Look. I get it.
You want to get traffic to your blog.
(Just like every other Blogger on the planet)
Every time you hit publish on your awesome blog, you feel like you are just talking to yourself.
Yes you follow popular blogs that talk about how to grow your audience and you do everything they say, but nothing seems to work.
You’ve probably tried every tactic, tip & hack… still… you are getting very little if no traction at all!
I know how it feels, well… I’ve been there. In fact, I’ve started 3 blogs in the past 4 years and failed!
I failed to get any traction, any subscribers apart from my mother and sisters and some few good friends of mine.
So I know how its like to be in this situation and I want to show you how to increase traffic to your blog, grow your audience and create raving fans.
What You Will Learn
- How to create a high converting lead magnet
- How to implement a thunderclap campaign & reach more people
- How to reach out to influential bloggers in your space
- How to start a successful guest blogging campaign
- How to use content upgrades to boost your conversions
- How to leverage influential bloggers with expert roundups and interviews
- How to use PPC to speed up your success
#1 – Create A High Converting Lead Magnet
You’ve probably heard about lead magnets before, but if you follow my specific advice along with step #2 below – you’ll have more traffic than you know what to do with.
In its basic form, a lead magnet is an irresistible bribe offering a specific chunk of value to a prospect in exchange for their contact information.
They can come in many different names and forms…
Some call them freebies, bribes, content upgrades, signup Incentives etc.
It could be a PDF checklist, E-book, Video/Email mini course, 30 minutes consultation etc.
Whichever route you choose, it has to be super valuable and useful.
5 minute freebies tend to perform significantly better when they are used as content upgrades (offered in blog posts – we’ll talk about It later in this post)
And video or email courses work better when they are offered to a cold list/audience which would warm them up and make them your raving fans.
Here are the three things your lead magnet must accomplish…
- Appeal only to your target audience
- It has to solve a specific problem for your target audience
- Create raving fans and long term customer relationship
For the sake of this post, I’m going to show you how to create a high converting 5 minute lead magnet…
Still struggling to understand and define your audience?
Step 1: List Several Lead Magnet Ideas
Ideas that you could easily create and can be digestible in less than five minutes.
For example; You could create something like “Free PDF Checklist: 7 ways to……”
or “Cheat Sheet: 9 Tools you can’t live without…..”
or “PDF Checklist: Learn the 7 step process to xyz”
Just list as many as you can.
Step 2: Eliminate Nice To Have Ideas
Clean up your list by eliminating any ideas that are nice to have and not a ‘must have’ for your audience.
Your freebie has to provide a solution to a problem that your target audience is currently struggling with…
Choose the three best ideas from your list based on the ones you are most knowledgeable with and can be digested in less than 5 minutes by your future audience.
Step 3: Questions, Surveys & Polls
If you have an audience (email list), even if it’s as small as 10 subs, run a survey or offer some free Skype calls and learn from them.
Also join Facebook groups/communities and ask questions like
“Hey guys what’s the hardest part about xyz “
or whatever your topics are.
You can also run polls in different groups/communities asking various questions concerning the topics you want to cover in your lead magnets.
Step 4: Craft Your Awesome Headline
Headlines can make or break your lead magnet. Take some time and create a draft of 10+ headlines and choose the top 3 from the list.
Again, run some polls in different groups/communities on which headlines elicits peeps to take action or grabs the most attention.
You could run a poll like,
“Hey guy’s would you mind to take a minute to point out which headline out of these three grabs the most attention and elicits people to take action”
- Headline 1
- Headline 2
- Headline 3
Boom! You’ll get some great suggestions from awesome peeps and be sure to use the headline with the most votes.
Step 5: Create Your Lead Magnet Content
Your content has to fulfill the promise of the headline.
If it’s 7 Ways To Quit Your Job & Move To Mars – make sure you show them how to get to Mars!!
This should take you a couple of days – and be sure to set a deadline of the time you are going to take to complete it.
Step 6: Convert Your Content Into PDF
Now that you have your awesome content ready, it’s time to turn it into a PDF.
Step 7: Create Your Simple Funnel
You’ll need a landing page, thank you page, download page and some email marketing software.
Here’s an example of a great lead magnet opt-in form from Mary Fernandez– the content marketing manager at OptinMonster.
She also showcases the number of people (1802) who benefited (including me) from her giant guest blogging index.
And this is her actual lead magnet content,
Or this from Alex Beadon who uses amazing visuals to stand out and capture the attention of her visitors and eliciting them to take action by opting in for her free training.
She offers a pre-recorded webinar as her lead magnet content-
They don’t have to be fancy like these but you still have to showcase your benefits in a way that stands out from the crowd.
It could even be as simple as this lead magnet from yours truly…
If you want to a build long term customer relationship with your clients, you have to over deliver and under promise.
In short, your lead magnet has to be super valuable!
It has to take someone from point A to point B…. not just a bunch of tips and tricks found everywhere on the web.
#2 – How To Get Traffic To Your Blog With A Thunderclap Campaign
Thunderclap is a “crowd speaking” platform that lets individuals and companies rally people together to spread a message.
You have to make a minimum of 100 supporters to pledge. These supporters sign up and agree to share a key message on social media platforms of your choice.
If you reach the target you set, the preset information about the project is then automatically shared with participant’s followers at a specific time.
How cool is that?
Your lead magnet will be shared by hundreds of peeps across all the selected networks at the same time!
I have seen companies make 1 million+ people support their campaign.
I have also seen close friends of mine boost their reach and grow their audience by implementing one thunderclap campaign.
You have to give it 3-4 weeks for it work and reach your goal… you should also link your campaign with your lead magnet landing page so you can grab some emails.
You can also create a Facebook group/event and also invite them to pledge.
Head over thunderclap.it/ to create your first thunderclap campaign.
Login with either Facebook, Twitter or Tumblr-
Then enter your details (You can always change them later)
Here’s a great example of an effective Thunderclap campaign from Tim Ferriss, the author of “The 4-Hour Workweek”.
Read his full case study here.
Or this from Aliza Licht who launched her book (Leave your mark) in style with a successful thunderclap campaign which reached a staggering 8m+ people on social media!
Read her full case study here.
Or this from Kristina Stanley,
Before her campaign went live she was ranking #15 on amazon best sellers.
Moments after her campaign went live she ranked #1 in amazon best sellers rank :)
Thunderclap campaigns are not always a walk in the park – but they sure are a fun way of spreading the word.
Preparing for a successful campaign takes a lot of time, you have to personally contact a minimum of 100 people to support you, which is hard… yes, but it will 10x your reach when done right!
#3 – How To Reach Out To Influential Bloggers
The idea behind blogger outreach is quite simple.
Instead of sharing your content on social media and hoping an influencer notices it.
You put your content directly in front of the leaders in your space…
Blogger outreach works awesomely well, if you know what your goal is.
Do you want them to share your content with their social media followers?
Do you want a valuable backlink?
Or maybe you want a guest post?
You don’t randomly send a bunch of emails to influential bloggers and let them know you exist!
You need a better plan than that…
Step 1: Identify Your Hit List – It Could Be 10-20 Influential Bloggers
Create a spreadsheet so you can easily and effectively manage all the bloggers-
- These bloggers should be active in a certain community or group
- Should have some kind of social authority
- Their blog should have some sort of engagement i.e. comments (and do they reply to comments?)
- Check if they accept guest posts on their blog
- Don’t include out of reach bloggers, make sure that they are engaged with their audience
- Start with mini – influencers – up and coming bloggers and slowly grow up the ladder ;)
Step 2: Get Them To Notice That You Exist
No, you don’t randomly send them emails – at least not at this stage of the process;
- Subscribe to their list and join their groups if they have one i.e Facebook Groups
- Read, comment and share their blog posts and let them know you did by tagging them (Find out where they usually hang out – You’ll know this after you subscribe to their lists/join their groups)
- Comment and share their content until they notice you!! (You won’t believe how many bloggers – Including the top ones – will thank you if you share their content and let them know about it)
- This should take a couple of weeks – I normally let it 3+ weeks for the relationship to nurture before I move on to the next step.
Step 3: Send A Complimentary Email About Their Blog
For example: You could say something like…
“Hey [Blogger name],
Just wanted to reach out to say “thanks” for all the stuff you’ve been publishing lately at [BLOG].
(I actually used the [STRATEGY] you recommend in [RECENT POST] and I got a ton of BENEFIT)
Keep up the awesome work
I know this sounds like hard work?
Its not easy,
The rewards are astonishing!!
Step 4 : Send Your Pitch Email
By now, you’ve probably built a strong relationship with some of the bloggers.
You’ve frequently shared and commented on their stuff.
You have sent them an email telling them how much you love their work.
They have probably replied to this email (If they didn’t reply, don’t panic. Maybe they just didn’t see it – repeat the steps above until they reply to one of your complimentary emails)
And move on to this step…
So what was your goal again?
You want your content shared?
Or a valuable backlink to one of your most popular posts you created on your blog?
These are all valuable audience building strategies.
Now what you have to do is email the influencers and let them know about it.
Just send a quick, on point no fluff direct email asking them to check out your content.
Pro Tip: Be sure that the content you want to be linked/shared has a content upgrade in it (we’ll talk about it below).
#4 – How To Start A Successful Guest blogging Campaign
Now that you have built a strong relationship with some of the bloggers, which you will if you carefully follow the steps above.
Again, don’t send or pitch for this opportunity until they have replied to any of your emails/messages. If they didn’t reply, repeat the process until they do…
Only then, pitch for a guest posting opportunity on their blog.
I’ve used this process, and it works like a charm.
I followed these same steps to boost my visibility with influential bloggers.
One of my favorite bloggers online asked me to schedule a Skype call with her ;)
This is after sharing, commenting and loving her stuff
or this lovely soul here asking if she could feature me on her blog (one of my favorites as well)
And she did-
Yes it was a testimonial, but I also got a valuable backlink from a great site.
Not to mention the awesome relationship we have now…
Never practice cold outreach ever again.
Yes this takes a little bit of time. But it works and the rewards are amazing!
Asking for a guest post will be so easy you’ll pat yourself in the back, for wasting your precious time on other less productive stuff.
You could write something like,
“Hey [Blogger name],
I was checking out some of your other posts and noticed that you published a guest post from [NAME.]
It got me thinking: I’d love to be your next guest author!
Here are a few topics that I think [BLOG] readers would get a ton of value from:
To give you an idea of the quality that I bring to the table, here are a few posts that I’ve recently published:
Let me know what you think. : )
Boom!! You nailed it!!
You need to know your goal in your guest blogging efforts
- Positioning yourself as an authority and well-known name in the industry.
- Get traffic to your blog or landing page.
- Building backlinks to your website.
On the next step we’ll look at how to get the most out of your guest blogging hustle.
Pro tip: Don’t get discouraged if you don’t get any guest posting opportunities.
Yes its gonna be hard to land your first one or two guest posts, but you will, eventually if you keep on persisting and building relationships with other bloggers in your space.
Rule of thumb? Work your way up. Start with blogs which are slightly better than you.
#5 – How To Use Content Upgrades To Boost Your Conversions
In order for your outreach and guest blogging efforts to be highly effective – optimize them with content upgrades.
It works both with the awesome blog posts you’ll create on your own blog and guest posts as well.
Be sure to check if the blog you are going to pitch has offered a content upgrade before.
So what is a content upgrade you may ask?
Instead of offering readers something vague — like free updates — you give away a resource that is unique to each blog post.
You craft your post talking about the “7 strategies to grow your email list”.
Somewhere in the beginning, middle or end of your post, you offer “20+ strategies on how to grow your list in PDF format”.
Or you simply offer the same post in PDF/Audio format in exchange of their contact information i.e. Email address
With this simple twist, your list and audience will grow massively!
Here’s a great example of a content upgrade from Brian Dean of Backlinko
He increased his conversions by 785% in one single post with this simple bribe!
More over, Brian dean claims the content upgrade on that post alone accounts for 30% of all new subscribers on his blog.
He identified which page on his blog gets the most traffic and added a content upgrade.
Now that you know content upgrades work and convert, you might be wondering how do you create one yourself?
Step 1: Identify A Resource That Would Make The Content Better
It could be-
- The same post in a PDF version
- The same post as an audio
- Extra bonus tips in a PDF version (If it was the top 7 tips on xyz – you create the top 20 tips on xyz)
- The top 3 or top 5 tips from a list post
- A video version of the post
- A transcript of your video
You are only limited by your imagination.
Step 2: Create The Content Upgrade
Create something awesome.
You don’t wanna give away an ugly content upgrade.
If it’s something that is out of your reach, please hire someone on Fiverr who can.
You don’t have to create something fancy. And you don’t have to waste too much time in it either.
I personally create PDF checklists/cheatsheets as my content upgrades using this awesome free tool – Canva
Here’s an example of one of my content upgrades-
Step 3: Add It To Your Blog Post
To deliver your content upgrade and grab that email address you also need some email marketing software.
Here’s an example of a lead box from OptinMonster…
Are you still confused with content upgrades?
Read this guide from Bryan Harris the founder of Video fruit.
#6 – How To Leverage Influential Bloggers With Interviews & Expert Roundups
Interviewing or publishing expert roundups is a great way to make influential bloggers share the c*** out of you.
Not to mention combining it with guest posting…
You interview “20 influential bloggers on how to start a blog the right way”, you craft a post on that subject matter and you pitch some of the influential bloggers on your hit list.
Telling them that you just created an expert roundup, on how to start a blog the right way and you would love if it was published on their blog.
Most of the time they would say YES!
Because its a Win Win situation for both parties.
And because of the foundation we built in the outreach step.
If the first two or three blogs you pitched said no, don’t be discouraged or quit until you get a YES from any of the top bloggers you built a relationship with..
They probably said No because it wasn’t the right time for them, or simply they aren’t accepting guest posts at that point of their blog.
Here’s an example of an awesome expert roundup post from Brian Lang, this postalone got over 5000+ shares and it featured 40+ experts…
Or this post from Eli Seekins the founder of “Launch your dream” got 823 shares and it featured 143 top bloggers.
Follow these steps to publish your first expert roundup/interview-
- Step 1 – Find the right question (Take your time and find a great question that your audience are currently struggling with)
- Step 2 – Start interviewing the bloggers in your hit list and put together the content
- Step 3 – Check from the bloggers that you have built a relationship with, who has the most popular blog and ask them to publish your expert roundup (If they say no, it’s not the end of the world – ask the next one)
- Step 4 – Be sure to ask all the bloggers that participated in the roundup to share the post with their audience/social media
- Step 5 – Publish your expert roundup/interview on a popular blog (Not on your blog) as you’ll reach more people. If you have a hard time getting accepted for a guest post – Its totally okay, you can always publish on your own blog.
- Step 6 – Optimize your expert roundup/interview with a content upgrade.
Again, its not going to be easy to put together an expert roundup that features hundreds of bloggers…
However, If you work for rocks… don’t expect Gold!
What I can suggest is you should start small. Start by putting together an expert roundup that features 10 bloggers.
This will help you build the momentum and work your way up to 20… 30… etc. etc.
Why are expert roundups so effective?
- They attract a ton traffic
- They boost your authority and credibility
- They help you build relationships with influential bloggers
7. How To Use PPC To Accelerate Your Success
This is an optional step: You don’t have to follow this step, but if you do – You’ll speed up your success, reach more people and build raving fans fast.
But there’s one problem… It costs money! And it can cost lots of money if you don’t know what you are doing.
If you don’t want to bother with all the hard work but still want to accelerate your success, then you can start by creating your awesome lead magnet, put up some ads, start collecting leads and grow your audience!
What I would recommend is this, wait until you get a little bit of consistent traffic on your site by following the steps above.
Then do re-marketing with your ads!
Whenever a person visits your blog and doesn’t sign up for any of your lead magnets, you re-target them with Facebook ads and offer them something even more awesome!
Its way more cost effective than doing PPC as a standalone strategy.
Its way cheaper and tends to convert better…
All you need to do is install a Facebook pixel on your site to track people who viewed your content but did not sign up to your list.
It will allow you to create a custom audience on Facebook and offer them a content upgrade of the post they visited.
So whenever you come up with a new blog post, you’ll run an ad towards this custom audience – it ensures that you only promote to people who are interested with your content.
It will boost your reach and engagement.
So how do you add this pixel on your site?
Read this Facebook guide or follow the steps below.
Visit your Facebook Ads Manager by clicking here.
In the top navigation, Click pixels.
Click create a pixel
Enter a name for your pixel. There’s only one pixel per ad account, so choose a name that represents your business/blog.
Read and agree to the Custom Audience Pixel Terms of Service. And Click Create Pixel.
You can either view the pixel, copy and paste it to your site or email it to yourself and save it someplace safe,
For the full guide on how to create customs audiences, please check out this Facebook tutorial
Then just create your Facebook adverts.
Wrapping It Up
That’s it. If you want to get traffic to your blog, just do it.
Create your awesome lead magnet, start a Thunderclap campaign (It will help you build a buzz).
Start connecting with influencers and do some guest posting. Publish great (long form) content on your blog and optimize them with content upgrades.
If you decide to focus on this 7 step process, you’ll be on your way creating a thriving audience for your blog and you’ll build a long term customer relationship which will set you up for success.
It won’t be easy, but you gotta do it.
Nadeem Murad is a freelance writer who offers ghostwriting, copywriting and blogging services to solopreneurs and small business owners. He Provides digital marketing content that attracts and acquires a clearly defined audience, gain social media attention and boost their search engine visibility.