Startups: Get Focused and Stop Adding Franken-Features!
After launching a product, startups often ask themselves, “What next?” — and before they know it they’ve created a monster. Andrew Chen explains why you should stop overwhelming your product with shallow features and start highlighting its core value.
Editor’s Note: This guest article from Andrew Chen originally appeared on his blog as “Does Your Product Suck? Stop Adding New Features and “Zoom in” Instead on Your Product Design Approach”
Adding a Lot More Features Won’t Save Your Product
Everyone’s worked on a product that’s failing despite a ton of work behind it. It’s not for lack of great ideas, or a lack of bright minds working long and hard on the product. In the startup world, often this comes because after a new product is launched, there’s a Trough of Sorrow where features are often added to try to spark traction. After a few months of this, and a few shifts in direction, it’s easy to get a Frankenstein product that tries to do too much.
Optimizing Your Blog, the Technical Details
Site speed is important. It’s one of the first things visitors will notice when they arrive at your blog, so to make a good first impression your content should load quickly. Researchshows that site speed contributes to bounce rates, conversions, search rankings and site trust, all which have a considerable impact on the success of your blog.
To improve your blog’s speed and ability to deliver content quickly and efficiently, we’ve outlined a few technical improvements you can make to ensure your visitors’ user experience is the best it can be.
1.Check Your Site’s Speed
Before you get started making improvements, you need to know how your blog is currently performing. Using a speed test will allow you to test your blog against competitors and give you a clear metric to improve on.
Blogging in the Cloud
Bloggers make their living over the internet. And yet, when it comes to working in the cloud, many bloggers are just as confused and hesitant as those in more traditional business settings. That’s got to change, as the cloud is really the wave of the future — and it can do a whole lot to streamline a blogger’s workday while also ensuring all of that hard work doesn’t get lost along the way.
Could there be anything better for a person whose job description can basically be summed up as, “Wearing a million and one hats”?
To get started with blogging in the cloud, we recommend reading a good cloud computing guide by Xero(plus watch the hilarious video of people trying to explain the cloud) to master the basics. Here we also provide a deeper explanation, as well as a few tools and tricks of the trade to get you going.
Turning Your Blog into an Online Store
Blogging is a great way to share your ideas, knowledge and experiences for the world to see. It’s a fantastic way to build a personality around a brand or product as well. But part of creating a brand is having a marketable product. Whether that product is something you have created yourself or something you review on your site, using software like Amazon’s ecommerce platform makes it easier than ever.
If you’re looking to sell your products, whether they’re materials reflecting your brand, your book, handmade goods, etc., here’s a breakdown of what you need to make your online store successful.
- Search Box: It’s important to make it as easy as possible for customers to find what they’re looking for on your site. A search box allows them to quickly refine results.
- Featured Products: You can attract visitors’ attention to specific products by featuring photos and information about them on your home page.
- Tip: You can push multiple products by showcasing them in a slide show, so customers don’t have to click through each one.
- Related Products: Up-sell by showing customers what others bought with the products they’re interested in.
- Product Photos and Zoom: Online shopping is a different experience than going to a physical store, because the only way to judge a product’s quality is to look at it. It’s crucial to display quality photos that viewers can zoom in on to see details of your products.
- Customer Login: To make it easier for return-customers to check out, allow them to create usernames and passwords so they don’t have to enter their information every time.
- Privacy and Return Policies: Customers will gain peace of mind about the reliability of buying from your store if they can read your policy of protecting their personal and financial privacy. Also, if you offer a return policy for your products, they are more likely to buy in times of indecisiveness.
- Payment System: Obviously you need a gateway to receive payment, so it’s important to show icons of accepted means of payment, and a clear checkout section (like a shopping cart). You should also send a confirmation/receipt to the customer’s email.
- Social Media Links: You’ll get more traffic on your site if you have a presence in social media, so show customers where you can be found and encourage them to “Like” your page.
It might help you to look at your store through the eyes of the customer, and focus on the things they want in a shopping experience. These are some things that online shoppers like to see.
The Roadmap to Business Blogging
There are obvious differences between blogging for personal pleasure and blogging for a business. Sometimes staying on message as a business is important, or making sure your posting is relevant for your customers and clients, prospective and otherwise.
This guide below is a great overview of all the steps necessary in getting your blog up and running, from establishing goals to getting the most social interaction.
It’s all there..
The Business of Blogging
In the 21st century, traditional forms of publishing have been brought to their knees byblogging. The wonderful thing about blogging is that anyone can do it, but not everyone can do it successfully.
Before you start putting your thoughts into the blogosphere, however, there is a method to blogging that will help you organize your posts, attract and maintain advertisers and track your site’s financial progress.
While the cost of starting a blog is mostly very nominal, some financial investment can help you see larger monetary gains later.