Engage Your Readers with 2 Plugins

highway

I have been away, living in a tent for a few days, thinking about life and business, and writing on a short story. When I’m offline, thinking about what I should be doing online, I always end up doing some changes. It’s like when I’m bored and I become creative.

This time I’ve added two awesome plugins and a new homepage. And it’s all part of a strategic change in blogging.

Blogging for business

Life is fantastic. I have started a business. And I am experiencing more freedom than I thought was possible.

I have been thinking a lot about my business plan and what I should be doing in order to integrate my blog into my business. What I have come up with is that I need one goal, a true purpose for my blog.

That’s mostly because in my mind, my blog has to be part of my business (because it’s one of the things I enjoy the most). I don’t need to be earning money from the blog. I might not need it to get more clients either. But, I need to find my true business purpose when it comes to blogging.

My business plan is not ready yet, in the meantime I keep adjusting my blog and testing various methods that might work for my business.

All my clients are Norwegian companies, and all communication is in Norwegian, but I am thinking that my blog will continue to be my central hub, even though I write in English. I have created a Norwegian blog for my company, but I am thinking that I’ll build two separate blogs, one in English and one in Norwegian, doing the same but in different languages.

I still don’t have a true purpose for my blog, but I know that it will be supporting my business. To me, that’s a huge step in the right direction.

Two Awesome Plugins

I have no idea why I didn’t think of this before, but while living in a tent and being offline, I figured that one of my main goals right now should be to lower the bounce rate on my blog and get people to read more of my content.

The more content they read, the more interested they’ll become and the more engagement they might help create. My business is more or less about content marketing and creating marketing strategies for businesses. And, that’s why I need to display as much of my content as possible. I don’t want people to leave after reading one of my blog posts. I really want a second chance to convince them to keep reading my posts.

I decided to install two free plugins that should help me to lower my bounce rate, and that’s exactly what happened. The bounce rate has dropped close to 10% after I installed them (you can see the plugins live just below this post):

The first plugin is nRelate related content, a plugin that shows related posts. The reason why it works is because it’s beautiful and it uses thumbnails. It’s hard to not notice it and I understand why people want to click on the related posts.

The second plugin is Where did they go from here, and it’s like what you see on Amazon when you look at a product and you see the text “people who bought this product also bought…” This plugin shows the reader not only related posts based on the content, but the other posts people who read this specific posts have read.

I have combined the two plugins to lower my bounce rate by 10%.

It works. And it’s free.

Funnel Marketing via The Homepage

I want people to read as much of my content as possible, that’s one thing I’ve realized, and I want them to return to my blog (or stay in touch with me). And after reading a blog post from the brilliant Marcus Sheridan about Funnel Marketing, I decided that I needed to do something about the design of my homepage.

My homepage used to be like most homepages, and that’s a list of my latest blog posts. I decided that since I want to get in touch with more people and build more relationships, that I need to connect with people via email. So, I’ve changed the homepage to a static page where I get people to subscribe to my newsletter.

So far, after only a few days, my conclusion is that the changes I have made is working great. A lot more people are signing up.

Highway to …

I am still looking for that one purpose for my blog, but I feel progress in every little detail. And to me, it’s all about progress.

I used to be on a small road somewhere on the countryside, and I feel that I have just turned right and entered the highway. Things are happening fast, and I need to keep changing lanes to follow my dreams.

But it’s happening, and I am having a fantastic time doing it.

Let me ask you this; do you have one goal, one purpose with your blog?

UPDATE: After several days of testing, I decided to remove the static homepage and I have uninstalled Where did they go from here.

  • Morgan

    Hey Jens,

    I have been throwing around the idea of using plugins like those but didn’t know which would be most appropriate or look the best. But by looking at your post, it’s fairly unobtrusive and it does make me want to go to your other posts. :)

    Great suggestions! Thanks!

  • http://www.thesaleslion.com Marcus Sheridan-The Sales Lion

    Jens, so great to hear your musings man. I love posts like this and I honestly feel you write them as well as anyone online.

    LOVE the changes and the plugin mentions too. And so glad you liked the “funnel marketing” post!

    Keep it up brother, I love watching you succeed. :-)

    Marcus

  • http://www.aha-now.com/ Harleena Singh

    Love the changes Jens!

    I like your homepage for sure as it now focuses on what you are really wanting, but also gives an option for reading blog posts for those who aren’t keen on the ebooks, which I am sure everyone would love to go through. :)

    And yes, the bounce rate is something I too was wanting to reduce and am trying out various ways of doing that too. I do have a slider on the posts about posts you may like or related content, but would love to check out the two plugins you mentioned right away too.

    Thanks for sharing and reminding us that change is something that’s always good for all of us, as long as you change things around for the better :)

  • Jeevanjacobjohn

    Hey Jens,

    I am glad that you are starting to think about the true business purpose of your blog. I have been thinking about it too (in fact, that is what that motivated me to start working on a Kindle book).

    Well, my purpose is blogging is kind of blurred: My main purpose is to enjoy blogging and provide something of value to others (and that’s my goal too). Although, I am starting to see the importance of making money through blogging (If I am spending so much time and effort into blogging, why don’t I use it to make some money in a way that doesn’t affect my existing reader relationships?).

    I love the changes here. I have been thinking about using a static page (especially after seeing Steve – from Stevescottsite – change his blog).

    And thank you for sharing the plugins. I had used a similar plugin when I was blogging with Blogger, never knew they had it for WP. I will be using both ;)

    Jeevan Jacob John

  • http://billdorman.me Bill Dorman

    Ok tent boy, if you are good maybe your wife will let you move back in this week.

    I went to your Norwegian site and you didn’t have enough pictures because I couldn’t understand a word you were saying………..cool beans though……….:).

    Sounds good to me funnel cake marketing and btw your business IS about content marketing; drop the ‘more or less’……..be definitive sir when describing what you do.

  • http://www.wonderoftech.com Carolyn

    Hi Jens, I went to your Norwegian blog and liked it a lot. My Norwegian is getting much better, I hope to be ready to tackle your novel when it’s published. Just make sure to have it available online so I can use Google Translate, okay? ;-)

    Thanks for these helpful plugins. I will definitely try them out. I really need a related posts plugin and none of the ones I have tried so far have worked. I manually created one for today’s post because I needed it so badly, but they were just links, no thumbnails.

    Really appreciate you sharing your journey with us, Jens!

  • http://www.wonderoftech.com Carolyn

    Lol, Bill. Yes, let’s hope Jens gets out of the dog house, er, I mean pup tent soon! Maybe he was hogging the family iPad a bit too much???

  • http://www.slymarketing.com Jens P. Berget

    Hi Morgan,

    I have been looking for plugins like these two for a long time, and I am not sure if they are the best, but they’ve been the best I’ve found that’s for sure :)

  • http://www.slymarketing.com Jens P. Berget

    Hi Marcus,

    Thank you so much for the kind words, that means a lot to me. I still hustle to find the true purpose of my blog, but I’m seeing the progress in every little detail and that’s what makes me so happy and why I continue to focus on this online adventure :)

  • http://www.craigmcbreen.com/ Craig McBreen

    Hi Jens,

    Ah, I’ve wanted to install nRelate for a while and you just motivated me to do so. Took more than five minutes, as it was a bit more involved with Thesis, but now it’s up, Bravo!

    Norwegian site looks great, but no Norwegian Capthca? ;)

    Anyway, cool to see you making so many changes so often. Keep moving, Mr. Berget!

  • http://ryzeonline.com Jason “J-Ryze” Fonceca

    Ahh, good stuff, Jens, I love your “steps in the right direction” :)

    I also love these plugins, I’ve seen them around many blogs (I think Ashley Ambirge uses WDTGFH)

    I’ve tried them off and on, and maybe it’s time for me to revive ‘em :P

    Rock on and ryze up, man!

  • http://slymarketing.com Jens-Petter Berget

    Hi Harleena,

    Thanks a lot for your kind words. I have been hustling to find one goal for my blog, but it’s been hard, and I’m still struggling. I know that I need to integrate it with my business, but it would probably be a lot easier if my business was in English and not in Norwegian :)

  • http://slymarketing.com Jens-Petter Berget

    Hey Jeevan,

    That’s exactly what I’ve been thinking, and that’s also the reason why I have been writing Kindle books as well. I haven’t published any yet, but I am looking forward to do some testing fairly soon :)

    Steve Scott is one of the reasons why I started thinking of a static homepage, and then Marcus started talking about it, and I figured it was time to do some testing.

    I can’t wait to read your book.

  • http://slymarketing.com Jens-Petter Berget

    Hey Bill,

    Not sure if my wife will want me back until I shower and shave my beard :)

    I will add some pictures to my Norwegian site fairly soon. I haven’t started blogging yet, it’s just static information.

    You’re absolutely right. Content marketing is my business, thank you for being direct and hitting me hard on my forehead so I’ll finally understand :)

  • http://slymarketing.com Jens-Petter Berget

    Hey Carolyn,

    I took the iPad with me, not sure if my wife and kids liked it ;-)

  • http://slymarketing.com Jens-Petter Berget

    Hi Carolyn,

    I am planning to publish my novel on iBooks, so I’m not sure if there’s a way to translate it, but I’ll do it for you if you’re willing to read it :)

    The plugins are working great for me (so far), and I’ve been testing several that didn’t work as good. I really needed a related posts plugin to help my readers to discover my older posts. And I believe that the thumbnails is what works.

    Talk to you soon.

  • http://slymarketing.com Jens-Petter Berget

    Hey Craig,

    That’s great that you’ve installed nRelate. I love publishing posts that helps (or reminds), and now that you’ve installed it, I’m so glad that I wrote the post :)

    I’m looking forward to check out your “the art of breaking out” – awesome title.

  • http://www.thejackb.com Jack

    Hi Jens,

    I have played around with creating a static homepage from time to time to see what sort of impact it would have on my bounce rate.

    Since I am sort of in between the personal/professional blog I might wait a bit longer to get a better handle on the focus.

    Anyway, these two plugins look interesting. I am going to give them a whirl.

  • http://slymarketing.com Jens-Petter Berget

    Hey Jason,

    Thanks a lot for your kind words. Still waiting for your podcast ;-)

  • http://slymarketing.com Jens-Petter Berget

    Hey Jack,

    That’s exactly the reason why I have been waiting for so long to create a static homepage or do more business related things on my blog. Now that I’ve started my business I believe it’s time to do some real changes, but I’m not sure exactly what I’ll be doing :)

    Always good to see you sir.

  • http://markharai.com Mark

    Hey Jens, once again, you’ve delivered great information on some very interesting plugins that can help bloggers. I will be checking into these soon and I appreciate you keeping us in the ‘know’ with all the cool discoveries you’re making. That takes some serious reading and comprehension skills – never liked to do research all that much :o

    Cheers sir!

  • http://ryzeonline.com Jason “J-Ryze” Fonceca

    Thanks! Here’s a taste of what’s to come, Jens!

    A 1hr chat between me and Lauryn: http://sexyfocusedambitious.com/jason-fonceca-talks-creating-happiness-passion-purpose-digital-age-of-lost-wisdom/

  • http://www.wonderoftech.com Carolyn

    Hi Jens, I loaded them both and the nRelated Plugins had some coding instructions for users of Thesis. I didn’t have time to follow them and was about to deactivate the plugin when, lo and behold, it worked! I’ve never had a related posts plugin work before, even when they were supposed to. Now this one isn’t supposed to but it does!

    Go figure.

    This is a great plugin. Thanks so much for sharing it with us!

  • http://aks-blog.com Ashvini

    Hey Jan,

    Good idea to make your home page static. I was also planning to do something like that . I am sure , I will take the task up once again .
    I use Microkid related post to put the related post under my blog. Fortunately after a long time, my blog is getting google traffic once again . I hope your business is going good :).

  • http://www.zealousweb.net/web-development/php-development-india/ PHP Development India

    After read your post, I will easily decide which plugins look the best. I really appraised your efforts. I would like to bookmark your post. Thanks Jens.

  • http://slymarketing.com Jens-Petter Berget

    Hey Mark,

    Thank you so much. You should take a closer look at these two plugins, I have experienced a lot more clicks and “engagement” after I installed them.

    I like doing the research, so stay tuned :)

  • http://slymarketing.com Jens-Petter Berget

    Hey Ashvini,

    I am just testing the static home page, but so far so good. I am actually thinking about testing a pop-up (even though I don’t like them at all) :)

    Business is great. I hope your business is going great as well :)

  • http://slymarketing.com Jens-Petter Berget

    Thanks a lot for the feedback :)

  • http://marketingwithsergio.com Sergio Felix

    Hey Jens, This was a very good read my man.

    I knew about the related posts plugin (although I think I recall it was called Link Within or something like that) I didn’t know about the second plugin you mentioned.

    Even though I have been getting rid of plugins lately I think I’m going to try these, thanks man and all the best with your Norwegian company!

    Berget Marketing looks freaking amazing although I can’t read absolutely anything haha and I really liked that you decided to place something different in your home page.

    I am trying to do that for ages but for some reason (time and distractions) I still haven’t.

    Awesome update my man, good job, speak soon! ;-)

    Sergio

  • http://mayaroth.spruz.com Elise

    Really helpful tips, and it is actually what I had been searching for. I’ve just started my new blog, and I have heard so much about the importance of linking to other freelancers. I think I should give your method a try and ask my friends for some testimonials. I unfortunately haven’t done anything like this before, so your useful tips could be very helpful for me. Thanks for sharing them!

  • http://www.birthinjurysettlement.com/ Helena

    I’ve placed with one of my blogs a plugin which tracks my visitors. I love it and when visitors comes in they’ll know for sure if the blog or website is a ghost town. Jens, you might also wanna try one this plugin.

  • http://www.slymarketing.com Jens P. Berget

    Hey Sergio,

    I believe Link Within is another similar plugin. I haven’t tried that one, but the one I’m using works great :)

    You need to learn Norwegian and I need to learn Spanish :)

  • http://www.slymarketing.com Jens P. Berget

    Hi Elise,

    You’re absolutely right. Focus on creating strong relationships with people in your niche. Comment on their blogs, link to them, and you’ll receive all kinds of love in return :)

    Testimonials are very powerful.

  • http://slymarketing.com Jens-Petter Berget

    Hi Helena,

    Which plugin are you using? I am using both Google Analytics and Clicky to track my visitors. And I agree, it’s important to understand what your visitors are doing on your site :)

  • http://slymarketing.com Jens-Petter Berget

    That’s awesome. I had no idea that you had to do some coding to get it to work with thesis. I am so glad that it worked for you :)

  • http://blog.iflexion.com/portal-development/ Enterprise Portal

    Hey Jan,
    I must check the nRelate plugin. I was looking for something like this, but some of other plugins I tried didn’t work properly for me.
    Thanks for sharing.

  • http://bestpcflightsimulator.webs.com Darcy

    I’m not sure if this post is a little older or I’m missing something, Jens, but I just checked out the homepage based on this post and I noticed that there are still a lot of links to newest posts and so on. I’ve been battling with getting users to subscribe to my newsletter also and had heard that implementing a static homepage with a webform would be a good idea. Did you change back from that design since putting up this post? I’d heard somewhere that google doesn’t rank static ‘squeeze’ pages very favourably. Is that correct in your experience? Thanks for the insight.

  • http://slymarketing.com Jens-Petter Berget

    nRlate is awesome, I’m sure you’ll enjoy it :)

  • http://slymarketing.com Jens-Petter Berget

    Hey Darcy,

    The post is a bit old, and I have been testing various things after I published it. I am not using a static homepage anymore. I read what you’ve been reading, that Google is not that attracted to static homepages, and that’s why I switched back to the default settings, and that many of my readers wanted to see the latest posts :)

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