The Ultimate Guide to a Popular & Profitable Website or Blog
As bloggers, business owners, creatives, and entrepreneurs, we wear about 50 hats a day.
Ok, just kidding. Not 50. More like 500.
At least it feels that way. :)
But really, there are so many things we do on a daily basis, we deserve some kind of medal. We have to be research, analyze, write copy and compile great content, market our businesses, navigate social media, attract people to our blog or website, sell stuff, and on top of it all, serve our clients.
...and that’s just scratching the surface, right?
So after doing ALL of that, it can be so frustrating and disappointing when you’re putting in the hard work but your blog or business’ website isn’t growing like you thought it would.
You've been posting in social media groups, creating blog posts, pinning, 'gramming - and still, crickets.
You feel like you’ve been doing everything right, and hell - you’re not a web designer but managed to make your blog or website look pretty damn good.
People might be coming to your site, but not in numbers you expected.
...Or they’re not signing up for your newsletter or downloading your freebie.
And to add to it all, you’re not getting tons of inquiries about your services, booking clients, or selling tons of your products.
What’s the deal?!
Well, here’s the truth: it’s not you. It’s your website.
I’ve put together the top ways to make your blog or website more popular, and more profitable.
1. Crush First Impressions
When people come to your site, no matter which page they come to, you of course want to get them hooked on your stuff from the start! Here’s how to make it happen:
Find Your Focus
Now, I know what you’re thinking. “Ugh. I see this all the time. I already have a focus. I’m not new to this. Next!”
But before you go galavanting off through this page like a puppy without a leash, lemme talk to you for a sec.
I’m putting this in here for good reason, because so many people THINK they have a focus for their website or blog, and in reality it’s all over the place. They’ve got posts about everything they know and feel like talking about. It doesn’t matter if the site’s about travel, marketing, food, or all the above - it’s all topics that matter to them, not their audience.
Creating compelling content happens when you narrow things down.
You need to:
Know exactly who you’re speaking to
Create content that helps them with their specific problems
Address specific topics or focus on a niched subject of topics.
That’s the stuff people go crazy for.
Let’s say people come to your site looking for recipes for certain food allergies. Do you think those people would also want to read posts about travel destinations? It’s possible, but what if you had even more posts related to food allergies, like dairy-free meal prep ideas, gluten-free cooking tips, or grocery shopping lists for people with food allergies instead? Those people will start devouring your content because you have a core focus that ties everything together.
Without this focus, your site ends up being a patchwork of topics with readers from every corner of the internet, all with tons of different interests, problems, ideas, struggles, etc.. Even if you have a multi-topic site now, think about how you can tie it all together. Maybe you have a food, travel, and lifestyle blog for a specific audience, like single ladies under 30? Or vegan men?
The point is, you want to focus in and get really specific on what your site is all about, who it’s for, and find a common thread that you’ll weave through all your content, and all you do. Doing this gives you the ability to hone in on an audience that you can grow with and market to later on. You’ll know what problems, fears, and frustrations your audience deals with, and the things they desire most, which will help you to easily create compelling content, and the perfect products or services to help them with exactly what they need.
Psst…want my Popular & Profitable Guide? It’s a free download you can get instantly just by clicking the button below.
Your Main Message
When people land on your website, what do they see? Is it immediately clear who you are, what the site is about/what your business is?
No really - is it?
While you might know the answer to this question, would someone else really know off-the-bat? You have just a couple seconds to catch your visitor’s attention, so it’s crucial to get this right. Break your main message down in an easy-to-understand way, so it’s ridiculously clear to your visitor that they’re in the right place, and want to keep reading.
I often see sites that simply have a logo or their name at the top of the homepage - and that’s it. It doesn’t tell me anything about what they do, what the site or blog is about, what they sell, etc. I have to scroll down pretty far, or even hop to another page entirely before figuring it out. But let me tell you - most people that are coming to your site looking for help with something or for information about a topic, are not going to be as nice as me. :) If people can’t immediately tell they’re in the right place for what they’re looking for, they’re gone.
So even if your brand is based around you, you need to add in something more descriptive for people who don’t know you or what you do, to get them to keep reading. This can be as simple as adding one large image with a description as a banner on your homepage, or adding a compelling headline.
2. Create Connection
Shift the Spotlight
A huge mistake I see people making online is focusing their site all on themselves. Which, hey, I get it- it’s YOUR site, it’s YOUR business, people are coming there to learn about how awesome you are, right?
EH. Wrong. Sorry, I know that’s probably hard to hear.
But your website shouldn’t exist for you. It needs to exist for your audience, and the people you serve. Think about it. You do what you do because there’s a problem that needs to be solved. There may have been a gap in an industry you sought to fill. Or maybe you just love making stuff and figure why not make money doing it? No matter what you do, you do it by helping people one way or another.
And just by flipping that perspective on your blog or website… doesn’t that change a whole lot about you’ll use it?
You want to focus on your audience, and how you can help them most. What problems can you help them overcome? What frustrations are do they have that you can ease? How can you be a resource to your audience?
Shift the focus away from you, and instead on how your audience will use your site as their next step to success. Once someone gets results from what you offer, they're going to share it with other people they know could get amazing results, too. That’s how you begin to build a website or blog that’s insanely popular!
Now back to the good stuff.
Speak Straight to Them
Let’s take all of this a step further. As people move down your homepage and through your site, pull them into your content by getting hyper-focused on them, and putting yourself in their shoes. Instead of listing out your offers/services, (and talking about yourself) right from the start, focus on the pain points and emotional hot-buttons your audience is currently experiencing. You want your visitors to think, “Yes! That’s me!”
Creating an emotional connection with your audience will quickly build likability and trust, and pull them into your content. Remember to use words and phrases that your audience uses, not ones that you know because you’re you!
As industry professionals it’s so easy to use words we know and feel are so common and we assume everyone knows them. In reality, people who are looking for help online are probably not well-versed in your industry, so avoid using jargon or clever, vague phrases. Speak in the simplest way possible that hits on specific pain points and emotional hot buttons.
Then you can follow up with how you help people overcome these problems with your services and offerings. When people know that you “get” them and understand their problems in a way no one else can, they’ll associate you with having the right solution… and pay you for it!
There are lots of ways to stand out online, and creating connection with your audience is a powerful way to do it. Since you now know how to create connection in your content, the next step is eye-catching design.
You don’t have to go crazy on this to have a big impact, though! A lot of people think great design is a complicated process, but in fact, it’s more about chiseling down the unnecessary and just simplifying things.
When it comes to beautiful design that stands out, less is more.
Here’s a simple breakdown:
Primary color: Choose a neutral color that will be used in 70% of your content. Think about what colors not only represent you and your business, but what you want your clients to feel when they think about your business.
Secondary color: This color will be used to add contrast to the primary color, which you’ll use in about 30% of your site.
Pop of (fun) color: This will be used in about 10% of your website and content, so it can be on the wilder side. You can use it in thin borders, buttons, social media icons, etc. Its purpose is to add a little personality and spark into your color scheme. Don’t know what to choose? An easy trick is to choose your primary color’s opposite color on the color wheel.
Images & Graphics
If I were to give you any advice when it comes to choosing images, it would be this: don’t throw up some white-flooded generic stock photos on your website. You know the ones I’m talking about because, well, they look like stock photos.
Instead, there are a ton of fantastic options out there that will totally kick your site up a notch and will also complement your website’s visual aesthetic. While these ones are called ‘stock’ photos, they’re anything but the ones you’ve seen for decades on the web.
If you have photos of your own, think about how you can use them to tell a story or what kind of feeling you want to give the viewer. You can be strategic with photo placement, and use them to support the message you want to get across, taking your website visitors through a virtual journey so to speak.
The same goes for graphics on your site. Adding graphics are an easy way to add pops of your brand into your site to pull your pages together. They don’t need to be all fancy-dancy and professionally designed. If you haven’t seen my blog post and video tutorial on creating gorgeous graphics with Canva, check it out right here.
3. Capture Contact Info
List of Leads
So how do you get people from browsing your website into a hot lead? It all starts with your email list.
Some people think they don’t need an email list for their business, or they think email marketing is dead. Well, they’re both dead wrong.
Having an email list is absolutely essential for any business or blog. It’s the best way to build an audience of people you know is interested in what you have to offer and build relationships with them, showing your unique value and expertise.
With an email list, you have an audience of potential buyers that already know, like, and trust you, so you don’t have to start from scratch with them when it comes time to sell something. It saves you from having to be in constant “promotion” mode in your business, which, if you ask me, I’ll take any day.
If you don’t have an email list provider already, ConvertKit* is a great option, and it’s what I use in my business.
Offers & Opt-ins
An easy way to people to take action is to offer something for free, like an opt-in incentive or “freebie” that they’ll exchange their email address for.
This is where you’ll need to know your audience and what problems or frustrations they have that you can help them with. It can can be anything from a cheat sheet, a checklist, an ebook, guide, to an audio recording or training.
You want to hone in on a particular pain point and give an ultra-enticing, irresistible solution to that particular problem or frustration. It doesn’t need to be a lengthy workbook or guide, just make it a quick and easy win that they’ll love you for.
The great thing about opt-ins is that people can learn something from you, and see your expertise and value. Now that they’re on your email list, you can start building that relationship, providing more value, and offering your products or services down the line.
Or let’s say you want to people to sign up for your email newsletter, but you haven’t been getting the kind of numbers you hoped for. Take a look at how you’re positioning that offer. What’s in it for them? How can you go beyond the usual, “Sign up for tips and updates” and instead offer something that speaks directly to their wants and desires?
Yeah, I know this is a lot to remember, so I made the Popular & Profitable Guide to help ya out. Click the image below to download it so you don’t forget any of the steps we're covering here:
4. Conversion Components
All Roads Lead to Action
Want to know how to get people to convert?
Whether conversion means getting email list subscribers or actually booking your services, you need to guide your website visitors there! You’ll make a critical mistake if you think people will either seek out how they can take action on your site, or that they’ll just stumble upon it and instantly take action then and there.
Those are both risky bets, my friend. Let’s stop taking chances here and set up a road to action. Think about what steps you want people to take on every page of your site. How can you destroy any distractions or clutter that leads people away from taking that action?
For instance, if you want people to download your freebie or content upgrade for your blog post, what can you remove from any sidebars that don’t ask people to download that freebie? You want to keep their attention toward that goal by offering the download within the blog post and after it, too.
Click & Convert
So once you’ve mapped out the end goals you want people to take, it’s time to add calls to actions on all your pages! Yes, all of them!
It’s important you don’t miss opportunities to get people to click and convert. You can add larger text and/or different colored text to draw attention to taking action, or add arrows that point to a button, for instance.
Make sure you’re guiding people step by step - don’t assume people see everything you want them to! Show your visitors the way and pave an easy, clear path to their next steps.
Pro tip: Whether or not you decide to have an opt-in as a main call-to-action, be sure to have one CTA above the fold of your homepage - meaning the top portion of your homepage that is visible before having to scroll down. Since it's one of the first things your visitors will see, it's a great way to get people to take action right away and start engaging right from the start.
5. Plan for Profit
Here’s the problem with most websites and blogs: they don't have a strategic plan for profitability.
No way to capitalize on the traffic they get.
No way to capture leads.
No compelling reason for visitors to stay on the site, click around, and take action.
They spend tons of time and energy creating blog posts, posting to social media, pinning and ‘gramming, all to get people to a site that’s not setup to convert that traffic into leads and sales... so it's no wonder they aren't seeing the kind of online growth they expected to when they started!
Maybe you've felt this way, too?
Listen. These days, all roads lead to your website. And if your website was built at a dead end, your visitors will turn right back around.
If your website or blog isn’t consistently turning traffic into subscribers, leads, and sales that fuels your business around the clock, just send me a message and let's get started building your site to fuel your business' growth!
* affiliate link - if you choose to sign up for ConvertKit using this link I'll receive a commission at no extra cost to you.
About the Author: Katie Brimmer
Hey! I'm Katie. I help service-based business owners just like you create stunning websites & smart marketing strategies designed to help you stand out online so you can start turning visitors into paying clients and take your business to the next level.
What was your favorite part of this post? What will you go take action on right away?
Let me know in the comments below - I’d love to know!