Regardless of whether or not you like Lil Wayne’s music, you can’t argue with the facts: he was the first artist since 2005 to sell one million albums in a single week.
Although I highly doubt you have any personal interest in learning how to sell a million albums in a week, you probably care a great deal about improving your website and thus increasing the overall revenue of your business. Because Wayne has managed to find success in an industry that has been on a downhill slide for almost a decade, it’s worth taking a look at how he did it and then applying those lessons to your own business pursuits:
Work Hard: Being successful is not an easy task. The reason Wayne was able to sell so many albums is because he has an extremely strong work ethic, and for the last two years, he has made more new music than anyone else. He actually made so many songs last year that BET published a list of the 77 best songs he had made in 2007.
The advice of “work hard” may sound like a cliche, but there are far too many internet marketers who have not taken it to heart. I have spoken with a countless number of people that think they can make a free blog, throw AdSense on it and earn enough to retire in a couple of months. There are also plenty of people that think they can put up a one page website for their business and increase the number of customers they have overnight. Regardless of whether you are working on an advertising supported website, a website for your business or websites for your clients, you need to be committed to being the best at what you do. Everyone has competitors, and the only way to achieve a higher level of success than is to work harder than they do.
Create a Memorable Brand: From his dreads to his controversial Styrofoam cup to his constant proclamation of being the Best Rapper Alive, Wayne has mastered the art of create a strong brand for himself that people recognize and remember.
Creating a website with a strong brand makes attracting new links much easier. As I’ve stated before, search engine optimization requires a lot more than submitting your website to a few free directories, and I feel branding should be one of the elements of a comprehensive SEO strategy. From creating a logo to giving your content a strong voice to establishing yourself as an expert within your field, as your brand grows, so will your number of backlinks. Just think about this example:
Even if they had a story that was almost identical, who would you be more likely to link to: TechCrunch.com or a generic looking blog with no logo/about me/etc hosted on a .blogspot sub domain?
Give “It” Away for Free: Although he probably hasn’t read Wired’s article on free being the future of business, Wayne had mastered that concept long before the article was ever published. Before he released his album, Wayne released free mixtape after free mixtape. By the time he released his album, his fans were more than happy to pay $12 for it because he had been giving them great free music for such a long time.
The free method works with any kind of website. If you have a blog or website supported by advertising, release a premium ebook or report from time to time. Not only is it a great way to give something of value to your loyal audience, but it will also attract new visitors. If you have an e-commerce website, you can do anything from offering coupons to giving away samples of your products.
Appeal to a Wider Audience: Although Wayne has a loyal following, in order to sell a million albums in seven days, you need to appeal to an even wider audience (such as the average teenager, who will buy whatever is popular at the moment). To accomplish this task, Wayne released a single called “Lollipop,” which appeals to a much wider audience than just hip-hop fans.
The key for a website to appeal to a wider audience is to create content that targets people outside of the website’s primary demographic. To demonstrate my point, here’s a few examples I came up with off the top of my head:
Cars: 9 Facts Every Woman Should Know Before Visiting a Mechanic
Finance: Do You Want to Own a House by the Time You’re 21?
Technology: 12 Gadgets to Make a Mom’s Life Easier