Every single day, at least 1.6 million people love something, make a decision and click that big fat buy button on SOMEONE ELSE’s blog.
…In the U.S alone.
How? If only I knew…
I mean I did invest in the most expensive pieces of training on selling, I put hours crafting blog posts using all those techniques. I used the tools popular bloggers recommended, but the results…
(Or at best, a couple sales here and there.)
Until I decided to find out. And tons of reading and observation surprised me:
This Is NOT Why We Fail To Make Sales
Most surprisingly, some of the most common sense reasons why I thought people bought were not even how successful bloggers were making money.
Stuff people say like you:
- don’t offer an awesome product: Promoting an awesome product should be the unquestionable basis to start with, no doubt about that. I don’t mean to say that you shouldn’t promote an awesome product, but what I mean is that awesome varies from person to person. We often come across products we wouldn’t buy even for a dollar, but then you see the gazillion reviews on its sales page and you return wondering why people are praising it so much.
No?Look at this for example,
Look at this for example,
Pat Flynn makes six-figure income every month selling a product that so many of us would swear against. He and many others have truly found value in that product.
(Side note: Pat’s credibility isn’t under question here. He has been to Bluehost’s (the product he promotes and makes big money off of) headquarters in Utah and he witnessed how awesome they are. On the other hand, I’m with Siteground and while it’s preferably fast and credible to me and many others, I’ve had my share of poor experiences there too. Things happen. Let’s move on…)
- don’t offer a killer bonus: Everybody loves a bonus but we humans are strange. Here’s the proof: During 2017’s promotion of The Genius Blogger’s Toolkit, every affiliate/referrer offered amazing bonus products… even services if you purchased the kit through their link. But guess who was on top of the leader-board for most sales made?
Someone who didn’t offer a bonus.
And I don’t think ALL the buyers were ignorant of others who were offering bonuses too. I’d buy from someone I love too.
- have less traffic: More traffic coming to my site could mean more random buyers but driving that much traffic would take in SO much of my/any mom blogger’s limited time.
And oddly enough, just last week I made a $79 on one affiliate product the day only 6 people visited this post. It’s because my post answered a burning question many ask and not getting thoroughly answered. (It cost me an additional $130 extra to answer that question too!)
- don’t go ‘zag’ when everyone’s going ‘zig’: You must have heard this advice. But being different for the sake of being different? I couldn’t accept this idea ever. And I think if this idea goes into naive hands, it can cause problems too.
I think our readers are not looking for change for the sake of change only.
They’re looking for better.
Better might, at times, mean change. But otherwise take a look at this:
Imagine if today you achieve everything you had written on your life goals list? What else would you strive for there onward?
Something even better, or a ‘zag‘?
- don’t have a list: Ever wonder why email marketing is the best monetization method?
It’s because of the one-on-one connection it forms between us/the seller and the buyer. Tomorrow, if any newer medium of bonding does a better job (e.g. like they’re talking about FB messenger marketing these days, or could be something else), everyone will chase that.
For now, if email does it best, I get we need to work on that. But…
What if you and I stop thinking about more subscribers and keep our eyes on more bonding?
Each of the above points CAN and DO help drive more sales but I observed they weren’t the biggest and best things to focus on for more sales.
People Won’t Buy Unless You…
Earn TRUST, earn TRUST, earn TRUST. Then you can worry about the rest.
(As if all techniques and quick fixes will fade away one day and only the longer/solid paths to success will remain…)
Let’s dig a bit deeper into trust from our blogging perspective.
The Base For A Purchase
You must have come across funnels or paths to making sales. Here’s one for example:
Optin freebie —> Welcome email series —> value info email —> value + soft sell —> Hard sell
It may be a perfect step by step guide to ‘what you should do‘ to make sales.
You’ll also find info on ‘how you should do‘ each of these.
Not to mention, these are very important steps for making sales.
But consider for a minute what actually pushes the buyer to move through each of these steps:
… to cross every step, by default she gives herself a good reason/answer for why should I do this?
Could you lay a path that helps build genuine trust so the buyer can jump from one step to the next faster and with more confidence?
Stephen M. R Covey in his book ‘The Speed of Trust‘ (not an affiliate) does just so.
He talks about trust-building tools and an environment you CAN use to ‘build, restore and extend’ the trust needed to run any successful body – a blog, a business and also relationships.
On my blog, wherever I saw these tools at work (by default or conscious effort), people bought from me.
And wherever I fell short, I saw otherwise results too!
Here’s just a glimpse of some tools you can also use for building trust.
Trust Tool #1: Credibility
Covey Jr. claims credibility or believe-ability the base for sustainable trust. Sounds simple, yes? But if I ask myself, can I say my reader sees me as credible?
Good news though, here are four things we work on to fix this.
- Integrity: You gotta walk your talk.
Ruth Soukup of the Elite Blog Academy is a great example of people strong enough to align their practices with their core beliefs. If she teaches her students to push their way forward past fears, i.e. ‘do it scared‘, you’ll also find her bringing forward new products every now and then. People trust her because they can see her teachings are the exact systems she uses.
Like her Product Launch Playbook. The entire book uses demonstrations down to the exact emails she sends to her lists in real life.
I know because I’m her student and I don’t get paid to recommend her.
- Intent: You should play win-win.
You take care of the deepest concerns of your audience.
No one does it better than Rosemarie from the Busy Budgeter.
Last year, I already owned a copy of The Product Launch Playbook by EBA. But during its relaunch, which included additional bonuses too, Rosemarie, being an EBA alumni promoted this product with another bonus of hers to her email list. She invited everyone to ask her any questions about it too. So I emailed her to ask if I should buy the book again to claim all the awesome bonuses. Here’s what she replied within one minute…
This answer cost her loss of one awesome potential sale. But guess what she earned?
My absolute trust and a 100% recommendation for anything she’ll ever promote or recommend.
- Capability: You should have the skills for what you’re teaching to your audience. It could be acquired through experience or research and in-depth study.
You could up your skills or write for an audience with a lower skill-set than yours.
Darren Rowse who worked as a janitor and learned his craft for building a successful online blog biz is a great example. His blog is a universe of bloggy knowledge.
- Results: You need to show proof.
Michelle Schroeder does it so well on her blog. Her numbers speak for her. If you want to buy her affiliate marketing course, the following stats will convince you:
- her monthly blog income reports which exceed 100k
- her income from affiliate marketing alone which is above 50k/mo. and,
- the sales her affiliate marketing course alone brings in which is 20-80k/mo
Trust Tool #2: Consistent Behavior
In this section of his book, Covey shares 13 behaviors that are common to all high trust leaders but at the heart of all these principles is the idea of behaving consistently.
Here are a few questions you can ask yourself for developing consistent behavior for your blog.
- Post consistently? Persistence or the lack of it will make or break your game. It’s my number one struggle and the more I overcome this, I see more people getting accustomed to my content and when they know you, they feel comfortable with your recommendations too.
Every expert I read is saying this, Rosemarie, Ruth, Elna Cain, and Micheal Hyatt even made a study which showed how posting regularly skyrocketed traffic.
- Talk straight? Don’t go chasing difficult words, it’s not an English class where you have to make an artistic impression, your end goal should be making sense to your reader. Do they get you?
- Follow the golden rule? Which means treat others like you want to be treated. This is one of the reasons I don’t ever write negative reviews. (Also because I believe in good and bad karma). I’d rather discuss a better alternative than ripping one product down. Even if brutally honest reviews seem to build credibility (at the expensive of another’s reputation!)
One way to keep myself on track is to pretend to think like someone I absolutely adore regarding sweet behavior. I saw what I admired most when I read other blogs and it was ‘being sweet’. Then if I doubt something I write as mean or snarky, I ask myself, would Abby Lawson (the sweetest blogger!) have said such a thing? If no, then I skip it. (I’m still working on it though. ?)
- Clarify expectations? Go into your reader’s mind. See what they’re looking for. Don’t assume they’ll know because a thing is so popular everywhere else. Maybe your post is the first one they’re reading. If you can’t write about the basics, you could link to a better basics guide on the topic.
- Listen to my readers? Not just with the ears, but the eyes and heart. What topics do you see more and more people wanting to learn about, which pins are getting the most repins? Which posts are getting the most comments and shares? What are people asking in the comments of other bloggers? What are they discussing in the FB groups?
Recently I saw a ton of people on FB groups asking about which of the two affiliate marketing courses to buy. I knew this meant someone should have purchased both courses. But I made the investment, I dug through both and wrote a very comprehensive comparison. This post has brought me genuine appreciation by so many readers on social media that I feel makes me happier than the money I made with this post.
You can learn more on trust matters e.g. trust taxes we unknowingly pay all the time, how to reduce them, how to build an environment of trust, using trust tools etc from the book The Speed Of Trust.
The more I work on being credible and forming a consistent behavior, the lesser salesy and spammy I feel. It should become like how we share best deals with our sisters and best friends. But more rewarding.
If there’s no trust, people will judge even the best things we do or say. But if they have trust, they’ll even ignore a silly mistake we may make. You see… trust matters!
Tell Me, What Convinced YOU To Buy From Someone Last Time?
What do YOU think drives sales faster?
Have you ever paused to notice and reverse engineered what convinced YOU to open up your wallet for someone?
Or what almost got you but you stopped right before you clicked the buy button? Let me know in the comments below.
If you stuck with me till the end, I feel you agree with me and you might want to share the thought with your like-minded friends and followers. This will also help me grow. Here’s a direct link to the pin for saving on Pinterest. If you do, thank you!