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Blogging Doesn’t Sell Shit: How To Make Your Blog Convert Like Magic

Since refocusing and rebranding my business as The Write Copy Girl last August, life has been a bit like an episode of Star TrekThe ship blows up two minutes in. You’re sat there thinking, “What the damn hell?”, then time jumps back and it all happens again. And again. And again.

The same series of events playing out repeatedly, always ending the same way:


I love the Groundhog Day trope in Sci-Fi, but I’m a little less enthralled by it in real life. And yet for over a year now I’ve been stuck in a time loop.

You see, I keep having the same conversation. It goes something like this:

“What do you do for a living?”

“I’m a Content Marketer.”

“Oh, cooooool….wait, WTF is that?”

“I help entrepreneurs sell their stuff by blogging and creating other fab content for them.”

Blogging? Is that a scam? Come on, blogging doesn’t sell shit!

This seems to be a commonly held belief.

Blogging is fun and all, but it doesn’t actually sell stuff. It’s not, like, a viable business model…

I understand it coming from people who aren’t involved in online marketing. I find it worrying coming from digital marketers and entrepreneurs, yet many genuinely believe blogging isn’t capable of actually selling anything.

It’s useful for, like, SEO and stuff, but it’s not really marketing is it? You need ads and stuff for that…

Today I’m addressing the issue head on and telling you exactly how to make your blog convert like magic, turn readers into paying clients, and sell your shit.

How I Know Blogging Sells Shit

Before we go any further, I want to reassure you that I’m not full of shit myself.

I know blogging is a viable marketing model, fully capable of not only selling your stuff, but selling enough of your stuff to build a successful business.

That’s exactly how I built mine.

Since I started as an entrepreneur I’ve never had enough money on hand to pay for advertising. The few times I tried Facebook ads in the early days I didn’t have enough of an understanding about how marketing works to make them effective.

It took me a long time to figure out exactly where my Zone of Genius lay.

I finally realised my focus should be on writing and nothing else when I noticed the most successful offering I had was writing blog posts for other entrepreneurs. My clients used the posts I wrote to sell stuff, and the more people I worked with the more I learned about writing blog posts that convert.

Trial, error, and a lot of experimentation led to the development of my signature service, The Divine Blogging Design.

In August 2016 I shut down my old business and started The Write Copy Girl, offering the same blogging services I’d had such success with, and my newly developed content marketing service as my core offerings.

So I know blogging sells. It sells for my clients every day.

It’s also the only form of marketing I currently use.

With the exception of a four week long AdWords campaign with a very low budget, run in February this year, which resulted in a couple of small pieces of work, the only marketing I’ve used in The Write Copy Girl to date is blogging.

No adverts. No PR. No paid marketing methods of any kind.

Just content.

How Blogging Tripled My Income

It’s currently the beginning of November and I’ve already TRIPLED my income on last year.

See for yourself…

Blogging Doesn't Sell Shit How To Make Your Blog Convert Like Magic

I may end up more than tripling my income, given that there are almost two months left in the year. I also turned down a lot of work between April and July as I was managing some health issues and limited myself to work that was already on the books during those months.

So for four months of the year I was actively turning away work, and still, I’ve tripled my income.

And I had zero marketing budget.

Zip, nil, nada.

That’s an incredible amount of growth, entirely achieved by blogging.

Blogging sells.

There is, however, a caveat to that, and it’s a big one: blogging sells when structured effectively.

Too many people dismiss content marketing as an unviable strategy for generating sales because they try it, and it doesn’t work.

But converting readers into paying clients isn’t easily done.

Just because blogging works, doesn’t mean it works without effort.

There are a litany of mistakes people make that prevent their content marketing strategies from ever earning them a penny.

The kicker is, any one of these mistakes can put a serious dent in the profitability of your content marketing efforts. And making more than one or two of them at once will keep you from making any money at all.

Rather than writing a post explaining how to blog for profit, I thought I’d collect the various reasons I’ve observed over the years that cause blogging efforts to fail.

Avoid the pitfalls, and you have a recipe for success. So, if you want your blog to convert like magic, make damn sure you’re not making any of these common mistakes…

#1 You’re Not Writing For Your Ideal Client

When your goal is to earn money it can colour the way you write. You start coming up with topic ideas and posts that you think will effectively promote your stuff.

The problem with this is that it results in writing for yourself, to promote your objectives, rather than writing for your ideal client, and provide them with valuable content.

And they’re not stupid.

If you write something from the perspective of a seller, rather than a provider, they will see through you.

They won’t respond well to your writing, and may be turned off completely.

Think about what their wants and needs are. Write stuff that will genuinely help, entertain, inspire, comfort, or inform them.

If you do that, they will naturally want more, and happily pay for it.

Blogging Doesn't Sell Shit How To Make Your Blog Convert Like Magic

#2 You Have Fuzzy Objectives

Just because you’re writing with your ideal clients’ needs in mind doesn’t mean you should abandon your own needs.

You need a crystal clear objective for every post you write.

Your overall objective is ‘to make money’, but that’s a big picture goal. It’s extremely rare for a blog post to achieve it, and even rarer for it to achieve it for any length of time.

Instead, each of your blog posts will achieve a small victory that builds into a greater whole.

Here are some key objectives your content needs to achieve on a regular basis:

  • Raising awareness of your brand
  • Informing readers about the value of what you’re selling
  • Providing social and statistical proof that you’re the best person for the job
  • Building the know, like, and trust factor with your audience
  • Driving signups to your email list
  • Encouraging people to follow you on a social media platform

While your posts may help you achieve more than one of these things, you should only have one goal for each post. A core objective that the whole post is designed to further.

#3 You’re Using The Wrong Blogging Model

This is by far the biggest mistake I see people make.

There are different ways of blogging, and some are more suited to selling than others.

Hobby bloggers, for example, rarely try to actively sell through their blog. When they do, they’re not selling products or services in a business, but have byproducts of their hobby on sale.

Book versions of blogs are really common.

A knitter might sell their own knitting patterns, or finished products.

An artist might sell their paintings or pottery.

At some stage the amount being sold dictates that the blog is a business, not just a hobby. Yet the method of blogging used only shifts to a business model if the core goal of the blogger ceases to be ‘writing about something I love doing’, and becomes ‘earn money from doing what I love’.

If you started off as a hobby blogger, the odds are you’re still blogging with a hobbyist’s mindset. And there’s nothing wrong with that if you’re happy for your business to tootle along.

But if you’re looking to maximise your profits and grow your business, you need to stop blogging like it’s a hobby, and start blogging like it’s a business.

And even then, different blogging models exist depending on what you want your blog to achieve for your business.

SEO Blogging

Some people use blogging as a means of improving search engine rankings and driving traffic to their site. Blogging is only part of their marketing strategy, it’s by no means the whole, and its core function is SEO, not content marketing.

In this model, blogging helps with sales, but there is no direct correlation between the blog posts written and the money earned.

Because of that, it’s easy to think that blogging isn’t selling anything.

Entrepreneurs who use this blogging model are the ones that say things like, “Yeah, it’s great for SEO, but it doesn’t actually sell stuff.”

Technically, it doesn’t sell stuff. They’re not wrong. But SEO blogging forms a cog in a much bigger machine, and that machine does sell stuff!

That machine wouldn’t run if the blog cog suddenly stopped turning.

Content Marketing

Content Marketing, on the other hand, has a direct correlation between blog posts and profit. You can see how effective it is.

You know which posts have led to the most signups to your email list.

You can even see how much money you make from each person on your list, and backtrack it to figure out how much has been earned from each individual post.

It’s tangible profit, and therefore a lot easier to understand.

Whether you’re a hobby blogger, an SEO blogger, or a content marketer, all three forms of blogging have the potential to sell your stuff, earn you money, and convert readers into clients.

BUT if you use the wrong blogging model for your business model, you won’t get anywhere.

Blogging Doesn't Sell Shit How To Make Your Blog Convert Like Magic

#4 Your Posts Are The Wrong Length

Using the right blogging model impacts your ability to sell through your blog for a lot of reasons. One of those is post length.

That requires a lot of time and/or resources, as well as expertise. If you are a hobby blogger, or only writing blog posts to boost your search engine ranking, content marketing is likely a greater investment than you’re willing or able to make.

Even if you are willing to make it, it may not be the most productive and profitable way for you to spend that time and those resources.

Boosting your SEO can be done quickly and easily using short, c.500 word posts, and this is the form of blogging favoured by a lot of business owners, especially those with product-based business models, or bricks-and-mortar businesses.

It can work very well, but it is not an effective form of content marketing.

As I mentioned last week, the days of content marketing being synonymous with blogging are long dead.

If you’re trying to drive signups and establish your expertise in a niche, a 500 word post just won’t cut it.

So it’s important to understand post lengths and create content that is the right length for your business model, blogging model, and core objectives. (This only emphasises why it’s so important to clearly understand your objectives!)

#5 You’re Not Search Engine Optimising Your Blog Posts

One of the biggest ways blogging will earn you money is by boosting your search engine ranking, and driving a massive amount of organic traffic to your site.

Great SEO means you have no (or very little!) need for paid advertising.

The majority of my own traffic is fairly evenly split between organic traffic coming from search engines and social media.

If you’re not optimising your blog posts effectively for search, you will miss out on all that traffic. That will not only eat into the number of people on your website, it will massively diminish the number of new people who find you through your content.

Unless you have 100% client retention, any blogging strategy that doesn’t consistently attract new readers is going to fail eventually, even if it makes money initially.

I mentioned SEO blogging and content marketing as separate models, and they are, but long-form blog posts are actually much better for your SEO when properly optimised. The reason they’re not used in SEO blogging is that the benefits drawn from SEO alone aren’t usually worth the effort and resources they require.

The reverse is not true. The SEO benefits of a full content marketing strategy are massive and in order to leverage your strategy to earn you as much as possible, SEO is essential.

Just because your core objective is list building, or launching a service, rather than building your search engine ranking, doesn’t mean SEO isn’t vital to your objective.

Blogging Doesn't Sell Shit How To Make Your Blog Convert Like Magic

#6 You’re Not Building Your List

Just as content marketers often forget about SEO, search engine bloggers often neglect to build their list.

In fact, list-building is one area of blogging that entrepreneurs across the board often shy away from. They may not believe it’s worth the effort, or think it’s more trouble than it’s worth. Some of them simply don’t know how to do it effectively. Others know they should, want to, and are fully aware of how to do it, but they haven’t started yet.

They’re waiting until they have money or time to achieve it, or can afford to outsource it.

But one of the most powerful ways your blog can sell your stuff is by growing your email marketing list. Your list is usually what actually sells stuff, but your list won’t sell a thing if it’s not populated by your ideal clients.

That’s where your blog comes in.

People don’t magically materialise on your email list, they have to choose to sign up to it.

This is done through the creation of a lead magnet – a free resource that has enough value that you could actually charge money for it, if you chose to. Instead, you’ll give it away for free, but only in exchange for people joining your list.

If you don’t have any lead magnets, you’re not actively doing anything to build your list.

That’s going to seriously curtail your earning potential!

#7 You Don’t Have Any Content Upgrades

Most business owners who use email marketing are aware of the concept of using Lead Magnets to grow their list. They may not have any, but they know they should, and plan to create one (or more) soon. A lot of entrepreneurs already have lead magnets and are using them to great effect.  

The trick they miss, however, is the ease with which you can build optin opportunities into your blog posts through content upgrades.

These take far less time and resources to create, and can easily be added to your blog posts. You can work them naturally into the text, compelling people to signup at multiple opportunities.

#8 You’re Not Promoting Your Content

There is a myth in online marketing that I refer to as The Cornfield Paradox.

The notion is really simple: if you build it, they will come.

This is the biggest lie told in marketing. Building a website and writing blog posts IS NOT ENOUGH. Your blog will never sell if you’re not promoting your posts.

Before you start screaming, “Hey, hey, hey! You said I didn’t need adverts!” – cool your tits.

When I say ‘promote’ I don’t mean paid promotions. I mean sharing your blogs on social media, sending out email newsletters, spending time networking, and sharing your content in targeted groups of your ideal clients.

If you’re not promoting your content, nobody knows it’s there. SEO is one form of promotion, and effective SEO will raise awareness of your content, but even that, on its own, isn’t enough.

Like I said, my website traffic is half SEO driven, and half social media driven.

To really make money from your blogging, one is not enough.

You need both.

Blogging Doesn't Sell Shit How To Make Your Blog Convert Like Magic

#9 You’re Not Promoting Your Content ENOUGH

The next mistake people make is massively underestimating how much they need to share their content. One Tweet isn’t going to do much good. One share on Facebook is likewise not going to get you very far.

If you’re already promoting your content, I applaud your efforts, you’re doing great, but ask yourself, are you promoting it enough?

#10 You’re Promoting The Wrong Thing

I’m a great advocate for promoting ALL your content, but there are certain types of content that need more attention than others. There are certain types that don’t really stand to be shared a lot.

Seasonal posts, for example, are only relevant for a brief window and shouldn’t be promoted after that window has passed.

Evergreen content, on the other hand, can and should be promoted for extended periods.

There’s also the question of those times you choose to pay to promote your business.

If you’re going to pay for people to look at anything on your website, drive traffic to a killer blog post that includes a solid call to action to sign up for an amazing lead magnet.

Don’t advertise your sales page!

Unless you’re in the middle of a launch, when things work a bit differently, you will find it far more effective to drive traffic to the content most likely to get people on your list.

#11 You Don’t Have A Nurture Sequence

Which leads me to the next mistake people make. They expend so much energy in getting people to sign up, and then do nothing with them.

You need a carefully written nurture sequence with a solid structure and strategy, bolstered by more of your amazing content, in order to convert people from subscribers to clients.

Your blog is a catalyst compelling people to sign up. Once they’ve signed up it’s also the fuel that keeps them moving down their journey.

Your nurture sequence is the delivery mechanism for all that fuel. Without it, your conversions will stall.

Blogging Doesn't Sell Shit How To Make Your Blog Convert Like Magic

#12 You Aren’t Using Multi-Media Formats

Blogging isn’t all about writing. Not anymore.

If you haven’t already, start a vlog! I cannot overstate the super awesome power of video marketing.

Video is only going to become more vital to your marketing as time goes on. Start now!

#13 You’re Not Effectively Explaining The Value Of Your Services

The biggest gap in any blogging or content marketing strategy is that which lies between your audience’ knowledge of you, affection for you, and trust in you, and their ability to grasp the value of your products and services.

If they don’t understand why the thing you’re selling is valuable to them, it doesn’t matter how much they know, like, and trust you, they will still never buy.

Pack your blog with posts that demonstrate you understand exactly what your readers’ problems are, and you have the perfect solution to fix them.

Paint them a picture. Show them a world free from their pain points. And make sure they’re fully aware that all they need to do to get to that shiny Nirvanaesque place is buy your shit!

#14 Your Content Is Inconsistent

Lack of consistency is another big problem a lot of people have. A blog post here and there won’t do any good.

You need to produce content that is consistent in quality and regular in its publication.

The frequency with which you post isn’t nearly as important as posting consistently!

If you post once a week for 12 weeks and then nothing for nine months, you’re not going to get very far at all.

If, on the other hand, you post once a month for a year, you’ll make better progress.

Of course, you would ideally post once a week for a year, but that’s not always possible.

Choose consistency and quality over quantity every time!

#15 You’re Not Automating Your Content

I’m not going to lie, creating a blog that converts and earns money is tough.

Good blogging doesn’t happen without effort.

Content marketing is hard work, and a lot of it.

You can quickly exhaust yourself and your resources. The more you streamline the process the greater your ability to achieve quality and that much-needed consistency becomes.

Automate as much as you possibly can. This is especially true of the promotional elements of your content strategy. There is no reason not to automate your social media! You can still post and interact with people in real-time, it doesn’t have to be 100% automated, but automation ensures consistency and takes a lot of the pressure off you.

Blogging Doesn't Sell Shit How To Make Your Blog Convert Like Magic

#16 You’re Not Repurposing Your Content

Tied to this is the need to repurpose everything.

A Tweet will get almost the same amount of engagement the second time you post it than it did the first. It may even get more!

Not everyone will see your content when you share it, so sharing it multiple times isn’t an issue.

In fact, it’s a necessity.

This is one of the main reasons I encourage everyone to record content in video form. Videos can be converted into any other form of content. You have visual, audio, and written options.

Every time you create a blog repurpose it. Use bits and pieces for social media messages, take quotes from it and create memes, pull it apart and put it back together in as many different ways as you can.

Got long-form content? Write short-form versions for use on different platforms!

The possibilities are endless and there’s no need to reinvent the wheel.

#17 You’re Trying To Do It All On Your Own

Overwhelmed yet?

The number of things you need to do to make your blog convert like magic are seemingly endless. A fully functional content marketing strategy takes a phenomenal amount of work.

Research, writing, editing, SEO, proofreading, formatting, designing, image creation, recording, uploading, promoting…

If you’re running a business you also have a few billion other things to do.

The main reason blogging fails is not a lack of understanding on the part of the blogger, but a lack of time, resources, and inclination to get it all done.

It’s just too much.

At least, it’s too much to do all on your own.

I am a professional content marketer and I don’t do all my own content marketing!

In the early days, I did everything myself. When business was relatively slow and I could spend the time on it. Then business picked up and some of it fell by the wayside. My social media promotion has been virtually non-existent this year because I no longer had the time to do it.

Sorting out my clients’ social media took priority. My marketing suffered as a result and something had to give.

Despite this, I still tripled my income this year. Had the social media strategy I use for my clients been up and running for my business, I’m quite certain that figure would be even higher.

I’ve spent most of the year building a cracking team around me to take off as much of the load as possible. I now have a VA who handles my newsletter, a social media manager who deals not only with promoting my content (you may have noticed a huge boost in activity starting last week!), but all my clients’ content too. I have a web developer, a web designer, and a technical assistant who collectively handle the website.

The strategy and writing are still my responsibility, because that is where I excel. That is my Zone of Genius. But the rest of it is stuff that is best left to other people.

It’s too much to do on your own!

Identify the areas of your content marketing strategy you’re amazing at, do those, and outsource the rest.

If you feel you’re unable (or disinclined) to do any of it, outsource the whole lot!

#18 You’re Genuinely Trying To Sell Shit

There is one final point that needs to be made.

Sometimes the reason your blog isn’t selling shit, is that you’re literally trying to sell shit.

If the services or products you’re offering are no good, no amount of blogging in the world will sell them. There are loads of reasons they might be bad, from being over (or under!) priced, to being poor quality, failing to effectively solve your audience’s problems, failing to meet the genuine needs of your audience, and much more.

It could easily be that they’re good offerings, they’re just not right for the people you’re trying to sell them to. If that’s the case you either need to retarget at the right people, or change your offerings.

When you’re doing everything I’ve covered in this post, and doing it well, you should be selling your shit left, right, centre, upside down and backwards.

If you’re not successfully selling, and you’re absolutely sure you’re doing everything right, the problem is not with your blog.

It’s what your blog is trying to sell.

If that’s the case, go back to your ideal client and figure out what they really, truly need. Find the point where those needs crossover with your skills and Zone of Genius, and create something new to sell.

Something you can show the value of, that they will fall over themselves to have.

Something they can’t live without.

And if you’re looking for help developing a complete content marketing strategy that covers all the bases, and gets your blog converting like magic, check out The Divine Blogging Design (aka the system that tripled my income this year) and book a FREE discovery call now…

How To Easily Find Your Tribe And Kill The Vampire Hoard

A client of mine recently shared a common problem. “My blog posts are amazing,” she said, “but they’re just not selling anything.” The problem was deceptively simple. My client has a business selling local services in and around London. A lot of people face the same issue when they sell locally based products and services, that can only be obtained in a particular area or region. It comes down to the fact that it’s difficult for you to find your tribe when you run a local business. And even when you successfully pull it off, there are a limited number of them.

My client has a lot of followers on her social media, so her content was reaching people. They were reading it, loving it, and responding really well to it, but the majority of them weren’t actually in a position to buy anything from her, because they weren’t living in London.

Does this sound familiar?

You’ve got plenty of followers, people love your stuff, and read your stuff, but you’re just not selling anything. The problem isn’t that you don’t have people following you. The problem, is that they’re the wrong people.

They’re not your tribe. Sure, they look, talk, and act like they are, but they’re never going to convert. They’ll keep sucking up your content, but they’ll never give you anything in return.

Yes, they’re vampires.

It can be tricky to recognise vampires in your midst, because they look very much like regular ideal clients. Here’s how to easily find your tribe and kill all those time-sucking vampires.

Lots Of Followers Does Not A Tribe Make

Having lots of followers on social media makes you feel great. It’s a really good ego boost. But if those followers aren’t ever going to be in a position to pay you money, they’re not going to do your business any good.

If you have a business that sells local services that require people to be in a specific location, or products that can only be shipped to certain areas of the world, this is a real problem.

Your content marketing needs to reach the very specific people who are capable of buying from you. Because as much as that content will bring value to people outside your catchment area or delivery capabilities, you’re not going to get anything out of it.

No matter how lovely and wonderful these people are, and no matter how much you would love them to become clients, they’re just sucking the life out of you.

They will take, take, take, are never giving anything back.

Which is why I call them (rather unfairly I suppose), vampires.

They gobble up all your content, and greedily take anything you’ll give them, but they will never, ever buy from you.

Not because they don’t love you and your stuff, not because they aren’t perfectly happy to invest in you and your business, but because (for whatever reason), they can’t.

The Vampires In Your Tribe

Vampires might be people who are outside your catchment area. They might be people who live in countries to which you can’t deliver products. But they could equally be people who simply cannot afford your prices, or could afford your prices but are never going to pay your prices because they don’t believe your product/service is worth investing money in.

They will happily read free content, but they will never, ever stump up the cash for a paid version of that content.

Say that you offer an online course or a book on exactly the same subject as the free content they love. these vampires will happily read the free stuff, but don’t care enough, or don’t value it enough, to pay money to learn more.

Not even if the amount they would need to pay is small, like the price of a £10 book. They’re never going to pay it; it’s not something they prioritise or place any kind of monetary value on.

The Nature Of Vampires (In Business)

Vampire are not (generally) malicious people. They don’t mean you any harm. They’re not unpleasant or being purposefully nasty. It’s just that they get as much as they can from you in the form of your free content.

And it’s okay to have a few vampires loitering in your tribe.

Some of them (if you do a stellar job with your content marketing), will eventually turn into people who are happy to invest in you. Just because they’re not willing to invest in you now, doesn’t meal they never will be. But that kind of conversion takes a really long time.

If you’re converting readers who are actively looking for your product or service, it already takes time and a lot of effort on your part to convince them that you’re worth buying into. And they are people who already want what you’re selling.

The likelihood of converting people who don’t want what you’re selling is a lot lower, and if they do convert it will take an awful lot longer.

So for your business to work, for your business to prosper, you need to have a tribe of people who are very likely to invest in you, and capable of investing in you.

They need to check both those boxes. They need to be within your catchment area, or within the area that you are capable of delivering to, and they also need to be the kind of person who are both willing and able to pay you money for your products and services. Anybody else, and as much as they might fit into your model for an ideal client in other ways, they are not part of your tribe.

They are just time-sucking vampires.

You Need To Target The Right People To Find Your Tribe

There are three really important things that you have to do to combat this issue. The first is to make sure that you are targeting people very specifically online. So when you’re finding your tribe and growing your following there are a lot of ways to gain organic reach. But that’s quite a slow process, it takes time. It’s also difficult (though not impossible! See below) to get really targeted with it.

Consider the difference between being able to target female entrepreneurs, using #fempreneur or #FemaleEntrepreneur, and then compare that with the ability to setup an advert that specifically targets people who are interested in female entrepreneurship, and live in a certain area, and are a particular age and gender, and spend a certain minimum threshold online.

If you do that, then you not only know the people that you’re targeting are female entrepreneurs, that they are also definitely in whatever parameters you’ve set for your ideal client. They’re capable of buying into your products and services, and they’re likely to do it.

While there is an awful lot you can do with your content that will gain you organic reach and organic likes, to be really specific in who you end up gathering into your tribe on social media, it is a very good idea to advertise some of your content to that extremely specific audience. To ensure that as many people as possible following you are the exact people that you want to be viewing your content; the people who are most likely to be able to buy from you.

Sell Digital Products To Welcome More People Into A Limited Tribe

The next thing that you can do to help deal with this is to help setup digital products. If you’re limited in your business to people who live in the specific location that you are in (for example, you can only cater to people within a 15 mile radius of your base), that’s a very small area to focus on.

It can work very well for a particular businesses. But if you want to expand beyond that, cater to a wider range of people and take advantage of all the followers that you’ve established online, you can create digital products.

Then you’ve suddenly opened yourself up to a much wider audience.

The Importance Of Slaying Vampires

The final thing that you have to do is slay those pesky vampires. It sounds cruel, and in many ways it is a bit mean, but you have to remember that you are running a business here.

The bottom line is your bottom line.

So if you have a tribe but they’re not supporting your business, if they’re not bringing in any income, if they’re not actually going to give you what you need to sustain the business they love, they’re a really bad tribe.

It’s so worth you taking the time to filter your tribe a little to make sure the people you’re attracting are genuinely going to enrich your business, and to be the kind of people that you want following it.

The Trap Of Thinking You Have A Truly International Business

So you might be sitting there thinking that this doesn’t apply to you, especially if you do offer digital products and services already.

It’s easy to fall into this sort of comfort zone of thinking that because you’re digital, you don’t have to worry about vampires creeping into your tribe and sucking the life out of you.

I’m here to tell you, you do have to worry.

Everybody has to worry about vampires.

For example, I offer exclusively digital products at the moment. I will have books coming out next year, but at the moment that’s not happened. So everything I sell, I sell purely online, all of it’s digital. It would easy for me to think it didn’t matter who I targeted in my marketing in terms of location, because I’m online and anybody with an internet connection can buy from me.

But while my services are available internationally, they’re not actually suitable for an international audience.

They are only suitable for English speakers. Because I’m a writer, I write in English. I’m not capable of writing in any other language. So anyone who doesn’t want their content in English is screwed coming to me. There’s just no way that they’re ever going to buy from me. So even if they speak English, if the content that they need creating is not in the English language, they’re never, ever going to buy my services.

So when I’m targeting my content at people, I’m always sure to target it at specific areas.

The UK is a no brainer for me, I’m based in the UK, I’m English, I write in English, that’s the end of it.

But I also target people in America, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand.

Beyond that, I don’t actively target anywhere else in the world.

I have people who follow me from elsewhere in the world, but they’re people who’ve found me organically.

The majority of my tribe are British or American, with a few from Canada, Australia, and New Zealand.

That is by design, I did that very purposefully.

Why You Should Be Selective About Finding Your Tribe

If you don’t sell digital products but you do sell products on an international level, you might again think that it doesn’t matter where your audience is based, because you can ship anywhere.

But can you really ship anywhere?

Think about that for a minute. Think about the postal costs involved with shipping to certain countries. Think about import charges, export charges, airmail charges, all these other things. If you are genuinely capable of shipping to absolutely anywhere in the world for the same price, okay? So for the same cost to you, then absolutely go for it. You can advertise to anybody as long as they can understand your adverts.

If you’re based in the UK, you may find it preferable to ship to people in the UK, because that is a lot easier and a lot less expensive.

You may find that you are happy to ship elsewhere, but you prefer to only ship to people in Europe or the US, because again, those are the places that we can most easily ship to in the most economical way possible.

If you’re shipping physical products, there are a lot of factors to take into account when you’re costing the amount of postage.

People often fall into the trap of offering free postage because that’s a really good offer to give people. Or they offer a flat rate of postage. If you’re going to do that, it’s a very good marketing tactic. But you can run into real trouble if you do it without thinking through who may take advantage of that.

I have had this problem before in my publishing house where I’ve been selling books. I had a flat international rate that was very reasonable for certain countries, but for other countries that cost four, five, six times as much money to actually post things.

I had people ordering and paying for the product and the flat rate, and by the time I’d actually posted the item to them, I’d spent money sending it to them. Rather than earning anything from the sale, it actually cost me money.

That was one of the earliest lessons that I learnt when I was first starting out running my publishing house (long before I started a writing business): was you have to be really careful when you’re posting physical things to people, that you calculate the shipping rates properly and that you target the people in areas that you are best able to cater to.

I could have simply changed the shipping rates to reflect a realistic rate that wouldn’t cause a problem, but doing so would have meant charging clients a small fortune. Instead, I now only ship to people in the UK. Anyone else I direct to Amazon so that they can buy off their local Amazon site, because it’s just the only logistical way I can do it without costing myself a fortune. I don’t make as much money per sale I would selling direct and charging proper postage, but my clients are better served (they save a lot on P&P), and I am in an area I can comfortably handle.

Sometimes it’s not about what you are capable of doing, but what you want to do most.

Why It’s Hard To Find Your Tribe When You Have A Local Businesses

Businesses that deliver services in person are the most obvious people to run into this problem.

You have a local business that’s based in a specific location and you can only cater to people within a 10 or 15 mile radius of that location. For example, you offer cleaning services and you can only clean the houses of people that are within a certain travelling distance.

It’s no good having people in your tribe who are outside of that catchment area. It doesn’t matter how much they love your content, it doesn’t matter how much they love the sounds of your business and your services, you can’t physically get to them to give them those services.

They’re never going to pay you to come to their house; you can’t go to their house.

So how exactly do you fix this problem? That’s what you all want to know.

The biggest step in dealing with this situation is to realise that you have vampires in your midst in the first place. They can be difficult to recognise. So it’s important to actually look at your tribe and the people who are engaging most with your content, and figure out whether they are the type of person who is ever likely to pay for your stuff.

If they are not, then you have a problem, you have vampires among you.

Why Are You Beset By Vampires?

The next thing you need to do is figure out why they are not going to buy from you.

Are they in the wrong place physically?

Are they in the wrong age or gender group?

Are they outside the scope of your business from a cultural perspective, so are they speaking literally a different language to you?

Or are they just the type of person who is quite happy to learn about what you’re offering for free, but is never, ever going to be willing to invest any money in getting any more?

Once you’ve figured all of that out, you should be able to work it back and figure out exactly how to define the people who will be perfect for your tribe. People who are in the right area, in the right business, who will value what you have to offer, and will be willing to invest in it.

You need to specify that as much as possible, with tangible, quantifiable factors that you can put on it. So a geographical location is quantifiable, it’s tangible. You can literally put a pin in a map and say that is exactly where people need to be.

Target Your Tribe With Pay Per Click Advertising

Once you’ve got it all worked out, there are a few different things that you can do. The first one is using very, very targeted pay per click advertising. So there are loads of platforms that offer PPC advertising, like Facebook, Google AdWords, Twitter, various other social media accounts. It’s usually possible to get really, really specific with who you want to see your advert. So this can be basic, like saying that you want them to speak English, or you can specify age, gender, but you can also specify things like geographical location down to miles, okay? So it doesn’t have to be England. You can put in your exact postcode and say that you want people within X number of miles of that postcode, okay? So that’s how you get people in your catchment area. You can say, “I want people within 15 miles of my home postcode.” Or, “I want people in this specific city or town.”

More than that, you can target people based on their interests. So I mentioned female entrepreneurs before, that’s a way of targeting people based on their interests. So you might target people who were interested in entrepreneurship, in blogging, in digital marketing, in yoga, in healthy eating, in whatever it is that your business does. If you find the right way of putting it into the parameters of your advertising system, you should be able to target people who have a specific interest in your specific niche. The more parameters that you put in to your pay per click targeting, the more specific it will get, the fewer people you will be able to reach with your advert, okay?

So it gets a bit scary for people. They look at it and they see the number of people, the estimated number of people that their adverts will reach, shrinking. They think, “Oh my god, oh my god, oh my god, I have to stop. Because before it was going to reach 15 million people and now it’s only going to reach 500,000. That’s stupid. I need to reach as many people as possible.” But that’s wrong, okay? That’s very, very, very wrong. It’s no good reaching 5 million people or 500 million people, or however many people there are if they’re the wrong people, okay? So if you’re paying for an advert that is going out to loads and loads of people, who are not very specifically targeted, that is called spray and pray advertising, when you basically spray your advert at anybody and everybody and pray that some of them buy.

Targeted advertising, on the other hand, you will reach far fewer people, but the people you do reach are going to be the very, very specific type of people who are most likely to buy from you. So even though your advert will be seen by fewer people, it will be far more successful.

Find Your Tribe With Localised SEO

You can also use localised SEO, that’s search engine optimization, to target your content at people. This is a great way to do this organically. So if you don’t want to pay for an advertising campaign, but you still want to make sure that your content is targeted at your specific niche audience, you can use SEO to do that.

So you would include keywords that were localised. So for example, if I was going to do this, my keywords that I would be optimising my blog posts for wouldn’t just be copywriting services, for example, they would be, copywriting services in Manchester, or copywriting services near Chester, things like that. So you could get really, really specific with the keywords that you use, and you localise them, so that when somebody who is in your area is searching for your specific service or product, they’re not just going to type in ‘copywriting services’. They’re going to type in things like ‘copywriting services near me’.

So when people are searching for a local product or service, they’re not going to do it by putting in the generic search term for that. So for example, somebody searching for a local copywriter is not just going to type in, ‘copywriting services’. They’re going to type in, ‘copywriting services near me’, or ‘copywriting services in …’ and then their specific town. So by localising your SEO, you will catch the people who are very, very specifically searching for what you do, where you do it.

Direct Mail Marketing

Now, another great way to make sure that people are within the right geographical area for you, is to actually use direct mail. So rather than email marketing, use good old fashioned postal marketing. So you print up some flyers, leaflets, brochures, whatever you like, and you send it out to people via the post. Now, this does require you obviously to have their addresses. So it can get a little bit more complicated. But it’s actually quite easy to fix. Every time somebody inquires about your business via your website, if you have a form setup, make sure that the form they have to fill in in order to send their inquiry includes their postal address.

You can do this really politely. So for example, on my website the field on the form that asks people for this information doesn’t just say ‘address’, it says ‘postal address, so I can send you cool stuff’, okay? So you can let them know that the reason you’re asking for it is so that you can send things to them for free, not so that you can turn up on their door and accost them in their homes.

You may find that people don’t want to hand over their address. So you might not want to make it a required field. If you make it a required field, you will put people off. But if you put it there and give people the option of giving you that information, then you’ll find a lot of people actually do happily give it to you, because they want you to send them free stuff. They’re not stupid, they understand that when you say free stuff, you mean offers, okay? So when you send direct marketing out to people, you don’t just send them a price list and expect them to buy. You send them an incentive. So you send them 10% off voucher, a coupon for buy one get one free, or something that makes it worth their while to actually buy from you.

Local Ads And Hangouts

You can also take advantage of local areas and put adverts in physical locations, so you might put them in the post office, in the window of local shops, café houses, or anywhere that you know your ideal client is likely to be. So I recently went and had a massage at my favourite beauty spa in town. So I came out ready to pay, and on the counter was a stack of leaflets for a mindfulness class that was being run locally.

Now, it had absolutely nothing to do with the beauty spa whatsoever, it wasn’t a product or service that they sold, they just let the people running the workshop put them in there because they knew that a lot of their clients were interested in finding ways of calming themselves down and being a little bit more mindful, and it worked really well. I picked up a leaflet, I bought the seminar, I paid money for it, I went, I attended, it was great. So that’s a really good example of using the places that you know your idea clients will be, to put things in front of them that get them to notice you as well. So the lady that was running that mindfulness workshop hadn’t paid the beauty salon anything to include the flyers on the counter, they’d done a swap. So when I went to the mindfulness course, there were flyers there from my beauty salon as well. So it goes both ways, it’s a reciprocal relationship that can work really, really well.

Find Where Your Tribe Are Online

Another great way of targeting people digitally is to identify places that they will be online. Facebook groups are a really good way of doing this, or groups on LinkedIn, and other social platforms that offer group functions. If you can find groups that are filled with people you know are your ideal client and you get involved in those groups, join in the conversations, and share your knowledge, your understanding of things, and when appropriate, your products and services, that’s a great way of making sure that the people who come to know who you are and start following you are people who are likely to actually buy from you.

Following Through With Your Tribe

Of course, once you have started building your tribe of ideal clients and getting rid of all of those pesky vampires, you need to make sure that you have a really effective way of getting in touch with them to tell them about your amazing stuff. So you need to gear as much of your efforts as possible towards building an email list. Now, when you’re putting that much effort into growing your online platforms, so your social media and various other things, or if you’re putting loads of effort into attracting people to come to your bricks and mortar business and actually be there physically, it’s really easy to forget that you need an emailing list.

So you know, you can post on Facebook and your Facebook followers will see. You can tell people in person when they come in and see your shop, about various offers and services that you have. But the problem with that is, what happens if nobody comes into your shop? What happens if Facebook crashes and you lose all your followers? So you need to have a way of contacting your list that is just yours, that is exclusively your own, that they have willingly opted into, that you can use to get in touch with them whenever you like.

Need a little help creating a Content Marketing strategy that works for you and your business? If you’re beset by vampires and looking to use your content to find your tribe, The Divine Blogging Design is perfect for your needs. Book a free discovery call now…

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