How to Generate Leads Like a Boss With Your Blog

  • 7
  • March 9, 2017

generate leads blogging

One of the biggest mistakes I’ve ever made in my career was failing to generate leads blogging from day one. Today, I’m here to make sure you don’t make the same mistake.

Welcome to the second post in our two-part series on how to collect leads. In case you missed it, part one of this series covers how to collect leads without a blog.

If you’ve not read that, I would review it now. It has some great info everyone can use.  It also covers the fundamentals of what a lead magnet is and how to create one that converts like crazy.

Today’s post will cover how to generate leads blogging. 

In this part, we’ll go straight for the cake.

So let’s get right to it and check out some awesome ways to collect leads from your blog visitors!

1. Sidebar Opt In Forms

The sidebar is the most basic of all methods to collect leads. It appears at the side of your blog post. Here’s an example from Mark Schaefer:



Granted, Mark Shaefer is an established name and people will be more likely to subscribe to his content with less friction.

This example from Copyblogger is an offer with a clear call to action to get a lead magnet (free marketing training in exchange for an email address).



In terms of lead generation, both techniques work and I advise .

From all my tests, however, collecting leads from your sidebar tends to convert the least. Still, I would test and see how it does for you. 

Put at least one lead magnet in the sidebar so that you maximize your chances of someone signing up. Every single one counts to generate leads blogging.

2. Featured Box Opt In Forms

The featured box was made popular by Derek Halpern back in the day.

Adding a featured box is a great way to generate leads from your homepage.

The homepage is usually the most highly visited page on a site, so you’ll get a lot of eyeballs on it.

DIY Themes saw their subscription rate increased by 51.7% with this feature box:


Here’s how a few savvy marketers use a featured box on their homepage (notice also how all the forms are above the fold):

A great example from Social Media Examiner:


3. Welcome Mats

Technically, the term “Welcome Mat” comes from a plugin from Sumo by the same name. A welcome mat is what I like to think as the 2017 version of what a pop-up should look like.

A welcome mat is similar to a popup. The major difference here is that you can’t see the site’s content behind a welcome mat. The welcome mat fills the entire screen when a visitor lands on your site.

It’s a clean, full-screen call to action that shows when visitors land on your blog.

Here you can see how Cammi Pham takes full advantage of this on her blog. 


These convert at a high percentage and are a great way to start generating leads from blogging.

4. Pop-Up Boxes

Pop-up boxes are those boxes that appear when you visit a website — usually after a set amount of time. They tend to appear 5-10 seconds after.

Pop-up boxes are another great way to capture leads.

Many tests have shown that adding popup boxes can increase leads conversion. So far, pop-up boxes converts the best on my blog at Short of Height. 


And I get it – some people don’t like pop-ups. However, after doing my own tests and seeing how well they convert, I say it’s worth annoying a few if it gets the job done by increasing leads. Make your pop-ups stylish and the offer value packed and you can build your email list fast!

5. Exit Intent Pop Ups

An exit pop-up will only appear after a reader tries to leave the blog. It’s less intrusive as it only appears after someone has decided to exit.

I find that it’s rare to see exit intent pop-ups. I find marketers simply use the pop-up method instead but, again, these are only served up when people are done with your content and so presumably less annyoing.

It’s worth experimenting to see how well an exit intent pop up converts on your blog.

6. Content Upgrades

Adding a lead magnet inside the body of your blog is called a content upgrade. Example of content upgrades include:

  • Templates

  • Resources

  • Cheat sheets

  • Checklists

The key is relevance.

According to a study by Hubspot, 47% to 93% of their leads come from content upgrades.

The content upgrade method is different compared to the general lead magnets approach because it’s more targeted to a specific lead. It’s an added resource about the very topic they clicked on to read about. 

I recommend you find your top performing blog post and create a content upgrade for those posts.

Brian Dean of Backlinko used this similar approach to increased his conversion rate from .54%. to 4.82%.



Neil Patel knows how to generate leads blogging extremely well too.



7. Hello Bar

A Hello bar is a bar that appears at the top of your blog.

While doesn’t look like much, it can be pretty powerful. In fact, according to Derek Halpern, a Hello bar can generate more than 1,000 leads in 30 days. According to Derek, it’s an excellent way to grab your reader’s attention. The key is bribing them with something (hint: a freebie/report).


On his blog, he gives away a free eBook on how bloggers can get their first 5,000 subscribers.

Summing up:

As I mentioned earlier, not having a lead strategy placed when I first started blogging was one of my biggest professional mistakes. I probably lost thousand – if not tens of thousands – of leads from not having a lead generation strategy the moment I decided to start a blog.

I recommend you to start to generate leads blogging by using any (or all) of the strategies I recommended above right now.

What do you think? Do you use any of lead generations methods described in this post or any I missed? 

I’d love to hear from you in the comments section below!

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Author Aaron Lee

Aaron has been writing and sharing social media tips on since 2010. He's also written for websites such as TNW, Success, Social Media Examiner, Mashable & many more. He recently started , a fashion blog for short men.

More posts by Aaron Lee
  • Dominic Adams

    Thanks for the post. Need to do one of these. Should have done this sooner.

    • Glad you liked it, Dominic! Better late than never – let us know how it works out for you 🙂

    • Sure thing, good luck! Love to hear your results once you implement them.

  • Willy Simons

    Thanks Aaron, I will try these tips in future blog posts. Can I also add them to my previous posts? Frankly speaking, don’t blame yourself for not getting it right from the start. I began blogging without a clear value proposition, but in the process things are beginning to fall into place.

    • Hi Willy,

      Yes, you can implement them to your previous posts.

      Speaking of not getting right, I guess that’s the part of ‘growing’ as a blogger. Mistakes make us better bloggers right?


  • Shelley Lockwood

    Yup, agreed…big sigh, sure do wish I had collected leads from the get go. I’m off to learn more about content upgrades. Loving the simplicity of this advice series 😉 Thanks for sharing.

    • Hi Shelley! Good luck with the content upgrades – they’re a great way to collect leads 🙂

      • Shelley Lockwood

        Thanks…I’d say fingers crossed, but I need them to type 😉