The Three Stages of Business Blog Success

by 4 11/02/2011

Write this down.

Chris Garrett often describes three stages of successful Internet marketing.

  1. Attract – At this stage, the goal is to get more eyeballs on your content.
  2. Retain – If you are successful at attracting eyeballs, the second step is to retain that traffic by encouraging people to opt-in to a list.
  3. Convert – Once you have retained those you have attracted, you can now make offers to convert these people into paying customers.

Business Blog SuccessIf you are unable to attract traffic to your content, you can’t build a list.  If you can’t build a list, you can’t convert that list into sales.

It’s called the ARC Method, and it’s powerful stuff.

It’s particularly powerful when discussing business blog strategy.

If you’re interested in taking your business blog strategy to that coveted “convert” stage, read on.

Stage One – Attract

There are millions of blogs on the Internet but only a handful that are able to achieve positive ROI.

Why is that?

For most, they are unable to reach step one, attraction of eyeballs.

There are numerous ways to attract traffic to a blog.  Some of these methods are ill advised for a traditional business.  Tactics such as paid links, spamming forums for links or article spinning are all attempts to “game the system.”  If you are looking for shortcuts, they are there but understand that their are risks involved.

For those wanting to build a sustainable business blogging strategy it begins with the content.  If the content isn’t good great you will fail.  With the avalanche of content that hits the web each day, your content will have to be exceptional to gain traction.

It starts with outstanding content, but promotion of that content is important as well.

  • Search Engine Optimization
  • Pay Per Click
  • Social Media Distribution

These are just a few of the ways to promote great content.

If you are stuck in the attract stage of Internet marketing, take a hard look at your content and promotion strategies.

Stage Two – Retain

So, you are pulling your hair out looking at the ample amount of traffic you are driving to your content.  You’re business blog is attracting, but still no sales.

The reason is traffic isn’t sales.  Only sales are sales.

When people visit your content in the attract stage, they are rarely ready to buy.  It isn’t that they don’t want your product or service.  They just don’t want it right now.  They are looking for information, doing research or becoming acquainted with the various options they have to solve their problem.

They want content that is:

  • Educational
  • Inspirational
  • Informative

That’s why they were on your business blog in the first place.  They aren’t ready to buy.

Give them more content.  Valuable content such as,

  • Webinars
  • White Papers
  • eBooks

And when you give them this premium content, ask them to opt-in to a list to receive it.

I define a list as any method by which I ask a person to opt-in to receive more interaction with me.

A list can be,

  • A Twitter following
  • Facebook friends or likes
  • An email list
  • Linkedn connections

Just to name a few.  Anyone that connects with me using those methods, has opted-in to interact with me.

Bottom line, build lists.  Convert people from readers of your business blog to members of your network.  Retain.

Stage Three – Convert

Congratulations.  Most business blogs never make it this far.

But don’t pat yourself on the back yet.  You still haven’t made a dime.

You’ve attracted traffic and retained them on a list.  Let’s pretend it is an email list, which happens to be (in this marketers opinion) the best kind of list.

Now, you have to ask for the order.

But, if you do nothing but send promotions through your lists, you will likely lose your following.  Certainly in social media it is rarely advised to constantly promote offers to members of your list.

They still want valuable content.  Keep sending them educational, inspirational or informative content.  Mix offers in with this content.

When making offers, move through this checklist

  • Create a strong headline or subject line – Most people spend far too little time crafting good headlines or subject lines.  If the headline or subject line isn’t compelling, the rest of your message is sunk.  It won’t matter how good the offer is, very few will see it.
  • Provide Social Proof -  Most commonly in the form of testimonials, social proof is an indication that others are satisfied with your offer.  Providing social proof is a powerful way to get people to take action.
  • Create urgency and scarcity – Only when there is authentic urgency and scarcity, you should be sure to mention it in your offer.  It will increase conversion.  There are only 100 seats for this seminar, this is a limited time offer, or the first 10 people to like us on Facebook will get this offer are all examples of urgency and scarcity.  Why should they act now?
  • Provide a guarantee – Very powerful, especially in selling services, guarantees will move people to conversion.  Offering a trial period or a money-back guarantee shows the confidence you have in your product and allows them to convert without putting much skin in the game.
  • Include a call to action – It’s surprising how many offers I see that don’t tell me exactly what I need to do to receive it.  If you do nothing else, be sure to provide clear direction on exactly what needs to happen to take advantage of the offer.

Where is your blog strategy failing?

Do you need more traffic?  If so, you are stuck in the attract stage.

Bigger list?  Retention is your problem.

Big list, no sales?  Your offer is weak or non-existent.

Understanding where your business blog strategy is failing will allow you to go to work on mastering that stage.  Learn SEO, email list building techniques or how to create more compelling offers.

It’s a learning process and we’ve all been there.

Keep at it, just because your blog has fizzled doesn’t mean you can’t learn from your mistakes and turn that blog into a money maker.

About 

Russ Henneberry is the Editorial Director at Digital Marketer. He's worked on digital marketing projects for companies like CrazyEgg, Salesforce.com and Network Solutions. You can connect with Russ on Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+ or on his blog.

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4 COMMENTS

Connie Isidora

These three strategies are true. I agree with these three strategies that can help you to become a successful blogger. In making blogs, you should always consider the factor of making blogs that have high conversion value. Remember that you entered online business to gain profits, hence you should ensure that you will generate profitable blogs.

November 10, 2011 Reply

Ross

Hey Russ, nice post. I enjoyed the way you simplified the process to make it seem almost easy. Now on the the hard part, implementation. SEO is expensive, Social networking is time consuming, and great content takes creativity. These are common excuses and the prompting many people blame for using “shortcuts,” which I agree are risky. My personal belief is that one of the best methods for implementing the ARC method is to lose the high-energy press for instant success, take a deep breath and focus on content. Once you have content the audience will come (as long as you don’t promote under a rock). If your content, and objective (targeted sales) are well-placed, the sales will follow.
Great post!
Ross – http://www.Getnetbiz.com

April 1, 2012 Reply

    Russ Henneberry

    @Ross — I agree with your philosophy there Ross but be careful. It isn’t all about the content. I have seen lots of blogs with great content remain in obscurity for seemingly forever. Get to know the right people and the right methods for promoting that stellar content and you’ve got a winning formula. Thanks for the thoughtful comment!

    April 1, 2012 Reply


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