In 2013, you’re going to be flooded with pitches, opportunities, and distractions. But the real factors that will make you rock it in business are kind of simple. They’re not as small as a single blog post can make it sound, because there are a lot of subfactors that go into them. But you can go a long way by putting your focus on these elements.
Jason Parker’s 2013 Gameplan (not an affiliate link, and a steal at that price) mentions 5 skills that mean everything to his success in 2013. Now, I don’t know the guy personally, but he drilled things down in such a compelling way that I wanted to expand on his bullet points (and add a couple “critical points” of my own that he didn’t really )
I’ve got a blog… and I try to update it semi-regularly. I even do guest posts at other websites! But I don’t really consider myself a “blogger”, and even though I’m sure that eventually the site will be a draw after a year or so of posting, it’s not the be-all end-all of what I’m doing.
Your list is where long-term, traffic and relationships are coming from. Google’s not going to bump you off the planet with an algo update, you’re not going to have to feed it with dollar after dollar after dollar, Facebook’s not going to kill you off with some weird update to their TOS.
It’s all about finding people and helping them out, and the format makes it easier to write in a one-to-one fashion. That’s the bottom block that everything is based on.
I’ve historically always hated talking to people and asking them for help with anything. I’ve always been really big on propriety – and even though I wouldn’t have any problem helping somebody who needed it, it’s weird being on the other end. I ran into a saying (I wish I remember who specifically did it so I could credit them – any takers?)… that your success is the number of people you’ve helped multiplied by the amount that you help them.
So, I can go off the wall giving help to someone, but it’s still just one person. I want to be helpful with people that I find, and I want to be helpful through others too. That means networking inside my community and finding people who have a grip on these skills that we’re discussing here.
That’s a painstaking process, and there’s a “spinning plates” effect that can come from trying to everyone in different ways at once. What I mean here is that just doing what’s right by other marketers (recommending every single product under the sun) isn’t going to be the best for your customers. And what’s good for some customers isn’t going to be good for all of them. And niching everything down and getting everything segmented down isn’t always time effective for YOU.
The Written Word
I looked at a thread on WarriorForum for FREE BLOG PROMOTION, you input your blog address and something something something magical FairyPonies and you get opt-ins. No interest in joining up, but as an experiment I went a few pages back and looked at some of the sites that were posted in the thread months ago. I looked for the quality of the content and consistency.
I think that most content online, especially sales and marketing material… is stuff you’ll look at for a quarter of a second. Your brain says NOPE in a really loud voice and you move on to wacky cat videos. So a large portion of your success online (unless you’re investing in something like PPC) is about your ability to write in a way that conveys trust and credibility.
That means really digging into the crafts of copywriting and storytelling. Reading about it, writing about it, and doing it.
The relentless hype about needing to create your own products is very, very real. If there’s one thing that I’m going to be doing a LOT more of in 2013, it’s this. So many of the top flight affiliate marketers have got a range of products in a range of niches. Right now I’m making PLR products, but I want to eventually get into plugins and software. It’s all about making stuff that has practical utility.
Outside the IM niche there’s still lots of value in “how to” material, and organizing, researching, writing, and distributing those products is a skill that everyone should develop. It’s not just about creating products, it’s about launching them and getting them into as many hands as possible.
I know that usually, market research extends to customers. Engaging with customers and figuring out what they want can do a lot for your business, but it’s also important to research other marketers. I try to sign up for mailing lists, read autoresponders, followup sequences, and everything that helps me be a better “student of the game”. There are lots of ways to do it, and I’m always interested in reading how other people are getting things done.
And when it comes to the internet, it’s really important to remember how transparent everything is – it can be a serious help (as long as you’re not scooping up people’s home address and sending them things that explode in the mail)
Knowledge isn’t everything – execution is.
Growth isn’t always linear.
What I mean to say is, Wednesday isn’t always better than Tuesday isn’t better than Monday. There’s setbacks. Other people will throw a monkey wrench in your life – and your own screwups will damage things too.
But there’s nothing that hurts your business and your life more than getting emotional over one or two of these screwups and letting it impact your ability to EXECUTE consistently, quickly, and well.
I don’t think you can be a good writer… or a good anything if you’re hanging around your house all day commenting on blogs and reading message boards, you’re going to write boring, repetitive mush. The stuff you DO is what makes your writing stand out.
This isn’t a “not in the budget” kind of situation. There’s something you can hop off your ass and do even if you’ve just got bus fair or can hoof it around the block. There’s a church to volunteer at, a free meeting or screening in town (just pick up an “alternative paper” in town and flip away from the ads for fetish clubs for a few seconds), or somebody that’s worth talking to.
That’s not to say that there isn’t anything you can do online that will make you cooler or make you a better conversationalist. But I think it’s worth making a concerted effort to leave the house, and if it means you’re spending a little less time on blog posts, so be it.
I haven’t perfected ANY of these aspects. But I have had enough success to know that MORE success is possible. 2013 is the year that I tie all the skills I’ve got together and apply them at INSANE levels.
No matter where you’re at in your development of these skills, it’s so much more important to GET MOVING NOW than it is to wait until you’ve perfected every aspect of your business and your life.