If you want to take your blog from this…
… to this…
… you need to dig in to this article.
I’m about to reveal the 5-Point Business Blog Checklist we use to transform ghost town blogs with no traffic into boom town blogs that generate leads and sales for a real business.
Let’s start with the most critical point in the checklist…
1 – Compelling Lead Magnet(s)
Email is still king folks.
It’s how you’ll bring people back to your content again and again. But it’s also how you’ll make offers.
There is no difference between a blog subscriber and a lead. A lead is a blog subscriber and a blog subscriber is a business lead.
And if you want leads, you need a Lead Magnet. (For a complete understanding of Lead Magnets, read this article.)
This Lead Magnet has generated 36,859 leads/blog subscribers over the last 60 days at the time of this writing…
You’ll want to make this Lead Magnet offer in places like your blog sidebar as we have above.
But the sidebar is NOT where you’ll get the majority of your opt-ins.
Not even close.
Of the 36,859 leads/subscribers we’ve generated from this Lead Magnet only 319 of them opted-in by clicking on that banner in the right sidebar.
And that’s why you must have…
2 – Dedicated Landing Pages
The other 36,540 leads/subscribers that joined our email list to get this Lead Magnet entered our website on this page…
It’s a type of landing page called a “squeeze page.” We call it that because there are only two things you can do on this page…
- Opt-in to get the Lead Magnet
If you do it right, it’s possible to convert 40, 50 even 60% of visitors to a squeeze page into leads/subscribers.
So, how do you do it right?
There are 3 factors that will determine your Lead Magnet opt-in rate and they are (in order of importance)…
- The Offer – If you don’t make a compelling offer, nothing else matters.
- The Copy – Particularly the headline and bullets describing the Lead Magnet offer. (Read more about writing persuasive bullets here)
- The Layout/Design – The look and feel of your landing page is important —- but only if the offer and copy are done right. No amount of design or layout will save a bad offer or copy.
But I know what you’re thinking.
How in the heck do you get traffic to a “squeeze page?.”
Great question. It’s time to add…
3 – A Paid Traffic Strategy
At Digital Marketer we don’t worry about traffic.
When we want traffic, we turn it on… like a water faucet.
We like getting clicks from SEO. And clicks from our Facebook Fans.
But we don’t pin our hopes to organic (free) traffic. We’d much rather develop a great offer and cut a check for the traffic. That way we know the traffic is coming.
We know WHEN it is coming. And WHERE it is going.
It’s reliable. Consistent.
And we can get data back very quickly this way. In a day or two we can answer questions like…
How many of the 1,000 visitors we sent to that Lead Magnet squeeze page became leads/subscribers?
We may buy traffic, but we don’t like to pay for leads and subscribers. So, we liquidate the cost of traffic by making a low-dollar offer to those that opt-in for the Lead Magnet.
We call it a Tripwire offer and you can learn all about the Tripwire offer and more in this article.
But here’s the short story about how we use Tripwire offers to generate leads, blog subscribers AND customers without spending a thin dime.
Let’s look at an example…
We have a Lead Magnet called the 60 Second Blog Plan that is designed to add more bloggers to our email list.
Here’s the Lead Magnet squeeze page for that offer…
Let’s say we drive 1,000 paid clicks for $.50 a click. The page converts ~50% of that traffic into leads.
When visitors opt-in, they are made a $10 offer on the “Thank You Page” and ~10% of people buy this low-dollar “Tripwire” offer.
The results? 500 new leads. 50 new buyers. Zero out of pocket.
It looks like this…
Yep… if you want your blog to make money — you need to treat it like a business.
Create great content and offers and force eyeballs on it with a paid traffic strategy.
As the business owner it is your job to develop great offers and drive the strategy of the business and blog. As a result you’ll find yourself much less able to spend time creating content.
Instead, you’ll need…
4 – Multiple Authors
Can you create a single author blog that makes money? Absolutely.
But the big blogs that are really crushing it don’t operate like blogs.
They operate like media companies. They operate like a true publisher with multiple authors.
Why? For one, creating content is time intensive and not the best use of the business owner’s time. Can you still write for your blog? Sure, just don’t think that your primary role is creating content. You need to generate leads and sales.
Secondly, with multiple authors you’ll access multiple networks. When people create content, they share it with their network. (Learn more about finding people to write for your blog here.)
Think about it… Arianna Huffington is not busy creating the next piece of content for Huffington Post. Steve Forbes isn’t furiously writing to beat a deadline on Forbes.com.
The business owner needs to be… well… running the business. Not working in the weeds on the next blog post.
Darren Rowse is the owner of Problogger.net, a multi-author blog about blogging. But he also owns a dominant blog in the photography space called Digital Photography School or DPS. This blog, according to Compete.com received 923,575 unique visitors in January of 2015.
DPS is a multi-author blog…
The blogs we create are run like media companies and have multiple authors.
DIYReady.com has a group of experts that are tapped to provide content…
And SurvivalLife.com is the same…
If you want to create a blog that generates sales and leads — get out of WordPress and start running the business side of the media property you are building — not the editorial side.
That said, to run a successful business blog you will need…
5 – A Relentless Dedication to Quality
Why is this listed #5?
Because high quality content is table stakes. If you want to play the blogging game, you’ll need great content just to sit down at the table.
By creating a business blog you have become both…
- The publisher – You publish content in the same way that the New York Times, ESPN or Cosmopolitan magazine does.
- The advertiser – You sell products and services around the outside of that published content.
When you publish great content, it creates an audience — just as it does at the New York Times, ESPN or Cosmopolitan.
You make offers (as the advertiser) to that audience.
Bad Content = No Audience = No Ability To Advertise
Simple as that. The same as a bad television show (content) on ABC, CBS or NBC will attract no audience and thus no advertisers.
If you’re running a blog (or are starting one) ask yourself these questions…
- Do I have compelling Lead Magnet(s)?
- Do I have dedicated landing pages?
- Do I have a paid traffic strategy?
- Do I have multiple authors?
- Do I have a relentless dedication to quality?
This strategy has helped us take our blog to that “wicked smaht” level.
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