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Monday, 3 April 2023
Essential Internet Marketing Tools: For Your Online Business (Infographic)
Monday, 27 March 2023
Product Launch In 5 Easy Steps! (Infographic)
SEO vs PPC (Infographic)
How To Write An Effective E-Mail Copy That Converts (Infographic)
Saturday, 13 November 2021
SEO Basics For Evergreen Traffic
One of the most important things you can do to improve your traffic in a sustainable way is to work on your SEO or search engine optimization. While there is a lot to say about SEO and some things are always changing, the basics will be enough to get you by.
It all starts with keywords. These are the words and phrases your customers type into their favorite search engine to find what they are looking for. Your goal is to optimize various pages on your website for some of those keywords. Choosing the right ones is your first task. Don’t go for board main terms like “vegetable gardening”. You don’t know what exactly this person is looking for and it will be hard to rank for a general term like this. Instead, your goal is to choose a few good long-tail keywords like “why are my tomato plant leaves curling” for example.
One of your best sources for these types of phrases is Google. Head on over to google.com and search for something you know your customers are looking for. Then look at the suggested searches at the bottom of that page. Keep trying and keep looking through those suggested searches until you find something that’s a good fit for you and your visitors.
Your next step will be to create a piece of content around this keyword phrase. Use it in the title, the url, and the meta description of your post. Sprinkle the phrase and related phrases throughout your content. Do the same with the names and alt-tags for images you use. Most importantly though, write the content and the alt tag description for your future readers, not for the search engines. In other words, create quality content that earns your audience’s trust. Working in the keyword should always be a secondary concern.
Why? Because no amount of traffic will do you much good if the people who make up that traffic don’t become your customers. Once you have your draft written, it’s time to start thinking about links. You want to link from this post to one or two older articles or blog posts on your site. It’s also a good idea to link out to a trusted source or authority site. Going back to our plant example, you could link to a university article about treating tomato diseases for example.
Take another look at everything you’ve put together. If it looks good, go ahead and hit publish. You are almost done with your basic SEO. There’s one more piece of the equation - incoming links. You want to link from a few older pages on your site to this new content. Then go out and link to it from social media posts. Create a few pins, write a couple of tweets and Facebook posts. Send some social signals to encourage the search engines to index this new content. Then sit back and wait. With a little luck, the traffic will come.
When It Pays To Pay For Traffic
So far, we’ve talked a lot about getting free traffic by tapping into existing sources, upping our social media game, and investing some time and effort into SEO. All of this requires time and often it’s time well spent. There is a second way to get highly targeted traffic. Paying for it. While there are many different ways to do this, I want to discuss two strategies with you. Paid advertising and recruiting affiliates to send new leads your way. Let’s take a quick look at each.
I’m sure you’re familiar with some forms of advertising. The idea is to pay for targeted traffic. There are various different forms of advertising from space on websites or mentions in newsletters or pay per click advertising. Facebook and Google ads are good examples of the latter.
Start by choosing one advertising strategy you want to try. Work on one at a time. This way you can monitor results reliably and you can master one strategy before moving on to the next. Start small and up your budget when you see it’s becoming profitable. Once you’re there, you can continually work on improving your ads to result in lower costs and bigger profits. Don’t turn on the tab too fast. Even with this slow, conservative strategy you’ll get traffic faster than if you build it organically.
The biggest problem with advertising, especially when you are getting started, is the risk. Chances are you will lose some money before you figure out what you’re doing. Yes, you can mitigate this risk by starting small and upping your budget as profits allow, but it’s a risk, nevertheless. If that doesn’t sit well with you, or if you simply want an additional strategy to grow faster, consider setting up an affiliate program.
With an affiliate program you agree to track traffic, leads, and customers that your affiliates sent you and to then pay them an agreed-upon commission for any sales these visitors generate. For digital products, the commission is usually 50%. In some cases, it makes sense to offer something higher, especially on a front-end product if you have a large funnel in place. For physical products, because of additional cost and overhead involved, lower commissions anywhere from two to ten percent are more customary.
The big benefit of an affiliate program is that if you recruit the right people, you can instantly get your products and services in front of their large audiences. There is also no up-front risk. You don’t have to pay your affiliates unless they make sales, thus guaranteeing profitability for you.
Give both methods a try and see how much traffic you can generate with ads and affiliates.
Profitable Social Media Marketing
Social media marketing can be a great asset to your business. It can create quick boosts of traffic and get your message in front of your ideal target audience. It can also be a colossal waste of time. How do you make sure your social media strategy is worth your time? You do it with tracking.
Start by tracking yourself. Social media is designed to be addictive. The main job of Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, TikTok, and the likes is to keep you on their platform for as long as possible. It’s important that you protect yourself against their efforts to waste your time. And the best way to do that is by tracking what you’re doing on social media. It’s all too easy to convince yourself that you’re busy working on marketing and generating traffic when what you’re actually doing is procrastinating on things that would actually make a difference to your bottom line. And that’s without giving into temptation to watch cute cat videos.
Now that you know why you should track yourself, how do you go about doing it? It’s simple. You start with a plan. For example, you may decide to post three new posts per day and spend ten minutes interacting with your Facebook fans. Put it in writing and keep this paper at your desk. Don’t overthink what the plan should be. Start with what you think might work. You will evaluate and adjust as time goes by. Set a timer, especially in the beginning. Anything outside of the parameters you set for yourself should be considered leisure activity, not work, and most certainly not social media marketing.
Another great option is using automation tools. They allow you to post and share content on a regular basis without having to access the social media sites directly. Instead, you’re crafting your posts inside a different piece of software or website and the content goes out at the time and date you specified. One of the reasons why this can be very effective is because it allows you to batch your social media marketing. You spend an hour one day a week getting everything set up and you’re free to work on other marketing and product creation tasks.
Last but not least, consider outsourcing your social media marketing. Not only does it free you up and save you from the temptation of wasting time on your favorite platform, it gives you real numbers to compare. Are you generating more revenue from social media than you’re paying this person? If not, it may be time to make some adjustments to your current strategy.
Beyond Google - Pinterest & YouTube Are Search Engines Too
When you think about search engines, Google probably comes to mind first. You may also think of Bing, MSN and maybe Yahoo. But you probably aren’t thinking about two of the biggest search engines out there. YouTube and Pinterest. You may not think of them as such, but at their core, that’s what they are - Search Engines.
What do you do when you’re looking for a tutorial for fixing something around your house or a music video? You go to YouTube and you search. What if you’re looking for inspiration for your daughter’s fifth birthday party? You search for relevant pins and create a Pinterest board based on what you find through those searches. It’s not just you. Everyone uses these sites as search engines. Isn’t it about time you started treating them as such and using them as a source of evergreen traffic?
The question then becomes what to do with that new insight. I’m going to assume that you have a basic understanding of search engine optimization. The idea is to apply the same ideas when you create pins or upload YouTube videos. Create this content with a purpose. Start with a particular key phrase in mind. Use this word or string of words to name your video file or image. Of course you want to also make sure the content applies to the keyword.
Now that you have your content, it’s time to upload it to YouTube or Pinterest. Use the keyword (or key phrase. I will use the two terms interchangeably) in the title and description on the site. You can also use them in appropriate tags. Of course you want to write the title and description for your visitors first. But if you can work your keywords in, great. And don’t forget to take advantage of channel and board titles and descriptions as well.
From here you can help your new content in several different ways. Your best strategy is to create fresh, optimized content on a regular basis. Encourage engagement via other social media channels. Respond to and encourage comments. All of this will help your videos and pins become more searchable. As your channel and boards grow, so will your audience. Not every video and every pin will rank well and get you lots of exposure in those channels. SEO or YouTube and Pinterest optimization is a big of a gamble. Sometimes you win, sometimes you don’t. That’s okay. Each and every piece of content will help you in the long run and if you add a call to action and link that leads back to your website, you’ll be generating a steady stream of evergreen traffic as well.
Need More Traffic Now? Do More Of What's Working Already
Traffic is the lifeblood of any online business. There are a million and one different ways to get more visitors to your website. There are hundreds of courses and books that teach you about the latest and greatest traffic generation schemes. But none of that does you much good when you need more traffic sooner rather than later and don’t have the time or the funds to experiment.
Instead, I suggest you look at what’s working already and do more of that. Getting a steady stream of traffic from Pinterest? Create five new pins a day to your most popular posts. Ranking for a couple of long-tail keyword phrases? Optimize more pages, or create optimized content for your site. You get the idea.
Yes, it’s deceptively simple and not very sexy, but it works. If you put in the work to analyze what’s working, discover why it’s working, and then are able to replicate it again and again. Let’s talk about how to do that.
Start by looking at your website analytics. For the best data, you want to pull info for at least three months; more if you can and at least a year’s worth if you have a seasonal business. Take a look at your biggest traffic sources and where that traffic leads. Can you see patterns? Make a list of everything that’s working.
With that list in hand, take a look at your best source of traffic. Where is it coming from? How are you getting this traffic? Get out a piece of paper, or open a document on your computer. Start brainstorming at least twenty-five ideas for getting more traffic from this source. Then step away for a little while.
When you come back, look through the list you’ve made. Which of the items on there get you excited? What are you looking forward to working on the most? Start with that idea and get to work implementing it. Make a short list of everything you need to do from start to finish. Maybe that means writing a new article or blog post and then creating several pins for it. Maybe it means working on evergreen social media posts that you can load into a program that shares them to your page. Maybe it means interacting in Facebook groups or finding new ones. No matter what it is, work through each step from start to finish. Then get to work on the next item on your list. Rinse and repeat until you’ve completed each of the twenty-five project ideas.
Don’t forget to look at your traffic stats again in a few weeks. Make note of what’s working. Start doing more of that. Give the rest a little more time. Sometimes even the best laid strategy doesn’t pay off right away. Keep working at it and the traffic will flow.
Auditing and Monetizing Your Most Popular Pages
Are you looking for a quick way to boost your income? Then keep reading. What I’m about to share with you is probably the simplest and most effective strategy for increasing your bottom line. It’s something you should do regularly. Put it on the calendar and make sure it gets done. Then sit back and reap the rewards.
Step one of this strategy is to identify your most popular pages. Don’t disregard pages like your contact page, your about page, and even your 404 error page. Most likely though, your focus should be on content pages. These will be the articles and blog posts on your site where you share your expertise or discuss a particular problem and how what you have to offer can be part of the solution.
There are various reasons why a page becomes popular. You could be ranking highly for a keyword. Or maybe you created content that’s often shared as a resource. Maybe one of your social media posts that link back to a page on your website went viral. Or maybe you have a popular pin of one of your blog posts. It doesn’t matter why these pages attract so much attention - at least not right now. It only matters that you identify them. To do this, run a report in your website analytics program.
Got that list? Great. Start pulling up two or three of the most popular pages and take a look at them. Go over each of these pages with a critical eye. The most important thing to look at is your call to action. What do you want a visitor to do after they’re done consuming your content?
Do you want them to sign up for your list? That’s always a smart choice. How easy do you make it for them to do this? The first thing to check is to make sure the opt-in form is working. Next, consider if you’re asking for too much information. Every additional piece of info - even the first name - will reduce your conversion rate. Speaking of which, what else can you do to improve it? Are you split testing different headings, different opt-in forms, and even different lead magnets? If not, make a plan to do so.
Maybe your goal is to engage with your audience via comments. Is that working for you? If not, consider reworking the call to action, or consider if you and your business would be better served if you made your visitors an offer.
If you’re already doing that, great. How is it converting? What could you do to improve this conversion? Step back and really look at the page. How can you make it work harder to earn you money? Try something. See if it works. If it doesn’t, try something else. Make these most popular pages more profitable. Then move on to the next batch of pages from that report you pulled. Rinse and repeat and then circle back in a few months and see if you can do even better.
Do You Know Where Your Traffic Is Coming From?
To run a successful business, you need a steady stream of fresh leads. These are the people you will turn into paying customers. That’s the marketing part of the equation. To get those leads, you need traffic. You need to reach out to new people on a regular basis and the most time and cost-effective way to do that is by generating traffic - ideally evergreen traffic from a variety of different sources.
If you want to continue to grow your business, you should be working on getting more traffic. A wise person once said that what is measured changes. Before you can start to measure, you need to know where your traffic is coming from.
This information is important for another reason. Not all sources of traffic are created equal. If you’ve run an online business - or any business, really - you want to spend as much time and resources as possible on the ones that result in paying customers. In other words, you want to increase your traffic in a way that increases your bottom line the most.
In order to do that, you need to know what sources of traffic send you the most reliable customers. You want to know who signs up for your list, thus becoming a lead. And you want to know how many of those leads convert into paying customers. You can do that by tracking your traffic, email signups, and purchases.
A great place to start is a free Google analytics account. Make sure you have one set up, and then learn how to use the various reports. Your first stop should be Acquisition / All Traffic / Source/Medium.
Focus on one channel at a time. If you can, track each visitor as he or she moves through your autoresponder program and your shopping cart. This will tell you if it’s worth spending a lot of time interacting in a particular Facebook group, or if the person you’re hiring to create and publish multiple pins per day is worth the money you’re spending on them.
Rinse and repeat for other sources of traffic. Keep an eye on what keywords are converting well for you and create more content around similar ones. Don’t be afraid to ask your customers how they found you. You can even make this an optional entry when someone fills out your order form. Again, the idea is to get as much data as possible so you can analyze it and improve your top traffic sources.
Of course, this is just the beginning. Stay tuned for more ideas on making the most of your website visitors.
Tuesday, 9 November 2021
Putting It All Together And Formulating A Solid SEO Strategy For Your Site And Your Business
In previous blog posts I’ve shared quite a bit of information with you about coming up with a solid SEO strategy that can boost your rankings and the traffic Google and the other search engines send your way. By the way, I haven’t spelled this out yet, but Google is what you want to focus on. It is your best shot at traffic and if you optimize well for Google, it will work well for the rest of them too.
Start By Setting A Goal
The first step of any good strategy is to set a goal of what you want to accomplish. Without a goal, you won’t know if you’re succeeding. You also can’t gauge what it will take to reach your goal. Decide how much search engine traffic you want from your content by the end of the month or the quarter. Then get to work. Start by taking a guess at how much you need to publish to reach that goal.
Determine Your Topics And Your Publishing Schedule
Next, it’s time to make a list of topics that you want to write or record about and come up with a publishing schedule. This doesn’t have to be set in stone, but you’re much more likely to get it down if it’s on the calendar. Commit and do your best to stick to it. Then it’s time to start writing.
Find Your Keywords
Do your research and find the keyword that you think will give you good results. There’s no way to know for sure if they will work for you until you try. The good news is that you can tweak and change, or simply create more content based on other keywords. Remember, you want to rank for keywords that indicate that people are looking for what you have to offer.
Publish And Monitor Rankings
Publish as you go along and keep an eye on rankings and traffic. Make a spreadsheet of your keywords and look at the rankings - using an incognito web browser - once a week or so. Install Google Analytics and keep an eye on the traffic you have coming in through search.
Work On Social Signals And Incoming Links
Each time you publish a new piece of content, spend some time to share it on social media. Get the ball rolling and share it around. If you have an email list, email them about it on a weekly basis. The more your content is seen, the higher the chances someone will naturally link to it.
Rinse And Repeat
Keep writing and recording. Keep publishing. And keep sharing both old and new content on social media. You’re in this for the long haul.
Track, Test, And Adjust As Needed
Last but not least, take some time to stop every once in a while and examine your data. Is your SEO strategy working? Is it working as well as you’d like? If not, what could you try to do differently. Maybe it’s publishing less frequently, but writing longer blog posts instead. Maybe it’s using more social media friendly images. Or less. Maybe it’s taking the time to create five new pinnable images each week. Keep learning about SEO and tweak your strategy as you learn and try more techniques.
Let’s Talk About User Behavior And What It Has To Do With SEO Rankings
The best SEO campaign and high rankings won’t help you if you don’t take user behavior and preferences into consideration. It starts with things as simple as what keywords and phrases you choose to rank for. If you pick something that your ideal customers and client aren’t looking for or the phrase, your content, and your offer don’t match, that keyword ranking is doing you no good.
But it goes much deeper than that. What the search engines - Google in particular - want to see is that when someone clicks on a high-ranking search result matter. They want someone to click on that link, go to your site and spend some time there consuming your content. What they don’t want to see are low clicks (in comparison to other search results on that same page), or worse have someone click through to your site, hit the back button, and then go look at a different site.
What does that mean for you as a content provider? Always create your content for your target audience first. If you’re looking at a list of keywords that you want to create content around, ask yourself if a particular search term matches your audience and the content you share. If so, go ahead, if not, move on to a better keyword choice.
Then sit down and write your content for your readers first. Then, when it’s written and polished, go back and look at the title. Are you using the keyword in the title? If not, can you rework it and still have a compelling title. Remember this will be the headline that shows on social media and in the search results. The same goes for metadata like the description and the URL. If you’re not sure what I’m talking about, go do a google search and look at what those individual search results look like.
Last but not least scan through the content and ensure that you’re using the keyword once or twice in the content and also related words and phrases. Search engines are smart and these latent semantic keywords help them determine what your content is about.
With well-written, targeted content you will ensure that your audience clicks and sticks, which will help you move up in the search engine rankings. Not sure if that’s the kind of content you’re creating? Ask your readers if this is what they were looking for. If it isn’t, they will tell you.
How The Small Guy Can Win: Relevancy Matters
Large websites (think Wikipedia) and those that have been around for a long time, often have a leg up in the competition for the top search result spots in your favorite search engines. That doesn't mean you don’t have a shot though. In an effort to bring their customers - the people that type in the search - the best results possible, search engines like Google are weighing relevancy quite heavily. And that’s what you can use to your advantage even as a small guy. Here’s how:
Be Specific - Go After The Long Tail And Niche Down
Don’t go after a top keyword for your niche. Let’s say you’re selling blue widgets. Don’t go after the term “blue widgets”. Yes, it gets the highest search volume, but not everyone searching will be ready to buy blue widgets from you. Maybe they are looking for blue widget images because they are curious what they look like. Maybe they are looking for instructions on making their own blue widgets, or they want to find someone who can manufacture a lot of these blue widgets for their own shop.
Instead, go after the long tail. Use key phrases like “where to buy blue widgets online” or “best place to buy blue widgets in Springfield”. Even better, find a way to set yourself apart from the competition by becoming the place that sells blue widgets for bicycles. Make yourself the expert
Stay On Topic
Relevancy is all about staying on topic. A small website dedicated to share great content exclusively on one topic will rank higher than larger sites that share everything. That’s why despite its huge authority, Wikipedia doesn’t rank for everything. Even though there’s a page on just about everything on that site. Let’s say you decide to build a site about gardening. Pick a niche within that and stick to it. That’s how you may become one of the authority sites about something like rose gardening, or building a year-round herb garden.
Each time you work on a new piece of content ask yourself if it is on topic. Don’t try to be everything to everyone. Relevancy matters.
Go Local Where It Makes Sense
I touched on this earlier, but it’s an important topic, so let’s dive a little deeper. Where it makes sense, it can be very beneficial to make your content local. Instead of becoming one more seller of yellow widgets online, you could become the seller of yellow widgets for your state or your town and rake in the profits.
Of course, this doesn’t make sense for everyone. But let’s say you are great at email marketing. Instead of putting up yet another site and offer yet another course to everyone in the English-speaking world on the topic, go after the small businesses in your area. Become the expert for email marketing in Springfield. Not only will it be much easier to rank for this longer tail keyword, it also opens up all sorts of new options for local marketing. And don’t forget about higher priced products and services that you can offer locally like in-person workshops and consultations.
Boost Your Authority And Make Sure Google And Your Users Take You Seriously
As soon as you start to learn about search engine optimization, you'll hear about site authority. Usually right after you learn about keywords. And for good reasons. It is one of the big factors of how well you will rank for anything on your entire site. Let's look at what you can do to boost your website's authority.
Internal And External Links
The most basic sign of authority is the one that was first implemented in the birth days of Google. The idea was that as people find high-quality and helpful content and link to it the cream will rise to the top.
While things have changed since then and a lot of safety measures are in place so you can’t scam your way to the top by buying links, your site authority is still largely determined by the quality of natural, high quality incoming links.
How do you get those? By sharing great content and getting the ball rolling by telling your target audience about it. How do you do that? Social media is a great option, which also brings us to my next point.
Once you start to get the ball rolling on social media sites, others will start to share your content. Guess what. That gives you incoming links and it sends what are called “social signals”. As your post about your latest blog post or article get shared around and liked, your content and with it your site gain authority. This will build over time, as will the last thing we’ll talk about.
Age will also help you as time goes on. The best time to have registered a domain was ten years ago. The next best time is today. Get started, get high quality content up, start sharing it with the right audience and your authority will start to grow as time goes by. Don’t obsess or worry over the age factor. It is what it is. Building search engine traffic takes time and not just because of the age factor. Instead, continue to work on your site, knowing that ranking will become easier as time goes by. This is in part because of your website’s age and authority, but also because you have more content on your site that will rank for a variety of keywords, and as you grow your audience they will help you spread the word, creating more social signals and incoming links for you.
This is not an extensive list of what improves site authority. There are lots of different factors involved in it in addition to this. Search engines are deliberately vague about what moves the needle at any given time. That said, these are the ones that are most in your control and what I have found to help most.
Is Your Site Trustworthy? Simple Ways To Boost The Trust Factor That’s Becoming More And More Important For Ranking
If you did an audit of various websites, you’d quickly see that not every page that does on-page SEO well ranks well. They may have chosen keywords wisely and optimized their content for them. Yet still, they are buried deep down in the search results while other sites rank with the bare mention.
One of the main reasons is the trustworthiness of one website over the other and there’s a lot you can do to make sure you measure up. Show the search engines and just as importantly your readers that you have a website that can be trusted.
Install an SSL certificate. You want your website to be accessed through the more secure https protocol. Speak to your host about getting this installed and what steps you need to take to make sure your entire site is converted over. Most hosts have a fee for the certificate, though some of them will offer it as part of their standard package.
Improve your website’s load time and make sure it is mobile accessible and responsive. These technical details are becoming more and more important when it comes to ranking well. If you don’t get this right, you’re almost dead in the water. If you are using WordPress to run your site, choosing the right theme will go a long way towards helping you accomplish this.
Social signals are another important part of trustworthiness. We are social creatures who look to others for cues on who we can trust and who we should avoid. Set up social media profiles to go along with your site. Build your audience there and share your best pieces of content regularly. As others like, comment, and share, your credibility will start to go up.
Last but not least, work on credible content and only try to get links to your site from credible sources. It may be tempting to go on sites like Fiverr to buy traffic and links, but it will likely do little good and hurt you in the long run. Instead, build that reach and those links organically and over time.
Keywords: A Glimpse Into Your What Your Target Audience Wants And Needs
Let’s talk about keywords. These are the words your target audience types into their favorite search engine (think Google), to look for more information on topics you can help them with. It’s the cornerstone of any SEO strategy.
Keywords and Key Phrases
Before we go any further, I think it is important to note that we’re not talking about single words here. You’re not going to rank for “butter” for example, even if you are a dairy farmer and that’s what your customers are looking for. Instead, what you want to go after are longer key phrases that give you a good indication of what your people are looking for.
For example, let’s say you are a small dairy farmer who sells fresh milk at the farmers market and you’ve been hearing people say they are interested in figuring out how to make butter. A key phrase you may want to look at for a blog post or informative article could be “how to make butter at home with fresh milk” or something along those lines.
If I’m blogging about SEO and trying to find people interested in a training program or a short guide to help them find out what their customers and readers are looking for, I may use a phrase like “best way to find targeted keywords” or even “how to discover what people are searching for online.”
How To Find These Keywords
The next question is of course where you find those keywords. How can you find out what your target audience is typing into their favorite search engine?
It starts with a guess. I hope you know enough about your topic and niche of choice to come up with a list of several words and phrases that you think your readers may be using. From there you have options. One of your best and free tools is Google. Start to enter one of your keywords and see what the autofill options are. Play with different terms and start making a list. Once you have that list, search each term and scroll down to the bottom of the first search results page. You will see a list of related searches. Add those to your list of keywords and key phrases and choose several that make sense for you and the type of content you want to create.
Another option is to use a keyword tool. If you use Google AdWords, or have at least an AdWords account, you can use Google’s free tool which gives you quite a bit of information on search volume and the likes. Other paid keyword tools are also available.
What To Do With Keywords
Use your keywords and key phrases where it makes sense in the title and content of your blog posts, articles, video descriptions, and the likes. Don’t force it. Always write for your reader first, search engine second. If you can use it in the title, and definitely use it within your content, multiple times or several variations of your main keyword within the content depending on length. Don’t overdo it, but help both your readers and the search engines see what your content is about.
Wednesday, 3 November 2021
How To Engineer Explosive Growth By Stacking Your Efforts
We’re coming to the end of our seven-day challenge to use business planning to create explosive growth in traffic, customers, and most importantly income. Much of what we’ve discussed so far has been actionable steps like writing down your goals as well as mindset pieces like the one about stepping out of your comfort zone. Today is all about putting everything we’ve discussed so far and combining it into something that can give you that explosive growth you want.
You see when you use the basic concept of exponential growth to your advantage, it doesn’t take very much progress in any one area to see big results. We briefly touched on this idea back on day three when we talked about increasing traffic, subscribers, and customers to add to our bottom line. Today we expand on this whole idea in a few different ways and tie it all back into setting goals and business planning in general.
The idea is to make progress on your goals and stack them in a way that gives you leverage. Here’s an example. Let’s say your first goal is to grow your current part time income by $500 a month so you can quit your day job. Following the example in the previous blog post, you come up with a way to get that done by growing your traffic, subscribers, and customers. Since you were able to then quit your day job, you have more time and energy to put into growing your business. You set more ambitious goals and add another $2,000 to your bottom line. Instead of taking everything out in profit, you decide to continue to work on this whole leverage idea.
You set aside $100 a month to play around with Facebook ads to see if you can turn that into a profitable income stream. You take another $200 to start outsourcing some of the ongoing tasks that hold you back. You hire your first VA and now you’re really making progress. This in turn gets the attention of a fellow online entrepreneur in a related niche who wants to work on a project together. Do you see how this works?
One goal builds on the next and they all work together to generate exponential growth. Of course, this is just one little example. This can work in a myriad of different ways and will of course differ from one business to the next. My point is this…
If you start to think strategically and keep one eye on your next few moves, you can start to stack your efforts and engineer that explosive growth in a lot less time than you may think. Try it!
Real Growth Requires You To Step Out Of Your Comfort Zone
Can you think back on a time of real growth, be it in business, in your personal life, or anywhere else? More than likely, you had to step out of your comfort zone for that growth to happen. Yes, we can make progress by doing what we’ve always done. But it will be slow and more importantly, by staying within your comfort zone, you are limiting your potential growth. It’s when we step out of that zone, try something new, take a bit of a risk, and allow for personal and professional growth that we start to see big changes for the better.
Let’s say you goal is to grow your reach and get out in front of a larger audience. What you’ve done so far, and what feels comfortable is writing a blog post a week and then sharing it on social media. Yes, some readers will find you. Yes, if you double or triple your efforts, publishing more posts per week and sharing more often across all your social media accounts, you will see some growth and engagement. But you’re staying in your comfort zone.
What if instead, you used the time you would have spent writing another blog post or two per week and promoting it on Facebook, you took the time to write a guest blog post for someone else’s blog with a bigger reach. What if you sat down and recorded a fun and informational video that you can then share on YouTube, imbed in a blog post, and of course share via your favorite social media outlets. What if you used the time to set up and tested a Facebook ad that continually sends new leads into your funnel. If those things are new to you, that may seem like a pretty scary proposition. But getting uncomfortable and doing it anyway can have some huge rewards.
Writing and submitting the guest blog post can give you a lot of added exposure by allowing you to get in front of an established audience. It also gives you the change to start a relationship with a follow blogger that may lead to all sorts of other opportunities and collaborations.
Recording a series of videos gives you the opportunity to reach a completely different subset of your target audience. There are plenty of people who prefer video content to written posts and articles. There are people who spend hours each day watching YouTube videos who would never stumble across you and your blog otherwise.
Spending money on paid ads can sound like a scary proposition, but once you crack it and find something that converts well for you, you will get a steady stream of new leads in front of you without any added work.
There’s something else I want to mention, just in case I don’t have you convinced yet that getting out of your comfort zone is something you should be doing regularly. You won’t stay uncomfortable for very long. After recording those first few videos, submitting a couple of blog posts, and spending those first few dollars on ads, you start to get comfortable with the processes. Before you know it, they become second nature and yet another tool in your virtual tool belt. Once that happens, you know it’s time to explore some other marketing strategies and ideas.
Why You Have To Write Your Business Goals Down
Throughout this short little series on setting business goals, I’ve mentioned the importance of writing said goals down. That isn’t just because it’s easy to forget. There’s a lot more to it and there are some very important reasons why you have to write them down. I though in today’s blog post, I’d share my thoughts on this and hopefully inspire you to write down your own goals going forward. By the way, this works for any type of goal, not just the business ones.
The simple act of setting a goal, even if it’s just in your mind, doubles your chances of success. That’s a pretty big deal in itself, isn’t it? If you take it a step further, and actually write those goals down, you’re 10 times as likely to succeed. Read that last line again please. That’s right…you can increase your chances of making it by 1,000%. That’s mind-blowing.
There are a few different mental and psychological processes going on here that start to give us a glimpse into why it is so important and effective to write our goals down. The first is that it’s a lot easier to remember something that we’ve written down. You’ve experienced this first hand with your grocery list. When you make a mental list of 10 or 15 things, you’re likely to forget about half of them when you get to the store. If you write out the list on the other hand, and then end up forgetting it on the counter, you will remember the vast majority of the items you needed. This is explained through the fact that information has to be moved from one area of the brain to another to turn it from thoughts into written words on a page. A process called encoding is also involved. All of this helps you retain and store the information better. It’s the reason we’re asked to take notes during lectures in college.
Last but not least, when you write down your goals, you have something you can review regularly. This adds another layer of cognitive processing and increases your chances of success even further. Sadly, only a very small percentage of people make the time to regularly review and evaluate their goals. The ones that do are some of the most successful and highest achieving people out there. In other words, it’s something we should do as well.
To recap, start by setting smart goals. Write them down in as much detail as possible. Set aside some time to review them regularly. This could be weekly, or even daily. Give it a try for this coming quarter. Set yourself a goal. Be specific. This could be something like finally creating that first paid product or adding an extra $500 to your bottom line. Decide by when you’ll reach your goal and how you plan to get there. Write it all down and look at it every morning. This will help you stay on track and make time in your busy day to work on making progress towards your goal.