How to Turn Readers and Subscribers into Paying Customers

Having blog readers and subscribers is, by itself, insufficient if you want to monetize your product. You have to be able to convert your visitors or email list into paying customers. Creating great content and sharing it widely is a huge step in the right direction but there are additional steps you can take to convert readers into buyers.

How to convert readers into customers then advocates

  1. Plan ahead and have an eventual sale in mind. If you know where you want to go, getting there becomes easier. And if you have a product in mind, it’s easier to design your marketing efforts (e.g. landing pages and lead magnets) to direct prospects to an eventual sale. We’re not saying push your product from day one but have a monetisation strategy on paper at least so you know where you want to steer the ship.
  2. Create authority-building content. Having an audience of fans is the best way to sell your products but creating this is time-consuming. You can shorten the process but it will never happen overnight. One of the most powerful things you can do to accelerate your results is to create a signature product – something you’re known for. The product can take the form of a book, an online course, video series or public speaking. It can even come in the form of just having a remarkable experience (e.g. creating a seven-figure startup) or experiment to share with others (e.g. 100 Days of Rejection).
  3. Build trust before sales. The purpose of your content at this stage is to build authority, trust and goodwill. Give far more than you ask for. Do that right and finding customers becomes much easier. This is not a quick process, but marketing rarely is.
  4. Promote and share. Once you’ve got a considerable number of followers and subscribers on your e-mail list, you can leverage their enthusiasm and loyalty to help promote and share your content. Right at that moment, they are your advocates. You’ve invested time and effort into your content and they enjoy reading it on a daily/weekly basis, so they’re willing to share it with their peers. This can be in the form of a retweet or a “Like” and, whilst simple, these will help grow your network of potential customers. It goes without saying that you yourself need to engage in promoting your content, which we’ll talk about in the next section.
  5. Make sure your personal brand is developed. A big part of promoting yourself and your content is having a solid personal brand. A personal brand, which we’ve previously written about, encompasses your social media pages, your blog’s design, your style and other things that make you unique. Use that brand to promote and share your content. The more you promote on your social media, for instance, the more subscribers you can draw in from various social media platforms. And if you continue to produce quality content, the chances of those subscribers becoming advocates and eventually even customers become significantly higher.
  6. Gradually earn people’s trust. Marketing takes time because earning people’s trust doesn’t happen overnight. You need to earn it gradually, step-by-step, post-by-post. We’ve previously written about how you can increase sales by building trust in cyberspace, and we have emphasised that the only certain way to do so is be committed enough to your website to post consistently, and to post high-value content that solves real problems for your target audience. It takes time but the good news is progress snowballs. At this stage in your journey you are probably still trying to overcome inertia, to break the gravitational pull of anonymity. Keep turning up; keep doing the work. A little on a little soon becomes a lot. Patience, perseverance and hard work can’t be beat.
  7. Stay grounded. Once you’ve built trust in your online community of advocates and subscribers, they’ll start turning into customers. Don’t assume, however, that once the offers start pouring in, your marketing efforts can stop. On the contrary – your customers are still your readers and advocates, and if they see that you’re no longer posting consistent, high quality content, their trust in you would shatter and they’re unlikely to return. Exercise gratitude.

Takeaway points

  1. High quality content posted on a regular basis is the main driving force behind turning your readers, advocates and subscribers into clients.
  2. Don’t focus your content solely on monetizing your product. Building trust comes first as, from that, you can sell more, at higher prices, for a longer period. People buy from people they trust. Conversely, they will never buy from people they don’t trust.
  3. Engage with your followers. Harnessing the loyalty and reach of your fans is a fast way to grow your email list and leverage social proof to convert your subscribers into customers.

Action steps

  1. Decide on your signature product – the product (or experience) that will propel you into consciousness of your target market. What do you want to be known for creating? Jot down some ideas.
  2. Start implementing a social media strategy to grow your audience. Time and budget may mean you cannot be everywhere at once. Don’t worry, focus on just 1-2 platforms and get good at those. We always recommend using Facebook; and we have a simple way to harness the power of Twitter.
  3. Take consistent daily action to build your personal brand. Small ripples travel far.

Photo credit: Ed Ivanushkin via Flickr.com / CC BY-SA 2.0




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