4 Simple Ways to Get More
High-Paying Clients with Your Blog

image of golden egg

How many new high-paying clients do you get for every hour you spend blogging?

What’s that? You have no idea?

We need to talk.

Building a client-based business isn’t easy. But if you’re spending hours every week on an activity that’s not generating qualified leads, you’re making it harder than it has to be. You’re keeping yourself from making money by wasting the most valuable resource you have: your time.

Wouldn’t you rather spend your time as efficiently as possible, so you can have that “life” you thought you were going to have when you went into business for yourself?

Of course you would. Here’s how.

Strategy #1: Solve one problem per post

High-paying clients tend to be busy. They’re willing to pay more to get things done because (1) they don’t have time to do everything themselves; and/or (2) their time is worth a lot to them.

Which means that they aren’t just browsing around the Internet, looking for interesting blog posts to peruse. If they’ve made it to your blog, they’re probably looking for something specific.

Give them what they’re looking for, and make it easy for them to find.

If you solve one — and only one — problem per post, your readers will be able to do a quick search, find the relevant post, and find the answer they needed in the first place. You want to be the person they turn to when they need something, so when they need something bigger than a blog post, your name is the first to come to mind.

When your prospects think of you, you want words like these to pop into their minds:

  • Quick
  • Smart
  • Helpful
  • Knowledgeable
  • To the point

Most of all, you want your prospects to see how highly you value their time. Treat their time like the precious resource they believe it to be, and you’ll become a precious resource to them.

Strategy #2: Speak your clients’ language

Your ideal clients don’t know as much as you do about your area of expertise. That’s why they need you.

If you’re talking about their needs in technical terms, instead of in the terms your clients actually use, you’re missing an opportunity to connect with the people who need you.

Say your ideal clients are local businesses who want to use the Internet to expand their client base. How do they describe their needs?

  • “I need to learn how to install WordPress.”
  • “I need to get a web designer, an SEO expert, and a social media consultant.”
  • “I need to figure out this whole Internet thing.”

It could be any of these, of course. The trick is to figure out how your ideal clients actually speak, so you can relate to them on their terms.

Strategy #3: Tell your readers what to do next (and make it easy)

Your ideal client shows up at your blog. She reads your post, loves your work, just generally thinks you’re awesome.

Now what?

Are you telling your reader what to do next, or are you just letting her wander around your blog, looking at all the things she might do:

  1. Go to your “Contact” page, fill out the form, and wait for you to call her back.
  2. Sign up for your e-mail list.
  3. Go to your “Services” page, find the relevant service, and pay for it using a Paypal button you conveniently placed at the bottom.
  4. Call the phone number on your “Contact” page.
  5. Set up a free consultation.
  6. Download a free resource.
  7. Check out your “links you love” page.
  8. Read other posts on your blog.
  9. Leave a comment on your blog.
  10. Subscribe to your RSS feed.
  11. Sign up for your free webinar.
  12. Etc.

How much time do you think your prospect will spend trying to figure this out?

Probably about as much time as you spent reading that list (not much).

Instead of letting them stumble around, become your prospects’ guide. At the end of every post, tell your reader exactly what to do next. Make it a simple, low-risk task that requires next to no thought. For example:

Click here and enter your e-mail to learn more about how [your great service] can help you with [their pressing problem].

Then follow up with some useful information about your services and an invitation to talk by phone for a few minutes. Keep it simple.

Strategy #4: Stop writing about yourself (or stop blogging)

Your business blog shouldn’t be about you. It should be about your clients.

That doesn’t mean you can never write about yourself — only that you should write about yourself in a way that’s relevant to your prospects.

Telling a personal story that helps potential clients understand your commitment to quality? Good.

Telling a personal story that helps potential clients understand how big a crush you have on the hot new boy at Starbucks but your roommate thinks he’s really not that cute but your mom wants to know whether or not he’s Armenian or just looks Armenian but how can you ask that without sounding like a total weirdo and by the way you’re thinking of switching to decaf?

Not so good.

Sharing some details of your personal life can help potential clients know, like and trust you. And that can be useful.

But oversharing is not interesting to your clients. (It’s not interesting to your friends either, but that’s a post for another blog.)

The thing that interests your prospective clients is how you can help them, and what you would be like to work with. Give them what they want.

If you can’t give potential clients what they want, stop blogging.

Yes, this is a radical solution to propose on a website called Copyblogger. But the truth is, if you’re spending several hours every week on a blog that doesn’t interest your potential clients, you’re not marketing. You’re either wasting your time, or writing what should be a personal blog.

And one more thing …

If you’re spending a lot of time wracking your brain trying to figure out what to write about, you should probably be blogging less and talking with your prospects more.

Seriously. Just talk to them.

Offer a free consultation, spend some time helping them with their current issue, and then ask a few questions. See what comes up.

Talking (and listening) to people in your target market is the best way to generate ideas for your blog, because it’s the best way to find out your prospects’ problems, concerns, and the language they use to talk about those things.

Wondering how your blog stacks up?

If you’d like your blog to generate more leads for your business (or higher quality leads), leave a comment below with your URL and whatever questions you’d like us to answer.

Traci and Rudy will provide in-depth feedback for 3 of the blogs listed in the comments, and will respond to as many people as we can for those who comment within the next 24 hours.

We may not get to everyone, but we’ll respond to as many people as we can.

About the Authors: Traci Feit Love and Rudy Nelson are the co-authors of “The Top 7 Reasons High-Paying Clients Aren’t Choosing You (and What to Do About It),” a 50-page downloadable book you can currently get for free at The 180 Journey

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Reader Comments (226)

  1. says

    This is excellent marketing advice – simple and to the point. All four points apply not only to blogging, but marketing in general.
    Randy

  2. says

    This is a really good article, but I guess I wonder if high-paying clients can really come from the blog alone?

    My blog has been instrumental in helping me bring in all of my largest clients, but it has only been one piece of the puzzle. I have had to actually meet and talk to my potential clients at conferences or through sales calls.

    I work with large law firms and teach them how their attorneys can bring in business through blogging and social, but I tell them that the blog alone isn’t enough. If I could get them and myself more high-paying clients through blogs alone, that would be great.

    I would welcome your ideas on how my blog could be improved, http://adriandayton.com is my site and the blog is http://adriandayton.com/blog

    Thanks for a good article.

    • says

      Hi Adrian,

      To answer your initial question – no, I don’t think the blog alone is enough for most businesses. It’s just one tool in your marketing toolbox. There are ways to improve one’s blog so that it does a better job of bringing in clients, but that doesn’t mean other types of marketing should be dropped or ignored.

      I took a look at your site and would like to offer you some detailed feedback (1 of the 3 detailed assessments we offered in our post). I’ll post here again when it’s ready (later today).

      Traci

      • says

        I look forward to it.

        Great job on the post by the way. Talk about a great hook, offering free advice on people’s blogs. The results to this post, in terms of comments alone, demonstrate that you know what your doing.

        • says

          Hi Adrian,

          Due to the volume of comments today, we won’t have your detailed feedback until tomorrow. I apologize for the delay and will post here again as soon as it’s ready for you.

          Traci

          • says

            You guys have been slammed, comments coming all through the night. Should keep you guys busy for a while.

            Thanks offering this level of detailed feedback, I really appreciate it!

        • says

          Hi Adrian,

          It’s ready. It’s pretty long, so I will add it as a new comment thread. I would love to hear your thoughts or questions.

          Keep in mind this is an assessment done without a lot of the information we would normally gather about you and your business. So if you feel something isn’t right or doesn’t apply to you, please feel free to disregard it.

          Traci

  3. says

    Hi Tracy & Rudy, Thanks for your post! While I predominantly help clients with social media strategy and community management, this flows over to blogs too. I help a client post current news & topics *we think* is helpful to her audience. I repurpose content, which I know a lot of people do, but I always feel I’m cheating the readers w/o providing original content. Can you offer advice on how I can keep the blog fresh, interesting, helpful & relevant. The blog’s audience is upper high worth Westside Los Angeles residents & individuals coming to the area to purchase luxury real estate. Thanks!

    • says

      Hi Lisa,

      I think you’re right to be concerned about repurposing content – mainly because (from what I saw) it doesn’t look like stuff I would want to read about if I were shopping for a luxury home or looking for a broker in L.A.

      I would suggest speaking with 5 – 10 people who recently listed or purchased homes through your client. Ask them: what kinds of information were you looking for when you started the process of buying/selling your home? what kinds of information were you looking for when you were deciding on a broker?

      My guess is that prospective buyers would be interested in information about neighborhoods (for example) and that prospective sellers would want to know how much your client’s recent listings sold for.

      But don’t go with my guess. Talk to your prospects and clients and find out what would draw them to your blog. Then go from there.

      Traci

  4. says

    I couldn’t agree with your last piece of advice more. Many of my clients have the most difficulty figuring out what to write about. I often tell them to talk to clients, but I’ve never emphasized the benefit of speaking with prospects. I get some of my best ideas for blogging and for tweaking my business from conversations with prospects, so thanks for reminding me to pass this practice along as advice for my clients.

    • says

      Thanks, Monica. Speaking with prospects is an idea that scares a lot of business owners, but it’s critically important (not only for blogging, but also for developing products and services that people actually want). One thing that might help is to do a “mock” conversation with your clients (you assume the role of a prospect) before asking them to meet with a real prospect.

  5. says

    Thank you. I know brand new blogs begin with zero subscribers and can turn into many…I’m currently at zero (well, three if you include me, myself and I with three different emails to test things). I also know the importance of guest posting and such. So far, nothing has gotten me the handful of subscribers I hope and pray for. I would love feedback! I welcome it with arms wide open!!! PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE

    http://mainstreammom.com

    I’m working with a designer now & will be getting a new header, a free workbook I’ve written in the sidebar and potentially PopUP Domination added this week!

    Your thoughts? =)
    Andrea

    • says

      Hi Andrea,

      What are you (or what will you be) selling? consulting? information products? Also, what have you done so far to drive traffic to your site?

      Let me know and I’ll try to provide you with some feedback about your site.

      Traci

      • says

        Hi Traci,

        I will be selling a book (unsure if it will be an e-book or an official publishing). …maybe eventually small courses w/ actionables =) Topics including budgeting, teaching kids about money, couponing, ways to save money, ways to get out of debt and stay out…

        To drive traffic, I’ve only been doing guest posts on other popular blogs… Unsure what else to do at this point. My goal is to do 2-3 guest posts per week.

        Thanks!
        Andrea

        • says

          Hi Andrea,

          Given your goals, I think the new subscription box w/free workbook is the #1 thing to focus on, conversion-wise. As far as traffic, guest posting is great, but also consider partnering with mom bloggers who cover different topics than you do. If you have the same audience but different topics, you could expand the pie for all of you by promoting one another’s blogs.

  6. says

    Hi Tracy & Rudy, Thanks for your post! Great article. While I predominantly help clients with social media strategy and community management, this flows over to blogs too. I help a client post current news & topics *we think* is helpful to her audience. I repurpose content, which I know a lot of people do, but I always feel I’m cheating the readers w/o providing original content. Can you offer advice on how I can keep the blog fresh, interesting, helpful & relevant. The blog’s audience is upper high worth Westside Los Angeles residents & individuals coming to the area to purchase luxury real estate. Thanks!

  7. says

    I find that #4 is incredibly crucial, but just avoiding blogging about yourself may not be enough. I’ve noticed a pattern among freelancers in particular — the tendency is to blog about freelancing (whether you design or write), rather than about your clients’ problems.

    But the only people who read blogs about freelancing are other freelancers, meaning that by writing too specifically about what you do does nothing but drive away your target audience.

    • says

      You are 100% right. I’ve seen a lot of freelancers make this mistake. Unless they are selling stuff to other freelancers (or they’re just blogging for fun), a blog about freelancing is not a good idea.

      Even worse: I’ve seen freelancers complain about clients on their blogs. This is called the “I don’t actually want any clients” strategy :)

      • says

        This is my current problem. There is no shortage of blogs for & about freelancing.

        I am taking a step back from my blog until I can change its content to appeal to my potential clients.

        • says

          Sounds like a good idea, Clara. You might want to start by speaking with a few of your best clients (or prospects) to see what kinds of issues/problems they are facing. That will give you a better frame of reference as you develop the new blog.

  8. says

    Great post.

    I am a consulting acoustical engineer specializing in building acoustics. My clients are building developers/owners/operators and architects. I would like my blog to generate leads and establish my reputation in this field. Those seem to be mutually supporting objectives.

    How do I include a consistent call to action without appearing desperate or pushy?

    My URL: michaelschwob.com

    Thanks,
    Michael

    • says

      @Micheal hey here are some ideas

      Offer FREE 1 hour consultations to them and show them how to solve a problem or two. Also mention there your services. They will buy based on your repertoire with them live.

      Also use something like aweber to generate an email signup to attract them with an ebook or free set of videos for them to watch on your ideas.

    • says

      Michael,

      What is the first step a new prospect generally takes when they are considering hiring you? A phone call? A meeting?

      You generally just want to invite the reader to take the first step (i.e., “To learn more about working with me, please e-mail me at _______”)

      For your market, I would probably avoid the “free ebook” approach, but I agree with Darren that it makes sense to generate a form where prospects can give you their e-mail address. Consider a “white paper” describing what building developers/architects/etc. should be thinking about with respect to acoustics. Include a few case studies if possible.

      It’s important not only to establish yourself as an expert, but also to make sure your prospects understand WHY they need an acoustics expert in the first place. A white paper could help with that.

      Good luck!
      Traci

    • says

      Hi Susan,

      Do the women who find your blog know that they’re looking for “bonded hair replacement”? How would they describe their problem?

      I’m not familiar with your topic so it’s hard for me to say, but it looks like you might want to talk a little bit more about the connection between “bonded hair replacement” and the ultimate benefits to your buyer (beautiful, shiny, natural-looking hair).

      I would also suggest giving away something other than “tips & tricks” to subscribers – something that will make visitors think, “I need to have that RIGHT NOW.”

      • says

        Thanks Traci–
        Yes, women with hair thinning and pattern hair loss have already tried other forms of hair replacement so they usually are looking for bonded hair replacement. It’s geared to women who already are looking into bonded hair replacement and pretty much know what it is. The blog is supplemental to my program so the information about hair loss and thinning is all over the rest of my website (home, about, services). Benefits are also listed on home and very prominently on the /program page where I sell my training program.

        I agree about the giveaway, I have content for the free dowload and an ebook–just haven’t gotten to put it together yet. The tips and tricks thing is just temporary.

        Thanks for taking the time to look :)

  9. says

    Bookmarked this post. Incredibly helpful. I’m just starting my blog – not quite ready to have it analyzed and have a lot of work to do. At least I’m already (not?) doing #4, only 3 to go!

  10. says

    Hi Traci,

    This is great information. What about companies who are targeting larger businesses? Has it been your experience that these mid-size companies spend much time looking for solutions online, or do they rely primarily on referrals or conferences to meet vendors for solutions? I’m curious as to whether my blog should focus on topical posts primarily for SEO benefit or whether I should try, with each post, to solve a problem as you’re describing, and in doing so, accomplish both.

    That blog is brand new so any feedback is appreciated!

    Cheers,
    Tia
    WebbedInkInc.com

    • says

      Hi Tia,

      My biggest clients have come from referrals, not search engines. So my question to you is: when someone refers a big company to your site, what do you want that referral to see when they arrive?

      I think you’d want them to see something that enhances your image as an expert, and the “problem-solving” approach is a great way to do that.

      Think about the journey your referral is going through:

      1. Friend refers prospect to you.
      2. Prospect visits your website.
      3. Prospect forms an opinion about you based on the website & the referral.
      4. Prospect contacts you.
      Etc.

      At each stage of the journey, you want to be delivering value (i.e., useful information, advice, or products) in order to maximize the chances of the prospect moving to the next stage.

      For that reason, I would advise you not to do anything “primarily for SEO benefit,” but instead to focus on delivering value and building trust with your audience.

      Traci

  11. says

    Hi: Loved reading this post. I don’t think the blog is enough as Adrian said, would love your comments on my website and blog. Website is peggybraswelldesign.com accordingtobraswell.blogspot.com

    • says

      Hi Peggy,

      My first piece of advice to you would be to make your blog consistent with the look and feel of your site.

      Your main site is beautiful and sophisticated with a lot of white space. Your blog feels totally different & disconnected from the site.

      If you were our client we would probably advise you to discontinue the blog (as a marketing tool) temporarily, so we could spend some time learning more about your ideal clients and building something that would speak directly to them.

      Obviously, this is just a quick assessment and we would need a lot more information about you and your business in order to be 100% sure that this is the right approach.

      Traci

  12. says

    Hi Traci
    Good points! I have 2 blogs, each for a different business. The traffic for the one is there because I’ve pushed it through article directories while the other is much newer. The latter needs a push in terms of exposure which I haven’t paid much attention to yet. (What am I waiting for? More hours in the day.) It’s been interesting for me to note that blogging cannot exist on its own. Your point about sending one message makes perfect sense. I’ve deleted countless emails, even, that are just too “busy”.
    I’d love to get some constructive feedback on my sites:
    http://triquetraconsulting.wordpress.com
    http://claudinebasson.co.za
    I enjoyed reading your focused post! Thank you.

    • says

      Hi Claudine,

      The number of comments here means I can only offer feedback on one of your sites, so I chose this one: http://triquetraconsulting.wordpress.com/.

      Here are 4 things I would suggest you do first:

      1. Switch to a cleaner, more minimalist design. Your blog posts are getting lost in the clutter.

      2. Get off of WordPress.com if at all possible. If self-hosting with WordPress.org feels too difficult, try Squarespace. It’s easy and looks more professional, especially if you use your own custom domain name.

      3. Add a “Services” page with descriptions of your offerings.

      4. Add an e-mail subscription box and invite readers to subscribe at the end of your posts.

  13. says

    Great post as always and chocked full of great ideas. I’ve had my blog up for over a year and trying to figure out how to make a more enticing read for visitors. I ping it out, bookmark it through onlywire and several other places, but no visitors.
    Any suggestions?

    • says

      Hi Dan,

      A few quick suggestions:

      1. Work on your headlines. Copyblogger has a great resource called “Headline Writing Tips” – start there.

      2. Look for ways to make your blog seem less like you’re trying to GET something from visitors (money, e-mail, whatever) and more like you’re GIVING valuable information. Maybe fewer explanation points. Try to make it look more editorial and less like an add.

      3. Invest in a professional design. Especially when you’re advertising that you can help people market like the “7 Figure Earners” do, you’ve got to present an image that’s consistent with that. The average reader might be wondering, “if he’s making 7 figures, why couldn’t he spend a little money on his website”?

  14. says

    Hi Traci and Rudy,

    A friend told me about coppyblogger over a month ago, I read a lot in it and learned even more, and every blog that I read I find that I can learn even more, and improve my blog.

    I started my blog earlier the previous month, and reading your post I already found few changes that I would like to do to improve, and I would like to THANK YOU for it, it’s an enlightening blog with a lot of good information that helped me to get better understanding how to focus my effort and get results.

    As a beginner I will appreciate any feedback that I can get to my site : http://www.realtor-planb.com

    Thanks for your help and the ideas.
    Itai Weiss

    • says

      Hi Itai,

      I like your topic – it seems very timely and I could imagine a lot of realtors being interested in ways to supplement their income.

      My suggestions for you are:

      1. Consider making your posts a little more “how-to.” Right now you’re writing about stuff realtors already know – it’s tough to get by on commissions right now. Tell them something they don’t know and give them something they can do about it.

      2. Put your e-mail subscription box on the front page and give away something valuable so people will subscribe. Maybe a free report on the Top 10 Ways Realtors Can Supplement Their Income (or something like that).

      Good luck!
      Traci

  15. says

    This was awesome. The first point is a good reminder as I am also an academic and tend to put in many ideas into one post and which is ok if they are all leading to one solution.

    I use my Blog to bring attention to mindfulness in marketing and social media and which is what I do in my consulting and workshops as well. So the blog works with my other services to build my brand purpose and identity. I would love your feedback on my Blog: http://iam-bc.com/blog

    Thank your for sharing your knowledge and time!

    • says

      Hi Shalini,

      A few quick ideas/thoughts for you:

      1. You should probably add a subscription box to the top of your right sidebar (where people will look for it) so you can begin collecting e-mails. Give away something valuable to get people to sign up.

      2. Consider re-designing the blog to make it a little less busy. You want your titles to draw attention and you want your content to be very easy to read.

      3. Consider writing each post around a specific problem or issue your ideal clients are facing. Check out Copyblogger’s “Headline Writing Tips” (under “Resources” in the left sidebar) to make sure your headlines are going to draw people in.

      Hope this helps!
      Traci

  16. says

    This awesome article comes at the perfect time. Just over the weekend I have been concentrating on how to attract more clients. Ours is a service business where we blog for clients and the busy executive is exactly who we want to attract.

    I am going to write some targeted posts using these techniques and am also going to go back over some of our recent posts to make sure they address the client’s needs and not ours.

    Thanks for the great article. Am now downloading your ebook, “The Top 7 Reasons High-Paying Clients Aren’t Choosing You (and What to Do About It).”

  17. says

    Great post.
    I just started a new blog about painting and art marketing, or separated it out from my old blog, veterinary patients.

    I would like to do an online class over about 6 weeks for those who can’t travel to a 5 day painting workshop. Using video, photos, and an online meeting space like Webex.

    The problem I am not sure about how to show people the value of the class so they can decide if they want to sign up. I am thinking I should probably give away free content on youtube for awhile before setting up a paid course. And will people pay for a class if they can see some of the content free on youtube?

    • says

      Hi Andy,

      You might want to check out udemy.com (nope, I’m not an affiliate or owner – just think it might be a good resource for you). You could do a couple of lessons for free to help prospects experience the benefits of your course, then invite them to sign up for the full course (which would be paid).

      People will pay for the class if they believe that it’s worth it, regardless of whatever free content you offer. Just make sure the value your full course delivers justifies the price, and make sure you’re not giving away material that will be part of the paid course.

  18. says

    Too few. Way too few,
    That is how many high-paying clients I get for every hour blogging.

    Question: should all your blog posts be aimed at the target group with the same specific need and interest or can you dedicate some posts to one group and some to another?

    I love simple investing and understanding the economy. Many of my readers are interested in simple investing. Others in understanding more of the economy. Shall I just focus on the main topic “simple investing” or can Ikeep mizing them?

    My site: http://www.StockTrendInvesting.com

    • says

      Hi Van,

      I think the answer to your question lies in the answer to this question:

      Who are your ideal clients – What group of people will most highly value the services you have to offer and will have the money to pay you for those services?

      Figure that out and then aim everything at that group. Focus is key here.

  19. says

    Excellent advice — especially on spending time talking to clients rather than just blogging for blogging sake.

    Most of my clients come from personal relationships — the blog is just a way to reinforce what they think they already know about me.

    I will RT this posting… thanks, Olin

    • says

      Hey Greg just looked at your site a few things

      1. your email signup is BELOW the fold. The fold is the space you see immediately when you go to any site. anything BELOW the fold is the stuff you see when you “scroll” down.

      In your case move your about author to a separate page in the menu area. They move the email signup to the top.

      2. Your email has to excite people to signup even if they can see it in the fold. Body building keywords are RESULTS and FAST or QUICK. Like “6 steps to hot abs women will love” or “Quick Results in 7 days or less” w a pic of a body builder with abs.

      So get your signup ABOVE the fold, and add some hot keywords to it. you will get more results.

    • says

      I agree with Darren’s suggestions. I would also suggest thinning your header image a bit so it doesn’t take up so much of the page.

      But these suggestions will only improve conversion. You will also need to focus on increasing the number of visitors to your site, whether through social media, guest posting, advertising, or other methods.

  20. says

    Thanks for the great post. I have trouble sometimes knowing what problems my site visitors are having trouble with. I do software development and don’t always know what my clients are looking to solve until I’ve talked to them on the phone.

    Any advice would be helpful.
    http://redbitbluebit.com/

    • says

      Hi John,

      Consider making a phone consultation the “next step” you want readers to take, and add a strong call to action to your site encouraging readers to set up that phone call.

      The sooner you can understand a prospect’s problem, the better your chances of becoming the person to solve it.

      One caveat: give yourself a way to pre-qualify the person before agreeing to the phone call. Maybe send a 3 question e-mail before the call that allows you to gauge whether you are a good fit for that person’s needs.

  21. says

    I love this – give them what they want or stop blogging. It is so true.

    You are right about the best source of blog posts being our customers. I get the best responses to posts when I recycle information I used to answer a real customer’s question into a blog post. Because it is information real people care about.

    • says

      Answering real customers’ questions in blog posts in a GREAT strategy. If you’re taking the time to answer a question anyway, you might as well share it with other potential buyers.

  22. says

    Thank you so much for the wonderful post! I needed this advice at a crucial time, when I’m thinking how do I attract good clients. I agree with all your points. I have to write my posts with their needs in mind.
    This is so brief and to the point.
    Thank you so much !

    • says

      You’re right – you have to identify what you want readers to DO and then encourage them to do it. I would move your e-mail subscription box to the right-hand side, give away a free report to encourage sign-ups, and then ask for sign-ups at the end of each post.

      That would be a good place to start.

  23. says

    Very valuable information. I’ve noticed how readers respond to be directed or asked a question so I’m going to take your advice regarding directing potential clients on what to do. You just gave me an idea. Thanks for a great, thought-provoking post.

  24. says

    Excellent post!

    Giving quality information and problem solving are what blogs are all about in my opinion, as well as been a part of attraction marketing, …attracting new clients that is! :-)

    Jerry

    • says

      Hi Russ,

      The #1 thing I would suggest for you is to move your “FREE Bankruptcy Guide” offer much higher up on the page. Seems like something that would really appeal to people, and there is a sense of urgency about it (Before you file…)

  25. says

    Thanks for a great article!

    I recently created 2 new eBooks and they are displayed on the left sidebar of my blog, but I’d love to learn how to “drive” more sales – with the hope that these customers will also become interested in my higher-end programs. Any suggestions are always appreciated! Here’s my url, if you want to check it out:

    http://www.midwifeforyourlife.com/

    • says

      Hi Stacey,

      What is the end result your ideal client is looking for? What is the tangible representation of that result for your client?

      I think you will get more sales & more interest if you can figure out what that result is and focus relentlessly on that.

    • says

      Hi Leon,

      What’s the goal of your blog? To get people to sign up as members? To attract high-paying clients?

      We would need to know more about your goals in order to provide meaningful feedback for your site.

    • says

      Hi Sanjay,

      On your “Special Offers” page, you have a box titled “New Patients.” You ask for an e-mail address in exchange for a 15% discount. Move that box to your homepage and/or the homepage of your blog – upper right hand sidebar – and remind visitors about the offer at the end of each post.

      Good luck!
      Traci

  26. says

    Great strategies! I try to implement them all. My visitors start looking at homes on my web site (and many others) long before they buy. Sometimes it can be a couple years. The information most visitors want is on homes in the Austin area. And that’s easy to find with a search.

    What can I do to provide something of value that is different? Something that when they find my web site by searching for homes, they see it and go AHHHH…I’m finding homes that I want to see online AND this is really cool too. I’m going to stick around and contact this guy for help.

    Simply put…how do I get more leads?

    • says

      Hi Todd,

      If people are visiting your site long before they’re ready to buy, your goal should be to get their e-mail address while you have their attention. That way you can keep in touch with them, and you’ll be top of mind when they’re looking for a realtor.

      You will need a valuable “free thing” to give away. For that, I would consider speaking with 5 – 10 of your best clients and find out what they were looking for when they went house hunting online.

  27. says

    Great advice, Traci & Rudy. It’s been hard finding the right notes to hit with our business blog. One of the things we’ve been trying to do is use our blog to bring more exposure to our artists. That’s great for our existing members, but it isn’t necessarily making our blog a must-read or helping to bring in new customers. Suggestions would be greatly welcome!

    We blog here: http://blog.ebsqart.com

    Cheers!
    -Amie Gillingham, EBSQ

    • says

      Hi Amie,

      Is the goal to get more people to come to your exhibitions? If so, it looks like you have 4 exhibitions per month. So each week, one blog post could feature several pieces of art that will be shown at the following week’s exhibition, along with a strong call to action: “Click here to RSVP for next week’s exhibition.”

      Just an idea.

      • says

        I’m actually very glad you said what you did because it makes it obvious that we’re not hitting the points we need to make. We do indeed do 4-monthly exhibits, but they’re purely online and our goal as a membership site is to recruit new artists, with the ability to enter exhibits being one of the perks of paid membership.

        Looks like we have a lot of work to do! Thank you for the fresh perspective. Sometimes what we as creators think is obvious really isn’t, is it?

        • says

          Ah, I see. In that case I would suggest making it very clear who your audience is and what you want them to do. Then I would dedicate the blog posts to stories of artists who joined your site and sold their work as a result.

  28. says

    Are people on our list consider as one of our potential high-paying customers?

    If they are not so responsive to the activities that we are offering, does that mean we don’t speak their language?

    If so, how could we make them be more responsive and so we could speak their language?

    I always believe that when people sign up to your list, people are in fact interested to find out how they could learn from you. But the key here is, how to turn them into high-paying customers.

    • says

      Hi Yin Li,

      It may be that the activities you are using to build your list are attracting the wrong people.

      Go back to basics: who are the clients who will most highly value the services you have to offer? what would get THEM to join your list?

  29. says

    Your advice in the first point is great but I’d have to disagree slightly about the time factor. If you can suck a reader in and keep them hooked, they’ll keep reading, even if your post is longer than the 400 words I’ve seen cited as the perfect post length.

    I use everyday stories, sprinkle them with magic and use them do draw out what ever point I’m making. Story telling is not as direct as your direct problem solving post but, in my niche, is a great way to build trust and interest in the services available.

    My biggest area of work right now is establishing where my ideal clients hang out so I can woo them with my magic words. I also really appreciated your point about helping clients know what the very next action is so thank you for that too. :)

  30. says

    4 great ideas… but the last one is one of the most critical aspects of marketing, one which many overlook… and I’d bet that most readers of this post will be scanning by the time they get to it, and really miss the value of this insight.

    The focus of all marketing, including blog posting, always needs to be the need of the prospect, not the expertise of the marketer/blogger!

    • says

      Hi Alex,

      You are totally right. The reason our website (and online course) is called the “180 Journey” is because we believe businesses have to shift their perspective 180 degrees – evaluating their products, services, and marketing tactics from their customers’ point of view (instead of their own).

      Thanks for the great comment.

      Traci

  31. says

    I swear I never fail to find great info here. Thanks! I am in that “limbo-land” for bloggers right now. My blog is 3 months old. I have some content (that I’m proud of) and I think I have found my “voice”. I am on Twitter, FB, etc but am still struggling to find subscribers. I would be so grateful for your thoughts. http://www.anentertaininglife.com

    • says

      Hi Ana,

      You need to add a really powerful reason for people to subscribe. Maybe a new recipe e-mailed to subscribers every week? A free “party planning” guide they can download immediately?

  32. says

    I just put my website onto a WordPress platform. I’m learning how to blog but your article has focused it for me. What’s in it for me? is the question people are asking. I’d better have the best answer!

    • says

      Hi Renee,

      I think you may just need to subtract a few colors from your page so that the subscription box really stands out. The reader’s eye is being drawn to a lot of different places on your homepage.

  33. says

    Hi there,

    Thanks for these really useful and insightful comments. I’ve been blogging for a few months now (http://www.thinkingthin.co.uk/blog) and feel as if I’m talking to myself :-(. I do feel that I’m providing good content but sense that I’m operating in such a competitive arena, no-one can find me.

    Any help greatly appreciated!

    • says

      Hi Theresa,

      You’re right – you’re operating in a very competitive niche, so you have to figure out a way to stand out.

      What’s your angle? What differentiates you from everyone else talking about weight loss? Once you figure that out, consider guest blogging on popular health/fitness blogs with a STRONG focus on whatever your angle is.

  34. says

    I enjoyed reading this post. I haven’t been blogging long, and I think I’m doing much of what you suggested. I just posted an entry which included similar information to what you’ve included in this one. By the way, after I post each blog entry, I distribute the link to a few of the groups I interact with on LinkedIn. It drives traffic to my site.

    I would love for you to take a look at my blog and give me any feedback for improvements. I know there’s always room for growth and learning.

    http://freelanceassistance.wordpress.com

    • says

      Hi Ophelia,

      One quick thing for you to try is to narrow the width of your content area. It will be easier for people to read.

      I would also make your e-mail subscription box more prominent.

  35. says

    I would like to get feedback on my blog. You can find it at

    emotionallifecoaching.com/personal-growth/fear-a-powerful-emotion/

    Thanks so much

    • says

      Hi Vera,

      Start with your headlines. For example:

      Current headline: “Fear…A Powerful Emotion”
      Possible replacement: “How to Stop Fear From Ruining Your Life”

      Current headline: “How to Change Your Paradigm”
      Possible replacement: “Change One Thing to Create the Future You Want”

  36. says

    What a great offer, thanks for doing this.

    Here is my site: http://www.justmytwocopper.org/

    I am making about 5 sales a day for my main product, how can I improve on lead capturing and if you go to the pitch page is there any way I can improve conversions?

    Thank you for any and all advice,

    Markco

    • says

      Hi Markco,

      I’m going to focus on your blog since that’s the topic of this post. To improve lead capture, ask readers to provide their e-mail address at the end of the post. Tell them what they’ll get if they do so (and make it worthwhile).

  37. says

    Great post, especially the cogent advice about make it relevant and meaningful or stop blogging. I don’t want to waste my time reading blog posts — stories that illustrate the point of the post are fine, but random sharing drives me away so fast!

    I think the call to action is where I need to beef up our posting on Weaning-Puppies.com. Other suggestions are more than welcome, this is a new site and blog for an information product so we’re certainly interested in feedback.

    BTW, I would imagine this post could equally well apply to social media platforms like LinkedIn and Facebook? Or are there variations and different rules depending on the community?

    Thanks for your insights! — liz

    • says

      Hi Liz,

      I would focus on your subscription box. Right now the most prominent words are “Free Special Report,” “Free MP3,” and “Free Video.” Try making the BENEFITS more prominent and the format less prominent, i.e.,

      Insider Secrets for Puppy Weaning
      Setting the Stage for Successful Weaning
      Why Proper Weaning is So Important

  38. says

    How important is it to break up a blog with subtitles? So far I have just concentrated on the headline…am I missing out on search engine results by not having subtitles?

    Thanks for caring….Kathy

  39. says

    I am beginning to think that given results to date, I may not be doing any of the suggestions well. I keep reading articles like this one and I think I am implementing what I am being advised but my results remain 0. I get the odd reader but no real subscribers and my list has not build on iota in over 2 months of very regular blogging.
    That seems to indicate to me that there is something missing but I really don’t know what it is. In real life, I know I help people but on-line, I seem to be outside everyone’s radar.

    • says

      Hi Roberta,

      If you’re getting the traffic but not the subscriptions, focus on your subscription box and do some testing. Maybe a different giveaway would work better. Maybe a different headline. Maybe a different design to make your e-mail list more prominent. Also consider investing in a professional site design to increase the perceived value of your services.

  40. says

    Thank you for the offer… my site is http://financialmentor.com and I provide financial coaching services. I usually rank #1 or #2 in Google for relevant keywords (financial coach, financial coaching, investment coaching), receive decent traffic (Alexa 700K), but conversion to paying clients is less frequent than expected. I’m just getting ready to shift some things around and would welcome your helpful suggestions before making the changes.

    Thank you!

  41. says

    I am new to blogging and would like to appeal to people who are interested in health and wellness. Ultimately, I am looking for people who are interested in my primary business, which is a network marketing company specializing in creating wellness at home.

    Would love to know your immediate reaction to my blog. Honest, of course!

    • says

      Hi Anne,

      Here are a few of my initial reactions to your blog:

      1. Give people a reason to click the “Play” button on your videos. In the text immediately preceding the video, tell them what’s in it and why they should watch.

      2. Give people a reason to sign up for your newsletter. A free report, an e-course, something that makes your prospects go “yes – I want that.”

      3. If you’re looking for people interested in network marketing, say so somewhere. Maybe make your free report something relevant to that group.

      4. In general, direct the blog towards solving the problems of your target audience. If your target audience is people interested in network marketing, you’re going to want to speak to that (instead of speaking to health issues more broadly).

      Hope this helps!
      Traci

    • says

      Hi Joel,

      I think there should be at least one call to action at the end of every post. It doesn’t always have to be the same – in some cases it might be “click here to contact me,” in other cases it could be “enter your e-mail address to subscribe.”

      Just don’t leave the reader hanging with no place to go. If they take the time to read your post, get to the bottom, and you don’t tell them what to do next, they’re likely to just click away. You would be missing a golden opportunity if that happened.

        • says

          Hi Joel,

          I totally understand where you’re coming from, and you will ultimately have to figure out what works best for your readers & prospects.

          But from my point of view, inviting readers to take the next step with you isn’t too aggressive. The whole point of the blog is to convert visitors into clients, right?

          Just my 2 cents.

      • says

        Wow that’s powerful stuff….I had never considered that each and every post should have a call to action. I must confess that I am guilty of keeping the readers hanging in most cases, and the only calls to action that I have sometimes included is a call to comment.

  42. says

    Being generalist writer, I write and have publisheds book reviews, essays, etc., in various publications and papers.

    I use my blog more as a sample of writing, so I’m not sure how driving anyone to my blog would get me more business. I’d like to .

    When I do post, I always tie-in by short blurb and link via Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. What else can I do?
    Thanks Perle Champion

    • says

      Hi Perle,

      If the goal of your site is just to act as an online portfolio, that’s one thing. But if you’re looking to attract more high-paying clients, you’ll want to start writing about stuff that’s interesting and relevant to your target market.
      If you’re not sure what those things are, talk to them.

  43. says

    Great post.

    True excellence is when we do the simple things to perfection. With so much clutter in this busy world, those who can keep their audience clearly in mind and trim their message to one salient point will really emerge from the crowd.

  44. says

    I’ve been blogging for about 3 months now, and would love an assessment of how I’m doing – particularly if I’m talking too much about myself and if the types of posts that I have are good for my audience (aspiring entrepreneurs).

    • says

      Hi Chris,

      My thought for you is that there is a disconnect between what you say is the point of the blog (on the “About” page) and what you actually write about.

      If your readers are with you because they like your story (what they see on the “About” page), and they want to make the journey from employed to self-employed, you will want to focus in on that.

      Think about talking with 5 people who are interested in leaving their jobs to become entrepreneurs. Find out what kinds of things they want to know. Then write about those things.

  45. says

    Great post..

    This really resonated with me since I’m launching my coaching and consulting program right after my next product..

    I’m definitely taking the tips and putting them to work in my business, thanks

    Hector

  46. says

    Thank you for your post. I do write most of my posts about problems that our clients are having – every week I figure out what vexes a client that week and write about it.

    Question — how do I add a call to action at the bottom of the post without looking like I am undercutting the “content marketing” strategy? Given what you see on my site, can you give me some suggestions? Thanks!!

    • says

      Hi Mark,

      One approach is to tie your call to action to the subject of the post. For example, if you’re talking about customer segmentation, you could end the post with: “Worried about your customer segmentation initiative? Contact us today to find out how we can help you get things back on track.”

      You might even create special offers for each post and mention those at the end (i.e., a no-cost 30 minute customer segmentation consultation).

      Just a couple of ideas, hard to offer more without knowing more about your business.

  47. says

    I’ve been blogging for about 2 months, and would love your feedback (in-depth or to the point). Here is my link: http://counselorperspectives.com

    I currently provide face-to-face counseling, and am looking to expand to include online counseling (chat/video/tele). I want my blog to be useful and to engage others in conversations and thinking about creating the life, love, and work they desire. And, of course, I’d love to create self-referrals too! Any advice you have for me regarding turning my blog into referrals (& cash paying clients) as I expand my services is greatly appreciated!

    • says

      Hi Marci,

      My thought for you is to consider writing posts that illustrate the gap between where your readers are and where they’d like to be. What is their life like now and what could it be like?

      What questions could you ask your readers that would get them thinking about starting to work with an online counselor?

      • says

        Thank you Traci for taking the time to reply to my post. I’m thinking I would have a different call to action. I end each time with questions to ponder on the topic in my post. Making this more direct would be a place to start.

        I think I’m writing about the “gap” in my posts, so will keep this going.

  48. says

    These are all excellent points, but I especially love the first one. As consultants, we are so focused on presenting ourselves as the experts that it’s tempting to cram everything we know about a subject into one blog post. Not only do our prospects not want to read all of that, but those who do take the time to read it no longer have a reason to hire us.

  49. says

    My website is http://www.aubreandrus.com and I’m using it to jump-start my freelance writing career. I know I need a better way to display my portfolio (right now you need to click on each image individually). I’m curious about my blog though — I’m basically writing interesting posts but trying not to write posts that I could potentially sell to a magazine. How can I follow your “solve a problem” advice without writing a blog post that is 100% sell-able as a magazine piece?

    • says

      Hi Aubre,

      I’m not sure your question (“How can I follow your ‘solve a problem’ advice without writing a blog post that is 100% sell-able as a magazine piece?”) is the right one to be asking.

      The question is, if you have an article idea that could be sold to a magazine or posted on your blog, which route has the greater revenue potential? You’ll need to do some experimenting to find out.

      If you’re focused on selling magazine articles, maybe just focus on that. If you’re looking for private copywriting or content development work, that’s probably a separate blog with different kinds of posts on it.

  50. says

    This is great! I just did gave a seminar on writing for the web and a lot of this was covered there – except the part about the coffee serving Armenian (he is Armenian by the way). I get so wrapped up in my own world sometimes that I forget people don’t know this stuff. I need to take your advice for my own blog! :)

  51. says

    I feel like I’m doing what you’re suggesting here, but haven’t been seeing the sort of conversion I’m looking for. Have some ideas of what I could be doing differently, but would love to hear your thoughts. 😉

    • says

      Hi Tommy,

      I would encourage you to do some split-testing with your subscription box. I think a different headline would really improve your results. Maybe “How to Get 23,000 Facebook Fans in One Month” or something like that.

      The problem with your current headline is that I (the visitor) think I already know the answer to that question, so there’s no need to download the report.

      Hope this helps a little – I’d love to hear how it goes if you decide to experiment with the headlines.

      Traci

  52. says

    “Hey Rudy, feel like being flogged for a day?”

    “Sure Tracy, I’ll bite. What’s up?”

    “Let’s make an offer on Copyblogger to help people out. I mean, how busy could it be…”

    But punters like me love it when people like you have conversations like this! I’m a couple of months into the blogging game, thoroughly enjoying it, and keen to learn.

    Yes, getting people to respond or pick up the phone is the goal, and any advice welcome.

    Even if you don’t get to me, thanks for the offer and making the effort. I appreciate it.

    • says

      Hi Brendon,

      Thanks for your comment. This has definitely been a Very Busy Day :)

      I have to say, the lead-in to your comment was creative and got our attention. So your blog will be one of the 3 for which we provide detailed feedback.

      It probably won’t be ready until tomorrow at this point, but I will post here as soon as we finish it.

    • says

      Hi Brendon,

      Tried to post the link to your feedback page but my comment is “awaiting moderation.” Are you on Twitter? I could tweet the link to you. Otherwise just e-mail me at traci AT 180journey.com.

      Also – the feedback was offered with limited information about you and your business, so please feel free to disregard anything that you don’t think is right for you.

      Traci

  53. says

    Tracy & Rudy,

    I really enjoyed this post and I would truly appreciate an audit of my new blog.

    So far I have had a good reaction but I am looking to incorporate some services – mainly copyediting and public relations.

    How could I mention my services?

  54. says

    My blog on online marketing techniques gets me decent traffic and a few new clients on a weekly basis. I write articles that would assist the reader in learning new techniques and be able to follow my steps on trying to raise their rankings themselves.

    However i am not satisfied with my blog and would appreciate any professional feedback that you could provide on how to improvise things .

    Hopefully you’d provide me some feedback.

    Thanks
    Ramit

    PS; I’ve been trying to post my comment since this morning and for some reason your blog does not like me !

  55. says

    Inciteful comments and valuable advice. Might I suggest that an additional reason for limited blog activity /interaction may be unfamilarity with the medium and existing market behaviour?. My market (post-Graduate physical therapy training) appears not to be a particularly big user of blogs and social media as it is not the conventional way to recieve information or continuing education.

    I guess I’m an early adopter but face the challenge of changing information aquisition behavior as well as all the usual elements of blog engagement, relevance and stickiness.

    I feel there is a transition strategy required which may well be applicable to other markets / readers who’s niche is not as internet savvy as marketers / copyrighters and bloggers.

    David

  56. says

    Hi! I love when great posts are so timely to what I’m struggling with. I keep a personal blog that began bringing me clientele (personal training clients) to work w/ me at my place of business. It’s like a value-builder for people searching for a trainer.
    But, I need to write shorter posts for the person who wants to get in and get out & I’m consistently getting btnw 600-1000words per posts. Lovely for the person who wants to read – horrible for the person who has no time!! How can I make a post way more concise w/o losing my voice & sounding stuffy like a “business blog” (since I still keep my blog personal & put personal stuff on it, there is no intention to make it a “work blog.”)
    Thanks! I hope you can help me!
    Kate http://www.fitforreallife.com

  57. says

    Wow, the point you raised about self-blogging… great! It should really be about the audience, your clients or prospects, not you. Thank you so much for providing value to bloggers like us :)

  58. says

    Thanks everyone for the great questions and ideas!

    Just wanted to provide a couple of quick updates:

    1. We didn’t have time to respond to everyone today, but we plan to respond to more questions tomorrow. If you didn’t get an answer to your question today, check back tomorrow.

    2. It was hard to select just 3 blogs to review, but we chose the following 3 blogs for our “detailed feedback” offer:

    AdrianDayton.com/blog (Adrian Dayton)
    Bitesizedbrains.com (Brenden Clark)
    financialmentor.com (Todd Tresidder)

    Check back tomorrow if you’re interested in the assessments of these 3 blogs.

  59. says

    Hi Tracy,

    Awesome post! Thank you. This is my first time in copyblogger and I’m totally impressed…kudos!

    I’m a new blogger, I was against blogging for the longest time, however decided to finally take a stab at it.

    Feedback on what I’ve done so far would be greatly appreciated.

    Again, thank you for the post, and I’ll get working on some of your ideas!!!

    Migdalia Johnson

    P.S. I’ll be back! To copyblogger that is!

  60. says

    Your business blog shouldn’t be about you. It should be about your clients.

    That doesn’t mean you can never write about yourself — only that you should write about yourself in a way that’s relevant to your prospects.

    As someone who blogs one hell of a lot about “himself” and who recently talks a lot about using stories in your business, this is DEAD ON.

    The only thing I’d add is that you can write about yourself in a way that causes prospective clients to see something of you in them… i.e. if you were able to solve problem X for yourself and they realize they also have problem X, then you can probably solve it for them too.

    Don’t spin pointless yarns. Spin allegories.

  61. says

    Thanks guys so much. I enjoyed reading this post a lot as it is very important for me to start getting in some new clients. We do diligently follow the first point that you mentioned, however with lesser importance to the following ones.

  62. says

    Great post! I just started blogging at http://www.rachelannerodgers.com. My blog is geared towards people who want to stop being employees and start their own business as well as established small businesses. As a business offering a professional service (I’m a lawyer), how specific should I get in my blog? Should I discuss the different business entity options, why they want an operating agreement and various clauses they may want to include in their business contracts? I think what you are saying is provide that information but in laymen’s terms. Is that right? I’d love to get some feedback from you if possible. Thanks!

  63. says

    I dare say that this is one of my most favorite article here. Your tips are valuable that will surely impact the way I write.

    One problem for every entry. Wow, I like that. I never thought of that before. I mean, the problem must also be clear to the readers even before I give a solution. I tend to give the solution at once. I assumed that every reader knows the problem – they don’t.

    Thank you.

  64. says

    Great points, Tracy and Rudy. Specially when it comes to STOP writing about yourself, as high-paying/high-income clients normally have limited time and those who meet their needs quickly and effectively will get the business.

  65. says

    I have been blogging for about 2 years and you just taught me something new that almost every blogger had miss out which is telling my readers what to do next… that’s something really make sense to me… as sometime I do really doesn’t know what to do when I finished reading a blog post… thanks for this great tip…

  66. says

    This is a great post, and great timing for me to read it. I write about word of mouth marketing and digital PR. Until recently, I optimized my blog primarily for delivery of info and allowing readers opportunities to become subscribers. Now I am re-focusing my blog with an emphasis on converting readers into customers who hire me to help them build custom websites, write copy, and develop marketing campaigns for their businesses. I would love to know how you think my blog should be optimized for turning readers into customers. Thanks.

  67. says

    Okay, I love a lot about this post, but I couldn’t disagree more with the personal aspect. Sure, maybe don’t blog about the cute boy at Starbucks, but why be a cookie cutter? I LOVE when Chris Brogan blogs about his kids or Naomi Dunford posts a picture of her tattoo. That’s the stuff that makes bloggers stand out.

    What about Erika of Redhead Writing? Half of her blog is about her personal life. INCLUDING her love life. And her traffic grows like nobody’s business.

    About every third post I’ll blog about my travels, boyfriend or struggles in my business and my readers will ask for more. Sure, I provide kick ass social media advice, solve potential clients problems, etc. But unless there’s a REAL person behind all that advice, no one’s going to want to work with you.

    • says

      Hi Marian,

      I know what you mean, and I don’t think we actually disagree when it comes down to it. Here are my thoughts:

      1. I agree that cookie cutter blogs are boring. The point is not to be a cookie cutter, but to be interesting and relevant to *your prospects*. If your prospects are interested in your kids or your tattoo, and writing about those things does a good job converting prospects into clients, then those are great things to blog about.

      2. There are exceptions to every rule. The 3 bloggers you mention – Chris, Erika, and Naomi – are AMAZING writers. And they know how to integrate personal stuff with business stuff in a way that attracts their target buyers. Not everyone can do that. And if you don’t know how to do that, you’re more likely to attract high-paying clients with a strategy that errs on the side of less personal / more business.

      3. It all comes down to what types of clients one is trying to attract, and what “high-paying” means to you. For some of our corporate clients, they couldn’t care less if there’s a “real person” behind our advice. They just want results. They want to know if we can deliver (or not). They are “high-paying” because they know we deliver results. For other types of clients, the “real person” thing makes a big difference. So it’s critical to know who your target market is and to blog with them in mind.

      Thanks for your comment – you raised a very good point and got me thinking (which I love).

      • says

        Awesome response, thank you! Totally agree with all your points. I think I’m in the camp of sharing my tattoo and finding clients who are usually potty mouth freelancers like myself… 😉

        Thanks again for your fab insights!

  68. says

    A blog isn’t just for direct sales is it? I like to think of mine as living proof that I walk the walk. There is no point in my talking to people about writing, social media or PR unless they can go to my blog to see if I know my stuff. People often check out my blog once they have met me and that is just one of the reasons why I keep on blogging!
    http://www.Lucythorpe.wordpress.com

  69. says

    So is this where I am supposed to lay out my problems and expect you to give a prompt answer that will bring in the bling?Let’s try a different track.

    I tell my problems, and also attempt to do some self diagnosis. That way you can blaze away, if you manage to scroll all the way down here. Oh, and even if you don’t I am glad that someone will be benefited from the review.

    P) I have a blog but it’s not pulling clients and even prospects
    D) I reckon it’s because my content topics are all over the place. Even though I am positioning myself as a copywriter and a marketing strategist in the sustainability and clean energy sectors most of my posts are analysis and reporting type. Then again this decision to use my blog as content marketing is new so I should see some traction upon course corrections

    P) I have single digit subscribers
    D) Maybe that’s because I am not striking a chord with my intended audience. Also, there is no incentive to subscribe through email. But I am working on something valuable to give away and that should bring in subscribers.

    P) My blog does not have a laser like focus and it talks about three -four things
    D) Most of the times I talk about clean energy and sustainability issues. That’s intended to show people that I am conversant with the topic. I have a couple of posts that talk about my personal life which I attempt to relate to the larger picture behind each post and also attempt to give the blog a human face.

    Yet again, I have recently written about best practices on blogging which I am pretty sure was of no use to my prospective client (unless he was there to take writing tips,which is highly doubtful as I myself referred him to Copyblogger).

    So maybe the absence of posting strategy is hurting my numbers

    P) My design is crowded and too meh
    D) I am going to change from this generic free WP theme into a premium custom designed one as soon as I can get some cash in. But maybe I could add some free content and add customer testimonials from short projects to make the site more appealing to a prospect.

    P) I write like a human, my headlines often (not always ) follow best practices and I don’t keyword stuff. I am still in the 3rd or 4th page in Google
    D) I should do some keyword research. More targeted keyword research.

    Apart from these points do you think my posts could be shorter (average posts are like 1500 words, but they have subheadings, whitespace in the form of short paragraphs and bullet points and picture breaks).

    Also, should I make the Who am I and the Hire Me page shorter?

    I think I have asked too much, for a quick opinion. So tell you what- just go ahead and pick what you want to answer. I would be happy enough to get some clarity on at least the first two-three points

    My site is http://www.bhaskars.net

    Maybe I can find some answers in your ebook.

    Thanks in advance for your initiative

    Bhaskar

    • says

      Damn…didn’t realise my comment would be soooooooooo long.

      Mods, if I have violated some kind of long comment rule feel free to chop it down or even delete it. I will write a shorter, more to the point one.

      Sometimes it’s not good to let out everything at once.

  70. says

    From your post I gather that there are two important things to always remember while blogging:

    1) You’re supposed to make connections

    2) You’re supposed to add value

  71. says

    I would love some insight on how to make my blog better. I have been blogging for over a year and feel like I should be getting more readers. My current clients read, but I wouldn’t say I get any new clients from blogging.

  72. says

    Your points are good for content on my dermatology blog even though I’m aiming to attract sales not ‘clients’. My goal is conversions as well as being the ‘go to’ place for credible skin care advice. I’ve evolved my style to more closely fit your key points over my first year blogging. Medical culture is typically about complete, long answers and I struggle to keep the content concise and limited to one topic. I’m sure that I can do even better and your post gives me additional clarity and guidance. Thanks.

  73. says

    Hi,
    Thank you for posting this. You make some very good points. Specifically, I think it is very important to talk about one specific topic per blog post and create very good clear titles for the posts. Not only so people can find the topic easily on your site but also so that it comes up when people outside your blog are looking for solutions to specific problems.

  74. says

    Detailed Feedback #1 (Adrian Dayton)

    Blog: Marketing Strategy And The Law
    Target Market: Marketing Decisionmakers, AmLaw 200 Firms
    Goal: Generate more high-paying clients through the blog
    ________________________________________________

    Suggestions

    1. The first thing your prospects’ eyes are drawn to when they arrive at your blog are currently (1) your photo; and (2) the title of your most recent blog post. We suggest that you change the right sidebar as follows:
    Remove or reduce the size of your photo.
    Reduce the size of your Aweber subscription box (you can do this using the form generator)
    Move the image of your book higher up. Prospects will be more interested in the free chapter if they understand that this is a real book with real value.
    2. The blog posts themselves should be focused on topics that relate DIRECTLY to the needs of your target market (specifically, those needs that you can help them fulfill). Consider the results your buyer (the CMO of the firm?) is expected to deliver, and then focus on posts that can help your buyer deliver those results. If you’re making your buyer look good, you become an extremely valuable resource. A lot of your current posts are interesting and well-written, but not directly relevant to the goals your target buyer is looking to achieve.

    3. Consider what the “next step” is that you want prospects to take when they arrive at their site. Imagine their journey: they arrive at your site, read a post or two, and then what? One idea is to consider how you can help the CMO (who believes in social media) sell the idea to the person or committee who determines the budget. Maybe invite readers to sign up for a free 30-minute presentation about how large law firms are using (and should be using) social media to attract clients. They could invite their team, managing partners, and other influencers to attend. Whatever it is, keep this in mind:

    FIGURING OUT THE NEXT STEP (AFTER THEY READ A BLOG POST) IS THE KEY.

    Once you know what that step is, you have a framework within which to make future decisions about the blog: (1) will this post help me get more people to sign up for the free presentation? (2) will this giveaway help me get more people to give me their e-mail address, so I can invite them to the free presentation? Etc.

    4. Think a few steps ahead and work backwards. Ultimately, you want prospects to become high-paying clients. How do they get to the point where they’re ready to hire you? A meeting between you, them, and the managing partners? If so, how do you get to that meeting? Maybe the presentation? You get the idea…

  75. says

    Well, it looks like we’re out of time.

    We’ve really enjoyed learning more about you and your blogs, and we hope you found our feedback helpful.

    We got to as many comments and questions as we could, and I’m sorry we weren’t able to get to everyone. If yours was one we didn’t answer, please don’t take it personally.

    To learn more about The 180 Journey and how Rudy & I can help you get more high-paying clients, please just visit our website and check out our book (“The Top 7 Reasons High-Paying Clients Aren’t Choosing You (and What to Do About It.”)).

    We’re going to e-mail some special offers to those of you who download the book, and you can always unsubscribe (although I don’t think you’ll want to :) )

    All the best,
    Traci & Rudy

  76. says

    Your post is really great. I completely agree with you. I have told many clients that each post should be very singular in nature, targeted to a specific issue or problem, and not too long!

    This makes blogging a lot easier too because you’re not worried about writing a novel each time.

    Stephanie

  77. says

    If it’s not too late I’d love to get your feedback on my headlines and the “solving one problem”, possibly even the relationship between the two – what’s the best way to set up a headline to tell them what problem you are solving?

    http://www.SigmaBizBlog.com

    Thanks,
    Jamie Gorman

  78. says

    Aloha Traci and Rudy!
    I am so glad I read this post as I have to keep reminding myself that focus on the client is the key :)
    I work with clients day in and day out love my work and want to expand it to products and online (hence the blog). Yet I still find myself thinking I have to expand the blog for a larger niche (the ole wide or narrow focus debate) and lose focus.
    Your thoughts on that? I work with eating disordered clients, understand their needs and solutions do you see a reason to try to expand the niche?
    Mahalo nui loa for being here!
    Aloha~ Gina

    • says

      Traci and Rudy are swamped. I am standing in for them :)

      Anyway I just had a quick look at your site and I feel that you should include hi-res photos in your posts. Since you talk about diseases too consider adding charts as well.

      Also if I were you I would give a little more details of the product that you are going to launch. Build up an anticipation by telling your readers what that product is going to do for them. Create word pictures. Tell a story and even better, make it personal. Right now, the way it is worded I won’t be really interested to come back and check out what you are selling.

      Again I kind of didn’t get a sense about where exactly your blog fits in. Sure from the name it is about healthy living but that topic is way too diffuse.

      Also, your profile page is a bit vague. At the very least your name (even first name) and the basis of your authority (have a degree in nutrition, perhaps?) have to be there.

      I now leave the field to Traci, if she is around :)

  79. says

    This is a really interesting read and offers some very effective advice. The first point you make about being able to solve your potential customers problem is a key aspect into an effective marketing campaign. They are obviously searching for a solution to a particular problem so if they can come across your service first and you offer them a quick and easy solution, they are more likely to invest.

  80. says

    Thanks for a great post. I work hard on my blog. I’d love to get both consultation jobs as well as local cabinets sales from it. I have readers, though not a lot. I can’t seem to get comments. I would like to get questions and comments from potential clients as well as feedback and commentary from other professionals. Thanks if you’re able to get back to me. http://www.kitchensforliving.blogspot.com

    My email is kitchensforliving@gmail.com
    Thanks!

  81. says

    Hi Traci,
    Really enjoyed your post, such great advice.

    Also wanted to thank you again for the great feedback and advice you gave me on my business a few months ago when we chatted on the phone. I’m working to implement your suggestions and will let you know how things are going.

    Keep up the great work and I’ll look out for more great articles from you!
    Tommy

  82. says

    Traci and Rudy,

    You’ve described what I like to call “purpose-driven blogging.” I wonder if Rick Warren is going to be upset that I’ve hijacked his verbage.

    Thanks for putting together a very good, very informative post. And keep practicing what you preach.

  83. says

    200+ Comments, and counting! Even for Copyblogger that’s a blogging mother lode. And for a really good reason. This is something I can really use. Especially points #1 and #2, solving a singular relevant problem in the audience’s vernacular. Very simple, but massively actionable. I’m a new blogger and I plan on putting your thoughts to use on my very next post. Thanks.

  84. says

    Hi Traci and Rudy – fantastic reminder – especially one post, one piece of advice. I’ve only recently started blogging and I have so much to say it’s so hard to hold back !!

    Cathy 😉

  85. says

    I read each and every one of your emails and believe I’m doing it right but over the last few weeks I’ve had over 200 visitors to my website through article marketing and blogging yet not one sale. What in the world am I doing wrong?? My sister says my site is too “dark.” So?! I’m not offering to decorate their apartment, I’m selling funky bumper stickers. Help!

    Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Thanks so much!

    Jennifer at http://www.EightyEightPercent.com

    • says

      Hi Jennifer

      I just looked over at your site and here are some things I think you need to do

      1) Change the design. The colors don’t look that bad but your layout is not centered. Move your content more to the right so that dimensions of empty space on both sides remain the same.

      2) You are not enabling people to share your stickers. My suggestion would be to add at least the Twitter and FB share buttons near every sticker.

      3) Your site has no personality. Most of your stickers are Christian based. Why not include an about me page where you talk about what attracts you to God or Christianity? Talk about why you are doing what you are doing. In personal matters like faith it is very important to strike a chord with your target audience.

      Also consider adding some nice photos of yourself, maybe taken at a recognizable church or a monument of religious significance.

      You also mention that a portion of your proceeds would go to the Salvation Army. Talk a little but more about it. Why the Salvation Army ? Are you a former member? Have you done any field work for them? If so, where? How was the experience? Be genuine here.

      4)Finally (correct me anyone, if I am wrong) there is very little content for search engine spiders to index on your site. All you have are jpegs and the is not descriptive or SE optimised. In most cases you simply have eightyeightpercent as the alt-text. This is not very helpful for someone searching for religious bumper stickers.

      I think a good WP portfolio theme should do the job for you quite well

      Hope that helps
      Bhaskar

  86. says

    Here’s one for you! My blog is a multi-author site about news, reviews, events and business in my local area, Torbay, Devon, UK….. I can’t totally control the content, only chose the bloggers.(and they are hard to find!) They write for free. I want to find a way of making money from it now and sharing that money with the other bloggers. I’ve just signed up for a uk based affiliate program so am going to implement that. But I have focused on locality, as per lots of advice, however what are my high paying clients? Do you think there is a future with this multi-blog?
    Any advice appreciated!!!

  87. says

    Solving one problem per post. That is a simple and elegant way to think of how to go about every posting–one I will focus on. thanks for the clarity.

  88. says

    Wow I LOVE this article! Especially the part about “If you’re spending a lot of time wracking your brain trying to figure out what to write about, you should probably be blogging less and talking with your prospects more.” Thanks for the helpful tips!

  89. says

    Hi, I’m a relatively new blogger writing for a company with a somewhat narrow focus. I like to write about current events and find a way to relate them to our business/customers. I’d be very interested in your comments about the blog.

    Thanks for the great article!

    http://blog.peoplefinders.com/

  90. says

    Yes, time to upscale to high paying clientele for Executive Coaching, Leadership Development, Change Management, Executive conferences, seminars, workshops for upcoming executives as well!

  91. says

    Great article. I find that I write too much, which turns out to be plenty boring. I also like bulleted lists or “top 5 things not to do”. Those usually grab attention. The ‘golden nugget’ that I got from your article is to tell people where to go next. Great point. That is what I’ve been missing for some reason…


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