People are often wary of selling things through their blog because they think that their readers won’t like having products pushed on them and they’ll stop visiting your site, but that’s not the case. If you start putting loads of ads in every post until it becomes overbearing, you might lose readers. You’ll also see a dip in your readership if you’re constantly advertising products that they aren’t interested in. However, if you sell relevant products that are actually useful or interesting to your readers, and you don’t push too hard, you can make a good amount of income by selling through your blog. If you’re considering it, here are some tips to help you get started.
Sell Relevant Products
This is the most important thing to remember because if you start selling products that have no relevance to your customers, they’ll see it as a shameless money making exercise, rather than a service that offers them something. Look at your blog and work out what the most popular posts and categories are, that should be your starting point for choosing products to sell. If you’ve got a lot of readers that enjoy your food section, for example, cooking equipment or recipe books are a great place to start. You know that they’ll actually use that stuff so you’re likely to make sales.
One of the best ways to start selling products through your blog is ebooks. You already know that your readers find value in your writing on certain subjects so you know you’ve got a market. Once you’ve written your ebook, the cost of selling it is basically non-existent. There are no shipping costs or anything like that to consider so it’s the perfect way to start your store without putting in a lot of investment. Once you’ve started making a little money out of selling ebooks, you can reinvest that into products that are more expensive to produce and ship.
People visit your blog because they enjoy your writing, but they also enjoy your personality. The most successful blogs are the ones that sell the personality of their author and you can take that quite literally. Creating a brand around your blog and selling merchandise with your name on it is another great way to make some extra money. There are plenty of people that have made a career out of launching their own makeup or clothing lines off the back of their blog. Identify products that your customers will be interested in and then put your name on it and you can start to build your own brand.
Protect Customer Information
The security of a website is a primary concern for customers if they’re going to give you their credit card details. If they don’t trust that you’re taking the right steps to keep their data safe, you won’t make any sales. Use a service like Jumio Netverify ensures that no imposters can log in posing as a customer and buy things using their credit card. Beyond that, you probably need to boost the security on your website as a whole because you’re far more likely to be the target of a cyber-attack once you start selling things through your website.
One thing that is really going to annoy customers is being tricked into clicking links that then take them to your store. They’ll lose trust in your site and even consider not reading it anymore if they’re constantly being taken to your products every time they click a link. You need to be upfront about selling products and let people go to the store if they want to. If they don’t, let them carry on reading your posts as they’ve always done. You can still link to your products from posts, but use dedicated posts or make sure that the link is relevant to the post. Going back to our earlier example, it’s fine to link to cooking equipment in your store if it’s used in a recipe that you’ve posted. However, it’s not fine to link to it in a post about travel. If you’re being upfront about selling stuff on your site and people won’t mind.
Good Customer Service
Good customer service is absolutely vital if your online store is going to get off the ground. You’ve got the benefit of having a customer base already so you don’t need to spend as much time building that. You do, however, need to make sure that you get repeat custom from the readers that decide to buy your products. Make sure that you’re sending products quickly, packaging them safely, and dealing with any complaints properly.
Selling through your blog is a great way to make some extra income and even turn your site into a full-time profession.
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