Today’s life lesson from the Interwebs is: The more objectives you have for your blog the less likely it is to achieve any of them.
Since this is a blog post and not a Twitter stream, allow me to elaborate.
Internet Marketers, or the yellow-highlighter brigade as Sonia Simone calls them, figured out years ago that on a direct sales website you must only present 2 options to visitors; buy now, or leave.
What this means is (a) all direct sales websites are horrible but effective, and (b) Internet marketers are way cleverer than 99.99% of the blog owning population.
You build a new WordPress blog, Internet Marketer style, with just 2 options: Send us an enquiry, or leave our site. This means there’s a 50/50 chance you’re going to generate a sales lead from each visitor (all things being equal).
Now, rebuild the same blog, but throw in a newsletter subscription form, a link to 5 other sites you like, 500 gazillion affiliate links to products nobody wants and for good measure, your Twitter stream in your sidebar.
All of a sudden your visitor has 4 additional options (that’s a total of 6 in case you weren’t counting). According to my calculator you will now realistically only generate one sales lead from every 10 visitors.
Be Frugal with your online objectives
If we lived in a perfect world Angelina Jolie would be my future ex-wife and your business would only need 1 objective. But sadly for Angelina, we don’t live in a perfect world, and most bloggers need at least 2 objectives/income streams to survive.
I blame WordPress. Back in the old days (3 years ago) if you wanted a blogroll added to your sidebar, you damn well added the code yourself. Nowadays, you simply add a widget and you’re done. it’s just too easy to clutter things up.
Go ahead and add 2-3 objectives to your blog if they’re ABSOLUTELY necessary, not just because they make your sidebar look pretty.