4 steps to make your blog profitable (without increasing traffic). You’ve tried all the blog promotion strategies in the book, but still, traffic never turns into revenue. Your blog may be profitable, but you should stop generating traffic (temporarily). The truth is, most bloggers have a backward equation for profitable blogging.
In this post, I will show you a 4-step process that will make your blog profitable without increasing traffic. Once you implement the advice in this post, your conversion will cease and you will eventually see a significant increase in traffic that will convert to revenue.
Step 1: Build your blog sales funnel
If you want your blog to be profitable, you will need a blog sales funnel. what does that look like:
Eye-catching content: You are a blogger and you post great content. You are already doing this. The important thing is that your content strategy is compatible with the rest of your funnel.
- Lead Magnet – This can be a book chapter, checklist, slider file, or something similar. Use this to create your email list.
- Initial offer: it is generally a low-priced product to attract people. It is full of prices and generates at least enough revenue to cover acquisition costs / expenses. This can be an e-book or a study program.
- Hold / Track: This is where the sale will continue with more supporting content and relevant offers. Cultivate your new clients to make them future clients.
- Next Sell: this is your main offer. Your high ticket offer. With a higher value ticket, you will need to offer a higher price. Intensive courses, membership venues, workshops and conferences are solid options here.
Note: Do you need more help? Don’t worry, we have a full article dedicated to the blog sales funnel. Once your blog sales funnel, you won’t be able to measure your traffic and every action you take will be more meaningful. Here is an example:
It was linked to a landing page where people could download their main magnet within their author bio. Despite writing the article for free, Daniel still paid because he had a sales funnel. In fact, he made around $ 1800 in sales due to that guest post.
How to approach your blog sales funnel
Whatever you need, let it go
First, you need to map your sales funnel. And the best way to do this is to start with your high ticket offer. This can be your main course, an intensive workshop, training, “service for you” or a digital conference (the possibilities are endless).
Each step of the funnel should lead people to the next logical step. For example, your initial offer must make sense for people to buy after they download their lead magnet. If I’m creating a crash course on Blogger Outreach, here is an example of what this might look like:
- Eye-catching content: This includes blog posts like “Why Your Disclosure Strategy Is The Feel And How To Fix It”, “10 Copy Writing Tips To Level Up Your Blogger Disclosure Strategy” (The list goes on!)
- Lead Magnet: A slider file of our highest disclosure template, classified by type (guest blogging / infographic promotion / PR, etc.).
- Initial offer: This can be an easy to digest course that students need to know. From research sites, deciding strategies, writing outreach emails that change, and managing outreach campaigns.
- Retention / Follow-up: I have a series of emails that are queued with useful data that is sent to those who have purchased the course. Each email will lead to a “next sale”.
- Next Sale: Can I offer ongoing training or have a “made for you” service where I work with brands and audit their outreach process, train their team, for them Create custom resource This will be particularly useful for agencies and internal marketing teams who need help reviewing their disclosure process.
Your blog’s sales funnel can be much simpler and more passive. For example, with an initial offer that is an e-book and a next sale that is an intensive course (instead of a service).
Note: You can further simplify this process, in which you don’t have your own product. For example, your main magnet may be a freelance course promoting another product as an affiliate. This is only generally profitable if you can find a great product with decent commissions.
Your next sale may simply be a service related to that product. It is important that your next sales staff is the next logical step to take. You need a few other tools and pieces of content to adjust this funnel, so I recommend using a free diagram tool like Draw.io to round everything up.
This will help you understand what pages you need to create (subscription page, sales page, etc.) and any supporting content that will be required for a blog post, email, etc. You will also need the following tools:
- Email Marketing Provider: ConvertKit is one of the simplest to use, but there are many others. See my summary of email marketing services for more information.
- Landing Page Builder: There are many WordPress plugins that you can use. OptimizePress 3.0 is a great option, as it includes Funnel Builder and Checkout Builder. Redapz is also a great option, but it is more expensive.
- Payment gateway and product delivery: depending on what you are selling, you can choose a simple platform like Gamrod. Or, you can choose a single platform to sell courses, products, and membership offers like Podia (they can’t charge a transaction fee, hooray!).
Step 2: eliminate unnecessary distractions
Your blog will be one of the main ways that people will enter your sales funnel. So, your blog should be clutter free and this is how… When there is too much clutter, everything has little effect and clutter can lead users to confusion about what to do (this brings us back to the paradox of choice).
Everything on your blog requires a purpose. If not, should it be? No. less is more. Each item should enhance the user experience or help you achieve your goals (fill out your blog sales funnel).
What should you consider removing?
- Ads that aren’t performing: Google Adsense and similar ads are common places, but is it really worth sending a visitor to your site for pennies in return?
- Social media streams: Social media should be used to generate traffic, not to send traffic when they can’t return.
- Search boxes: Check your analytics and see if someone is using your search box if they don’t consider removing it or moving it to your blog footer.
- Blog Rolls: It’s a good idea to add other blogs to your sidebar, but when you understand that 75% of your visitors will never return, you should probably remove it.
- Badges that don’t mean a thing: Badges are commonly used to build trust, but the only ones worth wearing are the ones that are quite exclusive. It connects to the social proof, which I will cover in a moment.
- Your Sidebar: In some cases, when you need to have 100% attention to your content, removing the sidebar can do a great job of reducing distractions. Play this one by ear.
It is by no means a complete list, but enough to get you started. Here is the end result. If an item on your blog doesn’t offer any benefit or makes the user experience difficult, consider getting rid of it.
Step 3: Harness the power of social proof to gain confidence
In a world where people make first impressions of a website in 50 milliseconds, it is important that the first impression be positive. Best practices can only get you this far: A / B testing will show you exactly what works for your audience. Your blog is one of your greatest marketing assets.
For example, there are several ways to customize it to fill your funnel. Since the next step in your funnel will be to offer a main magnet to build your email list, you will optimize your blog primarily to promote that main magnet. Let’s see how you can start optimizing:
Add CTA to your home page
Your home page is the first page that many people will see. Instead of just directing people to your latest posts, you can encourage them to download their main magnet. Similar to what we do on the Blogging Wizard home page. Here is an example of an old iteration of the home page.
Social proof is a great way to do this. Not only on your landing or sales pages, but also on the rest of your blog, it all helps and you may have already seen a million examples of social proof. Things like testimonials, trust logos, action counts, etc.
So what is social proof?
It is a concept based on human psychology. Specifically, how we see others when we decide to take action. When we see that other people see someone as an authority, we often conclude that they are an authority. Now how can you use the social proof on your own blog?
Here are some examples:
Add the trusted logo where relevant
Have you been featured on a major website? Tell the world about it. I do a lot on landing pages and landing pages focused on conversion. You can see it on the home page of the blog assistant or on my personal blog.
There are two easy ways to fix this:
- Starting Guest Blogs: The easiest way to appear on other websites is to write content for them. See my guest blogging strategy article for some points.
- Use HARO (HelpAReporterOut): Journalists who require sources for their stories will post requests using this service. You can register for free and become a source.
And remember – notably, this doesn’t mean you should be featured on Forbes or anywhere else of that caliber. There will be little sites in your niche that will make sense to your readers; it’s not even worth contributing.
Display share counts on your posts
When people can see evidence that many people share their content, they are more likely to share it. And I see you as an authority. I do this in a blogging wizard with a plugin called Social Snap:
Another factor with the stock count is that low stock numbers can lead to negative social testing. It comes like this: “If no one shares it, why should I?” – Of course, there will always be exceptions to this, but it should be avoided whenever possible.
Testimonials on important pages, forms and more.. One of the most popular types of social proof (or belief indicator) is a testimonial. Here is an example from a previous iteration of the Blogging Assistant home page:
Take advantage of the testimonial on the home page. If you use WordPress, you can easily add testimonials if you are using Page Builder to build your website. Alternatively, there are add-ons that make it easy to view testimonials.
And don’t forget, there are so many pages from which you can add testimonials: landing pages, checkout pages, pricing pages, subscription forms, and more. Promote important metrics with quizzes and quizzes.
Affective metrics are generally one of the most common types of social proof. Remember, it’s about making a positive first impression. Common metrics to display include:
- Email subscribers
- Blog traffic
- Social media followers
- Social shares
But what if you are not in the way of any of them? Here is the good news: There are two special content types that can help you increase each of these metrics faster than other content types.
I’m talking about these:
- Social media contests: Since there is an incentive to share, have followers, and sometimes subscriptions, contests are effective. You don’t need to spend a lot of time creating content, but you’ll need a big prize (or multiple rewards). Try to partner with a brand and you can often get free rewards. These social media competition tools will help you manage most of the process.
- Viral Quizzes: You have probably participated in some of these types of tests on sites like Buzzfeed. People like to share them and it doesn’t take long to do them. Follow this Colin Newcomer tutorial on how to create your own WordPress quiz.
When using contests and tests, try to make them as relevant as possible to your main magnet and initial offer. This way, you will be more likely to attract your ideal customer to your blog.
Note: Need more help with social proof? See my article on how to take advantage of social proof on your blog.
Step 4: optimize your blog for conversion
At this point, you have your own blog sales funnel, but you need to make sure that the rest of your blog is optimized, so you can fill your funnel (this is your best marketing asset). Now is the time to optimize your blog for conversions, especially by adding CTA (call to action) to key areas of your blog.
What you need to know about CTA’s
If you don’t encourage your readers to take action, they won’t. Therefore, it is important that you add CTAs to key parts of your blog. They can take buttons, widgets, forms, and more. Your CTA should attract people’s eyes, so it’s important to make sure you use a color that stands out; Ideally, it shouldn’t be used anywhere else in your blog design. If your CTA is mixed with everything else, it won’t change.
At a basic level, the CTA will have three main components:
- Headline: This is the one that will get people’s attention and must be compelling.
- Description/ Tagline: Clearly convey the value your audience will derive from the offer.
- Button: This can be a button that is part of a landing page or an optional form.
To optimize your CTA, you’ll need to experiment a little. And there are many ways from the point of view of copying it. That’s why I recommend using a WordPress plugin like Thrive Leads, this will allow you to do A / B testing of your CTA.
Since the next step in your funnel will be to offer a main magnet to build your email list, you will optimize your blog primarily to promote that main magnet. Let’s see how you can start optimizing:
Add CTA to your home page
Your home page is the first page that many people will see. Instead of just directing people to your latest posts, you can encourage them to download their main magnet.
Similar to what we do on the Blogging Wizard home page. Here is an example of an old iteration of the home page:
Add CTA to your content
Chances are that most people who visit your blog first find their way to one of your posts through social media or search engines.
Therefore, it is important to optimize your content as much as possible. For example, this CTA promotes our Twitter hashtag swipe file:
Add CTA to your content
The people who reach the end of your articles will generally be the most engaged. So it makes sense to add CTAs to the end of your content. Here is an example from my other website; Funnel surcharge:
Add a CTA after your content
Use the popover output input on your blog. The population is annoying, but overall they are 5-10 times better than the sidebar acceptance form. The key is to minimize your disruption to your readers. This is why I like to show pop-ups when someone is forced to leave. For example, in Thrive Leads, you can easily change the trigger type for a popover with a few clicks:
Use the exit intent popovers on your blog
Take better advantage of your blog navigation menu. Your navigation menu should be simple, clear, and focused on your most important pages. Here is a great example from Natalie Bacon’s blog.
Make better use of your navigation menu
Note: Since the first time I wrote this post, Natalie has changed her navigation bar.
You may have other important content or pages that you want people to be able to find. This may include legal pages, column content, etc.
For pages like this, footers are a good place to put them. This makes them available without cluttering the main navigation.
wrapping it up
We have covered a lot of ground in this article and going through these phases will take time and effort; the end result will be worth it.
- Plan and create the sales funnel for your blog.
- Eliminate unnecessary and distracting clutter from your blog.
- Harness the power of social proof to improve your clarity.
- Optimize your blog for conversion with strategic locations to force CTAs.
There are many other things you can do to improve each step in this process, but focus on working on what we have previously discussed. Once in place, you can further optimize each step in the funnel and start completing your traffic creation efforts.