Action Plan: Build the Foundation for Explosive Growth
When you’re attempting to grow your business, content is foundational to success. Obviously you want to have a product or service that the your ideal audience craves, but creating content that your users will love is the foundation for growing your business. If you want to learn more about what I’ve learned from over 10 years in the digital marketing space, keep reading!
Focus On Your Users
The most important thing in all of this is that you are happy. Well, that you’re happy and you are helping, entertaining, inspiring, or educating others. The first step is always to find your audience. If you have one already, good! If you don’t, get to work.
Find that sweet spot where what you want to offer fulfills the needs of your users. How do you that, you ask? You simply talk to them, be accessible, and open yourself to feedback. Always be in conversation with your people. Read your comments, reply to e-mails quickly, and pose questions.
Direct your attention and time on the social media platforms where your readers are. It doesn’t make sense to put too much energy into LinkedIn if your ideal customers are Pinterest users. You can acquire that sort of information from just knowing your users, or if you want to get really technical, use Google Analytics.
I also highly recommend doing a survey once or twice a year to keep up with your users and to see how your audience is changing. Feel free to experiment with different types of content and ask for feedback. You can also just look at the shares and comments you get when you publish experimental articles.
Overall, just make sure that everything you do is ultimately making you happy and is keeping your users coming back for more. You must offer value if you want to see explosive growth and increased loyalty. Give them so much value, that they can’t help but to love you.
What’s valuable? Well, anything that benefits your users. A practical way to make your business successful is to make your users satisfied. Create your content around insights that you’ve gained from your work, share secrets and tips that can help people maximize the use of your product(s). Helpful posts make sites grow. If your content isn’t going to be helpful to your readers, think twice before posting it.
If you want even more growth, use Google Analytics to find how people are getting to your site and use it to help you boost what you are doing right to attract traffic and fix what isn’t working out.
Keep your website simple, clear, easy to navigate, and modern. For me, there’s no bigger turn-off than an out of date or cluttered site. Have you ever Googled something and clicked on a result only to be disappointed by the design. People don’t want to deal with small fonts, old Flash sites, annoying pop-up ads, disorganized, dark colored backgrounds, difficult to navigate, cluttered sites. Good design demonstrates your professionalism and that promotes trust and value. If you’ve cared enough to invest in your design, it shows users that you have your stuff together. Your site should also be responsive. We live in a world of laptops, smart TVs, iPads, Androids, and iPhones, you have to be able to deliver these users the same quality as desktop users.
The more quality content you publish, the more love your site gets from your audience and from Google. The more Google loves your site, the more new people will discover it and love it too. Once you start focusing your content on your audience, be consistent. People and search engines love this!
Figure out how much new content you want to add and when you want to add it. It would be a good idea to use an editorial planner to plan out all of your posts.
How often should you post new content? Once a week should be the bare minimum if you are trying to grow your website, but more is often better. Never sacrifice quality for quantity. This is going to be hard work, but if you love what you do, it shouldn’t feel like work at all.
You should be creating content that is timeless and helpful and that means you can promote it now, refresh it (if necessary), repost it and promote it over and over again to attract new readers who may have missed it the first time it was published.
Make sure you open your posts with an amazing headline and a great hook to get people to click and be invested enough to finish reading your article. There’s not much time to capture a person’s attention once they land on your site. Those first few lines have to be succinct and enthralling (or at least interesting). Writers on the big blogs and news sites will write as many as 100 headlines before they find one that sticks.
Add compelling images to all of your posts and make sure they are cohesive with your brand. Having an image means an article is more shareable and a lot more likely to be read. Great photography is a must.
Think about the images that you love. What makes you love them? Is it a certain kind of lighting, a certain mood, or certain compositions that excite you? Can you recreate that either by buying stock photography, taking your own photos or maybe by hiring a photographer?
Pinterest can often deliver more traffic than Google if your audience is composed of passionate Pinterest users. If you can do video, that’d be a good idea too. Make sure you are using the right image resolutions. Pixelated, stretched out, blurry images are not fun to look at.
Fill a Gap
Have you discovered a gap in your niche? What’s the thing you think your niche is missing? You don’t always need to reinvent the wheel to find success. Oftentimes, you can offer value by simply finding a gap in the market and connecting the dots. Once you connect the dots, you can create content to fill that gap. You need to find a way to innovate in your niche. First, experiment and see how your audience is responding to it and go from there.
Connect with other entrepreneurs in your niche or in niches that are complementary to yours. Do interviews for their sites and interview them for yours. Partner up to create something amazing. If done right, it will pay off big time. Mention other business owners in your posts as examples. Go to conferences and network. Making friends is not only great for traffic, but you’ll create a community where you’ll get support, share ideas, brainstorm, and possibly build lifelong relationships.
Growing your business isn’t just a set of things to do, it is a mindset that should be guiding everything that you do. It’s a commitment to putting in work, developing your abilities, constantly sticking to your plan, and developing meaningful relationships with your users. You should always be learning and growing.
Grow Your List
Be sure to grow your list. If you’re giving away free stuff, it is a good way to stay connected with the people receiving it to keep them updated on what you are doing. Make it easy for users to subscribe to your e-mail list by placing an opt-in above the fold on your website. You should also consider adding an e-mail opt-in to your comments section for explosive growth.
Wanting to grow your business is a noble deed, but remember that a larger number of views is not always the most important thing. You could have an audience of over 1,000,000 viewers but only a fraction of those users might buy. You could also have a very small audience of highly engaged users that can allow for you to make a good living doing what you love.