Let’s Reach Success: A Year in Review 158

Let's Reach Success: A Year in Review

It’s been a great year for Let’s Reach Success.

I still remember the first months and even years of the website, when it was just a side project of mine, when I still didn’t know my way around the Internet, and when no one was looking at the content I’d put so much time and creative energy in.

Now it’s different.

Turns out that with enough hard work (years!), and little or no capital or support or even experience, anyone can still create an authority site. Cause that’s what LRS is slowly turning into.

The Early Days of LRS

With around 750 posts in the archives, with stable traffic from search engines and long and engaging enough posts, it now has a good rank and people are reaching out to me all the time, be it for a guest post opportunity, to ask me to link to their products and services from an article of mine, to say thanks for a guide that helped them improve their life somehow, or else.

In fact, I even ditched some other sites I was experimenting with – niche sites on more particular topics – and focused even more on Let’s Reach Success, the blog, podcast, bookstore, newsletter, design, optimization, etc.

I’m still a writer before anything else, but owning a website and learning all the stuff about WordPress and growth and even the tech side of all this, helped me develop new skills, gain experience, be seen as an expert in the personal development niche, and improve my personal brand.

In the digital world they will respect you more the moment they see you run a website with a ton of content, which also looks professional enough to be taken seriously by companies and individual clients.

I’ll never be able to calculate the time I’ve invested into activities related to creating and publishing content, tackling design and functionality, managing all the marketing and branding aspects of it, getting published on other big sites in the niche to get some link juice, choosing a hosting provider and investing the first money in this, testing all sorts of ways to monetize it, etc.

It’s hundreds of hours, and many people would have given up down the road simply because blogging is a long-term strategy. And long-term means years. Not everyone is okay with that. That’s where passion comes in handy.

I didn’t start with the money in mind, and it will never be a priority for LRS.

That’s why you can’t see any ads right now (although there have been banners at different stages while I was testing things out).

User Experience is Key

Your reading experience also won’t be interrupted by any annoying popup. Seriously, website visitors hate this. Luckily, Google’s new algorithm will make sure sites that want to keep ranking high remove these.

User experience matters more than ever now. That’s also why I finally bought a premium theme for the site. Before that it was a good-looking one from the WordPress theme directory. Still good, still does its job, but as every site owner knows, the code of the premium themes is much better. And while that’s all in the back-end and I don’t deal with codes in any way, I do think a good website with a lot of content and traffic must invest in at least this.

The current theme is Mono by Codestag.

Every little detail about it speaks this: enjoy your content without being interrupted.

I like its minimalist design. It’s designed with flexibility in mind. The homepage is still a magazine-style, and that’s how I want it to be.

Every little detail you see on the site is there for a purpose. I believe it’s helpful.

This year I also made sure new visitors can quickly understand what the site is about, find what they need, and navigate easily.

The Start Here page is with enough details to let you explore all that the site offers. The Menu includes all necessary tabs and nothing else.

Contributors

Something I’m truly grateful for is the fact that a day doesn’t go by without receiving a request from a guest writer to publish his or her piece on Let’s Reach Success.

Honestly, even if I stop writing, there will be enough new and practical content coming in on a consistent basis. But, of course, that’s not my goal.

I’ve rejected people’s articles when they were too promotional or had no real value, but most of the times, my answer is ‘yes’ as I love to give people some exposure, link to their resource from my site, and let them share their life lessons on a new platform.

That’s the circle of life. I was the one reaching out to other sites, asking for a chance to publish a guest post with a link back to my blog. Now, it’s the other way around.

By the way, you have no idea how much I’ve grown as a person together with the site. But that’s a topic for another article.

So, moving on.

The Podcast

How to Hustle Like Gary Vee - The Let's Reach Success Podcast, lidiya k

Ah, my good old side project.

There are now almost 60 episodes.

I changed the direction of the LRS podcast 2-3 months ago actually.

Initially, Let’s Reach Success was all about personal growth. However, as it’s grown, many other topics are covered related to lifestyle design, entrepreneurship, startups, travel, money, and more.

Which is great. I still try to relate anything to self-improvement somehow, and to the life lessons we can all learn from daily situations.

And because I wanted the podcast to level up too, its main goal is now slightly different.

Here’s how I presented the new idea to my email subscribers when the first episode of this type came out:

“From now on (every other episode in the beginning as the new concept takes more research and work), I’ll be talking more about the lives of some of the smartest, richest and most successful and productive people out there, as well as how the most popular brands and companies came to be.

I’ll try to study their successes and failures so that we can all apply their way of thinking and replicate their achievements, but avoid their mistakes.

In today’s world, failing isn’t the smartest way to gain experience anymore. It’s all about learning from the failure of those who’ve done it before and skip that part to get where you want to be faster.

I’ll be analyzing what made people like Tim Ferriss, Tony Robbins, Pat Flynn, Gary Vee and others who are on top in their niche so successful. But I’ll also go back to the lives and legacy of Napoleon Hill, Henry Ford and Steve Jobs to see how their mindset was developed early on and what we can learn from them.

I’ll share what high achievers do differently, but also a lot of biz advice on how to dominate social media, quit your job and be a lifestyle designer, create a podcast millions of people would love, how to become #1 in a certain niche, how to grow your brand, self-publish a bestseller, and more. All that, through the eyes of those who’ve done it, of course.”

Some episodes that are part of this strategy are:

The Books

It’s a proper book store now, with enough titles to choose from.

I also created my first 2 (and only) audiobooks in March this year. It was fun, a different kind of project, and a way to offer something to the lovers of audio content.

The newest additions are the following eBooks:

Instagram

I’m now writing practical articles on how to crush it on that platform as I believe there’s huge potential in it and still many businesses and individuals aren’t making the most of it.

Not just that, but I’m putting all this into practice and growing an account of my own. It’s a good way to gain new eyeballs, create more content people will enjoy, get my name and brand out there on another platform, and have fun with visuals and inspirational content.

If you check out @letsreachsuccess, you’ll see motivational image quotes and black and white quotes (which is part of the strategy to make the whole feed look beautiful) on the topics of lifestyle design, freedom, hustle, entrepreneurship, and life advice.

While posting on a daily basis, I also get to know how the social media channel works. Then comes testing different tools for automation and content creation, analyzing follower growth and other metrics and sharing the results, and more.

It’s a cool side project for me now, and we’ll see where it goes. But it does help in more than one ways as some people learn about my site after finding my Instagram account, and after all, I’m providing inspiration and value for free and making people smile with posts like that. That makes it worthwhile :)

Final Thoughts

So that’s it for now.

Of course, there’s a lot going on behind the scenes, like better security, optimization, using new tools and softwares, and more. But this post is long enough already, and I don’t want to bore you with the details.

The will be another blog post pretty soon where I’ll share the best of LRS for 2016 and link to articles you’d want to check out again.

Also, there’s one big thing I’m working on. It might or might not be a success. But the idea is solid, I’m putting in the work long before I expect any results, and I believe there’s potential in it. So stay tuned.

If you made it this far, cheers. Want to contribute with an idea on how to make the site better? Or what new topic to cover?

Leave a comment with whatever comes to mind.

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Becoming Your Own Boss: Tips on Getting a Business Off The Ground 7

How Writing a Blog Can Help You Live the Life You Dream About

Becoming your own boss is a complicated process, and not everyone does it the same way.

I got lucky. I was still working when I got my business off the ground, so I had a source of income while I was working the kinks out of my business. I did most of my work for the new business when I got home or on the weekends. I asked for a change in job responsibilities at the office so that I didn’t have as much on my plate.

This all gave me a chance to start earning money without going into debt. When it was feasible, I stopped working my regular job and transitioned into working for myself full time. It took about a year and a half.

Establish clear boundaries.

 

Sometimes people don’t take you seriously when you tell them that you work for yourself. They think you are always available to chat or have lunch.

I had a number of friends that would call me at all hours, assuming I was available because they wanted to talk. Granted, it was nice to have that freedom at first. But, I soon realized that if I was going to be successful, I couldn’t let those kinds of distractions interrupt my workday.

Save before you start working for yourself full time.

I was in pretty good shape when I made the transition, but looking back, a few more months with a paycheck would have been wonderful.

When you start your own business, money can be very tight. You never know what you are going to make month to month.

I had one customer that initially made up most of my revenue. That customer only paid on a quarterly basis, which meant that times were tough in between payments.

I had to spend money to build the business, which meant there wasn’t a lot left over. If I didn’t get a payment right on time, it was very difficult to deal with.

There were times when I had to ask for a loan from family members simply to pay my bills.

Reach out and build a support network.

4 Tips to Track Your Remote Employees' Progress Without Demoralizing Them

It can be really difficult to adjust at first. You have great days and you have terrible days. You meet goals some months, while other months you are left wondering where you went wrong.

If you make a mistake, you alone are responsible for it and your business and reputation can suffer. It is easy to feel depressed at times. You may even start to feel like you can’t handle running a business and that you made a big mistake when you left your office job.

Remember that you are not alone. All entrepreneurs have these moments, which is why it is so important to connect with others in the field.

Take time for yourself.

I had a honeymoon period of about half a year. It was really exciting to see the business get bigger. Each milestone that I met was a reason to celebrate.

However, heading into the second year, it was more difficult. I was tired. Things weren’t as exciting because they weren’t new anymore. And then, year three came along. I was done with working such long hours.

I was done with having no time off. Burnout is certainly an issue in this business, so you have to figure out how to balance your personal and your professional needs.

It took me a long time to get where I am today. I had to do a lot of research. I had to educate myself on business. I had to find an SEO expert. I had to figure out who my main competitors were and keep an eye on them. I also had to stay current with what was happening in the field so that I didn’t fall behind.

No matter how hard I worked, it seemed like I could never get caught up. Running a business is a big responsibility.

If you are interested in starting your own business, you want to set yourself up for success. Try to cut back on your living expenses. Make sure you have substantial savings. Set up an area in your home where you can work, free from distractions.

If you are married, get your spouse on board. He or she can help pay bills while you are getting your business off the ground.

Your business is only as good as you are.

Make sure you have a support system of other business professionals. These people can help you acknowledge your weaknesses, encourage you to keep moving forward and advise you on common mistakes.

You can try and go it alone, but it will be very difficult for you. As with anything else in life, your support network has a lot to do with your success. You are probably strongly invested in your business; after all, it is something that you created. Make sure you have people that you trust to help you along the way.

***

Grace Lee has been practicing in the field of digital marketing for several years now. She has already brought numerous sites in search engines’ first pages in search results. In her spare time, she loves listening to podcasts about Google algorithm updates and other matters related to SEO.