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3 Steps to Increase Blog Visitors, Mailing List Signups, and Product Sales

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3 Steps to Increase Blog Visitors, Mailing List Signups, and Product Sales

What’s the difference between a $100 bill and a $1 bill? Same paper. Same ink. So why do we value one more than the other?

The copy.

Like dollar bills, the words you put on your blog or speak during your podcast will make all the difference as to how people value what you create.

Good copywriting is similar to baking a cake. You can have all the raw ingredients, and know what the end result should be, but if you don’t mix and bake everything in a specific order, the result isn’t nearly as good.

The following three copywriting tips, used in the correct order, will help you to get the results you’re looking for the next time you write a blog post. You’ll increase visitors, increase subscribers, and make more sales.

Step One – Know Your Market

Before you write a single word of sales copy, you absolutely need to understand who you’re selling to. You need to understand their needs, desires, and objections to anything you have to offer.

You want to build rapport, which is essential for any successful selling situation. You can do this by speaking to readers in the language they themselves use. Anything else is like using profanity in a church – you’ll show “you don’t belong here.”

Reading other blogs, browsing forums, and looking over product reviews in your niche/industry will give you a good feel what the people you’re trying to connect with want, what they don’t want, and how they communicate with each other. Even if you’ve been in your market for years, and even if you’re part of your own market, this is something you should do on a regular basis to make the most of your content creation.

Step Two – Kick The Door Down With a Great Title

When you’re ready to start writing, pay special attention to your title. It doesn’t matter how good the meat of your content is if nobody reads it. A great title says, “I’m here. Let’s talk!” It’s the big entrance you need to get your the full attention of your audience, so they they’ll read the rest of your message.

A great headline, like a great blog post title, is a promise to the reader that you’ll meet a need, fulfill a desire, or solve a problem.

Look to sales headlines for great examples of what a powerful title can be. These headlines, written by professional copywriters, wouldn’t be used if they didn’t get results.

Here is an example for a one-hour laundry service. A time-poor businessman needing clean clothes for an important meeting would highly respond to something like this:

We’ll Dryclean Your Suit Within One Hour – Or You Don’t Pay!

This is much better than a general slogan, such as:

Great Service for Over 15 Years

Nobody cares how long you’ve been in business – they only care that you’re able to solve their problems. When you let them know this is possible, they’ll read the read of your offer.

Like a businessman who needs clean clothes, the people who come to your blog are also looking for a solution to their problems. Do your blog post titles offer these solutions?

Below are five problem-solving blog post title formats that you can use to get started. Feel free to edit any of the examples listed so they’ll apply to what you’re doing.

1. The “How to” Title

  • How to Lose 10 Pounds in Only 7 Days
  • How to Make Money as a Professional Gambler
  • How to Lose Your Shirt in the Stock Market
  • How to Get a Date Tonight
  • How to Live on Only $2/day!

2. The “Fear” Title

  • Are You Making These 7 Mistakes?
  • Do You Have Any of These Symptoms?
  • What The President Isn’t Telling You About Gun Control
  • What Does Congress Know About Social Security That You Don’t?
  • 57% of Americans Have This Disease – Are You One of Them?

3. The “Simplify” Title

  • Lose 10 Pounds Guaranteed (Without Exercise!)
  • Get More Done in Less Time
  • A Clean House in Only 20 Minutes? Yes!
  • 3 Easy Steps to Get a Low-Interest Mortgage
  • 7 Healthy Meals Using Just 3 Ingredients

4. The “Solution” Title

  • Sleep Better With This Strange Trick…
  • My Kid Was Failing Math…Until This Came Along!
  • Tired of Riding The Bus? Get a New Car for Only $97/month!
  • If You Think Your Spouse is Cheating, I Can Help!
  • Finally! A Diet The Really Works!

5. The “Secret” Title

  • Insider Tricks to Beating the Stock Market – Guaranteed!
  • The Secret Doctors Don’t Want You to Know
  • The Diet Only Celebrities Know About…Until Now!
  • Right-Wing Secrets Every Democrat Should Know!
  • Liberal Secrets Every Patriot Should Know!

Step Three – Ask For What You Want!

When you write a blog post, keep in mind what you want readers to do. If you want them to sign up for your newsletter, ask for that. If you want them to follow you on Twitter, ask for that. If you want them to leave comments on the blog post, let them know! Every post needs a strong call to action.

Don’t assume that people visiting your blog or reading your blog posts will know want from them. Unless you specifically ask, they don’t. Be crystal clear about what you want from your readers. That is the only way they’ll know what you want.

Final Thoughts

There is no reason to reinvent the wheel when it comes to creating effective blog posts and titles for them. Simply look to the words your readers are already using to describe the problems (and solution to those problems) they are already asking about. Finish this process by asking for what you want them to do – sign up for your email newsletter, leave a comment, buy a product, etc.

Do you have a favorite blog post title that solves a problem or a call to action that worked extremely well? Please share it in the comments section.

Image credit: Bigstock

27 Bloggers Talk about Writing Better Headlines

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One of the most oft-mentioned topics on blogs about blogging is how to write a great headline. The right headline makes your post more likely to be shared on social media, attracts more links, optimize your website for search engines, and end world hunger. There are so many resources out there, yet people still ask me for tips all the time. You all have said things that are much smarter and more interesting than I could ever hope to say – so here’s a round up of what the best bloggers out there are saying about writing awesome headlines:

Am I missing your link or a link from someone you love? Leave a comment below to be part of the conversation!

  1. 65 Exciting Words to Spice up Your Blog Headlines at Blogussion by Alex, @afrais
  2. All You Need To know About Good Headline Creation that Work at 1st Web Designer by Rean John Uehara, @ueharataichou
  3. Blog Content Tip – Titles are Everything at Problogger by Darren Rowse, @problogger
  4. Do Your Readers Trust You? On Headline Trickery at For Bloggers, By Bloggers by Judy Dunn, @CatsEyeWriter
  5. Down with Deb Ng! Headline Writing 101 at Freelance Writing Jobs by Terreece M. Clarke, @Terreece
  6. Everything You Need To Know About Writing Blog Headlines at DavidRisley.com by David Risley, @davidrisley
  7. Headline Writing for PPC Ads: Dos and Don’ts at Word Stream by by Elisa Gabbert
  8. Headline v. Content: Does the Carpet Match the Drapes? at Kommein by Deb Ng, @debng
  9. How Important Are Blog Headlines? at Digital Marketing Content Agents by Greg Taylor, @grt2studios
  10. How to Write Kickass Blog Post Titles at Netchunks by Shiva Chettri, @netchunks
  11. How to Write Magnetic Headlines (11-part series) at Copyblogger by Brian Clark, @Copyblogger
  12. How to Write Quality Query Letters: Write a Great Headline at PoeWar by John Hewitt, @poewar
  13. Movie Titles Can Teach You to Write Better Title Tags and Headlines at PaperStreet by Pete Boyd, @peteboyd
  14. Please, Please, Please Write Informative Headlines at Poynter by Steffen Fjaervik
  15. Presure was Just too Great to Write a Good Headline About Good Headlines at Poynter by David Michelmore
  16. Secrets to Writing Good Headlines Guaranteed to Increase Traffic at Little Books with a Big Message by Julia M Lindsey, @ourlittlebooks
  17. The Key To Attention-Getting Headlines at Empowered Online Entrepreneurs byElmar Sandyck, @ElmarSandyck
  18. The Secret To Driving Blog Traffic at Social Media Explorer by Jason Falls, @jasonfalls
  19. The Secret to Writing Effective Headlines That Will Get Your Blog Posts Read at Meet Freddy Rodriguez by Freddy Rodriguez, @imcoachfreddy
  20. The Sexy Art of Writing Headlines that Kill at Freelance Switch by Leo Babauta @zen_habits
  21. Three SEO Healting Writing Tips at Freelance Writing Jobs by Terreece M. Clarke, @Terreece
  22. Using Numbers in Headlines: Is the Game Changing? at The Blog Herald by Andrew G.R., @jobacle
  23. What’s Even More Important Than a Well Written Headline? at Chrisg.com by Chris Garrett, @chrisgarrett
  24. Writing Headlines for Social Media or Search Engines at DavidRisley.com by David Risley, @davidrisley
  25. Writing killer home page headlines at The Writer’s Bloc by Dave Kramer, @TheWritersBloc
  26. Writing Website Content Headlines at Men with Pens by James Chartrand, @menwithpens

Ok, Ok…I wrote one too: Headlines Mean Nothing If Your Don’t Deliver – so that brings our total to 27 posts about blog headlines. Each have a few tips, so that’s easily over 100 opinions about writing better headlines. Whew. I’m going to file this one under the category “New Media News & Education” because if that isn’t enough education to keep you busy for the rest of the week, i don’t know what is!

(For the record, I listed posts in alphabetical order, not in some kind of ranking order.)

Over to you: link us to your post about headlines or give us your best headline tip.

Headlines Mean Nothing If You Don’t Deliver

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This week, one of the top-clicked SmartBrief on Social Media stories was from Tim Ferriss: “How to Create Headlines That Get Retweeted.” If you haven’t yet come across Tim Ferriss, he’s the author of The 4-Hour Work Week, and while I’m pretty sure that even the best headlines won’t make it possible to work just four hours per week, this is definitely part of the equation when it comes to creating a popular blog, especially through social networking.

Tim’s post gave a lot of good tips, including some that I use often myself. Something that his article doesn’t address, however, is the necessity for you to deliver on the headline promises you make. I talked about this a little when I wrote “The Secret About Secret Posts” earlier this month.

Unfortunately, when I read a  great headline, only about half of them actually deliver with a great post.

Some of the points Tim made in his post is that it works well to use questions (I agree) and it also works well to pique curiosity with something unknown (I also agree). The example he gives that does this well is “Why Are You Single? Perhaps It’s The Choice Effect” – a guest post from his own blog about relationships. When you click through to that article, it’s entertaining, well-researched, and helpful. The article delivers.

Too often, however, I’ll click on a headline like this one only to be disappointed. It’s just a bunch of rehashed tips that basically boil down to common sense. You hyped me up with a headline that promised to teach me something brand new, and all I got was crap.

If that’s your game – write mediocre articles that have great headlines, yes, you are going to see retweets and maybe even a ton of traffic. Many people tweet links based on headlines before they even read the article or blog post. So, you’re going to get that traffic spike, whether or not you deserve it.

But beware of boy-who-cried-world syndrome. Eventually, people are going to start to understand that you don’t have any spunk behind the spark of your title. You can only fool people so many times. That’s no way to build your readership.

Consider this as well: You aren’t going to make sales with traffic spikes.

Having a huge traffic day is great, but only if you can convert those page views into long-term readers. Someone who visits your site for the first time isn’t likely to buy anything from you or even click on any of your ads. They certainly aren’t going to sign up for your mailing list, comment of your sub-par post, or feel compelled to follow you on Twitter.

Tim’s tips on writing great headlines are on point. Just make sure you go a step farther and write great content to deliver on your headline promises. That’s the only way to actually build your blog’s readership.

What other social media stories were popular this past week? Check out the SmartBrief on Social Media top ten:

  1. Learn the secret of irresistible headlines
  2. 3 things holding back your Facebook marketing
  3. How to blend e-mail with social media
  4. How marketers can harness Google’s secret weapon
  5. 6 niche networks you need to know about
  6. 6 rules for managing a social-media catastrophe
  7. How Best Buy uses social media to wow customers
  8. What should a social-media marketing plan cost?
  9. Why marketers should forget about viral videos
  10. Older generations flock to Facebook

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