Your blog can be a very effective sales tool, but will only be successful if it can capture readers and keep them subscribed. Your blog needs to sell your products and services without reading like a dull sales letter, and to achieve this you should use tactics perfected by generations of copywriters.
You want your copy to be engaging, concisely written as well as informative. Using copywriting techniques and the art of persuasion will empower your content to appeal to readersÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ emotions and convince them why life would be better with your product or service.
1. Use attention grabbing headlines. Include your keywords to attract the search engines but also lure in readers by promising a benefit or to help solve a problem. Top ten tips lists of advice tips are starting to go out of fashion but can still be effective in attracting readers.
2. Your first paragraph should elaborate on your headline and provoke your readerÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s interest. Pose a question or declare an interesting fact. Reel in those inquisitive readers.
3. The art of storytelling is a powerful copywriting tool. Providing a context in which your product or service has solved a real life problem will help build familiarity and trust. Maximise the desirability of your business by appealing to your readerÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s emotions. Show them how you can improve their lives.
4. Study your niche and get inside your readerÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s head. How can your business help them and what do they want from you?
5. Any well travelled salesman will tell you that selling is all about education and relationships. Provide information of value to your prospect to convince them that they need and can trust your service.
6. Keep your paragraphs short. Huge blocks of text can appear daunting on computer screens. Aim for 1 key point per paragraph of only 2 or 3 sentences.
7. Vary your sentence length. Mix up your longer sentences with shorter, punchier ones to improve its readability.
8. Use shorter words when possible. People scan computer screens rather than read every word so using simple, straight forward language will be more effective in getting your points across.
9. Break some grammar rules. DonÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t be afraid to start sentences with Ã¢â‚¬ËœandÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ or Ã¢â‚¬ËœbutÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ if it improves the flow and helps break up the sentence lengths.
10. Your blog posts should be as long as they need to be. Their length will depend on how familiar your audience is with your product or how complicated your points are. You shouldnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t worry about cramming 500 words if 1000 are needed to cover your points properly. You can always split it into separate posts if you start getting really carried away.
11. Writing concise, engaging content takes time. Hammer out a first draft with whatever comes to mind then spend time going back through moulding your words. Writing is like chiselling at a marble statue Ã¢â‚¬â€œ it takes time for it to take shape.
12. The convention of blogs is conversational. Write the way that you speak (something I need to do more often) to give your blog personality and a sense of transparency. Ambiguous marketing messages will simply lose the interest and trust of your readers. DonÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t turn your blog into just a contrived corporate sales vehicle.
13. Humour works but donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t try pushing any boundaries on taste Ã¢â‚¬â€œ keep it clean. Sarcasm or irony can also backfire if you donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t make it obvious this is what you mean (trust me on this one).
14. Ask your reader a question at the end or make a point to provoke a response. That way you can start getting people to post comments and start interacting with your business.
15. Demonstrating your knowledge and expertise will enrich your brand image and encourage your prospects to want a relationship with you. Successfully position yourself as a knowledge leader and watch those stats grow.
More and more bloggers (Brian Clark being a notable example) are now discussing the importance of applying copywriting techniques to your content. This is recognition of the development of the blog as a business sales tool and their continued evolution from being just an Ã¢â‚¬Ëœonline diaryÃ¢â‚¬â„¢.