Ogilvy was the quintessential ad man. His agency created iconic advertising that still inspires creators today.
He was also famous for focusing on his ad’s performance instead of awards. He summed his philosophy in 6 words. It’s not creative unless it sells.
“It’s Not Creative Unless It Sells” – often quoted by David Ogilvy
Content creators, especially bloggers, should adopt this approach.
Blogging Ghettos and Shantytowns
Occasionally I find myself on Stumbleupon clicking the next button to visit sites served up by Stumbleupon’s algorithm. These online field trips shows that the web is littered with abandoned blogs or blogs stuffed with self-serving diatribes. When I see these blogging ghettos I wonder –
“What were they thinking?”
It’s difficult to swallow that crappy content is a strategy. That leaves me with “crappy strategy.” The blogger believed that their blog was something it is not.
They created a blog that:
“Wasn’t commercial in any way.”
Their goal was to create a space where they didn’t have to bother with selling.
What they got was a myopic, self-serving and useless piece of digital garbage.
I’ve contacted some of these bloggers and asked them what went wrong with their blog.
All of them stated that they indeed wanted to earn an income from their blog but believed that their content should reflect their opinions rather than generating demand for their expertise. In essence, these folks wanted to succeed without selling which is darn near impossible to do…
Selling isn’t What You Think It Is
- Empathetic: You deeply understand your customer. You know how they feel and want they want. Many times you can articulate your customer’s need better than they can.
- Selfless: Great selling is the art of setting aside your immediate goals and looking for ways to solve problems for the other guy.
- Value-Based: Selling is effortless when your product is packed with useful features the customer didn’t expect.
- Confident: Empathetic, Selfless, value-based salespeople believe that their customer’s life will be better with their product. They aren’t shy about their conviction that a select group of people absolutely must have their product. They aren’t ashamed of putting a fair value on their product and selling it.
Content Marketing and blogging is the process the salesperson uses to communicate their empathy, selflessness, and value-based story in a confident way.
Blogging falls apart when a blogger believes that:
- Their audience woke up this morning wondering about their opinion.
- Their audience is interested in promoting their products
- Their audience is already convinced that their point of view is valuable
Instead a blog that sells, sells, sells is carefully constructed to deliver everything a reader needs to commit emotionally and logically to learning more about the business behind the blog.
This approach requires a long-term focus that sees each blog post is a step toward winning their readers trust.
Personal Bloggers Aren’t Off the Hook
You might be saying – “Stan, I am not selling anything. I’m writing to share my thoughts and engage with people with similar experiences.”
I respect that but you aren’t off the hook. You are still selling. Your point of view is the product and your readers pay for it with time. You are not going to get a second of your reader’s time unless your story is relevant to the reader’s time.
Failure is a blog with scattershot comments, visitors who don’t come back, no one signing up for updates, and insignificant sharing. Yes, you aren’t losing money, but you are losing the feedback, dialogue, and deep connections that make personal blogging so rewarding. This is why your personal blog is public.
So, my friend, you are selling too.
How to Sell Sell Sell the Right Way
I talk about this a great deal with my clients. There isn’t a simple way to sum up the process in a blog post but here are three questions to get you started:
- What are my readers searching for? For example, Pushing Social readers want more connections, more significance, and more resources to achieve their goals (i.e. money, audience, prestige).
- What am I uniquely qualified to solve? Review your life experience and career to this point. What are you good, even gifted, at? Remember you can’t offer what you don’t have. I routinely meet so-called marketing experts that can’t increase sales. Generic and shallow expertise will show up in lifeless and useless content.
- Do you have an approach for delivering your expertise? A nutritional blogger needs an approach for helping his audience eat healthier. A cancer survivor needs an approach for inspiring hope and perseverance. A baker needs an approach for making complex recipes simple for the novice baker.
Combining your approach with expertise and focusing it on a well defined problem is the best way to sell sell sell with your blog.
People will eat up your content. I kid you not, you will have more readers than you thought possible. The tough part is sticking with the process, consistently delivering the right content, and continually mastering your expertise, and refining your approach. (Yes, we can help with that).