Learn how to set up your blog to increase your sales!

Learn how to set up your blog to increase your sales! Learn the simple 3 step process to set up your blog to convert it into a sales and email list building machine! Click through to read on.
Part 2: Learn how to set up your blog to increase your sales (with your first opt in freebie!)

Following on from the last blog post, we’re continuing the conversation into part 2 and going through how to set up a blog and make your opt in freebie so you can turn your website into an email collecting machine, which will help you increase your sales for your handmade products!

If you missed part 1, you can read all about it here: why likes and favourites won’t help you make sales and be sure to download your cheat sheet that’ll help you come up with a your opt in freebie idea that you’re going to promote on your new blog!

 


FREE DOWNLOAD: Get my blogging & email marketing glossary to demystify the techy jargon!


 

Before we start, I want to bust 4 email marketing myths, to super convince you, that this should be your #1 marketing activity in 2017!

3 blogging and email marketing myths busted!

Myth 1: Blogging is a lot of work, that doesn’t have offer much return. How can blogging possibly translate into more sales?

I understand that a lot of handmade business owners think of blogging as “extra work” that doesn’t necessarily yield much return in relation to the work involved. In your ideal day, you’d spend most of your time making and just a little involved in marketing, but in reality, it’s closer to spending up to 50% of your time marketing and the other 50% doing all the other things involved in your business. In the beginning stages of your business, where you have loads of time, but not a lot of revenue coming in, it’s the perfect time to learn more about the tech side of blogging and email list building, so once you set up these systems, it can be a set and forget type system – because it keeps working for you in the background 24/7, and who wouldn’t want that?

Myth 2: I need more traffic to make more sales!

People often complain that they need more traffic to their website/shop etc to gain more visitors. The problem with this, is that most of the time, ‘cold traffic’ i.e. people who visit your shop for the very first time, are unlikely to buy on their first visit. People need to be exposed to a product at least 7 times, before they coming to a buying decision. So if you never collect their email address, they will most likely forget about your site, never come back and never become a customer.

Also they do not have their website set up in a way, to capitalise on this traffic. They don’t have any opt in forms (or at most might only have 1 or 2 that don’t have any compelling copy that makes the visitor want to opt in). It’s not obvious you want to collect your visitor’s email address. You may think pop ups are annoying and have vowed never to use them, but you’ll be surprised how effective they actually are! Also, as we’re bombarded with so much advertising these days, we need to maximise all our opportunities and place opt in forms everywhere until your visitor actually notices them (and hopefully opts in!)

Think of how much energy, time and money has gone into finding and reaching out to your target customer. You’ve piqued their interest enough to click over and check your site out and you don’t make the ask for their email address. Potential customers are always thinking abut your business waaaay less than you’re thinking about them, so make it super obvious you want to stay in contact and want their email address. Think about it like this, let’s use a dating analogy. You’ve spent hours swiping left and right, trying to find someone suitable on Tinder. You finally get a match (or two), go on a date together, enjoyed the date, but at the end of the date, you didn’t ask for his/her phone number. How are you going to find them again to have a second date and get to know each other more, if you didn’t ask for their number?! (P.S. I’ve never personally used Tinder, so don’t know the specific mechanics – but you get the idea!) Are you going to just swiping left and right and hope that you find them again? Or them you?

When you offer an irresistible freebie to a targeted audience, you’ll have a pool of potential (and past customers) who have invited you into their personal space (given you their email address) and are eager to hear from you. Your job on other social media channels is to get more targeted people onto your email list. Seriously, if you’re not already collecting emails, you need to start now! Today!

Myth 3: I don’t get what the big deal is with email marketing?! I just care about growing my social media following. I just want more followers so I can make more sales!

Growing your email list directly correlates to increasing your sales. Once you have an email list, no matter how small or big, you’ve got to keep in regular contact with them. Otherwise, it’s a case of out of sight, out of mind. Like the dating example again, say you go on a few amazing dates (you send out some amazing emails and they’re well received) and then because you got lazy you stopped talking to them/meeting up (stop emailing) they might at first wonder, where you’ve gone – but most likely won’t be bothered, forget about you eventually and move on. If you decide to contact them again, they’ll see your number, wonder wtf is this and may ignore or block you (unsubscribe from your email list). Simply, because you’re out of sight, out of mind. In part 3 of this series, we’ll be discussing how often to send out emails to your list and what to do about people who unsubscribe!

Now that you’re super convinced you need to start building up your email list (hurray!) and we’re all on the same page, it’s time to set up your blog!

 


FREE DOWNLOAD: Get my blogging & email marketing glossary to demystify the techy jargon!

Squarespace.com

I’ve heard many people swear by Squarespace.com because it’s a simple, out of the box solution. It’s a self-hosted, all inclusive, subscription-based model and you can find more details about the pricing here. This means that your website is hosted by Squarespace on their servers and you don’t need to find your own web host. If the jargon I’m using is freaking you out and your eyes are about to glaze over, don’t worry! I have a glossary I’m going to link to next, which will give you a run through. I’ve never used Squarespace, so can’t comment much further than this.

 

WordPress.org

I love WordPress.org and it’s what I use to power both of my sites. It’s a powerful blogging platform, that gives you complete control of what you want your website to do and how you want your website to look. It might sound a bit overwhelming, the fact that you have complete control, but there are lots of free (and paid) website templates you can download, where it’s a matter of clicking to install.

Both of these options, do require a little money up front to set up, as opposed to free blogging platforms like blogger, wordpress.com – but if you’re legitimately serious about your business, it’s important to invest in blogging and see it as a channel that will help your business grow, as opposed to a black sink hole for your money.

The main difference between wordpress.com and wordpress.org, is that wordpress.com is free, but you’re hosted on wordpress.com and your URL will be http://blogname.wordpress.com. You may be limited in what you can customise on this free platform and because of this, it may be difficult to monetize or optimise it to capture email addresses. WordPress.org is where you can download WordPress. You will need to install WordPress (content management system) onto your own server. Your URL will typically be http://yourblogname.com. It’s super easy to install (they’re famous for their easy installation), all you need to do is click a few buttons and it’ll be complete in under 5 minutes!

 

Hosting your new blog

I used bluehost.com to host both of my websites. It’s easy to use, affordable and I’ve had no dramas with them ever since I started using their service over 2 years ago. As I’m more familiar with WordPress, I’ll be walking you through how to choose a webhost, and install WordPress on your server.

Once you have your blog/website set up, it’s time to create your opt in freebie!

 

What’s an opt in freebie?

An opt in freebie or lead magnet is typically a digital download or access to information that is exclusive to your email subscribers only. If you’re going to offer an opt in freebie, you want to create something super valuable, and attractive to your target customer, so that when they see they offer, it’s so attractive, they can’t help but to exchange for their email address for it.

Depending on what you’ve chosen as your opt in freebie (printable, discount code, exclusivity to be the first to know about sales etc) – if it’s a digital gift, it should ideally be a 1-2 pages pdf (max) that helps your reader achieve a quick win.

 

So what software is available for me to make my opt in freebie?
  • Pages by Apple

A native word processing software that comes on Apple computers. Think of it, as a prettier version of Microsoft Word.

  1. Open up Pages and it’ll ask you for what type of document you want to create. You can choose from an existing template or create your own design from scratch.Choose your document type
  2. Customise an existing template or start designing your opt in. Change the image, change the text, change the text size etc Customise your document
  3. Once you’re finished, it’s time to export your document into a pdf! Click on the file menu, then choose ‘export to’, then ‘PDF…’Exporting your document to pdf
  4. Choose your image equality (good, better or best), then press the “Next” button.Exporting to PDF
  5. Give your document a name, press export and your pdf will be saved!Exporting to PDF

FREE DOWNLOAD: Get my email marketing glossary to demystify the techy jargon!


 

  • Canva

Free design software, that gives you loads of free templates (that you can customise) or else you can create your own from scratch, using simple drag and drop elements. You may also choose to buy photos, templates, text and other design elements to further customise your graphics and opt in freebie to be a better match to your brand.

There’s loads of different types of graphics available such a social media, posters, presentations, blog graphics, flyers, ebook covers etc

  1. Either login or create a new account at canva.comLogon to your Canva account
  2. Once you’re logged in, choose the type of graphic/document you want to make. If the type of document you want to make isn’t on this first page, click on the last icon, “See more designs” in the bottom right corner. Choose a document
  3. After you’ve clicked on “See more designs” it brings you to a full page of all their popular design document types. Scroll down to check them all out, then click on the type of document you want to make to get started.Choose your document
  4. Choose an existing template to modify or choose to design yours from scratch with a blank template. Click on the sub menu in the far left hand menu and change each design element (elements, text, background etc) to customise your opt in as required. Choose a template to edit or design yours from scratch!
  5. When you’ve finished designing your graphic/document, on the top right hand corner you’ll see the ‘download’ button. Click on it and you’ll see a drop down menu of what file formats you can save your document in. Saving your opt in freebie as a pdf is the standard format. Press the green download button and Canva will automatically save your document!Save your document as a pdf
  6. Open the pdf up on your computer and ta-da!Ta-da! Your finished opt in freebie!
Adobe Indesign

I use Indesign to design and create all my opt in freebies like checklists, cheat sheets, workbooks, etc. It’s part of the Adobe suite and is a powerful program with many options to design whatever your heart desires! Although a walkthrough is out of the scope of today’s blog post, as it’s more complex and for more advanced designers, for people who are just dipping their toes into designing their own graphics and documents for opt in freebies, Canva and Pages are a great starting point. Once you get a bit more advanced, learning Indesign is great investment of time and money.

Congrats! At this point, you’ve learned all the steps showing you how to create your digital opt in freebie! In the case that you’re making your opt in, instant access to a resource library, a discount code or just general exclusivity to information (like being the first to know and shop sales etc), and a pdf isn’t really required, you can send the password to the resource library or the discount code via an automated email sequence that you can schedule in your email marketing provider.

We’ll be going into further detail about how to set your opt in software (Leadpages, Thrive leads by Thrive themes, Convert kit* etc) and connect it to your email marketing provider (Mailchimp, Mad mimi etc) and setting up automated email sequences (so that you don’t physically need to send out the opt in welcome emails, but your email marketing provider does that automatically for you – even whilst you’re asleep!) in the 3rd part of our blogging and email marketing series, so watch out for that in 2 weeks time!

 


FREE DOWNLOAD: Get my blogging & email marketing glossary to demystify the techy jargon!


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Monica is a corporate cubical escape artist turned jewellery maker, designer and creative business infopreneur. She helps fellow artists, designers and makers launch and grow a handmade business they love.

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