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6 Essential tips to stay ahead of the game in the New Year

How to stay ahead of the game this New Year? 6 Essential tips!

2016 is almost over. And you have a brand New Year in front of you.

Things change. Things move on.

And when it comes to running an online business, backed up by a blog, you need to stay ahead of the game.

Why?

There are so many reasons of course – but the major one is well, everyone else will overtake you, if you don’t.

And you will stay in the same place, doing all the hard work with no or very little progress if you don’t embrace certain changes for the New Year.

So let’s see what you should focus on to stay ahead of the game!

#1 Embrace the new SEO

seo

SEO has changed a lot. No wait, it hasn’t.

The way we bloggers perceive SEO has only changed over the time.

And I would say that the basics yet remain the same.

Just stop trying to please the bots. Be useful to people.

At the same time don’t forget the keywords.

When I say “keywords” we are most likely trained to think of SEO. But keywords are the words that your audience actually type into the search boxes when they are looking for an information.

So keywords are the portal that connects you and your audience, if and only if, you have done your SEO right!

So yes, while you want to create awesome content – I appreciate you for that enthusiasm – don’t you forget about keywords.

You need to find the right keywords and then use them in your content, so that search engines are able to understand and relate your piece of content to a particular keyword and then present it to your audience when they search for that information.

I use two tools to achieve this. Semrush, helps me to identify the right keywords. And SEOPressor helps me use those keywords and do on-page optimization!

PS: If you are someone who doesn’t want to spend on tools and always look for free options, please change that mindset right now. In business, whatever money you spend is not spending but investing.

#2 Make your site responsive NOW

Responsive

More and more people are surfing the web via their mobile devices. And you have to accept the fact right now!

I mean, this is already too late to be honest.

You should therefore make sure that your website is optimised both in looks and user friendliness when it comes to displaying it on mobile devices.

Responsiveness is the word.

It is very important for this reason that you choose a premium theme that has responsiveness embedded. I highly recommend Genesis themes or Thrive themes.

On the other hand, you can have custom designed responsive themes.

Either way make sure your site displays nicely and optimal for mobile devices of all sizes!

#3 AMP – Enable it now for God’s sake!

amp

AMP is the short form for Accelerated Mobile Pages and this is big.

I’ve already written about AMP and how to enable it on a WordPress blog here > What is AMP and how to speed up your website using it?

I’ve also talked about the SEO benefits of enabling AMP here.

So I won’t go into the details.

But I would really like to emphasise the fact that having AMP is enabled is going to change the game for your website in the New Year.

#4 Branding, Branding

Branding is something most bloggers take very lightly.

A blog is a great way to build your brand. And for any business, branding is so crucial!

If you are just publishing a few pieces of content on your blog and keep at it, you will never move forward with branding your business.

There are various ways in which you can brand your business through your blog. And here’s a blog post that talks about it!

Don’t forget branding this year, as it will help you build a stable and unforgettable business.

With branding done properly, it will be highly easy for you to build rapport with your potential customers.

It will also be easy to “convince” your customers to do business with you, if you do branding the right way.

#5 Embrace guest blogging

Guest blogging makes you a better writer

Guest blogging is not dead. Not even close.

Guest blogging done for the sake of building links or as a shady SEO technique is long dead!

But I am not talking about that kind of guest blogging – where you are after links. And just links only!

This is serious guest blogging where you do it to build your brand, provide value outside of your blog, to build genuine relationships with bloggers and their audience and so on.

This kind of guest blogging is hot and will help you stay ahead of the game this New Year.

Of course, you should eliminate your old school thoughts about guest blogging like:

  • you can send an email, out of the blue, to any blogger requesting a guest posting slot.
  • you don’t have to read their guidelines, but just go ahead and submit a post that you wrote.
  • you can use a generic email template when pitching.
  • once the post is submitted your job is done.
  • you don’t have to promote the guest post, or respond to comments.

And so on. These don’t work anymore.

Get serious and dedicated about guest blogging and you’ll surely reap the benefits this New Year!

If you are worried about creating great content for your guest posts, I highly recommend you to take up my Content creation course. Click the banner below for more details!

Discover how to create killer content for your business every time

#6 Embrace influencer marketing

Influencer marketing is BIG. And if you are not catching up with influencer marketing, you are missing out big time!

Now, influencer marketing is a big topic to discuss in this post. But I would like to emphasise the fact that you need to catch up.

Make sure you properly build relationships with influencers in your niche. For this, you must first make a “hit list” of influencers in your niche.

Closely monitor them, and find out their interests.

Don’t stalk them – rather, reach out to them in a friendly and helpful manner. Remember it is not about what you get from the relationship. It is about building a genuine, long term relationship.

If you do that correctly, everything else will fall in place nicely.

Are you prepared for the New Year? What plans have you got so you stay ahead of the game and make your business a big success in the New Year? I’d love to hear from you!

Click Here to Leave a Comment Below 7 comments
Ravi Chahar - December 15, 2016

Hey Jane,

The concept of a responsive website is at the top now. People are more likely to browse from their mobile phones than the laptops now.

I have always considered the guest blogging as one of my favorites. It give me new opportunities and a chance to improve my skills.

Thanks for sharing the tips with us.

~Ravi

Reply
Eyasir Arafat - December 16, 2016

Thanks Sheeba,
Get to know many new things about AMP today. I was a little unaware about these, which supposed to missing a great opportunity to spreading up things by 2x.

I am trying to do guest blogging, but the most sad thing is I still can’t attract other bloggers to post in my blog. May be another few months is needed to make these stone turned over.

Reply
Sherman Smith - December 17, 2016

Hey Jane,

This is a great plan for the New Year.

Especially what changes Google is making with pop ups. Looks like a lot of us will be getting rid of them on our blogs. But as they said, it can be annoying.

One of my plans for this year was doing guest blogging, but I didn’t get around doing it like I did the year before.

Branding was what I focused more on at the beginning of the year. I did fairly well with it, but it can make some improvements.

Thanks for the share Jane! Have a great weekend!

Reply
Ash - December 19, 2016

Hey Jane,

Got that on time, eh? I am not sure about AMP — I read that this actually hurts site traffic more than it can help? I am not sure, so please do let me know on that one.

Agree that the site has to responsive, embrace the new SEO (the darned thing always keeps changing and keeps asking for more) 🙂

Ash

Reply
Robin Khokhar - December 26, 2016

Hi Jane,
It’s always a joy to read your blog post. And the tips you have shared are worthy to implement.
thanks fro sharing.
And Happy New year.

Reply
Emenike Emmanuel - December 29, 2016

Hi Jane,

I agree with all the points you made here. But let me focus my emphasis on two points, and that’s, branding and guest posting.

Like you also mentioned, blogging is one of the fastest ways to build a brand (something that connects people emotionally to a business owner) in this 21st century. That’s why I keep hammering it to those that care to listen that they can’t afford not to own a blog in 2017 if they want their voice to be heard without breaking their pocket on advertising.

A lot of things have changed and more will change in 2017. But only those who make their brand come online will tap from it. More money will flow across the internet.

Guest posting on other sites and accepting guest bloggers is a decision I have already taken. And to that effect, I have started firing my proposals into the inbox of some bloggers and still hoping to do more.

Reply

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