Building a successful blog that receives plenty of traffic and is full of interested, engaged visitors takes a lot of work. Naturally then, if you’ve put in the effort to build and maintain a thriving blog, you’re going to want to figure out the best way to monetize it. One way to do that is to start selling on WordPress.
Most blog owners rely on advertising revenue through platforms such as Google AdSense to monetize their blog. Yet if your blog is able to make money selling other people’s products (which is what advertising essentially boils down to) wouldn’t your blog be able to make even higher profits selling your own?
In this guide, we’ll look at how to best transition a successful blog into a successful online store. Once you’ve managed to build a thriving blog, here’s how to start selling on WordPress and turn that thriving blog into a money-making machine.
Choose a Relevant Product
Imagine that for the past year you’ve been running a blog on natural health. You’re getting plenty of traffic and you’ve got an engaged audience that keeps coming back for more. You decide to monetize your successful natural health blog by selling…phone cases. It’s a product that is in no way related to the niche that you’ve established yourself as an authority in and it’s one that your audience likely has little interest in. In short, chances are it’s going to flop.
When deciding what to sell on your blog, you’ve got to make sure it is as relevant as possible to your niche. Sometimes, this can take a little bit of brainstorming. Many blogs focus on topics and niches that don’t naturally lend themselves to a lot of products. While the natural health blog used in the above example could be used to launch a number of products ( for example, supplements, essential oils, and so on) you can see where a comedy blog or a political commentary blog might be a little bit harder to naturally associate with a relevant product.
In situations such as this, digital products like apps and ebooks are a popular choice. Whatever topics your blog covers, do a little brainstorming and come up with a product that is relevant to it. You’ll have a lot easier time making sales if you do.
Integrate Your Online Store with Your Blog
WordPress is a great platform for creating a blog, but it wasn’t exactly intended as an online store. With this being the case, selling on WordPress will require you to integrate your online store with your blog.
Of course, setting up an online store on your WordPress site can be challenging. If you’ve managed to build a successful blog, the last thing you want to do is completely overhaul a winning formula by redesigning your blog and turning it into an online store. Instead, you have a couple of great options for integrating your online store and your blog while keeping both fully optimized for their intended function.
Option #1: Embed your online store
The first option is to embed your online store into your WordPress site. To do this, you’ll need an ecommerce site that has a WordPress plugin, like Selz. Selz helps you seamlessly integrate into your WordPress site, and you can customize and embed your online store.
This is probably your best option when selling on WordPress. It allows your customers to have a seamless buying experience without having to make them leave your blog.
Option #2: Product Links Within Blog Posts
The second option is to link to products in your online store within your blog posts. Doing this allows you to create blog posts that act as sales funnels, getting your audience interested in a product through compelling content before directing them to that product through a link embedded in the post. It’s important to remember when you’re doing this, though, that relevancy is still king. Even if a product is relevant to the overall niche of your blog, it needs to be relevant to the particular post, paragraph, and even sentence that you are placing the link in.
In linking to products within your blog posts, you’ll also want to avoid falling into the trap of creating blog posts that are nothing more than thinly veiled advertisements. If you’ve built a successful blog, chances are you’ve done so by providing useful, engaging content that people want to read. Don’t stop providing this type of content just because you have a product to link to. Instead, continue to craft engaging, useful blog posts and market your products through them either through subtle, relevant links placed throughout the post or a relevant call to action at the end. Either way, avoid making the entire post sound like a sales pitch unless you want your audience to drop your blog like a hot potato.
Option #3: Place a Store Link in Your Navigation Menu
The final option for selling on WordPress is to add a link to your store within your blog’s navigation menu. Doing this will allow visitors to your blog to always be one click away from your store no matter which page on your blog they are on.
Of course, no one says you have to choose just one of these options for integrating your blog with your online store, and a multi-layered approach is often best. Inserting links to specific products within specific posts is a targeted approach that allows you to create posts geared towards selling certain products. Meanwhile, also including a link to your store’s homepage at the top of your navigation menu is a more general approach that ensures your visitors are always able to access your store from your blog.
Keep Doing What You do Best
Turning a successful blog into a successful online store only works well if you ensure your blog continues pulling in visitors. It’s easy to get excited about the launch of your online store and start neglecting the tasks that made your blog a hit. Store/blog owners, though, who do this risk losing the audience they need to make their store successful.
When it comes to selling on WordPress, once you have everything set up, you need to keep doing what you do best. Continue publishing great posts and drawing in visitors. Keep engaging with your audience, and doing everything you’ve been doing to make your blog successful. If you take the steps necessary to keep running a successful blog, using that blog to launch a successful online store will be well within your reach.