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Entrepreneur

Here are the collection of my posts relating to entrepreneurship. I have been en entrepreneur since 2013. I share some of my experience gathered throughout the years.

  • English Posts / Entrepreneur / Muslimpreneur

    How to write your best blog post – Step-by-Step guide | Entrepreneur

    Step-by-Step guide – How to write your best blog post.
    Picture by Kaboompics

    Do you want to know how to make your blog post?

    The answer is probably yes, since you are here.

    Many entrepreneurs out there either do not know how to write a blog post or do not think it is important.

    I will not go into how and why it is important. – You probably know.

    This one is for you!

    I will go through each step, one by one for writing this post.

    This is how I do it.

    1. Step: Getting the idea
    This can happen everywhere. For example:

    • On the toilet
    • While you are eating
    • About to sleep
    • Socializing
    • Reading 
    • Or anywhere else.

    Make sure to write it down as soon as possible, since you probably do not have the time to write right away.

    2. Step: Research 
    If you do not have any knowledge about the subject then do some research by Googling it. Use Googles settings and search tools, this way you will get the best and most accurate results.

    The key here is being critical, since everyone has access to write practically anything on the internet.


    Even if you know almost everything about the subject, it is still a good thing to do some research first.

    3. Step: Brainstorm 
    For beginners this is an important step, even if it sounds boring. – You need to know what is important and filter the unimportant part out.

    If you do not know how to do a brainstorm, here is how you do it:

    • Take a piece of A4 paper and a pen.
    • Write the subject in the middle.
    • Write every word, which comes into your mind down and draw a line from the subject. 
    • If you can, then make sure to connect the connected words. 


    As you get more used to writing, this step will automatically happen inside your head and you will not have the need to do a brainstorm.

    4. Step: Make notes
    Now it is time to find out what is important and to only choose the most necessary information, which you want to give your reader.

    Put them as bullet points and then put them in order. Under each bullet point, you can add points; you might need it to go into extra detail.

    For this post, my notes looked like this: 

    • brainstorm/notes
    • Find a picture
    • intro
    • write the post/ what is on your mind
    • break
    • read trough – does it make sense at all? 
      • cut back – remove unnecessary words
    • Sections and headlines 
      • Shift places if needed
    • Make important things pop
    • Leave
    • Proofread L
    • publish 
    • Proofread again
    • Proofread after one day
      • Share on social media etc.

    And yes, they probably do not make sense for anyone else. – The thing is, that only you need to know what they mean.

    Yes, it does not matter if there are spelling mistakes.


    5. Step: Find your picture
    Now you have enough information to find or take the perfect picture. I usually use Pixabay to find royalty free pictures, even though there are many other sites. Here are 73 different sites.

    6. Step: Write your post
    It is finally time to write. For me, this is the best part. I can in an hour or two write a thoroughly worked post, like this one.

    Take each bullet point and write everything important about it. Try to get your message across to the reader as much as possible. It is all right if it does not make sense.

    7. Step: Take a break
    Time to take a break. Take five minutes making tea, coffee or do something else.

    Personally, I like to take a break to do a prayer, make a cup of tea or go check my social media. The last one takes too much time.

    8. Step: Read it critically
    Come back to your work and read it as critically as possible. Ask questions like:

    • Does it help?
    • Would I understand this, if I did not know anything about it? 
    • Try to include the reader by asking questions.
    • Use the word “you” to target the reader. 
    If something does not help, simply delete it. This is also when you are supposed to remove extra words like: really, very, actually, already etc.

    Your reader is not dumb and can understand you, even if you use fewer words.  

    9. Step: Sections and subheads

    If you remember what is where, you can just make sections and subheads. If not, just read it again and while reading, make the sections and subheads.

    Having sections and subheads gives your reader a better overview of the post and gives them the illusion that they are not reading as much as they are.

    If you have a text without sections and subheads, few are going to read it. – It simply looks too overwhelming.

    • Sometimes it gives more sense that one section is first, so now is the time to move the sections around, if needed. 


    10. Step: Bold, underline and italic
    Make important things catch the readers eyes by making it bold, italic, underline or mixed. It draws attention to it and the reader will most likely read it twice. – It will sink in.

    But do not overuse it.
    Your post will look too overworked.

    11. Step: Another break
    Yes, time for another break. Take a minimum of 15 minutes. Now social media is a good idea. – You need to think of something completely different.

    12. Step: Proofread loudly
    Time to proofread your post. This is very boring for me and even if I do it more than once, sometimes basic words gets misspelled because I already know what is supposed to be there.

    By doing it loudly, you can hear the mistakes. – I usually read to any person next to me. They can also tell me if something is unclear.

    13. Step: Publish
    Yep, it is time. Just press it. Even if you think, there are mistakes in the post.

    14. Step: Proofread it again 
    Yes, again. In addition, make sure someone is listening to you this time. Now it is available for everyone on the internet!

    15. Step: Proofread next day

    This is the last time. Just repeat step 12 or 14. When done, you are now ready to share it on your social media.

    That is it!

    – Hafsa

    P.S. I would love to read your post after you have read this step-by-step guide. Send me a link on my Facebook page @HafsafarooqX2 and I will read it.

  • English Posts / Entrepreneur / Muslimpreneur

    STOP you are stealing! | Entrepreneur

    Seriously, it is not funny.
    You have done it and you now it!

    What I am referring to is stealing pictures, music, artwork, text and more from others.

    I know you are guilty.

    How? You have taken something from the internet for your school project, your own website, company, commercial use, using it in a banner, texting your friends that funny picture you just saw on Facebook or whatever.

    See? I was right.

    Stop stealing my work!
    About the copyright law.
    Picture by Tommyzwartjes


    Especially pictures on the internet, are at great risk.


    Most do not have the knowledge about what copyrighting is and others just do not respect other peoples work.

    1. Is copyright really a law?

    Yes, it is.

    It is the law that protects certain kinds of work, from the moment it is done. You do not need to register it anywhere, except in some countries if you are going to sue.

    Some of the work that are protected by the copyright law are:
    • Pictures, whether they are digital or printed.
    • Text, even if it is a school project, on a private website or a public website.
    • Videos, including homemade and professional videos, -movies, -dramas and the likes.
    • Paintings and artwork, even if the artist, is a non-famous street artist.
    • Music, and it does not matter it the artist is known or unknown.
    • And much more.
    By publishing any kind of work you have not made yourself, you are breaking the law and it does not matter if you know it or not!

    Yes, it is illegal!

    You can read details about the law at Rights Direct.

    2. Is it really stealing?

    Absolutely, it is 100 percent stealing, if you take someones work and use it or publish it, as your own.

    For the record it is not stealing, if you get inspired by a particular piece of work. You are allowed to produce your own, using the same idea. – Unless it has a patent. Then you cannot.

    It is the expression which is protected and not the idea.

    Let us go through a couple of examples to make it perfectly clear.

    You may not:

    • Find any picture and post it all over your social media accounts.
    • Take a beautiful photograph, taken by a normal person and post it as your own on a blog.
    • Find the perfect picture and put it on your blog, even with a link to the original source.
    • Take any kind of text, which you just copy-paste.
    • Use your favorite music piece in a video you make.
    • Download a movie and upload it on Youtube.   


    You may:

    • Find a piece of text you like and use it as inspiration to write your own, then publish it on your website.
    • See a picture of a motive and take one just like it, to put it everywhere you like.
    • Upload a karaoke song to Youtube, which you have sung.
    • Like a movie so much, that you make your own, which is inspired by it.


    3. What should I do, if I really want to use the picture?

    Ask for permission to use it. – And with that are two possibilities:

    1. The owner will say, no. – Meaning you will have to find a new picture, pay someone to take one or take it yourself.
    2. The owner will say, yes. – They might just ask for a link and others will ask for a price and add some conditions.
       

    4. I have been a victim too

    Once I discovered that two of my competitors had stolen pictures and some text from my online shop, X2Nails.

    1. One took a picture and used on their Instagram account.
    2. And the other one took four product pictures and a text I had written for the products. 

    At first I could not believe that a company would steal something from mine. Fortunately, I knew the copyright law. I gathered all the evidence I could and contacted my lawyer. We sent a letter of removal and later an invoice for the violation.

    1. The first case was solved fast and they paid as sum we both agreed on.
    2. The other case went to court and was ruled in my favor. 


    5. What to do if you are a victim?

    1. First of all, you need to gather all the evidence you can get against the thief. Take videos of the material and screenshots.
       
    2. Back the evidence up in more than one place. For example in any secure cloud service, on an external drive, in an e-mail or another computer. – It it best to have more than one back up.
       
    3. Now you need to prove that the work is yours. Find the original picture or what it is, which is dated. If you have had it edited or made by someone, find the invoice, e-mail and more. – Save that by filming it and take screenshots.
       
    4. Now seek help from someone professional or someone who has a lot of experience with these types of cases. If you have a case in Denmark you can get professional, cheap and great help from Not Allowed. They will even take your case for 35% of the settlement amount, with the “no cure no pay”-principal. – For your own sake, do not use anyone who has not done copyright cases before.
       
    5. Have the lawyer send them an e-mail or letter and ask them to remove your work. Also make a claim for the violation. The amount you can claim is different, depending on the type and amount of work which has been stolen.
       
    6. If they do not want to pay, there is always a choice of suing them. It can be difficult if you live in different countries but it is possible. – Although it is best to settle outside of court, since it can be time consuming and expensive.


    6. Protect your work

    This is important!

    Especially since it is such a common crime to steal someones work. The tings you can do to save your work and easily prove that it is yours, are as following:

    • Send an e-mail to a secret account, which only you know about, before publishing it.
    • Back it up i an online service, which can save webpages with dates.
    • Always have it saved somewhere else. For example on an external hardrive or a cloud service.
    • Put a logo on your pictures.
    • You can make sure your website does not allow anyone to copy the material.



    7. What to do, if you have violated someones copyright

    Simply, pay the owner.

    You have committed a crime and you need to pay for it.

    If you do not want to pay, then the owner will probably sue, costing you much more than the original claim. You will also waste a lot of time.


    8. How to get amazing pictures without stealing

    Since pictures are the most commonly stolen ting on the internet, here are some great ways to get amazing pictures:

    1. Take and edit them yourself.
    2. Take them and have someone edit them for you.
    3. Buy pictures from a stock-site. 
    4. Get a photographer to take them.
    5. Find royalty free pictures, but it can cost a lot of time, to find the right one. Here is a page, where you can find 73 pages with free pictures.


    9. Would you like it if someone stole your work?

    Probably not.
    So do not steal other peoples work!

    – Hafsa

    P.S. Sign up for my newsletter about my entrepreneurial journey and let me write to you directly.
    Yes, thank you! I would love to follow your journey!

  • English Posts / Entrepreneur / Muslimpreneur

    3 Reasons to love and ask for criticism | Entrepreneur

    Picture by Skeeze
    Is it just criticism or is it a storm?

    Criticism is something you might see as a tornado coming but cannot stop or hide from it.

    I have always been able to take criticism but it does not mean that I do not care or think about it. I will actually think about it a lot.


    Sometimes even for days.
    I might not show it.

    It is not a bad thing.


    It is not like I will have evil thoughts about this person.


    Sometimes I will actually ask one or two persons to criticize me. Especially when I am doing speeches because I want to better myself.


    Here comes the three reasons for you to love and ask for criticism.

    1. Just because you are doing great
    This criticism is the kind you get, when you are doing great and have reached a point where you now have haters.

    Haters who does not have anything else to do than hate on you, your work and everything that has anything to do with you.


    You should love this.

    Even if the are saying mean things about you.

    Why, you might think?


    Well, look at it from this perspective.

    They are jealous of you.
    They secretly want your things.
    Want your job.
    Or whatever you are doing.

    Do not take them seriously.

    Do not remember the things they say.
    Do not let it effect yourself or your work.

    Just love it because you have reached so far, that you now have hater-fans.

    Hater-fans who secretly wants your life.
    Awesome, right? 

    2. Better yourself and your business

    This one is used commonly among businesses.
    They call it customer feedback.

    It just sounds more friendly than criticism but is the same thing.


    You can choose to ask for it or you can get it when you flop big time.

    We can both agree on it is best to ask for it, right?
    Then you are also prepared.
    And do not feel like you were just found with your pants down.

    When I have received some criticism I will look into what made the person say it and use it to better myself.
    Then I will ask myself these following questions.

    • How can I use it?
    • What can I do to better myself?  
    • What should I do next time, so I do not make the same mistake? 
    • Is it something I can fix right now? 
    We often only look from our own perspective and that results in very slow or none growth at all. That is why it is important to get someone else to criticize you.


    Always use the results wisely.

    3. They want to help

    These can be people you know or do not know.

    We can divide these in two groups.


    In the first group are the people who does not know anything about running a business but they think they do.

    • Or they have a great idea for you.
    • Or they think you are selling the wrong products. 
    • Or you should just close your business and find a regular job.
    • Or you need to listen to all their ideas and do what they tell you.

    You should probably listen and then ignore it if it is not something you can use.

    In the second group are those who does know a lot about running a business.

    They are busy themselves and cannot see your problems until you put them in front of them.
    But they would love to help you.

    They might just refer you to someone.

    Even help you out.
    Criticize you.
    Or just give you a tip.

    The thing is, that the words that come out of their mouths will probably help you more than the first group.


    You just need to ask for it.

    And you need to listen.

    Tip

    If you need to criticize someone then do it in a way so the person won’t feel hurt or attacked. – Always give an explanation.

    Criticizing right is not an easy job.

    Criticizing wrong is easy.

    Until next time!


    – Hafsa


    P.S. Follow me on Facebook for updates Entrepreneur: Hafsa Farooq.


    P.P.S. Criticism is actually a great motivator. Did you ever think about that?