If you write 1,000 great articles, your search engine traffic will skyrocket and you’ll make more money, right?
I wish that was the case. But after building 3 successful blogs, I’ve learned that writing great content isn’t enough. You can keep cranking out awesome content day in and day out, but that doesn’t mean your traffic will go up.
So how do you get your content to drive your traffic and, more importantly, sales? Here are 3 hard lessons I’ve learned that can help you improve your content marketing efforts:
Tip #1: Grab the attention of a drunk person
Titles matter! If the title of your content sucks, no one is going to read it.
So, how do you come up with great titles? You can either follow the headline templates, which are still effective, but not as much as they used to be because everyone is using them now…
…Or you can come up with your own unique title.
I usually come up with title ideas by reading magazines. The gossip ones really help me because they are able to grab readers’ attention and convince them to read an article that doesn’t have any proof to back up the claims they are making.
My buddy Jon Morrow has a different process than mine, and his is much more effective. He actually goes to bars to come up with title ideas. He’ll read out a few headlines to drunk people, and whichever grabs their attention is the one he uses.
I recently tested Jon’s method, and I have to say it works. I did a post about business philosophies last month, and it happened to be one of my more popular posts. It got almost 3 times more Twitter traffic than my average post.
I was originally going to call the article “11 business philosophies you ought to follow”. When I pitched it to a drunk person, his response was “I live and die by my philosophies”.
That quick conversation helped me come up with the final title of “11 business philosophies to live and die by”. When I mentioned that title to him, his response was,
“What are they mate? They must be good if you’ll die by them.”
I know it sounds weird, but start running your titles by drunk people. This strategy will work well for you as long as your titles don’t contain too much technical jargon.
Tip #2: Think like a searcher
Which piece of content do you think generates more traffic:
My advanced guide to content marketing that I spent well over $30,000 to produce and was read by 361,494 people when I launched it… or a blog post that I wrote about motivational business quotes that I created in less than two hours?
The one on content marketing, right?
Well, if you look at the screenshot below, you’ll see that the motivational business quotes article got read by 926 people over a period of 24 hours.
And if you look at this image of statistics on the content marketing guide, you’ll see that only 500 people read it on that day.
Sure, if you combine all of the traffic all 3 of my advanced guides get each day, it ranges between 2,000 and 3,000 visitors, but I spent well over $100,000 for all 3 of those guides… while that post on business quotes only took me two hours to write.
Do you know why? It’s because the business quotes blog post is more tailored around search engines than the content marketing guide.
Just think about it… are you more likely to search for “content marketing” or “business quotes”?
As you can see from the Google trends screenshot, more people are interested in business quotes than they are in content marketing.
When writing, don’t just think about people, but think about searches too. From keywords to queries someone might type into a Google search box, try to write content and titles that appeal to both people and search engines.
If you want to maximize your search traffic by pleasing both people and search engines with your content, check out this case study on Problogger. It breaks down how one company increased their organic traffic by 203.5% in 3 months.
Tip #3: A deal isn’t a deal, unless people think it is
Blog readers don’t like to spend money… there is no way to monetize them, right?
Sure, making a few thousand dollars here or there isn’t too hard, but no one makes millions of dollars from content, right?
In most cases you are right. Most people don’t make much money from their readers. It’s not because your readers aren’t interested in buying your products or services; instead, you just don’t know how to sell to them.
Two people who are really good at converting blog readers into customers are Ryan Deiss and Vishen Lakhiani. They do it so well that they even talk about how they are able to create income streams of over $15,000,000 a year without raising a dollar in venture capital.
One of the most interesting tactics I learned from Ryan is that a great way to convince people to buy a product or service from you is to offer a discount, but not by using the tactic in the image below:
The reason the image above doesn’t make you feel like you are getting a discount is because when you first see this product, you are seeing it for $127. It doesn’t matter that the product was originally priced at $297 because you never experienced the product selling for $297.
If you first drive people to a page that shows that the product is selling for $297 with no discounts, you may make a few sales. If you offer a discount a week later and sell the same product for $127 for a very short period of time, you should make a lot of sales because people originally saw the item for $297.
My buddy recently tried this with his real estate website, and he was able to increase his monthly revenue by 316%. This is also the same reason Groupon works because you know you are getting a good deal when you buy from the site.
Discounts and deals are a great way to monetize your reader base, just make sure they know they really are getting a deal. Putting a few slashes through a price isn’t enough. Your readers need to know that this is a deal of a lifetime and they need to jump on it now.
There are other ways to increase your traffic or generate more sales from your reader base, but I’ve found the tactics above work extremely well. You just have to get a bit creative and be willing to think outside the box.
Content marketing isn’t rocket science… Even if you don’t have a marketing bone in your body, there is no excuse for you not to grow your traffic and make money through content marketing.
What are some other ways you can improve your content marketing efforts?