There are many reasons why a blog might be started. If you’re a business or brand – or looking to establish one – then you’ve likely recognized the content marketing value that a blog can provide.
After all, a business or brand that blogs consistently will receive more traffic and leads than those who do not have a blog.
The same principle is true for individuals who blog as more of a hobby. Regular blogging can establish a personal brand, which can then become a potentially profitable experience over time.
It’s nice to receive higher traffic levels. It can be wonderful to have more leads to pursue. Yet there is one unfortunate fact that remains: bigger traffic doesn’t always translate into a bigger customer base.
How can you turn your blog readers into paying customers that will keep coming back? These methods will help you begin to convert more of the traffic that you’re already receiving into real revenue.
#1. Make sure that you understand your audience.
This is how some blogs stand out from others. Many bloggers create content that is personally important to them. This content may be interesting, but it limits their audience to those who agree with what has been published.
In order for your blog to start turning readers into paying customers, it is necessary to let the readers dictate the content that is being produced. This includes the writer’s voice that is used within each post.
Think about it like this: if you wanted to target a group of business professionals with a specific blog post, then would you use topics and a writing style that targets stay-at-home parents? Of course not.
These three rules will help you to make sure that you understand your audience so that your blog content can have a maximum effect.
- Write content that your readers care about. You can be “too” niche. Ultra-specific content may be engaging and interesting, but it will also naturally limit how many readers are interested in the post.
- Look for value points. Readers look at blogs because they are a low- or no-cost value resource. Make your key points stand out so that they can be instantly consumed. This allows your reader to experience a certain level of instant gratification, allowing you to prove the value of your post immediately.
- Be authoritative, but in the right way. Focus on being authoritative in addressing the challenges or problems that your readership is facing right now.
Make a point to think about these three rules everytime you make an outline for a new post.
#2. Allow your blog to have peer credibility.
Remember in the 1990s when everyone said that you shouldn’t trust anyone you meet over the internet or any of the “information” that you read? There are a generation of young professionals out there right now who were teens in the early days of the internet. These lessons stuck to them.
This means many of your readers are going to be naturally skeptical of your content and its value. It’s not something to take personally. It is just a reflection of the environments of the internet during their formative years.
In order for your blog to feel credible, it must provide feedback from the peers of your readership that acts as “evidence.” When a reader sees that other people like them have benefited in some way from your blog, they are more likely to turn into a paying customer.
How do you begin building up your blog’s credibility?
- Weave testimonial content into your posts. Including a written testimonial into your content can increase that post’s conversion rate by up to 25%. A simple quote can do this for you, but this type of content is most effective when you can use it as part of the story the post is telling.
- Include access to sourced materials. Including hyperlinks to specific research you have performed to compose your content will also increase your credibility. It shows readers that you have done your homework and are basing your ideas off of real information.
- Write for value instead of writing to create a sale. Ever heard someone say that “Defense wins championships”? Good content wins a sale. The only problem is that many blogs tend to compose their posts as a sales pitch instead of as an information resource. Focus on value and your readership will be more likely to focus on becoming customers.
When your blog can offer a fresh and credible story, then it creates a voice that readers will want to hear today and tomorrow. Over time, this builds up their confidence in your reputation. This is what will give you more conversion opportunities.
#3. Make sure that you are driving your key points home.
Every reader that comes to your blog has what is called a “Problem Point.”
What is a Problem Point? It is an issue of vital importance to that reader. They came to your blog because they think you can resolve their Problem Point in some way.
There are many Problem Points out there, but there are three common ones that apply to most industries: (1) the need to make more money; (2) the need to improve how services are provided; or (3) the need to improve personal confidence levels.
When you can focus the topics of your blog post around the key Problem Points of your readership, then you’ll naturally create opportunities to turn readers into paying customers. This is because you’ve proven that you can address one issue that is important to them on an individualized level.
If you can solve one problem, then maybe you can solve more of them.
This seems like common sense. It is. You’ll find this advice everywhere on the internet today. The only problem is that there is a “wrong” way to drive home your key points. If you make these mistakes, the reader will be less likely to see value in how you address their Problem Points.
- Don’t provide all the answers in your blog post. Introduce the concepts you have to offer instead. If you solve all of the problems a reader may have, then you aren’t giving yourself much of an opportunity to turn that reader into a customer.
- Don’t disparage your competition. You can draw clear and distinct lines of separation between you and your competitors. They do this, but I do this instead. What you should not do is create a positive/negative dialogue. They do this and that is stupid, so I do this instead. If you’re willing to disparage your competition to make a buck, then a reader can feel like you’ll do the same thing to them.
- Don’t leave out a call to action. A blog post should always have a call to action. Without giving the reader an instruction to become a customer in some way, they’ll consume your content and then go onto the next blog post that catches their eye.
Here is a great slideshow with 20 tips on how to make call to actions that convert to sales.
Address the problem points and provide a foundation of value with your blog post. Then the readers who want to keep building will become customers so they can receive the full answer you’re able to provide.
#4. Keep your content as easy to read as possible.
Blogging for your brand or business isn’t investigative journalism. You don’t need 5,000 words to make one key point.
People read a blog post so they can get a quick hit of information or value. At best, they might read 100 words of your content to see if it has value. If a reader does see value in that 100 words, they might bookmark your content to read the entire post when they have free time. They might even go back and read the whole thing right then and there.
If the reader doesn’t see any value with their initial skim, then your content will be discarded.
You’ve likely heard the rules of keeping your content as easy to read as possible already. Keep you paragraphs short and unintimidating. Use bullet points, subheadings, and numbered lists. Use a font people can read. Incorporate images whenever possible.
Most blogs are doing this stuff already. Here are additional ways you can turn your blog readers into paying customers by making your content easy to consume.
- Write at the correct grade level. If your content is too complicated (or too simple), it will turn readers away.
- Stop using certain punctuation points. The exclamation mark is the one bit of punctuation that just needs to go away. At most, you should only have one exclamation mark in your content. You’re not screaming at your readers. And speaking of screaming, leave the ALL CAPS alone as well.
- Stick with one form of grammar. The most common issue seen here is using an Oxford comma here, but not there. When you establish your writer’s voice, it is important to establish one that is consistent. If your content reads as being inconsistent, anything you can offer in terms of a product or service will also be seen that way.
When your content is easy to read, it becomes easier to turn readers into customers. There’s no investigation required.
#5. Understand the role emotion plays in the blogging process.
Many of the purchasing decisions people make are based on emotions instead of logic.
This is why there are “impulsive” purchase items when you check out at virtually any store. “Ooh. I need that!” becomes a very real purchasing opportunity.
Now most customers will enter into your sales funnel based on a logical thinking process. They will research the best companies in your niche. They’ll look at your blog and some competitive bloggers. They’ll likely know what they want, how much they want to spend, and when they might be ready to make a purchase.
Yet at the end of the day, emotion will always be more important than logic. We purchase items or services that make us “feel.” To turn your blog readers into paying customers, you must be able to take advantage of this part of the sales process.
You can do that by incorporating content that creates an emotional spark within your readers.
- Focus on creating positive emotions. Misery loves company. Negative content will definitely get you added traffic. Negative emotions, however, will not usually translate into conversions. There is a time and place for fear and your blog is not the right place. Publish content that keeps your readers in a mind-state that is positive.
- Look to build relationships in a positive way. People are more likely to purchase something when they have an emotional connection with a brand or business. This means you must be proactive with your blogging to begin forming that relationship. If you wait for people to come to you instead… well, you’ll be waiting for a long time.
- Reassure readers if they are feeling afraid. People want to know they made the right decision when a purchase is made. If you can give your readers an out through your content which allows them to correct a purchasing mistake, you’ll be more likely to have someone be willing to give your stuff a try.
By catering to your audience’s emotions, you will be able to build trust that leads to conversions.
#6. Master the art of the sale.
It wasn’t that long ago when JCPenney decided to try “fair and square” pricing within their stores. The idea was simple: instead of offering sales, the retailer would offer customers the best price possible at all times.
And JCPenney found out the hard way that people become customers because of great sales opportunities – not great pricing structures.
This is where your blog can really stand out. Instead of trying to justify why your items or services are priced a specific way, use it to promote sales that will attract attention to your brand and business.
If you can master the art of the sale, then you will see conversions increase through your content. Here’s what you’re going to want to do.
- Partner up with like-minded brands and businesses to create package deals. Many small businesses only have a service or two (or a product or two) that they offer. If you can bring in other brands and businesses to your content with complimentary products or services to your own that can be offered at a discount as well, then you’ll add more value to each post.
- Create subscription opportunities. Do not underestimate the power of a single email address. Maybe the sale that you run today isn’t interesting to a reader, but it’s such a good sale that they will want updates about your next one. If you create subscription opportunities within your posts, then your email marketing efforts can turn readers into customers.
- Offer something of real value. Your blog shouldn’t feel like a neighborhood garage sale. There should be products or services of real value that your readership can use right now. Then, when those customers experience a positive outcome, they’ll often be willing to offer a testimonial, which gives you more power to turn future readers into customers.
Mastering the art of the sale isn’t always easy. Not every sale will be successful. As long as you structure an opportunity that will make you money, give your customers value, and make your readers interested in what you have, then you’ll be able to make this key point happen on your blog.
#7. Scarcity still matters.
You run to the store to purchase a dozen eggs, a gallon of milk, and some creamer for your morning coffee. Then, as you walk toward the refrigerated section at your grocery store, you notice that there is a frying pan on sale. Instead of it being $50, it’s marked down to $19.99.
“That’s a pretty good deal,” you might think. Then you notice that there is only one frying pan left on the shelf. Suddenly you’re coming home with an extra frying pan. Why?
Because the price was good enough to be tempting and it seemed to be the last one available in the store. You didn’t want to miss out on that deal. This is the power of scarcity.
Sometimes this principle is referred to as the “Fear of Missing Out.” It is an effective way to create conversions, but how can you incorporate this principle into a blog post?
- Use data to create feelings of immediacy. You can show people that it is important to purchase what you have right now by offering specific data to resolve a need. If you sell a product that reduces a bounce rate, then show your readers how many more readers they’ll receive and what kind of revenues they might make with your product by your side.
- Structure your content to create urgency. Shorter sentences create natural feelings of scarcity within readers. You can build up to an emotional peak and then drive home your key point with an effective call to action simply by using longer sentences at the beginning of your post. Then follow-up with shorter sentences later.
- Make your call to action something that can actually be accomplished. A bad call-to-action can spoil a very good blog post. Your call must be related to your content, within reach of the reader, and something that can be done right away.
One of the easiest ways to harness the value of scarcity is to offer value products on a limited basis. Sometimes these products can be your marketing tools and can be offered for free. Limited-time discounts, free bonus gifts, or emphasizing your actual inventory can all help promote the idea that there’s only one frying pan left on the shelf.
#8. Place a greater emphasis on remarketing.
Many marketing efforts are geared towards finding new prospects. Some of those marketing efforts should be invested into remarketing instead.
If someone has come to visit your blog, then they were interested in what you have to offer. Just because they didn’t convert doesn’t mean they rejected what you had to say. Maybe it just wasn’t the right time for them to make a purchase right now.
Through remarketing, you can keep your brand or business at the top of the mind for this unique group of blog readers. Instead of relying on the reader coming back on their own, you can use your blog to take control of the process.
One of the easiest ways to approach remarketing is to use tools like AdWords, Perfect Audience, or ReTargeter to keep your brand or site within the visual range of your blog reader. This means your reader will see your advertising on various other sites that they may visit throughout the day.
Here’s the real value of using remarketing. The average campaign will generate a 0.2% CTR. Those visitors that come back to your blog have a 3.5% conversion rate.
So let’s say you retarget 20,000 blog visitors who didn’t convert into customers when you visited. On the average campaign, you’ll receive about 40 clicks. From those clicks, you’ll receive 1-2 sales. Now scale that to what your current blog traffic levels happen to be.
We use the Fear of Missing Out to drive home a higher conversion rate. Unfortunately, far too many brands and businesses are too afraid to be bold with their content.
Sometimes the best way to have a reader convert into a customer is to ask them to do so. Ask your readers to do what you want them to do in a polite and respectful manner. You might be surprised at how effective a call-to-action that happens to be.
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