Archive for Pathway to Profits

How a Product Funnel
Makes Blogging Profitable

Product-FunnelBuilding a product funnel on your blog is key to making all your hard work profitable.

As I explained in my previous post, a great product funnel provides your readers with an opportunity to get to know you, like you and trust you. You make compelling offers to your readers that they can receive from free to fee:

  • Some information for free, immediate download, no strings
  • Some information for an email address, which will prove you can be trusted to deliver good stuff and not abuse their email
  • Some valuable information worth paying for, even if it’s only a few dollars
  • Excellent products and services that deliver much more than expected, worth the price.

Read More→

Build a Product Funnel on Your Blog:
Make Your Content Marketing Profitable

FunnelAre you building a product funnel on your blog?

In my recent blog posts, I’ve been talking about ways to earn money blogging using two different methods:

  1. Sell products directly through your blog (or website)
  2. Sell products or services because of your blog, or indirectly

These are two key elements of a product funnel – a key internet marketing strategy that will help ensure that you are not leaving money on the table or missing opportunities to solidify the relationships your hard-earned content marketing efforts are creating. Read More→

Landing Pages: Get Readers to Take Action

How do you get readers to take action? Short answer: a landing page. (Also known as a sales page, squeeze page)

You can’t get results from all the content you’re creating and publishing on your blog, e-newsletter, social media sites, unless eventually you send people to a landing page and ask them to take action.

Otherwise, you may be creating a great brand, great thought leadership, great content… and so what? Sooner or later, you need to ask your readers to actually do something. You need a landing page to do that.

Landing page definition: An attractive, compelling page:

  • Published on the Internet that is
  • Optimized for search engines and
  • Designed to persuade a defined group of readers
  • To take one specific action

Here’s what I created (yes, again with the Smart Draw) to illustrate:

Read More→

Online Persuasion: How to Write to Create Desire

When writing online, how can you appeal to readers’ emotions on a business-oriented site? Online persuasion works best when you appeal to both the logical and emotional centers in the brain.

If you want to write content that persuades readers – both thinking type and feeling type processors – to take action, you write about emotional triggers AND provide reasons to act.

Many online content marketers misunderstand what it means to “appeal to emotions.”  How exactly do you bypass the conscious thinking brain and instantly connect with readers’ emotional centers, out of their conscious awareness?

It’s easier than you might think. Stephen Denning writes about this in his book The Secret Language of Leadership, and these lessons for leadership communications are applicable to writing web content.

Here’s a diagram of how many business professionals traditionally write content when they want to persuade people to take action:

The traditional communication approach follows this sequence:

Define the problem ► Analyze it ►Recommend a solution

Effective content marketers, however, follow a unique, almost hidden pattern:

Grab the audience’s attention ► Stimulate desire ► Reinforce with reasons

When language follows this sequence, it can inspire enduring enthusiasm for a cause and spark action.

Grab Attention:

  • Write headlines that draw the reader in
  • Use images that evoke curiosity, humor, or desire
  • Format your content for easy reading

Stimulate Desire: Read More→

3 Web Tools to Make Money Online

I’m curious… what web tools could you absolutely not live without? To make money online, you need systems and software helpers. I don’t try them all out, it tends to drive me nuts to have too many distractions and things to learn.

As I got on the computer this morning, however, I’ve got to say that I couldn’t live without Roboform to keep my passwords easily accessible for various sites. I used to keep a word doc listing them all, yikes! Impossible to keep the list updated or alphabetized.

Roboform stores them all for you, and is right there in your tool bar. Check it out. (Not an affiliate!)

Here are my top 3 tools:

  1. Roboform
  2. Scribe SEO content analyzer
  3. WordPress Headway Theme
  4. KickStartCart

I know that’s 4, but I can’t live without the Cart either! Read More→

Content Marketers Answer the $64,000 Question…

What does it mean to write content that “engages” readers? What the heck is engaging content? According to a recent survey by the Content Marketing Institute, this is the #1 challenge for people charged with creating content that markets businesses.

These questions are asked and answered by a distinguished group of contributors to the Content Marketing Institute’s blog and you can read the post here: What Does Engaging Content Mean?

I contributed my take: your content must create an emotional impact in the brains of readers if you hope to influence them to take any sort of action.

Here’s a summary of the ideas, in case you’re in a hurry:

  • Make sure content is relevant to your audience and helps them with an issue they have right now.
  • Give your audience something that they can’t find anywhere else.
  • Be entertaining, educational or both.
  • Tell the audience a story.
  • Invite the viewer to engage with you further by adding a call to action. Read More→

10 Conversion Tips from Brain Science

Why do people decide to buy a product online? How is it they decide to trust the information you provide, and register to download information from your blog or website? What can we learn from brain science?

This is something that intrigues me. I read a lot of research on motivation, decision making, and neuroscience to try to figure out how brain science can be applied to better content marketing.

The problem is not what you might think. We know enough about the brain and marketing today to realize people are influenced by unconscious feelings, as much as they are by logic and reasons.

Any professional who has studied content marketing and copywriting knows that you must use emotional stories to get people to take action.

The problem for content creators  is that so much of what influences and persuades is unconscious and specific for each reader. Everybody’s different, and you can’t possibly address each reader’s wants and desires.

What are the unconscious reasons for people’s actions, how do their emotions affect decisions, and how can professionals apply the principles of persuasion to create content that encourages users to take action? Read More→

Business Blogging: 4 Ways to Have Fun and Profits

(Vacation time, so here’s another guest post, this one by Susan Long,  freelance marketing consultant.)

If you’re writing your blog for more than just fun, you’ve probably thought about how you can make some money from it. There’s plenty of ways you can make cash from your writing, and you might not have thought of some of them before.

1) Putting ads on your blog

This is the most obvious way to make money blogging. You can sign up for Google Ads and Adbrite, which are two of the most well-known. The best thing about Google Ads and Adbrite is that you don’t have to have lots of readers to put their ads on your site. If you’re just starting out blogging one of these is the best way to start. You can also sell links in your articles with companies like or Text Link Ads.

Once you’ve got more readers – say maybe once you’re getting a thousand hits a week – you can think about approaching bigger ad networks like Chitika and putting more “mainstream” ads on your blog.

And if you have a specialist or local blog, remember you can approach relevant businesses directly and ask them to advertise. For instance if you write a blog about soccer in your country, you could ask sports stores in your city if they want to advertise

2) Putting ads in your RSS feed

If you use Feedburner to optimise your RSS feed (and if you aren’t, why not?), you can easily put ads in the RSS feed of your blog, so people who read your blog through RSS will see ads.

3) Pay-per-post Read More→

If Your Blog Writing Stinks…

Your blog writing can improve. What if there were a secret formula you could use to grab people’s attention, stimulate their desire, and trigger action? Ba-da-boom, instant sales and subscriptions.

Don’t be silly, there are no easy formulas, of course not. But just follow along with me here. I’ve been reading several neuroscience and communications books that say the same things in different ways, and I think these persuasion tips can easily apply to better blog writing.

Take a look at this diagram I whipped up with SmartDraw:

Grabbing readers’ attention is the first step, of course. (By the way, this doesn’t only apply to blog writing, but to other content marketing pieces and in general for web pages.)

Attention is generally done more effectively by negative content. That’s because negative stories wake us up. They activate the more primitive centers of the brain, especially the centers for fight or flight.

Negative stories start us thinking. For example, a reader might jolt up in their chair and think, “Oh dear, this could happen to me…” Like watching a car accident, we’re drawn into a story that is full of danger or fear.

But negative stories generate worry and anxiety, as well as caution. (You may be one of those cool dudes with an Alfred E. Neuman attitude, but don’t worry, even cool dudes feel the fear subconsciously. Oh yes you do, you just don’t admit it…)

Here’s the secret key to getting readers to act: negative stories get our attention, but they don’t stimulate us to action. To get readers to act, they have to want something different. So to stimulate a desire for change, you must switch your writing to positive stories.

In this part of your blog post, you start describing a better future. You enable the reader to see possibilities they have missed. Once their negativity buttons are triggered, you’ve got their attention, now do something with that.

When your blog writing includes positive stories, for example, how a client’s life changed when they started using your product, readers start seeing themselves in the picture.

Readers can see themselves in your story, and begin to imagine doing something new and different. This is how you stimulate desire for change. It is how you get readers primed to take the next step, to take the action you are going to suggest to them.

Let me tell you a personal story. Read More→

Online Persuasion: Seeing Through the Eyes of Your Customers

There’s an important shift in content marketing tactics that affects professionals who want to get found, get known and get clients online. And that shift means a different mindset.

I saw a great blog post the other day. There was a picture of a pair of glasses lying on a bench with this caption: Don’t you wish you could see through your customers’ glasses?

What if you could live in their shoes for a day? Or, track their brains as they go online to your website? What makes them click? What makes them take action?

Here’s where you should start thinking a little differently when writing content for the Web:

Smart content marketers are using persuasion tactics that appeal to emotions rather than reasons. They know that emotions not only guide our decisions and actions, they determine whether or not we buy.

When successful web writers create online content, they appeal to the senses and the emotions. They:

  • Grab attention through outrageous headlines and images
  • Appeal to basic human wants, desires
  • Tell a story of one person
  • Use emotional hot buttons
  • Use persuasion triggers
  • Motivate action with fear, scarcity, urgency

The most effective content marketing occurs with a mixture of both rational and emotional tactics. That’s because people use the emotional parts of their brains to make what they consider rational decisions. Read More→