What is the Real Secret to Making Money from Your Blog?
When I started my blog it was all about eyeballs and traffic. That was my primary measure of success. But as this blog started as a hobby for fun that was fine…for a while.
Its evolution from a passionate hobby into a serious business meant the rules of the game started changing. I needed to convert that traffic into sales.
The art and science of turning blog visitors into leads and sales means that you need to change your focus to include “Conversion Rate Optimisation” or as it is sometimes called “CRO”. It is often also shortened to the acronym “CO” or “Conversion Optimisation”.
Now, I have to confess….I hate acronyms.
Sometimes I have been heard saying “If you see an acronym, shoot it“. It smells of specialist knowledge that makes the casual visitor feel like an idiot or ignoramus. It is used by people who have “the curse of knowledge” that sometimes makes outsiders feel left out or scrambling for understanding.
Speaking plainly with common language is to be admired. Trying to use big words to look clever is either arrogant or ignorance. Using simple short words that carry the meaning in plain language should be aspired to. Distilling the long and the complex into the short and the simple is a challenge.
I love the quote attributed to Blaise Pascal (the French mathematician)…”I would have written a shorter letter, but I did not have the time“.
So what is CRO?
Wikipedia’s definition for CRO is as follows.
“CRO is the method of creating an experience for a website or landing page visitor with the goal of increasing the percentage of visitors that convert into customers”
Let’s illustrate that with a concrete example.
If you have a 100 visitors to to your site and you convert 1% of those visits to a customer who spends on average $40, then you have revenue of $40. If you increase your conversion rate to 5% of the 100 visitors then instead of just one sale (at the 1% conversion rate) you have 5 sales which means your sales have increased to $200.
Increasing a conversion rate from 1% to 2% is not an increase of 1% in sales but a doubling (or 100%). Increasing your conversion rate from 1% to 5% is an increase of 500% in sales.
This is the real secret to making money from your blog and not just chasing blog traffic.
How do you do it?
Converting traffic into revenue is the optimal goal of any marketer and it involves art (design and copywriting) and science (data and statistics)
Here are 4 basics you need to understand for optimizing your conversion rate:
- Great design: Research from Northumbria University shows that a great design increases site trust and credibility.
- Clearly communicate your offering: Visitors need to understand clearly what you are offering.
- Build credibility: This can be achieved through great content and social proof
- Have a clear call to action: Make sure you only have 1 or 2 “calls to action” on a web page so you don’t confuse the visitor to your site
Easy to use CRO tools like Marketizator achieve this through 3 core categories.
Identify a hot segment of visitors with a personalized message that can be included in your pop-up or banners.
2. A/B Testing
Change key elements such as text or color of banners and test an A version and a B version and see which one converts better. Then implement the one that works best.
Choose a segment of visitors you want to find out more about and start asking questions to obtain real-time actionable insights that allow you to modify website including design and content.
If you want to start optimizing your blog or website Marketizator offers a free trial
10 top tips
If you want to start working on improving your conversion rate here are some pro tips.
Great website and blog design is vital. According to Steve Jobs, “Design is a funny word. Some people think design means how it “looks”. But of course if you dig deeper, its really how it “works”.
- Use short clear videos to communicate the message clearly
- Write using bullet points and well structured text rather than big blocks of text
- Use well designed landing pages on your blog or website for each type of product or service that you are offering with a clear call to action
Creating credibility that is quickly visible when a website visitor turns up for the first time is very important for creating credibility and trust.
- Include testimonials from happy clients either with video (preferred) or written
- Write up case studies which show clearly the benefit of using your products or services
- Display social proof. This can include the aggregate number of followers on social networks such as Facebook and Twitter. This can be also displayed by the number of shares of your content
Calls to action
As they say “if you don’t ask you can’t get” so make sure you are asking for the subscription (email address) or the sale in a “call to action”.
- Have 1-2 clear calls to action not several
- Don’t ask for the sale right away. This means providing information and content that displays expertise and builds trust.
- Exit pop-ups are a great way to capture that vital email with a call to action that may be tied to a free ebook.
- Don’t ask for too much information and can be as simple as a name and email address.
Conversion optimization is not a destination but a journey and it never ends. You should always be testing and optimizing.
What about you?
Are you working on your website conversion rate? If you have, what have you discovered? What is working for you?
Look forward to hearing your stories and insights in the comments below.
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