By Michael Killen of Sell Your Service.
Your blog posts can position, market and sell your website design/development service.
Who is this post for?
This post is for ANY website designer and developer who is unclear on the process of blogging. What does it do? How do it do it? How can it benefit me and provide value.
Blog posts are not designed to end in a sale. But with the right template,your business can be positioned as the expert in a very specialist field.
When you’re a specialist you generate more leads, simple.
I guarantee that at the end of this blog post, you will have a 8 step template that makes writing blog posts easier. It’ll also increase the leads you generate from those blog posts.
We’ve even got a free template for you to download at the end of the blog post, so all you have to do is fill the gaps.
The basic process we’re covering, is one of building trust. You’re trying to position yourself as an expert.
When you’re an expert, people WANT to buy. So how do you do that?
Attract a reader >> tell them something useful that they can use >> prove that you can provide value >> get their email address.
We do this by providing FREE information. Something that helps them and their business.
1. Start with the call to action.
What is the ONE thing that you need your readers to do? Do you need their email address? Are you offering something for it?
Map it out like below. Make it easy for them.
Arrive on post >> read article >> be impressed >> see e-book >> enter email address >> confirm newsletter subscription >> receive e-book.
For example, you know you want to grow your email database, so capturing emails is the goal.
You want more people who read your post, to give you their email address.
The easiest way to do this, is offer something at the end of the post. Offer an e-book, a cheat sheet, a check sheet. Something that will help the customer and provide value.
So how do I get their email?
Tell them what you want their email address for. It’s for your newsletter or promotion database.
You’ll never send them spam or sell their data. Let them know what they’re getting. Say that by signing up to your newsletter, they’ll get a free e-book on XYZ.
DON’T just whack a newsletter signup form at the bottom of the post and expect people to sign up.
Just by saying ‘do you want more stuff like this’ and having a capture form, you won’t get anything.
So, make sure you’ve got something to offer them at the end of the post. Have a signup form and make it attractive and valuable.
2. ‘How to’ headline.
Use a ‘how to’ headline. Something that is going to help your readers and that they’ll understand instantly.
‘How to sell more flowers via your florist website’ sounds compelling and shows value.
The ‘how to…’ headline is a super powerful headline. It grabs attention.
There are loads of variations-
- How to BENEFIT without HEADACHE. For example: How to GET MORE E-COMMERCE SALES without SPENDING HUNDREDS ON PPC
- How to BENEFIT in 5 easy steps. For example: How to get MORE TRAFFIC in 5 easy steps.
- How to BENEFIT just like INDUSTRY LEADER. For example: How to get more BLOG TRAFFIC AND FOLLOWERS just like CHEZ PIM
How to headlines are the easiest way to show off value. They quickly let the reader understand what they’re getting.
You need to provide something that makes their life better, fast.
3. Short headers, short sentences.
Break everything down. Nice sharp sentences, nice short headers. Better yet, bold the headers like we’ve done.
Take a look at Hollywood movies. The big blockbuster movies use short sentences and simple words. Your customers might not be idiots. But they don’t want to struggle to read anything.
Get to the point. I worked with a guy when I was in door to door sales, who could get sales just by giving bullet points.
The main reason that awesome content, that can help people, doesn’t get read, is because the reader gets bored.
If they’re bored the don’t read. If they don’t read they don’t know what you’re saying.
If they don’t get educated, you’re not positioned as an expert.
4. Each point, paragraph and sentence needs to be gold.
The old rule of thumb with copy, is write out what you want. Then half it. Then half it again.
Really if you can’t explain what something is in one sentence, you don’t understand it.
Well how much do I write?
There are ton’s of pros and cons to 1000 word+ posts. Or short and sharp posts. But the main objective is to position you as useful. If people get value out of what you’re saying, they’ll sell themselves to you.
However much you write, it needs to get your points across.
If you’re writing purely for SEO reasons, your content won’t get read. Simple as that. People come first. Help them and SEO will follow.
5. Break it up with sub-headings.
Notice how we’re using questions in bold? Breaking up the content like this allows the reader to pause.
It keeps the readers attention. You don’t have to use questions. It’s just the easiest format I know. Break it down into manageable chunks.
For an AWESOME look at how people have been writing content that sells, check out the Ogilvy & Mather Direct Ad # 4: “How To Create Advertising That Sells” blog post.
6. Use CAPTIONS on your images.
Here’s a bombshell. There is proof that images do and DON’T help your blog posts. Boom.
Most blogging experts and SEO guys will tell you that you NEED images. The truth is that there are hundreds of blogs that do well without them. There are also GREAT SEO benefits from using images,
But you’re providing information that can help someone. A few pretty stock photos might not do anything at all. Test your posts, use some with and some without.
Here’s another bombshell, images WITH captions are read more than anything. If you do use images, caption them. WordPress makes this SUPER easy.
Cracked.com does it all the time on all of their articles. And they have more readers than I’d know what to do with.
7. Links, but not as you know them.
Links man. Bane of my life. Back links, internal links, hyper links. So here’s the facts.
Links are incredibly useful for SEO. More than anything. A link to your site from another one is worth 100 SEO points.
Links from your site to another is worth 10 SEO points.
But as I’ve said before-
“Help people with good content and SEO will follow.”
We want links to stuff on OUR website. Also called internal links. The most important is of course to our CTA. The sign up form. But we also want to show off OUR stuff.
If you provide one mega obvious link, let it open in a new window. Make sure it goes through to ANOTHER awesome post with the same CTA.
Your reader wants to know ‘The 5 secrets to social media followers’ and you also mention ‘HEY TAKE A LOOK AT OUR SWIPE FILE ON SOCIAL FOLLOWERS’.
You are cramming them with value and they’ll love it.#