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How to get more followers on your website

There are so many reasons why you want to get more followers to your site. Maybe you have something great to share. It’s your passion and it really helps people. The more people who see your message—the better. 

On some level, it’s a matter of stewardship. You should want to help more people with your message as a leader of your own community. You do this by gaining more followers and getting your message to a wider audience. 

So, you want to know how to get more followers on your website? Great! Here are a few real-life ways to grow your followers today and over the long term. 

How to get more followers on your website

#1 Create relevant content.

My guess is, you're already doing this fairly well. The point is—write about what people are asking about. If you follow this blog, you already know how to create content that Google ranks you for. So, for the people around you, think about your blog, through email, social media...what are the questions people are repeatedly asking you? Make a list and write about those things. 

Don’t have anyone asking you questions? No problem. Ask your followers! Survey your followers to learn more about their needs. For example, if you don't already have an email list of thousands, crowdsource on social channels like Facebook and twitter asking questions to learn more about what people who already follow you would like you to address. 

#2 Push lots of content online. 

Rule number one: be helpful. Don’t say stuff just to be saying stuff. Offer helpful advice. Engage. Space out your content so you’re always working ahead. This helps me. It’s always easier to start with some content, no matter how small, than it is to start from scratch. Here’s the point: make your content valuable by being helpful to people. 

#3 Use your content for multiple purposes.

Once you’ve written a piece of content, use it for several purposes. Write once—use the writing several times. Craft your content for a blog post and then chop it up in snippets for social media. You can get days, weeks, and months out helpful content.  

#4 Use lead generators to your advantage.

After answering some questions from your followers, over time, you will develop content that is more popular than others. Learn from this content what is most helpful for your audience and create an asset your followers can download or watch which provides value to your visitors in exchange for their email. 

Don’t overthink this. If you make it super complex, you won’t start the project and you won't finish it. Be as simple as you can and race to finish. You can get a ton of use out of a lead-generator on your site. 

#5 Use compelling and clear CTA’s.

Create clear and compelling calls to action (CTA’s). Then, place them everywhere as fitting. Be sure you have them on your homepage and on many other pages of your site. 

Be sure you’re not asking a ton of information. The name and email of contact will be fine. You want to convert your visitors, so make it a low barrier to entry. Don’t ask a visitor to do too much too soon. 

#6 Create a simple flow on your website.

If you’re selling a product, course, event, or trying to monetize your website and gain more followers, be sure to make it easy to find your products.

Also, use simple navigation and clear messaging. Don't clutter your site with a ton of different products or messages. 

#7 Equip your audience to be advocates.

Once you have an audience. It doesn’t hurt, if they are following, to ask them to share certain messages. Your followers are the most likely to share your content. So, don’t be afraid to ask them to share.

For some of your top followers or fans, consider asking them to become guest bloggers for your site. You never know the power of the community until you connect with several different writers. 

#8 Be a guide for your followers.

You are the guide for your followers. Where are you taking them? Consistently be a guide to your audience with your content. Be a teacher. 

When you write, always consider what will help your readers know how to take the next step. Work hard to keep the follower engaged by laying out the next step. 

#9 Be sure your SEO keywords are optimized.

If you’re wondering where to start, create a list of potential keyword phrases that fit what your followers are interested in. Use keyword tools like Moz or Google for doing the keyword research. 

Things like search volume and searcher intent will be vital for you to write about, so you’re the most helpful to your followers. And, doing this will give you a leg up because if you pick the right keyword for the post, you already know, because you’ve done the research, that folks are searching for it. Win-win. 

#10 Engage your audience with giveaways. 

Giveaways can be done on your website and on your social media channels. Find some things that you sell or partner with a fellow brand that your followers would enjoy. Do it at random, or even on a monthly basis. 

The point is to be helpful and have fun. Giveaways will create engagement! Doing giveaways will not only be helpful and encouraging to your followers, but it will increase your reach as your current followers share your giveaway.

#11 Study what’s working and do more of it.

Be sure, through all of this, that you have installed analytics on your website. This way, you can look back through all of these great things you’re doing and learn what’s working and what’s not working with your followers. 

You may like some content you’re churning out, but if it’s not getting any visitors, something needs to change. Study what’s gaining traction and what isn’t. You don’t have to stop creating content that isn't getting visitors. But, you may have to step back and look at what you’re doing to grow your email list or how you're sharing on social media. 

Do more of what’s working. Stop or improve what’s not working. You got this. 

 

5 ways to monetize your communityNeed more help taking your community digital?

You want to have a dynamic and multi-dimensional community that thrives. In order to do that, you need a strategy of both online and offline engagement. This guide will help you think through your approach to engaging a virtual community. Download the free eBook: How to Take Your Community Digital.

 

About the author: Will Rogers is the Founder and CEO of CauseMachine. Will’s career has been spent leading organizations and helping to mobilize communities to a shared vision. He has served in various leadership roles to build community engagement and movements teaching him valuable hands-on skills and experience. Will has developed business and community engagement strategies for dozens of organizations in nearly 50 countries. He and his wife have two sons and now live in Kentucky after two decades in Colorado.


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How to monetize a website - 7 strategies you might be missing

Why does monetizing your website matter? It seems like everyone is hanging a shingle for a monetized website, but how do you do this well? It seems many folks make money from blogging. But, then you have so many people who don’t make a penny. 

Where are you when it comes to monetizing your website? I’m not pretending this post is exhaustive. There are so many ways to get at this. But, my hope is the following list will inspire you to think of a way to monetize your site that maybe you haven’t thought of before. 

Should you monetize?

Ask yourself a few questions before you jump head-first into monetizing your website:

  • Do you actually have something of value to offer?
  • Are you excited and passionate about doing this? 
  • Do you have something that others want? 

I've written previously about how to monetize a blog. There are many similarities (read: and many differences) for monetizing your website. How do you know which one to start with? What follows are just a few ways you could do this—from affiliate marketing, advertising, selling products, to sponsored posts. Each method has its own challenges, time commitment, and sweet spot. 

How to Monetize a Website - 7 Strategies that work

We’re going to focus on seven key strategies that have been proven by many folks.

Strategy #1: Memberships

This isn’t easy. But, if you have the traffic and you’ve written lots of content, then memberships may be the best way to monetize your website. 

We've seen folks learn to how to take their communities digital and grow their memberships or launch a membership program with great success. What would this look like for your audience? Maybe it means exclusive membership communities around certain topics? It could fit certain individuals and/or organizations that follow you. The point is, think of your content as a way to provide exclusive access to member-only content and connections. You might have a membership site right on your fingertips. 

Strategy #2: Courses

Depending on your audience and the content you create, strongly consider creating courses to walk your followers through step-by-step on how to do something or get better at something else. Maybe you're an author or leader, what do you know so well that you could teach others? You may be the one to help guide your audience through steps and a process for building something significant.

We often ask people what they find themselves explaining to others all of the time. Boom! That's your first course.

Strategy #3: Products

This might mean offering digital or physical products on your website. Selling digital products might mean selling anything from eBooks as short as a few pages to full book of several hundred. But, it’s not limited to this. You can also sell any resource that’s helpful to your audience. It could be any content you can put into a PDF or may mean working with a third party to ship your product. What do you talk most about that could be quickly turned into a purchasable product?

Strategy #4: Events

Events may mean hosting live or virtual events. The point is: bring together experts for others to learn from—and everybody wins. Many don’t often think about this strategy for monetizing. But, consider hosting an event for your audience. It could start off small. But, it could generate significant revenue from ticket sales and event sponsorships. 

Strategy #5: Services

Could you sell coaching or design services? Consider what questions your followers are asking you all of the time. Can you package some consulting services and sell them? What about your teaching or facilitation? What if you trained others in how to do something in person or virtually?

Strategy #6: Donations

Allow for donations to your organization (one time or recurring). You can do this in an ongoing fashion. Or, create a campaign (or several) that fits with your brand or organization. This could be any endeavor where you want to help or fits your mission, but where you need funds to help move the needle. 

The point here is to have a clear goal and amount of funding needed to reach the goal. Knowing your why is vital at this stage. But, this is one strong way, depending on the campaign, you can monetize your site. 

Strategy #7: Affiliates

Affiliate marketing is the process of earning a commission by sharing other people’s (or company’s) products. While there are many different affiliate marketing networks out there, start with one of the biggest—Amazon. Just create an account, find a product you like, promote it to others, and earn a small percentage of the profit for each sale from your shared link.

Now that you have seven ideas you’ve either been reminded of or thinking about for the first time. What now? How will you decide which one to do? And when?

How to start

Here are three questions you can ask yourself right now to help you pick the right method for you:

1. Which monetization method is reasonable to achieve today (and not sometime out in the future)?

2. Which method gets you the most excited?

3. Do people trust you as a guide?

What to do next? Start with one of these ideas. Don’t overthink things. At this stage, just get started. Pick one of these ideas and run. You’ll figure it out on the way. Who knows, maybe you make a few dollars in trying. 

 

5 ways to monetize your communityNeed more help taking your community digital?

You want to have a dynamic and multi-dimensional community that thrives. In order to do that, you need a strategy of both online and offline engagement. This guide will help you think through your approach to engaging a virtual community. Download the free eBook: How to Take Your Community Digital.

 

About the author: Will Rogers is the Founder and CEO of CauseMachine. Will’s career has been spent leading organizations and helping to mobilize communities to a shared vision. He has served in various leadership roles to build community engagement and movements teaching him valuable hands-on skills and experience. Will has developed business and community engagement strategies for dozens of organizations in nearly 50 countries. He and his wife have two sons and now live in Kentucky after two decades in Colorado.

 


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3 ideas if you’re looking for conservative alternatives to Facebook

You care about your content. You care about who owns said content. And, maybe you also care about certain views about where your content lives.

Here’s the deal: if you’re looking to engage a community, and you’re concerned about social media platforms and their control over your content and information, it’s not easy to find and build an audience on a platform that isn’t called Facebook. 

Have you looked? If so, you quickly found that it’s tough to connect with an audience outside of the big social channels. 

Whether you're an author or leader with a community, Facebook seems to own the world and therefore, own all of your friends and followers—and your information. We all know the stories of Facebook being caught exposed for what they are doing with every little piece of your information and behavior online. I’ll try NOT to get into that here. 

If all of that wasn’t enough to consider, there’s more. What if Facebook no longer supports your point of view? Could your entire site be removed? Whether you ever get off of Facebook or not, you should know there are options out there. Here’s the thing: you may, after reading this, decide to ride Facebook as long as you can. But, for you who’s reading and want to jump ship, what are your options. 

Here are three (3) ideas if you're looking for conservative alternatives to Facebook: 

#1 Ride Facebook.

I know, not really an "alternative" here. But, listen. As I mentioned earlier, it’s certainly one of your options to get from Facebook what you can. There is something to the fact that your friends—and yes—even your parents are there. So, when it comes to connecting and getting your message out there, it’s one of the best in a lot of ways. Maybe for an intentional amount of time and growth, you may still want to utilize Facebook. 

The big strength of Facebook is the sheer number of people there. But, you must understand, you’re at the mercy of Facebook’s tools and changes. Don’t hear me say you should jump off of Facebook. But, for this who are bothered or interested in other options, or trying to monetize your blog more, let’s at least a peek at what’s out there. 

#2 Use Another Tool.

Now, maybe you’re done with Facebook. Believe it or not, you can launch your community in some other social platform or build out a private community. You can try doing something similar on another social platform like YouTube or Instagram. I know, Facebook owns Instagram, so there’s that. But, point is, it may be worth it if you haven’t tried—and depending on your followers—you may be able to get what you need out of another platform entirely. 

If you want to get away from Facebook entirely, consider YouTube, LinkedIn, or even Twitter. Again, it depends on your most important issue related to Facebook. But, you’re reading this post, so, you’re at least interested in checking out other options. 

With the platforms I just mentioned, aside from LinkedIn, there aren’t a ton of options for groups, building community, or connecting all types of people in general. Sure, there are sites like MeWe and Parler popping up, but they aren’t yet super comparable to Facebook’s audience size. So, how can you build a community that’s also private? Great question. I have some ideas. 

#3 Build a Private Community.

This isn’t as difficult as it may sound. But, it’s no cakewalk either. Yes, you would have to start from scratch. But, maybe you already know how to create content Google ranks you for. And, this would mean having to find a software tool that allows you to do have your community access. When it comes to building your private community, there are at least three things you need to get right.

First, some cautions. Building your private community takes time—a long time. You’ll need a plan and have to set several things like preferences, branding, site structure, membership plugins, and so on.

Again, most of this isn’t impossible to complete. But, you’ll need to have plenty of time to start. Then, you’ll have to re-train your audience to use a new tool instead of Facebook! 

Second, the things you’ll need to do. You’ll need to start with a plan. For example, you will need to find a tool that meets your needs now and allows you to grow. You will need to find a tool that’s easy for your members to use. And, you’ll want to consider on the front end—if you need to hire someone to get it set up, help with branding, and get started may be the right decision.

Third, benefits. If you can jump all of these hurdles, there are great benefits, or trade-offs, to keep in mind. Everything from security, to access, to knowing user behavior, and so on. You’ll have almost total control of your community. You’ll have a much higher sense of security and privacy—because you’ll be the decision-maker for what you do with your content. You control the direction, message, and engagement of your community. There is power in your audience not being “sold” only what and when Facebook wants to sell them. 

I don’t mind telling you, I’ve helped dozens of communities figure this out - if you want to learn more, hit us up, as I understand the deep need for having a private and secure community site. I’ve walked many others through this process. And, I happen to have created a platform, a strategy, and a team to assist.

 

5 ways to monetize your communityNeed more help taking your community digital?

You want to have a dynamic and multi-dimensional community that thrives. In order to do that, you need a strategy of both online and offline engagement. This guide will help you think through your approach to engaging a virtual community. Download the free eBook: How to Take Your Community Digital.

 

About the author: Will Rogers is the Founder and CEO of CauseMachine. Will’s career has been spent leading organizations and helping to mobilize communities to a shared vision. He has served in various leadership roles to build community engagement and movements teaching him valuable hands-on skills and experience. Will has developed business and community engagement strategies for dozens of organizations in nearly 50 countries. He and his wife have two sons and now live in Kentucky after two decades in Colorado.


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Wordpress membership plugin alternatives you haven’t thought of

Are you looking to transform your site into a membership site? Guess what? In order to make this happen, you’ll need membership plugins. With membership site plugins, you’ll be able to create a premium content library and make it accessible only to members you want to see it.

Choosing the right membership plugin is a major decision. Why? Well, in many cases, it’s tough to change course once you start down one path. 

If you’re looking to monetize your blog readers, sell more digital courses, or generate a list of engaged contacts, there are a ton of ways to approach membership within your website. 

I want to help you navigate the membership plugin world properly. What follows is a few key thoughts that will help you think through the proper steps for picking a membership plugin that fits your needs.

 

First, ask yourself a few questions.

Start by asking yourself if you’re ready to build a membership site, how do you know when you and your audience is ready?

• Is your audience asking for it?

• Do you have a solid quantity of google-ranked content and offerings?

• Would membership offer your followers something they don’t already have?

• Do you have a tribe following?

• What all are you planning to offer your members?

These are just a few of the questions you should be asking yourself to get you started. Did you answer "yes" to some of these questions? It may be time to move on to our second step. 

 

Second, evaluate your tools.

You’ll need several tools within your membership site. Again, this list isn't meant to be exhaustive but will get you to think about what you should consider. Evaluate the tools you have and the tools you think you will need based on your goals. You may need tools such as:

• Individual memberships and business memberships

• Content management with access per membership tier or level

• Content management type features for member data 

• Integrations with other tools through things like Zapier or MailChimp

• Does it incorporate other community management tools like courses, an online store, stories, events, and so on?

 

Third, dive into the various plugins.

There are so many plugins available, here are a few to get you started down the right path:

MemberPress : MemberPress comes with many of the features you’ll need to create a powerful membership site. Just install the plugin on your site, enter your payment information, setup what you’re selling, and start promoting your membership site. The plugin integrates well with several services, like MailChimp, PayPal, Stripe, and so on.

aMember Pro: aMember is another plugin that’s been around for years. Now, aMember Pro is not a native WordPress plugin. But, you can integrate it with WordPress. It has the features you might expect from a plugin. It comes with unlimited levels and integrates with many payment systems like PayPal, Stripe, and so on. 

LearnDash: LearnDash was built for creating and selling online courses on your WordPress sites. Check LearnDash out if you’re interested in allowing your followers to access new courses based on the points they have upon completion of certain courses. As you can imagine, this option helps keep followers engaged as well. 

Teachable: Teachable is an all-in-one platform for creating and publishing online courses. You can pick between integrating your online courses into your existing website or host them on Teachable. This is pretty handy. Teachable has lots of learning tools (think quizzes and forums), integrations (think Google Drive and others), and marketing tools (think coupon codes, affiliate programs, and so on) you will find helpful. 

s2Member: S2Member gives you access to one of the most comprehensive membership plugins out there. It includes helpful things like content dripping and one-step registration and checkout. It works well with Stripe, PayPal, and others.

WooCommerce Memberships: WooCommerce Memberships is an add on if you already use WooCommerce. If you’re selling digital products on your website and want to sell memberships as well, you may want to give WooCommerce Memberships a try.

Restrict Content Pro: Restrict Content Pro is a plugin that lets you create a fully-featured membership site. It bundles features you need for your membership site as add-ons. It has integrations like Stripe and PayPal. Like many of the plugins, there’s a free version that gets you started. 

Paid Membership Pro: Paid Membership Pro is one of the best plugins for offering special product prices to certain members. It’s basically like your customers having Amazon-Prime-like experience. It’s worth looking into. You can manage member subscriptions, give posts and pages access, and much more. Set up is super easy.

This is just a few options for membership plugin site options. Check them out and play around checking for differences in each one. You may find your best solution only after you've learned something about several plugins. 

 

Fourth, launch well.

Once you’ve done your research and made a selection, then it’s time to launch. Scary, huh?! Nah, don't be afraid. Here’s what you can do to make things more simple. Start with a beta team of honest, close friends. Well, they don't have to be close friends. But, they need to be super honest. You'll need 10-20 people to help test things out and give you feedback. You want super honest people who won’t just be nice and say, “Oh, that’s great. I love that.” You need folks who will tell you, “Hey, I’ve seen this on another site I’m apart of, I think you should add this feature or integration.” You get the idea. 

When you make your official launch, think of it as a multi-month campaign with a number of steps and touchpoints. Your launch should include web and landing page with a compelling offer, blog posts, emails, and many social media posts to get the word out there. The more touchpoints for your new launch the better it will stick with people.

 

Fifth, have fun!

Don’t forget to have fun along the way. Enjoy learning more from your audience and meeting more of their needs. Remember, you are on a journey, this doesn't happen overnight. But, you can improve a little every day! 

5 ways to monetize your community

 

Need more help taking your community digital?

You want to have a dynamic and multi-dimensional community which thrives. In order to do that, you need a strategy of both online and offline engagement. This guide will help you think through your approach to engaging a virtual community. Download the free eBook: How to Take Your Community Digital.

 

About the author: Will Rogers is the Founder and CEO of CauseMachine. Will’s career has been spent leading organizations and helping to mobilize communities to shared vision. He has served in various leadership roles to build community engagement and movements teaching him valuable hands-on skills and experience. Will has developed business and community engagement strategies for dozens of organizations in nearly 50 countries. He and his wife have two sons and now live in Kentucky after two decades in Colorado.

 


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How to create content that Google ranks you for. Seriously.

So you blog all of the time. Maybe you're starting to monetize your blog. Great. I have bad news. Ready to hear it? No one’s reading your post. Yes, that post you care deeply about. The one you spent days thinking about writing. The one you waited forever and pressed publish with one hand over your eyes because you were nervous and loved it so much. It was your baby. 

I want to be nothing if not honest. No one saw that post. And, think about it, what’s the point in spending all that time if no one’s going to find it? 

I understand. Each post is your baby. You care deeply. You want folks to see it. I’ve written posts that embarrassed me because of the little amount of page views. Then, I’ve had posts that have done pretty well. Here’s the thing: I don’t doubt for a second that you have great content. You’ve spent time polishing that content. And, you know what you’re talking about. 

But, the truth is, for most posts you publish, maybe your spouse or mom reads it. Actually, they’re busy. They aren’t reading your posts either. I said I’d be honest! : ) 

All things in balance, the posts where I’m intentional about creating content with these seven things in mind—the stuff Google will rank you for—has the best chance of getting the most eyeballs on it—both now and long term. 

Here are seven (7) ideas for how to create content that Google ranks you for:

#1 Don’t start with what you want to talk about.

This is a tough one for me. I often think to myself that I have great ideas of what others need to know. But, it always amazes me to see what comes back from them when you ask. For a great mix on doing this well, start by asking your current audience. 

First, start with your followers’ problem. How can you know your followers’ problems? You simply need to ask. Create a simple survey. We’ve talked about some parameters around a survey in how to monetize your blog. Here’s the point: can you clearly articulate your followers’ problem and do you have the resources to help solve those problems? 

Not sure where to start with all of your followers’ problems? Make a list and prioritize the list. Consider organizing the issues or questions into buckets based on how many people share the same problem or category of issues.

#2 Be human.

Use natural language in your content. For example, when trying to use keywords, be sure you’re speaking like a follower would speak. People don’t think like robots, so be sure to ask questions and speak common language your followers would type in search.

Here’s one example: notice in this blog post, I could have titled the post “Google’s Blog SEO Strategy & Algorithms”. Guard against this type of robotic speech. Instead, focus more on how you would talk when searching. You would type something closer to “How to Create Content that Google Ranks You For” or something similar that’s more intuitive to how you would naturally ask the question.  

Now, let’s talk about writing content specifically as it relates to creating content for ranking purposes. Here are a few of the key ideas you should consider as you write content to get ranked for.

#3 Be clear.

Make your content clear, simple, and accurate to what you say you are offering. Always try to use less words instead of more. Think your post is wordy. Then it is. Cut words. 

#4 Use keywords but don’t go crazy.

You can go overboard here. Be careful not to overstuff keywords. Google will know! Make sure they fit what you’re talking about. Again, be as human as possible here!

#5 Your meta description matters.

This snippet shows up in search. Resist the urge to copy and paste the title here. Do a bit of work to make the idea and goal of the post stand out in a few punchy words. 

#6 Don’t forget your images.

Most bloggers overlook this. You’re done with the writing. So, you think you’re done with the post. You’re not. Many searchers will find your post because of the image you use—if it’s optimized. Be sure the file name of your image includes the keyword or phrase of your post. And, depending on what marketing tools you’re using, be sure not to forget the alt image text of your image.    

#7 Consider your posting rhythm.

It doesn't matter the size of your digital community, you need a content-publishing rhythm that works for you and your content. It may be weekly, every other week, monthly—and here's the thing—stick to it. The goal here is more about your frequency than volume of posts. 

Don’t set a standard you can’t keep up with. Readers will follow your lead, but don’t make it difficult to follow you because your posting doesn’t have a rhythm. 

Protip: Don’t write from a blank slate. Try and stay ahead of your posting schedule by at least three to four posts. You can always change up posting based on timing or culture or news. But, I’ve found it’s better to have ideas in the hopper so you avoid the blank white empty space of a blog post. 

Now, there are more than seven things to consider in ranking for Google. But, these are a few of the key ideas you should be aware of and start with as you write great content.

 

5 ways to monetize your community

Need help monetizing your community?

You want to have a significant impact on the world AND generate revenue. In order to do that you need valuable resources and a means to deliver those great resources. Download the free eBook: 5 ways to monetize your community.

 

About the author: Will Rogers is the Founder and CEO of CauseMachine. Will’s career has been spent leading organizations and helping to mobilize communities to shared vision. He has served in various leadership roles to build community engagement and movements teaching him valuable hands on skills and experience. Will has developed business and community engagement strategies for dozens of organizations in nearly 50 countries. He and his wife have two sons and now live in Kentucky after two decades in Colorado.


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