If you’ve been wondering how to monetize your blog, it’s not as difficult as you think. All you need is an effective content strategy, diligence, and an understanding of how a sales funnel works.
When it comes to creating a sales funnel, the pop-culture quip “build it and they will come” rings true. Here’s what you need to know about the five stages of the blog sales funnel, and how you can use them to become a successful business.
Stage One: Lead Generation
To start creating a sales funnel, you need to know who your target audience is and how to approach them. There are two ways to define your target audience. First, describe who your ideal customer would be. Who do you want reading your blog? Define your demographic and create a customer avatar. The second approach is to use Google Analytics to see who is already interested in your work.
Once you’ve defined your demographic, you need to create a content strategy that speaks to your audience. Outline everything: what you’ll share, how often you’ll share it, what channels you’ll use, and your tone of voice. The goal is to increase brand awareness and build your list of potential prospects.
Stage Two: The Hook
Once you’ve attracted potential leads, the next step is to generate active engagement. In other words, you need to hook them. The primary way to do this is by creating a lead magnet: a free offering that you give your audience in return for an email address.
Lead magnets can consist of everything from trial subscriptions to coaching calls. The point is to give your prospects a taste of what you have to offer. By giving them a bit of value, you pique their interest. In return, they give you an opening to pitch a sale.
Stage Three: Selling
Stage three of the blog sales funnel is selling. To be clear, this doesn’t mean that someone is clicking the “Add to cart” button. This is the stage where you’re trying to convince them to make a purchasing decision.
During this stage, you should be working on building a rapport with your audience. Follow up on your lead magnet to see how it’s working for them. Show them how much more value you could offer while cultivating a relationship.
Stage Four: The Sale
Stage four is when a decision is made, and the lead becomes the customer you’ve coveted for so long. Money is exchanged, and the focus changes. Sometimes potential customers will cycle through stage two and three a few times before finally crossing the threshold to stage four.
Make no mistake: your work isn’t done when the sale is made. After your customer enters this brief-yet-important stage of the sales funnel, your relationship enters the final stage.
Stage Five: Support and Retention
Stage five is where you keep your customers coming back for more. During this stage, you follow up and offer guidance regarding the customer’s purchase. You collect feedback so that you can improve your product or service, thus improving your conversion rate. Once a customer makes an initial purchase, they’ve established trust in your brand. That trust makes it easier to sell to them again.
When it comes to business, repeat customers are money in the bank. They’ll skip the prolonged initial stages and click the “buy now” button without the same hesitation as new customers. Regardless of the industry, retaining repeat customers is more profitable than attracting new customers.
By setting up a methodical sales funnel for your blog, you’ll turn your passion into a profitable business. Create a content strategy that speaks to your audience and a product or service offering that creates value and provides a solution to your customer’s problems.