I thought I'd give you a quick update on what I am working on at the moment.
The following is an advanced blog segmentation concept that unfortunately most bloggers will never do.
It's a fairly straight forward idea, but takes a while to set up because you need lots of content to make it work.
Here's what you require –
- Multiple front end products to meet different audience needs
- Various articles/content on your blog that match the content of your front end products
- An email “gauntlet” series for each product
- A way to move people from a targeted blog post to gauntlet series (the optin)
You combine all these things together and you have a front end “Sales Funnel” based entirely on a blog – no paid traffic required.
A person visits your blog, reads an article, gets presented with an optin offer related to that blog post, goes through an email sequence designed to give more value and sell the front end product. The emails sequence acts like an automated launch, selling your front end product on autopilot.
Make The First Sale
One of the important things to realise about why you use this process is the hardest sale to make is the first one. Once a person has bought from you they are much more likely to buy again.
This is why you want to reduce the friction as much as possible on that first sale. To achieve this, your front end products are lower priced (sitting in that sweet spot of under $30 – the average cost of a meal, hence it does not require much consideration) and they are targeted to specific segments.
In other words, you have low priced products designed to specifically solve the biggest problems your audience has.
One Step At A Time
I became aware of the potential for blog sales funnels back in 2007. I realised I could put together various front end products that would lead into my big courses – Blog Mastermind and Membership Site Mastermind. My big courses sold well, but they were $500+ courses at the time, which is a tough “first sale” to make.
I knew that if I really wanted to take the next step with my business I'd need a range of lower priced products that led into my higher priced courses. That way I could service people no matter what their budget (from free content all the way to those who will spend $10,000 on private coaching) and meet specific needs. The end result – I'd have more customers.
As the story goes, I was burnt out of product creation by 2010 and wanted to move on to a startup company, which I did.
In 2012 I returned to creating information products and I was ready to build a front end.
It was clear what to create because my blog audience (and existing blog content) was telling me. I had content in my blog about mindset, productivity and buying and selling websites that I knew were great topics for front end products, and there was already traffic coming to these topics (my top ten blog posts according to my statistics feature articles about the topics).
I also had an ebook about blog traffic that needed heavy editing and re-releasing. I had to have something about traffic in my front end offers because I've been asked about it more than any other question over the years as a blog trainer.
After winding down my startup in 2012 I switched focus to creating my products. As I type this, my front end product line is finished (for the time being).
I have three e-guides, six bonuses and an interviews club subscription program finished. It took a year to get it all done (four products in 12 months is not bad!). I'm quite proud of the end results, they are quality products that over-deliver on value at the front-end price I charge for them.
This year I have moved on to the next phase. I've been writing email sequences – the gauntlets – that sell my front end products. These sequences are straight forward –
- They deliver a week's worth of valuable content, linking through to in-depth blog posts focused on the subjects I have products about
- The blog posts and emails contain links mentioning my e-guide for further guidance on the same subject
- Then during the second week on the email series I run a special discount if the subscriber has not purchased yet
- I then have a third week of content and another chance at the special discount during week four
I've set two of the gauntlets up so far – one for my Traffic Guide and one for my How To Buy And Sell Blogs Guide. I'm writing the Mindset And Productivity email gauntlet this week and next week I'm doing one for my Interviews Club.
Are They Working?
It's too early to say conclusively whether these blog funnels are working, but I'm confident they are because sales keep coming in every single day.
As expected, whichever email series I feature as the default optin exit-intent pop-up across my entire blog gets the most optins, and will then result in the most sales over the weeks that follow.
However I am most excited when I make a sale of one of the guides that is not featured as the default optin because it's coming from only a small selection of highly targeted blog posts, and thus not much traffic.
The great thing about completing a process like this is you have funnels you can use for anything – landing pages, buying ads on facebook, randomly linking to in blog posts, on social media – wherever!
The real test of course will come once I have all my back end products available too. I don't know any other bloggers who focus on creating funnels to the level I am, most people do it with paid traffic.
Ideally through this process your business can become entirely self sufficient. You make a living selling only your products (no need for ads or affiliate promotions), and you can do it with just your blog as the centerpoint source of traffic.
I'm looking forward to refining this process as then of course teaching it as part of the Membership Site Mastermind program, my course on creating and selling digital information products.
If you have any questions, I'm happy to help, just ask as a reply to this blog post.