Hi, my name is Stephen Pierce and I am the founder of Hello Fresh, a dinner delivery service that ships fresh, home-cooked meals straight to your door. When I founded the company in 2011, I made a commitment to invest in content and to grow my blog into a brand. At the time I launched Hello Fresh, I had zero budget for digital marketing and SEO. But since then, I’ve learned a lot, built lots of value and made a lot of money. Here’s how I did it.
Create Asset-Laden Blogs
To start with, I created asset-laden blogs for each of my stores, which are basically platforms that serve as online magazines. For example, a blog for my London store is a great place to share the diverse nature walks, wildlife spotting and museum visits that we get up to in the city. Similarly, my Miami store’s blog is an ideal place to promote our lively social scene and eclectic restaurants. When people visit these blogs, they see compelling content that appeals to their senses and interests and most importantly, they see that my businesses offer something special. The key is to make sure that everything on your blog is of value and that there’s a clear call to action at the end of every piece of content.
Curate Interesting News And Reviews
Even though my team and I have curated and curated lots of interesting content over the years, it wasn’t until the coronavirus pandemic that I saw a real uptick in traffic and revenue. Back in February, I noted that Google searches for my brands had increased by 300%, which is pretty much unprecedented. Naturally, I looked into the cause of this growth and found that people were searching for my brands to find advice and information on managing and moving around in lockdown. This was interesting news to me because it pointed to a trend that I think will continue even after the pandemic.
During the pandemic, the UK government advised people to stay at home as much as possible and to get fresh food delivered to their door as part of the nation’s’shield strategy’. Now that life has gradually gotten back to normal, people are looking for ways to earn money from home and one of the best opportunities is through online gig work. So I decided to take advantage of this trend and created an online gig platform, Gigwise, which connects businesses like mine looking for online gig work with people willing to do it for money.
Create In-house Communities For My Brands
Even though my blog posts and media coverage usually appear in a solo capacity, I’ve since discovered the power of in-house communities. So for Hello Fresh, I’ve created forums where our customers can connect with other people who are also passionate about food and are interested in trying out the service. These forums are a great way to generate more leads, boost engagement, discover new ways to grow my business and build valuable connections.
Make Money In Ad-Pricing And Affiliate Marketing
I’ve always made money online from online advertising, including affiliate marketing, where I promote products and services that I believe in and make a commission when someone clicks a link or buys a product that’s promoted on my site. Even before the pandemic, affiliate marketing was a great way to make money online because it’s free to establish yourself and you don’t need to have a huge budget. During the pandemic, affiliate marketing was particularly effective because many businesses, including mine, saw an increase in demand for their service and products as a direct result of the crisis.
Diversify Income Streams
In addition to my monthly income from online advertising, I’ve also earned a healthy six-figure sum from affiliate sales and generated an additional stream of revenue by renting my photos to advertisers. The reason these income sources are so effective is that they allow me to generate income no matter what. Even if I don’t have any online ads to sell or guests to invite, I can still make money through affiliate marketing, rent sales and stock photography. This is why I recommend using platforms like affiliate marketing and sale funnels to build multiple income streams.
Amass A Valuable Digital Asset
In case you’re wondering, here’s a quick summary of the various ways that I’ve made money online:
- Affiliate Marketing
- Photos For Advertisers
- Stock Photography
- Product Reviews
- Curating Blog Content
- Gig Work
Although the above methods of generating income aren’t new, what is new is that I’ve been diligently investing in growing and improving my asset. By taking the time to build up a significant digital asset, I’ve been able to generate a steady income stream online. In my opinion, this is the best way to make real money online because it guarantees you’ll always have an income source regardless of what happens.