Blog Like a Pro Lesson 2: Make Your Blog Matter (to Others)

This is Day 2 in our 7-day Blog Like a Pro (BLP) Challenge. If you missed yesterday’s lesson on knowing what you’re about, start there. Also, check in on Facebook to see what others are doing!

It’s one thing to write. It’s another to connect. Great writers understand implicitly the goal of writing is not just self expression. It’s connection.

matter to others

How do you know you’re doing your job as a writer? How do you know you have an effective blog?

Simple: you know because you’re connecting with readers. You’re getting feedback, people telling you that your work matters — to them.

Getting practical

How do you do this?

You build an email list. Forget what you’ve heard about email marketing and how people say it’s dead. It’s not. Email marketing is very much alive. In fact, email is the most universal way to communicate with most people online.

So how are you asking for people’s email addresses on your website? This is important. If you don’t ask people for permission to continue communicating with them after they’ve left your website, you’re leaving a lot on the table.

What does this take? How do you get people’s email addresses? You need an incentive for people.

Call it a lead magnet or an ethical bribe or whatever you like. I like to think of it as a reward for people’s attention. Whatever name you use, the point is to give people a reason to sign up for your email list and to give you an opportunity to stay in touch with them the next time you have something to say.

But where do you begin? By creating something brand new out of nothing? Not necessarily. The most effective lead magnets tend to come from existing content. So here’s what you should do:

  1. Repurpose an existing piece of content — a popular blog post, your recent manifesto from yesterday’s assignment, or something else — and turn it into a lead magnet. Edit it and then turn it into a short PDF eBook.
  2. Sign up for an email marketing service like Aweber or Mailchimp and set up a new email list to deliver your free lead magnet.
  3. Start collecting email addresses. Use a tool like Sumo (which is free!) to create a pop-up to deliver your free lead magnet. This is way easier than having to embed complicated code on your website. Watch this video to see how to get started.

The goal of this assignment is simple: you’re trying to connect with people. You want feedback so that you can get an idea of how your work is making a difference in people’s lives. We don’t find our voices writing for ourselves. We find our voice when we hear it resonating with others.

You have to put your work out there. And you have to give people an opportunity to respond. That’s what today is about: building an asset that will be the bedrock for how you communicate with your audience from here on out.

make it matter

Assignment: Take yesterday’s manifesto and turn it into a lead magnet. Once you have that set up (if you already have one, use this as an opportunity to create something new), share it here. The person who collects the most emails by 7:00 a.m. CT, Mar. 16 will win a free copy of Bryan Harris’s Get 10,000 Subscribers course.

Do you have a lead magnet? Share the link in the comments of this post (then update us again tomorrow with the number of new subscribers you got through this assignment). I’ll announce the winner in tomorrow’s challenge.