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Most blogs will have a call to action to sign up for the newsletter/list somewhere on the top of the sidebar. This is a good place for it, and where most visitors would expect to see it. But, this is not the only place it should be. Your newsletter is one of the most powerful tools to keep people coming back to your site and you do not want to waste any opportunity to get people on that list. A request to sign up should be at the end of each and every blog post you write. Anyone who took the time to read through the whole thing is more likely to enter their email address—at this point, they are thinking, ‘’yeah, I would like to hear more about what he has to say.’’
Getting people on that email list is crucial and you want this call to action to be easily visible and one of the first things a person sees when he visits your site. The sign-up box should be highly contrasted with the general background of your blog—a stand-out box will put it near the top of the ‘’visual hierarchy.’’ Whatever bold color you choose, make sure that is the only element of the page with that same color. Avoid going overboard with your attempts to stand out. Don’t go crazy with extremely large fonts, circles, arrows or blinking text.
People are visual creatures and respond well to images. If you look at a blog with no pictures compared to one with lots of them, you will likely feel an automatic pull towards the one chock-full of visuals. With free services like Flickr creative commons or Freedigitalphotos.net, there is no excuse for not including images on your blog. And do not limit yourself to just pictures. You can make charts, illustrations, diagrams and wireframes.
To maximize conversions, it is imperative that your call to action and any other important information you want readers to know about your products and services is ‘’above the fold.’’ This means that said information should be seen without your customers having to scroll down. This is the type of stuff people need to see right away so they stay on the site.
Again, people are visual creatures and no matter how helpful or mind-blowing your posts are, an unattractive looking-site will decrease conversions. It can send the wrong message about you and your business. Take a look at the color scheme—does it look welcoming or jarring and ugly? Then there is the issue of navigation. If people have a hard time getting where they want to be on your site, they will get frustrated and leave. If you are a company, for example, and your blog is but one section of your website, including all sorts of links about your products and services while making it hard to find other articles is not a good set-up. If you are not very skilled at creating websites, it may be a worthy investment to hire a company that does custom web design.
Kelli Cooper is a freelance writer who enjoys blogging about all things online marketing and blogging; she recommends visiting www.Sydcon.com to learn more about the variety of web services they can provide for your business, from hosting to maintenance.
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