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If you haven’t heard, the best way to make money from your blog is by setting up an effective sales funnel.
What’s a sales funnel? It’s a series of actions that take complete strangers through your blog to paying customers It’s a step-by-step way to turn readers into committed buyers.
In short, it’s you pulling traffic from all your social media sites and blogging connections onto your blog, getting them to become subscribers and eventually getting them to purchase several products at several price points. It’s the ultimate way to make money from your blog.
Many bloggers have different diagrams or pictures of what the sales funnel is but I think that Jill and Josh Stanton from Screw The 9-5 describe it the best because the way that they describe it is the simplest I’ve seen to-date.
You have four parts to your sales funnel with the first part being the largest portion of the funnel.
Great Content- This is your blog, social media posts, ebooks- amazing content makes people want more
Freebie – This is something that is of bigger value than your blog, but of lesser value than a paid product that you give away for free. Make sure to send subscribers an introductory email or to your thank you page after they sign up to invite them into your community
Introductory Offer – Your first paid product that’s less than $20. This product converts them from reader to customer
Core Offer – After they purchase your introductory offer, offer them your premium service or product for a premium price. This is your money maker!
Before I go over each part of the funnel one-by-one I do want to tell you the one thing you should be doing before you create any content—validate your ideas.
Validating your ideas is basically asking people in your online communities what it is they want to hear, learn, or see the most. If you want to be serious about making money from your blog, you’re going to have to learn how to speak to people online, ask them questions, and most importantly, create tools and products that they want to use.
Here are a couple of great ways to validate your ideas:
- If you already have an email list, survey them to see what they need help with the most
- If you have a Facebook group, create a poll and ask them what they need help with the most
- Just ask your followers on your social media accounts
Once you have your list of ideas, make sure to keep them in a spreadsheet or a Word doc. You now have the tools necessary for step 1.
You already know what people want to learn about, now all you have to do is create a solution for it. This is where you will go in-depth and give super great resources, tips, and answers in your blogging content.
If the topic is something that you are already passionate about, your enthusiasm is going to naturally show in your writing and it’s probably going to be a blog post of substance.
Y’all I seriously cannot write a blog post that’s less than 800 words on this blog because I’m just so passionate about what I’m writing about!
Plus, since you’ve already validated the idea, you just know that as soon as you put it out on social media, people are going to read it.
This is the first step in the funnel. Once you’ve gotten them to visit your website, you have to capture them with a…
A freebie is something that your reader will receive in exchange for their email. That freebie could be anything depending on your site’s topic. Most common freebies are:
- Checklists/Planners/Spreadsheet/Tear Sheets
- Email Courses (a series of emails teaching your subscribers something)
- Swipe File (a file with emails or templates that the blogger uses)
- A video recording/webinar
- Resource list
Again you can use social media to validate your freebie. I used social media to validate my free Facebook group post planning spreadsheet and I don’t even have content on my site about Facebook!
But now, because I validated the idea, I know that people really want to know how to use Facebook better to grow their blog’s traffic and to increase engagement on their blogs. Because this opt-in is so popular, I’m working on creating my first…
The introductory offer is something that is going to convert your readers and subscribers into customers.
This is something that is going to be a low-priced option that’s also irresistible—in short, an impulse buy.
It has to be less than $20 and it’s going to piggy back off your freebie. I’ve seen some bloggers offer the freebie and then soon as you sign up they re-direct you to their introductory offer.
I’m not sure how well that works since I’ve never tried it (I may implement it) but I usually don’t buy things like this because I’m still trying to learn what the blogger is about. I have to warm up to the blogger before I give them money.
And essentially this is what the introductory offer proves. By people actually giving you money you are proving that people trust you, and also you’re validating that whatever you’re offering is good enough for people to buy it.
Some ideas for an introductory offer:
- 30 minute coaching call
- A mini-video course
- A short challenge (emails,videos)
- Lesson plans
- A planner or other collection of resources that they can use
- An ebook
Make sure to offer something that is a little more than what you’re pricing it at, but don’t offer wayyy too much for a $10-$15.
I actually have to remind myself to scale back a little. For instance, I’m working on a Facebook Mastery Mini-Course and I wanted to do a month long course which is just entirely too much for $10-$20 LOL. So I’m going to scale back to a 3 day video course with checklists and PowerPoint presentations. This is worth a lot more than $10 but is a lot less than a premium $300 course.
The point of introductory offers is not to make tons of money; it’s solely to change the relationship from reader to customer. The introductory offer warms them up to purchase your…
Your core offer is the big enchilada of all your products and content. It’s also your money maker. Depending on what you’re selling, you can price this from a few hundred dollars to thousands of dollars.
I’ve seen $300 courses all the way to $10,000 coaching packages. Now I know it can be difficult to wrap your head around selling something for $1000 let alone $10,000, but you have to because by believing that you can do it is the only way you will do it!
Believe in your ability to offer amazing content or services that are worth this much money and people will believe it too!
Now there’s not going to be a lot of people buying your core offer, but because of it’s high price, you don’t need a bunch of people to buy it.
Let’s say you have an email list with 1000 subscribers and just 10 people buy your 10K core offer—that’s 100K right there!
We have to work smarter not harder folks!
And remember, you’re STILL helping hundreds of people with your free offers, free content, and smaller priced products.
I’ll tell you, I’ve learned sooo much from Jill Stanton just by being in her Facebook group, her blog, webinars, and by her personally answering my questions in her Facebook group. I know I’m definitely going to become a customer because if what she’s giving away for free is good, imagine how great her paid products are!!
Some examples of Core Products:
- Mastermind groups
- Paid job boards
- Courses that are 1-12 months
- Premium one-on-one coaching
- Telesummit/package of webinars
Core products have to be meaty—I mean you really have to over deliver on these! I know if I’m going to give you $1000, I better get my money’s worth!!
Common core content is videos and webinars because they have a higher perceived value than just written content. I’m trying to learn how to create videos and webinars as quickly as possible because I see that it truly is high-converting. Maybe because people actually get to see that you’re a real person—idk!
One-on-one coaching is also a really common core product that I’ve seen and easily justifies high prices. Coaches will usually guarantee that clients will make huge gains in their business and the program usually runs for 3-12 months.
Last but not least I’ve seen mastermind groups as core products. These are membership sites with premium content that only paid users have access to. The content usually is videos, interviews with experts, courses, printable, monthly mastermind calls and more. And what’s even cooler about these groups is that they are usually a monthly fee which helps more people be able to afford the content while still letting the blogger profit tremendously.
That is the end of the sales funnel and like I said previously, you’re going to see many different variations of this, but this is the simplest most straight forward version I’ve seen.
Implementing the sales funnel takes time—I’m still implementing it myself. You have to build an audience, network, and learn what people want.
Creating products and price points take trial and error. Know that this is not a linear process that will take a lot of work but it is worth it in the end!
A word on making money from your blog…
I’ve seen a lot of negativity from bloggers on social media towards selling anything because they think it seems spammy. While I do believe people can come off as spammy while trying to sell products, I don’t think the idea of selling is spammy at all.
We all have to remember—99% of bloggers want to eventually make money from their blogs whether it’s something that they do for passion or not.
Why not help one another by creating a consortium of bloggers that sell to one another and help each other sell their products. MOST of us actually want to truly help people solve their issues AND they want to make money from it too!
If we as bloggers are all making more money, we’ll have more money to support other blogging businesses!
I feel like as long as you’re offering GREAT content, lots of freebies, and you’re operating from a genuine heart, that people will see that and they won’t think you’re just trying to get their money.
I just want you guys to have an open mind and open heart when it comes to creating a blogging business. There is a bunch of opportunities to not only help others with your writing and products, but also to live a life on purpose!
Thank you for reading day 8 of my 30 Day Blogging Challenge!!! Make sure to post your article in the Facebook group and if you haven’t joined my blogging challenge yet and would like to be a part of it,check this out!
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