A Proven 5 Step Process for Getting Leads from Your Blog
This is a guest post – Bamidele Onibalusi is a renowned blogger and freelance writer who has been featured in Forbes, The Huffington Post, Fast Company and other leading publications. He runs Writers in Charge, a leading blog for freelance writers.
Research has shown that businesses that blog, generate 126% more leads than businesses that do not blog.
But there’s very little data on the percentage of businesses that blog that fail to get results. In fact, a piece in the New York Times estimated that as many as 95% of blogs eventually fail.
Many blogs fail because they couldn’t generate enough leads to keep their business running; simply “starting a blog” is no longer enough. You need to have a solid system in place to ensure that your blog is well positioned to send you leads.
I’ve been a freelance writer for over 5 years now and my blog has been responsible for six figures in freelance income for me; over the years, I’ve perfected a five-step process that has been proven to work and I share my process in this article.
Step 1: Ensure that There’s a Clear Link Between Your Blog and Business
Let me start by telling you the story of two blogs I own:
I started my first blog around five years ago, and I maintained that blog for a whole year before getting my first client through it; it took 1 year to get a client, and this was despite publishing 3 articles a week and writing hundreds of guest posts on other blogs to promote the blog. At this stage, I was averaging 10,000 monthly visitors yet I couldn’t get clients.
In contrast, I started another blog and got my first client through it exactly 1 month and 10 days after starting it; this was despite the fact that the blog was barely getting 500 monthly visitors; in fact, while this second blog was averaging 500 monthly visitors, I had gotten at least 4 clients from it. I kept getting new client requests every week.
Why was my first blog so popular and yet could barely generate leads for my business? It’s easy to assume that this was because I was blogging in a niche without clients, but that wouldn’t be true; I eventually fixed a few things and started getting more leads than I can handle, so it obviously isn’t a case of an ineffective topic. I couldn’t generate leads because there was a clear disconnect between my blog and business; I was just “blogging”. For a whole year I blogged and there was no clear offering for my readers; since there was no direction, readers only had one option when they visit my blog; to LEAVE. When I eventually got a client, it was accidental and due to the fact that the blog was popular.
With my second blog, however, it was obvious from day 1 that I was running a business; the blog theme I installed was designed to put a focus on my services, I had created my services page before publishing my first article and I featured it prominently throughout my blog. It was clear from day 1 that I run a services business, I wasn’t just a “blogger”, so potential clients had a direction from the moment they landed on my blog.
Many businesses fail at blogging because they just “blog”; I find it surprising when I visit a company’s blog through a link from their website homepage only to find that there’s no call to action to check out their services anywhere on their blog. In fact, sometimes there’s no link back to the company’s homepage; the blog just exists in a vacuum, and it’s no wonder blogging isn’t working for them.
Your blog should complement your business; the first step towards getting leads from your blog is to ensure that there’s a clear link between your blog and your business.
Step 2: Create a Clear Services Page for Your Business
This step is optional depending on the nature of your business; if you run a software company or sell products, then you should simply link to your product’s page and feature it prominently. If, however, you run a services business, it isn’t enough to mention that you do so on your contact page and in your articles. You need to go a step further by creating a clear services page that outlines what you can do for your clients.
Here are some very important tips to help you create a compelling services page:
- Start with a compelling headline: I’ve received 2 to 3 times more leads by starting my services page with a compelling headline. Many businesses simply use the basic “Services” headline, but that’s a weak approach. Instead, use a benefit-driven headline that shows your clients the benefit they’ll get by working with you.
- Clearly Describe Your Services: As a freelance writer, I’ve found that some of my services can be confusing to clients; confusion is one of the greatest threats to conversions, and I’ve gotten more results by clearly describing my services. If you offer more than one service, be sure to describe each service in comparison to one another in order to give clients an idea of what they will be getting.
- Make it very easy to reach out to you: Include a contact form on your services page, your email address, your Skype information and your phone number if necessary. The more accessible you are, the more seriously clients will take you.
Step 3: Feature Your Services Page Prominently on Your Blog
After creating your services page, it can’t just exist in a vacuum; instead, you need to make sure that readers of your website are aware of your services page.
Be sure to link to your services page in your navigation bar, your sidebar, on your about page and contact pages and in articles on your blog; the more awareness you create about your services, the more leads you will generate.
Step 4: Create Key Articles that are Linked to Your Services Page
Often times, it takes more than just having the right setup to generate leads; you need to ensure that you’re getting the attention, and one of the best ways to do this is by creating what I call “key articles”. The following are key articles I recommend creating, and why:
Ultimate guides work because they are very comprehensive in nature, and research has shown that Google uses the comprehensiveness of content to rank it, with articles of over 2,000 words getting preferential treatment. Ultimate guides by nature are over 2,000 words, and they usually include multimedia and relevant examples. Due to this, not only do they get shared widely but they get ranked well by the search engines.
Ultimate guides work for the following reasons:
- Search engines rank them better
- They are widely shared and linked to due to their comprehensiveness
- They are in-depth; they establish your authority, giving potential clients reason to trust you. I’ve had a single ultimate guide generate high five figures in freelance income from several clients.
Resource articles focus on giving people actual resources that can solve their problems; this can be in the form of tools, templates or scripts that your readers need. Resource articles get significantly more views than the average article, and as a result they are huge lead drivers; as I noted in my article on Digital Current, an average resource article can get up to 10,000% more views than your average blog post.
Case studies establish your expertise by demonstrating the efficacy of what you teach. Due to this, they are likely to generate more clients for your freelance writing business.
Step 5: Establish a Clear Promotion Strategy for Your Blog
Earlier on, I referenced a New York Times piece that estimates as many as 95% of blogs to be failed blogs; the article further analysed the reason why blogs fail and came to the conclusion that lack of attention is the main culprit. In other words, many blogs fail because the owners can’t get people to be interested in reading them.
While the above 4 steps will ensure a solid strategy for your blog, it won’t make much of a difference; things only start to work when you can get people to start reading your blog.
There are several ways to promote your blog, but I’ve found guest blogging to be most effective.
Here are some tips:
- Establish a clear guest blogging schedule; a one-off guest post won’t do the trick
- Focus on highly authoritative blogs only; if possible, only focus on blogs with at least 50,000 monthly visitors and 10,000+ subscribers. The more the merrier.
- Create quality content in your guest posts; because the blogs you’re writing for have more readers than yours, your article stands a better chance of being successful. Over-deliver in your guest posts and you will reap the benefits.
- If possible, try to end your guest posts with a call to action to hire you; this usually happens in the bio, but is occasionally possible in the content if the blog allows.
Bamidele Onibalusi is a renowned blogger and freelance writer who has been featured in Forbes, The Huffington Post, Fast Company and other leading publications. He runs Writers in Charge, a leading blog for freelance writers.
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- A Proven 5 Step Process for Getting Leads from Your Blog – Dec 10, 2015
- 4 Fail-Safe Blog Posts that Will Work for Your Business – Sep 29, 2015
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