How Do You Plan to Take Your Website to the Next Level in 2013?

Last year I asked ten bloggers to share their blogging secret sauce.  This year I asked them how they plan to take their websites to the next level in 2013.

Personally, I would like to incorporate more videos into my blog in the coming year.   In my experience, setting up and videotaping and editing a video takes a lot more time, but I see it as a necessary addition to promote certain events or tweet-up gatherings.  Videos tell a visual story that  allow the audience to participate on a more intimate level.

I’d like to extend a heartfelt thank you to my friends for sharing their insights with us.  But in addition to that I want to send out deep appreciation and a special thank you to my editors – both those who work with video and the written word – as well as to my reading audience.

Without you, my creative vision and true thoughts would never make it to my blog.  You’ve made the wonderful relationships my readers have formed with me possible.  You are the foundation to a successful website.  Thank you, truly.

Let’s hear what our ten bloggers plan to do for their websites in 2013!




 This is something I’ve been giving a great deal of thought to.  I still want to write posts about philanthropists, business leaders, artists, and emerging talent. That will never,  ever change. But in 2013 I will add carefully edited video pieces to enhance the overall content.  This is something I started doing for the first time this year, particularly on a the TweetMyJobs and Shaun Robinson pieces I did with Ann Tran for Huffington Post.
 But now I am looking to make it a permanent, monthly component of my personal website.  To make this a huge success, I’ve started prepping for interviews, lined up some sponsors, learned great video techniques, and even picked my production team. I’m loving it.  This is taking me away from social networking for two and three hour blocks, but its necessary.  The best part of including video is that it will allow me to greatly elevate and showcase the regional, gender, ethnic and racial diversity that has always been apart of my work.  Social media has rich diversity and I will do my best to illustrate that using as many tools as possible.
 In the words of my friend Brett Petersel, “Looking forward to an epic year!”


For 2013, three main areas for website optimization are visual, mobile, and social.  No surprises there!
Visual is taking over — a picture (or video) really is worth a thousand words.  You can’t easily pin and share an article on Pinterest unless it contains a photo or graphic.  Smartphones plus Instagram, etc. make taking and sharing great pictures so easy!
Mobile is a big one.  Any page requesting a user take an action or input information (i.e., nonprofit donation pages) must have big buttons, big typing spaces and simple navigation.  Mobile Devices Becoming Medium of Choice to Access the Internet, Accenture Survey Finds reports that 69 percent of all internet users now access sites daily with mobile devices.  A mobile-optimized format is an absolute must.   If web pages or articles don’t have sharing buttons prominently displayed, that work properly, and include your social username or site, an immediate fix is critical.  If you can’t share something…well, as they say:  if a tree falls in the woods, and no one hears it, did it make a noise?  Sharing is critical to connecting with new people.


I have a Travel Blog in Portuguese focused in the Brazilian travelers market (Aprendiz de Viajante – which has a little bit more than two years and is about to reach 2 million visits.  We spent the first two years building great content and also engaging our readers using the various social media channels.
So, the first step in taking our Website to the Next Level in 2013 was doing a survey with our readers.  With that we are trying to get to know our readers and understand what people like most about our website and what we need to improve.  We are already making some adjustments, but one important thing that we found out was that more than 70% of our readers that responded the survey made a decision for their trips based in something they read in our website, and the type of posts they like better are the step by step “guides” to a destination.
So taking that and some other information we collected in our survey, we will be launching a series of new features and products related to the site in 2013.  We have two travel guides that are in the final production and we added to our goals for 2013 to use videos in creative ways to engage with our readers.


Because over 50% of the traffic is expected to be over mobile devices by 2014, Responsive Design is my first priority. And, since WordPress has generally been the best choice for my particular clients, using WordPress as a CMS is almost a given for me.  I say almost because this is my own site, and since it will have a relatively small number of pages, I could just as easily go with a static site and attach a blog separately.  Page loading would be slightly faster on the static pages, which is a slight advantage since Google now includes page-loading time as a factor on which to calculate SERP rank.
The other advantage of static pages is that the integration of custom jQuery and Javascript is usually easier.  However, the performance hit seemed too small to worry about and the custom jQuery and Javascript seemed like an interesting exercise.  I could have easily gone either way.
The blog will have separate branding, even though much of the content will be focused on my clients interests and needs.  Separating the blog from the business branding “feels” friendlier, seems a better choice for inbound marketing, and allows for more flexibility in content.  I’m sure there are good counter-arguments, but those are the reasons that made sense to me.Later in the year, I may add a couple of special tools for visitors (like ROI calculators for SEO and Responsive.)  ROI for SEO is quite complicated so it would be beneficial to have a very graphical and interactive way to show how that works. Besides, HTML5 and CSS3 now help make even mundane tools look pretty classy J



First of all, we are committed to continue to create content useful to all our readers and to share blog posts that reflect our personal views on various topics we are passionate about.  For 2013, we will take the same approach and improve on ways to share our content and experiences.  This means posting more photos that capture the essence of the places we recommend people visit, creating more videos to showcase places and people, up close and personal.
We are also doing more live video chats with PodJamTV LIVE (  A once a week 30 minute show that will air every Sunday at 8:30 pm EST. The aim of the show is to connect more with our readers and community and talk about social media, tech, photography and travel among other topics.
Aside from our main site, PodJam.TV (, in 2013 we will be launching  ( ) where we will highlight tips on how small positive actions can help improve the quality of life.


2013 will be a big year for us! Poshbrood will be making several changes and improvement to take our site to the next level.
  1. Adding section on our site where users can upload their travel photos.
  2. Creating a VIP member area where Poshbrood members can access exclusive travel deals, sales and track their travels, interact with other upscale travelers, post recommendations and integrate their social media channels.
  3. Expand our site to include “Sites We Love”/Friends page — core hotels we work with, service providers, airlines, bloggers and experts. Obviously will be our our fabulous list!
  4. Redesign our front page/landing page to make it more clear to visitors that we book travel in addition to the curated catalog of mom-test and Poshbrood-approved properties.
  5. Develop a designated press page to document our public relations success and reach.
  6. Real time-integration of our social media feeds without being too busy or noisy.
 In addition, if we won the lottery or Steve Case invested in Poshbrood we’d also do the following:

  1. Total upgrade/overhaul of site. Consider changing from Expression Engine platform which is quite complicated.
  2. Integration of booking engine into our site so that our users could get pricing for hotels and book online, receiving Poshbrood’s Virtuoso rates, amenities and benefits.2013 will be the Year of the Snake, which is an auspicious year for people born in the year of the Rooster (me!) Fingers crossed!!


My current blogs have taught me so much about content development and marketing in the past two years.  As a journalist, it’s easy to get bogged down in the “story” and forget about the bigger picture – actively helping others achieve their creative visions.
For the New Year, my business partner (Amy Shoultz, PhD) and I will launch a new website that showcases our commitment to the success of others and how making others’ dreams come true foments great success for us as well. We’ll still write sassy and smart posts for Freelance Writing Dreams and Medtopicwriter, but the new site, RebelSpark, will have a blog associated with it as well.   It will reveal, through words and videos, our deep desire to give back to the community as we make our own dreams a reality too.  I invite anyone who has a dream, a vision, a hope to visit RebelSpark in early 2013.  I’m yours and you are mine.  Let’s take on our dreams together.


Content! Content! Content! My biggest challenge is finding time to create content – especially since the majority of the content I blog is video. This is aggravated by my travel schedule (I won’t even have internet in some circumstances).  As video is a very time-consuming process, the best way to create time-consuming content is with an organized schedule.
Creating content is not a sprint; it’s a marathon.  So each day should have a few goals you can strike through.  Striking through a list item is one of my most satisfying feelings.  It makes the finish line all the more worth it.


Taking The Top 10 Blog to the next level to me will be less about tinkering with the look and functionality of the blog and more about effective communication and having quality content.
So through 2013 I will be concentrating on strengthening existing online relationships and forging new ones in the areas of business and social media.  This will be aimed at ensuring that I can continue to find excellent quality guests to inform and entertain readers and to showcase my own work to further my ambition to become a freelance blogger writing content for others too.
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23 Replies to “How Do You Plan to Take Your Website to the Next Level in 2013?

  1. Great post and inspiring. I started blogging in september and I am still learning about the technical aspect of using wordpress. My Next year goal is offering good content and write for people rather than focusing on SEO. I also want to implement an editorial calendar.

  2. I stumbled onto your blog after you followed me on Twittter. I thought the article was really informative from all different perspectives. I agree mobile, responsive design and photocentric and scrolling sites (less clicks) is where it’s all going.

    1. Hi Lysa,

      Thank you for stopping by and looking forward to the adventure in social media in the coming year!

      Happy Holidays!

  3. Ann,

    Some great ideas here and I am with you regarding video for 2013! I think that’s the way to go. And really like Glenn Ferrel tip about the Responsive Design for mobile. We have to pay attention to that… 🙂
    Great to be in the such great company in this article! Thanks and a great 2013!

    1. Hi Claudia,

      Yes, fantastic group of contributors. Thank you for sharing your insight! I look forward to working with you in 2013! Perhaps something with @PoshBrood ツ


  4. Great insight! I am hoping to revamp my website as well and give my readers more clarity on what the site is all about and make it more inviting. I plan to do this with a new design/look and beef up the messaging.

  5. Excellent topic. I have been incorporating video posts into many of my blogs these past fourteen months and have found they add much to the quality of my content. I also get more feedback from readers on the posts that have video. They take a little longer to produce, but I have also found with blogging lately, that quality is more desirable than quantity, unlike the old days when posting any trite observation four to five times a week was preferred.
    Thanks for the great post, and I hope you keep them coming.

  6. I’m so impressed with all the fantastic ideas put forward in this post Ann, there’s much food for thought there.

    Many thanks for including my own humble efforts in such stellar company 🙂

    1. Hi Glenn,

      Yes, definitely a great mix and that is why I like getting different perspectives from my social media friends. Thank you for contributing.


  7. Ann — thank you so much for including me amongst such an impressive group of bloggers. I’m honored.

    I’m really inspired by the ways the other bloggers are taking their blogs to the next level in 2013. I can relate to Alex’s lament about finding time to create quality content and am always impressed by Marty and Misty. Wow.

    Sean, Claudia, and Glenn made my heart skip, skip, skip a beat with their plans too.

    Thank you, Ann!

    1. Thanks so much to you Ann for assembling a group of bloggers who are both talented and at the top of their game. Especially pleased to see Samantha Gluck among their ranks-she is a daily inspiration for me. So much so that we’re joining forces in 2013 with the launch of RebelSpark…my grandfather always told me that “smoke follows beauty”…Thank you for fanning flames.

      1. Hi Amy,

        I love working on these top ten series. Definitely a fantastic group of contributors. Good luck in your venture in 2013!


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