When I first became a publisher, I had no idea what I was doing. All I knew how to do was write content and publish it on my blog.
After 4.5 years…there was still no one reading! I had virtually no followers, no views, and no income.
Then, I decided to start learning how to be a “real” publisher, crafting better content and learning new business tools that would help my website grow. It worked — in less than three years, I had built a 6-figure business, gained over 7 million views, 125+ email subscribers, and even a signed book deal!
All this wasn’t easy; I had to learn to use several new tools and develop new skills in ways I’d never done before. I’d never run a webinar, built a sales page, created an online course, or manually changed my website’s name servers! But learning how to use these business tools helped me evolve from an amateur blogger to a professional content creator.
Fortunately, you don’t need to learn dozens of new skills to significantly increase your site’s income or traffic. Here are five of some of the best business tools Ezoic publishers like yourself should consider investing in.
1. Email List Software
As many Ezoic publishers might already know, building and monetizing an email list for your site is an excellent way to develop your brand, increase your traffic, and maximize your revenue. As we’ve explained in our blog, “Fluctuating ad revenue, never-ending SEO updates, and unpredictable market changes can make consistent monthly revenue seem impossible for most website owners. But an email list will always be there, and you can rely on it for more predictable, reliable income each month.”
There are plenty of free email softwares out there, and they’re a great way to communicate with your subscribers, sell products, and promote your posts. Relying on inconsistent algorithm rules and an ever-changing market, it can feel impossible to build consistent traffic. Email software helps immensely, and contributes to securing long-term and return traffic.
2. Analytics and Tracking Tools
“What gets measured gets managed.” -Peter Drucker
There’s a major difference between what’s known as “vanity metrics” and actionable metrics; essentially, vanity metrics appear like a positive brag you can make about your site (commonly number of views, subscribers, and income), but don’t really help you make actionable decisions. Actionable metrics go deeper and provide insights into what’s really going on with your traffic: who they are, what they like, and what you should do to get more traffic.
Instead of being content with good-looking metrics that might make you feel good, invest in proper tracking and analytics tools (Ezoic’s own tool, Big Data Analytics, is an excellent one) to accurately measure important tools that help you define who your audience is, what sites they like, what content they want, and how they interact with your website.
A Customer Relationship Manager (CRM) tool is typically a robust tracker that helps you manage large quantities of customers, buyers, followers, and subscribers.
CRMs are similar to email software, allowing you to engage with and track mass amounts of audience members. CRMs are mainly used to track customer data, and when you begin incorporating multiple streams of income to your site, it’s important to capitalize on your customers. It’s far easier to sell products and services to current buyers than it is to attract a new customer, and CRMs will help you manage every sale you make so you always maximize your income.
4. Hiring Freelancers
There will always be new challenges to overcome as a publisher; new business tools, new social media platforms, and new sales processes will always enter the marketplace and require your attention. The good news is, you don’t always have to master every new tool — who has that kind of time?
Instead, consider hiring freelancers and other experts to take care of these tasks for you. High-level content creators spend significant time managing, delegating, and coordinating their projects, and if you take a look at the top content creators in your industry, it’s easy to see how large their influence is and how much work is required to manage their projects well without falling apart.
That’s where freelancers and other experts come in. Reinvest your profits into building a better, more nuanced, and more professional website. This will go a long way to help increase your traffic, revenue, and influence.
There are countless directions you can take your content creation; writing more content, publishing different content, updating and optimizing your older content. But one strategy you can always utilize is incorporating funnels into your website.
A funnel is simply a set of steps that a person goes through while moving through your site. They might click on a blog article, which leads them to a email capture page, to sales page, to an upsell page:
Another example is just increasing awareness of your site, content, or brand. First, a customer become aware of you; then they move through building interest, considering becoming a subscriber, evaluating your content/site, and perhaps even making a purchase at the end:
Incorporating funnels into your site helps you evolve your brand from a simple blog to a powerhouse of sales, automated content, and subscriber growth. Constantly giving your audience new ways to engage with your content in meaningful, relevant ways will greatly increase your site’s authority, traffic, and revenue over time.
There are countless ways to grow your site, build your brand, and become a more successful publisher. But the most influential and lucrative publishers are always building their site, incorporating better business tools, and reinvesting profits to make their site the to-go destination for traffic in their niche.
Spend time learning how to use these tools and deciding which ones best fit with your strategy and goals. This is how you evolve from a blogger to a professional, full-time content creator with a growing income and audience.