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How to increase your blog conversions with a test drive

The blog is not dead.

Sure, your blog might not be as sexy as Instagram stories or slapping a cool video on YouTube, but…

your blog has something that no social media has.

Your blog makes people stop, look around and test the waters.

We call it the Test Drive Effect.

In this post, I am going to be talking about what is conversion on your blog and how to get more of it!

Before I get to that, let me tell you a story.

Once upon a time…

No…not THAT story. I want to tell you the story of my first speaking experience.

Long before I was invited to stand on the main stage and deliver a keynote speech, I delivered workshops, mostly in meeting rooms at my client’s building. 

A pretty safe gamble.

I would be given a room full of employees who HAD TO BE THERE. At the time, it was perfect for a not-so-good amateur like me.

Then I was invited to the big game – my first speaking engagement at a conference. I was to deliver one of 5 concurrent workshops in the 10:30 slot leading up to lunch. 

Now, the stakes were higher…people had a choice—5 “break-out” sessions all happening at once.

Here’s what happened. 

I noticed that when people arrive BY CHOICE (just like when they choose to read your blog) the energy is different. They were more interested in learning and applying what they were learning.

And they stayed longer, asked questions and wanted more information.

And when I offered my book, more people bought my book.

I call it the Test-Drive Effect.

The Test-Drive Effect

Here’s how it works.

When people come to your website, on average they only stay for about one minute (that’s pretty typical of all our clients’ sites). But when they go to your blog posts they stay for 4, 6, even over 10 minutes! 

“When people stop to read your blog they are staying for 4-10 minutes – that’s a big opportunity.”

Just like the break-out session at the conference, they are test driving your solutions. They don’t get the full solution they might if they hired you, but they begin to understand how you think, how you solve problems, your style and most importantly, how you can help them.

When people read your blog they are test driving your solutions and your business. Click To Tweet

You are giving them a test drive.

To increase blog conversions, you need to first appreciate what is conversion and then there’s one more thing you need to do…

What is conversion?

Now imagine people come to the break out session and there’s no offer? No call-to-action? 

Sure, they might have learned something, but they weren’t invited to take the next step. It’s no different from your blog—if you don’t ask you won’t get. People might stop and give you 6 minutes of their time, but if there is no reason to take another action, they’re off checking Facebook.

You have to ask for the next step.

In Robert Cialdini’s brilliant book Influence, he describes the principle of consistency “People like to be consistent with the things they have previously said or done.” When you ask for a small action – like joining your mailing list – you are one step closer to a big action – like a purchase decision.

Why? Because when people take that first step with a small “yes” they are that much closer to saying “YES” with a big purchase. 

When people take that first step with a small “yes” they are that much closer to saying “YES” with a big purchase. Click To Tweet

Just like test driving a car. When you take the car off the lot for a spin around the block the salesperson knows that if you come back saying all sorts of wonderful things about the experience you are much closer to saying “YES” to the car purchase. You are motivated to be consistent with your behavior.

That leads to increased blog conversions.

What small ‘Yes’ can you can ask for? It could be as simple as:

  • Invite them to read a second, related blog post
  • Ask them to join your list and receive future blog posts directly to their InBox.
  • Direct them to see your services or products.
  • Suggest they download a special report or one-page cheat sheet you created.
  • Send them to a self-assessment test.
  • Invite them to book a consultation or coaching call.
  • Give them 2 chapters of your new book.

Now it’s your job

Now it’s your job to put your blog to work. Sure you can fiddle away trying to get more Instagram followers or likes on Twitter – all good stuff – or you can convert blog readers to sales. It’s your choice.

When we work with small business owners we always start with the end goal. Just like a break-out session at a conference or test-driving a new car, there is always an end goal.

From there we design blog posts that get readers to stop and make a decision. There has to be a next step (I’ve given you 7 above).

Once your reader takes the first step (the test drive) it’s always easier to help them take the next, bigger step. And that leads to your ultimate goal: increased blog conversions.

Enjoyed this article? Here are 3 more articles all about putting your blog to work:

10 surprisingly simple tune-ups to make your blog sexy
5 brilliant ways to start your blog post with a bang
9 blog topic ideas your audience will love

Article Author

Hugh Culver

Speaker, author, athlete and founder of BlogWorks. I speak and write about getting stuff done and the art of growing younger.

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