Your client is thrilled with the new blog. It provides a SEO friendly CMS, it's Social Media friendly, your client loves the opportunity to participate in the conversation, etc, etc.
despite how cool their new blog is.... despite the increase in readers, traffic, comments, etc.
at some point,
your client is ultimately going to turn to you and ask
"What about sales?"
Because unless your client is running a CPM model or is really big into branding, at the end of the day; the only thing that really matters to your client is conversions.
Is this blog making me money?
How do you get your Blog traffic to convert? First and foremost, sales tips are worthless if you don't follow the 10 Golden Rules of Blogging.
But the 10 Golden Rules of Blogging alone won't get you sales. They're just table stakes to make it even possible to sell.
1) Follow Jeff Quipps tips for Building Authority:
People want to buy from the best. Strive to be an expert in your field. Even if you sell a commodity product where "the best" is really just better marketing, then do that. Build your online authority and you will be perceived as "the best".
Use your blog to develop a specialty in a particular niche of your industry.
As Jeff says, this is a difficult balancing act. You dont want the niche to be too narrow that you limit peoples perceptions of your abilities (not unlike type casting to some actors), though too broad and its near impossible to establish yourself as an expert, and less and less likely over time.
Reach out to others in your field. Or as Jeff says, be an uber networker. One great way to do this in your blog writing is to find other industry blogs to link to when writing your posts. Many blog platforms will ping them that you've linked to them.
2) Follow the Loop Strategy in your post writing.
The Loop Strategy suggests that we never want to leave the visitor without telling them what the next step is. There are no dead ends because each page leads to another page.
Think about the most logical path for the consumer to take. If I enjoy this content then Ill probably like that too. Build the next step into your template. Dont add new content without thinking about what it relates to. Link it to the next step. This will substantially increase your opportunity to convert.
3) Make sure you have an "About Us" section in your Blog
Depending on your product or service, some people will jump right the buy, but others may want to know a little more about you.
Picture this. I found your blog through a long tail keyword search. I read your post about Rugs, Plastic Products, Petroleum, whatever and it really spoke to me because that's my industry too.
I find myself thinking wow. Why haven't I heard of these guys before? Who are they? And sadly, I'm left wondering because there is no About Us page. And if you're afraid to tell me who you are - then I don't trust you.
4) Use a Landing Page to ask for the sale
If you've given your reader really useful content, there is nothing wrong with linking out to a product page if that product is related to your article.
The Weight Loss Industry is really good at this: for example, do a search for "green tea, weight loss" you will find a plethora of helpful informational articles about the benefits of Green Tea for weight loss. Pretty much every one of these articles was written by someone who is trying to sell you Green Tea.
Does this bother me? Not if the article was useful. Make sure you give thought to color, language and placement when designing the landing page.
There are many possible ways to do this:
- Just ask for the sale. Include an order now button beside the product information (The Direct Close method)
- Use a deadline. For example, "product will be going up in price by July 30th (The Time Driven Close).
- Make an offer. i.e. order these two products and save 20%. This makes the buyer feel like they're making a smart choice or saving money (The Concession Close Method).
Whatever method feels right for you, make sure you use persuasive writing techniques like Brian suggests.
Getting you blog traffic to convert is really just a matter of applying successful marketing techniques to your Blog. The trick is knowing what's appropriate for a Blog and what belongs on a separate page.