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How to make your blog posts convert into sales

How to make blog posts convert

I started my career in digital marketing over 14 years ago, and in that time, I’ve grown more than 10 blogs to the 100K (and above) monthly visitors mark. But growing a blog audience and converting them into customers are two different things. A large but unfocused audience isn’t necessarily going to buy into your products or services. That’s why you need a well-defined niche and clearly-targeted blog posts to attract the right audience that can convert and become long-time customers.

While there are some best practices to follow in creating blog posts that convert, there is no exact science to it. And I’ve noticed that other marketers struggle to figure out how to create the right type of content that converts for their business. That’s why I wanted to share Quuu’s recent #Qchat on “How to make your blog posts convert into sales” to dig into what other business owners and marketers are doing. I’ve put together some of the best answers below, based on the questions in our engaging chat.

I hope you find plenty of actionable advice for making your own blog posts convert into sales.

What role does your blog play in your sales funnel?

Your sales funnel helps create trust and credibility with your audience, and a quality blog feeds into that funnel. Creating well-researched and compelling content is also a way to attract attention from influencers. And once you’ve nurtured those relationships, it’s easier to ask influencers to share your content on their social media channels with their audience, and give your credibility a boost.

Wade Stewart understands that building a sales funnel that actually converts requires positioning yourself as an expert and building the right connections from the start:

David Hartshorne takes a similar approach, but looks at his list as a way to accomplish several goals:

A sales funnel to qualify leads is also important if you’re trying to get clients to hire you for a service like consulting or freelancing. These prospects will get a better understanding of what you offer and the value you provide just from reading your blog:

What kind of content should you create to drive conversions on your blog?

Some best practices for creating high-converting blog posts include using a killer headline, original graphics and video testimonials. But it can vary depending on your strengths, the audience you’re trying to attract, and the type of blog you’re creating.

Another part of creating blog posts that convert is all about how well you understand your audience and define your niche. Amy Murnan and Hans van Gent had simple but insightful answers:

I thought this next answer, also from Hans van Gent, was really helpful. He approaches content marketing as the problem he’s solvingor the experience he’s creating for his audiencethrough the content he’s actually creating.

How can you use CTAs effectively on your blog?

Using a call to action (CTA) shouldn’t necessarily be a one-time occurrence. You may need to use them several times (and try several different types) to see what works best for your audience and figure out how they respond to your content. It’s also wise to think about where and how often to place them to make sure you catch your audience at the right time.

Above all else, your CTA should match up with a clear set of goals for your business, whether you’re trying to qualify leads or grow your online presence. You should also keep these goals in mind every time you’re contacting your email list.

Amy Murnan offered some good advice about not overwhelming readers with an overly-obvious CTA:

Another tip for using a CTA effectively:

Is gated content still the only way to build an email list?

Gating content is still an effective way to entice opt-ins for valuable content. But it’s not the only way to do it. And as a marketer, strictly focusing on gated content could distract you from other ways to grow your email list.

Here’s how LJ Sedgwick and David Hartshorne responded:

One suggestion is to ungate and update your most valuable content, using a content upgrade at the end with additional value to entice more sign-ups. You can also guest post on authority sites to entice traffic back to your site and attract more leads.

Hans van Gent warned against the pitfalls of leaning exclusively on gated content to build a list:

Once you’ve built an email list, how should you utilize it?

While I’ve created plenty of successful sales funnels, one thing that’s different about mine is what I do after I acquire a customer. I call this post-acquisition marketing. I’m interested in nurturing the clients I already have to drum up repeat business. Relationship building isn’t something enough people focus on, but it’s where I spend 40%-50% of my time.

Not everyone’s approach to email marketing is the same, and other business owners and marketers may focus on converting leads into customers more than anything else. That could work well for your business if you’re just starting out.

But like participant Louis Vermeulen suggests, you need to focus on consistency and frequency when building any kind of list. You can figure this out by A/B testing your own results to see what keeps your opt-ins high and unsubscribes low:

Is it possible to use pop-ups without annoying your readers?

Pop-ups are an interruption, though they aren’t necessarily a negative distraction. They could prompt the reader to validate that the content is useful to them and spur them into action to opt-in:

While Lauren at Quuu thinks readers who enjoyed the content need that prompt to sign up when they exit, John Walsh has a different approach:

Pop-ups are effective, but there are other ways to grab people’s attention without them which may actually convert better for you:

Hans van Gent sums up this question really well, and his insights can be applied to just about any industry:

Ultimately, how effective pop-ups are just depends on your audience. They might have great results for some marketers, but not for others.

Are there any quick fixes you can use to achieve quality conversions, or should it be a long-term process?

There are no shortcuts to creating amazing content and value, and I don’t think there’s a minimum amount of time required for quality conversions. It really depends on how much time you’re putting into the process and how well-defined your niche and related content are.

However, there are ways you can hyper-focus on the quality of who is signing up and converting. The #Qchat audience picked up on this and shared their thoughts:

Matt from Quuu agreed with LJ Sedgwick, but takes the approach a step further:

I love David Hartshorne’s response here. He goes deep with the idea of content creation and finds a way to convert to quality leads:

I thought the #Qchat participants were on the right track with their thoughts on how to make blog posts convert. I also highly recommend taking a more proactive approach to post-acquisition marketing, as I discussed above.

I’ve said this before, but what really matters with blog post creation and conversion are the needs of your users. Focus on what they need to know to solve their problems, and create the kind of content that will delight them.

How would you answer the questions above? Leave me your responses in the comments below.

Sujan is the leading expert in digital marketing. He is the co-founder of Web Profits, a growth marketing agency, and a partner in a handful of software companies including Mailshake, Narrow.io, Quuu, and Linktexting.com  Between his consulting practice and his software companies, Sujan’s goal is to help entrepreneurs and marketers scale their businesses.    

Sujan Patel

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