How to Blog as an Authority and Increase Your Sales

Blog marketing is a revolutionary new way of promoting sales of your products and services on the Web. The premise of blog marketing is that if you offer your customers something of value for free, they will come back again and again until they are loyal followers, purchasers, and promoters of your brand.

The draw for customers is that blog marketing provides them with interaction with the company itself; rather than being a cold, one-way process it is a dialogue between two like-minded individuals. A blog continually provides fresh, new content for customers to interact with, as opposed to the standard, unchanging websites common among corporate America. With word-of-mouth greatly surpassing all other means of promotion, every business owner needs to build the kind of relationship that brings loyalty.

There are three keys to blogging as an authority and increasing your sales?

1. To blog as an authority, you must be an authority

People want to buy their products from an expert. They seek advice from experts. And they are only willing to pay for expert help. Are you truly an expert?

Testimonials:

If you want to establish yourself as an authority in your field, your best “proof” is in the testimonials of happy customers.

Ask every customer for a testimonial, ask permission to post their real name (even if just first name and last initial) and location, and if possible post a small photo of them. If your products or services have been used by another professional and/or a well-known individual, all the better! Making the testimonials real, with real people whom other customers can see, will speak volumes to your expertise.

If you’re just starting out, you may need to offer discounts or even freebies in order to gain the level of experience and the number of testimonials you need to establish yourself as an expert.

Value:

Another way to establish your credibility is to continually offer great value to your customers. If they are visiting your blog for financial tips, they are not interested in reading about what you did on the long weekend. Nor do they want a “fluffy” piece about why budgeting is a good thing.

Clients come to you expecting “meat,” and they are not likely to stick around if they’re not being well-fed. It is more important to provide content of excellent quality than it is to post frequently. So if you only have one substantial (meaty) financial tip per week, post once per week and do it well.

Talk like an expert:

Have you ever listened to a public speaker that made you feel uncomfortable? Not just uncomfortable, but embarrassed – for them? Perhaps they apologized profusely for a technical glitch that you hadn’t even noticed. Maybe they stumbled over their words and came across as less-than-confident. Did their sardonic sense of humour begin to come across more as low self-esteem than as funny?

Avoid self-deprecating phrases and tone. Don’t say, “I’m no expert, but…” Do not write in a tentative or hesitant voice. Be forthright, authoritative, encouraging, and honest. If you have had success in your field, at whatever level you are currently at, you are an expert. Be confident in your abilities and wisdom. Trust yourself, or no one else will trust you.

2. Start at the beginning – the title.

With each blog post you write, you have one opportunity to draw people in. Your title will be the determining factor in whether the reader clicks “continue reading” or not. While it may be fun to provide witty titles full of analogy or allegory, such titles just don’t let your readers know what the post is about.

Blog post titles should be one-hundred percent clear in outlining the purpose of the post. For example, if you sell home improvement supplies and write posts that help your readers learn how to DIY (do it yourself), a post entitled “The pot of gold at the end of the Rainbow” will garner significantly less hits than one called “Why Using a Rain Barrel can Save You Hundreds.”

3. Extend your reach.

The broader your reach, the bigger your readership grows. The more readers you have, the more influence you have. Influence translates into authority and sales, without fail!

Use social media:

Do you have a Facebook page? A Twitter account? Are they separate from your personal accounts? And do you use them?

The secret to using social media effectively is to not use them as promotional tools. That’s right – I just told you that not promoting your business will grow your business. Too much self-promotion just turns people off.

Social media tools are there to create avenues for interaction. They are additional methods for you to create brand awareness and loyalty, through the building of relationships. If your social media use is 80% interaction and 20% promotion, you’ve got the formula just about right.

Give stuff away:

Another counter-intuitive thought – giving stuff away is profitable. Product giveaways are not difficult to do, and can often be used as a tax deduction for your business. You don’t have to be excessive, and it doesn’t have to be expensive.

A classic example of this can be seen on Author blogs. When an author comes out with a new book, the Publisher will usually provide him or her with 100-500 free copies of the book. If the author hosts a giveaway each month for 3 months, where 100 copies can be won, that book’s chances of making both Amazon’s and the New York Time’s best-sellers lists increases significantly. Just think of the thousands of people who entered the contest but didn’t win; chances are good that more than half of them will go out and purchase the book on their own.

Blog marketing is an excellent way to build your business in our Internet-driven society. The key thing to keep in mind is this: it’s not about you, it’s about them. If your focus is on the customers and how you can provide them with as much value as possible, you will develop a loyal following that will begin promoting you as an authority in your industry, thus increasing your sales.

About Cathy Reyes

Cathy is part of the team that manages and maintains Australian Credit Cards, a personal finance blog about small business credit cards based in Sydney, Australia. Before she joined ACC, she was a staff nurse at Clark Airbase Hospital and conducted lectures on First Aid, Bio-terrorism and Disaster Management.

Comments

  1. Hi, you have provided us with some valuable information here. Having a blog is one thing, but a blog with authority is strong. Something I think is on the rise is free gifts. Freebies tend to catch a lot of visitors fast and can hook people easily. Once hooked you just need to reel in the line and start building the backend of your business. I agree with the social markets of not promoting directly. I used to do that pretty strong, but all it did was turn people away. Now I just try to get engaged and when the time is right mention my business. Being engaged is far more proactive than just throwing a link out and hoping someone clicks. Anyways, great info.

  2. Hi Cathy,

    I appreciate your effort in sharing your thoughts. It affected me, and many readers for sure, in a positive way. One thing I learned is if Google knows me as an authority site then that would definitely increase my ranking. Thanks for a great post…keep sharing ;)

  3. Well said an True said Cathy.

    I like first one very much as its true that to blog as an authority, you must be an authority which create feeling of genuiness and trust.

  4. To blog as an authority and you must be an authority. It is important. Loyalty is also vital, and its true when you offer something free they will surely come back.

  5. I think it’s important to build credibility before offering our products to them to gain the trust of others. Because trust is the essence of sales success..
    Nice post..

  6. Thanks, this is really useful info. Especially being (or at least acting) like an authority…I think I tend to be too modest in this area and perhaps need to give myself a bit more of an authoritative voice!

  7. I have been reading your articles and I am really impressed by your pointers here. I love the part of:
    “To blog as an authority, you must be an authority”
    Take out the doubts on the people. Have faith in yourself and do the necessary means you think best for you.
    Summing it all up with your “testimonials” is a good plus, it enables the people to see the facts you presented by way of those happy people who are agreeing with you.
    :)

  8. Lennart Heleander from Property Marbella says:

    Hi Cathy,
    A great way to get and use the recommendations on whit trust is to ask the buyers to write a recommendation and they get 10-20% discount for next purchase, you get many good recommendations that will increase your products’ trust and you get more sales due to discounts. Good article also.

  9. I have been blogging for three years and have been trying to get my site an authority site but it does take time. I need to work on testimonials and expand my direction. Your tips are helpful.

  10. I love this article and the tips on how to blog as an authority. I think it has inspired me today, to study and research more on the web hosting topics I write on my blog. Thanks!

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