If you’ve ever thought about making money online, then you might have considered starting a blog or setting up your own eCommerce store. You don’t have to choose one or the other. They can both work hand-in-hand to help you make money online. Here’s a brief overview of how a blog can help you sell your online products.
Use it as a Marketing Tool
Blogging is primarily a marketing tool. The statistics show that:
- Business that blog get 67 percent more leads than those that don’t.
- Marketers who prioritize blogging are 13 times more likely to see positive ROI.
- Companies that blog see 97 percent more links to their website.
While you won’t make money directly off writing blog posts, the practice does boost overall profit by driving more traffic to your website. Blogging for eCommerce websites means there are more ways for people to enter your site. With more links back to your content, a greater database of keywords, and continuously updated content, you’ll also see higher search engine rankings, which will drive even more traffic to your site to improve your chances of converting leads and making sales.
Aside from traffic generation, blogging also helps you attract the right customer. Through helpful articles aimed at solving your ideal customer’s needs, you’ll bring in the type of people who are most likely to buy from you. The more you get noticed and build your authority through blogging, the more trust people will have in your site, and the more they’ll buy from you. Blogs are among the top five trusted sources online, giving you a chance to build relationships with long-time customers and build your brand.
The key to using a blog as a marketing tool is context. This is what draws the line between content and commerce. You want to choose topics that appeal to your target audience but can also be linked back to your product offerings.
Use it to Build Your Email List
Marketing experts agree that email lists are one of the most valuable marketing tools today. Expert Neil Patel says, “Out of all the channels I tested as a marketer, email continually outperforms most of them.” The stats show that:
- You’re six times more likely to get a click-through from email than from a tweet.
- Email is 40 times more effective in acquiring new customers than social media.
- Email marketing drives more conversions than search and social.
Here’s a good list of most popular email marketing services you can use. But how do you attract people to your email list? It all starts when you launch your blog. When you attract people to your content and they want more from you, they’ll sign up for your email list. It’s particularly helpful to offer a lead magnet, or a gift, to new subscribers. For example, you might offer a discount off their first purchase or a free gift when they sign up for your newsletter.
Once you have them on your mailing list, you can share deals, discounts, and more from your shop that you think will interest them. It gives you a direct line of communication to the people most interested in your products. And it works.
Offer Your Products as a Solution to Readers’ Problems
Blogging is not a direct sales platform. It is about offering useful information to your readers to build a relationship with them. However, you can organically mention and link to your products if it applies to the content. It’s not unusual to see calls-to-action in the last paragraph of a blog post offering your products as a solution. The key is to work with it in a way that comes across as useful, not as a sales pitch. Here are three ideas on how to incorporate this strategy.
1. Include a call to action. Let’s say you sell yoga products and videos. You could write a post on yoga poses for flexibility. At the end, you could mention using a yoga strap help you ease into the poses if you have tense muscles or are recovering from an injury. (Make sure to link to your yoga strap.) Your product is not the focus of the article, but it is mentioned as a solution to your readers’ problems.
2. Write a product roundup post. Here, you’ll mention several of your own products to drive people to your sales pages. But again, it has to be useful to the reader. For example, an online clothing retailer might write about “10 Trendy New Fashions Coming This Spring.” A few of their products will make the list, but it’s more about educating their readers and making useful fashion suggestions than trying to sell to them.
3. Highlight how to use your products. These posts can be in a tutorial format, which would work well if you’re selling phones or computers, for example, but it’s not limited to that. A clothing retailer, for instance, could write a post on five different ways to wear scarves, using one of their products as an example.
You don’t have to use this technique in every blog post Again, your blog is about building a relationship. Focus on that first and then on sales. The sales will come as you show your customers you care.
Tell Stories With Your Products
A great way to drive web traffic and sales is to use real-life stories to highlight what your products can do. A retailer selling hiking, camping, and survival gear could start a blog series detailing one of their team member’s adventures out in the backcountry. The blog posts would focus on the adventure and offer useful tips and advice for people wanting to travel themselves. However, each post would mention some of the products the blogger used on his travels—and yes, they’d be the exact same ones the retailer is selling.
The same could be done for retailers selling culinary products, in which they’d highlight a cook’s experiences in the kitchen using the products on their site. A company selling smartphones could have a team member blog about the camera tricks they used while on a recent snowboarding trip. A cosmetics company could blog about different customers’ experiences with their products.
Notice how all these examples tell a real story coming from a real person all while keeping the conversation on the company’s products. This helps create a more personal connection with your readers, and ideally it will provide them with tips and advice they can apply to their own lives.
Again, not every blog post you write has to follow this story-telling format. Consider using this tactic as a blogging segment with a set time frame for featuring each story. If you can tell a story in multiple blog posts, it encourages readers to come back for more.
With these ideas in mind, you can build an eCommerce site and blog that complement each other and boost your bottom line. Are you ready to get starting selling online? Then the first step is to set up your website. With the WordPress software, you’ll have everything you need to make a WordPress WooCommerce store and set up a blog on the same site. What will you sell, and what kind of blog posts will you write to help you make money online?
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