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10+ Powerful Sales Concepts For Blogging Success

10+ Powerful Sales Concepts For Blogging Success
Sales

Selling Subscriptions to Your Blog

If you’re giving away subscriptions for free, why is it so hard to get subscribers? Well, because there is a cost to subscribing, and the cost is in the form of people’s most valuable currency, time. If you want more RSS subscribers to your blog, then you will need to sell those subscriptions. How do you do that? Simple. You use the same sales principles that any good salesperson needs to employ. Here they are:

1. Sales are Achieved Through Meeting People’s Needs

This is the core task you must achieve. Everything should center around this hub. What are the needs of your target audience? What kind of content do they need: interesting, useful, inspiring, thoughtful, humorous, entertaining, etc? Are you increasing their productivity, helping them make money, save moeny, laugh, feel good, feel excited, and finding them valuable resources? Figure out what your target audience wants and make sure that your content delivers on meeting those needs.


2. People Buy Based on Feelings not Rational Thoughts

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When it comes down to a final purchase of a product, after all the research, people usually go with their gut feeling. Their decision will often boil down to what “feels right.” When it comes to subscribing to a blog, how do you make that decision? Do you find that it is just automatic? You get the feeling of “I want to see more of this” and you just click on that orange button. How can you make your audience feel that way too? Find a way to make them FEEL like they can’t live without your blog. How? The simplest way is with great writing.

3. Ask for the Sale

Oftentimes a sale is lost simply because the seller didn’t ask for the sale. The buyer likes the product, likes the salesperson, but is ambivalent about taking action. Are you asking your readers to subscribe? How? Is it in a place on your blog where readers will “hear it” or is there too much “noise” elsewhere and they miss it? Make sure you’re being heard by clearing out any “visual noise” that is getting in the way of your message.

4. Ask For Referrals

Are you graciously asking for a “referrals” in the form of social bookmarking and emailing to friends? What ways could you be more creative about this? Do you offer an incentive? Are you able to personalize it, such as in replies to your readers’ comments? What would make you want to refer a site? What could an author do to entice you? Test something new. Asking for and receiving referrals will gain you more readers and subscribers in the long run.

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5. It’s a Numbers Game:

Sales is a game of perseverance. In some ways it is kind of like certain aspects of the Survivor show, in that personal drive to win is a big factor in winning. Do you have the tenacity to stick with it during the “lean” times of low subscribers? By staying disciplined, always striving to improve and meet your readers needs, over time you will gain more readers. Stick with it! If your numbers are really going nowhere for a long time, then seek out feedback from your readers, and guidance from other bloggers whom you respect.

6. Networking is King

Sales people spend a lot of time at conferences, golfing, and at networking mixers all in the name of building business (and having fun too). Bloggers also need to network for the purpose of building a readership and also learning from others. Of course there are many ways to network online such as MyBlogLog, BlogCatalog, StumbleUpon, Digg, Delicious, and many more that are springing up all the time. Then there is commenting on blogs and forums, and emailing and IM’ing fellow bloggers. Just like traditional sales networking, it’s important to know what your goal is and stay focused on that. Don’t be the one who got totally drunk at the conference and was too hung over to really learn anything. Have fun, but remember what you are trying to accomplish.

7. SW³: Some Will, Some Won’t, So What!

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Some will like your blog and some won’t. Don’t let it get you down. Stay upbeat and positive. Keep focusing on writing to meet your readers’ needs. Follow your instinct. I read once that if you don’t get dissenting comments at some point, then you are not doing it right. Slow and steady wins the race.

8. People Like to Buy from Positive People

What is the tone of your blog? Is it positive or negative or neutral? You’re more likely to attract readers if there is something positive going on at your site. I’m not saying that you can’t have dark material or negative content. Some readers are looking for heavier subjects. But if they can still walk away with a good feeling then they will want to return. Think about blogs in your genre and what kind of culture they have there. What do you want your culture to be, and how can you make it a positive experience for your readers?

9. People Like to Buy Things That are Shiny, New and Sparkly

If you’re not improving you’re falling behind. I heard that once. I didn’t like it. But it’s true. You need to always be prepared to adjust to the times or your readers’ interest or to new technologies. You need to stay on top of your field. Does anything on your site need updating or improving? Ask a few people you trust to give you the brutal truth, and then take some action on comments you hear from multiple sources.

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10. If I Trust You, I Will Buy from You

Trust is built over time. Are you consistent in your writing, in your opinions? Take notice of whether you give different opinions from one day to the next on a particular topic. This doesn’t mean that you can’t adapt over time, but when you do change opinions you acknowledge that fact and explain why. Trust is also built by consistency in your posting frequency. Do you follow through with promises you make to your readers, such as future posts or followup on questions? Make sure your readers can count on you. They are watching more carefully than you think.

BONUS: #11. The Price is Right – not necessarily the lowest, but the fairest with respect to the value.

The longer your posts are and the more frequently you write, the more “expensive” your subscription is to a reader. Make sure that the value you provide is commensurate with these two aspects of your blog. How do you figure that out? Here’s one way: when you consider writing each post imagine the top blog that you know of in your field which has thousands of subscribers, and ask yourself “Would I be comfortable submitting this as a guest post on that blog?” If not, then go back to the drawing board. Ask yourself what makes you click on a story, and then try to emulate those types of articles.

What do you think are the success principles for selling blog subscriptions? Please share your thoughts!

K. Stone is author of Life Learning Today, a blog about daily life improvements. A few of her most popular articles are 7 Easy Ways to Improve Your Financial Life, Make Money with Your Blog: The Ultimate Resource List, 3 Tips to Landing the Job You Want, and 5 Big Secrets “They” Don’t Want You to Know About Investing.

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The Gentle Art of Saying No

The Gentle Art of Saying No

No!

It’s a simple fact that you can never be productive if you take on too many commitments — you simply spread yourself too thin and will not be able to get anything done, at least not well or on time.

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But requests for your time are coming in all the time — through phone, email, IM or in person. To stay productive, and minimize stress, you have to learn the Gentle Art of Saying No — an art that many people have problems with.

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What’s so hard about saying no? Well, to start with, it can hurt, anger or disappoint the person you’re saying “no” to, and that’s not usually a fun task. Second, if you hope to work with that person in the future, you’ll want to continue to have a good relationship with that person, and saying “no” in the wrong way can jeopardize that.

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But it doesn’t have to be difficult or hard on your relationship. Here are the Top 10 tips for learning the Gentle Art of Saying No:

  1. Value your time. Know your commitments, and how valuable your precious time is. Then, when someone asks you to dedicate some of your time to a new commitment, you’ll know that you simply cannot do it. And tell them that: “I just can’t right now … my plate is overloaded as it is.”
  2. Know your priorities. Even if you do have some extra time (which for many of us is rare), is this new commitment really the way you want to spend that time? For myself, I know that more commitments means less time with my wife and kids, who are more important to me than anything.
  3. Practice saying no. Practice makes perfect. Saying “no” as often as you can is a great way to get better at it and more comfortable with saying the word. And sometimes, repeating the word is the only way to get a message through to extremely persistent people. When they keep insisting, just keep saying no. Eventually, they’ll get the message.
  4. Don’t apologize. A common way to start out is “I’m sorry but …” as people think that it sounds more polite. While politeness is important, apologizing just makes it sound weaker. You need to be firm, and unapologetic about guarding your time.
  5. Stop being nice. Again, it’s important to be polite, but being nice by saying yes all the time only hurts you. When you make it easy for people to grab your time (or money), they will continue to do it. But if you erect a wall, they will look for easier targets. Show them that your time is well guarded by being firm and turning down as many requests (that are not on your top priority list) as possible.
  6. Say no to your boss. Sometimes we feel that we have to say yes to our boss — they’re our boss, right? And if we say “no” then we look like we can’t handle the work — at least, that’s the common reasoning. But in fact, it’s the opposite — explain to your boss that by taking on too many commitments, you are weakening your productivity and jeopardizing your existing commitments. If your boss insists that you take on the project, go over your project or task list and ask him/her to re-prioritize, explaining that there’s only so much you can take on at one time.
  7. Pre-empting. It’s often much easier to pre-empt requests than to say “no” to them after the request has been made. If you know that requests are likely to be made, perhaps in a meeting, just say to everyone as soon as you come into the meeting, “Look guys, just to let you know, my week is booked full with some urgent projects and I won’t be able to take on any new requests.”
  8. Get back to you. Instead of providing an answer then and there, it’s often better to tell the person you’ll give their request some thought and get back to them. This will allow you to give it some consideration, and check your commitments and priorities. Then, if you can’t take on the request, simply tell them: “After giving this some thought, and checking my commitments, I won’t be able to accommodate the request at this time.” At least you gave it some consideration.
  9. Maybe later. If this is an option that you’d like to keep open, instead of just shutting the door on the person, it’s often better to just say, “This sounds like an interesting opportunity, but I just don’t have the time at the moment. Perhaps you could check back with me in [give a time frame].” Next time, when they check back with you, you might have some free time on your hands.
  10. It’s not you, it’s me. This classic dating rejection can work in other situations. Don’t be insincere about it, though. Often the person or project is a good one, but it’s just not right for you, at least not at this time. Simply say so — you can compliment the idea, the project, the person, the organization … but say that it’s not the right fit, or it’s not what you’re looking for at this time. Only say this if it’s true — people can sense insincerity.

Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

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