17 Powerful WordPress Marketing Tips (That Actually Work)

wordpress marketing tips

If you have a website, the chances are good that it’s a WordPress site.

How do I know that? Because it’s hugely popular.

Over 75 million websites run on WordPress (that’s 27.5% of all websites globally).

There have been 2.5 billion posts published on WordPress since its launch in 2003.

So even if you don’t have a WordPress website, you’ve interacted with one at some point in your time on the Internet.

This makes it one of the most influential website builders in the world.

But more than that, it’s an extremely powerful marketing tool.

If you know how to use it, that is.

Why WordPress is awesome for marketing

WordPress websites get traffic.

WordPress sites get an average of 23 billion+ page views per month, and that number grows every day.

wordpress stats 3

There are plenty of reasons why WordPress succeeds as a platform.

You can build an entire SEO-optimized website in five minutes with little technical knowledge.

Everything installs in a few simple clicks. Anyone can truly build a website.

But the real kicker is the plugins.

As of now, there are 50,000+ plugins you can use to optimize your site in any way conceivable.

WordPress Plugins Plugins extend and expand the functionality of WordPress

Sure, not all of them are gold. But enough of them are truly helpful.

In fact, you can power your whole marketing strategy from your WordPress dashboard using a handful of plugins and integrations if needed.

And the best part? You don’t have to be a coding expert to do it.

That’s right. Any marketer can manage their calendar, create posts, bolster search traffic and syndicate content directly in WordPress.

I’m going to show you how.

Without further ado, here are 17 WordPress tips to help you market your site.

1. Use mobile-responsive WordPress themes

It’s no secret that Google loves mobile-friendly web pages.

With their most recent algorithm update, Google has been cracking down on any and all sites that aren’t mobile-friendly.

So the very first thing you should do with your WordPress site is make sure it’s optimized for mobile.

To do that, look for themes that are marked as mobile friendly.

Most of them should be to some degree, but not all of them are truly optimized.

Colorlib has a list of free and paid WordPress themes that are already optimized for mobile (and Google’s algorithm):

kalium landing page wordpress website template

It might also be a good idea for you to check your website’s mobile traffic once you’ve implemented your theme.

This can help you see whether or not there were any issues with your traffic numbers that resulted from not having a mobile-friendly theme.

Google Analytics will show you the traffic breakdown between mobile, desktop and tablet.

desktop mobile tablet sessions 1

Watch it for any signs of dramatic change.

If it suddenly goes up after you implemented a mobile-friendly theme, that’s great. It means that your new theme is doing the job.

If it remains relatively unchanged (and you’re worried about your traffic), then the problem lies elsewhere.

2. Optimize your site’s images for faster loading

Google is also prioritizing site speed when it comes to organic search rankings.

One of the biggest things that will slow down your site is images.

If you’re an e-commerce site, for example, you’re going to have a lot of high-quality product images (I would hope), which means lots of files stored on your server.

You’ll want to use a WordPress plugin like WP Smush Image Compression to reduce file sizes.

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This will dramatically speed up your website and give you a boost in Google’s eyes.

You can also use some external tools like Tiny.png, which will import to WordPress via Dropbox.

But if you want to save some time and handle image optimization straight from your WordPress dashboard (which I recommend), use WP Smush.

Then consider a few of these image optimization tips, too.

3. Create an XML Sitemap

Search engines need to index your blog to rank your site.

The way that they do that is by looking at your sitemap (a list of all the pages on your site).

WordPress will automatically create a sitemap for you, but that doesn’t mean it’s optimized. So Google won’t always know when to crawl your site.

You can quickly and easily optimize your sitemap using a plugin like Google XML Sitemap Generator.

screenshot 1

This is a handy tool not only for keeping track of your indexed pages, but it will also tell Google when you’ve updated your site.

Every time you post a new blog or make changes, for example, it will notify Google to re-crawl your site, so your rankings improve in the search results.

Considering that it can take Google months to index a website normally, this is a definite bonus.

3. Enable Rich Snippets

Rich Snippets are one of the best ways to increase your search traffic.

But they’re often underused by marketers because they do take a bit of coding to create (you have to work with Schema Markup).

Thankfully, there is an easier way to create Rich Snippets in WordPress, even if you’re not a developer.

The All in One Schema Rich Snippets plugin allows you to configure snippets in a few simple steps.

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You don’t have to know much about Schema Markup, and you can easily insert the Rich Snippet code into any page or post.

This is a quick and easy way to add some serious traffic-boosting power to your site.

If you’re going to do any of the things on this list, do this one.

4. Automatically check for broken links

When Google is crawling your site, it will also take note of any broken links you may have.

Broken links can harm your SEO, so it’s important to either fix them or get rid of them.

Rather than going through every link manually, you can easily use a plugin like Broken Link Checker to simplify the process.

Broken Links Checker Output

It will parse your posts to identify any broken links and then notify you when they appear.

And you can edit links directly from the dashboard, which saves time if you have a lot of them.

Since links are such a big deal for SEO, make sure to check this plugin when you’re on your dashboard or anytime you create a new post.

That way you can see and fix links before Google re-crawls your site.

5. Build sales landing pages quickly

Launching a new product or need a page for an opt-in form?

You’re going to need a landing page.

One of the fastest tools out there to produce high-quality landing pages is PageBuilder by SiteOrigin.

pagebuilder 750x396

It’s a free plugin with a drag-and-drop interface.

You don’t need any technical knowledge to use it, and you can either create a page from scratch or use pre-built templates.

Everything is customizable, so you can brand your pages as needed.

The nice thing about this plugin is that you can build as many landing pages as you need.

The more landing pages you have, the more pages there are for Google to index, which is good for your SEO.

6. A/B test your landing pages

A/B testing can be hit or miss. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t.

In certain cases, it can be helpful, however, especially if your analytics aren’t giving you much insight into why your traffic is slow or your bounce rate is high.

The reason that a lot of people avoid A/B testing is that it can be time-consuming.

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You usually have to create or duplicate pages with separate designs and then test them for a few weeks or months on different audiences.

It can be exhausting, really.

But that’s where WordPress plugins come into play.

You can make the process easier by using WordPress plugins like Nelio AB Testing, however.

Nelio AB Testing WordPress Plugins

It’s a good tool if you’re new to the A/B testing process and you don’t want to integrate multiple tools to get the job done.

One nice feature it includes is heat mapping, which other plugins don’t include.

This gives you much better insight into the testing process than a simple static number.

You can visually see which areas of your site are working and which need improvement.

7. A/B test your blog titles

Landing pages aren’t the only thing you should A/B test, of course.

You should also test your blog headlines and page titles.

According to Copyblogger, 8 out of 10 people will read your headline, while only 2 out of 10 will read your blog post. They call it the 80/20 rule.

Because headlines are so important, it’s a good idea to test out different ones on your audience.

The Title Experiments plugin adds an extra field to your post titles, which allows you to input alternate titles when different visitors come to your site.

Title Experiments

This makes it easier to see which title is a better fit and which helps increase your click-through rates the most.

8. Export leads directly to your sales CRM

Do you use your website for lead generation?

If so, you can use WordPress to directly export/import contact information into your CRM.

Leadin is a marketing automation plugin that will convert any contacts on your website into a contact record in your CRM.

LeadIn Plugin

It will also track visitor behavior so you can set up new conversion opportunities.

Think of it as a little marketer in your WordPress site watching out for new opportunities 24-7.

It can come in handy when you don’t really have a lot of spare time to track conversions.

9. Add CTAs to all of your blog posts

One of the biggest mistakes I see made in the marketing world is the avoidance of CTAs.

I see them on landing pages and homepages but often skipped on things like blog content.

But blogs are the absolute best place to include a CTA.

There are different types of CTAs you can use.

You can add fancy CTA graphics to any blog post:

The Best Marketing Strategies to Grow Your Ideal Membership MemberDev

Or simple callouts to other content or services within the posts themselves:

The 35 Best Shopify Apps to Increase Sales in 2018 NEW

There are also header CTAs, sidebar CTAs, and simple text CTAs.

In other words, you have a lot of options for creating actionable interactions with your website, so don’t just focus on your homepage CTAs.

To create CTAs and grow your email list in WordPress, try a plugin like Thrive Leads or Lead Magnets.

10. Optimize your posts for shareability

When it comes to organic traffic, Google loves social media just as much as it loves keywords.

Social media signals affect your site’s visibility in the search rankings.

That’s why it’s so important to make your content shareable on social channels.

In WordPress, there are plenty of options for creating shareability.

The plugin AddToAny Share Buttons allows readers to share any page automatically without having to copy and paste the URL.

AddToAny Share Buttons WordPress Plugins

Quoteability lets users tweet out their favorite quotes from your content.

And Perfect Pullquotes adds some visual cues for shareable content.

Perfect Pullquotes WordPress Plugins

WordPress to Buffer allows you to schedule posts directly from your WordPress dashboard.


Links, in particular, are one of the top Google ranking factors, so the more ways you can get users to link to your site, the better.

Keep in mind that not all social media shares are counted as links, but there is still some correlation.

Take advantage of the social plugins that WordPress offers to save yourself some energy.

11. Enable comments (and respond to commenters)

I love comments. I respond to them on my own site as often as I can.

Why? They’re great for SEO.

They add to my word count, they help me connect and build relationships with influencers, and they create a community around my content (which drives more traffic).

How to Write Product Descriptions that Sell

The downside to comments is that they can cause a lot of spam, which can bog down your site if you’re not careful.

There’s a good workaround for WordPress, though.

Use a plugin like Disqus, which allows commenters to log in and subscribe to your comments (for the community aspect).

feature retain

And then use a plugin like Akismet to filter out spam from your posts.

12. Add SEO to every blog post

I know what you’re going to ask, “Neil, do I really have to optimize every blog post for SEO?”

Yeah, you do. Or you should, anyway.

Some key areas to focus on when it comes to blog post SEO include your meta descriptions (your snippets), keywords and title:


There are plenty of tools in WordPress that can make this job easier, but I often recommend Yoast (for SEO).

The free version gives you the ability to customize your SEO, gives you a readability score for every post and allows you to edit and change things quickly as needed.

It takes less than two minutes to optimize a single post using Yoast, so there’s no excuse to skip it.

13. Create exit pop-ups for certain pages (but not all)

I go back and forth on the whole “pop-ups: are they good or bad?” thing.

For site owners, pop-ups work great as a marketing tool.

They generally have a 2.9% click-through rate on average, which is 2% higher than other types of ads.

popup statistics conversion rate

But they can be annoying for the user, and anyone with a pop-up blocker will probably never see them anyway.

The solution is simply to use pop-ups where your biggest CTAs are, like your homepage (use exit pop-ups as they won’t interfere with your UX).

And skip them for blog posts and non-essential landing pages.

You can use a tool like OptinMonster to create easy exit pop-ups in WordPress.

exit popup convert abandoning visitors into revenue

14. Manage your editorial calendar

When you’re creating and optimizing multiple posts, the process can get a little tedious.

You don’t want to waste time switching back and forth between an editorial calendar and your WordPress dashboard.

Trust me, it makes the content process so much longer.

Thankfully WordPress has a plugin aptly called Editorial Calendar.

Editorial Calendar

It’s actually a robust tool for being such a simple plugin.

You can:

  • See all of your posts in one dashboard.
  • Drag and drop to make changes to post dates.
  • Manage any new drafts from a single location.
  • Quickly edit post titles, contents, and publishing times.
  • Publish posts directly from the calendar.
  • View the pending status of any post in draft (or scheduled) form.
  • Manage posts from multiple authors.

If you have trouble keeping your content organized, then a plugin like this can help.

15. Repurpose old blog content

When you’re producing a lot of content, you want to find ways to maximize your effort.

One of the best ways to do that is by repurposing (updating, refreshing) old content.

First, you can use a tool like BuzzSumo to identify your most popular posts from the last two to five years.


Then you can either update that content if it’s out of date (look for stats and references that might no longer be valid and be sure to run it through Broken Link Checker), or reshare it.

You can use the WordPress plugin Revive Old Post (previously known as Tweet Old Post) to share your updated content automatically or to bring older posts back into circulation.

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This will give you a lot more mileage out of the content you’ve already created, while still giving a boost to your SEO.

16. Incorporate trend watching

Marketers need to stay ahead of the trends if they want to produce content that’s relevant.

It’s easy to get lost in your content calendar or social media feed and forget to watch for important topics that might speak to your audience.

This tip doesn’t involve a plugin exactly, but if you already use Hootsuite for your social monitoring, you can easily integrate it with your WordPress site using Zapier.

Hootsuite WordPress Integrations Zapier

You can use this to find trending topics by using the Search field in WordPress.

It also gives you the ability to preview URLs so you can see what images and text will appear when someone shares a post.

This enables you to manage and monitor trends and update your posts to reflect specific hashtags or topics without leaving your WordPress dashboard.

You can also integrate Buffer and WordPress using Zapier with similar results.

17. Syndicate content to other sites

Content syndication can sometimes get a bad rap because Google frowns upon duplicate content.

But there is a way to syndicate your posts without encouraging Google’s wrath.

Many sites syndicate successfully without any issues.

how content syndication marketing works

The key is to get your content on the right syndication channels (non-spammy ones) so that it appears in reputable sources.

A good WordPress plugin for this is Syndicate Press, which lets you add an RSS, RDF or Atom feed to your WordPress posts so they can be sent to syndication sites.

One nice thing about this plugin is that it doesn’t mess up the format of your RSS feed, so you can display any and all content that you want to appear on other sites.

This is a quick way to get your content “out there” for a traffic boost without hurting your SEO.


There’s a lot you can do with WordPress if you know where to find the right tools.

Almost any task or tool that’s essential to marketing — SEO, landing pages, social media sharing, image optimization, etc. — can be handled in your WordPress dashboard.

You just need to find the right plugin or integration to help.

But when you’re looking for a WordPress plugin, make sure you consider the following:

  • Its star rating (how many users have rated it and how high is the rating?)
  • How recently it’s been updated (some plugins don’t need a lot of updating, but some do. Ideally, look for plugins that have been updated in the last six months.)
  • Whether or not it will get the job done

The whole point of using WordPress plugins is to simplify marketing.

So look for the right tools that can actually get the job done.

What are your favorite marketing-based WordPress plugins?

The post 17 Powerful WordPress Marketing Tips (That Actually Work) appeared first on Neil Patel.

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How to Segment Your Target Audience with Generational Marketing

It’s no secret that people from different generations have different values, mindsets, and behaviors. As a business, you’ve to use this concept to your advantage.

All too often I see companies that launch a broad stroke marketing campaign in an attempt to reach as many customers as possible.

While I commend the approach and thought process, it’s an ineffective strategy.

It’s much more effective to segment your marketing campaigns based on different generations. Don’t try to reach Millennials and Baby Boomers with the same advertisement.

Rather than speaking to both of these generations, you’re campaign will end up being a complete miss.

I created this guide to show you how you can use behavioral analysis improve your marketing campaigns. By segmenting your target audience, you’ll be able to enhance customer engagement and increase conversions.

I’ll explain the differences between:

  • The Silent Generation
  • Baby Boomers
  • Generation X
  • Millennials
  • Generation Z

Understanding how these different generations think and behave will ultimately help you improve the customer experience.

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This is valuable information for every business because your customers fall into one of those generational categories.

Depending on the size and scale of your company, you may even have customers from several of these generations. While other businesses may be in a niche category and only be targeting one of these market segments.

Regardless of your situation, this analysis will help improve your business. Here’s what you need to know about each generation.

The Silent Generation

People who were born roughly between 1925 and 1942 are members of the Silent Generation. This generation is also known as the “Lucky Few.”

This group of individuals is patriotic. They grew up living and serving during World War II, the Korean War, and the Vietnam War.

As far as their racial makeup is concerned, 78% of the Silent Generation is white.

The majority of them did not pursue higher education. In fact, only 20% of women and 32% of men in the Silent Generation of a Bachelor’s degree.

They focused more on working and earning money, as opposed to going to school. That’s because their parents grew up during the Great Depression, so this group learned the value of a dollar.

While companies may overlook the Silent Generation because of their age, there are still over 28 million of them alive today.

So how can you reach them? You can still use digital marketing tactics to target the Silent Generation.

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Nearly 60% of people over the age of 65 are active on the Internet, and almost 90% of them use email.

The majority of their digital consumption is done on a computer. Research shows that only 22% of senior citizens own a smartphone.

If you’re targeting the Silent Generation, you can also use more traditional marketing tactics like print media. They grew up reading newspapers, so they’re used to this.

Make sure that you create big advertisements with large font. You want to make sure that it’s easy for them to read. Don’t use colors that are too bright and difficult to see. Try to come up with a campaign that speaks directly to them.

For example, look back at some of the information that we previously discussed. You could use an American flag, or other patriotic symbols to get their attention.

Try using keywords like “how to save money” and put emphasis on the deal that you’re offering.

Television is one of the best ways to reach the Silent Generation. Studies show that this group watches more than 51 hours of TV per week.

While this number is staggeringly higher than other generations, it also suggests that they aren’t skipping over commercials.

Baby Boomers

Baby Boomers were born after World War II. While the dates of their birth aren’t exact, anyone who was born during the mid 1940s to early 1960s falls into this category.

This generation really wants to get a great value out of their purchasing decisions. So if you’re targeting Baby Boomers, you’ve got a great chance to upsell your existing customers.

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But with that said, these upsells have a greater chance of success if they’re pitched in person or over the phone.

As Baby Boomers enter and approach their retirement years, they are more financially stable. So they may be willing to splurge a little bit more when it comes to their spending habits.

Baby Boomers are loyal to their favorite brands. This is especially true for specific industries, such as household goods, health, beauty, food, and beverage.

Although Baby Boomers are considered to be an older generation, it doesn’t mean that they don’t have an active Internet presence. Even though they prefer to speak to someone in person, they still spend time shopping online.

In fact, 70% of Baby Boomers make a purchase on Amazon at least one time per month. More than half of Baby Boomers use the Internet for 15 hours per week.

This generation is a great target audience because you’ve got so many options to reach them. They will still come to your physical store locations to speak to your customer service representatives, but they’re also willing and able to shop online.

So as a marketer, you’ve got the best of both worlds here.

Even though Baby Boomers will shop on your ecommerce store, it’s unlikely that they’ll do it from a smartphone or tablet.

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Only 13% of Baby Boomers use smartphones to shop online. 18% of them use tablets for ecommerce shopping.

So if you’re trying to target this generation through mobile marketing tactics or push notifications, it won’t be effective. Your best bet is to focus on their experience navigating from a laptop or desktop computer.

They conduct research before rushing into a purchasing decision. So you’re not going to have much luck trying to target impulse buyers from this group.

When it comes to their online habits, Baby Boomers are doing much more than just shopping. More than 82% of this generation has at least one social media profile.

You definitely need to use your social media marketing strategies to drive traffic to your ecommerce landing pages if you want to effectively target Baby Boomers.

Just make sure that you’ve got plenty of information about your products and services available online. This will make it easier for them to conduct research.

It’s also a bonus if you make it easy for them to contact your customer service team over the phone or in person.

Generation X

Generation X is commonly referred to as Gen X for short. They were born between the mid 1960s and early 1980s.

This is a family oriented group of people who definitely enjoys new technology. People from Gen X lived through important historical events and the civil rights era.

With such a large age difference between the oldest and youngest members of Gen X, it can be tricky from a marketing perspective.

The oldest people from Gen X have some traits that are very similar to the Baby Boomers that preceded them. While the younger members behave more like Millennials, which we’ll discuss shortly.

Regardless of their age, one thing that’s common across the board for this generation is their dependence on credit cards.

76% of Gen X got their first credit card by the time they turned 24. As a result, they’re used to carrying around credit card debt.

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As you can see, less than half of Gen X pays their credit card bills in full. But with that said, this generation still has the reputation for being financially responsible and independent.

That’s because Gen X has other debt to worry about in addition to their credit card bills. The average mortgage debt for Gen X is $144,000.

This number is 60% higher than the generations preceding them. From a marketing perspective, you’ve got to use this information to your advantage.

They are homeowners who use credit cards. So your marketing campaigns should encompass both of these elements.


Millennials are also known as Generation Y. They were born between the mid 1980s and mid 1990s.

According to the Pew Research Center, as of April 2016, Millennials exceeded Baby Boomers in terms of population size in the United States.

Compared to previous generations, Millennials are more conscious of the world around them. They like businesses that care about the environment and giving to people in need.

In fact, nearly half of Millennials are more likely to buy something from a business that contributes to a greater cause.

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37% of this group said that they would even be willing to spend more money on a product or service if it meant that it was supporting a cause that they believed in.

This generation has adapted to technology much earlier and faster than previous generations. 56% of Millennials are the first people to try out a new form of technology.

They love creating content and posting original photos and videos on the Internet, especially on social media platforms.

Millennials want entertainment from brands. They also want to be part of the creation process and they love to have their feedback heard.

More than two-thirds of Millennials want to provide feedback to a brand, whether or not they had an enjoyable or poor experience.

This generation loves to travel.

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How can you use all of this information to your advantage as a marketer?

For starters, don’t be shy about your affiliations with nonprofit organizations and other charities. If you’re not making any donations to help certain causes, consider trying it out if you want to target more Millennials.

As you could see from the research, you might even be able to charge more for your products and services if you take this approach.

Encourage user-generated content on social media. Ask your customers for feedback in the form of surveys and interviews.

Come up with marketing campaigns that show how your products and services can benefit people who are traveling.

Generation Z

Generation Z, known as Gen Z, the iGeneration, Post-Millennials, or the Homeland Generation is the newest group of consumers for brands to target.

The oldest members of Gen Z are just graduating college. This means that they are getting full-time jobs. With those jobs come full-time salaries.

As a marketer, this is a great opportunity for you to target people who just recently acquired an increase in spending power.

Just like Millennials, Generation Z also cares about the planet. 78% of Gen Z are worried about world hunger and 76% are concerned about humanity’s impact on the planet.

Brand loyalty isn’t that important to this generation. They care more about quality than loyalty.

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The best way to reach Gen Z is through social media. But don’t use Facebook. There’s been a decline in Facebook usage amongst this age group.

Instead, you’ve got to bump up your presence on Snapchat and YouTube.

71% of Gen Z use Snapchat every day. 51% of them use it 11 times daily. Gen Z watches between 2 to 4 hours of YouTube video each day as well.

They watch YouTube videos more than television. Do you remember earlier when I said that the Silent Generation watches 51 hours of TV per week? Well Gen Z only watches about 3.5 hours TV each week.

Talk about a major difference between the two groups.

They enjoy using multiple digital media consumption platforms simultaneously. That’s because their average attention span is only 8 seconds.

When you’re marketing to Gen Z, just keep all of this information in mind. You can reach them on the social platforms that they use the most.

Just because they bought something from your brand in the past, it doesn’t mean that they will be loyal if you didn’t have great quality.


Successful businesses understand their customers. Your products and services need to add value to the customer’s life and your marketing campaigns need to reflect this.

But with so many differences between generations, you’ll need to segment your target audience based on the campaign you’re running.

A print advertisement that you made to target the Silent Generation won’t penetrate your Millennial audience.

Your Snapchat ads designed for Gen Z won’t have an impact on Baby Boomers.

Figuring out who you want to target and how you’re going to reach them will increase your conversion rates and ultimately make you more money.

How are you using generational marketing tactics to segment your target audience?

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You’re a Good Writer But Not a Good Blogger


how writers improve blogging skills

All bloggers are writers, but not all writers are bloggers.

That’s a tough reality for many people who want to produce content online because people assume that to be one is to be the other.

But there’s far more to blogging than just being a good writer.

In fact, you could be a mediocre writer and still make money as a blogger. I see it happen all the time.

It’s not always about skill.

For some people who don’t consider themselves to be good writers, that might actually be a blessing in disguise.

Because the truth is that anyone can be a blogger. Yes, anyone.

It does take some writing skill, but it also takes some other skills that not every good writer has.

Here’s what I mean.

Why some writers struggle as bloggers

You can see examples of good writing anywhere.

Take almost any piece from a site like The New Yorker, and you’ll witness firsthand how the power of words can transform the most basic ideas into something enjoyable.

Can Wine Transform China s Countryside The New Yorker

It’s almost enough to make you jealous. Some people just have the gift.

But as Jeff Goins from Copyblogger once pointed out, you don’t actually need “the gift” to be a good blogger.

You can be a “prolific, mediocre blogger” and still see success (which I’m sure frustrates the “gifted”).

It’s true, though. You can be a successful blogger and a mediocre writer if you understand that blogging is a business.

Blogging requires skills that writers don’t always have, like marketing, SEO, social media, branding, and time management.

Take a look at any major influencer in the marketing world, and you’ll see what I mean.

Ann Handley, Head of Content at MarketingProfs, is a great writer, but she’s also media-savvy.

31 Influencers to Follow in 2017

She regularly posts to social media. She guest blogs. She writes for MarketingProfs. She does email newsletters.

She’s kind of everywhere.

ann handley Google Search

And that’s what it takes to be a successful blogger. You have to be everywhere.

You have to sell yourself.

Does this mean that you can’t be a good writer and a blogger? It pays to be both, actually.

Good writers who know how to blog will make a giant impact in their space.

You just have to learn all of the other marketing skills that go along with it.

Here’s what you need to do.

1. Commit to regularly publishing content

One thing that many of the world’s best writers share is writer’s block or a lack of inspiration to write.

Writers tend to only work when they feel inspired (“unblocked”).

A successful blog won’t wait for you to feel inspired, though. You have to publish content even when you don’t feel like it.

That means creating a regular posting schedule and putting out content sometimes 3-4 times a week.

According to HubSpot’s State of Inbound report, the more blogs you publish, the more traffic, leads, and sales you will get.

How Often Should You Update Your Blog Writtent

So if you want to run a successful blog, you’re looking at a minimum of 2-3 times per week, or daily if you want to see growth.

That’s not taking into account all of the social media promotion on top of the actual writing.

Buffer has a rundown of how often you should post on each social channel:

How Often Should I Post on Social Media Buffer Blog

So on top of your blogging, you have to spend time crafting engaging social media posts.

You have to spend time checking your stats to make sure your posts are generating traffic.

And at some point, you will probably have to pull a Google Analytics report or two.

Basically, it’s a lot of work.

It’s a lot of writing every single day.

You know what you won’t feel every day? Inspired.

That’s why it’s important to commit to publishing content because you won’t always feel like doing it.

2. Manage your time and create a schedule

With so much work going on, one of the essential skills you will need is time management.

You will have deadlines, and blog posts take a while to produce.

The average posts take between 2-3 hours to write.

hubspots survey of marketer

That’s not including editing, uploading it to your website, creating social media posts, etc.

Let’s say the whole process takes about 4 hours for a single blog post.

If you’re publishing three posts per week, this means you’ll need around 12 hours of dedicated time each week just to blog.

How will you manage that time with everything else you have going on?

You’ll need a plan.


But that’s not all.

According to Coschedule, there are actually three big time commitments that bloggers should pay attention to:

  • The length of your average posts — Writing a 1,500-word post will take much longer than writing a 500-word post, for instance.
  • How many graphics each post will need — If you’re creating your own graphics (website banners, social media images, etc.), you will need to budget time for it.
  • Content promotion and distribution — Social sharing, repurposing, syndication, and any other content distribution will all require varied time commitments.

It’s important to budget your time to make sure you can fit it all in.

You can use different tools to help you manage your time, though.

Remember The Milk can help you manage your daily to-do’s:

Remember The Milk Online to do list and task management

And something like Teambox and Google Calendar can keep you organized throughout the week.

3. Network with other bloggers

You’ll also have to budget some time for networking.

Yes, networking.

Bloggers who simply keep to themselves usually don’t achieve the same goals as those who partner with other bloggers.

It’s important to build a network of contacts, clients, and resources that can help you out.

The first place to start is by checking out other bloggers in your space.

You can use a tool like Pocket to bookmark blogs, videos and other sites you like:


Once you have some sites saved, you can get to work commenting on those blogs, retweeting the authors, and otherwise building relationships with them.

004 scott barry kaufman

Despite how intimidating it might feel at first, you can build organic relationships with even big-name influencers.

You just have to put in the effort.

But if you’re not ready for that just yet, you can also use networking sites like Scoop.it to publish content and curate from other bloggers in your space.

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This will give you the chance to connect with other bloggers who are doing what you’re doing without the intimidation factor.

Ultimately, there’s no one strategy for networking, though.

The point is just to reach out to others and grow your relationships in some way.

Networking has a few really great benefits that include:

  • Building a new audience of other bloggers who will promote your content to their audience
  • Opening up opportunities for collaborations and guest posting (more traffic)
  • Providing more content for your site if they guest post on your blog
  • Promoting each other with affiliate links and monetize your blog

It’s also just nice to have other people on your side sometimes to give you advice.

Networking like this will all come down to successful time management, however.

Catherine Oneissy has some suggestions for new bloggers trying to fit networking into their busy schedule:

Beginner Bloggers Guide to Networking Catherine Oneissy

And you should absolutely try to work it into your schedule.

Figure this will add another 3-5 hours to your work week as a blogger (now you’re up to 15+ hours).

That extra time will inevitably be worth it in the end, however, so don’t skip this step.

4. Seek out new blogging opportunities

Good bloggers (successful bloggers) do more than just write blogs.

They dip into all types of content, like self-published books, e-books, and online courses.

They use affiliate marketing. They advertise.

how much do you make blogging

You can make a lot of money as a blogger by doing more things than just blogging.

At the very least, successful bloggers aren’t just writing content for their own site.

I often say that one of the best ways to grow your influence is to become a guest blogger.

Guest blogging requires pitching your idea to another blog, or a syndicated publisher like Huffington Post, Forbes, Fortune and so on.

But it’s more than just pitching a blog topic — you’re pitching yourself.

You have to self-promote. You have to sell.

When Jordan Teicher, associate editor at Contently, was asked what makes a good pitch for a guest post on their blog, he said:

“If you come to me with an experience and can weave it throughout the narrative, you definitely have my attention.”

In other words, if you can show you know what you’re doing, you stand a chance.

And that’s really what it all boils down to — showing.

Show that you have the experience and that you can do more than just write.

If you’ve never pitched as a guest poster, there are plenty of templates you can use to get started.

3 Guest Post Pitch Emails That Got the Gig

Don’t be intimidated by the process.

You’re a good writer. You’re learning how to be a good blogger.

So go on and show them you can be both.

(Don’t forget to add guest blogging to your weekly count. Let’s assume you do one or two posts a month. That’s another two hours a week or so. Now you’re up to 17+ hours).

5. Learn how to do SEO

Now comes the hardest part of being a blogger — growing your website’s ranking on Google.

While guest blogging and befriending other influencers can be a boost, you need a sustainable source of traffic.

This means that you need to get good at SEO.

So where do you start?

First, get your website set up with Google Analytics if you haven’t already.


As an extra step, add Google Search Console to your blog.

This will give you a bird’s eye view of your blog’s impressions over time.


Analytics will be your best friend in the whole world.

Without it, you won’t know whether or not your content is succeeding.

If your content isn’t succeeding, you’re not succeeding as a blogger, so it’s essential that you take the time to analyze your data.

(You’ll probably spend another 2-3 hours or so on analytics every week. Now you’re up to 20+ hours).

The next step is to take advantage of any SEO tools out there to help you do the job.

If your website is running on WordPress, check out plugins like SEO by Yoast,  All in One SEO Pack and Google Sitemaps Plugin.


Each serves a different purpose, but they all have one main goal: boost your SEO.

You might also consider using a tool like:

You can also use Google Trends to spot changes in interest for certain topics or keywords.

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While it’s not an SEO-specific tool, it can help you with content planning.

Every blog post you create should have some form of SEO, even if it’s just keyword optimization or decent mobile speed.

If you’re entirely new to the SEO process, consider doing some research on it.

Typically, the biggest factors are things like keywords, page speed, data markup (code on your site), backlinks and traffic.

Kissmetrics has a great SEO guide for beginners.

If you put in some effort, you can really learn a lot about SEO in a short period of time.

6. Build a brand and figure out your niche

Branding is another key area that separates writers from bloggers.

Writers tend to focus on their byline (their name), whereas bloggers tend to develop their brand.

For example, Neil Patel is my name and my byline. Here it is on a post I did for Forbes:

Why I Spend 9 847 37 on Food Each Month

But it’s also my brand.

That’s why my website, NeilPatel.com, has my name. But it’s more than that.

Running my website and my blog is a full-time job.

Writers focus their time on getting as many bylines as possible.

Some might have a certain wheelhouse they write about, but more often than not they’ll write what they get paid to write.

Bloggers, however, focus on building up their brand and finding a niche.

If I do a quick search for “marketing bloggers,” I’m met with these results:

marketing bloggers Google Search

These are brands.

Let’s say I click on the one that looks the most like a “writer,” which would be Brian Solis.

Here’s what I get:

Brian Solis Google Search

He’s a writer, yes, but he’s a brand.

The man is a mogul, really.

That’s what you have to become if you want to get serious about being a blogger.

Part of that process is discovering your audience.

Who do you want to write for and what do they want to read about? What interests them?

First, figure out what motivates you.

What are you passionate about? What are you knowledgeable about? What could you write about in your sleep?

Make a list.

Then, figure out if that’s a profitable niche.

Go to Google Keyword Planner and start typing in keywords related to your niche.


Then, look for monthly search volume for those keywords (is it a popular enough niche?) as well as cost-per-click for any ads (is it profitable?).


This will give you a good idea of whether or not people are searching for the keywords you might use for your content.

It will also tell you if your niche isn’t really popular or profitable.

If you were super passionate about underwater basket weaving, for example, you might be a little disappointed by your blog traffic.


You want to find a balance between things you love to write about and things that will make you successful.

So if you loved basket weaving, why not turn that into a blog about DIY home decor, instead?

A quick search will tell you that “home decor” has a lot of potential for traffic.


It’s also okay to have more than one niche. Just remember not to spread yourself too thin.

Building a brand is about focusing on one or two things that you do really, really well.

So don’t worry so much about getting a byline as you do about finding a niche that works for you and your brand.

7. Have a plan and vision for your blog

By now you should see that being a blogger is (at the bare minimum) a part-time job.

And if you’re really putting in the work, it’s more like a full-time job.

Yes, you can be a blogger full-time.

But that means you’re running a business — a business for which you need a vision.

It requires goal setting.

SMART Goals2

Some starter goals to consider might revolve around growing your traffic, publishing at least X times a week, and increasing your email opt-in rate.

Here’s an example:

  • Goal 1: Increase blog traffic 10% monthly for six months.
  • Goal 2: Increase email opt-in rate by 50% in three months.
  • Goal 3: Post at least three posts per week for 12 months.
  • Goal 4: Connect with three influencers/bloggers over the next six months.
  • Goal 5: Guest post on two blogs in the next three months.

Each of those goals can be broken down into a plan that includes a timeline.

The first goal, for example, might include using a combination of paid ads, keyword research and social traffic to grow by 10% every month.

You can monitor this using Google Analytics or a tool like Alexa.

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Each goal can be broken down into actionable steps.

Those steps will allow you to create a solid plan for producing content, marketing your content and growing your business.

And yes, I will repeat that a thousand times if I have to:

Blogging is a business.

You have to treat it like one. You need a plan.

That plan should include things like:

  • A keyword research strategy
  • A list of websites and blogs where you want to guest post
  • A list of blog posts you want to create
  • A list of posts that can be promoted with affiliate links and paid ads
  • A list of websites where you might include affiliate links
  • Your goals for your blog over 12 months
  • Your publishing schedule
  • Your daily work schedule

If you need help, consider creating an actual business plan for your blog along with an editorial calendar.

How to Create a Bangin Blog Business Plan Workbook Included Melyssa Griffin

Basically, take it seriously.

The difference between a good writer and a good blogger is a commitment to doing more than just writing.


Being a good writer isn’t the same as being a good blogger, though it helps to be both.

Good bloggers know how to market themselves. They can sell what they’re writing and not just write it.

If you’re a good salesperson, you’ll probably make a better blogger than a good writer.

Sad, but true.

If you’re already a good writer and you want to become a good blogger, you need to add some marketing skills to your repertoire.

Create a schedule and post consistently (yes, even if you’re not inspired).

Find out how to advertise and use things like affiliate marketing to grow your brand.

Network with other bloggers and become a guest poster.

Learn SEO.

Master the miscellaneous skills required to be a good blogger, and you can do it all.

If you’re a good writer to boot, you’ll do even better.

What “blogging” skills do you struggle with the most right now?

The post You’re a Good Writer But Not a Good Blogger appeared first on Neil Patel.

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5 Exit Overlay Strategies That Actually Work

best exit overlay strategies

You only have seven seconds to grab a visitor’s attention on your website. Seven measly seconds to relay your message, hook your reader, and convince prospects to trust you.

No matter how brilliant the web content, conversion rate optimization (CRO) is tough. A recent Hubspot study reports that only 22% of businesses are satisfied with their conversion rates.

Are you in that happy 22% or in the outside 78% looking in?

Consumer attention spans are short and digital competition is fierce.

We all want to keep our visitors happy and engaged. So how do you keep them from abandoning ship?

Thankfully, there are some proven strategies to keep your web traffic engaged and interested in what you have to say.

I’m going to show you five exit-overlay strategies to convert bored visitors into loyal customers.

But first, you need to understand what constitutes a great (or not-so-great) exit overlay.

Why aren’t your current exit-overlay strategies working?

Over three-quarters of abandoning visitors intend to return to your site to continue the purchasing process, but less than one-third of those visitors actually come back.

That’s a lot of lost conversions and revenue.

Converting leads to customers continues to be one of the most challenging, yet most crucial goals for marketers, according to this Hubspot survey:

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This is where exit overlays come in.

An exit overlay (or exit-intent overlay) is a screen or pop-up designed to win back a reader’s interest before they abandon your website.

They show up in the nick of time — just before your visitor closes your page and you’ve lost them forever.  Here is an example:

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Done right, they create conversions.

Done wrong, they annoy people.

So what’s the secret sauce to an exit-overlay strategy that pulls people in instead of repelling them?

  • Know the right exit triggers. When does your user’s scrolling behavior or mouse movement signal the exit overlay to appear?
  • Understand your buyer’s journey. Make sure your exit overlays are sophisticated enough to adjust to the right information. Did your visitor spend most of their time looking at pricing? Display a well-timed discount pop-up.
  • Use context to provide an authentic experience. New visitors may need an informational pop-up. Returning visitors will know about your brand already, so it’s time to pull out a meatier exit overlay to keep them interested.
  • Keep it simple. Don’t try to write a book. The best exit overlays are concise and give the visitor a quick way to “x” out of the pop-up.

Now that we’ve covered the basic building blocks, here are five proven exit overlay strategies you can start building for better conversion rates.

1. Make them an offer they can’t refuse

People love free stuff.

Whether it’s a free e-book, a coupon or the chance to win a prize, your visitor is more likely to stick around if you offer them something to make it worth their while.

Like this download offer from an OptinMonster client.

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Coupon and giveaway exit overlays act in similar ways. One offers a discount and the other offers something for free.

You can also entice visitors with the possibility of winning something through a contest entry or create a discount/coupon/giveaway combination. There is no wrong formula.

Why do these exit overlays work so well?

One of the top reasons visitors leave a website is a simple matter of money. They might not want to pay for shipping or pay full price or pay at all, for that matter.

It’s your job to overcome objections like these and prove your value.

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A coupon or giveaway reduces cost objections and doubles as a foot in the door for future interactions.

By providing a piece of free content or a resource your visitor can use immediately (without having to fork over any money), you make it easy for visitors to trust you and return to your website when they are ready to purchase.

Brand loyalty is built one brick at a time. Be patient and trust the process.

Check out this example from Quick Sprout:

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An 83% discount is hard for even the most fiscally-conscious visitor to pass up.

It’s also a low-risk offer for Quick Sprout to make. They not only get revenue from the immediate sale, but they also build goodwill and a higher likelihood of future sales.

Picreel, a CRO software provider, helped one of their customers boost conversions by over 13% by using a coupon exit overlay with a twist:

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In addition to a visible call to action, this savvy advertiser added an element of urgency with a “don’t run out of time” counter.

Visitors must act fast, or pay full price. It creates the kind of mental justification that can nudge cost-aware visitors over the conversion line, turning them into customers.

Not an e-commerce site? Giveaway overlays aren’t just for physical products.

If it’s email subscribers you’re after, a giveaway could be just the ticket.

WPBeginner boosted their sign-up list 600% by offering a free WordPress toolkit.

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One, polite little exit overlay. One repeatable resource giveaway. 600% more subscribers.

Ready to try it out?

First, you need to find the right exit overlay formula for you.

For example, if you’re interested in building your email list, take this example from Invision:

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For the price of one t-shirt (which, coincidentally, is free marketing from whoever wears it), they can collect dozens of email addresses for their subscriber list.

That means dozens more potential customers — all for the price of a t-shirt.

Companies like Wishpond can help you build out a simple contest overlay like this one so you can start collecting the email addresses that are slipping through your lead funnel.

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2. Create an emotional appeal

Let’s face it. It’s hard to make digital connections.

How do you build relationships with a nameless, faceless reader?

First, you need to gain their trust through an emotional connection.

The easiest way to build that bond is by solving a problem for your web visitors.

If they feel like their needs aren’t being met, the shopping process is too complicated, or they aren’t finding what they need right away, they won’t stick around long.

This is when an emotional exit overlay swoops in like a superhero, solving your visitor’s problem (often before they even know they have it).

Look at this example from online handbag retailer meli melo.  

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Omniconvert hypothesized that if meli melo gave visitors a reason to trust them, they would see a lift in conversions.

They ran an experimental exit overlay that addressed common concerns about online purchasing.

It worked.

They saw a 67% increase in add-to-cart value after adding an emotional overlay to proactively address common shopper concerns about return fees and shipping costs and times.

Instant credibility.

On the other side of the emotional aisle, don’t be afraid to evoke a few (harmless) negative emotions to influence visitor behavior.

Set the stage by telling visitors you don’t want them to miss out on a great offer.

Create the problem in their mind.

Once FOMO has taken root, make sure you quickly and easily solve their problem with a well-placed emotional exit overlay, like this one from Cloudways.

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With the addition of a countdown timer and a subtle “Hurry Up,” they create the perceived problem that time is running out.

They not only solve the problem with a clear call-to-action but also add the proverbial icing on the cake in the form of a double-your-money-back guarantee.

It ensures that the end result is happiness and convinces visitors that they are making a choice they can feel good about.

So long, fear and risk. Hello, happiness and blissful satisfaction.

Here’s another example from ConvertFlow of an emotional exit overlay that generated almost 8,000 leads and $50,000 in extra revenue in only two months.

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Again, it has all of the right ingredients to create all of the right negative and positive emotions — fear of missing out, the removal of risk, and the assurance of happiness.

Don’t underestimate the power of suggestion when it comes to emotional exit overlay strategies.

To test what emotional pleas lead to the right visitor behaviors, you may need to experiment with several scenarios.

Wall-Street, an online investment publication, enlisted the help of Omniconvert to test two variations of an emotional exit overlay.

In the first, they play on the fear of missing out on crucial information, but they pair it with a buttoned-up, businesslike image:

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In the second, they used a more lighthearted image and slightly modified the copy:

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While both images won out over the control version, they found that the first variation outperformed the second with an increase in sign-ups of 279%.

What’s the lesson here?

Know your audience.

Investors and financial analysts responded more positively to the “professional” image.  Don’t assume you know what your readers want. Assumptions don’t convert.

Test, adjust and test again.

3. State the obvious

Nearly 70% of shopping carts are abandoned, but it isn’t a hopeless inevitability.

Nothing is worse than a visitor spending a ton of time on your website, adding items to their cart…and then vanishing without a trace.

Try a notification overlay to gently tap your visitor on the shoulder and remind them of the obvious.

“Did you mean to leave this in your cart?”

“Did you forget to check out?”

“We don’t want you to miss out!”

Framed as a polite nudge or question (and often coupled with an incentive), these reminders can create the extra opportunity it takes to hook your visitor back in to complete the transaction.

Notification overlays are the shiny, helpful objects that catch your visitor’s eye:

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63% of potentially lost revenue from abandoned carts is recoverable. It’s yours for the taking.

Take it before someone else does.

Look at this notification overlay from one of Picreel’s e-commerce customers.

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One simple screen with a modest discount, well-placed negative emotion, and one simple click, caused 64% of shoppers clicked on this overlay and converted instead of abandoning their cart.

That’s a lot of recovered revenue.


Companies like Picreel, will walk you through an audit of your existing strategy, help you define your business objectives, and tell you how to get there.

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Still unsure if exit overlays will work for you?

Here are some notification overlay tips you can try right now:

  • Change up your CTA buttons. Are they too subtle? The wrong colors? Make them pop.
  • Experiment with wording. If “there is something in your cart” isn’t getting the results you want, try something bolder. Add an incentive. Throw in some humor. See what resonates with your audience.
  • Don’t forget about mobile. Make sure your notification overlay works on small screens too. Keep in mind that you can’t rely on mouse movements for mobile overlays, so you’ll need to consider other actions like browser switches and “back” arrows. Abandonment rates can reach over 85% on mobile platforms.

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A good rule of thumb?

Browse your website with the eyes of a consumer. Look for tripwires in your exit overlays and remember that whatever doesn’t run smoothly on a desktop will only further annoy visitors using mobile devices.

Be the consummate well-oiled machine on every platform.

4. Know that timing is everything

Understanding when to add an element of time to your exit-intent offer is key, but it’s only half the battle.

We’ve already talked about incorporating a countdown timer or a “don’t let time run out” layer to your exit overlay.

But have you considered the best time for your overlays to appear — regardless of their type?

Well-timed overlays can keep visitors from abandoning your site, but the psychology behind it requires a little bit of research.

Too early and visitors will get annoyed and leave.

On the other hand, if you bring in your overlay too late, visitors will feel lost and ignored.

So how do you strike a balance?

Experiment with time delays.

How do conversion rates respond to a ten-second delay? 15 seconds?

At what point do they start to drop off?  Do some testing to get it right.

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Rather than designing a “one-time-fits-all” overlay, take the time to understand user behavior.

Are they actually signaling exit intent with their mouse movements, or simply looking for more content in your navigation bar?

At what point do you really lose them?

If it’s immediately after your exit-intent form pops up, you’re a bit early to the party. Adjust your timing and test again.

Please don’t make users fight off your exit intent like an annoying fly when all they really want to do is browse your content at their leisure.

It isn’t an exact science, but it’s worth the time and effort to take advantage of the wide variety of A/B testing tools available.

Like this one from Kissmetrics:

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5. Don’t be afraid to cross-sell

Exit overlays are a handy little vehicle for cross-selling and upselling.


If you’ve already done the right research on trigger actions and user behaviors, you’ll have a good sense of what your visitors are looking for and what they’ll look for next.

Save them a step and bring it to them.

An exit overlay is a perfect opportunity to present additional information, discounts or products that will provide more value to your visitor and create another potential conversion for you.

Look at this example from another OptinMonster client:

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Cross-selling and upselling are responsible for up to one-third of e-commerce revenue, yet many sites neglect to proactively place opportunities to capture more of that revenue.

Not sure how to go about it?

Here’s a simple example:

Let’s pretend you sell smartphones.

Your customer browses, compares products, selects a smartphone and adds it to their cart.

Before they click out of the shopping screen and into the checkout screen, (where you may or may not see them again after the sale), you add a simple exit overlay and remind them to purchase a case to protect that shiny new phone.

Something like this pop-up from AT&T, for example:

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Still with me?

You’ve not only upsold the customer, but you’ve proactively suggested a solution for a problem they didn’t even realize they had (leaving their brand new smartphone unprotected).

You brought the answer to them before they even asked the question.

That’s just one example, but it’s an easily repeatable process no matter what products or services you offer.

And if your visitor starts to leave the page without making a purchase, it’s the perfect time to show an exit overlay with the product they were looking at, matched with a complementary product.

Throw in a discount, like this e-commerce site did, and you’ll likely save the original sale and upsell it to boot.

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Get the gist?

The possibilities are virtually endless if you understand the customer journey for your website and use it to your advantage with a smart exit overlay or two.


Consumers are flooded with choices, and it feels impossible sometimes to keep their attention.

With online conversion rates hovering around 1-2%, you simply must find new ways to collect information and to keep engaging with your audience until they eventually buy from you.

It’s a marathon, not a sprint.

Many people who find your website by “accident” have never heard of you and have no reason to purchase from you or subscribe to your newsletter.

All is not lost, however.

While it’s true that businesses have to work harder than ever to keep web traffic engaged, there are plenty of tools available to customize a strategy that drives positive ROI.

No matter what type of overlay you use, remember to create a strong call-to-action, offer something of value, and don’t leave timing to chance.

So if you want to stop wasting valuable web traffic and letting conversions slip through your fingers, start experimenting with exit overlays.

What exit-overlay strategies have you used to boost conversion rates?

The post 5 Exit Overlay Strategies That Actually Work appeared first on Neil Patel.

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It’s ‘Light the Fire’ Week on Copyblogger

We all have those times when we’re sort of coasting … gently floating along, letting things happen the way they will. But that time is not today. 🙂 This week, we’re fired up and ready to help you get (safely, sanely) out of your comfort zone and into some serious progress. On Monday, Stefanie Flaxman
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The post It’s ‘Light the Fire’ Week on Copyblogger appeared first on Copyblogger.

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