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No matter what kind of business you’re running, you’re going to use your blog as an important sales tool. Every post is a chance to make a sale or warm someone up to an idea. You might be selling a product, or you might be selling people on the idea of joining your list in exchange for a lead magnet. Either way, your blog posts are some of the most important sales tools in your arsenal.
But heads up…
This is only true if you know how to write blogs posts that sell. In other words, not just any blog post will get people clicking through to your sales pages and lead pages.
So how do you craft effective blog posts that sell like crazy? Simple: by following this 10-step plan….
Step 1. Decide What To Sell
The first thing you need to do is figure out what you’re going to sell, and then you need to determine what type of post will best help you accomplish your goal. This is something you’re going to want to spend a lot of time considering, because it is a big key to your success.
Generally, think of how to create content that’s useful yet incomplete. This is a blog post that solves part of your prospects’ problems, but then directs them to a paid offer to solve the rest of their problem.
So let me give you five examples of choosing a post format to sell a specific offer:
You’re selling a software service, such as an autoresponder. You can create a step-by-step guide for setting up a mailing list, and then embed a recommendation for the autoresponder within this guide.
You’re selling an app like meal-planning software. You can offer a blog post with 10 nutrition tips for losing weight. The final tip can be centered on using meal-planning software.
You’re selling a social media marketing course. You can post an article about how to get more followers on Facebook, and then point to the course as a way to monetize and leverage this traffic.
You’re selling a physical product, such as golf clubs. You can write an article about how to select the right clubs, and include your recommendation within the content.
You’re selling a comprehensive course in how to write a sales letter. You can post a “cheat sheet” that tells people what to do for each step, but it doesn’t provide the in-depth instruction they need to write a good letter.
See how that works? You can post tips, you can post an overview of a process, or you can even post in-depth instructions for part of a process. But in all cases, they format of the entire article should be a good fit for the product and naturally lead to the offer.
Step 2. Know Your Audience
Don’t even think about writing a single word until you know your audience and you know what they want. This allows you to not only pick an offer that you know they’ll want to buy, but it also gives you the ability to “get inside their head.” The more you know and understand your audience, the easier it is for you to create content that connects with them on an emotional level.
So how do you get to know your audience? Try out these three tips:
Eavesdrop on their conversations. This means visiting niche forums, social media groups and blog discussions. This simple step will give you a great insight into what your audience thinks about certain topics and products in your niche.
Interact with them on social media. Here you take it a step further by actually talking to your audience. Ask them questions, find out their pains, figure out what kind of solutions they’re looking for.
Hang out with them offline. For example, if you’re selling products to bodybuilders, then go hang out at the nearest bodybuilding gym in your area and spend some time getting to know your target market.
Step 3. Outline and Research
At this point you have a pretty good idea of your article topic and format—basically, something that naturally leads to you promoting the paid product. So for this step you need to outline and research.
Even if you know the tips or procedures you want to share in your post, it’s still a good idea to do some research. Your research can help with things such as:
Finding a good quote or inspirational story to share at the beginning of the article. This is a great way to engage someone emotionally.
Statistics and other data to back up your claims in the article. For example, you might share a sobering statistic about how much money an average online marketer makes. And then you can launch into an article about how the reader can avoid becoming another marketer who can barely cover the hosting bills.
Ideas about how to structure your content. For example, if you notice that a lot of articles in your niche are big lists, then you might want to create something popular since it’s an in-demand format.
Once your research is complete, then outline and organize your topics and subtopics in the way you want them to appear in your article. Then move onto the next step…