I do have to say that 2016 treated me pretty well.
There were a bunch of epiphanies which made it the year of enlightenment as far as self realization, self confidence, and of course blogging.
In 2016 I learned how to work smarter which allowed me to progress even further, attract more opportunities, and gain much more results.
I realized working harder only brings more limitations which at some point will make you stagnant and get you to the point of burning out. You become that hamster in the wheel, running fast and yet not going anywhere.
Once you come out of that mindset and focus on the tasks that’s going to make you more productive, it feels as if each day is “renewed” which gives you the energy to keep going.
Especially through those “vanity” metrics you see in your analytics.
You become more excited about the future tasks you’re about to do, leaving you in suspense each time you take them on.
You truly feel like a kid again.
Many of you may feel disappointed in the previous year and want to see how you can make 2017 better.
In this post I will share with you my plans for 2017 and what I learned from 2016.
“The bad news is time flies. The good news is you’re the pilot.” ~Michael Altshuler
You know what hurts?
Getting to a certain point where you find it difficult to get better results leave you to mantain the results you’re already getting.
Do you know what’s worse?
Losing those results too!
This happened to me in 2016 and yes, it was pretty dismal.
I wanted to crawl under a rock despite the fact I was putting up a big front that everything was ok among my peers.
But it seemed that the big front gave me the energy to research what other strategies I could be implementing.
Despite the feeling of not being too sure if what you’re looking for may not work, you do it anyways.
I took some chances in 2016 and made a few changes, which resulted in losing a lot of traffic, but it was the best move I made.
Sometimes you need to take those risk to improve what you already have to build a stronger foundation.
You may hate it.
You may procrastinate.
You know you’ll lose out on a lot.
But in the end, after seeing all the discouraging results, you’ll see that you will reap the rewards by making specific changes that can be detrimental at first.
So What did I do?
I focused on 3 main areas
- Messaging and Cohesiveness
- Personal Branding and Targeting
With just these three elements, I not only created better clarity and honed in on my audience, but I quadrupled the traffic coming to my blog!
And you know what?
I actually decreased the number of blog posts I published per month and comments on other blogs per day.
It was a matter of working smarter as opposed to working harder.
Here’s more detail on each area
Messaging and Cohesiveness
For the longest I had quite a few people ask me “So what exactly do you do?”
Although I had a decent idea of what my blog was about, it just wasn’t enough. Being general about your blog doesn’t help you out at all.
So I put more narrowed-focus on the message and made sure that each post was a direct correlation to the message I put out.
I put it in my “About Me” page to give visitors a more detailed idea of what my blog is about and who is it for.
This helped funnel out the ones that didn’t relate to my blog and brought in those that did, which comes to my next point.
Personal Branding and Targeting
Within my “About Me” page I looked at my own situation and thought maybe I should focus on people like me.
I made it clear that my blog is for those who work full-time jobs and have very little time to grow their blog and business. Especially if they’re introverted.
These are the type of people who I want to attract to the blog.
Either they’re exactly like this or similar.
On top of that, you want to build some type of reputation and authority on certain topics.
Any content that you publish that is geared towards your message and the type of topics that’s going to attract a specific audience is something you want to be consistent with.
Once you get this established you want your targeted audience to know that you exist. This is why the next point is vital for attracting them.
Promotion should be the bulk of what you do.
This was something that took me a long time to figure out.
It doesn’t matter if you publish blog posts everyday or once a month, if you’re not promoting, you will become stagnant in your attempt to grow your blog and home business.
This is why it’s important that you start applying different strategies to really get your content out there. Some will work while others will be a waste of your time.
What may work for one person may not work for you.
Just because someone like Neil Patel or Brian Dean does certain strategies that work for them, may not be right for what you want to do.
But then again, don’t discount it. Give it a try!
In the post How Can Solopreneurs Promote Their New Blog Posts I go into 10 Strategies I use to promote my blog posts. This definitely helped to increase my traffic, specifically targeted traffic, as well as email subscribers.
The goal for you is to build up your email list and generate sales.
In essense, when it comes to promotion, you must be able to get the type of traffic that’s going to be interested in you, your content and products/services.
7 Strategies and Tools That I’ll Utilize That Can Help You
You always need direction and stepping stones!
This is why it’s important to have strategies that are going to be productive for your plan of action.
So many jump into blogging without any kind of direction or purpose for that matter. They get lost in the crowd of bloggers and quit within a short time.
But once you set up goals, and mini-goals, it’ll give you the energy and reason to put in the effort to accomplish each one.
With that said, here are 7 Strategies and tools I’m going to put to use that’s going to help keep me progressing forward!
Getting Rid of Popup Intrusion
For years many bloggers used Pop Up Opt In Forms to generate more email subscriptions.
At first, I was against using it.
Because I use to hate them. I just hated when I start reading a blog post then out of no where a pop up would appear for me to sign up for their newsletter.
Do you feel the same?
But there were a lot of articles I’ve read where it mentioned that these same popups helped to generate a lot of email subscriptions.
So in do due time I gave in and set up a popup which did help increase email subscriptions on my blog.
This year, January 10th, Google put out an update to penalize any site with popups for mobile.
And since I do read a lot of blogs on my mobile smart phone, it does become irritating when you see a popup. Especially trying to find the “X” to close them.
For these two reasons, I disabled my popups which helped with my traffic as well.
For more detail about the Google Penalty check out Ashley Faulke’s post entitled Google Hates Popups For Mobile (And What To Do Instead) where he goes into what type of opt in forms you can use and which ones not to use.
Thrive Content Builder
What’s one reason why people leave your blog as soon as they get on it?
If your blog is hard on the eyes, then that’s a good reason.
One example is having one big block of text.
Despite how valuable the information it is, this is a strong excuse for people to instantly leave your blog.
And you know what?
It doesn’t just have to be a block of text!
If you have more white space with no images, then your readers might as well pick up a book.
Just these two reasons can hurt your rankings a lot!
This is why it’s better to edit each of your posts so it can be more visually appealing to your visitors.
WordPress has a visual editor to make your blog posts more appealing, but it has a lot of limitations to it.
You can write code, but most of us bloggers don’t have a clue when it comes to coding anything on our blogs.
Hiring someone to code can get expensive, so that’s not a great option.
One alternative that many bloggers are turning to without coding or hiring someone are Drag and Drop Content Builders.
The most popular one that I know of thus for is Thrive Content Builder which is what I use.
It’s a multipurpose wordpress plugin where not only you can create visually appealing blog posts, but also you can create Opt in Forms and Landing Pages.
Focus more on Promotion
n 2015 I use to comment on a lot of blogs.
On average I would comment on 6 blog posts a day, 5 days a week.
But I do have to admit, despite the fact I doubled my traffic, it felt like a chore after a while and on top of that, I didn’t get pass a certain threshold as far as incoming traffic.
You may have experienced something similar to this.
I started to look into other means to promote my blog posts so I can build up more targeted traffic.
In 2016 I cut down the commenting and focused more on being in more blogging communities where the members concentrated more affiliate marketing for solopreneurs.
Although I became more involved on these sites, it just wasn’t enough.
As a result, I researched for more promotion strategies that I geared towards my targeted audience which I found around October of 2016.
With that said, as a result I quadrupled my traffic by December of 2016.
Traffic Stats Feb 1 - Feb 29, 2016
Traffic Stats Nov 20 - Dec 20, 2016
Quotes With Images
Sometimes when you’re frustrated and feel life is against you, reading inspirational quotes can helps get us through those tough times.
Towards the beginning of 2016, I not only started tweeting these inspirational quotes, but I also added my blog site as another way to promote my blog.
I used Canva to set up each quote inside of an image.
The only thing was that I only did this for about 3 months.
By the end of March of that year, I laid it to rest.
The wise thing I did was shared these quotes via Buffer which is one of the automated sharing tools I use to syndicate my content.
I noticed towards the end of the year on Facebook that many people were liking and sharing my quotes, which as you know means more traffic.
So if you’re hurting for traffic, then this is a great strategy to add to your arsenal.
Make sure you check out the post How Can Solopreneurs Promote Their New Blog Posts which I mentioned on the previous point.
When it came to guest posting, I fell off the wagon.
I didn’t write any guest posts in 2016, but I did put in the effort to write 5 guest posts in the previous year which worked out pretty good.
This year I want to get back into the swing of things.
Guest posting is a great strategy not to sleep on..
Being able to be everywhere you're target audience is will raise the chances of you and your blog to be discovered by the right people.
In order to be successful in it, you want to have the mindset of making it a win/win/win situation between you, the blog owner and their audience.
Writing relative guest posts that the audience can instantly implement will help to build your reputation even more so.
Although it isn’t a competition, sometimes you’re writing style on specific topics can resonate better than some of your top influencers that have done guest posts on the same blog.
So don’t discourage yourself from taking this opportunity.
Frequency Of Blog Posting
In 2015 I published a blog post just about every week on average!
The big problem was that I wasn’t promoting as much as I should.
As a result, there was a limit to how much traffic I was getting.
Fast forward to 2016 where I started publishing blog posts once a month and promoted them the majority of the month my traffic grew.
As I mentioned before, by December of 2016, I quadrupled my traffic.
Now am I saying that it’s best to publish a blog post once a month?
But I do like to say that it all depends on your audience.
You may have the type of audience that like to read your blog posts everyday or every week.
What’s more important, from my own experience is:
- Creating the types of post that your audience can instantly apply for themselves
- Spending the majority of your time promoting your post across the internet.
But for me once a month worked great for me.
I may even put out an extra blog post for that month, but I will be spending most of my time on other activities such as PDFs, landing pages, prewritten email messages and more.
Paid Advertising and Landing Pages
About 4 years ago I started using Paid Advertising.
I had some ready-made landing pages which were high converting as far as email subscriptions.
The problem I ran into was that, although I was also generating some sales, it wasn’t enough to cover the cost of each paid campaign.
As a matter of fact, I wasn’t tracking any of the campaigns and I took a big lost.
When it comes to your paid campaigns and landing pages, you want to make sure you track their performance so you can see which campaigns and landing pages benefits you the most.
Once you get the hang of using paid advertising, you’ll see it’s the fastest way to build email list.
As you’re building your list, you want to focus on building their trust with either prewritten email messages or broadcast messages within your autoresponder which increases your chances of get more sales.
When it comes down to it, it’s up to you on how you make any New Year.
For me it’s been a constant learning process filled with a lot of mistakes, epiphanies, and progress.
But as the quote in this post says:
“The bad news is time flies. The good news is you’re the pilot.”
When it comes to the goals and projects you take on, you’re the one that’s in control despite all of your set backs.
You learn to take the bitter with the sweet becoming better at what you do.
That is key when you take on any journey.
Although I came up with this plan, I will not limit myself to it. I look at it as giving me a strong start with 2017 and I know it will do the same for you.
Now It’s Your Turn!
How was 2016 for you?
Did you carry out your plans for 2016?
What will you do differently in 2017?
Do you have any New Years resolutions ?
Please share your comments below and share this post with your friends. I look forward to reading them!