This post is based on episode 117 of the ProBlogger podcast.
Over the past four weeks I’ve talked about the four stages of warming up your readers and turning them into raving fans:
This week I’m wrapping things by sharing how one blogger with relatively few reads used these principles to earn more than $28,000. And she did it all with a single blog post, a SlideShare presentation, a lead magnet, an email sequence, and a webinar.
Donna Moritz runs Socially Sorted – a site that teaches non-designers how to create pro-quality visual content for more leads, sales and impact. And over the years she wrote a couple of big blog posts that did really well, including 36 Visual Content Creation Tools the Pros Can’t Live Without. She also created a SlideShare for the post (a way to repurpose your content that I talked about in something I talked about in How to Get the Word out about Your New Blog) that, according to Donna, “went nuts”.
She started writing blog posts for other people to promote their webinars and other events, and found she could drive a lot of traffic to whatever she was promoting. So when she was asked to be an affiliate for Amy Porterfield, she wanted to write a “firecracker” blog post (as she calls them) that would get the most attendees for Amy’s webinar.
The blog post
After spending a couple of weeks collecting information from influencers, she sat down and write 21 Pro Tips for a Packed House at Your Webinar or Live Event Using Visual Marketing. It was a list post with a great title (don’t you agree?), lots of visuals and lots of quotes. And it included both a banner ad for signups and a lead magnet
Being such a targeted blog post, it received less than a thousand shares. (Her two previous ‘big’ posts received 3,000 and 6,000 shares.) But Donna was just getting started.
She created a 32-slide SlideShare presentation featuring quotes from influencers she featured in her blog post. It not only linked back to the blog post, but also included a link to free cheat sheet.
When her slides went out, she had 700 people subscribe to get that cheat sheet. (That number has since grown to 1,000.) And those slides (which have now been viewed more than 21,000 times) are still bringing in traffic.
The lead magnet
Donna’s next move was to create a lead magnet by offering new subscribers a free cheat sheet that related to the blog post. Using a Canva template, she created a nine-page PDF and gave subscribers the link as a way of saying thank you. (Her current lead magnet is a 14-page PDF titled, “99 Video Ideas”.) And so subscribers get two emails as soon as they sign up: the ‘welcome’ email, and a link to their free cheat sheet.
Donna believes the key to offering freebies as lead magnets is to follow up on them. “My mistake over a couple of years was not actually following up. They would download it and then that was it.”
And so she began creating her email sequence.
The email sequence
Donna admits she was terrible at doing them at first. “I didn’t even know what that was.”) But she persevered, and now has an email sequence that includes:
· the traditional ‘welcome’ email
· a question (which I’ll talk about in a bit)
· an email explaining what to expect in later emails
· a few emails with tips.
And after that they start receiving her newsletter.
Donna believes in giving her readers value from the word go. “I don’t want them to feel as if I’m saying, ‘Oh, I’ve got a webinar on’ out of the blue.” So when you subscribe you’re taken to a page on her blog that has links to articles and interviews that provide plenty of useful information.
The second email in the sequence asks a simple question: “Tell me your biggest challenge”. And more importantly, she reads everyone’s responses.
“That question has been great,” she says. “I struggle keeping up with the replies, but I do try and get to them all eventually. It’s like an ongoing survey. We’re going to get better at analyzing it because the responses are amazing.”
And she gets pretty good open rates with those emails. The first has a 70% open rate, the second 60% and the third 48%.
In last week’s post I talked about engaging your readers (and getting them engaged in your blog) by using live video. But while Donna loves teaching and interactive with people, she doesn’t feel comfortable being on camera. And so she started running webinars instead.
Webinars gave her the opportunity to not only interact with her readers but also provide them with great content. And while they usually end with her promoting a program or event (“I’m getting better at the sales part of the end”), she’s totally upfront about it.
And to give you an idea of how good her content is, here’s a story she shared with me on the ProBlogger podcast:
Recently, I had a webinar where our internet went down in the middle of it. They could still see my slides but they couldn’t see me. I thought, Here we go. I’m just going to watch them all leave.
But they all stayed. I had more than 100 people stay for the entire webinar saying, “We like the slides”.
One blog post. A SlideShare slideshow. A lead magnet. An email sequence. A webinar.
The result? More than $28,000 in revenue. That’s the power or warming up your readers by giving them great content, getting them to subscribe, and engaging with them.
Do you know of any other bloggers who do a great job of warming up their readers? Let us know about them in the comments.