Can You Start an Online Business for Five Bucks?

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Can you start an online business for five bucks? That’s what this post aims to answer. Read it and find out!

Frugal Marketer’s Guide to Starting an Online Business for 5 Bucks

If you spoke to most people interested in becoming online entrepreneurs, you’d see that many of them feel like their dream is far off in the future. The reason? A lack of money to invest in their business.

There’s a big myth that you have to have deep pockets – that you have to “spend money to make money” online, but nothing could be further from the truth. When listening to the advice of many who teach online marketing, you have to look at their intentions.

While some treasured few genuinely want to help others achieve their goals, some are just in it to line their own pockets – even if that means coaxing you into buying endless courses and tools you really don’t need.

The truth is, you can get started online for absolutely nothing if you want to. You can also purchase many courses and gadgets that will shortcut your success. But a more realistic and common sense approach is somewhere in between.

By spending just $5, you’ll have everything you need to get the ball rolling and begin seeing profits come in. With the right resources and a positive mindset, you’ll have no problem competing with those who are spending a small fortune to do the same thing you are.

Don’t let financial constraints force you to put off your dream. There are hundreds of people in the same boat who have gotten started on a shoestring budget and are now thriving because they didn’t allow anything to hold them back.

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How to Learn Everything About Marketing without Spending a Dime

The learning process is probably the biggest area where new online entrepreneurs waste the most money. They feel confused and overwhelmed, so instead of trying to learn on their own, they simply buy into every single course that is shown to them.

There’s nothing wrong with wanting to get step by step guidance from what a course has to offer, especially if it is about a specific topic that is narrow enough to shortcut your learning curve.

But there are too many people who go into debt or who simply give up trying to pursue their dream of being an online entrepreneur simply because of the cost of learning this business.

The first thing you need to know is that there are many ways to learn what you need to know about Internet marketing. Every single thing, from how to start a blog or how to start a list can be learned for free.

This is the direction you should be taking whether or not you are on a strict budget when you’re first starting out. There is so much information that you can absorb at no cost, and later you can reinvest in your business when you want to level up and gain more specific knowledge.

Whenever there’s something you want to know, you have many resources available to you that won’t cost you a thing. Start by getting on the subscriber list of top marketers who you feel have something valuable to share with you about the topics you want to learn.

For example, there are marketers who specialize in teaching email marketing, some who specialize in search engine optimization, and so on. Sign up to their list for their free gift, which is often very valuable and comes at no cost, and then pay attention to the information that they send out to their subscribers.

You want to stay subscribed to people who provide value to you in your journey. Just because you are on their list, it doesn’t mean you have to buy anything and everything they present to you.

The second place you can go to learn when you are on a budget is the blogosphere. Going to different blogs of top Internet marketing experts is a great way to learn detailed information about how this business works.

Likewise, you want to follow these same individuals on their social media accounts. Whether it’s on YouTube or TikTok, Facebook groups or elsewhere, they will often share tidbits of strategic information that can help you without overwhelming you like a course would.

If you don’t have specific people that you want to follow yet, you can always go to a platform like YouTube, which is the second largest search engine in existence, and look up the information you want and go through several videos to see who teaches the concept the best.

There are also many marketing forums that you can join online. These often have specific sections for different concepts like content marketing, social media marketing, search engine optimization, and so on.

This gives you the opportunity to speak up and ask for help or clarification whenever you feel confused about a certain concept. You’ll also be able to read what others are posting, because sometimes you don’t know what to ask or what is missing from your knowledge.

With many things, such as email marketing, the platform or tool that you are using will have a built-in knowledge bank that you can access that will teach you just about everything you could hope to know at no additional cost.

For example, if you sign up with a company like AWeber for your email autoresponder system, they have a Knowledge Base on their website that answers all kinds of questions about this particular topic.

They have an entire section on how to get started (which includes driving traffic to your site), ecommerce tips (such as how to boost sales with your autoresponders), account management, anti spam tips, technical issues like APIs, automation with email marketing, campaigns, and more.

What’s great about AWeber, for example, is that not only do they answer your questions, but they give step-by-step instructions, complete with videos or screenshots to show you exactly what to do.

The interlinking between tutorials is also great. So if they mention something you don’t know about yet, you can follow the link to learn more about it. For example, on the AWeber knowledge page answering the question, “Can AWeber host my form,” they link out to a related page teaching you different options for how you want to publish the form and a page on creating your form.

Learning as an Internet marketer is an ongoing process. There’s always going to be new things to learn – new strategies, new tools, new platforms. If you have to pay every time you wanted to educate yourself about everything, you’d stay broke!

Choose a Niche That Doesn’t Require You to Spend Money Upfront

Niche selection isn’t a task that requires you to pay for coaching advice or for a tool that promises to nail down the exact niche topic that has the lowest competition with the highest demand.

Contrary to popular belief, there’s a much more effective organic way to go about picking your niche that won’t cost you a cent. And you don’t have to choose a niche that has any sort of upfront financial investment associated with it, like a multi level marketing one, either.

You want to choose a niche that is rooted in your own passions, expertise and interests. You’ll be able to enthusiastically share information with your core audience when these things are in place.

Even if there’s plenty of competition, you don’t have to abandon your passions – because no one else will have the same voice and insight or opinions as you do. You’ll have your tribe of loyal followers, and the competition will have theirs.

Sometimes, there will be crossover, too – because consumers often want to follow more than one niche expert whenever they need guidance. You probably do the same when you want to know something.

You can research the niche for demand and profitability without having to invest in high ticket tools that do it for you. You can see what bestselling lists have on them in your niche.

You can witness firsthand whether or not there’s an active and engaged audience on social media and elsewhere for the niche topic you’re considering getting into. There are free keyword tools that will help you figure out how consumers are looking for information.

Even a typical niche forum will show you what people want to know, what they’re finding in the marketplace that they love, and also what they’re disappointed with or what they feel is lacking.

The abundance (or lack thereof) of products being sold in a niche will be very telling. Whether it’s digital or tangible, if there are too few products, it won’t be a good sign that your niche is thriving.

The niche you choose might depend on which business model you plan to pursue, too. If you’re simply promoting as an affiliate, you can get started without having to buy any products that you’re going to review.

Of course, it’s always a good idea to have some products you can review personally, but you can get digital review copies or promote tangible items you already own. You might have more trouble if you start off as an info product creator.

If your plan is to create a video course showing people how to live in the wilderness for survival, it’ll be hard if you don’t have any tools to show them what to do. But you could always write an eBook and use stock images instead if you wanted to.

The Only 3 Things You Need to Start an Online Business for Five Bucks

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In the beginning, all you need are three simple things, and even these aren’t a requirement. Technically, there are business models you can start on social media, but it would be more difficult for you to have an info product launch without a domain and hosting of your own.

So the domain name, hosting and email autoresponder system are where you want to start. Let’s go over these – the cost, why you need them and what to do with them once you have them for your business.

Domain selection should be keyword relevant to your niche topic. You want to go with a dot com domain, not another extension, so that it’ll be easy for people to remember and type into their browser.

You can shop around for the best domain registrar deals, and sometimes you’ll find a good coupon code to use. Even if you don’t, domains only cost about $12 a year (so that equals just $1 a month).

Certain domain registrars, like GoDaddy, usually have coupon codes for first time buyers. You can find $0.99 dot com domain codes for this platforms, which will give you a significant savings – just go to Google and search for a current code.

When you buy your domain, it’s going to try to upsell you on everything. From page builders to emails, you can decline all of it because you won’t need it. You’ll be able to create emails right in your cPanel, and install WordPress for free to build your pages.

Hosting is another thing you’ll need to spend money on – one of only two items needed to put you on the right path to earning money online. With hosting, similar to domain registrars, it’s going to make it sound like you need to include all of the add-ons, but you don’t.

Go with a simple, basic plan for just one website. It should cost you no more than $4 a month, maximum. Don’t worry about whether or not you may need more hosting down the road.

Hosting companies are more than happy to take your money whenever you need to level up – all you have to do is change your plan when that time comes. You don’t need private servers or anything else fancy, just the basics.

A good email autoresponder system is also needed, and this isn’t going to cost you anything in the beginning. Only once you start growing your list to 500 or more subscribers will they even ask you to start paying, and you’ll be able to reinvest your earnings into your list building and email marketing efforts at that time.

Once you get your domain, hosting and email autoresponder, you can connect everything together to start working for you. You’ll grab the server IDs from your host and change those settings with your domain registrar.

You can install WordPress on your domain by logging into your cPanel through your hosting around. This will allow you to start building your website and brand. You can create a landing page where you’ll host your opt in form from your email autoresponder system.

Free Tools to Help Maximize Your Earnings

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There are other tools that can help you with your business, and none of them will cost you anything. Are there higher level paid tools that do the same? Of course! But to get started, you don’t need to pay for any of these.

First, you can find plenty of free keyword tools. When you see promotions from marketers for keyword tools costing you hundreds of dollars, just put that on the backburner for a day and time when you can reinvest your earnings.

It might be a tool that does more in terms of a competitive analysis, but you only need the basic functionality of keyword research to get started. In addition to the free keyword tools, even Google and Amazon and other platforms will serve as good keyword research for you.

They will autofill with various answers for what people are searching for if you get the ball rolling and start to type in a keyword. You may not get the same level of competitive analysis in terms of how easy or hard it is to rank for a phrase, but it will do a good enough job to give you a list of words to target in your content marketing, hashtags, and other areas of your business where keywords come into play.

Artificial intelligence (AI) tools have burst onto the scene and now everyone and their grandmother has a paid product being sold that claims to be the world’s first, most intuitive gadget.

And while many of the bells and whistles might be attractive and enticing, they’re not needed. You have free AI tools readily available to you 24 hours a day, 365 days a week.

You can sign up ChatGPT or use Google’s Bard at no cost. These tools can help you in a variety of ways with your online business. It can help you strategically, such as sizing up your competition, it can help with content creation in a variety of multimedia formats, it can help with research of your niche, demographic – and more!

Need tools to help you make graphics? Don’t worry about outsourcing costs or expensive tools. You can use free tools like Canva, which even have hundreds of free templates built in, for all your designer needs.

If you need photos for your designs, or for your blog posts or social media content, don’t worry about paying for stock photos – just use a free stock photo site instead. They may not have quite as big of a selection, but they have something for just about every niche.

What about video editing tools? If you want to use YouTube or other forms of video, like for your products, you want to polish them to perfection. You don’t need expensive video editing software like Camtasia.

You can use a freeware version like CamStudio instead. You’ll be able to do most of the same things, but it comes at no cost to you. And there will be videos online to show you how to use it, too.

There are even free productivity, project management and organization tools you can use to help you achieve more and stay focused. Some help you with note-taking, others help you organize your project (such as a mind mapping tool), etc.

Rapid Monetization Strategies to Start an Online Business for Five Bucks

When you’re starting out as a new Internet marketer on a shoestring budget, your goal will be to begin profiting as quickly as possible, for the least amount of money possible. So let’s look at some quick monetization strategies you can use when you’re just getting started.

The reason you want to get your profits coming in quickly is so that you can set aside a portion to reinvest in your business whenever you do find something that is worth paying money for, whether it’s a course, tool or coaching.

First and foremost, if you have content being published to your blog, you can go ahead and implement an easy ad revenue strategy. This requires you to do nothing more than sign up with a system like AdSense and then insert some code onto your site so that ads will automatically display to your audience.

You’ll be earning every time someone clicks through on an ad that is shown on your side, helping you generate income on autopilot. Compare the different ad networks and figure out where the best place would be to position your ads so that you monetize all of the content you are churning out.

Another quick way to make money as a new online entrepreneur is to offer some sort of services. When your clients are other marketers who are a little more successful than you are, they will be willing to pay for you to handle some of the tasks they no longer have the time or talent to do on their own.

Plus, when you work as a service provider, you often get a 50% down payment, which you can immediately use for your financial needs or to set aside to reinvest in your business.

This is a less risky business model because if you are on a platform such as UpWork, they will use an escrow system that retains the money for you on behalf of the client to ensure that the work is done to their satisfaction.

If you want to go into the service provider business, you can work as a ghostwriter, a graphic design specialist, or even a virtual assistant. As a ghostwriter, you will be writing things like blog posts, email autoresponders, lead magnets, social media content, info products, and more.

Sometimes, you may be asked to write sales copy, but just know that that will usually pay more as a service provider then other forms of content, so you’ll be able to charge more for this service.

As a graphic design artist, you may be asked to create banner ads, social media headers, eCovers, and other graphics that represent products and other things the client needs.

As a virtual assistant, your job will be to handle a lot of the drudge work that the marketer doesn’t have to employ. This could include things like conducting research, uploading content to the blog or social media profiles, answering emails, and more.

As a service provider, you can use your domain to showcase your services. You can also networking using word of mouth to find reputable clients. If you are using one of the freelance platforms, they will often have options for you in terms of payment.

For example, some platforms will simply take a small portion of your payment as a fee, and others will have various levels of use, such as a free account where you have limited amount of bids for projects, and top tier accounts where you have to pay for unlimited bidding capability.

Affiliate marketing is also a fast monetization strategy, but it all depends on how you go about it. For example, if you are waiting for content on your blog to rank well in order for you to earn, that’s going to take longer than if you build a following on social media quickly.

You’re also going to find that some platforms are going to take a lot longer to pay you as an affiliate than others. For example, if you are promoting a digital info product, you may get paid faster by the vendor than if you were promoting a tangible item on amazon, which is going to take at least 60 days for you to get paid.

You’ll have to take advantage of any traffic generating strategies that will help you make money more quickly, whether it’s with ads, services, or affiliate marketing. Do your best to satisfy customers and clients so that you get repeat business.

Pay attention to the results of your offers and campaigns so that you can tweak things along the way and improve conversions. This will allow you to earn more, faster than if you simply ignored the metrics and analytics.

As you gain steam with your business, you can find ways to scale up your business and grow it into something more formidable. For example, you may be able to reinvest your earnings for your affiliate marketing business and hire a ghostwriter to double your output.

Newbie Blog Marketing to Build Your Brand and Start an Online Business for Five Bucks FAST

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Once you own your domain and hosting, and you have installed WordPress, you’ll be able to engage in daily blogging that will boost your brand with your target audience. Content marketing can be done in many different places, such as on social media or in emails, but you should always have a focus on building your domain into a hub of information that showcases your knowledge.

Some newbies mistakenly focus solely on their social media profiles. The problem with this is that a third party entity owns it. That means you have no control over whether or not that account even exists.

Many online entrepreneurs have woken up one day to find their entire profile, and all of the content that they created for it, deleted without explanation or any form of recourse. When you own your domain and the content on your blog, you will be in full control over whether or not it stays operational.

By blocking on a regular basis, you are going to begin ranking well in the search engine results pages (SERPs) where you will enjoy organic traffic to your site from the people who are using search engines to find information about your niche.

Of course, in order for this to work, you have to learn and utilize search engine optimization strategies. This includes a mix of making sure your blog is mobile friendly, that it works on different browsers, that your content is thorough and engaging, and that your on page SEO is technically set up right to give your users a positive experience.

You don’t need any fancy or expensive SEO tools or courses. Google will publish their guidelines free of charge, and there are many YouTube videos and tutorials online to teach you what you need to know to stay current with recommendations.

The free keyword tools that you can use will help you with your efforts to be found by your target audience, as long as you incorporate them strategically within the content on your blog.

The main thing you want to remember is that your blog is supposed to share value with your readers. As long as you understand the technical aspect of optimizing your site, you can focus more on the value that you provide, so that your credibility as a leading niche expert soars.

When you begin blogging on a regular basis, you’ll find that you can be more efficient if you map out your topics ahead of time and engage in some batch work period this will allow you to queue up your posts to be published on autopilot for you while you work on other areas of your business.

You can also incorporate plenty of engagement with your audience, and you can build a list directly from your blog so that people who become subscribers get access to gated content that you keep password protected on this domain.

If you have the opportunity, you may want to approach others for – or agree to – a guest blogging situation, where each of you take over the other person’s blog for a day, in exchange for a byline that links back to your site.

This is a good way to expand your reach within the niche, and get exposure to people that have not yet discovered you. When your blog begins gaining traction with free traffic, you want to make sure that you analyze it’s performance so that you can see which posts are going over well with your audience, and which are being abandoned or ignored.

This will allow you to tweak your efforts, whether it’s your content layout, your optimization strategy, or something else so that this particular blog post can begin performing for you as you hoped it would initially.

No-Cost Email Marketing to Empower Your Business

As we stated previously, email marketing should not cost you anything in the very beginning. There are many platforms that will allow you to build a list and begin emailing them at no cost up to 500 subscribers or for a certain amount of time.

This allows you to start building a list of targeted subscribers that will convert well for you whenever you promote things to them. That way, when the time comes and you reach your limit of 500 subscribers, you’ll be able to afford to pay for the first tier that will usually take you up to 10,000 subscribers before you need to level up again.

With email marketing, you are going to be able to immediately contact your target audience any time you have something of value to share with them, or something to promote to them as a vendor or affiliate.

You don’t have to wait for them to happen to stumble back on your blog, or to see something on social media. Your email will hit their inbox, and as long as you have crafted the subject well, they will open it.

With email marketing, it’s important to focus on the value that you are giving your readers. Although this is important everywhere, such as your blog, it’s even more important when you are landing in their inbox because they may view it as spam if it is bothersome and not providing any value to them.

You can use the free learning techniques mentioned earlier to begin absorbing information about how to master email marketing. Select a tool that you plan to be with long-term, because you don’t want to risk losing any subscribers if you switch to a new email system.

There are several areas you want to study specifically. First and foremost is your subject line. If your emails are not opened, or they are not able to pass spam filters, then the rest of your message will not matter.

Next, you want to find out how to use personalization and storytelling in your emails. This is an effective way to build a rapport with your audience, and build loyalty with them as well.

You also want to study the best way to write persuasively, including crafting a strong call to action that will instruct the reader about what they need to do next. Strategically, you want to make sure that your subscribers feel as if they are well taken care of.

This means you give them exclusive discounts, free resources, and other incentives that will keep them on your list and make them appreciate the value that you provide. Keeping them up to date with new and interesting things in your niche is a great way to ensure they open your emails and absorb everything you have to say.

This is an area of your business, similar to blogging, where you can also automate much of the process. You can queue up emails that will drip out to your audience whenever they sign up to your list, so that you don’t have to be hovering over this task on a regular basis.

It’s also a great way to maximize your monetization strategy because you’ll be able to segment your subscribers from one another so that each message you send out is specifically tailored to their needs, resulting in higher conversions for you.

Most reputable autoresponder systems have built in templates and structures that will allow you to put together a landing page and form that will put people on your list. They also have features such as split testing so that you can improve upon your efforts and learn the strategies that work best for your target audience.

Mastering Social Media Marketing for Free

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While you may have to pay for a domain and hosting to have your own blog presence, social media platforms give you a free account. However, keep in mind what we said earlier – you do not own these profiles, so you always want to use them with caution and abide by the rules they set forth.

No matter what niche you are in, chances are your audience is on one or more social media sites or apps. Sometimes, they will be lurking where you didn’t even know they would exist.

For example, you might expect the gardening niche to have many followers on YouTube, but you may not expect them to be as prevalent on TikTok, which they are. So you want to make sure that before you start creating content on any social media platforms, you do some investigation to find out how many people are looking for content there, and what kind of content is going over well with the target audience.

You’ll find that with social media marketing, you want to put forth bite sized information that is valuable to your target audience so that you build a brand that is recognized by followers as being one of their favorite of content creators.

You can start a free account on Facebook, and not only have a profile there, but also have a business page and a group for your niche topic. This allows you to build a community within the social media platform, but it can also be wiped out in an instant, so make sure you have those people on your list as well.

One thing you’ll find when looking at the different social media platforms is that some of them use multiple media formats, and others only one period for example, YouTube has videos, but Facebook allows you to post text, images, and even live stream to your audience if you want to.

When you are using some of these platforms, such as YouTube, you have to go to the same effort to optimize your channel and each individual video just as you would with your blog posts on your domain.

Even on other platforms like TikTok, you want to make sure that you are using certain keywords and hashtags that will easily get found by your target audience whenever they are looking for information there.

Try to make sure that your branding is identical across all of the different platforms you are using. You don’t have to spread yourself thin and use platforms where your audience is not as prevalent.

You can also use some tools when you have the funds, such as Hootsuite, that will allow you to automate the process of your social media marketing whenever you’re ready to scale up.

Whenever you begin building your presence on social media sites, you’re going to find that you start building a following, and eventually achieve the status of influencer. You might be a micro level influencer, or a big influencer, that your followers will look to you for advice and take your recommendations for any sponsored content or collaborations you engage in.

This means you have a responsibility to them to make sure you present the best offers and options for their needs, so that you don’t ruin your own reputation in the process just for a quick buck.

Powerful Info Product Income for Shoestring Budgets

As long as you have your own domain, you’ll be able to launch your own info products. In fact, even if you don’t have a domain, you might be able to partner up with someone, as you’ll see in the next section, who will host the product for you in the event you don’t even have $5 to invest in your business in the beginning.

There are many benefits to developing your own line of info products. First and foremost, it’s a great way to build a list so that you can earn money from those subscribers for the coming months and years.

It’s also a good way to get a quick burst of money up front. You have to factor in the time it will take you to create the product, but after that, during a launch, you’ll be able to see a boost and your income and from that point on, a stream that builds with every subsequent launch you create.

You’ll also be able to recruit affiliates to promote for you. This will allow you to put their subscribers on your list, and in exchange for 50% of the sale, you’ll be able to increase your income significantly.

If you go this route, you want to take time to learn the ins and outs of info product creation and what people are looking for in your niche. For example, they may want a video course, but you can create a text based guide to go with it.

When you have an info product that you are selling, you usually add to your income by having a funnel of upsells and downsells. And keep in mind, whenever you create an info product, the pages or modules of the product can also include recommendations of items that you are promoting as an affiliate or those that you have previously created as a vendor.

Strategic Networking to Help Profits Soar

Networking is going to serve you very well as a new marketer on a budget. You don’t want to wait until you have some sort of clout to reach out to others and speak to them. Instead, use networking to your advantage from day one.

Keep things professional and don’t become a pest who demands that someone else hold their hand every step of the way. Always approach people with the offer to give back – whether it’s sharing a link for them, doing some of their drudge work, etc.

Fellow marketers in this industry, and specifically in your niche (even if they’re competitors) can serve as great resources for knowledge. If you have a question, all you have to do is ask someone you’ve become friends with.

You can also recruit people as affiliates easier if you’ve been networking with them. This simply means you befriend them on social media, and interact with their posts, and with them periodically via private messenger.

When you find the right people to network with, you’ll find that sometimes, a perfect collaboration unfolds and you’re partnering up on a project – each bringing something unique to the offer.

Networking is also a great way to get invited to special events like webinars where they ask you to serve on the guest panel as an expert, or giveaway events where they ask if you want to submit something as a participant to grow your list.

Being a marketer on a shoestring budget is nothing to be ashamed of. In fact, it shows your determination to succeed in spite of not having the same resources as the competition.

But as you’ve seen, there’s an easy way to level the playing field if you’re willing to do the work and use all of the free resources and strategies available to you. Then, you’ll have a more discerning eye for when and how you spend your earnings whenever you want to reinvest in your business.

It will be prioritized better for you based on your needs. You will have had experience in the industry and know where your skills and talents lie, where you need your time freed up, and so on.

Instead of just blindly buying everything that’s recommended, you’ll pick and choose where your money is spent more carefully. You will also have time to get a feel for who has reputable courses and tools.

Many new online entrepreneurs don’t know who should be trusted or whose work is genuinely worth the investment. Remember, you won’t just be pouring money into these courses and gadgets, but you’ll waste time, too.

It needs to be well worth your effort. And as you’ll soon see, you’ll be able to master much of this on your own without any additional guidance. When the time does come for you to level up, you can repeat the process of trying to find good free information.

If it’s not available, then you can consider your options to invest in something worthwhile. Sometimes, spending money isn’t the answer at all. Sometimes, it’s time you need to spend figuring things out, testing your strategies and tweaking things along the way.

Everyone, whether they have an unlimited budget or not – should be a frugal marketer looking to cut costs and learn by doing rather than chasing each shiny new object that grabs their attention.

Affiliate Content Creation Tips – Create Content and Get Paid Faster

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Learn how to craft compelling product reviews, leverage customer feedback, and provide valuable instructions with these fast affiliate content creation tips!

Fast Affiliate Content Creation Tips

If you’re trying to build your business as quickly as possible, you may feel disappointed at the sheer amount of content that you will be required to create with most business models.

While online content is what will ultimately bring people to your site and convert into sales, it’s also a slow process for many who are not adept at writing or even making videos.

The great thing about being an affiliate marketer is that you can create a system for yourself that outlines how you want to create your product reviews. When you have a template or system to work from, it speeds up the process from the time you sit down to the time you hit publish.

The more affiliate product reviews you are able to churn out for your blog or emails, the more money you stand to make in a shorter amount of time. There are ten different action steps you can take to shave time off of your content creation process. Plus, keep in mind that the more you do this, the faster you will get naturally.

Create a Product Review Template to Work From

Whether you do it from the very beginning, or develop one along the way, one thing that will help you increase your speed for product reviews is working from a template. Some people will have ideas online that you can pull from, but only you will know how you want to brand yourself in terms of the type of helpful advice you are giving and what should be prioritized in your blog posts.

One thing you may want to do is look at other marketers’ product reviews and see what draws you in to them as a consumer. It might be something such as the layout that is easy to skim and digest, the type of information they provide, such as a section where there are bulletpoints of the features, or the slant of the product review itself.

You can start with what you know your readers will want. For example, they will want to know what the product is, why they should buy it, who it is best for, the benefits this particular product has, features that are included, drawbacks to investing in this particular product, and alternatives.

Fast Affiliate Content Creation Tips - Happy Man with Laptop

Go Through Customer Feedback to Find Out What They Love

If you want to take a shortcut with your review, and you don’t own the product personally, then you will need to look at those who have already purchased and gone through it or used it before you.

Don’t just look at the people who give it five stars. This is a common mistake many affiliate marketers make in wanting to seal the deal for a commission. They hype up every single product on their blog, so that the consumer feels they can’t trust them.

Instead, your reviews should be truthful and transparent. That means you will be discussing some of the bad along with the good. So check out the reviews and ratings that are lower and find out more.

Customer feedback, such as reviews on Amazon or your competitors reviews, may give you some insight into what is lacking in the product, as well as what worked really well. Don’t copy and paste any of this information into your blog.

Simply jot down a note to yourself that it’s something you want to address within your review. Then, do your own research about the issue and include your personal opinion in your content.

Look for Confusion and Questions and Expand on What’s Published

One of the great things about having competitors and vendors who answer questions from the general public is that it gives you a lot of insight into what the customer is not finding.

By knowing what concerns and questions they have, you can craft a review quickly and easily that ensures all of their hesitations are eliminated. If you’re reviewing a product from Amazon, you can scroll down the page and look for the questions and answers section where consumers will list the clarifications they need, and the seller or other consumers can answer it for them.

For example, if you were promoting a night vision trail cam, there might be a question about how to set it so that it only records at night. This is a feature that you can mention within your product review, and you didn’t have to brainstorm it yourself.

You can also look in the comments section of other affiliate marketer’s blogs who have published a review on this product previously. Sometimes, their review will be lacking and their own readers will comment asking them questions. The blogger often just replies to their comment rather than updating their entire review overall.

Explain How to Use the Product

This is something very few affiliate marketers actually do. They are so focused on delivering the features and benefits of a product, along with the price point and the hyperlink that they failed to help their readers actually make proper use of the product that they are about to buy.

You can do this with both digital and tangible products that you are reviewing as an affiliate. For example, if you are reviewing a digital course that is made up of a series of a dozen video modules, you might want to state your opinion about how the student should go through one module per day and implement it before moving on to the next.

If you are reviewing a tangible product, such as a face roller, then you may want to give your readers tips on how to pop it in the fridge for 10 minutes prior to using it, and then use it along with a lotion or serum on their face at a certain time each day, such as first thing in the morning or right before bed.

These little tips, will go above and beyond what other affiliates are doing, and it helps you create a more thorough product review, quickly and easily. People will trust your advice more because of the added instructions.

Conduct an Interview with the Vendor

If the product that you are reviewing is from a major corporation – such as a Mattel toy – then you may have trouble with this step. But if the product is a digital one from a fellow marketer, you can conduct an interview to help with your review process.

This does not have to be a lengthy interview, or even something that’s done on video or audio. In fact, you can come up with a set of questions to email the vendor and have them answer so that you can include that in your review.

It’s a good idea to have a FAQ section in your review that removes all doubt and obstacles from the consumer’s mind. In order to know what questions to ask, you will have to get inside the mind of the customer and think about what concerns they will have.

It may help to go over the vendor’s sales copy so that you can spot any missing information that may need to be clarified by the seller. If the vendor is willing to conduct the interview via email, you may be able to ask additional follow up questions.

This lets the reader of your blog know that you have gone above and beyond in trying to make sure they are making a smart buying decision. Plus, the work is done by the vendor as opposed to you having to dig around and find the answers yourself.

Fast Affiliate Content Creation Tips - Woman Counting Money

Have Something to Compare It To

One great way to expand your product review and make sure that your customer feels like they’re making the right decision is to compare the product you are currently reviewing to another one.

All you have to do is make a decision about what other product you want to compare and contrast it to. For example, you might want to compare it to something that has different features, is being sold at a different price point, or is being sold by two different companies or vendors.

You might base your decision on what customers frequently ask, such as people who want to know the difference between Aweber and GetResponse. When you compare the two products, make sure you have an affiliate hyperlink for both.

That way, you are more likely to be honest in your comparison rather than trying to sway the consumer to purchase one item over another just because it’s the one you will make a commission off of.  You never want your own financial goals to supersede the needs of the consumer.

Fill in the Gaps with Private Label Rights

Many affiliate marketers want to have a meatier piece of content when they create a review. However, all they end up doing is regurgitating the product specifications. If you find yourself needing more content within your review, you might want to turn to private label rights (PLR) as a way to inform your readers and deliver more value.

Private label rights are written about many different niche topics, from health to cooking, survival to making money online. You can take bits and pieces from this content, or use it as is intact and add it to your product review.

For example, you might want to preface the introduction of a product that you recommend with some PLR that discusses the problem your readers are currently having.

You can also find PLR product reviews. If you decide to use these, which you can find for both digital and tangible products, you can use them as is or break it up however you see fit, rearrange it, or expand on all of the ideas within the existing content.

You might find some PLR that is written more like an article with a mere mention of a product, at which time you can add the product specifications in bulletpoint form to make it unique from other buyers.

Use a List to Write Brief Reviews

If you don’t know a lot about the products that you are hoping to earn money reviewing, you can always create the kind of product reviews that deliver a top ten list or some other number of your choosing.

By doing this, you will only need to write a quick summary of each product and hyperlink to it so that the consumer can then follow the link and go find out more about it. For example, instead of doing a single product review about one form of survival food bucket that you want to recommend, you can do a top ten list of the 30 day survival food buckets sold on Amazon.

For each one, you will give the name with a hyperlink, and a one or two paragraph summary about the product. One good way to slant these two paragraphs is to spend one paragraph summarizing what’s included and the other giving your opinion about the pros and cons or benefits and drawbacks of investing in this particular product. You can list these products randomly or in order of importance or preference.

Include Items That Complement It

Another way to quickly and easily beef up your product review is something that major shopping sites do each and every day. When someone lands on your product review, they are trying to make a decision about what they should buy.

That doesn’t always mean they’re going to agree with the product that you have presented to them. If you go on any online shopping site, you may have noticed that the company will often tell you what else customers have bought that is relevant to what you are looking at in that moment.

The reason they do this is they’re hoping that if you decide against buying the product that is being spoken about on that page, you might consider one of the alternatives and still spend money with them.

As an affiliate marketer, this is also a smart strategy. While you may be showcasing one particular product in a review, it’s always wise to have alternate options listed at the bottom of your review just in case the visitor was underwhelmed with what they read. It doesn’t mean your writing was subpar, but just that they may not have felt as if the benefits and features were what they were looking for.

Give a List of Action Steps to Run With

Nothing translates into success more than helping people use the products that you are recommending. If they are turning to you for advice on what to buy, they have a level of trust built in with you that they don’t have with another niche leader.

You can go one step further with your guidance and help them devise a plan on how to make the most out of the product. You may have already given them some ideas on how to use the product, but this step involves giving them a specific list of action steps.

For example, tell them if there’s anything else they will need to order and set up ahead of time, and teach them how to do that. If you are promoting a course about paid traffic, then you might want to have action steps that include getting a domain and hosting account set up – along with an email autoresponder system in place before they begin sending traffic.

So while one part of your review may teach them how to use a product, such as in the example of the face roller where they can pop it in the fridge to cool it off and use it with a lotion or serum, your action steps might include other related steps – such as the cleansing or exfoliation of the skin before using the product as well as what to do after they have used the product. The action steps are the entire strategy as a whole and the product fits into that process.

9 Reasons to Use for Podcast Hosting

9 Reasons to Use for Podcast Hosting Header
In this post, I’ll share the nine reasons to use for podcast hosting. I’ll also share how you can get started FREE! Full disclosure: This post does contain affiliate links, and I’m a brand ambassador for the company. If you purchase podcast hosting through one of my affiliate links, I will receive a small commission at no additional cost to you. Thanks so much for your support!

Why I Use for Podcast Hosting

Have you heard of It’s like the cool kid on the block in the podcast hosting space offering the most bang for your hard earned bucks. I talked about them a lot in my podcast hosting guide where I shared the 11 best podcast hosting companies on the market. Three years into my podcast journey, continues to be my top pick!

They’re growing crazy fast and have this awesome global community. But here’s the best part: they make podcasting super easy and fun. That’s why I love them so, so, so much! They are hands down the best bargain, and so incredibly so easy to use.

How easy, you ask? With, you can launch your own podcast in under five minutes! Just a few clicks and bam, your message is out there for the world to hear. And guess what? It won’t cost you a dime to get started!

9 Reasons to Use for Podcast Hosting - Bloggy Friends Homepage Screenshot

They’re all about empowering podcasters worldwide, making sure everyone gets a shot at sharing their unique voice. It’s their kick-ass mission, and they’re totally rocking it. So, if you’ve ever dreamed of starting a podcast, is your go-to partner. Ready to launch your podcast on

Click here to get started, and use code RSSFREEMONTH at check out for a free month of podcast hosting.

Still not convinced? Let’s dive into the nine reasons to use!

9 Things Offers Podcasters

I’ve already mentioned they are easy and give you the most bang for your buck, but here’s a closer look at what you can expect if you choose for your podcast hosting:

1. All-in-one Dashboard

First off, they’ve got this sweet all-in-one dashboard that makes my life so much easier. It’s like a control center where I can manage everything related to my podcast with a few clicks. The interface is not only powerful, but also super user-friendly. It’s a breeze to navigate, and I know you’ll love it too.

From the dashboard you can customize your podcast to make it totally yours! You can create custom cover art, episode art, and even chapter art. How cool is that? Oh, and get this—they make sharing your episodes on social media a piece of cake. But, more on that in a minute.

2. Cross-platform Analytics

9 Reasons to Use for Podcast Cross-Platform Analytics Screenshot

They’ve got this killer feature called cross-platform analytics that will blow your mind. Seriously, it’s a game-changer! With these analytics, you’ll be able to dive deep into understanding your audience and take your show to new heights. No more guessing games or shooting in the dark. Once you start uploading episodes, boom! Instant access to all your juicy metrics. It’s like having your own personal data guru right at your fingertips.

We’re talking overall downloads and trends, episode downloads and trends, even an estimated number of followers. But wait, there’s more! You’ll also know where your listeners are from, the type of devices they’re using, and the applications they use to tune in. It’s like having a crystal ball into the minds of your audience. And guess what? You can even export all these sexy metrics into CSV or Excel format.

Related: Read My Post “How to Promote a Podcast: Common Mistakes in Promoting

3. They Make It Easy to Make Money Podcasting

  • First off, they make supporting your show super easy with a custom donation or funding page. Your awesome listeners can effortlessly show their love and support by making donations. And that’s not all! 
  • has partnered with the Podcorn ads marketplace to help you find the perfect sponsors for host-read ads. Get ready to monetize like a pro! But wait, there’s more awesomeness coming your way. 
  • For those high-traffic shows, they offer Dynamic Ads Insertion technology. It’s like magic, my friend, because it automatically inserts pre-roll, mid-roll, and post-roll advertisements into your episodes. 
  • Apple Podcasts Subscription Integration: lets you offer exclusive content and early access to your fans through Apple Podcasts Subscriptions. It’s the VIP treatment, my friend! 
  • Bitcoin Donations: has teamed up with Alby to become the world’s first podcast hosting company that enables Bitcoin donations through the Lightning Network. That’s right, you can receive payments in Bitcoin and create a Bitcoin Lightning wallet, all while keeping track of your balance right from your dashboard. It’s Podcasting 2.0 in action! Read my Step By Step Guide to Maximizing Your Podcast Donations!

So, my bloggy friend, if you’re ready to start making money with zero effort, is the golden ticket.

Also see: Why Starting a Podcast Is the Perfect Side Hustle

4. Podcasting 2.0 Tags

This might just be the coolest thing to hit podcasting…and is on the cutting edge of it. podcasts feature Podcasting 2.0 Tags, and it’s a game-changer for discoverability!

You know those moments in your episodes that really grab your listeners’ attention? Well, with, you can add chapters and soundbites that make your episodes pop! It’s like adding these exciting bookmarks that keep your audience engaged and wanting more. 

They also provide each episode with an accessibility and discoverability boost with their free episode transcript feature. It’s the real deal. It automatically transcribes your episodes, making them accessible to a wider audience and increasing the chances of discovery. By the way – All plans include free transcripts for all of your episodes! It’s like unlocking a whole new world of listeners for your show.

I’ve played with the free transcripts feature a lot, and you can choose low, medium, or high levels of accuracy. The high level takes the longest, but my friend it is so worth it! It’s more accurate than Otter, Descript, CastMagic and Deciphr! I’ve tried them all, and would choose the FREE transcript anyday!

Related: 6 Fun Ideas for Promoting Your Podcast

5. PodViz Integration That Lets You Publish to YouTube

They’ve also unleashed this ahhhhhhmazing technology called PodViz, and it’s awesome! Picture this: transforming your audio podcast episodes into captivating videos with ease.

Yep, has integrated this innovation right into their hosting platform, making it a breeze for podcasters like us to convert our episodes and upload them to popular video distribution platforms like YouTube. In fact, if you have an podcast hosting plan, you can do this directly from your dashboard too! Connect your YouTube account to the dashboard, push a button and voila! Your podcast episode is turned into a video that is published to your YouTube channel just like that!

But hold on, there’s more to it than just simple audio to video conversion. PodViz also supports those sexy Podcasting 2.0 tags like chapter art, your title, and metadata tags. It’s like adding an extra layer of visual awesomeness to our shows! 

This technology is perfect for podcasters who want to tap into video distribution platforms, expand their listener base, and boost the discoverability of their primarily audio-focused content. Unlike other hosts that charge extra to publish to YouTube, PodViz is available to all podcasters!

Launch your show right now!

6. One-click Social Media and Website Shares

9 Reasons to Use RSS dot com for Podcast Hosting - Social Media Share Screenshot

They’ve made social media sharing a total breeze! Imagine this: with just one click, you can effortlessly share each of your episodes across the most popular social networks including:

  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn, and
  • Pinterest

You can also grab the embed code to embed an episode player into your favorite content management systems including WordPress, Wix, and more!

It’s like a shortcut to keeping your followers and fans in the loop and super engaged. No more hassle or time-consuming processes. has got your back, making sure your episodes reach your audience wherever they hang out online.

Related: The Importance of Branding in Podcasting

7. Automatic Distribution of Your Show

With, you can get your show listed on the most popular podcast directories like Spotify, Amazon Music, Podcast Index, and Samsung Podcasts without lifting a finger.

They also offer guided distribution to get your show on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Pandora, iHeartRadio, and Deezer. Then, as all of your new episodes come out, they are automatically distributed to the podcast players you’ve added your RSS feed to. Easy peasy!

It’s like having your own personal distribution powerhouse working behind the scenes. You can focus on creating your awesome content, and takes care of the rest. They’ll make sure your podcast reaches the widest audience possible, making waves on all the major platforms.

8. Free Podcasting Website

9 Reasons to Use RSS dot com for Podcast Hosting Public Website

Every podcaster that hosts with gets their very own free, fully optimized, and customizable website. This website showcases your amazing content, your episodes, and all the cool features that come with it. We’re talking social sharing buttons to spread the word, donation buttons to support your show, and a web audio player to make it easy for your audience to listen in.

Related: Learn How to Use Podcasts to Build Your Personal Brand and Network

9. Host Unlimited Shows in ONE Place

If you’re thinking of starting another podcast, you can add as many shows as you want under the same account, all for an incredibly low price. It’s like having your own podcast empire, all easily managed from your dashboard.

No need to juggle multiple accounts or platforms. With’s Podcast Networks plan, you can effortlessly switch between your podcasts with a few clicks. Imagine having everything in one neat and tidy place.

Also see: Podcasting for Your Brand – Make Your Business Famous – the #1 Place to Start and Grow a Podcast

Are you starting to see why I chose as the place I host my Bloggy Friends Show? I’m also working on launching a few more shows in the very near future, and can’t wait to do it with!

To close things out, here are a few more awesome things offers:

  • A kickass podcast with many episodes hosted by yours truly and featuring some of the hottest podcasters in the industry! Can you say education on the go? Yep! That’s just one element of what you’ll find on their Podcasting 101 with show.
  • A stellar YouTube channel that just keeps getting better. The amazing people they’ve been bringing on board to create videos are truly next level awesome! Veronica and Maribel have been CRUSHING it with the educational vids lately and I can only imagine what’s coming through in the future from them!!!
  • A knowledge base of articles that teach you all the things you about podcasting with, and an educational and inspiring blog filled with the latest industry news and ideas every podcaster should know.
  • They’re environmentally friendly with a remote team of rockstars worldwide, and they’re all about supporting Podping on Hive, which is the latest and greatest way to ensure your show reaches podcast apps and directories instantly in the most sustainable way possible. 

With their world class technology and all of these features I’ve shared in this post, I can wholeheartedly say, is the number one place online to host your podcast. Click here to get started now! And don’t forget to use code RSSFREEMONTH at check out for a free month of podcast hosting.

Read more posts from my podcasting series:

What are you waiting for? Launch your podcast today!

Expert Roundup – Important Tips for First Time Podcasters

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Thinking about starting a podcast? This post can help! In it I’m sharing a round up of tips for first time podcasters. This post does contain affiliate links. If you purchase a book through one of these affiliate links this website will receive a small commission at no additional cost to you. Thank you for your support!

Starting a podcast can be an exciting yet challenging endeavor. To help you navigate this journey, I’ve gathered essential tips that you should keep in mind when you’re ready to launch a podcast of your own. Here’s a quick overview of the tips you’re about to read:

  • Manage Your Web Presence Effectively
  • Focus on Alternative Revenue Streams
  • Plan it Out
  • Get a Good Microphone
  • Pick the Right Topic
  • Know Your Target Audience
  • Get Clear on Your Ideal Listener 

Manage Your Web Presence Effectively

If I were to time travel back to my first podcast recording, I’d definitely have a heart-to-heart with myself about managing my web presence effectively. You see, podcasting isn’t just about hitting the record button and chatting away. It involves curating your online image, ensuring your podcast website is slick and functional, and taking charge of your SEO. 

Think about your web presence as your podcast’s digital living room, make it welcoming.

Podcast link: TC 034: Dustin Miller – How to Manage Google Ads for Clients – Digital Triggers 

Joe Troyer, CEO and Growth Advisor, Digital Triggers

Ready to Start Your Podcast? Click here and get your first episode for free!

Focus on Alternative Revenue Streams

Do not chase the money. I originally started podcasting thinking it would be a revenue stream based on advertising and sponsors. It was frustrating to see so few downloads compared to others and the sponsors obviously never looked my way. 

However, I quickly learned that I was making revenue in other ways from the podcast. Listeners became clients and clients became referrals.

Here is the landing page for my podcast. This links out to iTunes, YouTube, etc. Marketing Impact PODCAST with Mike Wood 

I also just published an article on Medium that talks about monetizing podcasts if you find it useful.  Ultimate Guide to Making Money Through Podcasting | by Mike Wood | May, 2023 | Medium 

Mike Wood, Digital Marketer, Legalmorning

Plan It Out

  • Create a well-thought-out plan to streamline your podcasting process.
  • Include topics, episode count, and launch dates in your podcast plan.
  • Schedules may seem dull, but they ensure consistent publishing.
  • Clearly define the message you want to convey in each podcast episode.
  • Customize your podcast starter kit to suit your preferences and needs.
  • Find equipment that complements your voice and inflection.
  • Create a schedule that aligns with your lifestyle.
  • Consider marketing strategies to promote your podcast.
  • Following these tips will lead to a better podcasting experience.

Via Dearmedia

Get a Good Microphone

  1. Buying a cheap microphone led to heavy editing to fix poor audio quality, which was a mistake I made.
  2. If you have the budget or can wait, invest in a quality microphone to avoid such issues.
  3. Check out online entrepreneur and podcast expert Pat Flynn’s video for recommendations on the best microphones for podcasting, or research other options available in your area.

Via Shout Me Loud

Pick the Right Topic

When starting a podcast, avoid broad subjects or a wide range of topics. Instead, choose a specific theme or niche that you are passionate about. It should be something you can summarize and make appealing in 20 seconds, while also targeting a specific audience. Remember, people enjoy listening to podcasts hosted by individuals they can relate to.

Via Podlad

Know Your Target Audience

To create engaging content for your podcast, identify your target audience. Avoid trying to appeal to everyone, as this often leads to appealing to no one. Instead, create a buyer persona by considering factors such as age, interests, occupation, location, and life goals of your ideal listener. Having a clear understanding of your audience will enable you to produce content that consistently resonates with and entertains them.


Get Clear on Your Ideal Listener 

To effectively share your message through your podcast, determine your target audience—just like a business owner identifies their ideal customer. Instead of a general group, focus on one perfect person who you want to connect with. Simplify content creation by catering specifically to this individual. Create an ideal listener persona by considering their gender, age, employment status, social life, aspirations, challenges, and the information they would seek related to your podcast’s topic. The more specific you are, the better, as these answers can become the foundation for your initial episodes.

Via RSS.comStart your podcast with your first episode free by clicking this link!

You’ve got the tips. Now all that’s left is to start your podcast! You can launch your show with a free episode on Click here to get started today!

Got a tip I missed that needs to be added? Tweet me and tell me about it!

11 Ways to Benefit From Participating in a Virtual Summit

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Have you ever considered participating in a virtual summit? In this post, we’re covering how you can benefit from doing just that.

Best Tips for Seeing ROI From Participating in a Virtual Summit

From maximizing ROI with a pre-event marketing strategy for virtual summits to making it as niche-specific as possible, here are 11 answers to the question, “What are your best tips for seeing ROI from participating in or hosting a virtual summit?”

  • Give Sponsors a Seat at the Table
  • Define Clear Goals and Metrics for Success
  • Monitor Everything
  • Make It as Niche Specific as Possible
  • Build Relationships With Attendees
  • Offer Virtual Sponsorships
  • Evaluate Networking Opportunities Gained
  • Bring Value to Your Target Audience
  • Include a Pre-event Marketing Strategy 
  • Optimize Content to Match Summit Topic
  • Choose the Right Platform

Give Sponsors a Seat at the Table

Invite industry experts from up-and-coming companies who would co-sponsor the event with you in order to make a much-needed splash. For a summit, you always need a variety of expert speakers. Why not invite someone who is also seeking a seat at the table? 

Assemble this virtual summit to be an opportunity for them, giving them hard data about who is taking part and why they can build credibility by being seen as an authority alongside the other participants. So long as they have something of value to add when speaking to a topic, they can get your ROI, so you can make it a better overall event.

Jonathan Zacharias, Founder, GR0

Define Clear Goals and Metrics for Success

One tip for seeing ROI from participating in or hosting a virtual summit is to define clear goals and metrics for success. Before the event, determine what you hope to achieve, whether it’s increased brand awareness, lead generation, or thought leadership opportunities. 

Identify key performance indicators (KPIs) that align with these goals and track them throughout the event. This can include metrics such as registration numbers, attendance rates, engagement levels, and post-event follow-up activity. 

By tracking these metrics, you can assess the success of the event and make data-driven decisions about how to improve future events. Additionally, make sure to promote your event effectively through targeted marketing and social media efforts to attract the right audience and maximize ROI.

Brenton Thomas, CEO, Twibi 

Monitor Everything

If you don’t monitor your goals and KPIs, they won’t help you. Thankfully, there are many products available on the market to assist you in doing this. For your events, a virtual event platform, for instance, will automatically track information about audience attendance and interaction. 

SurveyMonkey is a top option for surveying tools and will enable you to create stunning polls and surveys that you can distribute to your audience. The responses you get will give you in-depth perceptions of the thoughts of your target audience, which you can use to organize future virtual and hybrid events that are more successful.

Alice Hall, Co-founder and Creative Director, Rowen Homes

Make It as Niche Specific as Possible

I have been involved several times in organizing virtual summits for our health and wellness start-up. In fact, we have often tried to expand our B2B sales potential by leveraging these summits to network and find clients. 

However, one thing I have realized is that virtual summits only work if they are niche-specific. In other words, you cannot afford to have generic events that are too broad in terms of themes. 

Instead, focus on very specific themes, and it will be much easier to attract a solid group of attendees. This will make lead generation much easier for you.

Logan Nguyen, Co-founder, MIDSS

Build Relationships With Attendees

One tip for seeing ROI from participating in or hosting a virtual summit is to focus on building relationships with attendees. While the ultimate goal of a virtual summit may be to generate leads and sales, building strong relationships with attendees can lead to long-term benefits and a higher ROI.

During the virtual summit, engage with attendees by participating in live chats, Q&As, or breakout rooms. This will help you establish a personal connection with attendees and show them you are interested in their needs and concerns.

After the virtual summit, follow up with attendees to thank them for their participation and offer additional resources or support. This can include sending personalized emails, offering exclusive discounts or promotions, or providing free consultations or demos.

Jason Moss, President and Co-founder, Moss Technologies

Offer Virtual Sponsorships

Including sponsorship opportunities is one way to guarantee that your online and virtual events are financially successful. This has the potential to be a very profitable source of income. The average price of a virtual event sponsorship package, according to studies, is $8,456. 

The question is how can you get sponsors to give you thousands of dollars? You present them with something equally worthwhile. 

If thousands of people have signed up for your event, businesses will clamor to buy sponsorship packages. Giving sponsors access to the analytics data you gather throughout your event can also attract their interest. Other businesses would love detailed information regarding the target market they are attempting to reach. 

Keep in mind that the size of your expo hall isn’t an issue while conducting a virtual event. This implies that you can increase revenue by selling as many sponsorship packages as you can.

Himanshu Sharma, CEO and Founder, Academy of Digital Marketing

Evaluate Networking Opportunities Gained

I gauge ROI from participating in virtual summits in terms of the networking opportunities I gain in the process. I evaluate the number of connections I make through links on social media, LinkedIn in particular, email address exchanges, or someone reviewing my company’s product. The focus is not entirely on the numbers, but on the possibility of future business and collaborations.

Liam Liu, Co-founder and CMO, ParcelPanel

Bring Value to Your Target Audience

As a female founder of one of the largest independent packaging companies in North America, I have participated in and hosted several virtual summits. These events have been a gateway to connect with customers, peers, and fellow industry experts. In addition, they have also helped us to generate a significant return on investment.

An important tip for seeing ROI from participating in or hosting a virtual summit that I have noticed is to focus on providing value to your target audience. 

Focus on creating a program that provides genuine value and experience to your audience. This might involve bringing together industry experts to share insights and expertise or offering training sessions or workshops that teach sought-after skills or knowledge. By focusing on providing value, you will attract a larger audience and build a strong reputation as a leader in your industry.

Kathy Bennett, CEO and Founder, Bennett Packaging

Include a Pre-event Marketing Strategy 

One tip for seeing ROI from participating in or hosting a virtual summit is to create a pre-event marketing strategy. This should include a strategy for engaging potential attendees, creating a presence on social media, and building relationships with potential partners. 

Additionally, creating a pre-event email series to remind attendees of the summit and providing incentives for signing up early can help to boost attendance. Finally, setting up affiliate programs for additional revenue and offering discounts for larger groups or individuals signing up together can also be effective.

Andreea Saveluc, SEO Team Leader, NoN Agency

Optimize Content to Match Summit Topic

Summits look to engage an audience by zeroing in on a particular topic that poses a challenge in the industry, requires urgent addressing, or offers opportunities. This approach draws a larger audience and contributes to the summit’s success. 

So, if you seek to increase your ROI, a dominant strategy is to optimize your content so that it matches these issues that are being addressed and helps the audience understand how partnering with your brand could prove to solve and fight these challenges or maximize opportunities. 

Relevance is of great importance to an informed audience, and in establishing yourself as relevant in a particular situation, you can hold their attention and also steal the limelight at a virtual summit.

Ariav Cohen, VP of Marketing and Sales, Proprep

Choose the Right Platform

After hosting a few successful virtual summits, I have found that the key to maximizing return on investment (ROI) is in choosing the right platform. Choose a platform that will provide you with the necessary features, such as automated emails, simple registration, and easy integration with your website. 

It should also be customizable and user-friendly so you can concentrate on marketing and promotion efforts instead of worrying about technical issues. Do thorough research when selecting your virtual summit platform for maximum ROI.

Joe Troyer, CEO and Growth Advisor, Digital Triggers

Want to start a Virtual Summit of your own? This post might help: How To Plan A Virtual Summit For Your Business

Bloggy Friends Chime In – Must-Read Books for Entrepreneurs

20 Must-Read Books for Entrepreneurs - blog banner - woman reading a book

If you’re an entrepreneur, you know that reading is essential for success. But with so many books out there, it can be difficult to choose which ones to grab and which ones to throw in the garbage. That’s why I asked my bloggy friends to send me THEIR top picks for the must-have books for entrepreneurs. This list features several of them. Let’s dive in, shall we?

This post does contain affiliate links. If you purchase a book through one of these affiliate links this website will receive a small commission at no additional cost to you. Thank you for your support!

20 Must-Read Books for Entrepreneurs

From Scaling Up by Verne Harnish to The E-Myth Revisited by Michael E. Gerber, here are 20 answers to the question, “What are the best books for entrepreneurs you’ve ever read and why?”

Scaling Up by Verne Harnish

The best book for entrepreneurs I’ve ever read has to be Scaling Up by Verne Harnish. This book does a fantastic job of delivering insight into how companies can grow and scale up successfully, by immersing the reader in a three-step process. 

It starts off with getting the right people on board, which covers both hiring staff and creating the right executive team in order to make your dream happen. It also looks at systems and strategies; breaking down key concepts such as setting achievable goals, different funding strategies available, and understanding the market you plan to enter or exist in. 

To top it off, Scaling Up shares stories from successful businesses that give great insight into what made them successful. It’s a must-have for any entrepreneur who is looking to make a mark on their industry!

Antreas Koutis, Administrative Manager, Financer

Duct Tape Marketing by John Jantsch

Many regard John Jantsch, the author of this book, as a leading small business marketing expert. His book is all about implementing low-cost marketing strategies that work. 

He also makes a compelling case for thinking of your marketing strategy as a holistic, integrated system. This book will guide you on how to grow your business without overspending on advertising. Moreover, this book can help you build a stronger relationship between your product and your audience.

Joe Flanagan, Founder, 90s Fashion World

Thinking Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman

Thinking Fast and Slow is the first thing that comes to my mind because it stuck to its guns and delivered exactly what it promised. So many supposedly influential books for entrepreneurs try too hard to be interesting, thought-provoking, and a page-turner at the same time. 

Kahneman, on the other hand, wrote a book that you don’t want to read fast because you feel like the wisdom held within, about how we think, should be carefully studied. It’s the best because I will always find an excuse to come back to it.

Natalia Brzezinska, Marketing and Outreach Manager, PhotoAiD

The Lean Startup by Eric Ries

One book that has profoundly impacted my entrepreneurial mindset is The Lean Startup by Eric Ries. This book skillfully articulates that entrepreneurs must prioritize the development of a minimum viable product (MVP) while constantly adapting it based on customer feedback. 

Ries highlights the significance of data-driven decision-making, endorsing that continuous experimentation is the cornerstone of sustainable growth. Furthermore, the author advocates for establishing an innovation-oriented culture within a startup—a crucial aspect that fosters adaptability and resilience in an ever-changing business landscape.

Michael Sena, Founder and CEO, Senacea

Zero to One by Peter Thiel

Zero to One was such an important book for me to read because it revealed that there is still room for innovation and the creation of new inventions that people need. We may think there is nothing new to invent, but Thiel tells us that if we do the research, we can discover new ways to create valuable inventions people need. 

Progress can still be made in every area of business, and what’s most important is that entrepreneurs must be able to think for themselves if they want to succeed. The book is easy to follow and offers practical advice on becoming an independent thinker who can create new and valuable ideas for their customers.

Anthony Martin, Founder and CEO, Choice Mutual

People Buy You: The Real Secret to What Matters Most in Business by Jeb Blount

This book showed me that my biggest competitive edge was myself. You must do the groundwork to build the skills and experiences you need to excel in your field, but there will always be many others doing the same and competing against you for the same customers. 

Entrepreneurs can’t discount the importance of building relationships to drive their businesses to success. Blount explains the three relationship myths that become your roadblocks and advice for making deeper emotional connections faster.

Shawn Plummer, CEO, The Annuity Expert

Rich Woman by Kim Kiyosaki

Rich Woman by Kim Kiyosaki is inspiring and empowering; a true must-have arsenal for any businesswoman. Through this book, I acquired a wealth of knowledge on economics, finance, and overcoming any shortcomings that come my way. 

It had me feeling like I could take on the world with new confidence! Rich Woman taught me how to become smart with money and make it work harder for me, not just survive but thrive in any type of market or industry. The vast amounts of stories Kim shares about her own journey were extremely helpful as well since she seems to have experienced it all—successes as well as failures which she later triumphantly turned into successes. Rich Woman is truly a phenomenal guidebook for entrepreneurs of all levels!

Lorien Strydom, Executive Country Manager,

Deep Work: Rules for Focused Success in a Distracted World by Cal Newport

This book is a good read for anyone living in our modern world, but it’s especially important for entrepreneurs like me who are often trying to make more time in their day magically appear. Deep Work breaks down the basics of focus so you can gain more control over your mind and start strengthening this superpower. 

I can’t make more time in my day, but this book has helped me maximize what I can accomplish every minute, every week, and every year.

Ruben Gamez, Founder and CEO, SignWell

Shoe Dog by Phil Knight

Shoe Dog is a memoir that details the journey of Phil Knight, the founder of Nike, and his team from the inception of the idea to the company’s massive success. What I love about this book is that it’s not just a success story, but it’s a story of perseverance, grit, and resilience. 

Phil Knight takes the reader on an emotional journey, detailing all the difficulties he faced while building Nike into the iconic brand it is today. The book is filled with valuable lessons that apply to any entrepreneur looking to build a successful business. If you haven’t read Shoe Dog yet, I highly recommend it.

Shaun Connell, Founder, Writing Tips Institute

Rocket Fuel by Gino Wickman and Mark C. Winters

Rocket Fuel has a lot of great nuggets of information. For example, the authors suggest setting a few 90-day goals. This is very similar to the “OKR” (i.e., objectives and key results) format for goal-setting. The idea is that if you try to set annual goals, they are too big and don’t feel time-limited. 

In contrast, 90-day goals are more intense, and setting a few of them enables you to put deep focus into achieving them. Another great tip from the book is to define yourself as either an integrator or a visionary. Then, you hire someone to fill the other role. As an integrator, I seek out visionaries as my clients because I enjoy helping them to realize their dreams.

Dennis Consorte, Digital Marketing and Leadership Consultant for Startups, Snackable Solutions

The Hard Thing About Hard Things by Ben Horowitz

The Hard Thing About Hard Things offers a candid look at the challenges of entrepreneurship, sharing the author’s own experiences and offering practical advice on how to navigate difficult situations. 

I appreciated the honesty and vulnerability that Horowitz showed in sharing his failures and mistakes, which made the book feel more relatable and authentic. In addition, the practical advice and strategies offered in the book are invaluable for anyone starting or running a business. 

So, I highly recommend this book to anyone looking to learn from someone who has been through the trenches of entrepreneurship.

Will Gill, Event Entertainer, DJ Will Gill

Crush It by Gary Vaynerchuk

The best book I’ve ever read for entrepreneurs, without a doubt, is Crush It by Gary Vaynerchuk. A lot of books written for entrepreneurs can be filled with unhelpful platitudes, but this one contains actionable and tactical advice that you can immediately implement into your business plan. 

It resonated with me in particular because it focuses on building an audience and creating content to build authority and trust. In particular, Gary emphasizes the importance of utilizing social media platforms to build relationships with customers and share your message. He also outlines specific strategies for turning hobbies into profitable businesses based on passion and experience—something I think is at the heart of successful entrepreneurship.  

So, if you’re looking for a practical how-to guide filled with inspiring stories of success, then Crush It is, without a doubt, the way to go!

Maria Harutyunyan, Co-founder, Loopex Digital

The 4-Hour Workweek by Timothy Ferriss

The 4-Hour Workweek: Escape 9-5, Live Anywhere, and Join the New Rich is about outsourcing—delegating many of one’s mundane tasks to another person or organization. 

Ferriss believes that if you focus on optimizing specific tasks to save time, you can live a more fulfilling life with your newfound freedom. His writing style is both informative and entertaining as he mixes personal experience with practical advice and relatable anecdotes throughout the book. 

It encourages readers to be creative in their own business endeavors, inspiring them to be creative when implementing new strategies into their workflows. Overall, this book is an invaluable resource for entrepreneurs who want to master the strategic principles of efficiency and success.

Michael Alexis, CEO, tiny campfire

Grit: The Power of Passion & Perseverance by Angela Duckworth

Entrepreneurs face a consistent stream of peaks, valleys, and everything in between. The term, “grit,” has historically been viewed as a “pull yourself up by your bootstraps” or power-through-the-tough-times type of sentiment. Angela Duckworth reframes the attribute of grit for founders as sustained interest, sustained effort, and a keen focus on long-term goals.

The combination of passion and persistence is required for entrepreneurs to conquer their goals and aspirations. Angela alludes to the psychological assets of grit, including interest, practice, purpose, and hope. Digging into the emotional response side of entrepreneurship in this book yields dividends for anyone who is embarking on starting their own company. Give it a read!

Roman Villard, Founder, Full Send Finance

Year of Yes by Shonda Rhimes

Shonda Rhimes shares her own professional experiences with readers in Year of Yes. Rhimes describes her transformation from a timid and anxious introvert who turned down several opportunities to a self-assured public speaker and powerful figure who accepted every opportunity that came her way. People who wish to come out of their shells and make their voices heard should read this book.

Not only does Rhimes give an insight into how a successful person became that way and the things one can do in their day-to-day life that can help to push them in this direction; it reveals a lot about the hardships, which I found most important. A lot of these books portray a story of a few quick tips on seeing immediate success, whereas this more realistically tells of the struggles of changing in order to achieve one’s goals.

Aiden Higgins, Senior Editor and Writer, The Broke Backpacker

How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie

It’s old, but it’s good. One of the best books for entrepreneurs I have ever read is How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie. It may seem odd for a business book, but its lessons on human behavior and effective communication are invaluable for anyone looking to succeed in any field.

The book teaches you to understand and empathize with others, communicate more effectively, and develop better interpersonal skills. It emphasizes showing a genuine interest in people, listening to their needs, and finding common ground. These skills are crucial for building strong relationships and establishing trust, which is essential for business and life success.

Overall, How to Win Friends and Influence People is a timeless classic every entrepreneur should read. Its practical advice and insights are just as relevant today as when the book was first published in 1936.

Shane McEvoy, MD, Flycast Media

The Art of Thinking Clearly by Rolf Dobelli

The Art of Thinking Clearly is a fantastic read that helped me get clear on critical thinking processes so I could meet new challenges with even better decisions. 

Entrepreneurs can’t afford to waste time on ideas that aren’t viable, and this book helps lift the veil on indecision so you can make smart, informed decisions and quit pursuing avenues that won’t end up being worth it. Dobelli spells out the common misjudgments entrepreneurs (and people in general) tend to make and how to best avoid them.

Denise Hemke, Chief Product Officer, Checkr

Rich Dad, Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki

Rich Dad, Poor Dad offers life-changing insights into building wealth and gives practical advice on how to become financially independent. The book emphasizes the importance of financial education and includes many tips on investments, taxes, and budgeting. 

It also provides a comprehensive overview of different businesses and how to best take advantage of them. By understanding the basics of investing and business, readers can equip themselves with the knowledge they need to make sound financial decisions. Rich Dad, Poor Dad has helped countless entrepreneurs become successful by arming them with vital financial know-how.

Martin Seeley, CEO, Mattress Next Day

Wellness Incorporated: the Health Entrepreneur’s Handbook by Jennifer Buchanan

Buchanan’s book is a must-read for anyone in the healthcare profession looking to start a business without burning out or losing their passion. 

While many entrepreneurship books center on success or profit, Wellness Incorporated focuses on the reasons and values behind wanting to start a business. It can be so easy to lose sight of these core values as we try to make our business a success.

Buchanan helps her readers to keep their eyes on their values and their goals. 

This book perfectly balances inspiration with actionable steps to keep you motivated but also constantly moving forward. Buchanan offers insight into her experiences as well as tips and tricks to help kick-start your entrepreneurship journey. 

While this book is catered specifically to healthcare entrepreneurs, every entrepreneur can learn from it. Buchanan provides a unique look at sustainability and your own personal wellness while also building a successful business.

Dr. Shara Posner, Founder, Back To Health Center

The E-Myth Revisited by Michael E. Gerber

The E-Myth Revisited changed the way I approach my business and how I think through important decisions.

Through this book, I understood that a successful business is a set of finely tuned systems. Your job as an entrepreneur is to develop, maintain, and improve those systems whenever you can. Only then can you find the best people to operate those systems. 

A business should depend on processes, not people, and everything will eventually go back to the creation of these internal systems.

I highly recommend this book be read by any and every person who will learn new things and try out fresh ideas, which should be every entrepreneur.

Yeonsil K., Founder and CEO, Home Spritz

How to Build a Strong Personal Brand on Social Media

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So you want to build a strong personal brand on social media? These tips from the experts might help you do just that!

Today, a strong personal brand on social media is essential for business professionals and content creators to cement themselves as thought leaders and notable individuals within their business niches. This is no easy task, and it can be difficult to find a place to start. These business professionals share valuable insight into how to build out a strong personal brand that will increase your reach on social media. 

Experts Chime In – How to Build a Strong Personal Brand on Social Media

Regularly Share Content

“Consistently sharing valuable content is crucial to building a strong personal brand on social media. This is because sharing relevant and informative content helps establish your authority in your niche and helps you connect with your audience. When you regularly share content, you create a consistent presence on social media that helps you stand out from the crowd. Sharing content tailored to your audience’s interests, needs, and pain points also helps you build a community around your brand. Creating a loyal following of engaged followers will lead to more customers who trust your brand and become brand advocates. In short, regularly sharing content is the best way to build a strong personal brand on social media and establish yourself as an authority in your industry.”

-Saneem Ahearn, VP of Marketing at Colorescience

Keep Social Posts Positive & Engaging

“To build a strong personal brand on social media, it’s essential to create positive and engaging content. By sharing upbeat and informative content, you can attract more followers interested in your message and likely to share your content with others. This is important because the more your content is shared, the more visible your brand becomes. Engaging with your followers by responding to comments and messages can help build trust and credibility, ultimately leading to stronger relationships with your followers. A post that is negative or controversial, on the other hand, can damage your reputation and turn off potential followers. It is important to keep your posts positive and engaging on social media to establish a credible and likable personal brand.”

– Clayton Howard, Director of Analytics at Net Pay Advance

Stay Authentic

“It’s important to stay authentic when building your personal brand on social media. People are drawn to brands that resonate with them by establishing deep connections through their content. This means your brand should be true to its values and what they stand for by sharing personal stories, opinions, and life experiences that are relevant to both your brand and your audiences. This helps your audience truly know that there are real people behind your brand and will ultimately trust it more, building a strong personal brand based on authenticity and credibility.”

– Jonathan Krieger, VP of Sales at Fabuwood

Keep a Positive Online Reputation

“More often than not, people are drawn to personal brands because of its reputation.. Thus, it’s crucial that you build a positive reputation and maintain it as it has a huge impact on how others will perceive you professionally and personally. In order to monitor and maintain your reputation, it’s important to check your social media channels regularly, responding to any comments or reviews in a timely and professional manner. If there is any negative feedback or if someone posts something negative about your brand, you will need to address the issue as soon as you can professionally and respectfully. Not only will this help resolve the issue quickly, but it will also show others that you value your audience’s opinions and want the best for them, overall boosting your reputation.”

– Joe Acosta, Digital Marketing at BBQ Galore

Stay Up To Date With Trends

“A great way to build up your personal brand is by keeping up with the latest trends on social media. The social media landscape is constantly changing and trends come and go in an instant, so it’s important that you stay relevant by keeping a strong online presence by hopping on the most current trends. One way to do this is by following industry leaders and influencers, as these are the people who are always in the know about insights, news, and trends in the industry. Social media algorithms are also key in staying updated, as they will usually automatically adjust your feed to show you what is trending at the moment. Paying attention to anything new or different will help you shape your content strategy so that you can ensure your personal brand stay relevant and engaging to your audience.”

– Bill Lyons, CEO of Griffin Funding

Choose the Right Channels

“To build a strong personal brand, it’s important that you utilize the social media channels where your target audience is at. Different demographics use different social media channels, so you need to meet them where they are. For example, if you are trying to target an audience that consists of millennials, you might use platforms such as Instagram or Twitter more than others. Targeting your audience by meeting them where they are is efficient because you don’t need to waste time on platforms that aren’t popular for your audience. However, you also need to ensure that whichever channel you use also makes sense for your brand, so leveraging this with what channels your audiences uses will help you become successful.”

– Peter Reagan, financial market strategist at Birch Gold Group

Study Influencers

“When building a strong personal brand on social media, one of the best tips is to learn from influencers. By observing successful influencers in your niche, you can gain valuable insights into how they communicate with their audience, the type of content they post, and the strategies they use to grow their following. Studying influencers can also help you stay up-to-date on the latest trends and changes in social media algorithms, which can be essential for maintaining your online presence. Incorporating what you learn from influencers into your brand strategy can increase your chances of success and establish yourself as a trusted and respected figure in your industry.”

– Adrian Pereira, Founder and Ceo of

Know Your Target Demographic for Your Content

“In order to start building a strong personal brand on social media, it’s extremely important for any self-starter to know and understand your target demographic for your content. First off, and obviously enough, you need to ask yourself what kind of content you would like to consistently make. What would you want to produce as content on the  daily that would be important to you and others? Second, you should narrow down which group of people would love to watch the same content you want to produce. Is your content for entertainment purposes or for professionals in a certain field of work? Will it be tailored for kids or will you have an adult audience that will want to watch your content? What are certain trends and styles of content delivery that are popular in what you want to create? By asking these questions and knowing what target audience you want your content to reach, you’ll be able to achieve success off the bat as you’ll have a great idea of what these people want to see. Once your target demographic is found, make sure to stay relevant and on topic with every post, including prioritizing content that aligns with your personal brand. An extra handy tip is to consider clearing off old posts and photos to keep your branding fresh and fully consistent.”

– Chris Hunter, Director of Customer Relations at Service Titan

Consistent Brand Colors

“Using consistent brand colors is an important part of succeeding in social media. Consistent branding helps create trust and familiarity with your followers, shows professionalism in your brand, and makes it easier for them to recognize your posts and content. When you use the same colors across all of your profiles, images, graphics, and other content, people become more familiar with what your business is about and what to expect from you.  This makes it easier for them to remember you and come back for more content.”

-Todd Jensen, Head of Marketing, Nursa

Collaborate with Other Brands and Influencers

“By partnering with other influencers and brands that share your values and style, you can tap into their audience and expand your reach. Additionally, collaborations can help to build your reputation and credibility within your niche, as you are seen as someone who is respected and valued by your peers. Making connections with other brands in your niche can be a learning experience as well. Collaborating with similar brands can make the process of making content more creative, and even more fun by being able to bounce ideas off of each other.”

-Sacha Ferrandi, CEO and Co-founder at Source Capital

Create a Brand Guideline for Consistent Messaging 

“Staying consistent in your brand messaging on social media is key to building a strong and recognizable personal brand. One of the most effective ways to ensure messaging stays consistent across all channels is to develop a brand guideline Create a set of guidelines that outline the language, tone, visual elements, and overall message that you want to convey through your social media channels. Developing a comprehensive brand guideline helps businesses and individuals ensure that messaging is consistent across all channels, helping to establish a strong and recognizable brand identity. Additionally, brand guidelines can be shared with team members, partners, and others to ensure that everyone involved in representing the brand is aligned and consistent in their messaging across the use of all social media platforms.”

-Lev Berlin, Founder of Recipal

Establish Unique Value Proposition 

“Differentiating yourself in a crowded market can be hard but establishing a unique value proposition that differentiates you from your competitors is a critical step in building a personal brand. A value proposition can be just a simple statement that clearly communicates the benefits and added value of your products or services. Once you have identified your strengths and how they benefit the customer, social media can be used to emphasize the value. This means using consistent messaging and providing examples that highlight key elements across all channels. By using your value proposition and personal brand on social media, you can build a strong online presence, connect with others in your industry, and attract new opportunities.”

-Matt Gehring, Head of Marketing at Dutch

Build Your Brand with Groups

“Joining and actively participating in related groups on social media platforms is one of the most effective ways to build a strong personal brand. You can establish yourself as a trusted authority in your industry by connecting with other group members, engaging with their content, and offering help and support. Building relationships with other group members is crucial to building a solid personal brand on social media. By engaging in conversations, sharing valuable content, and offering your expertise, you can gain the trust of other members and build lasting connections. Moreover, being an active group member can help you gain visibility and expand your reach on social media. By consistently providing value to the group, you can attract potential clients or customers and establish yourself as a go-to resource in your field.”

-Jeffery Pitrak, Marketing and Account Manager at Transient Specialists

Interact with Your Audience on a Consistent Basis

“If you are trying to build a strong or stronger personal brand online, the first thing you need to consider is how much you are engaging with your audience on social media. Try to respond to comments as frequently as possible, especially in the early stages of building your brand. This can incentivize your audience to interact with your posts which will help your performance on the social media’s algorithm. Your responses and interactions with your audience also actively show them that you care about what they have to say and that you care about making a connection with them. You also will be able to gather insight about what kind of content your audience is enjoying and what content they may not prefer as much.” 

-Brandon Brown, CEO of GRIN

Building out a strong personal brand on social media is not easy, but with consistent work and dedication, you are sure to carve out a great spot for your brand online. By internalizing the insights and implementing them, you can witness a remarkable upsurge in your personal brand’s impact and influence.

Establish Your Brand Identity and Consistency

“To create a robust personal brand on social media, you’ll want to kick things off by defining who you are and maintaining a steady, recognizable image across your online presence. Think of your brand identity as the essence of what you stand for, your core values, and what makes you stand out in your particular field. It’s like having a unique fingerprint that sets you apart in the digital crowd. This means that when you share content, engage with your audience, or simply present yourself on social media, it should all align with this brand identity, making you easily recognizable and trustworthy in the eyes of your followers. In essence, your consistency in messaging and content is the bedrock of your personal brand’s success in the online world.”

– Phil Sandner, President at  Easy Spa Parts

Dog-Friendly Charcuterie Boards: Barkcuterie

Dog-Friendly Charcuterie Boards Barkcuterie Header

The newest craze in charcuterie boards is Barkcuterie! These are dog-friendly charcuterie boards. Learn all about them in this post.

This post contains an affiliate link that if used for making a purchase provides this website with a commission at no additional cost to you. For more information, please read my disclosure policy.

Give your dog (and Cat) the love they deserve with these beautiful and fun food boards

Now you don’t have to exclude your fur babies from the festive food with over 25 themed snack boards for holidays, special occasions, milestones, and just because. Barkcuterie is a special take on the classic charcuterie board that is for every human’s best friend.

Curated by social media’s favorite corgis, Hammy and Olivia (@hammyandolivia), each artfully designed barkcuterie board is chock-full of delicious homemade and store-bought dog treats. You’ll have fun making the quick and easy boards and even more fun sharing all the goodies with your dog. For cat owners, don’t worry! Hammy and Olivia have included a cat board for their feline friends. So, dress up your pup, get the camera ready, and celebrate:

  • National Dog Day
  • Halloween
  • Christmas
  • Valentine’s Day
  • Birthdays
  • Gotcha Day
  • Cinco de Mayo
  • and more

I asked Hammy and Olivia’s fur parents a few questions, and here’s what they shared with me:

1. What inspired this Barkcuterie book?


I’ve been told my entire life that dogs should never be fed from the table, and you’d probably imagine that, over time, it becomes easier to deny my pets food whenever they give me that look. It hasn’t.

My willpower is tested each time they cozy up next to me, and I have this constant desire to include my dogs in meals whenever we gather around the table, but, sadly, we can only invite them to breathe the same air as us and watch us enjoy our food that isn’t catered to their digestive systems. This has never made sense to me.

My fondest memories are when my family would gather around the living room, indulging in appetizers, clinking glasses, and laughing so much that we forgot the meal we were cooking is now burning in the oven.

Grabbing a yummy appetizer from the charcuterie board felt familial, and everyone in the room was welcome to reach over and dig in! I wanted to make those same memories with my pets, but it required a shift in the food that was being served.

2. How do you choose what to put on a Barkcuterie board?

Dog Friendly Charcuterie Boards Barkcuterie Book Snacks

When we first decided to make “happy hour” a dog-friendly event in our home, we leaned heavily on Alexa to let us know if dogs could enjoy some of the foods that my fiance, Sarah, and I would have with our wine. “Alexa, can dogs have blueberries? cheese? almonds?” You’d be surprised at the amount of everyday snacks we love that can also be shared with dogs. You will also be surprised at the amount of snacks that you can’t share with dogs.

We’ve asked Alexa so much that we can recite her responses by heart. “Blueberries make a healthy snack for dogs. They are a good source of vitamins and minerals for dogs, and most dogs like them. However, you should always consult your veterinarian before giving your dog something new.”

I always loved that last part because, of course, it’s a liability disclaimer for Amazon, but it’s also very real. You should consult your veterinarian about what you’re giving your dog outside of his typical meal plan. So we decided to consult multiple veterinarians on hundreds of ingredients so that any dog lover won’t have to.

We conducted all of the research to ensure that anything offered to your pet on one of these boards will be easy on a canine digestive system (in moderation, of course). We want each board to contain a balanced approach of crisp/starchy, refreshing/comforting, or fresh/savory. So mixing in the right amount of fruits, vegetables and starches create well-balanced experiences for both dogs and humans.

3. Can you share a little bit about Hammy and Olivia?

Dog-Friendly Charcuterie Boards Barkcuterie Book Olivia Hammy Patriotic

Hammy is a super social butterfly that has an endearing passion for the culinary arts. In other words, he’s my shadow in the kitchen! Whenever it’s time to cook, he sports his own apron and hat and enjoys plating food with me (while taking his “nibble tax”).

He’s the first to greet a guest at the door and brings such a vibrant personality into any room he struts into.

His spunky sister, Olivia, can be a very picky eater when she wants to be and very much prefers the finer things in life (silky pillows, gourmet food, etc).

She’s super sassy and adopts the role of a canine Cher Horowitz from “Clueless” around our home. She has her own closet room with over 300 outfits that she sports each day to her social media followers.

The two of them together are like sugar and spice, and the perfect flavor profile for a pair of dogs…and a snack board!

About the Author’s

Hammy & Olivia are social media’s favorite “talking dogs.” Their family-centric, everyday-relatable shenanigans are sure to make you laugh or do an eye roll. Within one year, Hammy opened his own takeout cafe, and Olivia never misses an opportunity to voice her displeasure in any given situation. 

Get Your Copy of Barkcuterie Today!

Advice for Getting Work Done on Difficult Days

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Feeling unmotivated and burnt out? This roundup of advice for getting work done on difficult days might help!

Let’s face it, some days, work sucks. I don’t care if you work for yourself, or someone else. There will come days where you just simply don’t want to work. That’s why I decided to reach out for advice. I asked a bunch on people a simple question:

How do you get work done when you don’t want to? Here’s what they had to say:

Set clear and achievable goals

Set clear and achievable goals – setting clear and achievable goals helps me stay focused and motivated. I make sure to define what I want to accomplish and make a plan to reach those goals in a realistic time frame.

Second, break tasks into smaller, manageable parts – Breaking tasks into smaller, manageable parts makes the workload less overwhelming. I prioritize and schedule my tasks in a way that allows me to take on one task at a time and make steady progress towards my goals.

Chris Muller, Vice President of Money Under 30

Focus on what happens if you don’t do the work

My name is Tanisha Coffey. I’ve been a self-employed entrepreneur for 18 years. Currently, I’m a homeschooling mompreneur of three, running two businesses–The Lofty Entrepreneur and Rock Solid Financial. It’s not easy and there are definitely times when I feel so burnout or frustrated that I do lose motivation to keep going. So, for me, when the going gets tough for me and I don’t feel motivated, one or both of these things work for me:

(1) If I am coming up with excuses left and right as to why I can’t do something or don’t feel motivated to do something, I turn my I don’t want to because… or I can’t because… into I have to because… or I can’t NOT do it because… For me, that statement tends to end with …because my family is depending on me.

(2) The other thing that motivates me is to think of the alternative. Whatever I am doing for business, I am doing so, in most cases, because it’s necessary to continue generating income my family depends on. So, if I don’t do those things, I will still have to generate income in some

way…and the way that typically comes to mind is going to work for someone else. The thought of that–having to clock in, losing power / control, having someone I must answer to and giving up a majority of the freedoms I (and my family) currently enjoy…well, all of that jolts me back pretty quickly into action and motivates me to keep going.

— Tanisha Coffey, The Lofty Entrepreneur and Rock Solid Financial 

Get active and exercise!

As a personal trainer, entrepreneur, and blogger, I have firsthand experience with the challenges of staying motivated, especially on days when it seems like nothing is going right. Here are some tips that have helped me power through and maintain my momentum:

Get active: Exercise can be a powerful motivator, especially when you’re feeling down. A workout can boost endorphins, help you clear your mind, and provide a sense of accomplishment.

Prioritize self-care: Taking care of yourself, whether through relaxation, meditation, or simply taking a break, is essential for maintaining motivation and energy levels.

Evander Nelson

Practice active rest

I work with business owners from many countries — overload and searching for motivation is our global problem. I switch through active rest. If you work with your head and rest inactively (just being at home), your brains will not switch. I am learning to play golf, I ride a motorcycle a lot, I go for walks. You need a physical hobby that requires attention and effort.

Another hobby that energizes me is vocal. I practice 2 times per week. I like it both from an aesthetic point of view and in terms of the fact that it helps me control my voice. After all, I record a lot of content, I talk a lot. I can use it in business and projects. Singing does not take much time and brings great pleasure — so why not?

— Alexander Visotsky, Visotsky Inc

Reframe your mindset

I’m John Willis, the founder of convertfree. I’m a senior software developer on a mission to pursue knowledge and skills to better aid my colleagues and the products we develop. As an entrepreneur in the tech field and going through the situation, I would like to share my thoughts

on this topic. 

To reframe your mindset and focus on the benefits of completing a task, Identify the negative thoughts that are hindering your motivation. Challenge those thoughts by asking yourself if they are based on facts or just assumptions and Focus on the positive aspects of the task, such as the benefits it will bring to you and others.

Also, set realistic, achievable goals and break the task into smaller, manageable parts, use positive self-talk to boost your confidence and motivation. Visualize yourself successfully completing the task and enjoy the feeling of accomplishment.

— John Willis, Founder at Convertfree

Lean on your systems

My name is Donald Williams Jr., adulting coach and founder of Adulting Starts Here, an adulting blog aimed at helping young people transition into adulthood.

Creating systems that help me think less and do more has been extremely helpful in building Adulting Starts Here. I have a certain system that helps me more efficiently and effectively do topic and SEO research. I have another system that helps me streamline my outlining process which directly feeds into my ability to draft my blog posts more quickly.

As I’ve spent more time over the years working on Adulting Starts Here, this system has become less about thinking and more about reaching the markers I have set for myself.

With that said, regardless of my motivation, these systems I have put in place have allowed me to 5x my audience and find a better balance between other passions and my family.

— Donald Williams Jr., Founder of Adulting Starts Here

Go back to basics

Working in the fitness industry, there is a requirement to always project an image full of energy and enthusiasm, even when you are feeling exhausted or unmotivated. When I find myself starting to feel like this, I recognise it as a warning sign that I have been neglecting my own health regime and focussing too much on work.

I go right back to basics and schedule in my workouts for the week ahead, making completing them non-negotiable. I’ll also look at my diet, and if I think I’m falling back too much on unhealthy convenience foods, I will prep meals for the next few days, so I know I am eating well. It’s basically a case of taking the advice I would give to a client and applying it to myself, then being as strict about sticking to it as I would with a personal trainer checking up on me!

By recognising the signs and taking action, I’m usually back to myself within a few days, proving that diet and exercise really do make all the difference, and even health professionals have to remind themselves of that sometimes.

— David Mason, Founder of Barbells Abroad 

Schedule the day and week ahead

I am both a freelancer and self-employed, as I operate my blog and work on the side as a freelance social media manager for an independent publisher.

Being someone who works remotely and has no boss looking over my shoulder, it’s important for me to power through even on the days I have no motivation.

Here are the things that have helped me…

1. Schedule my day the night before. I time-block my day out so that I can stay on task. That means setting a time table for waking up, beginning my work, specific tasks, and a strict end time. This makes it way easier for me to stay on track with my priorities for the day.

2. Have a to-do list for each week. Having small goals to complete helps me feel purposeful in my work and helps when I lack motivation. Working towards something always makes me feel like my work is meaningful.

3. Create a work area for myself. Since I work at home, it’s tempting to work on my bed, couch, or patio. However, when I set up my desk, it helps me successfully get my tasks done quicker. The right environment = more productivity.

4. Put my phone on “do not disturb” or in the other room when I am working on my main priorities. It’s easy to get distracted by social media, so this has been a huge help for me.

Samantha Kaiser, The Lifestyle Travelers    

Remember where you’ve been

Consider what you were doing before becoming an Entrepreneur – Were you answering 24/7 to a boss who was less than sympathetic? Less than encouraging? Less than cordial even? Take that fear of returning to a world of answering to someone else and fortify your thoughts on maintaining your top level position as answering only to yourself (and then do so)!

Remember that when you do the fulfilling life’s work you are meant to do – you are helping others fulfill their dreams as well. You may be sharing expertise, coaching or simply living by example as a business owner that inspires others.

Do you have a personal theme song? We all have our motivational songs that lift us up out of our mental space. Think of the songs that get you on your feet, get you singing or fist pumping and blast those speakers or earbuds! Music and weather affect our moods more than anything else.

Bundle “have to do” tasks with “want to do” rewards. For example, If you procrastinate invoicing, consider giving yourself a lovely treat once that task is complete – like a special coffee or special spa service.

— Moneen Daley, Get Mo Vibe

Focus on avoiding bad feelings

When I have no motivation, I am able to power through by reminding myself of two things. The first reminder is when my family was homeless and I don’t ever want to feel that feeling of destitute again. It’s not cute and no one cares. The second reminder is, I know my work supports mothers and caregivers experiencing burnout. And when I am able to power through my lack of motivation moments and share my experiences with my audience, it will encourage them to power through too.

— Elease Wiggins, A Farewell to Welfare

Marketing Experts Chime In – Best AI Writing Software Alternatives to ChatGPT

Best AI Writing Software Alternatives to ChatGPT Header

What are the Best AI Writing Software Alternatives to ChatGPT? I asked a bunch of marketing experts, and this post features their answers!

15 Alternatives to ChatGPT AI Writing Software

I’m a huge fan of asking groups of people questions about tools they are using in their businesses to market their brands, get the word out, and do all the things. I believe that crowdsourcing answers to big questions is the best way to get real advice for making a business work.

With this in mind, I wanted to ask a bunch of marketing experts about AI writing software. Considering everyone is talking about ChatGPT these days, I wanted to know about the alternatives and if there are still businesses that aren’t using it at all.

From pairing Neuraltext with personalization to the human touch, below are the answers I received to the question, “Other than ChatGPT, what are the best AI writing tools you have used for your brand’s blog?”

NeuralText and In-house Personalization

I think AI-based writing tools are the future, and I am a huge proponent of them. However, with that said, I don’t think they’ve quite developed yet to where they are a copy-and-paste type service. 

It is very difficult to just take what they write for you and drop it directly into a blog post. The writing still lacks soul. And it may always, given that it’s not written by a human. But that’s where I think you get the perfect blend of cost efficiency and soul—using an editor to polish and personalize the AI-generated content. 

We use NeuralText to generate the skeletons of articles, which we then flesh out with thoughts and personal touches. It’s a brilliant combination.

John Ross, CEO, Test Prep Insight

The Hemingway Editor

The Hemingway Editor helps me simplify and clarify any written content. It analyzes text for readability, including things like sentence structure, word choice, and passive voice usage, and offers suggestions for improvement. 

This helps ensure that the writing is clear, concise, and easy to understand, which is important for engaging and retaining the readers’ attention. It also offers suggestions for making text more concise and reducing wordiness, which is useful in conveying information in a limited amount of space, such as in blog posts.

Johannes Larsson, Founder and CEO,


Articoolo uses advanced AI algorithms to generate articles on a wide range of topics, and it produces highly accurate and well-written content that is often difficult to distinguish from articles written by human writers. 

Despite these benefits, I am currently not using AI tools for writing for my brand’s blog. While AI writing tools are certainly powerful, I feel that they are not yet advanced enough to replace the creativity and voice that comes from human writers.

Dustin Ray, Co-CEO and Chief Growth Officer, IncFile

No AI, Lacks Understanding of Technical Concepts

I’m not using AI tools for writing content for my brand blog. They are not always well-suited for writing technical content because they cannot provide the same level of accuracy and customization as a human writer. 

AI technology can produce quality content, but it cannot yet understand complex topics in depth or provide detailed and nuanced explanations. Furthermore, AI tools lack the creativity a human writer can bring to the table. The more complex or specialized the subject is, the less suitable AI tools are likely to be.

Kate Wojewoda-Celinska, Marketing Manager, Spacelift 

Anyone who has used ChatGPT knows it can deliver some odd results, and now that the platform has become so much more popular, it seems to experience a fair bit of downtime.

I’ve had a lot of success with, which is designed for digital marketers, content creators, and business owners who need high-quality content for their websites, social media platforms, and other marketing channels. uses advanced natural language processing (NLP) and machine learning algorithms to understand your input and generate content that matches your style, tone, and desired outcome. You can input a keyword or phrase, and will generate a variety of content options for you to choose from.

With its AI-generated content, you can quickly and easily create product descriptions, blog posts, social media updates, and other forms of written content. It also has a really simple and intuitive interface that makes it very easy to use. We’ve had some excellent success with it.

Shane McEvoy, MD, Flycast Media

No AI, Because of Google’s Helpful Content Update

Late last year, Google introduced its Helpful Content Update. What this update does is look for content that is written by AI and de-prioritizes it in Google search. Google is looking for content that is written for humans, by humans, in its algorithm. 

This is one reason we do not use AI tools for writing. We don’t want to risk being penalized by Google and being lowered in the SERPs. It might be convenient to use AI writing tools, but in the long run, your business will be better off not pursuing them, unless Google changes its policies.

Marshall Weber, CMO, Stor-It

Rytr Writing Assistant

This is one of the AI assistant tools that makes travel blogging easier and more creative. It helps set the tone according to the piece and choose a template according to the content and style. 

The key is to set your primary keyword and select variants accordingly. You just have to press to get instant results. Highlighting certain paragraphs could also get you more information on the relevant topic.

I feel this comes in handy for us when we want to know about what the customer’s opinion and want is on that topic. It helps us shape an outline for the content and work on it with our research.

Sean Harris, Managing Editor, FamilyDestinationsGuide


Grammarly gives you suggestions for grammar, punctuation, context, or other errors. You can change the tone, audience, and formality of the text you write. Depending on your audience, you can change the suggestions. 

You can also use it as an extension on your browser or apps, and it can help you write the perfect message. You can choose to take up their suggestions or ignore them to your comfort. They have a free and premium version. The premium version gives you more acute and refined suggestions. The software is a must for every professional writer.

Isabella Meyer, Editor, Art in Context

No AI, Not Advanced Enough

Real writers create our blogs because that human element is essential. AI tools lack the same level of creativity or the ability to fully grasp creativity in action—”understanding” and “doing” are two very different things.

ChatGPT is churning out content that sounds relatively good, but the quality isn’t high enough to use. We must ensure everything we share aligns with our audience’s needs and perfectly conveys our brand tone and values—too much is at stake to rely on AI.

Maximilian Wühr, CGO and Co-Founder, FINN


Hands down, it has to be Wordtune. It’s superb! Wordtune is an AI-powered platform that uses natural language processing and machine learning to generate content tailored to the user’s specific needs. It has a range of features that allow users to customize the content they need, including custom topics, writing style, and tone. 

Additionally, it has an intuitive interface that makes it easy to use, even for those who are not tech-savvy. For instance, users can select specific topics for their content, such as “Artificial Intelligence” or “Sustainability,” and Wordtune will generate content that matches their tone and style preferences for those topics. 

For example, Wordtune can generate content that is concise and straightforward for a business blog, or more poetic and creative for a literary magazine. So, if you ever need to write a paper about AI or sustainability but can’t think of anything to say, Wordtune has got you covered!

John B. Martyn, Content Manager, BrightestMinds

I’ve used Hoppy Copy ‌over the last six months and have enjoyed my experience using it. It’s been effective in helping me create content for several channels, including my blog, and it has streamlined things. 

Using smart templates and the ability to customize via specific keywords and goals, Hoppy Copy has helped us pump out more unique content in order to meet deadlines. Plus, the team at Hoppy Copy are complete professionals and solid people who want to create the best platform possible so their clients can benefit from it. I love the platform as it is now, and I look forward to seeing where it goes in the future as well!

Shaun Connell, Founder and CEO, Credit Building Tips


Quill is a natural language processing platform that provides automated writing help for businesses. It can help generate content ideas and autogenerates content for blogs, press releases, emails, and more. 

It can also suggest edits to existing content to make it more effective. The AI-driven suggestions help to ensure that the content is optimized and aligned with the brand’s tone and style. I find Quill is a great tool to help save time and effort when creating content.

Michael Chen, Growth Director, Notta 

I am thoroughly impressed with the impact that has had on our business. Not only has it helped us to grow, but it has also allowed us to save money and become more efficient. I have never encountered software as powerful as Jasper; it truly feels like a partner rather than just another tool in our arsenal. 

It has been a game-changer for our content creation; we use it for everything from Facebook ads, emails, our website and landing pages, to blogs and so much more. Jasper’s writing skills are superb, and his ability to grasp and understand our brand, as well as our goals, has been priceless. If you’re looking for help with your content or copywriting, I highly recommend!

Shumail Ur Rehman, Founder, SEO Boost


ChatGPT, as a content writing tool, is really overrated. We mostly use Frase for AI content creation and/or content inspiration, and it’s absolutely great. Instead of inputting a query like with ChatGPT, you can try 30+ different content-specific tools like meta description generator, introduction writer, and so on. It’s simpler to use, and the output is better, too.

Nick Zviadadze, Founder, MintSEO

No AI, We Need the Human Touch

Instead of using AI tools for writing, we prefer to create our own content. I believe AI tools can be useful in industries where there are dedicated data points and pieces of information. AI, after all, does lack a certain nuance that only humans can provide. 

In the food industry, I don’t believe AI would provide great personal reviews and recipe recommendations. When writing reviews, suggestions, or other content, we provide our readers with both factual and personal comments. This allows them to gather all details and opinions, as well as form their own opinions, before pursuing a purchase or trying a new recipe. 

We write everything ourselves because we believe that the human touch and opinion will provide better, more rounded information than AI-generated content.
Shawn Hill, Owner, The Grilling Dad