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. Becoming an authority is hard work but if you put your mind to it you can accomplish just about anything, just know what you are talking about and have the fact to back you up.

  2. Trust is the most important factor when it comes to online sales, and the best way to make people trust you is as you mention to be seen as an authority and an expert on your field, thanks for sharing this valuable post…

    Kostas | Opportunities Planet

  3. Excellent post, Cathy. I wish more companies would change their approach. I notice lately that a lot of them have figured out how to use social media effectively in order to engage with their customers as much as possible. One new company actually picked up an users grievance with a product via Twitter and made sure their problem was resolved personally.

    -Jean

  4. It’s not easy at all. The most important things is what’s your nice. Probably we have to choose the niche very carefully.

  5. Steven Ecker says:

    Love this post. Authority is such a strong word but come to think of it, this is where you start to have your own name. It builds your credibility and your increasing number of followers.

  6. Great Post! It’s really important to show you’re a specialist on the field your presenting in your blog. You must state facts that is new and revolutionary to enlighten most of you readers and build your credibility. Also, when promoting your products and services, you must be keen to every detail because it only shows that quality of what your presenting to your target audience. And if you’re incorporating testimonials in your blog, you must choose the people that will endorse you. They too must be credible enough to make it more believable.

  7. Good one Cathy, Love the post. Building authority and credibility among visitors can increase revenue for the blog and business.

  8. Before any goal of increasing your sale, always see to it that you have build a goodwill among your customers or your friends(they may be your future customers or clientele). Creating a rapport and trust makes them go back to your site. Like for instance: you should post something which is true and reliable on what you say then that is the first step to build their trust in you. Anyway, I like what you said above, everything there can be applied. Reading post like this gives us more insight on how to increase sales and build trust too. Thanks Cathy!

  9. Hi Cathy,
    I agree that if you want to be regarded as an expert in something, you must be able to keep your end of the deal. If you say you are an expert, then you must be able to do the things that you claim to do. Many people out there claim they are experts in their fields, but when someone asks them for help, they do not know the simplest of steps on how to solve it.

  10. The easiest way to build authority, in my opinion, is to be simply fanatical about your interests. There are a lot of fakers out there on the web because they can do quick research on writing but if you’re in the field and do the stuff you talk about each and every day, than you’re going to build that authority status because you can show it.