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Discover The Ultimate Strategy To Increase Your Blog's Profits Step By Step

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I was surprised when reading Matt's August monthly income report to find his blog was only converting into email subscribers at 2.98%. Follow along step by step to learn how to skyrocket your email optin rate & get it way above average.
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  • 1. matthewwoodward.co.uk http://www.matthewwoodward.co.uk/experiments/stuart-walker-vs-matthew-woodward/ The Ultimate Strategy To Boost Your Blogs Profits Like yourself I’m a regular follower of Matts blog. I love his in-depth posts and tutorials and most of all his honesty. I was surprised, when reading his August monthly income report, to find his blog was only converting into email subscribers at 2.98%. As collecting email subscribers is the single most important thing an online marketer or blogger can do you need to make sure you get as many of your visitors onto your list as possible. Without going into too much detail (as it’s a whole other post in it’s self but see Matts guide here: http://www.matthewwoodward.co.uk/tutorials/email-marketing-part-1/) your email list is the backbone of your online business and will help your business grow at a rate not possible without one. The 2.98% opt in rate isn’t terrible. But it’s not great either. The average in the blogging industry is anything between 2% to 4% (Source: http://blog.leadpages.net/opt-in-box- list-building-tips-techniques-strategies/) Over 5% is considered really good and for the few bloggers who can convert over 10% that’s considered exceptional. And with Matt being a seasoned marketer, with a blog filled with some of the best quality internet marketing content on the net, you’d expect more people to join his list, right? Because after all “if people like your content they will opt in” apparently. I see this commonly repeated as ‘good’ advice on forums and blogs. And it’s similar to what one of my visitors told me when I was frustrated with my own low opt in rate and decided to aggressively start collecting my visitors emails instead… Sadly good content and a few of the standard opt in methods simply is NOT enough anymore as I found out and Matt has found out. People are blind to them and do NOT opt in so easily. You need to give them a VERY compelling reason to do so and give them multiple opportunities to do it. When I took a more proactive stance to collecting emails earlier in the year I’ve seen my blog opt in rate rise from just 2.91% back in January to 9.24% in September.
  • 2. And I’ve not even finished optimizing everything yet – I fully expect to exceed the 10% mark soon. So when I noticed Matt was only getting a 2.98% opt in rate I decided to write this post and give him some advice on what was working for me. Then he could put it into action if he wanted and see if he could produce similar results. What You Will Learn…. How to skyrocket your blogs email subscriber rate and get it way beyond the average. The plugins you need to turn your blog into an list building machine. How to get masses of eager subscribers by offering instant benefit driven lead magnets. Why ugly optin boxes work much better than pretty ones that fit in with your blogs design. The hot new opt in method that’s resulting in a 785% increase in conversions. Whether Matt will rise to the challenge & use these methods to increase his opt in rate. What’s Working Now For Building Your Blogs Mailing List… When looking at Matt’s blog and comparing it to my own there are 7 main things I noticed he wasn’t doing that I was in terms of collecting emails. These are all things that I’ve implemented over the last 6-7 months since collecting emails has became my main focus and have contributed to my high opt in rate. They are…. 1. Offer a lead magnet that solves one of your audiences major problems and gives them instant gratification 2. Only ask for the details you really need when getting them to opt in – name isn’t necessary 3. Make your optin boxes unmissable and even ugly so they stand out. 4. Make use of in-content optin boxes that stop your most engaged readers mid-post 5. The use of content upgrades on popular posts – this hot new trick has seen conversion increases of up to 785% on some blogs 6. Add a headline box to ALL your blogs pages as it’s the first thing visitors see 7. Use ‘two-step optin technology’ aka LeadBoxes or OptinLinks as these on average are increasing sign ups by 30-40% for bloggers. Offer A Lead Magnet That Solves A Major Problem & Gives Instant Gratification If you want to skyrocket your email conversion rate and rapidly increase your subscribers you’re going to have to offer something better than every other generic blogger does. You need to solve a very specific problem your user has and do it instantly giving them immediate gratification. The often used “Subscribe for updates” just isn’t effective anymore…or “Get my latest posts” in Matts case.
  • 3. Matthew Woodward Edit: This currently converts at 1.9% based on 451,733 views and 8,637 optins. Sure his posts are incredible but we can just come to the blog to get his posts or subscribe to an RSS feed. So why bother giving away our email address just for ‘boring’ (note: I don’t think Matts posts are boring but it doesn’t sound exciting, does it?) blog post updates. On the exit pop up things are better but still not perfect. It’s more specific in that Matt asks if you want more traffic, ranking and money but again it’s not clear whether you’ll get them instantly and chances are that is unlikely. People want something that solves their most pressing problem and solves it NOW. Matthew Woodward Edit: I’m also split testing this against another popup which you can see below. The popup above converts at 0.79% while the one below converts at 0.82%.
  • 4. You need something much more enticing and it must be delivered immediately and solve a specific problem they have. Not a vague promise of ‘more traffic’, ‘higher rankings’ and ‘more money’. How much more traffic and when will it come? What you need is a problem solving ‘lead magnet’. “Have a compelling, SPECIFIC lead magnet that promises immediate gratification. ‘Subscribe to my Newsletter’ doesn’t cut it” Ryan Deiss (DigitalMarketer.com) Something they sign up for and get benefit from straight away. So instant downloads work much better than mini courses delivered over several days or weeks. Those take too long to digest and there’s no instant problem solved or immediate gratification. Examples Of Excellent Lead Magnets For example Ryan Deiss and the Digital Marketer team generated 28,507 subscribers in 45 days when they switched to offering an instantly downloadable swipe file. Their visitors could start putting this into action immediately to get more clicks from social media (Source: http://www.digitalmarketer.com/lead-magnet-ideas-funnel/). I personally offer my audience a list of 1781 untapped niche markets in exchange for their email address.
  • 5. I know the bulk of my audience want to find a niche so I give them instant (the ‘instantly’ bit is very important) access to over 1700 of them. This not only solves their major problem. It goes above and beyond and they can instantly consume the list and find their niche. The “Say goodbye to boring niche research forever” part shows them they can eliminate a major headache in their life too – no one likes doing boring stuff especially when they find it difficult It doesn’t have to be lengthy or overly complex. It can be a simple report, a checklist, a cheat sheet, an ebook or in my case a simple excel sheet. But at the same time not just any old free giveaway like some PLR ebook or something you didn’t spend any time thinking about – it must solve a major problem they have and solve it right now. I know Matt already gives away his How To Build A Top 100 Blog Tutorial away in PDF format to Facebook leads (Soruce: http://www.matthewwoodward.co.uk/tutorials/how-i-built-a-top-100- blog-in-12-months/) . This is the an example of a lead magnet. It’s very specific in that it shows you how to build a top 100 blog and you get it immediately to start using – no vague promise of “join my list and I’ll send you some stuff over the next few weeks that help you build a better blog”. The Argument Against Lead Magnets There is an argument against lead magnets. The argument is that if you give away something for free you’ll get lots of subscribers who just want the freebie and aren’t interested in anything else you offer. Which is why when sending cold traffic to a squeeze page offering a free bribe is a terrible incentive to get an opt in as you end up with a list full of people who don’t know you and don’t care – they just wanted a freebie. But with a blog it’s not the same as generally people have landed on your blog and consumed your content before noticing the free lead magnet. And even if they haven’t consumed any content first if you instantly solve a major problem they have you can bet they are going to open your follow up emails and come visit your blog again. “Ever wonder why Neil Patel and ViperChill have so many email signups? Yes, they have epic content. Yes, their mail forms (sidebar, popups, incontextual, end of post etc..) do look awesome. But the main reason is because they actually offer something.” – Charles Floate (GodofSEO.co) You can minimize this further by making it very clear they get the immediate gratification AND will receive follow up emails. See how my benefit driven headline reads “Instantly discover 1781 untapped niche markets WHEN YOU JOIN THE NICHE HACKS TRIBE”.
  • 6. It’s made very clear that to get the instant problem solving solution you are “joining the tribe” or the “mailing list” in other words. Note: As a marketer it’s important you test everything. So measure your email open and unsubscribe rates before and after implementing these changes to see what affect it has. How Matt Could Implement This Matt could try the following benefit driven headlines that offer immediate solutions and instant gratification… “Instantly discover how to build your own top 100 blog with an award winning blogger when you join the mailing list” “Do You Need Higher Rankings & More Traffic? Then Sign Up Now To Instantly Receive My Top 5 SEO Hacks And Watch Your Rankings & Traffic Grow Overnight” “Say Goodbye To Being Outranked Forever. Instantly Discover How To Outrank Your Competitors, Get More Traffic, And Make More Affiliate Commissions When You Join The Mailing List” They are far more specific and immediate than “Get my latest posts” and “Do you need more traffic?” I think by now you get the point. You have to offer something specific. It has to be available the second they enter their email. It has to solve one of their major problems almost immediately or at least something can go and put straight into action. Now go create your own lead magnet that offers instant gratification to your audience and watch your list grow. Hopefully Matt will implement this tactic too and see his opt in rates increase closer to his 5% target. The next point will help increase optins a little but nothing major though every conversion increase counts… Ask For Less And Get More I noticed that on the sidebar Matt was asking for name and email address to sign up. Neil Patel at Quicksprout.com found that removing just 1 field can result in a 26% increase in sign ups (Source: http://www.quicksprout.com/2013/09/09/7-simple-ab-tests-that-can-increase-conversions-by-10-or-more/) People are busy, they are sceptical about giving too much information away to random internet websites, and many like to stay anonymous. Some marketers argue that collecting names allows you to be more personal but many people will enter fake names anyway. You’re more likely to say “hey buddy” than “hey friends name” when talking to a good friend anyway – and your subscribers should see you as someone they can connect with. “Reduce the number of fields that are required to opt in. Even just having only the one field for the email address rather than requiring the name as well, can have a dramatic increase in your subscribers number” – Aaron Aguis (LouderOnline.com.au) There are other ways to be personal without using names which if used too often can make your sound like some
  • 7. creepy car salesman trying to be overly personal anyway. And the last time I received an email from Matt he opened with “hey guys” so what’s the point in collecting names if you’re not going to use them anyway Matt? Drop it. It’s not a major point as you only seem to be using it on your sidebar but every little conversion boost helps you get towards your 5% target. The next point however is much more important…. Make Your Optin Boxes Ugly & Unmissable If you want people to sign up they have to be able to see your optin boxes. It’s easy to miss Matt’s sidebar opt in as it blends in with the rest of the side bar. Matthew Woodward Edit: This currently converts at 1.9% based on 451,733 views and 8,637 subscribers. Make your optin boxes stand out so people cannot miss them. I use ugly green and orange optin boxes that you’d have to be blind to miss. This forces people to pay attention to them and increases your chance of collecting an email. Sure they look ugly, but is your goal to win design awards or grow your list? If you answered anything other than grow your list you’ve got your priorities all wrong. My Results… Since making my side in boxes ugly and unmissable I’ve saw side bar opt ins increase from just 1.6% to 2.3%
  • 8. Matt himself found that by changing the colour of a button CTR improved by 20% (Source: http://www.matthewwoodward.co.uk/tips/how-i-increased-profits-by-changing-the-colour-of-a-button/) So don’t think that simple changes to the colour of your opt in box won’t make much difference. Not only can it make them stand out more but certain colours DO perform better than others and can increase your conversion rate. Try it Matt, I think you could easily see a similar increase in conversion rate as I did by making that sidebar stand out. But just to throw a spanner in the works here, James Shramko found that by making his optin box blend in with his website conversions increased by 55% (Source: http://blog.leadpages.net/color-split-test-landing-page/) It’s a reminder that you should really test everything for yourself to be sure – something I know you will definitely do Matt. This will give your conversion rate a nice boost but nothing compared to the next point… Engage Your Perfect Subscribers With In Content Opt Ins Who better to get on your list than people who are really engaged with your content? These are the perfect subscribers. But even these people can get distracted and might not make it to the end of the post where the standard ‘below content’ opt in is to be found or see the side bar form. Yet I hardly see anyone, other than myself, doing this and they work really well for me. Matthew Woodward Edit: I have in content opt ins on a lot of posts, you can look the about page for the most extreme example. On the about page they convert at 5.9% but only 1.4% in normal posts. Here is a ‘live’ example-
  • 9. When I first started using these I wanted to keep them simple and unobtrusive so as not to ‘annoy’ my audience. These converted at just 0.5% as you can see below… Then I decided to make them ‘pop out’ a little and see what the result would be. This is what they look like now, big, ugly, unmissable green things like the one below that take up half the page and are plastered in the middle of the content …. I have different ones for different post topics ranging from niche ideas to blogging to affiliate marketing. My Stats…. The highest converting one converts at a cool 29.06% And no major effect in bounce rate has been noted since these were added. Below is time spent on page and bounce rate back in February before these optin boxes were added, 00:02:38 is the average time on page and 64.14% is the average bounce rate… And here’s my stats for last month below. Time on page has actually slightly improves and although bounce rate has gone up it’s not by a significant amount – the emails collected more than make up for it. This goes back to the previous point – beautiful is not always better. Bigger and uglier can cause higher conversion rates so don’t be afraid to make your site look ugly, after all collecting emails is what matters not design. Matt will know that as an affiliate marketer it’s not always the good looking sites that convert the best.
  • 10. How Matt Could Implement This… There’s a few different ways you could implement this Matt. You could create a few different incentives / optin boxes for the main topics on your site – SEO, affiliate marketing, traffic or whatever. And use them on any relevant posts. You don’t necessarily need to create brand new content but instead bundle some content together from your blog into a ‘package’ For example I took all my blogging posts and turned them into PDFs and gave it away as a ‘bloggers toolbox’ and the same for the affiliate marketing posts too. “Give users access to extra content (ebook, PDFs, images etc) in return for their email” – Matthew Barby (FindMyBlogWay.com) I re-used my 1791 niches list and bundles that together with some PDFs of other posts and guides and made that a “niche marketers toolbox”. Or you could simply offer your PDF version of the post that you give away using SocialLocker. These could really help push you to (and probably above) your 5% target. Or even better……use the hot new optin methods that’s getting some bloggers up to a 785% increase in opt ins that I’m about to talk about below…. The Hot New Opt In Method That’s Responsible For Up To 785% Increase In Conversions You might have noticed this recently. Instead of bloggers offering generic opt ins across the whole blog. Many are now offering post specific ‘content upgrades’ that compliment the post you are reading. I first noticed this way back March in this post (Source: http://nichehacks.com/increase-email-list/) when I talked about how Vero were using custom post giveaways and had increased sign ups by 150% in just 4 weeks. Now everyone is doing it including Brian Dean who’s seen up to a 785% increase in conversions since utilizing content upgrades (http://backlinko.com/increase-conversions) such as checklists and addition tips. The idea behind it is simple – offer your user something extra in exchange for their email address. The content upgrade doesn’t need to anything lengthy or special it can take the form of a checklist, PDF copy of the post, cheat sheet, or additional information, and ideally should not take too long to create.
  • 11. “I decided to see if giving away a post-specific resource would increase conversions on my blog post: Google’s 200 Ranking Factors: The Complete List. The result? A 785% increase in conversions (compared to the previous month)” – Brian Dean, Backlinko.com It makes so much sense. Someone who’s reading a post about 34 Ways To Increase Your Blogs Email Address is more likely to enter their email to receive an extra 10 ways or a printable checklist related to the post than they are to get a generic offer like 1781 niches. Matthew already does this in a sense. He offers PDF copies if you unlock them via his SocialLocker but instead he gets social shares rather then emails. Which would you rather? Again if the answer was anything other than ’emails’ your priorities are wrong. There are multiple ways to add content upgrade to single posts – through entry pop ups, exit pop ups, and in content pop ups. And exit pop ups are really working well right now. Gives your users 3 chances to get the content upgrade and makes it unlikely they’ll miss it – this will skyrocket anyone’s conversion rate. “My number one tip, although you may not like it is exit popup. On exit ask for their email… it is really effective and that is how most of the popular bloggers are building their list these days” – Neil Patel How To Find Your Most Trafficked Pages You can find your high traffic pages using Google Analytics. Google Analytics > Site Content > All Pages
  • 12. My Results For now I’ve focused on adding cont
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