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How to Craft a Blog that Attracts Customers and Converts Like Crazy

This is a guest contribution from entrepreneur Natalie Sisson.

So, you want to turn your blog into an online business?

Congratulations, so does every other person with wifi.

Now, I don’t mean to to bust your buns right off the get go, but if I’m being honest (and I always am!) then you need to know one thing:

A blog that doesn’t make money is a hobby, and a hobby is not a business.

The truth is, many of us don’t know what we’re doing when we’re first starting out online. Learning how to create a website, identify your ideal customer and convert them into sales will be a process, one that I am here to help you with though.

First things first; when you think of your website does it make you proud? If you are uncomfortable sharing your url with friends and family because it looks horrendous, then chances are your audience will be thinking the same thing.

Have you ever heard the theory that when shopping, if you hold an item for 10 seconds or longer you are more likely to buy? Well, the same principle goes for websites, but you have far less time to convert them – you have four seconds, to be exact.

A lot can happen in four seconds, which is why you need to make the most of it. If your viewer can’t find what they’re looking for, then they will surely go elsewhere. So how do you grab their attention and keep them on your site? It all starts by building a connection.

Every great relationship revolves around feeling a fundamental connection between two people. In this case, you need to build the foundation between your website and your audience. One of the best ways you can do this is to ask yourself what the primary goal of your website is.

Since your website is a platform to introduce yourself and your products to the world, knowing exactly what you mean to sell or achieve from having the site will help you target the ideal target audience.

The easiest way to convey this message is by creating a crisp, clear homepage. Your homepage is basically a landing page for any and all visitors. It will be the first thing they see, so capture them in those four quick seconds.

A few key tricks for ensuring a stellar home page is to:

  • Choose a clear web design – the more hectic your layout, the more likely your visitor will bounce
  • When asking your audience to opt-in to a free mailing list or free download, create one simple, to-the-point call to action
  • No one likes getting lost, so make navigating your site simple. Have a clear menu at the top so visitors can easily find their way around
  • Selling a product or service? Make it evident on the homepage. The harder they have to look for it, the more likely they will go to your competition
  • Outline what it is you’re all about. I’m not talking a novel, but one clear paragraph about who you are, what you stand for and what you’re offering

Now, to really start converting your audience you’re going to want to check off these next five steps from your to-do list.

1. Determine what it is you are selling

What do you feel jazzed about making money from? Whether it’s a product or a service you are are going to want to make this particular item forefront on your homepage.

Many people make the mistake of offering several different service on their homepage and it only confuses their visitor. For example, if you really wanted to sell business coaching, but offered website design coaching and business coaching on your homepage, how would they know which to choose?

Besides the fact that these two products sound beyond similar, why would you offer something you aren’t keen on doing yourself? Take away the option by simply promoting one service on you homepage.

2. Keep it clean

Some people just don’t know when to call it quits when it comes to web design. If you’ve ever happened across a site that seems to be hoarding widgets, images, links and more, then you know how unappealing and distracting that is to the eye.

Too much distraction will confuse and deter your visitor from becoming a sale. So here’s what you should do:
Remove any external links from your homepage that take them off your site
Choose social widgets that allow them to like your content without leaving your site
Avoid flashy text or image that takes their attention away from the product you want them to purchase

Are you starting to see a pattern here?

3. Implement a sales funnel

Your sales funnel should start on your homepage. That little chunk of screen you see when you land (referred to as ‘above the fold’) there should contain everything you need to compel your visitor to buy what you are selling.

Using your best copy, image, video or what-have-you to convey the many benefits of your product should all be visible here. To further resonate with your audience, feel free to direct them to your About page so they can get to know you and strengthen your bond together.

4. Make buying simple

You may have convinced them to buy, but if you make it difficult to pay that is a surefire way to lose a sale.

The easiest way to rectify this situation is to have a “buy now” option on your landing page; and be sure to make them feel safe when buying from you. To do that make sure you use and advertise a secure shopping cart option, like Paypal. A money back guarantee always helps solidify the sale as well.

5. Make sure your new landing page is working

I have no doubt that if you managed to follow the first four steps you will have created one heck of a landing page. Now that it’s there, it’s time to find out if it’s converting, which is where analytics comes in.

  • Set yourself up with a free Google Analytics account and add in the tracking code to your website. Every few weeks head back to that analytics dashboard and see:
  • How many unique (read, first time) monthly users are visiting your site
  • Where they are coming from, aka. traffic source
  • Your average bounce rate – how long they stay on your site before leaving
  • Which page exactly your visitors tend to exit your website from the most – visitor exit

You don’t need to be a geek to be able to read this data. For example, if you’re traffic is mainly mobile then make sure that you are using a mobile-optimized web theme. On the other hand, if your visitors continually exit on your product sales page, it’s time to think about doing a redesign.

With these five strategies, there is no doubt in my mind that you will be able to turn your current website into a cash converting sales machine.

Now tell me; what is the biggest change you need to make to your website after learning these steps? Share your thoughts and progress in the comment section.

Natalie Sisson is a Kiwi entrepreneur and adventurer who shares creative ways to run a business from anywhere. To start your very own lifestyle online business be sure to check out her new program, The Freedom Plan. And don’t be shy, – drop her a line on Twitter or Facebook.

About Guest Blogger
This post was written by a guest contributor. Please see their details in the post above.
Comments
  1. I love, love the way you clearly outlined what needs to be done in order to achieve blogging success. Most people who do start a blog as a hobby and stay focused discover later down the road that the blogging journey was worth it. And, all the changes that blogger had to make in order to achieve a certain level fo success for their blog. Many bloggers today tend to not have everything in their blog pages completely optimized as you mentioned such as their landing page, 404 error page and the “About” page, not thinking that when they fail to do so, they’re actually leaving money on the table that could’ve earned from affiliate programs on their blog site or ad space that could have sold.

  2. Thanks for the tips on attracting customers by having an attractive site! I struggle here – but these tips should be super useful in helping develop the look/functionality of the blog. Thanks!

  3. Hi Roberts,
    All points are important to craft a blog and get more benefits. Implement sales funnel is most important fact that most of the newbie blogger ignore and they fail to get success. A clean design is also important to attract visitors and convert them as customers.
    Thanks for the great advices.

  4. Hi Natalie,

    Make it jazzy. Well said. People sell what they feel jazzed about. Blog your passion. Start from there. Learn monetizing skills and all that good stuff along the way but focus heavily on blogging your passion to make sales easier. Why? Feeling fab about your blog and products detaches you more from outcomes.

    Detached people make sales more easily than someone who wants to make money or who wants to run profitable business.

    As noted, most people want to run a prospering blog. The thing is, you need that passion to make the engine go.

    I blog about how to retire a life of island hopping through smart blogging. A bit like yourself Nat, and I’m pretty close to New Zealand now, living in Fiji. I start with clarity, and passion, as the 2 key elements of running a prospering blog whenever I’m coaching my clients.

    M blog took off quickly because I was clear on my ideal reader and loved sharing blogging tips to help you island hop as a pro blogger.

    It’s my life, my experience, and my passion, and this passion resonated with my audience. Sure you’ll learn the nuts of bolts from mentors but passion is the fuel that makes your blog GO, and blogs that really GO can generate big business/sales/etc.

    Super smart post Natalie.

    I’ll tweet in a bit.

    Ryan

  5. Hi Natalie,

    Awesome write up! I especially like your last your point. Keeping track of your blog’s performance is just as important as having a clear set goal.

    You need to track, measure, and analyze to find out what’s working for you and what’s not. This is the only way you can identify ways to improve your blog’s offering.

  6. Hey Natalie,

    Great post! Nice to see someone breaking down the steps to crafting a blog that converts readers to customers.

    I’d love to see some step by step instruction, complete with pictures detailing sources for landing pages (both paid and free options) and how to construct a well laid out and well thought out landing page. Right now I *really* need to focus on crafting a great landing page that will help me turn readers to leads/customers.

    PS – Go All Blacks! (That’s a rugby team for those who don’t know!)

  7. I’m also working on a new blog targeting the Internet marketers, specially the affiliates and that’s why I was looking for a similar advice. So thank you for your efforts and helping me in finding a way through which lead generation would be easy enough.

  8. Hey Natalie, Thanks for the great tips.

    I specially like the points you mention get a simple clear design and use “Outline what it is you’re all about.”

    Points to keep in mind, for blogger like me.

  9. Hey Natalie, nice post. I especially love point #2 – keep it clean – I prefer to use that old KISS principle (keep it simple stupid). When a blog is too cluttered I am instantly turned off and I will not stay to read!

  10. Determine what you are selling and keep it clean. Two awesome points here! If you dont know what you are selling, then how exactly can you attract the customers? You need to be 100% clear yourself so that it is crystal clear for those coming to your site. Your right….unless you are making money via your site…it’s a hobby. Plain and simple really!

    Keeping it clean goes hand in hand with user experience. If someone can’t navigate your site, or gets a headache trying to work out where to go, then why on earth would they buy a product from you. They simply wont. If you stand out as being professional, slick and organised, then users are more likely to listen to what you have to say about products.

    Be clear about what you are offering and those sales will start to roll.

    Great post!!

  11. Hi Natalie,

    Great tips to attract customers through blog.
    I agree with all your point that you have mentioned above. No doubt, to make easy to buy to grow more sales.

    Thanks for sharing nice tips.

    Best,
    Mustafa

  12. Hi Natalie,

    Awesome post!

    “Some people just don’t know when to call it quits when it comes to web design. If you’ve ever happened across a site that seems to be hoarding widgets, images, links and more, then you know how unappealing and distracting that is to the eye. Too much distraction will confuse and deter your visitor from becoming a sale.”

    Sadly, you described a majority of the blogs and bloggers on the web! Minimalism isn’t only good for kitchen renovations, it’s good for blog designs, too! Less is more. Less is more. Less is more. :-)

    I visited your website, and I like how clear and concise your message is for readers. Your intro video sums up what you do very, very well.

    To quote my buddy Ryan Biddulph in a comment above (hi Ryan!), I’ll be Tweeting this in a bit!

    Hope you have an awesome day, Natalie.

    – Kevin

  13. after see your post, i become more spirit to make my website more good than before. Thanks for your tips. I am waiting your new post.

    Regards
    Indah

  14. Hi Natalie,
    This really is a killer post, I liked the #2 point where you mentioned about keeping a blog design simple. I will surely be going to follow these tips to get more conversions and customers as well.

  15. Tips number 3 to 5 really resonate with me.Plus they are the measurable actions to really achieve a sale!Blog content can sometimes get too crowded and distract a visitor from a potential sale.Thanks for a practical article,and all the best!

  16. I’m just starting out on a new journey online and I understand that my blog is the central hub to my business so this is an AMAZING post – THANK YOU!!!

    KR

    Toby

  17. Hi Natalie
    I think I might have jumped into the wrong swimming pool here!!
    I did love what you said about keeping the site clean and yet Jazzy.
    I am still determining my pathway but will take on board your top tips.
    Arohanui
    Suzy xxx

  18. I love your post and I enjoyed. Its very helpful information to us and really great wrote about blog.

  19. Awesome post !

    The most important factor i liked in your post is determining what to sell..
    This single thing makes you stand out in the competition ..

    Thanks for sharing

  20. Hi Natalie!
    It was an eye opener for me. Seriously, from few months I was baffled. I had very high bounce rate. After reading your article I can understand what was wrong.
    Thanks

  21. Hi,

    You said it right, money is tough to make from a hobby and rarely a hobby can turn in a full fleshed business.

    Having a clear vision and making it clear for the visitors to buy the product without much hesitation is the key.

    Google analytics plays an important role to rectify the sales funnel where customers are dropping. Just some dedication and focus, all the tips you shared can be used by anyone.

    Cheer. :)

  22. Hi, Natalie. Nice post. I didn’t know to convert my readers into customers. But after reading this, i realized we need a good plan to convert our readers into customers. I got the plan from this post. Thank you for sharing this.

  23. Thanks for the wonderful lesson. I would definitely follow your tips whenever doing Blog. Great tips to attract customers through blog. Never would have thought of this! Great IDEA!!!

  24. Hi, Natalie,
    This is definitely one of the most valuable sites with information that I have seen. Thanks my friend keep of the good work I will definitely be looking forward to more information

    Regards,
    Stephen

  25. Hello Stacey,

    Thank you very much for this super direct and clear explanation of what a website needs to look like and to do in order to succeed in making sales.

    I love your blunt statement, “A blog that doesn’t make money is a hobby, and a hobby is not a business.” That makes things exceedingly clear.

    While trying to succeed at blogging during the past three years, creating and attempting to sell many different relevant products, and watching other more successful sites, I’ve finally realized that those who are succeeding are all educated in business and/or marketing. It seems that no matter what you create, promote, write or do, unless you understand these basic business, sales and marketing concepts, you wont’ get very far.

    I will definitely have to go through all the steps you’ve explained here with my own site and see how well that works.

    Thanks again for the super clear instructions!

    Best regards, Lash

  26. Hi Natalie,

    A superb article from you,thanks for this.I was really looking for some tips to attract customers to my new blog.I’ll surely gonna implement your provided tips as soon as possible.

    Regards

    Debarpan

  27. Great tips Natalie!

    I know it’s weird but people often overlook the obvious – have that “BUY NOW” button.

    I notice that with some women, their visibility blogs get in the way and they actually hide all the ways that customers can actually give them money!

    I know several years ago, you literally couldn’t find my books on my website – they were hidden.

    Great reminders, thanks.

    Denise DT

  28. I am totally agreed with you that a hobby is not a business, when I started to write blog first-time I mixed it up, then I realized that if I can give concentration on my hobby it may bring success, but if your concentration is only make money with you hobby than you can’t do it.
    Thanks for share such a article, it will help beginners to get right path in blogging.

  29. A clean design is also important to attract visitors and convert them as customers.
    I like how clear and concise your message is for readers. Your intro video sums up what you do very clear,
    Thanks for sharing have a great day,.

  30. Good read from start to finish. I have a quick question if you don’t mind..

    I recently started a blog that focuses on saving money, making money and basically anything money. My question is, what approach should I take with affiliate marketing?

    I’ve added some affiliate posts, but am still sketchy on adding too many. Any advice on the matter?

  31. Hi, I too struggled when I first started and I’ve been working on my blog to get leads and sales.

    I’m working on step 5 to help get more leads.

  32. Hi Natalie,

    Super smart post here!

    You have explained each and every thing like how to make a visitor to visit our site for long time. I am a web developer, being web developer I need to think while designing a site as a end user and you mentioned in each page like home page,landing page what and all content to use. As you said, if site link is saying something and content is different means visitor will get confused.I agree with your points.

    Thanks for this informative article!

  33. A simple attractive design is so important to attract visitors and make them buy from you.
    Thank you for sharing and have a great day

  34. Design is not everything. apple just had this idea, but now samsung are now way ahead them, not becasue of the design. this prves why ;)

  35. I have realized that those who are succeeding are all educated in business and/or marketing. It seems that no matter what you create, promote, write or do, unless you understand these basic business, sales and marketing concepts, you wont’ get very far.

  36. Then why on earth would they buy a product from you

  37. I love, love the way you clearly outlined what needs to be done in order to achieve blogging success.each page like home page,landing page what and all content to use. As you said, if site link is saying something and content is different means visitor will get confused.I agree with your points. Thanks for sharing

  38. What a simple and strategic way to convert your audience into your customers. \you have well illustrated all the process to make the loyal customers. All the visitors are wondering or visiting for particular product or service. If you provides they will come again and again. If they are not satisfied then will not have a look back. So all we need to make them loyal is to fulfill their needs.

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