So, you’ve heard that blogging brings in customers. You’re convinced that you need to blog for your business, but now you’re scratching your head and wondering:
How do you magically transform your one-time site visitors into customers?
Well, we’ve got the answers. Below, we’ll discuss how to consistently generate leads from blogging. Let’s get started.
Have a Goal for Your Blogging
Generally speaking, everyone wants to make money from blogging. But your goal can’t be as abstract and generic as “I want to get more customers from my blog.”
Instead, you need to create a specific, measurable, actionable, realistic, and time-based goal for your blog. That’s right, you need a S.M.A.R.T. goal for your blog. Without a S.M.A.R.T. goal, how will you know if you’ve reached your objectives?
Let’s break it down:
Your blog goal needs to be specific. For example, your goal may be to write a series of 10 in-depth blog posts about a topic with the hopes of transforming a casual reader into a customer. That’s pretty specific.
But don’t stop there. You’ll need a way to measure your progress. You can do that by giving yourself a deadline for writing the blog series (i.e. three months in the future).
Here comes the action. Who will be responsible for writing and editing these posts?
Now you need to assess whether your goal is realistic or not. Can you really write 10 in-depth blog posts about this subject? To be certain, give yourself a mini time-based deadline for writing each post (i.e. write one post each week).
That’s just one example of how to use S.M.A.R.T. goals in blogging. Whatever you do, make sure that you don’t go into blogging blind or with a hopelessly generic goal. You need to have a plan of action that you can evaluate and tweak as needed.
Consistency is another key component to generating leads from your blog. You can’t post sporadically and hope to build any trust through your content. There are two important reasons for this:
Reason #1: Search engines promote the blogs that consistently publish new content. If you want to get found by search engine users, you must make your blog attractive to search engines. One way to prove your value to search engines is through churning out new content on a regular basis.
Reason #2: Very few visitors (less than 5%) convert into customers after reading one post. Before they buy from you, they’ll need to trust you. You’ll cultivate a relationship of trust over time by sharing educational content on your blog, via lead magnets, and through your email content. Even if your posts are great, it won’t matter if your visitors aren’t able to read more.
Be consistent with your posts so that your readers have the opportunity to start trusting you.
Blog About Topics That Your Customers Care About
In addition to posting frequently, you also need to publish content that is relevant and in-demand. If people aren’t searching for the topics that you’ve written about, they’re not going to find your blog.
Before coming up with post topics for your blog, do some research and find out the following:
- What topics people want to read about (Check out sites like Quora and industry-related forums to find out what topics are of interest to your target audience.)
- The exact phrases that your target audience uses to describe these topics (Use Google Keyword Planner to discover the right keywords and phrases that your audience may use. You’ll use these exact terms for the titles of your blog posts and to get found on search engines.)
Create Content for Every Stage of the Funnel
Here’s a common mistake that many make when planning content for their blogs: only creating content for one stage of the sales funnel. Because your readers may be on different stages of the funnel, you must create content to reach them wherever they are.
The average sales funnel consists of five parts: awareness, education, evaluation, purchase, and advocacy.
Here’s an example of the type of content to create for each:
Awareness – An introduction to the problem that’s created for those who aren’t even sure of how to accurately describe or name the problem.
Education – Targeted towards those who already know something about their problem, your blog posts in this stage help readers learn more about the problem and point them to your solution.
Evaluation – In this stage, you compare your solution to your competitors. You also highlight what makes your solution unique and better. It’s also a good time to share testimonials and case study lead magnets.
Purchase – Hooray! They’ve purchased your product. However, that doesn’t mean that you cut off content. It’s even more important to connect with your new customer. Use your blog to discuss how to use your product, share best practices, and actively seek feedback.
Advocacy – Create shareable posts that your customers can share with others. This is a part of referral marketing and allows you to reach new leads through your current or former customers.
To reach the maximum number of potential leads, you need content for each one of those stages.
Use Content Upgrades and Lead Magnets
Having a blog is great, but here’s something that you may not know: 90% of first-time visitors will never return. And here’s another startling fact: Most first-time visitors won’t convert into customers. If you want to convert those visitors into leads who eventually turn into customers, you need to engage them at least eight times.
The easiest way to do that is by getting first-time visitors to sign up for your email list.
And how do you do that?
Add lead magnets to your blog posts in two ways:
Insert content upgrades within the blog posts. Similar to a lead magnet, a content upgrade is additional content that you’ll give the reader in exchange for their email address and permission to receive your marketing content. Your content upgrade can be anything from a checklist to a quick start guide. It should be relevant and useful, and created specifically to accompany the post.
You can advertise your content upgrade in various ways:
- Embed the content upgrade as a clickable link in your blog post.
- Use it as a call to action at the end of your post.
- Create an exit-intent pop up that appears when the reader moves the cursor up.
End Each Post With a Call to Action
Speaking of calls to action, be sure to show your visitor the next step to take once they come to the end of your post. If you don’t have a content upgrade to click on, what should the visitor do next?Be sure to show your visitor the next step to take once they come to the end of your post. Here's how: Click To Tweet
Stay on your blog, of course!
The best way to encourage this action is by giving them related articles to click on. Scour your blog after each post to find related posts that your reader may be interested in reading. Your goal is to build trust with your prospective customer and you can do this effectively by sharing relevant resources that keep them engaged on your site.
Blogging is still one of the best ways to generate new leads for your business. But in order to get the results that you want, you must optimize your blog for lead conversion. Use the above tips to improve your blogging game.
Before you go, check out these additional resources: