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What is a Conversion for Your Blog?

What is the #1 thing that you want people to do when they arrive on your blog?

Last week at an event about blogging that I attended I asked the above question to 10 bloggers and jotted down their responses:

  • 2 said ‘click on an ad’
  • 2 said ‘buy my product’
  • 1 said ‘subscribe to my RSS feed’
  • 1 said ‘subscribe to my newsletter’
  • 4 said they didn’t know

There’s no wrong or right answer to the question – every blog will have a different ‘conversion point’ to it – but it’s a great question to ask yourself from time to time.

Your answer will inform numerous aspects of your blogging including:

  • How you design your blog – your call to the conversion you’re after should be prominent, above the fold and eye catching
  • What you blog about – your blog posts should, at the very least, relate to your conversion goals and, at best, should lead people to wanting to take the action you’re after.
  • Your promotional activities – knowing what you want people to do when they arrive on your blog can inform your decisions on where and how to promote your blog.

So what is the number 1 thing that you want people to DO when they arrive on your blog?

PS: tomorrow I’m going to flesh this out a little more and share a few tips on getting people to take the action you want them to do.

About Darren Rowse

Darren Rowse is the founder and editor of ProBlogger Blog Tips and Digital Photography School. Learn more about him here and connect with him on Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and LinkedIn.

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Comments

  1. Hi Darren,
    I know you only asked for the #1, but my number is so closely tied to my #2 and #3 – so I’ve included them below.

    Right now my #1 goal is to get people to subscribe to my newsletter
    #2 Purchase Ad space
    #3 Purchase my upcoming product or from aff links.

  2. I do not have a blog currently, what I do have is a ‘squeeze’ page. Where the only, sole purpose is to get people to sign up to build my list!

    So obviously I want people to sign up when they come to my website! This is my number 1 and sole thing that I want people to do when they visit my site.

  3. Jean Sarauer says:

    I think I might have a problem here because I want people to do two things . . . subscribe and sign up for my newsletter (opt-in). Oh, and follow me on Twitter too. Yeah, I don’t want much, do I? Is it better to work on one thing at a time and move widgets/forms/buttons around to put the focus there?

  4. Derek Jensen says:

    This is why I truly believe that design is going to matter more and more on blogs. Sure we can have great content, but if that design is not there, no one is going to care.

  5. I think this is the number one mistake new bloggers make. They don’t have a specific goal for their blog. They just want to “be a blogger” or “make money blogging”. I am very much looking forward to the article tomorrow.

    FYI, at my blog I want them to subscribe to either my newsletter or RSS feed, and comment on an article. (These are the ways I stay in touch with my readers, offer promotional materials, and sell products.)

  6. Josh Garcia says:

    Hey Darren,

    What a great question! When people go to my blog I want them to opt-in and share my content. I’m always looking at tweaking this process. So I do a lot of test to see what works best.

    Chat with you later…
    Josh

  7. Abdur Rab says:

    I want no. 1 thing from people arriving at my blog is to subscribe my RSS feed.

  8. I believe many bloggers (me including) went to the extreme of providing value, value, value, without ever asking for a sale. That’s the biggest reason we have trouble monetizing our blogs.

    Look forward to part 2!

    Ana Hoffman

  9. Phillip Gibb says:

    leave a comment :)

  10. Colin Ross says:

    Nobody wants a visitor to actually read an article or find an answer to a question they have?

    Maybe I am a little naive, but all those answers given would seem to me to be the *second* thing I would want a visitor to do.

    Isn’t part of the secret to success in blogging to give the readers what they want?

  11. Anastasia says:

    I want my visitors to buy my book whether they are sure if they need it or not :)

  12. John Soares says:

    I want people to subscribe to my blog because they like the content. I want them to return often and develop a relationship with me.

  13. Leading people to take the action you want is something that I was just reminded of in a coaching webinar I listened to.
    Must check my posts!

    Sandy

  14. Rajat Jain says:

    really a very important ques..
    this deside the motive of your blog & writings & help searchers to locate ur blog..
    wel y dnt we hav sm service, blog, commmunity or forum which can guide abt all the aspects like designs, layout, details of theme, contents, ad managing, etc after getting a clear picture of the motive of the blog or site thru the blogger or site owner..??
    Do we hav some thing like this..?

    can be a new field of service providing which can include blog installation or site making…

  15. Parth says:

    Buy a product.

  16. Jan Jaunas says:

    I want them to do one tiny thing: follow my first call to action, when they enter my site!

  17. I want to start collecting confirmed e-mail address’s. The idea I had was to have a specific page on my blog to guide people into the opt in box…

    Good idea?…

  18. I want loyal following and people who are really interested in my blog to subscribe to my newsletter and RSS feed. I am not much into monetization yet.

  19. Read it.

    (Visit at least two pages and improve their health.)

  20. Nibras Bawa says:

    Mmm.. I have no such expectations, Darren. Honestly!

    I write for myself, for me to chronicle my life’s learnings. Maybe it will be fun to read them 10 years from now.. I don’t know. In fact my blog says its a zero solicit, comment locked blog, and its a plain vanilla kind of blog. So i guess i have no such “conversion” points.

    That said, i’m glad if people do come by and read. But its a bonus for me :) I guess i write for my mom who is more than thrilled by her son’s online journal. She even brags about it among friends and relatives. That has been the most important conversion point for me, getting my mom to like what i write :) Odd reply perhaps, but true !!

  21. PJ says:

    Very interesting question that. Its amazing that unless you are used to designing sites you never really ask yourself that question. I believe with all the thousands of blogs that are out there now design will be very important.
    I am in the process of redesigning my blog for exactly that reason. Any assistance would be welcomed.

  22. I want people to buy my products and services, but after reading this post, I don’t think my design or my posts themselves fully support this idea. Really looking forward to the second part tomorrow so I can learn how to improve this!

  23. Ivan Walsh says:

    Remember what they read.

  24. I want them to feel as if they cannot get the content that I offer any other place. I want them to sign up for my list so that I can continue the conversation.

    Sure, I do close many sales with first time visitors, but I want to create customers for life, so I would much rather have them sign up for my list or RSS feed.

    -Joshua Black
    The Underdog Millionaire

  25. Hi Darren,
    My first goal is to have readers find consistent value in what they read.
    Then decide they would like more of what I have to offer which is currently sign up to receive my Free electronic work book to help reduce stress and increase success in their lives (here again the goal to impress them more with value). This may occur on a first or second or third visit.

    Then if they find value they will recommend my work to friends plus they will return to learn more and eagerly await my updates.

    Then in the future they will return to purchase a book or find my number to contact me to book me for an event.

    It is, as you know, all about building a relationship with readers so they will become fans. Some people who once read my work are now readers of my ezine for over eight years. Interestingly, often long term readers buy little but they recommend me to speak at events which is always a much higher monetary return than a simple purchase.

    I like to give as much value as I can and several choices. I guess that is because that is what I like to find when I visit a blog on line or a store in reality.

    All the best to you,
    David
    http://www.TheWonderTechnique.com

  26. For me, my number #1 is getting them to sign up to my newsletter. If people buy my products even better.

    Fundamentally I want to massively grow my list by the end of the year.

  27. Tyler Davis says:

    Ideally, I want them to give an intelligent comment in my comments section that contributes to the comment section. Or I want them to give me a back-link to my site.

    Former = knowledge. Latter=power.

  28. Julius says:

    I agree that knowing the conversion for your blog helps a lot in improving the content and structure of the site. For us, it’s the goal to show people the importance of web accessibility and that we can help them improve their site in this regard.

  29. R4SDHC says:

    I would put, even above “Buy my product”, “Tell three other people about my website and its products” – even if that person does not end up becoming a customer. Word of mouth is the most powerful thing that can happen when someone visits your blog!

  30. The #1 thing I’d my visitors do is read my contents and comment. I’d love to receive ‘Thank You’ messages in my inbox once in a while.

  31. Suzanne Vara says:

    Read it to get a feeling for the knowledge the company has and then hire us. Subscribing is ok for traffic numbers but as an agency, hiring us far outweighs any subscriptions.

    @SuzanneVara

  32. Olaf says:

    I want my visitors read my posts and leave comments. That’s the primary goal. The secondary one is to click the ads.
    I know that when they comment they will usually come back.

  33. dcrainmaker says:

    That’s simple. I just want them to be blown away by my content. If they do that, then everything else comes automatically. Be it utilizing links with referrals, supporting the site by buying from advertisers, or subscribing to my feed. First and foremost though is that they not just like the content, but love it. So far…I think it’s working.

  34. psychicjim says:

    When people come to my blog I would like them to go out and tell 3 other people what a fascinating writer I am.

  35. In my case, definitely to get people to sign up to my newsletter.

    No contest.

    Gideon Shalwick

  36. Laura says:

    Well, I have 3 blogs.. the third just about ‘up’ will be a money making blog, or more correctly a blog which might also allow me to make money and I’m designing it carefully. So, while I want them to click on the ads, first and foremost i think they have to find the blog valuable.. something they will want to read and subscribe to. I don’t know that you can separate it out.
    http://delicacies.wordpress.com
    http://apageofmyown.com
    http://awomanspage.com (soon!!!)

  37. Daniel Roach says:

    Funny how when you boil it down to only what is really the most effective thing you can be doing, you realize how much time and effort you might be wasting on other aspects of your blog that don’t matter.

    I guess I’d have to say a reader signing up for the DRIMB newsletter would be my conversion, which makes me wonder why I would put my emphasis and energy toward any other aspect.

  38. Munaiba says:

    The #1 thing I want my visitors to do is enjoy! If I give them interesting copy, a few give-aways, tutorials etc they will keep coming back and they’ll tell their friends. Then when I make my blog commercial I hope to be able to sell advertising based on good, regular reading traffic. I think it’s best to think what your readers want first and foremost and then the rest will follow. At least that’s the theory.

  39. Lou says:

    I would love people to:
    1. Return to my blog
    2. Tell someone else about my blog

    I’ll leave the selling until I have sufficient traffic.

  40. The first 3 answers are exactly what I think when somebody visits my blog. Bloggers think alike. Its nothing wrong to think but we must grow our blog to make our thoughts come true.

  41. Ameya says:

    Very well read. we, at least I, hardly had given thought to this.

    #1 I want people to read and form a good impression about whatever is presented to them. They should feel that stuff they are reading is niche and important to them (my blog being SAP niche). This makes them come back to my blog. May be after 2-3 visits, I wish them to subscribe.

    Ameya

  42. Rita says:

    The No. one thing I want readers on my blog to do is learn something from the content. I’m a consumer writer, so I offer a lot of consumer tips.

    Rita blogging at The Survive and Thrive Boomer Guide

  43. Gavan says:

    I want someone to remember our brand and the best way to do this is 1. Strong ID and 2. Make an impression and to want to follow us.

    Great question!

  44. This short post has given me lots to think about. I’m a relatively new blogger so thanks for the jump start.

  45. Santel says:

    The conversion from my blog is google adsense and direct advertising through 125×125 banner ads.

    Google adsense is not stable but due to the contents and subjects of my blog, i think i cannot make it much better even i have tried a lot of optimization tips.

    maybe the direct sale would be the next step to focus on.

  46. patrick says:

    I want to spread and share ideas.
    I want to start conversations.
    I’m getting there, slowly.

  47. I’m hoping someone decides to buy one of the training programs I sell on my blog–that is a conversion to me.

  48. Carol Bryant says:

    Engage readers and have them subscribe to the magazine, FIDO Friendly.

  49. Peter Jay says:

    Honestly, I’m blogging for business. But as a new blogger, I’m not aim too high. As the trust and credibility still low by now, the only one thing I want people to do when they arrive on your blog is subscribe to my RSS Feed! Only that. And I try my best to design my blog to archive that goal..

  50. Lisa says:

    I would have to vote for RSS Feed, but at this point I would take a click of an ad, only because I need to add more content to my blog since it is so new. I always rely on my subconscious mind to give me those answers and well, I’m still waiting, but I feel it and know that the subjects will come to me in time. Great post.