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Why do you blog? Is your goal to grow you email list? Do you want to build your authority, raise awareness about your brand? Do you want to help more people and sell more of your products and services at the same time?
If you said yes to any or every question listed above, then you are on the right track.
You know that your blog is the best marketing tool you have got. It is the weapon of choice when it comes to building your list and filling it with high quality readers.
And you want to make sure that every single element is pulling its weight when it comes to attracting and retaining hot leads.
You understand you are blogging to attract your Perfect Reader. Check.
So let’s take a look at how you can easily optimize every element on your blog to supercharge it and turn it into a lead generation machine. Oh yeah!
Before you consider revising your tagline, take a look at your website title.
It is clever, or descriptive?
If it is clever, your tagline needs to be clear and ideally hint at your unique selling proposition. What can you do to help your audience? What makes you different?
Your tagline needs to be short and punchy but always go for clarity over cleverness.
Perfect Reader sees your site for the first time. They read the title, the tagline and take a look around. They can see it is the perfect place for them. Check.
Many people hide their signup form somewhere where it is hard to find. They are too shy to ask for people to subscribe.
Be confident. You are here to help people. You’ve got what it takes. Why wouldn’t you ask?
Be bold. Place a feature box right under your header to draw attention to it (you’ll have to ask your teach guy to do it for you). A signup box in your side-bar, above the fold (so that people could see it without having to scroll down) is a huge plus.
But there is one thing that can make it even more enticing: your freebie offer. So let’s get on to the next tweak.
Perfect Reader can see the signup form easily. Great, they know where to sign up. Check.
A lot of people don’t even offer an incentive to sign up.
If you have been blogging for any length of time, you’d know that ‘sign up and get free updates’ is not good enough.
(Err .. yes, I am not offering anything – but it is just temporary. Initially, I did offer a free ebook called 9 New Rules of Blogging, then I started giving away a free email course titled ‘Blogging for Business’. At the moment I am working on a cool new ebook – yes, you heard it first here.)
So, even if you don’t have one yet, consider making one.
It doesn’t have to be very long. It can be a concise report, case study or a list of tools your readers can use today.
As long as you are targeting your ideal reader, and don’t make it too generic, it should be fine.
Consider creating a squeeze page for your opt-in offer. Write a few lines on what would someone get out of your freebie. Really make it shine here.
And don’t forget to place a mini signup box under every blog post and also on the About page.
Perfect Reader sees your freebie offer. It is the exact thing they have been looking for. And it is free. They are so signing up. Check.
When was the last time you took another look at your long forgotten About page?
That’s what I thought.
Go back and read what’s in there and you might be surprised to find out that it is time now for an update.
Maybe you have changed direction in your business or have specialized? Perhaps you’ve got a few new ‘as seen on’ logos and customer testimonials to flaunt? Or a great review from an expert in your industry? Go ahead and put that in there.
Perfect Reader wants to know more about how you can help them. They go to your About page and you tell them how. They are starting to like you. Check.
Most people have super busy sidebars. A lot is going on which makes it confusing for the reader to navigate your site.
What are some of the things you can take out easily?
Things I really recommend placing in your sidebar:
I highly recommend you consider taking out the following:
Perfect Reader immediately knows who writes this blog. They see all the important links on the sidebar, without feeling overwhelmed. Check.
Like I said above, it is worth saying again: Add links to your most popular and pillar content on the sidebar.
You can call it Popular on your blog, Reader favourites, Read these first or whatever. Just let the reader know that this is your best content. And then only add your best.
Remember, you are setting up reader expectations here. Blow their mind with the quality of your stuff you create.
Feel free to choose posts that not only popular, but your own personal favourite and also cornerstone content. The latter is more evergreen in nature and is worth showcasing for new readers.
Perfect Reader wants to see what your content is like. They see some links to reader favourites on the sidebar. They start clicking – and reading. Check.
(Okay, this is clearly not a tweak. But you have got to have one if you want to see amazing results with blogging.)
So, creating all this content gives you so many benefits.
Content gets your social shares. It gets your readers engaging with it. It gets them thinking about your products, programs and services (You want them to think: if this is the free stuff, how amazing is the paid product going to be?).
It creates trust and loyalty. It even helps you attract links and rank higher in search engines.
No wonder, while the rest of the elements on your blog need attention once every six months, content creation is what you do on an on-going basis.
You have a lot riding on the back of your content so why not make it a priority?
Create a simple content calendar which tells you when you need to publish (once a week is plenty) and what category it needs to be in (you don’t want talking about the same thing for weeks in a row – you will bore your readers to death).
Also create a list of your blog posts along with the URLs categorized by topic. This way you can link easily to old content and you don’t have to spend precious time looking every time you publish something new.
Perfect Reader reads through your content. You talk about everything they want to understand. They wonder if you live inside their head? Check.
Once you really improve every single element on this list, you will see everything coming together like never before.
Your first time visitor will get that cohesiveness across all elements. They will get the same message on every page, behind every link or button.
And then they’ll feel like they have discovered what they have been looking for all this time.
Isn’t that a grand feeling?
Leave a comment below and let me know what sort of tweaks are long overdue on your own blog? I would love to know.