I love content marketing. Really, I do. I adore giving my readers tips, tools and advice.
Building relationships with them.
But will your readers jump ship if you try to sell to them?
Selling your readers things they need and want will not send them away.
Not if you make your offers in the right place and at the right time.
Don’t Ever Think You Can’t Sell On Your Blog
So how do you move people from eager consumers of your free content to customers? One way is to repurpose, enhance, package and sell your content in an information product.
But you can do more than that, simply by leading your readers who are already fans to take the next logical step. Do you make it easy for your readers to purchase services and products from you? You know, the same ones you offer day in and day out—on your website and through other sales venues?
Does your blog content point them in the right direction? Do they even know what you sell?
“Of course they do!” you say.
Put yourself in your readers’ shoes. They skim and scan your post to see if there’s anything of value there. And most days, they have way too much on their mind. They need a little direction. A little focus.
You can help them see not only how good you are at what you do, but how you can help them. And you can do it in a way that doesn’t scream, “Buy! Buy!”
(Because that would be gross.)
8 Tips for Constructing the Perfect Sales Offer on Your Blog
1. Make your offer relevant to your audience.
You blog about specific topics and people who read your blog are looking for certain solutions. Keep in mind why your readers are on your blog in the first place. Because they are interested in some things and not so much in other things. One of the best ways to do this is to use a plugin that gives you custom sidebars.
Because if you can identify their need and craft your offer to fit it, your chances of a sale are much higher.
2. Be authentic.
I know. Authentic is a buzz word right now. But you may lose a future customer (and quite possibly a reader) if you trick her into clicking on a link. Be clear and upfront when you are presenting your offer.
Tie your offer to a post and let your readers know that the link will take them to more information about the offer. Because no one likes to be fooled.
3. Make your offer easy to find.
The more visible your offering is, the more readers will click through. If you provide a service, something as simple as a large “Work with Me” graphic in your blog’s sidebar with a hyperlink to your offerings to clients can increase sales. If you are providing valuable content on your blog, you are already building trust. Give your readers an opportunity to take the next step.
When I was doing training and coaching I had it in my top navigation bar. I also had a special spot for my online classes that made them really stand out. Don’t make them hunt for it (because they won’t).
4. Fold the offer into your post.
When you are blogging on a topic or issue and it fits, link to a service you provide that your readers can purchase.
For example, if you are a realtor specializing in relocating seniors, and you have published a post with downsizing advice, put in a call-to-action at the end of your post. Offer a free downsizing tip sheet for readers who click on the contact form and request an in-home or virtual appointment.
Or consider linking to a useful post on one of your affiliate partners site.
5. Mine your comments for new product and service ideas.
You’ll get ideas for new products and services that can turn your readers into customers. One comment might lead to writing a new ebook—by popular demand. Another might motivate you to create that perfect new service that solves a real problem.
6. Offer occasional special deals for your readers only.
If you write about a specific topic, offer a special promotion for your readers only. They’ll feel appreciated and you just might hit some of them at exactly the right time. Tie the offer to the topic of your post.
For example, when I was a trainer, many times, when I introduced a new class, I gave my readers a discount. Or I offered them a special deal on my one-to-one training retainers.
7. Create add-on products to sell.
Maybe you can turn that ebook that’s selling so well into an audio version for people who are on the go or just retain information better when they hear it. Or it might be time to expand on it and create an online course.
Getting your information product translated into another language can also boost your sales. In fact, by repurposing your content, you will come up with all kinds of ways to do this.
8. Carefully consider affiliate products.
If you already use a product or service and can stand behind it—and it fits your niche audience, try placing a few non-intrusive affiliate links in your blog post. Back to the tip on authenticity, be sure to let your readers know that you are making a few bucks from each sale. And be careful with the placement of affiliate ads, so they don’t overpower your site and turn it into one gigantic billboard. For example, if you look in our sidebars you will find the affiliate banners as well as additional content that is helpful.
So in the end, use common sense, do a lot of testing and you will discover your own site’s sweet spot for selling.