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"
Here is a straight-forward system to persuade your readers to buy from you.
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.
You always hear "make sure you have a target market" but just what is the simplest way to do that?
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.
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:
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.
Not everyone will buy your offer the first time they see it. There is a sales cycle of "time plus trust" for your readers.
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.
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.
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.