Bloggers have an unyielding passion to write and share their expertise with the world. Unlike a freelance writer for hire that is paid to create an editorial, most passionate bloggers write because they care greatly about the topic, and many do it for free. Those of us who write for free are often disappointed by posts that don't get the attention we wish they did; after all our blog posts are our children and we want our children to grow up and be successful and not unacknowledged misfits.
Much to my chagrin, not every blog post can be a gold star winner, and so, I give you a list of the Daily Golden Nuggets from 2015 that I expected to be more popular than what they were. Maybe it was timing, the topic, headline, or a perceived rerun of information, but whatever it was, these guys just didn't make it in 2015.
Perhaps this will give them a second chance:
Paying attention to your own site
1. When Was The Last Time You Read Your Own Website?
Sadly, most business owners never have time to check up on their own website. They spend a lot of time building the site but then rarely revisit the content on the site afterwards. And yet, services and products change all the time. Also, the methodology you use to run your business evolves every time you have a new customer experience. Rereading your website is just like giving your car a needed oil change every once in a while. Slight updates on your website will keep it running at optimal performance to help your business. This misfit child tries to explain why this is so important for you.
A watched pot...
2. Don't Waste Time Waiting For Your Website Reports to Change
It's very difficult to measure the organic benefits your website brings. The benefits of doing an SEO audit and making website improvements could take weeks to recognize on your website reports. This misfit child tries to explain why it's a waste of time to watch your reports too often.
Conversions vs. Traffic
3. Maybe You Need More Conversions Rather Than More Visitor Traffic
I always find this a painful topic to talk about, even during my live seminars. Every business owner wants to get loads of people to walk through the front door or to visit their website. Unfortunately, bountiful numbers don't translate to sales, that is, unless you charge for them to walk in the front door. Somehow you must move your website visitors from simple "traffic" to a "conversion." Conversions lead to sales. Fine tuning your website for conversions is a tedious and expensive process, one which this misfit child tries desperately to explain.
4. PCI DSS Compliance: Protect Your Merchant Account
I understand why this one is in my misfit list. Although I know that a successful website will drive traffic to your retail store, in 2015, it became apparent to me that all retailers also need ecommerce sites. The internet has broadened the competitive arena from your local community to the entire world. With the exception of the community corner store, anyone who believes they serve their local community needs to reevaluate their future. You might be the best store for birthstone jewelry within 100 miles, but the grandson living next door will search online for birthstone jewelry for his grandmother. He won't bother stepping one foot in your store unless you have an ecommerce site. We all need to protect our identity and security is already a major concern for online shoppers. Proving your PCI DSS compliance is necessary when you have an ecommerce site. This misfit explains those security implications.
5. The Benefits of Testimonials on Your Website
Testimonials provide the social proof that you provide a good product and service. This misfit shows some examples of good and bad ways to include testimonials on your site, and how to collect them.
Grasp Your Marketing Funnel
6. Determining the Cost of Different Methods of Marketing in Your Funnel
Seeing this in my misfit list is disappointing. I'll include this one in the category of business planning and ways to increase long term profits. The experience I've had with most business owners, not just in the jewelry industry, is that they are all interested in advertising that will create a huge amount of traffic without regard to if that traffic is even worth the time it takes to service it. This misfit explains how to account for the costs of the different marketing methods.
Selling Over Social
7. Don't Sell Over Social; Just Build Connections
Many people will tell you they made a sale over social media, but what they are really saying is that they made a connection to a customer through social media and then the conversation lead to a sale. This misfit Nugget illustrates the parallel of real world interactions and social media interactions. People who walk around all day trying to pawn off their wears on everyone who walks by are unlikely to make friends. That activity simply does not convey trust. Similarly, if you try to push your product every day through social media you're unlikely to gain many followers and make a sale. Read this one to help with your social activity.
Content Has Value
8. The Value of Content Creation and Content Curation, Part 1 and Part 2
It pains me to see both of these in my misfit list. This is a 2-parter, and both were mostly ignored by readers. I classify this one again in the category of better business and marketing planning. As a 2-parter, I dive deeply into the costs associated with a business owner doing the work on their own, compared that to having an employee doing the work, and then compared both of those to the cost of hiring a professional. If your business is struggling, then this is an important one to read.
Easy Way To Build Content
9. Use Storytelling to Build Valuable Website Content
Jewelry stores have access to a wealth of potential blog posts simply by telling stores of past customer experiences. The keywords from those stories will help Google match your site up with future customers with the same buying intent. This misfit explains how easy this is to do.
Discovery Across Channels
10. Create Marketing Campaigns That Allow For Natural Discovery of the Full Message
In early 2015, I recognized a very powerful marketing opportunity that began to emerge. Once you begin to understand that the popular social networks of today have established themselves for different purposes you can create a unified marketing campaign that is split into different pieces and shared across all of them. I refer to this as a path of discovery. During the 2015, holiday season many large companies created campaigns that began with direct mail and then grew online. Brands who figure out how to use this path of discovery will probably find success far more than those who don't get it.