Hey there! Welcome back to Coffee Break Blogging!
And today we are going to talk about another strategy that I think that you should probably implement into your blog sooner rather than later, if you have not already done it. We are going to be talking about a Getting Started Page; having a “start here” option on your site…
We’ve seen many blogs offer a “getting started” page, and this is something I have talked about before as well. But, what is the REAL reason why this page is so important? In this episode, we deep-dive into the real reason why you need to give your readers a clear starting point. We also cover the two core functions of the “getting started” page to ensure your’s is doing the right thing.
Flow Of Attention
Now, back in Episode 55 of the Coffee Break Blogging Podcast, we talked about attention. And we talked about how attention flows across your site. We talked about how attention like actually somebody paying attention is basically a little flow of energy and it’s going from them to their screen and then it is kind of like being funneled around in different ways based from the design of your site. But then, attention; because it is a flow of energy just like water would be a flow, it needs to be guided around.
I mean, if you see water like with coming off the roof of your house, it is going to either fall flat all over the place or you could install a gutter system that is going to move it around and spit that water into different places whenever it rains. Well, even though that attention is not in the same form; it is obviously not something that you can see, it still is a flow of energy and it can be funneled in much the same way. But your “gutter system” so to speak, is essentially the design on your site and the colors that you use and the things that you guide them around on. But the thing is your attention; when they first arrive on your site is going to land somewhere. Now, it is going to land on certain things visually.
We talked about in Episode 55 how a lot of times it is going to go from left and right, it is going to start with an F pattern. It is going to start on the top left, it is going to go across and they are going to scroll down the left side of your site, typically. But it is going to land somewhere and that could be guided based on colors; if you have a picture of a person and they are pointing at something and looking at it, that can make their attention go to it… it is going to land somewhere.
But then, the natural question is going to be…
Put yourself into the idea of you arriving on a site for the first time. You are not familiar with that site yet. You know because you clicked on a link probably from Google or something; you expect some value. You search for something that blog or that website came up and you are hoping that that thing you clicked on is going to give you what you want. So that is that expectation of value there. Now, hopefully that piece of content is going to deliver upon that value and give your prospect what they came there in the first place for. But the thing is, from there it is that question of what is next. Now, that is where the “getting started” page comes in.
So let us move in to another conceptual thing and this would be a little bit of a review if you are following along with me chronologically with this podcast and I kind of hope you are, obviously; go back to Episode 42 where we talked about the Transformation Map. Now, the transformation is something that I’ve spoken about many times because I believe that any good business is going to be in the business of delivering a transformation. That transformation is going to be different based on the context of whatever market that you are in, but in general, it is going to be guiding your prospect from Point A to Point B. They want Point B because Point B to them is Utopia, whatever it is that they want to have; it is the ideal scene but Point A is where they are at, now. And they want to traverse that distance. They want to get there.
If you are in the weight loss market, it is a very obvious transformation. On one end you are overweight; on the other end you are sexy as hell. So that is the transformation. So what is your transformation? And then we talked on Episode 42 about the Transformation Map and how you can kind of map this bad boy out; map your content around it, what have you. But that transformation is going to form the foundation of your business. Your products are going to be all associated with getting people through various aspects of that transformation; that is what you are going to be selling.
So why did I bring that up? Well, they came to your site… Again, you are going to give them some immediate value via your content then they are going to ask, “What’s next?” unless they bounce off. Some people are going to do that. Some people are going to bounce right off. But those people are going to ask, “What’s next?” Well, what are you in the business of doing?
You are in the business of giving them a transformation. Now, any transformation is going to be made of three primary components. When I say “them” they are going to be very obvious…
Three Primary Components Of Transformation
- Starting Point
- Stopping Point
The first component is going to be a starting point. The second component is going to be the transition itself. And the third aspect is going to be the stopping point. It is that point where they are putting up their hands or looking on all beautiful on a beach, and whatever it is you want to envision but it is that point where they got the transformation achieved. So there is a starting point, a changing process or transition and then the ending point.
Now really, what it comes down to is; most everything in life tends to follow this format. You have a start, you have some kind of a change and then you have got a stopping point. This is how life works. Now when it comes down into controlling things; having control over different aspects of your life, control really is simply a word for how good you are at starting something, changing it and stopping it on cue. If you could do that, you are controlling.
And the thing is, from a marketing standpoint, you need to control the people who come to your blog. You need to control them but not in a bad way. You know, I know that word “control” very often has a lot of really negative vibes attached to it but really what it comes down to is if you are going to deliver this transformation for them, you have got to take a little element of control and be the boss and tell them where to start, how to transition; so that they can get to the ending point. You see, all three components are still there but you got to tell them where to start and tell them to go there and do it.
The “Getting Started” Page
So what do you do? You would give them a “Getting Started” page. You say, “Start here.” Literally, right there, emblazoned. You put that on your top navigation, why don’t you? Start here… Now what is the primary function of that page? The primary function of that page is to give them a clear starting point. That’s it! You are exercising some control on them and it is going to be a clear starting point for what? It is for the transformation that you are in the business of delivering.
Now, your Getting Started page is not going to be just a big collection of your latest blog posts or something like that. That is something that some people do with their Getting Started page. I think you should be a little bit more strategic about it and it starts with knowing what the real function of this page is. Your business is going to be based around delivery of the transformation. So the Getting Started page would really be about getting them started on that transformation; giving them a little “win.” And getting them started and let them know what their next step is so they can start that second phase of the whole cycle here and that is the transition itself.
Two primary core missions of this Getting Started page…
- To get them indoctrinated
- To get them connected to you by taking that next step on their transformation.
So let me go a little deeper into that…
Again, this is another one of those words that can have a negative vibe but essentially all it is, is you orienting them to what it is that you are all about and what you are going to do for them. That is really it. You are just basically communicating your value to them and pointing out the end point. You are pointing out the other end of this transformation and saying, “That is what we do around here. My job is to get you to that point. And then the process of doing that, we are going to do this, this and this.”
That is essentially what you are doing. You are outlining the transformation and you are orienting them about you and your brand around the delivery of that transformation and really just telling them what you are all about, what you are going to do and communicating your value.
Once you have done that, you are going to give them the next step. That next step; the mechanical part of it is you want them to get on to your darn email list. But… from their perspective, they are going to take the next step on the transformation. You want them to take their next step on their journey toward that outcome that they want. But the process of doing that is you are going to get them to a lead magnet of some kind and you are going to get them to your email list.
So that is the basic function. You are telling them where to start; they are going to click on that, and then you are orienting them and indoctrinating them into what your brand is all about and what you are going to do for them and then you are giving them the next step.
Entry Points Into A Sales Funnel
Now, from a marketing standpoint, this is obviously one of those entry points into a sales funnel; into what I like to call sometimes, “The Blog Profit Funnel“. This is where it can begin. Now there could be many other starting points to this funnel as well, but obviously if they are coming, they have been in a little bit of indoctrination process on this Getting Started page and they have taken the next step; they have gotten to the lead magnet and they are moving along, it is a perfect time to get them into a low key sales funnel to get them to turn in to a customer; to get some additional value from you by becoming a customer.
Now, for me, if you are going through the funnels that I like, the most ideal thing here will be to give them some low end offer; you know, something ten dollars or less to get some kind of value there; to move them along on their transformation, get them further along on this journey but something that is not high priced enough to where they are going to think about it all that much. You want it to be an impulse buy territory. And generally speaking, anything ten dollars or less is going to be considered an impulse buy. Now, that will all be different in different markets. Some markets, the price point is a helluva lot higher like ten bucks to them would be an absolute joke or they are going to think that it is just useless, so yours might be higher than that. It really comes down to the market, but from your business perspective, you are getting a customer on the door. From their perspective they are taking the next journey on the transformation.
A Sense Of Order
So that is the primary reason; the theoretical reason on why you should have a “Start here” page or a “Getting started” page. It provides that clarity and that orientation point from where they can start with you. And that is the thing; you got to exercise a little bit of control and it is not a matter of telling them what to do or whatever negative vibes you might have with the word “control.” It really is coming down to the idea of giving them a sense of order.
Now, a blog, by nature; and we talked about this on the last episode, some of the draw backs with the word “blog” but they tend to be pretty disorganized, actually. A lot of people just post whatever comes to mind and your content is all over the darn board. So it is a very bad control; it is a very bad order for people.
Now you can introduce that sense of order by just basically telling them what to do and then telling them in what order to do it; and guiding them through the different things on your site or in your product line; to do as their next logical step. And if you guide them along in that it is not like you are controlling them in a bad way. You are just giving them a sense of order and pointing along the way and they are going to get them what they want which is the end point of this transformation.
So that is the primary reason for the Getting Started page. It is an important page if you are in business. If you are just running a personal blog and journaling; whatever, they don’t need one. Okay? But if you are delivering a transformation of some kind, and most businesses are; you should give them a Start Here page. Nice, clear starting point in a sense of order and exercise a little bit of control over what they are doing. Big one, definitely implement that; it is a very course strategy I don’t want you to underestimate it, okay?
One more thing, I almost forgot to mention here before we end off this episode… On the site in the last week or two, I actually have announced that what was formerly known as the VIP Program at the Blog Marketing Academy, it is now being called the “Monetization Lab.” The Blog Monetization Lab. And I want to tell you a little bit about it. It is over at the blogmarketingacademy.com/lab. The whole idea here is that the entire focus of the Blog Marketing Academy is going to revolve around ultimately Blog Monetization. It is the idea of making money with your site; selling out these profit funnels that we were just talking about in this episode. But the training behind that, the actual execution of that is what makes up the coursework and the action plans that I create over at the Blog Marketing Academy.
Now the primary way of getting those actions plans as they release and all the ones that are already existing as well as the support while you do it is the monetization lab. It is a program that you can get in to very affordable that will actually really; really help you get a major shortcut to monetizing your blog. The Blog Marketing Academy; I am a big believer on what I like to call real blog monetization because I am all about creating a real, sustainable business. I am not talking about setting up Adsense ads or doing affiliate marketing, which affiliate marketing; there is a time and place for that but I do not believe that having a “business” which is all based on affiliate marketing is actually real business because it is not totally your control, you are not the one getting the customers.
So what we are doing at the Blog Marketing Academy is about creating a blog, a learning center; if you want to go back to Episode 64, take that concept but underlying that we are building out a business machine where the blog is on top of it but underlying it is this business machine that generates money for you. It delivers the transformation that we were just talking about but moves people through this blog profit funnel. It is kind of like the idea of the iceberg; you can see the little part of it on top of the water but underneath the water is this big thing that you just don’t see. And that is the business machine; that is what we are setting up as the sales funnels and the mechanics of actually moving people through those sales funnels is going to generate money for you if you do it right. That is the primary topic of what we talked about inside the Monetization Lab. If you like to get in on that go to blogmarketingacademy.com/lab and learn more about it.
See you in the next episode! 😉