Everyone needs a WordPress blog these days. It’s an excellent way to boost both your visibility and your engagement with individuals who will want to use your services.
If you’ve already mastered your ability to provide excellent content for your readers, it’s time to take things one step farther.
It’s easy to sell your services through your WordPress blog once you’ve developed an effective marketing strategy that’s going to work for your readership, and there’s a few unspoken rules you should follow if you want to see meaningful success.
Avoid Trickery at All Costs
Cleverly placed hyperlinks worded with flowery language are going to drive people away. They give the impression that you care about your revenue more than you care about your potential customers, and that will raise some skeptical eyebrows. Whenever you’re promoting yourself, you need to be honest that you’re doing so. Your readers need to understand that they’re being offered an opportunity to check you out, rather than guiled into commerce.
What can significantly help you in brand promotion – for instance through e-mail capturing – are WP plugins. Here‘s an interesting guide to top WordPress plugins which help brands to add promotional functionalities to their WP blogs.
Understand Your Niche
Your blog should always be relevant to the individuals who would have a need for your service. If you post a lot of information about insurance adjustments, but you’re an app developer, any mentions of your service will seem like a forced advertisement. Help your readers understand why your services are valuable to them, and always make the connection to your niche explicitly clear.
How to forge the connection with your niche? Your best strategy is to learn about it through social listening. Try tools like Topsy, Social Mention or Icerocket for tracking multimedia, blogs and general social network activity. TweetReach and TweetDeck are perfect for all manners of Twitter analytics, helping to track relevant hashtags and make sense of the immense conversation happening on Twitter.
Have a Trustworthy Blog
It may seem like a good idea to throw in affiliate offers and sponsored posts, but you need to carefully consider what you’re doing. Your readers need to understand that this content is tied to affiliates and sponsors instead of deliberately deceptive native marketing. If you’re not certain your readers will appreciate this content, don’t run it. It’s not worth the risk of running them off. If you seem like a pitchman for everything that will give you a few cents on every sale, your services will seem like snake oil.
If you’re considering the idea of a sponsored post, make sure to first read this insightful guide that shows how to do it right and maintain the trust of your audience.
Make Your Readers Feel Special
These people are promoting your livelihood, and recognizing what they do for you will do a great deal of work in encouraging their patronage. Offering special deals, additional services, or free add-ons that are exclusive only to your readers will show them how much you value them while simultaneously making them feel more inclined to choose you for the service they need. This is also an incentive to boost the loyalty of your following, and that’s never the wrong thing to do.
Read Your Comments
Reading your comments, and especially showing your commenters that you’re reading them, shows that you care about what they have to say. Your commenters may have ideas that will help your success, or they may be expressing their wants and needs. Using their voices to help shape your services will set you apart from your competitors while assisting you in creating an experience that’s custom tailored to the people who want to work with you.
Responding to blog comments left by users is an art in itself – have a look at this timeless guide to ensure that you know how to answer to different types of comments.
Organically Incorporate Your Services
Permanent links to your services, either on the side of the page or through direct information in your banner graphics, are effective if they’re tastefully done. You don’t want a giant neon sign that reads “Buy Bob’s Services” plastered there obnoxiously, so try to use a gentle hand to promote a clear message. Don’t make every post on your blog specifically link to your services. Only implant the idea where it’s relevant, and make your services a suggestion rather than a forceful command.
How are you currently selling on your blog? Do you have any strategies to effectively convert readers into customers?
Clare Hawkins is part of the team at Local.com.au. She has a great interest in small business marketing and web design. When not at work, she likes to spend time in her garden. Connect with her on Twitter.