A lot of entrepreneurs aren’t exactly superb at selling. Let’s be honest, entrepreneurs avoid selling like a plaque.

Selling is tough.

Go in too soft on a lead and you’ll lose him/her. Go in too strong and you’ll piss them off. This is a universal problem. Whether you’re trying to sell face to face or over the internet, the challenge remains – how to close sales without annoying your customers.

If you’re using your company blog as a sales advertisement, you’re shooting yourself in the foot.  Some companies only update their blog when they have a promotion running. Customers may appreciate a heads up in terms of a sale, but know this, your blog isn’t the best place to announce sales and promos.

The truth is that customers aren’t reading your blog to find out about your newest discount item. They are looking for answers, guidance, and informational material that can help them make certain decisions.

Providing them content that meets these needs is your gateway to building relationships and credibility. By publishing posts that say nothing but “buy me,” you’re doing yourself more harm than good in terms of conversions.

But how can a business owner expect to move customers toward a purchase, if 1,000-word sales-pitch posts don’t work? Let’s look at some of the proper ways to sell from blogpost without annoying your customers.

1. Use the educational post

Educational blog posts are perhaps the most popular method of selling online. These blog posts describe the purpose of your product, but the overall goal is to thoroughly educate the customer instead of attempting to pitch a sale.

This type of blog post works because they’re not pushy by nature. If done properly, an educational blog post can help influence a customer to buy your product or service due to its features and benefits. In other words, you’ll describe your product, its benefits, and include more in-depth information than a traditional “sales” post.

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If you want to write killer educational blog posts, don’t just skim the surface of your product or services. Go deep. Include expert information that customers won’t find from a basic product description. As you offer value through education, your customer will learn to trust you and remember your brand when they’re ready to buy.

2. Customers always connect to a storytelling post

Everyone is a sucker for a good story, well told. Just look at the movie and music industries. That’s because they make us feel something.

Customers are more prone to buy from brands that make them feel something. The storytelling post is the perfect way to connect to your customers, and it’s generally much more effective than a generic sales pitch. This is your chance to flex your creative muscles and really differentiate yourself from your competitor.

As you write your storytelling post, make sure the topic remains relevant to your customer. Customers are mostly interested in themselves and what they can gain from your product or services. So focus on that.

3. Customers love interactive posts

Customers love interactive elements in your blog. Slideshows, videos, and infographics, they all enrich your readers’ experience on your blog. These interactive elements have to remain relevant to your post.

Words are powerful, but interactive features give your customers a new experience different from plain text. This allows for an added layer of entertainment for your customer, and a fresh way to present data for the business owner.

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Just be sure that the copy of your interactive content is strong and compelling. You’ll want your interactive content to offer value, just like any other blog post that you’d publish on your website.

4. The how-to post

One of the most popular queries on Google remains – “How to…”. People are using Google to search for step by step instructions on how to do stuff. Fortunately, How-to posts are extremely effective in terms of sales and conversions. The trick is to understand the psychology behind it.

Customers love simple, step-by-step directions of how they can accomplish a goal. However, most of your readers and potential customers usually do not have the time, desire, or dedication required to follow through all the tasks specified — even if you have been extremely thorough and informative in your post.

So, if your customer reads your how-to post and decides there’s too much involvement, the chances are good that he or she will hire you to do the job for them. And that gives you some ideas about Call to Action possibilities.

The beauty of the how-to post is that you can gain customers from it by simply trying to be helpful, which is the polar opposite of a sales post.

5. The “show me” post

Seeing is believing with some customers, and providing before and after photos of your projects can help generate leads. This is especially the case if you’re in an industry where before and after photos are relevant — think beauty products, hair salons, home improvement, interior design and so on.

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You can use photos to help demonstrate your expertise, but always remember to add written content along with the photos. This is your chance to describe the process between the “before” and “after”, how long the project took to complete, and what you’d do differently (if anything).

5 Key points to remember when writing your blogposts

1.Keep the tone personal and light. Write to your blog readers in a conversational tone and let your thoughts and words flow naturally. The more natural that you sound on your blog post, the less salesy you sound.

2. Focus on benefits to the customer. What matters the most to them is how your product or service can make their lives better. Highlight benefits and even give real-life examples of why your product is the best match for their needs.

3. Strive to be as helpful and informative as possible. You pretty much can’t fail at any blog post when you are genuinely trying to educate your readers, as long as your information is accurate.

4. Ask your readers questions throughout your blog post. It makes them feel as if you’re making an attempt to engage in conversation, rather than simply trying to get a few bucks out of them.

5. Don’t overdo your call-to-action. It ruins the entire tone if you push your services too hard in the blog post, even if you are trying to actually be helpful.

Feature image via msnmoneyuk.wordpress.com