Guest Post: Beyond the Landing Page – The Next Level Automation Every Serious Blogger Needs

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If you’ve been blogging for a while, you may have noticed there is practically an infinite supply of WordPress plugins, resources, and random tools you could potentially use to optimize your blog through automation.

However, there is one simple automation tool you should be using on your blog before you try anything else. Bloggers like Jon Morrow, David Siteman Garland, Noah Kagan, Neil Patel, Mariah Coz, and many more use it.

And there’s a reason why—it gets results.

By “results,” I don’t mean a few glowing comments at the end of each post. I’m talking about real, measurable results for your business.

More quality subscribers. More customers. More revenue to add to your bottom line.

At Leadpages, we have a few favorite kinds of automation that we regularly recommend to our 40,000 members. I’m going to show our #1 top marketing automation for bloggers in this post (and exactly how to use it).

Let’s dive in.

How to Ask for the Lead in Every Single Post

As a blogger myself, I can tell you there is nothing quite as frustrating as spending hours crafting the ideal blog content—only to have your readers show up, devour your information, love every second of your content, and then leave and never come back to your site.

I’m sure you can relate.

Fortunately, the solution is simple. Don’t let blog readers leave your site without asking them to subscribe to your email list. Ideally, ask multiple times.

Once a reader is safely on your email list, you can alert them each time a new blog post goes live. You can tell them about your new course coming out, or your book that’s being released this year. In short, you can provide value regularly from now on.

 

Leadpages-Blog-Leadboxes-Final
For example, we give our readers multiple chances to join the Leadpages list from our blog.

The #1 List Builder for Serious Bloggers (and How to Use It)

At Leadpages, we have found the single best mechanism for asking blog readers to join your email list is a pop-up lead capture form, or opt-in box.

We call these pop-ups Leadboxes, and theyre a simple way to automate the process of signing up subscribers and giving them valuable content in return.

You can attach Leadboxes to any link, image, button, or text on your blog. When your blog readers click, they immediately see a Leadbox pop-up like this one below.

 

Actor and coach, Mike Lenz is using this Leadbox to generate new leads on his homepage. (This particular Leadbox had a 50% conversion rate.)
Actor and coach, Mike Lenz is using this Leadbox to generate new leads on his homepage. (This particular Leadbox had a 50% conversion rate.)

 

As a marketing automation, Leadboxes become even more powerful when you pair them with a second Leadpages feature, known as our Lead Magnet Delivery System.

This Lead Magnet Delivery System allows you to deliver lead magnets (or free content) directly from inside Leadpages. Leadpages will send your new subscribers a quick email with your lead magnet attached as soon they opt-in to join your list.

This means you can easily send a specific lead magnet with each individual Leadbox, as soon as a new subscriber opts-in to join your list.

You don’t even have to do anything inside your email service provider to use this feature. You can give away many different types of lead magnets and still add all your blog readers to the same list if you choose. (That means you can easily give away custom lead magnets with each post in a matter of minutes.)

Leadboxes + ConvertKit = More Leads

You also have the option to integrate your Leadboxes directly with ConvertKit.

As a ConvertKit user, you can now integrate your ConvertKit account with an unlimited number of Leadboxes and start collecting leads in your ConvertKit account in a matter of minutes.

 

so much win

 

Once you integrate ConvertKit with Leadpages, you can use individual Leadboxes to trigger any number of follow-up or drip email sequences from your ConvertKit account.

You could even set up individual Leadboxes to deliver specific, tailor-fit email sequences that matched your blog content.

For example, let’s say you’re a food blogger with a thriving online business. You mostly blog about healthy recipes, gourmet dishes, cooking for kids, and time-saving kitchen tools. Ideally, you want to use your blog and follow-up emails to market your weekend cooking workshops.

To do that, you could set up four separate email sequences inside ConvertKit to speak to these four diverse topics. Then as you blog, you would create specific Leadboxes with each post to trigger these individual sequences.

 

Lead_pages_convertkit_post

 

That way, you’re constantly speaking to your blog readers about the specific topic they’re interested in—whether it be in blog or emails.

That’s just one example. There are countless ways you can use Leadboxes to generate new leads (and sales) with your blog content. Here are four of my favorites.

The Content Upgrade Leadbox

Because you’re a serious blogger, I’m guessing you know what a “content upgrade” is.

Just in case, a content upgrade is a special piece of content that you can give away with each blog post in exchange for your reader’s email address.

To be a true content upgrade, this content must match the topic in that particular blog post. This way, your readers get more of the information they came to your blog for in the first place.

In the example below, blogger Jon Morrow uses a Leadbox to give away his “Blog Profit Calculator” in a post called “Make Money Blogging: How This Blog Make $100,000 Every Month.” Notice how well the content upgrade matches the topic?

Jon Morrow is using a Leadbox to give away a specific lead magnet or “content upgrade” that perfectly matches the content in his post.
Jon Morrow is using a Leadbox to give away a specific lead magnet or “content upgrade” that perfectly matches the content in his post.

 

If you’ve never used content upgrades before, now’s the time to get started.

Start by adding content upgrades to your blog posts that get the most traffic. Then continue to add one to each individual post going forward. (Again, you can easily use the Lead Magnet Delivery system inside Leadpages to deliver your content upgrades with each Leadbox, or use the Incentive Email built into your forms insideConvertKit.)

Here are a few ideas on what to give away as your own content upgrades:

  • Short Videos: Even a low-budget 5-minute video filmed on your iPhone with one juicy extra tip or strategy can be a powerful content upgrade.
  • Transcripts: If you’re a video blogger or podcaster, you can easily give away the transcript in exchange for your reader’s email address.
  • PDF Guides: We give these away all the time. When you’re publishing a long post, a 1-page guide can be invaluable as a handy reference for your readers.
  • Short Ebooks: As a blogger, you can combine a couple of your top posts to create a short ebook. Or even just turn this specific blog post into its own ebook.
  • Infographics: Any visual representation of your blog post can make a powerful content upgrade. That includes mindmaps, process maps, posters etc.

Those are just some ideas. Others include audio downloads, recipes, swipe email copy, chapters from your book, step-by-step instructions, extra interview questions—really, anything you can create quickly that builds on the content you’re offering in your post.

 

Here’s another example of a content upgrade from blogger Maya Elious. As you can see, she’s giving away a business guide as a content upgrade.
Here’s another example of a content upgrade from blogger Maya Elious. As you can see, she’s giving away a business guide as a content upgrade.

The Image Banner Leadbox

Never underestimate the value of a well-placed image banner.

When you’re using Leadboxes, you can add as many sidebar or other image banners to your blog as you like. To your reader’s eyes, it will just look like you’re offering different kinds of value on your blog—rather than stale opt-in forms.

For example, blogger Sagan Morrow has not one but three different Leadboxes attached to her blog sidebar banners.

She’s offering three different reasons why blog readers might want to join her list, including her newsletter, her free ebook, and her 8-day mini-course.

 

Sagon Morrow is giving her readers three different reasons to join her list.
Sagan Morrow is giving her readers three different reasons to join her list.

 

You can add multiple lead magnets like this to your own blog banner. Or you can simply add your single most powerful lead magnet to your sidebar banner, as David Siteman Garland has done below. (This way, your readers will constantly see your best content on display.)

As you can see, David has a sidebar banner up on his blog to give away his “7 Steps to Building an Online Course.” He’s using a Leadbox to entice his readers to opt in for this cheat sheet.

 

David Siteman Garland has a semi-permanent sidebar banner to give away this lead magnet.
David Siteman Garland has a semi-permanent sidebar banner to give away this lead magnet.

The Exit or Timed Leadbox

If you’re looking to generate leads, I recommend adding two more kinds of Leadboxes to your blog: exit Leadboxes and timed Leadboxes.

An exit Leadbox is perfect for blog readers who are not staying on your site long enough to appreciate the value you have to offer.

Exit Leadboxes will only appear when a reader tries to close your blog site. An exit Leadbox is your last chance to give your readers value (and invite them to join your list) before they leave your site forever.

While exit Leadboxes are perfect for capturing readers leaving your site, timed Leadboxes are ideal for capturing return visitors to your site.

With a timed Leadbox (or other pop-up), you can choose exactly how long your readers stay each blog post before seeing your timed pop-up Leadbox.

If your offer requires a little context to be compelling, you can set your timed pop-ups so they only appear when your visitors have seen that particular page before. This way, you’re always asking your best, repeat blog fans to join your list.

 

Coach Casey Erin Wood is using a timed Leadbox to give away her free video training series.
Coach Casey Erin Wood is using a timed Leadbox to give away her free video training series.

 

For best results for both exit and timed Leadboxes, try offering an extremely valuable lead magnet that you don’t give away anywhere else.

Think of it this way: If you were about to close out of a website, what type of free download would stop you from leaving? Is it something you could offer your blog readers? If so, try it.

How to Get Started Optimizing Your Blog

You see what we did there? With content upgrades, image banners, timed Leadboxes, and exit Leadboxes, you just optimized your blog for generating new leads.

Once you set them up, these simple automations will continue to work for you to automatically generate new subscribers (who can become new customers) for as long as you maintain your blog.

It’s incredibly simple to give away a different piece of content with each blog post.

Better still, you don’t have to worry about potential customers checking out your content and then leaving and never returning to your site.

Here’s what you need to implement these automations:

  • For content upgrades: You need a pop-up opt-in form like Leadboxes to capture leads, a email service provider like ConvertKit to collect those leads, and enticing lead magnets to give away. (Pro tip: If you don’t have a designer to create lead magnets for you, I’d recommend checking out Beacon. This software allows you to turn blog posts into lead magnets in 90 seconds flat.)
  • For image banners: You need a pop-up opt-in form, an email service provider, and a way to create those image banners for your blog site. (Pro tip: Again, no designer? You’re covered with these free and easy design tools for non-designers to help you churn out these image banners quickly.)
  • For exit or timed popups: You would need the pop-ups themselves, plus an email service provider like ConvertKit to collect leads. Install either exit and timed pop-ups and you’re good to go! (This takes less than 5 minutes inside Leadpages if you choose Leadboxes.)

What other tools are you using to automate your blog operations (and spend more time creating great content)? Share your favorites in the comments below.

Editor’s Note: This post comes to you from Kat Von Rohr of Leadpages. Kat was the very first copywriter ever hired at Leadpages, a landing page platform that helps businesses grow by collecting more leads and driving more sales. Currently, as Senior Campaign Owner, Kat designs and manages all new promotional campaigns for Leadpages while still finding time to help people conquer their marketing challenges through writing blog posts and strategizing with customers in person. You can follow her on Twitter at @katvonrohr. To learn more about marketing automation, and how you can use it to scale your business, check out Leadpages’ free Marketing Automation course.

  • I’m both a LeadPages and (new) ConvertKit customer and plan to keep my LeadPages account for many reasons (I put it to good use), but I’m wondering…

    What I’m missing when it comes to using LeadBoxes as popups? Why would I do this if I can create popups with my ConverKit account and WordPress plugin? Is there a feature, step or benefit I’m missing? Thanks in advance!

    • Kat Von Rohr

      Hi Marlene! Thanks for stopping by. (And for being a ConvertKit / Leadpages customer—that’s awesome!) Since you have both solutions, I’d recommend you test out both types of popups and see which convert higher for you and your specific audience.

      You never know what you may find out once you start testing. For example, we have found that adding images to our Leadboxes—especially adding movable progress bars at the top—have dramatically increased our own conversions. If you haven’t tried this yet, I’d recommend you test it out. Also, with our new drag-and-drop landing page builder, you can customize Leadboxes any way you like, so you can test out different images, button placement, colors etc. Hope that helps! Happy testing.

      • Right – more design options. That makes sense, as does your advice to test! Thank you!

  • Would love to know what LeadPages does (with its monthly fee) that OptinMonster doesn’t (with its one-time fee). Seriously. Thanks.

    • Kat Von Rohr

      Hey Wayne! Thanks for the question. While I’m not an OptinMonster expert, I can tell you that according to their pricing page, it looks like they also offer monthly and annual plans (so it appears to not be a one-time fee, but perhaps I’m missing something?) As far as features go, I know different solutions work for different businesses, so I’d encourage you to test-drive both and see what works best for you.

      If it helps, here a few of Leadpages standout features: 1) Unlimited landing pages, that you can publish on an unlimited number of domains (including your clients). 2) Unlimited traffic at no extra cost. 3) Unlimited Leadboxes to publish on your blog / website. 4) Our lead magnet delivery system (that allows you to instantly email out your lead magnets), 5) Our text-to-opt-in tool, Leaddigits that allows you to collect leads via text messages, 6) Our multiple publishing options, including the ability to publish landing pages as Facebook tabs in four clicks, 7) Leadlinks, that allow your subscribers to opt-in for webinars or sub-lists in one click, 8) Our new drag-and-drop landing page builder that allows you to create 100% mobile-responsive landing pages from scratch (or by customizing our high-converting templates).

      But again, all that said, I’d encourage you to try out both and see what’s right for you and your business. Thanks!

      • Very helpful, Kat. Thanks! Come to think of it, I think I got in on the ground floor with OptinMonster and they no longer offer a lifetime payment option. Thanks for the feature of LeadPages. I’ll check it out.

  • Thanks so much for featuring my post! 🙂 Great article.

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