Most New Year Resolutions do not see February. Each year millions of people use the beginning of January as a kick-start to something new – whether that’s a slimmer body, a healthier individual or productivity improvements at work. But in spite of the determination to change, most people give up on their resolutions by the middle of January, just two weeks after they were made.
As I explained a year ago, New Year Resolutions are a waste of time and effort for most of us. The reason why most resolutions do not last is because they are simply too big for us to grapple with on a day-to-day basis. Things like “I want to lose 3-stones in weight” are simply unmanageable, so too are dreams like “this year I’ll make a million pounds”. Resolutions that work are ones which are based on processes. So, for instance, a resolution which says “I am going to do a 10-minute walk every weekday morning” is something you can easily achieve for a long period of time – beyond mid-January. And, if you have been completely sedentary, then this process-based resolution will help you reduce your weight.
For business resolutions saying things now at the beginning of January such as “I want to double my online business this year” is not going to work. It is too vague and too big to help you achieve your dream.
So what can you resolve to do which make that success much more likely? Here are five free New Year Resolutions for you which will help you improve your online business in 2013.
1. Add something to your website each day
It doesn’t matter whether you add a complete article, or whether you simply insert a video from YouTube or include an article from something like Ezinearticles.com, spending five minutes each day adding some extra material to your website will help your business. Fresh content makes your site look “alive” and fresh, which people want to see. Plus, adding new content is also a signal to Google and other search engines that your site is “living” and deserves more attention – which can also help improve search engine ranking. The more original content you can add, the better; but all kinds of content can be valuable if you select good material. Just a few minutes a day adding something to your website can help.
2. Create an ideas log
This can be a simple sheet of paper, a whiteboard, a page in Evernote or a sophisticated database – whatever takes your fancy. But one of the reasons why so many websites do not achieve their maximum impact is because all the ideas that the owners produced have evaporated into the ether. Simply jotting down your ideas for what you can do online is enough to help you make them come to fruition. Far too often people see something happen on another website and say to themselves “I thought of doing that months ago” – but forgot all about it…! Jot down your ideas as soon as they pop into your head and then review your list each week so you can implement the suggestions.
3. Ask for a link each week
Just once a week, email a handful of people who you think could legitimately link to your website. Even if only half them bother to add a link, by the end of the year you’ll have another 100 good quality links pointing to your site. Google loves you to have links – and with more links around the web you are more visible to people as well. Few businesses have significant numbers of links to their website, so you will dramatically improve your position compared with the competition if you spend just 10 minutes each week asking for links.
4. Answer a question a day
Children who become successful musicians often go through a series of books known as “A Tune A Day“. It is a simple psychological principle – regular small amounts of practice make you better than hours of practice only occasionally. It is the same in business – small amounts of regular activity of some kind make you more successful than large bursts. Over at LinkedIn, the “Answers” section is where your potential customers are seeking your advice. All you need to do to increase your visibility is to answer one question a day. It will only take a few minutes of your time, but answering questions on LinkedIn is a great way of raising your profile.
5. Get out of the office each week
The most successful websites in the world are the ones that are “all around us”. They exist in the “real world” as part of our everyday experience. For instance, the words Google and Facebook will probably be uttered more times today in the “real world” than they will be typed online. You cannot move for mentions of Google or Facebook down the pub, on the TV, in newspapers and so on. Many online businesses fail to achieve the “real world” notoriety they need or deserve. So, look for an opportunity each week – such as a business networking meeting, or an event or a PR opportunity – where you can get your website mentioned in the “real world”. That will increase visibility and help raise traffic.
So, there you have them – five simple and easily achievable “resolutions” which are actually processes through which you can achieve that dream of more online business.
Image courtesy of Renjith Krishnan / FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Graham Jones is an Internet Psychologist who studies the way people use the online world, in particular how people engage with businesses. He uses this knowledge to help companies improve their online connections to their customers and potential customers and offers consultancy, workshops, masterclasses and webinars. He also speaks regularly at conferences and business events. Graham is an award-winning writer and the author of 32 books, several of which are about various aspects of the Internet. For more information connect with me on Google+