How Little Details Lead to Big Wins
If there’s one frustration every platform has felt, it’s low site traffic and slow growth. When the objective is to develop a profitable platform, it’s our nature to look for big solutions to these problems. But often the opposite is true.
What if small changes, not big ones, are the secret to growth?
Draw Order from Chaos (Theory)
Imagine you are walking through the produce section a grocery store. You approach a beautiful display of apples, row after row stacked up and shining red. You reach for the apple on top when your kid, who has been quietly walking behind you, plucks one from the bottom.
Suddenly the whole display tumbles and scatters across the floor.
This is an example of chaos theory, the idea that small, local changes in an environment can cause dramatic shifts through the environment as a whole. You may also know this by a different name: the butterfly effect.
While the name chaos theory seems to invokes negative connotations, the idea that small tweaks can lead to big changes can be overwhelmingly positive. This is the underlying principle of “pay it forward” thinking. It also happens on platforms every day.
Small Changes, Big Results
Upon reviewing his site traffic statistics, Michael Hyatt, founder of Platform University, observed his fair share of peaks and plateaus. This is to be expected. However, the timing of the jumps in traffic were interesting. Specifically, Michael noticed that they often corresponded to small tweaks he had made in his strategy or methods.
He also noticed that these adjustments can be made on any platform. That’s why we’re sharing them with you today.
Here are three small tweaks you can make today that lead to big gains in traffic.
1.Get Focused on Your Readers. When most people start blogging, they write about or share things they find interesting and important.
There’s nothing wrong with this. It’s just not enough if you want to hit the next level. The truth is the more we focus on our readers’ interests, the better shot we have of increasing engagement.
We recommend you conduct a reader survey. This simple step can crack open the desires of your audience, and radically transform your content strategy. If you can address your audience’s needs more directly, you will see an immediate increase in traffic.
2. Get Serious about Headlines. Headlines are major. Information is so plentiful today that people primarily read by scanning. According to Brian Clark of CopyBlogger, 80 percent of readers will scan our headlines, but only about 20 percent will actually read the rest. If the headline doesn’t grab readers, they’ll never get to the content we worked so hard to create.
The main thing is to stay focused on the reader—what answers their need, speaks to their fears, offers them hope. People are tuned in to WIIFM, “What’s in it for me?” If we can communicate that in a headline, we boost our chances of getting read and shared.
3. Build Your Email List. Though it’s embarrassing to admit, Michael was already six years into building my platform before he got serious about building an email list. He thought a prominent RSS button on his blog was enough. Not by a long shot.
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One thing professional platform-builders agree about is the vital importance of building your email list. More email subscribers mean more overall traffic. Not only is email more personal and better for two-way communication, when it comes to driving traffic it gives readers a simple and easy way to share your content.
It’s that simple. By turning your attention to a few small details, you will make your platform exponentially easier for your audience to engage with.