Whatever type of business you are running, you need to use your blog as an important sales tool. Each post is an opportunity to make a sale or to warm someone up to an idea. You could sell a product, or you could sell people the idea of joining your list in exchange for a lead magnet. Either way, your blog articles are some of the most important sales tools in your arsenal.
This is only true if you know how to write blog articles that sell. In other words, not all blog posts will lead people to click on your sales pages and contact pages.
So how do you go about writing an effective blog article that converts? Copywriting is the key, and in these 10 simple steps, you will understand what to do.
1. Decide what to sell
The first thing you need to do is figure out what you want to sell (or promote if you’re in affiliate marketing ), and then you need to determine what kind of post will best help you achieve your goal. This is something that you will have to spend a lot of time on because it is one of the keys to your success.
In general, think about how to create content that is useful but incomplete. For example, a blog post that solves some of your prospects’ problems but then directs them to a paid offer to solve the rest of their problem.
Let me give you five examples of choosing a post format to sell a specific offer:
- You are selling a software service, such as an autoresponder. You can create a step-by-step guide to setting up a mailing list and then incorporate an autoresponder recommendation into this guide.
- Sell an application such as 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.
- Sell a social media marketing course. You can post an article on how to get more followers on Facebook and then aim for the course as a way to monetize and leverage this traffic.
- You are selling a physical product, such as golf clubs. You can write an article on how to choose the right clubs and include your recommendation within the content.
- You’re selling a full course on 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 instructions they need to write a good letter.
Do you see how it works? You can post advice, 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, the format of the entire article should be suitable for the product and naturally lead to the offer.
2. Know your audience
Don’t even think about writing a single word of your article until you know your audience and know what they want. This not only allows you to choose an offer that you know they will want to buy but 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 these three tips:
- Listen to 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 pain points, understand what kind of solutions they are looking for.
- Go out with them offline. For example, if you sell products for bodybuilders, then go to the closest bodybuilding gym in your area and spend some time learning about your target market.
3. Scheme and research
At this point, you have a pretty good idea of the topic and format of your article – basically, something that naturally leads you to promote the paid product. So for this step, it is necessary to delineate 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. Research can help you with things like:
- Find a good quote or inspiring story to share at the beginning of the article. This is a great way to emotionally engage someone.
- Statistics and other data to support your claims in the article. For example, you could share a disheartening statistic about how much money a digital marketer makes on average. And then you can jump into an article on how the reader can avoid becoming another marketer who can barely cover their hosting bills.
- Ideas on how to structure your content. For example, if you notice that a lot of articles in your niche are big lists, then you should create something popular as it is a very popular format.
Once your research is complete, then outline and organize your topics and subtopics the way you want them to appear in your article. Then move on to the next step.
4. Create a compelling title
A lot of marketers and entrepreneurs write any headline on the article and then focus all their attention on creating the article itself.
Guess what? Your readers will focus most of their attention on your title. And if your headline absolutely doesn’t stop them and catch their attention, then they won’t even bother reading your article.
The point is, you need to take the time to create a good headline that draws readers’ attention to your content. Here are the tips.
Share the benefits
The idea here is to answer the question “what do I get out of it?” floating in the back of your prospect’s mind.
For example: “The # 1 best way to double your conversion rate”.
Sometimes this is as easy as using a word like “secrets” in your title, which will make your prospects want to find out what you know they don’t know.
For example: “The 7 best kept secrets to looking 10 years younger”.
Use social proof
This is a headline that says, “Everyone else is doing it, you should do it too.”
For example: “Here’s what the best copywriters in the world do to create sales letters worth millions of euros …”
ask a question
This question can arouse curiosity, help qualify the reader, or even just engage them in thinking.
For example: “Are you making these costly mistakes when buying a home?”
5. Present a strong opening
Your headline grabbed attention – now you need to keep your reader’s attention with a strong, engaging opening. Here are five ways to do it:
- Tell a story. For example, share a story about how someone very similar to the reader overcame the same problem your reader is facing.
- Sharing a shocking fact or statistic. The idea here is to get someone to sit down and pay attention. For example, share a shocking fact about how many people die of heart disease each year.
- Say something incredible or controversial. Is there something in your niche that almost everyone believes is true? You can shock people from their chairs by opening an article that goes against this traditional thinking. You could also ask a question to at least get people to consider the idea that something may not be true. For example, “What if the moon landing never happened?”
- Dispelling a myth. Do some people in your niche believe in something that is hurting their results? Then you could open up by debunking this myth. For example, “Doing sit-ups won’t give you six sit-ups. This is because abs are done in the kitchen, not in the gym”.
- Ask a question. This is a great way to engage your readers and get them to start qualifying. For example, “Do you ever get embarrassed by your dog’s bad behavior with guests?”
6. Plant the seeds
At this point, your prospect is hooked and reading. So now you need to start planting seeds on a problem.
Basically, this is where you set up your post for the call to action that is coming to an end.
- If this is an instructive “how to…” post, you may want to refer to an easier way to accomplish a particularly difficult step.
- If you’re sharing tips, you’ll need to share something new, like a new twist on an old method. This will keep the reader hooked, and they will be interested in any offer that shares even more new information.
Engage your reader on an emotional level and talk about their problem. Offer a part of the solution, with a hint that they will discover a complete solution in moments.
7. Show proof, experience, and credibility
You have to give people a reason to believe what you are saying. This is because people want to follow an authority on the subject. If they start seeing you as an authority, it will be much easier to get them to click on your links.
Here are three ways to demonstrate and establish your credibility and competence:
- Be sure of yourself. When providing information, share it with confidence. Use phrases like “Do this.” rather than weak phrases like “You probably can.”
- Enter your credentials. For example, you might say something like: “When I won my fiction award for best novel thriller last year.”
- Show the evidence. You could actually insert photos or other graphics that prove what you are saying. Or you could provide a case study of how someone else achieved great results using the methods you are teaching in the article.
8. Introduce the Solution
At this point, you have given your reader something useful, such as an overview of a process, advice, or something else to help him solve his problem. Now you need to introduce the rest of the solution, along with the benefits of this solution.
For example, let’s say you’re selling a low-fat cookbook. You could talk about the problem and then introduce the solution:
I don’t know about you, but one of the things I’ve always hated about diets is that the food was never very good. Who wants to eat only boiled rice and chicken breast for each meal?
Good news: now it is no longer necessary. Because now you can lose weight even while eating all your favorite foods – including chocolate cake!
We present to you. [here, you should enter the title along with the benefits as easy to prepare, cheap, and with a guaranteed taste]
9. Offer a strong call to action
If you have followed the steps above, then you have led your reader to the end of the article. And above all, the reader is very interested in this solution that you talked about.
Now is the time to drop a call to action along with a link in front of them. This is where you tell them what to do next and why they should do it.
For example, “Click here to download your copy of this cookbook – and do it now so you can have a delicious dish for tonight’s dinner!
10. Try and polish
You want to make your best impression, so put your post aside for a few days so you can look at it with fresh eyes. Then follow these tips:
- Read it aloud. This will help you catch the parts of your content that are disconnected or don’t read well.
- Ask someone else to proofread. They will catch mistakes, as you are probably too close to work to see them.
- Look for ways to make the content more engaging. Sometimes this is as simple as using different words. For example, instead of saying that something is “fast,” you could describe it as “fast as lightning.” This paints a picture in the reader’s mind and draws them into the content.
As you just discovered, writing an article and content that sells like crazy has very little to do with the technical side of writing, such as good grammar and spelling. Instead, it’s about knowing your audience, attracting them, and then leading them to your call to action. In a nutshell, you need to develop copywriting skills, one of the most sought-after vertical skills in the digital marketing world.
You now have a 10-step system that shows you exactly how to do this, so get to work today!
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