12 Effective Ways to Use Short Video Content for Your Small Business

The face of social media has changed significantly in a short time, and today short video content is dominating user news feeds. While some social media platforms use video as a feature, like Instagram Stories, others, such as TikTok, use short videos as their main form of communication. Businesses can then leverage this content on their own social media pages to help improve their customer engagement and boost sales. To share insights on how to do just that, 12 experts from Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC) answer the following question:

“What’s one way you’ve used Instagram Stories, TikTok or other short video content for your small business, and why do you think it was so effective in achieving your goal?”

Use one of these methods to make your video content really work for you and your business.

1. Connecting With Client Pain Points

“We use Instagram Stories to connect with the pain points and goals of our customers and clients. The key is to quickly show how your product can solve an industry-specific problem. When followers can see the benefits of becoming a customer, they are more likely to visit your website and make a purchase.” ~ Chris Christoff, MonsterInsights

2. Sharing Media Clips

“We’ve appeared on various news shows and other media outlets to talk about relevant issues in our industry around certain times of the year when our audience is looking for particular answers. We’ve posted these short clips on our website. It’s effective because we’re getting our name out there during key times of the year when our followers most need our expertise and insight.” ~ Andrew Schrage, Money Crashers Personal Finance

3. Offering Quick Education

“The great thing about short videos is that you are forced to share impact immediately. As a lawyer, the law can be a difficult topic to explain. But by using visual cues tied with quick graphics, we can share important information with our audience in a way they can remember and actually enjoy.” ~ Matthew Podolsky, Florida Law Advisers, P.A.

4. Providing Information and Advertising

“I switched my entire marketing plan to using short TikTok-style videos over the last three months. This is what is trending and what works. People want video content that is short and simple. I have used these videos to give information and tips, as well as advertise for products and upcoming webinars. These videos perform 10 times better than regular content and graphics.” ~ Lisa Collum, Top Score Writing

5. Showcasing User-Generated Content

“We’ve had success including user-generated content as a part of our short videos on YouTube and Instagram. In our videos, we include example campaigns that users have made with our software and positive feedback so people can see what others think of our brand.” ~ John Brackett, Smash Balloon LLC

6. Showing the Completed Buyer Journey

“In the service business, offers are commoditized. Everyone’s selling the same thing and, even if you offer better services, it can be hard to stand out with standard social marketing activities. With Stories, we give customers and prospects a behind-the-scenes look at the completed buyer journey, showing how we play a role in its success. It adds another level of proof to our campaigns.” ~ Samuel Thimothy, OneIMS

7. Sharing the People Behind the Brand

“Small businesses can use livestreaming to introduce the people behind the brand and humanize it. Sometimes there’s a block between a business and its customers because there’s a lack of connection or emotion. But you can use video content to give viewers and potential customers a different look at your brand.” ~ Stephanie Wells, Formidable Forms

8. Creating Product Demonstrations

“We’ve used animated videos to help demonstrate the TutorMe online tutoring platform as well as tell the brand story in a concise but compelling way. Because our service requires interaction to understand the benefits fully, video has been highly effective because consumers prefer easily digestible content that highlights key points and speaks to their short- and long-term goals.” ~ Myles Hunter, TutorMe

9. Doing Unboxing Videos

“Instagram Stories have been great for connecting with audiences who already know and love your brand. If you are doing anything with paid advertising to grow your following and brand, this is a great way to elevate your content even more. What’s worked extremely well for us is doing video stories on the unboxing of different products, which simply doesn’t work as well with static photos or images.” ~ Zac Johnson, Blogger

10. Providing Quick Daily Updates

“We have had amazing success utilizing the Instagram Stories feature. We use our posts on Instagram to promote larger concepts or events, and use Stories for the quick daily updates. This ensures we don’t lose the energy of posting new topical content as it reaches us, but also that we maintain the integrity of our grid and remain in control of the story we are telling.” ~ Ashley Sharp, Dwell with Dignity

11. Creating Giveaway Contests

“We’re using the short video format, especially when they stick around for just 24 hours, to create giveaway contests and other time-bound offers. Because this type of content disappears fast, it creates FOMO and compels viewers to take action right away. It’s important to combine different formats with the right content to see the best effect.” ~ Syed Balkhi, WPBeginner

12. Driving Traffic to a Sales Page

“Instagram Stories can be an effective way to drive traffic to a sales page. One method we’ve used that works really well is to block out an entire day in your Stories devoted to promoting a product by posting 20-40 short clips throughout the day. Then save the story series as a highlight so it shows up under your bio and above your grid and continues to send traffic to your sales page.” ~ Joe Stolte, The Tractionology Group

Image: Depositphotos

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Katrina Gosek of Oracle: Subscription Businesses Present Opportunities to Co-create and Build Stronger Ties with Customers

I’ve been pretty interested in how subscription business models seemed to have held up pretty well during the pandemic, even allowing more traditional businesses to stay connected with customers who couldn’t venture out to their bricks and mortar locations.  But now that we’re seeing the light at the end of tunnel and getting closer to life without masks and social distancing, I wanted to see if subscription models will be just as attractive in the post-pandemic economy we can’t wait to get to.  So I was excited to speak with Katrina Gosek, VP of Sales Portfolio Products for Oracle, to get her perspective as subscription management is one of her portfolio focus areas.

Interview with Katrina Gosek of Oracle

Below is an edited transcript of a portion of our conversation.  Click on the embedded SoundCloud player to hear the full interview.

Small Business Trends: Why do you think subscription business models performed well during the pandemic, compared to more traditional models? 

Katrina Gosek: Subscription models, if you’re doing it right, you’re providing consistent, unique value to the customer. So, I don’t think every subscription model is successful, to be honest, but where you’re in a pandemic, providing extreme value to a customer, you’re offering things that they can’t go out and get themselves. You’re bringing them goods and services. You’re letting them give you a little bit of cash over a predictable period of time versus having to shell out a lot of money all at once. It’s good for the businesses offering this because they have a predictable revenue stream, but it’s also good for consumers and also B2B companies, because they don’t have to shell out capital expenditures that can use operational expenses and do it more incrementally versus having to shell out a bunch of money at once. On a personal note, I discovered Instacart and I don’t think I’m ever going back.

Small Business Trends: Maybe you could also talk about Oracle’s approach to making subscription models easier to manage from a company perspective, because there are certain things that people are not necessarily all bought-in on subscriptions or offering subscriptions, or maybe they’re trying to figure out what’s the best way for us to approach them. Because they’re more of a traditional brick and mortar store, and they’re not a digital-first. So how does a company like that then begin to leverage the power of what subscriptions can do for them?

Katrina Gosek: You hit on something really key here, which is something that comes up frequently when we’re talking to customers; it is a complete cultural change with your customers. If you’re a traditional business, if you’re not subscription native, digital native, and you’re a manufacturer of some sort, whether it’s consumer goods or B2B goods, even high tech, industrial manufacturers, it’s a cultural change. Because now everybody who is in the business, not just salespeople, but marketing, finance, everybody. Customer success is now tied to revenue, so it’s important for everybody to have customer success at top of mind. So what does that mean?

It means that basically everyone that touches any interaction with the customer, from marketing, product development, sales, supply chain, customer service, customer success, everybody’s got to be thinking about the customer first, because it’s not just about that churn and burn quarterly… winning new customers every month. It’s about keeping the ones you have. It’s about offering them more value because, honestly, they could probably go find a similar service anywhere else. And the switching costs are much lower. So I think making sure that everybody who touches a customer has the data they need, the tools they need to be able to serve that customer in the best way, is extremely important for the health of the business as you’re moving to subscription models.

Small Business Trends: How could you leverage that from a subscription perspective to create a much more stickier offering?

Katrina Gosek: I think about it as real time data, which you mentioned, behavioral, clickstream data, social stuff, stuff that’s happening in real time, combined with lifetime data. You already have the customer, what do they already own? What is their usage? How are they using the product? What’s their billing cycle? What’s their contract? Where are they based? Maybe they have a couple different sites they ship to. So it’s that real-time data combined with the lifetime data. Once you have the subscriber that’s important to bring together because you’re talking about engaging in a lifecycle with a customer over hopefully a long period of time. So you need to make sure you’re getting actionable insights and you’re leveraging all of that data from the moment you acquire the customer to the moment they need to renew, or they need to upgrade, or they need to make a change to the contract.

You need to make sure you have all of that data in one place. And it’s sometimes for a lot of customers.  Let’s say a device, like a phone with a subscription or a warranty or a service. You have to be able to combine the hard good with the subscription as well, which is a pattern we’re seeing more and more frequently in traditional manufacturing companies. You need to also have all that data in one place. It’s not just about digital interactions, but it’s also about interactions with physical goods as well.

Access vs Ownership – Car Subscriptions

Katrina Gosek:  I’ll give you two examples. One’s more of a consumer example. A lot of auto manufacturers are looking at how to give customers a subscription to a car, and it’s not a lease. It’s actually a subscription to a car. So you can swap out the car. Let’s say it’s New England, it’s spring. It’s beautiful. I don’t want to rent a car. I want to have a nice luxury car and drive up the coast with the top down. But when winter comes, let’s say, I want to swap that out for an SUV with good snow tires, right. And it’s more than a lease. It’s a subscription to the auto service that lets you swap out based on how you want to use the subscription. Right.

There’s a famous example on the B2B side, I think it was Rolls Royce’s aircraft engines. They were groundbreaking in the early 2000s. They were actually putting telemetry on their aircraft engines and they were selling them to large airlines and charging the airlines by usage. So how much they actually used the engine, not for the actual engine itself. And we’re seeing that a lot more in high tech and industrial manufacturing, telemetry, IOT embedded in devices that allows you to track and monitor. I think that’s really interesting. That’s the next wave of that device-enabled subscription or physical object that allows you to subscribe to it in some way, shape or form. I think we’re going to see that a lot more in both consumer industries and business as well.

Small Business Trends: You’re seeing this pendulum shift to access versus ownership. Are we seeing that same pendulum shift when it comes to B2B versus consumers. Because consumers are seeming to be all bought-in on this stuff.

Katrina Gosek: Absolutely.

Small Business Trends: Are you seeing B2B companies looking for more access and not as much ownership when it comes to the things that they need?

Katrina Gosek: Absolutely. So I think I’m referring to it at Oracle as the “end of ownership” because people don’t want to own things anymore. We are seeing it in healthcare. Hospitals want to subscribe to an MRI machine and they pay for the pieces, the services that the company needs to run or, when a new technology comes out, they can swap out the MRI machine. We’re seeing it in farming equipment. Large tractor manufacturers, for example, are collecting data, agricultural data, from all of the different farmers who are using their tractors and reselling that data to their users to say, “This is the best time you should plant these crops, use this fertilizer. Here’s some things you should watch out for in terms of weeds or fertilizers,” and things like that. So we’re seeing a lot of that. We’re seeing crane manufacturers embed telemetry in their cranes so that, again, they can give a subscription to a construction company to the cranes, but the construction company doesn’t actually own it, because how often do you really need it? So really interesting stuff happening on the B2B side. I think we all experience it on the consumer side, but it’s some really cool stuff happening in tech, industrial manufacturing, the subscriptions.

Small Business Trends: Why don’t you talk a little bit about what you guys just announced, and how does those new additions to what you guys have with Oracle Subscription Management, how those additions feed into some of the things we just talked about?

Katrina Gosek: Going back to that idea I talked about of real-time and lifetime data, that is so important to having a subscription engagement with a customer and being successful at it; and empowering whoever gets to the customer first with that real-time data or that lifetime data. So you can have a full picture.

We recently released some awesome new churn probability prediction report. What does that mean? It means sales reps or customer success reps can identify issues that might be impacting a customer renewal. Let’s say they’re logging more SRs, or they’re not logging in as much, or they’ve changed their account settings or something like that. Some red flags that come up and that could alert a sales rep or a customer success rep to take corrective action around that.

We have a lot of prebuilt subscription reports, so that same sales rep or service representative, when they’re talking to a customer can see the full view of the customer lifetime value, what they own, their total contract value, what counts and products they have, and insight into that customer activity. Are they logging a lot of service requests? That’s a really cool thing. Giving the employees, helping customers visibility into some really granular level things to either course correct before a bunch of customers head for the door, or use it to improve the relationship.

We’ve built integrations also on the customer side, so all of this can be exposed to you, Brent, as a customer, if you log onto e-commerce sites, so you can see your own usage. You can manage upgrading or downgrading some of your services. You can request help from a sales or service agent all within that integration to the commerce application that we have subscriptions embedded in.

And the other cool integration we released was to service logistics. So imagine you have an internet outage, and the provider sends a service technician out to your home to fix it. Our integration allows that field rep, that service technician, to actually see your account and your usage patterns and your login, and make recommendations or adjustments on the fly in the field. And that means you’re a more satisfied customer because everybody who’s talking to you has the same view. So, lots of stuff going on, but, really cool stuff to enable employees to interact with customers better, and also customers to have better experiences with subscriptions as well. So really exciting space, yeah.

Small Business Trends: I like that part of it. Of course, companies want to be able to manage the subscriptions in an efficient way and be able to aggregate the data, to be able to create better products and services. But, also, I like the other piece of it: trying to provide the actual end user with even more say over how their subscription is being managed; how they want to be able to use it. And so I think it’s as important as the B2B side, the consumer side. Being able to allow them to have a little bit more control over it. Because once again, it’s like, they’re focused on access versus ownership, but they do want ownership over how they are accessing these products and services.

Katrina Gosek: Right. You want to be able to configure it. You want to be able to manage it. I’m sure you’ve experienced this too. Once you subscribe to something and then you’re looking at your credit card bill and you’re like, “I’m still subscribed to them?” And then you go try to figure out how to cancel it, and it’s impossible. Right? So, and the last thing a company wants to do, the last thing a customer wants to do is pick up the phone, wait, however long, when you can just do it online yourself. So that’s the problem we’re trying to solve with the e-commerce integration.

Adding Subscription Offerings Means Changing Corporate Culture

Small Business Trends: What advice do you have for folks who are still thinking about offering some sort of subscription offering?

Katrina Gosek: If you’re thinking about subscription business models, going down that road is just really acknowledging that it touches every part of the business. It is a complete relationship change with your customers. Again, it’s not that churn and burn, making the quarterly number. It you’re engaging now for a long period of time, an ongoing relationship with the customer, which means that your culture and your own company needs to change and how you treat your customer will have to change.

Because for example, finance, where they may have usually just been sitting in the back seat and doing forecasting and reporting, now their revenue is based on customer success. So, what we see is successful companies think of new packages, new offerings, look at the health of the customer relationship from a finance perspective. Marketing campaigns have to change. They’re not just throwing new products out there. You’re also marketing ongoing value of the business with the customer. Salespeople need to go back and talk to their customers over and over again and figure out what they can offer them, upsell them, cross sell them, maybe change their model a little bit. And then finally product development needs to really talk to their customers. 

Small Business Trends: It seems so obvious, but yeah, you have to say it to a certain extent.

Katrina Gosek: You really do want to acknowledge it. I think sometimes, we’re all guilty of it. Whatever company you’re in is sometimes putting things out in a vacuum, but if you’re embarking on subscription models, I think you’ve got to acknowledge it’s a complete revolution internally for your own company. So you have to be ready for that, and you’ve got to think about how you’re going to handle it. And then if you are from the customer side, just talk to them. How would they like to, if you were to offer subscription models, how would they like to engage with you? Would they even want a subscription to a crane? And that way you can co-develop, which I think is so important. Co-create, co-invent with your customers. Because then it’s even more valuable to what people are looking for.


This is part of the One-on-One Interview series with thought leaders. The transcript has been edited for publication. If it’s an audio or video interview, click on the embedded player above, or subscribe via iTunes or via Stitcher.

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In the News: Almost 2/3 of Small Businesses Credit Automation for Overcoming the Pandemic

The challenges brought on by the pandemic are especially tough on small businesses. And one of the ways they have been overcoming these challenges is through the use of digital technology. According to the 2021 Zapier State of Business Automation Report, 63% of Small Businesses Say Automation Helped Them Endure COVID Pandemic.

A further 88% of respondents also say automation makes them more competitive with large businesses. They are attributing the technology for allowing them to quickly pivot from the challenges of the pandemic. Small businesses are using automation to lower manual data entry such as copy/pasting data from one platform, document, database, or system to another.

Additional uses include lead management, document creation and organization, and managing inventory and distribution. Considering 94% of the respondents say they perform repetitive and time-consuming tasks, automation can address many issues.

This is one of the articles in this week’s roundup that highlights a problem and offers a solution for small business owners. Another article also addresses automation as Keap debuts new functions including automatic invoice follow-ups. Take a look at the rest of the articles on the roundup and search Small Business Trends for any other small business-related subject.

Small Business News Roundup – May 14, 2021

Here’s a look at the other big news for small businesses this week:

GoToWebinar Launches New Live Streaming Tool

GoToWebinar, specialists in providing hassle-free webinar software to create live and pre-recorded events, has launched GoToWebinar Live Streaming. The new feature is designed to help small businesses and organizers of webinars deliver their events more seamlessly on a multitude of platforms.

Optily Releases Ad Spend Optimizer for Small Businesses

New SaaS software lets eCommerce businesses compare ad performance and reallocate budgets with a click of the mouse.  Optily’s Ad Spend Optimizer pits campaigns across Facebook, Google, YouTube, and Instagram to see which one deserves more ad spend.

Keap Debuts New Functions, Uses for Its Small Business Tool

Small business automation is picking up speed this year.  And a company that’s already tweaked its automation tools are at it again. Keap’s new updates to Easy Automations include automatic invoice follow-ups. “Keap is an all-in-one sales and marketing automation platform.

Square Offers ACH Payments for Big Ticket Purchases, Client Payments

Square, providers of software, hardware and financial tools to empower businesses, has announced a new payment functionality. Businesses can now accept Automated Clearing House (ACH) payments on Square invoices. The new payment solution is designed to bring convenience and flexibility to businesses and their customers alike.

These are the Top Etsy Shops in Each of the 50 States

The demand for online shopping is soaring, especially in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic and the disruption it caused to bricks and mortar stores. With around 4.3 million sellers in 2020, up from 2.7 million in 2019, Etsy is a hugely popular platform for online sellers. In 2019, Etsy sellers contributed $6.6 billion to the US economy.

How Much Financial Impact Does Divorce Have on a Small Business?

Divorce under any circumstances is a messy and ugly affair. But it gets even worse when you are the owner of a small business or when your business partner is your spouse! On the Small Business Radio Show this week, family law attorney, Tiffany Hughes discusses how to prepare for the worst-case scenario to ensure that you and your company are protected.

Image: Depositphotos

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54% of Small Businesses Blame Extra Unemployment Benefit for Worker Shortage

Additional unemployment benefits is a leading reason for the shortage of workers. This was a key finding in Alignable’s May State of Small Business Report, which found 54% of small business owners blame extra unemployment handouts on worker shortages.

The small business referral network’s ‘Road to Recovery Report’ (May 2021) surveyed 7,751 small business owners from April 24, 2021 until May 9, 2021. The research found that 50% of small business employers are unable to fill vacancies.

Survey: Unemployment Benefits Causing Worker Shortage

54% say the reason they are unable to fill positions is because government unemployment handouts are preventing workers from applying. 30% of the small business owners surveyed believe the government’s $300 weekly supplemental benefit is encouraging people to stay at home and not apply for jobs. 24% say the stimulus checks are preventing people from applying for jobs. Stimulus checks are part of the American Rescue Plan Act 2021, which provides $1,400 Economic Impact Payments for eligible people.

21% said workers seeking a higher-paying profession is discouraging them for applying for jobs. 12% blamed the scarcity of applicants on a fear of contracting Covid a work. The same amount raised young patents being able to afford day care as the reason for a lack of candidates.

A Changing Recruitment Landscape

The Covid-19 pandemic has changed many aspects of life and work, and none more so than recruitment. Businesses have been forced to adapt to new working practices, including either increasing or decreasing workforces depending on the industry they operate in and business demand.

On a brighter note, Alignable’s report found that jobs are beginning to stabilize in the US, with 88% of pre-Covid employees being back on the payroll. This is an all time high in employment since the start of the coronavirus crisis.

That said, as optimism builds towards a late-summer recovery surge, many businesses are struggling to fill vacancies with appropriate talent.

Subsequently, many business owners are feeling frustrated and are pinning the blame on handouts being made by the government.

Alignable’s report featured quotes from small business owners related to their recruitment situation and their difficulty to fill positions. Some of the quotes read:

  • “Labor is extremely difficult to find and getting more expensive.”
  • “Unfortunately, so far, we’re seeing a lack of qualified workers for our industry.”
  • “We’re in a small town with limited talent.”

“The lack of interested (never mind qualified!) jobseekers is scary, even in the floral industry. Never have I seen so many opportunities posted, and even while offering $2 to $3 above minimum wage for entry level jobs, no one applies.”

Higher Wage Demands than Pre-Covid-19

Another key finding of the report is the growing demand for higher wages. 51% of the business owners surveyed said that when they hire people, they are having to pay higher wages that before the health crisis.

The impact of inflation on small business recovery was also explored in the report. It found that 67% of small businesses fear that inflation will deter recovery. These concerns are even more significant amongst industries facing supply shortages and delays, such as wood and metal.

The research also points to a gloomy revenue outlook. 58% of small businesses are only earning half or less of their monthly revenues compared to before the pandemic.

Alignable’s research confirms that despite industries opening up as lockdown restrictions are lifted, turbulent times are still ahead for many small businesses.

With recruitment proving challenging, small business owners may have to be more creative with hiring efforts. Such creativity could include using social media to source potential candidates, conducting online interviews, and even considering virtual reality to show candidates what it is like to work for their business.

Image: Depositphotos

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How to Use Google Pay for Business

The more form of payments you accept as a business, the more opportunities you give yourself to increase your revenue. Implementing Google Pay to your business gives you another opportunity.

The goal of this guide is to give you a complete overview of Google Pay for your business so you can gain a better understanding of the platform.

What is Google Pay for a Business?

Originally started in India and called Android Pay it is now available in more than 70 countries around the world. Google Pay has also integrated Google Wallet under one umbrella to provide more services.

This integration now makes it possible to carry out a range of services that includes coupons, loyalty and store cards, event and public transportation tickets, student IDs, and more.

All of these integrations allow a business to be part of a bigger ecosystem so they can provide more services and digital payment options.

With the app, merchants get free payments instantly. This means your customers can send money directly to your bank account with no fees. And you can choose to accept payments via Tez Mode, QR code, and phone number.

For consumers, the app allows you to pay single or multiple friends, stay connected with your favorite business, and keep your cards and accounts a tap away on your device.

With these features, you get a comprehensive picture of your finances. You can get insights into your spending pattern and sync your accounts with a safer way to pay.

How to Set Up Google Pay for a Business

1. Sign Up for Google Pay for a Business Online

Before you get Google Pay your business must have a Unified Payments Interface ID (UPI ID) and if you don’t have a UPI ID, get in touch with your bank to get one.

Once you have the UPI ID, you go to the sign-up page and use your Google account. You can create a Google account with your existing email address if you don’t want to use or set up a Gmail account. You then follow the prompt on the screen to enter your business information in the form along with your UPI ID, phone number, and a virtual payment address (VPA).

If you don’t already have a VPA, you need to create one.

2. Verify the Bank Account You’d Like to Accept Payment to

When you create your VPA, Google will deposit a small amount of money into the account. This is the account you linked to your VPA. The goal of this process is to verify the account belongs to you.

You will then have to check the transactions in your account by finding the test amount from Google. In the Google Pay account go to the UPI verification screen and enter the amount of the Google deposit in your account. And if the amount matches the Google deposit the verification is successful.

3. Pass the Google Pay Approval Process

After the verification of your account, the Google Pay team will then review your information. When the review is over, you will get an email with an approval notification. If the team needs more information in order to get approved, they will request it. This will take place within 48 hours.

If you want to check on the status of your application, you can check your account.

4. Start Integrating Google Pay into Your Business

With the approval now in place, it is time to start integrating Google Pay into your business. The integration begins by taking steps to allow consumers to use the payment system. This includes in-app, UPI collect call, and Chrome web payment.

With the in-app integration, your customers use Google Pay to pay in your app. The UPI collect call lets your customer buy from your desktop. And with the Chrome web payment, they can use the Google Chrome browser to buy from your company website. A payment gateway lets them use the Google Pay mobile apps to make payments.

You can also integrate the Google Pay API for greater control of your payments solution as a business.

5. Make Sure You Have an NFC Terminal

A near field communication (NFC) terminal transfers data between NFC-enabled devices such as a smartphone or tablet and other devices to share data when in proximity. It powers contactless payments through mobile wallets such as Google Pay and contactless cards.

Having an NFC terminal in your place of business is one more way to let your customers quickly pay by just placing their device close to the terminal.

6. Display the Google Pay Logo

Displaying the Google Pay Logo lets your customers know you provide it as a payment option. Remember you have to agree to be bound by the terms and conditions of use from Google.

Benefits of the New Google Pay for Business

Providing more payment methods is one of the clear benefits of using Google Pay for businesses. Access to more data and analytics is also greatly beneficial in today’s digital ecosystem for stores. Some of the other benefits include:

  • Lowering costs – As part of the Google ecosystem, you can reach more customers without having to increase your business app costs.
  • Connecting – You can connect with your customers by creating and sharing offers using Google Pay’s custom business channel.
  • Customers can find you – With Google Pay’s custom business channel your customers can find you easily in the application.
  • Merchant support – Google’s Help Center is available for support anytime. You can also contact them for help by phone or chat every day.
  • Payment security – Using “Google Pay Shield” Google Pay will give you and your customers 24/7 security to help detect fraud, prevent hacking, and verify identity.

Customer Benefits of the Google Pay App: A Safer Way to Pay

For the customer, the biggest benefits of using Google Pay are convenience, security, and data. The fewer forms of payment you have to carry on your person the better it is all around, whether it is cash or cards.

  • Pay for free – As a customer, Google Pay is free to use when you pay for goods and services whether online or in a physical store.
  • Easy setup – You can easily set up Google Pay and start using it right away. All you need is to connect your banking service with the account.
  • Transaction history – The apps give you access to your transaction history so you can get insights into your spending habits.
  • Faster checkouts – With Google Pay and your smartphone, you can check out faster than cards or even cash, which is a much better way to pay in most cases.

How do I use Google Pay?

When you are ready to pay, take the following steps:

  1. Wake up and unlock your phone.
  2. Hold the back of your phone close to the NFC terminal for a few seconds.
  3. If the payment goes through, you will see a blue checkmark on your screen.
  4. If the checkmark doesn’t appear hold your phone closer and longer next to the terminal. And if the payment still doesn’t work, contact your banking representative.
  5. The store might have old software that might require a pin or even a signature. If prompted follow the instructions on your screen. Enter a pin or sign for a credit and debit card.

Does Google Pay require a bank account?

As a merchant, you will need a bank account to start using Google Pay for a Business.

  1. You begin by signing up for Google Pay for your business.
  2. You then verify your account.
  3. The sign-up process gets reviewed by Google Pay.
  4. With approval, you can integrate Google Pay into your platform.
  5. Test and start using Google Pay.

Consumers also need an account with a debit or ATM card to start using Google Pay.

Is Google Pay for Business free?

Currently, Google Pay is free whether you are a business or a consumer when using a bank, so there are no added fees.

However, when you use a credit card there are fees associated with the purchase.

  1. Customers will pay a 2.9% fee when they use a credit card linked to the apps.
  2. If the purchase is in store, the credit card provider might look at it as a card-present transaction. And this means they can charge the merchant a fee of up to 4%.
  3. The merchant might pass the fees on to the customer. As a merchant make sure to inform your customers of all fees. And if you are a customer ask about any fees before making the purchase.

How do I access my Google Pay account?

To view your account and view some account information, take the following steps.

  1. Open Google Pay.
  2. In the top left, tap your photo followed by account.
  3. Tap on the account you want to check.
  4. If you want to view your balance, subscriptions, services, transaction, or purchase activities, tap the corresponding button.
  5. Enter your UPI PIN and you can see your data.

Is it safe to link a bank account with Google Pay?

The answer is yes, as a matter-of-fact a virtual wallet and NFC technology are proving to be more secure than other forms of payments.

This includes non EMV (Europay, Mastercard, Visa) chip technology. It further protects your business and customers by:

  1. Google Pay creates a virtual account number exclusively for each transaction.
  2. The application protects your payments data by encrypting and storing it on secure servers.
  3. You can add Touch ID or a PIN to confirm every transaction for an added security layer.
  4. It is one less payment processing you have to add for accepting cards.
  5. The app adds another layer of protection for customers by not having to use debit or credit cards for online purchases.

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25 Must-Know Search Stats for 2021 [Infographic]

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GoToWebinar Launches New Live Streaming Tool

GoToWebinar, specialists in providing hassle-free webinar software to create live and pre-recorded events, has launched GoToWebinar Live Streaming.

The new feature is designed to help small businesses and organizers of webinars deliver their events more seamlessly on a multitude of platforms.

GoToWebinar Live Streaming

The new function enables users to live stream webinars on the most popular third-party social platforms. These platforms include Facebook Live, LinkedIn Live and the soon-to-be-coming YouTube Live.

Businesses can also host GoToWebinar Live Streaming on virtual event platforms like CVent, Intrado, Socio and others, directly through GoToWebinar.

With more and more businesses and teams working remotely, virtual events have witnessed an incredible surge in popularity since the Covid-19 pandemic hit.

Delivering Seamless Webinars

As small businesses and event organizers do their best to adapt to the new remote working world, having the right tools to deliver optimum webinars is within businesses’ interest.

Casmin Wisner, Public Relations Specialist for GoToWebinar, describes the importance of webinar delivery in today’s remotely connected world: “These days work happens anywhere with a decent internet connection. Whether it’s a home office, the actual office, or from some exotic location around the globe (remember traveling? I promise, it will be back!), you can truly work from anywhere with the right tools.

“The same “anywhere” mentality applies to consuming webinar content. You need to reach your audience where they are at. Which is why we are excited today to announce that you can now live stream your webinars on popular third-party social platforms,” writes Wisner.

Expanding Viewership

By delivering live webinars on social platforms that businesses are engaged with and have a following on, event organizers and anyone involved in presenting webinars, can expand the overall viewership of the event with GoToWebinar Live Streaming.

Users can choose one or multiple streaming sites to broadcast on, meaning a wider audience as possible can be reached on multiple social channels simultaneously.

The GoToWebinar dashboard enables user to start or stop individual streams, so users can maintain control of what they are presenting and who is viewing it.

GoToWebinar notifies users when the stream connects and has ‘Live’ status on third party platforms. This eliminates any potential embarrassment of presenters being unaware they are ‘live’.

GoToWebinar Live Streaming is available worldwide. It is accessible to GoToWebinar customers for no additional cost.

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Your Product Content Strategy Might Be Missing Something Big

Many companies are struggling to produce high-quality product content and deliver it to customers at the right time.

“Today’s customers demand more digital content than ever before, and organizations are struggling to keep up,” according to a Forrester Consulting study commissioned by Widen.

What’s holding brands back from delivering product content that aligns with their customers’ needs? Their content strategies—especially their approaches to integrating content tools and processes.

Sound familiar? We thought so, too. Companies have been wrestling with these problems for years, and now the challenges are magnified by the drastically increased demand for digital experiences. So we decided to seek out new and relevant data to better understand how to approach today’s evolution of these familiar issues.

The Forrester study found that current product content strategies lack the foundation for success. But what’s actually missing?

In short, companies are missing a strategic and integrated approach to their content technologies—specifically, digital asset management (DAM) and product information management (PIM) software.

  • Content production, storage, and management are still spread across organizational silos and tools.
  • Product data suffers from the same lack of organization.
  • And with product content scattered across multiple independent tools, opportunities to increase production or quality—so you can deliver the digital experiences your customers deserve—are limited.

Let’s start by looking at the technology you use to manage your product content.

What tools do you use to manage product content?

The pandemic made digital commerce the preferred way to shop and interact. Now, customers expect content that aligns with their journey every step of the way—or you risk losing them. That, in turn, puts a huge amount of pressure on teams to evolve their product content strategy efforts—because you have to not only deliver content faster but also deliver higher-quality content. And, eventually, you’re storing and publishing more content types (e.g., 360º spin photography and video) than ever before just to stay competitive.

Does that sound impossible based on your current experience? Then your content technology is likely holding you back from the scale you need to achieve those goals.

Many companies are adding new content types to their mix to meet the rising demand for meaningful e-commerce interactions. With the right content tools, you create a solid back-end foundation for successful customer experiences on the front end.

According to the previously cited Forrester study, “Roughly seven out of 10 content marketers use PIM solutions (72%), customer relationship management (CRM) solutions (72%), DAM solutions (69%), marketing automation platforms (69%), and SEO/SEM management systems (68%). Yet effective content optimization is jeopardized if these technology solutions are not well-integrated.”

That integrated part of the finding is what’s vital: Teams might have all the right tools and still not be able to deliver the product content experience customers desire if technology solutions aren’t working together to support your processes and strategies.

Without integration, delivering the kind of personalized content experiences your customers want will be nearly impossible.

Integrate product data with content to personalize experiences

Your customers rely on you to deliver product content at the right time. According to the same Forrester study, “Nearly half of organizations report the ‘discover’ and ‘explore’ phases as being the most difficult in which to deliver content. This also happens to be where consumers have the greatest need for accurate and detailed product content.”

If you don’t have the right content, customers won’t complete their purchase and they’ll find another brand that has the product content customers need for making an informed purchasing decision.

To know what content to deliver at each step of the “discover” and “explore” phases, you need to provide accurate, complete, and relevant product information. That takes a comprehensive integration of your DAM and PIM tools. If you can pull off that integration, you’ll leap ahead of a big percentage of the market who lack these connected systems and are struggling to segment and personalize their content delivery.

“Just five out of 10 content marketers feel their segmentation and level of product detail are sufficient, while a mere 43% consider their personalization processes adequate to support content priorities.”

Enrich Customer Experiences With Product Content Forrester Consulting study

Once you have your DAM and PIM systems working together, there’s still a big challenge to overcome: Now you have to convince your entire organization to treat content as a strategic asset and support an integrated approach to content management.

Treat your content like a strategic asset

For your brand to be successful as a whole, your company has to understand that content is a strategic asset. It sounds like a simple concept, but many companies still keep DAM and PIM technologies small in their strategic vision.

According to the Forrester study, “Nearly half of organizations use DAM or PIM tools to manage brand and product content at the department level, while fewer than a third manage DAM or PIM at an enterprise level. These solutions are critical to optimizing content, but the lack of a holistic strategy puts organizations at risk of creating subpar workflows and analysis.”

When your organization doesn’t see the big picture around content strategy, it’s ultimately your customers that suffer. And that means your bottom line suffers, too.

If you want to improve your ROI on product content, get clearer content insights, and create higher-converting customer experiences, you need to get decision-makers to understand that content is a companywide affair, not just a marketing initiative.

* * *

We commissioned this Forrester Consulting study to help illuminate current challenges in product content strategy and provide information to fill in the missing pieces. To understand these struggles, Forrester surveyed 259 digital marketing decision makers and 360 consumers from across North America and Europe.

Download the study today to begin filling in the gaps in your content strategy.

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Six Ways Good Customer Experience Goes Beyond Website Design

Your B2B company probably already has an appealing, highly functional website. Establishing and maintaining a Web presence that way is undoubtedly important: A site that works smoothly and looks great can encourage people to spend time on it and return frequently.

However, a beautiful, highly functional website should not be the only way your company elevates your customers’ experiences.

Here are some other possibilities that your marketing team can explore to achieve good customer experience.

1. Provide educational opportunities

B2B websites often have educational content, such as whitepapers and case studies, and that type of material remains relevant. However, there are other ways to educate your audience and keep them interested.

For example, you could offer a seminar or workshop that people can watch right away or later, depending on their time zone and preferences. If seminar attendees have opportunities to ask questions and get immediate answers, such feedback could dispel doubts while positioning your company as an authoritative source.

Education can also happen through livestreamed events. If you’re launching a new product or service, it might make more sense to go over its features in front of an interested audience rather than publishing only an image or product description.

Live educational events can boost your website traffic later, too. Plan to archive each one in a central place so people can browse through them at their leisure.

2. Highlight how your company gives back

Current and potential customers typically like the idea that they’re doing business with companies that use their resources to make the world a better place. If your business takes part in such efforts, call attention to them. You might even go beyond that by encouraging clients to do the same.

Nearly two decades ago, Salesforce began focusing on developing its philanthropic culture. It launched the 1:1:1 model: The company sets aside 1% of its technology, people, and other resources to improve the world. That commitment has resulted in millions of community service hours, tens of thousands of product donations to nonprofits and educational organizations, and other impressive outcomes.

However, Salesforce doesn’t stop at describing how it gives back. The company urges other organizations to follow suit by taking a pledge to participate in the 1:1:1 model, too. As a result, it improves the customer experience by empowering people to help others in meaningful ways.

Think about how your company could motivate others. For example, you might post a new social media graphic each day that gives people ideas for taking positive action in their communities.

3. Making it easy for people to contact you is good customer experience

Your current and potential B2B clients are busy people. They don’t want to waste time finding information that should be readily available, such as your company’s contact details. Websites typically have it in the top right or footer, and people are accustomed to looking for it there.

However, your site is only one of the many options that facilitate getting in touch. It may not offer the most convenient contact method for every person and circumstance.

If customers have a quick question—such as how to add another user to a service plan your company provides—they may prefer to ask it via Facebook Messenger or Twitter. You can offer good customer experience by increasing your availability on those platforms.

B2B customers, like most people, love convenience. That means breaking down the barriers that could cause people to delay contacting your company, or even avoid reaching out altogether. Your website can certainly serve as one contact mechanism, but it should not be the sole option.

Also, set expectations for responses. For example, you might say people receive replies within 24 hours to questions that are posted on your company’s Twitter feed.

4. Let your content marketing plans support your brand objectives

An effective content marketing plan can boost your company’s authoritativeness, increase its reach, and keep people interested.

You should also develop and distribute content in ways that align with your company’s goals and ideals.

Norwegian Cruise Lines took that approach in 2017 by creating a digital stewardship report filled with animations, videos, and slideshows. The content highlighted environmental conservation without waste. There was no need to print physical copies, making the digital magazine’s format especially appropriate for its topic.

Assess how your content marketing could strengthen how people perceive your company and its offerings. For example, if you sell business software that stands out due to its simplicity, think about publishing infographics or video clips that drive home the straightforward processes and features.

Although such content can appear on the company website, you might also let people access content by clicking on links in an email newsletter or social media post.

5. Good customer experience requires building trust

Whether people have worked with your company before or they are just thinking about doing so, they must trust you. But cultivating trust cannot happen overnight. Think of it as a gradual but worthwhile process.

A well-designed website can certainly help build trust. If it functions as intended, people will get the impression that you invested in the expertise needed to create a great website.

You can also show people your company is worth trusting by being transparent about any possible delays or other circumstances that could cause disappointment. Maybe your company took advance orders for a product that it will now have to release a month behind schedule as a result of production issues. Tell customers about the problem as promptly as possible, via various channels. Doing so assures them you’re honest and communicative.

Another option is to use your company’s blog to tell a story of personal transformation. A fascinating, relatable story can help people empathize with the protagonist.

Excellent storytelling can also build trust if it shows vulnerability. People aren’t perfect. Company leaders might blog how they overcame a problem, conquered a personal shortcoming, or seized an opportunity for growth. Customers may feel the human element makes a business more trustworthy.

6. Focus on customer outcomes

Some B2B company representatives make the mistake of spending too much time on describing what their products or services can do for customers, and not enough time discussing actual results. People want proof of success to justify their investments.

In short, you want to get to a point where you and your customers can quantify the specific value your company delivers for them. Doing so can take months and requires diligently collecting data. But having that information to refer to during the customer relationship can help you retain clients and attract new ones.

Suppose a customer hesitates to renew a subscription or contract. You could point to data that shows how your product or service significantly assisted a company in meeting its goals. Similarly, you might turn that information into case studies that show potential clients what you have achieved.

When you let real-life customer outcomes bolster the company experience, potential clients are more likely to feel confident that you’ll play an essential role in helping their businesses succeed.

* * *

There’s no denying that good Web design matters for creating positive customer experiences. However, your B2B clients will look beyond your website for assurance that you’re the right company to meet their needs.

The tips in this article will help convince them that providing good customer experience is a priority for your company.

More Resources on Giving a Good Customer Experience

The Six Pillars of B2B Customer Experience Excellence

How to Get to the Heart of Customer Experience

How to Measure Touchpoint Effectiveness: Six Steps to Better Customer Experiences

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How to Make Money Blogging

If you buy something through our links, we may earn money from our affiliate partners. Learn more.

Believe it or not, there is money to be made from blogging. All one has to do is to have something interesting to say and enough patience and dedication to build a following. Initially getting started with blogging can seem a little tricky, particularly if you don’t have much tech knowledge. Many people are often surprised to learn that blogging encompasses wide-ranging subjects and offers a lot of money-making possibilities.

As a new blogger, you have several choices from starting and running a dedicated blogging website or employing popular social media networks to start attracting traffic. Blogging operates under the premise that people tend to follow the advice of friends and acquaintances. And with the right content, your blog can be a great resource for others seeking your insights.

Can I Make Money From a Blog?

Yes, you can make money blogging and you do have several opportunities to generate some income. In this age of freelance work and the gig economy, more and more people are using blogging as means to generate some supplementary income.

You can start to make money blogging as a side hustle and gradually scale it up into a full-time job. The key is to look to your strengths in terms of expertise and find a niche so you can see your blogging as a business. The goal is to create a destination where people can visit and follow your blog to get some badly needed advice and insights.

Generating great content is half the job. This is because monetizing a blog can take time and relies on you having some good traffic. In essence, the more readers and followers you have, the more attractive your blog becomes for advertisers. And as side hustles go, blogging online is one of the most popular ways to create an online presence and make money.

How to Blog and Make Money

There are hundreds of ways to make money with a blog – some more profitable than others. Blogging can be hard work, but it can pay off. Here’s a guide to the very best ways on how to make money blogging.

Creating Online Courses or Workshops

There is a huge demand for career development courses in the marketplace. Over the years the blogging industry has changed dramatically. What was once a creative hobby is now a high-paying, full-time profession for many creatives.

By offering online courses on your blog you not only help increase your income but also boost your credentials as a recognized and respected authority on the subject matter you are passionate about and have some wisdom to share. Offering your teaching expertise on topics that you are knowledgeable in will help to position yourself as an expert and industry leader in your or the most profitable niches.

The lure of online courses and workshops is that audiences have the opportunity to weigh up their own individual needs and budget before making a decision. They also have the option to enroll in multiple courses and follow the courses at their leisure. Contrary to popular opinion blogging allows for academic interaction.

Blogs can be helpful tools for instructors to impart knowledge and increase students’ investment in learning. Blogs can also be personal, accessible and an ideal online teaching strategy. This is because you can reach large audiences irrespective of geographical location and can be accessed via a smartphone or PC.

By offering people the opportunity to fine-tune their skills through online courses and workshops there is an opportunity to make some serious money. All you need is to provide in-depth tutorials on highly sought-after courses to draw a large following and offer a good opportunity to get people to take action. Make sure that the teaching modules are well organized, well-written and interesting.

You can monetize your blog by providing evergreen digital online courses which allow you to cash in from your tutelage while improving lives all at the same time. You can also provide free courses as well as subscription-based courses such as how to make money blogging.

Selling a Digital Product

Another lucrative way to make money online by blogging is to sell digital products. Following the growth of more and more people buying online, your blog can tap into this phenomenon. By setting up your own online store you can start making money by selling digital products. The perks from selling digital products include the fact that the cost of setting up an online store is minimal and you only have to fork out money for web hosting, digital product creating, and software or plugins to support your online store.

In addition, let’s not forget that the best part about selling digital products is you don’t have to worry about shipping, and once it is made you can sell it limitless times. However, before you take the steps to set up an online store, you have to know what you’re going to sell. Deciding what products you want to sell requires a bit of brainstorming and market research in order to succeed.

The portfolio of digital products you can sell on your blog can be printables, eBooks, templates, presets, stock photos, worksheets, fonts and even website themes- you are only limited by your creativity. Besides affording you the ability to monetize your blog these products are a good source of passive income which means you exert less effort in selling once you put the products for sale.

Making Money From Affiliate Marketing

Besides getting advertising you can also make some extra cash through affiliate marketing. With affiliate marketing, you can literally earn money with little effort by simply adding tracked affiliate links into the text of your blog. By joining an affiliate program set up by a merchant you get paid commissions for new leads or sales you bring when readers click on the links.

Affiliate marketing uses cookies which are small files stored on the user’s computer. They are used to identify the site’s visitors as well as track affiliate referrals. In most cases, affiliates have 30 days to seal the deal, once a link has been clicked to get commissions. Payments can come for every time someone clicks on a link pay-per-click (PPC), as well as cost-per-lead (CPL) when you send them a prospect.

Merchants love this model because they only pay if a defined action occurs leading to an increase in sales. As a marketing affiliate, you can make some quick cash by providing your readers with great suggestions for products and services. You do this by simply inserting affiliate links in your content.

Your role is to simply help drive traffic through your blog’s material and drive traffic to the merchant’s sites. What is required from you is to ensure your blog attracts the right traffic that actually wants to read your product recommendations. However, you need to be authentic and genuine about your review and articles and not get carried away with the sole task of only encouraging your readers to buy something.

You can start your affiliate marketing efforts by thinking about the products you already use that your readers may be interested in as well. Affiliate marketing is by far the easiest way to make money online because you can promote a wide variety of products and services.

There are several ways where you can use affiliate marketing while creating content for your blog. These include:

1. Build Backlinks to Your Articles: Building backlinks to your affiliate article can help to drive more traffic to your site. By writing a blog post you can mention your previous blog posts on that particular subject for better context and background. This could also apply to forum posts, comments, and other places where you think you might get useful traffic.

2. Create a Resource Page on Your Website: By creating a resource page it allows you to promote different products and organize them based on the audience visiting your blog. What’s more, your resource page can also explain the value of the products that is slanted towards providing information of the product and service rather than a sales pitch.

3. Create Promotional Content: You can create promotional content in the form of reviews, advertorials, and sponsored material to help get more value from the affiliate product. Your content can take many forms that include step-by-step checklists, quick start guides, demos, or even discounted services.

4. Diversify your Affiliate link placement: Affiliate marketing is about driving as much traffic as possible. Not only do you want to include your affiliate links on your material but also use them in product tutorials, banner ads, and even social media posts.

5. Incorporate them in Reviews: Social proof is the new word of mouth. By reviewing a product or service people gain insights into the features involved from the perspective of the user and not from the company. People are keen to know the kinks and perks of a product they are interested in – why not boost your material with some affiliate links?

Amazon Associates Affiliate Program

Amazon’s Associates Affiliate program is excellent for making money through product reviews and can be a good source of passive income. You can share products and available programs on Amazon with your audience through customized linking tools and earn money on qualifying purchases and customer actions like signing up for a free trial program.

You have a good selection of products to review with commissions ranging between 1% and 10%, depending on the category of the product purchased. The most lucrative item to promote is luxury beauty products which can earn you a 10% cut on the price.

If visitors end up on Amazon through your link and buys something other than what your content links, you get a commission on the shopper’s entire cart making it a popular affiliate income option. To be a member of Amazon Associates, you must have an active site, blog, app, or YouTube channel.

Affiliate Networks

By joining an affiliate network you can start generating revenues from your organic traffic. Simply put affiliate networks are platforms that act as intermediaries who connect bloggers with merchants (advertisers) who have affiliate program opportunities for their products and services.

An affiliate network is a company that facilitates affiliate programs. For an affiliate network to work, both advertisers and blogs will need to first sign up to the network. Once accepted, advertisers can add their programs to the network and bloggers have instant access to a huge range of affiliate programs and promotional material.

While working through an affiliate network, you typically won’t know the merchant ahead of time and usually won’t build a relationship with them as your business relationship is with the network.

Affiliate marketing works through tracking pixels.  When a user clicks through an affiliate link, a cookie is dropped in relation to that action.  Once the user completes a sale and reaches the confirmation page of the advertiser, a tracking pixel is fired which ensures a sale is registered which prompts the blogger to get awarded with the relevant commission.

When you register your blog on an affiliate network you will be assigned a unique publisher ID, which will be used to track the sales for each program advertised on the affiliate network. The unique ID helps to track sales attributed to your blog. You can also access your dashboard to track performances and revenues.

An affiliate network offers ease of use as it provides you with an account management system, end-to-end tracking tech support, payment, and reporting options to track, monitor and tweak your marketing efforts. Some popular affiliate networks include AWIN, ClickBank, CJ Affiliate, eBay Partner Network, and ShareaSale.

Stand Alone Affiliate Programs

To start getting ads on your website you will need to partner with a reliable advertisement server. An ad server can help you get impressions for monetization and managing ad spaces. What the ad server does is generate a tag that is installed on the web page to serve ads and receive ad requests.

Through it, blog publishers can connect with advertisers with ad tags and sell their inventory via the waterfall model. The waterfall model offers traffic in turns, usually, it starts with direct advertisers, then agencies, and then to ad networks.

Blog publishers can add the partner Supply-Side Platform (SSP) in the interface of the primary ad server to sell remnant traffic and connect additional monetization sources. What SSP does is add the publisher’s ad space to the list of inventory it offers to advertisers.

When a user visits the publisher’s website, the ad tag passes the ad request to the SSP, informing it about the user and his characteristics, to match it with an appropriate ad from the advertiser. The ad spaces are then auctioned off programmatically to interested parties.

Income Generation Through Ad Networks

For blog publishers that desire a more hands-on approach, and sell advertisements to a narrow audience segment they can go through the ad network route. Ad networks act as brokers that help facilitate communication between advertisers and content creators.

These platforms come with data management and creatives management capabilities that allow them to better serve the market. Most ad networks concentrate on a specific inventory often choosing specialized content topics or cater to certain demographics. Since ad exchanges and SSPs already cover the basics of the media trading market, ad networks concentrate on the premium inventory.

Cost Per Click (CPC) and Cost Per Thousand Impressions (CPM) are the main types of ad pricing models that you can generate from ad placements on your blog. Under the CPC pricing model, publishers (bloggers) are paid based on the number of ad clicks regardless of the number of impressions it took to receive those clicks. The number of clicks was initially seen as an indicator of ad effectiveness since the inception of web advertising.

CPM on the other hand allows bloggers to be paid according to how many times the ad was shown on the site or blog. CPM is commonly used by advertisers who wish to raise product or brand awareness among consumers, but not necessarily to encourage them to purchase their product. Advertisers looking to drive traffic to their websites will very often opt for Cost Per Click and can also be used as a metric that advertisers incorporate to manage campaign budgets and performance.

Google Adsense

Google AdSense is an advertising program the fastest and easiest way for a beginner to start earning a passive income with a blog, website, or YouTube videos. AdSense lets you to display Google Ads on your website and when a visitor clicks on those ads you get a percentage of the ad costs. You can sign up for Google AdSense for free and once you get approved, you can arrange for ads to appear on your site.

You have the option to choose which types of ads run and where on the page they will appear. With it, advertisers can compete for space on your website based on your material, as well as how likely they can get clicks on their ads from visitors. Payment is made based on Cost Per Click (CPC) where payments are paid in a monthly cycle between the 21st and the 26th of the month.


Through machine learning, Ezoic learns how to show ads in locations that make you money but don’t detract from the user’s experience. It also measures bounce rates, session duration and page views per visit, on a per-user, per-landing-page basis.

Websites can use Ezoic to increase revenue, improve user experience, and automate optimizations. Through machine learning, Ezoic helps to adapt ads, layouts, and frameworks to maximize the revenue of each blog visit according to exact testing specifications and preferences.

It comes with a drag-and-drop ad testing locations using Ezoic’s Chrome extension; automatically trigger multivariate testing to run thousands of experiments; choose goals (maximize revenue, balance user experience); and be able to test thousands of ad networks automatically, link existing relationships, and let Ezoic control bid competition for each visitor.

For you to be eligible for monetization publishers or bloggers will need to have an average of 10,000 sessions per month, adhere to Google’s Ad policy, and publish original material.


Mediavine helps you place ads onto your blog, which can be a great way for you to earn passive income. In addition to display ad optimization for your blog, it offers video monetization and sponsored influencer marketing,

Mediavine lets you know what you’re earning on a daily basis through the fully interactive Mediavine Dashboard. Payment is made based on your total number of ad impressions, not your traffic, to encourage you to optimize every page and keep your readers engaged.

For you to start using Mediavine your blog or site should have 50,000 sessions in the previous 30 days (determined by Google Analytics); a good standing with Google AdSense; have original content in any niche, and your content should be in long-form.

Making Money with a Blog by Selling Ad Space

One way you can start generating revenue through blogging is by selling ad space on your blog. Factors that can help your blog attract advertisers include the amount of traffic, the blog’s design, and constant churning out of original material. On the latter point, many blogs will need at least 100,000 page views per month in order to be able to consistently find advertisers.

By following the model of directly engaging with advertisers does not require an intermediary such as an ad network. This helps you to establish direct relationships with the brand, and not to share the commission with anybody.

Direct sales allow publishers to strike long-term partnerships and reserve blocks of ads for specific advertisers.  The only downside to this is that selling ads directly requires finding advertisers by yourself and individually negotiating terms with each of them, which could be burdensome.

It is important that you create a unique niche in terms of content for you to distinguish your blog from the competition. Search engine traffic is also critical if you want to maximize your income with ad sales. If you want to rank in Google, you’ll need to publish content which people are searching for.

In most cases people are looking for answers and insights. You will need to understand which search queries (or keywords) people are searching in your niche. You can do this by using keyword research tools and grouping keywords together. Then you can craft content targeting those keywords to gain good reach among search engines. You will also need to promote your material through social media and backlinks which can significantly increase your content.

Learning to Make Money Off a Blog Through Sponsored Posts

There are many ways to make money online off your blog and producing sponsored posts is one of those. Sponsored blog posts can be articles published by other people on your blog or those written by you. You also have the option to suggest edits or even write a blog post yourself and ask for more money. Most often these articles come by way of reviews and then get published on your blog.

The method is simple. In exchange for featuring a company’s product or service and spreading the word, you will be paid by the company and often also given the opportunity to test the products and services for free. This also opens you to other revenue streams such as being a brand ambassador or influencer. However, it is important that the post fits your niche and that the topics revolve around your blog’s main subject.

To succeed in fostering lucrative partnerships with companies you will need to build an audience of engaged followers as well as guarantee consistent website traffic. Companies will also look for engaging comments from both you and your audience for them to really leverage their brand.

Once you have established a strong following as well as sufficient following you will need to produce your media kit. A media kit will normally contain everything a brand representative or sponsor would need to know about your site to solicit your services. This will include your blog’s general overview of topics, statistics, and previous collaborations as well as a sales pitch to the brand.

Remember that advertisers want value in return. They want to see positive sales and profits and that comes through targeted exposure through your blog. Make sure that you cover all the bases in your review as well make it attractive enough for readers to follow through on the Call to Actions.

Offering Freelance Services to Earn Money

There are many different services that you could offer as freelance services through your blog. Instead of looking at your blog as a personal diary, you can use it to boost your freelance career. Most importantly to generate clients you will need to select a niche of sellable content topics that you are both interested in as well as have expertise in.

You can kick off by making a list of topics that would be interesting to your prospective clients. You can start with topics on the types of challenges they might be facing in their businesses and offer tips and guides to solve those challenges. There is no better way of selling your skills by publishing high-quality content to not only generate traffic but capture a strong following.

Creating a Podcast

An estimated 90 million Americans listen to podcasts, which is another strong market to try your hand at. Podcasts are taking the world by storm as everyone from influencers to journalists, celebrities, and your friends are podcasting. The lure of podcasting comes with its ability to combine the instant information exchange of blogging with audio files that can be played on a computer or mobile device.

The ease of producing a podcast allows people to expose their craft to anyone with an Internet connection. There are many reasons for starting a podcast, including growing your business, connecting with people in your niche, entertaining, and creating a relationship with your audience. If you are podcasting, your audience can now follow you either through streaming or simply downloading them on the go and listen to them later.

Creating a Digital Community Around Your Content

With so many bloggers and blog posts cropping up every day standing out from the competition is going to be a challenge. One way to overcome the challenge is by cultivating a community of followers around your blog. Besides providing social proof for your blog other benefits of having a community of bloggers or readers around your blog include: having a large following encourages social shares which translate to more traffic to your site; comments by fans help to position the blog as an authority, and it increases the chance of them linking back to your posts adding to its SEO value.

To build a strong digital community you will need to build your content around a single idea. Focusing on a specific topic is generally more successful as you can create consistency as well stronger connections with followers with interests in that particular topic.

Besides having great content you can also spruce up your website with themes, graphics as well as social media integration. Other suggestions include looking towards building an email list, set up push notifications, create a mini online course, or host regular giveaways for better impact.

Making Money Through Public Speaking Gigs

If you are looking to try out as a paid speaker why not look to blogging to boost your reach. Even though public speaking is among some of the scariest professions, it does come with some great perks. One obvious perk is that you can have an impact on your followers by sharing your knowledge.

You also increase your credibility as you embark on more and more speaking engagement by pinpointing your targeted audiences. This can include coaching clients and consulting gigs. With this additional revenue stream, you also expand your network by connecting with people in your industry.

Selling Images on Your Blog

By selling stock photography you can generate some passive income from your blog. If you are a good photographer there is a great market for you from large corporations, businesses, bloggers, graphic designers, marketers, and publishers who are looking to buy and use photos. The subjects of your photography can be diverse and by selling them directly from your website you cut out the middlemen and earn a decent income.

To start making money from selling your photos online you will need to get good photography equipment preferably a DSLR camera as well as photo editing software. Once set you can start selling stock pictures, stock libraries, photo prints, or print-on-demand products.

How to Make Money Writing a Blog: Things to Consider

The first step to making money from your blog is to understand the basics of becoming a successful blogger. If you’re a beginner, learn how to build an audience with these important blogging basics before you address the how-to-make-money blogging part.

Choosing a Profitable Niche

To be a successful blogger you will need to have a consistent style or theme that runs through your posts. As a blogger, you need to understand that people will follow other people online to see more of what interested them in the first place. People might also unfollow you when their expectations aren’t met. You can also evaluate the demand for certain topics using keyword research to analyze the search volume for terms related to your posts.

Using Content Marketing

Whether you blog using only text or incorporate photography, videos, or podcasts in your work you will need to build and leverage your network to expand your reach and credibility. Social media platforms such as Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Facebook come with built-in audiences.

That can help you reach a wide audience to build a following. Linking your various accounts can make it much easier to reach large segments of audiences across several platforms, which is good for the visibility of your posts.

Writing Good Blog Content

People that visit your blog should not leave it without reading it all the way through and also should come back. For your blogging efforts to achieve success, you will need to produce good blog content and this entails first knowing your audience. Your content should be something that your target audiences are looking for and should capture their attention from the onset. And for this you will need to craft a compelling headline. Some of the popular blogging posts include How-Tos, guides, reviews, recipes, interviews, personal experiences, and activism.

Building a Great Email List

Your blog’s email list is a powerful tool for communicating with your readers. Not only can you engage with your readers at a personal level but also help you offer updates about your blog, offer freebies and other audience engagement strategies. With it, you can yield dramatic results in terms of garnering a captivated audience. You should also be able to provide your audience with a sign-up form and confirm their email address, which in turn, provides permission for you to contact them.

With the emails, you can manage your database list of subscribers and provide updates on specific posts. It can also help you handle the process of sending out marketing emails and giveaways. At a practical level, it provides reports and statistics so you can know who your subscribers are to improve your engagement.

Creating Great User Experience

As a blogger, you can compete for your readers’ loyalty by offering them to be part of the blog as well. This entails allowing them to comment, share and if possible collaborate in the production of the content. This will help your followers feel that they are part of the process and are valued contributors to the blog.

Attracting Website Visitors

The success of any blog is in its ability to attract and retain a high number of followers. As such you should be constantly engaged towards continuously improving your reach. To do this you can employ a number of strategies to bolster your audience base.

One obvious way is to churn out consistent compelling posts because people first come to your post seeking content. Another way is to offer a lead magnet or opt-in giveaway in exchange for subscribing to your blog. Through a lead magnet, you can attract people by providing enticing offers these could be in the form of courses, PDF guides, eBooks, cheat sheets, and more. You can also boost your content with graphics, audio, video and photos.

Building Domain Authority Through SEO and Link Building

Next to producing high-quality content, your reach is equally important. Search engine traffic is critical if you want to maximize your audience and income with ad sales. You can optimize your content around keywords. For example, you can use Google’s AdWords Keyword Tool to find out what keywords are prominent in your niche.

You can optimize your content based on Keyword focus or Keyword Placement in two primary ways. With keyword focus, you select two or three dozen of the highest-priced keywords in your industry or niche and write content about these topics. While with keyword placement you put high-ranked keywords in your title tags, subheadings, hypertext linked words and phrases, and more. In addition, you will have to work to focus on the most profitable topics, and then make sure your content is indexed correctly by the search engines for these keywords.

Starting a WordPress Blog: A Brief Overview

WordPress is a popular open-source blogging platform that has becomes an invaluable asset to bloggers and businesses of all sizes. This free platform offers a do-it-yourself opportunity to spruce up the look and feel of your blog without the need to know any coding or hire developers. You also get a domain name and free hosting for your blog with limited features.

WordPress offers standard drag and drop page builders that allow you to easily design elements, add-ons, functionalities that include responsive controls, export/import, and real-time front-end editing system- offering all the bells and whistles to power a full-fledged website. Users also have the option to choose from a collection of pre-built elements which you can add to any of your pages.   Simply put, you have the ability to re-arrange and style elements to your home page that suits your particular needs.

How do I start a blog with little or no money?

  • Choose a free Blogging Platform: If you do not have the budget to purchase the services for a blogging platform no problem! Just head to WordPress and start a blog for free. With it, you can create an account, choose your theme, choose a domain and customize your blog post.
  • Research, Find your Passion and Niche: Before starting a blog you need to find your passion and niche that will provide the framework for your content. It should be highly sought after, as well as commercially viable.
  • Build your Tribe: Your tribe or followers are the engine that drives your blogging enterprise as they not only provide inspiration for your content but also are a source of your revenues as well.
  • Make your blog stand out: Your branding, blog theme, graphics, color palette should be distinct and attractive enough for readers to recognize your blog and frequent it. You can also use metrics and analytics to continue to tweak your blog for better impact.

What are the best blog platforms for the beginner?


Wix offers design customization for your blogging needs. It comes with an easy to use drag-and-drop site builder that comes with a side menu for adding images and other elements for your blog. Considered the best alternative compared to WordPress it comes with design templates to customize your blog. It comes with analytics and metrics, custom domains, an online store in addition to SEO and more.


Weebly offers the tools you need to build a decent blog. It comes with customizable templates which are simple, stylish, and mobile responsive. This includes a drag-and-drop site builder for creating a blog, image galleries, and E-commerce. It offers a helpful SEO guide on coding, keyword optimization, and tips on boosting your site’s ranking.


You can get on board with Google’s Blogger using your Google ID. It offers easy-to-use templates, flexible layouts, and hundreds, background images and designs your blog layout from scratch. You also get a free domain name, built-in analytics and get paid with Google AdSense ads on your blog.


Joomla’s blogging platform offers a variety of customization features, and built-in Access Level Control (ACL). This open-source platform lets you configure many of your blog’s settings on the backend, modify articles, banners, menus, media, redirects, and SEO settings. Joomla is also a more beginner-friendly option than WordPress, making it the easiest and fastest way to create a site.

How much money can a blogger make?

According to Glassdoor the average base salary for bloggers is around $50,994 a year. Starter income can come as low as $24,000 a year where the highest fee is an annual income of $108,000.

How do bloggers get paid?

There are several options on how to make money blogging. Here are some of them:

  • Advertising: Through revenues generated with the placement of ads. Payment can come from ads through the use of an ad network or managed by yourself.
  • Affiliate marketing: Through affiliate marketing, a blogger establishes a connection with a company and then promotes that company’s products and or service. A unique URL generated to the company’s website traffic from the blog is tracked.
  • Selling merchandise: Bloggers can also generate that extra dollar by selling physical products such as T-shirts, mugs, or products that are tied to their niche content. You can also sell eBooks, templates, pictures, videos and other digital products as well
  • Sponsored Posts: This is where a company pays a blogger to create content about a brand or product. Sponsored content will normally be similar to the content the blogger usually produces with the same tone and feel but with a disclosure that the content is sponsored.
  • Teach online courses: Bloggers can further capitalize on their expertise by offering online courses to people willing to pay for these services.
  • Provide Consulting Services: There is a huge demand for consultancy with people needing insights and help. Bloggers using their niche and expertise can get hired to provide consultations and help their audience. By already establishing themselves as authorities in their field they can offer personalized advice for a fee.

Image: Depositphotos

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Read Next Job, Best Job If You’re Ready for Change




It’s the “What Color is Your Parachute” of the new world of work. A great book for someone who wants more than just an average day job.


If you buy something through our links, we may earn money from our affiliate partners. Learn more.

“Can you help me figure out what I actually do?”

Yes. That was an actual question from one of my oldest friends who started her career as a highly paid biomedical engineer, then decided to pursue her dream of being a professional singer.

In order to supplement her income and work during her downtime, she took a retail job. And, of course, proceeded to lose the retail job during the pandemic.

As of this minute, she’s what I’d call a virtual marketing assistant to a small business owner. She’s been exploring the world of freelance work where she’s put her engineering organizational skills to use in project management and her artistic and design skills to use doing small marketing projects.

Her next step is transforming her skills and talents into either a freelance career or a new job.

I think I’m going to send her my review copy of Next Job, Best Job: A Headhunter’s 11 Strategies to Get Hired Now by Rob Barnett.

If You’re a Freelancer or Solopreneur — this Book is For You Too!

Don’t stop reading because you’re not in the market for a full-time job! The principles Rob Barnett covers in Next Job definitely apply to you!

Rob Barnett reimagines today’s career search and offers a proven process to land the right job (or client) fast.

This book is written for job hunters. But a lot of his advice applies to freelancers, consultants, and solopreneurs as well. In fact, the one complaint I have about this book is that it’s targeted at folks looking for employment but everything he recommends will be just as useful for solopreneurs and startups who are looking for that first long-term customer.

Let’s face it, there’s really no difference between marketing your skills and marketing a product or service. I think that Next Job, Best Job is a terrific gap filler for new solopreneurs and freelancers who are looking for that first client.

In just 11 short chapters, job and client hunters will take a journey through a process that incorporates just as many mindset strategies as job-hunting strategies.

Rob Barnett Turns the Dreaded Job Search Upside Down

Rob Barnett is a two-time entrepreneur with five decades of experience working for successful media companies. He has advised thousands of job seekers and heads of companies. With that kind of experience, he has a unique approach to helping anyone find the right job (or client).

But what makes him the ideal person to write this book is his personal journey through the modern job-hunting process. He even coined a hashtag for it #iBJA (in between jobs again).

Here’s what happened. Tell me you don’t see parallels to some really solid marketing strategy here.

After being out of work for more than six months and anger, frustration, and fear taking permanent residence in his psyche, Barnett picked up his iPhone and clicked the record button.

He opened up about his career and his concern about supporting his family. He spoke with unbridled vulnerability with the goal of reaching everyone who was in the same boat. His philosophy was to create a tribe and work together.

Needless to say, the video went viral. Since then, he’s created a new short video focused on getting people back to work.

And this led to a career transforming call when someone asked him if he was a headhunter. Without thinking he said “Yes” and has never looked back. Just a few minutes after the call he realized that he had never considered being a headhunter. But that this was the perfect job that would leverage his extensive executive experience.

Is Your A-HA Moment Just Around the Corner?

Next Job, Best Job starts your A-Ha journey via 11 self-care strategies that are designed to take you from where you are now, to where you’re excited to be.

At the end of the day, you’ll come away with valuable and actionable tips that you can take to the bank. Here are just a few:

Rebrand yourself with a unique and easy-to-remember-and-refer headline. Burnett calls it your North Star. I call it a personal brand or what you want to be known for.

Embrace an “Entrepreneur-tude”. See, I told you this was ideal for the freelancer and solopreneur! You’ve already got this one down. It simply means being fluid and flexible and embracing and taking advantage of change.

Market yourself. Whether you’re looking for a job or a client, you’re going to need to market yourself. Regardless, you’ll need a powerful LinkedIn profile. Burnett provides tons of helpful tips on exactly how to write it up.

Build your tribe. Like all good marketers, you’ll want to build a networking community where you offer support and get support. One rule — no pity parties allowed.

What I Loved About Next Job, Best Job

I’m generally not a fan of employment books. But Next Job, Best Job is different. I’m an entrepreneur and when I read this, it really resonated with me.

For one thing, Rob Barnett’s point is that you should be “working on your next job while you’re still working at the old one.” That means that as a freelancer or self-employed person you need to constantly be networking. After all, every client is your next job.

Another great thing about this book is that it is very practical. Barnett tells you specifically what to do and when with checklists of questions for every step in the process.

Why I Think Every Entrepreneur Should Have a Copy of Next Job, Best Job

I think every entrepreneur, freelancer, or solopreneur should have a copy of Next Job, Best Job because it doesn’t treat marketing yourself like some corporate activity. It incorporates all the practical elements of personal branding and marketing to a customer of one.

So, whether you’re looking for your next full-time gig or your next big client, Bob Burnett will guide you through the process, transform how you see yourself and your business and lead you to your Next Job, Best Job.

Image: amazon

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