Optimize 3.0 Inbound Marketing Blog

How to Build a Sticky Application for Your Blog with Excel

Posted by Doug Kirk  Jun 22, 2011 10:41:00 AM

Want to create something for your site that is evergreen, interactive and utilitarian?   The basic sticky application?  Try building a calculator.  I wanted to do something for Optimize 3.0.  One particular reason I started this agency was the empirical data I found that shows how blogging and other social media activities can increase leads to websites.   So I came upon the idea of a blog value calculator using this data.  The functionality measures how much money you can earn from blogging if you take specific steps such as adding SEO optimization to your posts, frequency of posts and type of content written about.       

sticky website application using excelsticky web application using excel


Why a blog value calculator?  I thought about sticky applications that work well on the web and one of the all time greats has been financial sites that use mortgage calculators.  People pound away on these.  Quite utilitarian as well and great link bait.  Also, I’m not programmer.   Yet I’m pretty good at Excel spreadsheets.  Good enough to create logic statements that is (using the “=if” function).  My research on Elance.com showed it would cost approximately $300 to $500 to get the app from spreadsheet into HTML.  Not too bad considering the benefits. Also, calculators are evergreen.  If built properly, they will always bring utility to the end user.    

Some things to consider when you build your calculator:  Keep it simple!  Use Yes/No drop downs whenever possible.  Clearly label what you want the end user to do.   Keep it short.  Try to limit the number of entries.  Upon reflection, I’ve probably made mine too long.   

Finally, you may want to consider an email capture in front of access to the sticky application.  This way you can build your list.  Think in terms of what your users want.  Typically, that’s either how much money they can make or what things cost. 

Results: So far, my blogging calculator app has become as popular as my homepage.  Hubspot liked it and embedded it on their apps page.  I’ve seen over a 20% conversion rate.  Best of all: I used the app launch to re-engage with a number of potential clients.  Next I’ll write a press release to add more promotion.   

Have a look:

Blog Value Calculator Sticky Application resized 600

Let me know your thoughts. 

Topics: Blogging Tips, Blog Calculator, sticky application