We started to take our blog to the next level to be ready for the next tech boom, the next travel revenge and the next restaurant revolution. I presented this during the last WordPress Growth Summit and I got permission to share this with you guys to help you with your own blogging or website business. Don’t miss this quarantine pandemic opportunity to get your blogs ready for the next decade of innovation!
First Things First
Our Awesome Planet is a love letter to our sons—Aidan (15), Joshua (12), Raphael (10) and Yugi (6). It’s a family heritage blog documenting our food and travel adventures and the things that happened during their childhood, my kids being part of today’s “quarantine generation.” I started the blog in 2005 when my first son Aidan was born and we were getting about 100,000 page views/month. The site grew to as high as 1,000,000 page views per month and, with the ongoing pandemic, we are back to 100,000 page views/month. This is the great reset, an opportunity to revisit your assumptions, re-engineer your site and business model. Take the opportunity that the Covid lockdown presents to 10X the design of your blog, to revisit your business model to be crisis-resilient and to learn the how-tos of blogging forward given the crisis.
10X your Blog
Last August 7, we migrated to a streamlined blog from OurAwesomePlanet.com to Awesome.blog with the help of WordPress.com. The main reason for moving from WordPress.com to .blog domain is for the site to be super fast in both mobile and desktop. Prior to migration, the Google PageSpeed Insights rating of the site is just 10; now we are hitting 57 in mobile and 88 in desktop. I also integrated our The Manila Podcast with Spanky into the website inspired by Tim.blog which is crucial for a Voice-First world. Each blog post is mailed as a newsletter to all our close to 10,000 Awesome! readers with about 12-21% open rate.
With the pandemic hitting the restaurant and travel industry, there is zero advertising money going around. Bill Gates predicted the pandemic in his 2015 Ted Talk, and now he is predicting that Climate Change impact will be a prolonged pain. As content creators, we were heavily reliant on banner ads and campaigns. I decided to be zero reliant on ads for the site. Tip: I removed the banner ads on the site to train myself not to be dependent on these and to explore other business models. I’m building all my social channels—Instagram, Facebook and Youtube—to complement the site and get deeper with each platform. Tip: Instagram works well with food, Facebook works well with businesses, and Youtube is where the audience is. We partner with content creators to leverage on our digital marketing skills and create membership sites like Awesome10x.com. Tip: Build your own membership sites to get the cash flow needed and you can focus on awesome content for the blog.
Blogging Forward Your goal is not only to bounce back but to bounce forward to something better post-Covid. Tip: Be a forever newbie in this space. Revisit all your assumptions and take the opportunity to future-proof your brand. For your brand to survive this pandemic, you have to be top of mind of your market and be able to connect and empathize with them on a human-level. There’s a lot of innovation happening—blog about it. We’ve been complaining for the longest time that people are not adopting digital, and now everybody’s on digital. Think of content, topic and business that you can consistently do 100% home-based and know where the trend is going. One good way to be top of mind and on top of trends is to start your own live show to have a discussion with different experts on diverse interest areas. Lead the market and help them not only survive but thrive during the pandemic. Check out our Awesome! LIVE shows for inspiration.
The future is exciting as we are seeing the early stages of the next tech boom because all innovations in this space have been advanced by 3-5 years to battle with the Covid pandemic. Travel will be back with a vengeance but with more appreciation for sustainable travel. Destinations will be more conscious about safety, more focused on delivering awesome experience and more environmentally aware. Restaurants are pushed to innovate as more people learn how to cook and bake at home and have a better appreciation of the restaurant experience. Never will we take eating in a restaurant for granted again. Are you ready for the Next Boom? Live an Awesome Life, Founder and Creator of Our Awesome! Planet Disclosure: I wrote this article with my biases, opinions and insights.