Blogger Tip: What’s A Conversion? And What’s The Cost Of Not Knowing

Watch this first.

Hello to all my allergy free blogger friends. This morning I was thinking about a key part of my business, and wondering if you consider this in your own business.

It all boils down to the word “conversion”. Is this a word you use everyday?? If not, you’re paying a heavy penalty for not thinking about it.

This is something none of us were born knowing, so if you don’t know much about it, don’t fret. Someone had to teach me this too. All I want to do is inspire you, so listen up.

In my world, a conversion is when a user of my website performs an action that I intentionally place in front of them.

That action, for instance, might be to by a product today, or it might be to sign up for my VIP club right now, or it might be to get them to read one of my books, or it might be to get them to leave a comment on a blog post, or it might be to get them to read an email I send out.

A “conversion” can come in many forms, but it is critical that you begin to be concerned about it. Without the art of converting you’re going to be more like a ship in the middle of the ocean, with no sails, no power, in the middle of the night, blown around where ever the currents take you.

This hardly a way to achieve a goal right? If your goal is to sail your ship to the port of London to pick up some tea, you need a few things right? You need a map, you need to know what direction to point your boat, you need to know how to look up at the stars, you need the wind, and you need to know if you are actually going there or if you are off tack and headed someplace else by mistake.

Goal Conversions are much like this. You need to know what you want and why you want it. You need to then put some wind in them sails (traffic). And then you need a way of measuring to discover if it’s actually working or not.

This is called “focus”. And you shouldn’t TOUCH your blog unless you have some sort of focus about it aside from one more photo of pancakes.

I asked a blogger if it would hurt her feelings to generate $4500 dollars per month from her blog and she said two things that made me fall over. Her first words were “Oh wouldn’t THAT be nice” and her second words where “Well, MOST OF US just do this because we simply just love to chit chat and share info.”

From my viewpoint, and I even told her this, this statement sounds a lot like either “I’m scared to make money” or “I don’t think I DESERVE to make money” or ” I don’t know HOW to make money.” It’s just easier to find an excuse, a coverup. I also found it odd that she lumped you ALL into a single category.  If you cover up the fact that you just simply don’t know how to make money, you’re finished before you started, and it’s stinkin thinkin, toss that out.

Let’s get something straight right now! It’s perfectly ok AND legitimate for you to generate income from the thing you “love” to do. Matter of fact, it’s the BEST way to generate income. And no blogger in this field should produce anything less than $5000 per month in income from it…

… but it ain’t gonna happen by SELLING ADS. Forget that, it’s a mugs game, and it will never work.

I’ll cover why some other time, but just trust me on this for now. Just put that out of your head… there are many many different ways to produce BIG income from your blog that have absolutely nothing to do with selling ads.

Back to conversions. Listen, one of the biggest ways YOU will be able to leverage cash from your hard work is to generate a huge crowd of rabid followers who love and adore you. I’m not talking 100 people, I’m not talking 500 people, I’m talking 20,000, 50,000, 80,000 women, all on YOUR JUICE.

It’s not as hard to do as you think, and some other time I will tell you how to leverage a 10,000 dollar a month passive income from a list of 80,000, while STILL DOING THE THING YOU LOVE!

But if you never working towards “converting” a new person to your blog into a rabid follower, then it will never happen.

Conversion theory says that every single new person who visits your blog has the chance of becoming a rabid follower who loves and adores you (or loves to hate you, which is also perfectly acceptable). But are you asking them to become one??? Does your website say “Hey, put in your name and email address here, and I will send you for free this great, awesome report about the top 10 XYZ’s every gluten free women should know?” Probably not.

I asked a different blogger once, “How many people are on your newsletter list?” and she said “Newsletter list? …. pause… Oh wait, I DO have one, but I haven’t logged into in months.”

OHhhhh boy…

Ok so let’s wrap this up. There is a super high penalty for not caring about conversions at all. EVERY single visitor that slips by your website, and simply slips away through your fingers to some other website, is future potential income to the third power you just lost, possibly for good.

The first step is to think about what a conversion means to you. Is it a newsletter signup? Is it to click a specific ad (if you have them, and you shouldn’t), is to give you a like on facebook? Which of whatever of the available actions are more important to you?? hint, I personally think the most important action you could get a user to take, is to get them on your newsletter list, and then treat them like GOLD. Treat them exactly like the wonderful, perfect people they really are… second on my list might be to get them to like me on facebook… any method where you can STAY IN TOUCH WITH THEM, this is where you leverage later.

The second step once you have defined just one goal, is to concentrate on that ONE goal. A huge mistake I see too many businesses make (and your blog IS a business by the way) is that they put too many actionable items in front of the user. Too many “calls to action” confuses visitors, and they have no idea what to do. So try to hold yourself back, and just concentrate on one. Too many times, I go to a blog and there are 1000000000000 ways to “connect”. You have the little widget to the side that says CONNECT in 50 different ways, and then a sign up for updates, and then a visit me on facebook, and then a hey check me out on twitter, and then oh don’t forget our sponsors.. it’s overkill.. and it’s doesn’t work. You would be far better off having one action in the sidebar… a juicy offer to sign up for a newsletter for instance, and then on the thank you page (or a followup email) ask the user to THEN give you a little like on facebook if they want to.

The third step is to now analyze your blogs funnel from the users standpoint. Be sure that you tell them what you would like for them to do next and why, and what they are gonna get for it. Make it juicy. Even write a book if you have to and offer it for free.. that’s what I did, and it’s easier than you think.

The fourth step is to make sure you have a way to measure the results. Setup conversion tracking in google analytics or something like that. Anything where you can now get a number. For instance, out of 5000 visitors, 1000 of them signed up for my newsletter in the past thirty days for a 20% conversion rate (which would be a phenomenal rate by the way, 5% is stellar!). Without tracking, you will have absolutely NO idea if the little tweaks you make to your funnel have helped or harmed your efforts. So tracking is an absolute must!

The fifth step is to start tweaking. Once you set a baseline number for conversions, now you simply start tweaking. You tweak colors, position, AND MORE IMPORTANTLY, the economics of the offer! And you tweak little things, and wait and watch.   This actually applies to EVERYTHING you do.  When you make a change, make a single small one, and wait and watch.  This would apply to your style of writing headlines, the way you tease tweet, the size photos you use, anything and everything.

I’ll write another post some day about the economic triangle for conversions, but all you need to know for now, is that one little tiny change to what you offer someone in exchange for their newsletter signup or their comment on your post or their facebook like, can make a huge difference.

This should be fun for you. I can personally tell you that I find it wholeheartedly fun to see if I can make the numbers shift in an even more positive way, and I watch them closely. Every little tweak I make has the purpose of gathering bigger and bigger numbers.

In a parting shot, I will tell you this. I had a friend of mine who is in a related industry (women + health) and he has worked hard to gather himself a LARGE list of women who love him. Something like 50,000. He offered to tell his crowd about my products for a specific percentage of the sales, and I agreed. In the first 6 hours of opening up about red apple lipstick to them HE generated over $4500 dollars in his commission alone. IN 6 HOURS!!! Think about THAT for a second. If you could generate just that in a single month, would it help your family? Would it help your kids? Would it help your husband? Would it help you mortgage payment? Your car payment? Would it buy you that new couch you honestly deserve for keeping the old one up for the last 10 years? You betcha it would.

You must understand, that when YOU go out and you gather yourself up a big ole’ crowd, you are actually doing businesses like me A FAVOR. Now, I’m a little different, I KNOW how to grab and polarize crowds, but most of the gluten free manufacturers DON’T. So when you have a big juicy robid crowd, and you are willing to put their products in front of that crowd and ask them to buy it, you’re doing them a HUGE FAVOR, and it’s a favor worth paying money for. I’m not talking about being paid per post, although that’s an ok model but comes off a little nitty picky .

No, there are much deeper integrations than that, but think about it what it would be like for the 55 year old lady who’s come up with the next great gluten free goody, who can barely log into twitter, to have access to your crowd. Think about how helpful that would be to her awesome business and product. Think about all of the valuable leg work you have already done for her and her passion.

So how many more opportunities are you going to let slip through your fingers???

Two more tidbits of advice. Watch carefully how the big players do it. I’m not saying you COPY them, cause then your voice would not be authentic, but you can pick up a lot of tactics by osmosis from watching the big players. For instance, Dr. Mercola … Sign up for his list, there is a reason he has over 5 million people on his list. How about Peter Osbourne at glutenfreesociety.org. He also has fined tuned machine. How about what doctors don’t tell you at wddty.org?? I think that’s their address… they also have a fine tuned machine.. just look and learn, and whatever you do, don’t give up. It’s OK for your blog to generate income, but until you have some grasp of the word conversion, you’ll just be depending on dumb luck.

WHAT YOU NEED TO DO NEXT IN ORDER TO HELP ME:
In order to help me help you better, I need your feedback on this article. Use the comments below, and tell me what you think about it :)

 

P.S.  You might want to sign up for my free blogger tip training emails.  You can find the signup box here -> http://www.redapplelipstick.com/bgrs/#

It’s totally over the top, but hey, SO AM I! :)

Comments

  1. Pam H. says

    Hello Jay……..You’ve given me something to research and think about. I would love to be able to generate income from my home since I am between jobs right now and look forward to future posts. Thank you for the information and inspiration.

  2. Pamela says

    Thanks, Jay!
    I look forward to more info on this subject. I started the blog with hopes of being able to generate some cash in addition to helping others. :)

  3. Connie Veilleux says

    Hi Jay – Wow, thanks for the great post! Super info! I will be heeding your advice and look forward to more updates on this topic! Thanks so much:D

  4. Jennifer A. says

    Hi Jay! Yes, I would love the coaching. I need to stay at home for my child (chronic medical condition) – so going back to work is not an option for me right now. We could use an extra way to make income! Thanks for sharing this information! Rock on!

  5. Connie Veilleux says

    Hi Jay! Great advice in this post … Thanks so much! I need to move to this next step – yes, you could have been talking about me (perhaps you were), and am a bit anxious about the best way to go forward. Some of the points I already have in place – and I monitor my Google Analytics like a hawk. Perhaps you and I can chat over email or on the phone sometime soon? Glad you’re sharing your profuse knowledge with the blogging community!

    • Jay Adam Harper says

      If I were on a budget, I would probably use aweber over mail chimp. The thing about aweber is you can actually do SOME advanced tagging. So for instance, if you know a user is more interested in how gluten effects children vs adults, you can tailor your message to that group independent of your main group.

      In the long run, advanced tagging does become important. Gathering user preferences works well, and is an advanced way of staying inside the minds of the people who adore you.

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