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How to Turn First Time Visitors Into Interested Readers of Your Blog

Today I’m talking about getting readers to take a second look at your blog. In episode 112, we started this mini series on warming your blog readers up to your blog.
PB114:  Strategies to Help Convert First Time Visitors Into Interested Readers of Your Blog

In that episode I presented you with four different stages of warming your readers up. In the last episode, number 113, I talked about how to get the first eyeballs on your blog, how to get the reader to take a first look.

The first step of warming up your readers is to get their attention. Today I’m going to give you some strategies on getting readers to take a second look at your blog.

Getting people to take a second look can be a massive challenge. Looking at statistics, we can tell people land on our site and then bounce away. We need to do something really quickly to show them why they should stick around.

In Today’s Episode We Talk About Getting Blog Visitors to Look Twice

  • Make a big promise to get people interested
    • Exercise to unlock the promise you should make – List the pain points of your reader – List the gains that your readers want to make
    • Have a tagline that makes the reader look twice. At ProBlogger we will show people how to make money with their blog.
  • Differentiate yourself in some way
    • Is there something in your branding that can show people you are a bit different
    • Ask why you are different and communicate that reason in some way
  • Create content that gives your readers a quick win
    • Create fist pump content
    • Have you ever read content, and thought yes, that is exactly what I was looking for?
    • Fist pump content moves people from one place to another in their lives
  • After writing this content, funnel readers to this content that is relevant to their needs
    • Audit your site navigation, and think how to get people to the best content for them
    • One way to get people to the right information is to have a Start Here page
    • Another way is to have a portal for your readers to find the content that applies to them. On ProBlogger we have a portal that links to eight of our surveyed blog readers pain points.

Portals on ProBlogger



  • Create content that is more personal in nature – storytelling and video
    • Video makes people look twice, especially live streaming – this has become really popular with brands and influencers
    • Live video grabs people’s attention and gets them immediately interested
    • Facebook live, Periscope, etc
    • Storytelling and personal content with photos
  • Use social proof – when people come to your blog, seeing social proof makes them look twice
    • Have an expert or celebrity say something nice about you
    • Testimonials from influencers
    • Quotes from readers and users work too
    • Wisdom of the crowds, using numbers instead of individuals, if you have 1000 readers highlight it

Further Resources on Getting Blog Visitors to Look Twice

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In the next episode, we are going to talk about how to get people to connect, and then in the next episode we talk about how to get people to engage with you.

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Full Transcript Expand to view full transcript Compress to smaller transcript view
Hi there and welcome to episode 114 of the ProBlogger Podcast. My name is Darren Rowse and I’m the blogger behind ProBlogger, a blog, an event, a podcast, a job board, and all kinds of things to help bloggers to monetize their blogs, to create blogs that change the world, but also sustainable and profitable blogs. You can find more information about ProBlogger at

I especially want to draw your attention to our event that is happening on the 9th and 10th of September here in Australia. You can find more information on that two-day event, which is really the peak of what we do at ProBlogger every year. Two days of training on how to make money from your blog. You can find more information on that at

Today, I want to talk about getting people to take a second look at your blog. We started this miniseries on warming your readers up back in episode 112. In that particular episode, I presented you with four different stages of warming your readers up. In the last episode (in episode 113), I talked about how to get the first eyeball, how to get people to view your blog for the very first time, to get that first visitor.

Today, we’re going to take the next step. We’re going to make them look twice. We’re going to get their interest in your blog. If you’re interested in this particular series, I do encourage you to subscribe to this podcast over in iTunes or hit our show notes today, where you can also subscribe via email at

I should mention, before I get into today’s topic, please forgive my croaky voice. I went to the football yesterday and screamed and shouted at my football team, the Carlton Football Team, here in Australia. We won, but I lost my voice in the process, and I do have a bit of a cold, so please excuse the croakiness today.

As I said in my introduction, today I want to talk about how to get people to look twice at your blog. How to get the interest. The first stage of warming up the readers is to grab their attention. It’s to be seen, it’s to get the eyeball. Today, I really want to dig in and give you some strategies on making people look twice, to get them to have a second look at your blog. This is a massive challenge.

We know, looking at the statistics of pretty much any blog on the Internet, the people disappear from our blogs very quickly and this can be really frustrating for us. As bloggers, we put a lot of time and energy into creating content. People arrive at our blog and then seconds later, they bounce away. This can be for a whole heap of different reasons, some of which I talked about a couple episodes ago. People do have fairly short attention spans. People are clicking link after link after link and disappearing from every site they visit very quickly. We want to do something to make them pause, to make them have a second look, to dig a little deeper into who we are and what we’re on about.

We’re particularly here focusing upon those first time readers. Those readers who don’t know about our brands, who’ve never been on our blogs before. We need to do something really quickly to grab their attention, to get their interest in what we’re doing, to show them that what we are doing is relevant to them.

I want to present you today with some strategies on doing that. Now, a lot of these needs to happen pretty quickly. It’s about creating a really strong first impression and there’s a whole heap of ways that we can do that, your design, certainly, makes a strong first impression and it can make people look twice, but one of the things I think is very effective at getting people to look twice at our blogs is to make a big promise. If someone lands on your blog and you make a big promise that is relevant to them, they’re going to look twice, I guarantee you.

One of the things that I would encourage you to really do is a really simple exercise and I talked about this exercise a few episodes ago in episode 105. I talked about in that case, in the context of writing a great sales copy, but I think this is particularly useful to do when you’re thinking about making a big promise on your blog, that is going to get people interested. The exercise is very simply to list the pain of your readers, to list the problems that they have, to list the challenges that they have.

These pains that your readers have could just unlock this promise that you can make on your blog. If you make a promise on your blog, in your tagline, even with the title of your blog or somewhere prominently on your about page, on your start page, pretty much everywhere all over your blog. If you make a promise that alleviates pain in some way, you’re going to make people look twice. That’s the first part of the exercise, list the pains of your readers.

The second part is to list the gains that your readers want, the things that they dream, the achievements that they want to have, the successes that they want to have. Again, this can be presented in this promise that you make. I really want to encourage you to think about the tagline of your blog, how can you make a promise in that tagline that is going to make people look twice.

On ProBlogger, one of the promises that we make is that we’re going to help you to add income streams to your blog, and we know that that is something that our readers are coming into our blog looking for. If you have someone coming to blog with a particular pain point or particular gain that they’re interested in, having happened to them and you make a big promise about that, that is going to make them look twice.

I guess what we try to do here with these taglines on our blog and the way that we write our start pages (I said a couple episodes ago), is to get people to look forward as to the type of life that they want or the achievements that they want to have, so make a big promise. This is one of the best ways that you can make a first impression.

Really, what we’re doing here is showing our readers, our potential readers that we know them. We know them. It’s not just about them knowing us, we need to do something to make them realize that we know who they are, we know their pain, we know their aspirations, so make a big promise in some way.

The second thing that I think can make people look twice is to do something a little bit different, to differentiate yourself in some way. Now, this will probably be more the way you write your content, but you can also weave this type of thing into a branding as well.

Differentiation can take a whole heap of different forms, but think to yourself, is there something you can do in your branding that makes people realize that you are a bit different to other people? Really, this can take a whole heap of different forms. It could be that you are more contrarian than everyone else, or that you reveal more secrets than everyone else, so that you’ll be more transparent than anyone else, so that you’re more generous than everyone else. You’re more useful that you tell a bit of story, that you have better data, that you’re funny, that you debunk more myths. All of these things can help to differentiate you.

I guess I’d ask yourself the question, why are you different to any other blog in your particular niche? If you can communicate that in some way through your design, again maybe through your tagline, maybe through the greeting video that people view when they first land on your site. Maybe it’s through even the pop up on your site that you can communicate, that you are a bit different in some way, that can make people look twice. These are all about creating first impressions, what promise can you make? How can you show them that you do something a little bit different to other people?

The other thing I think is really important and that I guarantee you will make people look twice, is when you create content that gives them a quick win, when you give your readers quick wins. One of things that I actually talked about at the Social Media Marketing World recently was one of the best things I think that we can do as bloggers is  to create fist pump content.

Have you ever listened to a podcast or read a blog post that you’ve just gone, “Yes, that’s exactly what I needed to know.” Have you ever come across a blog post and you start reading, you’re going, “Yes, this is exactly going to solve the problem that I have.” I suspect most of us have had that experience of finding the content that we needed to find. That’s after lots of searching, going through lots of Google results. We find this piece of content that’s got the answers to the question that we have.

The reality is most people when they first arrive at your blog, are not going to arrive at your homepage. Most people are going to arrive at a blog post they found in Google, or that they found are being shared on social media in some way, their friend has recommended for them. We want the content that we write, to give people fist pump kind of feelings.

Fist pump content delivers a quick win. It moves people from one place to another. Not emotionally moves them, but actually changes their lives in some way, gives them new information or it gives them new insight or it gives them new news or new teaching that is going to bring about a change in their life. We want to be producing lots of these contents.

Now, this is not new. I’ve talked a lot about creating content that changes people’s lives in previous episodes, but one of the things that I think we missed out on as bloggers is that we create this kind of problem-solving content, but then it disappears into our archives, never to be seen again. This is one of the massive challenges for us as bloggers is that, I wrote a post today, it’s gone in a week from my front page and it disappears into my archives.

Let me give you a really quick example. Two or three weeks ago now, I wrote a piece of content on ProBlogger called, How To Start A Blog In Five Steps. That piece of content (I would say) is a fist pump content. It changes people. It gives people the information that they need to start a blog. It’s five steps, it walks people through that process and I’ve had emails already from people saying, “Thank you for this blog post. It enabled me to start my first blog.” I’ll link to it in today’s show notes for you, those of you who are in that stage of needing that guide.

It just simply walks people for how to start a blog and that’s a fist pump moment for a lot of people. They’ve been looking for that information, it gives them that information, but the problem is, two weeks later, it’s already off my front page. It is in my archives and if you archives are anything like mine, it’s like a black hole. People go searching in there and sometimes they find the information they’re after, but sometimes they don’t. It really depends (I guess) upon what sort of search tool we use and what keywords they put into that tool.

Many times, people don’t even know what to put in there, so I guess one of the things I want to talk about today in making people interested in what you do is highlighting the very best fist pump content that you have. We need to write that kind of content, but more important than just writing it is we need to funnel readers to the right part of our site. We need to get people directly to the content that they need that is relevant to their particular need, their particular challenge, their particular pain point at this moment.

One of the things that I would encourage you to do to help people to find that content is to really do a bit of an order in terms of the navigation of your site, the user interface of your site, to think really carefully about how am I going to get people the best content for them? Don’t just rely upon the search box on your blog, that will sometimes work and sometimes it won’t. There’s a whole heap of other ways that you can funnel people to the right content for the right time for them.

One of the ways we talked about a couple episodes ago (episode 111) when I talk about “start here” pages, I think a start here page is one way of getting people to the right place at the right time, particularly first time readers. I’m going to talk too much about that because I talk quite extensively about how to create a start here page in episode 111. I highly recommend you go back and listen to that particular episode. There’s some really good feedback on it already, but that’s one way that you can get people to the right information for them.

Another way that you can do it is something else that we’ve done in our new redesign on ProBlogger, and that’s to use what we’re calling portals. Now, portals aren’t a new thing, we’ve actually had portals in the past on my sites, but we’ve completely reengineered the way that we do them in our latest blog design.

If you go to the front page of, you’ll see a section which we have titled “I need help to…” and it’s got eight icons underneath it. Those eight icons correlate exactly with the top eight reasons that we found our readers come to ProBlogger.

We did a survey earlier in the year, a bit of a census of ProBlogger readers. Many of you will have participated in it, and we asked our readers to tell us about the biggest challenges, the biggest needs that they had, the biggest pain points that they had. They told us eight things, they told us they wanted to learn how to start blogs. They told us that they wanted information on how to create better content, how to find readers for their blogs, how to build community with those readers and deepen engagement, how to monetize their blogs, how to be productive, how to understand the technology, how to find work, and how to find freelance opportunities. These are eight things that we heard back from our readers that they had pain around, they had aspirations around.

We’ve created a portal for each of these eight areas and you can see it linked on our front page, but you’ll also see, as you scroll around ProBlogger, the blog, you’ll see those same eight icons on a lot of our side bars and you’ll begin to see it in other areas of ProBlogger as well. You’ll start to see it on our podcast and other parts of the blog and site in the coming weeks.

Each of these icons links to a portal. If you click on one of these portals, say for instance, you click on the start a blog portal, you will end up on a page that we’ve designed for people who want to start a blog. Within two clicks of arriving at our site, you will see the opportunity to click on that start a blog portal. You’ll be on a page where you are greeted with a video as I did on my start here page.

I have a video on each of these portals and in each of the videos, I talked about the pain around this particular issue. I talked about the challenge. I talked about the aspirations. I try to make a personal connection with people and then directly under the video, we have curated our best content on that particular topic. Immediately, people who have a need in that particular area are presented with fist pump content. You’ll see on the start a blog portal, the first piece of content we present there is the five steps to starting a blog post that I wrote a few weeks ago.

Yes, it’s off the front page now of our blog, it’s not actually findable there if you land on the front page, but if you land on that portal—we give people a big, strong call to action to land on that portal if that is their pain point—you’ll immediately be presented with a fist pump content. Underneath that, you’ll find our latest content. The content that we’ve written more recently on that particular topic of starting a blog.

These portals already are being very successful for us in directing people to the fist pump content, to the right content for the right time for them. It’s about getting the relevant content in front of people immediately.

I really would encourage you to do a bit of an order on your site. How easy is it to find the best content on your site for your readers? You may design a portal, you may want to come up with some other way of getting that content in front of people.

On Digital Photography School at this point, we don’t have portals, but we’ve woven into our navigation some drop-down menus that offer people some of these fist pump content. You’ll see there on Digital Photography School if you go and have a look at it now on our menu system, there’s a bit of a drop-down type system there. In that, we point people to some of those pieces of content that we know are going to help them the most. It’s about getting that content that converts, that helps people in front of them as much as you possibly can.

Another great way of making people look twice at your blog, to get them a bit interested is in the topic content you create as well. One of the types of content that I’ve noticed particularly recently that has had a massive impact in getting more second looks (I guess) from people is content which is more personal in nature. Story-telling content, but also when I do video. This is one of the reasons that we’ve been doing a lot more video on ProBlogger in the new design. You’ll see it on all of our portal pages on our start here page, and you’ll start seeing a little bit more throughout the site as well. Video makes people look twice.

One type of video that particularly makes people look twice is live streaming video. You’ll have noticed over the last year or so, live streaming has become very popular. Particularly with brands and particularly with influences. One of the reasons I think it’s become really popular is that people are really engaging with it.

Literally 10 minutes ago, I was on Facebook. I scrolled through my news feed and I just scrolled and scrolled and my eyes began to glaze over. I noticed one of my friends was doing a live video and it made me stop. It stopped me in my tracks and I clicked the link and immediately, I was there watching him race a motor car. It was Mike O’Neil. He was doing a live stream of him racing around a track in his motor car. 

Live video grabs people’s attention and it makes them interested. That’s one of the reasons that I’ve been doing a lot more of it recently on both of my Facebook pages. The ProBlogger Facebook page (if you follow us on Facebook), there you will have noticed that at least 2-3 times a week I’ve been doing live videos there and it really, really works at getting people to give you a second look. Whether they’re watching the live video as it’s happening or whether they’re watching the replay.

If you’re comfortable in front of the camera, I really would encourage you to use Facebook Live, or Periscope, or any of these other live streaming tools, but even if you’re not going to use the live technology video that can be replayed is useful, too. I think YouTube videos is another way you can do it, or just a storytelling content, more personal content. Even content that has your photo in it. I’ve told a story on ProBlogger a number of times now when Vanessa, my wife, started blogging. When she first started blogging, she wasn’t comfortable putting her face or even using her name on the blog Style and Shenanigans, her blog.

She summoned up the courage one day to put a selfie up on it. She showed her face and she used her name for the first time. I can look in her Google Analytics back to the moment her blog began to grow and it was that day, the day she started to get more personal with her content. She did something there in doing that, that not only got people’s eyeballs, but it got their attention, it got their interest, and it made them feel a personal connection with her. I think that the one way that we can really make people look twice at our content and our blog, is to make them realize that there’s a real person on the other side of it. Use storytelling, use personal content where it’s relevant to do, some way you feel comfortable to do that.

The last strategy I want to really briefly talk about that will make people look twice at your blog is to use social proof. When people come to your blog and they see social proof, people make them look twice. It builds a little bit of credibility to your site. Now, you’ve probably heard that term social proof before. There are a number of different types of social proof that I want to talk about. Let me run through them.

The first type of social proof that I want to touch on is where you use an expert, or a celebrity, or someone of influence in your particular industry who says something nice about you. If you go to Leadpages, the landing page software that we use on ProBlogger, you’ll see there on the front page of Leadpages that they feature Amy Porterfield, who is a Facebook expert. They have this nice little quote from Amy and a photo of her right there on the front page. The quote is her talking about Leadpages and why she likes Leadpages. This is social proof. Someone landing on that page goes, “Oh, there’s Amy Porterfield. I know Amy Porterfield. I like Amy Porterfield. Oh, she uses Leadpages.” This is social proof.

Now, you can do the same thing if you have any kind of contact with anyone in your particular industry who has any credibility or influence. If they have written an article about you and says something nice about you, ask their permission if you could use that quote. It’s a win-win. It’s good for them because they start to be seen in more places and you might even link back to them, but it’s good for you, too, because it helps to build some credibility.

Again, if you go to CoSchedule, that’s another tool that we use for our editorial calendar. You’ll see on the front page there, they have a number of testimonials from influencers including someone called Jay Baer, who is another influencer in this particular space and a great quote there from him. That’s one type of social proof that you may be able to build into your blog. I’ve given you two examples there of businesses, but you can do exactly the same thing, and many bloggers do this really well.

Another type of social proof that you can build is where you don’t use the quote or the testimonial of a celebrity or an influencer in your particular niche, but you actually use a quote from one of your readers, a user of your site. A great example of this is over on Copyblogger. Copyblogger started out as a blog, but they have now become a software company as well. They feature all over their site testimonials all of not famous people, but their users. People that perhaps you haven’t heard of before, but people who are like other people who are checking them out.

This is a really powerful way of building social proof on your site, it’s to show your readers that there are other people like them who are reading your particular blog. If you’ve got somebody who comments all the time on your blog, you may want to email them and say, “Hey, would you mind writing a sentence about why you like what we do and could I use a photo of you?” and use that as social proof on your particular blog.

The last type of social proof that you might want to use is wisdom of the crowds. This is where you use numbers rather than individuals, so far, we’ve been talking about using the celebrity or the expert in your field, or your users, and in most cases, you want to use a quote from them as well as their photo, or at least their name.

When you use wisdom of the crowd, you use their numbers. If you have a blog that has 1000 readers, then that’s a really good thing. You want to highlight the fact that you’ve got 1000 people reading your blog. This one perhaps isn’t as relevant for new bloggers who don’t have any readers, but if you do have some readers, if you have a lot of commenters, if you have a lot of subscribers, then use those types of numbers to highlight the fact.

This is so easy to do. If you’ve got 1000 monthly readers, highlight that on your about page, highlight that in your tagline, highlight that around your blog, highlight that particularly around anywhere where you’re encouraging people to subscribe. You can do the same with numbers of subscribers, numbers of Facebook followers, numbers of Twitter followers. Using those types of numbers can be really effective on your blog.

A quick example of this over on Digital Photography School (my main blog), we’re fortunate enough to have over a million people who are subscribed to our different social media channels and email list. We just have a very simple call to action right next to our social media icons. “Join over 1.4 million subscribers,” and that builds a bit of social proof. That’s the type of thing that makes people look twice. That’s the kind of thing that makes people go, “Huh, maybe this is relevant for me, too.” Social proof is all about showing people that what you’ve got is already being accepted by other people and maybe it should be accepted by them as well.

Today, I’ve talked a whole heap about making people look twice at your site. We’ve talked about social proof. I’ve talked about using personal content whether it be live streaming, or video, or just storytelling. That type of content makes people go, “Oh, yeah. That’s a real person. That’s someone I want to connect with.” Using portals, using start here pages to highlight your fist pump content, and differentiating yourself through your design, through your taglines, and making big promises. Promises of relieving pain and bringing about gains in your reader’s life.

These are just some of the ways that we use on ProBlogger and Digital Photography School to try and make people look twice, to capitalize on that eyeball that you’ve got. You worked really hard to get that eyeball, to get that first view. You need to make people look twice in order for them to take that next step towards becoming warmer towards your brand.

If you miss this step, you’re going to end up with a blog that might get a lot of eyeballs, but doesn’t actually convert, doesn’t actually take people a step closer to connecting, to subscribing, which is what we’re going to talk about in the next episode, and then towards engaging, and that’s what we’re going to talk about in two episodes time.

I hope this has been helpful for you. I would encourage you to check out today’s show notes at where I’m going to link to the pages that I talked about, I’ll link to some of their portals, and also give you some further reading on some of this type of stuff. I highly recommend that you do subscribe to us over on iTunes, subscribe to us on our newsletter, so that you can get the next two episodes in this particular series.

As I talked about in episode 115 (which I’m going to be releasing in a couple of days), I’m going to talk about how to get people to subscribe, how to get people to connect with you. Once you’ve got that second look, once you’ve made them interested, you really need to work hard on getting a connection. Otherwise, they’ll disappear and  never come back again.

The episode after that, I’m going to talk about how to get engagement, how to get people to comment, how to get people to share, how to get people to retweet, how to get people to feel like they belong to your community which again is so important if you really want to warm your readers up, so do subscribe.

If you are subscribing over in iTunes, I’d love to read your reviews as well. I get notified of every review that’s written in iTunes and on other podcast networks like Stitcher as well. If you can leave a review, I would be very grateful. Thanks so much for listening today. I look forward to chatting with you in episode 115 of the ProBlogger podcast.

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