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How to Turn Your Business Blog Readers Into Paying Customers

Posted By Guest Blogger 8th of September 2016 Blogging for Dollars, General 0 Comments

buy online

This is a guest contribution from Alicia Rades.

You started a blog for your business because you recognized the importance of content marketing. You know that businesses that blog get more traffic than those that don’t.

But more traffic doesn’t necessarily mean more customers. You have to be able to leverage your blog content in a way that convinces readers to trust you and buy from you.

So how do you get readers to pay for your product or service? Start with these five tactics you can use in your blog posts today.

Weave Testimonials Into Your Content

People are naturally skeptical when businesses talk about themselves or how great their product is. They’re more likely to trust their own peers—people who are just like them. In fact, the statistics show that written testimonials can increase conversions by as much as 25 percent. Leverage this powerful marketing tactic by weaving customer testimonials into your content.

Don’t just insert quotes where they’re not needed, though. Use them to tell your story.

This approach is particularly effective when writing case studies. You can also use it to back up claims. For example, let’s say you offer social media management services. You’re writing a post about converting followers on Instagram, and one of your tips discusses optimizing your profile. Maybe you just helped a client with this, and it doubled their followers in two weeks. To add credibility to your advice and show that it actually works, you could include a testimonial from that client.

In this example, the testimonial supports the content without it being a direct sales pitch for your services. It gives the story a fresh voice from someone your readers can relate closely to, which helps customers put more confidence in your claims, your business, and your service.

Use Your Blog as a Platform to Host Deals

Hosting deals on your blog does two things:

  • It encourages readers to shop when they may not have otherwise spent money on your product.
  • It allows you to gather people’s email addresses, who you can market and sell to in the future.

For the best conversion rates, consider teaming up with other companies to offer everyone’s product in a bundle and at a super low price. Not only does it make the offer more appealing, but you’ll all benefit from reaching each other’s user bases.

Here’s an example from Time-Warp Wife. In this giveaway, over 100 homemaking bloggers came together to offer nearly $700 worth of eBooks for only $29.97. And to further encourage sales, the deal was only good for six days.

ebook bundle

Of course, you don’t need to team with over 100 other bloggers to see success. Host a deal with 3-5 other people in your field, and post the info on your blog to entice readers to buy.

Include In-Line Product Links

When the opportunity presents itself, point a couple of links back to relevant products or services on your site. This gets readers to visit your product pages to move them down the sales funnel.

The idea here isn’t to blatantly promote your products. Your blog posts shouldn’t be a sales pitch. However, links to relevant sales pages can actually be useful to readers who are interested in applying the advice in your blog post.

If it will be helpful to your readers, you can also present the product link as a “side note.” Here’s an example of how freelance writing coach Elna Cain handles this approach. She presents her product as a solution to writers’ struggles without focusing the entire post on her course.

elna cain

Use this tactic sparingly so you don’t overwhelm your readers, and make sure you’re only linking where it’s relevant so readers know what to expect when they click the link.

Write Strong Calls to Action

Every blog post should end with some sort of call to action (CTA). You might encourage readers to:

  • Leave a blog post comment
  • Sign up for your newsletter
  • Visit a page on your website
  • Follow or share on social media

If your goal is to sell to your readers, then your call to action should point them to the next point in the sales funnel. For example, they might be interested but not ready to buy yet. You might ask them to subscribe to your newsletter or sign up for a free webinar so you can turn them into paying customers in the future.

You could also position your product or service as a solution to the topic in your blog post. Point them to your “how it works” page to get them to learn more and sign up.

Be bold with your calls to action. Tell readers exactly what to do next, and use your website design to your advantage. You can use a custom call to action for each post with an in-line link or CTA button, or you can place a universal CTA widget below each post.

Here’s an example from Blogging Wizard that illustrates both options. Adam Connell encourages readers to leave a comment, but he also uses a CTA widget to promote newsletter sign-ups.

blogging wizard

Don’t Be Overly Promotional

The key to getting all of this to work is to avoid being overly promotional. Yes, your purpose is to sell. But blog readers aren’t looking for a sales pitch. Trying too hard to sell to them through your blog posts only pushes them away.

Instead, focus on providing advice to your readers. Show them what their problem is (they may not even know they’re struggling or what they’re struggling with). Suggest ways to fix it. Then briefly show that you have the solution. It’s only after that that the sales pitch comes into play. If you help them first, you’ll gain their trust, and they’ll be more likely to buy from you in the future.

You won’t use all five of these tips in every blog post you write, but incorporating them where you can will help turn readers into paying customers. Which one of these suggestions will you try out first? Let me know in the comments.

Alicia Rades is a professional freelance blog writer who specializes in blogging, writing, and freelancing topics. Visit her site at aliciarades.com, where you can download her free blogging guide, 20 Questions to Ask Yourself Before Hitting Publish.

About Guest Blogger
This post was written by a guest contributor. Please see their details in the post above.
  • Nice article Alicia.

    It was worth reading this article and learned something useful to implement on my next project.

    Thanks.

    Regards,

    Shafi Khan

  • Hi Alicia,

    Isn’t it funny how many bloggers focus on “traffic” to their blogs, yet, they do so little to build conversion mechanisms for people who do visit them.

    I think people just don’t really know how to go about doing it without looking salesy and pushy. Or, they go to the other extreme and just hit their guests over the head with one hard promotion after another.

    You’ve given us all a lot to think about with the way we “weave” our calls to action and sales links into our story line, and make it part of the value we are sharing. That way, people actually appreciate your offers instead of hide from them.

    -Donna

    • Thanks for the kind words, Donna. I think the key is to be helpful rather than focusing on self-promotion.

  • Hi Alicia,

    I find it fitting that Donna Merrill commented up top; I was going to mention her as someone who weaves selling into offering value really well.

    She solves problems and boldly asks her readers to look at her products.

    I enjoy her short and punchy newsletter emails and suggest that anybody reading here to sign up for them.

    As for me I enjoy being clear, direct and to the point when I sell my eBooks or audio course.

    Still learning a bunch from master sellers and from inspired posts like these to boost my conversions.

    Ryan

    • I’m so happy to see us all learning from each other!

    • It makes me happy to see us all learning from each other.

      • Woops! Sorry for the double comment. I thought my first one hadn’t posted.

        • That’s just a clear and persistent call to action in my (e)Book Alicia ;)

          Ryan

  • Great post, Alicia. I think that the “don’t be too promotional” bit is the hardest to apply. Most marketers either go over or under. It’s really difficult to get that sweet spot.

  • Hi Alicia,

    first of all: Great Article! I also think that to many people concentrate on getting traffic to their blogs, but traffic alone is not the key to success. It is more important to put the focus on conversion, rather than just only getting useless traffic. And for conversions it is crucial to have good user experience. It took me a while to understand this principal for myself, but now i know what to focus on. Thanks a lot for sharing your ideas and inspiration with us.

  • Nice post Alicia, for me call to actions are huge. Just saying a quick “don’t forget to sign up to our email list” after an article that I really enjoyed or found useful will usually get me to sign up. If they don’t say this then I’m likely to click off and never come back!

    • Thanks for chiming in, Tom! I think hearing what works for readers is really helpful. And this shows that your calls-to-action don’t have to be huge or in your readers’ faces to work.

  • Hey Alicia!

    Thanks for using me as an example! I’m always concerned that I’m overly promotional on my blog, but so far I’ve had great responses from my marketing tactics.

    Love the example of having a strong CTA. I’m starting to try this strategy with a graphic at the end of some popular posts (either to sign up to my free eCourse or to my welcome page for my course) and I’m generating some conversions!

  • These are good tips!! This is something that most bloggers fail at. Getting your readers to buy from you is a very hard thing to do. Adding testimonials to your into your content makes sense.

  • Great post, Alicia – thanks for including me :)

  • Hi Alicia, it is a very helpful post. I think those five steps are the key to sell a product. When we being Overly Promotional people suspect us and walk away.

  • These days everyone wants instant results without actually working hard for it.
    Your article is a testimony of the extent of hardwork and dedication which is required to polish your skills and to derive immense traffic for eventually making sales with the product.

    Ofcourse, I would request others to read your enlightening post which is enough of a motivation for people looking to undertake journey of promoting sales

  • Hi Alicia,

    A great post for those who are struggling to convert their blog readers into a customer who buy a product or service from the blog. A lot of blog posts are available on the internet that describes the importance of traffic but this post is a timely reminder for those who like to convert their blog readers into a prospective customer.

    Once again thanks for the share

    Cheers!

    Reji Stephenson

  • Great idea with the weaving in testimonials to blog content. That’s the perfect way to indirectly impact someone’s impression of a brand/product/service.

    Solid tips!

  • Hi Alicia,

    A nice reminder, it can never be overstated.

    There’s a lot of good sense, and sound strategy in all that’s been written here, which serves to underpin the general context that no longer are we in the old days of push-marketing and promotion, i.e. to have an idea and then look to pushing it into the market. How many times I have seen this done the wrong way (push marketing) on television – the reality TV pitches for investment; so many just never seem to GET it!

    People like us know that it has to be all about what our subscribers, clients, and repeat clients need, and there’s no way anyone can know or understand what they need without nurturing and befriending; at the risk of stating the obvious, people buy or invest, on trust, not being “sold” to.

  • What a great read!

    I have been curious as to how to do this, I mean, it is key! I really like the idea of weaving in testimonials, other people’s opinions are extremely important to readers. Thank you for the great information, I am excited to try and implement these!

    Natasha