This is the second part of “7 Keys to Attract More Buyers Online.” In Lesson 1, you learned the Magnetic New Marketing mindset, which is more about giving than selling.
Today, you’re going to learn about your first attraction tool: your blog.
If you’ve been marketing online for some time, you probably already have a blog. That’s great. In this lesson, you’ll get ideas to help you make your blog a stronger magnet for attracting prospects, customers and even joint venture partners.
First, let’s talk about why your business needs a blog. The short answer is, a blog – particularly a WordPress blog – is an awesome attraction tool because it:
A new blog is created and published online every few seconds. However, that doesn’t mean every blogger knows what they’re doing. In fact, many business blogs underperform as buyer attractors. That’s because most entrepreneurs don’t know how to maximize their blogs for business success.
Here are a few of the most common repelling mistakes I’ve observed in business blogs:
When a reader arrives on your blog, you only have a few seconds to give them a good reason to stay. He’ll decide whether to read farther or click away by what your promise on your site – through your blog header, your blog title and sub-title, and the title of your main content. If it isn’t what they want, or they can’t even figure out what it is you have, exactly, they’re going to go to the next blog.
Make sure your Unique Selling Proposition comes across loud and clear to any reader who lands on your blog. What, you don’t have a USP yet? Then it’s time for you to make one.
Your blog has one function: to entice readers to give you permission to keep communicating with them.
Sure, you may sell your products and services through your blog – and that would be nice – but that’s not the main purpose of your blog. Most people aren’t going to your blog ready to buy from you. No, more likely, they’re looking for specific information because something’s been bugging them and they want it to stop already. Or maybe you interacted somewhere online, like on Twitter, and they’re checking you out, deciding whether you’re worth their time and attention or not.
Prove to them that you are. Everything you put on your blog should support this objective. Fill your blog with shining examples of your brilliance – not dozens of banners for affiliate products.
Blog readers have become more sophisticated than they were before. Everybody’s email inbox is overflowing, so it’s not enough anymore to offer “free updates” to get somebody to give you their email address. You need to offer them something valuable in exchange for their email address, something you wouldn’t be ashamed of charging money for. We’ll be discussing how to engage with your subscribers in a future lesson, so hang on.
For now, all you need to know is that your blog should have an opt-in box for readers to get on your mailing list, and it should promise something cool.
Remember what I said earlier about your readers wanting information when they arrive? If they don’t find that information easily, they’ll quickly click away and you’ve lost them forever. Help them find the gems you offer by having a well-organized navigation bar, and a useful sidebar.
Make sure you display your post categories and popular posts. You can easily do this by using widgets on your blog sidebar. Don’t forget to include a search bar as well.
And while they’re there, invite them to read more by linking to related posts and pages they might also be interested in. There are tons of WordPress plugins available so that related posts are automatically displayed at the end of each post. My favorite is LinkWithin. I’ve also used Yet Another Related Posts Plugin and WordPress Related Posts.
Make your posts more seductive in appearance. Use at least one photo per post, to make it more enticing. You can find good, free, creative commons picture on Flickr. Also, make your posts easy on the eyes and a pleasure to read. Avoid long blocks of text; break them up into shorter paragraphs (English composition rules don’t apply here). Use sub-headers, lists and bullet points to make your content easy to scan.
When it comes to blogging, publishing fresh, new content frequently is your top priority. Remember, your blog is your platform to showcase your gift, your expertise. Stay on top of your niche (I’ll share online tools for doing that in a future lesson), and be a reporter for trends you spot. Be bold and share your opinions, even if you think they may be controversial. Be informed, be interesting, be relevant.
Another repellant I see in many business blogs is having too many links out of the blog. I already mentioned that filling your blog with affiliate banners is a no-no for a business blog. You’ll be sacrificing small affiliate income for a long-term relationship with your readers, which is potentially much more rewarding than a referral commission.
A better place for affiliate links is in the text of your posts, where they are naturally relevant. For example, in this post, I write about how I increased the opt-in rate in one of my niche sites. Towards the bottom of the post, I mention the plugin I used and published an affiliate link to it. That’s a natural, non-jarring place for an affiliate link.
Another way to add affiliate links on your site is to set up a page for products and services you recommend.
There you have it, seven areas to watch out for to make sure your blog is as magnetic – and sticky – as it can be.
Watch out for the next lesson in a few days, where we’ll be talking about the second main component of Magnetic New Marketing. If you’ve been paying attention, you should be able to guess what it is. Let’s see if you get it right.
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