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1) Business Ideas And why they are successful
Stonyfield does a great job of staying true to its brand by creating a targeted theme within its blog. As you can see from the image below, they use a barnyard as their home page backdrop and include pictures of healthy families and articles about healthy living. All of these components reinforce their theme of family and healthy living. Plus, notice how they say “Let’s Be Friends,” a much friendlier, warmer way to encourage people to connect with you on your social sites.
They also use video in a very genuine, behind-the-scenes kind of way. Just like their blog’s theme of family and farming, their videos are not professionally done, but with real people living the life-style they personify. Many of their videos come from the farm of an organic dairy farmer in Vermont, who supplies milk for their products. You can’t get much more behind-the-scenes than that!
blog with farmer
Staying true to your theme, as Stonyfield has done with their videos, allows your audience to know, like, and trust you. This is key to building a solid blogging foundation.
Another thing they do very well is their use of soft sales messages contextualized in value-added content. For example, they may write an article about the importance of eating organic fruit but weave in the idea of mixing Stonyfield yogurt with your fruit for an extra dose of nutrients. There’s nothing wrong with promoting your products on your blog; just remember that the most successful blogs place added value before selling.
The Stonyfield Farm blog is a great example of a big brand using their blog to build community and educate their readers about their market.
Tip: Try to weave in a theme throughout your blog. To help with this, consider inviting outsiders to contribute to your blog. Another great tip is to go deeper by allowing your audience to see what’s behind the curtain. Behind-the-scenes stories and footage invite the reader in even more and will help you create content that stays true to your theme.
#3: Pioneer Woman
Pioneer Woman is an excellent example of a successful lifestyle blog. The blog’s creator, Ree Drummond, has used her blog as a platform for a variety of projects, including promoting her cookbook and showcasing her photography. Her “secret sauce” lies in her ability to connect personally with her readers while creating a welcoming, friendly and warm experience one blog post at a time.
One great example of Ree’s welcoming persona is her simple bio on the home page. And take a look at her social sites. They’re easy to see and are also uniquely designed to match her site. This is smart branding at its best!
pioneer woman bio
Another way Ree is consistent with her branding is in her blog’s header. She changes it depending on the season and time of year. Because so much of country life is about holiday and seasons, this small touch is directly aligned with the overall vision of the blog. Also, notice her brilliant use of photography. Photos on a blog are essential when you want to create a feeling or experience for your readers.
In addition, her blog layout is easy to navigate, which is extremely important considering the short attention span of most readers today. Ree has added icons that allow you to view her blog in multiple ways, including multiple blog thumbnails to a page or just a few at a time. You get to decide. These small touches are just some of the reasons her readers continually return for more.
pioneer woman graph
Tip: Be aware of your brand when you’re designing your blog. Consider using photographs and brand-specific design elements to draw in your readers. By increasing your blog aesthetics, you can easily create a more personable and relatable experience for your readers.
Citrix’s unique blogging strategy is all about adding value. Their blog, Work Shifting, is a work/lifestyle blog that focuses on the issues people in business experience when on the move. What’s interesting is that you have to really look hard to know which company is behind the blog because Citrix downplays their involvement. Instead, they’ve put their audience’s needs first and have created a space that resonates with their audience’s needs and interests.
In addition, to set their blog apart from the rest, they use distinct visual branding with their logo and images. Plus, their visual branding is memorable—another surefire sign of a successful blog. In addition to their branding, notice below how the content and topics are all about the target audience’s needs. This is key when creating a blog that’s bigger than your own brand.
They also use a broad range of contributors—people who do not actually work for Citrix. This is a smart strategy to diversify the content of your blog and attract new readers via those who already follow your contributors.
Tip: Focus on adding value to a market that’s bigger than your brand. You can do this by collaborating with contributors who are experts in your market and who will resonate with your ideal audience. Offer as much free value as possible and keep your sales messages as low-key as possible to keep the focus on the content. This strategy will build trust with your target audience and keep your readers coming back for more.
#5: Danny Brown
Danny Brown’s blog is a terrific case study for consultants or anyone with a personal brand. This site positions Brown as an expert in his field and showcases his expertise, knowledge, and services.
A brilliant feature of this blog is the way Danny presents his consulting services without being too pushy or arrogant. It’s all about the language he uses. Instead of saying “Hire Me” on his site, he instead uses the phrase “Work with Me.” It’s a subtle shift in language but conjures up an entirely different experience.
Digg diggIn the image above, you’ll also see that Danny uses the cliffhanger concept by posting a snippet of a blog post and then adding a “read more” button to get the reader to dive deeper into his blog site. This is a powerful way to get people’s attention and entice them to stay a little longer and explore your site. Also, this concept helps you save space on your home site by just giving a teaser of your article content.
I WANT TO BECOME A BETTER MARKETER!
One of my favorite features on his blog is the share sidebar next to his blog posts. The WordPress plugin is called Digg Digg and the sidebar floats on the screen. When a reader scrolls down the page, the sidebar follows them. This is a smart way to make it as easy as possible for people to share your content.
Tip: Make content sharing on your site as easy as possible for your readers. If they have to look around for the share features, they’ll likely skip sharing altogether. Consider using the Digg Digg plugin to make this possible on your site.
2) 10 ways to Make Money
Want to make some extra money quickly? Well, there are all sorts of opportunities to do just that if you're willing to put in a little bit of effort. Our guide contains 50 money-making ideas, including clever ways to make cash online, by using your home, or by using the money you already have. You can jump to the section you’re most interested in using the navigation links above. If you want to continue your money makeover, we've also got a guide on 50 ways to save money that you should check out afterward. Make your money work harder One of the best ways to make some extra money on top of what you earn is simply to make the money you have work harder.
1. Boost your savings rate Interest rates on savings accounts are generally pitiful across the board at the moment, but there is still a big difference between the top-paying accounts and the worst accounts on the market. In July 2017, Which? the analysis revealed that a third (34%) of easy-access accounts pay less than 0.25% or less on balances of at least £1,000. You can use the Which? savings booster tool to find out how much more interest you could be earning by switching your account. Move your money into a Best Rate savings account to maximize the amount of interest generated. Head over to Which? Money Compare to find the best rates for your savings Alternatively, you should check out the current accounts that pay interest. Find out more: best bank accounts if you're always in credit - our tables show which account is best for you.
2. Get paid to switch bank account The introduction of the Current Account Switching Service has made it easier than ever to change bank accounts, which has made providers keen to tempt switchers. Some banks will pay you cash or vouchers worth up to £175 to switch your current account. Find out more in: the best bank accounts for cashback - our tables show which account is best for you.
3. Use your Isa tax-free savings allowance The overall annual limit to invest in Isas tax-free is £20,000 in 2019-20, and it can be split between a cash Isa, stocks and shares Isa or innovative finance product. It's worth exploring the best Isa deals on offer to ensure you aren't needlessly handing over the interest you make to the taxman. Shop for an Isa using Which? Money Compare.
4. Use a credit card that pays you Cashback credit cards reward customers every time they make a purchase. You receive a percentage of your spend back on your card as credit. By putting your everyday spending on the card, you could potentially earn hundreds of pounds a year. However, it's important to avoid spending more than you can afford to pay back at the end of the month, as the interest charges are likely to outweigh any rewards. You can use Which? Money Compare to search for the right cash back credit card for you.
5. Try your luck with premium bonds don't pay any interest, but each bond is entered into a monthly prize draw in which holders can win up to £1m. Since August 2014, the number of £1m jackpots doubled from one to two. There's no guarantee that your returns will be as high as those offered by traditional savings methods, but the opportunity to become a millionaire overnight can be tempting. Find out more: our premium bonds guide shows you the odds of winning a prize or watch the video below. Play Video
6. Pay off expensive debts before saving Don’t make the mistake of saving while you’re still paying off expensive debts – you’ll be throwing your money away if you do. The amount of interest you’re charged is likely to be a lot more than what you earn in interest on savings. Paying off £2,000 on a credit card attracting 18.9% APR (with 2.5% minimum repayment) would save you £349 a year while stashing £2,000 in a savings account earning 1.5% would earn you £30 over the same period.
7. Start stoozing with your cash Stoozing is a way to make money from a 0% purchase credit card. It involves using a 0%-interest credit card to do all the spending you would normally do from a current account. You then put the money that would have left your current account into the highest-interest savings account available. Provided you pay the minimum monthly payment on the credit card and clear the balance before the 0% deal expires, you can potentially make hundreds of pounds a year through this method. Stoozing was popular a few years ago when saving rates were high. Nowadays it’s harder to do, as saving rates have fallen off a cliff. That said, once they start to rise, this savvy move is likely to come into its own again.
8. Check your benefits There are plenty of benefits available from the government that can help boost your finances. The problem is knowing which you’re eligible for. Entitledto.co.uk has a great benefits check-up tool that can help you figure it out.
9. Reclaim lost cash You could have money sitting in a forgotten bank or savings account. The UK government reckons there is around £330m left forgotten in dormant accounts. Find out more: How to find lost bank and savings accounts – this guide explains the steps you need to take to reclaim your cash.
10. Lend your cash using p2p websites Peer-to-peer or p2p websites directly match savers with borrowers. They can offer more favorable rates to both sides compared with traditional banks because of lower overheads. However, there is a bigger risk of losing some of your investment through a borrower defaulting on their loan. What's more, peer-to-peer websites aren't covered by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS), meaning your funds aren't protected if the website goes bust. Find out more: our guide on peer-to-peer lending looks at the pros and cons, or watch the video below.