If you are thinking about using a blog to sell products, there are a few things you should know in order to have a chance of selling without alienating your readers by being too “salesy.”

Getting readers to buy from a blog post is not as straightforward as it may seem. You may feel inclined to just post a photo of your product with a short description, but that usually will have a less than desired effect.

If you’re wondering, “Well then, HOW can I get readers to buy my products?” you are in luck. There is another way and it’s a lot more fun for both you and your readers.

Here are a few tips for how you can sell products elegantly through your blog.

Make sure your readers know where they can go to buy

It may seem like a basic element for a blog that hopes to sell, but not every blogger makes their online shop obvious. Whether it’s because they are afraid of turning visitors off or they are just trying to be cute by calling their shop by another, less obvious name, they are making a mistake.

When people are ready to give you their money, it’s in your best interest and theirs to make it as easy for them as possible. Link to your “Online Shop” from your top navigation. Include a graphic with a link in your sidebar. If you need help building an online shop, you can always enlist the help of a professional freelancer and they can get you set up quickly.

Treat your products as supporting cast members in your stories, not the star

What tends to drive readers away from a blog that sells products is when the blog posts become thinly veiled sales pitches — talking about nothing but the features and benefits of the product on offer.

The most effective way to keep readers coming back to your blog is to treat your blog posts as a way to ‘warm up’ your readers and get them wanting to buy. One way to do this is by telling interesting stories that deal with whatever problem your readers are facing and then present your product as the solution.

For example, a tile retailer can sell readers on both their custom travertine tiles as well as the installation by talking about a remodeling project from the point of view of the homeowners. They might discuss how the homeowners previously bought tile from another company but the installation was shoddy and the tile was subpar. Now talk about how the homeowners found your store and your design team helped them pick out the perfect tile for their home and the installation and redesign helped fix problems left by the other install team. Include plenty of gorgeous photographs and end with a call to action to have the reader contact your team for a free assessment.

For a different example, let’s look at a store that sells kitchen supplies for the gourmet home cook. Great blog content would include videos of you using the your products to prepare delicious food. Show your family enjoying it and then end by giving readers a printable recipe card.

Include your customers in your stories

You can interview your readers who have purchased from you or have them write their own story that includes them using your product in some capacity. For example, a reader might share her story of how she purchased your custom jewelry and wore it to her wedding and how it was the best day of her life even though the only thing that went right that day was the gorgeous necklace and earring set she bought from you.

Focus on your customer’s problems

No matter what you do, you can’t go wrong by helping your customers solve their problems. Just make sure to tie your products into the solution somehow. That will ensure that your blog posts come off as useful rather than as a pure sales pitch.

Marleen Clover is a passionate blogger and writer for Timeo.co.uk. She’s keen on digital marketing trends and web design novelties.