General Marketing Tips
How to Build a Profitable Blog That Lasts Forever
Back before Google became a virtual zoo full of penguins and pandas SEO was king of the jungle. This resulted in a number of blogs (probably most of them) focusing heavily on search engine ranks rather than what’s important… content and sales.
It was so easy to release the SEO article flood-gates and syndicate your content to all the article networks, web 2.0 properties and other various directories. If you could churn out content which focused heavily on back-linking and SEO-heavy copy then you stood a grand chance of outranking even the major authority sites for practically any keyword you desired!
Those days are gone now… mostly.
The focus has since shifted and that’s not necessarily a bad thing- here’s why.
You Can’t Focus on SEO & Killer Copy
It’s either one or the other, that’s it.
You do need SEO to start a blog and make money or use your blog to get into affiliate marketing. Sure you had a massive flood of content out there pouring gallons upon gallons of “link juice” all over everything the eye could see, but at a heavy price.
When you’ve got tons of traffic but minimal conversions, retention rates and most important of all… sales! You’ve got a problem. The dawn of the Google Zoo was a blessing in disguise for those who were capable of adapting and a curse for those who could not.
Getting MORE From Less
I’ll keep it simple with you. If you want to learn how to squeeze every last cent from the traffic you’re already getting you want to hang out around the PPC (pay per click) advertisers.
Though it’s true that nothing is for free, you either pay up front with cash or in the end with time, you always wind up paying somehow. Organic traffic has the potential to bring tons of traffic if you manage to get ranked high enough but then you have to always be on top of the game and maintain that position through constant work.
On the other side, if you throw down some money in exchange for a spot on the page somewhere in the form of an ad you get more visible exposure at the monetary cost of hard earned cash.
When you’re lying down money for advertising space it’s no doubt you’ll do everything within your power to squeeze every cent out of that traffic that you possibly can. This is where blogging for profit really shines.
Being a Neutral 3rd Party is Good
Gone are the days when the consumer would take the word of the advertiser when making purchasing decisions. Now they have all the information they need right at their fingertips and you best believe they will and do use it!
With aps such as the Amazon barcode scanner, various coupon and “special deals” aggregators, ebay and the like it’s so simple for anybody to just look something up, find a bunch of reviews and make a very well-informed buying decision. This is where you and your blog come in.
By being a completely neutral 3rd party source of information and advice you can point the buyer in the direction they aim to go and make money no matter which direction they choose. All it would take is for you to provide them with a variety of options, all based around a similar product they’re looking for and even if they choose to go with a different yet related product from their original choice you still make an affiliate sale.
If you set this up right you basically can’t lose!!!
This article (and myself) aren’t necessarily advocating any specific form of traffic generation. If you prefer to go the SEO rout with organic traffic then that is totally fine. It’s also completely cool if you like to pay for instant traffic and see quick results.
Just to help some of you out who are reading this and do like to go the organic traffic way…
I present to you a few helpful keywords to splice together with whichever product(s) you may be promoting at any given moment.
- Best (insert product/service name here)
- How to (insert idea/method/technique, etc here)
- (insert idea/method/technique,etc here) tutorial
- What is (insert desired product/service or idea here)
- (insert product/service name here) review
- “something for something” (example: the best autoresponder for email marketing)
- “something vs something” (same as above only using “vs” instead of “for”)
The above words are just examples to get you in the right direction. Performing a simple search on Google around this idea would lead you to many more ideas you can borrow from to compile even more helpful keyword combinations.
The Seven-Step Solution
Story telling & qualification
Too many other blogs and webpages out there are already jumping off the bat with a call to action in an attempt to jerk the buyer in a specific direction- don’t do that.
People’s filters have gotten very sophisticated in recent years so it’s up to you to stand out from the crowd by being genuine and honest. Start your article off with something fun and light, make it personable and tell a story or share your opinions on the matter at hand. Relate to your reader on a more personable level and they’ll be far more inclined to keep on reading to see what else you have to say.
You don’t need to write a book about it so to speak, but a quick and quirky introduction to the subject matter over the span of just a paragraph or two will do the job nicely.
Call attention to the issue at hand
Now that introductions are out of the way it’s time to call attention to the issue at hand and lead your reader by the hand down the road to redemption and satisfaction by demonstrating your knowledge of the issue and illustrating you know the way.
You want your reader to take action, spark emotion by lighting a fire under them in a way which will force them to pick a side, make a decision right now!
If you don’t spark that passion within your reader all they’re going to do is read what you say and not act on it. This isn’t going to accomplish a darn thing for them or you. We want a sale and they want to buy something otherwise they wouldn’t be looking at what you have to say. Remember, they came to you for information to help them make a wise buying decision so help them.
Construct the ideal solution first
I know it’s tempting to jump right to the selling but that’s not the optimal path to take- not yet.
Touch on some of the more important features your reader should be looking for. Go over those little details that most would overlook but want should they be made aware of it… and making them aware is just what you’re doing in this step.
Point out all the benefits they’ll receive if they simply say “yes” to this thing, whatever it is. Run down a check list if you have one of all the cool stuff the product offers. Make quick and snappy micro presentations to help really drill those positive feelings into your reader’s mind so when it actually does come time for the selling your job will be halfway done for you already.
List off all the cool features and benefits they’ll get and pin it to some imaginary thing, then say something clever like “if only something like that actually existed, all our problems would be solved for good.”
Sharing previous successes by others
This part is essentially testimonials but done in such a way it “ego-baits” your prospect while instilling a sense of wanting to catch up with the crowd.
This is a very powerful step in the overall process of constructing an article which both helps the prospect and converts. By sharing the success of others with your reader and actually demonstrating either by actual testimonials or through detailed stories which just share an account of someone’s success, you are effectively setting the reader up for eagerness. People want to share in the good fortune so if you can help them see that the product you’re writing about helps those who actually buy and use it then you’ve done your part in making your reader feel ready to join the club.
Case studies help… a lot
It probably makes a lot of sense to say that when you can show someone the before & after of whatever it is they’re looking for they’ll be more inclined to buy. People want to see that the thing “just works” and that it’s already been proven to work in the past. This is sometimes referred to as (results by proxy) and it’s used when you want to put undeniable proof in front of your readers in an attempt to say “hey, this thing works and here’s proof!”
I should mention that this is where you’ll want to start incorporating links to your offer, and not before it. By this point your reader should have formulated a scenario in their mind of them enjoying the product you’re describing. They’ll want to reap the rewards just as they’ve seen other’s do and they want to do it now. If you’ve taken the necessary steps up to this point to illustrate just what the product can do for them in such a way that they simply can’t see themselves not buying it then you’ve done your job.
Show the step-by-step solution in action
If it’s possible to actually show real world proof that this thing works then your reader will practically try forcing you to take their money in exchange for whatever they’re looking for, provided you’re not pushing a junk product (never do that) or straight up lying to them… don’t do this either.
Record yourself and upload it to YouTube or share recordings of others who have already implemented the thing with success. When people can see it in motion and know that it worked for someone else, when it’s right there in front of their eyes they will convince themselves they’ve made the right choice and simply want to buy the darn thing.
This is why you’ll see so many videos all over YouTube of people demonstrating “live” whatever it is they’re trying to sell or promote. It simply works and it works well!
Anytime you make mention of the thing you’re promoting you should link to it. This will be the stage you’ll tend to see the most conversions so take full advantage of it… just don’t spam the heck out of your paragraphs with a link to the thing over and over- a handful of times will suffice.
Review, reinforce, and then make a call to action
By now the mass majority of those who are going to follow through and make the purchase will have already clicked through your link in the previous section of your post and they’re well on their way to happiness & satisfaction… hopefully, provided you’re promoting something of genuine value.
For those few stragglers left remaining it’s up to your final stand to either send them running or bite the bullet in a manner of speaking.
Put a blunt-force call to action in this final section; this is where we make or break the sale. If you’ve got a big shiny button to put on the page this is where it goes- the bigger, brighter and shiner the better! Make that call to action so darn obvious they can’t help but know without a shadow of a doubt that they are meant to hurry up and buy what they’ve been searching for or move along without it and all the benefits it will bring them.
That’s it! Your final call to action should be the very last thing they see so there is no question what they’re supposed to do now.
Speaking of calls to action…
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