The treadmills are rolling; the bread is lying ignored on the shelves, and “Dry January” is making your friend’s new boyfriend “Bob” more boring than you can believe.
New Year’s resolution season is in full swing.
When we at Wishpond got back from the holiday break, I thought it would be fun, and valuable, for our marketing team to meet in the boardroom with a glass of water and apple (no caffeine or processed carbs, of course) and decide on our very own New Year’s resolutions for the Wishpond blog.
After all, there are always ways that we can be better, educate better, and better facilitate the growth of your business through online marketing.
This post breaks down the four resolutions we came up with as well as a few blogging resolutions made by some of the leading bloggers out there.
I’d love if you expressed your own thoughts as well. What are your 2018 “words to live by” either personally, for your blog, or for your business at large?
Wishpond Blog Resolution #1: Tell Both Sides of the Story
It’s easy for us to recommend things that have worked for us.
For instance, it’s easy to say that adding popups to your ecommerce website is likely to improve sales and decrease the rate at which your visitors leave without completing a purchase.
This year, though, we want to be more open about the other side of recommendations like that.
We want to ensure our audience knows, as well, that popups are a highly controversial strategy, and that, when implemented poorly (wrong time, wrong place, wrong design) they can infuriate your website visitors.
This year we want to focus on complete honesty and take that extra couple paragraphs to show you both sides of the coin – not just the one that benefits Wishpond’s business goals the most.
Wishpond Blog Resolution #2: Improve Visitor Experience
We want to implement estimated reading times, recommend further reading (even if it’s not ours), provide more actionable takeaways and, last but not least, give free (non-gated) templates and walkthroughs for our recommended strategies.
And Carlo’s been nagging me for a blog redesign for 6 months now, so we’ll do that as well.
Wishpond Blog Resolution #3: Dive into New Content Types
We want to produce content in whatever format works best for our audience and for the story we want to tell.
That means going beyond the written word. In 2018, Wishpond will be diving into video and webinars. We’ve played around with both in the past, but never found a way to make them deliver as positive a return as blog content.
This year, though, we’re going to focus less on dollars and cents and more on telling the best story in the best way. If that’s a live webinar or a video, we’re excited to offer it.
Wishpond Blog Resolution #4: Build a Community
I hope that this article can act as the start of our effort to more effectively build a community with our readers.
This resolution will encompass a few primary elements:
- The creation of content which speaks more honestly and clearly to our audience. We want to start a dialogue, and engagement-focused articles (like this one) are the best way to do that.
- Personalization of our newsletter. Currently, newsletter subscription isn’t a focus of the Wishpond blog. But we want to change that. We want to help our readers get the information they need to grow their businesses, and email is the best way to accomplish that goal. And then, once someone does subscribe to our blog, we want to deliver only the information which helps their business grow.
- Get feedback from you, the reader. Wishpond is proud to have more than 250,000 readers every month, but we don’t hear from you as much as we should. In 2018, we’re going to change that by offering questionnaires in our newsletters, add feedback forms to our blog (part of an upcoming redesign), and tell you, here and now, that if you are confused about anything related to growing your business online, feel free to email [email protected]. We promise to get back to you as soon as we can.
New Year’s Resolutions from Top Digital Marketers
We aren’t the only ones making New Year’s resolutions for our blog. I reached out to a few of my favorite digital marketers to ask if they’ve done anything similar. Below are their responses…
What are yours?
Aaran Orendorff (Shopify Plus) New Year’s Blogging Resolutions
My New Year’s resolution is to post less new content… sort of. “New” content is labor intensive and slow to produce ROI in search results. Instead of creating new content from scratch, my resolution is to bring old content back to life.
Nearly all sites that have been publishing for longer than two or three years have an untapped repository of out-dated and un-optimized content with page authorities above 30. Unfortunately, as that content ages, traffic and lead-generation from it flatlines.
Rather than feed the beast, my focus this year will be on (1) revisiting existing posts that cluster around search terms we still care about, (2) selecting one or two posts with the best URLs, (3) centralizing those existing posts into the one or two selected URLs, (3) updating the data and examples, and then (4) redirect all those tangential posts to the “new” ones.
This online shopping trends post is a prime example. Over the next few months, instead of writing a swath of new posts, that single post — and one or two more focused on long-tail search — will get updated and consolidated … over and over. I like to call this the Wikipedia approach to content production.
Kathryn Aragon New Year’s Blogging Resolutions
My blog resolution this year is to focus more on engagement even if it means sacrificing so-called business best practice. I want my followers to look forward to my content, open it and share it.
Mike Allton (TheSocialMediaHat) New Year’s Blogging Resolutions
Over and over again I find truth in these words:
The narrower your niche, the richer your audience.
When I started blogging in 2007, I blogged about anything marketing or business or tech-related. Those topics are so broad, I wasn’t in a niche at all but rather a gorge. A deep gorge that no one could see my tiny blog at the bottom of.
But then in 2012 I pivoted. I started an entirely new site devoted to social media, blogging, email & SEO, and immediately started to see success. Over the years, as I blogged less and less about topics that didn’t fall within those categories, the rest of my content performed even better. And so I’m re-focusing again! 2018, for me, will be all about narrowing my niche even further to be focused on “Blogging” and what it takes for bloggers and small businesses to be successful with creating content.
By keeping my focus, my writing, on an even narrower audience, it actually gives me a stronger, richer audience. The people who find my content will be more likely to show interest in the rest of my content, which is good for both readers and search.
How focused will you be in 2018?
Misha Abasov (Hazel) New Year’s Blogging Resolutions
Our resolution this year is to go deep with our content. Your audience doesn’t need more 300-word blog posts with little to no insight. It needs more well-researched, deeply engaging, and attentively-crafted resources. This year we’ll do our best to make more of those.
Sarah McGuire (Venngage) New Year’s Blogging Resolutions
This year, our team’s goal is to put our customers’ problems first and to build our content strategy around that. We’ll be categorizing our blog posts into four specific types of content that address different customer needs: “helpful guides”, “case studies”, “inspirational roundups”, and “thought leadership” content. While these different categories will take slightly different routes to get there, the goal is for all roads to lead back to solving customer-specific problems.
I loved hearing the resolutions from the marketers I reached out to. Some have inspired me to shift how I think, and some (like Aaron’s) have resulted in a strategy meeting today at 2pm…
What are your business’ New Year’s Resolutions? Let me know in the comment section!