If you started blogging with the view of turning a profit, selling products online is the next logical step in your plan. However, many bloggers worry that their readers will jump ship if they try to sell to them, but this isn’t the case as long as you do it right.
Turning your readers into customers is easier said than done, so you will need to put thought and planning into this venture. To help you make the right decisions about joining the online marketplace, here are five tips to get you started.
Create Products Suited to Your Niche
When you started blogging, you will have created a niche to attract readers. Now, you’re going to take this concept a step further, so you need to offer your readers products they actually want to buy. The first decision you need to make is whether to sell physical products (like clothing or shoes, for example), digital products (e.g., software eBooks, video tutorials, etc.) or services like coaching, content writing, or web design.
You don’t need to limit yourself to one product type, but you do need to make sure your products are relevant to your readership. Don’t underestimate the appearance of your merchandise, even if you’re selling online. Consider using a creative agency like SmashBrand to help you get your branding right
Choose a Selling Platform
Arguably, the best way to monetize your blog is to sell products online to your existing audience. You can choose to either link to an external store or embed a selling platform into your blog. There are many platforms out there, but perhaps the most popular are Shopify, Seltz, and Ecwid with Blogger. All of these platforms are easy to use, but you will need to do some research to decide which is best for your business.
Be an Authentic Sales Person
Your readers understand that to keep your blog going, you need to make money from it; however, you still need to be smart about your selling tactics so you don’t put them off. Your fans keep reading your content because they feel a connection with you, and that relationship will dissipate if you become too “salesy” and inauthentic.
Don’t trick your readers into clicking a link to your product. It’s far better to be upfront about what you’re offering. A great way to make an authentic sale is to tie your product into a post and let them know they can find more information by clicking the link. You should also be selective about the affiliate products, making sure your links and ads are non-intrusive and relevant to your audience.
Making your blog into a sales tool is a great way to kick-start your revenue, but you need to be careful not to alienate your readers in the process. Stay true to your niche, be authentic, and take time to weigh up the many platforms available to online sellers. It may take a bit of time to get into the swing of running an e-commerce site, but if you put in enough planning and research, the rewards will make your efforts worthwhile.