At WhichAddOn.com we are excited to have a focus on being transparent. To us, transparency in business means sharing the highs and the lows as well as telling the stories of how and why we do what we do. Even more specifically, we share what worked for us and what didn’t – so you don’t have to make the same mistakes.
When I look back on my career as a Xero trainer and business expansion coach – helping Xero advisors fast-track their Xero journey since 2014 – this has been the focus of my businesses since the beginning. At WhichAddOn.com, we learn and then we pass on what we have learned in an easy to understand way that helps you take action.
We have been tracking our key statistics since the site’s launch 42 days ago, on 12 October. We have seen our page views reach almost 7500 in 30 days, but it’s now dropped to 6233 in the last 30 days even though our subscribers are growing every day.
So what’s working and what is not:
- Our social media profiles are capturing subscribers who investigate who we are.
- Each time we post an article on social media and it is shared by an add-on, we gain subscribers.
- Direct relationship building is growing subscribers. Slowly.
What’s Not Working
- Number of posts have dropped from 8 on average per week to 4
- Our posts haven’t been shared on social media near as much
- Our content has been focused on one topic more than others
In the weeks after the launch, we were committed to reviewing 2 add-ons each per day. Marlon and I run this business – along with two other businesses – from our home in North West Sydney. We love to write in the mornings – we usually start work at 5 am and get as much writing as we can before the kids wake.
Each review takes between 3-6 hours to complete depending on the complexity of the solution. Creating a quality review is a must for us and we can’t do this unless we really know the product. WhichAddOn.com is a free service for all involved – we aren’t paid by anyone to do what we do. We don’t believe you can have a truly educational experience and receive an unbias review if money is involved.
Let’s drill down further into the what’s not working…
Number of posts have dropped from 8 on average per week to 4
With the other two businesses we run focused on Xero training and Cloud Integrator services, sometimes it gets hectic dealing with student needs and client enquiries. We now aim to dedicate two days to writing four articles each for the week and then we will spread them out posted across the week. So once we write the posts, how do we consistently share them?
Our posts haven’t been shared on social media near as much
We use Buffer – a social media posting app like Hootsuite – that has an in-built posting schedule across all your social networks. For only $10 per month, you can set up all your posts for the week and set it on auto-pilot. It will even notify you when the post stream is empty. We simply didn’t fill up our Buffer app last week and the results speak for themselves.
Our content has been focused on one topic more than others
Given the mammoth task of reviewing add-ons which we have embarked upon, we decided that we would review each category at a time. We believed initially that this would help us review the add-ons faster because we are just focusing on one type and it would also enable us to create well-informed comparison reviews more easily. What we found though is not only did we struggled to stay focused and motivated to just discuss one topic all the time – our readers didn’t want to read it either.
So we changed our ways and decided to start focusing on the top 5 or 6 add-ons in one category per week so we can share what we have learned and pass on the information that our readers want faster. We determine the top 5 or 6 add-ons per category, not just from the Add-On Marketplace, but also Google page ranking, user forums and our own research from our students and followers. We are well aware that there may be great add-ons we miss initially in our reviews – but we are confident that the great solutions will be introduced to us either way, just by starting the conversation about the top add-ons in a category.
It’s important for us to be creating great content that our readers really want to learn. Here are our top tips on crafting useful content your readers want to read…
Top 3 Tips on Creating Great Content Your Subscribers Want To Read
Focus on communicating why AND how
So many people these days are so good at communicating why but not the how. The internet is full of why you need to manage your cash flow better but not many REALLY tell you how. If you focus on sharing with people why they need to do something then provide PRACTICAL, DO-ABLE, BITE-SIZE, ACTIONABLE tasks to achieve the results they are looking for. If you are marketing an add-on, tell your readers how your add-on is going to help them. Focus on the features and how to use them. Don’t just list what it is that you do – explain how, exactly how. This not only empowers your potential customers, it helps train your existing customers with bite-size training too.
Write to your BCE (“Best Customer Ever”) not everyone
Have you ever heard the saying “when you are marketing to everyone, you are marketing to no-one”? Whilst writing this article, I am thinking about a founder or key marketing person in an add-on company reading this article – no-one else. I am aware that anyone can read it and its content could be applicable to many businesses, but each time I stray from writing exactly to my Best Customer Ever – an ad-don in this case – I pull myself back to stay on topic.
Writing to your BCE (or maybe you have heard of Eben Pagan’s Ideal Customer Avatar (ICA)), ensures that you are focused on sharing one message clearly to a targeted audience. The message remains clear and concise. Even if you are a very specific add-on that can solve problems in many types of industries, spend your marketing energy writing content just for a particular target market today, say, builders. That marketing message could be almost exactly the same tomorrow, but for accountants.
You get a reader who feels like you are writing just to him and you get the SEO from sharing your marketing message in lots of different ways whilst consistently sharing useful content that helps people know why and how they can use your add-on product.
Be consistent – almost predictable
Humans love predictability, but they don’t like boring. I believe the fine line between predictable and boring is creative consistency. Now creative is something I’m comfortable with, consistency is certainly something I struggle with. I have always said my Dad has entrepreneurial ADD – maybe I have that. Ha.
What I do know is that when I have been consistent in my business, growth has always followed, significant growth. Having the right tools to help you stay consistent certainly makes all the difference. I’ve already shared my favourite consistency tool for social media management, Buffer, and in the coming weeks, I will continue to share my lessons on how to remain consistent in business as we share how WhichAddOn.com continues to grow even with 1000 fewer page views.