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      Your Guide to Lead Magnet Creation (53 Easy Ideas)


      Take it from me: Acquiring qualified leads for your business is anything but easy. A common strategy for attracting new customers is to develop a strong content marketing strategy, but that is often not enough. Just because people enjoy reading your content doesn’t necessarily mean they’re ready to hand over their hard-earned cash.

      (If it did, the content team at DreamHost would be cruising in Lamborghinis by now. Spoiler alert: We’re not.)

      So, while creating great content is critical to the success of your website, you’ve got to take it a step further and make cultivating leads an ongoing process — one that continues even after a visitor has left your site.

      By creating effective lead magnets, you can offer something valuable enough to your audience that they’ll be happy to give you their email address in exchange. Then using the best email marketing practices, you can nurture those leads until they turn into paying customers.

      (Googles the price of a Lamborghini Aventador. Chokes.)

      OK, ready to get started?

      In this article, we’ll discuss what makes a good lead magnet, why your business should invest in developing a sales funnel, and how to create your very own irresistible lead magnet to power your marketing machine. Let’s go!

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      Understanding Lead Magnets (And Why Your Business Needs Them)

      “Lead magnets” are incentives offered by marketers. They’re provided in return for an email address (or other contact information) from a potential customer.

      Email marketing has a return of $42 for every $1 spent. That’s a huge return on investment (ROI), and it makes a compelling case for including email marketing as a core part of your overall strategy. This is why lead magnets are so essential — they help you build up your email list more quickly.

      Lead magnets also give you a way to sell to your site’s visitors over the long term. On average, a visitor will spend less than a minute on your website. This is rarely enough time to convince them of their need for your services, but lead magnets provide you with additional time.

      The Qualities of an Effective Lead Magnet

      Of course, it’s not enough to simply create a lead magnet. To get the best return, you’ll need to design one for maximum effectiveness. A great lead magnet is:

      • Free. You have yet to convince your prospective customer of your value to them, so they’ll probably be unwilling to part with their money just yet.
      • Solution-focused. You need to demonstrate how you can solve a very specific problem for your audience.
      • High quality. You’re providing a free sample of what you have to offer, so it has to show your products or services off in the best possible light. Your value proposition needs to be clear.
      • Easy to consume. An effective lead magnet is concise and provides value quickly (a PDF checklist is a popular example). Don’t make it too complicated.
      • Instantly accessible. Your lead magnet should take no more than a click to download — you don’t want your audience to lose interest and move on.

      The next step is to create a lead magnet that incorporates all of these criteria. Let’s take a quick look at what that involves.

      How to Create a Lead Magnet

      Creating a lead magnet can be an involved process. You’ll first need to understand what your audience is interested in. One way to do this is by reviewing your existing content to see what pieces have performed best or had the highest engagement rates.

      You can do the same for your competitors’ content by using a tool such as BuzzSumo. All you need to do is enter a URL and sort the results by the total engagement metric. This will help you better understand what your target audience cares about.

      The BuzzSumo content research tool.

      Keep in mind that you’ll likely need to create separate lead magnets for each buyer persona or segment of your audience. Each one should be tailored to meet your audience’s specific interests and provide something they genuinely need. In other words, don’t forget to focus on quality.

      53 Awesome Lead Magnet Ideas

      At this point, let’s take a look at some ideas for creating lead magnets. Almost any type of content can do the trick — here are 53 examples.

      1. Checklists

      An email campaign checklist.

      Checklists are easily consumed and very actionable. They’re also easy to create. You can extract the main points from a few existing posts, and create a checklist from them. Then you can offer the result as a content upgrade.

      2. Cheat Sheets

      Cheat sheets typically condense important information into a few pages that can be referenced often. SmartBlogger’s “52 Headline Hacks” is a popular example of this technique in action.

      3. Templates

      Templates provide a starting point or outline with some base content for users to customize. A good example is Rosanna’s free marketing plan template for creative freelancers, which is gated behind a sign-up form.

      4. Swipe Files

      A swipe file is a collection of tried-and-tested ideas, as well as stellar examples of content that you can store for future reference.

      A search for swipe files on Pinterest.

      Here’s a handy article on how to create swipe files using tools such as Pinterest and Pocket.

      5. Examples

      Examples are an effective type of lead magnets. Job seekers search for resume and cover letter templates, while business owners look for sample proposals. Examples can also be offered as content upgrades for relevant posts.

      6. Scripts

      Scripts are valuable if you have an audience that needs help creating speeches, podcasts, and even films. For example, if public speaking is a skill you excel at, you can create a business presentation and offer it as a lead magnet.

      7. Toolkits

      Matt Herron’s toolkit for creative writers is a lead magnet example.

      People generally want to know what tools experts and influencers use. Your toolkits can function as lead magnets and generate income through affiliate marketing if you’re recommending third parties.

      8. Resource lists

      Who doesn’t love resource lists? A digital marketer could create a list of books, tools, websites, and more that help them stay productive. These can be offered as content upgrades as well.

      9. Calendars

      An example of a fitness calendar.

      When creating a calendar-based lead magnet, it needs to be relevant to your audience. For example, if you’re in the agricultural industry, you could offer calendars for rearing and planting seasons. If you’re in the fitness industry, you might design a workout calendar.

      10. Plans/Planners

      Planners are typically created for very specific use cases. That includes meal planners for diabetics or vegetarians, workout planners for pregnant women, and so on.

      11. Worksheets/Workbooks

      Workbooks are often effective for business planning or creating custom personas. They typically help your audience with something practical and specific.

      12. Printables

      Printable language workbooks on Pinterest.

      A “printable” is a general term for any resource that can be printed. This might include checklists, cheat sheets, workbooks, and more.

      13. Prompts and Inspiration Files

      Prompts and inspiration files help users generate ideas. For example, if your ideal customer is a web designer, you can offer design inspiration visuals. If your ideal client is a writer, you can provide creative prompts.

      14. Calculators

      Calculators are also useful as lead magnets. For instance, WebStrategies has a Digital Marketing Budget Calculator, which can only be accessed through an opt-in form.

      15. Generators

      From “lorem ipsum” to topic idea generators, these tools are often essential for productivity. You can create a generator that’s relevant to your business and offer it as a lead magnet.

      Influencer MarketingHub’s Instagram hashtag generator.

      For example, Influencer MarketingHub has free generators for business names, Instagram hashtags, and more.

      16. Web Apps

      Web apps are useful if you have the technical chops required or can afford to hire a developer to build one. You could even offer your calculator or generator as a web app that users must log in to.

      17. Spreadsheets

      Even in this age of mobile apps, spreadsheets are still a killer lead magnet, useful for both personal and business use. If you’ve created a useful spreadsheet for yourself, such as a time or expenses tracker, you can offer it as a lead magnet.

      18. Recipes

      Although there are tons of free recipes online, this type of content can still work well as a lead magnet if you offer curated content from across the web. For instance, you could let your audience choose what types of recipes they’re interested in via checkboxes.

      19. Gated Content

      Publishing platforms, such as Medium, gate the majority of their content behind a monthly subscription. To adopt this strategy, you might ask for an email address in exchange for access to the latter half of a blog post.

      20. Tutorials and Guides

      Tutorials are useful for teaching specific tasks and tools. They can be in audio, text, or video series format. Similarly, you can offer definitive guides as educational lead magnets. They’re often used because they’re highly effective, especially for educating potential customers about a particular concept, product, or service.

      21. E-books

      Alt-text: Derek Halpern’s “Get 5000 Subscribers” e-book.

      E-books don’t fully satisfy our criteria for effective lead magnets. They are lengthier than a PDF checklist or an infographic. Regardless, audiences who prefer more detail than shorter lead magnets can provide will appreciate them.

      22. Reports

      Reports require you to do research and aggregate data. However, you can also create them from existing research. If you market primarily to B2B businesses in an industry heavily reliant on stats and data, this can be one of your best-converting lead magnets.

      23. Infographics

      Infographics can be used to present dense topics in a visually-appealing format. You’ll want to include facts and relevant statistics. To get started, you can condense some existing blog posts into infographics. These can also be shared on social media to promote the original articles.

      24. Educational Videos

      Videos are an effective marketing tool, as you can give your audience a close-up look at your products. They’re doubly effective if they can be made both informative and entertaining, and these days it’s not hard to quickly put together professional-looking videos.

      25. Educational Audio

      You can also offer educational audio content, for those who don’t have time to watch videos or read articles. You won’t necessarily need to create these from scratch since you can develop audio versions of existing videos or blog posts.

      26. Webinars

      Hubspot’s webinar page.

      Offers with time limits generally work well, as they play to your audience’s Fear of Missing Out (FOMO). Webinars are a great example of this in action, as they can only be watched live at a specific time.

      27. Event Tickets

      You can offer free tickets for live events in exchange for your potential lead’s email address. To promote your opt-in forms, you can even use social media and business ads.

      28. Email Courses

      Buffer’s email course opt-in form.

      Email courses do not need to be downloaded and can be consumed instantly. Typically, you’ll send automated emails based around a specific topic. Teachable is just one of many tools that can help you create email courses.

      29. Free Book + Shipping Offers

      You can give out physical books as lead magnets and have your receivers cover the shipping costs, too. This is a good way to determine who your potential customers are, since anyone willing to pay to ship a product they consider valuable should be more willing to purchase your paid content.

      30. Sample Chapters

      You may not want to give out your ebooks entirely for free. In that case, you could simply offer sample chapters in exchange for email addresses and require payment for the rest.

      31. Sample Audio/Video Clips

      If you have high-quality videos, you can offer sample clips from them. Audio clips are also viable as lead magnets, even if your product is a video. All you need to do is convert your video into audio, using an online tool such as Zamzar.

      32. Free Coaching Sessions

      If it fits your business model, you can offer free coaching sessions to your audience in exchange for their information. This works out well since your audience will already be expecting a pitch at the end of the session.

      33. PDF Versions

      Another easy technique is to turn existing blog posts into PDFs and offer them as content upgrades. You can create the PDFs yourself using Microsoft Word, Google Docs, or a tool such as PrintFriendly or Beacon.

      34. Transcripts

      Video transcripts may be more accessible for non-visual learners. They’re also useful for those in your audience who have unstable internet connections or simply prefer to learn at their own pace.

      35. Summaries/Cliff Notes Versions

      If you have an ebook or another long piece of content, you can create a summary and offer it as a lead magnet. This isn’t restricted to just your own content. You can also create abridged versions of content written by experts and influencers in your field (just be careful not to plagiarize).

      36. State of the Industry Addresses

      For a unique twist, you can create reports and stats about current trends in your industry and then create a lead magnet out of them. This provides highly-valuable and up-to-date information. Keep in mind, however, that this content will need to be updated regularly to stay relevant.

      37. Predictions

      If your goal is to become an industry leader, one option is to offer insightful predictions about your industry. You can collect these predictions, include associated advice, and bundle it all together into a lead magnet offer.

      38. Mind Maps

      Mind maps make complex concepts easier to digest. They look a lot like visual outlines. While MindMeister is a tool specifically for making mind maps, Canva can also be used for this purpose.

      39. Audiobooks

      Ebooks take a long time to consume and don’t always perform well as lead magnets. However, you can turn your ebook into a more easily-consumable audiobook and use it to drive traffic to your site.

      40. Presentations

      Slideshare offers a lead generation tool for converting audience members into subscribers.

      An example of a presentation.

      This solution enables you to use custom presentations as lead magnets.

      41. Roundups

      A roundup is a list of tips, techniques, or recommended tools typically presented as an article or blog post. You can start by interviewing experts, asking for insights and advice. Then you can create a post by pulling quotes from the interviews and offer it as a content upgrade.

      42. Newsletters

      Sometimes, your email is the lead magnet. The Hustle is an example of a B2C company whose main service is sending relevant and entertaining emails daily with news from the tech and business industries.

      43. Vaults/Libraries

      If you’ve created a lot of educational content, you can compile it into a dedicated page or archive. Then you can ask for an email address in exchange for a handy all-in-one download.

      44. Quizzes

      A quiz on the Interact website.

      A quiz is a series of questions for your website visitor to answer. To get a result, they’ll need to enter their email address. Quizzes are fun and convert well, plus tools such as Interact make them easy to create.

      45. Surveys

      Surveys can be used to solicit feedback from users who’ve been on your website a few times. Although they are more generally used for market research, they can also be implemented effectively as lead magnets, since many people will be happy to give feedback.

      46. Giveaways

      Giveaways help you get the attention of audiences who might have otherwise never looked your way. Using services like ViralSweep and Gleam, you can run giveaways easily. This generally involves offering some of your products for free in exchange for email addresses.

      47. Desktop Wallpapers

      Wallpapers can be inspiring, fun, or soothing. If you’ve made something really unique, you can offer it as an attractive lead magnet.

      48. Membership Sites

      B2B Marketing’s free membership offer.

      There’s a reason exclusive memberships are so popular. They let you offer your audience the opportunity to join a community where they can access opportunities not accessible elsewhere.

      49. Facebook Groups

      Facebook groups can be used as lead magnets, just like with membership sites. They give you a great platform for building a community around your business.

      50. Slack Groups

      Slack has become popular in the last few years as a way for teams to communicate more effectively. It can also be useful for building communities around your brand and might work better than Facebook for certain industries.

      51. Free Trials

      Generally, before you pay for a tool, you’ll want to test it out to verify whether the cost will be worthwhile. Software companies typically offer a demo or trial copy for this purpose.

      52. Coupons

      Limited-time deals can be very attractive since no one wants to spend more money than they have to.

      A limited-time deal on the Adidas website.

      If you’re offering a product, coupon deals will make it much easier to persuade consumers to buy from you.

      53. Case Studies

      Case studies are real-life examples of customer experiences with your products and services. They are especially useful when you’re targeting other businesses. You’ll need to ask your customers for testimonials first if you want to create case studies.

      Marketing Tips in Your Inbox

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      The Perfect Lead Magnet

      Although email marketing offers a high ROI, it’s impossible to use it effectively without a strong base of subscribers. Lead magnets offer proven ways to increase your email list, ultimately leading to higher sales and greater profitability.

      As you’ve read in this article, there’s no end to the types of lead magnets you can create. There are checklists, cheat sheets, swipe files, calendars, reports, infographics, PDF versions, etc.

      All you have to do is select the option that best fits your business and audience and get to work!

      Ready to bring your lead magnet idea to life? Keep costs low with one of our shared hosting plans. With many robust features included — think free domain, SSL certificate, professional email address, and privacy protection — our shared hosting gives you everything you need to succeed online for as little as $2.59/mo.



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      13 Lucrative Side Hustle Ideas for 2020


      As you think about your resolutions for the new year, you’ve probably got some financial goals on the list, whether it’s paying off a student loan, making more money, or balancing work and life a little bit better. Figuring out how to achieve those goals with your day-job pay is where it gets challenging.

      Enter the side hustle: a job or business that you run after your regular nine-to-five to bring in some extra cash.

      The good news: It’s not a bad time to pick up an extra gig. Employers are becoming increasingly open to bringing on freelancers and contract workers. These arrangements create a different kind of partnership than the traditional employment approach, one that offers increased flexibility along with the chance to grow your savings account!

      In this article, we’ll look at the current state of the gig economy. We’ll then explore 13 lucrative side hustle ideas you can try out in 2020 to earn extra income. Let’s get started!

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      What You Need to Know About Current Trends in the Gig Economy

      In our connected digital world, there are a lot of opportunities for side hustles. Forbes has indicated that the gig economy, where workers take on multiple freelance or short-term work engagements in their spare time, is expanding three times more rapidly than the American workforce as a whole. In terms of dollars, that means freelancers contributed $1.28 trillion to the economy in 2018.

      That means it’s a perfect time to strike out on your own with a side hustle. Not only can it be rewarding, but consumers and employers alike are also much more receptive to the concept than ever before. Plus, there are plenty of routes you can take.

      13 Lucrative Side Hustle Ideas for 2020

      There’s no shortage of options for creating your own side hustle. When you take into consideration all the on- and offline options you have available, there’s really no time like the present to launch into a new gig. Let’s explore 13 of the most accessible and rewarding opportunities.

      1. Sell Graphic Design Services

      If your friends are always asking you to create signs, posters, logos, and more, this might be an excellent side hustle to pursue. You don’t have to master all aspects of design, either. You can focus solely on logos, website themes, or whatever else you like. Graphic design is a diverse field with many lucrative niches.

      To get started, you’ll want to set up a portfolio on your own website or use a social media site like Instagram to display samples of your work. Another approach is to use a platform such as Creative Market.

      The Creative Market website.

      When you set up an account with Creative Market, you can display your graphic design work to millions of potential clients. It operates as your personal digital storefront. Some of the benefits of using this option, in particular, are that you can set your own prices and you are not locked into selling on Creative Market exclusively.

      2. Become a Virtual Assistant

      This is one of the most diverse and versatile options for a side hustle. As a Virtual Assistant (VA), you can completely tailor your service offerings to match your skills or passions. From appointment scheduling to inbox assistance, there is a wide array of items that busy professionals need help with.

      If you’re a stay-at-home parent or even a college student looking to bring in a little extra cash, this is a great option. In many cases, this work will involve skills you already have or simple rote tasks. If you’re concerned about striking out on your own, there are websites like PeoplePerHour that you can use to get started.

      The PeoplePerHour website.

      PeoplePerHour and similar websites work to pair freelancers with projects. Just be aware that you’ll need to have excellent time management and be willing to hustle for each client if you want to make it in the VA world.

      3. Create a Proofreading Service

      Not everyone is a wordsmith, which means that if you are, there’s plenty of work out there for you to incorporate into a new side hustle. If you’re a fastidious grammarian and enjoy helping others improve their written content, starting up a proofreading service can be very lucrative.

      This is another choice that’s perfect for college students. You can work out a schedule that meshes well with your classes, and put that sentence diagramming skillset to use. You can even set up a simple freelancer website to describe and highlight your previous work, qualifications, and services, or use a site like Upwork to establish a reputation.

      The Upwork website.

      As a freelancer, you can create a profile on Upwork and search through thousands of posts from people looking for proofreaders. Additionally, if you’re working from home as a proofreader, you can deduct many household items from your taxes. Just remember that you’ll need to keep a diligent record of your work items and hours.

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      4. Open an Amazon Storefront

      The online retail giant Amazon now enables entrepreneurs to create a storefront on its website. If you have a product to offer, you can set up a seller account with Amazon and maximize access to 210 million unique monthly visitors.

      Amazon’s Seller Central website.

      One of the most intriguing things about using Amazon to support your side hustle is that there are so many options. You can sell bulk items, offer handmade products, or use Amazon’s print-on-demand services. This is a platform that enables you to market products like custom t-shirts to a vast audience of potential buyers.

      There are sometimes fees associated with Amazon’s services, so you’ll have to research the options and decide what works best for you. Additionally, you’ll need to plan to handle shipping yourself, unless you go all in and use the Fulfillment by Amazon service.

      5. Offer Errand Services

      This might sound like something you’d do as an enterprising young person in your neighborhood, but in reality, errand-running can be big business. Two common examples are grocery pickups and fast food delivery. This service is often prevalent in cities where not everyone has a car or where there are a lot of senior citizens.

      You can easily make use of several websites that already exist in order to try out an errand-running business. For example, sites like Postmates and DoorDash focus on grocery and food delivery services.

      The DoorDash website.

      You’ll need to check your local regulations to be sure you have the right kind of insurance coverage for this side hustle. Additionally, you may have to work extra vehicle maintenance into your overall budget. However, if you have a reliable vehicle and like to interact with people while running errands, this is definitely an opportunity worth considering.

      6. Drive for a Rideshare Company

      In the same vein as errand-running, driving for rideshare companies can be very lucrative, depending on where you live. If you’re interested in driving but aren’t sure if it’s for you, there are some good driver reviews out there that can tell you how much you’re likely to make on apps like Uber and Lyft.

      The Lyft rideshare website.

      Of course, offering driving services can mean you risk picking up people who have been drinking or are trying to break the law. So while just about anyone can try this side hustle (as long as you’ve got a driver’s license, of course), it’s one to consider carefully.

      You’ll also want to understand the company policies about safety and what to do in specific situations. However, if you generally like meeting new people and driving around town, this is a side hustle where you have total control over the hours you work.

      7. Start a Repair Service

      Simple home repairs and “handyman” jobs are a possible side hustle to consider if you have a good set of your own tools, and you like fixing things. It doesn’t take much to get started.

      Plus, each season brings something new you can market services for. For example, you can offer holiday decoration services for people who can’t string up lights anymore or gutter cleaning in the fall and spring. You can also use different websites like TaskRabbit to find jobs and build up a good name for yourself.

      The TaskRabbit freelance website.

      One downside to this kind of work is the fact that you’ll likely be entering people’s homes. This comes with a certain amount of liability and uncertainty. You’ll want to at least make sure you’re insured for anything that might happen on the job.

      8. Design Websites

      Roughly 100,000 new website domains are added every day to the internet. That’s a lot of new sites — and a lot of potential clients for your new website design side hustle.

      Designing websites enables you to select the clients you want to work with, and only work the hours you choose. Plus, user-friendly Content Management Systems (CMSs) like WordPress make it much easier to start your own design business.

      The WordPress download page.

      Not only is WordPress the most popular and widely-used CMS on the market, it’s also open source. This means there’s a lot of versatility when designing with it.

      All in all, this option is a great one for anyone with some web design knowledge. You can make use of page builders and other tools and ramp up a web design business quickly, without needing extensive programming skills.

      9. Develop and Sell Themes or Plugins

      When it comes to WordPress and side hustles, there are other options besides designing entire websites. As we mentioned previously, WordPress is built on an open-source core. This means that if you have the right programming knowledge, you can easily develop plugins and themes aimed at 35.2% of all websites that are currently online.

      As with many other side hustles, you can create your own website to promote your work, or you can use an existing marketplace or sales platform. The WordPress Theme and Plugin Directories are a great place to submit a free version of your product. This enables you to build a following, and entice people to buy a premium version.

      If you’re just starting out and you want to test your skills, there are a lot of resources out there to help you along the way. Using resources on GitHub, an open-source code repository, is another excellent method for learning the ropes.

      10. Manage Social Media Posts

      If you’re great at networking, up on all the latest social platforms, and can juggle 10 accounts at once, managing social media posts might be just the right side hustle for you. When you’re able to showcase your social media talents to potential clients, you really don’t need any other special qualifications.

      There are a few skills and applications you might want to be able to demonstrate knowledge of, however. This can help set you apart from the competition. For example, mastering applications like Hootsuite can give you a leg up on your rivals.

      The Hootsuite social media management app.

      This is an all-in-one social media management application that puts the tools you’ll need as a new social media manager all in one place. Just remember that you’ll want to be mindful of keeping all the accounts you work with separate, and establishing a clear set of terms and conditions with your clients.

      11. Sell Items on Etsy

      There are plenty of places to sell handmade items online, but Etsy is one of the best-known options.

      The Etsy website.

      When it comes to being successful on Etsy, reliable customer service can go a long way towards building a following. Posting quality photos and employing Search Engine Optimization (SEO) skills can also help. You’ll also want to make sure you have a marketable product, of course.

      Potentially the biggest challenge to making yourself stand out on Etsy is that there will be a lot of competition. You’ll want to do your research on how to make sure your shop attracts attention. With that said, Etsy is an excellent option for crafters and makers of any type.

      12. Start a Cottage Food Business

      Another great way to have some fun and bring in extra income in the new year is with a cottage food business. Cottage food laws vary from state to state, but they typically outline what items can be made and sold in the home without a bakery license. This means you can sell approved items at farmer’s markets, in shops you partner with, or online.

      If you’re everyone’s go-to friend for cakes and confections, you might want to consider setting up a food blog or promoting your cottage food items on a platform such as Instagram.

      The Magnolia Bakery on Instagram.

      With a projected 125.5 million users in the United States alone by 2023, Instagram is an excellent place to market your products.

      The only downside to cottage food endeavors is that they can be limiting. Again, you’ll want to check your state laws for a list of products you can make without a license.

      13. Set Up a Consulting Service

      If many of the above options appeal to you, but you’re more of a “big picture” kind of person, you can always set up a consulting service. This can cover a wide range of professional areas or skills. It’s also an excellent way to make use of abilities you have that you might not be using in your day job.

      You’ll want to clearly establish your experience and expertise in the category you’re offering consulting services for. You can make use of a platform like Linkedin if you want to present a more professional image.

      The LinkedIn website.

      This is also a situation where your portfolio will likely matter a lot. Potential clients will want to know if you have the experience necessary to guide them.

      Keep in mind that to start up a successful consulting gig, you’ll want to put together a clear outline of the agreed-upon work for each client. It’s vital to make sure upfront that all parties are on the same page in terms of what the consult will include.

      How to Set Yourself Up to Launch a Successful Side Hustle

      There’s a reason that getting a supplementary job like the ones listed above is called a side hustle. This approach really does take some energy and ambition if you want to be successful. Plus, it’s not all that uncommon for something that starts out as a gig on the side to eventually become a full-time endeavor.

      Whatever your goals might be, there are several ways to set yourself up for success when launching a side hustle. You’ll want to have:

      • A clear vision of your objective
      • Solid time management
      • A website with a secure and trusted web host
      • A financial advisor
      • The ability to maintain good records

      There are also many helpful resources available online for learning more about the gig economy. There’s really never been a better time to take a chance on something you’ve always wanted to do!

      Earn $$$ for Your Bank Account

      There’s often more to a side hustle than just adding money to your household income. A freelance gig can give you a greater sense of freedom and control. Plus, it never hurts to earn a little extra cash now and then.

      You can set yourself up for a successful new side hustle in 2020 by planning ahead carefully and exploring your options. There are plenty of online businesses you can get involved in, such as web design and proofreading, as well as offline options like repair and ridesharing.

      Whatever your new adventures are in the new year, DreamHost is here to help support them. With our shared hosting plans and support services for even the smallest budgets, you’ll be one step closer to kicking off your new side hustle successfully!



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      How to Warm Up Your Website This Winter: 9 Hot Marketing Ideas


      Hard truth: If you don’t keep trying out new marketing angles for your website and business, you run the risk of losing your audience’s attention. That’s why it’s a smart idea to always be brainstorming fresh ideas. And at no time is this more relevant than at the beginning of the year.

      Every season brings new marketing opportunities along with it. By paying attention to the latest trends, you can find plenty of ways to bring in more traffic to your website. That way, you’ll start the new year with your best foot forward and avoid a winter lull in conversions.

      In this article, we’ll go over nine marketing ideas to help you revitalize your website for the new year. We’ll talk about why each one works and how to go about implementing it. Let’s get right to it!

      1. Hold a Product or Service Giveaway

      The easiest way to get people’s attention is to give them something for free. That holds true both in the physical world and online. The only difference is that giving away digital products or services can be a lot easier and cheaper.

      One very common (but effective) approach is to give away a free e-book in exchange for visitors’ emails.

      A free e-book offer on Salesforce.

      This is an excellent strategy because it doesn’t cost you anything to distribute an e-book as many times as you want. On top of that, you can easily automate the giveaway process using a modern email marketing platform.

      However, it may not always be feasible for you to put together an e-book, depending on what your website’s niche is. For example, if you run an online store, it might make more sense to give away products instead.

      In that scenario, you can lower the expense involved by holding a giveaway for a limited number of users. This lets you drum up enthusiasm, without having to give out a lot of free items.

      An example of a website giveaway.

      Regardless of what type of website you’re running, giveaways are a great way to get more sign-ups or to encourage users to share your pages. Here’s a quick breakdown of the process involved:

      1. Come up with a product (digital or physical) that you can give away.
      2. Determine the logistics of distributing the product.
      3. Put a time limit on the promotion so there’s a sense of urgency to drive conversions.

      In our experience, you can even get amazing results with e-book giveaways. This brings us to the next technique.

      2. Compile Your Content Into an E-book

      As we mentioned before, e-books are a fantastic way to drum up interest and conversions for your website. However, writing a book (even a short one) is never easy. It takes time, patience, knowledge, and at least some talent to create a product people will want to read.

      The good news is that if you run a website with a lot of published content — such as a blog — you might already have a book on your hands. If you’ve written a lot of WordPress tutorials, for example, you could compile them into one e-book divided into chapters, to create an ultimate resource.

      A WordPress e-book guide.

      With this type of e-book ready to go, you can launch new marketing initiatives, such as:

      • Publishing about the new resource on all your social media pages.
      • Holding a giveaway for new email sign-ups, as we covered in the last section.
      • Publishing the book to digital channels, such as Amazon, and including links back to your site.

      In fact, nothing is stopping you from doing all of the above, since we’re talking about a digital product. With that in mind, take a look and see if you can repurpose some of your existing content into an e-book on a particular subject. While you’re at it, you might even add some new content as well, to increase the e-book’s value for your long-time readers.

      3. Target Seasonal Keywords Within Your Content

      As the new year gets started, with it comes the perfect opportunity to publish targeted content. Just to give you an idea, here’s what comes up if you look for “best smartphones” using Google at the beginning of the year.

      A Google search for “best smartphones”.

      As you can see, all the top results are time-based. This is the time of year when people are looking for the best products and content from the past year, and the most exciting newcomers for the upcoming year.

      Therefore, this is the perfect chance to publish a roundup of the best smartphones for 2019 or whatever fits your specific niche. Of course, the rest of the year also comes with plenty of opportunities for this kind of content. Here are some quick examples:

      • The best new backpacks for going back to school
      • Top 10 flip-flops to welcome the summer
      • 8 heated toilet seats to stay warm during the winter

      Feel free to steal one of these ideas, and if you can make it work, kudos to you! In any case, you can apply the same formula to any season of the year, and even to special events in your area.

      4. Ask Visitors to Donate to a Charity (Or Do It Yourself)

      These days, it’s become common for people to donate to charities or individuals online. That’s the entire concept behind sites such as GoFundMe and GlobalGiving. If you want to earn some karma points while also getting more eyes on your website, one great way to do so is by raising money for charity.

      DreamHost partnered with Charity:Water to raise money in 2017.

      Usually, you’ll do this by picking out a specific charity to support — something that’s relevant to your niche and audience. Then you reach out to your site’s visitors, your email list, and so on, asking them to donate money and explaining why it’s worth their time.

      Along with simply being a good thing to do, this kind of initiative has the potential to spread and raise awareness, as people are more likely to share it on social media. That, in turn, can bring new visitors to your website (and improve the effectiveness of the charity drive)

      Just remember that whatever approach you decide to take with your donation drive, make sure to include social sharing icons. That way, visitors will be able to share your post or the donation page with just a couple of clicks.

      5. Offer Special Deals for the New Year

      The holiday season is packed with special offers and discounts. However, there’s no reason you can’t keep the party going in the new year, so to speak. In fact, many people will appreciate special deals more once the holidays are over, and they can focus on getting ready for the new year.

      On top of that, ‘new year deals’ are perfect if you run a store and need to get rid of extra stock from the holiday rush.

      A new year’s offer at a chicken restaurant.

      This same approach can apply to many other types of sites. If you sell services online, for example, you might see a lull in business around the new year.  However, you can counteract that effect by offering a discount to bring in new business.

      If you want to take things a step further, you can even offer discounts for referrals. This approach not only keeps your existing users happy, but it can also help you market your business to new clients.

      6. Retarget Your Ads

      Targeted ads can be relatively expensive. However, if you sell products or services online, they can also be highly effective at driving conversions. These days, you can even ‘retarget’ people who have visited your website but didn’t convert, so you get a second shot at convincing them.

      If you run ads on Facebook, for example, you can use the Facebook pixel to target users who visited your website but didn’t add items to their shopping cart or failed to go through with a purchase.

      A shopping cart with a camera.

      That’s just one type of retargeting, however. You might also focus on cross-checking users who have signed up to your email list, and sending ads to them through social media.

      This may sound invasive, but as long as your ads are tasteful, retargeting enables you to market your website to people you already know are interested. That means all you have to do is persuade them to follow their instincts and give you a chance.

      7. Create Videos to Accompany Your Content

      Not all people like to consume content in the same way. You might be more partial to written posts, for example, whereas others prefer to watch YouTube videos, listen to podcasts, and so on.

      This means that if you focus your website on a single type of content, you could be losing out on a much broader potential audience. To avoid that scenario, you can create complementary content in a different format — in this case, video.

      Creating video content from scratch isn’t a walk in the park, of course. However, there are some simpler approaches you can take, such as:

      • Creating video versions of existing posts, either by recording yourself or using stock graphics
      • Developing video summaries of some of your latest or most popular content
      • Doing video interviews that might not translate well as regular articles

      No matter how you do it, putting together high-quality videos for your website does require some work and budget. However, the upside is that you can post the finished videos both to your site and to third-party platforms. If you add them to YouTube, for example, and include links back to your website, you’ll be opening up a whole new marketing channel.

      8. Consider Creating a Podcast

      If you’re not interested in creating videos to market your content, there are other mediums you can dip your toes into. Podcasts, for example, have never been as popular as they are right now.

      Millions of people listen to podcasts weekly and most of them follow several. If you’re up to creating your own podcast and committing to releasing new episodes periodically, then you can tap into a huge potential source of traffic.

      There are several upsides to going with the podcast approach instead of video, such as:

      • There’s a lower barrier to entry since you only need basic recording equipment.
      • Podcast listeners are used to long-form content, so you can do more in-depth takes.
      • You can launch your podcast on multiple third-party platforms, such as Spotify.

      To be fair, creating a podcast isn’t as easy as just picking up a microphone and talking your listeners’ ears off. If you want to sound professional, you’ll probably need to work out a script in advance for each episode. Plus, you may need to invest in better recording equipment than just a headset, if you want to maintain a high level of quality.

      9. Talk About Hot Topics in Your Industry

      One of the most effective ways to market your website to a broader audience is to become a go-to source for news within your niche. Let’s say, for example, that you like to blog about WordPress. If that’s the case, you’ll know that writing about the new Gutenberg editor was a great way to attract traffic during the past year:

      A Google search for Gutenberg.

      Trends change, of course, and what’s a hot topic right now might not be relevant in a couple of months. This means that if you want to stay relevant, you always need to be on the lookout for new stories and content that will interest your audience.

      To do this, you’ll want to keep up-to-date with the latest news in your site’s niche. That means following competitors’ sites, subscribing to journals, keeping an eye on feeds, checking up on social media profiles, and so on. The more up-to-date you are with the latest happenings, the more marketing opportunities you’ll be likely to spot.

      Buh-Bye, Winter Blues

      The new year always brings change with it, and that should apply to your website as well. In other words, this is the perfect time to try out some fresh marketing initiatives. That way, you’ll have an easier time keeping old visitors engaged and bringing in new ones at a faster rate.

      Will you be making any changes to your website over the next few months? Tell us what you have planned on Facebook and Twitter!





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