5 Tips You Need To Apply To Your Blog Today

Published by 46 Comments

If your blog is your “business” and it doesn’t convert, you don’t have a business!

How’s that for the start of a blog post? I know – not very encouraging, especially if you’ve been struggling with the concept of conversions recently.

Don’t worry, by the end of this blog post, you’ll know what you need to do to increase your conversion rates now!

In an interview with Derek Halpern, creator of Social Triggers, he shared five tips with me that anyone can use to increase your blog’s conversion rates, and I want to share them with you.

But before I do so, I would like to answer two questions . . .

Question 1: Leslie, What Do You Mean By Conversion Rates?

When someone comes to your website, you want them to DO something (if not, then you should consider shutting it down). That something might be opting into your email list, sharing a post on twitter or purchasing one of your products.

Let’s take the example of purchasing one of your products. If 100 people visit your site, and three of those people purchase one of your products, that gives you a 3% conversion rate. It’s that simple!

Question 2: Leslie, Why Should I Even Care About Conversion Rates?

Let’s say that you have 5,000 people visiting your blog or sales page on a monthly basis. If your conversion rate is 3% on a $47 product, this means that 150 people will buy your ebook and you will make a whopping $7,050.

You are doing the happy dance, and all is well with the world.

Then, let’s say you decide that you want to double your income using the exact same setup. There are two ways you can do this:

  1. You can try to drive 5,000 extra people to your site.
  2. You can increase your conversion rate from 3% to 6%

Which one of those options sound easier to you? The second one of course. In fact, it is MUCH easier. The great thing is that there are small changes that we can make to our blogs to add that extra 3% (and even much more).

So, now that I have you sold on this whole increasing your conversion rate thingy, let’s get into Derek’s five tips:

Tip #1: If You Want People To Take Action, You Have To Ask Them

Yeah, I know – it sounds simple, and I’m glad. There are things you want people to do whenever someone reads one of your blog posts.

It can be as simple as tweeting your article or as involved as purchasing a product. However, a lot of the time, we fail to ask the audience to do those simple tasks.

A simple example would be a statement like “If you found this blog post helpful, please help sharing the word by tweeting it” goes a long way. If you are wanting people to purchase something, tell them to Buy it.

Derek’s advice is to get people accustomed to doing something after reading your blog posts. That way, when you ask them to do something bigger, there used to being in an action-oriented frame of mind after consuming your content.

Tip #2: Keep Your Opt In Forms Above The Fold

In my experience as a blogger, I’ve come to see that my email list is one of my most valuable assets. It’s how I’m able to nurture relationships with my subscribers by offering them valuable content that can help enhance their lives and their businesses.

Not only that, but it’s a way for you to get people to keep coming back to your site.

In 2009, I abandoned my blog for a few months, because I was experiencing some serious burnout as a result of doing things the wrong way. The traffic to my blog had decreased significantly, because people no longer returned to my site. However, when I got myself together, I sent out one email to my list and my traffic was restored almost overnight.

It also gives you the ability to promote quality products to your subscribers that will help them accomplish their goals and you make more money. I’ve made more money online as a result of having a list than from any other source in my business, and I’m sure many other bloggers would say the same.

Because this is such an essential part to any blogging business, it’s important to keep your opt in forms above the fold. In other words, you don’t want your website visitors to have to scroll down to see it. The easier it is for them to see, the greater the likelihood that they will subscribe to your list.

Tip #3: Write Content Worth Writing

Yes, he went there. In fact, according to Derek, if you don’t have something to say, don’t say it!.

This is a little different from what a lot of bloggers say. When it comes to blogging, one of the big things people emphasize is getting lots of content out there. You hear things like “post daily if you can”.

Derek uses a different model. Instead of writing a bunch of content for his blog, he takes his time to craft high quality articles, and only posts to his blog approximately twice monthly. However, he still manages to get a ton of traffic to his blog. It’s an issue of quality vs. quantity.

The concept is simple – if your content is awesome, people are more likely to take action on what you are asking them to do.

Tip #4: Make Sure What You Are Writing About Is Clearly Connected To A Monetization Model

At first glance, this might seem like he’s saying to make sure you are hardselling. However, that’s not the case. I’ll give you a perfect example.

In my 7 Day Bootcamp training, I walk people through the process of deciding on a niche, setting up a blog, producing content, building a list, driving traffic and making money.

As a part of that process, you will need to get your own hosting account. So, in showing my students how to set up their website, I also direct them to HostGator if they need to purchase hosting. Of course, the link I use to direct them to HostGator is an affiliate link.

Is that a hardsell? No it isn’t. I offer them value, I show them what they need, and if they don’t already have hosting, I make hosting accessible to them in a way that makes me money. A win-win situation, in which it’s clearly connected to my monetization model.

There are all sorts of ways to connect our posts with a monetization model, and sometimes it just takes some creative thinking.

Tip #5: Stop Promoting Your Social Media Profiles All Over Your Website At The Expense Of Your Email List

This is probably the tip that will cause the most stir. Facebook and Twitter are bursting at the seams. A startling amount of people are using these social media sites on a regular basis to interact with friends as well as businesses. You want to use these sites to attract eyes to your business. However, when it all comes down to it, you don’t own your Facebook and Twitter profiles. They are owned by Facebook and Twitter.

A lot of people say that email is dead. The truth is – it’s not. Rather than trying to explain to you why email is still strong, I’ll let the following infographic speak for itself (click on the image to see it in full size).

Now that we’ve gotten that out of the way – there’s absolutely nothing wrong with using Facebook and Twitter, but as Derek says, don’t promote them at THE EXPENSE OF your email list. Make your email list your priority, and you will be building an asset that will do wonders to help you grow and expand your business.

In Summary

If you are trying to make money online, focusing on improving your conversion rates is a good thing. It can make the difference between a mediocre business and one that accomplishes great things. Implementing the tips above can go a long way to giving you the blog you’ve always wanted.

If you’d like to hear the entire interview and learn how Derek was able to build a number of online businesses very quickly, listen to my entire interview with Derek Halpern.

Comments

Have you implemented some of the above tips and seen a difference? Do you have any tips on how to increase conversions? Let me know in the comments section below.

About Leslie Samuel

Leslie Samuel is a blogger who believes that the internet can change the world. He runs an Interactive Biology website that Makes Biology Fun and teaches people how to grow their online business in his Learning With Leslie podcast. He also runs a Become A Blogger - A blog dedicated to helping people Change The World with their blogs. Follow Leslie Samuel on Twitter.

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46 Comments

  • These are some great tips., especially #1. Personally, I need to get a bit more aggressive asking and/or telling visitors what to do.

    I’ve done a bit of testing lately with one blog post that’s been getting lots of traffic for a particular search. That one page has driven 127 Aweber signals in a couple months.

    Trick for me is to find other pular content and replicate with a compelling offer.

    Thanks,
    Steinar

    • Steinar, that’s something that I’m starting to toy with lately, and you do see a big difference. I love it when you can make 1 simple change and see the effects almost immediately. It’s not always that way, but it’s cool to see when it actually happens.

      I’m starting to realize though that it doesn’t always have to be pillar content in order to have a compelling offer, and that the offer doesn’t always have to be a sale/opt in. Something as simple as asking for a specific type of comment is also asking them to take action.

  • A great collection and summary of tips for better blogging! Nicely done Leslie. I stress to people the importance of email constantly, it’s crucial.

    Thanks!

    • If I hadn’t started collecting emails from when I started my blog, I probably would’ve given up already. I know that for a fact. You are correct Dave, email is CRUCIAL (in my humble opinion).

  • Leslie, thanks a million for these wonderful insights. Now I know that it’s not about quantity but quality content….it is quality content that’s really king. I need to sit down and repackage myself for effective deliveries.

    • I love that statement Sharon – Quality content is the real kind. So true!

  • Barry

    You missed an opportunity yo affiliate link Awber for r-mailing. I agree e-mailing is vital to grow ones blogging business.

    • LOL. It’s not ALWAYS about making that affiliate commission Barry. Sometimes it’s just about delivering value ;)

  • I agree Leslie, quantity will only hurt your business in the long run, unless you can come up with stunning content each and every time, everyday.

    Thanks for the tips.

    • I don’t know that I would say that quantity hurts your business. I still think that quantity is important. The more content you have, the more entry points you have for traffic into your site. Yes, quality is MORE important, but lets not negate the significance of quantity.

  • Thank you Leslie. This site is a real gold mine of information. I never knew about the conversion rate and I don’t even care that much before. I just usually send it out and that’s it! Thank you for all your resources. This is a real treasure information! Cheers!

  • Some nice tips.
    I particularly like “Write Content Worth Writing”. So many bloggers advise ‘post, post, post, – minimum one a day, keep the content coming’, and I think this often lowers the quality of the article. I would much rather read one quality article which offers something useful, than seven articles about nothing.

    Thanks.
    ~ Rory

  • Some great tips Leslie, the one about writing worthy content is the one that I clicked with the most. At the moment I don’t sell anything from my blogs, I make money off ads, so I have to keep coming up with interesting articles to keep people coming back. :)

  • Great tips Leslie, love your to the point style and innovative ideas. Your point (#5) about having a clear Call To Action for your visitors is really important. We’re all so programmed to plaster “tweet”, “share” and “like” buttons on all our posts and pages that it can confuse visitors and dilute our efforts.

    I wholeheartedly agree that building your email list is the number one priority and that should be the goal for your first interaction with new visitors to your site.

    Thanks for the great advice, have taken it on board for my site and tightening up my Call To Action and opt-in page as a result.

    • I’m actually working on the same thing Cassie. I’ve been emphasizing email opt ins more, because it really is VERY important if you are blogging as a business.

      Really and truly, I think that it’s one of the best way to deliver value, and if you can deliver value consistently, you can build an online business. Yep, Email ROCKS!

  • I think that image of the impact of email is quite eye opening. It’s pretty clear email is still the main focus and should be for bloggers too. Even with the hype around social media, email is the tool with the best response and widest reach.

  • Thanks Leslie for sharing a nice post. Explaining questions before the tips, is a great way to make someone understand the fact. Yes email marketing is not dead. In my opinion it is the direct selling deal with people in contact.

  • Thanks Leslie
    It’s refreshing to hear that 2 quality posts a month will get you good numbers. Tim Ferris does this (and a lot of other stuff!!), and his posts are usually works of art too.
    As far as Facebook and Twitter, I think the key is to use them to drive people back to your blog and/or e-mail opt-ins to get the benefit of their “buzz” and continue to build your e-mail lists that you do own.
    Cheers
    Mark

    • I’m actually quite surprised Mark to see the same thing on my Biology Website. I’ve made 1 (or maybe 2) real post in the last 2 months or so, and my traffic is higher than it has EVER been. But, it’s quality, and it’s on a site with lots of quality content. The biggest source of my traffic is Google, and they keep sending me more and more.

      There’s definitely a place for quantity (as I’ve seen in the past), but that’s not the only factor.

  • [...] conversion rates, and I want to share them with you. But before I do so, I would like to …Via http://www.entrepreneurs-journey.com Share this: This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. ← Lighten [...]

  • Raj

    I agree with the point about writing quality content over quantity. People are trying to convince themselves that its possible to create quality content multiple times daily, but that’s only possible when one has a team of writers working with them.

    • Yep, quality trumps quantity. Although, I still think that quantity is important. In the best situation, you have found the perfect balance between the two Raj. That’s what I keep trying to accomplish.

  • Great article – important reminders – for a future post I would be interested in knowing about which wordpress plugins are the best for promoting an email signup list

    • Popup domination is an awesome one for doing that. Do a search on this blog for it and you’ll see an in depth review of how it helps.

  • Hey Leslie,
    I have been focusing more on converting visitors lately. Its a tough road in the beginning but eventually all of the work will pay off. I started my newsletter about a month after I started my blog. I get a steady flow of subscribers per month but I am always trying to get more. :)

    • One thing I’ve found has increased my conversions significantly is using a pop up box. It literally increased my opt ins by a factor of 5, which is awesome. I was opposed to using them before, but now I see it as a way for me to give more value. Try it out. Popup Domination is the one I use.

  • Great Article -
    In small business it is tough to be able to act out on specific tips. I enjoy the challenge of tweaking my site/newsletters to make more sales conversions. It’s a never ending road… I agree that it seems more is less and quality is the most important.

    • It definitely is a never ending road, and that’s one of the things I love about this process. Always a new challenge ahead. Keeps me on my toes ;)

  • Even though I feel that I have a decent blog, there is still A LOT of things I can improve on…and this post definitely puts things into perspective for me. My blogging business has been nothing but a great learning experience as my attempt to make passive income online. I appreciate you sharing your intelligence and helpful tips about blogging. Its posts like these that shout out to me: “you’re doing the right things, just keep learning and improving your business any way you can!”

    • When we stop learning, life’s no longer worth living. Glad to see that you have that perspective Kolton. There’s always something new to learn that can help us do what we do online better.

  • Can’t agree more, specially with tip #5.

    I’m tired of seeing Twitter advertising everywhere but then I need to go all over the site to find, on the bottom left corner, an email subscription form, although email list is the best income source possible.

    Good post.

  • At what stage do you start seeking these tips. As in asking people to buy? Do you start out form day one saying hi, buy this putting it into the context of quality content or recommendation? What’s the rule of thumb?

    • There’s no rule of thumb, and I don’t think we’re necessarily saying to ask them to buy from day one. BUT, I think you should be asking them to opt in ASAP. That’s having them take action and that’s key. You want to be set up so that when you do ask for the sale (eventually), they are already used to DOING.

  • becky

    Great post Leslie, and very interesting to read stats on ‘email’ vs websites/blogs etc…this is highly significant and kind of changes my blog focus more towards ‘ezine’ style blogging …thanks for the stats!

  • Great tips and goes back to the old phrase of
    A lways
    B e
    C losing

  • Oh! I love that statement, ‘If you don’t have something to say, don’t say it!. Personally, I’ve always wondered how one can produce quality blog post on a daily basis. Definitely one will fall to making less quality posts if he want to keep pace with the hype of posting everyday and this has always been of great concern to me.

    More relieved to learn that 1 or 2 quality posts a month can still attract good traffic. Quality actually is King and Google cannot emphasis this enough. I will now pay more attention to producing quality content rather than trying to keep up to the pace of making daily post that are of little or no value.

    Sam, Thanks a million times

  • Hi Leslie – I LOVE that Derek says: “If you don’t have something to say, don’t say it!.” There is indeed a lot of expectation out there to post all the time just for the sake of posting, but I feel this dilutes the overall content of the blog with fluff.
    I’m with you guys, and the awesome Tim Ferris who goes so far as to say that his blog content is powerful because its useful and *timeless*, and that’s what keeps pulling people back.

    Thanks for sharing another awesome post!

    Laura :-)

  • Leslie,

    Great post. I especially think that quality content is the point that is often missed by your typical blogger. Having unique, relevant and interesting content is key!

  • Good article, Leslie ! I also have the same thought about quality over quantity. I was never able to churn out 1 article per day on my blog, at the same time quantity is also important, but it shouldn’t be at the expense of quality.

  • Chau Dao

    A great post. What you mention here is not too difficult to do, but it needs passion and patience. I’m building a blog of myself, and this post works a lot for me. Many thanks!

  • Leslie,
    Thanks for some really great tips.My dad once told me that making people pull their wallets out willingly is one of the most difficult things in the world. I believe conversion is more important than any other thing in e-business, because that’s the reason everyone is here!

  • Hey Leslie,

    I plead guilty for some of the charges… :(

    However I’ll take your tip on writing stuff that is connected to a monetization model. I don’t know how the heck did I miss something as basic as that!

    Anyway, thanks and great article man. Even if it looks very simple many people don’t do it (including me).

    Hopefully I’ll change that in the upcoming days (as soon as I figure out a monetization model!)

    Sergio

  • Thanks for your post Leslie,

    For what your point 3 is concerned, recently I listened to a Teleseminar and heared somebody say something interesting about Selling something difficult as Artwork, Learning about that in the Art World they have a saying something that goes like:

    ‘A Big Painting Sells Small Paintings’

    At the same time I recently heared a Supermarket Marketeer say something about how they experimented with Bigger Shopping Carts, making it look like people buy less products when they look small in their ‘Empty Looking’ Shopping Carts, making them feel like they need a fuller Shopping Cart.

    Those two things combined, the Big Painting and the Big Shopping Carts made me come up with a somewhat similar approach for my - Writer’s Lifestyle - Blog…., On that Blog a special page with a Special Big Offer a - Writer’s Kit - consisting of: a Laptop, a comfortable (writer’s) desk Chair (a writer needs to sit comfortably), Trade Mag. Subscriptions & Books, Coffee (or Espresso) Machine, and an MP3 Player to be able to listen to nice Music when writing. (Btw. - when you know any people that you know are interested in a Writing Career please help sharing where they can find that blog – you can easily find that Blog via my Main Blog that you can find on the top left side of my - Home Business Lifestyle – Blog)

    I do think that here you can have a somewhat similar ‘Big Painting/Small Painting’ effect like mentioned previously, and now when they might not (yet) buy the more expensive Laptop, it can also be pretty nice when they ‘Only’ buy a Trade Mag. Subscription and Espresso Machine or MP3 Player.

    ‘So what do you think about such an approach
    for getting more conversions?’

  • JJ

    In my opinion, the main thing that attract people is the content, I know many bloggers who just write good and unique contents on their blog and get a lot of traffic without doing SEO. Social network is good too but in long term, having people remembered your website is the best thing to do.

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