Starting a new, clean blog recently has given me a fresh experience of what it’s like to be lean and mean in my marketing.
It is very difficult over time to resist the temptation of “feature creep” and loading your blog down with distractions.
Too many ads. Too many choices for visitors to make. “Do I follow him on Facebook and Twitter?” “Should I sign up for his list?” “Maybe I should check out that ad over there.”
The idea of simplicity is not just to maintain your sanity as a blogger. It is also very important for successful marketing. Visitors bombarded with too many choices often make none. Or they make the least valuable choice at the time.
It is important to remember that 99% of the time the most important action for visitors to take is getting on your list. Your social network can grow through your list. In your autoresponder follow up series you can encourage subscribers to follow you on Twitter and Facebook. You can, in another message, ask them to check our your YouTube channel.
Once you have people on your list, all the other things like affiliate promotions and “Likes” can follow.
Keeping your blog’s sidebar as lean on choices as possible is hard, but you’ll notice your visitors taking the most important call to action you have more often when you keep distractions and moving parts to a minimum.
Do an inventory of all the things you’re asking people to pay attention to on your blog, aside from the content. If, when someone lands on any of your pages, you are pushing them in too many directions, try eliminating things that you can easily include in your email followups later.
Distraction Elimination Tips
- Reduce the size of your Facebook and Twitter widgets in your sidebar to just the bare minimum. Do you really need 30 faces of your followers to show in your sidebar?
- Choose only the most high-converting affiliate programs to advertise. Having 8 125×125 banner ads in your sidebar for everything you promote is a conversion killer for list building.
- Promote the other affiliate offers you have in your email followups.
- Promote your social networks in email followups. You should do this anyway in case subscribers forgot (and they usually do) to follow you.
- Consider using something like Instant Slideup to take advantage of other space on your pages for opt-in forms and special offers. (This software definitely increases list optins.)
- Use tabs to consolidate a few things. Go to your WordPress admin Plugins>Add New and type “Tabbed Widgets” in the search bar. Neat way to save tons of space and clutter in sidebars.
- Get rid of anything else you are running in your sidebar that can be dealt with in your email followups or on static pages of your blog.
- Badges and other things to show off the networks you belong to or endorse can go in different places, like the footer of your blog, instead of sidebar.
Doing some blog spring cleaning will be a great start to adding more people to your subscriber list or whatever that one most important thing is that you really want visitors to do when they first visit your site.
Having a clean, higher-converting blog feels amazing too!