Grow Your List with Blogging
Growing your list with blogging is an effective way to build a targeted email list that is full of people who act on your calls to action. But you will need to ensure that you create the right type of content, offer multiple points of entry, and other hacks to help you grow your list with blogging. Let’s go over these important business hacks to grow your list with blogging.
Create Amazing Targeted Content
The content you create for your blog needs to be of interest to only your ideal audience. This is a basic premise of marketing 101. Speak directly to the audience member, as a person. Also, address that person’s shared needs and wants. You should know your audience, as well as you know the back of your hand. Think about their problems and lead each person down your funnel towards your suggested solutions.
- Blog Posts – Populate your blog with content that illustrates your knowledge and understanding of the audience and their needs. Share stories, case studies, and other information that establishes and highlights your expertise. This insightful information builds trust and raises your authority level in their eyes.
- eBooks – Create a variety of ebooks, including long, short, and book series to meet your audience’s needs based on their level of knowledge. You may choose to offer these ebooks on your website or through a third-party vendor. However, providing ebooks on a variety of their topic related concerns helps you reach more of your target market segments. Ebooks are easily accessed and consumed by readers. They can supply readers with in-depth info, quick solutions, visuals, and much more.
- eReports – Help your audience by creating short, informative, and hope-inspiring reports concerning one of their problems. Use it as an in-content upgrade to an article and you’ll create a new entry point to your email list. You can also use a perspective-specific report to segment your lists based on their situation, personal needs or other demographics such as mother, father, single, married, etc.
- Webinars – Use some of your most popular content to create webinars to answer frequently asked questions on a topic or provide clarification for complex concepts. In these, you can interview others or provide information, resources, and solutions yourself. Then, provide short segments of the webinar to promote/sell the full webinar, plus a bonus for attendees or early buyers.
- Live Video – Use some of the best subject matter for live video. It’s truly an effective way to gain more newsletter sign-ups and grow your list. Put the video on your blog with the sign-up form. You’ll get more signups because live video converts better than other types of content.
- Social Content – Blog content should be easily shared to a variety of social platforms. On blog posts and articles, as well as in a site photo gallery, include an image/meme to represent the written content. By adding the meme or resource to your blog and sharing the blog post, you encourage the reader to share the post and visit the site, where they see your sign-up offer.
By creating the meme gallery, you’ll also prompt them to share more of your branded images with their friends, which increases your reach. Regardless of which action they take first, everyone wins. Don’t forget to brand that resource or meme!
When you know the audience and the kind of content and solutions they want, it’s a lot easier to get them to your site and sign-up for offers that appeal to them most. Give your audience what they crave…more.
Offer Multiple Points of List and Funnel Entry
When a pre-qualified visitor comes to your blog, you should have multiple entry points, where the reader can sign-up to get detailed information on the topics that interest them most. This involves supplying offers for several topics or problems, as well as placing offers in strategic website areas. Sign-ups and buttons should never obstruct content!
- Navigation / Menu Offer – Put an offer at the top of your site. This can be in your main navigation menu and/or in a dropdown or slider section that can be closed. Include a little compelling copy and a link to “I need more info” that goes to a landing page that explains the main offer, benefits, and more details. These can also go in the sidebar and in the footer areas.
- Above the Fold – If you can’t or don’t want to put your newsletter offer in the navigation menu, it’s important that you include it in an area above the fold. When done this way, you want to make sure it stands out from the content or other sections around it.
- Sign-Up Offer Methods – Depending on your audience’s preferences, one or more of these methods can be effective ways to draw attention to your sign-up offers: static images (linked), floating block areas, pop-ups, linked text with info in dropdown notification areas, and in static sign-up boxes. Based on where you want offers to appear, you may need to use specialized technology or plugins to render the offer delivery you desire.
- Related Content – At the end of every blog post, include three to five related content links, where the engaged reader can read more about similar topics and solutions of interest. This may be done automatically through a category plugin or manually, as needed. The longer you keep people interested and reading, the more likely they are to sign-up for an offer to learn more.
Give your audience opportunities to learn about a wide range of topics/issues, through high-quality, free sign-up offers. Create several freebies based on each main topic category. Within these, cover popular sub-topics, as well as incorporate the different learning levels. This helps to ensure there are several offers (multiple funnel points of entry) that appeal to your blog readers and motivate them to sign up to learn more.
Develop Targeted Lead Magnets
Multiple lead magnets are important to list-building. To develop lead magnets, think of how you can expand on blog posts and content to create a more in-depth, valuable resource package. Depending on the topic, consider using checklists, cheat sheets, idea organizers, infographics, and other items to help your ideal audience understand concepts and make progress. Factor in the needs of your audience segments. In addition, consider where individuals are in the buying cycle to create highly targeted lead magnets.
- Content Upgrades – In most blog posts, there are bits of information you can expand on. Instead of making another post, make a lead magnet available only to subscriber members, within their accounts. This adds perceived value to the content offer. It also enables new subscribers to test-drive your items, risk-free.
- Cheat Sheets / Check Lists – If the post is about doing something, you can make an easy checklist or cheat sheet for them to use. Turn it into a PDF set it up so that you have to collect an email address to get the PDF.
- eBooks / eReports – When you have a general overview blog post, you can expand on the details and steps within a lead magnet. Consider creating a list magnet series of ebooks and reports for the beginner level, the intermediate level, and the advanced level users. This can help to convert subscribers to buyers.
- Webinars – Hosting webinars is a great way to collect email addresses, but some people don’t think of them as lead magnets. In exchange for an email address and maybe some other information, you provide them with a webinar that promises to give them answers to questions as well as solutions options to a common problem. Live attendees frequently receive bonus resources.
Any of these can be a great lead magnet. However, it’s like eating potato chips. You just can’t stop at one lead magnet because different people want different “flavors.” Having multiple items on popular topics serves a wider range of your audience. If you provide your audience several entry points (lead magnet offers) you’ll appeal to more people and build your list faster.
Make Clear Calls to Action
On every blog post, email, sales page, and landing page, you should have at least one call to action. You don’t want to confuse your audience by giving them too many choices. Your calls-to-action need to be specific, clear, and stand out. When this occurs, your ideal customer is more likely to make a well-informed choice from the options. Here are a few things to help you reach these goals.
- Use Actionable Text – Your CTA text should use action words, benefits, and/or expected results to state what you want the reader to do. Such as “Add Item to Cart” or “Try Our Free Trial” or “Reserve Your Spot Now” or “Download Your Free eBook.”
- Use Stand Out Colors – Color and shape are very important when it comes to the CTA buttons grabbing your audience’s attention. These two elements can really mean the difference between gaining loyal customers and going out of business. It’s important to get this right.
You want to use colors that stand out from your design and other text so it’s easily seen. It’s okay if there is a high contrast between the button and the rest of your site. However, you can have a bold button color while still following your overall color and design scheme. Remember some colors and shades can trigger migraines so avoid those colors and shades, which drive your audience away without taking action.
- Ensure Readability – Make sure that the button text fits well within the margins of the button. It’s better to have a little too much padding around the words than not enough padding. Now is not the time to get too fancy with your choice of font. Script, cursive, and “fun” fonts can be extremely difficult to read, which defeats the purpose and can discourage your audience from clicking the button. The best rule of thumb is to keep it simple and the letters spaced well.
- Use First Person Text – Instead of saying “Click and get your free” use first person text instead and say “Yes, Give me My Free Download!” This is going to make it more likely that your audience responds to the CTA. Keep in mind, your audience should relate to and use these phrases in their everyday lives.
- Create Urgency – Use limited time or quantity CTA offers. You don’t want offers to get stale and overlooked. Add and set a count-down timer related to the CTA offer. This is most effective when the count-down is visual, rather than just on the backend.
These are a few of the most important things to consider as you create a compelling CTA that stands out and motivates readers to act on your recommended solutions. However, opt-in form placement is right up there with optimizing CTAs for best results.
Opt-in Form Placement
When it comes to making your opt-in effective, you must give careful thought and consideration to your form placement options. Each location choice must be supported by a sound marketing strategy. In addition, it should be based on your audience’s preferences and measurable behaviors.
Each reader’s viewing experience is slightly different due to the device used and their personal setup. If they don’t see your main offer and optin-form immediately, that CTA won’t do much for you. One of the keys to opt-in success is form placement. Another key involves the number of areas where the form is found consistently.
- Type of Opt-In – If you have a simple link in your content, the form will be smaller and may only show up when the content upgrade link is moused-over. This is a very unobtrusive way to get sign-ups but the down side is they aren’t as easily seen. If you don’t draw attention to them in some way, they may be over looked.
- Opt-in Purpose – Every opt-in has a purpose and goal. Knowing these things will help you decide where the form should be placed, as well as how the form looks and responds. For example, if you have an opt-in offer that applies to most of your audience members, you may want to add it in the top navigation or in a notification drop-down close to the header.
- Accessibility – Does your audience use a mobile device? If so, your site and the sign-up form need to be mobile-friendly. This usually includes a mobile website theme or plugin that makes it easy to sign up using mobile devices. Do you have an audience segment that needs assistive technology? This is often taken care of by the browser and user-end software or equipment. However, you may need to add things like alt tags in your website. Test your website to ensure the sign-up form appears correctly and trouble-shoot when needed.
Place the forms in predictable, easy to see areas such as at the top of the site, in the sidebar, and in the footer areas. In content, place the CTA and form in a conspicuous area that makes sense with regard to content readability. This is often done in a paragraph when you mention the solution and link it. It may also be added at the bottom of the post/article, similar to the CTA at the end of an email.
Drive Traffic to Your Content
There are millions of blogs on the net. You want to stand out from your competition and make it easy for your audience to find you. it’s up to you to leave a trail so they can find you. The more traffic you can drive to your content the better the result.
- Social Media Traffic – Share your newest blog content immediately after it posts publically. For example, if you have a new YouTube episode, write a blog post about it, embed the episode into the post. Share it on all social media platforms. For each social platform, add a unique comment specifically for that particular platform’s user. Ask your audience to share and add their own comments.
- Blog Subscribers – You already have some list subscribers. Whenever you have new content, always send an email message to your list subscribers to point them to the new content. When possible give them a head’s up and advanced notice of the post to build anticipation and encourage social shares. This is easy to do if you add blog posts on certain days of the week so they automatically know when to expect something great to come their way.
- Affiliate Members – If you’ve built an affiliate program for your digital product, alert your affiliates to new content that you want to share. You can often set up your affiliate program to let your affiliates share the free products and make money on the upsells.
- Paid Ads – It’s important to invest money in your offers by using paid ads to help you build your following and your email list. Paid ads work well with webinar promotion when the webinar is the lead magnet for another item.
Growing your list with blog content, related sign-up offers, as well as other solutions is an effective way to build your mailing list. After all, the whole point of creating content on your blog is to attract your ideal audience. You can do that by creating content that’s aimed directly at the wants and needs of your target audience. When you promote that content and get the word out about your offers, your list will grow exponentially with every new effort.