When it comes to driving leads and customers, blogging ranks above paid search, social media, and email marketing.
And the more you blog, the more customers you acquire.
In addition to how often you post, there are six other ways that have a profound impact on your blog’s ability to turn readers into paying customers.
Let’s go ahead and dive into number one.
#1. Make sure that you understand your audience.
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.
There are three rules that will help you make sure that you understand what your audience wants.
- Write content that your readers care about. The best way to identify this is to look back at all the emails that you have sent to your subscribers. The big three stats to look at are the open rate, click through rate, and the time spent on that post. You will see peaks and valleys across all of your emails. Focus on writing posts that produce peaks and eliminate the topics that give you valleys.
- Look for value points. Drive home value in every post that you create, and make it easy for your readers to consume. My readers love list posts. I usually start with a list of 15 to 20 value points, and then I whittle it down to the 7 to 10 points with the most value. At the end of many of these posts, I summarize the key points by listing them out one final time. This drives home the value right before they see my call-to-action.
- Visualize key stats throughout your posts. You want your readers to know without a doubt that the statistics support what you are saying. I like including a big key stat or two right out of the gate in my introduction. This primes the pump, and it makes my readers ready to receive what my post has to offer.
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 or anything you read over the internet? There is a generation of young professionals out there, right now, who were in their 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 environment 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 act 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.
Bright Local found some interesting stats related to online trust that every blogger should take a look at.
There are three ways to establish your credibility in your blog posts…
- Weave testimonial content into your posts. A written testimonial in your content can increase a post’s conversion rate by up to 25%. I include a nice visual testimonial next to my masterclass webinar sign up from different students that have taken my course. Always try to add a face and name to your testimonials. I always cringe when I see text only testimonials that have only a first name and last initial.
- Include access to sourced statistics. The best practice is to link to the source of any statistic that you mention in your post. There will be a percentage of your audience that will want to verify the statistics that are mentioned in each post. By adding these links, you increase your perceived credibility.
- Create an exceptional about the author bio. For new visitors, this is going to act as a bridge to your credibility. The photo plays the biggest role. It needs to be professional shot of your smiling face. The written part of your bio should mention what makes you the expert, and it needs to have a link to your about me page. This will allow them to continue to find out more about you. The conversion rate of my about me page is almost 400% higher than every other page on my blog.
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.
#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.
One of my money based posts is 4 Best Ways to Make Money Blogging.
(2) The need to improve how services are provided.
I show my readers how to improve their Twitter services with a post entitled The Ultimate Twitter Marketing Strategy that Drives Real Sales.
(3) The need to improve personal confidence levels.
An example of a post using this style on my blog is The 8 Core Habits of the Rich and Wealthy.
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, and 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.
Here are a few things watch out for…
- 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 and negative dialogue. They do this and that is stupid, so I do this instead. If you are willing to disparage your competition to make a buck, then a reader can feel like you will 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 will consume your content and go onto the next blog post that catches their eye.
Wistia found that call-to-actions that were located at the middle and end had the highest conversion rates.
Address the problem points and provide a foundation of value with each blog post you create.
#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. If the reader doesn’t see any value with their initial skim, then your content will be discarded.
Just in case you are wondering, HubSpot’s research revealed that 43% of readers skim blog posts before committing to reading it.
Here are five tactics to optimize your blog posts for consumption…
- Write at the correct grade level. If your content is too complicated or too simple, then it will turn readers away. Talk to your readers like you would talk in a casual conversation with your best friend. Stay away from big intelligent sounding words.
- Keep your paragraphs short. Nine out of ten bloggers edit and review posts on a computer. However, more than 60% of blog posts are read using a mobile device. A paragraph with more than eight sentences is going to be intimidating to anyone consuming your content with a mobile device.
- Use numbered lists, subheadings, and bullets. All three of these will make your blog post easy to scan. You want your readers to quickly be able to see all the big points and takeaways.
- Use a font size between 16 and 20 points. The larger fonts are easier to read. It also creates psychological momentum. I am sure you can remember when you had to read a book in college that had super small font. It was painful to slowly go from one page to another.
- Use the most popular typefaces. The vast majority of major blogs and news sites use one of two typefaces. Those typefaces are Georgia and Arial. People are used to reading these typefaces. The last thing you want to do is to get cute with your typeface.
When your content is easy to read, it becomes easier to turn readers into customers.
#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. When I am waiting in line at the grocery store, I just can not help myself from grabbing a York Peppermint Patty. It is 140 calories of pure pleasure, and it is gluten free.
Most customers will enter into your sales funnel based on a logical thinking process. They will 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 accomplish this by doing two things…
- Focus on creating positive emotions in your posts. Negative content will definitely get you traffic. However, negative emotions typically do not 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 positive state of mind.
- Look to increase the number of touches between you and your audience. Out of site is out of mind. You should try to connect via email, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest. Do not be passive. If someone makes a comment on your blog, then drop their name into Google to find out their social media profiles. Go beyond just following them. Take the time to like and comment on one of their updates. This is going to create a mutual emotional connection, which will make you stand out above everyone else.
By catering to your audience’s emotions, you will be able to build trust that leads to conversions.
#6. Master the art of webinars.
There is nothing that converts like a webinar. If you are not using webinars, then you need to make a commitment to adding at least one to your sales funnel.
— Brandon Gaille (@BrandonGaille) April 21, 2017
I have taken multiple paid courses on how to create the perfect webinar. Here are some tactics that I have applied to my own pillar webinar…
- The length of a webinar should be right around 60 minutes long. The first forty minutes is dedicated to teaching, and the last 20 minutes is for selling.
- A great title slide is a must. The title slide is the first slide of your webinar, and it will be used in all of your promotions. My webinar’s main title is “How I Got to 1 Million Monthly Visitors.” My sub title reads, “The 11 Secret Tactics I Used to Take My Blog from Zero to 1 Million in 18 Months.”
- Start with some social proof. My webinar begins by showing visitor statistics and Google rankings from ten different blogs I created from scratch. If you do not have any social proof, then find some good stats from research done by big brand names within your industry. The social proof will warm them up and drive interest throughout your webinar.
- Let them know what you will be covering and tease a bonus. In less than 60 seconds, go over what they will learn and mention a really cool bonus that will be revealed at the end.
- Share a bit about yourself and your aha moment before you start teaching. I recommend spending only 3 to 5 minutes on this part. I have seen a big drop off of in viewers when I have talked about myself beyond five minutes.
- Create lots of slides. You do not want to spend longer than one minute on any slide. This keeps their attention and greatly reduces your drop off rate.
- Make a smooth transition from teaching to selling. The best webinars transition with a pair of slides showing the hard way versus the easy way. The hard way is doing it on your own. The easy way is using your product or service.
- Include a fast action bonus at the end. Come up with a valuable giveaway for anyone that buys your product in the next 30 minutes. This simple addition will triple your sales.
I highly recommend that you sign up to my webinar, so that you can see all of these tactics in action.
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