Do you know how to leverage the value of your blog? It’s true that popularity is great for your content because it shows people are interested in your brand and shared content increases your visibility. However, it’s important that your blog transcends popularity and actually contributes to your overall goal – profitability.
While it stands to reason that if your content is popular it is more likely to be profitable, there are things you can do to focus specifically on profitability to make sure your content is offering all it possibly can to your business and your readers.
(Note: While ecommerce brands are the easiest for connecting content to sales, other companies can benefit from this profitability process. If you can’t determine final sales impact, identify the most valuable currency you can connect, e.g., subscriptions, time on site, requests for information.)
1. Make most profitable content more visible on your site.
Keep in mind that you can’t make all your content more popular or more visible. You need to make content more popular that’s already more profitable. In this step, you aren’t actually changing your content, but taking already profitable content and giving it a better display space. Use your Google Analytics data to see which blog posts drive the most conversions and then add that content to other locales on your site. You can do this in several different ways:
- Add an extra tab, button, or headline somewhere on your website to that particular topic or piece of content. BuzzFeed added a “Best of 2014” circular badge to the top of its website. By curating all of its popular content available into a single tab, it drives even more clicks to the originally successful content.
- Link the profitable content on your home page. Entrepreneur magazine does a variation of this as it shows the headlines for its most shared content at the top of its home page. Readers can easily find what’s popular and click to read it, making the content even more popular. Entrepreneur has enough content to highlight several daily links, but even if you want to highlight and link to the same article for a few days or weeks, the concept works the same.
- Find your most profitable pages. If you create a great piece of content, but your blog home isn’t well visited, post the blog content to a more profitable page and link to it from your blog. Or you can keep the content on your blog and post its headline with a link on a more profitable page.
You can learn more about this tactic here. This example shows how Unbounce put content headlines on its profitable “Landing Page Examples” web page that directs clicks back to its blog.
- Consider buying PPC ads. While few brands link their ads to content pages, it’s still a viable option.
2. Test different layouts and structures of your pages.
Sometimes the content isn’t the profitability issue, but the structure of the page is. Many companies implement A/B testing for their home pages or category pages, and completely forget that it also makes a difference when it comes to your blog. Test different layouts, headlines, colors, visuals, graphics, placement of links, and buttons on your blog page to see what yields the most profit. Try a tool like Unbounce to get started. This example illustrates Unbounce A/B testing results for a blog from California Closets. According to Unbounce, version A increased leads by 115% because it tied in better with the PPC ad that brought people to the page.
Make A/B testing a part of your culture. Keep a log so you can easily see the different layouts tested and the data that went with each. Once you know what works best, use that same structure for all content on your blog.
3. Internal linking is crucial.
This may sound obvious, but believe it or not many companies – even ecommerce businesses – tend to only use internal links that point to product or category pages. However, linking from one blog post to another can help your content feed off each piece’s success.
My colleague Scott Langdon, Managing Partner of HigherVisibility, says, “See which articles are getting popular and then link to those articles within your other blog posts. If you can link to posts that are profitable, that’s even better.”
4. Give paying subscribers something extra.
You should offer a subscription to your blog to identify loyal and avid readers. You can take that to the next level and add a fee-based subscription option. Ultimately, you shouldn’t ask people to pay for something that was free, so this gives those readers something special – access to a private interview series, an exclusive newsletter, special event, webinar, a new line of content, etc.
5. Occasionally, publish content that discusses your services.
This one almost didn’t make the list because it’s a fine line to walk, but in certain situations it could work well. A big way to help your content be more profitable is to write about something that makes you money – a product or service. Be sure that you write in a way that is educational and not too sales-oriented.
For example, let’s go to Birchbox, a subscription-based monthly product delivery company. It creates product-focused videos for each box it sells. This screenshot shows how Birchbox incorporates the video into its site: The video reflects a new way to shop for its products and the accompanying text explains what it all means. Birchbox doesn’t do this often, but it works.
It’s incredibly important to remember that you should not create content that sacrifices the value for your readers because your readers ultimately are the buyers who make the content profitable. Whatever profit-oriented steps you take with your content, be sure to keep it relevant, engaging, and essentially just as or even more popular.
Do you have any tips for making content profitable for a blog? Let us know your story and your thoughts in the comment section.
Want to learn more about how to improve your content’s ROI? Check out the 2014 CMWorld sessions available through our Video on Demand portal and make plans today to attend Content Marketing World 2015.
Cover image by kconnors, morgueFile, via pixabay.com