Nov 12, 2011 Monetization
Traffic. Traffic. Traffic. I’ve read (and written) so many posts about traffic that I sometimes forget that all of this blog traffic doesn’t really matter. You want to focus on traffic numbers? Great. You’re really lucky that your landlord accepts hits and pageviews as rent payments every month. Mine…well she prefers a check, so it’s up to me to make sure that check doesn’t bounce. And I can’t do that with an awesome bounce rate.
Blog zombies focus on traffic, but survivors focus on the bottom line. I really like advice on how to get more traffic, but you have to be able to convert those readers to buyers if you actually want to make money as a blogger. You need quality traffic.*
The Emotional Call to Action
You may have heard that you need a call to action if you want to convert your blog readers to buyers. I do agree with this idea somewhat, though I’ll take it a step farther and say that you need an emotional call to action.
The call to action (or CTA) is basically what you want people to do when they’re done reading your blog post. Maybe you want them to purchase a product right now. Maybe you want them to share your post, so you reach a larger audience that you can convert. Maybe you want them to sign up for your mailing list, which puts them into the sales funnel. Maybe you want them to leave a comment, making them feel like a part of your community (and be more likely to buy something from you). Whatever it is, you need to make it easy for readers to see your call to action – the next step they need to take on your blog. It can be as simple as adding share buttons at the end.
The more emotional your CTA, the better. This comes down to one thing: good writing. Can you make your readers cry? Laugh? Nod their heads in agreement? Feel frustrated toward the villain of your post? Feel relieved that they can do something? Feel…well…anything? Bring out emotions and they’ll be more likely to listen to whatever your CTA may be.
Where’s your mailing list?
Well? Where is it? I can’t tell you the number of bloggers I know who, when asked about their mailing lists, sheepishly hang their heads and say they’ve been meaning to get around to creating one of those.
What is wrong with you people?
Seriously, stop reading this and go do it RIGHT NOw. Use Aweber, use Mail Chimp, use Constant Contact, use whatever the hell program you think is best. You don’t even have to have a plan for it…just set it up so people can subscribe for you upcoming emails. Those are the people who really care about anything you’re selling. That’s how you can measure convert-able traffic. You don’t have to give away free shit or have a newsletter or anything. Just set it up so you can use it someday when you’re ready for it.
When people subscribe to your mailing list, there is a shift in their mind. Something clicks and they begin to trust you. If you don’t have a sign-up on your site, that mental turn-over never happens. They’re less likely to buy anything you’re promoting. Being on your mailing list can actually turn someone into a buyer when they weren’t before even without you saying a word because they make that change in their own mind. They start to consider themselves a fan of yours, someone who is devoted.
I can’t stress enough the importance of a mailing list. You can set them up for free and in under 15 minutes, so there’s no reason to continue putting it off.
Stop Focusing on Traffic Spikes
I love sites like StumbleUpon and Digg, but I have to be honest…I only really love them as a reader. As a blogger, they don’t make much sense to me. I’ve had some really popular hits on StumbleUpon, for example, but that traffic doesn’t convert for shit. It’s a spike in traffic for a few days and maybe even over a longer period of time, but who cares? Those readers are staying on my site for literally three seconds. It certainly doesn’t hurt your blog to have a social bookmarking hit, because one in ten thousands might stick around, but if you’re focusing your time on these traffic spike sites, you’re doing it wrong.
Spend your time wisely.
Okay, now it’s your turn. I’d like to hear your thoughts on traffic and how you turn your readers into buyers…so leave a comment!
*The exception to this rule, perhaps, is if you make money by selling ads on your sidebar and are able to charge more if you get more traffic. If that’s your game, it doesn’t much matter whether or not your traffic is “quality.” It only matters that you have the big numbers.
- Syed Balkhi’s Social Media Traffic Tips (blogworld.com)
- Finding New Traffic & Readers – Traffic Methods Ranked In Order of Effectiveness (davidrisley.com)
- To Build Blog Subscribers, Get Narrow-Minded (convinceandconvert.com)