Blogging has a huge learning curve. Finding the right tone, learning how to write consistently, and getting your message out to your niche isn’t easy. Yet, you somehow figured out how to be an amazing blogger and you’re ready to dip your toes into sales.
Fortunately or unfortunately, depending on your viewpoint, you’ll need an entirely new skill set when you start selling from your blog.
But don’t be nervous! Selling on a blog isn’t about cold calls and slick ad copy. It’s about learning what works and doesn’t work on your site. Here’re a few easy ideas that will help you get started with very little stress.
Share the Journey
Let’s say you’re a food blogger. There’s a lot to the process of creating recipes, including testing ingredients and even taking pictures. And your readers would love to hear how you created a cookbook, guide or shopping list. It makes readers feel like a part of your journey.
Kathryne Taylor, from the popular vegetarian blog Cookie & Kate, explained exactly what she was doing while making her cookbook. In The Making of a Cookbook & Rental Kitchen Tips she shares:
“I’m way overdue on happy hours with friends, which is ok only because this busy season has an end date. I’m planning to finish the bulk of the recipe development by the end of the year, so I can then, a) get my life back, somewhat, and b) focus on the recipe testing phase and photography. Everything is due at the end of April.”
Kate is talking to her readers like she’s catching up with friends over coffee. That may not be your style, but readers love to know what goes on behind the scenes. Make sure to give them a peek and build a little excitement about your new product.
Don’t Be Scared to Ask
You never know the answer until you ask. That’s a huge part of making a sale. Asking can be challenging when you’re a reluctant seller and have a hard time getting down to business.
But you don’t have to jump into sales mode instantly. You could do something as simple as asking readers to share a link on their social media accounts. In 5 Secrets to Selling Products Online Successfully, Kristen DeCosta suggests:
“Encourage your customers to share a link or two on their social media accounts. Remember, you’re not just asking them to make a purchase, you’re asking them to share your online store with their network – personal recommendations and endorsements can be extremely valuable and will convert well as a source of new customers.”
Give away a product to a few trusted followers or friends. And ask for a testimonial. Most people will gladly say yes to test-driving your product and you’ll get valuable content you’ll be able to use to actually make some sales.
You just need to be brave enough to ask.
Make It Fun
There may not be anyone better at making a blog fun than Jenny Lawson, A.K.A. The Bloggess. She embraces everything wacky and somehow works sales into the mix.
In It’s sort of a happy birthday to all of us, Lawson shares a pair of crazy leggings with Rory the Raccoon on them. The taxidermied Rory is also on the cover of her second book. The entire thing is partly insane but perfect for Lawson’s unique audience.
Don’t be afraid to have a little fun with your sales process. There’s nothing that says sales can’t be entertaining. Just remember you’re allowed to have fun and put together something that fits your blog and your style.
Your Blog is Your World
Your tiny piece of the Internet is entirely your own. It’s your creation, your world. And you’re in complete control.
Don’t think about evolving from weekend blogger to eCommerce tycoon if you’re ready to try monetizing your new blog. Instead, start building your sales skills by trying a few simply ways to promote a product on your new blog. You’ll gain some confidence, learn what works with your audience, and build a foundation for growing your blog.