Why Authenticity In Marketing Matters Now More Than Ever

For brands — just as for celebrities, politicians and anyone else in the media spotlight — scandals, PR mishaps and social media slip ups are nearly impossible to keep off the connected consumer’s radar. As a result, brands no longer have an option other than representing themselves honestly and transparently. Authenticity is crucial to continued loyalty from fickle audiences.

This poses a challenge for marketers: They must navigate the latest and greatest means of meeting the customer where they are and ensure the messages they put out are both genuine and in alignment with their brand principles. Of course, the irony here is that marketing, by nature, isn’t really authentic. It’s an all-out arms race as brands compete to showcase their products and services in the most attractive, clever and appealing light possible while simultaneously downgrading their competitors and sweeping any negative commentary under the rug.

Those that have embraced authenticity and transparency (Dove, Airbnb) find consumers will do the marketing for them. Those that have fought it (Uber, Pepsi) continue to struggle to regain footing with an audience who will watch their every move, waiting to pounce when the first signs of negativity arise.

As someone who has worked with Fortune 500 brands to achieve better omnichannel customer experiences, I’ve seen how inauthenticity can negatively influence customer perception — and how brands that are customer-first always come out on top. Here are a few ways to infuse authenticity into your marketing and branding efforts:

1. Remember that honesty is (still) the best policy.

Why is communication — with the public and employees — the crux of any organization? It’s because humans are emotionally driven and crave the security of knowing there is an underlying foundation of mutual respect, honesty and trust between them and the establishments they associate with.

For so long, brands have valued traits like “clever,” “funny” and “witty” over traits like “honest,” “trustworthy” and even “vulnerable.” These qualities aren’t mutually exclusive, of course, but brands must exhibit the latter three or consumers won’t care about the former. This means listening to feedback or criticism and responding accordingly. A brand that is “above” humility will ultimately be resented. Audiences naturally shudder in response to falsity.

In today’s social media-driven world, news spreads fast. It’s all too easy to let the message get out of control without being able to effectively shut it down on your terms. So, invite your audience to be a part of the ride, changes and turmoil to humanize your brand. Don’t be afraid to tell customers that you’re working on improving a defective product or launching a new product that may not be fully baked. When customers feel like they were clued in, they will be more forgiving of any hiccups or inconveniences they experience along the way.

2. Show ‘em what you know — and that you care.

If your marketing strategy lives and dies by the “spray and pray” approach, your audience will sniff out the generic undertones and dismiss you. With myriad data available to marketers, there’s no excuse not to attempt some form of personalization and targeting. Don’t get me wrong: Personalization is an overused term in the industry, but its potential impact in marketing is huge. However, use caution when defining personalization for your business and customers  — or risk trading authenticity for an ultra-creepy persona.

Consider the various stages consumers go through when researching and buying your product or service. Match their brand experiences to any customer data you have at your disposal. When you show them that you care about what they want, it not only boosts loyalty, but offers a human (read: authentic) element to the brand experience.

3. Stay true to the brand.

When brands are in a crunch to adapt and better connect with their audience, a “reinvention” is usually an avenue to boost sales or spur awareness. But reinventions often lead to brand experiences that stray far from the core values — and therefore alienate customers even more.

There are many ways to boost brand love and connect with consumers emotionally without sacrificing core brand values. Brands that operate one way offline but have a completely different online persona can come off as having a “multiple personality disorder” that sends audiences straight to the complaint boards. For example, don’t portray yourself as a luxury brand if your product is actually a value play. Stay in your lane, be the best in your sector, and know your customer and their expectations.

4. Be clear, direct and calm.

Most brands will inevitably face at least one communications crisis. They’re unavoidable and unpredictable, and the worst mistake you can make is a knee-jerk reaction. Consider the United Airlines fiasco that continues to drum up social media chatter: Not only was the brand seemingly ill-prepared to handle backlash from dragging a passenger off a flight, but it also didn’t stay on-message. Within 24 hours, United released two varying statements, making its stance on the issue confusing, hypocritical and difficult to understand. And the more it evolved, the harder United became to trust. That’s why it’s important to have a proactive strategy that ensures your message stays consistent while you communicate to all of your stakeholders.

In the long run, taking the time to build an authentic foundation and a community of brand ambassadors will help establish and maintain this authenticity, even through turmoil.

Source: forbes.com ~ By: Ashley Deibert ~ Image: pixabay.com

What is mindful movement (and how to do it)

What IS mindful movement? It’s yoga, right?

As a health professional who runs mindful movement classes from time to time, this is a question I get quite a lot.

And for sure, many yoga classes could fall into the category of mindful movement, if you’re practicing mindfully – but yoga classes may also have a different focus, depending on the class, the teacher, and your own frame of mind.

Mindful movement – the way I practice it – refers to moving your body while placing your attention and focus on really noticing and feeling what your body does throughout those movements. This is different to just noticing a pain point, such as feeling that your hamstring is being stretched during a forward bend (and then often being encouraged to push it a bit further to see how far it can go.)

In mindful movement we are practicing being aware of our whole body. So during that forward bend, seeing if we can move in concert with our breath – noticing both our breathing pace and the forward movement of our torso. Once in the position, noticing if the weight is towards our toes or our heels. How does the position of our torso change slightly as we breathe in and out. Standing back up, lifting our arms above our head and noticing – what muscles contract to do this movement? Can we lift our arms without also lifting our shoulders towards our ears? Does one arm feel lighter or heavier than the other? Often in a yoga class, we are instructed to move quickly enough that we don’t get time to ponder all these distinctions.

And as with other mindful practices, we aren’t bringing awareness to the body so we can fix it. This might be your focus in a yoga or tai chi class – to be aware of where your body is in space to be able to correct it and bring it into the right position to achieve a certain posture. In my version of mindful movement though, it’s about simply noticing. It’s actually really hard to notice where your body is and then not move it, if when you notice it you realise it’s actually uncomfortable. How much of the time are we in slight discomfort and don’t realise because our attention is elsewhere?

A little exercise I often do in a mindful movement class, and that you can easily try out at home, is just getting people to sit down on the floor, and then get back up again without thinking too much about it. Then we repeat the actions, only this time doing it slowly and really noticing the way your body instinctually moves with this one simple direction. Do you roll over towards your side, use one or two arms to push up, which foot do your preferentially place on the floor first? Theres so much movement we do throughout the day with out being aware of it. Sitting, standing, walking, bending, lifting.

Please don’t think I’m dismissing yoga as a non-mindful practice – by placing your awareness on your breath and your body as a whole, you can definitely get a mindful experience of a class. I personally really enjoy using yoga as a mindfulness practice. But it might be interesting to take note of when the class is triggering you to compare the shapes your body is making to other people’s, or when you get so distracted trying to keep up with the teachers instructions that you realise you are moving without awareness.

Mindful movement can be done in a class-type situation, as in yoga or other mindful movement practices like tai chi or martial arts – but it doesn’t have to be. Mindful movement can just be part of your usual daily activities – done with a touch more awareness. Next time you sit down or get up; brush your teeth; dry yourself with a towel after a shower – try and bring awareness to the movements and see if you experience them differently.

Source: themindmovement.co ~ By: Louise ~ Image: Pixabay

What Is Mindful Eating, And How Do You Practice It?

I’ve been a fast eater for as long as I can remember. It doesn’t matter if it’s a quick snack or a sit-down dinner, I devour food ravenously and swiftly.

I don’t know where I picked up this habit, because my grandpa followed Emily Post’s etiquette rules for dining and tried to instill those practices in his grandchildren. He thoughtfully chewed each bite exactly 32 times. Sometimes he cleaned his plate, sometimes he didn’t, but he always took his time. To him, dinner wasn’t just a meal, it was an experience.

My grandpa’s behavior was similar to mindful eating, a practice that focuses on enjoying your meal and listening to your body’s hunger and fullness cues. It’s designed to make food a pleasurable event rather than simple nourishment that you scarf down between emails.

The method is often considered a dieting strategy, but it isn’t marketed that way or designed to be one. A simple internet search will yield tons of results saying that the practice helped people lose weight and develop a better relationship with food.

Perhaps the most appealing part about mindful eating is that you can consume whatever you want ― in fact, that’s the whole point. It’s all about listening to your body’s response to your meal ― whatever that may be ― as well as your psychological response, according to Marsha Hudnall, a registered dietitian and president of The Center for Mindful Eating.

Mindful eating is really just being intentionally present.

“Mindful eating is really just being intentionally present,” Hudnall told HuffPost. “You’re paying attention to what you’re doing, and your thoughts and feelings around what you’re eating.”

The end benefit is a more conscious, pleasurable approach to eating, said Hudnall, who also helps run a weight loss program in Vermont that uses mindful eating principles. In turn, that may lead to more healthful decisions when it comes to food and your feelings about it. That’s important for consumption habits, Hudnall says, especially in a fad-diet culture where eating disorders and obesity are on the rise.

“If you get in touch with your body and support it, which is what mindfulness helps you do, then you become aware of what’s right for you as far as eating and what isn’t,” Hudnall said.

How to practice mindful eating

I wanted to give the technique a try over the holidays, starting with Thanksgiving. But I am powerless before stuffing, and I soon realized I was eating as rapidly as I always do. I didn’t pay attention to when I was full, which meant eating a ton of sides and pie.

I asked Hudnall how I can improve my practice ― and how you can start doing it, too. Below are a few simple tips:

Make your meal a enjoyable experience.

Food is just as much part of your emotional life as it is a source of nutrients, Hudnall said. Savoring your food taps into that aspect of eating ― and it helps you slow down in the process.

“Mindful eating really has you enjoy the flavor, the texture and the different aspects of food we find pleasing,” she explained. That means chewing slowly and mentally acknowledging that process, she added.

Take all judgment out of food.

Potatoes aren’t “terrible”; they’re food. Positive and negative labels make it difficult to have a healthful, mindful relationship with eating, Hudnall says.

“Mindful eating is also about removing the judgment,” she said. “It’s about not having any preconceived notions about whether something is ‘good’ or ‘bad.’”

Pay attention to how your body feels.

“So many people get caught up in their busy lives and really ignore the body’s cues for hunger and fullness,” Hudnall said. “Then that puts them into extremes, making poor choices.”

Pay attention to how you really, truly feel during your meal. And if that means eating lunch, stopping because your body feels like you should, then realizing you want more food an hour later, so be it, Hudnall says.

Eat whatever you want ― and be OK with that.

Mindful eating encourages you to drink the eggnog or have the holiday cookie without punishing yourself. It sounds counterintuitive, but it’ll actually lead to better choices, Hudnall said.

“When you let yourself have it without guilt and worry, you can find that stopping point that’s well before you start to feel ill. [It will be] when you feel satisfied.”

Don’t shame yourself if you mess up.

I didn’t regret my Thanksgiving indulgences (if you tasted our family’s stuffing recipe, you’d understand why). However, I was feeling a bit guilty that I didn’t “control” myself ― but Hudnall says that’s part of the process.

“If you do indulge too much, you don’t beat yourself up about it. You learn from it,” Hudnall said. “You’re consciously observing at all times, so you can make better future decisions.”

Sounds a lot better than a juice cleanse, no?

Source: huffingtonpost.com ~ By: Lindsay Holmes~ Image: Pixabay.com

Does Intermittent Fasting Work?

The ultimate guide on whether it’s worth it.

For years, we’ve been told it’s important to eat breakfast within an hour of waking up, to rev up our metabolism and get our day started right. But a more recent trend, intermittent fasting, throws that wisdom out the window. The technique relies on restricting your eating to set times and alternating between feasting and fasting.

“Intermittent fasting is allowing the body to have a prolonged period of rest without calorie intake,” explained Dr. Adam Perlman, an internist at the Duke Center for Integrated Medicine in Durham, North Carolina.

Proponents of intermittent fasting say it’s less of a diet than a lifestyle. “What makes intermittent fasting different from dieting is that you are regulating when you eat, not what you eat,” said Dr. Luiza Petre, a board-certified cardiologist and weight management specialist who follows the principles herself. However, she said, limiting your dining window “does not give you an excuse to binge eat, especially on unhealthy foods, when you are not fasting because you will not see the benefits.”

So, what are the benefits of this practice? And should you be doing it? We got the breakdown from experts. Here’s what you need to know:

How it works

There are various ways a person can incorporate intermittent fasting into their daily routine. Below are some of the most popular techniques.

The 16:8 Method: This structure involves consuming your meals within an eight-hour window and giving your body a break from food for the next 16 hours. “You are asleep for the majority of the fasting period, which makes this a medium difficulty compared to other variations,” Petre told HuffPost in an email. “16:8 also is the most common way of intermittent fasting and has gained the most media attention.”

The 5:2 Diet: Also known as the “Fast Diet,” this type of intermittent fasting includes two nonconsecutive days of a strict 500-calorie diet and five days of normal, healthy food. “This method fits the profile of people who have busy family lives or social commitments that would make it difficult for them to stick to a daily regimen,” Petre said. One caveat, per Perlman, is that this eating schedule “can have an impact on a person’s sleep, mood and energy level.”

Alternate Day Fasting: This, according to Petre, is becoming a popular way to kick-start weight loss. The practice involves fasting every other day but eating whatever you want on the non-fasting days. People who follow this trend typically eat 500 calories during their fasting days and then don’t count calories on the other days.

A study published last year in JAMA Internal Medicine concluded that this fasting method hasn’t proven to be more effective than a restricted-calorie diet. “It is least sustainable of all fasting methods in [the] long term and is associated with more over eating in the non-fasting days,” Petre said.

Eat Stop Eat: This method involves consuming only non-caloric beverages for a full 24 hours, one to two times per week. So, for example, if your fasting day was going to be Tuesday, you’d stop eating after you finished a meal on Monday and wouldn’t eat anything else until that same meal the next day.

The potential outcomes can be beneficial for some…

According to Perlman, the potential benefits of intermittent fasting include weight loss and increased muscle mass. “During the fasting state, the body burns more stored fat for energy,” he said. Intermittent fasting can also enhance metabolism, he said, allowing you to more efficiently utilize food for energy.

“Research has also shown the intermittent fasting has effects on the gut flora, which might also explain some of the effects on metabolism,” Perlman said. He added there may be positive effects on insulin sensitivity and various hormones in the body, which can lead to effects such as decreased appetite and improved energy levels.

My whole body seems more efficient.Jazmine Giovanni, a Los Angeles-based writer who practices intermittent fasting

“My whole body seems more efficient,” said Jazmine Giovanni, a Los Angeles-based writer, of her experience with intermittent fasting. “With digestion limited to those few hours, my body’s energy reserves are focused elsewhere the rest of the time, making healing and recovery faster. I’m more focused and have more pep.”

Studies have shown that intermittent fasting can decrease inflammation in the body and improve blood pressure and heart rate. It’s also been claimed that intermittent fasting can lead to improved brain function and decreased risk of cancer and Alzheimer’s, but these claims have less evidence backing them up, Perlman said.

Erin Wathen, a food addiction counselor and author of Why Can’t I Stick To My Diet, says that in general, the practice is a great way to give your digestive system a break. “It reduces the number of opportunities we eat so our body is not constantly having to process food,” she said. “This is a huge benefit for our GI track, appetite control, sleeping and even our teeth, which will benefit from reducing how often we ask our bodies to metabolize food.”

…But intermittent fasting is definitely not for everyone

At the most basic level, intermittent fasting can be difficult for your schedule. Fitness and nutrition coach Ivana Chapman warns that people may have a hard time fitting intermittent fasting into their social life, for example. If your friends want to get dinner at 7 p.m. but your last meal has to be done by 6 p.m., that could be an issue.

And when people break the fast, they often overdo the portions. “Larger meals may be harder on the digestive system and can trigger acid reflux in susceptible individuals,” Chapman said.

Lisa Cooper, a dietitian with Orlando Health, noted that fasting can come with some initial side effects, such as “increased hunger, low blood sugar, headache, irritability, hypoglycemia/low blood sugar, dizziness, lightheadedness, tiredness, nausea and fatigue.”

And the practice can be particularly dangerous for people with certain health conditions.

“Some women, especially those who are already lean and who are active, may encounter hormonal issues if they reduce calorie intake and intermittent fast for days on end, or simply too often,” said Josh Axe, a clinical nutritionist and author of The Real Food Diet Cookbook. “These women may benefit from intermittent fasting only a few days a week, rather than every day, and by paying close attention to how their body responds.” He also emphasized that pregnant and nursing women should avoid intermittent fasting.

People with certain diagnoses who require calories or set meal timing, such as those with diabetes, hypoglycemia or underweight, should avoid fasting, along with people who require food to be taken with medications.Lisa Cooper, dietitian at Orlando Health

Cooper said fasting would not be appropriate in circumstances where people need extra calories or nutrients for growth and development, such as during childhood or adolescence, or when breastfeeding. “People with certain diagnoses who require calories or set meal timing, such as those with diabetes, hypoglycemia or underweight, should avoid fasting, along with people who require food to be taken with medications,” she said.

And anyone who has a history of eating disorders should forgo the practice. Perlman said that for people with such a history, any type of dieting or food restriction program “runs the risk of increasing the focus on food and exacerbating an already challenging if not unhealthy relationship with one’s diet.”

Axe noted that eating disorders, including anorexia and bulimia, “can lead to malnutrition, which has a variety of negative effects on hormonal balance and someone’s metabolism.” Intermittent fasting can make those problems worse if someone is already undereating and struggling to produce sufficient hormones.

“Fasting may basically make all types of symptoms associated with eating disorders more severe, especially if someone is already underweight or very active,” Axe said.

What you need to know before you try it

Many experts endorse the practice of intermittent fasting, as long as it is properly and safely carried out. Part of this means continuing to adhere to a healthy eating plan, regardless of when you are consuming your calories.

“I’ve seen some people go overboard with the food during their feeding window,” said Sunny Brigham, a board-certified clinical and integrative nutritionist in Texas. She emphasized that the goal is to maintain a healthy amount of calories for your body, not to “rebound eat.”

If intermittent fasting is incorporated, it should be included as part of a healthy, balanced diet and lifestyle change and under the supervision of a health care provider.Lisa Cooper

The bottom line, Cooper said, is that “if intermittent fasting is incorporated, it should be included as part of a healthy, balanced diet and lifestyle change and under the supervision of a health care provider.”

For those starting out, Petre suggested implementing a 12-hour fasting/12-hour eating window and building up from there, eventually finding the schedule that works best for you. She also stressed the importance of breaking your fast with fresh, unprocessed, nutrient-dense whole foods, prioritizing healthy sources of protein and not going crazy with junk food, as that would negate the benefits.

Source: huffingtonpost.com ~ By:  Nicole Pajer ~ Image: Pixabay.com

14 Ways To Actually Make Money From a Website!

When it comes to finding ways to monetize your website and making money online, the best thing I have found, is to use a variety of different techniques and to always be testing.

This blog makes money by selling our own online courses, software and other peoples products as an affiliate.

However, there are a lot more than two ways to make money online.

Every site needs to be treated differently.

It can take a while to work out how to best make money from a website. If something doesn’t work, try something else. Don’t just give up. The main reason people fail with blogging, isn’t because their idea or website is bad but because they give up too soon.

Best Ways To Make Money Online

1. Email Marketing

This is one of my favorite things to talk about because it’s just so powerful.

Building an email list can make you a lot of money, help you build a solid brand and of course help readers come back to your site, time after time.

Email marketing can be seen to make you money in a few different ways, such as direct email promotions, to deliver free reports that are monetized and my favorite, to drive traffic back to your site where you make money from other methods.

Gone are the days of finding it hard to get people to subscribe to your website.

A few years ago, we added a lightbox popup to IncomeDiary. Over night, we went from getting 20+ subscribers a day to well over 100.

At the time, most websites hated the idea of using popups because of the negative association people have with them. But these popups are different. Instead of popping up in another browser window, they popup as part of the page you are on. It was a lot less intrusive. Even better, it wasn’t to promote something spammy, but rather something of value to the reader.

After seeing the massive results, we decided to create our own software, so that other website owners can experience the same huge gains we have. We called it PopUp Domination.

At the start, some big names in the industry spoke out, saying they didn’t like them and wouldn’t use them. That didn’t last long, once they saw how well they worked. Now it seems like every site uses popups and despite that fact, they still perform so well!

Love it or hate it but a big reason for the success of popup opt-ins is down to this site you are on right now.

PopUp Domination works on any website. Has over 30 different designs, each pop is customizable to match any colour scheme. We offer a full 60 day, no questions asked, money back guarantee, so there is no good excuse not to give it a try.

Another list building technique you should be trying, is a squeeze page. A squeeze page is a dedicated page on your site to getting a visitor to sign up for your mailing list. You can see an example of a page like this by checking out our squeeze page for our Traffic Domination video! If you want to create amazing high converting squeeze pages (+ a lot more), check out Optimizepress.

Here is an example of a squeeze page we created with Optimizepress for our photography blog:

picture

In order to start collecting emails, you need to sign up for Aweber, which hosts your emails, which you use to send messages, create follow up campaigns, split test etc.

Personally I would say you should also get PopUp Domination, not because I own it but because it’s the best thing for email marketing. 63.9% of our email subscribers come from our popup.

Benefits:

  • Very direct way to market.
  • One email can make you thousands.
  • Anyone can do it.
  • Considered by most to be the no1 way to make money online consistently.
  • Can work on autopilot, if you setup a autoresponder series.

Drawbacks:

  • If subscribers don’t like your emails, they will unsubscribe.

2. Promote Products as an Affiliate

Another hot topic here on IncomeDiary.

We earn around 30% of our income from promoting products as an affiliate. What this means is we receive a commission when you buy something.

Don’t be alarmed, we promote what works for us, not because we will earn a commission. Fortunately nearly all products that exist, have an affiliate program. If you can’t find an affiliate program for a particular product, type product name + affiliate into Google. For example: PopUp Domination Affiliate. This should bring up their affiliate page, if they have an affiliate program.

In my experience, affiliate marketing works best when paired up with email marketing. Top marketers consistently agree, year after year, that email marketing is their most important income source. Combine that with affiliate marketing and you have a winner.

There are so many ways to go about finding a product to promote, it often depends on your industry. For a fitness blog, you could go to Clickbank, find a product about six pack abs and grab an advertising banner from their resources area and put it up on my website.

You could also do a blog post such as, 7 Best Exercises To Get Six Pack Abs, then at the end, promote the product.

We have a photography blog. One of the ways we use affiliate marketing is to promote the cameras and accessories that we use. All of these are available on Amazon. So we signed up for Amazons Associate program and receive a commission every time a customer buys something through our link. We also get a commission on anything else in their shoppingcart which is kind of them.

One of the best tips I can give you for maximizing affiliate sales, is to make sure that the products you are promoting, are as targeted as possible to your content. Most websites have advertising space, it could be on the sidebar, above or below blog posts. The mistake most website owners make is, always showing the same advert, on all pages.

Using condition marketing, we display different adverts depending on the topic of the page. This is done by creating conditions for different tags, categories and authors. For example, any blog post with the tag make money online, will show an advert about making money online and any post with the tag drive traffic, will show an advert about the best ways to drive traffic to your site. This kind of targeting will significantly boost your conversions. If you want to start using condition marketing on your own website, I recommend you use our brand new tool, WhyCompete, which will make setting this all up a lot easier!

Benefits:

  • Can earn you big bucks!
  • Easy to setup and doesn’t require much support.
  • Passive income.

Drawbacks:

  • Earnings are not guaranteed, can earn $100 one month, $1000 the next.
  • Great products can have low converting sales pages.
  • High converting sales pages can have rubbish products.

3. Create & Sell Your Own Digital Product

Something I’m experimenting more and more with and I’m not sure if it’s just me.. but it seems like the world has gone crazy about making products, they are everywhere which has educated the market so they know they have to purchase content now. The simple version of creating a product is as followed, create a 30+ page word document about something, turn it into a PDF and sell it.

You can find out more about creating a product and selling it online by reading these posts.

Personally I think your first steps would be to ask your audience what they want to know more about, create a product around that and sell it!

When it comes to selling any product of your own, I recommend using SamCart for your checkout page, upsells and affiliate program. They have a free trial, so make sure to try it out.

Benefits:

  • Affiliates send you traffic, build your business.
  • Passive income because of affiliates promoting it.
  • Great for building your brand and authority.
  • Big Money Earner.

Drawbacks:

  • Time consuming to setup.

4. Sell Advertising Space

The most popular way to make money from a website is by placing ads on it. We all know what ads look like, but did you know that they function in many different ways such as Pay Per Click, Pay Per 1000 Views or Pay Per Time Frame.

The biggest downside of website adverting, is that most people know what they look like and avoid clicking them.

When selling advertising, you typically have two choices:

1. Find and work with advertisers yourself.

or

2. Work with a middle man who takes a cut for bringing you advertisers.

It all depends on you. Is this a business for you or is this just an opportunity to make a bit more money?

I always lean towards finding advertisers myself. In my experience you get paid more, build better partnerships and can do a better job for them.

Advertising sales makes up only a small portion of my earnings but it’s nice to know that money is almost guaranteed to come in every month.

Be warned, Google does not like the practice of buying and selling text links. People buy text links because Google rank sites better based on quantity and quality of links. When you link to someone, you are telling search engines that you trust this site and you are giving them some of your authority. Google likes this to happen organically. So when you buy/sell links and get caught, Google will punish you by slapping your site down in the rankings.

Benefits:

  • Often guaranteed income.
  • Little effort to monetize.
  • Saves you a lot of time.
  • Great way to connect with others in your industry.

Drawbacks:

  • Takes away from user experience.
  • If you set a set price per month, you can’t make any more even if you double your traffic.
  • Advertisers come and go, you have to spend time editing, adding, deleting and finding more advertisers.

5. Create a Job Board

This works like so:

People looking to hire someone will post a job on your board and readers will apply for the job. This is a great method of monetizing a website which I have seen done by a lot of authority websites.

On the other hand, I have seen smaller blogs try to do this and completely fail because it’s competitive and if you can’t send them anyone to apply, it’s pointless for them to post a job. Jobs can be anything from, writers to trainers.

As for what software to use, I recommend you check out ThemeForest, they have a good selection of different job board plugins and themes.

When it comes to marketing your job board, you will want to use some of your advertising space to promote the job board so that readers will see it and apply for jobs.

Charge a low price at the beginning so that you can attract a lot of customers and if they get applications they will be happy to return.

Benefits:

  • Completely hands of, you don’t have to do anything.
  • Adds to credibility

Drawbacks:

  • Doesn’t work for small blogs
  • Very competitive at times.

6. Selling Services

Selling services is a very popular technique people use to make money from a website and is often the reason for them building a blog in the first place. They want to get more clients, to do that they need to get traffic and blogs are great for that!

The easiest way to start selling your services on your blog is to create a new page within WordPress and call it services. Here you can put in the information about what you offer, testimonials and a buy now button.

To collect payments, your best two options is either PayPal or Stripe.

Benefits:

  • High converting, they see your blog and want more!
  • Highly profitable.
  • Easy to deliver.
  • Low refunds.

Drawbacks:

  • Exchanging time for money.
  • Customers are always right (which we know isn’t true).
  • Can be periods of time where you have no customers!

7. Review Products as an Affiliate

I know quite a few people who review products on their blogs, it makes great content and if the product you are reviewing has an affiliate program, can make you a lot of money. You can review anything from software, to bikes, cars, hotels, holidays, food, anything you could think of and it’s all tax deductible (I believe) if you buy something to review.

Check this post out about How To Start a Review Blog.

I personally want to review one product a month, it’s not so many that readers will be turned of but enough that it will make up a high proportion of my income. Doing small amount of reviews means you can pick all the best products and don’t have to speak about negative ones.

Benefits:

  • Great source of income.
  • Converts higher then banner ads and email promotions.
  • Free products sent to you to review.
  • Connect with industry leaders.
  • Get noticed as a top affiliate.

Drawbacks:

  • You can’t always say nice things.
  • If you say bad things, don’t expect to work with that person.
  • Products become irrelevant quickly in some industry’s.

8. Offer a Membership Site or Premium Content

This technique has become more and more popular over the last few years.

The idea is simply, people come to your website because they want to read your content. They love it and want more. So you offer them even better content, for a price.

Your first step should be to work out what you’re going to offer. Then, you will want to go ahead and create a membership area for them to login and see the information you’re selling.

Once you have set it up, you will want to focus on marketing it. For best results, I recommend focusing on email marketing and adding an advert at the bottom of every page, mentioning that if they liked what they have read so far, they should take a look at your even better paid content.

Another option would be to release an affiliate program for your membership site. This not only will increase sales but will bring you even more traffic.

For billing, checkout pages, upsell pages and affiliate program software, I recommend you use SamCart.

For your membership site, again you could use ThemeForest to find a good theme.

Benefits:

  • Continuity income, keep making money, month after month.
  • Can be set and forget, if you time release.
  • Affiliates will send you traffic!
  • Can be a huge earner, it accounts for over $90k a month for Tutsplus.

Drawbacks:

  • Can be a lot of work to set up.
  • Regular work to release more content.

9. Sell Paid Directory Listings

This isn’t very common but I believe it should be.

I see it as a smart way to sell advertising, you see instead of putting adverts on your sidebar, you have a directory on your blog where you link to different company’s and websites in your industry and charge a premium for the listing. If you charged a monthly fee, so for example, say you had 1000 people listed in your directory and charged $7 a month, you would earn $7000 a month in continuity.

In some ways, this is actually beneficial to the reader, say you have a website about becoming a model, in the directory could be a section for photographers, where photographers pay to list their services. Models will come and look for the right person to take pictures of them for their portfolio, helpful and profitable.

Just like a job board, I would add adverts to my blog, promoting the directory to make sure customers are happy with the number of people seeing their ad and the traffic they get. To start with, I would even advertise on other sites to get people to list in your directory, as well as reaching out to people and company’s to buy a listing.

Benefits:

  • Highly profitable.
  • Useful to readers.
  • Makes you stand out as your doing something different.
  • Nearly guaranteed income.

Drawback:

  • Costs to setup.
  • Smaller sites may not work so well.

10. Host Webinars & Sell Something

Webinars are great at selling high price products, either a the product owner or as an affiliate.

Alternatively, you could set up a free webinar that you replay once a week, teach something and then at the end you sell them into 4 more webinars. Once you complete the webinar series, you now have a product that you can sell as a home study course

Here is a great introduction to how to sell with webinars.

Benefits:

  • High priced, low amount of customers, so low support.
  • Readers want to connect with you.
  • Highly beneficial to those who buy.
  • Great way to teach.

Drawbacks:

  • If your doing live webinars, your exchanging time for money.
  • Investment for software.
  • People have to turn up at a specific time, hard for different time zones.

11. Write Tutorials & Promote Something

Another thing I don’t see often, but I love to do!

Content is what everyone is after, that’s why they come to your website, so create content which includes them buying something so that when they do buy, they buy via an affiliate link, and make you money!

What I do to create a tutorial, is I start with the product, find one that you are using and you get a lot out of, it of course needs to have an affiliate program. Then do a tutorial about doing something using that tool.

So for example it could be a post about Photography and take a specific type of photo but you need this lens to do it.

Benefits:

  • Makes great content.
  • Good for search engines.
  • Profitable long term.
  • Quick to produce.

Drawbacks:

  • Finding enough products that have affiliate programs.
  • Some people may not be interested because they don’t yet have the product.

12. Publish a Book

A lot of people want to write a book, however they have no audience.

A blog can bring you branding, can help you connect with other people in your industry, help you understand what people like to read about, more importantly what people don’t like. All this can help you write a best selling book.

A lot of people don’t consider a book because you only get a couple dollars a book but that’s not just what you earn.

Publishing a book can allow you to then launch a product because people always want more, also a more exciting prospect is being paid to speak. If you are published, you’re automatically seen as an expect, it doesn’t matter if you never sell more than a dozen books, this means you can charge to speak and charge a lot more for consulting.

There’s so many different ways to go about publishing a book, most choose self publish but if your blog is successful, either they will find you or in my case, a friend connected me with his published and told me I should write a book. Someone in your industry who blogs, will also have published a book, help them and they will help you.

Benefits:

  • Authority.
  • Long term earnings.
  • Increase your charge for consulting.
  • Paid to speak at events.

Drawbacks:

  • Timely or expensive if you have a ghostwriter.
  • Doesn’t make you a lot of money on it’s own.

13. Offer Live Training and Workshops

Just like selling consulting and services, you could also use your blog to sell live training, workshops and seminars.

People read your blog but I wouldn’t be surprised if over 80% don’t act on what you say. Having a workshop means they learn from you and implement with you, this is a very attractive offer to some people and they are willing to pay high prices to do it.

You don’t just make money from the price of the ticket but you can also make money from selling follow up workshops and masterminds. If you bring in speakers, then you also collect 50% of everything they make if they sell from stage at the end. Another thing to consider is recording the event and then selling that as a product on your blog.

Putting on an event is a daunting thing, however it really isn’t to hard. Ring up a hotel, book a conference room, now you have a date, write a blog post and send everyone on your mailing list to that page.

Mention your event every where and keep hustling! Apart from that, all you NEED to do is create your slides and turn up. Some of my friends even hire people to run everything for them so they don’t have to worry about the event side of things themselves.

Benefits:

  • Can make you a lot of money.
  • Can be made into a product.
  • People will invite you to speak at their events so that you can sell yours.
  • Makes you an authority.

Drawbacks:

  • Time consuming.
  • Selling can sometimes be hard.
  • Stressful for first timers and often the pros.

14. Sell Your Website

Definitely my favorite of all the above and also the one that pays the most.

Selling your website can make you very wealthy, or it could be just a nice retirement fund. Whatever it is, it can be a great way to get a large lump sum of cash.

Typically, websites sell for 12 – 24 months revenue, however if your site is old, has something unique about it or is the authority in your industry then you can expect any figure you want. I have seen some blogs go for over 200 years revenue and it didn’t even make $100,000 a year.

Work hard and it will pay off.

It is important to remember if you sold your site for 2 years revenue and it made $5000 a month, you would get $120,000. To earn that amount of money it could take you 6 or 7 years because of expenses and taxes. You also have to factor in how long it took you to build your business. If it took you two years and you sell for $120,000 – then it would be like earning an extra $60,000 a year.

If you are already at the stage where selling your website is an option, read this post on selling your website.

Benefits:

  • Large amount of cash.
  • Can be sold within a month.
  • Enough money not to have to work for years.

Drawbacks:

  • You lose an asset.
  • You lose an income stream.

That’s it. Our top 14 ways to make money from a website.

Here is a quick recap of what I recommend you do:

  • Get Aweber.
  • Get PopUp Domination.
  • Get Optimizepress.
  • Create a free report or eCourse to give away as an incentive for signing up for your list.
  • Create your own online training to sell to your subscribers.
  • Find highly rated products to promote as an affiliate to your list.
  • Reinvest earnings to make even more.
  • Get Samcart to increase checkout and upsell page conversions.
  • Use Samcart to release your own affiliate program to get other bloggers and competitors to promote your stuff.
  • Expand, expand, expand!

Good luck.

Source: incomediary.com ~ By:  ~ Image: pixabay.com