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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 founder of Life Learning Today, a blog that's dedicated to life improvement tips.

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Last Updated on May 22, 2020

What Makes a Good Leader: 9 Critical Leadership Qualities

What Makes a Good Leader: 9 Critical Leadership Qualities

The word “leader” makes you think of people in charge, high-ranking people: your boss, politicians, presidents, CEOs…

But leadership really isn’t about a particular position or a person’s seniority. Just because someone has worked for many years doesn’t mean s/he has gained the qualities and skills to lead a team.

Getting promoted to a managerial position doesn’t automatically turn you into a leader either. CEOs and other high-ranking officials don’t always have great leadership skills.

So what makes a good leader? What are the characteristics of a leader?

Good leadership is about acquiring and honing specific skills. Leadership skills enable you to be a role model for a team in any environment. With great leadership qualities, successful leaders come in all shapes and sizes: in the home, at school, or in the workplace.

The following are some of the many characteristics great leaders exhibit.

1. A Positive Attitude

Great leaders know that they won’t have a happy and motivated team unless they themselves exhibit a positive attitude. This can be done by remaining positive when things go wrong and by creating a relaxed and happy atmosphere in the workplace.

Even some simple things like providing snacks or organizing a team Happy Hour can make a world of difference. An added perk is that team members are likely to work harder and do overtime when needed if they’re happy and appreciated.

Even in the worst situations, such as experiencing low team morale or team members having made a big mistake at work, a great leader stays positive and figures out ways to keep the team motivated to solve the problems.

Walt Disney had his share of hardships and challenges, and like any great leader, he managed to stay positive and find new opportunities. In 1928, Disney found that his film producer, Charles Mintz, wanted to reduce his payments for the Oswald series. Mintz threatened to cut ties entirely if Disney didn’t accept his terms, and Disney chose to part ways. But in leaving Oswald, Disney decided to create something new: the iconic Mickey Mouse[1].

The key is to break down huge challenges into smaller ones and find ways to tackle them one by one.

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Think about the lessons you can learn from the mistake and jot them down because sometimes you win, and sometimes you learn.

2. Confidence

All great leaders have to exhibit an air of confidence if they’re going to succeed. Please don’t confuse this with self-satisfaction and arrogance. You want people to look up to you for inspiration, not so they can punch you in the face.

Confidence is important because people will be looking to you on how to behave, particularly if things aren’t going 100% right. If you remain calm and poised, team members are far more likely to as well. As a result, morale and productivity will remain high, and the problem will be solved more quickly.

If you panic and give up, they will know immediately and things will simply go downhill from there.

Elon Musk is a great example of a leader with confidence. He truly believes that Tesla will be successful, which he has shown many times through his actions. He converted 532,000 stock options at $6.63 each, their value on Dec. 4, 2009, before Tesla went public. It was a hefty bargain considering Tesla’s stock price stood at around $195 per share at that time. He doesn’t apologize for his beliefs and has drawn fire from just about everyone for his political actions.

You can’t instantly become a very confident person, but all the small things you do every day will gradually make you more confident:

  • List 5 things you like about yourself every day (something different every day), and you’ll appreciate yourself more.
  • Work on your strengths and do your best to enhance them.

3. A Sense of Humor

It’s imperative for any kind of leader to have a sense of humor, particularly when things go wrong. And they will.

Your team members are going to be looking to you for how to react in a seemingly dire situation. It would probably be best if you weren’t stringing up a noose for yourself in the corner. You need to be able to laugh things off because if staff morale goes down, so will productivity.

Establish this environment prior to any kind of meltdown by encouraging humor and personal discussions in the workplace.

As a president, Barack Obama exuded confidence and calm during stressful situations. But he was also known for his “dad jokes,”[2] his genuinely funny speeches at the White House Correspondents’ Dinner, and appearing on Zack Galifianakis’s Between Two Ferns.[3] Obama’s sense of humor made him grounded, realistic, and honest, which no doubt helped during some tense moments in the White House!

Learn to laugh at yourself. Confident people laugh about their own silly mistakes, and when you do this, others will also trust you more because you’re willing to share your experiences.

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Be observant and learn from the jokes others make. You can also get a lot of inspiration from the internet.

4. Ability to Embrace Failure

No matter how hard you try to avoid it, failures will happen; that’s okay. You just need to know how to deal with them.

Great leaders take them in strides. They remain calm and logically think through the situation and utilize their resources. What they don’t do is fall apart and reveal to their team how worried they are, which leads to negative morale, fear, and binge-drinking under desks.

Great leaders do, in fact, lead, even when they’re faced with setbacks.

Henry Ford experienced a major setback after designing and improving the Ford Quadricycle. He founded the Detroit Automobile Company in 1899, but the resulting cars they produced did not live up to his standards and were too expensive. The company dissolved in 1901. Ford took this in stride and formed the Henry Ford Company. The sales were slow and the company had financial problems; it wasn’t until 1903 that the Ford Motor Company was successful and put the Ford on the map.

Get to the root cause of any problem so you can prevent it from happening again and learn from the mistake.

By asking “why” 5 times (or more) on why something happened, you can find out the key factor that caused the problem and can find the best solution to tackle the problem.

You’ll also learn how to prevent this from happening again in the future after finding out a problem’s root cause.

5. Careful Listening and Feedback

This is far more complex than it actually sounds. Good communication skills are essential for a great leader. You may very well understand the cave of crazy that is your brain, but that doesn’t mean that you can adequately take the ideas out of it and explain them to someone else.

The best leaders need to be able to communicate clearly with the people around them. They also need to be able to interpret other people properly and not take what they say personally.

The Dalai Lama, as a symbol of the unification of the state of Tibet, represents and practices Buddhist values. The Dalai Lama’s leadership is benevolent and aims toward truth and understanding, alongside the other Buddhist precepts. This is a great example for all leaders: if you want to give good directions to others, you have to get feedback from others to understand the situation properly.

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Encourage communication between team members and establish an open door policy.

Practice not interrupting team members when they’re talking. Instead, summarize what they say and ask for feedback after you have talked about your ideas.

6. Knowing How and When to Delegate

No matter how much you might want to, you can’t actually do everything yourself. Even if you could, in a team environment that would be a terrible idea anyway.

Good leaders recognize that delegation does more than simply alleviate their own stress levels (although that’s obviously a nice perk). Delegating to others shows that you have confidence in their abilities, which subsequently results in higher morale in the workplace, as well as loyalty from your staff. They want to feel appreciated and trusted.

Although Steve Jobs was known for focusing in on the smallest of details, he knew how to delegate. By finding, cultivating, and trusting capable team members, Jobs was able to make Apple run smoothly, even when he had to be absent for extended periods of time.

To know when and how to delegate work to team members, you have to be very familiar with each of them:

  • List out all of their strengths, weaknesses, and personalities.
  • Talk with your team members more to know about their passion and interests.

Take a look at this guide and learn more about delegation: How to Delegate Work Effectively (The Definitive Guide for Leaders)

7. Growth Mindset

Any good leader knows how important it is to develop the skills of those around them. The best can recognize those skills early on. Not only will development make work easier as they improve and grow, it will also foster morale. In addition, they may develop some skills that you don’t possess that will be beneficial to the workplace.

Great leaders share their knowledge with the team and give them the opportunity to achieve. This is how leaders gain their respect and loyalty.

Pope Francis has been unusually popular with many Catholics and many non-Catholics. His position isn’t totally traditional, which is part of his appeal, but he also has admirable leadership skills. Pope Francis’s TED talk[4] drew attention because he encouraged leaders to be humble and to demonstrate solidarity with others. This inclusive, kind, and respectful style of leadership is incredibly important for any situation.

It’s important to spend time talking with other team members individually to understand them.

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Find out team members’ current challenges and try to give feedback and encouragement so they will grow and do better.

8. Responsibility

Great leaders know that when it comes to their company, work place or whatever situation they’re in, they need to take personal responsibility for failure. How can they expect employees to hold themselves accountable if they themselves don’t?

The best leaders don’t make excuses; they take the blame and then work out how to fix the problem as soon as possible. This proves that they’re trustworthy and possess integrity.

Howard Gillman is the chancellor of UC Irvine. You might have heard of how the university rescinded a bunch of acceptances, and then changed its mind[5], This past spring, an unusually high number of accepted students decided to matriculate; the school initially responded by rescinding offers over things like missed deadlines. But the college realized this was a mistake and reversed its decision. Gillman and the university accepted responsibility and decided to move past their earlier bad decision.

Always ask yourself what you can do better or what you should change. Take responsibility and think about what you can do better to prevent this from happening next time.

9. A Desire to Learn

It’s safe to say that all great leaders will have to enter unchartered waters at some point during their career. Because of this, they have to be able to trust their intuition and draw on past experiences to guide them.

Great leaders know that there’s always something to learn from everything they have experienced before. They are able to connect the present challenges with the lessons learned in the past to make decisions and take actions promptly.

You can either recall what you’ve learned from your memories or search your notes (ideally, a software that you can access anywhere with things well-organized).

Warren Buffett, one of the richest people in the world, has mostly made the right calls. But in dealing with huge amounts of money, Buffett has also made several multi-million (and sometimes multi-billion) dollar mistakes. He has stated that buying the company Berkshire Hathaway was his biggest mistake[6]. From that poor choice, he realized that it was unwise to pursue “improvements” and “expansions” in the existing textile industry. Despite mistakes like this, Buffett has invested wisely, and it shows.

To effectively learn from the past, write down lessons you’ve learned from any mistakes you’ve made. Have all the lessons well organized, and when similar things happen again in future, take these lessons as references.

The Bottom Line

Leadership traits are learnable. If you practice consistently, you can be a great leader, too.

Make small changes to your habits when you work with your team, wherever that may be. Most of us aren’t presidents or CEOs, but we all work with other people, and our actions always impact others. This gives every person the chance to develop leadership skills and to stand out from the crowd.

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Featured photo credit: Markus Spiske via unsplash.com

Reference

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