best out of your visit. It’s not easy to decide which you’ll opt for, but new start ups should take the time out to attend all they can and make a note of their usefulness  for the future when you may [...]…

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Office Candy: 21st Century Fossils

2010-05-24

I love these quirky fossils of the future, according to their creator, KB Sculptures, this is how our ancestors will remember us! This one is a mouse fossil (the computer kind) and it’s set with lots of ” fossils” in a lump of rock. A great talking point for your office desk and the perfect [...]
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Welcome

2010-05-20

Welcome to my web site. You can find info here on (nearly) everything I’m involved in -  online marketing, SEO training and my seo consultancy.  …

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Trying Out: Macaroni

2010-05-19

This week my Macbook has become painfully slow. In fact, it would be easier if I got out and pushed. To combat this unexpected turn of events, I did what I usually do and googled my problem. I was presented with a gazillion different things to do from modifying firefox (and add-ons) to cleaning up [...]…

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Office Candy: Power Plant from the Science Museum

2010-05-17

Even geeks can grow office plants! This planter from the Science Museum puts NASA’s proven technology to good use, helping even the most green-challenged gardener grow plants. The planter defines soil-less gardening, and provides an ideal growing environment for herbs, flowers and fruit. All you need to do is seed it, feed it and leave [...]
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Office Candy: Vintage Time Paperweight from Panic Tuesday

2010-05-14

If paperweights make you swoon then feast your eyes on this simply gorgeous paperweight from UK designer, Panic Tuesday. “Vintage Time” is a resin paper weight with watch parts, beads, a vintage button and a fabric rose, plus natural inclusions. The width of the domed paper weight is about 3 inches and the base is [...]
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Office Candy: Library Notebooks from Present and Correct

2010-05-11

I’m a sucker for notebooks despite having a macbook nailed to my knees. They’re great for jotting down notes and inspiration – and if they have a cool cover, more so the better. I’m loving these vintage library notebooks from Present and Correct. They measure 4.25″ x 5.75″ and have a handprinted wrap around cover. [...]
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Trying Out: Huddle

2010-05-10

Regular readers will know of my eternal quest (encouraged by Nat) to develop ultra-organisational abilities. As a geek, I’m also a sucker for anything online and techy. Often, I get as far as a road test before giving up, but one online tool I am still using every day, months after signing up, is project [...]…

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First Steps… In Online Retail – Competitor Analysis

2010-05-05

Firstly, this post is not a free pass for sneaky tactics! But nor should you miss this step out from your planning because it feels a bit, well, grubby… If you’re going into buisness then you need to understand your competition. You need to know what their strengths are and you need to be laser [...]…

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7 Things You Didn’t Know About Us – Harrison Ford love, celebrity turn downs, & a pic with Bob Marley

2010-04-22

We were tagged by Antonia over at Family Friendly Working, to say seven things you didn’t know about us, so here goes! Ali’s 7 Things… 1. I love handbags with a passion. You will know I’ve made it when I sport a Chanel black 2.55 as my arm candy. 2. The last time I sang [...]
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April Business Mums Carnival at Self Employed Mum

2010-04-19

We’re really pleased Self Employed Mum is hosting this month’s business mum’s carnival. We’ve got a whole stack of posts ready for you for your delight and delectation. As usual, if you like what you read, then don’t forget to add a comment to the blog! First up is Helen Lindop over at Business plus [...]…

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First Steps… In Online Retail – Research Your Idea

2010-04-13

In my last post I decide to use the example of starting up an online business connected with children’s parties to illustrate the “First Steps… In Online Retail” series. This post looks in more detail at imho one of the most important business building blocks – market research. My definition of market research probably won’t [...]…

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First Steps… In Online Retail – Starting Out

2010-04-10

In the first of an occasional series, I’ll be sharing some of things I’ve learnt since becoming an online entrepreneur and answering the big question I see asked on forums and online noticeboards… “I want to start an online business “selling stuff” – but I don’t know where to start!” Firstly, you need to decide [...]…

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Happy Mothers Day Fom Nat and Ali

2010-03-14

We hope that you manage to have a few hours off today to relax and enjoy Mother’s Day. If you’ve got a few minutes spare then you might like to take a look at the latest Mummo Mag, edited by the fabulous Jo Rheam of Mummo to help spread the word about the Million Mums [...]…

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Office Candy – Aromatherapy USB Burner

2010-03-02

Is this the ultimate in office relaxation? The USB Aromatherapy Oil Burner delights your nose and clears your mind with just one drop. Simply add one drop of the included aromatherapy oil onto the little X on the USB stick (see above). Step two, pop the stick into a USB drive (horizontal drives preferred to [...]
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Cool Tool: Colorzilla

2010-03-01

Are you one of those peeps who spend a lot of time looking for colors to use online? Do you ever look at a site and think – “ooh! that looks lovely? I wonder what those colors are?” Then let me introduce to one of my favorite online tools, Colorzilla. ColorZilla is a plug-in extension [...]…

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Review: The Jack Bauer Info Product Challenge!

2010-01-25

Some of you may have caught some of my tweets on Saturday (from @selfemployedmum and @alisonrothwell) and been a bit mystified as to why I was promoting a product for you to buy, as I don’t normally do this. On Saturday I was a guest speaker at an Internet Marketing seminar, organised by Nick James. [...]
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Waiting for Google…

2010-01-21

OK, I’m waiting for Godot, sorry Google, and Man is it getting tedious… I built a site on Sunday – nothing fancy – just a self-hosted wordpress blog skinned with a magazine theme. It’s a test site for me to do some experimenting on, in particular, some marketing stuff. I set it all up, wrote [...]
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Free Webinar – Beginner’s Guide to Search Engine Optimization

2010-01-08

On Tuesday 12 January, I’ll be kicking off a new FREE webinar – the Beginner’s Guide to Search Engine Optimization. A webinar covering everything you want to know about search engine optimization (SEO) but were afraid to ask. Join me as I explain What meta tags are and why they are important How to build [...]…

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Office Candy: Campervan Desk Tidy

2010-01-08

I have one of the most untidy desks around – but I’m sure it would be a different story if I had one of these cool Campervan Desk Tidies. Some self assembly is needed but the neat trick is that it is fully customisable with a range of fun stickers. £5.99 from Gadgets.co.uk.
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From Business Idea To Launch – Part 4 – Testing

2010-01-07

Launching this new bizz has been a different kettle of fish to my other businesses. For a start, I’ve had to get to grips with a whole new type of website software to help me deliver the customer experience I wanted. One of the biggest changes though has been on the testing side. When you [...]…

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What’s all the Buzz About Google Caffeine? FREE Webinar

2010-01-06

Word has it that there’s soon to be a new search engine in town… The mighty behemoth Google has been undergoing a face-lift since the Summer, code-named “caffeine”. Google is rumoured to be rolling out this new search engine in the New Year. There has been some research so far into the suspected changes to [...]
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Office Candy: Espresso maker

2009-12-16

If you’re so hard-core for your morning coffee you stand by the kettle yelling “hurry!” then this might be the ideal piece of office candy for you. This coffee and espresso maker uses sophisticated technology to brew your coffee to perfection, giving you the ultimate-full flavour experience. And an added bonus, the brewing takes just [...]
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Office Candy: Swarovski Crystal Optical Mouse

2009-12-11

I find it hard to resist anything sparkly, and when it combines glamour with geekdon, I say bring it on! These cute mini optical pc mice (meeces?) are hand rocked to order with your choice of Swarovski crystal colours – citrine, topaz, clear, fuschia, jet, rose, light rose, sapphire, light sapphire, peridot or siam – [...]
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Shirker’s Secrets: Bejewelled Blitz

2009-12-11

If you’re ever tempted to try “Bejewelled Blitz” - a game on Facebook – then my advice is not to! A deceptively easy concept – it’s one of those flash games you just have to line up the “jewels” to score points in just one minute. This cunningly conceals the fact that it’s the online [...]
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Office Candy: Michael Fish Office Mug

2009-12-09

Tribute office mug to 70′s weatherman icon, Micheal Fish. It’s magic – all you do is make a hot drink and watch the clouds disappear. What more relaxing way could there be to spend a tea-break than turning grey skies to blue? Price £10.00 plus £4.95 delivery from the Science Museum online shop.
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Office Candy: Filing Cabinet Business Card Holder

2009-12-04

Once you’ve collected your business cards from conferences, networking events etc. you’re left with a problem – just what do you do to keep them all together? Don’t buy one of those little books with the pockets in – that’s way too corporate! And don’t follow my lead by having little piles stashed around the [...]
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Office Candy: Galileo Thermometer

2009-12-03

I once worked with someone who had one of these on her desk. Galileo first dreamed up this invention over 400 years old, but it will never go out of fashion. The ornamental glass thermometer has five precisely-weighted coloured balls which rise and fall according to the temperature. Beautiful and useful, too. £15.00 plus £4.95 [...]
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Trying Out: The Pomodoro Technique

2009-12-02

At the internet marketing seminar I attended last weekend I discovered a new time management technique which I thought I’d share with you all. It’s called the Pomodoro Technique (a name close to my heart as I love tomatoes!). It was invented by an Italian student, Francesco Cirillo, who used one of those “tomato kitchen [...]
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Office Candy: Rosetta Stone Mouse Mat

2009-11-30

One for history buffs, here’s  a uniquely shaped mousemat based on the Rosetta Stone, one of the key exhibits in the British Museum. Apparently it’s made from a wipe clean polycarbonate surface with non-slip base. We think it’s just too cool for school but will look great in our office! £8.99 from the British Museum [...]
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Are You Thinking of Growing?

2009-11-30

There comes a time that you have to think about managing growth, and that often starts with the addition of other pairs of hands to help you run your business. Let’s face it, when you’re working all day and packing all night, then it’s time to think about getting some help! This is a subject [...]
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Why We Should all Play Hooky Sometimes

2009-11-26

The other day I totted up my working hours and discovered that I could probably put a Junior Doctor to shame! Running my businesses has become literally a 14 hour day – with six hours each on Saturday and Sunday. And that’s just to keep still. All my development work is happening at night with [...]
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Do You Send Free Samples?

2009-11-25

I’ve just come off the ‘phone from having a conversation with someone about the organic baby clothes I manufacture. The caller was actually on behalf of members of his family who want to start an online business retailing ethical children’s clothes. I’m assuming that he must be quite new to the business as he first [...]…

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Office Candy: USB Mug Warmer

2009-11-25

Am I the only person who gets so engrossed in the ‘puter that my coffee is either drunk lukewarm (yuk) or banged back in the microwave for a heat up? Well, today I seem to have stumbled on a solution. May I introduce to you the USB Mugwarmer? – a kind of hotplate for your [...]
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Blogging for Profit Web Seminar – Join us for a Webinar Tonight!

2009-11-24

Blogging for Profit Web Seminar Join us for a Webinar on November 24 9-10.00 p.m. Space is limited. Reserve your Webinar seat now at: https://www1.gotomeeting.com/register/249549833 There are lots of questions in the blogosphere, particularly on the ‘mummy blogging’ scene about online advertising – from how to get it, who to get it from, technical aspects, [...]…

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Office Candy: Mouse Rug From The British Museum

2009-11-23

Bored of the usual mouse mats? Then why not treat yourself to your very own “mouse rug” ? Based on designs from small Safavid silk rugs which are “united by their clarity of design, delicate patterns, precise craftsmanship, weave structure, and size.” This piece of Office Candy is available from the British Museum Online Shop [...]
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From Business Idea To Launch – Part 3 – Branding

2009-11-20

Have you got an idea for an online business but don’t know where to start? Then, join me as I write about my new bizz “journey” from start up idea to launch… So far I’ve talked about why it’s important to do some market research and delivering your business. Now I’m moving on to building [...]…

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Shirker’s Secrets: Vision

2009-11-20

Woo! It’s Friday afternoon and we have another time wasting yet mind bending distraction to share with you This week we’re introducing you to Vision, by Japanese designer, neutral. Vision is a beautifully rendered point and click “escape the room” game. I love all of neutral’s games (they’re published by Gotmail) because of the soft [...]
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Office Candy: Limited Edition Roberts Radio in Piano Gloss Black

2009-11-16

Although we can all now listen to the radio (and indeed watch TV) online, nothing beats a top-notch radio with a dial to twiddle, especially when it is as gorgeous as this latest offering from Roberts Radio. I have a rather plain Navy Roberts in the kitchen (hubby’s choice) but I’d give my eye teeth [...]
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Shirkers Secrets: Samorost

2009-11-13

Woo! It’s Friday afternoon and we have another downtime dirty secret to share with you This week we’re introducing you to Samorost. Samorost is an adventure game created by Czech game designer Jakub Dvorsky and published by Amanita Designs. It’s a point and click flash game where the game’s main charecter, a gnome-like creature, battles [...]
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Office Candy: Sushi Pen Drive from robotbaby

2009-11-11

Very cool flash drive from Etsy seller robotbaby – this Sushi Flash comes with 2GB flash drive but robotbaby can upgrade to suit if you ask nicely $20 – contact robotbaby for shipping information…

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Office Candy: “Hard Drive” Clock from PixelThis

2009-11-09

This amazing clock is made from a recycled computer Hard drive circuit board – a perfect timepiece for any geek’s desk! All the clocks from Pixelthis are made from actual recycled hard drives and circuit boards, so the condition and model may vary slightly. Priced around $29-35 with shipping to the UK at £$13.95.…

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Shirker’s Secrets: The Mystery of Time and Space – MOTAS

2009-11-06

We thought we’d come clean with you all – we don’t work ALL the time In fact, like our counterparts in the world of the gainfully employed, we too have “downtime.” Mostly on a Friday afternoon. And how do we spend our downtime? There’s only so much surfing to be done – it’s time to [...]…

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Office Candy: Cork Board Pins From funkychickendesign

2009-11-03

Loving these cool marble push pins from Etsy seller funkychickendesign. Just the thing to brighten up the old cork pin board and inject a bit of retro style onto your message board. Set of 9 marble push pins. Approximately 3/4″ round with a tack attached. Price: $5.00, ships to the Uk from the US for [...]…

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Review: Inaugural Mumpreneur Conference 3 October 2009

2009-10-05

I trotted off to the Mumpreneur Conference at the weekend a little unsure of what to expect. Unlike most conferences there wasn’t much pre-publicity about the day’s content, and apart from knowing I was running a seminar about web site optimization, I really didn’t know what else was on the agenda. I showed up later [...]…

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Business Mums London Meet Up – 7 October

2009-10-04

This week is ‘Business Mum Week” with lots of networking events taking place around the UK. Nat and I will be at the London meet up, hosted by the fab Tab (sorry, couldn’t resist the rhyme!) from Mimimyne over at at private room at Ping Pong Dim Sum (EC1). I’ll be running a “how-to” session [...]…

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Trying Out: Online backup, file sharing and syncing with Dropbox

2009-09-24

Recently there’s been a lot of discussion in our house about external harddrives and backing up. The boyf keeps is on his second replacement this year and I…er…haven’t been backing up… The bambino cracked my 30GB drive when I left it plugged into my laptop and I find USB keys annoying especially when they go [...]…

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My Secret Weblife…

2009-09-16

Heya, Alison here, stand by while I reveal five of my favourite web spots… Den of Geek – As fabulous for it’s retro appraisals (and endless lists) as it is for current film, tv, game and book reviews, Den of Geek fulfills my inner geek. The writers are not only witty, but they hold a real [...]…

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Mumpreneur Conference – Birmingham – 3 October 2009

2009-09-15

Here at Self Employed Mum we’re still undecided whether the title of “mumpreneur” makes us gag on our cornflakes or beam with pride.  However, there’s a golden opportunity coming up for networking with, er, “fellow entrepreneurs who have a child” – at the first Mumsclub Mumpreneur Conference. The idea of Jane, who manages the networking [...]…

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Why You Should Learn to Love your Numbers!

2009-09-08

When you’re first starting out as self employed, a big shocker is the slow realisation that you have to do everything yourself. For me, one of the worst jobs has to be the finance side. No nipping off for a “word with Accounts” – I *am* Accounts! Unless you’re a natural numbers whizz, then taking [...]…

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Rise of the “Mousewife”

2009-08-24

I was reading the Daily Mail a few weeks ago – (I make no excuses, it’s the best daily for “news values” – there are still some PR habits I can’t shake off!) and I came across an article on a new phenomenon “the mousewife.”Apparently “Britain’s mothers are turning into a nation of ‘mousewives’ – [...]…

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Online Networking – Mumszone

2009-08-11

Mumszone has a well established business zone amongst its general forums, and in contrast with many similar parenting sites attracts a high number of mums who own full-time businesses, and boasts several “bricks and clicks” members too. Mumszone is a general parenting site and to be able to post in the business section you need [...]…

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