Everyone blog owner wants comments, subscribers, shares and likes. But if we are honest with ourselves, what we really want is what those things lead to…money.

Yes, traffic is good and reader engagement is nice. However, if you are reading this particular article, you are really interested in making money. And if you are here, you probably aren’t getting what you want.

What am I doing wrong?

You have probably heard of the chain of conversation. If not, let me break it down for you. You need a total stranger to come in contact with your blog and transform into a lead. Then, the lead must become a prospect (usually happens when he or she subscribes to your email list). Eventually, the prospect will morph into a customer after buying something from you. Lastly, the customer returns as a repeat customer by making the buying relationship an ongoing process.

This may sound like a daunting task. I’m not going to try to deceive you…it is a daunting task. What makes it even scarier is the fact that this process needs to happen again and again in order to make a profit.

If your blog isn’t making money, it means one of the chain links is broken. Let’s look at where the problem might be.

Stage #1

Many blog owners can’t seem to get the ball rolling. Their broken link is right at the beginning – strangers aren’t converting into leads. There are a variety of reasons why this isn’t happening.

  • Yes, we are all aware of the importance of quality content. However, if you aren’t marketing that content, no one is going to read it. After all, content won’t spontaneously go viral. You need people to read it and share it.
  • Social media can do wonders for a blog’s popularity. However, simply tweeting to your followers won’t get the job done. You need to build relationships with other bloggers. Offer to write some guest posts and link to your blog.
  • You must have a clearly defined target audience. And “stay-at-home moms” is too general. You need to come up with a profile that is so specific you’ll think there is only one person in the world who falls into that category.
  • You want your visitors to move through the chain of conversation one step at a time. Strangers should become leads so don’t mention what it is you’re selling right off the bat.

Stage #2

Maybe you are getting people to visit your blog, but they leave without a subscription. In other words, leads aren’t converting to prospects. Why is that happening?

  • While it is extremely tempting to do so, your content shouldn’t be all about you – your news, your products, your company. Think about what matters most to your visitors.
  • It may seem like you’re listening to a broken record, but quality content is crucial to a blog’s success. If your readers can get the information somewhere else, they will. Always share unique and helpful content.
  • This may sound obvious but…did you ask your visitors to sign up for a subscription? Write something like, “sign up for my mailing list to get all sorts of cool stuff. Click here now.” And make sure there is a call to action in all your posts too.

Stage #3

By this stage in the game, you might be feeling pretty good about yourself. You have traffic and subscribers. However, you still aren’t making money. Why aren’t your prospects converting to customers?

  • Maybe it is a simple matter of offering the wrong format. After all, now many eBooks does a person need?! Try something different. Maybe your visitors would relate better to audio, video, virtual conferences or live workshops.
  • Pricing a commodity is a delicate task. You don’t want the price to be so high that it turns prospective customers away. However, visitors might interpret low price as low value.
  • Try adding a sense of urgency. Let visitors know you are going to raise the price on a certain date. Run a special where the first 50 people get a special bonus.
  • Offer proof to your potential customers. Let them know your product is a safe investment. Share customer reviews, feedback, comments, etc.
  • Nothing makes prospective customers feel all warm and fuzzy like the promise of a guarantee. It shows the seller is confident in the product. If you offer a guarantee, go above and beyond – offer to give 110% of their money back.
  • Again, this may seem basic, but did you ask prospective customers to buy your product? Putting an “Add to Cart” button isn’t enough. Tell them why they should make a purchase and what they’ll get if they do.

Stage #4

If you have made it this far in the process, you are almost to the home stretch. And luckily, once you have converted strangers to leads and leads to prospects and prospects to customers, it is easy to convert customers to repeat customers.

  • One of the most fatal errors in business is not following through on a promise. If you promised something to a customer and didn’t deliver, you had best stop reading right now and do what you said you would do. You might have already done irreparable damage to your reputation and business.
  • You want your customers to become repeat customers, but is there anything left for them to buy? How about offering a consultation so they can get the most out of what they already got.
  • Always make sure you have an open line of communication with your customers. After the first sale, follow up with them to collect feedback about their experience.
  • This is the last time we are going to say it…did you ask them if there is anything else they need? After the first sale, check in regularly and see if there is anything you can do to meet their current needs. Always have specific offers ready to share with customers.

Figure out which stage you are currently in and make the recommended changes. Hopefully, your visitors will respond the way you want them too. In the meantime, look ahead to the future stages so you are prepared for visitors to advance.

Guest Post By: Jessica Velasco works for a marketing firm, specializing in Clearwater SEO and SEO information in general. She has helped market a blog for Trim Nutrition, selling weight loss injections. Jessica’s resume also boasts the accomplishment of bringing hundreds of repeat customers to Haarklinikken’s hair restoration in Tampa blog.