How to grow your online business, in just one year!


grow your online business in just one year

Last week was a week to celebrate! Not only was it the season premiere of Nashville, I can’t believe Rayna chose Luke over Deacon, but the first anniversary ‘blog to business’ launch of Your Marketing BFF!

Some brief history: I started this blog in the Spring of 2011 to help small business owners and creatives with their marketing. At the time, I had a marketing consulting and design agency that focused on working with Fortune 500 companies (companies like Apple, Fuji Film, and Motorola) and I was struggling to find time to work with small businesses as well.

My goal in starting this blog was to simply provide free marketing advice and inspiration to small businesses who were struggling with their marketing efforts, and to push them to cause much needed CHANGE in their businesses.

As my readership grew, I was asked for additional service offerings and my love for this new journey took hold. Thus, September 2013 we ‘restarted this blog’ and turned it into a money-making business with consulting, branding, and design offerings.

From September 2013 to September 2014, we’ve experienced a 74% growth in unique visitors!

This is how we grew our online business and how you can grow your business, in just one year too!

1. Increased our number of posts per week. We went from one blog post a week to two per week*. Our goal is to do two posts a week, but there have been a few weeks throughout the year that we only posted once.  Note: Don’t beat yourself up, life happens – and if vacation, quiet or family time is needed, give yourself a break.

2. Added Trade Show Inspiration series posts. We had written a couple of posts centered around trade shows and when we reviewed our Google Analytics (look at Behavior/Site Content/All Pages and then under Page or Page Titles) we noticed A LOT of traffic to these particular posts. So guess what? Ding, ding, ding… we decided to write more of these types of posts!

Note: Using Google Analytics is a great marketing tool that helps you determine the types of posts your readers love the most. Once you have this information, I’d advise you to write more of ‘em!

3. Linked previous posts/content. We started adding previous post links within a new post. Here’s an example: (The red ‘mistake’ words below show the links to previous posts already on our blog)

linking previous posts into a new post

Also, we added a plugin called LinkWithin – this provides the reader with (4) previous posts that they might also like at the bottom of each post. We have this appear on our blog roll as well as on each individual full post.

linkwithin plugin for wordpress

Note: This also increased the time readers spent on our site. Odds are if they like what they just read, they might be interested in reading another one!

4. Write for a specific group of people. We write for go-getter creative women and small business entrepreneurs – people like me!

For those of you that have purchased our mini e-course “How To Identify Your Ideal Target Customer”, you know that I actually write with one specific person in mind and that’s my gal ‘Alyssa’. For me, everything from my branding, to the messages, to the blog posts, to the choice of products/services we offer, is done with Alyssa in mind. Alyssa is my constant reminder of my ideal target customer. NEVER, EVER lose sight of your target customer!!!

Not sure who your ideal target customer is? You can purchase the course here for $5.99.

5. Ask, listen and do. In April we did a survey asking our readers what they’d like to see on our blog. We tallied the survey results and started writing the posts you wanted to see! We used a free Yop Poll plugin that worked beautifully!

Also, throughout the year we receive emails and comments where readers ask specific questions, tell me about their struggles, successes, what’s working and what’s not. I turn a lot of these into posts! Why? Because they’re not alone, others are EXACTLY where they are, we are a tribe – a community working together, cheering each other on and helping each other out.

This post isn’t simply a review of what we’ve done to grow our online business, it’s actually a playbook on how to grow your business! If you do at least one of these things, your business will grow too!

As I reflect over this past AMAZING year and celebrate – I can raise a glass and cheer to:

-making a consistent investment in people’s lives.
-seeing each Google Analytics number as a person… because that’s the point anyways!
-each of you that ride this journey and grow your businesses right alongside of mine.

Thank you! And thank you for continuing to share us with your friends and family.

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