Turning a blog into a business is a lot of work. However, remote technology, cloud computing, and automation have made it possible for aspiring bloggers to become profitable.
Before your blog can turn a profit, you have to have a strong understanding of your customers. The blog sales funnel outlines how to structure your business efforts and how to convert your target audience into paying customers.
Here are the five stages of the blog sales funnel and how to use them.
Here's the thing-- the work you put into your blog doesn't matter if no one knows it exists. Even if you're the best at writing about your subject of expertise and have effective online shop managing, you won't make a sale if your target audience doesn't know you exist.
The awareness stage of the blog sales funnel is when people learn about your blog. To increase awareness and get people in the first stage, you need to put yourself out there. The two main areas of focus during this stage will be building a smart SEO strategy and using social media marketing to get your message out there. At this time, you can also establish yourself as an expert by being a guest on podcasts, other blogs, and at community events.
Interest takes place after someone discovers you. At this stage, they'll determine whether or not they're interested in what you have to offer. In blogging, specifically, interest is measured by taking advantage of a lead magnet
A lead magnet is an offering that you give away in return for an email address. The offering should be relevant to the content on your blog and offer value to your audience. For example, a food blog might offer a recipe ebook or a meal prep checklist.
By providing their email address, your audience is showing that they are interested in what you have to say. It's your job to turn that interest into a sale via email marketing.
Now that your potential customer has entered your email marketing system, you want to provide them with information that encourages a sale. At this phase, the person is researching you. They're learning more about your business through email marketing, discovering the value of your lead magnet, and exploring purchasing options.
Your potential customer might spend a lot of time in the research phase. They might not want to buy a product you have right now, but could be convinced in the future. At this time, focus on generating great content and building a rapport.
The decision phase is when a lead decides to become a customer. Your goal during this phase is to remove as much friction as possible. Make it hard for your lead to say no, and more importantly, make it easy for them to say yes.
The decision phase can be tumultuous. You may have someone who adds your offering to their cart but doesn't complete the transaction. Using smart analytics and automation can help you push them to completion with lifecycle email marketing strategies. Remind your potential customer of their forgotten purchase. Add a sense of urgency by using enrollment periods or time-sensitive, value-added offers.
Once your lead completes the transaction, they officially become a customer. However, the work isn't done. Getting a customer is a big ordeal; keeping them is another thing entirely.
The retention phase of the blogging sales funnel is how you keep your customers coming back for more. Your focus here isn't to hop to the next sale opportunity, but rather to prove to your customer that they made the right decision. Follow up with them regularly and be an open book. Answer any questions they may have about their purchase and add value whenever possible. Collect feedback and constructive criticism that will help you refine your funnel process.
Understanding the blogging sales funnel is essential for monetizing your blog. Be authentic, evaluate what works and what doesn't, and refine your process as needed.
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