By Neil Patel
I’m a big advocate of blogging.
It doesn’t matter what business you have or what industry you’re in, blogging can be used as a lead generation tool.
How often do you get unique visitors to your website?
Unless you have an ecommerce store, there’s no reason for a prospective customer to visit your website more than once or twice.
There’s only so many times someone needs to read your “About Us” page or look up your contact information.
But if your website has a blog, it gives people a reason to keep coming back.
Even if these visitors aren’t necessarily buying anything yet, there are certain ways you can turn a blog reader into a customer.
First of all, if you’re not blogging, you need to start ASAP.
Next, you can focus on driving traffic to your new blog.
I consulted some businesses that didn’t have a blog because they say it takes too much time.
Depending on the length, the average blog post should only take you a few hours to write.
Trust me, I know from experience this time adds up based on the number of posts you’re writing per week.
But it needs to be part of your marketing strategy.
And it’s not expensive. The only cost is your time.
You can even ask your staff members with excellent writing skills to write a few posts per week.
If you want to start pumping out lots of content, you may want to consider adding an in-house writer to your payroll.
Regardless of how you plan to delegate these tasks, blogging needs to be a top priority if you want to generate new leads without spending much money.
Here’s what you need to do to write blog posts that convert.
Offer exclusive content
Why should someone read your blogs instead of those of your competitors?
There are so many blogs out there in every industry.
With a market that’s oversaturated with content, your posts need to differ from those of the competition.
Studies tell us 55% of readers spend only 15 seconds reading an article.
But if you offer exclusive content, it will give them a reason to spend more time reading, which increases your chances of getting them to convert.
Here’s a great example from the Conversion XL blog:
This post stands out because of the exclusive feel of the headline.
Where else can you find 11 experts voicing their opinions and reviewing software tools in one place?
When people search for this subject on Google, they will be more likely to click on this than other results.
But what if you don’t have access to a dozen experts in a particular industry?
You’re the expert.
Use your own expertise to offer exclusive advice to your readers.
Master the art of storytelling, and tell a personal anecdote that generated results for your company.
The more often you can do this, the more it will add credibility to your brand.
Once you’re known as an expert in a particular field from your blogs, it will be much easier for you to get leads.
Add more subscribers to your email list
Are you looking for new ways to get more email subscribers?
Well, your blog is a great way to accomplish this.
Here’s how you can turn a reader into a customer.
Let’s say someone stumbles on one of your blog posts.
They skim through it and like the content, but now what?
That won’t necessarily make them buy something, sign up for a subscription, or pay for some other service you’re offering.
However, they may be interested in reading more of posts in the future.
Rather than hoping they come back on their own, you can encourage this visitor to join your email list to get content delivered straight to their inbox.
Jeff Bullas does this with his blog:
Jeff promotes his mailing list on the sidebar of his blog homepage and each individual blog post as well.
You can do this too.
Once you have their email address, you can do much more than just send them new blog posts.
If you have an ecommerce store, try sending some coupons to entice a sale.
Once you have the leads, proceed with all your winning email marketing campaigns.
But first, you have to get these people hooked with your initial blog post.
Promote your blog on other marketing channels
I consult with companies that struggle to manage their social media accounts all the time.
They recognize the importance of posting on a regular basis, but they’re not quite sure what to write.
Well, your blog gives you a great excuse to stay active on social media every day.
When your fans and followers see your brand on their timeline, it helps create awareness.
Even if they aren’t customers yet, the constant awareness can eventually help drive a sale.
For example, let’s say your company sells niche products such as camping equipment.
The consumer may not need what you’re selling the first time they see your business online.
But maybe six months down the line, they decide to plan a camping trip.
If you’ve been flooding their social media timeline over the last several months, your company will be fresh in their minds when it’s time for them to buy a tent or sleeping bag.
I use this strategy as well. Take a look at my Twitter account:
I’m constantly promoting blog posts there.
This is also a great way to get new readers interested in your blog.
After they see a catchy headline on your Facebook or Twitter page, they will be more likely to join your email list, which we just discussed.
Use the comments section to facilitate a discussion
You’re making a big mistake if you don’t allow comments on your blog posts.
After someone reads your content, give them the opportunity to contribute to the conversation.
They may have some further insight to share, a personal story to tell, or a question to ask you.
It’s possible they disagree with some of your viewpoints and opinions on a topic as well.
One of the best ways to encourage comments is by ending your blog posts with a question.
Make sure the question is related to the topic.
This will help reassure the reader you actually want to hear from them.
Respond to all the comments.
Here are some of the comments from a recent blog post I wrote about creating an actionable drip campaign:
A couple of readers had questions that were related to their own websites.
It’s a great way for you to keep the reader engaged.
You can also offer a solution to these questions by suggesting certain products or services your company offers.
Readers may also have a discussion among themselves in the comments section.
I see that happen on my posts all the time as well.
It’s encouraging, and it shows that people are genuinely interested in the topics you’re writing about.
How often do you add a new blog post to your website?
When you first started off, you may have been trying to put out articles every day.
But as the weeks pass, I’ve seen some websites get discouraged if they aren’t seeing immediate results.
Generating leads through blogs takes time.
You won’t see a drastic increase in your traffic or bottom line overnight.
Slowly but surely, you’ll notice a difference—as long as you stay consistent.
Here’s an example.
Let’s say you post a new blog every day for a month.
You start to get some faithful readers.
But all of a sudden, you change your pattern and only post once a week.
Well, your regular audience is going to be disappointed if they visit your website and don’t see any fresh content.
When it comes to blogging, more is always better.
A recent study suggests that bloggers saw stronger results the more frequently they posted:
Just make sure your quality doesn’t suffer.
You still need to write good content, or nobody is going to read it.
Publishing 20 articles per day doesn’t mean anything if all the posts are garbage.
Do what you can, but don’t overextend yourself.
If you’re just starting off, I think it’s reasonable to aim for one blog post per day.
See how that works for you and then go from there.
Write guest posts
You’re making a mistake if you’re turning down guest posting opportunities.
Look, I realize on the surface it may not sound very appealing.
I was skeptical about this too before I started guest posting.
It’s hard enough to put out content on your own website, why should you write for someone else for free?
Guest posting gives your brand great exposure.
Your content will be exposed to a new audience that may have never heard of you or your company.
You’ll also have plenty of chances to pitch your content and services throughout your post.
Websites will typically let you include a biography about you and your brand either before or after the article.
Take a look at this guest posting example from Crazy Egg:
Daniel Threlfall is one of the co-founders of Launch Your Copy.
Contributing to Crazy Egg gave his company exposure and drove more traffic to his website.
Hyperlinks can drive traffic to your highest converting pages
I’ll continue with my last point.
Throughout the content of your blog, you have the chance to add hyperlinks.
If you’re writing a guest post, you can have several links to your website in each article.
You can apply this same strategy to the posts on your site as well.
As you can see from reading my posts, including this one, I do this all the time.
I use hyperlinks to cite all my sources, but I also use internal hyperlinks to drive traffic to other blog posts and landing pages.
Internal linking is also great for your Google search ranking.
Getting ranked higher on Google can help you generate more leads.
Let other bloggers contribute to your website
In addition to writing guest posts for other websites, you can also let other writers contribute to your blog.
Guest posts on your own site can give you a bit of a break.
You can still publish an article a day without having to do as much writing.
When someone else writes a guest post for your blog, they may promote it to their own readers and share the post on their platforms.
This will give a wider audience a reason to check out your blog.
They may initially come just to read their favorite writer’s post, but there’s a good possibility they will read your content as well.
Look at how HubSpot encourages people to contribute to its website:
You can employ a similar strategy on your blog.
Plus, this could help you develop a relationship with other writers.
Maybe they will return the favor and let you write guest posts on their websites.
Just make sure their posts get approved before publishing.
You don’t want a guest writer to say anything that’s not aligned with your brand.
Even if you don’t write it, you are still associated with all the content on your website.
Encourage readers to share your content
If you’re a good writer, people will want to share your posts with their friends.
You want to make this as easy as possible for them.
All your posts should include social sharing icons.
Here’s what it looks like on my blog:
Again, this exposes your brand to a new audience.
Getting your readers to promote your content for free is a huge win for your company.
People are much more likely to share a recent, relevant, and informative blog post than just a random link to your website.
It’s a great way to get new leads.
Every website needs a blog.
It’s one of my favorite ways to generate leads.
Offer exclusive content in your posts to get readers hooked and keep them engaged.
Try to use your blog as a platform to get more subscribers to your email list.
New blog posts give you a great excuse to post on your social media accounts and other marketing channels.
Stay engaged with your readers by continuing the discussion in the comments section.
You should try to write guest posts for other websites and allow other writers to contribute to your site as well.
Just make sure you’re consistent with the frequency of your posts.
Use hyperlinks to drive traffic to your highest converting landing pages and improve your Google search ranking.
Provide social sharing options on your blog to encourage readers to share your content with their friends.
These tips will help you write better blogs and generate more leads for your website.
How many blog posts does your website publish per week?
Source: Quick Sprout