We are approaching the New Year and the best way to start 2013 is by having a New Year resolution. If you are running business blogs and want to start 2013 strong, this blog post can suggest you a New Year resolution for your business blog.
As a business blog owner, my daily “battle” consists of three things: How to provide quality tips and advice for readers, how to increase traffic while reducing dependency to Google and how to increase income without sacrificing user experience.
Each of them is challenging; even more challenging is finding the balance among all three. Not mentioning the changes we experience along the way…
In my almost-5 years of webpreneurship career, I’ve seen many things change quickly… the Google Panda and Penguin updates… the migration of user engagement from blogs to social network sites… the necessities to cater mobile audience… as the owner of a business blog, you are practically demanded to follow the best practices – or else, there are 1,000s of others who are more eager than you to work things out for their blogs.
But no worries – “challenging” doesn’t mean “impossible.” It is possible and those three are worth-pursuing. If you are wondering what you should do for your business blog in 2013, let me share my plan in pursuing those three objectives:
1. Adopt responsive web design
I urge you to re-code your blog’s layout design in such a way that it’s becoming responsive – it’s one of many website owners’ top to-do list for 2013 – just ask Mashable. Responsive design means flexible blog design and layout that look great viewed by any possible devices with any possible screen sizes: Desktops, laptops, tablets, smartphones, and everything in between.
There is one and one reason only to do this: To attract mobile users more. I’ve changed some of my blogs’ design to be responsive, and the impact is significant – on average, 20% of their traffic is coming from mobile devices. As mobile users are strong buyers, you should focus your effort on this.
2. Build mobile apps
In addition to #1 above, you should also build an accompanying mobile app for your business blog. You can include your blog and social media updates on your app. There are some tools that can help you create one quickly, such as Conduit App Maker, ShoutEm and many others.
3. Focus on Inbound Marketing
I have written in my personal blog that 2013 is the year of Inbound Marketing. This online marketing strategy is based on the concept of earning the attention of prospects, making yourself easy to be found and drawing customers to your website by producing content customers value (via Wikipedia.) I recommend you to focus on this marketing strategy as it will definitely help you reducing your dependencies on Google, as you focus on social media and email communication to gain traffic and get customers.
If you are looking for an authoritative source with regard to Inbound Marketing, HubSpot should be your go-to website. The term is coined by Brian Halligan, the CEO and Co-founder of HubSpot. Inbound Marketing is HubSpot’s bread and butter; so, there’s a reason to learn about it right from the pioneer.
4. Back to SEO Basics
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) remains the cornerstone strategy in getting your business blog found on search engines. However, with the recent radical changes in Google search engine algorithm, there’s a pressing need to shape up your SEO strategy to comply with Google’s strict but sometimes ambiguous guidelines.
As Google major algorithm updates, such as Google Panda, Google Penguin, Exact Match Domain, and so on, turn the webmaster world upside down, we can’t afford to play around with loopholes trying to game search engines. It’s time to go grass-root: Focus on creating high quality, authoritative content… and business blogs are the right place to publish such content!
So, your SEO to-dos for 2013? Work on your on-site SEO and focus on creating content useful for users. Do this and include it in your Inbound Marketing campaign, and you will start seeing results in no time!
5. Enhance your monetization methods: Add interactive ads and start selling products
Here’s one spoiler for you: Interactive ads rock! If you want ads which are engaging thus yielding you more click through and/or views, you should find ad network and/or affiliate programs offering ads that actually respond to your action (hence the name “interactive”.)
I will also start selling products (and services.) I have been selling affiliate products for so long, but never really focus on doing so. In 2013, as I understand that even an online magazine need to sell products/services other than the information itself, I will focus on funneling the blogs’ traffic to the products/services I am going to sell.
So, if you want more revenue coming from your business blog, start selling products!
What’s your business blog’s plan for 2013?
I’ve shared my plan for my business blogs; now it’s your turn What’s your plan for 2013? Please share yours!