In a previous article, we talked about some strategies to help you write awesome content and grow traffic to your site.
But now that you’ve got that covered, it’s time to learn how to build a community because a blog that doesn’t have a loyal fan base is going to prove quite tough to monetize.
If you want to give yourself the best chance to succeed with your content marketing, then you need to build a strong community.
Tactics for Building a Solid Blog Community
In order to build your community, you will have to leverage Facebook, LinkedIn, and other social networks, but it’s vital to remember that they adjust their algorithms continually, which means it may be a little hard to rely on them.
That’s why you should focus more on the tactics listed below:
1. Use the Free ‘Subscribers’ Plugin for WordPress
You could generate a healthy amount of new visitors each month just by using browser notifications (or push notifications) every time you publish a new blog post. ‘Subscribers‘ is a free tool that helps you do this effectively.
It allows readers on your blog to subscribe through Chrome, Firefox, or any other web browser that they’re using.
Subscribers asks people whether they want to get notifications from your site (aka subscribe). This is the very same strategy that you see being used by Youtube, Facebook, and all the rest.
The best part about using push opt-ins is that it makes it super easy for your visitors to subscribe since all they have to do is click on ‘allow’.
There’s no requirement for names, email addresses, or any other type of information.
You may notice that, similar to email, some people unsubscribe themselves, but that’s alright.
Overall, this is an effective way to boost your blog traffic. To notify your subscribers that you’ve published a new blog post, you simply click ‘send a notification’ on your Subscribers dashboard.
Use Subscribers to Monitor Your Stats
The tool even allows you to add UTM codes to get tracking for your Google Analytics. This is great if you want to monitor and measure your stats, but whether you use the UTMs, you’ll always be able to see the stats for each of your push notifications inside your Subscribers dashboard.
You can even pick the image that you want to be included with the notifications that you send, and on the left-hand side, you’ll be able to see a preview of it. If you want the notification to go out at a later time or date, then all you have to do is to schedule it.
Push notifications are an easy way of building a community and getting readers to return to your site.
The one big issue most marketers have with using these types of tools is that you have to be patient. The results come over time. But, it’s free and also more effective compared to email marketing so there’s really no reason not to use it.
2. Collect Emails on Your Blog
The next step is to create an exit popup. While most of you may not like those, they are actually very effective.
Just make sure that you’re providing a lot of value and give away something that your audience will absolutely love.
That way they won’t mind giving up their email address to you.
Hello Bar also has two really amazing features:
- First, this tool is GDPR compliant. It has GDPR settings in it.
- Secondly, it also has awesome custom targeting settings which allow you to pick who gets to see your opt-in and when.
For instance, you may choose to only show it to site visitors one time, and only when they are about to leave the site.
There are tons of templates and designs to choose from in Hello Bar, but you can also upload custom background images if that’s what you want.
Once you’ve picked your template, it’s easy to modify the image or design using the editor.
If you get traffic from various sources (eg. Tablet, mobile, desktop) then you can pick multiple layouts and designs that suit each type of device. It also allows you to design different popups for various regions.
For instance, you could use one exit popup for your audience in America, and a different one for your readers in Canada.
But, if you’re really averse to using exit popups, then you can use top bars, sliders, or any other type of Hello Bar email collection form that isn’t very aggressive.
Now that your email list is up and running, you must send out an email blast to your list (no matter how small) each and every time that you publish a post.
If you publish posts on your blog often, then you may only want to do this with the particularly amazing posts only, otherwise you run the risk of cluttering up people’s inboxes, and this may lead to them unsubscribing from your list.
What’s Next on the List?
Assuming that you’re now growing your blog traffic, collecting subscribers and emails, you’re creating a solid user base that you can monetize.
But how do you do that exactly?
Here are some ways in which you can monetize your blog:
First, sell more products. There are a great many eight-figure businesses that started with content marketing, and most of them do these few things:
They do their best to push you to take their quiz (this is a smart strategy that helps them make product recommendations according to your needs).
When you begin taking that quiz, they ask you all sorts of personalized questions and your answers help them to direct you toward the products that they think are right for you.
This is one of the very best ways of converting readers into customers and there are lots of tools online to help you create quizzes quickly and easily.
In fact, there’s a recent post on our blog about the Thrive Themes set of tools which includes the software that does this for you. Whether you’re selling a product or service or even an information product, there’s no denying that these quizzes work.
Most of these businesses that are leveraging quizzes effectively also notify you every time that there is a purchase made on their site.
They also have various types of exit popups on their sites depending on which page you’re on at that particular time. Some focus on collecting emails by asking you a simple question before they ask for your email.
This is a smart tactic that converts much better.
Content marketing does convert, as long as you keep your focus firmly on the conversion aspect of it.
In the previous article we discussed the fact that when most people go to those sites with lots of content, they are there to read and learn. But that doesn’t mean that you cannot convert those readers into customers.
It just means that you have to put a little more effort into it than just telling those readers to buy your product or service.
So whether you have a corporate blog or a personal one, the tactics listed here will work. As long as you get the main channels of converting your content marketing traffic to leads, then you’re well on your way to success.
3. Main Channels for Converting Content Marketing into Leads
Channel #1. Leverage Exit Popups
When you start collecting emails through your exit popups, send off emails similar to this:
As promised, here’s the download that I promised to help you . I hope you enjoy it. If you’ve got any questions or you need help, then just hit the reply button and ask away. I’ll be happy to help you.
Link to your site in the email, and you will be able to collect a lot of qualified leads. The people on that email list will be far more likely to turn into customers.
Don’t be shy to promote your products or services. You don’t have to do it in the very first email, but you can do so over a period of time.
Some people wait up to 30 days to promote their products to their email lists, but how long you wait is entirely up to you.
Channel #2. Lead Flow Funnel
Some sites have multiple opt-ins on their homepage and on other pages including the blog posts. They also have them on the sidebar and the top bar.
Again, there’s no one right answer as to what’s going to work well on your particular site, but one thing’s for sure, you have to get creative with the funnel you build for your own site and then test it to see what works best.
Channel #3. Host Webinars
Once you have ample subscribers on your list, you can host a webinar and give them the opportunity to attend. During the webinar, you can pitch them your products or services.
Channel #4. Thank You Page
After people opt-in to your email list, they see a ‘thank you’ page. This is an important page on your site and should be designed for conversions.
There is a post on our blog on how to design the core pages on your website for maximum conversions where we talk about how to do that in detail.
Channel #5. Blog Mentions
Last, but certainly not least, use blog mentions to generate sales from your content marketing.
All you have to do is just mention your product or service within your blog posts. This will generate qualified leads sometimes, but at other times, it won’t.
Keep in mind that this is a numbers game, and the only way to get more sales and leads is to bring in more visitors to your site and put your product or service in front of as many eyeballs as possible.
If you focus on creating quality content and products and use the tactics listed in this post, you will have a flood of qualified traffic coming to your blog in no time.
The Bottom Line
The honest truth is that growing traffic to your blog is a whole lot easier than monetizing it.
Content marketing can work extremely well, and as long as you are able to drive qualified traffic to your site, you’ll be able to convert them into new customers.
But remember, you need to start off your content marketing strategy on the right foot, so before you do any content marketing, you first need to ensure that you’re going after the right audience – your ideal customers who will actually buy your product.
Once you get the targeting right, then you can start producing content. Use the strategies outlined here to promote that content and build your community.
Generally speaking, if you’re starting from scratch, you’ll see decent traffic in about a year or so. That’s not meant to discourage you and besides, these aren’t the only strategies that you can use to get traffic.
You could use paid traffic sources while you work on these tactics so that in time you’ll be less dependent on paid traffic.
But, if you want to see some really explosive traffic growth to your site, then invest in pure traffic growth before you start thinking about monetizing.
But, whichever route you choose to go with, just remember that consistency is of value and it will be a major determining factor in how successful your entire content marketing strategy is.
So, get started right now and implement what you have learned here.
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Updated: Originally published August 22nd 2018