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How to Apply Consistency to Your Website to Get More Leads

In a small suburb of California, researchers went door to door with an absurd request.

They were asking homeowners if a huge ‘Drive Safely’ sign could be erected on their front lawn. As you might expect, almost no one agreed.

But, on one street a strange thing happened – over 70% of people actually agreed. The reason they said yes could be one secret to you getting more sales.

What happened?

Well, one week earlier the same homeowners had been asked if a small sticker could be placed on their window with the same message. It was such a small request that almost all of them agreed.

When one week later the same person returned and asked about placing the huge sign on their lawn. As it was much harder for the homeowner to reduce the request, the sign went up.

The Principle of Persuasion

In his 1984 ground-breaking book, Influence, psychologist, Robert Cialdini1Learn more about Robert Cialdini’s 6 principles of persuasion. identified 6 principles of how to get someone to say yes (convert them). They are:

  • Reciprocity – we want to return a favour
  • Scarcity – we buy because it is in short supply
  • Authority – we believe trustworthy and credible experts
  • Liking – we say yes to people we like
  • Consensus – we trust the power of the crowd, and
  • Consistency
In his best-selling book, Influence, psychologist Robert Cialdini defines the 6 principles of how to get someone to say yes (convert).

The Principle of Consistency

The principle of consistency states that we like to be consistent with what we have said or done in the past. Tell people you like Grande, nonfat, Caramel Macchiato, and next time you’re in Starbucks you’re more likely to order it (even if you’d feel better drinking tea).

Consistency also plays a part in marketing and sales.

Your waitress drops by your table to ask how your meal is. With your mouthful, you pause, consider how delicious the burger is a mumble that it’s great. What appears to be simply good customer service is also the principle of consistency in action.

Customers who agree they liked their meal are more likely to order dessert2There are many studies on the impact of a waiter’s behaviour and the number of tips they receive. One study found that if waitresses added a smiley face on a bill it increased tips (but not for waiters) and when waitresses briefly touched the patron’s arm when asking if they’d like to order a drink, tips increased an average of 25%., stay longer, and tip more generously.

The ad agency wants you to think that the new truck displayed in their ads is a perfect fit for a person like you (adventurous, rugged, and the kind of person who would happily hook a chain to a friend’s 4X4 and pull them out of the mud).

A car salesperson wants you to agree that you like the color of the new car in the showroom.

We are responding to our need to be consistent without knowing it. Applying the principle of consistency to your website can motivate visitors who otherwise might visit and leave to stop and take action.

First, you need to deal with a high exit rate.

High Exit Rate

The goal of your website is to showcase your business to prospects and fill your sales funnel. Of course, your website can help build a brand, or offer members access to a membership site, but the primary goal is sales.

Unfortunately, that’s not what’s happening. Most visitors to your site arrive and then leave. Quickly.

How to Apply Consistency to Your Website to Get More Leads - Exit Rate
Unfortunately, most visitors to your site leave on without getting past the first page

Imagine running a store where customers walk in the door, look around, and then leave – within one minute. It would be disastrous! The reality is that one minute is the average time people will stay on your site.

The good news is that a small percentage of those visitors will stay 3, 5 even 10 minutes. Those are your future customers.

The trick for getting short-time visitors to your site to become long-time visitors is to get them to take one small step. That’s where the principle of consistency comes in.

Just like you agreeing with your waitress that you like your meal if you can get a visitor to act in a way consistent with what they believe in you have a good first step.

One Small Step in the Right Direction

A good place to start is with your customers. Start by asking yourself what does your ideal customer already believe about themselves?

Brian Clark’s company Copyblogger invites readers who consider themselves to be “smarter” to join his list and learn more from his company.

How to Apply Consistency to Your Website to Get More Leads - CopyBlogger
Caption What does your ideal customer believe about themselves?

Like many software companies, Convertkit invites site visitors to take a free trial of their software. What happens next is a great example getting prospects to take one small step.

Once, you click the button to take the free trial you are asked a simple question: are you starting a new mailing list or moving from a competing product?

Depending on how you answer that question you are asked one more question about your goals and then led to enter your name and email to open a free trial account.

The genius of this step-be-step method is that prospects are being led down a path of consistency—each question naturally follows what you indicated in the last question.

How to Apply Consistency to Your Website to Get More Leads - Convertkit
Convertkit using the principle of consistency by asking prospects to answer questions that are consistent with the previous question.

Getting started

Getting a prospect to say yes to a sale will always be easier if they are acting consistently with their beliefs and the way they have acted in the past. Using the principle of consistency could be the secret weapon for turning your website into a sales funnel and converting more visitors into customers.

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

The ultimate guide: How to use images, videos and screenshots in blog posts
How to build your perfect website performance dashboard in just 5 minutes
How to write an amazing roundup post

Thinking About Creating Your First Online Course? Take This Test First.

Starting an Online Course?

Online courses are all the rage.

Especially (as I write this) in a time of the Covid-19 pandemic, the demand for online learning is huge.

And it’s getting bigger. The global market for e-learning is expected to reach $241 billion by 2022 – largely driven by the growth of Internet infrastructure, global connectivity and a growing acceptance of online learning.

If you’re already in the business of coaching, training, keynotes, the transition to online learning is a pretty obvious next step. Afterall, who wouldn’t want to get paid while you sit at home in your jammies watching Office reruns on Netflix?

I went down that road.

My first attempt at distant learning was a box-set of audio lessons for time management. It was a painful, time consuming and expensive exercise that after one year barely returned my investment.

Fast forward 5 years and I sold my first online course teaching how to build a public speaking business. For over 20 years I’d been earning a nice paycheck delivering corporate training and keynote speeches, so it was a natural next step to teach others my approach.

[For over 20 years I’d been earning a nice paycheck delivering corporate training and keynote speeches, so it was a natural next step to teach others my approach.]

That course was a home run and earned over $250,000.

Nice, right?

So, if an online course can be so profitable, why am I saying don’t do it?

Before I get to that, let’s look at what is an online course.

What is an online course?

Online courses come in many forms. The most popular is an automated, self-directed series of videos and handouts (possible quizzes as well) hosted on an LMS (Learning Management System) like Kajabi, Thinkific, or Teachable.

Your course will take loads of time to create, but the LMS takes care of registration, sign-in, delivery of each module, managing the student’s progress, and payments.

Modern LMS platforms, like Thinkific, make it easy to organize your course content into a professional-looking package

You can also create a video course hosted on LinkedIn Learning (was Lynda.com before being purchased by LinkedIn in 2015) or Udemy. Both of these platforms give you access to millions of viewers and offer profit sharing on revenues.

What topics are best for online learning?

The scope of online learning topics is growing daily. The old standards of learning Excel and Word have been joined by every possible type of technical lesson (Adobe, Java, UX), self-development, crafts, photography, self-employment, and hundreds of other topics.

If you already teach something, you are probably a good fit for the online learning world. The entrepreneurs I see moving successfully into this space teach on topics including online marketing, goal setting/achievement, video/YouTube, finances and self-development.

If you have expertise (even in tiny niche topics) there is a space for you with online learning

There are also outliers, like a course on the history of pro wrestling from MIT, the art of clowning (for fun and profit), and my all-time favourite: what to text a girl you like.

Why everybody wants an online course

If you’ve slaved away in the public speaking arena or as a consultant or corporate trainer, online courses can look like manna from heaven. You already know the content and with a bit of effort you could have that wonderful PASSIVE INCOME that you’ve always wanted.

While it is true that many seasoned experts have successfully transitioned to online learning (like I did). The mistake most entrepreneurs make is they grossly underestimate not only what’s involved to build and perfect their first online course, they rarely consider what’s needed to attract the students.

[The mistake most entrepreneurs make is they grossly underestimate not only what’s involved to build and perfect their first online course, they rarely consider what’s needed to attract the students.]

What you need to make it work

Fair enough, if you plan on loading a course on Udemy or LinkedIn Learning, your work is pretty simple. Create an amazing course on a super popular topic and help drive traffic to that course.

That’s a great place to start.

By the way, those sites are great for doing research on the most popular topics. Search by keyword for your topics and then look at the student registration numbers. In a few minutes, you can discover what topics are trending.

Platforms like Udemy are great for doing quick research on best-selling topics

If you are going on your own you’re into a whole different ball game.

To start, you need to design and create the course – that’s true no matter what route you take. That process alone would take me a month of planning, writing, creating my slide decks, time in a studio and then hours of editing the finished course lessons.

Once your course is loaded onto your LMS, you need to build your sales funnel. Nobody will find your course unless you drive traffic to it.

For that you’ll need an email list, opt in sequence to collect emails, landing page to sell the course, email sequence to nurture your leads and some kind of attention-grabbing events like webinars to convert leads.

And then you need marketing to drive traffic to that event. You can go down the affiliate road of cross-promotion (I’ll promote your course if you promote mine) or paid advertising.

Or, maybe you should just walk away now.

Sorry, to be a black cloud over your passive income dreams, but here’s the reality.

The complexity of transitioning your existing content to an online platform and then marketing that course is not for the faint-hearted. And it’s unlikely you can do it all yourself.

I have always had an assistant to help with the non-creative details like messing with software set up, void credit cards and student’s questions. Every successful online course creator I know has a team.

But, there’s a more important consideration – is this right for you?

After, fielding dozens of calls and emails from want-to-be course creators I’ve come up with a quick test. This might just save you from months of frustration and from heading down a dark road of exhausting effort.

A quick test for you!

I was speaking with a friend this week who’s a coach. It seems every time we speak the subject of online courses comes up. “Maybe I should build an online course – what do you think?”

First, I know in all the years she has been asking me this same question she’s probably invested, oh I don’t know, 5 minutes of research into how courses work. My sage advice is unlikely to change anything.

In frustration, I offered a new response: “Here’s a test: if you don’t like technology you won’t like online courses.” For example, you:

  • Have never looked at the analytics for your website (and have no idea if it’s even installed),
  • Think keyboard shortcut keys are for geeks,
  • Rarely go to Google or YouTube to solve problems.
  • Have sticky-notes with login passwords stuck to your screen.

The reality is creating and driving traffic to an online course is technical. I’m not even talking about the complications of the LMS you use – which have plenty of complexity – even understanding how your online course fits into a sales funnel is enough to make most entrepreneurs throw up their hands and quit.

Thinking About Starting an Online Course?
Building a successful sales funnel that actually attracts students is a critical (and complicated) piece of the online course puzzle.]

The good news is there are other (much less technical) ways to serve more people and make more money.

Here’s what you can do instead

When entrepreneurs come to me for advice about diving into the online course world I try to explain what the deep end could look like and to remind them of the alternatives.

Sure, lots of people are making good money with their courses. And they help students solve problems or start a new hobby.

But, there’s more than one road to Rome.

These 4 alternatives will let you serve more people, hopefully increase your income. And you can always add an online course to your product mix later.

  1. Sell a premium product. A percent of your clients will always pay for a premium service. If you are a consultant who normally charges $2,000 for client work, create a $10,000 more in-depth offering. Solve a bigger problem and you can attract a bigger fee.
  2. Bundle your services. When you offer more value you can charge more. If you’re a coach, maybe include pre-recorded video lessons of you teaching your favourite models. If you’re a consultant, add coaching, follow-up, or employee assessments.
  3. Group delivery. If you want to reach more people or offer a lower priced offering, create a group delivery option. If you’re a coach, invite clients to a for-fee webinar or host a coaching session on zoom using break-out rooms. The goal is to serve more people and increase your revenues.
  4. Affiliate sales. Promote someone else’s course and earn a commission. If you have a list, most course promoters will love to hear from you. I’ve done this successfully for courses and as an affiliate for software that I recommend.

Believe it or not, I am a big fan of online courses.

I use them for my own learning and have been successful at creating them.

But, as lucrative as an online course might be it can also be a huge distraction from doing the hard work of building your business.

So, before you hide away in your basement toiling away on your first course, please heed my advice and look at the alternatives first.

You’re welcome.

Enjoyed this article about growing your business? Here are 3 more all about business success:

Blogging vs Social Media, what gets you the best ROI?
How to hire an awesome writer for your blog
How to write an amazing roundup post

A Survival Guide for Small business Owners During a Crisis (or any time)

A survival guide for small business owners during a crisis (or any time)

The world has changed.

And a lot of those changes are permanent.

The Covid-19 pandemic has forced us (if you weren’t already) to work from home and to depend exclusively on online communications.

It’s not business as usual. And it won’t be for a long time.

As a business owner, I have employees and contractors that rely on my business for some or all of their income. Fortunately, BlogWorks is an online company. We have an office, but other than two of us, we all work remotely.

As an online company, we’ve organized our systems to connect with our clients and team members from anywhere and at any time.

What about you?

If you are now working from home for the first time, or you’ve had a home office for years, now is a great time to revisit the equipment and systems you need to operate effectively in our increasingly online world.

This is my survival guide for small business owners in a crisis (or any time).

1. Watch your numbers

If you want to grow your business, start with good data. Like driving a car, you need a dashboard with feedback to know how you are performing.

Putting together even a simple weekly dashboard can help identify where you are wasting money and effort, but also be a good motivator for you and your team.

Here are some of the basic numbers to watch:

  • Break-even point. The number of customers it takes to cover your monthly operating expenses. If you’re launching a new online course or subscription service, calculate your BEP to know what volume you’ll need to get in the black.
    • For example, if video production, hosting services (video and learning platform), advertising and hours of an assistant all come to $4,500, at $500 per course, you’re first 9 customers cover your costs.
  • Life-time value of a customer. This is simple math: total revenue expected from an average customer less acquisition cost = LTV of a customer.
    • You need to know the dollar value of a typical customer to make decisions about advertising (if you spend $45 in Facebook advertising to acquire a customer is that worth it?), investing in a new online course, or hiring a sales assistant.
  • Margin on sales. If you sell an online course or run a subscription service (software, services, maintenance, etc.) it’s easy to calculate and monitor the margin (revenue less variable expenses) of a sale. This neat tool from Shopify lets you calculate gross margin.

    Knowing your margin on sales is a good first step to a realistic projection of profits
    Knowing your margin on sales is a good first step to a realistic projection of profits
  • ROI on advertising. Been boosting ads on Facebook or paying for a Google Adwords listing? It’s time to put a dollar return on that investment. This free tool will help you run scenarios of ad spend, clicks and sales.
    • If you’re using an advertising consultant, they should be providing tracking numbers, if not, hire a consultant to put these numbers together for you. Don’t throw more money at advertising without knowing your numbers!

      Return on Investment
      Like any investment, the measure of success with Facebook advertising has to be ROI on spend
  • Return on social media. Are you pounding away at building an Instagram following, hoping it will turn into sales? Or starting every day checking Facebook updates?
    • A quick visit to Google Analytics will show the traffic social media brings in. Traffic is only one measure, social media can provide other benefits like: brand awareness, nurturing your followers, and announcing launches and specials.
Social Media Traffic
If you are investing in social media marketing you need to know what traffic it creates

2. Build a morning routine

I can’t think of any habit more important to develop than a morning routine. A simple morning routine can get you ready to “go to work” and prepare you for a productive day. New research from the Journal of Management found that “reattachment” to work in the morning is critical of high productivity.

“Those who consciously took a few minutes to mentally reattach to their work by reflecting on their goals and priorities experienced ‘a cascade of positive experiences during the day.’” – Inc Magazine

The idea of a morning routine is to reduce the influence of mood, or quality of sleep and to ensure that you can maximize your productivity in what are typically the most productive hours of your day.

Some things to include in your routine:

  • Before you go to bed make a quick note of the first work you’ll tackle in the morning.
  • Wake up at the same time.
  • Limit social media or reading/watching the news.
  • Inspire and ground yourself. I prefer exercise, but meditation, reading, music, or walking are all great ways to ease into your morning work.
  • Eat like an athlete – avoid sugars, simple carbs and fatty foods – instead choose complex carbs, protein and fiber to enjoy steady energy lasting all morning.
  • Transition to work time at the same time everyday. (see #5 How to organize your home office, below).
  • Work from your Flight Plan (#3, below).
Oatmeal
Start your day with a simple meal of complex carbohydrates and enjoy more consistent energy through your morning.

3. Plan like a pilot

Pilots would never leave the runway without a clear destination and you should never start your week without clear goals for the week.

I wrote about planning like a pilot in my book Give me a Break. The idea is pretty simple…

Take 5 minutes every Monday morning (I walk you through the process in this post) to think through where you want to “land” on Friday. This quick planning routine can be the difference between a chaotic week of distractions and feeling productive on and on your game.

You can record your “Flight Plan” in Evernote, a journal, or create a Google Doc. What’s important is you think through a short-list of goals that will move your company forward this week.

For larger “boulders” (big projects that take many days/months to complete), list the specific objective you need to complete this week. For example, if updating your website, the goal this week might be to research competitor’s sites and make a list of features you want to change on your site.

Flightplan
Your Flight Plan for the week tells you what’s most important and where you need to “land” by Friday.

Now, here’s the real value of your “Flight Plan” – catch yourself coming off a conference call or wrapping up a task and go to your Flight Plan for direction. Between every task is an opportunity to change course back to what’s most important for your business.

4. Learn how to outsource

As CEO of your business, you shouldn’t be spending your time learning how to do jobs you can easily outsource. That stifles growth and wastes your time.

The most obvious jobs to outsource are technical tasks like: updating your website, video editing, publishing your blog, or graphic design. But, you should also look at:

  • Bookkeeping
  • Editing your writing
  • Writing your blog (we can do that!)
  • Updating old blog posts that are underperforming (we can do that as well!)
  • Research for webinars and articles.
  • Editing photographs to include in your blog or on your website
  • Video shoots for sales videos, Facebook advertising, or landing pages on your website.
  • Building email sequences to send to people who opt-in to your list.
  • Purging old contacts in your mailing list
  • Creating a new lead magnet for your website

At BlogWorks we typically hire freelancers on Upwork and Fiverr. Other freelancer sites include: Freelancer, TopTal, or WorkHoppers.

The trick with using a freelance tool like Upwork is to use filters to quickly reduce the field to the best applicants

A good test of outsourcing a task is to calculate the cost (at your hourly rate) of learning the skills and completing the task, compared to hiring a freelancer. For example, it will take you 4 hours to learn how to master even the basic video editing skills using software like Camtasia (for PC) or Screenflow (for Mac).

Before you invest your hours learning how to do technical work, like video editing, compare that to hiring an experienced freelancer and getting a professional product.

At $100 per hour, that’s a $400 initial value of lost time. A competent video editor can take a 3 minute video, edit, add music, your intro and outro, upload to YouTube – even include a thumbnail for about $60. Plus, your efforts will look amateurish (I know I’ve tried it) and require ongoing learning.

5. Organize your home office

The mind loves distractions. Something as simple as unopened mail on your desk, or a stack of business cards from a networking session you attended months ago can grab your attention as often as every 12 minutes.

“Those distracted by emails and phone calls saw a 10-point fall in their IQ, twice that found in studies on the impact of smoking marijuana.” – London’s Institute of Psychiatry

The good news is that a 10 minute home office declutter session can transform your distraction desk to a place of productivity. Here’s how to get started:

declutter your business space at home
Caption With a little effort you can declutter your workspace and double your productivity.
  • Invest in good quality storage and furniture. A comfortable work-chair, solid desk with bookshelves and simple filing cabinet (I prefer two or three drawer units that fit under the desk) can transform your workspace.
  • Put all cords, charging cables and computer paraphernalia in one container and out of sight (for my home-office I invested in matching bookcases, the bottom of one has double cupboard-style doors where I stash stuff I rarely need.)
  • Create a system for archiving handwritten notes and paper (see Evernote, below).
  • Remove anything that looks like unfinished work. This could be client files, broken eyeglasses, unopened mail or sticky-notes. There will always be distractions like these, now is the time to find a home for them.
  • Archive completed work. Client files, project notes, tax returns and research papers can all be archived in inexpensive banker boxes, labeled and stored out-of-sight. Your goal is to dedicate 100% of your attention on the work that matters today.

6. Master online tools

If you’ve been hiding from learning basic online tools, those days are gone. The world is getting online – just look at the explosion of individuals, businesses, and governments scrambling to learn how to use tools like zoom.us during the Covid-19 pandemic.

If you are looking for an easy new way to find or create images and audio, we recommend Adobe products. You can find all of their creative software packages here.

Not sure you have what you need? Here are some of the basics you should have in your office:

  • Good WIFI connection. Video conferencing tools, like zoom, require high-speed bandwidth. Use free tools like this one to test your WIFI speeds and call your carrier if in doubt.
  • Video conferencing. It’s hard to beat the convenience of jumping on a quick video call to meet a new business connection or sort out some work details with a team member. We moved to zoom 4 years ago. The tool is easy to use, has lots of features and the low-cost account allows for unlimited calls with lots of features like break-out rooms, chat, polls and more. We use the webinar account for our BlogWorks broadcasts.
  • Audio recording. Now that you’re doing more online conference calls you’ll need a good microphone. The earbuds that came with your phone are at least better than nothing. Or upgrade to a good lavalier-style microphone.
  • Lighting kit. You are going to be video conferencing a lot more and a simple lighting kit will remove distracting shadows, help with early morning or late night calls (helpful if you work in different time zones) and set you up for recording videos.
A couple of inexpensive LED lights will make your presentation look more professional
  • Video hosting. If you are recording video for your first online course or to add to your website you need to first store that clip on a hosting service. We’ve been using Vimeo for years and love how simple it is to upload and organize all our recordings.
Vimeo is a great place to put your business videos
Your video hosting site allows you to organize your collections
  • Team communications. Organize all your team communications and reporting with a free account on Slack. It’s easy to use and you can upgrade or third party apps at any time.
  • SMS messaging. It’s hard to beat text messages for getting the attention of a contractor, supplier or even an employee distracted with a big project. If you’re using text messaging a lot, load the app on your computer to make it easier to share documents, images and so you can type with your keyboard.
  • Storage. Moving your business to online will mean you need to share documents (see Google Docs next), images, reports, PDF’s and photos with clients and team members. Email is not the way to do that. Dropbox allows you to control what stays on your computer (so you can free up precious storage space) and who you share documents with.
  • Google Docs. It’s hard to beat the ubiquitous suite of Google’s free tools for creating and sharing documents. You can quickly create and share documents, spreadsheets and choose who gets access and can either view, comment, or edit.
  • Evernote. I haven’t found a better tool for organizing ideas, capturing handwritten notes from a meeting or snagging web pages (Evernote can strip off all advertising). Michael Hyatt calls Evernote his “digital brain” for good reason. Start with a free account, upgrade if you want to access your notes when you are offline.
Evernote is brilliant for capturing your handwritten notes and making them easy to retrieve
Evernote is brilliant for capturing your handwritten notes and making them easy to retrieve

7. Separate work and home

Now that you have your home office set up with easy access to the world and the ability to record videos, write your next book and grind through a mountain of work you need boundaries. Working long hours without clear lines between work time and home time is a recipe for burnout, not to mention the impact it will have on immediate relationships.

But, it’s hard to have work/life separation when your home office is down the hall from your kitchen.

Make your home office feel like your business office
With a little effort you can create a home office that feels like a destination, separate from the rest of your home.

Here’s how to get started:

  • Have all your work stuff (records, chair, desk, recycling, etc.) in one place instead of spread out in your house. Ideally, have a door on that room that you close when you’re not “at the office.”
  • Set hours for “going” to work and packing up at the end of the day.
  • Dress for work. Research shows that when we dress to go to work it can put us in the mind space to be more productive. “Working in your pajamas may seem like fun for a couple of days, but you’ll soon find any productivity wanes,” writes Joshua Duvall.
  • Set your phone to turn off alerts an hour before you go to bed.
  • Avoid checking email or phone messages during non-work hours.

Your success as a business owner depends on your ability to focus and get work down as efficiently as possible. And that includes updating your equipment and systems.

Most of the suggestions in this guide can be accomplished in a few minutes or with a quick visit to Amazon. Some (like creating boundaries between work and home) will take longer to practice and develop into habits.

Either way, your investment into productivity will pay dividends for years to come. It’s time to get started.

Did you enjoy this article? Check out these:

11 Highly Productive Things Small Business Owners Should Do During A Crisis
Why Do Best-Selling Authors Brown, Kiyosaki, Rubin, Maxwell, and Godin All Blog?
4 Social Media Activities You Should Be Doing in 2020

Photo of oatmeal by Jane Duursma on Unsplash
Photo of home office by Michael Soledad on Unsplash

Why Do Best-Selling Authors Brown, Kiyosaki, Rubin, Maxwell, and Godin All Blog?

“Connection is why we’re here; it is what gives purpose and meaning to our lives.”
Br
ené Brown

Guess what in-demand professional speakers: Bené Brown, Robert Kiyosaki, Gretchen Rubin, John Maxwell, and Seth Godin all have in common?

They all blog. 

Strange, right?

I mean, after all, aren’t they all successful – too successful to bother with blogging?

There must be a good reason why busy authors and speakers are still using a blog to get their message out and attract the business growth they want.

Let’s dig a little deeper…

You connect

There is something very special about sharing your voice with readers. You connect. You can also instruct, advise, direct – even admonish, but you always connect. 

It’s hard to connect in a 140 character Tweet or as people scroll past your post on Facebook or Instagram. You need time to connect.

[bctt tweet="“It’s hard to connect in a 140 character Tweet or as people scroll past your post on Facebook or Instagram. You need time to connect.”" username="YourBlogWorks"]

At BlogWorks we commonly see blog articles holding readers’ attention for 4, 6, even 13 minutes! That’s an eternity in Internet time. Imagine you had 100 people in a room taking in your advice for even 5 minutes every day, year-round. 

You have time to share your position on complicated topics like marriage, financial planning or selling a home. You have time to share your style, or unique approach and build rapport. You have time to invite readers to learn more about your company, your team and your solutions.

That’s what a blog can do.

Let’s look at how some of the most sought after speakers, authors and thought leaders use their blog.

Bené Brown

Prolific, best-selling author Bené Brown has been blogging since 2007. Her posts range from 400 word thoughtful muses like this one to 2000 essays like this one.

Not every blog post has to be an essay.

Not afraid to “let it all hang out” Brown allows her readers to see all of her vulnerabilities as an addict, mother, wife and, of course, as a celebrity. Just like her books, reading a Brene Brown blog post is like listening to her speak—authentic, often raw, insightful and always positive. 

If you’ve ever looked into improving your personal wealth, you’ve most likely come across serial author and celebrity finance wizard, Robert Kiyosaki. Kiyosaki’s empire includes real estate, books, games , coaching, retreats – you name it. If it has to do with making money, Kiyosaki has his hands on it.

He also has a massive following and uses his blog (written by both Robert and his wife, Kim) to nurture his list of over 1.5 millions subscribers. 

At BlogWorks we are huge fans of updating and reposting old blog posts. Kiyosaki uses this strategy and goes the extra distance with not only updated content but also images.

Updating and reposting old blog posts saves time but can also result in boosted traffic.

Gretchen Rubin

One of my favourite books about mindset and living with self-awareness is Gretchen Rubin’s bestseller The Happiness Project. And I remember reading that about half-way through writing the book, Rubin decided to share her monthly experiments with happiness in a blog

What was most remarkable about her blogging exercise was how her reader’s feedback started to inform her writing. Her blog became a kind of two-way conversation.

Your blog can become a kind of two-way communication with readers.

John Maxwell

You don’t have to always be the author of your own blog. Best-selling author, speaker and leadership expert, John Maxwell blends his own writing with posts from his CEO, Mark Cole. True to brand, all of the articles are about Maxwell and his teachings. 

Regardless of your workload or age (at the time of writing, Maxwell is 73), you can invite other writers to contribute to your blog. In fact, it can be a win/win. You get an article to publish and your contributor gets exposed to your audience.

Inviting other writers and speakers to your blog can be a great win!
Inviting other writers to your blog can be a great win/win.

We recently published a post on the BlogWorks blog contributed by editor Barbara McNichol and by communications expert Lauren Sergy.

Seth Godin

Seth Godin is the epitome of marching to your own drummer – including how he runs his blog. Millions of daily readers return to Godin’s quirky, short (his posts rarely exceed 400 words), but consistently insightful thoughts on life, thinking, marketing, and success.  

Godin’s blog and followers are a big part of his success as an author, speaker and thought leader.

Why Do Best Selling Authors and Speakers All Blog?
Your blog can be a feeder for attracting new followers and clients

You don’t have to be famous

You don’t have to be famous to blog. Your blog is a powerful way to connect with readers and to attract more followers. All of the authors profiled in this post are successful and they still use their blog as a core part of their marketing strategy.

Sure, social media, video, podcasts are great ways to get your message out. But if you want to attract people to your message and have them convert from readers to followers and then to buyers, you won’t do it with a Facebook update or Tweet.

Want to be able to write like a pro? Download our Ultimate Writing Template.

Enjoyed this article? Here are 3 more to help you with your blogging success:

21 clever ways to attract more readers and boost blog traffic this year
How to increase your blog traffic by almost 30% in only 90 days-a case study
How to (finally) make money with your blog

11 Blogging Statistics That Might Surprise You

Although some might think that the blog is on it’s way out, the truth is that even in 2020 blogging can be one of the most valuable components of your marketing strategy — when you do it right. 

After all, how else can you showcase your best ideas, solutions, strategies, and insights and create a captive online audience? 

Here are 11 blogging statistics that might surprise you – maybe even enough to get that next blog post published!

1. More than 75% of regular internet users read blogs regularly. (HubSpot

It may seem like there is a lot of content out there, but apparently, a lot of people are reading blogs too. 

Creating quality content that is on-brand and useful is the key to getting your blog working for you! 

2. Blogs can help keep people on your website for longer. 

Your blog articles can stop future clients from clicking away and lead them from your article to your about page, products or courses… anywhere you want them to go next in your sales funnel. 

People spend more time on your blog than they do anywhere else on your site.

3. Blog content with quality backlinks can improve traffic and generate up to 97% more inbound links to a business’ site. (HubSpot)  

Your ideas are great, but publishing and optimizing posts take some knowledge of SEO.   

The good news is that it’s easier than ever to outsource this work to the experts!  

4. Prioritizing your blogging strategy has the potential to bring in up to 13x the ROI!  (HubSpot)  

Top marketers and businesses are investing even more into their blogs as a major component of their content marketing strategies – and it’s worth it.

Read up on more remarkable blogging statistics. 

5. The most popular blog content format is how-to articles. (Statistica

If you’re trying to think of new blog topics, it’s a good idea to come back to the basics: What do your customers want to know more about? How can you demonstrate your expertise while sharing useful information? 

Learn about how to start a blog post

6. Repurposing your blog posts could bring in up to 106% more views through organic searches. (HubSpot)  

If you have a lot of older content, it’s possible to simply re-use it in different ways, including rewriting blog posts! This is an easy way to recycle and reuse what you already have instead of creating new work.

7. Over half of the industries say that their most important marketing tool for inbound marketing is blogging. (HubSpot)  

Did you know that you can use blogs in all parts of the sales funnel? They’re great for building brand awareness, but you can also use them in more specific ways — for instance, as lead magnets and to promote special offerings. 

Read more about crafting blogs for lead generation

8. 43% of marketers who market to other businesses claim that blogging is the most effective type of content. (Social Marketing Industry Report, 2017)  

This is one of the blogging statistics that really points to the power of blogs to use in the B2B space. But it’s also extremely versatile for the consumer space.  

9. Over 20% of social media posts include a blog link. (Quora Creative, 2019) 

Blogging and social media go hand-in-hand! Try experimenting with social posts and blogs, mixing up titles, images and using quotes from various blogs to create social posts. 

10. Well-researched content brings the most traffic through sharing and links. (HubSpot)

Quality is key, here, and this is the case more than it was a few years ago. The reason why is that Google punishes websites that look like they are resorting to sneaky tactics to beat the algorithm. 

11. Blogs are positively correlated with improved lead generation. (HubSpot)

In our new world of social media and instant gratification, your blog could be your best marketing strategy. 

Are you ready to get your blog working for you? Call or email us for a free consultation! 

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

7 Strategies for Crafting Blogs for Lead Generation

Blogging tips for lead generation, traffic and engagement.

Blog content is typically considered “top of the funnel” brand awareness marketing material meant to engage a broad audience.    

But did you know that your blog can be used for lead generation as well? 

In this article, you will discover 7 strategies you can start using right now to build convert readers into followers. Some of them (like #1) are easy; others will take some time to build into your marketing strategy. 

But all of them are being used by the top internet marketing companies to supercharge their ROI from their blog content.  

Read on and learn how to generate blog posts you can take to the bank

Build & Track Your Email List 

Your email list allows you to reach followers and customers directly to their Inbox. A list can be used to launch new products and services, announce special offers or events or just continue to nurture your followers.

Your goal is to have a net increase every week and to build a list of followers who can become customers, so you want to make it as easy as possible to join your list. 

It’s important to check your list regularly (at Blogworks, we do this weekly) because it’s only natural that not everyone will stick around as they change their mind, find alternatives or simply want to reduce their email volume. 

There are plenty of automation tools out there to help you build your mailing list and track changes. 

Use tools like OptinMonster, or Thrive Leads to build your list as a lead generation strategy. 

Experiment with Lead Magnets to entice more readers to join your list.

For a tiny investment, you can get creative offering incentives, controlling how readers see your opt-in offer and experimenting with lead magnets. 

This Lead Magnet offer by Optinmonster uses the “I want”, “I don’t want” approach.

Blogging tips for lead generation, traffic and engagement.

A time-saving template is often an enticing offer for your readers, like this one from John Corcoran.

If you are a consultant, coach – even a realtor or financial planner – a case study offering can be an attractive offer for your readers.

When it comes to using blogs for lead generation, don’t be afraid to ask readers to become followers. 

Remember you are giving free advice and the Law of Reciprocity is that when we receive a gift we naturally want to give something back. 

Learn About SEO (But Don’t Obsess Over It)

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is certainly important. But more important is creating content that is human, relatable. 

SEO is an algorithm. But you are human, and (presumably) your clients are too. This means you need to learn how to speak to them. 

Using SEO can certainly guide you towards what people are reading and what Google is prioritizing. But it’s just one piece of the puzzle.  

We can help you create content for lead generation which are both SEO-friendly and engaging. 

Update (“Re-Love”) Old Posts 

If you have a high volume of content that spans back a few years or more, you can always re-use it again. That’s one of the things that we like to do, too. 

We will reshare our most popular posts, even changing up the content, titles, and images. 

Sometimes you might want to update posts to include new links, time-relevant events, or new offerings.  

This is one of the easiest ways to use blogs for lead generation because it doesn’t require creating entirely new posts. 

Craft a Clear Call-to-Action 

A call-to-action (CTA) should be something that your readers want. 

When crafting your CTA, be sure to clearly include your “why” so that the reader understands that you are giving them what they want. 

Examples: 

  • Learn more about our coaching solutions 
  • Take the Leadership Quiz now 
  • Like in this client example  

You can use a few CTAs throughout your articles, but just make sure that you make it super easy for readers to acquire your offering. 

Use Social Metrics to Guide Your Content Process 

Blogging and social media are great ways to get to know your audience, and as you engage with them more, you get to know more about what they want and share content that speaks directly to them. 

Use Google Analytics to help you gain a better understanding of your customer demographics. 

You can also use Click to Tweet and Social Buttons in your blogs to encourage people to stay in touch.  

Learn How to Track Blog Performance: 5 Quick Ways 

Link Strategically  

We recommend Including internal “revenue” links in the first third of your article as a lead generation strategy. 

You will also want to use external links to help create authority. 

Anything that you can include, from your site or authority sites, to help readers find out more about all you have on offer, will prove useful for keeping your business and offerings at the top of their minds.  

Your Blog Can (And Should) Generate Returns

You don’t have to be a writing expert, and you don’t even need to post every day. But you should try to create at least one high-quality blog posts a week. 

Your blog is an investment and you absolutely should see a return. A successful blog should be attracting more followers, growing your list and making more sales.

That’s a return you can take to the bank!

Enjoyed this article? Here are three more to help you: 

How to Ignite Your Blog Results in the New Year
Attract More Readers to Your Blog Today
How to Increase your Blog Conversions with a Test Drive