So why would you want subscribers anyway? All you need is blog traffic, right?
Traffic numbers are mesmerising especially if you get them in nice values. Thousands of hits per day is something that will surely make you to be proud of!
When you look at the analytics (Google Analytics, or whatever), and when you see those numbers rise, you pat yourself on your back for the good job done.
If I were next to you, I will also pat your back for sure if you see good traffic numbers that are growing regularly. Never mind, I shall send you an e-pat via email.
But before that let’s think about a crucial thing for a while. Is getting traffic all that matters?
Let’s dissect your traffic. It comprises of:
- people who casually click a link in their Twitter or Facebook or Google+ stream
- people who were searching for something in Google, found your link and clicked through
- people who were casually browsing through a website’s comment section and found your comment to be outstanding and clicked through the link to check out who you are
- people who have heard their friends mentioning you and they come to check out you.
The list can go on and on. If you notice the list above, I can say one thing – people come across your link somehow and then they decide to click through.
Seeing your link in their social media stream or on a blog post is not a guaranteed thing (even if you did a planned promotion/marketing campaign, and the people are coming across your link somehow, and not as you planned).
For one, the person should be online while your post is promoted on social media. Given the noise in most social platforms the chances that your post will go down the stream and get lost are pretty high.
Second reaching out to your target audience via social media is a generic form of promotion as opposed to a personalized form.
Now don’t get me wrong, I am not saying that social media promotion is a waste of time. Or the links and mentions you earn are waste.
But think about this – if you land on someone’s inbox, the reach is much more personal rather than blasting in public. The guarantee that the person will see and/or click through your link is also much higher (there is no 100% guarantee in any case though).
Not just for traffic. Not just for getting people to click your links and make them come to your blog. But in order to build relationships, having their email is a crucial thing.
Now let’s see why you are able to get traffic to your website but fail at converting a good number of those people. By “converting” I mainly mean making them your subscribers; having them on your email list so you can be in touch and do in-person promotion.
You don’t provide useful content
Yes, you heard me. May be for the millionth time. I am not bored or annoyed to give this piece of advice again over and over because I want to make sure the message is clear.
If your content is not useful to them in the first place, why would they be interested in you or want to hear more from you?
Don’t publish any piece of content unless it is useful to your readers. If you do so, you will be wasting your time and efforts because nobody is going to take you serious.
So how to create useful content?
That’s a topic for a separate blog post or even an ebook. But let me briefly cover the important points here.
- You have to first know your audience. If you don’t know whom you are talking to, you can’t be useful to them.
- You have to take the guess work out of the equation and actually get to know what is “useful” to your reader.
- Every piece of content you create should provide practical, applicable tips. Even if you don’t provide a tutorial for things, helping people apply what you shared is what makes a piece of content useful.
- Get feedback often from your readers so you exactly know what people find useful and what does not appeal them very much.
I can go on adding, but you get the point.
You don’t have conversion elements in place
If you don’t use the tools or means to make people your subscribers, how are they going to provide you with their email address?
Even if people like you and if they are willing to join you, if you don’t provide them with the “facility” they are just going to bounce off.
Don’t let the word “conversion elements” scare you – those are nothing but the “means” through which your readers become your subscribers.
A simple example is this:
An optin form where people can input their name and email so it gets added to your list; and you can send emails to your list afterwards.
So where to put those conversion elements? Unfortunately there is no one size fits all solution. Every blog is different.
For some blogs, an optin form in the header performs well. For some blogs a sign up form right after the content works great.
For most blogs a sidebar optin form performs very poorly because people are so used to it that they’ve become blind to it!
So it really depends on your audience and the style you maintain at your blog. This means you have to do a lot of testing to see what works. And that is a lot of work.
But I am sure it will be totally worth it. The most common places to put a sign up form are:
- At the header
- After the header
- At the top of the sidebar
- At the end of the sidebar (preferably as a sticky widget)
- At the end of the post
- In the footer
- A popup (just make it un-annoying)
You get the idea.
Without such an option you can never expect people to join your list, because they just don’t know how.
You don’t do call to actions
Yup, call to actions. Those are nothing but bold, direct instructions to your readers. You tell them what you want them to do; and they do it (or not). If they end up doing it, you can be sure you took “confusion” off the equation for them.
Many times, people leave your website without taking any action is not because they don’t like but because they don’t know what to do next.
If you clearly tell them what to do, things will be much easier for your readers; and your conversions will skyrocket.
Clearly telling them what to do is nothing but a call to action. As an example at the end of a blog post, you could ask your readers to leave a comment on the post letting you what they think.
Or you can tell them to subscribe at the end of the post – this way they know exactly what they should do after reading your post.
These two are just examples. You can do much more with call to actions!
And call to actions are not meant to be placed only at the end of the post. You can place them at appropriate places inside the post. Here’s one example:
Remember, most people who visit your website are confused. They don’t know what to do next. Most people even don’t know what your website is about until they have visited your site at least 6 or 7 times!
Don’t let traffic slip through your fingers!
They say about 90% of the people who visit your site leave without taking any action (apart from reading the content). And they don’t come back again.
If you fail to make those casual visitors into loyal readers and subscribers, you are not creating a valuable asset to your business. Because floating population will not do business with you. Only loyal readers and fans will care.
Make sure you implement these 3 simple tips and let me know when you get the results. And don’t forget to share your thoughts in the comments below.