Would you like to know how to write blog posts that turn readers into subscribers and subscribers into customers?
If you answered yes, then you’ve come to the right place.
In this detailed blog post, we’re going to take an in-depth look at why people read blogs, and what makes them share posts or take action on an invitation.
By the time you finish reading this post, you’ll have a much clearer idea of how to make your blog drive more potential clients to accept your offers and sign up to your list.
Before you put any strategies into action, it’s essential to understand why people read blogs, what they are looking for—and what makes them leave without reading further. This clear understanding is the absolute core ingredient for formulating your unique blogging strategy.
You’re most likely creating a blog to get more traffic. You want to sell more of your products or services, get more sponsorships and make more money
Successful blogs all have one thing in common: They talk about what most passionately or urgently interests their ideal reader. Some successful bloggers are just naturally gifted. They have a passion and they talk about it. Other people with the same passion find them and hang around to listen…… eagerly hanging on to every word.
Other successful bloggers combine passion with strategy. These are usually bloggers who start out as the first sort: The sort of blogger who writes about a topic because they couldn’t not write if they tried; because their topic specialty consumes every minute of their existence.
Sometimes passionate bloggers are thrown into blogging almost accidentally: A wife has to move to a foreign country because of her husband’s job, and there’s not much to do while she’s waiting for a work visa, so she starts a blog recording her experiences with this new culture; and the next thing you know, she’s hooked on sharing her journey.
A mother has to switch to gluten-free cooking for her gluten-sensitive daughter, and she starts to record their experiments and experiences, eager to help other parents (and find people to share her challenges).
These types of blogs happen organically—often accidentally—but these are the ones with the steady, faithful followings. When you think of it, deliberately creating a blog for purposes of promoting your business seems almost counter-intuitive. Who is going to read such a blog? No one—if you are blogging with only “promotion” in mind.
Here’s how this type of blogger thinks:
o “Everyone’s telling me I need a blog. What a pain. I’ll just stick up three or four articles, and then I’ll get more traffic.”
o “Well, at least that’s six articles up.” [Promptly forgets about the blog portion of her website.]
So before you ever start blogging, realize you do have a choice. You can be a “token” blogger, who slaps up a few articles and forgets the blog. Or you can live to share your blog posts, holding a conversation with your audience. Or you can create a simple website, with fixed content and few tabs. If blogging is not for you, then the latter a perfectly viable alternative.
Out of these three alternatives, only number one is ill-advised. Decide right now—do you really want to help your ideal client by writing posts that she will be excited to read… or would you rather just focus your website on promoting your main offer via a landing page?
That’s not a trick question, by the way. It’s perfectly legitimate to have a single-purpose landing page or home page that either asks a qualifying question or makes a qualifying statement, focusing all its attention on providing incentive for a sign-up—as health coach, Amy Lippmann, demonstrates so effectively on her own website:
That said, Amy Lippmann combines the best of both worlds: She has a main website home page with a single sign-up focus… and (upper right) notice the menu tab that says “blog”. So there is a way to do both.
If you are sitting there, thinking “Ugh, I hate the idea of blogging, I can’t write, but I can’t miss this opportunity to promote myself”, it doesn’t mean you are doomed, however: It just means you are perfectly honest!
Remember, you don’t need to start a blog simply because someone else told you to.
If you’re still convinced that blogging is something you would like to do, then let’s move on to the next step and that is learning to think like a blogger.
Successful bloggers then to think differently than everyone else. They blog with purpose and their blogs usually center around one main theme. This main theme is tightly related to their “why” – this “why” is the whole reason behind their blogging efforts.
In order to identify your “why” take some time to think about what single focus or topic or specialty area can you write about that fills you with passion, joy and excitement. What do you want to share with the world and what lights your fire? This should be the topic that you’re blogging about.
One of the most successful and famous bloggers on the net, Darren Rowse of ProBlogger is passionate about creating successful blogs. All his posts ultimately focus on that single topic, blogging.
Heidi Swanson of 101Cookbooks.com is passionate about food discovery and inspiration. She gives her mission statement right on her home page:
These two bloggers have the proof in their follower numbers because they have all the ingredients of a top blog: Passion, commitment—and habit.
They know their specialty—what they want to talk about, non-stop. What they want to show. What they want to share.
So these are the ingredients you need, if you want your blog to gain momentum:
o Planning to be a habitual blogger, and writing with consistent regularity
o A single specialty blogging position and topic, that you love writing about
o Adopting a dedicated blogger mind frame—such as always being on the lookout for original things to share. Carry a notebook; write down ideas the instant you get them! Set aside time for research
o Authenticity. You need to speak in your voice, just as if you were talking to a client. You need to be honest and outspoken and comfortable with the degree of this authenticity.
Even if you outsource your blogging content, don’t leave it up to some hapless ghostwriter or even a guest blogger. Give these writers some clear guidelines so that your blog always stays true to your “why”.
That way, you can ensure your message and your voice is heard, loud and clear, even on occasions when you let others write for you.
Nothing makes a blog catch on more quickly than teaming it with a strong email list. You can use your blog to build your list—and use your list to build your blog. They go hand in hand, like the proverbial horse-and-carriage.
A successful newsletter operates on the same principle as a successful blog. It focuses on a single, clear goal—getting people to go to your blog and read more.
So when you create your newsletter, each edition of your newsletter should focus on a single theme or topic: For example, let’s say your specialty is financial coaching. Just before tax time, you might release a newsletter containing:
o The latest tax change that will affect your subscribers
o A big tip that will help them with a tax-related issue (e.g. an exemption they may not have heard about)
o The headline and summary of your latest two blog posts—on tax time
o A link to an infographic on “Ten Tax Mistakes to Avoid Like the Plague”
Would these be of interest to your readers who are just preparing to do their taxes? You betcha!
And if this would all be small potatoes to your type of client, then adjust your newsletter’s focus and release your special tax issue on “What Your Accountant Didn’t Tell You”. Focus that issue on topics revolving around dealing with accountants.
Just make sure that your newsletters invite your subscribers to find out more through hyperlinks to your latest blog posts on at least two of the topics you’re including in your email newsletter.
Let’s take a look at how Tawra Kellam of Living on a Dime does it.
1. She starts out with a quick, cheery personal paragraph, as if she is talking to a friend (you, her subscriber)—enhanced by a couple of photos.
2. She continues with a link to a recipe on her blog.
3. She drives traffic further to her YouTube videos, since the latter is another way she likes to share her message.
4. She finishes with a call to action, to check out her Living on a Dime YouTube channel.
The perfect newsletter should not only have a theme unique to that edition, it should include enough personality to stand out from all the other similar newsletters that are going to be out there.
It should contain a balance between helpful, relevant content, promotion and entertainment. You’ve heard of the 80/20 rule, most likely: Well, apply it to your newsletters too—80% helpful content; no more than 20% promotional content. By promotional content, I mean sending people to offers or asking them to undertake an activity that benefits you as well as them.
So sending out a regular newsletter is an effective strategy, but to make it even more effective, make sure you lay out clearly:
o What to expect from your newsletter
o How often to expect it
o What the big benefit of signing up for it will be
o Why it will help them
Then stick to the schedule you’ve created. Plan your topics/themes for each edition well in advance—that way, you won’t be scrambling after the fact for material to fill your newsletter: You’ll be able to recognize an event, a piece of relevant information, a tip, et cetera the moment you come across it, well in advance.
Doing it this way makes creating a regular newsletter much easier—and far more enjoyable (especially when you see real results).
If you’re having trouble figuring out what type of newsletter to create, start by writing a one-sentence summary—almost a mission statement for your newsletter. Focus on:
o What it is
o Who it’s for
o It’s big benefit
Newsletter sign up strategies:
Invite people to subscribe to your newsletter in more than just a website contact form. Use a popup. Invite them via email or in your YouTube videos or Podcast show notes. And make sure your message really shows the benefit.
Don’t just ask people to “Join my newsletter” – give them some sort of optin bribe or lead magnet such as a free report or free audio download. Then with this free bribe, they get a complimentary subscription to your newsletter.
You can increase sign-ups by having the call to action button say something like “Instant Access” instead of just “subscribe.”
Your sign up form or popup should answer the subscriber questions: “Why would I want to read them?” And it should be one single, really powerful reason.
In other words, why would someone want to sign up for your freebie? What benefit do they gain?
Even though it may seem trivial, these small little elements do make a difference.
In order to maximize the number of people who join your email list, share the link to your optin page across more than one platform—in your emails, videos, podcasts, blog posts and on your Facebook Page.
The third way to make your blog posts convert is to always write from your chosen blogging focus. It’s really not enough to have a generic blog on your topic and be all over the place. Your blog needs to specialize with such single-minded focus that people come to identify that particular slant, specialty or topic with you—and no one else.
To keep yourself on track, plan for specific categories on your blog—ones that all deal with your blog’s main focus. (You’ll know you’ve got it right, when your post headings all read like a “how to” course in your topic!)
And, while it’s perfectly acceptable to focus on plain, simple “how to” topics, remember that storytelling adds a whole extra dimension to whatever you’re writing about, whether those are tips on public speaking or even a recipe post.
Take a tip from fiction writers, and make sure you “up the stakes” by giving the reader a reason to engage with you emotionally.
Let’s take food blogs as an example here, because they lend themselves so well to illustrating this principle. If you want a recipe for a paleo dessert, you’re likely to search with the keywords “paleo dessert”.
And you find a recipe you like. You copy it, print it out or bookmark it—but will you return voluntarily to read more of that blog?
Not likely. You look everywhere for your recipes.
But what if you come across a blog with a story that captures your sympathy or that you identify with? What if the person writing it has a daughter with the exact same health condition as your daughter?
All of a sudden, you have a personal stake in keeping an eye on that blog. You want to know what works for the blogger’s daughter; where she gets those specific ingredients; how she gets around specific problems.
You’ll follow that blog because you connected emotionally with the blogger.
You’re also more likely to purchase a product she’s offering such as a cookbook filled with easy-to-prepare, healthy meals because of this emotional connection.
Just as you plan your blog’s focus and topics in advance, planning will make sharing your posts easier too. First make sure your posts are unique. There are too many posts on the net that basically re-hash what others have said better.
Telling a highly relevant personal story—for example, how you failed spectacularly at something and then rebounded to win—helps to engage people, because it hooks into their empathic natures.
Show things from your point of view—why it failed and why it now works. This always interests people anxious to tackle the very thing you’re talking about from real-world experience.
Increase the allure of your posts by adding interviews into your mix (or focusing solely on becoming an “interview” blog). Nicole Dean does this to perfection in her blog, Nicole on the Net. She created her “Expert Briefs” series of interviews with top experts in related fields, asking questions that not only bring out their expertise but also their human side.
Notice she also makes great use of a graphic to reinforce the memorability factor of this series—the cute “briefs” cartoon.
Then she re-purposes this wonderful series of high-value posts by putting those all together into a book for sale on Amazon—branded with her by-now familiar “Expert Briefs” graphic—which she also used in her emails to announce new “Expert Briefs” posts.
That’s a great example of thinking strategically and increasing the chances of your posts converting by making them more shareable and clickable—as well as entertaining.
Setting your posts up to increase their share-ability sets you up naturally for organic sharing, where you don’t have to ask (or ask twice).
Our fifth way to make your blog posts convert involves cross-sharing them on social media, so that more people see your posts. And one of the best platforms to use is Facebook.
First, follow these five steps to create a Page for your actual blog or your brand:
1. Go to http://www.facebook.com/pages/create.php
2. Select “Brand” as your Page type
3. In the category dropdown, select “Website”.
4. Enter your blog name under the Category drop-down
5. Click “Get Started” (Remember to check the radio box to agree to Facebook's terms of service.)
Now you have a page from which you can not only release news of every new post, but also engage in conversations, analyze easy statistics through Facebook Insights, build relationships, network and expose your posts to more shares.
Don’t just share blog post release links, however: Discuss upcoming topics, ask for opinions, ask questions, listen to and acknowledge the answers.
And don’t stop at one social platform:
o Base a group on your blog’s main topic and focus
o Create quote graphics for your posts, summarizing the most important or intriguing point of the post—and share them on all your platforms
Finally--ask people to share your post!
This starts with looking for natural opportunities to insert a call-to-action:
o In your emails
o In your newsletter
o In your posts
o On your website
o In social media
Spend time crafting your calls-to-action. Repeat them more than once—for example, in the middle of your post, at the end of your post and in a button or popup—as well as in emails and social media.
Use different types of call-to-action, such as clickable graphics, buttons, quote graphics. Here’s a clickable graphic that I've created that takes readers to a free webinar training.
And here, Coach Cari Murphy uses two different types of calls-to-action—a graphic and a button.
Use color and graphics to make your calls-to-action more noticeable—which Cari Murphy does effectively here with a vibrant purple arrow and an emphasis scribble:
Always know exactly what you want to emphasize. For example, a vibrant graphic or photo would make this box more appealing visually—but might also distract away from the “Yes! Send me my FREE report now” button.
A lot of people who blog make the mistake of thinking their blogs are all about them—their thoughts, what they want to vent about, what they ate for breakfast this morning or how many steps their Fitbit recorded. You can do that, of course, if you’re treating your blog as a journal—but if you want your blog to generate an income, make your posts about your target market.
This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t share aspects of your personal life or your opinions, thoughts and viewpoints. You can and should, but everything should be done from the context of “How Can I Help My Reader?”
When I say “be personal”, that doesn’t mean share how you brushed your teeth. It means, if brushing your teeth sparked a brilliant idea that your ideal reader is going to relate to and get excited about and you can use brushing your teeth as a metaphor or an analogy to illustrate that point—only then should you blog about brushing your teeth.
If your reader can take a point you make and apply it to her own life to make it better, that’s when you should be personal.
Create Quotable, Shareable Graphics
Go one step further, and make yourself quotable. Your quotes can be insightful, profound, witty, or helpful—they don’t all have to be the same.
So what can you do with quotes to help people remember your name and see you as an expert? You can wait for others to quote you and make up quote graphics, as a subscriber did with a quote from William De Foore’s Goodfinding.com website…
…Or you can choose not to wait for someone else to make a quote graphic for you: Make one yourself, and include it in your blog post. That way, when you select the background graphic, you can select one that aligns with your own values and brand.
You can also brand all your graphics by using recognizable elements such as a particular font, your logo, and your colors. Human beings like repetition; and the consistency of how your quotes are laid out is something people find reassuring. It assures them you are not just a flash in the pan: That you are a source they can count on, always there and ready to inspire.
Write Engaging Content On A Regular Basis
The consistency that you bring to your blog at regular, frequent intervals is something you shouldn’t underestimate when it comes to building relationships. Think of your posts as not just separate articles, but as a conversation maintained.
Read comments and respond. Make notes of new ideas these comments spark. And ask readers to comment: Let them know their thoughts and opinions are important to you.
Write posts based on:
o Questions they raise
o Points they discuss
o Areas of your already-written posts that they comment on
o New ideas their comments and questions suggest to you
Remember that your blog is not meant to be where you unload: It’s about your ideal reader and her biggest interest or passion. It’s meant to help her, entertain her or enlighten her.
It’s meant to connect. That’s the first step to building a powerful relationship. And further the connection by building on your previous posts and continuing the conversation.
That is what will build your reputation—and make people take action on your blog posts.
A Word About Sharing:
It’s not enough to write dynamite posts that people love and find helpful. Do remember to encourage and ask them to share the link to your post.
Being aware of what stops people from sharing is the first step to making it easy for them to share.
So end with a call-to-action and put share buttons with each post—not just in a sidebar and on your home page. Position them where using the share button feels like a logical step which is often at the end of the post.
Here’s a great example from Dr. Michelle Mazur’s Communication Rebel blog:
She has multiple calls-to-action. She tells people to “click the picture below to subscribe on iTunes”—and hyperlinks the words, in case people don’t click on the picture but click on the words instead. She offers an alternate, hyperlinked way to subscribe (“Or listen and subscribe on Stitcher”).
And right underneath these actions, she includes big, noticeable social media sharing buttons (in addition to the floating share buttons on the left, which follow you down the page as you read).
Lots of incentive to share, and she makes it easy by providing multiple ways to do so.
Finally, when you send out emails or write blog posts or post links on your Facebook page or in social media groups, give people permission to share. Some people are inhibited, wondering whether or not they are meant to share things: A subscriber gets an email containing an offer or other hyperlink, and wonders if it’s only for subscribers.
Ditto people in a group. Many groups don’t allow people to share content, so lay your policy out simply in your group guidelines sticky post—or tell them right within your group post that you’d like them to share the contents of that particular posts outside the group.
Finally, encourage people on your blog and in your social media groups and pages to engage by asking them why:
o Why they want to win your giveaway item
o Why they have decided yes or no about an issue that has two sides to it
o Why they decided to pursue a course of action you’ve just spoken about (or why they didn’t)
Just as it’s important to share your own “why”, when connecting with them on your About page, it is also important to understand your subscriber and fan “whys”.
Making it personal in a way that is relevant to your reader, making yourself quotable and then asking for the share—this is how you make your blog posts connect and convert, while building your reputation as an expert in your specialty.
Of course, if you really want to build your reputation quickly, add interviewing expert guests to your blogging routine. You’ve heard the term “guilty by association”? Well, that works in reverse too— “expert by association”.
Interviewing the people your subscribers really want to hear from makes your reader associate you with that prominent specialist. You position yourself, without saying a word, as a peer to the greats in your field.
Start by taking inventory of who you already know in your field that fits the bill.
They don’t have to be a household name: You just need to be able to promise readers that your guest is the authority on a specific topic—even if your reader has never heard that particular guest’s name before. It’s a great way to use the principle that it’s easier to praise and talk up others, than it is to do so for yourself.
People don’t respond well to someone bragging about themselves—but they perk up their ears and listen when someone else they trust—that is, you—tells them that Jane Smith can tell them everything they wanted to know about stage fright—and how to overcome it.
You can also do your homework and really research an expert you’d love to connect with. Feature them on your blog in a profile; then let them know you did this (and where to find this post), in hopes of starting a relationship.
But if you take that approach, make especially sure that you feature them in a way they’ll find helpful, timely and accurate. Don’t misquote them, or quote them out of context to prove a point of your own. If they belong to six Australian organizations, don’t assume they are Australian—do more research to see where they are from before assigning them a nationality (or don’t mention their nationality at all). And also be sure that you’re pronouncing their name correctly.
Always, always take the time to check your facts—and that goes double for your assumptions!
Finally, familiarize yourself with your desired expert’s schedule and significant events, giving plenty of lead time for him or her to fit your interview into her schedule. Then interview your expert based on his or her needs (for example, the launch of their new book).
And of course, interview your expert about the new book because you know that this is something your audience would be interested in.
And check out the blogs of experts you are interested in interviewing, to see if they, themselves, are calling for guest posters. If they are, submit a post, following their guidelines—and promote it.
Also, when you line up an expert for a guest post or interview, be sure to lay out clearly exactly how and when you plan to promote that guest post or interview. This, more than any other step, can change a “no” or “maybe” reaction to “yes”, on the part of your potential guest.
But the most essential strategy? Start building relationships now! Take courses of experts you admire. Sign up for a coaching package yourself. Join their mastermind group or go to their Nevada VIP retreat.
At the very least, comment on their own blog and social media posts. Be helpful. Answer questions. Share resources.
And start doing that right now.
Many people will tell you, quite sincerely, that they “hate popups”, but here’s a secret: The same people are often the ones that most actively respond to them.
Superblogger Darren Rowse, of Problogger.net, uses popups himself and has this to say on their effectiveness: “…the day I turned on a site-wide popup form on WHSR, our newsletter subscription rate surged more than 400%.”
Four hundred per cent. That’s an impressive number!
We’ve already taken a peek here and there at popups. We’ve learned not to leave your popup button (or web form) using the lame, token call-to-action, “Subscribe” (a word that people seem to hate, according to multiple studies and experts). We’ve learned that graphics can help. And so can other factors, when creating a powerful popup.
The first step is to check out all the different types of pop-ups there are. I discuss several of the most effective ones in this article
The key is to split test different options and see which one works best and gets you the highest conversion rates.
Beef Up Your Popup Buttons:
Once you have decided which options you’d like your popup to have, chosen a plugin and installed it, don’t leave with “default” messages like “Subscribe” or “Sign up”. Instead, do your best to make each word count and convert.
A great example: A recent webinar popup used by coach, Jay Fiset:
Note how he further engages you (and gets you to qualify yourself), when asking you to register for his event, by using three simple radio button questions, and giving you a choice of answer.
Not only does this engage the person who signs up, it helps him tailor his webinar even more closely to the type of person who registers.
Finally, personalize your sign up message and button even more by giving it your unique voice. (You’ll know you’ve hit that right when you realize your words are not just going to attract the right people—but actively repel ones that don’t relate to you and your communication style.
Here’s an example of a highly-personalized popup that will definitely repel certain people:
Our last strategy to make your blog posts convert may well be your most important: Make sure your posts are highly mobile-optimized—especially crucial since about 60% of the world currently admits to accessing content on their mobiles rather than on PCs. You can easily make your current WordPress theme mobile-optimized by installing WordPress mobile plugins; or choosing a responsive, mobile-optimized theme—but don’t assume they are all equal. Make sure that your buttons and links work on mobiles with your new mobile plugin or theme; and that your posts are displayed in a way that is enjoyable to read.
You can easily test how they look on your site, right now, by going to Mobiletest.me and entering your URL. Mobiletest.me then displays exactly how your posts look on a variety of mobile devices.
So that’s our ten ways to make sure that your blog posts are going to convert. Let’s quickly summarize and re-cap these:
o Blog from ONE expert area of passion within your coaching (something that makes it easy and inspiring and fun for you to discuss)
o Tie your blog posts into your products and packages
o Make quote graphics for your posts
o Plan your social integration and sharing, as well as planning your blog posts
o Share with your own list—the people who already believe and buy
o Use popups intelligently, and make sure they work well
o Make sure your blog posts are not just mobile-optimized, but presented in an easy, enjoyable format
o Create a weekly newsletter to summarize and drive people to your posts
o Keep it personal, but make the personal stuff relate to your readers
o Consider cultivating expert guests for your blog
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