3 Reasons why your blog posts are not converting #blogging

Whilst chatting with a coaching client the other day, the topic of blog post conversion came up. She felt that her posts should be converting better and despite the wisdom and advice I was sharing, she felt there had to be a magic plugin that would make her blog posts convert into more sales.

There is no magic plugin, it’s down to you. It’s down to what you write. It’s down to what information you share.

1. Know the purpose of your blog post

Each blog post has a different purpose, some are created with the intention of gaining subscribers (if you like what you are reading here btw, you can subscribe at the end of the post or to read via email in the sidebar), others are written to express an opinion or share advice. Others are written with the express intention of generating conversation and Twitter shares. When you start writing your post you should know in your mind what the outcome from that post should be.

2. Write for your ideal reader.

Don’t assume that your posts are read solely by your ideal reader, they won’t be but you still have to write them for her. Search engine traffic will be your ideal reader searching for you, she has to recognise that the post is written for her. You can have several ideal readers but each blog post should appeal to just one of them and not all of them. If you appeal to all of them you will have one confused posts with a message that doesn’t read right to anyone.

3. Write deep, share your knowledge

Back in my recruiting days we called this demonstrating your capabilities, you may call it showing your expertise. It’s the same thing. There can be a fear of if you show all, that you won’t get any enquiries. Let me reassure you: it doesn’t work like that. When you show your expertise you build trust, you start to create a bond with your reader – you are demonstrating, in the most authentic manner that you know what you are doing.

Have you ever skimmed a sales / squeeze page and thought “hmm, that looks flaky?”. The lack of depth in the writing has not reassured you, not made you feel safe so you have skim-read and moved on.

Build the trust and your copy will convert better, trust me on that. You don’t have to be the best writer in the world you just have to show that you know what you are talking about. Write more knowledgeably and your ideal reader will become a customer. She won’t if she thinks you have no idea what you are talking about.

  • Write more how-to blog posts,
  • Write more posts about why you do things a certain way,
  • Write about how you get results
  • Educate your readers so that they value you and share your words with their audience.
  • Share case studies of your clients
  • Share what you would have done in a topical scenario
  • Show examples

Don’t be afraid of the detail, it’s what wins you customers. If you write light you are presenting yourself as a flake. You deserve better than that.

Bonus tip – Add a call to action

  • Guide your ideal reader into taking action.
  • Lead them to what you want them to do.
  • Focus on one call to action per blog post.

Simple really, but all to often we forget the call to action or we leave it out because we think it’s selling. Guiding our ideal readers to subscribe, to share, to comment isn’t selling. Even inviting them to register attendance at a webinar isn’t selling. It’s extending an invitation and if you word it correctly you will be fine.

Examples of good wording (feel free to crib and adapt)

*Subscribe to my newsletter and I’ll send you 7 days of blog boosting advice all for free*Attend my webinar so we can show you in more detail how to blog better

*If you like this post, can you like it on Facebook too?

*Get a free copy of xxxx by subscribing here

You get the idea  :)

Of course you could always say attend my webinar and I’ll pitch high valued products after I have spent 30 minutes talking about myself …. but the truth is we know that kind of webinar is the kind that invites unsubscribes to your future webinars and hurts your reputation.

Look at some of your high traffic posts and if they are not converting, tweak the call to action. You may have to tweak it several times over a month but when you do hit upon the right call to action you’ll soon know it.

Blog posts are not carved in stone, you can tweak the call to action at any point. 50% of my searches here are about ebooks, I recently published an ebook about writing ebooks… you know the get it out of your head sharpish and onto the online bookshelves type of ebook. I updated the call to action on a few of the ebook related posts and guess what?  They are selling steadily and people are happy.

So there we have it, 3 reasons why your blog posts are not converting and one extra tip.

So go and implement one of these tips asap and let me know how you get on.


PS if you liked this post you will get maximum benefit from subscribing to my newsletter mentioned above the post
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Sarah Arrow

Sarah Arrow started blogging to save a business and it worked! She created her first blogging challenge back in 2007, and is the author of many quick start marketing guides, turning Sark eMedia into a publishing business.

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Lisa - a couple of years ago

This is great Sarah thank you. I love your call to actions. I get overly concerned about being in people’s faces with it and I’m not a cold sell but the way you word means it doesn’t come across like that. Fab! I also like the point about building trust and sharing. Really helpful stuff as always.
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    Sarah Arrow - a couple of years ago

    Thanks Lisa, at first it does feel uncomfortable but the good news is you can always go back over old posts and add the call to action when you feel more confident, and of course re-word them if you do come on a bit too strong.
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Tony - a couple of years ago

Hi Sarah, I love your point number 3 – demonstrating expertise. The first time you do this, you tend to get VERY worried that you are delivering “the keys to the kingdom” – both to potential clients and to competitors. The way I see it there are three types of people reading your posts – those who already know what you are talking about (your contemporaries), those who don’t but will keep Googling until they figure it out for themselves, and those who just want somebody who knows how to take care of it. Obviously the third category is the perfect client, but the second group quite often converts as well. Either way, demonstrating knowledge is what you do in face to face sales and your blog should do the same thing.
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    Sarah Arrow - a couple of years ago

    Hey Tony, thanks for stopping by and commenting :)
    Yes, I agree it can be a scary thing when you do that first post that demonstrates your expertise, but how else can you speak to your ideal clients and show them what you are capable of? You just have to take a deep breath and get on with it.
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Paula Kemp - a couple of years ago

Thanks for a great post, as always really interesting information. Like Lisa I always get worried about the “selling” part, but it doesn’t need to be scary when you write it in a nice way. Thank you
Paula Kemp recently posted…What Causes Back Pain!My Profile

    Sarah Arrow - a couple of years ago

    Hey Paula, thanks for dropping by :) I am a big fan of only writing what you feel comfortable with as that is better than writing nothing at all. For example I am happy to say “subscribe to my newsletter” but less happy to say “buy my ebook”, but my ebook is selling. I am happy to say take a look at the sales page but not so happy to say “cough up the cash this will change your life in a gazillion different ways”. I don’t think I could ever say that and mean it.

Jed the LA SEO Guy - a couple of years ago

Definitely know who your blog is aimed at, and make sure you’re passionate about your subject.
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    Sarah Arrow - a couple of years ago

    Absolutely, it’s the most important metric I use – am I reaching my ideal readers? and if the answer is no, then I have to change and adapt until I reach them.

"Tumble Trimmer" - a couple of years ago

Thank you to get a fantastic submit, since constantly actually intriguing details. Just like Lisa I fret in regards to the “selling” portion, nonetheless it doesn’t must be terrifying once you compose that in the great approach. Many thanks.

    Sarah Arrow - a couple of years ago

    If you guide rather than push your readers you have nothing to worry about. thanks for stopping by and commenting.

Karl Craig-West - a couple of years ago

Thanks Sara,
kinda confirms some of the stuff that I already knew but you’ve also reinforced it in my mind not to try and cater for everyone.
Much appreciated.

    Sarah Arrow - a couple of years ago

    Glad to hear that Karl, thanks for stopping by and commenting.

Owen Greaves - last year

I’m not sure when it happened or why, but today it seems, everything you do, write or sell MUST convert. It’s as if, if it doesn’t convert, you’re a huge failure. Some things are meant to consumned without converting to cash. I’m not convinced everything we do on the Internet has to convert.

Having said that, there are many ways to convert, there are some common practices that are proven, each niche has its eb & flow.

Sorry, it’s on my mind. Good piece by the way. I just think we need to keep perspective now & then. Cheers!

    Sarah Arrow - last year

    Glad you got it off your chest Owen :)
    Conversion can be as simple as someone become a long term reader or as complex as making a sale. It can be as much as gaining a comment and starting a conversation as someone joining your newsletter, all are conversions. Some are just more valuable than others. I like the comments best, I’m shallow like that ;)
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Sarupa Shah, The Soul Agent - last year

Thanks Sarah … this is what I needed to here, I guess I sit around the fence that is don’t call to action – but you have inspired me to get clearer with it and why not….!
Sarupa Shah, The Soul Agent recently posted…Where’s your business’s silver bullet?My Profile

    Sarah Arrow - last year

    It’s easy to think that sitting on the fence is benefiting your blogging, but in truth as a reader, we need to be guided to the next action – what do you want us to do next? It’s then the call to action is helpful.
    Sarah Arrow recently posted…Exploring DynamikMy Profile

Anita - last year

Hi Sarah,

Very helpful tips, thanks for your thoughtful, helpful guidelines.
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Lisa - last year

Hi Sarah!
Thanks for the great tips! I also don’t like to do a hard sell. I really like your tip number 3. It’s important to gain a potential customer’s trust before they take action. Give the reader a solution to their problem and don’t hold back!
Thanks again for sharing your knowledge here, it’s been very helpful.
Lisa recently posted…Using Google Keyword Research for SEOMy Profile

Himanshu - 8 months ago

hello sarah,

very nice tip for converting blog posts. I really like all of your tips and it’s really working for me.. I really enjoy your blog.. keep writing such stuff for us…
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Personal Creations - 8 months ago

I found your blog today through a Facebook post in a group. I am so glad I found you. I subscribed and I am definitely coming back when I have time to read more. I love your post. I just started my own blog recently and I am hoping to learn more here about blogging for my own use. I have been marketing online for over 17 years, but I never really kept up with blogging until I started my new blog, I am now loving it. Have a happy new year!

Amit Kumar - 8 months ago

Hiii Sarah,
Great Post…… you mentioned some very remarkable points here. Third point of this post “Write deep, share your knowledge” is really very valuable. i enjoyed this post very much…!!
thanks a lot and Happy New Year Sarah :)
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David Haines - 8 months ago

This is such a great article Sarah! Thanks for the great tips and advice. I’m always looking for ways of improving my conversions, and you’ve given me some great ideas. Tip #3 was especially good. It’s important to show your knowledge but yet be humble and “real”.

Thanks again and best of luck to you in 2014!
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Sam Adeyinka - 8 months ago

Hey Sarah, it’s good to be here and thanks for that heads on…..I really do appreciate. :)

Speaking about this post, I so resonate with it and even though it’s my first time of reading your work it feels like I’ve been reading it like forever.

All the points you shared are all valid ones and I particularly love the 3rd point.

Thanks for sharing it…..it will so help us all! :)


Mahesh Charjan - 6 months ago

this is a good article which very explained why blog posts are not converting to money making machine.i probably agree with all points which you made but i would like add something in that promotion is another measure factor in getting traffic and converting.if you are every where you can probably convert into enough.
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Judy - a couple of days ago

Thanks Sarah. More valuable insights. 2 comments: I had to laugh at ‘attend my webinar and I’ll pitch high valued products after I have spent 30 minutes talking about myself’, so many people do this. My other thought is to write from deep within as well as writing deep.

    Sarah Arrow - a couple of days ago

    We’ve all attended webinars like that haven’t we? I don’t think they realise quite how it sounds :)

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