What’s the point of a business blog?
Leads and sales, right?
And blogs are a great opportunity to do just that.
Blogs allow business owners to connect with readers on a more personal level, which builds trust. Plus, they’re great for showing off your breadth of knowledge on a subject.
And if you create great content consistently, you’ll be the first company that comes to mind when people think of problem X / Y / Z…
Most blogs don’t take advantage of the great content they create.
In fact, I’m going to make a statement that will offend some of people:
A blog post by itself is a waste of time. You heard me right.
I know what some of you might be thinking:
“Bologna, Tom! My blog has helped build my brand / business / whatever.”
Sure, there might be some truth to this statement (like the reasons mentioned above, SEO, etc.). But the fact remains: a blog post written, published, and forgotten is a waste of time…
Unless you leverage the content to be a massive lead generator for your business.
Glad you asked…
For companies that focus on email marketing, most blog strategy fits the following mold:
To make things more practical, let’s play with some numbers.
Let’s say this hypothetical blog gets about 10,000 unique visitors per blog post published. Of those 10,000, let’s say 3,000 are already subscribed to your content.
If 1% of unique visitors opt-in, that’s about 70 new subscribers per post.
Now let’s assume every subscriber is worth $10 to your company, and assuming a high quality blog post takes about 10 hours to create, you’re generating $700 per blog post, or $70 in revenue per hour of effort.
But also a waste…
“Pickleshoes, Tom! These numbers are great – how is this a waste!?”
Because of the opportunity cost of not leveraging this blog post to into something that generates twice as many subscribers (and therefore double the revenue) with only a fraction more time commitment.
So how do we leverage a blog post in this way?
By using the Hyper-Targeted Upsell Technique…
The Hyper-Targeted Upsell Technique is all about creating highly targeted bonus content for your readers to encourage them to opt into your newsletter.
Like I mentioned before, most blogs have generic opt-in opportunities (front page, sidebar, below content, popup etc.).
The better ones have a persuasive – but still generic – opt-in incentive (a “lead magnet” or “opt-in bribe”): “Free WordPress theme when you subscriber.”
This helps increase conversion, but still leaves a ton on the table.
So what’s the alternative?
To get very specific with the opt-in incentive we offer visitors, and place it in the right spot at the right time.
Okay, this is pretty standard, and if you have a blog, you know how to do it…
A Value Upgrade is anything that increases the lifespan of said blog post.
Recently, I wrote a blog post about pivoting.
The question I wanted to answer: when and HOW should a company pivot?
If someone reads this blog post and likes it, what can we assume would be a value upgrade?
Here are a few examples:
I could probably think of a dozen more, but you get the idea.
Don’t over think this step.
The key here is to add more value to the original blog post.
The point is NOT to spend twice as much time creating the upgrade as you did the blog post (although even then, the results might be worth it).
Keep things simple.
Any of the examples listed above could be created in less than an hour if all the research has been done for the original blog post.
Once you’ve created your Value Upgrade, save it in an appropriate file format (PDF, Zip, whatever).
Next, we need to make the Value Upgrade available for your readers, but with a catch:
They have to opt-in in (give you their email address) to receive it.
There are two very painless ways to do this (it’s also possible to hard-code this into your site, but these solutions are much faster and cheaper):
LeadPages is really easy-to-use software that allows users to create unique landing pages (for sales pages, webinars, etc.).
Recently, LeadPages developed an incredibly useful new tool: LeadBoxes with integrated Lead Magnet Delivery.
A LeadBox allows you to create a “popup box” out of a link or image; the lead magnet delivery allows you to send a file immediately to the email address people enter.
LeadBox integrates with most email marketing providers (Mailchimp, Infusionsoft, etc.) and has quite a bit of flexibility beyond what’s described here (although for our purposes, this is all we need).
Pros: Super easy to use; create really cool popup opt-in boxes (proven to increase conversion).
Cons: Expensive if you’re just starting out
If you don’t feel like paying for LeadPages, another method is to use Gumroad. Gumroad is actually an ecommerce tool – it allows creators to sell directly to their audiences.
The platform is intuitive and easy to set up, plus it looks great.
The cool feature about Gumroad: it offers Pay What You Want pricing starting at $0.
So while Gumroad wasn’t designed as a Lead Magnet Delivery tool, I’ve used it for that by setting the price for a Hyper-Targeted Upsell at $0+ (the plus means contribute whatever you want).
And you can very easily integrate Gumroad with your email marketing provider using a tool called Zapier.com, which automates the email collection process…plus, it’s free for smaller lists, so it’s a great tool for bootstrappers.
Pros: you can actually get paid while getting new subscribers (I’ve made hundreds from small products using this technique). Note: Gumroad will take 5% + $.25 per transaction, so just FYI (but they won’t charge you anything for a $0 purchase price…awesome).
Cons: the ecommerce piece could confuse new visitors, so make it absolutely clear they don’t have to pay for it (but can give you a tip if they’d like). Also, it requires an https configuration if you want to keep people on your site (otherwise the visitor goes offsite).
Again, very simple.
Publish the post and offer your Hyper-Targeted Upsell at the end (or somewhere throughout the article).
I try to create images for every Hyper-Targeted Upsell I create so people don’t miss the offer, but you can just as easily use a standard text link.
*These numbers are taken from my personal case study. Results may very.
Remember how I mentioned the blog post where I created an opt-in-incentive for people who read my article on pivoting?
I created a 10 page downloadable checklist and workbook so people could not only learn how to pivot, but have something to help them work through their own pivots (this took me a couple extra hours on top of the 9 hours I took to write the post).
The blog post has been live for about a week and here are the results.
|Page Views||Unique Visitors||Unique Value Upgrade Clicks||Opt-ins||New Subscribers||Overall Blog Post Conversion*||New Subscriber Conversion %|
|*Unique Visitors / Opt-ins|
Overall, the blog post itself converted 18% of readers. That means 18% of people who came to the page opted in to get the download.
Of those who opted in, 5% were completely new subscribers (the remaining 13% were current subscribers, which is great – it means many readers are engaged and enjoy my work).
Using our numbers from the original hypothetical blog post above, a 5% conversion rate on a blog post would be 500% higher conversion than a standard blog post. It would also mean 350 new subscribers per blog post, or an additional $3,500 in revenue (or about $290 per hour of work).
$3,500 is $2,800 more revenue per blog post with only an extra couple hours of work.
I could calculate the ROI for you, but you get the point.
Who says a blog post is only good once?
Once you’ve created this awesome blog post and incentive, integrate it into your Twitter Growth Machine and your Automatic Sales Funnel. If it’s valuable content, new subscribers will want to get access to the
Value Upgrade you created (and the more your subscribers engage with your content, the better).
Even better, find ways to guest blog or push people back to this Value Upgrade through targeted content marketing (for example, now I could write a blog post about pivoting for another companies website and send people back to the workbook and checklist I created).
By doing this, you’re multiplying the power of a single blog post and making it much more valuable in the long run.
How are you going to implement The Hyper-Targeted Upsell Technique for your company?
Let us know by Tweeting @TribeBoost.
Oh, and if you enjoyed this blog post, share it with someone you know who writes a blog – I promise you they’ll thank you for it.