Landing pages are single use pages designed to funnel your reader’s attention to one specific call-to-action. They work well because readers aren’t distracted by navigation, sidebar widgets or other posts.
For example, I use a landing page to offer my 7 Minute Blog Strategy guide. There isn’t anything else on this page but a description of the guide and an email opt-in form. Visitors to this page can decide to opt-in or hit the back button. Does this work? Absolutely, the landing page outperforms a sidebar form by almost 97% or about double the conversion rate.
As a professional blogger, you absolutely need to have landing pages in your toolbox. Using them will increase your conversion rate meaning you can get more results from fewer readers.
Think of it this way.
Let’s say that your blog is fairly new. You get about 1,000 visitors a month from some pretty savvy promotion. You’ve made the smart decision to focus on growing your email subscriber list. You primarily rely on comments, forum participation, and guest posting to attract people to your blog. People arriving from other blogs visit via a link that you’ve directed to a standard blog page with full navigation and sidebar. You’ve tucked an opt-in form into your sidebar.
Based on my experience, you could expect to see a 10% opt-in rate or 100 subscribers a month. After a year, you would add about 1,200 subscribers.
But, if you sent this traffic to a landing page, again based on my experience, you would enjoy a 19% opt-in rate, 197 subscribers a month or 2,300+ subscribers a year.
Here’s the best part. You’ve almost doubled your list without spending more time on blog promotion. All you did was increase the conversion rate with a landing page.
This sounds well and good but…
The Major Problem With Landing Pages
Landing pages have always been difficult for bloggers to pull off. In the past, building a landing page required some expertise with PHP, the coding guts behind your WordPress blog. If you got sick in your stomach just now then you understand why most bloggers avoid using landing pages.
It got a bit easier with the introduction of the Genesis and Thesis blog frameworks. These framework designers offered excellent tutorials that guided users through setting up landing page templates. But pulling off a decent looking landing page was still reserved for ninjas with coding skills.
This changed with the release of Premise plugin from Copyblogger. (Just so you know I am a fan and Premise affiliate)
Premise 1.0 Was A Great First Step
The first version of Premise made it point-and-click easy to create an attractive landing page. Since Premise is a WordPress plugin you could install it in minutes and use it with your current theme.
I use Premise for SEO-friendly category pages, quick landing pages for special reports, and video landing pages.
I’ve never had to tinker with code. Any questions I’ve had are promptly handledby the support team.
The problem was that I wanted to do more with Premise.
You see as a professional blogger I am constantly building new products around this blog. Simply recommending new products and hoping for the occasional ad click isn’t going to buy the baby new shoes.
So, I have a lot of specific business-building demands.
Ideally, I would want a genie-in-the-bottle that could:
Set-up password protected Membership areas:
Membership areas are a great way to spend focused time with readers. The classic problem with setting them up has been easily password protecting specific pages. I’ve tested some decent programs but many of them required me to hack code or wait for days for support. Not cool
Accept monthly membership payments:
Taking monthly payments is a pain with most WordPress plugins. But, recurring payments are key for building a growing business with membership sites. Many bloggers hire expensive programmers to create a custom solution. Most bloggers don’t have this cash lying around.
Slowly Add Content Over Time:
I usually create content in batches, kicking out multiple lessons in one session. Ideally, I would like my plugin to “drip” this content into my membership area over a set-period rather than uploading everything at once.
Make it Easy to Offer eBooks, Special Reports, and other Digital Products:
It usually takes me a week to set-up all the pages needed to promote and take payment for a simple ebook. Frankly, I’ve avoided offering paid products because of the hassle! I’ve been on the hunt for a simple solution but have been disappointed for some time now.
Brian Clark Read My Mind
Premise 2.0 was released on Monday. Long story short, the Copyblogger Media team read my mind. They’ve managed to pack every “wish list” feature I’ve wanted into a dramatically enhanced new version.
Actually it will probably take me a year to fully use everything in Premise 2.0. But like a swiss army knife, Premise is nice to have in my blog-building toolbox.
Now, Brian is a clever cat. He’s offering Premise 2.0 at a discount. He will hike the price once his new website is ready which could be any minute now. With most marketers, this “scarcity” stuff is a gimmick – Not with Brian. He will raise the price. I’ve been caught too many times to doubt him.
Brian wrote a detailed post that lays out the details.
I wanted to give you my opinion because I want to save you some time trying to figure out if Premise would make sense to you. I hope you found this post helpful. And of course, give me a shout with any questions in the comments.