Whether it’s for your own site or for someone else, you pour hours and hours toiling over the great content you produce. So it makes sense that you’d have a resource box that does it justice right?
Of course it does! But unfortunately many authors and article marketers fail to pay this hot little piece of on-screen real estate the respect it deserves. Just to clarify, I’m talking about the box commonly located above or below a post, which contains a paragraph or so about who the author is and what they do.
Your Online Elevator Pitch
If you’re a regular in networking circles, you’d know the importance of having your elevator pitch perfected. The ability to concisely convey who you are and what you’re good at are critical to setting an effective foundation for further relations. The resource box is the online version of your elevator pitch, except it’s easier. Why?
- It can be refined as many times as you like before you give it, so you don’t have to worry about stuttering or mispronouncing words
- You can give it to 1000′s of people simultaneously without a megaphone
Why It’s Important
How To Spice Up Your Resource Boxes For Better Conversion
As I mentioned in the opening paragraph, many people don’t pay their resource box the respect it deserves. Whether it’s because they’re modest and don’t like talking about themselves, or just plain lazy, they’re missing out on the key benefits it has to offer.
Increased Targeted Traffic
The biggest and most obvious benefit of a high quality resource box is that it can drive targeted traffic to your site. Generally you’ll be submitting guest posts to sites who’s target audience is similar to your own, so the traffic you drive through your resource box will be loaded with targeted prospects.
If the reader is impressed with your article, they’ll want to know who you are. If they’re compelled by the content you’ve included in your resource box (which they should be after you’ve read this article) then there’s a high chance they’ll want to know some more about what you can offer, and follow the CTA (call to action) you provide.
Asserting Your Authority
What’s the point of sharing your impressive knowledge on a topic if no one knows where it came from? The resource box allows you to stamp content as your own, and hence start building your authority on the topic with its audience.
It’s All You Get!
Since there’s no monetary compensation for guest post submissions, the resource box (and the links it contains) are your return, so it makes sense to utilize it!
Making It Awesome
So now you should be sold on the importance of a good resource box, the next step is creating it. Since the main purpose of your resource box is to achieve a desired outcome from the reader, the main focus of this how-to will be on tailoring your resource box to achieve this.
Make It Kick
The resource box is your one and only chance to create a stunning first impression with your reader and draw them into your sales funnel. Don’t bore them with a long-winded summation of your career to date. Chisel it down to one eye-catching paragraph that will leave them wanting more. Only add biographical information if it’s relevant and supports your authority on the topic. For example, if you’re writing about speed skating and you’ve won two Olympic gold medals and been national champ, definitely include that. It’s not bragging, it’s simply about positioning yourself.
Refining Your CTA
The key to achieving great results with your resource box is having an intimate knowledge of your reader’s needs and wants and offering them a substantial benefit. If your CTA (call to action) promises to add value at no cost to the them, responding will be irresistible. Keep in mind that your offering needs to be something they can’t get anywhere else. Offering up the same thing they can get from any other run of the mill site will not be enticing, so make sure you do some research to find out what you can offer that will be unique.
There should be a specific path that you want the reader to take, so make it easy for them to take that path by making it the only path. Don’t litter your resource box with multiple links that could send the reader in different directions, provide them with a single link which provides the most relevance.
As mentioned in the benefits section, associated authority is one of the key reasons for having the resource box. Hence it’s important that you identify yourself clearly. Occasionally I see people who sign off with just their first name, unless you’ve reached Madonna status it makes sense to include both your first and last names as it will make it easier for people to remember you and separate you from other authors. Doing this will also make you easier to find via search.
Read It Out Loud
Doing this will help you identify rough spots. If something doesn’t sound right, or you stumble over a certain section, re-word it so it comes out smoothly. Having clarity in your resource box will make it more powerful. Also be sure to triple-check that your links are correct.
This is one of the most valuable things you can do with your resource box, however it’s largely overlooked. While the article you’ve posted should include keywords relevant to your offering, it’s important to include them in your resource box as well. Where possible, use the keywords of highest relevance as the anchor text in your link. For example, if you’re a “web design consultant” then it would make sense to use those words as your anchor text. This will not only provide another back link for your site, it will help improve the search engine ranking of your site for that particular keyword.
Length And Format
Don’t feel you need to write a novel. As stated above, creating a concise and high impact paragraph will be just as, and in many cases, more effective than a longer one.
The format you should use will vary case by case, depending on your audience as well as the site you’re posting on. Generally, using a simple text resource box will work most effectively, and will avoid the coding issues that sometimes arise with using HTML resource boxes.
Final Tip: Test, Test, Test
I know I said earlier that one of the things that made resource boxes easier than the elevator pitch was that you only have to do it once, and it’s true. But, if you want to get maximum results from your resource box then you should consider testing different variations of it and constantly refining it in order to achieve maximum click-through rates. What you’re going to find is that there’s no set formula for the perfect resource box, and that different sites and audiences will all react differently to different formats. However, by implementing the above tips and then testing, you’ll be giving yourself the best chance for maximum return.
Now as promised, here’s the template. What makes this template great is that it creates a need within the reader, and provides a strong call to action for them to meet it. It’s also very flexible and can be adjusted to fit a large variety of industries – so you shouldn’t have trouble customizing it for your own uses.
On average, 90% of participants in (insert industry) will never take advantage of (insert your offering).. If you want to get ahead of the pack, take advantage of (your offering) now and develop/improve/increase/enhance your (industry related something) – Your Link
(Limited Time Offer… Hurry!)
Here are five examples of resource boxes done right. If the template didn’t take your fancy, one of these is bound to help inspire you.
Are resource boxes an important part of your online strategy? What templates have worked well for you? Please share!
Dan is an online marketing nomad. Specializing in social media and content creation. He consults remotely while travelling the world and living out of a backpack.