Running any kind of a blog is a ton of work, especially if you’re trying to get into a specific niche, such as travel. But don’t worry, I’m not going to spend all my time here telling why it’s so hard and how you’ll never make it. You’ve probably heard all of this already: The niche is saturated, there are too many big sites out there, it’s too much work – blah blah blah.
I don’t buy it. Not for a second. If you’re determined enough, have some nice ideas, and are willing to work to make it happen – then you will. This article is going to cover the advanced stuff that you need to know, such as the importance of email marketing.
Let’s get started.
1. Utilize Email Marketing
If you’re not – then stop everything you’re doing and start utilizing email marketing today. Email marketing is one of the oldest marketing methods out there, and it just so happens it’s the most effective method when it comes to reaching your audience today.
One of the first things you need to do is build an email list, and you can do this by offering your readers something in return. Incentivizing them to give you their email is very effective. You’ve probably seen this before; blogs give out free eBooks, courses, or useful .pfds in exchange for someone’s email address.
There’s almost no blog out there that doesn’t do this, and that alone tells you how effective this method is. Once you have your email list, the possibilities are endless; you’ll have a direct line (email is very personal) towards your audience.
But creating a list is just the first step. You also need to run email marketing campaigns, find and use email templates, track and compare your campaigns so you can improve, and a few other major things.
Does all this sound too complicated? That’s because it is, at least if you tried to do it all by hand – which no one does these days. Luckily, there’s a ton of software out there that automate this process.
One of my favorites is ConstantContact, as their whole set-up is really user-friendly and easy to use, and the most important thing – it gets the job done. If you’re wondering, here’s a very good review of ConstantContact.
2. Make Sure You’re Guest Blogging
I suppose (hope) you are if you’re already running a travel blog, but if you’re not, I suggest you look into starting as soon as possible. Guest posting is nothing short of being just another way to gain more readers, fans, and eventually a bigger audience.
Have a cool travel story to tell or a new idea for an article for your own blog? How about this, write up the article, and then approach an existing travel blog. Ask them to have you on as a guest blogger, with a link to your blog.
This does two things. It gives you exposure to their readers (some of which might become your active followers), and it gives them content. If we were in a perfect world, you’d have links to your blog on some of the most popular travel websites out there – but we’re not.
What I’m trying to say is that getting an opportunity to guest post on a high-authority website isn’t going to be easy. You’ll first need to find suitable blogs, and then figure out whether or not they accept guest posting. If they do – great! Pitch them your idea for an article and hope for the best.
If you haven’t done this already, you should know that it’s likely most will decline your offer. It’s normal for new sites and bloggers to approach dozens of other websites before getting a chance to guest post.
3. Get Social Media Savvy
The thing that a lot of blogs and businesses tend to neglect with social media, is to actually be social. I reckon you’ve already set-up all your social media profiles and there are people liking and commenting your stuff. Get engaged with your audience, talk with them, respond to the comments, and share things from other bloggers that you think your audience might enjoy.
Besides being social, you also need to be active. But at the same time, make sure you don’t spend hours upon hours on it every day. The best thing to do is to sort out a schedule for your day, figure out when’s the best time to post, and when’s the best time for you to go in and respond to a few comments.
You also need to use every platform in a certain way. What works on Instagram might not work on Facebook or Google+. For example, Facebook is probably best for one or two posts a day, with short captions on top. Facebook live is an awesome way to connect with your audience further if the situation is right.
Twitter is more about updating your audience, and for linking your new articles. Set up a schedule to post a link and perhaps one or two images of your new articles a couple of times this month. Do this with every new article. Also, don’t over-do hashtags.
Instagram is obviously all about beautiful pictures of the places you’ve visited. But while you’re at it, feel free to post a nice description and also ask a question that encourages your followers to engage with your content. Hashtags are also big on Instagram, use them wisely, and also always tag your location, this will help with discovery for potential new nearby followers.
There’s a very good reason why Thailand is one of the hottest travel destinations in the world. In fact, there are a lot of very good reasons.
Nowadays, you would be hard-pressed to find someone who hasn’t been—or at least thought about going—to Thailand. The country of eternal sunshine, spectacular scenery and mouth-watering food, Thailand has a lot to love.
So, without further ado, here are my reasons why should book your Thailand vacation right now.
1. The Food is Sensational
Let’s start this list with the most important point: Thai food is the bomb. And, guess what? You can get really good Thai food in Thailand. From the fancy restaurants in Bangkok to the omnipresent street food vendors, everything that touches your lips out there will be a delight.
If you are unfamiliar with Thai food then Pad Thai and Massaman Curry are a good place to start. Mild but delicious, they make a good segue into more adventurous dishes.
2. The Beaches are Perfect
Let me just qualify this. There are some beaches that aren’t perfect. Haad Rin beach on Koh Phangan after the full moon party is not perfect. It is very far from perfect. But, for the most part, the beaches on Thailand’s famous islands are pretty spectacular.
If you want to find the best beaches steer clear of the most popular islands, such as Koh Phi Phi, Koh Samui, and Phuket. Instead head to Koh Tao, Koh Samet, and Krabi. There will be far fewer people and the beaches will be utterly sublime.
3. It is a Very Respectful Country
Any girls reading this post, this one is for you. Going to a country where you are constantly being harassed can completely ruin your vacation. Thailand is by far one of the most respectful places I have ever been. Women don’t get cat-called or wolf-whistled and in general, the men are respectful almost to a fault.
This means you can walk around in shorts and a tank top without feeling exposed. And, you can don your bikini without yells of sleazy encouragement.
4. You Can Hang Out With Elephants
You’ve probably seen photos on Instagram of tourists in oversized uniforms frolicking in a lake with elephants. This is a real thing you can do in Thailand but proceed with caution. There are some genuinely ethical elephant sanctuaries and there are some that aren’t so great. The Elephant Nature Park in Chiang Mai is one of the best if you want to interact with elephants.
Also be aware that riding elephants is a big no-no. Whatever they might tell you, elephants should not be ridden as it can cause long-term harm to their backs. Feeding and bathing the elephants are fine though.
5. The Temples Will Blow You Away
It’s hard to walk down a street in Thailand without seeing some kind of temple or shrine. The exterior of a temple is usually pretty impressive, but the outside is nothing compared with what’s inside. With gold glinting everywhere and dozens of Buddha statues, the interior of a Buddhist temple is opulent to the max.
If you want to see something really amazing, check out the White Temple in Chiang Rai.
Take note that there are a few rules you’ll need to follow when you visit a temple. Firstly, you need to dress modestly. This means that men should wear long pants and women should cover their shoulders. You should also be silent inside the temples and refrain from flash photography.
6. The Nightlife is Off the Chain
If you are a party animal, or even just partial to a couple of beverages now and then, Thailand has got you covered. The nightlife here is renowned for being pretty wild. Bangkok and the islands are the hub for the biggest parties, but there is still action in the smaller regions.
You should expect buckets (literally buckets) of ambiguous booze and a lively atmosphere. There are also red light districts in every city – if that’s your thing. Also, the nightlife in Thailand is supposedly one of the most LGBTQ friendly in the world.
7. The Diving is Spectacular
Koh Tao is said to be the cheapest place on earth to get your PADI diving license. So, if scuba diving is on your bucket list then you can tick it off here. But, more important than it being cheap, the quality of the diving in Thailand is incredible.
With transparent water and an abundance of colorful coral and tropical fish, there’s plenty to see in the sea. Most diving schools offer free accommodation when you sign up for a course. This makes your experience even more affordable!
8. Thailand is Really, Really Cheap
Of everywhere I have ever been in the world, Thailand is one of the cheapest. I usually judge the cost of a country based on the price of a meal and a beer. In Thailand, if you want a big plate of delicious Thai food and half a liter of Chang (the local beer), you will need to fork out a grand total of about $3.
Transport in Thailand is also incredibly cheap with an 18-hour train journey setting me back a mere $60. In brief, you don’t need much money to live like a king out there.
9. The Markets are Awesome
I am a huge fan of markets and Thailand thoroughly impressed me. Among the most incredible is the Chatuchak Weekend Market in Bangkok. This market comprises 35 acres of stalls selling literally anything you could imagine. From clothes to food to pets to artwork, this market has everything.
If you are looking for something a bit more manageable, check out the night bazaar in Chiang Mai. Every town will have a market so just ask around and you will be pointed in the right direction.
Despite the turbulence of the market following the result of the EU referendum and the continued Brexit negotiations that began early this year, manufacturing statistics have shown that the country’s economy is bouncing back to life.
In the latest report released by the office of national statistics, it was revealed that the value of UK manufacturer’s produce sales finished off at £364.7 billion in 2016. This depicts a 1.9% increase compared to the total of £357.8 billion in 2015. This is a positive turn following a 1.3% drop from 2014 to 2015 the previous year.
An overview of the main points in the report
The largest divisional growth was observed in the manufacture of trailers, motor vehicles and semi-trailers. The division grew from £6.2 billion to £54.8 billion in 2016.
The furniture manufacturing industry and the production of other non-metallic mineral products also showed a strong growth in 2015.
However, the largest decrease across the whole manufacturing sector was recorded in the machinery and equipment (not classified elsewhere) manufacturing. For the second consecutive year- between 2015 and 2016- figures fell by £0.7 billion.
It is worth noting that these statistics cover only product sales by manufacturers in the UK, and it is different from UK retail sales statistics. The statistics show estimates as the of the product sales as valued at the current price. This means they haven’t been adjusted for inflation. This is a necessary consideration for comparing the change in value over time.
Within UK manufacturing, the manufacturing of food products continues to be the largest division. Even though this division experienced a minor growth in 2016, rising by just 0.3% to £66.5 billion- 18.2% of the entire UK manufacturing sector.
Industries in this area generally had a mixed performance last year, with noticeable sales growth in grain mill products and farm animal feeds. However, there was a drop in the sales of manufacture of pastries, cake, and bread.
In general, the entire UK manufacturers’ sales have increased, although 50% of companies in the sector recorded a decline. One of the largest declines was evident in the manufacture of basic metals, which has continued to drop for the past 5 years, with a total sales decline of 33.9%- almost £3 billion- in 2011.
Why is this important?
These statistics indicate that the UK economy is bouncing back, even though manufacturing is just a segment of the whole economy. Nonetheless, it employs a total of 2.7 million people and contributes 10% of the GVA. It also makes up for 45% of the country’s total export figure.
As people continue to express doubts about the future of the UK economy post-Brexit, it is worth understanding that divisions such as automotive and food sectors are still providing excellent returns on investment.
In time, it is believed that other areas, including equipment for oil and gas manufacturing, will level up and boost the overall economy. That is not to say that this will occur overnight.
The growth will take some time, but it will happen. According to the ONS, the sustained growth will continue to a better quality, a more competent workforce and a shift in the manufacturing of goods from low to high productivity levels.
Things are difficult for today’s small business entrepreneur, especially with the ongoing Brexit negotiations and how it might impact the market.
There are some common challenges small businesses face and they tend to come up regularly in startup conferences. If we can resolve most of these problems, a significant part of the work is covered.
While there are dozens to consider, we have picked the 4 biggest challenges and how we can overcome them.
1. Cash flow issues
This is by far the biggest challenge every small company will face. They need money to scale, to conduct new product research, promote existing products, pay staff, compete in new markets and so on.
As a small business, it is not unusual to have clients stalling payments or unexpected outgoings and bills that are outstanding. Be sure to use money management tools for business, to manage your finances and reduce complex cash flow problems. You can also use online invoices and automated reminders to persuade customers who are yet to pay.
2. Fatigued and overworked
Most small businesses are usually understaffed. As a result, the owner/founder (and partners) spend long hours working and wearing themselves out. In the long run, this can affect the ability to perform, including productivity levels and serving clients’ needs.
Embrace strategic delegation methods. Start by hiring experts to manage key areas of your business portfolio. Of course, it means compartmentalizing them to ensure every function is adequately served. Learn to stop micromanaging as this does not only discourage staff, but reduces your own productivity.
3. Winning over and retaining valuable customers
Most startups are torn between investing in new customers or managing existing ones. The truth is both decisions need not be mutually exclusive. You can focus on business development while serving you loyal clients effectively. To do this, research your consumer base, find out where you connect most with them. Identify these pain points and serve them accordingly.
Once you have developed a strategy for winning new customers, you will need to ensure you can keep them. It is common knowledge that it is cheaper (and easier) to retain to retain existing customers than win new ones. Therefore, a good part of your efforts should be focused on this endeavor.
4. Motivating your staff
Your human capital is one of (if not the most) important asset of your business. It is essential to make sure everybody keys into the vision of the company. Know what they want (besides more money) and try various team building exercises.
For example, organise regular programs as a team outside of work. Make everybody feel comfortable with each other. Is the work environment a happy place? Is your staff equipped with the relevant work solutions? You can motivate them in many ways without necessary increasing their salary.
Finally, look out for your overhead. Excessive cost is one way to drain a business’ revenue very fast. Switch to more sustainable energy sources and watch your overhead reduce drastically. Running a business is not easy, but tackling each issue one at a time can take you to the desired next level.
The buy-to-let world can certainly seem like a dangerous, mysterious jungle to new entrants and those who don’t have any experience in the property market. However, with a bit of guidance from the pros, you’ll find that getting into the market and making it big in good time is very possible. So how did they do it?
The good old way
Landlords make their profits pretty much the same way and that is by using the money they get from cashing in on one property to buy another one. They repeat the same process over and over until they finally have a small empire. It’s almost like gambling, but not your regular kind of gambling because it is done with calculated risks.
Run away from high service charges
It is great to start out in a place where you don’t get to pay too many service charges, however, if you start out your investment career in more expensive places like London, it is important that you branch out from that area as your portfolio expands.
Protection is key
The average landlord may decide to stick with home insurance only, but the smarter ones go for landlord insurance as well. While landlord insurance is not an obligation according to the law, it can protect a buy-to-let investor from risks that normal insurance won’t protect them from. It can prove to be a serious lifesaver for your finances.
Research is crucial
If there is one thing that all successful buy-to-let investors will agree on, it is that research is absolutely important. Many buy-to-let investors have learned from their mistake of not properly researching an area before buying a property there. By doing proper research, you’ll find out just how much the tenant demand is and if the property is worth investing in. When you know exactly what you are getting into, you’ll be able to decide whether it is worth it or not.
Amenities win every time
Properties located in areas where there is fantastic infrastructure always win. Look out for property located close to good schools and have excellent transport links. Amenities like that are highly attractive to tenants and the houses will always fetch a good price.
Avoid huge mortgages at all costs
Huge mortgages are simply a disaster when you are looking to invest in buy-to-let properties because if you have humongous mortgages on all the houses you own, then you really don’t own anything. What you should be more focused on is how much the investments are bringing in.
The newer the better
The older a house gets, the more likely it is to have issues. Instead of going for older homes, go for new-build homes because they usually have fewer problems and are more likely to comply with building regulations.
Don’t let the buy-to-let investment world scare you away. With the right plan in place, you can make good money in less time that it will take others to do it.
Nowadays, more and more people are leaving the static life behind them and heading out in an RV in search of adventure. The prospect of the open road and a nomadic lifestyle are certainly becoming increasingly appealing as housing prices soar and the traditional job market remains saturated.
So, you’ve decided you want to swap bricks and mortar for wheels and a motor. What do you do next? Somehow you’re going to have to make a living while you’re one the go because that RV of yours isn’t going to fuel itself. You might have decided that working online is the perfect way to generate some income, but what if that’s not enough.
When you buy an RV you have at your disposal a very useful money-making tool. Indeed, you can use this tool to start up your very own side business. And, you can do this with relative ease.
How Can I Generate Revenue From My RV?
Rent it out with RVShare. Just as Airbnb is a platform for individuals to rent out their properties, RVShare works in the same way but with RVs instead of static accommodation. The only requirement to use the website is simply to be in possession of an RV. Tick that box and you’re good to go. All you need to work out after that is where you’re going to stay while your vehicle is being rented.
How Does RVShare Work?
RVShare acts as an online marketplace for RV rentals. Owners simply need to post a listing of their RV with a description of the vehicle and a price per night. Once it is online, potential renters can then browse through the listings until they find one that suits their needs. In other words, it connects people for a specific reason, meaning that virtually everyone who visits the site is a potential customer.
How Do I Make My RV Stand Out?
Naturally, with a website like RVShare the power is very much in the hands of the consumer. This means that those posting ads need to work a little harder to make their listing stand out. Here are some simple tips to get more business.
Offering discounts related to the number of nights renters want the vehicle; providing a solid and compelling description; and making sure you have quality photos will all help your RV get noticed.
You might also want to include certain things with your RV such as kitchen equipment, first aid kit, coffee machine etc. These benefits are appreciated by buyers and will put you ahead of someone renting an RV that lacks these things.
How Much Can I Earn From RVShare?
How much you make really depends on you. If you have good customer service and have a good quality RV that has been kitted out with a bunch of great mod-cons, you could be making thousands of dollars in your first year alone. Of course, once you get the hang of it, your earnings will increase exponentially.
How Can I Be Sure I Will Get Renters?
There is no guarantee that your RV will constantly be rented (and you may not want it to be if it is your primary domicile). Nevertheless, there are things you can do that will definitely increase traffic to your listing. The number one way of doing this is with online reviews.
Once you’ve had your first renter, encourage them to write a review. This gives future renters an idea of what they are in for. The more positive reviews you get, the more people will want to rent your RV. Simple!
Exploring the world on a permanent basis is seen as a luxury by many. But thanks to amazing developments in the tech sector, it’s possible to make money while traveling the globe!
Take note of these five tips to discover how you can make money abroad.
1. Set Up A Drop Shipping Business
Want to start a business but don’t have a lot of starting investment? Don’t worry – you can always start your own drop shipping business.
With this option, you join forces with a wholesale supplier, who has access to a warehouse with hundreds of products. You set up a website that sells the products online, and then liaise with your wholesale partners to organize storage and shipping.
So what does all this mean? Drop shipping, in essence, allows you to run a successful business without having an office or warehouse of your own. Once you have a decent Internet connection, the world is your oyster!
2. Teach English To Make Money While Traveling
If your first language is English and you have a passion for sharing knowledge, teaching English is a great way to make money while traveling. Hundreds of schools throughout Asia, Latin America and the Middle East look for fluent Anglophones who’ll be able to engage classes of children and adults.
If you’d prefer to avoid the morning commute to work, you could also teach English online! Several Chinese companies actively search for English speakers to teach online video classes.
If either option sounds good to you, consider getting an official TEFL or TESOL certificate.
3. Make Money While Traveling By Playing Poker Online
If you’re something of a card shark, playing poker or casino games online is a great way to make money while traveling. Set up an account with NetBet Casino and start placing your bets.
Not only is poker a fun game, it can also teach you a lot about business. This time-tested card game helps you to identify if you have a positive edge over opponents and calculate odds and expectations. It also helps players to accept that not everything in life or business is predictable.
When it comes to online casinos, there are plenty of opportunities to win big. If poker isn’t your thing, take some time out and enjoy the numerous games on NetBet. Enjoy yourself while in for a chance of hitting the jackpot!
4. Hone Your Creative Skills And Become A Digital Nomad
As more and more jobs involve working remotely, making money while traveling has never been easier. The term “digital nomad” is becoming increasingly common, and is especially popular among young creatives.
First, think about your skill set. Are you a Photoshop master? Do you have a way with words? Do your abilities mean you can work anywhere, so long as there’s a power outlet and reliable Wi-Fi?
If you already have a job, ask your employer if working remotely is a possibility. If not, use sites like UpWork and LinkedIn to find assignments and show off your portfolio.
5. Network With The Locals To Find Exciting Opportunities
Travel is an amazing opportunity to broaden your horizons, as well as earn a bit on the side. Likewise, many clients based in other countries are open to employing foreigners for a fresh pair of eyes. Don’t be afraid to reach out to businesses wherever you travel. You never know what you might find!
While working abroad, be mindful of any cultural differences you might encounter.
Remember to “do as they do”, even when some traditions may seem outlandish. Join in with local customs and festivals, and accept that deadlines and other business practices may be treated differently.
Choosing the life of a digital nomad is a dream for many. Imagine – earning a great living while traveling the world!However, some may feel daunted by the prospect of ensuring online lead generation while working remotely. Breathe easy – numerous online tools and practices make it easy. Here are some essential recommendations.
Create Engaging Forms For Lead Generation
First of all, you’ll need to reach out to your customers and make contact. How? Simply use customer registration forms and see your lead generation soar.Brainstorm ideas for creating engaging forms that are both useful to you and entertaining for the customer. Forms at the ends of quizzes or on social media can really help drive up conversion rates.You can use registration forms for creating online order forms, sign up sheets or polls, which can then be shared on your website or social media.
Devise Great Content For Your Customers
If anything is going to contribute to your business’ lead generation, it’s creative and unique content. Whether you work in drop shipping or in another online enterprise, quality articles and posts are paramount in creating customer trust. Start by looking at your website’s analytics. Who’s visiting your website? How old are they? Where are they from? What are they looking for, or clicking on? How often do they visit? This will help you build a customer profile, and help you build content tailored for them. For example, an article’s voice and content for a female in her early 20s will be vastly different to a male in his mid-50s. Once you’ve built a customer profile, you’ll know how to create your content, and when to publish it to ensure lead generation.
Maintain A Content Calendar That Brings In Lead Generation
While checking your website analytics, you’ll also see when potential customers visit your online business, and how long they stay for. This will help you develop a content calendar to ensure great lead generation.
Not all businesses make a profit. You can see this phenomenon when you think about the restaurants that have come and gone from your local strip mall over the years. Rather, the identifying characteristic of a business in the United States is that it has an EIN number. If you put resources into a project but don’t report it on your tax return, it is simply an expensive hobby. If you and others make money from your project but do not file taxes for it, it is an organized crime racket. To be a legitimate business in the United States, the project must pay taxes or show exemption from paying them. To do this, it needs an Employer ID Number (EIN).
What Are the Different Types of EINs?
When you apply for an EIN, you must specify the type of entity. For example, you can apply for a corporation EIN or an LLC Tax ID number. There are even EINs for churches, non-profit organizations, estates, and trusts. The process of getting an EIN is the same for all entities. You just have to specify your entity type on your application.
Why You Should Incorporate?
If you incorporate (register your business), you will probably end up paying less money in taxes, not more. Even if you are self-employed, you should still get an EIN for your very small business project. Many entity types have the specific purpose of avoiding double taxation. LLCs and S-corporations are especially popular choices. These entity types are appropriate for self-employed people. They are also appropriate for businesses too small for a corporation to be a suitable choice of entity.
You should incorporate so that your business can operate legally. Doing so will also save you money at tax time.
I learned about this thing called drop shipping when I was in Thailand. I was traveling through the Asia and stayed there for a month, teaching scuba diving to replenish my travel resources. That is how I met a client that changed my life and introduced me to the world of drop shipping.
In essence, it is a brilliant way to get started in the retail business without a significant starting investment. You can start your business online, selling hundreds of products without the struggles that usually follows. With drop shipping, you don’t need the storage facilities for all the selling items. There are no stores or complicated logistics that go along with starting a sales business.
You don’t sell physical product
You will be selling products that you don’t physically own in your warehouse. How, you might ask? Simply! All you need to do is to partner up with a wholesale supplier selling an item, commodity or product. They will do all the heavy lifting and store your goods. They will even send it out for you. All you need to do is to communicate with the buyers and your partners holding the assets.
I don’t want to make this sound overly simple, but it is a lot easier than the conventional sales method. The incredible beauty of drop shipping is the number of steps you cut down on. It is very convenient, easy and fast. With a good idea and sound business strategy, your chances of success are much higher. Especially when you don’t need to worry about storage, transport, security and many other things.
No office, no storage – you are free but connected to the Internet
But, I digress. I started this story by telling you how I loved traveling. So, how does it connect to the drop shipping? Also, easy! If you choose to do business this way, you will gain something that was so important to me: freedom. Not having to worry about the offices or the storage spaces means that you are free to go anywhere you want to. If there is an internet connection in the area – it can be an office. I found this very stimulating, and it motivated me to go on forward with my plan.
As my only real obligation was to get the wholesale trader and then transfer the needed information for the order – my laptop became my company. And that was what I was after all along. With no real limits to the number of sales I can conduct, the only thing holding me down was my desire to work more or less. With drop shipping, I control my workflow, volume, and tempo. And that, for me, is a definition of the perfect job.