We at StartupNation want to take this moment at the end of 2009 to share our gratitude with you, our members and general site users. Part of our goal in writing this post is to offer you our winning strategies so you can use them in your business plans to develop your own success stories.
First off, it’s been a banner year for us. By December 31, 2009, we will have served over 9,800,000 pages of content in the year gone by. That’s leaps and bounds above anything we’ve ever achieved before. Incredibly exciting and trending very positively, by the way.
We achieved this as a result of great efforts on the part of team members Brian, Tom, Joel and Oleg with contributions from various additional contractors.
Here are 10 strategies that worked (plus a bonus strategy):
- Using best practices in site usability design, such as our global navigation (also called, “persistant navigation”), which is available on any page and quickly gets users from one place in the site to another.
- Search engine optimizing the site so Google loves us and gives us first page results in many small business-related searches.
- Keeping the content constantly refreshed at the site, many times offering content that’s part of a series, not just stand-alone, and offering insights from really smart bloggers.
- Running and publishing highly engaging contests (like our Home-Based 100 and Leading Moms in Business rankings) and offering voting widgets to contestants for them to use in their marketing.
- Developing ever more extensive relationships with publishing partners who carry our best content (like Yahoo Small Business and MSN).
- Using Twitter to announce the latest and greatest epiphanies, resources and events here at StartupNation.
- Issuing press releases with strong, topical news-oriented angles instead of simply announcing a new product or service or feature set that is just part of the “noise” media deal with daily.
- Parlaying every media opportunity (whether TV, print, radio, online or at events) into a bigger idea, a next appearance, a series of appearances, or entirely new opportunities.
- Giving our active members introductions to our media contacts to make StartupNation ever more useful in our members’ efforts to build successful businesses, which in turn stirred up lots of great new visitors via positive word of mouth.
- Launching Groups that can be public or private and allow people to convene around themes, interests, geographic locations, etc.
- (BONUS) Using email marketing on a permission basis enabled us to “stay in front” of our community and remind them to utilize our great resources and offers. (If you aren’t signed up for our newsletters, use this link to sign up.)
During this year, Facebook loomed large, accounting for 10.44% of our traffic – the single largest referring site (other than the search engine, Google).
StumbleUpon accounted for 6.4% of our traffic.
Twitter accounted for 2.82% of our traffic.
These might seem like smaller percentages, but our traffic comes from a very “long tail” (a great book, by the way), meaning lots of smaller sites contributing smaller amounts of visitors. At the time of authoring this post, according to Yahoo Site Explorer, 112,313 is the number of in-bound links to our site from various sites, each one driving a little traffic our way and adding up to our banner year.
Next year we hope to serve significantly more pages of content, providing ever more value to people who want to pursue a dream, start and grow their business, and live a more fulfilling life being their own boss and controlling their own income.
Again, we are very appreciative of your activity at our site and we hope you spread the word so millions more pages of helpful content can be transformational to people near and far.
We wish you success and a warm, refreshing holiday!
Rich (and StartupNation team)