Blogging has changed over the last couple of years. There has to be a more in-depth strategy, if you are looking at making some money with it. And this strategy requires use of some essential tools and worst that the tools come for a cost that most bloggers would want to skip.
While these tools are something that shouldn’t be ignored or, skipped, when it comes to the cost, there is hardly any advice that I can offer bloggers who wish to do that. But in my never-ending quest for finding free tools that are equally good as that of the paid ones, I come across a lot of such tools that I will keep writing about in these series of posts.
List Building Tools – Most Essential Tools in Blogging
If you are not building your list with your blog, then you are leaving a lot of money on the table. You will hear most bloggers talking about this in their blogs and if these bloggers are successful and are making money with their blogs, then it is because they started building their list since they started blogging.
Nevertheless, it is never too late to start. You can start building your list even now.
[social_quote duplicate=”no” align=”default”]A Sculptor is only as Good as his Tools[/social_quote]
You will need a good list building tool to do that. A lightbox pop-up is something that is a must-have for your blog. There are a lot of plugins that give you a variety of features like detailed analytics and many other options of placing the pop-up. Some of these that I normally recommend are –
These tools are in the order of my preference, with price+value for money as the rating mechanism. If you are wondering how I am able to rate all of them, then I should say that I have used all these plugins on my blog at some point in time.
But does that end there?
No, it doesn’t. List building is much more than just putting a lightbox popup on your blog and expecting visitors to hand over their email address to you.
The List Building Tweaks using SumoMe WordPress Plugin
Okay!. So that brings me to this free plugin I happened to stumble upon at one of my favorite places – AppSumo. If you are not a member of AppSumo, I recommend that you join them. It is free and you get a ton of benefits as well.
This plugin is SumoMe. Before I show you what this plugin can do and why it is a definite requirement for your blog, let me show you some of the things that I added recently to my blog.
My Header bar –
If you noticed, I installed a stripe bar just above the header in my blog. This is a nice email capture bar, which installs without intruding with the blog design. You have multiple design options and the emails can be captured into any major autoresponder. This increased my email subscribe rate by almost 37%.
A “More Info” Optin Box –
A little while after you are into my blog and reading a few of my articles, you will see a very basic looking pop-up which tells you to subscribe in case you liked the information you are reading. This pop-up in non-intruding and only appears when the readers have spent some time reading through the articles. This increased my email subscribe rate by about 29%.
Scroll Box –
This is another nice option to capture leads. This pops up a signup box when the visitors have scrolled down to a certain point on your website. You can set the % to which you want the visitors to scroll to before the pop-up appears.
This is a nice little option to build your list. You can offer a bonus or, some kind of a bribe to your visitors in return for sharing their email address with you. Setting up the popup is extremely simple and you can even download your leads in a simple CSV format.
Other Handy Features from SumoMe
In addition to these list building tools, SumoMe also offers a range of other handy features which can help increase traffic to your blogs. Because this is all built into the same plugin, you just need to install the plugin once. You can then add whichever apps you want just by installing the app from the dashboard.
The Highlighter option lets you visitors highlight anything on your blog and share it on Twitter. This way your content will get highlighted and shared more often and will help it go viral.
Heat Maps –
We all know how useful a heatmap is. But the biggest obstacle with installing one is that most of the services that offer you a heatmap comes for a very high price. It is here that most bloggers defer the plan to install one. But SumoMe comes with a free heatmaps app, which you can install for free and then records your visitor actions to analyze the places that your visitors click the most at.
Image Sharer –
Images get 39% more engagement on all social networks. Also people love sharing images more than any other content. But the lack of a good plugin that lets you share your images is a big glitch. There are plugins that install a “Pin It” button on images but these do not let you share the images on Facebook or, Twitter. SumoMe has a handy little app that lets you do that without installing any other plugins or, scripts.
SumoMe is a must-have plugin for any WordPress blog. It offers you a range of apps that you can install and improve the functionality of your blogs. Best of all it is FREE. The developers of this handy little plugin, is adding new apps regularly and I will not be surprised if almost all of the other plugins go obsolete in some time.
You can join Appsumo for more exciting stuff here..