2017 is nearly here, and I wonder whether you have already decided on your New Year resolutions?
Maybe you’ve decided to exercise more, or to lay off the coffee, but what about your online business?
While making resolutions for yourself is admirable making some for your business as well could help you soar in 2017.
If you’re not sure what to do, I’ve listed some resolutions for you that you can use for the coming year (and beyond!).
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I Resolve to… Review & Plan My Content Marketing Strategy
Regardless of the media, content is still king. Randomly adding an article here and there isn’t content marketing, it’s just bad blogging.
In 2017 you should focus on making sure that you have goals with clearly defined results. If you want to improve sales of a certain product (your own or affiliated) then your content should be primed to make that happen.
Knowing the broad topics you’ll be focusing on can help improve the chances of actually completing the content. As well as that a content strategy should include hard deadlines for publishing content, so that the strategy is continually pushing forward.
If you’re not sure where to start with a content marketing plan, we have you covered.
I Resolve to… Pimp My SEO
While content might be king, SEO is the royal court busying itself making sure the king looks good. All too often marketers let themselves down by applying half-hearted SEO or none at all. At the very least every site should:
- Have keyword focused content
- Use page titles and descriptions
- Use appropriate headings per page
- Image titles and alt tags
- Friendly URL structures
- Schema and Rich Snippets
- User friendly navigation
- And so much more
Making sure your site is truly SEO friendly and continues to be as you add content or change things, will stand you in good stead for the rest of 2017 and beyond.
I Resolve to… Create a Fresh New Look for My Site (or Not!)
Before you get all excited about creating a new website design, let me put the brakes on. This resolution should only be picked if your site is ugly, and everything else is working smoothly.
Too many times have I seen others (and myself) get caught up in a needless site design change when the issues with the site are more problematic (poor SEO, lack of content, directionless niche, etc).
If you’re truly believe that the looks of your site are negatively impacting your bottom line, then feel free to swap designs, but do this for me: keep it simple. If a quick swap to a fresh design increases sales/conversions/etc then feel free to make further changes. Think of it like a Minimum Viable Product for your website.
Otherwise you’ll end up spending most of the year focusing on something that usually has little to no impact when you could have been focusing on much more important facets of your business.
I Resolve to… Become More Consistent with Work
This resolution is the one I’m picking! It’s so easy to get distracted by things from real life, shiny new internet marketing products, and new ideas for websites, and much more.
Being consistent with work means not only doing work on a regular basis but making sure that you’re not bouncing from project to project and never getting anything done.
I Resolve to… Make Mobile Happen
Unless you’re young, most of us grew up with desktop computers and focus our marketing techniques for those users. 2017 is the time to shake off that old habit and to make sure your business works perfectly on mobile platforms.
If we look at stats from 2016 we can see that desktop users are levelling off and mobile usage is on the increase. This is not likely to stop, nor reverse.
As such your business needs to be at worst mobile friendly, but really it needs to be mobile first – to work flawlessly on the smallest of phones.
I Resolve to… Learn Email Marketing
Search engines are fussy things and change their rules regularly which means keeping up with them and ranking with them is a constant challenge.
Why not take some of the guesswork out of this, by capturing customers onto an email marketing list when they visit.
Email lists allow you to market direct to people who have an interest in what you do or have to say. If your search engine traffic suddenly bottoms out having an email list means that your business isn’t over!
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Take the time in 2017 to learn email marketing to help reduce the risk on your business and potentially increase sales.
I Resolve to… Free Up My Time
Did you know that you don’t actually have to work 18+ hours a day, 7 days a week? I know crazy right?
The thing is a lot of online entrepreneurs think that working all those hours is what they need to do to be successful. It’s not true. What you need to do to be successful is to work smart!
In 2017 take some time out to review what you actually do. Figure out what parts of it can be automated and what parts can be outsourced.
Yes it will be a challenge to let go, but that’s part of a resolution isn’t it?
Freeing up your time means you can then plough that time back into your business to grow it, or you know see your family a bit more often.
I Resolve to… Try a New Marketing Method
Do you just do content marketing? Have you ever thought about trying something else? If you have then do it in 2017!
Why not give Pay Per Click (PPC) a go? It’s an easy to learn, hard to master marketing technique that will keep you busy all year.
Or how about getting busy on social media? There are enough networks out there where you can find a community or two related to your niche to get involved with.
There are so many different types of online marketing out there and so few of us try them all. Of course you might not feel comfortable trying something new, especially if you’re seeing success with what you do, but expanding skills and opening up different ways to make money online is definitely worth your time.
I Resolve to… Try E-commerce
Most of the online entrepreneurs I know are affiliate marketers, which is an amazing way to make money online.
However it’s also not the best way to make money online, because really you’re only getting the scraps at the table.
This is why highly successful marketers often move onto to selling their own products. Sometimes this is selling a digital product on JVZoo, or via a website. Sometimes this is selling physical products.
An excellent way to get your toes wet with e-commerce is via dropshipping: e-commerce without getting your hands dirty with stock.
I Resolve to… Learn to Network
If there’s one thing I learnt in 2016 is that we cannot do this alone, we cannot create a successful business in a vacuum.
That’s why it is important to consistently network: to reach out to others in our field and make a connection.
This is true from both the internet marketing/online business and the specific niche we focus that business on.
Outreach with our peers can increase learning, business opportunities and the reach of our own websites.
I think people don’t do any form of networking because of two reasons:
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- A fear of being seen as a fraud
- A fear of rejection
Both of these are compelling reasons, yet both are just fears and fears can be overcome.
You aren’t a fraud, you’re simply still learning. Rejection will happen, all the time, but overcoming it can be learnt and learnt from.
With a network you will find it easier to learn new things, correct old assumptions, find new business and grow old business.
The Bottom Line
There is a huge number of resolutions I could have listed here, but I feel that the ones above will have a profound impact on what you and your business become in 2017, whether you’re an affiliate marketer, dropshipper or a brick and mortar business with an online presence.
My last bit of advice is to not pick too many of these, maybe just one, and to give it the attention it deserves. Don’t be like most people when they pick a resolution, and then drop it a few weeks into the New Year. Pick one that you think is achievable and take it slowly, you have a full 12 months ahead of you!