If you’re a subscriber of ours here at RoarLocal, then you may have noticed that we’ve been a little quiet for the past week.
As you might expect, there’s a very good reason for my silence.
It all started a few weeks ago…
I realised that I was cranking out high-quality, helpful content, but that I wasn’t seeing the return for my time and effort.
Incidentally, writing these posts and ensuring they get spread far and wide across the interweb is a surprisingly time-consuming process. I want to ensure that if I take the time to write, I’m getting a return on the time invested.
So, in my quest for more profitable content creation, I listened to a few of my favourite podcast episodes while I exercised or travelled.
Now, before I get to those, I want to explain why this is only part one of a three part series on content marketing for business owners.
Why Is This Only Part 1?
Over the past few weeks, I’ve created an improved system for creating and sharing content.
I’m going to share the three key parts to it over the coming 3 weeks. I’ve broken it down because if I wrote it all in one post, it would probably be 5,000+ words.
As good as a long post like that might be for our SEO, I realise that you don’t have all day.
So, I’m breaking it down into tasty bite-sized morsels.
Back To My Story…
You’ll remember that I was listening to other business owners and their podcasts in a quest to increase our profits from our content marketing.
One podcast lead me to a revelation and a new strategy that’s already improving our cashflow.
During the episode, Clay mentioned the fact that, with every new blog post, he and the LeadPages team gave away a new landing page template for their readers to use.
So, at the end of every post, there was a great giveaway that would increase the value of the post, increase reader loyalty and promote their product all-in-one.
A light bulb clicked on in my brain, as I realised not only the value that this gave Clay’s posts, but also how I could apply that thinking to RoarLocal.
And if my mentor and business partner Neil Asher has taught me anything, it’s that if you see a good strategy that’s working in another niche, take it and test it for your own niche.
The ‘Enhanced Blogging Method’ Case Study
So, I set out on a little testing adventure (I do a lot of testing but rarely on blog posts).
The following is both the strategy and the results.
A few months back, I started writing posts for the Roar blog and including an extra bonus at the end of them…
I call it ‘Enhanced Blogging’, and while I think I invented that term, I certainly didn’t invent the concept. (Props to Clay Collins for that one.)
The principle was simple: I wanted to give the readers of my blog an extra special something that would allow them to either learn more or apply what I taught in the post.
In exchange, I would get their email address for marketing purposes.
My theory was that doing this would benefit the business in three key ways:
- Increased segmentation of our existing subscribers
- New targeted subscribers joining our list
- And maybe even some sales of products and services that we offer
Think about it…
By creating something that people could download, I was adding value to the post and making it far more interesting to my audience than a regular ol’ post.
If people who were already on my subscriber list opted-in for the bonus, then I would be able to add them to a segment of people who were interested in, say, Facebook Advertising. This would mean that I could target them with tailored follow-ups, full of only the stuff they wanted to know about.
If readers weren’t on my list already, then this gave them a great opportunity to get something highly relevant and thus a great reason to come aboard.
As a result, my email sequence would get higher open rates and make the business more sales (but more on the email follow-up next week).
The Key To Getting Higher Opt-Ins
In the podcast episode that inspired my ‘Enhanced Blogging Method’, Pat and Clay spoke about the way to apply these bonuses to your blogging.
One key point was that you don’t want to place the opt-in form on the blog post as it looks like a glorified opt-in page.
Clay Collins makes the point that, when people land on a page on your site, they subconsciously decide whether it’s a giving page or a taking page. If it has a big opt-in form on it, then chances are it’s looking to take your information.
Nor do you want to use intrusive pop-ups. These tend to annoy people (even though they are proven to work very well in many niches).
So, how do you get the opt-in?
The answer is actually a mixture of both of those methods.
You use a clever tool called a LeadBox, a pop-up opt-in box that’s triggered when someone clicks a link that says something like ‘Click Here To Download My Free XYZ Report’.
LeadBoxes are available from the LeadPages team (grab the ‘Pro’ account with them for $67 per month to get the most benefits for the best price). You can easily integrate LeadBoxes with your WordPress site.
If you don’t have a WordPress site, you could just get your web designer to create a pop-up opt-in box for you.
The crucial thing is to make sure that the pop-up only appears to those people that actively click the link. No click, no opt-in form.
What this creates is a two step process which actually increases the commitment on the part of the prospect.
The fact that they’ve requested that pop-up actually means that they’re more likely to opt-in. After all, they’ve got halfway to getting the freebie, they might as well just complete the sign-up process, right? 😉
Does It Work?
In the spirit of transparency, prior to starting this test, the blog as a whole was getting an opt-in rate of around 1.5%. People were reading the blog and then a handful of them would head over to our 7 Reasons Report page and subscribe.
Here are the stats:
- Over my past 11 blog posts, I’ve given away something for free in 9 of them (and done one affiliate promotion).
- For those 9 occasions, I was a little lazy. I only actually created 5 different giveaways instead of a unique one for each post. In some cases, I was writing about a similar topic (Facebook Ads) so I gave away our Facebook report on 4 out of those 9 occasions.
- During the experiment, from the first ‘Enhanced Blog’ going live to now, the LeadBoxes have had an average opt-in rate of 36.6% with some posts getting as much as a 47% opt-in rate.
- As a result, we generated 124 opt-ins more than usual from our last 11 blog posts. This is without promoting any of the blog posts via paid advertising, just from regular blog traffic and social sharing.
You can see a screenshot of our LeadBoxes and their opt-in rates as of this post below. Click the image to expand it.
However, while the extra opt-ins are most welcome, there’s one result I haven’t told you about yet…
One of the offers I tested was to actually give away some of my time to work with business owners to help them improve their digital marketing.
I called this a ‘Free Strategy Session’ and it’s one of my more recent offers (it only started about two weeks ago).
I’ve had several requests for my time (7 so far, as shown in the above screenshot) and I continue to get them, but in this case, I whittled them down to only a few that met my criteria, which included (but weren’t limited to):
- They had to have money to spend on their digital marketing
- They had to have a business that I knew I could help and that wasn’t in any morally dubious niches (like tobacco or gambling)
I was very open about the fact that, if I thought it appropriate, I would suggest some ways that we could help them by offering our paid services, not just free advice.
Of the people I helped, all of them went away with some strategies to improve their businesses and one of them came on board as a customer worth £6,500 (approximately $10,480) per year to my business.
‘So, What Are You Offering This Time, Smart Arse?’
Glad you asked. 😀
I’ve put together a free ‘cheatsheet‘ that shows you 5 high-converting giveaway ideas for your blog posts. Rather imaginatively, I’ve called it:
You can download it by clicking here.
In it, you’ll learn the 5 main types of content that you can create (quickly and easily in most cases) to leverage your blogging and get more subscribers. I’ll also explain the one major pitfall that you need to avoid when using one of them (and how to actually avoid it!).
Next week, I’ll share my insights into the 2nd part of the process, by using email autoresponders to develop a relationship with your prospects.
Have you used this technique? Or do you have other ways of adding value to your posts? Leave a message below with any comments or questions you might have and I’ll reply here as soon as I can.
Thanks for reading.