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How To Become Successful At Making Money With Your Blog

When I talk to new clients about how to make money blogging, the first thing they want to talk about is actually selling their product or service.

Makes sense, right? "Cut to the nitty-gritty, Sue, and help me make money NOW"

But the steps you take, starting from putting pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard), are crucial to making that sale.

Here is a straight-forward system to persuade your readers to buy from you.

  1. Address Your Readers’ Problems
  2. Communicate Your Expertise and Connect With Your Readers
  3. Keep in Contact Frequently
  4. Create Anticipation For Your Products and Services
  5. Sell Your Products and Services

If you kept this in mind every time you write a blog post or email, you will have dollars ka-chinging in your pocket before you know it.

1. Address Your Readers' Problems

You always hear "make sure you have a target market" but just what is the simplest way to do that?

It’s easy – just grab an image of someone who looks like a current client of yours (or a potential client, if you're just starting out) at istockphoto.com or veer.com.

Give her a name (mine is Jane) and a back story. How many kids does Jane have? (2 – A freshman in college and a teenager in high school) Work or stay at home Mom? (She is a solopreneur) Reads "O, the Oprah Magazine" or The Huffington Post? (Both!)

Now, what problem does Jane have? If you are a life coach, does she feel anxious about her kids? If you are a copywriter, does Jane have stress over writing emails?

If you aren't sure what problems your ideal reader has, talk to one (or two or three)! Interview several clients (or potential clients) for 5 to 10 minutes and ask them just what they have problems with.

Then, put that photo of your Jane where you can see it every time you sit down to write a blog post or email. That's the very first step to making money blogging.

2Communicate Your Expertise and Connect With Your Readers

Now, think about how you communicate and connect with Jane. How will she discover your site so she can read your posts and start to know and trust you? The best ways are:

  • Social signals
  • Guest Blogging
  • Reverse Guest Posting

Let's talk about each of these.

Social Signals By posting your blog posts on Facebook, Pinterest and Google+ plus tweeting it on Twitter, you will not only get new readers coming to your site but you’ll get natural backlinks (which Google loves).

And you don’t have to spend lots of time on social media. Just post/tweet your blog posts to start with and, over time, you’ll start to see which of the big four sites your target audience hangs out on the most. Then you can concentrate on spending a little more time on that site each day.

Guest Posting When you get to post on someone else's site, the same things happen - new readers and new backlinks.

The easiest way to start is with a circle of 3 or 4 blogger friends. You help each other market their posts through guest posting to each other’s sites and through liking, pinning, and tweeting their stuff on social media.

Reverse Guest Posting This is when you get one of your new blogger buddies to write a blog post for your site. The benefits - they will post, tweet & email their audience so you get new eyeballs on your site.

3. Keep in Contact Frequently

Not everyone will buy your offer the first time they see it. There is a sales cycle of "time plus trust" for your readers.

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Sometimes this can happen immediately (when they pour over your articles and connect with you right away) and sometimes it takes several weeks or months.

The best way to keep connecting, of course, is to have your new readers opt-in for your newsletter. You can then send emails regularly so they keep you top of mind.

What I hear from clients is they say they only send emails sporadically, if at all.  Only 15% - 35% of your email list opens each email from you so if you email weekly, each person on your list is just reading your stuff only once a month.

4. Create Anticipation For Your Products and Services

This is the key to selling your products, crafts and services and making money with a blog. Building up anticipation with your readers.

This is where many of my new clients fall short. They just stick up a sales page or send a sales email and wonder why no one buys.

Preselling is crucial. To create anticipation, you need to have a clear, focused plan where absolutely everything you write - blog posts, emails, guest posts, and social media – all lead eventually to making an offer.

The first step in preselling is collecting testimonials and case studies. This builds your credibility and trust with your readers.

If you have current customers, you can survey them and offer a gift or discount for allowing you to share their answers as a testimonial or case study.

No clients yet? Offer your product or service for free to several target audience members. Run a small test group or some individual session in exchange for testimonials.

Want to get great testimonials that aren't vague?

I loved Sue's class

Emphasize that you want the benefits and the value your clients receive from working with you:

Before I took Sue's class on preselling, I didn't know that having a waiting list was so important. Now I have doubled my sales for my next course by just adding a presell waiting list

The second step of preselling is to create a waiting list.

Each time you develop a new service or product, write a blog post (or two) about the offer and ask your readers to join a waiting list in order to become a "priority customer".

This concept of a waiting list works great - it gives you an idea of how many of your readers are interested in your offer and psychologically builds scarcity into your offer. ( Inside scoop - you can even wait to create your class or course until you ask who's interested by having them join a waiting list. You can see how many of your readers are ready to buy before you spend the time and energy creating the product!)

You can close the waiting list within 3 - 7 days or after 2-3 blog posts and/or emails.

Now you have your first list of "priority customers". You can also give them a bonus product or a discount when you start actually selling. It's a great way to reward your readers for signing up for your waiting list.

5. Sell Your Products and Services

So, you can see by the time you get to this step, you have created credibility, trust and anticipation for your offer. Now you can start blogging for profits.

As one of my mentors, Yaro Starak, calls it "It is the slippery slope from first impressions to long-term relationships"

It's so much easier to sell once you have gone through each of these steps.

 

 

How To Become Successful At Making Money With Your Blog

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76 comments on “How To Become Successful At Making Money With Your Blog”

  1. Hello Sue!

    I agree with your all points. If someone is sharing wonderful experiences, even his/her bad experiences with full sincerity. And they are communicating and understanding their readers problems. Nothing can stop them from success. Am I right?

    1. An honest testimonial is always a good way to communicate trust with your readers - especially if you are doing a sponsored blog post.

      Thanks, Junaid.
      Sue

      1. You are exactly right Sue, If it's sponsored blogging, one must care this thing otherwise one can lose trust of readers. Thanks for pointing it.

  2. Congratulations and welcome to Annabel's previous site.

    I did the anticipation concept for the launch of the "My Gutsy Story" Anthology launch in 2013, and managed to get 125 people to attend. How soon in advance, and any other tips on how you propose using this concept for a paid Webinar?

    1. Thanks and good work, Sonia. That's what I'm talking about!

      All webinar preselling is customizable but a good rule of thumb is to send at least 4 emails - one 2 weeks in advance, 1 week advance, day before and 2 hours before. Your attendees should be able to pay and register at little as an hour before the webinar.

      Then, you can even sell the webinar recording after the fact. Send an email the day after and several days later.

      Good luck and let me know if you have any other questions/ideas.
      Sue

    1. Hello Jyoti,

      I know you are doing a great job on your side. I love your efforts and sincerity with blogging. Your group work with other bloggers is also a point for successful blogging. Am I right?

  3. Hi Sue, these are all great tips not only for monetizing a blog, but for building up credibility as a blogger. So many people think that guest blogging and reverse guest blogging is all about links, especially after Matt Cutts weighed in on the topic - but it should be looked at as a way to make a name for yourself as a blogger and to gain some credibility.

    1. I totally agree with you one making a name for yourself and building trust and credibility thru guest posting and reverse guest posting. Most of the time, it's who you know that helps you the most! And starting with bloggers on the same "level" as you is an easy way to start to build that trust.

      Thanks, Kostas!
      Sue

  4. Hi Sue,
    Content is king!!! If you have a great post, you must draw the attention of the reader within a very short time.

  5. How to make money blogging? Hmm....this is a really fabulous post. Kudos!

    This technique of making money is actually for those trying to sell their products, which I believe is by far the best way of actually making money online.

    All of the points you shared are actually very valid and what we should as Internet Marketers be doing to make those deserved dollar bills.

    Thanks so much for sharing tips with us, Sue.

    Sam

  6. Really like all 5 tips. The use of testimonials is something I think is becoming more and more important for all businesses. Sites like Tripadvisor and Ebay have made the independent testimonial a key part of the selling process. The best use of a testimonial I've seen in the last few weeks is on the home page of a company called Return on Digital. I have never used their services but I think the way they have put a testimonial front and centre of their homepage is powerful. Have a look at returnondigital.com

    1. Hi, Ray,

      So glad you enjoyed this. Good point about testimonials being a key part of the selling process. They build trust online.

      Thanks for your comment!
      Sue

  7. Sue Anne,

    This is such great information. I'm at the point where I'm transitioning to seeing myself as a businesswoman and my blog as a business not just a hobby and these tips really hit home. It has me thinking about what my expertise is and what I have to offer. Thanks for the guidance!

  8. Great points, Sue! Especially the ones about talking to your customers. Talking to people has been the most valuable process for me in building my business!

    1. I totally agree, Daniela! Top way to validate your niche problems or even for a product.

      Thanks for commenting today!
      Sue

  9. I love your blog and find a lot of your post’s to be exactly I’m looking for. I wouldn’t mind creating a post or elaborating on a lot of the subjects you write regarding here. Again, awesome weblog!

  10. Hi Sue, this is another golden post by your knowledge ocean. I learnt few new things however I am a regular visitor of your blog. Every time I read new post, it includes something new and attractive. I quickly bookmark your each post to take fresh ideas for my post.

    Thanks for sharing such a wonderful and helpful post with me.

    Mohinder Paul Verma

    BloggingFunda - A Community of Bloggers

  11. Hi Sue,

    Really good advice here! Too many of us (and too many coaches, too) encourage us to make Step 1 "Create your product." It's a real time-waster! Good to go through these steps.

    Cathy

  12. These suggestions are helpful. You need to meet a need potential customers have, get them the message you can meet that need and get them to make the buying decisions. Even with a good product or service getting customers to buy is challenging, which is why there is so much written about it.

  13. That's a fantastic blog post and reminds me a lot of what we learnt in our business school back in the day. And to say we paid thousands of dollars and struggled to somehow get into one while you are giving it all away here for free!

    Kudos.

    Bill.

  14. All five pointers are so valuable. Testimonials are golden, as well as having a plan, and sharing experiences with your readers, both good and bad. One's readers need to know that being vulnerable and making mistakes happens to everyone!

    For me, number 3 is the challenge. I know I can't stand getting bombarded with emails, so I am hesitant to start an aggressive campaign. I am working to get beyond that limiting belief. Thanks so much for sharing and I look forward to getting back to my coaching with you next month.

    1. Hi, Laurie,

      You don't need to be aggressive at all with emails. Neither of us would ever do that!

      Thanks for your comment today.
      Sue

      1. Picked the wrong word! Again, this is one of my weaknesses that I have to work on. Consistent would be better - does not have a negative connotation. I know it takes a plan and devotion to get those emails out. Working on that 🙂

        1. That makes more sense! Yes, consistency is key. A publication schedule and an email per blog post is a great start.

          Thanks for clearing that up!
          Sue

  15. [ Smiles ] I am not into making money online; however, I will put these tips into practice if I ever choose to make money online.

    Thank you for the great tips!

  16. Great post. This is my favorite point "Address Your Readers’ Problems". There are too many businesses that miss this.

  17. Hi Sue,

    I really enjoyed this post. It resonated with me in two areas.

    1. Thank you for the information on how many people on an email list actually open their emails. I thought I must be doing something terribly wrong! I feel better now 🙂

    2. Also the advice about having a waiting list for buyers. I'd heard of getting interest going but not by this method. That is such a clever idea.

    I feel like I learned a lot - thank you for the help!

    1. Hi, Mary,

      I know, no one tells you what the average open rates are. And click-thru rates are between 3% and 20%. So you are doing just fine 🙂

      Thanks for your comment today!
      Sue

  18. Blogging is one of the best way to make money online and the steps you have shared are really helpful to start making money online. Making money online is not just passion but also needs commitment and dedication.

  19. Wow Sue, there is so much to learn still, even after years of doing this whole blogging thing! I appreciate your expertise and sharing of all of these different tips. I learn something(s) new every single day! Stacie

  20. Great post Sue,

    The best way to make money from the internet or even in any from both online and offline is really by discovering and solving peoples problems.

    Everyone of us has something that is bordering us and i believe that we will be happy to spend money in order to solve it so, why not try and figure what that problem is and then, provide a good solution to it and you will go home with your dough :).

    You really nailed it here Sue.

    Thanks for sharing.

  21. Hi Sue,

    In a faceless society, like the internet, selling is sure one of the most difficult task to overcome. It takes lots of efforts to get people to trust you here, and it even takes time to build that trust, credibility and authority require to make things happen here.

    Your five steps worth giving a try, I must commend your efforts in bringing them togther. Thanks Sue, nice read.

  22. “Cut to the nitty-gritty, Sue, and help me make money NOW”

    ^ Ah, if it only it were that simple, huh Sue?

    These things take time, and your breakdown of the process into five steps is very helpful. Great infographic, Sue! Sharing your post now. 🙂

  23. Sue,

    What a great post. As you know, I'm in the process of wanting to sell my own products. As I'm a freelance writer, making money with my own products like an eBook or boot camp class is all new to me.

    I'm at the grow your email list and keep in contact regularly. I'm doing all that I can to give them a lot of great free info to build trust and credibility so that when I do let my subscribers and readers know my product is out, they'll more likely want to buy it.

    I'm excited at this!

  24. Hi Sue,

    I love this topic. Nice succinct list here. Theodore stole my thunder, so I'll go a different route.

    When conveying the benefits of your product or service always think of it this way using the acronym WIFM - What's In It For Me when writing a blog post about your product.

    If you can't answer that question you need to start over or else you'll just be spinning your wheels and wondering why you can't sell anything.

    Thanks for sharing Sue.

    Have a great day!

    Kurt

    1. Love that, Kurt! WIFM is a great way of saying think of your readers and their issues.

      Thanks for that comment!
      Sue

  25. Hi, Elna,

    You are setting you and your blog up perfectly for selling your own product. Preselling will come in the form of guest posts and posts/emails to your readers.

    Thanks for your comment and let us know when your product is coming out!
    Sue

  26. Hey.,,These suggestions are helpful. You need to meet a need potential customers have, get them the message you can meet that need and get them to make the buying decisions.,I learnt few new things however I am a regular visitor of your blog. Every time I read new post, it includes something new and attractive. I quickly bookmark your each post to take fresh ideas for my post.So many people think that guest blogging and reverse guest blogging is all about links, especially after Matt Cutts weighed in on the topic – but it should be looked at as a way to make a name for yourself as a blogger and to gain some credibility.

    You really nailed it here Sue.

  27. Lots of good ideas here, Sue Anne. Thanks once again. I particularly liked the following points:

    1. 'The Easiest Way to Start is With a Circle of 3 or 4 Blogger Friends'. Great strategy for newbies, and so easy to set up.

    2. 'Reverse Guest Posting'. Here we have the law of reciprocity kicking in - a sweet way to get some traffic and backlinks happening.

    3. 'Keep in Contact Frequently.' This one is vital. I may have neglected the networking activity for my blog, but when someone opts into my list I am diligent about sending regular follow up emails, five times a week. It needs to be relentless.

    Your 5 Steps are spot on:

    - Address Your Readers’ Problems infographic

    - Communicate Your Expertise and Connect With Your Readers

    - Keep in Contact Frequently

    - Create Anticipation For Your Products and Services

    - Sell Your Products and Services

    Most people are impatient - they want to start at Step 5! It doesn't work that way of course, so thanks for bringing this information to us

    Kim

    1. Great points, Kim! Starting at Step 5 is the usual way most beginning bloggers do this. You obviously realize the better way to start.

      Thanks for your comment today!
      Sue

  28. Hello Sue Anne!

    this is very impressive article for me because it contains all content which i needed

    i am new webmaster and i really need such information

    keep it up

  29. Hello Sue,

    You really nailed it here. I know that the main goal of any blogger is to make money from whatever it is he is doing on the internet so he can quit his daily job, i know that's what i want too :).

    However, making that money is never an easy task especially when you've got no good plan as to how best to go about it.

    But like you mentioned on this post, the first step is to always solve your readers problems, give them lots of value and you will gain their likes and trust and this will eventually make the whole process of making money much easier for you.

    Also, you need to have your own products or have a certain skill that people will be happy to pay for.

    This is really a very awesome post as always Sue,

    Thanks for sharing.

  30. Hi, Sue. These are really great advices for making money and, even though they are a bit general, it helps me understand how does one start making money through blogging.

    One thing I still have problems with even after 10 months of blogging is my target audience.

    How do we identify the needs of our audience if we're not clear about who they are?

    I couldn't find any article on the net about this.

    1. Hi, Marlena,

      The best way to find the needs of your audience is to ask them. You can put a question in your first autoresponder asking what they're biggest challenge or frustration is. Or do a survey on social media. Polldaddy and SurveyMonkey are free to use.

      Then you'll know they're biggest issues so you can write solutions for them or produce a product or course that helps them solve their problems.

      Hope this helps!
      Sue

  31. Of all the options, I could work on my networking and guest posting. A big reason I don't do this as much as I should is because I still debate whether it's smart to put my best content on another person's site instead of my own.

  32. Hi Sue,
    I love the way you portray the methods of gaining money through online. As you have said content is the king. when you have a relevant content, your post will be ranked higher in SERP and also may be shared by other bloggers. I am a beginner in this field and i love to hear from experienced people about their blogging. once again thank you Sue, it is so inspirational. Great job!

  33. I am managing a website and from 150,000 pageviews I have per month, it only brought to me $800 a month.

    Hope this article will help me make more money.

    1. Ads aren't so great, right? How about affiliate products or your own products/courses?

      Thanks for your comment!
      Sue

  34. Hi, Sue,
    I have agreed with your all the points.
    Peoples only thing about the ways how to make money online but forgot the most important thing how can they achieve this earning goal.
    Earning money from a blog is a long process.
    You must have patience.
    Thank you for sharing this tips they are really awesome.

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