OK, in part 1 we looked at why your competitors are killing you online. I showed you the the culprits (Site-Mill Web Designers, Skewed Analytics, and Confusing SEO). And I gave you the simple formula for content creation success.
Quantity of Content + Quality of Content x Consistency of Publishing = Web Success
Now you need a plan of action. You need to know exactly what to do and when to do it. That’s what I’ll share here in part 2. But first, let me offer a bit of encouragement. If all of this information is spinning your head and you feel a little lost right now, don’t sweat it. Everybody feels that way when they first get started.
Find Your Foundational Principle
Go back through your company’s mission statement, guiding principles, and original business plan. Create a formula like the one I shared above that explains how your company is different from your competitors. If there’s nothing unique about your company, your product, or your service, the greatest website, analytics, and SEO in the world won’t help you. There needs to be something about you that’s unique in your industry or market and, once you determine what that is, you’re ready for the next step.
Get A Marketing Plan
Now that you have a clear understanding of your Foundational Principle, it’s time to offer it to the world. The key questions at this point are Who? and How?
Who do you offer the product to? Who needs it? Who wants it? Who can afford it? Who do those people know that are just like them? Who will create the offer and the advertisement? Who will make or source the product or service? Who will sell the product or service? Who will provide customer service and technical support?
How will you find your customers? How will you approach them? How will you present the offer? How much does it cost? How will you produce or procure the product or service? How will you deliver the product or service? How will you deal with returns and dissatisfied customers? How much do you need to make? How much do you want to make? How will you measure the effectiveness of your efforts? How hard are you willing to work?
When you’ve answered these questions, you’ll have your Marketing Plan and then you’re ready for the next step.
Create Your Content
Do you know how often the big boys publish awesome content on their sites? Three times a week at the very minimum. That’s right, we’re talking meaty, well-crafted articles with images and at least 1000 words. If you were the kid who dreaded writing papers in school, this might sound like your worst nightmare.
Here’s some good news, though. You don’t have to write it all. You can hire people to write it. You can ask people to write it. You can publish what other bloggers in your field have already written. You can share trending news stories that pertain to your business. Just remember that it has to be good stuff. NEVER PUBLISH JUNK JUST TO PUBLISH SOMETHING. You have to care about quality, because your customers care about quality and Google cares about quality.
Leading digital marketing experts suggest writing at least 30 articles before you launch your site. Post 15 of them and backdate them throughout the five weeks prior to your launch. Then pre-schedule the remaining 15 to appear automatically over the next 5 weeks. This way you are always a month ahead of yourself from the very beginning. By giving yourself a little breathing room, you have some time to create or curate the content you need.
Finally, create a Posting Schedule and actually place it on a calendar for the next 12 months. This is significant, because you’ll need to maintain your posting schedule for a full year or more in order to establish an unshakeable web presence. Content Creation is a marathon, not a sprint, and anyone who tells you differently is either lying or ignorant of the truth.
Monetize Your Site
On the day you launch, find the date that is exactly three months in the future and mark it as Monetization Day. Then find the date that is exactly six months in the future and mark it as Information Product Day. Monetization Day should be about the day that you write your 40th post (not counting the original back-dated 15). This is the day when you post your resource page. This is a page containing tons of relevant links that your customers will find helpful.
You’ve spent the last three months applying for these affiliate programs and now your ready to reveal this awesome resource collection to your audience. Just make sure that you reveal that these are affiliate links and that you get paid when they click on them and buy things. You’ll be surprised how many people will be glad to use your affiliate links to buy stuff they were going to buy anyway just to help you out and say, “Thanks” for all the great information you’ve provided.
Information Product Day should be somewhere around post number 80. This is when you release an information product made up of all the articles you’ve written for six months. Seriously, just compile all your epic content and release it as an ebook or a special report. Sure, people could go back through your blog and read it all for free, but many of them will gladly pay a modest price to have it all in one downloadable resource.
Build Engagement Using Social Media
Beginning with your back-dated 15 posts and continuing as long as you work your site understanding that publish a post includes placing it on Social Media. Sites like Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+, YouTube, Pinterest, Instagram, and Twitter are not things you do in addition to posting, they are essential parts of posting. If you post an article to your website and don’t also include it on all of your Social Media sites, you have not completely published that article.
Also, make sure that you respond to every single comment someone leaves on any part of your web presence. Engagement is a two-way deal. There must be participation from both parties. This shows your Social Media Sites and Search Engines that people dig your stuff and that you appreciate it enough to respond and give awesome attention to your customers. Back to Google, this is the essence of quality user experience.
Further Monetize Your Site
The last date you should mark on Launch Day is the one exactly 9 months out. This is Mo Money Day. This will be somewhere around post number 120. On this day you release a line of physical products that you will stock, sell, and ship. Every industry uses physical products and you can sell them just as easily as anyone else can. You can choose this day to open a Members Only area of your site where members who pay a monthly subscription can receive additional content, resources, products, and/or services.
The point of Mo Money Day is to combine your growing audience and your compiled content to create a passive income stream. As a bonus, consider releasing another volume of informational resource at the one year mark by compiling the second six months of material just like you did on Information Product Day.
So, there you go. There’s a simple plan for your first year of internet business. As you can see, it’s going to be a lot of work (I said it was simple, I never said it was easy), but, if your business is something you love it should be enjoyable. How was your first year of blogging? Share your stories in the comments and let’s talk about it.