In a recent post, we explored a few facts: Blog readers aren’t buyers, more readers won’t make you rich, and fame is nice, but it doesn’t pay the bills.
So now what? You might be looking at your blog feeling disheartened and discouraged. Your whole business model revolved around blogging for business, and your home page is full of posts.
Fret not, fair reader. All is not lost. If you’re sitting there wondering what to do with your front-page blog and few sales, the answer is simple:
That’s the nice thing about blogs and sites built on WordPress. They’re very forgiving and extremely flexible. Even the cheapest, most limiting versions of blogs can get your business back in the spotlight and gently shoo your free stuff back to supporting cast.
Here’s what to do:
Business before Pleasure
You may want to blog for SEO purposes or to show off your smarts, but if the first thing a new visitors sees when he or she lands on your blog is a post, you’ve just created confusion.
A reader might find you through a Twitter link and be happy to come and read your post. But a typical buyer doesn’t come to your blog because of a link he noticed on Twitter.
The typical buyer comes to your site because he was looking for a solution.
When he lands on your site, hoping to find a professional ready to go to work, he’s confused. Is he in the right place? There’s no nice text outlining what you sell and how you can make his life better. No, he finds a post on 7 weird things about you or a rant about a nasty client.
Likely to land the sale? I think not.
So put your business before pleasure. There are many website-blog combo themes that don’t cost much – and some are free. Switch your theme out, make sure your home page clearly and quickly conveys exactly what you do, what you sell and how you’ll rock someone’s world.
The visitor gets exactly what he wants. And if he’s not interested in buying just yet? Then he’ll explore and discover your blog. A customer or a new reader – you win either way.
Who Are You Talking To?
One incredibly common problem is having the wrong audience reading your blog posts. You’re blogging hard and heavy on what you know best to convey credibility to potential clients…
But you end up attracting readers who want to be just like you. They want your tips, your knowledge, your tricks and your brain. Not your services.
These readers won’t hire you. They want to soak up what you know, learn what you do, and then go out and do it better. They want to become the next you, kick your ass and hand it to you on a platter while they scoop up all your clients.
So change your topic focus. Start blogging about related topics that don’t end up putting your brains on the road for the prey birds to pick at. You’ll still get plenty of readers, and you’ll still convey credibility. You’ll also attract more buyers willing to hire you for what you do .
Because they don’t want to learn what you know.
I Can’t SEE You
If you could watch a first-time visitor navigate your site, you’d be amazed. That big ad promoting your book in the sidebar? The person doesn’t even see it. In fact, he doesn’t even see your sidebar. He’s too busy squinting at your banner – the one in bright orange, the one he can’t figure out.
What does that title say? Dunno. Huh.
He’ll move on to your navigation – maybe. Maybe he doesn’t even see the main navigation – the one that has the important stuff, like About, Contact and more importantly, Services.
Maybe your blog post down below is screaming for attention. The title font sure is big enough. So the visitor reads and wonders what this is all about. What site is he on again? He looks up for answers – but there’s that orange banner.
Uncertainty. Confusion. Help? Oh yes, there it is – some links… With puzzling titles. And there are a whole bunch of links. Too many. It’s overwhelming and that just adds to the confusion. To hell with this – CLICK!
Your visitor is gone.
So clean up your site. Make it painfully obvious to anyone what you do and what you sell. Remove the clutter. Get rid of the gadgets. Cut down the long list of links and keep it all succinct. Retitle your posts.
Too many ads? Ditch some. They’re probably not earning you any money anyways. Focus on what does make you money, and get it right in front of a buyer’s eyes.
Move the Furniture Around
While you’re doing some housecleaning on your site, why not consider moving the furniture around for a better flow of traffic?
Consider taking the not-so-necessary out of your navigation. Do you really need all those pages? Got a free download or a cheap seller? Pull it down. Replace it with a page that promotes your services – clearly.
Use your sidebar space and promote yourself. Have some ads for affiliate products that just aren’t working? Put an ad for your own products or services in their place instead. (Yes, that’s where you can put that free download or selling ebook.)
You may want to consider doubling up your navigation, too. It’s nice to have a navigation bar underneath the banner where people expect it to be. But they may not see it just the same, so try listing links to those pages in your sidebar as well – instead of listing blog posts.
Try overhauling your services and copywriting, too. Package things up. Eliminate the fluff. Streamline your process. Clarify what you do, and create a message with more impact.
And once that’s all done… Well, write some great blog posts and start telling people about the cool stuff you do.