Blogging is a great way of building up an audience for a website – whether that’s an online store or something else entirely. A blog is a way of connecting with your prospective customers and your fans, and keeping them thinking about your brand even when they aren’t ready to buy.
There is an often repeated statistic that a person needs to be exposed to a brand up to a dozen times before they will actually start to remember it and associate it with the product or service in question. The more you can get someone to see your name and read your message – on social media, in their email inbox or in their RSS feed reader – the more likely they are to think of you when it comes time to open their wallet.
So, how can you make yourself more effective at marketing through blogging? Here are a few ideas:
1 – Post Engaging Content to a Consistent Schedule
The majority of your posts should entertain, inform or engage. Post funny content, tutorial videos, how tos and advice pieces. Make most of your content ‘free entertainment’ for people so that they want to read it. Go easy on the sales pitches and build up a readership of people who really want to hear what you have to say.
To get people coming back, post to a schedule. Do Tutorial Tuesday, or Freaky Friday. Make sure that people know that if they check your blog during their short but valuable lunch break, they will see something that will make them glad they spent the time to check in.
2 – Offer Incentives for Subscribers
Start a mailing list and give people an incentive to subscribe. That could be money off the products you offer, a free ebook, or access to a member’s only part of your site. The ‘gift’ doesn’t have to be expensive, but it should feel exclusive. Once someone has subscribed then you have their contact details and can work on building up a sales pitch.
3 – Add Value
It’s vital that you give people value for their time. Once you have a good database of content you can put the odd ad up on your blog, and include the occasional link to your products or services or to your affiliate site. You won’t get a lot of sales from just those links, but it’s good to have them there.
The success will come from using your services or products as a value add. Start doing longer and more extensive articles, and hook them back in to whatever your end-game is, whether that’s to sell a product or service, or to get people to buy from the companies you are affiliated with. If you write a how-to, provide links to purchase the items listed in it, but also offer some other suggestions for where to get the items, so that it doesn’t look like all you’re doing is trying to sell.
4 – Talk to Other Bloggers
No business can survive in isolation. Working with other bloggers can provide a self-sustaining cycle. Perhaps you run a business that sells craft beer. Get in there with event organisers, pubs, gift bloggers, lifestyle bloggers and travel bloggers such as me Leslie Rubero, and you can all cross-promote. This breeds awareness of all your brands and can be helpful from an SEO perspective as well. In the long run, your goal should be to reach as many people as possible, and to market your site in a way that will bring in readers and buyers.
5 – Know Your Audience
You should think about who your ideal customer is. Note – your ideal customer isn’t necessarily the person who is buying NOW, it is the person that would give you the most money with the least hassle. If, right now, you are finding that your customers are returning a lot of products, trying to haggle about prices, or asking for a lot of revisions, then they might not be your ideal customer. Think about targetting someone else – look for the affluent people, the people who are enthusiastic about your products and well-educated about your niche. If you’re confident in what you’re selling, and you know it’s good, then it’s easier to sell to someone who wants the best and is willing to pay for it.
Once you know who you are trying to reach, think about whether what you’re doing now is going to reach them and appeal to them. Is your site structured in a way that will speak to them and that will make them think “I should buy”? If not, start making some changes. The sooner you establis a clear brand, the better.
6 – Invest in SEO
SEO is something that every commercial website owner should work at. If you’re not already a skilled SEO yourself then you might find that SEO doesn’t work out so well for you when you try to do it by yourself. These days it’s a hard job involving keyword research and very useful analysis and link building.
Rather than running the risk of being penalized for technical issues, duplicate content or un-natural looking link profiles, try bringing in an expert to audit your site and tackle a lot of those issues for you. They will be able to tell you what is going on with your site, and work with you to ensure that you get the best possible results.
Yes, SEO experts cost money, but a good SEO expert will pay for themselves with the increase in traffic that you get. If you can find one that understands conversion rates and sales then they will be able to help you optimise your site in other ways, and turn your blog into a high performance sales funnel that will give you lots of customers, and get you to the stage where you really are earning while you sleep.
Invest in your blog today to turn it into a great business.
If you would like to read more about Leslie then visit her website or connect with Leslie on her social media profiles here: