I have a long-standing New Year’s Day tradition. I sit in the floor with the outgoing and incoming year calendars side-by-side and flip through them, marking important anniversaries from the previous year on the new one. It’s also a great way to reflect on how I spent the year, including all of the fond memories of people, places, and activities I enjoyed.
This year I had to start that review process a little early as I began making the BlogAid editorial calendar for 2011. It was quite a task, since I had also merged my other site, Just the FAQs, into BlogAid in November. Since then I’ve begun to carry content and services from both sites in one place.
What Viewers Want
Viewing the calendars as a whole allowed me to clearly see how my marketing strategy had changed during the year. The thing that stood out the most was that there can be an incredible gap in predicting what will be the top draw on the site, and what viewers and clients actually find most helpful and interesting.
From There to Here
I started Just the FAQs in mid 2008 with nine ebooks to guide non-geeks step-by-step through the process of creating, optimizing, and using a website on the Blogger and WordPress platforms. The books got rave reviews and I sold quite a few, but not enough to compensate for all the time I spent writing, updating, and marketing them over the year.
But, what I did accomplish was to find more online marketing experts to follow who showed me how to improve my efforts. My promotion chores became more efficient and effective. And, I began to better understand my target audience in the following ways:
- How to find and attract followers who were interested in my offerings
- The content, guides, and resources they needed most
- How they wanted the helpful information delivered
I also learned about marketing trends and tools that directly impacted how much time I had to spend in front of a computer to make BlogAid a success.
Where I Am Today
After two years of trial and error and what turned out to be an intensive course in online marketing, I finally understood the difference in running a business online and running an online business.
- I moved from selling one-size-fits-all guide books to working directly with clients and offering services that are tailored to their unique needs.
- What used to take me a week to create for online promotion I now do in a day, leaving me more time to focus on clients.
- Instead of writing just-in-time posts, my editorial calendar is full through the next quarter and has a overarching plan.
- All of my content is optimized to be candy for both readers and search engines.
- I’m making a lot of friends more quickly on social media sites and a growing percentage of them actually read every post.
- I strengthened my partnerships with trusted coaches and marketing gurus who refer their clients to me for the techie part of creating an online presence.
I’ve Got a Plan
I also posted my first video tutorials on YouTube and have over 20 more on the drawing board. Later in 2011 I’ll be expanding BlogAid to include a Members Area that will feature free content and videos as well as a special area just for BlogAid training clients with advanced video tutorials and marketing tips. I’ll also have a special newsletter just for clients and partners with all of the news and tips that I know will affect their online efforts directly.
Along the way I have discovered that it’s not hard to separate BlogAid from the crowd and make it a standout in its niche. It offers honest, affordable, advice, tips, and services that actually work to help folks create a successful online presence. There’s a big difference in having a website and having a successful site that works. Every one of my clients can tell you exactly why that is true.
The Biggest Lesson
The biggest lesson I’ve learned is that it takes persistence and patience to build a successful online business and a willingness to always be ready to learn, grow, and adapt to the ever-changing online landscape. Of course, offering top drawer content and resources, as well as personalized attention to clients plays its part too.
It is my strongest desire that you enjoy and benefit from all of the new resources that are coming to BlogAid in 2011. Be sure to leave a comment and tell me what you would like to see on the site and what you need a little help with. I’ll be sure to put it on the new year’s calendar.