Increase Your Landing Page Conversions and Grow Your Side-Hustle with This
As entrepreneurs there are few tools more powerful to the side-hustler than a responsive email list. Email will take you from idea to income, using inexpensive tools, available to creators on any budget. With email we’ve got freedom.
Freedom from a boss. Freedom from one location. Freedom from worry. Freedom from the bottom.
Now, email alone isn’t sexy, exciting, or new. Which is why it’s so powerful. Email is the silent underdog, the old grandpa of marketing—slowly growing your business in the background, while you earn more money on autopilot.
Social apps will come and go.
Your favorite social platform will be replaced twice, over the next ten years, with platforms which don’t exist today. Those who bet their entire business model on the platforms of the moment will be replaced along with them.
When we’ve got a side-hustle we need to build our own platform—a place of momentum and growth to feed us into the future.
To build this side-hustle we need a central hub where we collect only our best people. We need a direct line of communication with no middle-man and no paid platform telling who, where, and when we can connect with our audience.
We write targeted content. We post engaging stories. We do everything we can to bring the people we serve under our wing.
Side-hustles need email.
Not only do we need email, but email will be our central selling tool. We’ll set up an automated sequence, drive traffic to it, and create a series of offers tailored to the people we serve.
We can scale our email sales as big or small as we wish. Email is perfect for the single-person side-hustle. You don’t need a staff. You don’t need an office. All you need is an internet connection and an email service provider (ESP).
Before we get to a place where we sell our best work, automatically, there’s one major stumbling block keeping us from building our lists.
It’s not the traffic. It’s your offer that isn’t working
I get a ton of emails from writers and side-hustlers, on a weekly basis. These well-meaning folks worry about traffic too much. They ask me for ideas on how they can get more eyes on their landing page. Traffic feels like the answer to everyone’s problem. Everyone worries about traffic—or the lack of it.
…but traffic isn’t the right focus.
You can have all the traffic in the world, but if you don’t convert it to your list, it’s like tossing hundred dollar bills out the window, while driving down the highway.
Yes, we need a certain amount of traffic to build our tribe, but it’s less than you’d think. You don’t have to be Google to make great money from your side-hustle.
Most of us get plenty-enough traffic to feed us for life. The traffic isn’t the hard part. A solid content marketing plan will bring you all the traffic you need.
The hard part is converting the traffic into both a buyer and subscriber. Without the buyer we don’t have a side-hustle.
We must grab the traffic and never let go. Instead of worrying about getting more eyeballs to our work we need to focus on converting the eyeballs we already have.
There are two parts to building a tribe:
- Converting traffic to subscribers
- Keeping the subscribers returning for more
Think of your side-hustle as a bucket with a hole in the bottom. There’s a large opening at the top. The large opening is your new subscribers. The small hole at the bottom is your list attrition (your unsubscribes).
The better a job you do at keeping readers engaged with your email and returning tomorrow for more, the smaller the hole in your bucket.
Take your readers for granted, over-pitch them, or don’t provide them with enough value—the larger your hole becomes. Soon, you’ll have an open tube. Once someone enters your list, they leave.
It’s time to close the hole in the bucket.
However, we can’t serve our readers with great content and better offers if we don’t have anyone on our list. We’ve got a trickle of traffic from our content marketing efforts. Now it’s time to convert that traffic to subscribers.
We need a landing page that converts.
The landing page is your gatekeeper between mediocrity and the promised land. You can do everything else right with your marketing, but if you don’t have a landing page that converts you’ll never thrive.
So… what’s the big, landing page secret?
The answer is both simple and difficult. You can spend a lifetime studying copywriting and conversion. You don’t have the time or patience for all that. You want better results yesterday. I’ve got a short-cut that will help.
Here’s the short-cut:
Don’t give away the offer.
If you want to build a poorly-converting landing page, tell the prospect exactly what she’ll get when she joins your email list. This is a sure-fire way to build a landing page that won’t convert.
Wait, before you scrunch your brow, hear me out.
When you tell the prospect exactly what she’ll get when she subscribes, it’s unlikely she’ll subscribe. There needs to be a certain level of intrigue.
A good percentage of your audience will flip over to Google and see if they can find the answer without you.
I do this all the time.
If I can find the information straight from the sources, without joining a list or buying anything—I chose the alternate route.
Your prospects will too.
Everyone holds the world’s secrets in their pocket.
What makes your landing page offer different than a simple Googling—is to add more curiosity.
Instead of telling the prospect what your offer is, tell them what it’s not.
For example, here’s a fictional sales offer:
“Build Automatic Income from Your Writing with this Single Tool”
- It’s not advertising
- It’s not social media
- It’s not cold traffic
- It’s not face to face selling
(In case you’re wondering, the tool in this sales letter is email).
Will all crave curiosity
As you craft your landing page, not only do you need a valuable, free offer–but you’ve got to create curiosity in the reader’s mind.
Your headline is there to get people to subscribe, not to educate or entertain..
Your emails will do all the dirty-work later.
This concept works the same for any sales letter or article. The job of the headline is to get the reader to click a link for more, subscribe, or open an article.
The headline is never supposed to give the story away.
It’s time to convert more of your traffic into subscribers. Even a few extra percentage points could make you a lot of money.
Take a hard look at your landing page and experiment with curious headlines. Look at the clickbait stories in the news. This is the high level of curiosity you need.
Here some additional copywriting tips to help tweak your landing page:
- Focus on the reader, not you. We don’t care about you
- Go for the jugular–what’s the biggest promise you can make, that will eliminate a specific pain for the reader, with minimal effort?
- Don’t advertise what your opt-in offer is, advertise what it does
- If you don’t solve a big-enough problem you’ll have a hard time earning subscribers
- No one wants to join your newsletter, or be stuffed into an email list. Avoid these terms on your landing page
- Think of the biggest benefit your reader will get when she joins your list. Lead with that. Place the next biggest benefit in the sub-head.
Don’t be afraid to test your ideas. Every tribe responds differently. But don’t get test-happy either. You need to expose your landing page to at least 300-500 people for each change before you can safely predict a future outcome.
Plus, no landing page lasts forever.
Tastes change. You might have a page that converts for years and goes dormant. Tweak the headline and see if you can bring it alive again.
When we convert our traffic to subscribers we earn our freedom.
The more you can increase the subscription rate, the more money you’ll earn. You don’t need hundreds of thousands of visitors to earn great money from your side-hustle.
When you grow your subscriber base the rest of your hustle grows in proportion.
Instead of worrying about traffic, likes, and click-rates, it’s time to return to the basics. Use the fundamentals of copywriting to convert the steady flow of traffic you already have.
There’s a good chance your current content marketing plan is working better than you think. We have fewer traffic issues than most folks will lead you to believe.
- Spend less time chasing leads.
- Convert the folks you already have.
- Slow the leak in your bucket.
You’ll spend less time chasing leads and more time growing your side-hustle.
Tap here for August’s free, Tribe 1K list-building masterclass. Get your first 1,000 subscribers (or your next 1,000)
August Birch is an author, email expert, and entrepreneur from Michigan, USA. As a self-appointed guardian of writers and creators, August teaches indies how to make more work that sells and sell more work once it’s made. When he’s not writing or teaching, August carries a pocket knife and shaves his head with a safety razor.