Well, it's officially 2016! Is that pure insanity or what?! Man, I remember ringing in Y2K old school rocking out to Will Smith and the 'Millennium' song! It has been sixteen years since then ... SIXTEEN YEARS!!! THAT'S HALF OF MY ENTIRE LIFE PEOPLE!!!!
Ehem. Sorry. Minor break down. And now I suddenly feel very old. And if you don't know what Y2K means then I will feel even older.
Before I have another minor break down about my age, let's talk about 30 ways that you can grow your blog and business this year, shall we? I have done all but #21 (although that's on schedule for next month!) and #14 and #28 are currently in progress. These things WILL help you grow your blog and business, I can vouch for 'em myself! So here they are in no particular order ...
(p.s. I've got a checklist for your to download and print off if you'd like the satisfaction of crossing things off! Just click the image below. No opting onto my e-mail list required. ;) BUT if you DO get on my e-mail list you'll get exclusive freebies- just say'in. NO PRESSURE!!! No really, I swear.)
1. Make sure your brand is strong, clear and consistent.
There's no better time than the start of a new year to make sure that your brand is ON POINT, baby! Make sure your blog + biz stands out and is true to who you are by doing a brand audit (I swear it's not as scary as it sounds!) Check out this post on how to audit your brand (which includes a free checklist!) OR you can also take my free Strong Brand mini course (complete with video, slides and worksheets!)
2. Check to make sure that the purpose of your blog is super clear.
Up until March of last year, my blog severely lacked focus because I wasn't sure what I wanted to do and I was trying to do it all. Because it lacked focus, I wasn't getting very many readers and my blog posts were all over the place! BUT ever since I rebranded my blog and got very specific on it's focus, it has grown from 1,000 readers a month to over 25,000 readers a month! Take a look at this post on how to define your blog's purpose!
3. Start creating an editorial calendar.
Time to get strategic with your blog posts, yo! Creating an editorial calendar will ensure that what you're posting about is inline with your goals AND the interests of your readers! (Which is integral for growth and keeping people coming back for more!) PLUS you'll never be left with that dreaded oh crap I need to post something today but I have no clue what to write about feeling! Read this post by Elle & CO on how to create the quintessential editorial calendar!
4. Have a brand photo shoot!
Having professional, branded photos for your business will make you STAND OUT like woah! Plus, it just looks great. Take a peek at this post by Elle & Co on why Brand photos are important (and how to get them!) Speaking of photos, you can grab 15 FREE delightful stock photos that I shot with my own two hands right here (well ... technically my camera shot them, but you know what I mean!)
5. Join a Facebook group mastermind!
You know what's better than one creative mind? LOTS OF FOCUSED, CREATIVE MINDS PUT TOGETHER! Bwuahhh hahaha! (I don't know why I did that evil laugh- I swear I'm not evil!!!!) But seriously. Joining forces with other like-minded individuals is great for support, brainstorming, feedback and growth! (Pssst, if you want to be a Creative Superhero you can join my ladypreneur Facebook mastermind group right here!)
6. Up Your Pinterest Game, Yo.
Yeah yeah, you've probably heard this one already. BUT TOO BAD IT'S TIME TO HEAR IT AGAIN! Why? Because this one can result in huuuuge amounts of growth. My website's traffic has been doubling thanks to the Pinterest and Boardbooster strategy that I've been using! You can check out this super juicy post explaining the 28 Pinterest tips that I've used to massively grow my blog's traffic, or if you'd like to dive right in and get started you can check out my latest course which includes an exclusive free trial to Boardbooster!
7. Craft Your Killer Business Plan.
Me? Sound like a broken record? Don't be ridiculous! :::cough cough::: But seriously, how could I NOT include this one? Creating a business plan has been a gigantic factor in my blog and business's growth- especially this past year! You can check out this step-by-step guide on how to create your business plan (along with a free, editable template!)
8. Use a planner.
Even if you're not a total to-do list-goal-setting-planner-freak like I am, scheduling things and staying organized is really important for growth and staying on track! Check out the colorful and quirky Blog + Life planner where you can plan your blog, life AND business all in the same place! OR use a digital one inside your phone, like Evernote. OR a different planner all together. Whatever floats your boat!
9. Set Goals you can actually achieve.
It's much harder to grow your blog and biz when you're not setting tangible goals for yourself to actually reach! It's like hopping into your vehicle blind and then being surprised when you end up NOT at your destination, but on the side of the road. No Bueno. Take a look at the Ultimate Guide to Goal Setting (which includes a free workbook!) so YOU don't end up crashed on the side of the road!
10. Boost Your Brand.
If you've already done your brand audit and you know it's already good'n'strong, then it's time to kick it up a notch! Take a peek at these 18 Ways to Make Your Brand Stand Out!
11. Get Serious About Social Media.
This year, it's time to use social media strategically to grow your blog and biz! Check out Regina's awesome post on 33 Ways to Get Serious About Social Media!
12. Create better blog post titles.
Creating better blog posts titles brings in more readers AND helps with SEO, did'ya know? (Woo hoo that rhymed!) Let people know that you've got some seriously juicy content by creating titles that really do them justice! Read this post on how to create blog post titles that stand out (plus it includes free cheat sheets!)
13. Create your first info product + freebie.
Now, this one here is a great way to grow your blog and business! (That was said in a total cowboy, Texas accent by the way. Picture me in a cowboy hat leaning up against some old fashioned saloon doors!) Take a look at this post by The Nectar Collective on how to create your first info product and this post on How to Create Epic Digital Downloads by Regina!
14. Guest post on some one else's blog.
Another lovely way to get more growth is by guest posting on some one else's blog! It's a great way to get more exposure and to position yourself as an "expert" while also getting in front of a whole new gaggle of readers! (I kind of love the word "gaggle." I think it technically is supposed to be used in relation to groups of geese though ...) Check out this post on How to Guest Post Like a Boss!
15. Improve your photography skills.
No, I'm not just biased since I'm technically a professional photographer (I swear!) Better photos = better pins on Pinterest = more pins = more traffic and growth. PLUS better photos are prettier to look at and look more professional. And if you can learn to take your own photos well than you can create your very own brand photos! Check out the post I did on how to take pretty styled photos for your blog, these tips on What NOT to Do and these tips on How to Make People Comfortable in Front of the Camera!
16. Update your old blog posts!
Do you have blog posts that you wrote a million years ago that not many people saw? Are they still relevant to your goals and purpose today? If so then it's time to breathe some new life into them, baby! Repurposing your old content and making it MORE awesome with updated photos can be a great way to get more traffic and growth. Take a peak at the Nectar Collective's post on How to Update Old Blog Posts!
17. Make it a habit to comment on other people's blogs.
I've said it once and I'll say it again; spread the comment love by commenting on the blog posts of others! This is a great way to get more engagement because people will see your comments (and some times click on over to your blog!) and take notice of you. So just doooo it. Speaking of engagement ...
18. Be engaging.
Being engaging is really important for acquiring new readers and keeping people around! So do me a solid and take a look at this post on 10 Ways to Engage Your Blog's Audience, mmmkay? (Where the heck did the phrase "do me a solid" come from anyway? It really doesn't make much sense!!!)
19. Create a stellar media kit for your blog.
Making a media kit should make you feel quite professional (I mean who doesn't like to feel professional?) AND is totally necessary if you plan on working with other brands and bloggers! Check out Pauline's post on how to make one, plus it includes free templates! Speaking of working with others ...
20. Collaborate with Another creative.
Nothing is more powerful than joining forces with another creative, like-minded individual! Check out Regina's amazing post on 33 types of collaborations (for free and for profit!)
21. Host your first webinar.
Seriously, dooooo it! Webinars have quite literally exploded my blog + business, fast. Get in front of your people and offer them something of value (for FREE!) People love valuable, free stuff. And if you're awesome at providing valuable, free stuff than guess what? People will probably spread the word about your awesome-ness. And not only that, but webinars keep working for you AFTER the live broadcast! I literally get 3,000+ new e-mail subscribers each month by using my old webinar recordings as opt-ins throughout my site.
Wanna get started with webinars? Grab a bunch of free goodies to get you started! Video trainings, checklists, cheat sheets ... only the super good'n'juicy stuff delivered straight to your inbox, baby!
22. Read some kick butt business books.
Fill your brain with some new insight, ideas and valuable business-related wisdom! Check out Jamie Delaine's reading list for some great books to read! (However I'd definitely also add Napoleon Hill's book 'Think and Grow Rich' to your list! I'm currently reading it and it's GOOD STUFF.)
23. Add an opt-in to your site.
You've probably heard this one over and over again and if so, then you're probably totally sick of hearing it! So why don't you just bite the bullet and doooo it already? You'll feel better after you do, I promise! Check out Elle & Co's tutorial on how to do just that!
24. Boost your SEO.
Take a little time to make sure everything on your website is optimized to be in favor of those cute little SEO bots! The more your content shows up on search engines like Google and Pinterest, the better! Check out Regina's SEO guide for non tech-savvy people!
25. Kick fear in the butt this year!
Did you let fear keep you from doing anything specific last year? Have you let it stop you dead in your tracks? Well quite frankly, it's time to go tell fear to take a hike! It's time to tell fear to GET THE HELL OUT OF YOUR WAY!!! Okay? Check out this post on how to conquer your fear to go after your dreams and this post now how to develop a successful, dream chasing mindset!
26. Make sure you know who your ideal reader is.
This one ties into being ultra FOCUSED in everything that you're doing. And focus is SUPER HUGE for seeing growth! So go take a look at this post on how to figure out and attract your ideal reader!
27. Pencil in a new marketing idea to try each week!
You might be creating the best, most awesome content and products ever but what good are they if no one is finding them? This year, make it a point to try a new marketing idea every single week! Check out Kamila's post that includes 75 marketing ideas for small budgets!
28. Review and revise your sales copy.
If you have a sales page that isn't selling, then that is sadder than a kitten sitting underneath a rain cloud! Check out Amanda's post on how to create your sales page copy! You can also see an example of my course sales page right here.
29. Speed up your Blog's workflow.
Yes, you know it's true! More time = more time to do other things to grow your business! (And more time for fun things like spending time with your family! Or your cat.) Check out this post on 6 Steps to Speed up Your Blog's Workflow!
30. Learn to be more productive.
We all have just 24 hours a day to do our thang, so it's time to stop complaining about how you need more time to get things done! (Even though I DO wish we could all have more time ...)
Speaking of growing your blog + biz this year, I created a totally free e-mail mini course to help you do just that!
Because speaking from experience, in order to have a successful business online you definitely need a few things: You need to have a strong foundation, a solid plan with actionable steps, the RIGHT kind of traffic coming to your website (and not just general "traffic"), authority in your niche and engaged e-mail subscribers! That way when you create something to sell (whether it's a product, course, service etc.) you've got the RIGHT people in front of you and the authority and trust that you need. I totally revamped my FREE e-mail mini course to cover all of this stuff, and it includes the best order in which to place your focus on first for the best results. (Because for example, if you don't have a strong foundation FIRST then you will always struggle to get quality traffic!) You can sign up by clicking below, yo!
Is anyone else super excited to start a fresh new year? What have you got planned? What are your goals and dreams?! What are you going to do for growth? WHAT ARE YOU GOING TO EAT FOR LUNCH?!?!?
(Sorry I haven't eaten yet today so I've got food on the brain.)