Can you build a list from your blog sidebar?

13 replies
On my website I get some decent traffic, about 20- to 30 unique visitors a day. I set up an aweber form with a free report I created in the right sidebar.

So far I got one signup in 10 days... :confused:

Can anybody tell me how to get more subscribers from my regular blog? (I know how to build a squeeze page around a product, that's not the question)

The website is in the IM niche, maybe people don't like reports anymore?
#blog #build #list #sidebar
  • Profile picture of the author Zeus66
    You should definitely test a pop-up with your opt-in form. Try Aweber's lightbox option. The problem with blogs is all that content distracts from the opt-in form if it's tucked away in the sidebar. You need to at least test something more "in your face" with that traffic.

    If you see an uptick, then start testing what you're saying in the pop-up, the colors you're using, the layout, etc. Tweak and test until you get it converting nicely.
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    • Profile picture of the author WordpressManiac
      Originally Posted by Zeus66 View Post

      You should definitely test a pop-up with your opt-in form. Try Aweber's lightbox option. The problem with blogs is all that content distracts from the opt-in form if it's tucked away in the sidebar. You need to at least test something more "in your face" with that traffic.

      If you see an uptick, then start testing what you're saying in the pop-up, the colors you're using, the layout, etc. Tweak and test until you get it converting nicely.
      Hey, thanks for the hint. Right now I don't use a popup, maybe I should give it a try. Currently I only split test two forms against each other, there's room for some tweaking.
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      • Profile picture of the author JohnMcCabe
        Since you are a self-professed (or should that be 'confessed':confused "Wordpress Maniac", you're probably familiar with a little plugin called "what would seth godin do". I've used this with some success, setting it to deliver custom content (similar to what Alexa described, I believe) and to show after blog posts. That way, especially for people who come in to an interior post, they still see the offer.
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        • Profile picture of the author WordpressManiac
          Originally Posted by JohnMcCabe View Post

          Since you are a self-professed (or should that be 'confessed':confused "Wordpress Maniac", you're probably familiar with a little plugin called "what would seth godin do". I've used this with some success, setting it to deliver custom content (similar to what Alexa described, I believe) and to show after blog posts. That way, especially for people who come in to an interior post, they still see the offer.
          Hi John,

          I didn't know about this plugin and it seems to be real nice. Thanks for the tip, I will definetly test this one.

          By the way thanks to everyone else delivering actionable hints for me as a list building newbie :-)
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  • Profile picture of the author Alexa Smith
    Banned
    Originally Posted by WordpressManiac View Post

    Can you build a list from your blog sidebar?
    Yes.

    The opt-in rate is probably never going to be as high as an equivalent squeeze-page opt-in rate, but the list built from it can be better quality, and can even produce more income than a squeeze page list. It's how I build all my lists.

    Originally Posted by WordpressManiac View Post

    Can anybody tell me how to get more subscribers from my regular blog?
    I have a "fixed-position/featured/permanent" post at the top of the landing page/home page, right next to the opt-in, in which I "prominently incentivize" the opt-in, and this makes a huge difference to the numbers opting in. It's almost like "squeeze-page wording" and it's the only place on my sites where I do any real "selling" at all. That post is only about the same height as the opt-in box (but much wider, of course), so that people can still see that there's more stuff below it and that it's a content-rich and not a squeeze page. Then the opt-in box (but without that accompanying text) appears on every page, because it's in a sidebar.

    There's a bit more here ...
    http://www.warriorforum.com/main-int...ml#post7517338
    I don’t believe this! Higher opt-in rate, fewer sales
    What are the essential things to know about list building?
    Website or squeeze page
    Squeeze Page on Landing Page a Turn Off?

    Originally Posted by WordpressManiac View Post

    The website is in the IM niche, maybe people don't like reports anymore?
    None of mine is connected with those niches at all ... so I don't actually know whether my experiences are relevant to you.

    Personally, I don't and won't use pop-ups - http://www.warriorforum.com/main-int...ml#post4985800 but in the IM niche they may be perfectly suitable, for all I know. (I kind of doubt it from some of what I see so many Warriors saying about them, and I'm guessing, if you're in the IM niche, that there's some traffic demographic overlap between "your visitors" and all the "Warriors" who seem to dislike them so much? But who knows? Only careful, methodical testing will tell you.)
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  • Profile picture of the author JST3P
    OP, let me know how this works out for you!

    I'm using a similar tactic, different theme and layout.

    I chose this tactic for the same reasons noted in the thread. From what I'm reading, squeeze pages get a lot of opt-ins but the quality of the leads tends to be low. Having people opt in on a blog with content seems to be a good tactic.
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    • Profile picture of the author Troy_Phillips
      Originally Posted by JST3P View Post

      OP, let me know how this works out for you!

      I'm using a similar tactic, different theme and layout.

      I chose this tactic for the same reasons noted in the thread. From what I'm reading, squeeze pages get a lot of opt-ins but the quality of the leads tends to be low. Having people opt in on a blog with content seems to be a good tactic.
      Your squeeze page optins are only as responsive as the ad used to get them there and how engaging the squeeze content is. Start targeting before they reach the squeeze and responsiveness goes up considerably.
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  • Profile picture of the author paul nicholls
    yes you can easily build a list from a blog side bar, I have been doing it for 2 years :-)

    the blog sidebar never converts that well, you just have to test until you get the best opt in rate you can

    the problem is, there is a lot going on elsewhere on your blog and people get distracted, this is why the opt in rates are never that good

    i also use a pop up though which helps to add more subscribers to my list

    my sidebars convert at around 3 - 6% and my pop is about the same

    the subscribers I get from my blog are lazer targeted and are always very responsive
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  • Profile picture of the author Troy_Phillips
    I have a few friends who are nesting their form in the header and footer .. they say it works well .. I haven't tried it myself.

    You ought to try a few blog post that turn into a 2 stage squeeze. Simply write a great post giving away an answer to a problem your niche has .. then through a read more link offer another answer.

    If your first answer was good enough .. they will sign up for the next one. I have 2 staggers opting in at better than 70%.

    For the sidebar you will really need to dig deep and give something away that your niche truly desires .. something you could just as easily sell.

    Join my newsletter doesn't have the effect it one time did.

    Troy
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  • Profile picture of the author IanGreenwood
    First - You need to know how many visitors you're getting to your blog. If you're getting 10 sign ups from 10 visitors you're getting 100% sign up rate. See what I mean? You need to track your traffic metrics. I recommend Google Analytics.

    Second - I agree that you need to get "in your face" with your signup form.

    Third - Your report needs to target a very specific problem. Or a very tight subject matter. This will inevitably mean it's not so attractive to some readers but will be more attractive to others. If you try to give your report appeal to everyone you'll end up being attractive to no one!

    Fourth - Try setting up a separate page in your blog with a little taster article on the subject of your report and then putting the Aweber box at the foot of that page. The link to this page goes on the front page where your sign up box is right now with a attention grabbing headline link. The theory here is that readers will get drawn in Blog => Link => Article => Signup box. At each stage the commitment is more from the reader and the trust in you is more (if you deliver on your promises of course).

    Fifth - How do you drive traffic to your blog? This will determine whether the traffic to your blog is hotter targeted or colder more general. I know that 60% of my traffic to my own blog comes from the search engines (Google mostly) and that this Google traffic is cold and hard to convert to anything. 30% comes from articles, blog comments on other blogs and from forum comments. This traffic is much more focused and much more responsive.

    Sixth - Try putting your sign up box after each post instead of the side bar. You should end every post with a call to action - which in your case should be a related reason (related to your blog post) to sign up for your free report.

    I agree totally with the previous comments about testing. Test the big things first such as the subject of the report etc. Forget about things like the colour of the links etc until you're getting a decent sign up rate.

    Additionally I would try to have links to several free reports on your blog appealing to very specific subject areas. This gives you a better chance of plugging into a variety of readers problems, wants and fears. Having only one free report is a bit restrictive for your list building.

    Hope this helps you some.
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  • Profile picture of the author vagex
    You need to offer what everyone really need. They will get in your opt-in like crazy.
    That's big point. Who need to be spammed when they won't get what worth with that ?
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  • Profile picture of the author David Micheal
    You may try popup domination to increase subscriber.
    Beside traffic, you must use call to action word to persuade your visitor subscribe
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  • Profile picture of the author eladwin1
    Use the popup window containing the fields autoresponder, put in the same window words that move the user action that should help!
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