UPDATE: Here’s the transcript from tonight’s #blogchat!
I am currently helping a friend launch their new website. One of the things she’s trying to figure out is what information goes on the site’s homepage, and in what order. You should be thinking about the same things on your blog.
For starters, ask yourself what are the top three things that you want someone to do once they visit your blog. And prioritize your answers.
If I came to your blog right now, what’s the ONE thing you want me to do?
If I don’t that one thing, what’s your 2nd choice? 3rd?
For example, I am using my blog here as a way to create valuable content for current and potential clients. So my blog is technically a way to get a relationship started with you where I provide you with content that’s valuable to you, that will hopefully lead to us doing business at some point down the road, or hopefully you referring me to someone that needs my help.
So notice that at the very top of my blog, next to the content, is my signup place for my TLARS newsletter. That’s the ONE thing I want a visitor to do when they come here, is signup for my newsletter. So I put it front and center. If a new visitor doesn’t signup for my newsletter, I want them to at least read my post and comment. So I also highlight recent commenters, to show readers that if they comment, they will get the spotlight put on their comments. Also, I have Popular Posts listed at the top right, because I want you to find as much valuable information as possible, so you will want to keep reading my blog and tell others about it.
Now if I was launching my first blog today, my top goal for this blog would probably be to use it as a tool to directly sell my consulting services. But over the last 4 years, I have tried repeatedly to use the blog to directly drive consulting sales, and I’ve had very poor results. Through simple trial and error, I’ve learned that visitors here would rather connect with me, build a relationship with me, and then do business with me. So now the focus of my blog’s organization is geared toward us staying in contact and building that relationship.
Want to discuss this more? You’re in luck, we are going to discuss this topic tonight at #Blogchat, starting at 8pm Central! If you have some points or comments you’d like to make before the chat, feel free to leave a comment here, and we’ll chat up your point.
And after the chat ends, come back here to continue the discussion, and I will post the transcript here as well!
Also, here’s the #blogchat tweets for this week:
Nick Stewart says
When people come to my website I want them to visit as many pages as possible. In my experience it’s best to put the content that they want most front and center where they can see it. This includes doing things like putting the most popular posts about the fold on the side bar.
Obviously there are certain actions I want them to take, like subscribing to my email newsletter, but I need to find a balance between that and displaying the content they want.
Mack Collier says
Nick I like your thought process, I do the same thing here with the Popular Posts plugin. I’ve also been tinkering with Related Posts plugins, etc, but haven’t found one I like yet. Do you use one?
Right now my blog is not what I like, I like some of the feathers of the current theme and none o the others. My blog is about to get a huge overhaul to be a brand new very improved experience. I am super excited. I have been blogging for like 9 years but for fun. My new blog though is all business related so professionalism and fun is the experience you will get from it. I learned recently about the hierarchy of placed things on the blog, wow what a difference lol. Anyways great info here and I am excited to learn more.
Too many bloggers overlook the importance of their headers. It is prime real estate and for many it’s not taken advantage of. It should contain your brand and tell your audience who you are. It should be memorable and unique. Something that will act as a heuristic for your followers.
Tom Martin says
Couldn’t agree more. Too many bloggers, and companies with websites, overlook the need to Funnel Optimize (http://bit.ly/15lUvNb) their sites to turn them into painless prospecting platforms.
Too bad I’m just seeing this… would have loved to join that #BlogChat.
Excellent! Something I need to think about. Thanks.
Mack Collier says
Thank you Carol, great to meet you this week at Y’all Connect!