What Leaders Can Learn From Homemade Bread

This post is written to celebrate Homemade Bread Day, and while it may seem strange to connect homemade bread and leadership, please get past the quirkiness and follow along. I believe there are powerful points that follow, even if you aren’t (gasp!) a fan of homemade bread.
As I made notes to create this article, I thought about the things that make homemade bread so special and tied them to important leadership ideas. Most importantly though, I have chosen to provide you with a challenge related to each of those connections. If you have a recollection of a great slice of homemade bread, revel in that as you read.
There is Positive Anticipation
Several important people in my life have made homemade bread, including my mother, wife and mother-in-law. All of them make excellent bread. But the person I most connect homemade bread with is my Grandmother. She made it every week for most of her life, and it was awesome. And as a kid I can remember the anticipation of knowing it was €bread day€ and the feeling of walking in knowing bread would be baking, or hopefully, already be out of the oven.
As a leader, people likely have some anticipation of your arrival for a meeting, or what to expect when you walk into their work area. While it may not carry the fond positive emotions I have just described, what do they anticipate?
As a leader, how do people feel when they think about your presence, your actions and the way you lead? Is it positive? If not, how can you begin to change that anticipation, even a little bit starting today?
The Effort Required is Necessary and Noticed
Anyone can go to the store and pick up a loaf of bread. Making bread requires forethought, planning, effort and time. Even before you take your first delicious bite, you know that effort and care went into creating what you are about to enjoy.
Anyone can be promoted to a role of leadership. Doing it well goes far beyond a job title. To be even marginally effective you must work at it. To become significant (or as I would say remarkable) at it requires dedicated effort to get better at the skills required, and a care for those you are leading. The effort and care will be noticed, as will the lack of it if you lead like a loaf of nondescript store brand white bread.
How much effort are you putting into your role as a leader? If you care about the organization and the people you lead, how does it show?
It Creates Something More
The Grandma homemade bread experience was about more than the bread. It started with the smell. It was inviting. It drew you in, the warmth and aroma adding to the experience. It wasn’t just about a piece of bread for sustenance.
The best leaders are also creating something more – something more lasting, something more real. They aren’t just €doing the work€ of a leader, but rather are creating a place and an environment where people can grow and thrive.
What are you creating for your team?
It is Unique
No two loaves of homemade bread are exactly alike. In the store, all are the same. Pick up five and you can’t tell them apart. But homemade, all are a bit different in how the ingredients interacted with the pan and the heat. They are wonderfully different – and that actually makes it better.
Great leaders know they don’t need to be, nor should they strive to be, like any other leader. Yes, they need to learn and grow and adapt. Yes, they need to apply principles that will improve their ability to be successful. And yes, they need to be themselves. There is no one perfect way to lead – you must bring yourself, imperfections and all, to the role.
Are you willing to continue to improve but still be yourself? Are you willing to let your team see you as a human as well as a leader?
I made more connections than these between homemade bread and leadership, but I believe these are the strongest and most powerful. If you think of other connections, please ponder and share them as well. Mostly though I hope you leave these words hearing my challenges, and taking them on in your own leadership journey.
I also hope this was helpful, and that I didn’t leave you feeling too hungry.

Affiliate Marketing Business

how to start affiliate marketing

The number of companies with whom you can start your affiliate business is pretty near as large as the list of human interests. I am personally involved with four major programs and a number of minor ones and they are all worth being involved with if you promote them correctly. They range from the household names like General Motors all the way down to your local flower shop who might offer a cash override on future introductions for referring customers to them.

You need to structure your company such that you can profit from them all over time.

How Does Affiliate Marketing Work?

You refer new people to your individual link. When clients decide to buy through your link, they company sees it and pays you a commission ranging anywhere from 4% to 100%.

It is fairly straightforward, although the successful execution does have some amount of artistry to it:

Decide which affiliate programs you want to join.

Decide how you are going to market that program.

Create individual content that is relevant to that method or channel.

Drive traffic or folks to that content, which is to say promote that content.

Decide What Affiliate Programs You Want To Join

In order to determine what Internet affiliate marketing program you want to start your affiliate business with you have to decide what your goals are. Making money is so undefined that I am afraid it will not inspire you to get up and walk away from the great one-eyed mindsucker after you get home from 8+ hours at your place of employment.

You need well-defined goals to motivate you.

For instance, if you just want to earn a couple of extra bucks from time to time, you really don’t have to spend a lot of prep time. If you want a serious business that will cover your car payment this month, your car payment and utilities next month, and these plus your rent or mortgage in 3 to 6 months, you are going to need to invest a little more thinking and planning.

I want to strongly encourage you to consider regularly promoting subscription affiliate products, too. Why?

Subscription affiliate products pay you every month. In addition to getting paid for what you produced this month, you will get paid… again… for what you produced last month.

I hope this is starting to set some bells off in your head because if you get with and promote the correct, high quality subscription affiliate product or service you can be looking at a lifestyle change.

Decide How You Are Going to Promote

There are a ton of ways to market your affiliate link. They include:

Blogging about the services and products on your blog

Talking about it on other blogs or including it in your signature when you post on other blogs

Creating unique articles for posting on the article directories

Making videos about what you are promoting

… and this is just the tip of the iceberg on ways to promote your content.

Create Content Relevant to the Channel

Blog posts, especially those you post on your own blog, have a lot more leeway in the content you create and post. For instance, what you post on your own blog is really only subject to approval by you while that which you post on the article directories have an entirely different set of rules. Don’t get frustrated when they refuse what you wanted to post, just go edit it and follow their rules and you will get posted.

Likewise, you don’t create a blog post and post it to YouTube. You create a video of yourself discussing or instructing on the benefits of visiting your link. (Although that line is getting blurred by software that will create a video from your blog text and read it to your viewers like the lead in to the original Star Wars movies.)

Drive Traffic to that Content

Remember, the goal of articles and videos is to get people to view your original content on the products and services which you are promoting. Many, if not most, article services do not allow you to place links directly to your affiliate link. Some will let you slip by, but it is just frustrating your efforts when you have to edit an article so that it gets posted. Even in the affiliate marketing business time is money.

For an exceptionally effective primer on starting an affiliate marketing business and reaching profitability within 30 days, go here and watch this free instructional video.

What Is Affiliate Marketing and How Does It Really Work

An affiliate or a group of affiliates is a way to unite companies and/or programs and it takes into account such things as webmaster, 2 tier programs and ecommerce programs based on affiliates among other things. To answer the question, what affiliate marketing is the answer- it is a way that businesses over the web such as merchants and advertisers can encourage visitors to their site and thereby promote their products and services to make more sales. An affiliate is a “go-between” or a type of publisher and this person or persons is rewarded for the work they do as a webmaster affiliate every time a customer, visitor or subscriber comes to the website. When this happens, the reward for the affiliate is even greater when a sale is made.

To become an affiliate, you may have to purchase affiliate program software, but do plenty of research on affiliate options before you settle on any one method. There are some free affiliate programs out there that are excellent as well as ways to bring traffic to your affiliate site on the web.

The most common way for affiliates to make money is by way of revenue share or “cost per sale.€ Approximately 81 percent of affiliates go about building their affiliate websites this way. The other 19 percent of the same choose the “cost per action.” route. In the very beginning of this marketing type, it was very common to see pay per click and pay per impression (CPM) in top affiliate programs but this has diminished due to the many fraud issues that have revolved around the pay click system. Pay per click methods are only used in approximately one percent of the affiliate marketing sites on the web and even this percentage could easily be disputed.

It is important to note that an affiliate is not involved in the contextual marketing that some websites such as traffic affiliate websites are involved in. Take for example, Google AdSense uses contextual advertising and at the present time that is not considered in the same vein as affiliate marketing.

An affiliate can set up their own store and can promote a business and the wares from that angle. Affiliate marketing is comparable to a “pay for performance model.” One best example of this is the company Amazon dot com that has enjoyed tremendous success and continues to grow with time.

Affiliate marketing is a part of search engine optimization services and is most active in the retail, gaming and adult sectors of the internet. Affiliates predict that the three areas that will show the greatest growth in relation to affiliate marketing in the future are travelling, finance and cellular phones. Other sectors that are up and coming from affiliates include the entertainment industry (and in particular gaming) and services that are geared towards the internet such as broadband.