What is a Conversion Habit and Do I Need One?

I received an e-mail on May 4 from ProBlogger.com with a link to a blog post about conversion habits. I’m not a theology student. I didn’t have a clue what “conversion habits” were or if I needed to try to work them into my life. I didn’t know if a conversion habit was a good habit or a bad habit. ProBlogger.com is a trusted source, so I clicked on the link to learn more.

https://problogger.com/the-9-conversion-habits-of-the-worlds-most-successful-bloggers/

The blog was written by a guest blogger, John Stevens. Mr. Stevens, according to the blog, “is the CEO of Hosting Facts, a startup that helps consumers make data-backed decisions when choosing web hosts. He is also a frequent contributor to WebsiteSetup where he helps businesses set up their website.”

Used by the world’s greatest bloggers

The best I could tell, conversion habits are practices the world’s greatest bloggers use to convert a blog reader into a customer. Since I have nothing to sell at the moment, other than copies of my vintage postcard book, The Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina, three Morrison genealogies compiled by my sister and me, and several privately-printed-on-demand booklets I wrote about Rocky River Presbyterian Church history, I don’t think I need to expend my limited energy working on conversion habits. It’s not like I’m trying to get my books on the New York Times Bestseller List!

I didn’t really need anything to add to my “to-do” list, so I was relieved that I don’t need to be bothered with conversion habits – at least for now.

(Warning:  shameless plug — Incidentally, if you’re interested in purchasing one of my books, visit https://www.janetmorrisonbooks.com or visit your favorite independent bookstore.)

Mt. trip Dec.11-14,2014 031
The Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina on the shelf at Lake Junaluska Bookstore.

That didn’t mean I didn’t keep reading the blog post, though. I am a curious person, and the post’s title promised me nine conversion habits. I got down to the ninth habit, thinking I was almost finished. I could delete the e-mail and go to bed. But no. The ninth conversion habit was, “They use prominent CTAs.”

What the heck is a prominent CTA?

Turn the light back on. There will be no sleeping tonight until I figure out what a prominent CTA is. I read on. The first sentence asked me what color my CTAs were. That sounded like a personal question to me, and I felt myself blush. Never fear! I surmised that you want your CTA to be a contrasting color to that of your logo.

The blog post went on to talk about the Von Restorff effect, which is also called the “isolation effect.” Not being a student of marketing, I wasn’t familiar with that effect. Mr. Stevens explained it as follows:  “this principle states that when confronted with multiple stimuli (in our case, CTAs), the stimuli that stand out the most wins our attention.”

Regaining my composure, I kept reading. The next sentence informed me that “your CTAs have a big impact on your conversion rates.” Since I don’t feel the need for conversion rates, I’m once again tempted to delete the e-mail and call it a night. I keep reading, though, because I still don’t have a clue what a CTA is, and I try to learn something new every day – even if it appears to be useless information. I read on.

Higher CTR

Mr. Stevens continued with, “Since your CTAs lead visitors to subscribe to your newsletter, download your eBooks or buy your courses, it makes sense to optimize it for higher CTR.” I don’t know what a CTR is, but it’s far too late in the evening to chase after that rabbit. After all, I need something to do tomorrow, right? (No – I’m too curious. Google search. CTR is currency transaction report. That’s all I need to know about that.)

Study results

I learned that a study revealed that changing the color of CTAs resulted in an increase of 21% in a blog’s conversion rate. That sounded impressive, so I looked at the illustrations. The best I could tell, a CTA is a clickable button that says something like, “Get started now!”

But what is a CTA?

A search on Google, “What is a CTA?” brought up the definition of a computed tomography angiography. I wasn’t just in the wrong pew, I was in the wrong church! Another search choice was “What is a CTA on a website?” Bingo!

The answer that popped up when I clicked on that option was, “In web design, a CTA may be a banner, button, or some type of graphic or text on a website meant to prompt a user to click it, and continue down a conversion funnel.”

That’s all?

My response to that explanation was, “That’s all?” (Peggy Lee should be singing, “Is That All There Is?” right about now! For those of you who don’t know who Peggy Lee was, that song was a big hit for her in 1969.) I just spent 10 minutes trying to learn what a CTA is and it’s just a button? I can see why they call it a CTA. That’s a lot more impressive than “button.”

The letdown

I feel like I’ve been on a wild goose chase. Tomorrow will I still remember what conversion habits and CTAs are? It makes me wonder if universities now offer a Bachelor of Science degree in Blogging. Are such courses as Conversion Habits 101 and CTAs 101 included in the required curriculum? Can one minor in CTR?

This stuff gives me a headache. All I want to do is write my novel and finish reading my current library book so I can start reading the next one.

All jokes aside, Mr. Stevens received wonderful comments and praise for his blog post. It was well-written, well-illustrated, and apparently contained useful information for people who are in the business of selling a product through their blog. I’m just not there yet. I highly recommend the blog post to anyone who is marketing a tangible product or something intangible such as a writing course.

Until my next blog post

I hope you have a good book to read. If you’re a writer, I hope you have productive writing time.

Janet

Lake Junaluska Scenes in My Book

Weekend before last we took time out from visiting bookstores and publicizing my vintage postcard book, The Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina, to attend two performances by the Lake Junaluska Singers at the United Methodist Church Conference Center at Lake Junaluska, North Carolina.

Welcome Sign at Lake Junaluska, NC.
Welcome Sign at Lake Junaluska, NC.

The Lake Junaluska Singers performed in Stuart Auditorium. Since I had researched the building and written about it in my book, it was nice to get to enjoy two concerts there.

Stuart Auditorium, Lake Junaluska, NC.
Stuart Auditorium, Lake Junaluska, NC.

The bell at Lake Junaluska, which I wrote about in my book, is between Harrell Center (where the bookstore is located) and Stuart Auditorium. It was donated in 1920 to call conference attendees to meetings in the auditorium.

The bell at Lake Junaluska decorated for Christmas 2014.
The bell at Lake Junaluska decorated for Christmas 2014.

I also wrote about Memorial Chapel at Lake Junaluska in my book, so I was glad to finally see it for myself. The chapel was constructed in 1949 in memory of members of the Methodist Church, South, who served in the armed forces during World War II.

Lake Junaluska's Memorial Chapel.
Lake Junaluska’s Memorial Chapel.

The lake at Lake Junaluska is beautiful any time of the year. It was named for the Cherokee chief who served in that capacity in 1838 when the United State government ordered the removal of the Cherokee people to the Oklahoma Territory.

Mountains and Stuart Auditorium reflected in the 200-acre lake at Lake Junaluska.
Mountains and Stuart Auditorium reflected in the 200-acre lake at Lake Junaluska.

A different kind of bookstore in Asheville

After leaving the Biltmore Estate on December 12, 2014, I went to downtown Asheville and visited Battery Park Book Exchange and Champagne Bar. I knew my vintage postcard book, The Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina, had been available there since the week it was released in August.

My book on the shelf at Battery Park Book Exchange & Champagne Bar in Asheville, NC.
My book on the shelf at Battery Park Book Exchange & Champagne Bar in Asheville, NC.

Battery Park Book Exchange and Champagne Bar is an intriguing combination of old and rare books and hot-off-the-press books shelved and otherwise displayed on and around interesting pieces of furniture. There are cozy little areas where friends can meet for drinks and quiet conversation and chairs in corners where readers can sit and escape into the pages of a good book.

Western North Carolina section at Asheville's Battery Park Book Exchange & Champagne Bar.
Western North Carolina section at Asheville’s Battery Park Book Exchange & Champagne Bar.

Seven copies of my book were on a shelf in the Western North Carolina section, a copy was on display on a table with several other Arcadia Publishing books, and one copy was on display on an end cap across from one of the bars! Wow!

My book on display with three other Arcadia Publishing books at Battery Park Book Exchange & Champagne Bar.
My book on display with three other Arcadia Publishing books at Battery Park Book Exchange & Champagne Bar.
My book on an end cap across from the bar at Battery Park Book Exchange and Champagne Bar. Great location!
My book on an end cap across from the bar at Battery Park Book Exchange and Champagne Bar. Great location!

Battery Park Book Exchange and Champagne Bar is located in the Grove Arcade. I included a postcard of the Grove Arcade in my book. It has quite an interesting history. It was built by Edwin Wiley Grove, who also built The Grove Park Inn. He made his fortune selling Grove’s Tasteless Chill Tonic.

Entrance of Battery Park Book Exchange & Champagne Bar at The Grove Arcade in  Asheville.
Entrance of Battery Park Book Exchange & Champagne Bar at The Grove Arcade in Asheville.

The Grove Arcade fills a city block at 269,000 square feet. It opened in 1929 with shops and offices. The federal government took over the building during World War II, but in 2002 it was restored to it’s original beauty and elegance and is again home to a variety of shops and offices. After researching it while writing my book, it was a thrill last Friday to get to see the building and enjoy several of the stores there.

One of the Grove Arcade entrances.
One of the Grove Arcade entrances.
Peering through the glass into Battery Park Book Exchange & Champagne Bar from inside the Grove Arcade.
Peering through the glass into Battery Park Book Exchange & Champagne Bar from inside the Grove Arcade.

As the sun was setting over the Blue Ridge Mountains, we (my sister/trusty photographer and I) returned to Lake Junaluska for the night and a performance of Handel’s “Messiah” by the Lake Junaluska Singers and an orchestra.

What a wonderful day!

Where to purchase my book

The sales and marketing people at Arcadia Publishing have been hard at work getting my book, The Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina on store shelves in the mountains. The following locations already have my book for sale:

Smoky Mountain Host Visitors Center in Franklin
Blue Ridge Books in Waynesville
Books Unlimited in Franklin
The Guilded Lily by Patra in Blowing Rock
Village Pharmacy in Blowing Rock
University Bookstore at Appalachian State University in Boone
Boone Drug locations on King Street and New Market in Boone
Lake Junaluska Assembly at Lake Junaluska
Malaprops Books and Cafe in Asheville
Walgreens on Merrimon Avenue in Asheville
Walgreens on South Tunnel Road in Asheville
Asheville Chamber of Commerce
Battery Park Book Exchange & Champagne Bar in Asheville
Christa’s Country Corner in Newland
Mystery Hill in Blowing Rock
Town Hardware and General Store in Black Mountain

I am thrilled to know that my book is being sold at all these locations and will soon also be available at Second Look Books in Harrisburg.

I’m writing lots of thank you letters today.

Where you can purchase my book

The sales and marketing people at Arcadia Publishing have been hard at work getting my book, The Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina, on store shelves. The book is available at the following locations in the North Carolina mountains:

Smoky Mountain Host Visitors Center in Franklin

Books Unlimited in Franklin

Blue Ridge Books in Waynesville

The Gilded Lily by Patra in Blowing Rock

Village Pharmacy in Blowing Rock

University Bookstore at Appalachian State University in Boone

Boone Drug – King Street and New Market in Boone

Lake Junaluska Assembly at Lake Junaluska

Walgreens on Merrimon Avenue in Asheville

Walgreens on S. Tunnel Road in Asheville

Malaprop’s Books and Cafe in Asheville

Asheville Chamber of Commerce

Battery Park Book Exchange and Champagne Bar in Asheville

Christa’s Country Corner in Newland

Mystery Hill in Blowing Rock

Town Hardware and General Store in Black Mountain

I am thrilled to know my book is being sold at all those locations in the North Carolina mountains! Soon it will be available at Second Look Books in Harrisburg, NC.

My book gets placed in bookstores!

My book, The Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina, started appearing on bookstore shelves in the mountains today! Malaprop’s Bookstore and Cafe in Asheville welcomed the book this morning, as well as several Walgreens in Asheville. Blue Ridge Books in Waynesville put the book on their shelves today, too.

I’m waiting to hear how the book was received at the bookstore at Lake Junaluska this afternoon.