These days, blogging is big business. So much so, that marketers who have prioritized blogging are 13 times more likely to have a positive ROI. And if you own a small business, whether your blog is the entirety of this business or not, blogging can be one of your most valuable assets. Whether it's 50 or 50,000 readers, it's a great way to connect with customers and potentially new ones.
But as with all aspects of your business, there are ways to take your blog to the next level so that you're really maximizing your potential for success. So what's next? Email marketing.
As far as definitions go, email marketing is pretty much exactly what it sounds like. It involves sending marketing messages to people who have signed up to receive your content. And the first thing you need to do to get started with an effective email strategy for your business is to sign up for an easy-to-use email service provider. Once you've done this, you should be ready to take on the tips below.
Number One: Provide a value exchange
The whole point of a blog is to provide information that your readers find valuable, whether it helps them solve a problem or simply gives them some sort of inspiration. Once you've got this covered, it's time to provide even greater value by offering something else. It could be a guide that they download with more detailed information on a particular blog topic, a coupon for a percentage off of a product you offer or an invite to an educational webinar.
This is where your email marketing campaign comes in. Add a signup form to your blog to entice your readers to give you their email addresses. You really don't need to ask for more than their name and email as it doesn't take more than that to start building a worthwhile relationship through email marketing.
You can also test different ways to introduce the signup form, whether it be a slider or a pop-up in the top navigation of your blog site. Depending on your value proposition, these executions of capturing a visitor's information can only increase your audience growth success.
Number Two: Launch Engagement Catalysts
You work hard on your blog posts and, in a world where people skim an article for 10 seconds before moving on with their day, you want to get the most out of each thing you publish and you'll want to get people engaging with your brand. Email marketing can help with this.
As you grow your audience, you can use your email database as a way to extend the reach and shelf life of your blog content by sending a monthly digest recapping your most engaging posts. This will spark more views, shares and conversations centered around your ideas which makes the time and effort you've spent on your blog that much more worth it.
And to extend engagement even more, set up an autoresponder series only for those who click a specific link in your email. The link could be connected to a one-question survey, your new four-part email course or an exclusive Q&A Google hangout session. Your email campaign is your own so be creative and try things that you think your audience would enjoy participating in.
Number Three: Generate ROE (Return On Engagement)
At this point, you're providing value to your blog readers beyond just the blog posts. Your blog has become a destination hub where visitors can consume, learn and gain opportunities to explore even more valuable content. In other words, they're engaging. So how can you step up your blogging game even further? How can you generate a return on engagement?
It's now time to survey your audience. As much as they love the content you've created, they're going to have strong opinions about what they want to see you do next. Embrace this. Surveying is a key way to determine what they would be willing to pay for.
When looking to gain some financial return, capturing a testimonial or case study from an engaged audience member can help you solidify your social proof for prospective customers. With a few positive testimonials to back you, you could apply a dollar amount to your advanced course or private membership group.
Brand equity return could also be generated by developing an army of advocates. Arrange an email to be sent to your most active readers. Encourage them to share information about your next downloadable guide. At this point, these members of your audience have become loyal to you and will be happy to share your ideas.
You've got the knowledge. Now's the time to turn these tips into actions. Start by writing down five things of value you can provide to your audience with an expected outcome for each. For example, it could be a guide that will generate downloads and attract more readers.
Pick one of these ideas and turn it into an asset. Then, start testing things like calls to action and how you introduce that sign up form on your site. Measure your results to compare them to what your projected outcome was and then rinse and repeat.
You're more than just a blogger
You're a business owner. You're an influencer to your readers. You're the inspiration for the next successful entrepreneur. The content you take time to produce and share is more than a hobby. It's often the heart of your business and should be treated as such. So embrace the power of email marketing to make sure your blog is reaching its maximum potential.