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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!

      Your Side Hustle Needs a Website

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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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      Make Your Website Merry and Bright with These 10 Holiday Marketing Ideas

      The bright and cheery season is finally here!

      String up the twinkling lights, bust out your ugliest sweater, and get to work decking out your website.

      via GIPHY


      Work during the holidays?!

      Yeah, I do sound like the Grinch right now. But getting festive for Festivus (and all the other major end-of-year holidays) can actually give your website more chances to unwrap extra visitors.

      If your cup of ideas isn’t running over, we’ve got you covered. Our gift to you? Ten great ways to freshen up your website for the holidays. Batteries not included.

      Before You Get Started

      Before you delve too deep in creating new holiday campaigns, take the time to look at the results of your holiday promotions from last year. Hopefully, you already did this when you were prepping your website for Black Friday and Cyber Monday. But if not, let’s refresh!

      Let Your Goals Guide

      First, take a moment to reflect. What are your company goals? And what do you need to get out of the holiday shopping season: more sales, leads, or subscribers? Every action you take, including fun holiday marketing campaigns, should drive toward those goals.

      If the campaign you’ve got in mind won’t help you achieve your goals, put that idea on the naughty list.

      Review Last Year

      Which promotions registered with customers last December? Which ones fell flat? Before you put fingers to keyboard, take a look at last year’s results and build from there.

      Plan Out Sales in Advance

      Run the numbers to find out what deals you can afford to offer during the holidays. Then use this information to help you choose which holidays ideas to implement on your website.

      Analyze Your Channels

      You need to know how you’re going to spread the word about your holiday campaigns and promotions. So ask yourself: Do you have an email subscriber list? How strong is your social media presence? Is one platform stronger than the others? Have you ever used PPC?

      Scout Out the Competition

      What have your competitors done for the holidays that you could tweak for your specific audience? Make a list. You can even look to big brands for ideas (lots of inspiration coming your way).

      Got all that? Okay, on to the ideas!

      10 Holiday Ideas to Brighten Up Your Website

      1. Make Sure Your Website is Ready for the Season

      First things first, let’s get technical to make sure your website is geared up and ready for the season.

      You can do this by checking with your hosting provider to plan for any surges in traffic. If you need to upgrade for more resources, do it before the holidays hit. That way, you won’t run into issues when all those visitors come knocking on your website’s door to get your holiday deals.

      Next, make sure your payment gateway can handle more transactions. You may also want to consider upgrading your services to accept more forms of payments and double check your security features. The gifts of convenience and security are the type of holiday cheer your customers will appreciate.

      Need a baller payment gateway for your website? Here are 10 can’t-miss options.

      Finally, optimize to reduce your site’s load times. I could give you a mile-long checklist for this, but you’re busy — I get it. Instead, try these ten speedy-site tips, and then test your site’s performance with Google’s PageSpeed Insights.

      Now, you’re ready to roll!

      2. Dress Your Website up for the Holidays

      Your customers are used to your website’s regular look, and that’s great — for most of the year. When the holidays roll around, though, consider giving your site a little extra sparkle.

      Take caffeine juggernaut Starbucks.

      Everyone is used to the company’s white-and-green siren, but come November 1, Starbucks’ cups get a little more festive.

      Obviously, your website isn’t a paper cup. So when it comes to zhuzhing up your homepage, a lot of jingle can go all the way. Let’s look at a brand that does holiday cheer well: Bath and Body Works.

      As soon as visitors hit the website, they are greeted with twinkling snowflakes and a giant, festive banner image. Even their promotion code is cheery: SNOWFALL.

      One word of warning (and good, old-fashioned marketing advice): know your audience.

      When you opt to make your branding more holiday-themed, pay attention to how your customers receive it. If you’re worried, solicit customer feedback, run some A/B tests, or hold a focus group.

      You don’t want to catch any flack — like Starbucks often does — for being too much this way, not enough that way.

      3. Use Your Email Marketing List

      Of course, it’s easy to get caught up in making sure your website is perfectly festive. However, it’s vital to remember that many customers won’t see it — unless you email them with a link and a good reason to return to your homepage.

      Long-time readers and first-time commenters alike will probably remember that we’ve gone in-depth before on why website owners need to get serious about email marketing.

      It’s the single-most-effective marketing tactic for awareness, acquisition, conversion, and retention. You want a slice of that pie!

      WordPress users! Learn how to build your own email subscriber list directly on the platform.

      Most of all remember that your subscribers opted into your email list for a reason: they want to hear from you! Don’t forget to wish them well this holiday season and share your good news.

      After all, who doesn’t love a killer sale like this offer from Legacybox?

      4. Make ‘Em Laugh

      Sometimes the best way to get your website visitors in the holiday spirit is to make them laugh.

      Of course, how you do this is largely up to you and what works for your brand.

      JibJab allows visitors to personalize hilarious videos and send them to friends and family. Each year, the site offers a series of customizable holiday cards that are bound to make their customers laugh, share, and repeat.

      Kmart is another brand that has used humor to increase sales during the holidays.

      While the Jingle Joes might not “resonate” with everyone, the use of humor is a good way to stand out during a very competitive shopping season.

      Lastly, don’t be afraid to go dark. Like real dark.

      For a lot of people, getting together with family for the holidays isn’t a friggin’ Hallmark movie. HotelTonight took all those bad feels and translated them into this dark-comedy dream.

      You don’t have to be a hotel booking website to pull this off either. Get creative and think about your specific target audience. The world is your air mattress — erm — oyster.

      5. Put Together a Holiday Gift Package

      No matter what products or services you offer, you can group them together during the holiday season and offer a holiday combo on your website.

      Dollar Shave Club nails it each year. 

      As you can see, the shave kit is exactly like the ones they offer every other month of the year.

      So what’s changed?

      Only the context! The Elf on the Shelf signals holiday hijinks are afoot without the brand having to do any repackaging of their product.

      This time of year, people like to see holiday promotions. Even if you are selling the same old thing, dress up the way you promote to match the season.

      6. Drum Up Interest

      Almost everyone has a hard time waiting for the holidays (even if you can’t wait for them to be over, amirite, Scrooge?). But as a website owner, you can use all that anticipation to drive hype for your business.

      Take H&M. The brand created a short trailer to tease its 2017 holiday collaboration with Nicki Minaj.

      I don’t know about you, but I’m a huge fan of all things H&M and Nicki Minaj, so even before the final campaign dropped, I knew I’d be checking out H&M’s latest gear. #MarketingSuccess

      Of course, if you don’t have the budget to hire a mega-watt celebrity to headline your holiday campaigns (pssst, have you heard of micro-influencers?), then you can always build hype the old-fashioned way: with a countdown!

      Ellen famously does the “12 Days of Giveaways,” and it’s hugely successful. Hitch your sleigh to that idea by doing 12 days of promotions, deals, even blog content — anything that will resonate with your customers.

      There is nothing naughty about leaning into the sense of urgency and excitement that comes with the holidays.

      7. Promote Your Expertise

      If there’s one thing for certain about the holiday season, it’s this: people gain weight. Yeah, your pants aren’t lying; holiday weight gain is real. And so is the motivation to lose the weight come January 1.

      Don’t worry I’m going somewhere with this.

      If you are a brand that holds a special level of expertise on a holiday-related topic, then the time is now to jump in and start sharing.

      For example, if you are a doctor, wellness coach, purveyor of health supplements, or self-styled weight-loss guru, then focus your content on how people can stay healthy during the holidays.

      Need an example? It’s like that one time we talked about tech-themed horror movies for Halloween. Look for a niche that you have expertise in and find a way to tie it to the season.

      Content win!

      8. Get Real With Your Followers

      Not like Drunk Uncle real. I mean genuine. The holidays are a great time to share what your brand is really about.

      Take Samsung for example.

      Their “Unwrap the Feels” video captures the spirit of the holidays by showing a collection of darling families gathering together. It’s so darn charming, that by the end, you might get a bit misty-eyed — and want to purchase some of Samsung’s magical family-bringing-together products.

      You don’t have to pull heartstrings to win hearts, though.

      If you are getting jolly around the office, let your customers in on the fun. Chances are they’ll be interested in the team that keeps their favorite products on the market.

      When you hold an office party or volunteer for a charity project, make sure you share the real, unfiltered you with your customers.

      9. Give Back to Customers

      When it comes right down to it, the holidays are about giving back. There is no better time to focus a little less on the bottom line and a little more on making the world a better place. For instance, you could make a donation to a charitable organization or sponsor a company-wide day of service.

      DYK? DreamHost is currently matching up to $10,000 for donations to Charity:Water.

      Looking for a viral way to spread joy to your customers? Host a giveaway or contest on social media.

      Last year DreamHost gave back to our customers with “The Dreamiest Website of the Year Awards.” Customers were able to submit their websites for a bevy of awards. The winners got swag, cash, and bragging rights. It was a fun way to thank the people who keep us in business.

      10. Welcome Visitors to the New Year

      After the hype has died down, take some time to ramp up your content production. Why? Because once the merriment is over, your customers will be thinking about the next big thing: the new year!

      Come January, DreamHost customers are looking for help building a brand new website to kickstart their resolutions, whether they’re starting a blog or a business. Think about what your customers will want to do next year and start creating content to help them do just that.

      The new year is a fresh start for everyone. Stay on top of your content strategy by preparing in December for a big rollout of fresh ideas in January.

      Give your website a home for the holidays. Sign up for DreamHost today!

      Stick a Bow on It, You’re Done

      There you go! We hope you’ll enjoy (and use!) these 10 gift-wrapped holiday ideas to connect with your customers during the holiday season.

      And we want you to get in on this too!

      Tell us: how have you decked out your website in years gone by? And what are you trying for the first time this December? Spread the good cheer with us on Facebook or Twitter.

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