There’s a parable about the power of belief. The parable starts with two farmers. Each farmer was barely surviving during a drought that threatened to wipe out their harvest. Both farmers went to church, went to the altar and pleaded with God to send rain. One farmer, went home, sat on his porch and searched the skies for signs of rain. The other farmer went home, put on his overalls, climbed on his tractor and spent the afternoon tilling a new field. It was back breaking work but the farmer stuck with it until dusk. On his way home, the other farmer asked him, why did you till a new field?
The farmer said “If you pray to the Lord, you better be prepared for rain”. He turned and went up the road just as a rain-soaked wind blew across the field offering the Lord’s answer.
Sappy, I know but I believe that before you expect good things make sure you have done everything to take advantage of the opportunity.
Preparing for Rain:
Be prepared ahead of time to leverage the exposure from influencer mentions and guest post opportunities. You should have the following tools in your toolbox:
- Free Lead Magnet Offer: Without a lead magnet you are flushing your new readers down the toilet. Getting an email address gives you an opportunity to turn curiosity clicks into repeat visitors, leads, and customers.
- Custom Landing Page or access to someone who can quickly create a custom landing page
- Sublist set-up in your email autoresponder for important/high visibility guest-post opportunities. This sublist will be populated by a custom opt-in form on your custom landing page.
Guest Post Author Byline
Readers will check your author byline to get information about your site. Maximize this attention by adding these elements to your byline:
- Offer for free lead magnet. The offer will increase visits to your site. Link directly to your landing page for the lead magnet
- Link to Custom Landing Page: Create a landing page for the readers of your host blog. This is a nice touch that demonstrates your desire to engage with the audience. Add your call-to-action on this page to convert visitors into subscribers.
Front and Center
Make sure your opt-in opportunities are shown in prominent positions on your blog. Move your priority call-to-action to the top of your sidebar. Consider creating a delayed pop-in to capture new visitors coming from Guest Post.
Recommended pop-up software: PopupDomination, Pippity, and OptinSkin. HelloBar is an excellent option for a discreet front-page call-to-action.
Test Every Optin-Form/Call-to-Action
I once had an influential blogger send me over 1,000 visitors in just 2 hours. I was estatic until I realized that my best converting call-to-action form was broken. Embarassing and a major opportunity lost. Test every form and fix them quickly. Pay someone to fix them if you can’t figure it out.
Resources: oDesk.com, eLance.com, and Rent-a-Coder
Prepare Sales Opportunities
Remember that traffic is great but sales are better. Review your services and product pages to make sure they are concise and focused on benefits. Test your “Buy Now” buttons just in case.
You have 24-48 hours to get the most out of influencer mentions and guest blog events. Be prepared to react quickly with the tactics below. Decide how many of these tactics to use based on the visibility and popularity of the host blogger or influencer.
Watch the Twitter stream of the host blog/mentioner. Thank each person that retweets your post. This is a classy thing to do and shows your host that you are serious about making their readers feel appreciated. A fair number of people that you think will also follow your Twitter Account.
Send a broadcast email promoting your guest post to your subscribers. Keep the email short to increase click-throughs. Tell your readers why the guest post is important and specifically tell them to “click to read this post”
Also encourage your readers to comment on the guest post. Their comments will demonstrate that you know how to attract an active and engaged audience.
“On a Field Trip” Blog Post
On the day of your guest post, publish a post that tells readers that you are hanging out on the host blog. Give them a link to the guest post and encourage them to show support by saying hi in the comments and sharing with their network.
Respond to Comments:
Spend time on the day of your post in the comments area. Respond to all comments. Be gracious and thank the host blogger. Whenever possible answer questions by directing readers to other articles on the host blog. Your gracious response will get you invited back for another gig and lead others to check out your blog.
Schedule 3 Promotional Tweets:
On the day of the mention write and schedule at least 3 tweets promoting your post/mention. Send these tweets out in the AM/Afternoon, and Evening timeframes to capture the most attention.
Guest Post Follow-up Pitch
Immediately contact influential mentioners and offer to write a guest post for their blog. They have already recognized your expertise, strike while your name is still top of mind.