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The Perfect Blend

This post was most recently updated on July 28th, 2016

The Perfect Blend To Grow Your Business

As a child growing up in an Italian American home, every Sunday I would wake up to the sweet aroma of a fresh sauce cooking slowly on the stove top.

My dad loved to spend Sunday mornings creating that perfect blend for his pasta sauce.

It was quite a labor of love.  It took him several hours to make.

Now, the only way one could ever learn to imitate his process, was to watch carefully, then do it with him.  It was the only way to create the perfect blend that had been handed down to him from generations of family cooks.

The recipe?  Well, I learned some of the ingredients, anyway.

There had to be three kinds of meat used in his sauce and it all had to be prepared using a careful balance of ingredients.  This was all done while he was making fresh tomatoes as the “gravy” as we called it.  The meatballs had to have fresh parsley, garlic, and other ingredients.  So did the sausage… it had to be obtained from a certain butcher that made it from a particular region of Italy.

When I asked my dad for the recipe, he laughed.  “You have to cook with your heart, not with measurements and recipes,” he taught me.

So I woke up early one Sunday morning, determined to learn the “secret.”

It started with feeling the texture of the meat while rolling it up to make meat balls.

I had to learn the difference of smells for the sausage because it was filled with fresh fennel and other ingredients. How much to use?  Smell it and you’ll know!

A splash of red wine was added.  It was like a symphony of aromas!  I knew then what he meant by saying “You have to cook with your heart”  because doing this ritual I had to use the senses of smell, touch, sight, and even sound…yep…had to keep an “ear out” for the perfect temperature.  You don’t learn that from a recipe.

This created the perfect blend for our family’s sauce!

I mentioned I grew up in an Italian American neighborhood.

On Sundays, I could walk down the street and just through my sense of smell, I’d know where all those lovely aromas came from.  Each family had it’s own perfect blend.  No two households were ever the same.  I could tell by smell, what region each sauce (and family) was from.

There are no cookie cutter recipes for making the perfect sauce… recipes result in sauces that taste like they’re from a can… yuck!  Not what an Italian girl would ever do, he he he.

So why am I telling you this?

It’s funny, because this article is not about food at all.

But remembering the family sauce reminded me of the perfect blend that each of us tries to create with our online business.

Because I am Italian, I see the world through food.

Because I am a marketer, I see the world through a  marketer’s eye.

I look back at my childhood Sunday mornings and remember the perfect blend my father created, and through my marketer’s eye, I am reminded that each person has something unique to bring to the table.  Every online entrepreneur strives to create his/her own perfect blend with their online business.

What’s Your Online Business?

Is blogging your online business?

Maybe you’re an internet marketer, or have a primary opportunity you’re prospect hunting for.

There are many different types of online businesses you can have.

Do you know what type of online business you want to pursue?

The Perfect Blend

Usually, online businesses combine a variety of business models.

You might have a network marketing blog, for instance.

That combines blogging as a business model, along with network marketing.  It probably also includes personal branding, email marketing and might include operating a Facebook page, YouTube channel and other online properties.

It’s important to define your online business in order to assess how all the various components are operating together.

You don’t need to choose a single approach, but you do need to know how to find the perfect blend of business approaches for your business.

Here are some of the major business operating models you might choose for your online business.

If You Already Have An Online Business…

If you already have an online business, you might think this article is not for you.

Actually, answering the question “what’s your online business?” is important for newbie online entrepreneurs… but it’s even more important for experienced ones.

I say that because I mentor with many bloggers, network marketers and others.  So many of them are “doing business” every day, but they really have a very vague idea of how to actually run an online business.

Some of the things they often don’t understand is…

  • how to get traffic to their business, blog or site
  • what to do with the traffic that comes to them
  • how to get some of that traffic onto their email list
  • how to get list subscribers to become buyers or downlines
  • how to maximize the value of  their prospects and buyers

In order to have them take their business to the next level, we get down to the work of getting these questions answered.  That usually requires defining and re-defining exactly what their online business is.  Beyond that, we explore options for re-shaping their business to perform better, and get them the results they’re trying to achieve.

If You’re New To Being An Online Entrepreneur…

If you’re just starting your first online business, you may have very little idea of what direction to head in.

Is it best to find an MLM or other primary opportunity to promote online?

Maybe you want to personally brand yourself as an expert and leader on your blog.

You might even want to find affiliate products to sell and promote.

The important thing to do is choose a business that resonates with you, and then learn how to make it work for you.

Start doing research, get training and, if you want to move things along faster and better, find a good mentor.

How To Make The Most Of Your Online Business

  • If you’re not sure what kind of online business is best for you…
  • If you’re not clear on how to combine a variety of approaches, to make the most of your online business…
  • If you have only a surface understanding of putting all the moving parts together to make your business perform the way you want it to…
  • If you would like to learn ways to pump your existing online business…

You might want to check out the next live event we’re producing for the Whirlwind Success “VIP Club.”  It will be available as a premium event for non-members.

Check out the details right here:

Online Business In A Box

So, now, let me ask you this.

Have you found the perfect blend for you online business?

Is it performing up to your highest expectations?

Are you at a point that you’d like to explore ways to improve the results your getting from it?

Or, are you just getting started online, and still trying to figure out what your business is, or what business models you’d like to use?

Your Blog Is A Sales Funnel

I’d really like to read your comments below, and see where you’re at with your business.

And, of course, I always appreciate you sharing this article on your social sites.

Donna Merrill
Donna is a well known blogger and creator of "Blogging Magic" - an intensive guide to blogging. "Blogging Magic" is for beginners who are trying to figure out how to bring their blogs to life with tons of visits, comments and social media interaction. It's even for advanced bloggers looking to reach new levels of authority and engagement with their audience.

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84 Responses to The Perfect Blend

  1. Carol Amato
    December 1, 2014 at 8:18 pm #

    Hey, Donna,

    Oh my word, I loved your story about your dad’s sauce – felt like I was right there beside you. You certainly have a story-telling gift, my friend.

    Being married to a guy who was born and raised in Italy, I could relate to what you were sharing for sure. Were your parents born in Italy, and if so, was wondering what part…? So cool.

    We’ve been in the restaurant business for years (sold the last one in 2006) but my husband is helping his nephew by managing his place here in PA for a short time.

    So food has always been a very important part of life for us too, and your Segway into the perfect blend was brilliant. To be completely honest, I’m on the journey to finding my perfect blend in my online business because I’ve shifted my focus to my coaching membership, so have just started building that.

    I deleted several sites, and completely trashed other ideas and things I was working on, and decided to get single-minded about increasing my recurring monthly income, and it’s working, thank the Lord.

    My husband and I had been part of many MLM opportunities, and just don’t care for that business model at all.

    I certainly enjoyed your post, Donna, and I’ll definitely be sharing.

    – Carol
    Carol Amato recently posted..CarolAmato.com Celebrates 4 YearsMy Profile

    • Donna Merrill
      December 2, 2014 at 9:24 pm #

      Hi Carol,

      Thanks so much for your kind words about this blog. What Italian doesn’t talk about food he he he? No, my parents were born and raised in NYC. But my dad’s parents came from Italy…Rome and Abruzzo.

      My mom’s side were more New Yorkers and didn’t have that Italian flair. But my dad showed me that secret sauce.

      So you married a guy straight from Italy! And you had a restaurant? Oh boy the things I learn from engaging here. How interesting.

      I am so happy that you shifted your focus to a coaching membership. You put in a good 4 years (Congratulations btw) and now it is time to step up to the plate and teach others all the how-to’s.

      I know you will be great at it. Good to know you are focused and gave up all the rest. Once we juggle too much, it gets too overwhelming.

      I know you are going in the right direction. I am doing something similar, so if at any time you get stuck with anything at all, give me a holla….I have been doing this and there is always a technical issue that happens. So If you ever want to get together and chat about it, FB message me. I would be glad to brainstorm with you.

      Donna Merrill recently posted..Learn To Blog The Right WayMy Profile

      • Carol Amato
        December 2, 2014 at 9:45 pm #

        Thank you, Donna – I really appreciate that. I’ve been building my membership for quite some time, but wanted to get it to a certain level before I promoted it, so I’m happy it’s there now.

        Sure, would love to brainstorm with you. I set up a session with Adrienne about 5 months ago because I was interested in increasing traffic, and she shared a source with me that is now my favorite source for blog traffic, and It’s really be a blessing.

        So, two heads are always better than one. Will be more of a regular now to read your posts, Donna, I always enjoy your content. 🙂

        Thanks again,
        – Carol
        Carol Amato recently posted..5 Tips To Keep The Content FlowingMy Profile

        • Donna Merrill
          June 19, 2015 at 1:46 pm #

          Hi Carol,

          Just noticed this comment..sorry girl. Yes two heads are surely better than one.

          I love having a membership site because as new people come in I give them some time to see where they want to go…what their expected goals are. Then do one long learning webinar a month with q&a to follow each week.

          Working well so far, so if you want, please contact me to brainstorm

          Donna Merrill recently posted..5 Wise BloggersMy Profile

  2. Gregory Smokey Bowen
    November 9, 2014 at 7:54 pm #

    Hello Donna…..In my house, as I grew up…..My Dad would get up on Sunday mornings and make biscuits and sausage gravy……he seemed to make the best gravy I ever had…..and it seemed like the next time he did that ….it was even better than last time…..he did pass it on to me and here this weekend I had the occasion of being able to share my own biscuits and sausage gravy with my family…….and it was the best batch yet….lol….as for my business……like the gravy,….always a work in progress…..so…..so far it the best i have ever had ….but finding things to try all the time …..thanks for making me think Donna ……love your post …..Smokey

    • Donna Merrill
      November 10, 2014 at 11:51 am #

      Hey there Smokey!

      Love your analogy! Absolutely, just like cooking our business is a work in progress. It is one that will never be stagnant.

      I am so happy this post got you thinking!


  3. Andrew M. Warner
    November 7, 2014 at 12:28 pm #

    Hi Donna,

    “The meatballs had to have fresh parsley, garlic, and other ingredients.  So did the sausage… it had to be obtained from a certain butcher that made it from a particular region of Italy”

    That’s dedication right there.

    Anyway great analogy there.

    You’re so right. We all have to answer that question “what is our online business?” I know myself for certain has really just been blogging for the last year and working to not only put out quality posts but build relationships as well. There comes a point in time when I have to really treat it as a business – not that I don’t already, but I could do much more.

    Luckily for me I realized that a few months ago and I’ve been makig that adjustment. Because of all the time I invest into my blog, it is a business to me. And I know pretty soon I’m going to start monetizing it because for my business to function properly, I have to make a profit.

    Great post.

    Have a great weekend.

    – Andrew
    Andrew M. Warner recently posted..For Best Results, Don’t Ever Make These Mistakes Before You Publish Your PostMy Profile

    • Donna Merrill
      November 7, 2014 at 3:02 pm #

      Hi Andrew,

      Yes, each of us have our unique ingredients that we use to make our blogs a part of our business plan.

      Sometimes it’s not so simple. We need more ingredients here and less there. When going on your marketing journey, you will see that that pot will be on the front of the stove, and your blog will be on simmer.

      To Your success!

      Donna Merrill recently posted..Ready For Success?My Profile

  4. Nathan Ambrose
    November 6, 2014 at 6:35 pm #

    Hi Donna.

    That was lovely.

    You can’t beat using lessons learned from personal experiences in order to teach a lesson.

    Business growth can be a real challenge, and it certainly takes a recipe. And it has to be a good one, otherwise it will be a recipe for disaster!

    You also asked some good questions at the end of the article. Plenty of food for thought!

    Nathan Ambrose recently posted..2 Quick Steps to Get Your Business Noticed NowMy Profile

    • Donna Merrill
      November 15, 2014 at 10:25 pm #

      Hi Nathan,

      Thanks so much…I do like to share some personal experiences now and then to teach others.

      Yes, business is much like the analogy I have given. It does take many “ingredients” to get it going. Once we put it all together we can achieve our goals.

      Thanks for visiting,

      Donna Merrill recently posted..Blogging For Network MarketersMy Profile

  5. Deborah Tutnauer
    November 3, 2014 at 12:37 pm #

    Even though I’m a vegetarian, the description of the delicious smells of Italian cooking had my mouth watering – just like most who read this post Donna!!

    I myself don’t like to cook, but my favorite country is Italy and my favorite food is Italian. Thus when I one day visit you, you can cook for me! LOL!!

    The analogy you utilized is so apt. Choosing ingredients, finding your own special spices, creating your unique sauce. Building a business is so similar and like cooking requires some trial and error with regards to the finished result and the response from your tasters!

    I also believe that businesses, like recipes, evolve and mature over time. A little more of this – a little less of that. Sometimes you leave out the meat for people like me. Other times you add some intense spice for those who like it hot. All the while you keep your foundational recipes that is a great fit and a solid performer, as the base.

    Loved reading this post and all the comments Donna.
    Have a wonderful week.

    Deborah Tutnauer recently posted..Triage – How to Prioritize for High Income and Low Stress Working From HomeMy Profile

    • Donna Merrill
      November 3, 2014 at 3:20 pm #

      Hi Deborah,

      I too am a vegetarian, but when holidays roll around and I have many people over, I can make this for my meat eating friends and family. I also can use my mock ground beef for meatballs lol.

      Yes, business is much like recipes. There will always be the basic ingredients, but we can add to it, delete some of it, and so on.

      So glad you enjoyed this post and especially the comments. It was a fun one for me to write and engage with!


      Donna Merrill recently posted..Ready For Success?My Profile

  6. Amiti
    November 3, 2014 at 6:14 am #

    Hi Donna,

    What another great post! I think that it is great that you get your readers to think and asking themselves questions – that is the essence of engaging and the cornerstone to any successful online business today.

    My takeaway though is your personal story – there is a story to everything, and sharing it creates the added value that so many bloggers forget to add (or don’t consider adding).

    Have a great week.
    Amiti recently posted..Your Unique Blog AudienceMy Profile

    • Donna Merrill
      November 3, 2014 at 3:16 pm #

      Hi Amiti,

      Thanks so much…. I rarely do personal stories, but stick them in once in a while to keep my readers interested. There is nothing better than sharing a personal story sometimes.

      I like to have my readers come away with asking themselves questions.

      Donna Merrill recently posted..Ready For Success?My Profile

  7. Kyle Nelson
    November 3, 2014 at 12:01 am #

    The perfect blend is the key to your success. I love this article. I must say i have quite the blend of things I do online but I love it! Being able to make an income through online activities and practices is a dream come true. My goal is to make it stable enough so i can just focus on it! Most of the stuff I do is freelance work such as content writing and web development but i truly enjoy it 🙂
    Kyle Nelson recently posted..Are You A Morning Person?My Profile

    • Donna Merrill
      November 3, 2014 at 3:02 pm #

      Hi Kyle,

      As the saying goes: “Do what you love and you will never have to do a day’s work” Something like that.

      Loving what we do online is worth more than the money we can make. I’m sure that as you focus on it, your dreams will come true. As long as you have the patience and persistence, which I can read through the lines…you are on your way!

      Donna Merrill recently posted..Ready For Success?My Profile

  8. Gillian Wright
    November 2, 2014 at 7:56 pm #

    Wow Donna what a great post and the anology between food and marketing is jus genious lol

    I was never a cook lol my kids would screaming from the kitchen if they saw me infront of the cooker
    but they did like my burnt fairy cakes:)

    Another great post so thanks for sharing Donna:)

    Gillian Wright recently posted..Social Media Academy Online ReviewMy Profile

  9. Lillian De Jesus
    November 2, 2014 at 1:12 am #

    Hi Donna,

    Great analogy with the family recipe to the online business. It’s so true. You have to put your own personal branding into your business. A person’s story is so intimate and to grasp it to integrate it into their business is precious. You definitely have to do something that completely resonates.

    Thanks for sharing! I wish I could taste the gravy your father made.

    Take care,
    Lillian De Jesus recently posted..How to Create Social Media Graphics with CanvaMy Profile

    • Donna Merrill
      November 2, 2014 at 1:40 pm #

      Hi Lillian,

      Glad this one resonates with you. Indeed, we have to put our own personal branding on everything we write from our blogs to social media.

      Everyone is different so we need to recognize that. Once we do…success is on the way!

      Donna Merrill recently posted..Build Your BrandMy Profile

  10. Joan Harrington
    November 1, 2014 at 5:09 pm #

    Hi Donna,

    I enjoyed my first time here last week so much I wanted to come back and read more of your value 🙂

    Loved this post on finding the perfect blend in your business.

    Sometimes it is so difficult to figure it out when you first get started, but by consistently working on your business daily, eventually you will find the perfect blend for you 🙂

    Fantastic post and awesome share!

    p.s. I will be back 🙂 LOVE YOUR VALUE!!
    Joan Harrington recently posted..How To Convert Your Visitors into Customers.My Profile

    • Donna Merrill
      November 2, 2014 at 1:29 pm #

      Hi Joan,

      Thanks so much! Yes it is true that sometimes it is difficult when we first start out. But, we eventually “come into our own” if we hang in there, learn as much as possible every day, and be persistent.

      Thank you again for you kind words,

      Donna Merrill recently posted..Build Your BrandMy Profile

  11. Leanne Chesser
    November 1, 2014 at 12:42 pm #

    I love how you compared the perfect blend for your business with the perfect blend in cooking. I think the key is your comment about cooking from the heart and with all your senses, not just from a recipe. I agree that we’re all unique and we need to find the business blend that works best for us. I agree that it includes things like blogging, network marketing, how we get traffic, etc. I see those as the elements of the recipe. But it also includes the non-recipe things. The things that come from our heart and intuition. The things that express our uniqueness. We need the framework of the recipe and we need to throw in the unique identifying scent based on our unique, authentic self (and I actually see that as a foundation).
    Leanne Chesser recently posted..Why Being Your Unique Self is the Foundation for Your BusinessMy Profile

    • Donna Merrill
      November 2, 2014 at 1:21 pm #

      Hi Leanne,

      You really bring out the essence of this article and I thank you for your wonderful input.

      Yes, We need the blend of certain things for our business. But what is more important is our intuition and our heart. Indeed this expresses our uniqueness. This is what helps us stand out of the crowd.

      I too see the best foundation is knowing yourself, your uniqueness and sharing it with others. This is one of the secret ingredients in the recipe of a good business foundation.

      Many thanks Leanne!

      Donna Merrill recently posted..Build Your BrandMy Profile

  12. di
    November 1, 2014 at 6:07 am #

    Loved your video Donna , loved to meet you personally. Thank you!

    We learn so much from our parents, don’t we, then later in live if we are lucky enough to become aware of our own destiny we have choices as to unlearn or keep building from what we have learnt from our parents.

    That community ritual must of been so enriching of you and other kids in your community. Then for each sauce to smell different and for each family to have their slightly different recipes.

    It is just like building a business, we all need the same base but we will all need our brains our hearts and our intuitions to build it in a way that is going to work for our own markets.

    Thanks Donna

    di recently posted..Share your winsMy Profile

    • Donna Merrill
      November 1, 2014 at 1:44 pm #

      Hi Di,

      I used this analogy from one of my “good” memories from my dad….the others, well I just won’t get into it and keep it positive here he he he.

      When we are building a business, we can share the recipe but always tell the truth to others that it is only a base. Then get them to understand their own intuition, passions and even the amount of time it would take to get them to reach their goals.

      Donna Merrill recently posted..Build Your BrandMy Profile

  13. Liz Delaney
    November 1, 2014 at 2:47 am #

    Hi Donna.

    Thanks for a tantalising post. My mouth was watering. Your dad must have been such a special person.

    Getting the blend with the correct ingredients is trial and error but so essential. I am still working on my correct blend. I am enjoying the process.

    Have a great week.
    Liz Delaney recently posted..Go Viral……My Profile

    • Donna Merrill
      November 1, 2014 at 1:41 pm #

      Hi Liz,

      I do believe that working on our “perfect blend” when it comes to our blog and/or business is a never ending process.

      Just like any recipe, it never comes out the same because we are constantly tweaking it. Once we realize the truth that our journey is a never ending blend of various things, we can easily hang in there and never give up in our journey!

      Donna Merrill recently posted..Build Your BrandMy Profile

  14. Rachel Lavern
    October 31, 2014 at 5:29 pm #

    Hi Donna,

    I love your analogy. Italian food is my absolute favorite (actually I seem to like all things Italian–especially since my visit visit to Italy)!

    So many people struggle in finding their perfect blend. They just need to continue to dive deep until they find what resonates with them (as you stated)…to be creative and choose works for them.
    Rachel Lavern recently posted..The Four-Minute Mile BeliefMy Profile

    • Donna Merrill
      November 1, 2014 at 1:38 pm #

      Hi Rachel,

      Glad you liked my analogy Rachel. Hope I didn’t get you hungry with it lol.

      Indeed, people do struggle to find their “perfect blend” in business and/or blogs. We just have to acknowledge what it is that resonates with us and then be persistent and never give up!

      Donna Merrill recently posted..Build Your BrandMy Profile

  15. Marquita Herald
    October 31, 2014 at 6:34 am #

    Well now you’ve done it, all I’ll be able to think about today is pasta! Seriously, excellent metaphor and one I can certainly relate to. I vividly remember when I first started blogging and got sucked up in the never ended list of “must do” advice that is so prevalent on line. It wasn’t until I finally mustered a little confidence to follow my own path that I truly began enjoying this online journey!
    Marquita Herald recently posted..Values: The Key to Becoming the Person You Were Meant to BeMy Profile

    • Donna Merrill
      October 31, 2014 at 11:25 pm #

      Hi Marquita,

      Many came on line with that list of “mus do’s” They flounder a while, and have a choice. Keep on floundering, leave or take the high road and follow their heart and intuition to follow their own path.

      Some catch on quickly, others may take a longer time, but once realized, it is a path that we enjoy and wake up eagerly to go on.

      Donna Merrill recently posted..Build Your BrandMy Profile

  16. Ravi Chahar
    October 31, 2014 at 3:22 am #

    Hi Donna,

    There are many people who want to make money from their blog or any other online business. It may be affiliate marketing, may be promoting any product or may be an anything else.
    But the most important thing is that do they all know how to grow their online business? Do they know how to bring most customers for their own product? There are many questions which should be answered as you have included many of them in this article.
    People should know the recipe of their business so that they can grow it according to some great plans which can bring a new output for them.
    Thanks for sharing your ideas with us.

    Hope you are enjoying your day.:)
    Ravi Chahar recently posted..Advanced Minify Settings Of W3 Total Cache PluginMy Profile

    • Donna Merrill
      October 31, 2014 at 11:16 pm #

      Hi Ravi,

      Indeed, business has so many parts to it like a great recipe. There must be a huge business plan and then take the necessary steps to achieve it.

      It’s an ongoing process tweaking, using different systems, different strategies. But most of all, one must learn marketing. How it works, how to write a good ad copy, where to advertise?

      Yes, we have our blogs and that is part of the business, so we must use it wisely. Plus it is great for social proof that you are out there writing and engaging with others.

      People do look us up before they will opt in to an offer, and the first thing that appears on Google is our blogs sometimes.

      Thanks for visiting,

      Donna Merrill recently posted..Build Your BrandMy Profile

  17. Chery Schmidt
    October 30, 2014 at 11:20 pm #

    Hello Donna, I too love your cooking analogy my friend, of course always using your marketing mindset!! Nice!

    Now you asked us a question in closing, ” Have you found the perfect blend for you online business?” Well to tell you the truth I am not even sure how to answer this, I do think my blog and business will always be a work in progress Or at least that is how I feel.

    So Yes I guess I am always open to exploring new ways to improve my results..

    Great Article Donna, it sure did get me a thinking this evening.. Have a Great Halloween !! Chery :))
    Chery Schmidt recently posted..How I Developed A Successful Mindset!My Profile

    • Donna Merrill
      October 31, 2014 at 11:12 pm #

      Hi Chery,

      Good to know I’ve got you thinking! That’s always my main objective. Truth be known, our blog and business will always be a work in progress.

      Just look at any huge corporation. They are always implementing new ideas, different investments, different ad campaigns and so on.

      Are we any different? Not at all!

      Donna Merrill recently posted..Build Your BrandMy Profile

  18. Barbara Charles
    October 30, 2014 at 11:11 pm #

    Hi Donna,

    Great article. I know that I have not found the perfect blend yet. Working on that and looking forward to working with you soon.

    Everything you say makes so much sense and I know you’ve found your blend, just by your content lately. That’s why I reached out to you.

    I think it’s so hard to find that perfect blend and only someone else who knows it, like your dad with cooking the sauce, knows exactly what the ingredients are as well as the ‘specialty’ of understanding the little nuances that go with it.

    Very cool article. Love the analogy.
    Talk soon.
    Barbara Charles recently posted..Five Reasons It’s Better To Have Your Own BusinessMy Profile

    • Donna Merrill
      October 31, 2014 at 10:00 pm #

      Hi Barbara,

      Glad you enjoyed this article. Hope you didn’t get too hungry lol. I wrote this analogy because we all eat! And just like we can cook a meal with our “special ingredients” This is the only way to start a business.

      Know your passion is one thing and having a pretty good idea of what you are going to do is a good start. We have to look within and find what exactly we want to give to others.

      After we talked I know you have that passion, that persistence, and I know you will be successful.

      Donna Merrill recently posted..Build Your BrandMy Profile

  19. Sherman Smith October 30, 2014 at 5:53 pm #

    Hey Donna,

    I do have to say that my stomach started to sound like an out-of-tune violin after reading about how you grew up in Brooklyn, smelling all the different italian dishes. You’re going to make me go get some italian food for lunch tomorrow.

    But yes, I see the point you were getting at. When it comes to online marketing, there is a blend of tools and resources any online marketer would use to get the word out in order to generate leads and sales.

    But before you even get to the tools, you want to figure out what type of business you’re passionate about. What really drives you? What tools can you leverage to maintain this passion of yours so that you can keep moving forward.? You can get the word out with the tools, but if your target market isn’t feeling the passion that you have, then there won’t be great returns from it.

    When it comes to business, the goal is to fulfill a void that’s within your target market. This is up to you to promote what you have that each person is missing which inhibits them from getting over that tough hill. Once you’re able to do this, then you will definitely have a loyal customer.

    This is why I think blogging is the best way to profess who you are and how you can help your target audience.Mix it up with a blend of great tools and you”ll be rocking and rollin’

    Thanks for sharing Donna! Have a great weekend!
    Sherman Smith recently posted..Why Blogging Would Be A Great Branding Tool For Network And Affiliate MarketersMy Profile

    • Donna Merrill
      October 31, 2014 at 9:57 pm #

      Hi Sherman,

      You are right on target. We first have to know our passion…know that this is something that we want to do for others. When we have that frame of mind, then comes the commitment to start building our business.

      Most of us start blogging first. When we do blog, we have to stay on point with our target audience and give them the best information we ever can.

      Yes…our goal is to fulfill a void that is within our target market! After careful analysis, and being around for a while, I chose my target market, tested tested and then tested lol. I did so much analyzing it was quite fun.

      This is how I decided to build my first product. Then, the continuing product I mention in this post and is in the sidebar: The VIP Club. Now another factor is ARE YOU READY? Let us never forget that sometimes when marketing you get flooded with people. One must be ready for that too!

      Then I have my one to one clients. With all that, I must say I’m having a blast helping those reach their goals.

      As for my blog, it is part of my business. And before someone opts into it, you bet your bottom dollar that they read my blog….It’s not only social proof, but they also tell me they like the content.

      I can hear your tummy growling lol.

      Donna Merrill recently posted..Build Your BrandMy Profile

  20. Mi Muba
    October 30, 2014 at 3:05 pm #

    Hi Donna

    Great post indeed, with a lot of new information and points both for new and experienced bloggers.

    It is a common opinion that a feasibility report before starting any kind of project helps you a lot to take your first step in a right direction.

    But I think before feasibility report there is another stage of getting clear what your want to do and why you want to do.

    If we keep watching dreams we become habitual of living in a dreamland and become dud in practical life. So it is must to convert your dreams into your goals and then take the next step to make a big start.

    In previous era specialty was not much common and people with a little know-how confidently used to initiate the project. Then an era of specialization begun but that too concluded as and when the age of jack-of-all-trade started. It is an age where you need to do all your basic business chores yourself till you establish yourself to hire a few workers to help you in your business. This I am talking with particular reference to personal online businesses and obviously blogging is top of them.

    So creating the perfect blend in any online start-up is must to take it to a fully grown project with paying you to make your life happier and successful.

    Thanks a lot for sharing a post on a wonderful topic.
    Mi Muba recently posted..How to bring real buyers to your blog for earning money online?My Profile

    • Donna Merrill
      October 31, 2014 at 10:34 pm #

      Hi Mi Muba,

      You make a great point.

      When we start an online business, we do have to do everything ourselves to get it moving. As we pick up steam, and learn the ropes and start gaining success… we can start getting help from people who specialize in things.

      It’s great to hire graphic designers, copy writers, web masters and the like. But that can’t happen until we’ve achieved some real success on our own. So we have to be a jack of all trades to get things rolling.

      Eventually, we can hire specialists. That’s when we can really put our business on a higher level.

      Thanks for you keen insights, Mi Muba. I always appreciate your perspective on things.
      Donna Merrill recently posted..Build Your BrandMy Profile

  21. Don Purdum
    October 30, 2014 at 12:01 pm #

    Hi Donna,

    Fantastic questions! I may be the oddball out here on your comments. My blog is not designed to be an online business per say but I am an online marketer.

    But, with that said it’s all about knowing what business you’re really in, what problems you “really” solve and who your audience “specifically” is.

    When you know that, it’s the perfect blend of knowing how to find them, where they hang out and how to talk with them.

    I’m coaching a client right now that never before understood how the internet works together. When the lights come on it is really an exciting thing to watch.

    My business is to teach online and offline businesses how to utilize the web to get their message out and earn more prospects and customers. You cannot do that if all you do is talk about yourself.

    That’s why I think your blog article is critical reading. You get to the heart of it by challenging us to think about our businesses and what businesses we are really in so that we can connect more meaningfully with our prospects.

    In the end, isn’t that what it’s all about?

    I really appreciate this post Donna and I will be sharing it out on Google Plus, Twitter and my Business Facebook page.

    I hope you have a strong finish to your week!

    ~ Don Purdum
    Don Purdum recently posted..The Decline of Content Blogging in a Context AgeMy Profile

    • Donna Merrill
      October 31, 2014 at 9:47 pm #

      Hi Don,

      Yes, you really are spot on with this blog. I wrote the analogy because I have many new bloggers as clients. We all learn differently and I got inspired to write about something we all have in common…eating lol.

      But business is business! I cannot say it enough time to new and seasoned bloggers that our blogs are a part of our business. As you put it in your last two blogs – there is a difference between content and context.

      Some are told to just write a lot of content. So what the heck does that mean? A diary, a buy this latest and greatest product NOW? You know the deal 🙂

      When using our blogs we must always remember that it is part of our marketing strategy. A little bit of knowledge spread on a particular blog will help our target audience. Make it interesting but always get to one point to teach something useful.

      Yes…I do challenge folks to think about what particular business we are in so we can get more meaningful clients. Yes in the end, that is what it’s all about!

      Donna Merrill recently posted..Build Your BrandMy Profile

  22. Arleen
    October 30, 2014 at 9:21 am #

    Donna- I thought your analogy with cooking was a good one. Of course that has been my forte with blogging is using analogies with business, which I think has become my brand with my blog. I think the point you made Are you at a point that you’d like to explore ways to improve the results your getting from it? If you don’t feel that you are at point to improve then in my mind you are out of business. We all can improve. One has to continue to find what works for them. I started blogging last April and boy I thought will this ever get better. Sticking with it and not giving up has made the difference. I am always looking for ways to improve. Right now I am working on category landing pages in the blog. I do have categories but I want to make the landing pages of the categories more interesting.
    Arleen recently posted..Why Departmental Branding within Your Brand is Helpful to CustomersMy Profile

    • Donna Merrill
      October 30, 2014 at 2:25 pm #

      Hi Arleen,

      Improvement is key here! No matter what kind of business we are in, we always have to be improving it. It’s just part of business and an ongoing process.

      I’m so glad you have been sticking with your blog. I see your readership has grown in leaps and bounds.

      Working on landing pages in the blog takes a lot of tweaking. I know..been there done that and still tweaking as I write lol.

      I’m sure you will find your “perfect blend” on your landing page. It is a different kind of writing and it takes a few times to do.

      To your success!

      Donna Merrill recently posted..Build Your BrandMy Profile

  23. Angela McCall
    October 29, 2014 at 7:15 pm #

    Hi Donna,

    That’s a pretty good analogy for your business! Food. 🙂

    What’s your online business? It’s like what Don Purdum is saying all along. “Know your business.” It’s true that you need to know your business before you can even persuade someone. I sometimes have trouble on this coz I am taking 2-niche on my business, right? Design & Marketing. I’m a Designer first before I am a Marketing. But then Marketing is also very broad. There is Affiliate Marketing, Internet Marketing, MLM Marketing, etc.

    I think we’re all Bloggers. And this is very broad that needs to be narrowed down. Right? So yeah. I have been thinking more & more lately that I really need to narrowed down myself. I need to talk more about designs but then, I also love to talk about marketing. Talking designs alone bores me. It’s just too technical and a lot of people will not even understand these jargon words. Anyway, I am expanding to marketing because I know behind the design business, there is always marketing — the backbone of the business!

    I think between me designing Headers, Websites, Logo Designs…they are all related. But really if I just have my way, I would really just concentrate on one thing. But then some of clients will say, “I don’t have a logo.” Will I turn it down? Of course not. I will implement that as well with their websites. You know what I’m saying? So I just cannot specialize in website designs when some of them might need a logo, header, business cards, you name it.

    What do you think my line of business?

    Sometimes, I will write some motivational articles like “You are the Brand” but they’re all related. What do you think?

    Some of my clients asked me, “How do you add someone from Google+?” I mean very basic questions that anyone would know about, right? But not everyone. And that’s why I would include this too on my article because a client would ask me a certain question and this might help someone down the road too.

    As far as Affiliate Marketing is concerned, I am no longer concentrating on this and I’m not sure I want to go on this direction. Affiliate Marketing is in the back burner for now. I’m doing some but not all. So instead I am working hard to CREATE my own products instead and that I will be marketing.

    Have you found the perfect blend for you online business? — to answer this question, I think I have. Design & Marketing. It works hand and hand, right?

    Angela McCall recently posted..Your Website is Your PortfolioMy Profile

    • Donna Merrill
      October 30, 2014 at 2:20 pm #

      Hi Angela,

      I would say Marketing is a good strong point of your business. I think that would interest many because bloggers, affiliates, and so on don’t know how to market.

      Yes, you are a designer too, but that could be a page on your blog. I would say that once you create your own product, business will change for you. Been there and done it myself, I can tell you it is a whole new world and a fun one too. Being able to help others one to one or as a group reaches out to more people than my blog could ever do.

      Yes, there are many marketing strategies, and as long as you know how to market them, you could develop a product that handles each one. They all have their unique strategic ways.

      As I have done my research, I found that the numbers of marketers out there do the best with their own product. You just have to sit quietly, think about what you want to do and of course ask God where you need to be. I know I can tell you this because you are a very spiritual person.

      I would never recommend anything I haven’t done. I had the left brained strategy working but God inspired me and David in the right direction. I know you get that Angela. So go for it girl!

      Donna Merrill recently posted..Build Your BrandMy Profile

  24. Ryan Biddulph
    October 29, 2014 at 6:40 pm #

    Hi Donna,

    As I soak up a beautiful Ubud, Bali morning I feel that getting clear on my blog, and on my intent, has helped things come together quickly for me.

    I liked my old blog, and did pretty well with it, but worked like a beast to prosper. Not good.

    As for Blogging from Paradise, I work less, performing less acts, have a load more fun, and see increasing success.

    I mean, I’ve been endorsed by a NY Times Best Selling Author and I’m speaking at NYU in a month. Clarity has been the driver, and I needed to get clear to find that wonderful blend to create these neat achievements.

    You too have been getting clearer and clearer Donna. I sense it, and I see it through your blog, your new business Fever, and your blog writing/delivery.

    So much fun to watch, seeing you grow, and inspire. Congrats!

    If we get clearer and clearer on our WHY, and if we make it purer, and purer, watch out. You’ll find that blend, whatever it is for you.

    Thanks Donna!

    Tweeting from Bali.

    Ryan Biddulph recently posted..Review of 99 SEO Tools for 99 CentsMy Profile

    • Donna Merrill
      October 30, 2014 at 2:12 pm #

      Hi Ryan,

      I’ve seen you grow too. Your old blog must have been so much work. Now you do have clarity, and share it so well.

      It is so great to see someone grow and be recognized. You have done that. It is so great to tell someone “I know a guy in Bali that has been endorsed as a NY Times Best Seller and is speaking at NYU”

      I like to tell that one to up and coming writers I know…Go to Ryan’s blog and see what I’m talking about!

      And yes, I came into my own, broke out of the fear place. I always knew my why, but I felt like I was in an eggshell. Now I stretched my arms out and broke out of it.

      As I go along with my business, I find myself growing in leaps and bounds, but never forgetting my why.

      Thanks so much Ryan,

      Donna Merrill recently posted..Build Your BrandMy Profile

  25. Gladys
    October 29, 2014 at 5:15 pm #

    Hello Ms.Donna

    What an inspiring story. I love the analogy of food and the blends it takes to come up with a great dish.
    My parents were from Puerto Rico, but I was born in New York City.

    As I read your post, my mind went to my mother and how she planned all the ingredients/spices to create a delicious Puerto Rican dish.

    You are so right…I need to regroup my site.
    My site is suppose to be tailored to my coaching business. I am in the midst of trying to see how I can do this, blending in blogging.

    As always thank you for an excellent post.

    Gladys recently posted..Life Is Govern By Choices, They Shape Our Life StoryMy Profile

    • Donna Merrill
      October 30, 2014 at 2:07 pm #

      Hi Gladys,

      I wrote this analogy because we all have a story of how we relate to food and family. Now we can take this analogy and apply it to business.

      It is just a matter of tweaking to regroup your site. It’s a coaching business, so just keep on giving us your gems of knowledge of how you have overcame obstacles, and how others can too.


      Donna Merrill recently posted..Build Your BrandMy Profile

  26. Neamat Tawadrous
    October 29, 2014 at 1:18 pm #

    Hi Donna,

    Love the story about your dad and the Italian sauces. I also don’t use measurements when I cook and I love being in the kitchen and try new stuff from time to time. My time in the kitchen is my get away time sometimes. lol.

    When I came online I wasn’t planning to go into business online. I came online to seek help and research information on how to promote my business as I was stuck and no help from the offline team and upline that I joined. As I was searching, I stumbled upon a guru who advised to start a blog and at that time, I didn’t even know what a blog means. I just started it because I was told it was a piece of cake and it will help me promote and build my business.

    Of course I discovered a different story but all things work for the good and I have to say, I learned a lot and I came a long way. Yes, I had to change directions and start all over again and it has been a learning experience and still a work in progress. I don’t think it is a perfect blend yet and there will always be testing and tweaking as we grow and our business grow.

    Thanks Donna for a great share as always. Enjoy the rest of your week.

    Be Blessed,

    Neamat Tawadrous recently posted..7 Tips To Be A Leader From Where You Are!!!My Profile

    • Donna Merrill
      October 30, 2014 at 2:05 pm #

      Hi Neamat,

      I know that story very well. Just set up a blog..it’s easy! Not! It is a work in progress and will never end. As long as we learn from our mistakes, and blog well, it is a perfect part of our business.

      If I promote one of my products to strangers on a campaign, you can be sure, they look me up and find out who I am and what I do. They do come to my blog for social proof. And I’m getting better at it all the time….I think we all are as bloggers.

      At least you had the ability to change your direction and start again. This is one of the best learning experiences you will ever have.

      To have that “perfect blend” we always have to be tweaking and testing. It is all part of the business.

      Donna Merrill recently posted..Build Your BrandMy Profile

  27. Mark
    October 29, 2014 at 1:15 pm #

    Totally awesome Donna!

    Man oh man what an incredibly great and truly entertaining story and analogy!

    Told only the way you can I might add! My dear when it comes to the fine art of story telling, I’d have to say (as far) as I’m concerned, both you and Diane Hochman are at the top of the list by far!

    And those must have been quite the Sunday mornings growing up in your household, surrounded by all those infectious aromas!

    And sounds like your father was not only an incredibly brilliant and extremely thoughtful man with the really practical advice that he gave you with regards to the fine art of cooking!

    But a fabulous cook as well! What a great analogy and story! It was so much fun reading and absorbing your main points!

    Thanks as always Donna, for another fabulous message. Once again, you really hit it out of the park!
    Mark recently posted..An Incredibly Powerful Lesson I Learned While Interviewing A Self Made Multi Millionaire!My Profile

    • Donna Merrill
      October 30, 2014 at 2:01 pm #

      Hi Mark,

      Thanks so much for stating how much you enjoyed this post. I like story telling because it gets in the minds of my readers.

      Hey we all like to eat, so why not write the analogy of having the perfect ingredients for food as well as the perfect ingredients for our business?

      There are so many “ingredients” needed to run a successful business, and each person has their own recipe. The only problem is if someone doesn’t act upon it.

      It’s like having grandma’s great recipe and never cooking it!


      Donna Merrill recently posted..Build Your BrandMy Profile

  28. BG Jenkins October 29, 2014 at 12:47 pm #

    Hi Donna,

    The first thing I want to say is you’re making me hungry. Great analogy of all the perfect pieces for each of us to run our businesses efficiently and effectively. Great article.
    BG Jenkins recently posted..Article Word StuffingMy Profile

  29. Monna Ellithorpe
    October 29, 2014 at 12:15 pm #

    Hi Donna,

    I enjoyed reading your article. I am not sure what it is but you just have a way of saying and writing things that just make the puzzle pieces for me, fit perfectly together.

    Oh yea, you made me hungry too. Shame on you. LOL

    Have a wonderful day.
    Monna Ellithorpe recently posted..NaNoWriMo Counting The DaysMy Profile

    • Donna Merrill
      October 30, 2014 at 1:45 pm #

      Hi Monna,

      I am so glad to know that I’ve helped putting those pieces of the puzzle fit for you. This was quite the analogy and when writing, I wasn’t sure if people would “get it” but as you can see from the comments, they have. And so did you! 🙂

      I know I got a lot of people hungry….I should have put a warning sign up…”read after you eat”

      Donna Merrill recently posted..Build Your BrandMy Profile

  30. Sue Bride
    October 29, 2014 at 10:43 am #

    You brought back vivid memories for me. The smell of meat slowly roasting and the Yorkshire Pudding sitting in a bowl so it was just right to cook. I never did get the knack of cooking the “Yorkshires” quite the same as mum but my kids made sure the tradition continued because they liked them anyway.

    I believe that I have discovered the perfect blend for online marketing but don’t take enough action on it. I have some mental blocks to overcome yet.
    Sue Bride recently posted..Thinking Your Way To SuccessMy Profile

    • Donna Merrill
      October 30, 2014 at 1:43 pm #

      Hi Sue,

      I would say: Get back in the kitchen as an analogy to your comment. I do think you have discovered that perfect blend for your online marketing. The “ingredients” are all there.

      Now all you have to do is take that “black hat” (as you mentioned in your latest post) away! I know, I’ve been in your shoes too. Many people pushed me to take action, but I wasn’t mentally ready.

      There is a saying “Doctor heal yourself” Now from reading your last post Thinking your way to success….I found it fascinating. Keep on applying that Sue and I’m sure you will take action.

      BTW…I never had Yorshire Pudding….

      Donna Merrill recently posted..Build Your BrandMy Profile

  31. Jackson Nwachukwu
    October 29, 2014 at 7:13 am #

    Hey Donna,

    You really did mentioned you were going to write about recipe in your next post and here it is 🙂

    When I was growing up, I lived with mum who then was running an eatery place or and I watched her prepare several kinds of dishes and she was doing all these because she really understood how the business work.

    Then she was one of the best in my area when it comes to successful eateries. Funny enough, some of guys I grew up with those days still reminds me of how they enjoyed her food then.

    Now this can be perfectly related to our business and brands. Once a blogger understands perfectly the right proportion of ingredients to be served on his blog hitting the market will never be an issue.

    I will say that why so many brands don’t blend into the modern day business is because they have failed to work out what they really need to succeed.

    Your story about Italian recipe got me thinking if I was going to have some right away 🙂 but the analogy as you used in this contest still remains a fact that will never be disputed.

    Now this is another brilliant post Donna, something I love doing – relating our day to day life experiences and even the past to our brands and businesses. This is another one to take home with me 🙂

    Thanks for sharing this awesome analogy Donna, I am sharing it right away on Facebook, G+ and Twitter!

    Do have a wonderful day ahead…

    Jackson Nwachukwu recently posted..A Blog Like an Eatery!My Profile

    • Donna Merrill
      October 30, 2014 at 1:39 pm #

      Hi Jackson,

      When I read your last blog about an eatery you got me thinking….so yes, here it is! 🙂

      I’m sure so many of your friends are still talking about your mother’s eatery! My daughter’s friends used to come and eat with us all the time….now I’m not talking about a few kids….my daughter had the entire football team coming over to eat. These were huge kids! They were all like my own and still to this day they call me mom! I see them on Facebook sometimes and they miss those good old days where they used to use their “beepers” (before cell phones) with codes of what I was cooking. But I always made extra to keep the kids off the street.

      Indeed, this is all related to our business and brands. Just like your mother’s eatery is remembered, so must our business and brands must be. It takes so many different parts to be able to do this successfully. This is why lots of people leave, because they don’t have a mentor to help them along.

      We all want to be memorable with our business, and that’s why I just had to write this analogy so that people can understand, if they only hang in there and keep on trying, they will come up with the perfect blend!

      Donna Merrill recently posted..Build Your BrandMy Profile

  32. Sue Price
    October 29, 2014 at 4:57 am #

    Hi Donna,

    I love the cooking analogy. My grandmother made the most amazing scones (I think you call them something else in the US – but anyway) and no one could make them like her. Even when we watched did not quite get it. I never measure and have a feel for cooking most times.

    I also love Italian food and loved your video. So funny to see you rugged up again. I am currently in shorts and singlet top at 7 PM as it is still so hot.

    Yes our online business is a blend of many things. I also believe what is perfect for one is not for another. There is no perfect recipe.

    I think for many people they try to do too many things. Even in social media I think we need to get good at one or two sites. We cannot be masters on all.

    Awesome post as always and now I feel like Italian for dinner instead of the Indian we are having. 🙂

    Sue Price recently posted..Empower Network Turns 3My Profile

    • Donna Merrill
      October 30, 2014 at 1:31 pm #

      Hi Sue,

      It is so funny how you are in summertime and I am approaching the winter. It is so much fun when we used to be on hangouts and we all dressed differently….Ahh…the life of an internet marketer lol.

      Our online business is a blend of many things, just like a recipe. And so true..what is perfect for one is not for another….

      We cannot be doing too many things online, but rather focus. It’s like putting something on the stove and leaving. It’s going to burn lol.

      Now you got me wanting Indian food, but I haven’t found a restaurant yet in my new area …but the hunt is on.

      Donna Merrill recently posted..Build Your BrandMy Profile

  33. Deborah A. Ten Brink
    October 29, 2014 at 1:29 am #

    Hello Donna:

    I always love to visit your blog. You are so insightful and give me so much to think about. You did it again with this post.

    I must admit I was a bit distracted by all that talk about sauce and sausage and meatballs. It’s late here but I was still salivating!

    Anyway, my take-away was that like in your analogy, we as individuals have create our own “secret sauce” our own unique blend with its own look, feel, smell, texture and flavor. When we are first creating the recipe, we can seek advice from other more experienced chefs, but then we have to make it our own. At first, it may be too bland, or perhaps too spicy! But as we refine the sauce, we will get to just the right blend of ingredients to where it’s absolutely perfect for us.

    At that point, we will love our sauce, fix it regularly, share it with others, and invite others over for dinner featuring our unique special sauce.

    Did I get it right? 🙂


    Thanks for the inspiration.
    Deborah A. Ten Brink recently posted..Your Mission Statement. How To Capture The Essence Of Your BusinessMy Profile

    • Donna Merrill
      October 30, 2014 at 1:27 pm #

      Hi Deborah,

      You sure have gotten this analogy correct! The same exact thing applies to our business. We have to learn many how to’s and have certain things in our “toolbox” Then go out and do it ourselves. We may have to tweak things many times before we get it correct.

      But once it is done, then we are at the point of sharing it with others.

      Just like we do when we cook something…we need a stove, pots, pans, ingredients, etc. Like all the tools we need for our business…a blog, a product and/or service, all the technology to link it together.

      Then after mastering it, we can then create our business so well!

      Donna Merrill recently posted..Build Your BrandMy Profile

  34. Brittany Bullen
    October 28, 2014 at 11:28 pm #


    What a great idea for a workshop! All the time, I advise people that a blog in and of itself, more often than not, is not a business– it’s a vehicle FOR your business. Although my business, NerdyGirl Writers, is still very new, I am passionate about finding meaningful work for my peers to do online and I’m excited about that mission.

    You inspire me to follow my dreams! Thanks for always being a bright spot in my week.

    Brittany Bullen recently posted..14 Things Moms Need to Get Over ImmediatelyMy Profile

    • Donna Merrill
      October 30, 2014 at 1:23 pm #

      Hi Brittany,

      Thank you so much for letting me know I have inspired you. That is my mission here on this blog!

      You are correct that our blogs are a vehicle for our business. It is part of the whole process…and what a process it is lol.

      You know your passion and have the intention to help others. No doubt, you will be highly successful my friend.

      Donna Merrill recently posted..Build Your BrandMy Profile

  35. Steven J Wilson
    October 28, 2014 at 10:22 pm #

    Hey Donna,

    Now you just got me all hungry 🙂

    Excellent post Donna. I will forever be a fan of your style and the way you tell your stories to help us understand the big picture!

    I will continue with the food analogy. I don’t claim to be a master chef but I can work my way around a kitchen.

    When I am trying something new, I gather my favorite spices and others that I think will blend well with my dish. From there I begin adding my favorites and slowly adding the ones with more kick.

    I then every so often do a taste test to see if I want to add a particular spice until the dish is done. Then I sit and enjoy my dish while analysis what could be better and what may not have worked as well as I thought.

    The next time I cook that dish I take what I have learned from before and apply it until I get the dish that tastes perfect to me!

    I think that is the main thing we have to learn. That not everything works as planned and we have to continue to analyze and grow until we find that process that gets our blog or business to where we want it to be.

    Awesome stuff Donna! Sharing now. Take care…
    Steven J Wilson recently posted..5 Steps To Click-Worthy, Shareable & Optimized Blog PostMy Profile

    • Donna Merrill
      October 30, 2014 at 1:21 pm #

      Hi Steven,

      Seems to me like you are a real cook! Adding ingredients and tasting to get the right blend, then thinking about it of how you can do it differently clinches it!

      Like my dad says “Cook from your heart” and that is what you are doing lol!

      And just like you prepare a meal, same applies to business. You are so right that not everything goes as planned. We do have to continue to analyze and grow until we find that process to get our business and our blogs to be where we want them to be.


      Donna Merrill recently posted..Build Your BrandMy Profile

  36. Dr. Erica Goodstone
    October 28, 2014 at 9:30 pm #


    I love your story about the special blend and how you can smell which region it comes from. Growing up in a Jewish household my experience was quite different. My father would go out to bring us the special Sunday brunch foods and he would choose the right combination of stuff to make all of us happy. Some of my relatives spent hours cooking their specialties but not the next generation. At this point, I love to cook soups with just the right blend of ingredients to make it extremely healthy and tasty.

    As far as an online business goes, there really are many pieces that need to be in place and so many different choices to make about what to focus on – blogging, videos, podcasts, webinars, articles, optins, social media, etc.

    Dr. Erica
    Dr. Erica Goodstone recently posted..Love, Touch, Sex and RecoveryMy Profile

    • Donna Merrill
      October 30, 2014 at 1:00 pm #

      Hi Dr. Erica,

      Now I miss living in New York because Saturday was Deli Day for our house. If it wasn’t Katz’s Deli in the city, it was one nearby our house. Yes..that perfect blend of deli food….I miss it so much!

      But I digress…When we have an online business there are many ingredients we do need to have in place from blogging, videos, and other strategies.

      As long as we are focused, we will have the perfect blend.

      Donna Merrill recently posted..Build Your BrandMy Profile

  37. Sylviane Nuccio
    October 28, 2014 at 8:30 pm #

    Hi Donna,

    Well, first of all having grown up among Italians as well, I so understand what you mean about the sauces, the recipes and smells. And I agree with your father, I do not measure anything when I cook, only when I want to write the recipe for my blog do I need to figure out the measurements 🙂

    A lot of people go into business online without even knowing much about business. I know I was one of them, so having some type of direction is very important.

    Now the problem is that there are also people that pretend to know and think that they are experts, but they actually give you bad advice, so it’s important to shop around and make sure we are learning the right way, even if they are more than one way. And that’s why it’s always good to use our good old common sense.

    Great post 🙂
    Sylviane Nuccio recently posted..What is Smart Strategic Content Marketing?My Profile

    • Donna Merrill
      October 30, 2014 at 12:57 pm #

      Hi Sylviane,

      I too came on to the internet without the knowledge of marketing. But once, I started delving into it, there were some that fit with me and some who just didn’t.

      I had to go out shopping for my perfect “recipe” of people to learn from. One of my major coaches I hired had me on a timeline. Oh boy…did I work like a mad woman. But he would rip apart some things I was doing, having my best interest at heart. I learned more from him than anyone else.

      Yes, we need to use our common sense to find people who will stay by our side and be hands on with us.

      Donna Merrill recently posted..Build Your BrandMy Profile

  38. Corina Ramos
    October 28, 2014 at 5:59 pm #

    Hi Donna,

    I love comparing stuff to food. I love food ;). I can relate to the smells coming from the kitchen. I grew up with the smell of fresh tortillas being made and my nose itching from the salsas my mom would cooked with. 🙂

    I love how you said in your video about what a person would be known for. And you’re so right. I want to be known as “hey that lady knows where to find real work-from-home blogs” or “she has great parenting advice”.

    And now that I’m venturing off into something new my next plan is to learn how to distinguish the two make the right blend and market according to the niche.

    Thank you so much for offering your help and always giving such great advice. I hope you’re having a great week!


    Take care and I’ll see you in the socialverse :).
    Corina Ramos recently posted..A Game Plan For The Novice FreelancerMy Profile

    • Donna Merrill
      October 30, 2014 at 12:54 pm #

      Hi Cori,

      I’m glad you liked my analogy. It is something I think most of us can relate to and makes it easier for people to realize what they want to be known for.

      You sure have done a great job because when I think of you I think of that lady who go to to find real work from home blogs. And also parenting advice.

      I say that you have done a great job with your branding!

      Donna Merrill recently posted..Build Your BrandMy Profile

  39. Adrienne
    October 28, 2014 at 3:53 pm #

    Hey Donna,

    I bet that was really fun cooking with your Dad and trying to perfect the great recipe so that in your latter years it would be just right. I’m sure you did too.

    Great analogy of cooking in relation to marketing. I can see that comparison as I was reading every single word.

    I know what you mean by so many people are here online doing their thing but without a real plan. They just know they want results but don’t have a plan on how to get them or what to do with them if they do. I can see that really, a good bit of the time coming into this we’re not told every step we should be taking and it’s kind of like me creating my product right now.

    I was reading a post yesterday about efficiency and how people shouldn’t be wasting their time. That’s not the case at all but as you go along you aren’t aware of how to do things so running into obstacles or things you don’t quite understand then you have to figure it all out which just ends up taking much more time. Maybe that’s also not the easiest way that could have been done but when you don’t know what you don’t know then you’re just stuck.

    I relate my own experience in this way to what you’re sharing here. Get the help we need and it will all work out so much better than had we gone this alone. That I do know for sure.

    Anyone who has issues in this area definitely need to work with you Donna. You’ve got a big heart and only there to help them so you can’t find a better mentor than that.

    Great share and best to you my dear. I know you’re probably so busy with clients these days but loving every minute of it.

    Have a great week.

    Adrienne recently posted..You are CRAZY If You Are NOT Doing This On Your BlogMy Profile

    • Donna Merrill
      October 28, 2014 at 6:08 pm #

      Hi Adrienne,

      Thank you for sharing your wonderful thoughts on this post! I know you can relate to it because of what you are doing. The process is not easy, but we do need others to help us out with it.

      There are so many people online without a plan. This always inspires me to write a post to somehow relate to them in many ways that we all need a plan. I learned the hard way when I first came into the blogging world. I spent so much time on things that weren’t planned out as a business model.

      As I matured in my blogging experience, I did realize that I had a pretty good crew coming to my blog and signing up for my email list. But I wasn’t marketing properly.

      I didn’t have all my ingredients set up. It was like the analogy of cooking. I was popping in a box in a microwave…no nutritional value lol.

      Now, that I have gone through the process, I like to share light with others.

      Oh yes, girl, I’m pretty busy these days and am loving every minute of it. There is nothing better than rolling my sleeves up with others and working on their projects to get them going.

      I thank you so much for always mentioning that what I’m doing is a good thing! I appreciate you.

      Donna Merrill recently posted..Build Your BrandMy Profile

  40. Harleena Singh
    October 28, 2014 at 2:44 pm #

    Hi Donna,

    You got my mouth watering when I started reading this post…lol…yes, one can never forget the lovely dishes we had when we were young! Reminds me of my Mom’s cooking 🙂

    You are right…we do carry forward a few of the specialties from those good days, and those ingredients make the perfect blend, provided we add the right proportions and cook it well.

    It’s the same with our blog and our businesses, and to know whether we are headed in the right direction is SO important. Most new bloggers start off with all the enthusiasm and wish to earn quick money, without realizing that it all takes time, and when they can’t achieve their aim – they give up so soon.

    I guess we all have our own specialties and need to know the right blend that makes it work. I think I’ve started using mine for a while now and I can see it all brewing up to a YUM dish now 🙂

    Thanks for sharing. Have a nice week ahead 🙂
    Harleena Singh recently posted..10 Proven Ways to Create a Social Media Plan for BloggersMy Profile

    • Donna Merrill
      October 28, 2014 at 5:59 pm #

      Hi Harleena,

      I loved using this analogy because many of us can relate to our Parent’s special dishes. That sense of smell is a powerful one that sticks in our minds. It can relate to happy times too.

      As an on line blogger or entrepreneur, we need that “special blend” that is unique to our character. It takes a whole lot more that following step 1, 2 and so on. It is like using a measuring cup for a recipe rather than using our own special ingredients.

      As bloggers we do come into our own after a while. But I strongly feel that new people coming into the community need to know that they are unique and have their own special voice. No matter what niche a person is in, they need to be re-assured that they can do it with patience and time.

      You said it when you mentioned that we have our own specialties and need to know the right blend that makes it work. I know you are using yours now and I see it brewing!

      To your success!

      Donna Merrill recently posted..Build Your BrandMy Profile

  41. Monisha Kapur
    October 28, 2014 at 1:49 pm #

    Hi Donna,

    Thanks for sharing this insightful post! Now you’ve got me craving some yummy Italian Sauce 🙂
    You’re so right, most “family foods” don’t have recipes it’s all about the personal taste, the region from where the food is from, etc etc. And the analogy you use as it relates to an on line business is spot on. It’s not necessarily how one approaches it, but what “ingredients” are used to make it successful.

    As always, you’ve given me some things to think about for my business 🙂
    Monisha Kapur recently posted..A Wardrobe Consultant’s Closet ConfessionMy Profile

    • Donna Merrill
      October 28, 2014 at 2:42 pm #

      Hi Monisha!

      Glad I made you hungry lol. Yes, when I think of all the ingredients it takes to have a successful online business, my thoughts go back to cooking.

      It is not a matter of having all certain things in place, because everyone is different and needs to achieve different goals to create their online success in business.

      Everyone needs to have their unique “ingredients” for their business to succeed. Just like a recipe..one has to actually learn by doing.

      Donna Merrill recently posted..Build Your BrandMy Profile

      • Elise Cohen Ho
        November 2, 2014 at 7:11 pm #

        I am feeling quite pleased about my business sauce and the sauce that my hubby has cooking on the stove smells pretty darn good too. Thanks for another great post.
        Elise Cohen Ho recently posted..Sex Hormone ImbalancesMy Profile

        • Donna Merrill
          November 3, 2014 at 3:38 pm #

          he he he Elise,

          So cleaver! I know you have your hands full when it comes to business. It is good to know your hubby can cook! Mine cannot…the man can not even boil an egg….but he is a good egg lol

          Donna Merrill recently posted..Ready For Success?My Profile

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