Build your blog: Tips from Backlinko CEO Brian Dean

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5 simple steps to convert visitors into loyal subscribers

build-list-loyal-subscribersInbound marketing is where it’s at in terms of going beyond building a blog to making money online. In Dublin, staying ahead of the game is made that little bit easier by the guys over at Learn Inbound, who put on regular events with phenomenal guest speakers. Recently, they hosted Brian Dean, founder of Backlinko, an expert in monetizing websites, building your SEO and content marketing.

He shared a dilemma he had in his early days as a content marketer – one that many of us face. He was getting plenty of traffic to his site, but it wasn’t converting – his visitors were coming and going without subscribing, meaning he might never see them again.

Brian shared a super simple strategy he used to increase his conversion rates, and I’ve jotted some down in five easy steps below.

1. Find your most visited pages

What are your most popular posts? Where do your visitors spend the most time? Use Google Analytics to find out. Generally, your site will follow the 80:20 rule – 80% of your traffic comes from 20% of your posts. Those top posts that are already getting a ton of traffic are where you want to start. This is the stuff your audience is interested in and wants more information on. And who better to give it to them? Hone in on those topics.

2. What do the people visiting those pages want?

This is a secret hidden in plain sight. It sounds ridiculously obvious, and yet most people are not doing it. The key to turning passing traffic into loyal subscribers is to keep asking yourself what the people landing on your site want (and then give it to them.) Your readers might already be giving you clues in the comment section. If not, ask them what they would find useful. Figure out what formats they love. Many of your most loyal subscribers will be happy to share their thoughts.

3. Create an exclusive, post-specific bonus

Create a relevant giveaway that is irresistible to your readers. The trick is to tailor it to a single post – one of the super popular ones you already identified above. It could be a PDF that expands on the topic, a video tutorial or an e-course that gives your audience exactly what they need – which you’ve already figured out in step 2. This is called a content upgrade. It doesn’t have to take a whole lot of time to create. It could be an expanded version of a post you’ve already done, a printable version, an e-book or a checklist.

4. Use a lead box

Pop ups work. They can be super annoying or less annoying, but they are absolutely proven to be effective. Exit intent popups (the ones that show up when you go to click out of the page) are less annoying because they don’t interrupt your reading of an article the same way timed pop ups do, and the user is leaving your site anyway, so you’ve got nothing to lost. You’ll need to use a plugin like Opt In Monster to create your popup and connect it to an email marketing service like ConvertKit to get started with collecting subscribers through content upgrades.

5. Make your giveaway prominent

So, now you’ve done all the hard work – it’s time to reap the rewards. You’re almost ready to start converting your visitors to subscribers at a substantially higher rate. (Brian mentioned conversion rates of about 4.5% for posts that have content upgrades, while Kim Roach of Buzz Blogger recently claimed rates of 10-15% on her content upgrades) Before it goes live, make sure your content upgrade is super prominent on your site. For Brian, having a yellow lead box seemed to be key – it may not be pretty, but it certainly grabs attention.

So there you have it – some super simply, actionable tips you can make a start on today. Thanks to Brian for an awesome talk.

Share your experiences on list building in the comments. Do you agree? Or do you still think awards like this are worthwhile?

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Comment (5)

  • Empire| August 1, 2016

    I think giveaways are a really nice way to get traffic, and also returning visitors.
    In my opininon, listening to what the audience is telling you is key. Also, I concentrate on where the traffic is coming from

  • Imogen Clegg| August 1, 2016

    Great tips! I think that seeing what type of posts the audience respond to more is really important

  • Ana De- Jesus| August 1, 2016

    Giveaways are great when your site is not hosted on Wix lol but yes they do bring new sources of traffic.

  • Borka| August 1, 2016

    These are such a great tips! Thank you! I particularly liked this one with a pop ups, they can be annoying but they work. I can’t wait to upgrade my blog.

  • Crystal (Travel Pockets)| August 4, 2016

    Great tips! I still need to work on a freebie to get more subscribers, but still not sure what to offer! I’ll figure it out after a million other things I have to do for the blog 😉

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