Fundamental Steps for Starting a Small Business in Your Local Community

Guest post by Katie Conroy of advicemine.com

Entrepreneurship can be one of the most fulfilling career paths you can take. Among other benefits, it allows you to do something you’re passionate about, scale at your own pace, and have more control of your work-life balance. And starting a small business in your local community means that you can contribute to the health of your local economy, provide jobs to residents, and develop meaningful relationships with your customers.

But getting a business off the ground in a way that positions you for long-term success is not easy. Along with saving up the capital, securing any additional funding necessary, and obtaining any licenses and permits needed, Steady Radiance Design has listed some other essential steps you’ll need to take:

Think Through Your Ideas

You know the knowledge and skills you’ve acquired up to this point in your career. While expertise is important when choosing what type of business to start, however, it’s not everything. Consider any passions or interests you’ve acquired over the years, and combine those with your current expertise to make a list of potential business ideas.

Study Up

If you decide to pursue something out of your comfort zone, then you’ll need to learn as much as you can about the industry or niche. Devour business and leadership books, find a mentor who can help prepare you for the challenges ahead, and look for conferences and other industry events that you can participate in.

Another option is to go back to school. These days, you can complete almost any type of program online, which is very convenient and allows you to work at your own pace. If you joined an online business program, you could strengthen your business acumen while also making connections to instructors and students, which could prove beneficial down the road. Marketing, business management, and management and leadership are popular programs to consider when starting a small business.

Listen to the Residents

Once you have some ideas that you can imagine yourself pursuing, take to researching the local market to gauge whether or not there is a need for the products or services. If there isn’t really demand for what your business idea would provide, then it’s a non-starter. You have to ensure there is a potential for profit. Along with conducting market research, seek feedback from local residents via online surveys and in-person conversations.

Create a Business Plan

So, you’ve determined a business idea that can bring you fulfillment, help the community, and make a profit. Now, create a business plan that includes your mission statement, product/service details, marketing strategies, target audience, financial projections, and any other information related to your goals.

Zero in on a Location

If you’ll be working out of a brick-and-mortar store or office building, the location you choose is key. Look for a spot with low taxes, low crime rates, and plenty of parking. If you’re opening a retail business, try to find a high-traffic area of town that will attract customers.

Stay Involved in the Community

Finally, one of the greatest privileges of starting a small business is that you will be in a position to contribute to your community. Consider offering free services or products to schools, libraries, and nonprofits in your area. Start a workshop or course to help other local professionals and small businesses in your industry succeed. And look for community events and charities that you can sponsor. Not only does contributing to the community show that you care about your neighbors, but it will ultimately benefit your company’s success as well.

If you want to lead a fulfilling career while making an impact on your community, starting a local business is the way to go. Following the tips above will put you in a solid position to succeed as a business owner in your neighborhood. However, there are other factors involved in getting a business off the ground, so be sure to keep researching other steps you can take to increase your chances of success.

Do you need help with your branding, design, and social media? Turn to the expert services of Steady Radiance Design; “our business is making your business shine!”

Image via Pexels

How to Create Sharable Content That Goes Viral

Ever wonder what makes some posts, videos, or blogs “go viral,” while yours are lucky to have 7 shares and two comments? While it might seem like some well-kept secret, the truth is it’s easy enough to create shareable content, if you put some thought and creativity into your efforts.

1. Everyone Loves Infographics

Whether you want to know more about how coffee is grown, or you’re looking for ways to boost your blog traffic, you’ll find a variety of infographics to fill you in.

These colorful, easy-to-read graphics share vast amounts of data while still entertaining an audience. By condensing numbers and stats down to easily digestible bite-sized pieces, you can make valuable information highly understandable for any audience. Even better, your market will be happy to share (and share and share).

If you’re not artistic or don’t have the skills required to create your own, we can help you make infographics your audience will love.

**Pro tip: create an embeddable link for your infographic and encourage other blog owners to share it on their sites. You’ll automatically drive traffic from every site that posts your content. If you don’t know how to do that, reach out to us for help!

2. Create Valuable Posts

Writing a blog post? Don’t just skim the surface of a topic. Dig deep. Provide as much information as you can on the topic.

While some bloggers will tell you that shorter is better, the truth is, posts of 3,000 words are more likely to be shared than their shorter cousins. So don’t worry about attention spans. Readers have proven they want good info and they don’t mind digging into a long post to find it. The bottom line – more detail = more shareable content.

3. Let Your Personality Shine

No one wants to read or share another post that just agrees with the masses or doesn’t share any new ideas. Not you and not your audience.

What they do want—and what they’ll happily share with their friends and fans—is personality-driven pieces that aren’t afraid to take a stand.

That’s what makes many bloggers and coaches so popular. You know, simply by reading their content and watching their videos, that what you see is exactly what you get. Nothing is hidden; there’s no “corporate speak” to be found.

It’s easy to form a connection with someone like that because you feel like you know them personally. And what do you do with your friend’s content? You share it, of course!

 

It doesn’t take much to create shareable content. Just be yourself, be transparent, and be valuable. In short, just do what you’re already doing, only with a little bit more oomph!

Getting More Clients by Thinking Like a Farmer

Think all a farmer has to do is wait until fall to harvest truckloads of delicious tomatoes or corn or squash? We all know that’s not how it works. That farmer has worked hard all year long to prepare for that week or two of reward.

He prepared the ground following last year’s harvest. He planted seeds in the spring. He watered and fertilized and protected his fragile crops from pests and drought and poor weather. And finally, after months of work, he enjoys the results.

Your business works the same way, and if you take a page from the farmer’s playbook, you’ll soon be reaping the rewards, too – in the form of getting more clients.

Preparing the Ground

This is your brand, your voice, your very presence in your market. If you’re just starting out—like that farmer after his harvest—you’ll spend your time simply becoming known.

Hang out with other coaches in your niche. Join forums where your ideal clients spend their time. Build a website and start your mailing list (we can help with this part if you need it!) This is the prep work that will form the foundation of a solid business in the future.

Planting the Seeds

Your seeds are your content and products. With each blog post you write, every product you create, you’re planting a seed you can harvest later. But unlike the farmer, your seeds will produce over and over again, endlessly.

In fact, you’ll likely find that blog posts you wrote years ago will continue to bring in new clients year after year, with no further help from you. Products can be sold over and over again or reworked into new offers. Podcasts, videos, ebooks, and more all continue to work for you, getting more clients on your site month after month, year after year.

When you think about it that way, it’s easy to see that planting seeds is a critical part of every business.

Nurturing Your Crop

Wouldn’t it be nice if you could just “set it and forget it”? Unfortunately, that style of business rarely works.

Instead, you must spend time nurturing.

  • Stay in touch with your email list
  • Update old blog posts with new ideas
  • Study your stats to improve your traffic and conversions
  • Improve your products

It doesn’t take much effort to update your blog posts or tweak your products, and the rewards can be fantastic.

Of course, being a farmer is a long-term investment. The work you do today may not pay off for weeks or months to come. But with a strong history of consistent “farming” in your business, you’ll soon see that those long-term rewards are paying off, getting more clients to your site consistently.

5 Life-Saving Professional Services for Stay-at-Home Moms Starting a Business

Guest post by Leslie Campos of Well Parents

Staying at home and taking care of your children is a challenge enough of its own, but simultaneously taking on the role of an entrepreneur can make your day-to-day schedule even more difficult to handle. The launch of your company is a vital and time-consuming period as a business owner, but you don’t have to do it alone. By hiring the right team of experts to stand by your side and assist with the details, you can set your business and family life up for success. Here’s a list of services that can help you with your business.

Business Consulting

While you may have expertise in a particular product or service you can sell, this doesn’t mean you’re fluent when it comes to the specifics of starting and running a business. This is where a business consultant comes in. Professionals in this field often have a business degree and several certifications, as well as experience, under their belt. They can help you focus on the most profitable business model, whether you are planning to make income through an e-commerce, affiliate, freemium, or subscription-based model.

Business Formation Services

Forming your business structure, whether that be a corporation or LLC, can be complicated and time-consuming. But you don’t have to take it on yourself, nor do you have to pay a pricey attorney to do the work. Online formation services like Zenbusiness are a convenient and affordable resource, walking you through and completing the process quickly. An LLC is a popular choice for startups, as it offers liability protection to your assets and avoids the double taxation of a corporation. LLCs also have tax advantages, and less paperwork is required during formation and later for filing (which an online service also takes care of). States have different regulations around forming an LLC, so check the rules in your state before moving ahead.

Website Development and Design

Having a space to call your own on the internet is an exciting step in becoming a business owner. A website allows potential customers to find your business, and it gives you a spot to write blogs, build out a shop, include a contact form, or display an impressive resume.

While there are several easy-to-navigate website building programs available online, a website development and design company like Steady Radiance Design can help bring your vision to life and make sure your site boasts fast load speeds and SEO. Additionally, you should take time to choose a professional you’re comfortable working with for a while since your developer may take care of hosting your website after it’s launched for a monthly fee.

Public Relations and Marketing

As soon as your business is ready to be released to the world, you need a way to announce your launch. Studies show you only have one chance to make a good first impression, so it helps to hire a public relations professional who can write great copy and start building a positive reputation for your brand. You’ll want to continue building your online presence and attract the right people to your company with the help of a digital marketing company.

Babysitting or Nanny Services

While you settle into your new role, you may want to consider hiring a babysitter or nanny to help care for your kids while you navigate the specifics of starting a new business. You may have chosen the work-at-home route so you can spend more time with your kids, but having help available when work gets stressful can help you focus on one task at a time, allowing you to dedicate your full attention to your family when the workday is over.

Even for the mom who can do it all, there’s no shame in enlisting the help of other professionals as you set your business up for success. By establishing a good foundation, you’ll be able to fulfill all your responsibilities more effectively in the long run and watch your startup grow. Let Steady Radiance Design help you in your journey — but don’t take our word for it!

Image via Unsplash

How A Freelance Developer Can Protect Your Website Against Cyber Attacks

Guest post by Cody McBride of Tech Deck

The business world is moving online, and this increased access to the digital world makes your company susceptible to cyber attacks. Sensitive data and financial information is an attractive target for cybercriminals. Regardless of whether you are a large business owner or an individual, protecting your website against cyber attacks should be a priority.

Is Your Business A Target?

In 2021 Yahoo Finance predicts there will be 65000 ransomware attacks on businesses. Cyber Security Statistics states that cybercrime is up 600% since the COVID-19 Pandemic, with scammers posing as the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) or World Health Organization (WHO) representatives.

The effects of cybercrime are far-reaching. A cyber attack can have a financial cost, it can result in loss of sales and customers, and have a detrimental effect on brand loyalty. A Deloitte study states that one-third of customers would withdraw consent to use their information if they didn’t perceive steps were in place to prevent intruders from stealing their information.

Cybercriminals are constantly developing new ways to access your information and funds. There are many ways in which your website can be breached.

  • Infecting your site with ransomware
  • Redirecting your visitors to a different site
  • Hijacking software
  • Stealing intellectual property
  • Bringing your site down

How To Protect Your Website From Cyber Attacks

There are several steps you can put in place to protect your website against cyberattacks, or to retrieve data if you have been hacked:

  • Backup Your Data
    If you are subjected to a cyberattack, ensure that you have your data stored in a separate location so you can restore files. Backups should be done daily and server backups weekly or monthly.
  • Choose A Reputable Web Host
    Choose a website host that offers backup and actively works to update software to prevent cyber attacks. A good web hosting provider will monitor your site for unusual behaviour and anomalies that may indicate a hacker.
  • Install An SSL On Your Website
    A certificate for an SSL (Security Socket Layer) is easily installed via most web hosts. An SSL will let you manage personal information securely and guard your website against attacks.
  • Update Software
    Software updates often include important security upgrades designed to protect against cyber attacks. Many programmes allow you to set up automatic updates but check updates weekly to be safe.
  • Install Antivirus And Security Software
    Install security software that includes anti-virus, anti-spyware, and anti-spam filters. Malware or viruses can infect your computers, laptops, and mobile devices.
  • Set Up A Firewall
    A firewall works as a gatekeeper to keep traffic coming to your website, thereby helping to protect your internal networks.
  • Encrypt Important Information
    Turn on your network encryption and encrypt data when stored or sent online. Encryption turns your data into unreadable code before it is sent over the internet.
  • Learn To Recognise Suspicious Activities
    An off-sounding email, a request for personal information, or unauthorized connections can all indicate that someone is trying to hack your site.

Hire A Professional To Protect Your Site

The above details can be overwhelming, but it is important to make sure that your website is set up correctly. Unless you’re a guru, the recommendation is to hire a professional to assist you with your hardware, software, and procedures. Freelance developers like Steady Radiance Design can do the hard work for you and give you peace of mind that your site is secure.

Before employing anyone make sure you speak to at least 3 candidates and look carefully at their previous reviews. Consider their delivery time and cost; cheapest is not always best, as reputation and recommendations are the best measures of success.

Install Physical Security

Software, hardware, and policies that keep trouble at bay are a great start, but your devices themselves can also be stolen and hacked. Keep your electronics secure when you’re out and about, carrying them on your person and not leaving them unattended. If you leave a device in your vehicle, be sure to lock the doors, and consider stashing it safely in your trunk. Similarly, adding a security system to your home or office can help prevent theft.

Cyber attacks are a sad reality of the digital world. Most online businesses will be subject to a cyber attack at some point. Herrodtech states that 50% of small businesses suffered a security breach in 2020. Large or small, if you have an investment in content or data online, you need to put safeguards in to protect your property.

Take your business to the next level, with marketing, graphics, and branding from Steady Radiance Design! Get in touch today.

Image via Unsplash

Website Security 101: Keeping Your WordPress Site Safe from Hackers

Are website security concerns keeping you from enjoying the flexibility and power of WordPress? If you’ve bought into the hype that WordPress is inherently insecure, then you’re missing out on all the great things WordPress has to offer, for no good reason.

The fact is, while WordPress sites do get hacked, they are no more dangerous than other PHP-based websites. The problem is that WordPress is open-source, which means that anyone can read the code—even the bad guys who spend all their time looking for vulnerabilities they can exploit. Couple that with the enormous popularity of WordPress, and it’s easy to see why you hear about hacks on a regular basis.

But that doesn’t mean WordPress is unsafe. By implementing just a few security best practices, you can greatly reduce your risk of being hacked.

Keep Your Site Up to Date

This is by far the biggest risk when it comes to website security. New vulnerabilities are discovered in WordPress and its plugins and themes on a regular basis, and if your site is out of date, it is at risk. Hackers actively search for outdated websites they can attack, so make it a point to keep your site up to date. That includes plugins, themes, and the WordPress software itself. If you need help with ensuring your site stays up-to-date, we offer website maintenance services that allow you to focus on running your business, while we focus on maintaining and securing your site. Drop us a line to get more info or a quote for your website.

Use Strong Passwords

Second only to out-of-date installations when it comes to inviting hackers, weak passwords are regularly exploited with a technique called a “brute force” attack. Simply put, a hacker sets a computer program to repeatedly attempt to log into your site using thousands of the most commonly used passwords and what are known as “dictionary” words.

This type of vulnerability can be easily avoided simply by choosing good passwords. Ideally, your passwords should:

  • Be longer than 12 characters
  • Contain upper and lower case letters, numbers, and symbols
  • Never be used for more than one site
  • Never be stored in plain text on your computer
  • Never be sent by email

Also, consider using a password manager such as Dropbox Passwords to generate and securely store good, strong passwords. You’ll never have to worry about remembering your passwords, and you’ll greatly reduce your risk of being hacked.

Be Smart About Your Hosting

Unlimited domains! Unlimited space! Unlimited bandwidth! And all for around $8 per month. You’ve probably seen the claims and may even have a hosting account with one of these companies.

Here’s the problem. This type of shared hosting is inexpensive only because they overload their servers with thousands of websites. Just as close proximity in crowded classrooms allows human viruses to quickly spread, close proximity of websites on a shared server means one infected site is a risk to all the others.

Rather than looking for the least expensive (and riskiest) hosting option, choose a host that allows you to isolate each site on its own cPanel. Doing so will greatly improve the security of your website.

In the end, the safety and security of your site and its data are entirely up to you, but if you need some guidance, we are here to help. Keep your software up to date, use good passwords, and choose a secure hosting environment, and you’ll be well ahead of the curve on this.

How to Make Extra Money on the Side Without Running Yourself Ragged

Guest post by Cherie Mclaughlin of Couch Based Biz

If you’re wishing you had a little extra cash these days, you’re not alone. More and more workers are taking on extra jobs or getting creative with income sources — on the side. The trick is in figuring out how to make extra money without burning yourself out. It helps if you can find some way to capitalize on skills you already have or turn what you love into a money-making venture. Whether you’re out of work, having difficulty making ends meet, or just want a little money to have fun with, here are some suggestions for filling the financial gap.

Set up a passive income stream.

Establishing a passive income source is ideal, especially if you are already working and don’t have a lot of time. What is passive income? It just means that once you’ve done the initial work of setting it up, it keeps the money coming in. Some examples of passive income include rents and investments, but if you don’t have a lot of capital, there are plenty of options with far lower overheads. Selling a digital product or service is probably the easiest and least costly option. E-Books, design themes, and audio content are just a few types of digital content that you might be able to create. Just keep in mind: Not all passive income efforts pay off quickly, so be cautious and do your research before you start.

Offer your services as a freelancer.

If you have marketable skills and experience but no one seems to be hiring in your field, don’t despair: You may just be able to create a job niche for yourself. For instance, many academics with higher degrees are opting to offer their services as consultants and teachers outside the university setting. Or, if you can’t find work as a copyeditor (for instance), hire yourself out independently. Here are some other ideas for potential freelancers, as well:

  • Accounting
  • Web design
  • Graphic design
  • Social media management
  • Video editing
  • Content writing
  • Software development.

As you can see, much of the work you might do as a salaried hire you could also do as a freelancer, so you can make extra money while setting your own terms and conditions and enjoying the freedom to determine your own schedule.

Start a home business.

Isn’t starting a business a lot of work? Doesn’t it take tons of capital? Not necessarily! You don’t have to start a large home business, or even worry about a lot of overhead. Some home entrepreneurs have found great ways to up their earning potential without having to do much more than set up an office, register their company, and open a bank account. You could take your passive income ideas or your freelance services and turn them into a business. But there are plenty of other home business ideas, depending on your interests and skills. From baking to dog-walking, landscaping to personal wellness and fitness training — nearly any talent or hobby could potentially morph into a business.

A few other things to keep in mind

When you create an additional income source, make sure you keep detailed records for your taxes, since you won’t be getting tax statements from an employer. If you go ahead with a freelance or home business idea, you may even want to start working with an accountant to help you avoid making errors and make sure you get all the deductions due to you. If you’re thinking of hiring employees or other freelancers and are worried about how to stay on top of finances, consider using a payroll platform that will help you manage tax filing, accurately calculate benefits and deductions, and automatically make deposits on schedule. This way, you keep your staff happy and avoid costly penalties.

If you can figure out how to take what you already do and make it into an income source, this makes for a less strenuous planning process. It can even keep your extra work feeling a little more like play. If you’re uncertain about what kind of side hustle will work with you, go ahead and start small, try it out, and see what you like. Who knows? A small side project may even become the basis for a whole new business venture. When you’re reading to make the move to entrepreneurship, Steady Radiance Design can assist you with your branding, graphics, and more. Get in touch today.

Image via Pixabay

3 Tips for Better Live Videos

Live videos are everywhere – Periscope, YouTube, Facebook, and who knows how many more in the future.

Live video is clearly the hottest thing since Facebook, and marketers in every niche are taking advantage by hosting their own events.

Some of them are good. They’re well attended, fun to watch, and you feel like you benefitted from attending. But some of them feel like they’re an afterthought, put together at the last minute, and don’t really bring out the best in the host.

If you’re thinking of hosting a live video event, you don’t want to fall into that latter group! Here’s how to avoid it.

Promote, Promote, Promote

On many platforms, a live video event is just a few clicks away. You can literally plan and host a video in just a few minutes, and an impromptu event can be fun.

But with a little planning, you’ll have a much better turnout. And that planning must include promotion.

Let your private groups know about upcoming events. Email your list. Post a blog. Even consider running paid ads for your upcoming video event if there’s the potential to grow your list or increase your sales.

In short, don’t throw a party without extending invitations to your friends!

Interact with Your Audience

One of the biggest draws of a live video event is the opportunity to interact with the host. Your viewers want to get to know you better. They want to chat with the other participants. They may have questions to ask.

Don’t make the mistake of ignoring them. To do so is to say, “You’re not important to me.”

Instead, take the time to chat up the audience, acknowledge their presence, and answer their questions. Even if it takes you out of the flow and you lose your place momentarily, it’s worth it to make viewers feel respected and as if they’re a part of the event rather than just a passive viewer.

Remember to check the comments later, too. If your video is available for viewing after the live event is over, encourage the conversation in the comments.

Repeat What Works

You have a lot of options when it comes to live video. Periscope, YouTube, Facebook, and others all have their place, and I encourage you to try them all. But in the end, you’ll want to concentrate on what’s working.

If your audience loves Facebook but can’t figure out Periscope, it makes no sense to broadcast there. The same goes for length, topic choices, and day and time of broadcast. You’ll want to test all the variables, track your results, and do more of what’s working.

Here’s what you don’t need to worry about when it comes to live video: Perfection.

No one expects you to look like a cover model or to speak like a news anchor. In fact, if you do look that perfect, it might actually negatively impact your results, simply because your audience loves to feel connected to you. They know they aren’t perfect, and if you can show off your imperfections, it will help create a stronger connection.

BONUS TIP – Topic Ideas for Live Videos:

If you’re struggling to think of topics for your live videos, here are some great options to get the juices flowing!

  • Behind the scenes for your business (what goes into making your business run, how you make the things you sell, etc.)
  • How-to videos for something you’re great at
  • On-location at conferences, conventions, festivals, or fairs that relate to your business
  • Interviews with staff, other business owners in your industries, past clients, etc.
  • How your product or service solves problems (read this to learn how to identify your potential client’s problems a.k.a. pain points)

No matter if your video is impromptu or planned and no matter the topic, the one thing you absolutely must remember is to be yourself. It’s usually quite obvious when someone is pretending or trying hard to be something they’re not, and you are amazing and have so much to offer the world. So just be you and you’ll already be ahead of the game.

Lessons Learned: What a Lost Client Really Tells You

We’ve all lost clients. Sometimes it’s our fault. Sometimes it’s theirs. Sometimes it’s out of everyone’s control.

But no matter the reason, there is something to be learned from a lost client. A system to review lost clients will help keep your business improving and growing.

Exit Interview

Typically done when you leave a job, an exit interview is also a great way to review what went right—and what went wrong—during your working relationship with a client. You’ll want to review:

  • What specific advice, service, or tools worked for them
  • What specific advice, service, or tools did not work for them
  • Any personality conflicts
  • Why they decided to move on moving on

This is not the time to get defensive. Be open to their criticism (if there is any) and use the information to genuinely improve your business.

Be Honest With Yourself

One of the most common reasons for client loss is that the customer is simply not a good fit. Maybe you suspected it when they signed up, or maybe not, but now that they have moved on, ask yourself:

  • What signs were there that they were not the right fit?
  • Why did you ignore any signs that were present?
  • How can you use that information to protect yourself from a less-than-ideal client in the future?

If you can identify a bad match from the start and decline the work (or better still, refer them to another colleague who is a good fit) you’ll find you have a lot less stress in your day-to-day business.

Misunderstandings

Sometimes, client loss is as simple as a lack of understanding on your client’s part. Do you clearly state:

  • The schedule of calls/emails
  • The timeline for project completion with milestones
  • Review and feedback process
  • Length of your contract
  • Any other project-specific information that can be easily misunderstood (PRO TIP: if you’re struggling to think of what might be misunderstood by a client, run through the entire “onboarding” process with a close friend or family member. Just remember to remove any personal info about your client if you’re using a real project as a test scenario.)

Do you also have a system for staying in touch with a client who has gone quiet? Sometimes all it takes is a quick phone call, email, or text message to get your wayward client back on track. Many business relationships have been salvaged with a simple phone call or email, so if you haven’t heard from a client in a while, pick up the phone.

Here’s the bottom line: Client loss happens. But if you can learn from each client, and use that intel to improve your business, then even a lost client can be turned into new profits.

Outlandish Stunts: How to Drive a Ton of Traffic with Crazy Claims (and Have Fun Doing It!)

Here’s one sure way to build up a great following fast: do something just a little crazy.

If you’ve ever watched a reality TV show such as Married at First Sight or Survivor, then you know what a draw it can be to attempt something just a little crazy. Millions of people tune in each and every week to see what new catastrophes would befall the cast of Survivor, or what new battle would break out on someone’s wedding day on Married at First Sight.

Now imagine if you could generate that kind of traffic to your blog or website, just by attempting something off the wall.

The fact is, this is a tried and true marketing plan that companies have been doing for more than a century and you can easily do something similar in your business.

Write a Book…Or 20

When Kristen Joy of TheBookNinja.com needed a boost in traffic, she turned to the medium she knows best: Kindle publishing. Accepting a challenge from her business coach, she agreed to write and publish a new Kindle book each week for 20 weeks.

As the word spread about Kristen’s plan, her traffic grew (and grew, and grew). Why? Some people no doubt wanted to see her fail—after all, that’s really why we watched Survivor, isn’t it? But most people rightly thought that Kristen must have something important to say if she had committed to such a large project.

Nicole Dean pulled off a similar plan with her Blog World Tour. During the summer of 2009, she visited 15 blogs in 15 weeks, guest posting on the target blog for 5 straight days before moving on to the next. Did it work? Absolutely! Just like Kristen’s crazy book-writing spree, Nicole’s blog world tour gained her lots of traffic and thousands of new fans.

Stretch Yourself A Little

Now, you don’t have to write a book a week for 20 weeks or even spend the summer guest blogging. But there are plenty of things you can do to build some buzz and drive some traffic to your site. The key is to find something that would make most people say “I could never do that.” And then do it.

  • Post to your blog every day for a year
  • Post a new video to your YouTube channel every day for 90 days (check out these tips for live videos)
  • Speak at or attend one conference each month for a year

Whatever “stunt” you decide to pull off, it must have two components to be successful:

  1. It must be outside what most people would consider their comfort zone
  2. You must commit to it publicly and often—tell your list, your social media followers, your blog readers, your clients, everyone.

A challenge of this sort must have one other component as well—your absolute conviction to finish. The last thing you want is to publicly declare your intention then quietly fade out mid-way to your goal.

If you’re looking for a fun, innovative way to drive a lot of traffic to your website, and to get more eyes on your content, consider setting a big, outrageous goal for yourself. You’ll be surprised how many people turn up to watch and cheer you on, and you’ll have fun along the way. Not only that, but at the end, you’ll have lots of content you can repurpose again and again, and you will have learned a thing or two about your audience and yourself, too.