[Note: Affiliate links may be available in this article. We may make a small commission when a purchase is made. There is no additional cost to you. This helps us bring you the latest information.]
In a previous article (click here), we laid out a plan to help you write a profitable sales page. It contained a theory of what goes into a sales page as well as an outline to follow. If you’ve read it, hopefully, it provided valuable information.
A blog post is different. A blog post is meant to inform, not necessarily to sell.
That’s not to say you shouldn’t have links in your blog post that take readers to a sales page should they be so inclined, but rather the intent is different.
In a sales landing page, you’re writing persuasive copy. In a blog post, you’re writing informative copy.
Now, the lines do get fuzzy at times. In a blog post, most often are you not only informing your reader about a topic or product or service – but also, you typically provide a link so they can learn more about the subject and perhaps purchase.
But the blog post shouldn’t read like a sales page. Perhaps the easiest way to explain is by the following example. The product is the same: an email list service. But see how it’s treated differently…
Sales Page for an email service
Run a business? You need an email service!
You need a service that will…
...manage your conversation threads
...provide document storage
...securely archive communications
...take care of dreaded spam
When looking for a company to take care of all your email needs, look no further.
You have more important things to do with your time than sorting through your inbox looking for that one PDF that was sent to you.
I can save you time AND effort!
Blog Post for an email service
Do you waste time searching for an email you know you saved for future reference? Or struggle through pages and pages of an email conversation thread?
If you answered yes to either of these questions, then it’s time your company invests in an email service.
Following is what to look for when investigating various email service companies:
• Managing conversation threads
• Document storage
• Secure archive storage
• Spam service
Notice how both mention the benefits of the email service, but the sales page comes across much more persuasive while the blog post is basically informative.
Both of the documents will provide a link to the email service for the interested reader to check out their site and perhaps purchase.
So let’s say you’re an affiliate marketer promoting this email service. Do you write a sales page or a blog post?
I bet you won’t be surprised when I say both!
For all your paid advertising, you want to direct your audience to the sales page. After all, they have clicked on your Facebook or Google ad looking for more information – they are already interested and aware of your product.
But for a “colder” audience, the blog post is the way to warm them up for a sale.
Again, click here for a detailed description of how to write a sales page, so now let’s now just focus on creating the best blog posts.
As Julie Andrews sang in The Sound of Music, “Let’s start at the very beginning…”
Step 1 – Purpose of Your Blogs
You must first decide the purpose of your blogs:
Are you passionate about a topic and you’ve learned that if you put a website together on your topic you probably will get vendors who want to advertise on your blog website?
Or are you wanting to blog as an affiliate marketer and use your blog posts to attract prospects to what you offer?
For this article, we are going to assume the latter. But at a future date, we will explore the steps of how to make money with your passion.
Step 2 – Decide Your Niche
Ok, now that that’s settled, decide upon your niche – if you haven’t done so already. So what exactly is a niche, anyway? A niche is a group of like-minded people. And in affiliate marketing terms, these like-minded people would all have an interest in your product.
Pretty basic, but there is a knack in picking your niche. Pick one that’s too broad (technology, for example) and you’re competing with big, established companies. It would be extremely hard to beat out the marketing power of Best Buy. Pick one that’s too specialized (moon rocks, for example) and you won’t get enough interest to make money.
Thankfully, there’s help in this arena. Here’s a FREE site that can help you pick a niche that’s not too big, nor too specialized: https://www.brandbuilders.io/niche-list
Step 3 – Get a Website
You will write many blog posts for your product(s) and you need a place to host them – i.e., you need a website!
Multiple companies are out there who will help you create a website with minimal effort from you – you need not be a web developer these days! What you need to do is write!
But you do need to research to find the best web hosting platform that’ll meet your needs. According to WebHostingAdvice.com, there are four key considerations when choosing your web host:
- Uptime Guarantees – you can’t make money if your website is down
- Performance – on the web, milliseconds matter
- SEO (search engine optimization) – you gotta be found
- Site Building Tools – you need mobile-friendly, drag and drop, and other features
Go to https://www.hostingadvice.com/how-to/best-hosting-for-affiliate-marketers/ to read their very informative article that will help you narrow down your website host search.
Step 4 – Pick Your Domain Name
Let’s say you’ve decided upon the health industry as your niche. The next step is fun – pick your domain name. I recommend a service like NameCheap where you cannot only purchase your domain name, but you can be assured that no one else claims that domain.
Not feeling all that creative? NameCheap also has a “domain name generator” tool that can assist you.
Click here to find out more: https://www.namecheap.com/
Step 5 – Decide Your Theme
Back to a fun step – what is going to be your blog’s theme. With our health industry example, you could take this niche in many directions. Your theme is your brand look. Choose it carefully and be sure that your colors, your font choice, your accents will be the look you want now and in the future as your blog site grows.
Your theme should look up-to-date, eye appealing, engaging, and yet not distracting to your content. Many of your web hosting platforms contain theme packages. Be sure to spend some time to choose one that not only fits your brand but also engages your audience.
Step 6 – Know Your SEO
Are you familiar with a tool called SEMrush? If not, I’d suggest that you invest in this tool or a similar one. Why? Because this is the best way for you to choose the SEO (search engine optimization) words for your blogs. You’ll want a list of the SEO words at your fingertips so you can easily access them during your writing.
Here’s an example of why SEO is important:
Your health industry blog covers a wide range of topics – one of which is supplement reviews. You’re working with a company that sells heart health supplements. What key phrases should you use most in your writing: Heart Disease, Heart Attacks, Stroke, Heart Health, etc.? That’s where SEMrush’s (or other) tool is helpful. It will help you rate which of the key phrases are most searched upon. If 67% of the people are searching for help with “heart attack” information, then that is the key phrase you’ll want to focus upon.
Here’s the link to SEMrush if interested.
Step 7 – Start Writing
Now you’re ready to write!
It used to be that short blogs were the norm (around 500+ words), but that is no longer the case. Google’s analytics prefers longer posts (1,700+ words is the approximate number for 2020). But remember – and this is extremely important – it really isn’t about the number of words, but the content being written. Don’t repeat yourself, or go off on a tangent, or anything of the sort just to get up to 1,700 words. Write what you have to say well and don’t focus on blog length.
Need a little help to beef up your persuasive writing skills? I highly recommend Ann Handley’s book, Everybody Writes Your Go-To Guide to Creating Ridiculously Good Content. Not only is it full of writing tips and motivations – but it’s a very entertaining read!
Step 8 – Plan Your Blog Schedule
Are you a planner? If so, it will come in handy now. You will want to plan your blog articles. What are your major topic areas? For our health industry blog example, maybe you’d write blogs in the following categories:
- Newest health releases
- Highly rated doctors and clinics
- Supplement reviews
Are you going to fill up one category faster than the others? Is somebody going to help you create the needed content? What’s the timeline of when you want to have your website looking like an authoritative site in the health industry field? This is where planning takes control. And don’t forget – you’ll want to plan for a long-term content strategy. It’s one thing to push and have everything ready to go, but it’s entirely different to plan for blog post content over months and years.
Other questions you’ll want to ask and answer are:
- Who is going to answer the comments that are left on your page?
- Are you going to invite guest bloggers? If so, will you share the affiliate connections?
- Who’s going to design the artwork needed for your blog site?
- Do you have anyone lined up to create graphs, charts, or infographics you may choose to use?
- Are you going to support your blog site with social media? If so, which channels?
This article is a relatively short outline of the steps to begin a blog website. Our intent is to provide you with basic background information so you can start getting positioned to make money off of your blogs.
Watch for additional information that will detail the steps that will help you create a profitable site.