Are you struggling to make sales? Do traditional sales strategies seem gimmicky or manipulative to you? Does the idea of making a cold call leave you with a pit in your stomach?
If so, you’re not alone. Everyone struggles to “sell”. But that’s what so beautiful about blogging—your blog content can actually do your selling for you!
When your content is so good that you become a valued resource for your readers, they’re more likely to trust you. And when they trust you, they’re more likely to buy from you. And this can happen very organically, without any gimmicks or pushy sales tactics.
This post will look at seven ways you can generate sales from your blog content—without the need to be “salesy”!
1. cover topics no one else is writing about
Let’s face it: there’s a ton of content out there that doesn’t get read, shared or linked to. Many business owners create a steady stream of content because they think they SHOULD, but they don’t understand how that content is supposed to increase their sales.
Your blog should offer unique, useful and/or entertaining content that is in-depth and gives your own spin or angle on the topic.
If you simply rehash what everyone else is saying, I can guarantee your efforts will be futile. Dig deep to find topics or angles that no one else can cover as well as you can! This will start to build that foundation of trust with your visitors.
2. Add new posts regularly
Consistency is key when it comes to making money from your blog. You can’t just post every once in a while, and expect your audience to grow to respect and trust you. I recommend writing 2-5 new blog posts per week. Of course, this will vary depending on your niche and audience.
According to Hubspot’s research, companies that publish 16+ blog posts per month (that’s around 4 per week) get 4.5x more leads than those who publish 0-4 posts per month.
If you can’t post this often, that’s OK too—don’t obsess about it! It’s more important that you post regularly than trying to achieve an exact number of posts per month.
3. Add a call to action to posts
If you’re regularly writing truly useful, in-depth posts, you’ve laid the foundation for generating sales from your blog. Now you just need to point your readers to the products or services you offer. I’m not saying your blog posts should directly promote your stuff.However, there should be some way for your readers to find out more about your products or services when they read your posts.
One way you can do this is to include a call to action (CTA) in your blog posts. This is typically done at the end of your post, and helps connect the topic of your post with a related product you’re offering. For instance, when I write a post about blogging, I’ll sometimes end my post with a CTA like, “Want to start blogging, but aren’t sure where to start? Check out my guide, How To Start a WordPress Blog.”
This is not only GREAT for making sales and for search engine rankings, but it also provides further resources to help my readers.
4. Promote your product in your sidebar
While banner ads aren’t nearly as effective as they used to be, they’re still an excellent opportunity to promote your own products and services. We typically use our blog sidebar to promote our free eBooks, guides and downloads. If our visitors see something they like, they click on the ad, download our free product, and we can continue communicating with them via email. Many of these visitors eventually become customers or clients because they like our products and know they can trust us.
Obviously, you can also try promoting your paid products or services in your sidebar. Or try a combo of paid and free products to see which ones ultimately drive the most revenue!
5. Link internally to other blog posts
Half the battle when it comes to blogging is getting people to your blog. So once they’re there, you want to keep them there as long as possible! One of the best ways you can do this is to link to your other blog posts. When writing about a certain topic, think about which other blog posts your readers would be interested in.
For instance, if you’re writing a post about graphic design, you could link to a post like “The Best Tools For Graphic Designers.”
If you’ve included a call to action (CTA) in each of your posts, your readers are now seeing TWO CTA’s instead of ONE, meaning there’s double the chance of making a sale!
Here on this blog, we make a point of linking to relevant blog posts whenever we think it would add value to the post. We also try to link to posts that we know drive revenue.
6. Reference products in your posts
If you have a product or service that directly relates to the topic of your blog post, don’t be afraid to mention it!
This doesn’t mean you need to write extensively about your products, or that your post should be ABOUT your products. But a brief mention can help your readers find useful products, while also increasing your own sales.
For instance, if you offer catering services and are writing a blog post about DIY party planning, why not reference your services in your post? You can definitely do this is a way that’s not pushy, and that offers real value to your readers (e.g., “If you’re struggling with your party planning and need some extra help, we’re just an email away! Click here for your free, no-obligation quote”).
7. Promote your email list in blog posts
This final strategy is a more indirect way of making sales through your blog content, but is also one of the most powerful and effective. As I already alluded to above, our email list is the primary tool we use here at Boom Social to get leads and sales. In fact, 85% of our sales are generated directly through our list!
This means we always need to be thinking about how we can move our blog visitors into our list. We use all of the strategies listed above to do this. This means we promote our free e-products (which are available with email signup) in our calls to action at the end of blog posts, sidebar, internal links within posts, and as references in posts that cover relevant topics. While this strategy isn’t a “quick win”—since we’re building relationships, and not just trying to make a quick sale—in the long run, we’ve found this strategy to be the most effective one by far.