Opt-in products are free e-books, worksheets, videos, classes, or checklists that you give away in exchange for an email address. I’ve said this before, but an email list is important because it’s the only customer database you have. If Instagram, Twitter, and other social channels just disappeared tomorrow, how would you market to your audience? You need to realize one thing: social networks aren’t permanent audiences. They are borrowed viewers. Remember all them friends you had on Myspace? Sconex? Shoot, even Facebook? They’re pointless now aren’t they? Social media is constantly changing, and it’s hard to keep up. Exhibit A: Instagram changed its algorithm and now your photos don’t get the same views as they once did. When changes like that happen, your thousands of followers can become obsolete. On the flip side, an email list grows with you and your brand, regardless of what happens with the volatile social media landscape. It will help you control your content, cadence and community. Get you one. An opt-in product, or lead magnet as others call it, is the fastest way to build your list with little effort.
Now that you have this lovely opt-in, it needs to be highly visible on your site. Our consultations for web development covers everything from the email providers (Mailchimp is my personal favorite for beginners since it’s free.) to the free plugins that you will use to capture emails on pages and posts throughout your site. Three places that work very well are the footer, pop-ups and content upgrades within your blog posts. Capturing information in these highly-visible areas, will allow you to market to your audience beyond the time they are on your website. Capturing emails should be as much of a priority as getting readers and sales is. You can get all the traffic in the world, but if you don’t nurture them and stay top of mind, those thousands of views are going to waste.
Speaking of traffic, how are you getting people to your site in the first place? You have the lead magnet to attract people to your list, and your opt-in forms are on fleek throughout your site. The next thing you need is viral content to encourage sharing, keep people interested, and entice new visitors to your site. In order for the people to know you exist, they have to somehow become aware of all the amazing knowledge you have to offer online and offline. The trick to creating highly shareable content that is to create content for your readers – not for yourself. I’m going to keep it 1000 with you. We do not care about what you want to write about. We care about reading answers to our problems. You think I want to write about optimizing websites? Not really. I would much rather talk about Beyonce’s twins, but that’s not useful to my audience or my expertise at all. So here I am, writing this post. Haha!
It doesn’t matter if you’re selling $7 mugs or $2,000 courses – people buy from people they know, like and trust. Once you attract people to your site, you want to build trust and show them that you know your stuff. In order to build that “know, like and trust factor”, you need to be authentic and accomplished. Now, before you panic, accomplished doesn’t mean a PhD, 65 certifications, and a gold medal. It means that it should be very apparent that you have successfully done what you are trying to do for others. Bottom line: you need to be a product of your product.
Too many times, we just overlook building authority. We want to build a business, but not the personal brand to support that business. Do you have a kickass about page? Does your headshot communicate your personality? Is your professional biography accomplishment-based or a rambling of previous jobs? Are you sharing content that’s relevant to the viewer, or are you sharing information interesting to you? An about page is the first place to begin communicating credibility. Humanize your brand and share who you are, but be sure to tell people why they should care. Make it clear how you can and will add value to their lives.
Blogging and business is a numbers game, but I’m not talking about traffic. Your Google Analytics should be visited on a monthly basis at a minimum in order to help you make decisions. Sadly, we fear the things we don’t understand. Get into your analytics and analyze your metrics. Focus on how are people finding you, so you can replicate that success. For example, I was featured in a CuseCulture article a couple of months ago, and it’s been driving traffic to my site since. So what am I going to do? Start blogging and contributing articles to that site, because I know that the culture builders that read Cuse Culture are also interested in me. Our brands have similarities and our audiences overlap.
In order to grow your audience, you need to put yourself in front of the right people. If I’m a personal branding expert, it does not make sense for me to go and contribute an article on Syracuse University Football. I need to be where my audience is and my metrics tell me that and so much more. Referral traffic helps you to understand where your audience is on the web and the places worth investing time and energy into.
These are just five areas that you will need to invest in when you want to take your blog and website to the next level. There are 30 days of action items in the one on one web development consultation, if you need more strategies and tools specifically to monetize your site contact Indaria. Talk soon!