Websites have been around for at least 30 years, and blogs for at least 20. How can they still be relevant? Well, the answer is that they’re still incredibly relevant, but not if you’re treating your website like an expensive electronic business card.
What I mean by “electronic business card” is that if you don’t have an active blog where you share new, valuable content on a regular basis, your website is just a sitting duck, not really doing anything … kind of like when you hand your business cards out at networking events. 99.9% of the time, they just get thrown in the trash!
How do you make sure that your website doesn’t end up in the proverbial trash, too? By having an active blog where you share epic content. And I mean EPIC content that people can’t help but want because it’s so incredibly valuable to them and their problems that you want to help them solve.
But isn’t writing blog posts a huge waste of time and energy? I mean, who really reads blog posts anymore? Let me share some examples from my own business of how it’s grown on autopilot through my blog, even when I wasn’t actively blogging for months at a time.
Example #1: I have one particular blog post that I wrote in Summer 2016 that has been seen by over 31,000 people since it was shared on a certain social media platform, with 434 people clicking through to that particular blog post, resulting in 219 people opting into my email list. Which platform? Keep reading!
Example #2: Over this past summer, when I didn’t publish one single blog post for 4 months because I was overhauling my online course, I still grew my email list by 221 people (a 17% increase, which is NOT a small amount!). During that same 4 month stretch time, there was one entire month where I only posted 4 times on Instagram, and I wasn’t active on any other social media platforms, and my list grew by 75 new subscribers.
So, how would YOU like for your email list, number of paying clients, and business to grow on autopilot, just like I’ve experienced? If you’re nodding your head yes, then …
YOU NEED TO BLOG!
And I’m not talking any old blogging, I mean intentional blogging, where you lead new website visitors and social media followers from blog post > email list > looking at your offerings > paying clients and customers in less than a month. On autopilot. Without you doing anything but writing a blog post and a few emails.
Sound like a dream? It’s not! This is my reality every day in my business, as I see new people opting into my email list and being led down the yellow brick road to a fantastic solution for their problems. In fact, here’s my email subscribers for the last month:
Each one of those little boxes represents 1 subscriber, with the larger boxes meaning more than one person opted into that specific content on my website that day. I so wish there wasn’t that one day without a new subscriber, just so that I could say that I grow my list every single day! 😂You can see that, on an average day, I grow my list between 3 and 10 people, and weekdays are much more popular than weekends.
Regardless, my business is nothing special. I have less than 1,700 followers on Instagram (maybe more than you, but definitely not a ton!), and just over 1,600 likes on my business page on Facebook. My email subscribers on my business list (for content like you’re reading now) is less than 1,500, and my health related email list is less than 500 people.
If I can build a multiple 6-figure business without a huge social media following or email list, you can, too!
The only thing that separates me from you is 3.5 years of consistently and intentionally blogging to grow my business.
You can do it the hard way (or should I say the expensive way, by paying for ads on social media), or you can do it the sustainable way by creating amazing content on your blog posts, and using them in creative ways to grow your business.
Here are my 6 favourite (and some probably unknown to you) ways to use a blog to grow your business on autopilot:
1. Add in content upgrades
Content what? Content upgrades are like mini opt-ins that you create for a blog post. They’re amazing to grow your email list because people can opt in directly in the post for something HUGELY valuable without clicking anywhere else. Remember, people are lazy and busy, so the chances of them just browsing your website for no reason, and clicking to other pages where you do ask them to opt in, are slim to none.
Click here to learn more about content upgrades, and how they’re the #1 thing that completely changed my business by allowing it to grow on autopilot all year long.
Like I shared above, my list grew by 221 people over this summer, despite taking 4 months off of blogging so that I could focus on updating my online course. At that time, I was NOT being overly active on social media.
The last blog post I wrote before my break was this one all about stock photos for your health & wellness business, and I included a content upgrade with my curated collection of images (i.e. my favourite, modern, clean images), so my readers wouldn’t have to waste their time searching through thousands, and I mean thousands, of photos to find the best ones.
In May, 93 people opted into that bonus, most of which were already on my email list. So that didn’t really grow my overall list with new potential customers.
However, here’s the number of new people who found that blog post and opted into my email list in the following months, even when I didn’t share that blog post again anywhere on social media:
June - 23 new subscribers
July - 16 new subscribers
August - 15 new subscribers
September - 17 new subscribers
So that’s 71 new email subscribers from one blog post that I didn’t promote anywhere! That might sound small (and yes, it’s not HUGE), but the average email list converts 1-3% of subscribers to paying clients, so those 71 new people should end up providing me with 2 sales of my course at some point.
The best part is that I didn’t have to do much of anything except write the blog post in the first place!
The point with content upgrades is that if you’re going to invest the time into write a blog post, you might as well include something that will catch email subscribers right in the post.
So how did I get so many new email subscribers from one blog post without actively promoting it?
2. Share it on Pinterest!
Over the past few years, I’ve focused on using Pinterest, and growing my organic reach on it, because it’s an almost 100% passive marketing strategy for my business. That means that I don’t even have to be active on the platform to have it send me some great potential new customers and clients!
For example, over that same 4 month stretch when I was updating my course, and therefore wasn’t really active on social media? Here’s my stats for how many people landed on my website from which social media platforms:
Facebook - 707 clicks to my website
Instagram - 287 clicks to my website
Pinterest - 1672 clicks to my website
Now, let me tell you that I’ve been investing my time heavily into Instagram over the last 6 months or so (really, about a year!), and you can see that it’s still lagging far behind all my other referrers to my website (however, it converts better to people opting into my email list, so those 2 platforms result in different actions being taken).
Over that 4 month stretch, Pinterest sent me 582% more visitors to my website than Instagram, and 236% more than Facebook.
How much time did I spend on Instagram over that 4 month stretch? Probably dozens, if not 50 hours.
How much time did I spend on Facebook? Probably 10-20 hours (mostly being active in specific Facebook groups, helping to answer questions).
How much time did I spend on Pinterest? Zero. Literally, zero hours.
Now, you should know that because of my time spent on optimizing my Pinterest account (and money invested in courses!) , I have almost 8,000 followers and reach over 100,000 monthly viewers. Without paying for ads or spending time on the platform, I’d like to add.
One of my most popular pins has been seen by over 30,000 people, for a blog post that was written over 2 years ago. And the longer that pin is on Pinterest, the more traction it picks up!
So, how do you share your blog posts on social media? Make an image for each blog post with the headline and possibly a subtitle (like the one shown above), embed that image directly into the blog post (like you can see at the top of this blog post!), write an optimized caption with hashtags (did you know that Pinterest has hashtags, too?!), and pin it to your own Pinterest account as a rich pin. For the blog image, I use a template (some I’ve made for myself, some I’ve purchased for less than $20) to make the image in less than 10 minutes.
What are rich pins? They’re an upgraded pin option available for free with a business account on Pinterest.
Of course, most of what I pin is about business stuff, and Pinterest is THE place to go for recipes, so is there a place for you? If you’re building a business with doTERRA or Young Living, I’ve noticed that there’s a HUGE lack of stylish, modern looking pins for essential oils that really pull in people who are interested in the overall lifestyle. Not just pins with diffuser images on it, but pins that link to valuable articles showing them lots of in depth information and real life examples of how they can use essential oils to improve their life.
Here’s the numbers, at the time of writing this blog post, for how many pins include essential oils:
If you start using some of those more specific hashtags shown above, you’re only competing with about 3,000 to 5,000 other pins on a platform that has 250 million active monthly users. Why is that important?
Know how many pins there are for hashtags like #vegan, #paleo, and #keto? #paleo comes in least popular with just over half a million pins, #keto has been used over 600,000 times, and #vegan has over 2.3 million pins that you would be competing with.
So if you have an essential oils business, get on Pinterest NOW! The longer you wait, the harder it’s going to be to gain a foothold in the essential oil market on Pinterest. If I had more time for it, I’d be creating as much content as I could, like a crazy oil lady, and sharing it as much as possible on Pinterest.
But it’s not just about Pinterest …
3. Create regular content for other social media platforms
Most people think that when you write a blog post, you only use it once. You send an email to your email list, post it on Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest (amongst other platforms), and then it’s never spoken of again.
But why would you spend your time creating amazing content and only share it once? You can share that content over and over and over again, especially if it’s incredibly valuable and has a content upgrade!
Plus, this helps you so much in creating your social media content, because I don’t know about you, but unless you’re working on it all day like it’s your full-time job (and you shouldn’t be if you’re reading this, since it’s meant for wellness entrepreneurs!), it’s hard coming up with brand new content all the time.
You can take advantage of scheduling programs like Tailwind, MeetEdgar, SmarterQueue, or the plain old built in scheduling function that’s in some social media platforms like Facebook.
For example, there’s a hashtag on Instagram #tbt, which means Throwback Thursday, which has over 447 million posts. Yep, like half a billion, so I guess it’s a thing 😂. Most people will post old pictures of themselves or their life, but you know what you could throw back to? And old blog post!
Worry that people will see the same content over and over again, and wonder why you’re repeating yourself? Think that someone on your email list will see you posting that old blog post, get annoyed, and unsubscribe?
Well, it’s a fact that organic reach for most social media platforms today is about 3%, meaning that of all the people who follow/like you, and have raised their hands to see your content, the social media company will only show it to about 3% of them. You have to pay to show it to more ;)
So, chances are that people won’t actually be seeing your content when they’ve already seen it before unless they’re a hardcore fan. And your hardcore fans probably love you so much that they won’t get annoyed, or maybe they were too busy to open that email you sent with that blog post, so they’re learning about it for the first time along with new potential customers. Total win-win!
When I write a new blog post caption for social media, I take that same caption, edit it slightly to reflect that it’s not a brand new post (I usually say something like “Here’s an oldie but a goodie!”), then add it to my scheduler program so it can repeat every few weeks or months on autopilot.
Work once, have it live on forever and ever, amen!
4. Test out any new paid offerings
Maybe you have an idea in mind of something you could sell, whether it’s a service (one-on-one or group programs), online course, or products. Maybe you’re going between 2 different ideas and trying to decide which one to see to fruition.
How do you make sure you’re making something that your audience actually wants and needs? You don’t just guess, you test it out!
I can’t tell you how many hundreds of hours I’ve spent on creating paid offerings that didn’t sell nearly as well as I expected. I thought it was what my audience wanted, and I knew it was what they needed to get rid of some of the symptoms they were having … but the response was lukewarm when I actually put it up for sale.
If we could all pay our bills simply with ideas of what customers need, every single entrepreneur would be rich beyond their wildest dreams … but in reality, 95% of us fail. You can’t pay your bills with ideas, the world works with money.
I had this very question of “What if you don’t have any products to sell, where is the best place to start?” in a recent live video on Instagram, and even though I didn’t plan on giving an entire strategy without any prep, that’s what happened! My explanation was so thorough (and, frankly, mind blowing for many watching) that I’m not even going to try and replicate it.
Plus, this entire strategy only took me 5 minutes to explain, so you don’t even have to watch an hour long video to learn it.
If you’re at the stage that you’re ready to design some paid offerings for your audience, save yourself the time, headaches, and heartache that comes if you skip this testing phase by entering your name and email below to watch the explanation of this strategy:
Then, once you’ve designed the right paid offering for your audience, you launch the crap out of it (which is an entirely other post on it’s own). BUT, there’s yet another way to use a blog post now by giving them a …
5. Sneak peeks of your paid offerings
So you designed something that people can pay you for, whether it’s a signature one-on-one program (click here for some help with that!), group program, online program, or even a product. And you sold some of it, YAHOOOOO!
Now what? 😂
Well, the best way to show people that your program is for them is to show them a sneak peek of your program for free!
I’m not saying you should give the entire program away, but you share sneak peeks of parts of your program, linking it up to blog posts that give them the intro to that particular info.
For example, let’s say that you have a one-on-one program that helps women get over adrenal fatigue. As part of that program, you recommend dietary changes (hello, fat and protein!), stress reduction using essential oils, and learning how to say no to more things so that their to-do list and schedule doesn’t give them a panic attack every day.
I’d start by writing a blog post called, let’s say “5 things to eat to heal your adrenal fatigue” … or use whatever language is compliant for you and your particular regulations. Then, in the post, list those things and why they’re included.
A perfect content upgrade is to give them a 1-week meal plan that includes all those foods and easy recipes to make them, which might even be the first meal plan they’ll receive from you when they decide to hire you.
The second blog post, let’s say about stress reduction and essential oils, would work the same way, with you sharing 3 or 5 or whatever number you want of the particular oils they could use and why you chose them.
Then, the content upgrade shows them how they would use these in their actual lives. Maybe it’s a daily schedule mapped out for them, maybe it’s some diffuser blends, maybe it’s a video of you walking them through your daily routine with using oils for stress.
Then you write a third post following the same template for learning how to say no, again, with a content upgrade.
When those people give you their name and email, they get added to your email list. In the email program that I use, I can choose for it to trigger other emails (known as an autoresponder). You give them even more useful info and education in those emails, but you also include this sentence a few emails in:
“Did you like the [insert what they opted in for e.g. one week meal plan] that I gave you? Awesome! It was taken directly from my [insert the name of your paid offering e.g. 6 month Heal your Adrenal Fatigue program].
I think it would be perfect for you, click here to learn more about it!”
… and then you link to your sales page.
With my email program, I can even record the people who clicked the link, and I can send additional emails just to those people, that might include more info about the paid solution, an invitation to hop on a 1-1 call with me, or even a discount, since they’re obviously more interested than the rest of the people who opted in.
6. Webinar replays
So, you worked really hard to put on a fantastic webinar (or other free video training). You spent hours making a beautiful slide deck, you promoted the heck out of it on social media and to your email list, and you completely stressed out before you had to show up live because … well, it’s live.
I don’t think there’s one of my webinars that I’ve presented over the past 3 years that hasn’t been recycled in one of my blog posts. Heck, even the live series that I did last week is getting repurposed in this very blog post.
I never do anything without considering how I can reuse it to grow my business, especially if I’m invested a good chunk of time into it.
You plan for the webinar as usual, but after the webinar, you think about what kind of blog you could write where your webinar would be the natural next step for them to watch to get more specifics.
I’d take the main 3-5 things that you taught them in the webinar, write an intro, then share an overview of those 3-5 topics. Give them enough information that you feel proud with the amount that you shared, but it still leaves them wanting to know more about how exactly to implement it.
Then, you share that they can learn more in depth strategies by watching the free class below, which they get when they give you their name and email.
If these strategies feel way over your head at the point you’re at in your business, that’s totally OK (and totally natural!). These strategies have taken me years, like 4 years, of taking different courses and learning a few new things here and there, plus a whole lot of experimenting until I figured out what was working.
This strategy is a long-term game, meaning that it’s probably not going to get you instantaneous sales, but in the long run, and the more you’re consistently focusing on producing content like this, it snowballs and starts paying off more and more the longer you do it.
But you’re not going to get to any sort of results if you don’t start.
You have to begin at the beginning.
If you have no idea even where to start, I shared the blueprint of how to do this in your own business in my “Website WHAT?!” video series.
You can start with video #2, but there are also 4 other videos that continue to discuss this long-term, organic strategy with you that will help put your business on autopilot over the next 3-6 months.
These videos cover:
How to write your blog posts so you can attract new email subscribers round the clock
Organizing your blog to use posts over and over again
How to use content you've already created to turn new email subscribers into paying customers ASAP
How to build the most popular page on your website, and how to use it to convert new visitors to raving fans
Your dream solution if you don’t want to be online 24/7 OR keep having to invest in paid ads (that aren’t even working anyways)
How to use a website for your doTERRA business