Monetizing Your Blog For Six-Figure Returns

Blogs can make upwards of $10,000 a month for even just solo-owners. With the right SEO, advertising, and readership, your blog can easily be monetized far beyond what you’d expect to find in a normal office job. In this article, you’ll be given some of the top tips for monetizing your blog, and living off the proceeds.

What Do You Love?

The easiest way to make money is to find a niche in something you love. Firstly, establish what you’re passionate about. This exercise will help you develop content that is both well researched, but engagingly communicated through your platform. Half of the battle in blogging is writing or recording something that consistently fascinates you, and having an established knowledge and potential network associated with your passion will make it far easier to become successful.

However, it is imperative that you do you research first to ensure that the angle you take on your subject matter hasn’t already been done commercially by someone else. Becoming a unique voice within your chosen demographic lies at the core of financial success with your blog. As long as you post consistently good content, there is no reason that you can’t become a success at what you love.

Work As An Influencer

Social media and web-based influencers are the new reality stars. If you’re an expert, specialist, or just very good at communicating information on your chosen subject matter, the chances are you’ll be asked to become an influencer for brands associated with your blog content. Some of the top influencers end up earning money from writing post, photoshoots, hosting giveaways with affiliated brands, and many go on to publish books on their work.

A great example of an influencer collaboration is the MedMen “Faces” campaign in California, 2018. The brand used existing social media influencers in the space to celebrate their brand, and they are now the leading recreational store in the country. Many of the influencers went on to reap huge financial rewards from the campaign too, thanks to the relationships with MedMen, and the rest of the industry.

Practical Tips

Becoming an influencer does begin with finding you bliss, but it ultimately hinges on your ability to act. Yes, some blogs become commercially successful because they sell ad space online, but if you’re following your passion you should be reaping the rewards. Acting on what you love means that your blog is now your business, and even though it may seem easy, it is easy to go off-brand.

As your brand grows, stay within your niche and earn through sponsored blog posts, selling related products via your site, or affiliate marketing. If you’re more of a hands-on person, many bloggers host seminars, webinars, and events. Most successful bloggers will always be offered free products, just ensure that you’re only advertising the ones you truly support. You have to do your research on everyone who contacts you, just in case they don’t totally reflect your ethics.

As we near the end of this decade, monetizing via blogging platforms is changing as an industry. The individual behind the words is becoming as important as the words themselves. Personal blogs are an incredibly easy way to boost your personal income, and can help you grow into an entrepreneur, or a specialist in your field. All you have to do is decide what exactly you’d like to write about, and whether you’re looking to make bank from behind your computer screen.

Guest Author, Jenny Holt, is a former HR executive turned freelance writer, who now spends more time with her young family and ageing, but ever eager Labrador, Rover.

 

Turning Your Home Furniture Hobby Into a Winning Business

If you’re looking for a new business to get underway, then you could much worse than taking your existing hobby and finding ways to make money from it! One of the best – and increasingly popular – hobby-cum-businesses is home furniture. Because this is an area where limited produced pieces are often more popular than mass-produced items, you’ll be on a more level playing field with other furniture companies than you would be in other industries. But that doesn’t mean that it’s going to be easy: it isn’t! If you’re thinking of starting your own furniture company, then take a look at our tips below, and you’ll be increasing your chances of success.

Perfect Your Craft

There’s a big difference between someone who does something as a hobby and someone who does something professionally. Before you look at making a viable business from your home furnishings, make sure that you’re taking the time to perfect your craft. You’ll receive plenty of compliments from friends and family when you’re just getting going, but it’s a different matter when you start charging people for your creations. As such, you’ll want your furniture to be as perfect as possible! If that means delaying your launch date by a few months while you hit the appropriate standards, then so be it.

What’s Your Niche?

As you might have gathered, the furniture world is pretty big! And you’ll perform much better if you select a niche to work in. For example, you could focus on kitchen tables and chairs, or bedside cabinets, or coffee tables for the living room. You’re likely able to do everything, but as you’re getting started, it might be better to build your company around a specific set of furniture. You’ll also want to work on a particular style, too: are you rustic, modern, traditional, or something else?

What Do People Want?

But of course, what you’re good at making and what you like to make might not coincide with what people generally want. As such, before you sink too much money into your new venture, try to find out if there’s an audience for your creations. This is where your market research will come in handy. It’ll help to determine what people are looking for, how what you create meets that end, what to charge, and so on.

Getting Creative

Having said that, it’s important that you’re putting your own spin on your creations too. You shouldn’t just give people what they want; if you do, you’ll end up playing it too safe, and if you’re going to succeed, then you need to have something different about your products! So develop your own style, and don’t be afraid to take chances. It’s not always about meeting everyone’s wishes; when it comes to artistic pursuits like furniture, there’s also an element of showing people where they might like to go, too.

Working From Home Or Renting

You’re going to need space to work, and that’s going to force you to make a tough decision: do you work from home, or rent a space? There are benefits to both. If you work from home, then you won’t be spending money that could be better spent elsewhere on rent. If you’re working from a rented space, you’ll have more space to work and store more of your creations. All weighed up, it’s probably a good idea to rent a space. This will allow you to make extra income by hosting workshops, and will also give you a more professional look, especially if you’re “store” is located in one of those hip industrial zones that are becoming increasingly popular in urban areas.

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Source: Pexels.com

Antique Markets

When you’re in the furniture game, your best friends are going to be antique markets. These are places to not only sell your creations, but to also buy pieces that you think you can improve upon. Take a long your best creations, and you’ll soon gain a reputation for offering top-quality goods.

Getting the Word Out

You probably looked at setting up a furniture company because word of mouth was helping to get the word out about your creations, and thus you decided to make a go of it full-time. However, when it comes to making a full-time business out of was once a hobby, you’ll need more than word of mouth. You’ll want to have a website and social media channels, and also work with a furniture marketing agency to draw more people to your online presence. Of course, referrals will also be a big part of your business, so try to come up with some sort of incentive package for your clients who direct future work your way.

Use The Best Materials

You might be able to make your furniture look good, but your reputation will quickly fall to pieces if, well, your furniture falls to pieces. As such, make sure you’re using the best materials for your creations. People have no shortage of options if they want cheap but poorly made furniture; they’ll come to you because they know it’s the best, and they’ll expect you to use good materials!

The Art of Presentation

If you’re going to sell your furniture online, then you’ll need to learn the art of taking a good photograph. Look at taking an introduction to photography course, or hiring other people to take professional photos of your products.

Building Relationships

Also, don’t forget the power of building relationships! It’s much cheaper and easier to keep an existing customer on the hook rather than fish for a new one. Work with your clients, and make yourself available for custom pieces.

Final Thoughts

So far as businesses go, there are few as enjoyable, creative, and as easily accessible as selling furniture. If you have the passion to create things for their own sake (i.e. when it was a hobby), then you’ll have the necessary drive to turn it into a successful business..and especially if you incorporate our words of wisdom above.

The Art Of Selling Your Business

There is only one thing as satisfying and complicated as starting your very own business and that is selling your very own business and that’s because more to it than just dotting I’s and crossing T’s. Girl, we’re talking about the financial and emotional considerations that crop up during a sale.

The reason for this is simple: no one starts a company with the intention of selling it. You start a company to solve a problem you came across, to make a difference, improve your lot and do something cool. The idea to sell is one that comes out of nowhere, possibly because the market makes for that environment or because an outside offer landed on your door.

Whatever it is, though, there is a lot of planning that needs to take place, and that’s what we’re here to help with.

  1. Patience Is Key During A Sale

While most companies are sold to key employees because these people a) have a passion for the industry and b) know exactly how the business works, there is still a need for patience on your part. The reason we say this is because the length of time a sale takes hinges on who the buyer is. That said, whether it’s an internal buyer, a competitor in your area of a massive corporation wanting to take you on, the process always takes longer than people expect.

  1. Preparation Is The Secret Of Perfection

If you want to get the perfect deal, you need to be prepared and that means knowing the real value of your business. The best way to do this is to arm yourself with a legal expert, someone like Dickson Frohlich Law Firm, and multiple valuations depending on who the buyer is, the nature of the business, and the deal being proposed. The other thing that you will want to do os have all your financials at the ready, dating as far back as four years if needs be.

  1. Haggle With Your Responsibilities

One of the things the new owners will ask for is you be there to help shepherd your old employees into the new system. This is not uncommon, but it is worth negotiating what this request entails. That means the length of the commitment, what expectations they have for you and how this might affect your future plans. It’s also worth knowing what the ramifications of any refusal to do so are, of which the big hit will be the money offered as part of the deal.

  1. Know What Happens Next

Life after you sell is another huge area you need to look at. You will want to have some idea of what you do with your time, how you will spend your money and how you want your life to look. The reason for this is as much for your own sanity, as well as understanding whether a non-compete clause is something you are happy to sign. After all, this is a change of careers in a way.. The point is: do some analysis into life after the sale. It will help you out both personally and professionally.

On the Road Again: 4 Adventurous Career Paths That Don’t Require a Degree

If you are looking for a career that provides you with a lot of adventure, there are many options out there. While some may require that you have a higher level of education, there are actually many that do not require you to have a college degree at all. These jobs can provide you with a significant amount of adventure and can lead to a very rewarding career.

Travel Industry

One of the best industries that you can work in if you are looking to get a job that provides you with more adventure is the travel industry. There are many different jobs out there that will allow you to travel to very exotic locations, take customers on excursions, and do a variety of other activities if you are willing to entertain and deal with traveling customers. Those that are in the travel industry will be able to choose from a wide variety of places to work and live. Further, most of these jobs require very little education.

Truck Driving

Truck drivers today continue to be extremely important and valuable members of our economic society. Since they are needed to ship products all over the world, truck drivers that are looking for adventure and excitement will be able to find some very interesting places and routes to work. Educational requirements for these jobs are often minimal and come through companies like Florida Truck & Trailer CO and can provide you with a great career path.

Commercial Fishing

If you enjoy being out on the open water and can handle some danger with your job, becoming a commercial fisherman could be a great option. Commercial fishermen work out of seaside communities all over the world. They are often very well-compensated and do not have to work all that frequently as they typically will earn enough during the high seasons to cover living expenses for a year. To become one, you will not need a degree as most fishing companies would prefer to hire those with experience and passion.

Travel Blogging

If you would like to see a lot of the world, you could also get a great job becoming a travel blogger. While you could get a job working for a newspaper or online magazine, those jobs often require degrees in English or writing. However, you could start your own blog and documenting your journey.

When you are looking for your next job, it is important to find one that excites you and that you are passionate about. This passion will keep you focused and help to improve your chances of obtaining professional success.


Meghan Belnap is a freelance writer who enjoys spending time with her family. She loves being in the outdoors and exploring new opportunities whenever they arise. Meghan finds happiness in researching new topics that help to expand her horizons. You can often find her buried in a good book or out looking for an adventure. You can connect with her on Facebook right here and Twitter right here.

8 Simple Motivational Tips to Get Ahead in Business

When I started my first online business – self motivation was a bit of a problem. I hadn’t been someone who’d had problems meeting deadlines or getting work done in previous jobs when I was working for someone else – but with no clear deadlines in place for a lot of what I was going to do – it became harder. Self-motivation is one of the hardest things to master when it comes to setting up your own business – but if done right, it could help you take a step up to the next level.

If you’re looking to get motivated so you can make your business-life a success, hopefully these 8 simple tips will help you like they did me.

1. Do the hardest task first

A lot of people start small to build up momentum. While this can work, I found that I was often really just putting off the hardest, most important tasks. Do them first, then they won’t play on your mind for the rest of the week, and your other (easier) tasks should fall into place.

2. Find a dedicated workspace

It’s all very well working from home – but try not to work in front of the TV or in a room you use for loads of other things. That’s an in-built distraction factory you could do without. I actually started renting a little remote office-space in my local area. I didn’t use it all the time – but when I knew I needed to completely cut out distractions I’d work from there. It made it feel like I was going to work again, which I think gave me the will to act a bit more professionally and get more done.

3. Have a clear plan

Plans are important. If you know exactly what you’ve got to do that week – you’ll be able to stick to it much more easily. Don’t simply do tasks as and when they come – not only is it easier to forget things, it’s also easier to ignore important stuff.

Work through your plan in order, even if you don’t really feel like doing one of the tasks when you get to it. Doing it and not putting it off will actually make you feel better and increase confidence, making the next tasks even easier.

4. Take regular breaks

Working solid through the day isn’t a great idea. Give yourself a break to walk around and get a drink. Just make sure the break isn’t something like watching a bit of TV, where a few minutes could turn into a few hours of procrastination. Grabbing a bit of food and a drink is fine, but don’t use your breaks as an excuse to do something major that’s going to take more than 5-10 minutes. When you’ve built up a head of steam in your work, you don’t want to lose that because you’ve been doing something else for too long. But you also don’t want to burn-out through being too overworked.

5. Avoid distractions

This one kind of ties into a couple that we’ve already looked at – but distractions are bad news.

I used to take my laptop to the local coffee store and do some work there. While I thought the change of environment and extra caffeine was helping me – I was wrong. There was always something going on, something to look at, and something to interact with – and plenty of noise, too. Coffee shops might be fine when you’ve got a few light and easy tasks – but not if you’ve got serious work that needs doing. Leave them as a treat towards the end of the working week when you tie up some loose ends, rather than a regular thing.

If you’ve got a roommate – make sure they know when you’re working so they don’t disturb you. Switch the TV off, and avoid social media. If you use it for work, fine, but there’s a fine-line between productive social media marketing and an excuse to procrastinate. Don’t log-in to your personal accounts.

6. Hold yourself accountable

Tell people what you’re going to do so that they’ll hold you to it. Since you don’t have a boss – give yourself other people to make you accountable to.

7. Listen to music at the right time

You probably don’t want to be listening to music if you’ve got something important to think about. But if you’re on to your easier tasks and what to lighten the mood and give yourself a change of pace – some music could do the job. But don’t let the music become a distraction.

8. Meditate before you get started

5-10 minutes of light meditation at the beginning of the day really helped clear my mind from distractions and get me in a relaxed mood for working. I was no meditation expert – I just looked up a couple of newbie guides online – but it helped get my head in the right space for work and it’s something I continue to use regularly. Give it a try for a week or two, even if it’s not something you’d normally go in for.

 

About the author

These tips were by Keith Elton. Keith has years of experience in the business world and enjoys sharing his motivation tips with those new to the industry. He also recommends looking up some motivational quotes online if you’re looking for even more inspiration.

Cleanse Your Work Palate: What to Do In-Between Jobs

Being laid off or getting fired are, unfortunately, common events that many people will have to deal with at least a few times over the course of their professional career. While you may feel remorse for friends and family members when this type of event happens to them, you can feel a sense of panic or extreme stress when it happens to you.

Of course, some people who are currently out of a job may have quit on their own accord, and this may have been because of poor management or another similar type of issue. In any case, this professional gap can be stressful, but you can more easily navigate through this tumultuous time without scars by following a few tips.

1. Keep Calm and Focus

After losing or quitting a job, you may understandably feel confused or even hurt. It is normal to feel these emotions, so embrace them for a short period of time. During that period, consider everything from meditating to working out, blogging and more to get your mind off of the pain. You can and should spend time reflecting on what may have gone wrong in your previous position so that you can learn from it.

However, you should not dwell on negative emotions tied to those life lessons, but let them go so that you can move on with your life. Embrace this break from a work routine by spending more time with friends and family, relaxing, having fun, and enjoying the resulting reduced stress levels. After all, this break is only temporary, and you may soon find another job. By adjusting your line of thinking so that you focus on the transient nature of this break, you may be able to relax and enjoy a sense of calmness.

2. Enjoy Your Free Time

When you are not working regularly, you may have many hours in your day to enjoy at your leisure. Think of this time as a vacation of sorts that you can use to regroup and focus on your physical and mental health. Use it to reconnect with loved ones and to focus on nurturing these relationships.

You can explore new hobbies or interests that you have been meaning to try, such as taking dance lessons, cycling and more. If you have the funds to do so, you may even travel without concern about getting back to a job. Your trip will be much more relaxing than it would be if you had the stress of job responsibilities looming over you.

3. Make a New Financial Plan

A lot of individuals out of work for even a few weeks may begin to feel financial stress related to a lack of incoming funds. While you may want to enjoy your time off of work, practice moderation so that you can avoid overspending. Consider reducing your personal expenses so that you can conserve your savings. For example, you may cut back on cable TV, your entertainment expense, restaurant meals and more. You may also find a side job that can offset your lack of full-time income.

This could help you to stretch your savings for a longer period of time and reduce the financial strain that you may be feeling. If you are offered COBRA health insurance, consider the benefits associated with taking advantage of extended coverage for as long as it is available to you.

4. Get Back on Track

It is easy to get lazy when you have ample time to yourself each day. You may find yourself sleeping in regularly, spending hours watching TV and more. However, this can create boredom and may even lead to depression.

To prevent it, make a to-do list of items that need your attention around the house. Focus on improving your skills by working toward a new certification. Attend professional networking events and job fairs. You could even volunteer for an organization that supports a cause that you feel strongly about so that you feel productive each day. Another smart idea is to revise your resume and update your LinkedIn profile accordingly.

5. Start Looking for a New Gig

Many people will take a few days or even longer than week to enjoy their time off of work and regroup after quitting or losing a job. That is perfectly fine; however, you do not want to spend too much time taking it easy. The sooner you start looking for a new job, the sooner you may be able to start working and get your career and finances back on track.

While looking for job postings online, you should also network with personal and professional contacts to learn about jobs and to potentially get your foot in the door. If you are out of a job for an extended period of time, ensure that you follow forums, blogs, trade journals and more so that you can keep up with industry changes that may be relevant when you interview for a new position.

Tomorrow is Another Day

Regardless of why you are currently out of a job, your lack of gainful employment can seem like a stressful setback. You may even take your lack of income and your employment issues personally, and this could lead to depression. When you follow these important tips, however, you can navigate through this rough patch more comfortably, and you may more easily find a great new gig that takes your career to the next level.

Author Bio:

michelle_lauryMichelle Laurey is a freelance writer who enjoys fitness, relaxing in the fresh air, trying to live a healthy life and daydreaming about visiting new places (and actually visiting them). Her best ideas and problem solutions appear while she’s riding her bicycle. You can reach her via Twitter.

Are You Working with the Right People?

As you run your small business, think about all the different people that come into your life on a regular basis. You have employees, vendors, customers, those pitching their products, and many others.

With that in mind, how do you know if all these people have your best interests at heart One of the ways to go about learning more on someone is by background checks.

No, you do not need to spend time on a background check with everyone entering your life.

That said doing some research on those who will matter to you is not a bad idea.

What Should You Look for in a Background Check?

If you move forward with background checks, what exactly should you be looking for Well, the answer to that depends on how these individuals will incorporate into your life.

Here are a few examples:

  • Vendors – Hiring the right vendors to assist your small business can be a tricky proposal at times. While you may very well be on a limited budget, you still want quality products for your business. The best thing to know about vendors is if they’ve had any run-ins with the Better Business Bureau (BBB) and others. Always know who is supplying you with the products you need to run your company.
  • Customers – Often, you’re not going to delve into your customer’s backgrounds. Sure, you want to know what their spending habits are etc. but that is often going to be about it. On the flip side, if you’re a gun shop owner, you want to do background checks on those purchasing weapons. If you spot any red flags, make them know so the wrong individuals do not end up with weapons.
  • Partners – It is not uncommon for small businesses to look for partners. That is even more the case when financial times get tough. That said a background check of a potential partner is but one of the things you want to do. Even when you find out about their background, you must decide if working with them would be the right call.

Among the factors to consider:

  • Who will have primary control of the business or will it be 50-50?’]
  • Can you see yourself having joint ownership with one or more individuals? For some owners, sharing the fruits of their labor with others is something they’d rather not think about.
  • Will working with another manager or managers be an issue? Some individuals will find over time that their managerial styles will clash. Always iron out ahead of time what your expectations are and understand their goals too. By knowing all you can about how they’ve run their companies, you will be better prepared.

By doing a background check when you deem it to be appropriate, you are much more likely to find out what you need to know.

In some cases, that information can prevent you from making a bad business decision.

To set your brand apart from competitors, knowing those you are working with is worth your time.

About the Author: Dave Thomas covers business topics on the web.