Blogging creates relationships. From a psychological standpoint, it puts readers in the proper mood to buy.
Your blog creates a positive mental frame through which people will view their first entry into your sales process.
In other words, you want the reader to see you in the absolute best light possible when they finally meet up with any direct attempt to convert them into a client or customer. Your blog posts (especially over time) can alter the perception that a reader has of your sales pitch, especially compared to if that same person saw the pitch cold.
I think you’ll agree that this is fairly straight forward. So, after a reasonable amount of time, you should sneak in a “sales post” and watch the cash come in, right?
Your blog posts are designed to inform, and interact with, your readers. Start pitching them in your posts and they’ll likely leave.
That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be applying copywriting techniques in your posts, because you should… to build traffic, subscriptions, authority, credibility and loyalty.
Blog posts are NOT designed to sell your end product or service. In this regard, you should treat your posts as sacred ground, too valuable to sacrifice for a few (if any) sales.
Travel on Different Ground
This is why you need to take readers “off road” (outside of the day-to-day posting environment) into a new space that is more conducive to introducing your product or service. In the parlance of permission marketing, you need to get the reader to become a prospect by “raising their hand” in order to find out more.
How do you go off road?
Well, I couldn’t think of a four-wheel drive metaphor that wasn’t cheesy. So let’s just play it straight:
Add additional value through free reports, ebooks, tele-seminars, email & RSS mini-courses.
In the realm of information marketing, these vehicles make for some of the most effective selling tools around. Entire business models have centered around free tutorials loaded with relevant affiliate links.
They work just as well with your own product or service.
How About an Example?
I just ran across a post on Yaro Starak’s excellent Entrepreneur’s Journey blog today that demonstrates one way to use this technique. After smartly asking for reader feedback about his idea for a new product he has been thinking about creating, Yaro follows up regarding the results and creates a separate email list for people interested in learning more about the upcoming product.
This is one good example on how to go off road on a permission marketing basis (although I might add an RSS option for the email leery). How well Yaro converts that list into paid customers remains to be seen, but of course I have a few ideas on how it should be done.
Can you make sales by just blogging and nothing else? Absolutely. But I can guarantee that you won’t sell as much without taking the time to highlight the benefits of your product or service (mixed with a dash of persuasion and a compelling offer) in a concentrated, context-appropriate fashion.
We’ll return to this topic often, because it’s obviously crucial to your bottom line. Plus, emerging developments will make RSS feeds crucial tools in the process.
Subscribe to Copyblogger to stay tuned.