5 Powerful Copywriting Tactics That Will Make Your Content Go Viral

Again copywriting…

Tips, tricks, tactics, whatever…

We are simply getting bored with copywriting. No wonder.

Even if we know all the writing principles.

And the inspiration is a huge fountain of thoughts, ideas, and projects in our heads.

But, as usual, when it comes to the article, the chances to create viral content are close to zero.

Using these quick and easy copywriting formulas, I got to the Essay Today Top Writers List with more than 1300 completed orders and 99% satisfaction rate within half a year.

So what, you ask me?

Hardly boastful result, huh? Well, that’s only one of the places where I work as a freelancer and ghost blogger.

Am I working days and nights?

Fat chance.

Could I have hired other copywriters?

Forget it. I just did one thing – I noticed how grand companies manage their content and made formulas to use these copywriting tactics wisely. And it’s a perfect match for viral copywriting.

How I did it? Just follow the article until the end and you’ll see what happens, when you just apply these copywriting formulas.

The Beautiful Copywriting Tactic

Let’s face it – we all like looking at beautiful things, admiring ideal shapes, buying pleasant images that stir our imagination.

The same is with any content. We perceive text as a physical landscape.

Besides beauty, plenty of powerful words increase conversion rates.

Here’re some of the most powerful words you should use while copywriting:

You

Instantly

Free

New

Because

Let’s see how Apple used one of them in the headline below to boost sales:

Picture1 - copywriting tips

Or BuzzSumo in one of their headlines:

Picture2 - copywriting tactics

Use numbers to influence the audience.

Here’s how Louis XIII Cognac used a number and a powerful word to emphasize that it takes 100 years to make the cognac they sell:

Picture3 - copywriting tactics

he videos for this campaign got almost 1.8 million views. The ad campaign itself received feedback as one of the top 10 efforts of the year in marketing by Luxury Daily.

Use a question mark to intrigue/stir your audience.

Here is the beauty formula:

The Beauty Formula

Number + Powerful Word + Question Mark + Spicy Element

Let’s try to rewrite a topic applying the formula (I chose one about cats and dogs for examples):

Before:

Cats are better than dogs.

After:

Can these 27 Remarkable Quotes by Mark Zuckerberg Prove that Cats are Better than Dogs?

Looks better, right?

To make an article beautiful, use simple Active Voice sentences.

Make paragraphs smaller and sentences shorter. Never use too many punctuation marks like here (from Neil Gaiman’s novel “Neverwhere”):

Picture4 - copywriting tactics

Such sentences with 10 or more punctuation marks like in the above example occur only in literature. Instead, rewrite the text:

Before:

There are many reasons that cats are better than dogs because they smell less, they eat less, they are calmer, etc.

After:

3 reasons that cats are better than dogs:

  • One – they smell less.
  • Two – they eat less.
  • Three – they are calmer, etc.

The Smart Copywriting Tactic

This article is being shared by expert copywriter Jeff Bullas. You can read the full article when you follow this link – https://www.jeffbullas.com/copywriting-tactics/.

 

5 Content Marketing Ideas

The Stanley Cup playoffs, summertime weddings, Father’s Day, and old fishing stories provide content marketers with interesting topics to cover in June 2018.

Content marketing is the act of creating, publishing, and distributing articles, videos, podcasts, and similar content with the specific goal of attracting, engaging, and retaining customers.

Often the best forms of content marketing are helpful, informative, or entertaining. What follows are five content marketing ideas your business can use in June 2018.

1. Stanley Cup Playoffs

The National Hockey League’s iconic trophy, the Stanley Cup, is named for Lord Stanley of Preston who was appointed General Governor of Canada in June 1888. Lord Stanley quickly became a fan and supporter of the hockey.

The original cup was made in Sheffield, England. It cost 10 guineas. But winning it is priceless for the teams competing in a long and excruciating playoff.

The NHL's Stanley Cup Playoffs last from April to June. It is no easy task to win.

The NHL’s Stanley Cup Playoffs last from April to June. It is no easy task to win.

To earn it, a team must finish among the top 16 franchises at the end of the NHL’s regular season and then survive four rounds of playoffs.

Each of the playoff rounds consists of a best-of-seven series. If each series ran its full course, the Stanley-Cup-winning team (and its final opponent) would have played 28 games. So it is little wonder that the NHL playoffs, which started on April 11, 2018, won’t be done until sometime in June.

This event provides content marketers with several opportunities for articles, podcasts, videos, or similar content. Here are a few examples to spark your creativity.

  • Fashion retailer: Critique player and coach attire during post-game press conferences. Was that a Salvatore Ferragamo tie?
  • Power tool retailer: Describe the tools and techniques used to sharpen playoff hockey skates. Is it done by hand? Do you use a grinder?
  • Fitness products seller: Publish a series of workout plans meant to improve skating performance.

2. Weddings and Anniversaries

In a comment to an earlier edition of content marketing ideas, contributor Elizabeth Hollingsworthpointed out that June is the beginning of the wedding season in some countries. This is a fact Statista supports, noting that about 35 percent of all matrimonies in the United States take place during the summer months.

June is the beginning of the wedding season in the United States. <em>Photo by Sweet Ice Cream Photography.</em>

June is the beginning of the wedding season in the United States. Photo by Sweet Ice Cream Photography.

Why not recognize this seasonal trend and release wedding- and anniversary-related content this June? As with all content marketing, aim to be useful, informative, entertaining, or a combination. Also, be true to your industry.

Thus an online store selling woodworking tools might publish an article such as “10 Great Anniversary Gifts You Can Build in a Weekend.” A store that sells luggage could publish “Why You Deserve a Destination Wedding” or “The 50 Best Honeymoon Destinations on Earth.”

3. Start Your Podcast

A podcast can help your business connect with consumers. <em>Photo by Gritte.</em>

A podcast can help your business connect with consumers. Photo by Gritte.

Podcasts are popular. About 40 percent of Americans over the age of 12 have listened to a podcast at least once, according to a 2017 Edison Research survey.

What’s more, about one in four Americans probably listened to a podcast within the past month, again according to Edison Research.

Given how easy making a podcast can be and the fact that many folks are familiar with podcasting, try to launch your own this June. Your podcast will help your business make a personal connection with an audience of potential shoppers and give you a steady stream of content for folks to engage.

Consider aiming the podcast’s content at the industry you serve.

4. Father’s Day: June 17, 2018

Father's Day is an obvious choice for June content. <em>Photo by Gift Habeshaw.</em>

Father’s Day is an obvious choice for June content. Photo by Gift Habeshaw.

Creating content in June about or for fathers is not a unique idea. Father’s Day, which is meant to celebrate the men who raise us, is the most recognized, the most outstanding national holiday of the month.

Obvious or not, load up on Father’s Day content.

First, Father’s Day shoppers will reportedly spend something like $15 billion. Gift guides, product reviews, and even product related how-to content could help spur ecommerce sales.

Beyond the sales, engaging — even sentimental — Father’s Day content may be an opportunity to connect with your company’s potential customers.

5. Repurpose Content

Not everything your ecommerce business publishes this June has to be new or original. Rather, content marketers can be successful refreshing existing articles or videos.

An online fly fishing store might retell some of its best fish stories. <em>Photo by Lukas Budimaier.</em>

An online fly-fishing store might retell some of its best fish stories. Photo by Lukas Budimaier.

Say an online fly fishing retailer once published an article called “The 50 Greatest Flies of All Time.” It could reuse this post in at least few ways.

  • Refresh it. The store could refresh the article, adding new flies or facts.
  • Change format. A well-written article can be transformed into the script for a video. Thus the “50 greatest flies” article could find new life on YouTube or Facebook.
  • Live it. Using the original article as a guide, the company could release 50 videos showing how each fly performed during an actual fishing adventure.
Armando Roggio

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Top 6 Best Practices for Content Marketing in 2018

2017 was the year investments in content marketing started paying dividends.

A joint survey by Content Marketing Institute and Marketing Prof found that 60% of marketers reported their content marketing to be more effective in 2017 than in the previous year. Businesses and marketers alike know the importance of content marketing to attract, retain and convert prospects and readers into customers. Factors such as targeted and high-quality content, a documented strategy, and a distribution plan contribute to the success of content marketing.

Nonetheless, what worked in favor of content marketers in 2017 may not yield the same results in 2018.

The ever-evolving landscape of content marketing demands you to keep an eye on the following six trends in 2018:

1. Taking content to where your audience resides – Consumers are no longer limited to screens in regards to their content consumption. With the rising popularity of the internet and social media, it is possible to have content all around us which is hands and eyes free.

A classic example of the way we interact with technology and devices is Siri and Amazon Echo. We talk, and Siri and Echo reply back, on the fly.

Alexa is being used by a number of brands – to share their content – with an audience which doesn’t want to be tied to a screen.

For example, pet lovers are benefiting from Nestle’s Ask Purina which shares content on Alexa.

A wealth of information about dog breeds is made available – such as the breed’s size, lifestyle, energy shedding and much more.

Another example is of Neil Patel and Eric Siu’s Marketing Podcast. They deliver 10-minutes of actionable marketing advice daily.

This content is easy to consume – while dressing up, traveling or even in a break in between a Netflix binge.

Whatever strategy you use, ensure that your content is highly targeted at every stage of the buyer’s journey and is available to the audience in multiple formats – at the right time and place.

2. Influencer marketing – Quoting Holly Hamann, co-founder of TapInfluence from a Content Marketing Institute’s e-book “A brand can never represent the perspective of another consumer since they are still the maker of the product. What actually influences the consumers is the voice and experience of like-minded peers and people in their situation.”

So why does your company need influencer marketing?

  • To boost your brand’s reputation – Influencers are trusted by the audience and can truly connect with your consumers.

As reported by Deloitte, consumers referred by other consumers have a 37% higher retention rate.

Offers shared by brand advocates convert at a 3 to 10 times higher rate than offers sent by brands, as reported by Zuberance.

Brand advocates are 70% more likely to be seen as a good source of information by the people around them, reports Marketingcharts.

  • To break through the clutter – Every minute, 350,000 tweets on Twitter and 136,000 photos are being uploaded to Facebook. Amid all this clutter of clogged newsfeeds and inboxes, an influencer will be the best way to get your brand noticed by your audience.

Any digital marketer will tell you that you need to make sense of the conversation to break through the clutter and find the influencers that can actually make a difference to your brand. But the question: is how do you find the most relevant conversations?

Talkwalker Alerts is a free tool that can help you do just that. You can set up an alert for your brand or a keyword you’re focusing on and you’ll receive results directly to your inbox from Talkwalker Alerts – the best part is, not only do you get results from the internet, but also from Twitter, Reddit etc. You see the results from Twitter ranked according to their engagement and this means the most relevant conversations are hand-picked and sent your way.

This article was shared from www.nimble.com. You can read the full article when you follow this link- https://www.nimble.com/blog/top-6-best-practices-for-content-marketing-in-2018/.

 

Entrepreneur And Executive Coach Dr. Rob Douk Demonstrates How To Unite Social Activism And Business

Dr. Rob Douk Releases “The Fearless Socialpreneur” with ForbesBooks

NEW YORK (June 1, 2018) – Dr. Rob Douk, speaker, social entrepreneur and executive coach, today announced the publication of (available now). The book is published with ForbesBooks, the exclusive business book publishing imprint of Forbes Media.

The most enduring memorial of all is to build diligently and fearlessly toward a better world. Such is the goal of social entrepreneurship. In his new book, The Fearless Socialpreneur, Dr. Rob Douk shares his personal story of trials and triumphs to inspire leaders to build businesses that not only thrive, but full-heartedly give back, leaving a positive mark on the world.

The Fearless Socialpreneur takes a holistic approach to business success, beginning with a balanced life. Dr. Douk introduces his 10 Principles of Success, which apply to all areas of one’s professional and personal life. Each chapter dives into one of the “five F’s” (the foundations of a balanced life) or “five P’s” (principles of business success). Ranging from faith to family to passion and planning, the foundations and principles work hand in hand to elevate the status of any socially conscious businessperson.

“I use the term ‘socialpreneur’ to refer to one who launches innovative business enterprises that achieve positive financial returns and provide measurable social benefits,” said Dr. Douk. “Socialpreneurs strive to capture a movement and to get people’s support for a vision and mission. I strongly believe that good people working together can overcome any challenge and make a profound difference.”

This is a true story of faith and dedication, triumph over obstacles—including surviving a labor camp during the Cambodian genocide of the late 1970s—and commitment to service of the highest good as the surest path to success. Throughout the book, Dr. Douk provides exercises for self-reflection, ideation and implementation that allow readers to apply his advice to both their short- and long-term goals.

This article is being shared from www.forbes.com. You can read this full article when you follow this link- https://www.forbes.com/sites/forbespr/2018/06/01/entrepreneur-and-executive-coach-dr-rob-douk-demonstrates-how-to-unite-social-activism-and-business/#77a5a3b95d40.

 

Crisis can force re-evaluation and derail efforts to reach goals

Setbacks are to be expected when pursuing a goal, whether you are trying to lose weight or save money. The challenge is getting back on track and not giving up after a difficulty or crisis, says a marketing professor in Iowa State University’s Ivy College of Business.

José Rosa, John and Deborah Ganoe Faculty Fellow, is part of a research team working on practical ways to help people stick to health-related goals — specifically, prescribed regimens for medical ailments that require significant lifestyle changes. The work is personal for Rosa. His diabetic sister nearly died when her blood sugar hit dangerously high levels, and she struggles with poor vision and health, he said.

Staying committed to a long-term health goal is challenging, because it may feel as if there is no light at the end of the tunnel, Rosa said. If your goal is to lose 20 pounds, there is a defined timeframe and a point to celebrate achieving your goal. However, if you are diabetic and need to cut certain foods from your diet or change your daily routine to exercise more, the goal has a different feel, Rosa said.

“These are some of the most difficult goals we face, because the effort has to become a way of life. If you’re a diabetic, you have to be thinking about your diet every time you eat,” Rosa said. “In many ways, it is sacrificial. You must endure this cost and the reward is health.”

Unfortunately, the reward is not immediate and often difficult to realize with certain ailments, such as diabetes or high blood pressure. As we age, other health issues can complicate the outcome of the initial goal and appear as if our efforts are not paying off. This makes it harder to stick to the goal, Rosa said, even though we know giving up can have serious consequences.

Rosa and Richard Vann, lead author and assistant professor at Penn State Behrend in Erie, Pennsylvania; and Sean McCrea, associate professor at the University of Wyoming, conducted five experiments to understand how crisis influences motivation and commitment to the goal. They found a setback or difficulty often prompts people to reassess the cost-benefits of the goal and consider quitting. The results are published online in the journal Psychology & Marketing.

Setback can snowball

The experiments simulated a series of situations in which some participants faced an action crisis. They then answered several questions to determine how they would react. Rosa says an action crisis may be related or unrelated to the goal, but it is a point during goal pursuit when circumstances change, causing us to question whether the goal really matters.

Once that questioning begins, we shift our mindset from implementation to evaluation. We renegotiate the importance of the outcomes and may determine it is no longer worth it, Rosa said. The researchers refer to that decision to quit as “taking the off ramp,” which can snowball into other problems.

“We know it’s hard to get back on once people take the off ramp. This causes some people to feel like failures and stop trying all together. In some situations, the off ramp leads to behaviors that cause another crisis or a significant decline,” he said.

For example, Rosa says a man with high blood pressure stops taking his medication and suffers a heart attack, or a diabetic woman has an insulin reaction causing her to black out and crash her car.

This article has been shared from Science Daily. You can read the full article when you follow this link- https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2018/06/180621172516.htm.

5 Hot Topics in the Small Business Community

What Leading-Edge Entrepreneurs Are Talking About in 2018

Business is a strange beast indeed. On the one hand, it is ever-changing, not staying still for even the slightest moment. But then, on the other hand, some things never change. Discussions we’ve been having since the dawn of industrialization are still being had today.

In this realm of constant change, the small business has become something much more vital to the system than it was in yesteryear. It’s the testing ground where new ideas are brought to life, ideas too daring and out-there for most major corporations. Ideas that can revolutionize entire verticals and industries, changing them overnight and turning a small startup run out of some guy’s basement in the suburbs to a billion-dollar Silicon Valley heavyweight.

So what’s the big buzz in small business these days? Let’s dig in:

Artificial Intelligence

Okay, so maybe this one’s a bit of a cheat, since the idea of AI and how it can shape the way we do business in the future has been the hot topic for a few years now without ever stopping to catch its breath. But the AI conversation just went from hot to absolutely volcanic when Google recently unveiled their Assistant app’s new ability to make phone calls on users’ behalf—and the AI passed for human. (Seriously, play the video with your eyes closed, it’s uncanny.) There’s been talk for a while now about employing AI in minor customer interactions, but now all bets are off, and how this will affect the relationship between companies and clientele moving forward is anyone’s guess.

Employee Benefits

Employee turnover is more than a hassle: it’s also incredibly expensive. Just how much money companies lose every year from losing members of their team is hard to calculate, though it can range from the tens of thousands to the millions. Where does this money go, exactly? It goes into recruiting, training, and decreased efficiency from teams who are suddenly short-staffed or dealing with less experienced newcomers. While accurate capacity planning can help budget for these abrupt employment changes, the big players can more easily offset these costs compared to small businesses. Many are turning to more comprehensive benefits packages as a way to not only attract but also retain top-tier professional talent. The top benefits employees care about include better health coverage (including dental and vision), flexible scheduling, and better vacation time. Maternity/paternity leave and daycare also ranked as important.

Remote Teams

As the internet brings the globe closer and closer together, many small businesses are no longer restricted to simply finding star employees in their own backyard. If the absolute best fit for what you’re looking for happens to live in Canada, or Australia, or some other far-away place, that’s no longer an impediment. And while this is a tremendous advantage for many businesses, it also presents a bevy of challenges for managers and project leaders. In 2018, small businesses are looking at how they can bring the social element back to a team that has the capacity to be spread across continents, particularly through encouraging social learning and frequent peer interaction.

This article is being shared from Olympia Benefits. You can read this full article when you follow this link- https://www.olympiabenefits.com/blog/5-hot-topics-in-the-small-business-community-for-june-2018.

 

How to Make Money with a Blog

Monetize Your Blogging Efforts With This Highly Actionable Guide

So you finally want to join the blogging community. Well by reading this article you’ll have taken the biggest step to starting a blogthat can create an income for you and your family.

I have been blogging as my main source of income for the past 8 years. It has been a long hard slog ( making money online is hard ) but in the past few years I have managed to launch successful blog after successful blog which have meant that I can quit the 9-5 and spend more time with my family & start building a lifestyle I am happy with.

Don’t get me wrong I have made many mistakes along the way but once I knew what I was doing it became a lot easier and more enjoyable. Many of my friends have emailed me or called me to find out more about “What Jamie Does”, but it can be a little hard to sink in at first as to how you can actually make a real income from running a successful blog(s). Therefore I have decided to create this guide for my friends, family, email subscribers and anyone else who wants to start doing “What Jamie Does”.

This guide to making a money making blog is completely free. I don’t want anything for it – just for you to take action and do it, so many of my friends would love to do it but give up too soon, often when their big breakthrough might only be a few weeks away.

The guide is quite long and there are lots of links to other pages on this blog and on other blogs too which will help you – so please make sure to bookmark this page.

I hope you find it as enjoyable as I did writing it.

 

How Much Can you Earn Blogging?

 

Whether you’re looking to supplement your income with a little extra to pay for a few nice treats or create a blog that will support your lifestyle then you can pretty much make as much money as you like from blogging if you are prepared to put in the hard work.

There are lots of great stories out there of successful bloggers who make money blogging:

For example over the past couple of years, husband and wife team, Bjork and Lindsay at PinchofYum.com, a food and recipe blog, have built up a huge following and some months they have made nearly $25k.

Another blogging couple, Yeison and Samantha, who run mytanfeet.com are making over $5k per month while they travel the world and share their photos and stories on their blog.

I’m not going to lie to you but it can take months even years before you might see a significant return on the time you invest in to starting a blog but that is why I have created this free guide so that you can be confident in taking the right steps to achieving your blogging goals.

So let’s continue…

This article is being shared from, Make a Website Hub. You can read the full article when you follow this link- https://makeawebsitehub.com/how-to-make-money-blogging/.

Comprehensive Attraction Marketing Article Released By Self Employed Ideas

The website at selfemployedideas.com offers information about a range of marketing tools and concepts. The descriptive posts are designed to inform and motivate.

Ottawa ONT – June 25, 2018 —

Pierre Charles is pleased to announce the release of a website article and blog post on the topic of attraction marketing. Some of the benefits of this type of marketing are presented in a recent blog post by Pierre Charles. The article describes the benefits, who can use it, tips for implementing it and some of the tools available to get started. The concept is not new and has been around for many years. It is an integral part of door-to-door sales, making telemarketing calls and other types of traditional selling.

According to Pierre Charles, “The attraction concept refers to communication with others in a way that they will find attractive or appealing. For example, if you speak with someone in an articulate way and it impresses them and entices them to learn more or buy something from you, then you have basically utilized the concept. It is all about persuading someone to do what you want them to do, whether it is to download something, buy a product/service or fill out an online form to learn more about whatever you are trying to market. It is all about making yourself and product appealing. The bottom line is to attract potential customers and consumers to take action.”

Anyone can use the tools described in the article, particularly those who operate online businesses. It does not matter if the business is to sell a product, sell a service, build an email list or provide people with free information in the form of an eBook.

The marketing tool provides several key advantages and benefits. These include making sales, building
and maintaining relationships, building a massive email list, building a brand, building an audience on social media, empowering and inspiration and affordability, as well as many other benefits. The articles continue by presenting several specific tips and techniques which can be applied to build the concept of attraction market tools.

This article is being shared from a news channel website. You can read the full article and other links when you follow this link- http://www.newschannel10.com/story/38501825/comprehensive-attraction-marketing-article-released-by-self-employed-ideas.

High-Paying Affiliate Programs

Affiliate Marketing News June 2018internetmarketingnews

Click Here For May 2018 Affiliate Marketing News Archive

June 15, 2018:

The Potential Opportunities From Net Neutrality Repeal – entrepreneur.com

“Past all the incendiary rhetoric, one of the key differences between Democrats and Republicans is the question of how far-reaching government

Three Power-Writing Tips For Your Blog – entrepreneur.com

“Too many blog commentaries and internet pieces sound the same, whether they talk about how to landscape your yard, lose weight, lease an apartment, conduct a successful job interview or design a website for your new business...”

Affiliate Marketing News June 2018internetmarketingnews

Click Here For May 2018 Affiliate Marketing News Archive

June 15, 2018:

The Potential Opportunities From Net Neutrality Repeal – entrepreneur.com

“Past all the incendiary rhetoric, one of the key differences between Democrats and Republicans is the question of how far-reaching government

Three Power-Writing Tips For Your Blog – entrepreneur.com

“Too many blog commentaries and internet pieces sound the same, whether they talk about how to landscape your yard, lose weight, lease an apartment, conduct a successful job interview or design a website for your new business...”


June 14, 2018:

How This Company Crushed It On Instagram – forbes.com

“Lukas Kurzmann, David Kurzmann and Thomas Mark are three entrepreneurs who, in just three years, turned an unknown sports nutrition company into a multi-million dollar business. Today, their company Women’s Best is a globally recognized fitness brand that boasts over 3.5 million Instagram followers and hundreds of thousands of loyal customers...”

The New Rules Of Digital Marketing – businessoffashion.com

“Digital communication channels have changed marketing beyond recognition over the last 10 years. Yet fashion continues to be a laggard in adopting new and innovative ways of reaching its consumer. That’s why BoF has partnered with Paper Communications’ Drew Elliott to create an exclusive online BoF Education course...”

This post is being shared from the Affiliate Marketing News website. You can read the full article when you follow this link- https://www.highpayingaffiliateprograms.com/affiliate-marketing-news-june-2018/.

4 Best Investments To Make In 2018

It’s the dawning of a new year and you finally have some money to invest. Perhaps you just got a raise. Or, maybe an end-of-year bonus is burning a hole in your pocket. Either way, you need to be smart about investing if you want those extra dollars to count.

The problem is, you have no clue where to invest your cash. While you’re aware of the myriad investing options available, the sheer number of possibilities is overwhelming.

In the investing world, this is called “paralysis by analysis.” You spend so much time analyzing your options that you wind up putting it off and never investing at all. And eventually, the extra cash you set aside gets consumed by bills or unexpected expenses. In other words, life happens.

4 Investments You Should Absolutely Make in 2018

If you want to make sure your extra cash doesn’t disappear, you need to invest it right away. A certain amount of analysis is fine if it helps you find the right investment options for your goals, but you still need to act fast.

With that in mind, I wanted to share what I believe are the four best ways to invest your excess funds in 2018.

#1: The Stock Market

While “invest in the stock market” is some of the most basic advice you’ll ever read, please hear me out on this one. While everyone knows that investing in the stock market has historically paid off, there are far too many people who don’t trust the financial markets and choose to sit on the sidelines altogether.

Then there are people who think the stock market is so overvalued right now that they would be crazy to jump in. But, here’s the thing: Nobody is telling you to pour every extra cent you have into stocks. Instead, I’m suggesting you invest small sums of money over time using a method called “dollar cost averaging.”

Dollar cost averaging requires us to trickle our money into investments over any length of time. It could be 12 months. It would be 18 months. Heck, it could be five years.

Colorado financial advisor David Henderson of Jenkins Wealth goes further to explain how dollar cost averaging works: “When the market is high, you buy fewer shares and when the market is low you buy more shares,” he says. This means that, over time, you will have a lower average share price using this method. Obviously, it’s easy to see why this would be beneficial.

Now that we’ve talked about the importance of investing in the stock market, let’s talk about exactly where to invest your money. What are the best tools and vehicles we can use?

This is yet another situation where the options are overwhelming. Still, I typically suggest people get their feet wet with mutual funds or ETFs.

If you have a financial advisor working on your behalf, they may be able to weed out the well-performing actively managed mutual funds from the ones that aren’t doing so great. Otherwise, you can invest in index funds, which are not actively managed but have a long history of solid returns.

If you have a brokerage account already, then you may want to stick with it. Otherwise, you’ll need to find a new place to help you invest your funds. One company I always suggest is Betterment. With Betterment, your money can be invested in ETFs and they don’t charge a fee for managing these for you. Plus, they actually pick the ETFs you invest in based on your appetite for risk, investing goals, and other factors.

What does that mean? That means that you can invest your hard-earned money, then sit back and enjoy the returns and let them do the hard work.

If you want to have more control on your investments, online brokerage firms like Ally Financial, TD Ameritrade and E-Trade make it easy to stay in charge with low fees and easy-to-use platforms.  Plus, there are a multitude of other “robo-advisors” to choose from.

As a final note, there’s one more simple way to invest in the stock market with even less effort – boosting how much you contribute to your work-sponsored retirement account. Arizona financial planner Charles C. Scott says this may be your best option yet – especially if you’re not contributing enough to get a match from your employer.

“Every dollar you contribute could get a dollar match,” says Scott. “That’s a 100% return on your investment.”

If you’re not making the most of your 401(k) or contributing enough to get a match, then you’re probably best starting there.

#2: Peer-to-Peer Lending

A second place to stash some of your excess cash this year is in peer-to-peer lending platforms like Lending Club and Prosper. With these companies, you’re able to loan money to individuals in small increments as if you were the bank. The best part is, you get to earn a pretty decent rate of return – usually upward of 6% or more.

As an investor in peer-to-peer lending, you’re investing in other people and their goals. It’s comforting knowing you aren’t lending people you don’t know large sums of money. Instead, the money you invest is split up into increments as small as $25 over hundreds or even thousands of loans.

While it may seem strange to hear a financial advisor suggest people invest in peer-to-peer lending, I’m not the only one who sees the value in these platforms. Kansas City Financial Advisor Clint Haynes told me he supports peer-to-peer lending as an alternative to the stock market for a few reasons. First, these companies make it easy to sign up and get started. Second, your rate of return can range from 5 – 7 percent for safer loans and even more for riskier loans. Last but not least, you can typically open a new account with as little as $1,000.

#3: Real Estate

In addition to the stock market and peer-to-peer lending websites, a third investment strategy to consider this year is real estate. The thing is, I’m not suggesting everyone run out and buy an investment property. After all, not everyone is cut out to be a landlord.

I’m certainly not. I tried investing in physical real estate seven years ago and almost lost my shirt. I learned a lot of lessons from my foray into becoming a landlord, the biggest of which was that I don’t need that kind of stress in my life.

Fortunately, there are plenty of ways to invest in real estate without dealing with a physical property. One option to consider is investing in real estate notes. I got started investing into real estate notes because a really good friend of mine was crushing it with real estate and offering his friends the chance to invest.

He would buy a pool of real estate properties, and then investors like myself would invest money into his project. From there, he would manage the properties and pay me a dividend or interest off that money. For me, this has been an attractive way to invest money without having to be a landlord or deal with tenants.

Obviously, there is a ton of risk in a situation like this. You have to have a lot of trust to invest in real estate notes offered by an individual.

The good news is, there are other ways to invest in real estate outside of real estate notes. One option I’m really excited about is a company called Fundrise. Fundrise offers an investing scenario similar to the one above. They buy commercial properties and allow investors to invest small sums of money. Obviously, this is yet another hands-off investment. You may own part of a commercial real estate project, but you don’t even see or deal with the property itself.

Like Lending Club, Fundrise requires an upfront sum of around $1,000 to get started. Once you invest, however, Fundrise mostly lets you “set it and forget it.” Even better, you may receive a pretty hefty rate of return through this platform. On the company website, Fundrise claims its returns have averaged between 8.76% up to 12.42% over the last five years. Not too shabby.

Obviously, there is risk investing in a platform like this one, too. First off, the company is newer so it doesn’t have decades of data to share. Second, you’re letting a third party choose buildings and investments on your behalf, which means you’ve given up all control.

Regardless, I think it’s pretty cool that technology has allowed investors to get access to commercial properties in a way we haven’t been able to in the past.

 

You can read the full article when you follow this link to Forbes- https://www.forbes.com/sites/jrose/2018/01/05/best-investments-to-make/#20fe8734b72b.