We frequently tell customers that great blog posts are an important part of their sales, marketing, and SEO strategy. With so much riding on each and every post, it is tempting to push the sale element really hard, but that is exactly the opposite of what you should do. The hard sell is one sure way to turn off prospective customers.
Think about the late night television commercials that scream at you at 3 am. Instead of making me want to learn more about the incredible claims to lose weight, grow more hair, and attract the perfect mate all for 19.99/month, those pushy, loud ads make me roll my eyes and change the channel.
Don’t Oversell in Your Blog Posts
The best blog posts answers questions clients have about your product or service. Customers want information. Once you answer their questions they will be ready to buy. If you jump right into sales mode, you sound just like those annoying late night television commercials. Your customers will look for answers somewhere else, and once they do, they may stay and shop.
DON’T Over-SEO Your Blog Posts
In addition to human readers, you are writing for search engines. These robots have a list of criteria they look for to decide if your content is valuable, helpful, and accurate. Your objective when you write should be to include key words, but not over use your primary term. Google actually penalizes over-stuffed websites in search rankings. So if you find you are repeating your key phrase over and over again, look for synonyms and substitute a few times throughout the copy.
For example, the key phrase for this article is “blog posts.” As you read the content you will notice I am using words like “article,” content,” “written copy,” and “marketing information” to prevent the written copy from being too repetitive. Search engines will appreciate and reward the variety and your readers will like the alternative presentation of your marketing information as well.
DON’T be egotistical
Copy that screams, “We’re the best around!” is ineffective, amateurish, and leaves the customer asking, “What the heck do they actually do?” Instead of trying to talk them into believing your quality claims, find ways to show readers you are better than your competitors; any work samples and testimonials that prove you can do what you say.
If you have degrees, credentials, and awards put them on your about page. After you prove you can help a client they will care about those things, but not before.
And while we are talking about screaming at customers, let go of the excessive exclamation points. I won’t tell you not to ever use them, but when there are multiple exclamation points on a single page, they seem to dance around and yell, “Look at me! I’m overly excited to sell you something!” While you’re at it, cut back on the bold, underlined words in neon colors.
Chill Out and Sell
Blog posts can be informational and casual at the same time. Use a conversational tone in your writing, as if you are talking to a friend. Answer questions, provide tips, demonstrate that you know what you are talking about, and you are more likely to prompt a reader to ask for help.