6 Actionable Content Promotion Strategies You Can Use Today

This is a guest contribution from Adam Connell of Blogging Wizard.

Have you ever published a piece of content and watched it flat-line?

Putting all of your effort into content which can help others, but you just can’t seem to drive enough traffic to it.

We’ve all been there.

So what’s the solution?

It all comes down to effective content promotion and in this post you’ll find some highly actionable tips that you can use to promote any piece of content more effectively.

Let’s dive in!

Identify hot topics in your niche

Content promotion starts right at the beginning, when you’re planning your piece of content.

This ensures that when your content is published, it has a solid foundation.

The reality is that there are certain topics that people just aren’t interested in, and others that are hot button topics that spark engagement, sharing and all of the traffic that follows.

So how can you identify these hot topics?

1) Identify which content people are sharing the most

Start off by making a list of your biggest competitors, then use BuzzSumo to find which of their blog posts are being shared the most.


Now pull out a small list of the most shared topics from your different competitors and you’ll have a good idea of which top level topics to cover.

2) Identify which content people are linking to the most

Looking at the most shared content is one avenue, but the one most people forget is figuring out which pieces of content are being linked to the most.

This is a significant indicator of topics popularity, providing your competitors are not engaging in any shady link building practices.

To do this, you’ll need to use a backlink analyser. I prefer to use Ahrefs, it is a paid tool but you can still get some actionable data from their free version.


Just type in the website in question, click “Top Content” on the left hand side and then click the “RD” column and you’ll find a list of the websites pages/posts ranked in order of which has the most referring domains.

Once you’ve collected the topics which are being linked to most, you can combine them with the list of most shared topics to create a more detailed list of ideas for your content plan.

Invite influencers to contribute to your content

There are people who have influence over your target audience.

You can put together a strategy to build relationships with these key influencers. And in time, that relationship will help you to expand your readership.

But, the key here is to focus on building mutually beneficial relationships – helping is essential to creating good will.

So how can you get started?

  • Identify who you want to build a relationship with – You may have a good idea who to connect with already, if you don’t tools like Inkybee and Ninja Outreach can help you (they’ll also help you throughout the process).
  • Connect with them – Follow them on Twitter, share their content, comment on their blog or even send them an email without asking them to do anything for you (hint: It works even better if you help them out with something).
  • Ask them for a quote or answer to a question – This will give your content some added social proof and the influencer will be far more likely to share your post with their audience as they’ve contributed to it directly.
  • Let them know when the post is live – If they don’t know the post is live, they probably won’t share it. So let them know and make it easy for them to share but don’t hassle them to share (that’s a sure-fire way to burn a relationship before it’s had chance to develop).

When you put the time and effort into creating a smart strategy to leverage the influence of others, you can see some impressive results. Groove used a similar approach to get 1,000+ subscribers from a single blog post in 24 hours.

Leverage online communities in your niche

The holy grail of content promotion is finding exactly where your target audience hangs out in large groups.

But, the idea isn’t that you find a great online community and start dropping your links everywhere – that’ll do more harm than good.

Instead, focus on becoming part of the community. Help others by sharing their content and answering their questions.

Focus on networking with others in that community and then you can start thinking about promotion (just without dropping links to your content all over the place).

This works best when the people you’ve built relationships with share your content without you having to ask – help enough people and publish the right content and this will happen.

How to get started with online communities

The web is full of online communities, which includes everything from Facebook and Google+ groups to online forums.

Below are a few to get you started:

  • org – Marketing
  • com – Growth Hacking
  • com – Business
  • com – Films
  • com – Gaming

Share to social networks at the right time

Sharing your content to social networks should be done no matter what, but aside from growing your followers on a network like Twitter, how can you get more traction from the following you have right now?

Here’s the answer:

Share to your followers at the right times.

So how can you do this?

First of all, forget about every infographic that you’ve seen which tells you when the best time to share is.


It’s someone else’s data – not yours.

If you want to figure out the best time to share on social networks, you need to use the right tools to help you.

This will ensure that your data is used instead of someone else’s.

The great news is that there are some free tools which can help you here such as Timing+ for Google+ and Tweriod for Twitter.

Repurpose your content for a different audience

We all have different preferences when it comes to content consumption.

Some people prefer written content, some like videos and others prefer podcasts.

If you’re just publishing one type of content, you can easily expand your audience by repurposing your existing content into something else.

Let’s say you’re publishing blog posts, you could turn a blog post into an infographic.

For example, last year I published a group interview which was detailed and while it performed extremely well (it got over 2K social shares), the information was difficult to consume as it took so long to read.

With the help of 24Slides and TweakYourBiz, we published an infographic which featured trimmed down responses from each expert.


What about the results?

Just by repurposing an existing post, we were able to expose it to 30,000+ more people. Not bad right?

Here are a few other content types you could use:

  • Slideshare presentation
  • Audio/Podcast
  • Video
  • Instructographic
  • Emails
  • Ebooks
  • Courses

The possibilities are endless.

Use paid traffic to give your content a boost

“Free traffic” does not exist.

This is because even if you aren’t investing money, you’re investing your time.

And that’s valuable!

There’s only so much time you have to spare so more often than not, buying cheap (but targeted) traffic can be a great way of seeding your content and driving more eye-balls to your blog.

If you only have time to invest then you might want to avoid paid traffic for a while.

However, when you have some budget to play with, it’s an option worth considering.

Especially when you can use the likes of Outbrain and StumbleUpon to get highly targeted traffic without breaking the bank.

It requires testing and you might find traffic prices change from one niche to another, but don’t discount it because it can be immensely effective.

Putting it all together

We’ve talked through some specific content promotion strategies and all of them can have a significant impact on the success of your next piece of content.

The key is to take one strategy, try it out and see how well it works for you.

The truth is that certain strategies will work better in different niches but it’s essential that if one doesn’t work for you, you ask yourself the important question – WHY doesn’t it work?

Most people quickly try out something and give up too soon.

It may be that you need to approach the strategy in a different way or give it more time to reap the rewards.

So, now I have a question for you – which content promotion strategies have been most successful for you?

Adam Connell is the Founder of Blogging Wizard. He helps bloggers get started and take their blog’s to the next level. If you want to blog smarter and not harder, click here to find out how you can get free access to the Blogging Wizard resource library with guides and checklists to grow your blog by 425%+.


The 5 key elements your blog’s ‘Start Here’ page must have

The 5 key elements your blog’s ‘Start Here’ page must have: on ProBlogger.netThis is a guest contribution from Kelly Exeter.

Imagine this: you’ve written a killer blog post and it’s being shared all over the place. Woo hoo! Your traffic is going through the roof and it’s great fun watching those numbers climb. There’s just one problem; all those new readers are reading that one viral post and then leaving your site, never to be seen again.

Or this: you’ve been blogging for seven years. There’s a LOT of content on your site. And new readers are finding you via Google every single day. But your site’s bounce rate is high. Those new readers are sticking around long enough to read the one post Google sent them to and then they’re gone.

How we stop this happening? How do we capture these readers and turn them into repeat visitors?

The answer is: with a killer Start Here page. One that brings all the important stuff buried deep in your site up to the surface, and offers it up to the reader in a logical way.

What does a killer Start Here page have on it? Glad you asked!

Here are the five most important things it needs in the order in which they should appear:

  1. A very clear statement about who your site is for

If someone’s landed on your site and they’re not your ideal reader, don’t waste their time or yours. Make it clear this is not the place for them.

If they ARE your ideal reader? Then this first part of the page should make them feel at home; like you ‘get them’. This bit need not be more than a paragraph or two.

Here’s what Pat Flynn has at the top of his Start Here page:

“I’m Pat Flynn, creator of Smart Passive Income. If you’re new to the world of online business, blogging, and passive income, this page is for you! It contains the information you need to get up to speed quickly and start your own venture confidently!”

This is what kicks off Michael Hyatt’s:

“If you’re like most of my readers, you’re a successful, high-achiever. You are committed to winning at work, and—equally important—succeeding at life. You strive to grow, get better, and reach your potential. You want to leave a lasting impact on your world.”

While Nicole Avery from Planning with Kids states:

“Planning With Kids is about productivity for families. Getting organised at home so you can spend more time on the good and fun bits of family life.”

  1. Now tell them a little bit about you

Just a little bit. Like a paragraph. If they’ve read past the first paragraph they’re thinking your blog is going to be useful to them in some way. So use this bit to quickly and easily establish some rapport – show them why you ‘get them’.

Here’s Michael Hyatt again:

“I know what it feels like to be in over your head—to have your success outpace your ability to manage it, while still attending to the things that matter most—family, health, faith, and community.

For years, I, too, struggled to get off the treadmill. Too often, my success came at the expense of my health and my most valuable relationships.”

  1. Give them the opportunity to buy something from you

Now I know some people are going to vehemently disagree with me here, but I’ll stand strong on this. Some people will be so sold on you at this stage they want to throw money at you. Let them!

Do you have a book? Offer an online course in something? Link it up!

At best, they will buy. At worst, you’re signalling to the reader right from the word ‘go’ that you’ve created something valuable enough it’s worth paying actual money for (which gives you instant credibility).

Immediately after introducing himself on his First visit? Click here! page, Chris Ducker establishes himself as an authority on the topic of Virtual Staff and Outsourcing … and then says “I wrote a book about this!” I bet a lot of people don’t get much past this bit of the page because they’ve hurried over to Amazon or Barnes and Noble to buy.

The 5 Elements Your Blog's "Start Here" Page Must Have: on

  1. Give them something for free (+ bonus social proof)

Ok, they’re not ready to buy from you just yet, but they’re still here. Now’s the time to offer them something great for free to get them on your list. If you don’t … what a wasted opportunity!

Here’s what Pat Flynn offers:

The 5 Elements Your Blog's "Start Here" Page Must Have: on

If you can offer some social proof in with your free offer like Pat does (‘this book has been downloaded 15,000 times’), all the better. Us humans like to belong so if we see that lots of other people are doing something, we feel both compelled to and comfortable in doing that thing too.

Here’s another form of social proof from Chris Ducker (when he talks about his free 7-day New Business Bootcamp):

I get approximately 150-200 emails a day from entrepreneurs that want to start growing their business the right way for today’s economy.

And here’s James Clear offering two kinds of social proof: the rather large number of email subscribers he has, along with the logos of the big online publications he’s written for.

The 5 Elements Your Blog's "Start Here" Page Must Have: on

  1. Links to your favourite blog posts/things that tell your story

The final element on your Start Here page is arguably the most important. If someone’s got to this point, they want to know more of your story. They want to know more about YOU. So this is where you both showcase your best content and offer up blog posts that tell your story/share your journey in a logical fashion.

Michael Hyatt lists his favourite blog posts under specific categories and offers subtle social proof by noting they’re his most popular posts.

Pat Flynn shares three podcasts and also adds in social proof along with a guarantee!

SPI fans tell me all the time how much these episodes helped them understand the types of passive income opportunities. I guarantee they’ll help you too.”

The Minimalists link and link and link (in a useful fashion).

So does Leo Babauta on the Zen habits site.

And, although it’s not a specific Start Here page, Bron from Maxabella Loves does a magic job telling her story/sharing her base philosophies through the links on her About page.

Diving deep into your archives and categorising key older posts in this way will take some work. But it will be completely worth it for the way it will allow someone to lose themselves in your site for an hour or two. If you managed to captivate them, you’ve got yourself a brand new super-fan!

Kelly Exeter is editor of and author of Your Best Year Ever – 7 simple ways to shift your thinking and take charge of your life. Can a highly driven person really lead a less frantic life? She ponders that and more here.

What I Learned About Podcasting in my First 50 Episodes

What I Learned About Podcasting in my First 50 Episodes on

We made it to episode 50 of the ProBlogger Podcast!

To be honest, when I was about halfway through the 31 Days to Build a Better Blog podcast series, I didn’t think I would make this that far. Podcasting in the early days is tough going!

In this episode, I discuss all the things I’ve learned so far about podcasting in terms of content, delivery, tools, monetization, building an audience and what I think are the benefits to taking a different road with your blog and interacting more personally with your readers.

It’s been interesting to see which episodes have been the most popular – it appears that the more personal and relatable the topic, the more it is downloaded and shared. Quite similar to blogging, but of course in such a different format and with a whole new audience as well. Storytelling and humanism really does draw people in regardless of the vehicle by which you do it. Being useful too, has massive benefits – five out of the top 10 podcasts have filled a gap or met a need for listeners, or even directly answered their questions.

If you are thinking of starting a podcast, I am sure you will find this mix of personal experience and practical tools and tips helpful to you on your journey.

You can find episode 50 of the ProBlogger podcast What I Learned About Podcasting in my First 50 Episodes here, along with show notes and links to the tools mentioned. I’d love to hear your feedback – what has been your favourite episode? What has helped you? You can leave a comment here, on the episode page, or you can fill in a short survey here.

Thanks for listening!

We Have Smart Homes and Smart Phones – What About Smart Blogs?

We Have Smart Homes and Smart Phones – What About Smart Blogs?

This is a guest contribution from Larry Alton.

Automation has become such a pervasive feature in our day-to-day lives that we hardly even notice it anymore, and in fact, we even rely on it. From simple things like automatic doors at the grocery store to the elaborate functions on our phones, automation makes life as we know it possible. Still, there are certain facets of our lives where we still expect to have to do much of the work, such as on our blogs.

As it turns out, many tools exist that can help you automate your blogging life and transform your plain old blog into a smart blog. Employing these new tools can help make you a more efficient blogger, increasing your productivity and helping you to use your time wisely. It’s time to get out of the past and embrace the technology of the future. As a blogger at points out, “We’re at the cusp of a decade where the impossible is starting to look very possible.” What an exciting moment in our technological evolution!

RSS Feeds and Creative Curating

RSS technology is a blog automation tool that may be more familiar than most. Many of us have personal RSS feeds that show us what’s new on our favorite sites and allow us to access this new content. But on the other side, as a blogger, how can RSS technology help you?

One way to employ RSS technology as a blogger is to create an automated RSS-to-email system. You can set up this system so that it sends updates to subscribers about new blog posts. To keep this from becoming overwhelming, one option is to set up this email so it shares monthly updates linking to your most popular posts. Readers opt in to the email and can then choose what content to read, and you don’t have to lift a finger.

Email Without the Effort

For many bloggers there are specific emailing tasks that have the potential to take up a lot of time. This is particularly true if you run a popular service-oriented blog or offer a submission feature. Whenever the content at hand can be reduced to a form letter, try setting up an autoresponder feature.

Autoresponder services work by sending preset email responses to particular addresses or because a message came from a pre-established site function, such as through your submit button. James McAllister from Help Start My Site uses autoresponders to effectively run his 7-day traffic building course. Because the course is always the same, he can preset the seven days of emails and have an autoresponder send those emails at the appropriate intervals, even setting follow-up emails for the next several weeks and months.

Managing Social Media Overload

If you’re a blogger, odds are good that you are also using a wide range of other social media sites, or at least you should be. In fact, well run social media profiles are absolutely vital, but as these sites proliferate, they can start to feel unwieldy. This is where Hootsuite Pro comes in.

What is Hootsuite Pro? Hootsuite Pro is a multi-function tool for managing all of your social media profiles from one place. Rather than having to move between sites and scroll through pages of updates, Hootsuite Pro brings your Facebook feed and Twitter posts and mentions, as well as any other social media sites you may use, all onto the same page. Even more than that, it allows you to schedule posts and messages in advance. This alone will save you hours of work trying to make your social media pages look appropriately active.

Set Up Submissions

One of the important ways bloggers publicize their content is by submitting posts to other sites that reprint or redirect to this material, such as Storify and Stumbleupon. Since this kind of syndication and submission should be a regular activity, automating this can be a valuable timesaver.

You’ll need some simple tools to do this kind of automating, such as IFTTT or Zapier. IFTTT stands for If This, Then That and it allows you to create a kind of recipe for your blog activities. By creating these recipes, your blog is able to carry out basic operations for you.

IFTTT not only handles submissions, but it can manage some of the same social media tasks that Hootsuite Pro manages. For example, IFTTT can be set up to change your profile picture across all social media sites.

These tools are just the start of an automated blogging future. It’s time to move beyond smart phones, and even smart houses, and embrace smart blog technology.

Larry Alton is an independent business consultant specializing in social media trends, business, and entrepreneurship. Follow him on Twitter and LinkedIn.

Reading Roundup: What’s New in Blogging Lately

Reading Roundup: What's new in blogging this week /

A big hello from ProBlogger HQ on Grand Final Day! So much footy to be had today (and tomorrow, for NRL fans!) and so much food to be eaten whilst watching. Ok, that’s probably just me (for the record, I’m making this).

A Quick Guide to Building a a Thriving Social Media Community // Social Media Today

Because without them, your blog isn’t likely to be read.

Twitter Will Reportedly Nix the 140 Character Limit with a New Product // Engadget

I’ve heard the rumours, but now it seems like it’s true: and I’m not sure how I feel about it! I definitely enjoyed the restriction of the limit, it not only made me think through better tweets, but also kept it easy to read through my feed. Details are slim at the moment, but the new product will help you expand your communiques on the platform.

IFTTT Recipes for Social Media Marketing // Social Media Examiner

For all y’all who are into shortcuts (you know I am!) you really should be using If This, Then That – this post has got great ideas about seeing what others are doing on the platform and creating similar recipes for your own success.

How Often Should I Post on Social Media? // Buffer

It’s a fine line between not enough and so much that people unfollow… have you found that line?

17 of the best WordPress Plugins for Marketers // Hubspot

Number 5! I totally need to do that. I’ve never done it once in five and a half years of blogging on my own blog.

Why Effective SEO Isn’t Simply About Creating Great Content // Search Engine Watch

“Build it and they will come?” – not in blogging! While great content is the foundation of anything you want to do online it isn’t enough to grab all the search engine traffic you could be.

Good Social Media Boosts SEO Even Though Nobody Understands How // Entrepreneur

Following straight on from being told content isn’t everything, this post was super interesting in seeing how else we can drive traffic to our blogs outside of creating great stuff. The bottom line: don’t separate social and SEO.

How to Drive Traffic with Instagram // Social Media Examiner

Some obvious stuff (put a link in bio, etc), but definitely a couple I hadn’t thought of.

Google Confirms the Real Time Penguin Algorithm is Coming Soon // Search Engine Land

The update that will refresh data in real time has inched further to being a reality – by the end of next year perhaps? I wonder how this will change things for bloggers and Google traffic…

Sorry, You’re Addicted to the Internet. Here’s Why // Mashable

A little explanation about how social media and the web in general are changing the way we think and act offline. Are you happy to be addicted? I know a few who are!

Stacey Roberts is the Managing Editor of a writer, blogger, and full-time word nerd balancing it all with being a stay-at-home mum. She writes about all this and more at Veggie Mama. Chat with her on Twitter @veggie_mama or be entertained on Facebook.

How to Define Your Blog’s Brand


In today’s episode of the ProBlogger podcast, I want to talk to you about blog branding, and how it shapes the relationship between you and your reader.

It’s something I think everybody should take seriously, and put thought into, rather than just muddle along and see what happens – it really makes such a difference not only to how you are perceived, but also in growing your presence.

Today’s episode is super-practical, and includes lifestyle blogger Claire Hillier from Checks and Spots giving her top tips for building a brand. She spoke at the recent ProBlogger event about blogging for beginners and mentioned these incredibly important points about personal branding, your blog mission, and how these things tie together. These ultimately have a flow-on effect for other parts of your blog and presence online.

Grab a notepad and jot down the notes as they come – also feel free to stop the podcast and answer the questions she raises – and really engage with the content and concept of building your own blog brand, whether it’s commercial or as a hobby.

Claire discusses:

  • What is a brand?
  • What is the essence of a blog?
  • What is the audience?
  • Where is my blog useful?
  • Brand values

You can find episode 49 of the ProBlogger podcast How to Define Your Blog’s Brand here, as well as the show notes.

Further Reading:

Five Apps to Help You Manage Your Blog

Five Apps to Help You Manage Your Blog on

This is a guest contribution from Cassie Phillips.

If you’re here at ProBlogger, I’m betting you already know writing a blog can be a useful endeavor for a number of different reasons. A blog can help you journal your life or collect ideas from other people’s blogs that will be useful in your life. It can be a powerful tool in helping you keep in touch with friends and family, or you can use it to meet and interact with strangers. It can be something personal to you or something used for your business. Whatever your reasons are, though, you might find it’s a bit tricky trying to keep on top of things and churn out relevant and interesting content to keep your readers satisfied. Never fear, though: there are plenty of apps out there to help you keep organized and on track with your personal goals on the go. Here are five apps you’ll want to remember to have:

1. The Platform App

Of course, the first app you’re going to want to have is the app for your platform, be it WordPress, TypePad, Tumblr, or whatever else. Even if you don’t plan to do most of your blogging from your phone or tablet, seeing your app there on your device can be a useful reminder to either get to work on the next blog or get it posted. On top of that, most better-known blog platforms have pretty great apps these days, making it easy to post from wherever you are, whenever you have a few minutes to kill.

2. The Taskmaster App

I don’t know about you, but for me, remembering when I should be blogging gets difficult sometimes. We have so many obligations in our day-to-day lives that remembering to write things up and post them can sometimes be a challenge. Even if you feel like you’re on top of everything and there will be no problem, it never hurts to have an app to set reminders for when you need to have things finished by. Wunderlist will allow you to make task lists for yourself, set reminders for when things need to be done, and generally just keep on top of everything you have to do, all in a clean, user-friendly design.

3. The Social Media App

If you’re trying to direct people to your blog—even if you’re just trying to get your mom’s attention and let her know, hey, there’s a new post!—you’ll likely want to turn to social media. The thing about blogging is, people aren’t always going to remember to check back to each of the dozens of blogs that they follow. But people often check in on what’s going on on social media sites. It can be a pain to update your status and tweet and go on Google+, etc. each time you post an update. But Buffer will allow you to post the same thing to multiple accounts at once. You can even schedule posts to go out at a later time and track interest in that post. This means it frees up some of your social media time and allows you to do more of the fun stuff of blogging.

4. The Web-Traffic App

Even if you’re not running your site for the purpose of creating revenue through clicks, it can be nice to know how many people are looking at your site. If nothing else, it’s a bit of an ego-boost, right—people actually want to see your site! But if you’re creating a revenue-producing website, it’s important to see how many people click on your site and where they’re coming from. Dashboard for Google Analytics does this in an especially sleek way, and it’s pretty cheap as well.

5. The VPN App

If you’re blogging on the go, you’re likely connecting to public Wi-Fi, whether at a coffee shop, on the bus, in downtown, or somewhere else—oh, the joys of modern technology! Grab the Wi-Fi Finder app to help you out with locating the nearest hotspots. But don’t forget to grab a VPN (Virtual Private Network) to protect your information and make sure you’re safe from potential hackers. Actually, there are a lot of things you should be thinking about when you’re connecting to public Wi-Fi. A good VPN will give you a more secure connection that better ensures that what you do stays private.

Although managing your blog may sometimes feel a bit overwhelming, given the right apps, you’ll find that you have no problem balancing your blog and the rest of your life. Whatever you’re using your blog for, you’ll find that these apps will integrate neatly into your workflow, allowing you to keep doing what you’re doing, in a more productive way.

Cassie is a technology and internet security enthusiast.

How to Make $30,000 a year Blogging

How to Make $30,000 a year Blogging - ProBlogger Darren Rowse gives his best tips.

If you’re anything like the overwhelmed blogger I spoke to a few years ago, who thought making a full time living from her blog was basically impossible, then this episode of the ProBlogger podcast is for you.

The truth is, making a full-time living from blogging means different things to different people – what is a full time income to you might not be enough for the next person, and vice versa. The first thing to do is figure out how much you need to live on (or indeed if you are only looking for a part time income, etc), and work toward earning that amount. The firmer the figure you have, the better chance you have of making it happen. Pie-in-the-sky ideas and vague language like “full-time income” aren’t as helpful.

This particular blogger I spoke to said $30,000 USD would be enough to allow them to quit their current job, but also had never made a dollar from her blog and had almost convinced herself it was impossible.

It’s not impossible, but nor is it a cakewalk. In today’s episode I give three pieces of advice for those of you wanting to change career directions and make a living blogging instead of traditional work. I also provide some of the ways I decided how much I wanted to make, and how I went about achieving those sums. I’ll give the income stream options I had, the ones I tried, and ultimately the ones I ended up using consistently.

I also break down the income models of three different types of blogs: fashion, photography, and food.

When I first reached my target of $50,000 AUD per year, I broke down my income into what percentage came from which income stream (which may very well be different to yours, and is actually different to my income streams as they are currently). I hope you find it useful.

You can listen to Episode 48 of the ProBlogger Podcast How to Make $30,000 a year Blogging here.

Further Reading:

5 Pop-up Creation Mistakes You Have to Avoid for Better User Experience

This is a guest contribution from Abrar Mohi Shafee of Blogging Spell.

Do you build email lists in your website? If your answer is yes, the chances are high that you are using a pop-up to collect emails.

Why is that and not anything else? Because pop-up is proved to be one of the high converting methods for building list and seems pretty everywhere.

You don’t have to look further; our own Darren Rowse made a huge jump up in email opt-in rate by using a pop-up that raised from 40 new subscribers a day to straight 350 subscribers a day.

But over the years, pop-up has started to have a profound impact on user experience and turned into a very controversial topic itself.

If we ask the visitors, 95 out of 100 of them will say pop-ups are annoying. But if we ask the same to a marketer, he will confess that but must be thinking how he could miss the great conversion by pop-ups.

the most hated advertising techniques

Source: NNGroup

It looks like we are trapped between two choices. But there is a third choice that we usually miss out, and that can get us a good relief. That is simple:

Pop-up should be polite but converting enough.

So here my task is to guide you what are the mistakes that annoy people and how you can solve them to achieve that prestige for your pop-ups.

Mistake #1: Solely depending on pop-up

Is using pop-up itself a big mistake? Well, it can be literally.

To tell the truth, a pop-up can silently kill your blog if that is not well-optimized.

Matthew Woodward ran an experiment how pop-ups affect blog’s bottom line. He set up the pop-up to show up after 7 seconds. He noticed significant drops in the following three factors:

  1. Pages per visit decreased by 9.29%
  2. Average visit duration decreased by 10.20%
  3. Bounce rate increased by 9.02% (lower is better)

pop-up effect on blog

Subscribers generated via pop-up forms are not stable and have very low engagement rate that are no good for your website except just increasing the number of subscribers.

So if you decide to autopilot your list building solely on pop-ups and do not use any other method, you will not be collecting all genuine subscribers who could benefit your website.

Solution: You should not wholeheartedly depend on pop-ups and use some other methods to collect engaging and stable subscribers, and eventually reduce the annoyance.

A lot of working list building methods are available of which you can choose yours. According to Social Triggers, here are some of the high-converting placements for your opt-in form (excluding pop-up):

  1. Top featured box
  2. Top of sidebar
  3. Bottom of post
  4. Site footer
  5. About page
  6. Top sticky bar

In fact, you can grow your email list amazingly fast using the following formulas of list building:

  1. Content Upgrade
  2. Lead Magnet
  3. Call to Action

Mistake #2: Triggering pop-ups too fast or too slow

Timing is another big factor for your pop-up. If it comes too fast, it will greatly annoy the visitors, and if it comes too slow, it will lose a number of subscribers.

So what is the perfect timing? Some will say 5 seconds converts the highest and some 10 seconds, if not some other will say 30 seconds is perfect.

best time to show pop-up

Source: AppSumo

But my opinion is different. To turn a visitor into a loyal subscriber, you need to give him enough time to understand your website. Five seconds, 10 seconds and sometimes even 30 seconds is not sufficient to comprehend a site correctly.

What would happen if you pop-up between this times? You will experience relatively high bounce rate and low user engagement.

Solution: Unbounce suggests that a perfect user-optimized pop-up should come at 60 seconds after a visitor enters your site.

If it comes before that, you will significantly lose conversion. If it comes after that period, you will miss a large number of audiences to show your pop-ups.

So the best time for pop-up is 60 seconds which will allow a visitor has fully understood a website and make him commit genuine interest to become a subscriber, after all, reducing the risk of annoying by more.

Mistake #3: Not using any improved pop-up technology

Although timed pop-ups could be optimized for not to make annoyance, it still retain some percent of chances to annoy visitors.

Because it appears suddenly and could behave like a barrier to reading up a content. No one would appreciate seeing a barrier in their way, especially when reading something online.

What would happen if a pop-up distracts visitors from reading a content? The chances are high that they will leave the site, if not it will hurt their attitude towards the site.

Solution: Thinking about this matter, some user-improved pop-up triggering technologies has come out. The main prospective of these technologies is adjusting with user’s behavior and triggering the pop-up in the safest time.

Here are a few pop-up technologies that can be found in the latest marketing tools, and what you can replace with your timed pop-up to potentially take the annoyance level close to zero:

  1. Pop-up when a user intends to exit (aka exit-intent)
  2. Pop-up when a user reaches the content end
  3. Pop-up when a user reaches a particular element
  4. Pop-up when a user scrolls a specific percent of a page
  5. Pop-up when a user scrolls down and goes back up

Mistake #3: Not controlling pop-up showing frequency

How many times do you show up your pop-up in a browsing session? Well, you are of the belief that the more we show up pop-ups, the more we get signups, right?

But this time it won’t go along your perspective because the more often you show your pop-ups (for example, show up on every page), the more you annoy your visitors.

If you trigger your pop-up in every page in a browsing session, it will feel real over promotion, and you will get significantly low subscribing rate.

So what’s the best frequency?

Solution: You don’t have to push hard to get the better conversion rate. You just need to understand your audiences and trigger pop-up at the right time.

Asking a visitor to subscribe multiple times in a browsing session might not work well and feel irritating. So first you should limit your pop-up to maximum once each browsing session.

And how often to repeat the pop-up after someone closes that? Concerning the user experience, you should not show pop-up more than once a week to the same visitor, and more preferably once in every 15 or 30 days. (Prove)

Mistake #5: Tricking visitors to get stuck on the pop-ups

You know what, you can attempt to get unbelievable email opt-in rate just doing a few tweaks. How? Here is what you need to do exactly:

  • Trigger pop-up just when someone enters your site
  • Remove the close button from the pop-up
  • Don’t leave any option to skip the pop-up without subscribing

But the thing I forgot to tell you is that after doing these tweaks, don’t expect your visitors ever to return and the bounce rate will be apparently around 90%-100%.

Intentionally trying to stick people to a pop-up form is the worst practice and result into losing those visitors for forever.

Solution: If you are serious about building up your email list, be clear and transparent. Display the close button and make sure that can be easily seen.

You do not have to be tricky to increase email opt-in rate, but you have to optimize the following three elements of your pop-up:

  1. Convince people at first sight using the pop-up title. Use power words like Free, Secret, Discover, to create good impression.
  2. Be visually attractive because visual elements can convince someone to subscribe faster than anything else.
  3. Optimize your pop-up’s call to action and tease the visitors to subscribe using text and buttons.

Here is a sample of pop-up how to play with pop-up contents to hack readers mind for subscribing to your email list without doing anything tricky:

Source: Social Triggers

social triggers pop-up copy

Do you know the hardest truth about pop-up? It converts the highest, and it irritates the highest as well.

The best approach with the pop-up is attempt to convert high but staying safe. Before doing anything with it, just ask yourself will you personally love it as a reader? If yes, just go with it and if no, configure it to be likable.

So what’s your opinion about pop-ups and how you safely use them without hurting the user experience? I am pretty much interested to know it.

Abrar Mohi Shafee is from Bangladesh, an inbound marketer, blogger and founder of BloggingSpell. His areas of interests are content marketing, social media marketing, and seo. Need his help to be more productive in blogging? Grab his personal blogging toolkit.


Reading Roundup: What’s New in Blogging Lately

Reading Roundup: What's new in blogging this week /

The sun is shining, the birds are singing – I think spring has finally hit Melbourne!

With that, I will leave you with this week’s links to ponder…

Instagram Images: How to Stand out on Instagram // Social Media Examiner

This podcast was interesting – I’ve definitely seen the trend for very similar images being used on IG, particularly for specific niches. I’ve experimented with a lot, and I found the opposite of what I often expected. For example, an image set out similarly to one I admired ended up getting the least amount of likes. So how do you stand out when it seems everyone is homogenous? And how do you stay true to your own aesthetic in the process?

Facebook Turns Notes into a Blogging Platform with a Revamped Interface // TNW News

Everyone’s talking about the revamped Notes section on Facebook – it looks and functions much more like a user-friendly blogging platform. Perhaps a way to get around the Facebook page (dismal) algorithm to get your content seen?

How to Hack the Amplification Process (Whiteboard Friday) // Moz

Have you been looking in the wrong places for your audience?

The 5 Biggest Social Media Trends of 2015 (Infographic) // Social Media Today

Number 3 I already knew, but Line? What on Earth is Line?!

What it takes to Make Fashion Blogging Look Effortless // The Atlantic

It’s not all front row seats and fancy lipstick.

3 Resources to Help you Become a Professional Content Marketer // Copyblogger

I see a lot of bloggers turn pro by instead becoming professional content marketers. If that’s something you’re interested in, Stefanie Flaxman gives a great overview of getting started.

How This Blogger Made $1 Million in 3 Years and Is Visiting Every Country on Earth // Forbes

I’m always fascinated about how bloggers make a living from travelling, but this guy earns $1000 a day: something I was EXTRA fascinated with! What a lot to learn.

3 Things all Great Digital Marketers Know // Business2Community

Ah yes… we all forget number 2!

Facebook Audience Insights: 5 Groups You Should Analyze // Jon Loomer

Have I convinced you to come around to Facebook Ads yet? Jon really makes it easy to figure out the best method for maximum results.

How to Use Snapchat for Business // Social Media Examiner

A few weeks ago I linked to an article stating we were missing out on reaching the youth of today if we weren’t implementing Snapchat. Afterwards, I reinstated my account but I guess I’m still missing the point of it. I like the idea in this article of creating a tutorial – I’m seeing a lot of people doing that on Periscope lately.

So what have you read lately? Are you earning $1000 a day?!

Stacey Roberts is the Managing Editor of a writer, blogger, and full-time word nerd balancing it all with being a stay-at-home mum. She writes about all this and more at Veggie Mama. Chat with her on Twitter @veggie_mama or be entertained on Facebook.