I’m getting the chance to read lots of other coaching blogs lately. One reason is, my blog is competing in the Best Coaching Blogs contest hosted by Julia Stewart of the School of Coaching Mastery. There are some great blogs being showcased there! If you haven’t already, check it out. There’s a link below this post. (And of course, I’d love your vote and comments, if you are so inclined.)
Plus, I’m working on a new learning system called Client Winning Websites & Blogs. It’s a step-by-step blueprint (with lots of examples) to launch well, get known and attract fans fast. (Coming soon.)
If you’re using a blog to attract clients, or you would like to be, what exactly do you want your blog to accomplish? For a moment, think about this from an outsider’s perspective.
Every new visitor to your site is deciding, within seconds, whether it’s something they value or not. So if you want your audience to grow, you must captivate them as soon as they arrive on your site.
Are you making sure that when your ideal prospects visit your site, they immediately feel seen, heard and understood by you?
Here are the five most important ways to captivate your audience on your blog:
# 1 Resonate Quickly with Your Target Market
There is a set of cues that in seconds tells your web visitors whether they want to stay on the site or bounce off. As a website owner, your job is to optimize those cues so your ideal clients are attracted to engage with what you’re offering. Blogs have the potential to do this best, because fresh relevant content builds connections with your audience.
These 3 critical cues determine whether visitors stay or bounce. They need to be immediately evident without scrolling when someone arrives on your blog (or any website):
- WHO is the site for?
- WHAT will it help them overcome or achieve?
- HOW can they get free info to learn more?
Have you been on any sites lately where you had to scroll around to decide whether it was relevant to you? I have. And those sites lose me fast. I have a short attention span on the web – like most people.
Whenever you write a post or change anything on your site, think it through from the perspective of a first time visitor. There may be good reasons for everything you want to do, but what really counts is how it will impact your audience.
To entice your ideal prospects to stay on your site and take a next step with you, make sure the 3 critical cues are obvious at a glance in all these elements of your site:
- What you call your blog and business
- What you call yourself (your title)
- The unique benefit statement or tag line in your header
- The topics or categories of your blog
- The titles of your blog posts
#2 Prioritize Opt-ins
The first thing you want first time web visitors to do is subscribe for your blog (or ezine) so you can connect with them again. If they leave your site before opting in, they’re likely to never come back and you won’t even know they were there.
Give them something they really want immediately in exchange for their name and email address.
Is your freebie and opt-in box obvious on your website without scrolling, and is it about something your audience is truly hungry to learn?
#3 Post Consistently
Nothing turns off blog subscribers like inconsistent or infrequent posting. It’s very telling if there’s not a recent post within two weeks. Blogs die quickly if they aren’t freshened regularly. So get a rhythm and stick with it. I recommend at least one post a week.
#4 Make Posts Easy to Consume
Readability is key. Include an interesting and relevant image with each post. Use subheads (with keywords) and bolded phrases or sentences. Write in conversational language in short paragraphs, and include bullet points and numbered lists. Use humor and/or shock factors occasionally. Add in video or audio.
#5 Encourage Commenting
If you want to build your list, engage your audience, and build a community of trust – encourage commenting by:
- Inviting comments in every blog post.
- Responding to comments, authentically and quickly.
- Inviting your subscribers to your site to read each post.
And take the time to add pithy, useful comments to other blogs for your target market or niche specialty. This builds relationships, it can drive traffic to your site, and it’s good karma!
I’ve made all the classic mistakes on my blog. Fortunately, I am blessed with kind readers who clue me in whenever I miss the mark. I’ve also made vast improvements on my site by continually studying what makes blogs and static websites work.
Help me and your colleagues out by sharing your blog strategies, insights and challenges in the comments. Let’s build up this list of ways to captivate an audience together. Because you know, with outside perspective we can all grow faster.