It’s a proven fact that businesses that blog get a lot more traffic than those who don’t.
But even if you’re getting thousands of visitors a day, it won’t help your business if none of those readers turn into customers.
Sure, the attention is nice, but you’re not in business to be flattered. You’re not blogging for fun – you’re blogging to grow your business!
So how do you turn those avid readers into actual paying customers? Here are 7 concrete tactics you can use today.
1. Write Blog Posts That Directly Answer Objections
When you’re blogging for a business, you know you need to write posts that are targeted for your buyer personas so you can attract the right readers.
Some of those readers might be interested in buying, but have some reservations.
Your audience might have questions like:
Which product model is the right one for my needs?
Will my personal information be kept safe if I buy from this website?
Is this service provider the right fit for my personality?
Is this the best price on this product, or can I get it cheaper somewhere else?
The specific objections will vary widely depending on your business, but they’re always there.
To find out what’s keeping your audience from buying, try doing a survey or some one-on-one interviews of your current customers or clients.
Then, write blog posts that directly address these concerns:
“Model A vs Model B: Which Is Best for SAHMs/Busy Professionals/etc.?”
“How Our Partnership With SecurityBiz Keeps Your Data Safe”
“7 Reasons You Shouldn’t Hire Me” (This post’s quirky, negative title will attract clicks while the content will weed out clients who are a bad fit for you.)
“Why Is [Product] So Expensive?”
2. Eliminate Distractions
If you’re asking your readers to do 10 different things, is it at all surprising that they don’t do any of them?
If your blog has:
Social media widgets
Lots of outbound links
…these are all calls to action (CTAs).
If you have a goal for your blog, it’s important to focus on that goal and make it clear to your readers.
Writer Elna Cain does a great job with this on her website. It’s clear that her #1 goal is to get people signed up for her new email course for beginning freelance writers. Her site focuses on that goal with:
A single-column layout (no sidebars), which places the focus on her content
A big banner on the homepage inviting you to sign up for the course
Placing “Free Course” as the first menu option
Including a link to the course landing page in her author bio at the end of every post
Taking a look at her website, you can see that everything focuses on that email course. There are no distractions.
Now, take a look at your own business blog. (Go ahead and open up your business blog in another tab.)
What are you asking your audience to do?
Do you have a sidebar full of widgets, ads, badges, and links?
Is your blog’s menu clear and focused, or cluttered?
Is it 100% clear what action you want your readers to take?
Be honest with your answers, and consider removing anything that distracts from your main goal.
3. Ask Your Readers to Buy
It seems obvious, but many people are shy about self-promotion.
But really – your readers won’t know what you want them to do unless you ask them!
If you’re blogging with a goal in mind, it’s crucial to include some kind of call to action (CTA) on your blog.
That doesn’t mean ending every post with “Thanks for reading, now buy my product!”
Using a variety of CTAs can help you to deepen your relationship with your readers, keeping them coming back for more content and eventually turning into customers.
You can also use CTAs to encourage readers to comment, share the post with friends, follow you on social media, etc. These are great tactics for engaging loyal readers and building your audience.
But in order to convert that audience into customers, you eventually need to ask them to buy!
4. Sell Through Your Email List
Asking a casual blog reader to immediately buy something can be a big leap if they’re just on your site for information.
That’s why email newsletters are so powerful. They’re a great way to:
Stay in touch with interested people who aren’t ready to buy
Allow you and your readers to get to know each other and see if your business is a match for their needs
Subscribing to a newsletter is low-risk, unlike giving their credit card info to a new site, or spending money on a course they’re not sure they need. To turn those casual readers into customers (and find out if they’re really your ideal audience), a newsletter is ideal.
To convert them, ask your readers to sign up for your email newsletter by including opt-in forms at the end of every post, and include a freebie for new subscribers. Even better, set up an autoresponder series or free course that will alleviate their concerns, answer their questions, and prove your value. Tools like OptinMonster and GetResponse are great for this.
5. Show Them Exactly How You Can Help
This point especially applies to those who are offering services instead of products.
With services, it’s not always 100% clear to your readers exactly what you’re offering and how that will help them. You can explain till you’re blue in the face, but what really brings the point home is a real-life example.
Case studies help to clear up confusion and overcome objections by demonstrating exactly how you help your customers.
They’re an incredibly effective way to answer questions like:
What exactly do you do?
How will your services fit into my existing life/processes?
What kind of results should I expect?
Get started by contacting a few of your past or current customers and letting them know you’re starting a new “customer spotlight” series on your blog, and would love to feature them. Make sure you have their approval on the blog post before you publish.
At the end of the post, be sure to include a call to action for your readers to contact you if they feel they could benefit from the same services.
6. Create Urgency
When you create a sense of urgency, it encourages hesitant readers to buy now.
As human beings, we’re social creatures and have a fear of being left out of the crowd. We don’t want to miss out on something great – so if there’s a chance we’ll miss out, we’re more inclined to act now!
Some sleazy salespeople use this tactic by lying or taking advantage of people, but it doesn’t have to be that way.
You can create a true sense of urgency by:
Creating limited-time deals, bundles, or coupons
Offering seasonal products, services, or sales
Sharing a limited edition of a product
7. …But Don’t Be Too Pushy
Yes, it’s important to be clear and ask your readers to take action.
But you don’t want to be so pushy that you push them away.
It’s a difficult balance, and business owners are often so afraid of being pushy that they avoid any self-promotion whatsoever!
That’s counterproductive, though. You can be clear and ask for your readers’ business without being pushy or manipulative.
Just be honest, and ask for what you want!
Article by KeriLynn Engel
KeriLynn Engel is a copywriter & content marketing strategist. She loves working with B2B & B2C businesses to plan and create high-quality content that attracts and converts their target audience. When not writing, you can find her reading speculative fiction, watching Star Trek, or playing Telemann flute fantasias at a local open mic.