Do you want to make more money with your blog? Of course you do. And in this post, I will give you ten ways to increase your blog revenue.
Listen to Episode:
Do you want to make more money with your blog? Of course you do. And in this post, I will give you ten ways to increase your blog revenue.
Listen to Episode:
What if I told you there’s a new way to start a blog that’s 20X faster, requires no software or technical expertise, and costs absolutely nothing up front?
You’d think there must be some hidden catch, right?
But there’s not. It’s totally real.
In this post, I’m going to walk you through the newest method for how to start a blog, step-by-step, with screenshots and links to all the resources you need. Let’s jump in…
With the dominance of video content on platforms like YouTube and Facebook, you might think the whole idea of blogging is a little… out of date. Research tells a different story, though:
And it’s not just companies who are getting great results from blogging. It also works well for…
So, let’s say you fall into one of these categories. Should you just install WordPress and get cracking?
A few years ago, I would’ve said WordPress was the only game in town. It’s faster, more powerful, and more customizable than anything out there. That’s why they power 27% of the sites in the world.
WordPress is also extremely complicated. Here’s a typical list of tasks for setting up a new site:
If you’re a techie, and you’ve done it all before, it’s not a big deal. You can do it all in a few hours.
But if you’re a beginner using WordPress for the first time?
It’s overwhelming, and once you see how much there is to learn, you’ll probably feel like quitting. If you do push forward, you can spend months or even years stuck in a technical quagmire, just learning how to do everything the right way.
Of course, you can always outsource it, but you don’t really know what you are doing, your chances of picking the wrong service provider is pretty high. You might get scammed, hacked, or overcharged.
And here’s the really disturbing question:
Even if you get your WordPress site set up the right way, what if you discover you chose the wrong market or nobody likes the content you are publishing?
It happens all the time. When I was a beginner, I went through three failed blogs before I created one that succeeded. Each time, I spent dozens of hours setting up WordPress, only to discover the blog was never going to work, and I had to start over. If you push forward and set up WordPress without testing your idea first, I pretty much guarantee the same thing will happen to you too.
The bottom line:
Putting it all together, I think setting up a WordPress site is the worst possible approach for a beginner. You’re just setting yourself up for failure.
Fortunately, after working with thousands of students, I’ve discovered a new method that is much, much easier, not to mention faster, and I’m going to outline the entire process for you here.
The driving principle behind this new method is simple:
Waste as little effort as possible.
If you’re familiar with the thinking behind The Lean Startup by Eric Reis, everything outlined here will intuitively make sense to you. If not, here’s the idea:
Innovation is messy. Anytime you create something new — regardless of whether it’s an app or book or blog — there’s a huge chance of getting it wrong and having to start over.
The problem with blogging?
Most people don’t know there’s a huge chance of failure, so they spend months or even years creating a blog that has zero chance of succeeding. Eventually, they realize where they went wrong, and they start over, but again, they invest months or even years into creating a second (or third or fourth) blog that doesn’t work.
And here’s the part that’s tough to swallow:
This kind of failure is inevitable. Whenever you’re doing anything new, you will make mistakes and have to start over. It doesn’t matter if you are smart, rich, or successful at many other things. The first time you launch a blog, you will fail. It’s pretty much guaranteed to happen.
The good news is, you can dramatically speed up the process. Instead of wasting months or years chasing a bad idea, you can find out if it’s going to work in weeks or even days. In fact, the process I’m outlining here often destroys a bad idea within minutes.
You waste WAY less time. Instead of banging your head against the wall for months or even years before you finally figure everything out, you can adapt quickly and get to the right idea within a matter of weeks or months. It’s at least 20X faster. Probably more like 100X.
So, let’s dive in:
Well, sometimes you can.
One of the most damaging myths about blogging is the belief that you can start a successful blog targeting anyone, almost as if it’s a one-size-fits-all technology for getting “free traffic.” But it’s not true. The fact is, blogs are good at getting traffic when targeting specific kinds of audiences, and they are absolutely terrible when targeting others.
It’s also shockingly common to target the wrong audience. Of the thousands of students who come into our courses, more than 95% begin by targeting a poor or nonexistent audience that will never be able to support a successful blog, no matter how much time they put into it, and we have to use this checklist to push them in the right direction.
Surprising, right? You probably had no idea there was such a thing as a “bad audience,” but it’s true.
Of course, the obvious question is, “Why?” Why is it that some audiences are well-suited to blogs and others aren’t?
Let’s step through the criteria, and I believe it will become more clear. A good audience…
Interesting, right? And perhaps a bit unsettling?
The good news is, a rule disqualifying a bad audience usually suggests the adjustment you need to make. For example, the audience of “parents” was disqualified by the rule that a good audience must “share the same perspective,” but by subdividing the audience down to “middle-class mothers of toddlers,” we were able to find a viable audience.
Sometimes though, you can’t make a topic workable, no matter what you do. In those cases, look at the bright side: you just saved a lot of effort by finding out now rather than after years of trying.
But what if your idea for a blog is indeed viable? Well then, it’s time to do a little good old-fashioned espionage!
Thankfully, this next step is a lot less painful than the first one. It’s also much easier to explain.
Once you’ve verified your blog has potential, you need to study the blogs your audience already reads.
For instance, let’s say you want to start a blog for new homeowners. You’ll teach them how to make simple repairs themselves, maximize the value of their home, save money on their mortgage, and so on.
After going through the checklist above, you discover it meets all the criteria, and — alakazam, alakazoo — you have a workable blog topic. What’s next?
Well, the average new homeowner is in their 30s. Many are also parents. Chances are, a lot of them also have at least a passing interest in personal finance. Otherwise, they wouldn’t be able to afford a home.
So, here’s what you do: study the top personal finance and parenting blogs. In particular, you need to uncover their most popular content and learn from the patterns you see.
When you finish, you’ll have a list of ideas for blog posts backed by evidence of popularity. While nothing is guaranteed in life, the success of these posts will be far better than anything you might dream up in the shower and decide to write about. As a result, you should have a much easier time outpacing your competitors.
But it’s still worth testing a few of them, just to make sure…
At this point, you might be tempted to grab a hosting account, install WordPress, and start blogging your heart out, but don’t.
Yes, you’ve done some cool research. Yes, your ideas for blog posts are far more likely to succeed. Yes, you’re way ahead of most beginning bloggers.
But I hate to break it to ya…
There’s an excellent chance you analyzed all those popular posts from other blogs your audience reads and came to all the wrong conclusions. Before going through all the effort of creating a new blog, I recommend testing your ideas on perhaps the coolest blogging platform out there right now:
If you’ve never heard of it, Medium is the brainchild of Ev Williams, the geeky and brilliant co-founder of Twitter. He created it to become the largest, easiest to use blogging platform in the world, and he’s managed to attract over 30 million monthly readers, as well as celebrity writers like Matthew McConnaughhay and James Altucher.
And here’s the really cool part: you can write on Medium and get the chance to have your writing exposed to its 30 million readers, free of charge. Here’s how:
Now, here’s the big question:
How do you know you’re ready to switch over to WordPress?
Should you target a certain number of claps? Shares? Comments?
Actually, none of the above. In my opinion, none of those really mean much.
You’re much better off paying attention to your outreach success rate. You see, influencers are an excellent judge of content. If you can convince 20% of the blogs you email to share your post, and you can hit at least 20% on three different posts, I believe you’re ready to start your own blog.
If your outreach success rate hits 20%, there’s also an excellent chance at least one of your posts will end up featured on Medium, either on one of the interests or maybe even the front page, driving thousands upon thousands of new readers to your post. Again, not only will that help you build your audience, but it’s an excellent indication you’re on the right track, and it’s time to branch off on your own.
So, lots of influencers are sharing your post on Medium, and you’re itching to crank up your own site and snag some of that traffic?
Cool. Let’s just take it one step at a time, and the first step is getting a clear domain name.
Put yourselves in the shoes of the visitor. You’re browsing the web, and you see a headline for a blog post that catches your attention. Maybe a friend on Facebook shared it with you, maybe it came up on a Google search, or maybe it’s just a link in another article you’re reading. Regardless, you click the link, and consciously or not, you’re asking yourself a single question as you browse through it…
“Is this for me?“
Within a few seconds, you have to decide whether to keep reading the post or move on to something else, and the only way you’ll stay is if it’s relevant to you. Not just the post, either. When you’re deciding, you’ll take in the design of the page, other post headlines, and, yes, the domain name.
For example, consider Entrepreneur.com. Is there any doubt who the site is for? Entrepreneurs, of course!
How about MakeaLivingWriting.com? Obviously, it’s for people who want to make a living as a writer.
Neither names are clever, but they help you decide to stay or go by clearly articulating who they are helping. That’s what a good domain name does.
Of course, all the great domain names are taken, right?
Not necessarily. Here are three different methods for finding the perfect domain name for your site:
Use these three strategies to make a list of 10-20 domain names you’d be happy having. You can write them out in a word processor, or if you want to get fancy, you can use a tool like NameStation to generate a lot of ideas at once.
Once you’re finished brainstorming, head over to a site like NameCheap to see if they are available. Click “Bulk Search” in the search box and paste in your domain names to check them all at once.
Sometimes you get lucky, and one of your favorites is available. If not, you either have to head back to the drawing board for another brainstorming session, or you can go to a premium domain name marketplace like Sedo.
Either way, one word of advice:
Don’t get hung up on your domain name. While it’s certainly helpful to have a good one, there are thousands of hugely popular sites with terrible domain names no one understands.
In other words, it’s not really a “make or break” factor for your site. Give yourself a few days or maybe a week to brainstorm ideas, and then make a decision, because once you have your domain name, you are ready to…
You knew we had to run into some technical stuff sooner or later, right?
Well, here it is. There’s no code, complicated software to install or anything like that, but there are a lot of little steps you need to follow in exactly the right order.
It’s not too bad, though, I promise. You can do everything here in about an hour, and I have step-by-step guides to walk you through every little detail.
Let’s get started…
The great thing about having a self-hosted WordPress site is you’re in total control. You can change how it looks, what functionality it has, improve its performance, and almost anything else you can imagine.
Complete control also comes at a cost: complexity. There are thousands upon thousands of themes and hundreds of thousands of plug-ins to choose from, and you can easily lose weeks or even months of your life wading through them all and trying to figure out what’s best for you.
So, I’m going to take a minimalist approach here. Rather than giving you a huge list of things to do, I’m reducing it down to the absolute minimum, and I’ll even recommend some specific themes and plug-ins. Before we begin though, let me be clear about one thing:
Your content matters more than anything else.
You can have a site that’s ugly, clunky, and slow, but if you have great content, you’ll still get a lot of traffic. Not the opposite, though. You can have the most beautiful, user-friendly website online, but if the content sucks, nobody will give a damn about you.
So, don’t allow yourself to get lost in these details. Focus on making your website functional, and then you can always come back and make it unique or beautiful later.
That said, here are some different options to consider:
No. In fact, I don’t think they are the best in any single category.
But the combination of everything put together makes it far easier to get started. The design is also top-notch. That’s why they’ve become the most popular theme company on the market with over 400,000 paying customers.
The bottom line:
If you’re looking for a simple, stable solution that will last you for years and doesn’t require a “tech guy” to get up and running, Elegant Themes is the way to go.
Sumo will only last until you hit 500 subscribers, and then you have to either switch to something else or start paying a rather high monthly fee to stay with them. You also have to update everything separately, and you’ll have far less support if anything breaks.
To me, those are some pretty big downsides, and I really wouldn’t recommend it, but sometimes you don’t have any other choice. If that’s the case, give it a try.
Regardless of which option you choose, you’ll want to install a caching plug-in before you start getting too much traffic (100+ visitors per day). The two most popular options are plug-ins called WP Super Cache and W3 Total Cache.
If you’re looking for simplicity, I recommend WP Super Cache. You can install it, and you’re done. Here’s a video where a guy gets everything set up in three minutes:
Later, when you’re getting 10,000+ visitors per month, you might think about getting a tech guy who really knows the ins and outs of either plug-in to configure it for you. It really helps, but it’s not worth the trouble or expense for a new blog.
In the immortal words of Harry Connick Junior…
Up to this point, you’ve published posts on Medium until it’s clear people love what you write, you switched over to your self-hosted WordPress site, and now you are up and ready for the world. So, here’s the big question:
When does the money start rolling in? After all, that’s the point of all this, right?
Well… good news and bad news.
The good news is you’ve done the hard part. By far, the hardest part of building a popular blog is writing posts other people enjoy reading. Nothing else even comes close.
The bad news?
That’s just the beginning.
Now that your blog is up and running, you have to learn the ins and outs of getting traffic, building your email list, and monetizing your site. Even if you have top-notch writing skills, it’ll still take you at least 3-6 months to figure all that out.
But think about it this way…
Nothing worth doing is quick or easy.
Personally, I was a slow learner, and it took me three years to reach $1,000 a month. That’s a long time, right? Well, two years after that, we crossed $100,000 per month, and we’ve never looked back.
Getting started is the hardest part. It might take you a few months or even a few years to build up momentum. And you might feel a little dumb for investing so much time to it, but then that momentum builds and builds and builds, and you wake up one morning to the stupefying yet delicious realization that you’ll never have to worry about money again.
That’s what happened to me. Might happen to you too.
At the end of the day though, there’s only one way to find out:
Get started and see what happens.
Have you spent significant time growing your blog and online business?
Do you know that you have the ability to grow your business more, but feel like there’s something missing?
In this episode, I will share how you can use Mastermind groups to transform your business.
On January 8th, 2008, my life changed. It was the day I made my first dollar on the internet.
In fact, I made $70 that day.
For the first time – I was able to say that you could actually make money online.
It has been a decade, and there have been many challenges along the way.
But it has been one of the most rewarding experiences in my lifetime.
One of the key reasons for my success in my business have been mastermind groups.
The mastermind principle is a concept promoted by Napoleon Hill. It is “the coordination of knowledge and effort of two or more people, who work toward a definite purpose, in the spirit of harmony”.
There's one thing I'm sure about – I would not have lasted in business if not for my mastermind groups.
When I started my business, I knew that I had to network and connect with other entrepreneurs.
But the most influential mastermind group for me has been my Greenroom Mastermind.
I've been meeting with these guys almost every week for over seven years.
These guys, Cliff Ravenscraft, Mark Mason, Pat Flynn, Ray Edwards and Michael Stelzner, have helped me grow my business in huge ways.
Here are a few results that I attribute to being a part of this mastermind group:
While there are MANY benefits to being a part of a mastermind group, I'll share a few here.
Everyone's not a good fit for your mastermind group. You want to have people who are…
There are different formats for how to run a mastermind group. Our chosen format is very simple:
When I left my job in 2014, I started offering one-on-one coaching. Many of my clients have gone on to be very successful.
In some cases, they've doubled, tripled and even quadrupled their businesses.
There is something significant to being able to invest into the life of someone else on a one-to-one basis.
But I've also seen how much value comes from masterminding.
Being a part of a high-functioning mastermind has taught me what it takes to do them well.
I want to be able to invest at a much deeper level into 4 – 6 individuals.
I'm my coaching and mastermind group experiences into this new project.
The Blogger Dream Team is a paid mastermind group with a coaching component.
During our mastermind calls, I provide guidance as I do in my one-on-one coaching calls.
But you also get to tap into the experience, training, education, specialized knowledge and influence of the other members.
And there are some other things I have planned that will unfold as we go along.
And no – it's NOT for everyone.
Here's who I'm looking for:
It is NOT for you if:
I decided to keep the cost of membership in the Blogger Dream Team the same as the cost for my one-on-one coaching.
For $1,000/month, you get my guidance plus the masterminding aspect of being a part of the dream team.
If you're interested in being a part, go ahead and click here to apply now.
The post How to Use Mastermind Groups to Transform Your Business appeared first on Become A Blogger by Leslie Samuel.
2018 is around the corner.
This could be the year you crack your first 1,000 subscribers. This could be the year you get published on that blog you’re dying to write for. This could even be the year one of your blog posts goes viral.
But none of that will happen unless you keep at it.
You not only have to keep writing, you also have to keep honing your craft.
Because the one thing that separates the winners from the losers in this blogging game is that the winners are always trying to improve.
They’re always trying to take their writing chops to the next level.
And they never stop trying. Because there’s always a new level to reach.
Here at Smart Blogger, we publish a ton of content to help you level up your writing, because we want you to become the best writer you can be.
But we’re not the only voice out there. The blogosphere is full of accomplished wordsmiths who have perfected their writing for years and now share their experience.
So today, we want to highlight a few posts that other bloggers published in 2017 — posts that will help you hone your craft and meet your writing goals in the year to come.
Check ’em out below:
Author: Steve Rayson
You know the headline is the most important part of your article, right?
That’s why this is a must-read.
Buzzsumo has aggregated all the share counts of all the content that is published online. And in this post, they analyze that data to determine which headline phrases get the most social engagement, and which get the least.
Use this fascinating data in 2018 to give your headlines a better shot in the social arena.
Author: Jeff Goins
Jeff Goins is an iconic blogger who has five books and over 1,000 blog posts to his name. He’s a pro writer, but he had to start somewhere as well. He wasn’t always as effective as he is now.
In this post, he opens up about his past struggles to make it in the writing field, the mistakes he made along the way, and the mindsets that held him back.
The message is simple: If you want to be a pro, don’t act like an amateur.
Read this post and make sure that you’re not.
Author: Brian Clark
If you want to stir someone to action, you must first stir their emotions.
That is the premise of Brian Clark’s post, and he describes five writing techniques you can use to do so.
If you want your writing to stir your audience, practice these techniques.
Your writing will be more powerful and persuasive for it.
Author: Clare Lynch
This short post mirrors two sentences against each other. They both say the same thing in the same language, but one is easy to read, and the other is hard.
Not enough bloggers review their writing on such a micro level. They don’t analyze their posts sentence by sentence. But this post shows that the way you structure a sentence can make a huge difference.
Give it a quick read because it could open your eyes.
Author: Sarah Peterson
In this epic post, Sarah goes deep on the art of writing compelling introductions — and make no mistake, this is a must-have skill for bloggers.
After all, your intros carry a lot of responsibility. They must not only convince people to start reading, but they must also convince people to keep reading.
Sarah breaks it down step by step to ensure the next intro you write has the desired effect. If you want people to read your article far enough to discover your brilliant ideas, read this post.
Author: Barry Davret
Many people think being creative is all about coming up with original ideas. The truth is, creativity comes from knowing how to combine ideas and experience into something that feels fresh.
This author’s formula for creativity gave him 200 unique blog post ideas in as many days. It’s simple but effective.
That’s what earned him a spot on our list.
Author: Henneke Duistermaat
Henneke is an insanely talented writer with a knack for writing vivid content that jumps off the page.
In this post, she explains how you can create the same powerful effect by choosing strong verbs that paint a picture in your reader’s mind.
Her list of strong verbs is a good resource, but the advice that precedes it could change the way you write.
Don’t be one of those writers who hits a plateau and never takes the effort to improve.
You have to strive to become better. You have to try new techniques, and you have to practice until you’ve mastered them.
That’s what will equip you to make it in this blogging game.
The techniques from these posts are a good start. Practice them in 2018 to hone your writing, and when you look back in twelve months, you won’t believe how much you’ll have improved.
Have a happy new year!
Are you making mistakes when trying to build your blog?
Well – you are not alone.
In this episode, I give you insight into mistakes I’ve made while building my blogging business.
Do you know what’s REALLY easy to do in this online world? Assume that the people we see online have everything together.
Most people don’t write about their failures publicly. We don’t generally go to Facebook to tell people how we messed up.
We post the things we want others to see, so that it paints a good picture of who we are.
I believe that this is natural.
Before the internet, we didn’t create photo albums showing themselves doing boring stuff. And we definitely didn’t create albums of our mistakes.
But this gets amplified with the internet.
As a result, it’s easy to look at others and think they never mess up.
But here’s the truth – we ALL make mistakes.
I teach people how to build blogging businesses. But guess what – I’ve made Many mistakes on this blogging journey.
Here are six (of the many)…
When I first started my online business in 2008, things got crazy. I spent so much time on my business that I hardly had any time for anything else.
It got so bad that I decided to quit.
Fortunately, after a break of a month or two, I decided to get back at it. At that point, I decided to get a Virtual Assistant.
This helped me tremendously and I’ve had at least one ever since.
As much as that helped, I never really took it to the next level – I never built a team.
As a result, I have not been able to accomplish as much as I would like.
One of the areas I’ve had a considerable amount of success with over the last three years is with my one-on-one coaching.
In most of my coaching experiences, I’ve been able to help my clients grow their businesses SIGNIFICANTLY.
In some cases doubling, tripling, and even quadrupling the size of their businesses.
We were able to do this because we FOCUSED on growing their businesses.
But I gotta be honest, I haven’t focused on growing my business as much as I did theirs.
And while my business has experience a LOT of growth, it’s nowhere near where it should be based on the knowledge and experience I’ve had.
I HATE dealing with finances. It’s not something that excites me. In fact, money doesn’t excite me.
As a result, I’ve neglected my business finances in ways that I shouldn't.
I hate tax time because I ALWAYS end up spending a bunch of time trying to figure out what happened over the previous year.
And at the end, I’m always surprised by the crazy amount of money I have to give to uncle Sam.
I don’t know if you’ve noticed this, but I’m easily excited. It’s true.
As a result, I quickly jump the gun on too many ideas. This has happened multiple times in my business.
Some examples are:
And yes – those are just a few of the ideas.
The problem is that when I jump the gun, I don’t usually come up with a sustainable plan to make it happen.
There are two things I’ve done to date that have been tremendously successful in growing my business.
Thing 1 – Creating resource centers
Thing 2 – Using Webinars to grow my Coaching club
Here’s what’s embarrassing. As great as they are, I have not done many of them. In fact, I created ONE resource center over two years ago that is responsible for a bulk of my income.
One would think that I would’ve created many of them since it has done so well for me. But nope. I haven’t.
And the same goes for webinars. If they work that well, I should be doing them regularly. Instead, I do them once in a blue moon.
Most of the progress in my business has been the result of external circumstances.
When I left my job, I NEEDED to hustle to get things done so that my family could eat – literally.
So that’s exactly what I did, and I got my business to the level that I needed it to be to take care of my family.
Then I stopped pushing.
The truth is – I’ve pushed mostly when things got challenging. But that push wasn’t internal.
When you read a post like this, you probably expect the author to tell you how they overcame these issues.
The fact is, these are mistakes I continue to make. I have not “gotten over them”.
But here’s the thing – I’ve been able to have an impact in spite of these mistakes.
There are thousands of people all over the world who have gotten value from the content and resources I’ve created.
You don’t have to get everything right in order to have an impact.
What you HAVE TO do is take action.
The post Six Mistakes I’ve Made While Building my Blogging Business appeared first on Become A Blogger by Leslie Samuel.
Some writers seem to have a magic touch…
One minute you’re reading their opening, and before you know it, you’ve reached the end of their article.
Their content reads so smoothly, it’s almost impossible to stop.
So how do they do it?
Well, great writers are meticulous about making each line flow seamlessly into the next. They understand how important it is for the reader to have a smooth reading experience, and they make sure to fix anything that would cause friction.
And one powerful way they do so is by using transitional phrases.
So today you’ll learn how to use them yourself. But first, let’s examine why they’re so important.
Copywriters have known this for a long time:
The primary purpose of every paragraph you write is not to make a point, or to build your argument, or to convey valuable information. It’s to get your reader to read the next paragraph.
Famous copywriter Maxwell Ross likened this to a “bucket brigade.” Let me explain why…
In the days before fire trucks and pressure hoses, people would put out fires by forming a human chain. They would pass a bucket of water from one person to the next until the last person finally threw it onto the fire.
In those days, it was vital the chain remained unbroken. If the bucket wasn’t passed smoothly from one person to the next, the water would spill and not make it to the fire.
Likewise, each paragraph (and really, each sentence) you write must pass the reader on to the next. And just like in a real bucket brigade, the chain must be unbroken, or you will “spill” readers along the way, which means they won’t make it to the end of your article.
And that’s where transitional phrases come in.
Have you ever been with a group of friends and someone suddenly makes a random comment that doesn’t follow from anything that anyone else has said?
I bet you have — we all have.
It’s a strange moment — everyone (except the person who made the comment) just looks at each other, bewildered.
Well, writing without transitions is like that.
It causes friction in your reader’s mind and leaves them scratching their head, wondering “How do you get from this to that?”
Any piece of writing is a series of ideas, propositions, and arguments placed one after the other.
But those ideas need to be linked to each other. You need transitional words and phrases to help readers understand how ideas relate to each other. Without them, readers will feel like you’re switching from idea to idea too abruptly, and in most cases, you’ll leave them feeling confused.
Want to know how to do it right? Take, for example, this excerpt from Jon Morrow’s post How to Make Money Blogging: How This Blog Makes $100K per Month:
The good news is, you probably already use transitional phrases in your writing to some extent. Most people use them naturally. However…
There’s a special class of transitional phrases that many bloggers don’t even know about.
Remember Maxwell Ross, the “bucket brigade” guy?
He had a list of transitional phrases that don’t just help readers transition from one idea to the other, but actively work to keep those readers engaged.
These phrases keep readers glued to the page by either evoking their curiosity or by hinting that something important is about to come.
They give a jolt to readers’ brains, waking them up and demanding they pay attention.
Make no mistake; these phrases are powerful. Backlinko’s Brian Dean credits them for readers staying on his pages for an average of four minutes (which is a lot). Brian uses these transitional phrases in all of his articles (as you can see in the screenshots below).
So let’s dive in.
How it works: You claim to know what the reader is thinking, or you assume the reader agrees with something you’re about to say. The reader will then want to find out if you’re right.
How it works: You literally tell the reader you’re about to share an important piece of information. Nobody wants to miss anything important, which is why this simple phrase will pique your reader’s attention.
How it works: You hint you’re about to share an important insight or discovery. Your reader will be curious to find out what it is.
How it works: You hint at a problem or obstacle that might keep the reader from reaching their desired goal. The reader will want to know what the problem is (and they’ll assume you’ll also provide the solution).
How it works: As I said, after you identify a problem, you have to offer a solution. That’s where this transition comes in. When you’ve just told readers about a problem they’ll be facing, they’ll want to know how to solve it.
How it works: You use this transition when your strategy or product has two (or more) big benefits. Typically, you’d start with the most important benefit first, and then use this phrase to transition into the additional benefits.
How it works: You introduce an example (obviously). Readers tend to pay attention to examples because they help contextualize the theory they’ve just learned.
How it works: You hint at a clarification or supplementation of the preceding text. Readers will pay attention because they realize it will help them understand the information better.
How it works: You transition from the theoretical to the practical. You introduce the steps the reader must take to get the promised result. This is the reason most of them are reading your article in the first place, so it will make them sit up.
How it works: You command the reader to stay on the page. Use this phrase whenever the reader might have doubts about a bold or shocking claim, or after you’ve doled out some complicated information. Most readers will feel compelled to comply.
How it works: Questions engage the reader’s brain and make them feel like they’re part of a conversation (rather than being lectured). And of course, whenever you pose a question, the reader will want to know the answer, which means they have to keep reading.
How it works: Rhetorical questions engage the reader’s brain in the same way as curious questions. The only difference is that curious questions hint at an upcoming answer, whereas rhetorical questions assume the answer. This will prime the reader to agree with you.
How it works: You hint at the conclusion of the events or the result of the activities you’ve covered. Readers understand that this is one of the most crucial parts of your article or story, so they pay attention.
When you master the art of transitioning, you’ll notice that readers will stay on your posts longer. You’ll notice more of them will read your posts to the end.
Don’t get me wrong; these phrases aren’t magic. They won’t turn a bad article into a good one.
But they can help turn a good article into a great one.
You still have to write content that’s, you know, of interest to your audience. But if you do, these phrases can help keep your readers glued to the page. One minute they’ll be reading your opening lines, and before they know it, they’ll have reached the end of your article.
So sprinkle transitional phrases throughout your content, and one day, you’ll check your analytics and notice people are spending a lot more time on your posts.
That’s when you know they’re doing their job.
Sounds pretty good, right?