Many very good bloggers struggle to survive on a small trickle of visitors. Most fail.
It’s crucial to squeeze every last conversion from any and all traffic you get.
Here’s how to generate the highest possible returns (conversions) for your blogging efforts, per unit of blog traffic. These tips apply regardless of whether your blog gets 10 or 10 000 daily visits.
1. Tips on Choosing The Right Topic
It’s not rocket science. The ‘right’ topic has the potential to drive conversions— long term.
Preferably a subject you already know something about. Definitely a subject you are able to learn about.
Here are a few questions to ask yourself when deciding on a new topic:
Can I create something newsworthy around this topic?
Is there a reasonable amount of existing interest in this topic?
Are the people interested in this topic going to convert (i.e. buy something, follow, share, etc)?
How much competition is there for visibility in search and social for this topic?
Are there angles that competitors have missed?
How much time and effort will it take for me to become an expert in the subject matter?
Are there interesting related topics that could be used to expand coverage and increase reach and visibility?
What are some amazing titles that will likely get the target audience excited about reading my articles?
Spend a lot of time pondering potential titles and outlines. Titles are hard. Titles are important.
A good outline is something that evolves with your blog post.
An outline should be presented as an ordered list of major incentives/benefits to the reader. It’s not exclusively a description of the content.
Flood your post with passion. Stuff it full of brilliant insights. Sprinkle with attention grabbing media. Wrap it all in punchy, concise writing and beautiful, clear formatting.
A title is to a blog post what an elevator pitch is to a startup.
A blog description must inspire readers with an exciting promise of value.
The description isn’t about the content; it’s about the reader.
2. Tips on Understanding Your Niche Better
You’ll struggle to get traffic and drive conversions if you don’t understand who’s out there, what they want, how to deliver it, who’s already delivering it (search based competitor research is a great way to find out which Web properties currently dominate) and how you’ll become sustainable.
For blog posts that are cornerstones of your overall content strategy, you’ll need a plan. A well informed strategy.
Think of a single blog post as a startup business in its own right.
Treat each blog post funnel like a side hustle business that you work on until it’s awesome enough to launch.
A good blog post business plan helps differentiate your content from millions of competitors.
A blog post business plan will tell you whether or not your idea is viable and worth pursuing.
Planning a blog post for commercial purposes usually looks like this.
Free blog post business plan taken from ‘How to make money blogging‘.
3. Tips on Designing & Building Funnels
Here’s how a funnel works.
Create a page that acts as a conversion (i.e. an eCommerce sale, a newsletter signup, a new social follower, etc) point for the specific topic.
Create several closely related posts that serve to drive traffic towards the primary landing page from other parts of your blog.
Create noteworthy and newsworthy content that serves to drive traffic to posts on your site from other sites.
Easier said than done. Be prepared to work hard. To work smart.
Blogging is an online war and each post is a new battleground for visibility & revenue.
Create a newsworthy story by talking about other people, organizations or businesses doing incredible things.
Influence any influencer with an easy 3-step process. Offer. Engage. Pitch.
Draw on your newfound experience and knowledge to write and pitch fantastic guest articles to related blogs, websites & media.
Great new content is behind every cent you earn.
4. Tips on Ongoing Improvements
Monitor funnel performance over time.
The funnel might be imperfectly designed — plug content gaps, update or improve articles, etc. Google may send mismatched search traffic. New & better opportunities may arise.
Analyze. Adapt. Repeat.
No matter how good a job you do at the beginning there will always be room for improvement. Sometimes in the most unexpected places.
Writing great blog content, for example, is one of those skills you never completely master. There’s always something new to learn.
Think of headers as the cheerleaders of your content.
Great formatting can entice skimmers to stay on-page and become engaged readers.
Trustworthy citations are evidence of research & quality and provide a platform to connect with influencers in the same niche.
Blogging is a collaborative effort and diverse perspectives add value.
Don’t add visuals for the sake of it; but don’t post content without it.
Making money is about understanding what readers want and offering irresistible CTAs to help them get it.
Starting & growing an email marketing list is non-negotiable for bloggers.
With great traffic volumes comes great earning power.
Great SEO is necessary but not sufficient to rank.
That’s the theory, but blogging as a sustainable commercial venture (i.e. for business growth, to drive sales, generate passive income, etc) is not easy.
While these four steps might seem like excessive work to create a bit of blog content, it’s vital to maximize returns from the time, money and effort put into your content.
The smarter you work, the higher your benefit to cost ratio will be. Churning out large volumes of new content with lower lifetime returns is actually significantly more work in the long run.
I like to summarize blogging like this (a bit tongue in cheek).
I thought blogging would be easy. After years of back-breaking labor I’ve finally been proved right.