02 Apr Get a body confident, sexy blog in 8 steps: How to monetize your blog & butt-ugly content marketing
Monetize your blog: Time saver
- What’s the point?
- Not all blogs are bad. Only yours.
- Who needs to read this?
- Got a company blog? No idea what it actually does? Then, you, need to read it. Also pretty good if you like tortured analogies.
- What happens at the end?
- You monetize your blog and improve your ROI
Step 1: Understand the laws of attraction
Acquisition is about attracting new customers, right?
In other words, it’s the marketing equivalent of some sort of Tinder swiping game. There are thousands of other sexcases companies out there, each competing for your attention. All trying to get you commit to take the next step and find out more about them. Like if they’re cheap, have good reviews or were caught doing some really freaky shit by the local paper.
Acquisition techniques anthropomorphised for attractiveness would look like this:
Sexy, sexy, sexy marketing
Sexy, sexy marketing
Then, languishing in the distance, way down the scale of attractiveness is this poor soul, destined to the subject of much mirth in the groupchat:
Very unsexy marketing
So many blogs are pitiful. About 70% are never even read. There’s zero chance they can ever compete against Zac Giest the Meta Stunt, right?
Ok. Now, I’m gonna show you how Belinda Blog will liberate me of my knickers and woo me into bed
It’s not gonna be a quick dirty transaction, but a long-lasting romance.
This is why:
Step 2: Be aware of states of awareness and copywriting principles
Let’s quickly cover states of awareness. You can’t really understand acquisition without them.
They may be dressed up as funnels, customer lifecycles, context, but they’re most insightfully described as states of awareness and have been since the classic musings of Eugene Schwartz.
For the rest of this blog we’re gonna call him Gene-y the G. This guy is an absolute baller; responsible for universally segmenting audiences in actionable and helpful ways.
His book Breakthrough Advertising generally sells for extortionate sums when a copy becomes available on Amazon.
Geney knew there was no single line of copy or rinse-and-repeat formula that sold every time, rather you need to understand what triggers your audience; different strokes for different folks, basically.
To make that a bit easier to work with, he divided the target audience according to their awareness of your product or service:
This person’s useless. Conveniently ignore them.
They don’t belong in the genepool, but rather primordial soup. Good start
Your prospect reckons they’ve a problem, but doesn’t know there’s a solution.
Ok, here’s something to work with. This person feels something in their loins.
Your prospect knows there’s a solution, but doesn’t know your product provides it.
Pheromones are firing now.
Your prospect knows what you sell, but isn’t quite sure it’s for them.
Somebody just put two kisses on the end of a text.
Your prospect wants your product, and is about to get it.
This person means business. They want to seal the deal and take you home.
Because Geney The G was plying his trade in the 60s he only knew ads. But he pontificates at length about understanding the needs of the reader and delivering it in an ad. Visionary quotes that now define copywriting:
Ads… take the hopes, dreams, fears and desires that already exist in the hearts of millions of people, and focus those already-existing desires into a particular product…. You just need to pick the most urgent desire.
The copywriter in his work uses three tools: his own knowledge of people’s hopes, dreams, desired and emotions; his client’s product; and the advertising message, which connects the two.
Basically he is saying on one hand, you have people with needs and on the other, you have companies with products. The copy then connects the two in most natural and obvious way.
Thing is, ad copy and content do the same thing. Everything is written to position something. In fact, all acquisition tools, even an accursed Instagram influencer instigate changes in customer behaviour. They move people down the funnel, make people more aware. They turn people on ON.
Step 3: Know how to lube a funnel
Remember Belinda blog? She’s turns on the problem-laden. And LOTS of people have problems.
The numbers look something like this: The number of people with a problem that your product can help them with > The number of people who know they need your product to solve their problem.
That’s simple funneling right?
But funneling isn’t simple. Ask another acquisition tool to do all the work for you.
Want to try and nail a viral stunt 5 times in a row? Even trying to repeat viral successful is enough to sour your cool.
Are you going to run five separate TV commercials? Can I have your budget please?
Imagine teaching an instagram influencer to count up to five? No thanks.
Can you go through all five stages with PPC? Maybe, but you’ll be instantly cockblocked by an adblock.
In Geney The G’s time they attempted to do all the funnel sliding simultaneously. It was the halcyon days of direct response ads.
Focuses on a wide problem at the top, intros the product and then intros the deal. Still… leaves a bad taste in your mouth
Nowadays, we’d call that spammy. Well, we’d call it offensive misogyny, but from a format point of view, we’ll stick with spammy.
We may think it outdated, but it’s not (I’m talking about the format again!). Direct response landing pages like this still exist. In fact they are written by modern-day Geneys and convert problem-aware audiences quicker than lysol kills germs. Seriously, they are tested to death and have some of the highest conversions you’ll ever find on a cold audience.
Now, I love copywriting. I’ve done a few of these money-making mammoths, but I’d rather use a butt-ugly blog for this purpose.
The secret missing bit is coming, I promise.
Step 4: Don’t lose your personality
Marketing managers, MDs, money counters have so little time for content marketing and blogs because they don’t understand their purpose as an acquisition tool.
They just see the conversion. So little. So, so little compared to landing pages.
And so they start to do some really desperate stuff.
Ever read a blog that’s basically a landing page? The moneycounters get really cunning and let Belinda keep her same longtail title locks and shutterstock smile, but stuff their high converting body text under her blouse and festoon her face with flashing CTAs?
The already less-than-glamorous Belinda is now even lacking personality. She’s basically a blow-up doll.
What’s the purpose of a blog?
I’m not saving blogs have souls, but their purpose isn’t instant gratification
But after weeks of itching around the issue, here’s the surprise swob…. Even the problem-strewn guys who were interested in Belinda before her makeover now avoid her. They feel dirty. Belinda’s attractiveness has gone. And it stings.
You see, the idea of you getting me to part with cash after reading one blog is absurd. You can’t compare the conversion to a most-aware landing page. Not even a full length direct response page. It’s a blog. It’s Belinda. It’s butt-ugly at first glance.
Step 5: Develop a content strategy to make Belinda body confident
Even if you’re interested in Belinda, you’re not gonna want to take her to bed straight away. No deal will be sealed. And she should tone back her wooing. Play the long game, Belinda.
And this is the secret: Belinda just needs to do enough to get a second date.
Don’t spend all night talking in exacting detail about the technical specifications of your push-up bra, Belinda. You need to make a connection and open up a dialogue. Small steps. Maybe meet up for coffee tomorrow?
Content marketing strategies and content marketing campaigns are the BEST way to move people along from one stage of awareness to the next. They fill your blog with the confidence it needs to just be a great post about one specific topic.
If we revert to the teachings of Geney The G a second, a proper content strategy gives you a whole world of opportunity to connect your product and your prospect in the most obvious and natural way.
You give yourself the time to appeal to everyone in the funnel, not just the 2-3% at the bottom who are looking to get down to business right now on the floor.
They can be attracted to you on their terms – and you get the chance to develop long-lasting and meaningful relationships with them. It’s how passionate companies with great stories to tell can outperform those with big budgets.
How does that work?
It’s about being more effective with your money. It’s not the number of admirers that’s important, it’s the number of lovers – the people who actually care what you do, not merely see it.
Think about disconnected funnels. You need to rely on the fact that people will remember you stuck your recruitment website logo all over the sides of double deckers four months ago when they actually sit down to do a job search. Or that brilliant viral YouTube vid, the one that won awards, in isolation will it really change consumer patterns enough to steal custom from a leading brand?
With a solid content strategy you’re in control of the whole journey. Belinda and her content chums and channels give you so many touch points to play with.
Step 6: Start to get serious
Problem-aware to solution-aware:
This is the reason blogs exist – what Belinda was born for! These days people don’t have a problem for long. “Ok Google, are blogs dead?”
Google needs your content
See that? I had a problem for 0.42 seconds before I got 272 million answers, 271 million are probably blogs. (Ok, ok, we’ll take about search engine optimization, content shock and what is actual great, relevant and usable content some other time).
Not a fair test? Blogging keywords are bound to bring up blogs? Ok.
When you monetize your blog, you need a content strategy
Even in one of my more obscure Google searches there’s an argument to say three of the first five things you see on Google have been created by content marketing – even if the creators didn’t know they were actually doing content strategy. (Side note: big fan of the Belinda Blinked podcasts).
When you conceive plan and create quality authoritative content that addresses early questions and challenges, you make a lasting connection with the reader and the chances that consumers will choose your product or service at buying time increase. The chances are a good answer to a pressing problem is more valuable than a look at a logo on a bus or a little giggle at a viral video.
But content strategy should not leave anything to chance.
That’s the point. You control the journey.
Solution-aware to product-aware:
Ok. We need to move them to the next stage.
If you had no content strategy, if you used disjointed acquisition, you’d be relying on either mass coverage, retargeting, blind luck, or forcing it into the same article al a the sex doll Belinda or a huge direct response page, to make you prospect product aware when they need to buy a product.
With a well thought out content strategy, you simply need to point out to the person with a problem who found your blog and got their answer, oh by the way, here’s another valuable bit of content that may be of interest to you.
Again, there’s loads of ways of doing this, email lists, downloadables, buyers guides, content hubs, but the key to it is they are now predispositioned to listen to you.
There’s a blossoming relationship.
They’ve had a first date with Belinda and rather than going back to Tinder, they want to meet her again. They’re willing to listen to what she says. They think they may even like her.
Product-aware to most-aware:
Ok. I think you’ve got the point now.
Blogs, at first glance aren’t particularly sexy, but used properly and strategically help you control the journey and hence acquire new customers in a more efficient manner than purely going after the product aware–most aware segments.
The smarter ones among you may even have the idea that content marketing efforts don’t simply result in a Tinder one-time lay. You’re building lasting relationships that will keep people coming back for more and more – and some will even get their friends involved (always the quiet ones isn’t it, Belinda).
You’ve done your marketing job right? You’ve taken everyone who could possibly be interested in your product and made them aware of it in a timely manner. All that is left now is to do the deed. Seal the deal.
There’s still one final thing that could be stopping you making money from your blogging.
Step 7: Caution ahead: Beware the final fling and stay committed to your content strategy
Most-aware people are ready to buy and they want to buy your product.
Even with a good understanding of one another over numerous touch points across your content strategy, there’s still the chance this can go tits up.
Your biggest problem now is this girl:
Too sexy marketing
How can she be a problem? She’s so attractive. I want to do business with her.
She’s not attractive to a guy who loves Belinda though is she?
This is one of the most common issues with converting via content. You do all the hard work, make all the connections, build all the trust and then shatter it by having a huge break in tone between your content-led approach and your conversion landing page.
You can understand why it happens, right? The prospect is ready to be sold to, so lets roll out our hottest, drop-dead gorgeous conversion copy. Cor, look at the size of those CTAs. Send in the big guns.
In fact that’s one of the only ways you can mess it up.
Look at it like this: Your prospect and Belinda have been spending a lot of time together. It’s going well. They think they may have a future with her, perhaps some ugly kids and a dog. They’re sat there, in a quiet booth in a pub, fingering a bottle of overpriced cider waiting for Belinda to meet them. Then BOOM. This girl slides in and bounces to a stop.
After dropping their bottle in a klutz of fizz and taking a few seconds to find her eye-level, your customer asks… ‘er… ahem…gulp… where’s Belinda?’
Everyone in the pub is thinking holy shit look at her. I really wants to seal the deal with her.
But your customer is thrown off. They were expecting Belinda. They’re thinking… ‘Sure, she’s amazing to look at. Why is she interested in me?’
‘What’s the catch?’
‘Is she gonna screw me over’
And that’s the crux. Suspicion is THE great enemy of conversion.
Consistency is king when it comes to converting with content. You cannot switch tone or technique at the crucial moment.
Step 8: Learn how to sell in your blog
How do you sell in your blog tone then?
Even at the most-aware stage, when the customer really wants to take you home, you still need to sell.
The important bit here is your understanding of sell.
All you need to do is continue doing what they like:
- Remind them of their initial problem
- Get them to imagine the future without that problem. In a very specific way. Use all you know about them to paint them a pretty picture.
After that, it’s just a subtle whisper in the ear to:
- Emphasise their freedom to choose
It’s up to you. Whenever you’re ready. The customer still feels in control, there’s less psychological reactance, they’ll have a stronger desire to act.
- Mention your imperfections
Honestly. Even if it seems counterproductive. It works on two levels. It’s an emotional tug of the heartstrings. Research shows logical, two-sided arguments are more persuasive.
I’ll write more on closing the deal in the future, for now I just don’t want any of your hard work with content strategy to go to waste, and these few tips should be enough to help convert without resorting to your normal landing pages.
There’s someone out there for everyone
This isn’t a content marketing love letter. That’s because for many businesses it’s simply not a good fit (as we’ve seen it takes a lot of commitment) and a well-written ad can provide more, or certainly quicker, ROI.
However, I’m simply saying that if you do have a company blog, for Belinda’s sake, at least understand why she’s so attractive, give her the time and strategic support she needs to blossom.