Size Doesn’t Matter: 26 Things You Must Do To Continually Grow Your Business or Blog
1. Realize what social media really has become. Social media isn’t just for teenagers to post about their crushes. It’s the main way that most people of many demographics communicate. It isn’t something you should attempt in a lazy, occasional way. Social media should be taken seriously, regardless if you’re a multi-million dollar company, a startup, or a blog.
2. Similarly to number 1, blogs need to be taken seriously. They are not simply live journals anymore. Blogs influence opinions, they are a news source, they have power, and many of them earn hundreds of thousands of dollars and have millions of views every year. MILLIONS. Understand the blog world. The success of your eCommerce site will depend on it.
3. Promotions and launching new products can reach new places and boost sales. You’d be surprised how far a Christmas promotion can take you. This goes for blogs as well. Introducing a “new and special” day can increase readership. For example, “photo journal Monday” or “ranting Fridays.”
4. Third party verification. Testimonials. Comments. “Likes”. Trust Seals. New customers/viewers want to see that other people trust you and like you. They want to see that other people “like” your FB page or that people comment on your blog. They want to see testimonials on your website, and third party verification seals, like Trust Seals (shout out, hey oh!) so they know someone has looked into the business. Validation is everything nowadays because how great we are is visible to everyone. You can literally quantify popularity and trust now. Scary? Maybe.
5. E-Mobile Optimization. Think Mobile. Your website, blog, etc., should be mobile friendly because eMobile is THE NEW laptop. People shop from their smartphone, read blogs from their smart phone, read the news from their smartphone. If your website or blog is not mobile friendly, you’re going to lose.
6. Organic Growth is the ONLY THING THAT WORKS. You can no longer “trick” the internet. You can play as many games as you want but the truth is that you wont have consistent traffic, and consistent sales that way. People need to actually get something from you. There are thousands of sites just like yours, they need a reason to have anything to do with you. Try to build real relationships with people and your site will blossom.
7. Solicit reviews. Write fifty other blogs and ask them to review your blog or product. It’s a great way to get advertising and free promotion.
8. Cross promote with other companies/blogs. Write fifty other companies or blogs and ask them if they are interested in a little cross-promotion. You scratch my back and I’ll scratch yours type of thing. It works and it works fast to promote you and spread the word.
9. Increase the speed of your website. A slow website will drive customers away within seconds no matter how great your product/information might be.
10. Give people what they want. Understand your demographic and give them what they want/need. How do you do that? Ask them. Have a survey where they can tell you what they want or need you to provide. To it. It can actually be that easy.
11. Improve trust. Provide great customer service, respond to comments, accept advice and criticism, aim to please, and your site will grow.
12. Google analytics. Yes, you really do need to know statistics. This is a game of finding your audience and you can’t do that without understanding the customers/viewers that you already have.
13. Get Advice: As an entrepreneur, it is easy to fall into a trap of thinking you know more about your business than anyone else. You’ll fall short with this mentality. Set up a team of advisors. Listen to your employees. Hire interns to give you advice. The sky is the limit.
14. A/B Split testing. Creating a great customer experience in your online store usually takes many iterations. You need to constantly improve your search and navigation, merchandising, shopping cart, and checkout.
15. Delegate. If you spread yourself too thin it will show in your work. Hire interns, assign tasks to other employees, ask for guest blog writers, and content writers. The more help you have the more you can focus on being epic.
16. Networking. People often see others in the same field/area as competition. This is a horrible way to think and you’ll fall short because of it. Make friends with everyone. The more people you know the more you’ll grow. This includes similar blogs, sites, interesting social media people, large network of vendors, consultants, and business owners, etc. Read eCommerce blogs constantly, attend webinars, have fun and make friends!
17. Research and uncover related, generic keywords. You’d be shocked by how using one simple, generic keyword can drive traffic to your site. Again, analytics.
18. Create a blog to engage customers. This is geared more towards eCommerce business humans, but trust us, you NEED AN EPIC BLOG. It’s not an option anymore. You need it. It’s the perfect way to be less formal, more intimate, to provide great information, and really reach out. Sure, you can promote your product here and there too but don’t make it about shoving your stuff down everyone’s throat.
19. On your blog, FB, Twitter accounts, share other content that is useful. Like this link that I’m sharing now. http://www.marketingsherpa.com/article/case-study/traffic-increase-generic-seo-keyword-effort.
20. Try to go viral. Creating something entertaining and relevant. A viral video can make all of your internet dreams come true.
21. Social contests. Contests can really drive traffic to your eCommerce site or blog. I have a friend who has a very successful swedish hat business. They did not pay for any advertising at all. Zilch. In fact, the only thing they did was have a contest of the best photo of someone wearing their hat and that contest quadrupled their sales. Everyone was having so much fun in the hat photos that everyone else wanted in on it.
22. Make sure that you are consistent in your branding. Anything related to your business should match in tone, style, color schemes, etc. It’s confusing when style, tone, etc changes for every profile, blog, video, FB update or tweet. Use a consistent voice.
23. Provide a newsletter subscription box. Newsletters are awesome! I recommend using MailChimp. You can set it up easily, it’s cheap, and it keeps people connected to you! Forget about me? I don’t think so.
24. Security. You’re website should always be safe and secure. If you own an eCommerce business you need tight security. Absolutely nobody wants to be a victim of identity theft, credit card theft, or a scam. You need PCI vulnerability scanning, an SSL certificate, etc. The whole nine yards. Just remember, one hacker can ruin your business.
25. Content for social media and blogs should be planned and useful. Don’t post just to post. You won’t achieve organic following by spreading crap around the internet. Take your time.
26. Strategy. Plan your marketing strategies and stay with it. It’s very easy to get discouraged when you don’t see results after two weeks. Give it six months and if isn’t going as well as you’d like re-evaluate and change your strategy. Don’t be afraid to tweak it, but keep with it. Persistence, and keeping your business visible is absolutely necessary for growth.
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