Any online marketer worth his/her salt would have heard the line, “The money is in the list.” It has been repeated ad nauseam and still thousands of beginner marketers are clueless as to how to build a list.
To make matters more burdensome, most autoresponder software companies charge a monthly fee for their services. So, this is a recurring cost that must be recouped quickly to keep the beginner marketer in the green.
When you’re first starting out on your blog, you’ll not need to build a list. You should first track the amount of traffic on your website. The moment you’re getting 50 to 100 unique visitors to your blog daily, it’ll be time to sign up for an autoresponder. This will buy you some time if your budget is tight.
Using A Freemium As An Incentive
A freemium is a gift that you’ll give away for free in exchange for an email address. The freemium could be a short report, or a 3-part video training or a checklist, etc. What you give away has to be of value and congruent to the niche you’re in.
You can either outsource the job or create one yourself from scratch. Alternatively, you may use private label rights (PLR) content and rebrand it. This will allow you to create a product with your branding quickly while maintaining quality.
Connecting Your Autoresponder
Once your lead magnet is ready, you’ll need to create a landing page for it. You can do a quick Google search for ‘best landing page examples’ to get an idea to model. You may wish to get a cover image done for your freemium on Fiverr.com.
After your landing page is complete and looks great, you’ll want to sign up with an autoresponder like Active Campaign or Aweber, and embed the sign up form on your landing page. Most of these software have video tutorials to guide you. So, don’t get put off by the ‘tech stuff’.
Once the form is embedded, you’re well on your way to collecting leads and building a list.
All Roads Lead To Rome
In this case, Rome will be your landing page and this is something that you own.
To mitigate the risk, you’ll want links from these social media entities pointing to the landing page on your blog. In this way, you’ll be able to siphon traffic from these high traffic sites and build a list of subscribers who wanted your freemium. Now you have some degree of control and your own asset.
One of the best tools you can use to build a list on your blog is Thrive Leads. The software has options for you to create a non-intrusive scroll mat that allows readers to sign up. Besides the scroll mat, there are also sticky bars and pop up options for you.
Thrive Leads is designed to help you get as many subscribers as possible from your blog. It’s a worthwhile investment that will reap dividends many times over.
Locking Your Content
This is one of those techniques that’s annoying to some people, but highly effective nonetheless. You’ll need to use a content locking plugin to execute this method. If you have Thrive Leads, you can use it too, with a few tweaks.
Basically, you’ll have an interesting and highly valuable blog post where you share some insider information. Somewhere around the center of the post (preferably the most interesting part), you’ll insert the content blocker.
Some readers may get put off and close the page, while others will sign up. Whatever the case, you’ll know that those who signed up are truly interested in what you have to say and you’ll be building a list of highly targeted subscribers.
By now you’ll realize that building a list on your blog is a piece of cake if you have traffic coming in. All you need to do is insert forms for them to sign up to your list (in a variety of ways). With the versatility of Thrive Leads, a good landing page and a value-driven freemium, and a solid autoresponder, you’ll be able to build a list of targeted and interested subscribers in just a matter of time.
Drops make an ocean. So, get started today and in a few months from now, you’ll have an email list that trusts you and buys the products you recommend. This is where you’ll find the money in the list i.e. the saying should more accurately be “The money is in the customer list.”
Blogging has truly revolutionized the way one experiences the digital age. There is apparently no limit to what you can do with the help of blogs. Even the smallest aspect of your daily personal life like recording journal entries has been given an entirely new dimension.
Going on from there, there is a lot of scope for picking up interesting debates and discussions through blogs. You can even start some of these discussions yourself.
And it is easier to do than you might think. Honestly, it isn’t rocket science; you don’t need to be a scientist who posts revolutionary details about his latest experiments.
If you blog well, i.e. if you are engaging enough that people want to come and read it, you have a really good chance of making some money, by just going about your daily activity of posting blogs on areas that interest your readers in your niche!
Here are some of the things you can do to make sure that your blogging activities get rewarded by more than just comments and praises:
You could get yourself registered with a search engine. Doing this will virtually guarantee that your blog will get a great deal of free, organic traffic, and traffic is the lifeblood of any blog/business.
In this way, the higher the ranking your blog achieves, the more you are likely to get paid because more people will be able to find your content quickly.
Here are a few tips to help you with your blog content:
- Reader Friendly Content: At all costs keep your content – articles, poems, photographs, videos – reader friendly, that is to say, it should keep more and more readers interested. Your reader must be at the center of you post in a way that your reader must feel that he is gaining something out of reading your post. This is the basic rule in marketing.
- Make It Worthwhile: Never let the reader feel that he has been tricked into reading your post or clicking on your blog link. You are thwarting all your long term chances of that reader coming back to your blog, in which case your blog rankings over the long term are in a dicey position.
- Check For Errors: Making grammatical and spelling errors can be a major put off for many readers. They may not visit your blog again simply because the errors that you make are too high. Always proof read your blog. A small typo here and there can be understood, but make sure you don’t make any major errors.
- KISS: Or, Keep It Short and Simple. This is the thumb rule you must follow at all point. Long winding posts tend to get boring. And it may contain nothing that is interesting to the reader. Also no one has the time enough for your blog, no matter how well you write. In fact, your blog will be much more appreciated if you put your thoughts simply and shortly.
- Make It Interesting: Make sure that you hold your reader’s attention by making your posts snazzy. They must not be written in a tone that is tiring to read. Write short sentences and keep then crisp and precise. Always hit the point immediately in the course of your article.
- Link: Keep linking the blogs you read to yours in order to build a network those people will be in turn encouraged to link you. Remember, linking increases rankings.
- Keywords: Using the keywords of your posts frequently increases the search ability of that particular article of yours which in turn leads more people to visit your blog.
- Clear Thoughts: Make sure you put your thought clearly before the readers so that it does not become tedious for them to read.
- Colloquialism: You can write in a friendly tone. Avoid using too many slang words, but otherwise, if your post demands it, you can be colloquial.
- Post Title: A catchy post title or headline is half your business solved. It can glue a reader to your post almost immediately. However, do not put misleading post titles, or you will lose creditability.
- Always Have A Call To Action: Writing an engaging blog post is great but remember that you want to make money from your content, so always have a call to action to click on a link that either goes to one of your own products or an affiliate offer where you will get a commission. You can see below that I have added several calls to action in this post, just like the one below where I am giving away a free checklist to keep you on track when setting up your blog, so click on the image below or click here if you want 🙂
So, be consistent with your blog content and watch the traffic start flowing in to your blog!
Do Blogs Still Work?
The question “Do blogs still work?” is one which gets asked a lot and the answer is quite simple.
Of course, they do!!
Put it this way; providing good high-quality information is exactly how to earn the favor of the search engines, which have the potential to make or break your business.
And since it dominates 75% of the global market share it’s best to focus all your efforts to rank on Google above all else.
So, how do blogs play into this?
Well did you know that 47% of buyers view 3 to 5 pieces of content before engaging with a sales representative, and companies with blogs tend to get 67% more leads than those who don’t have an updated and optimized blog.
And being found easily in the search engines is obviously going to play a key part in people finding your blog posts.
You could have the most amazing content on the internet but if people can’t find it you are wasting your time.
SEO, or Search Engine optimization, is a very important strategy when building your blog, especially off page SEO strategies, and these are continually evolving along with any updates to the Google algorithm.
Sometimes businesses just aren’t clear on how content production can lead to lead generation.
The simple answer is, as stated earlier, people will need several exposures to you and your content before they feel comfortable parting with their contact details or their cash.
Building up trust and authority status is crucial to your success, and a blog is an extremely powerful tool at your disposal, to build credibility and showcase your expertise.
So, are you still wondering “Do blogs still work?” Hopefully not, and here are some simple tips that you can use to optimize the way your blog will work for you.
These are easy to do, and you can get started right away; many are common sense, but you will be surprised that many blog owners are not doing them correctly, and that means you can get a competitive edge over them by following them.
OK, on with the tips…
Focus on quality rather than quantity
Going back a few years ago, short sub-500 word articles were the best type of article to write to gain a high ranking on Google, but those days are long gone.
Longer posts are much more favoured today and when I mean long, these articles can be over 3000 words, which is like a small ebook!
The focus is on high-quality information going deep into a topic that can really help your readers with their problems.
Don’t think you can just waffle and stuff keywords into your articles as you will be penalized.
Write with your reader in mind and you can’t really go wrong.
Having a content calendar/schedule is a great tactic to use to try to instill the habit of creating content regularly.
Some will say to write daily, some weekly, some monthly!!
The truth is, there is no right or wrong answer, but you must be consistent.
If you can only manage to write one article a month, that’s fine. Never sacrifice quality for quantity.
Once you have started writing your post you can move onto the next tip…
Encourage Engagement With Your Readers
When you are writing anything on your blog, try to write conversationally; use you and I in your writing i.e. talk to your reader one-to-one.
This really helps to create a connection with your readers. Don’t try to be aloof as the subject “expert” but rather try to position yourself as a fellow traveler.
This is much more engaging for both you and your readers.
Also, try to use stories if at all possible as these are incredibly engaging and powerful.
Another engaging post is a case study, and this also shows the readers proof that what you are writing about works.
If you allow comments on your posts, respond to all your comments as soon as is practicable for you. Having a dialogue is incredibly engaging for the reader involved but is also another indirect form of social proof.
So, now you have readers looking at your content. Let’s move on to the next tip…
Add A Call-To-Action
You should always write a blog post with the end goal in mind, whether it is for the reader to opt-in to your email list or to get them to click through to your offer.
Also use widgets to add opt-in forms or calls-to-action on your sidebar or use pop-ups and/or exit pops.
I can’t stress this enough; don’t just write a post for the sake of writing as it is a waste of time; after all, you are in business to make money and if you have people consuming your content, it is an ideal opportunity to get them to sign up or monetise them.
You may be uncomfortable using more intrusive forms such as the pop-up, but they do work, as long as any offer you are showing them is highly congruent to the post they are reading.
Working in tandem with the call-to-action is our next tip…
Use Content Upgrades
What is a content upgrade?
Well, basically it is another chance to further encourage your readers to sign up.
And, because the focus is on longer posts, a very quick and simple content upgrade to offer is a copy of the blog post in downloadable pdf format so they can read offline or at their convenience.
Other types of content upgrades that work well include checklists, video, audio etc.
Video/audio doesn’t necessarily mean just having a video or audio version of the blog post; it could also be some complementary training that enhances the information in the blog post.
Get creative and you can have many opportunities to capture your readers email address.
If you are going to offer a pdf of the post, then a really quick way to do this is to use either Post Gopher (a WordPress plugin) or, my personal favourite, Designrr. Both of these tools can produce a pdf version of the blog post, but Designrr allows you much more flexibility to customize the end result.
Using calls-to-action or content upgrades aren’t the only way to engage and entice your reader to sign up. Now you can have your very own personal assistant on your blog, leading on to our next tip…
Start Using Chatbots On Your Blog
Messenger chatbots are hot right now and have super high engagement and you can quickly use a service like ManyChat or MobileMonkey (you can use the free versions to begin with although the Pro versions aren’t that expensive).
When you have signed up you can use the service to install a small snippet of code on your website that will allow a custom chatbot to show on your blog; cool. eh?
Both Manychat and MobileMonkey work specifically with Facebook Messenger and have incredibly high engagement, and there aren’t that many blogs doing this at the moment, so it is definitely something worth looking into.
So, there are 5 ways to ensure that your blog is still relevant today and in the future.
Implement them and you will be able to answer anybody asking you “Do blogs still work?” with a resounding “Yes!”
As a bonus, here are 4 reasons why blogs don’t work.
When you look at blogs that are failing, there are normally some common reasons that keep popping up and these are summarized below.
Again, there is a lot of common sense here, but these things can be easily overlooked, so refer to this list often so you don’t fall into any of the traps that could be hampering your success.
A lack of basic SEO resulting in poor ranking
This blog post is NOT about SEO, but you really need to be doing the basics to give your blog an SEO boost.
On-page SEO, such as having a keyword rich post, having your main keyword in your post title, using internal links (if appropriate), optimising tags in any images used, using Yoast SEO plugin (if using WordPress) etc.
Off-page SEO is more important for ranking, and involves building backlinks to your blog, using broken link strategies, reaching out to influencers and guest blogging etc.
If these things aren’t in place, the chances are that your blog won’t rank, which means that few, if any, people will see it and no additional lead opportunity will be created, which, of course, will result in zero new sales.
Blog topics not researched or strategically created.
How can you know what topics are getting searched the most and are most relevant to your company if you’re not doing keyword research?
Writing blog posts with no target in mind is completely pointless.
You must do your research and find out what people are typing into Google to find the information that you are trying to give them.
Targeting these keywords will result in less competition, thus making it easier to rank for, BUT it must be a keyword that people are actually using!
Lack of understanding of the customer avatar and journey.
Some entrepreneurs don’t realise that people are reading their blog posts long before they ever converted. As stated earlier, it takes at least 3-5 exposures to your content before a reader will trust you; in all honesty it’s probably more like 7 exposures.
Along with keyword research, you should’ve already done your niche research and know who your ideal reader (and thus customer) is, and ALL your content should be written with this person in mind.
You also need to be able to analyse and track visitors to your website so you can see which post are working and which aren’t.
Without this kind proper analysis, it’s unlikely to know which blog posts actually led people to fill out a form or were part of leading people to fill out a form, so all the blogs were marked as a waste of time.
Lack of a coherent content promotion strategy
Even if you have done all of the above and you do have a wonderful blog that is based on keyword research and properly optimized you still need to promote the blog to your audience.
In all honesty, writing and publishing a blog post is only half the battle.
Without thinking about the different avenues to connect users to your content, your blog is only going to reach a fraction of your audience.
You should also share every blog post on your social media channels; share to Facebook, Instagram and Twitter at a bare minimum.
OK, there you have it. You now have 5 ways to ensure that your blog is staying relevant, and 4 things to keep an eye on to ensure that you aren’t sabotaging your success and not ranking as well as you could.
All there is to do now is to start cranking out that content…
How Can I Start Blogging?
So, you have decided to use a blog to help you with building your business, expert status and brand awareness. Good for you; this is a wise decision.
Here’s the truth about 6-figure blogging:
While blogging can be automated (eventually), you shouldn’t expect income to be passive from the beginning; this is simply unrealistic and a mistake that many aspiring entrepreneurs/bloggers make. You’ll have to work at it, especially when you are just starting out and trying to launch your blog and build a platform that you want to be recognized for in your market.
While I eventually outsourced a lot of my content to skilled writers, I still spend time evaluating advertising options, reviewing products that I can promote, building my mailing list and creating ad campaigns to boost traffic and keep my blogs in the forefront of my audiences’ mind.
The point I am trying to make is, while you can delegate many tasks to a team, such as content creation and even marketing, you will want to be directly involved in the initial building phase.
This is your brand, after all.
You need to make sure every piece of content has your voice, carries your message and represents your business in the best possible way.
No one will ever be as careful and professional with building your blog as you will be, right? So, dig your heels in and commit to spending the first few months building your blog from the ground floor up.
Then, and only then, should you begin to think about creating a team that will help you manage your blog and eventually, expand into other avenues with other niche-based blogs (if you choose to do that).
Again, you really need to understand that blogging is not a hands-free method of making money during the INITIAL stages. You must be prepared to put in some time and effort if you truly want to succeed.
But the good news? Your hard work will pay off.
So, how can you start blogging? Well, it is very simple to start and there are 5 distinct phases to getting your new blog up and running.
The 5-Step Formula
Like I said, setting up a blog isn’t difficult and can be done by pretty much anybody. Yes, there is a bit of “tech” involved but it isn’t too hard to work out yourself (Google can be your friend if you do get stuck).
While there are countless reports and articles that over-complicated the process of making money with blogging, here’s a basic overview of how it’s done:
1: Create a blog and register a memorable domain.
Avoid remotely hosted options. You need to be in full control of your website so you can take advantage of all the different revenue options with no limitations (or other people’s advertisements). You need to buy hosting and you have a number of options (such as A2 or Siteground) so shop around for the best deals. You will also need to pick and buy a domain name and I suggest Namecheap for these. WordPress is the most popular blogging platform by far as it is free and incredibly customizable by the use of plugins and themes. My favourite theme is Socrates (it is a paid theme, but it is so versatile and quick and you will always get much better support with a paid theme as opposed to a free one, but the choice is yours).
2: Write (or outsource) killer content that will generate traffic.
This content needs to be extremely high-quality, targeted and informative. All meat, no veggies.
A good place to find writers is Iwriter and the thing I like about it is that you can see the article first before paying, so if you don’t like it you can reject it.
3: Convert your visitors into email subscribers so you can build your list.
A newsletter is key in building a successful blog online.
Scratch that; a newsletter is essential to be successful in nearly ANY market online. You will never make as much money without one.
4: Communicate with your subscribers regularly.
Build rapport and trust. Nurture relationships with your market. This is where you can build a recognized brand as an authority in your market and set yourself apart from the competition (especially those bloggers who aren’t doing this!). To do this you will need an email autoresponder. Popular ones include Aweber, Get Response, and my personal favorite, Active Campaign.
5: Sell products and services to your audience
This is a key strategy for monetizing your blog and also your newly cultivated newsletter. If you want to start with affiliate marketing, you can look for products and services in your niche and see if they have affiliate programs and sign up for them.
If you are in the Internet Marketing or Make Money Online niche, you can sign up for an account at places such as Clickbank, Warrior Plus and JV Zoo and promote a number of products from a host of vendors.
Just be sure that if you are going to promote something, that you either use it yourself, or you have tried and/or reviewed it and you believe it to be worthy of your audiences hard-earned cash.
NEVER promote something just for the money because if you promote something that is poor quality, you can quickly lose the trust of the people you are serving.
So, those are the 5 steps in a nutshell.
Sounds easy enough, right? It is. But it will take time.
The key is to be patient in the initial stages, and once you are up and running, you need to be consistent.
Just keep on going and eventually you will start to see some traction and this will give you a little bit of motivation to keep going.
When blogging, you are in it for the long term; it is not a quick win strategy. But you will build authority in your niche and could become the go-to person when somebody has a problem, and that is a great place to be.
Good luck… now go buy that domain name…
No matter what type of business you’re in online, you are going to have to do at least some writing. Whether you’re a blogger, a website builder, an indie book publisher, a freelance writer, or even an online shop owner, chances are you need to write content of some sort.
Note that this isn’t really about the way you write or at least that’s only a small part of the puzzle.
Instead, writing content that people will go out of their way to read is all about choosing exciting topics, giving them great titles and knowing what it is that makes people click.
Know Your Audience
It goes without saying that you must know who your audience is and what they are interested in before you even think about creating any type of content.
If you don’t know what your audience is feeling and the particular struggles that they face, then you really are shooting in the dark.
This doesn’t have to take long but is well worth the time and effort, but unfortunately this is one step that so many marketer and product creators skip. Yet if you do this you will definitely reap the rewards by targeting the right people at the right time which will result in more leads and (hopefully) sales for you.
Using Clickbait For Good!
One way to entice people to come to your blog and read your post is to use ‘clickbait’. Clickbait is basically any content that is designed to encourage clicks, even if it isn’t entirely honest in how it goes about that.
Normally clickbait titles are purposefully provocative or misleading and this gets people to click on them. Unfortunately this also gives them a rather bad reputation so you do need to be careful if/when using them.
For instance, you’ll see things like ’10 Tips to Transform Your Body – Number 4 Changed My Life!’ or ‘You’ll Never Believe What Happens to This Woman in This Shocking Video!’. For most people the curiosity/promise of the title will elicit a click.
There is no denying that clickbait does work and it generates plenty of hits for your website. The problem is that it can also be misleading and as such, it can damage your branding but of course that won’t be an issue for you as you will be using clickbait in a more honest and ethical manner 🙂
Choose Your Title Wisely
So let us ask ourselves: what is it about clickbait that makes it so successful?
The answer is that it looks different, it looks interesting and it promises something unique/that you haven’t seen before. It would be fine, if the actual content weren’t so lacking.
And clickbait is even more successful thanks to the sheer quantity of interesting content on the web. How many fitness sites have you been to where all the articles are on ’10 ways to get abs’ or ‘how to eat clean to lose weight’. This content is so derivative, we’ve all read it a thousand times!
For a fitness site, that could look something like this:
‘How my fitness addiction nearly ruined my relationship’
‘Cardio acceleration: a new type of cardio fitness that burns 300%+ more fat’
‘Why bodybuilders are stronger than powerlifters’
These sorts of titles are engaging and unique but what’s more is that they’re also meaty and give you the opportunity to write some really great stuff and they also have an air of mystery to entice viewers to click through and learn more. That’s how you get clicks and build fans!
OK, there are 3 quick tips to help you to create content that people actually want to read and hopefully this will result in more leads and sales for you and your business. Now where’s my pen…