When all the gurus online talk about list building they either assume you have a product, or have your niche already picked so you can attack the list building challenge from the ground up.
But WHAT IF, you have a website already and want to add a list? How do you come up with a lead magnet to give away? How do you figure out what your visitors common problems are?
Imagine this, you spent months (or years) building a kick ass website and never made a list because, well quite frankly you didn’t know how a list can make you a ton of money forever! Now that you discovered this amazing opportunity, you want to jump on the bandwagon and harness the free traffic coming to your established site!
To build your list, you could simply throw up an opt in form (like i’ve done on the upper right hand here on iAmAttila) but chances are that won’t get you many opt in leads. Yea it will get a few, but nothing extraordinary so you have a big audience to sell stuff to, FAST!
So the question is: How to find out who your visitors are, and what is their common problem?
I’ve done research on this for you, and here’s what I learned…
1. Establish who your visitor is by looking at your website statistics.
Stats show that many website owners do not use statistics software at all. This is a shocking reality; I know you aren’t that dumb and you are using Google Analytics, and have been for a while now. A great way to learn who your audience demographic is, to fire up google analytics and check out what they have under the demographic details in terms of sex, age groups, and interests.
For example, my writing company writes all current event updates that concerns celebs for magweb.com, a celeb gossip/news site. The site owner has been using Google Analytics since he started the site. Now while chatting with him, and brainstorming of what kind of lead magnet to give away – I assumed that this being a celeb gossip/news site the most common visitor would be female. WRONG – Google analytics told us that 55% is male, whilst 45% are female. We also learned that the majority are interested in fitness, and diet. Let’s take a mental note of that one.. and move onto the next one.
2. Look for similar websites and check out what kind of advertisements show up
This is the another way to check what kind of problem your visitors might be having, you simply take a look at what kind of ads are running on similar sites like yours. In the case of magweb, we went on google, and did a search for celeb news. Then looked at all the sites on the 1st page of search results, a quick look at the sites revealed something interesting – most ads were either diet or fashion (looking good, beauty,etc). — remember the mental note we made in the first point? — its confirmed, similar website ads show that their visitors are interested in fitness/diet as well (aka looking good)
3. Look at magazine covers that are related to your site’s niche and see what kind of headlines show up on the covers of these mags.
I like to look at the covers of magazines to get ideas on the type of lead magnet to create; looks at People magazine for example on google images, I was able to see they have a TON of articles that are titled something like this: How they did it – Half Their Size, 11 great tips to look fit like Angelina Jolie! , 5 secret tips that helped Drew Barrymore lose weight, etc etc. — again, diet/fitness/looking good is dominating the celeb news mag covers!
4. Visit forums that are on the same topic as your website and see what the most talked about threads are.
There are a ton of special interest forums, for a client of mine that operates a network of dog breed sites we were able to learn a ton about what kind of common problems dog owners in the breed category face by going on _fill_in_breed_here forums and checking the most talked about threads, and also results of polls they conducted on the poll. For one breed, we learned that those kind of dogs have a ton of eating problems, and created a lead magnet that provided a solution to the fussy eating problems of their dogs.
5. Conduct a survey, and ask your audience to tell you what their problem is so you can help solve it.
I haven’t done this personally because we were able to learn a whole lot from the previous 4 methods about the audience and problems they were having on magweb. However, while researching how to figure out what kind of problems a websites’ visitors might be having – many suggested to conduct a poll and simply ask them.
This is a good idea, and at the same time a limiting one. If you make a poll, and you give them multiple choice questions – you might be limiting your scope and miss the real problem that’s most common; however if you make an open ended poll, then not many people might fill it out because people are very lazy and their time is ultra precious. Yea you can solve this by giving them a reward for filling the survey/poll – but then the answers might not always be real, research has shown that a lot of people who complete paid surveys aren’t honest in their responses. But anyhow, this is also a way to find out what the common problems are – you just have to set it up right. SurveyMonkey came highly recommended.
Hope this info was valuable to you – leave a comment if you have any questions.