The most important element of your business blog is its readers – unless you’re satisfied with having no audience for your content, of course. Many people tout social media marketing as one of the key ways to grow that audience, which sounds good in theory.
However, while social media marketing is indeed the quickest way to get readers to your business blog, it’s not how you keep them there, and it’s certainly not the best conduit for generating revenue for your business. Read on to learn how to make it happen.
What’s the one thing most people have and check every day?
Gmail, Hotmail, Ymail, Yahoo! Mail, Outlook…you get the idea. Email. If you guessed Facebook or Twitter, do remember that there are still some out there who don’t have any social media accounts, but they have email addresses. Email is more important to most than social media because it’s still one of the most essential forms of contact, next to calling and texting.
If you’re still not convinced, consider this contrast posed by Internet marketing expert Derek Halpern: people receive about 100 emails a day, but receive about a thousand tweets and Facebook updates a day. Which are people more likely to read?
Plus, in our current smartphone age, people have less time to go to actual blog sites to read their favorite content; they prefer the convenience of receiving the blog updates right in their inbox so they can check it on their phones on the go.
And that’s where you want to be – right at their hip.
Here’s how you get them in 3 steps.
1. Sign up for an email subscription provider, like AWeber or MailChimp and set up an email subscription form.
2. Place the email sub form in the “right places” on your business blog. According to Halpern, the four best spots are: at the top of your blog (if you have a WordPress blog with a feature box option, such as a Thesis or StudioPress theme – check out Halpern’s blog and look at the top of his), in your blog’s sidebar, on your “About” page, and at the bottom of every blog post.
3. Draw people to your blog and give them a reason to stay. This is where your social media presence becomes important. Draw readers to your blog with value-packed content, and offer an incentive for them to give up their email address, such as a free report, a free gift of some kind from your company, or offer a highly valuable free ebook as a subscriber exclusive.
So why an email list?
An email list can be a powerful sales tool, and more people convert and click with email subscriptions than through social media promotion. Since the reader is loyal enough to subscribe to your blog, he’ll be more familiar with you than a stranger, and therefore more likely to purchase your goods or services.
However, if you don’t give a reader a way to stay, he won’t. Set up the form and add it to your blog, and watch your customer engagement increase.
Flickr photo by Horia Varlan.