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How to actually sell stuff with your blog posts

Helloooo content connoisseurs.

It’s Perrin from Content Bites.

Blogs are not dying. They’re just as powerful as ever. And a lot of us are great at driving traffic to/with our blogs. But most of the time, the hardest part (by a country mile) is actually generating revenue with it. Today, I’m going to show you the 5 best tactics I’ve found to turn traffic into money.

  • Appetizers: Links from Buzzsumo, MarketingProfs, CMI & more…

  • Main Course: How to turn blog traffic into revenue

Let’s dig in.

Appetizers: Content about content 🤯

  • How to Analyze Your Competitor’s Content in 5 Steps (link)

  • B2B PR and Content Marketing Pros Have to Get Creative as Ad Spend Drops (link)

  • B2C Content Marketing Benchmarks (link)

  • 4 Innovative Approaches to Collaborative Content Creation and Distribution (link)

  • My 5 Favorite Ahrefs Use Cases for Content Marketers (link)

Main Course: How to actually sell stuff with blog posts

Too many blogs do nothing. 

Too many businesses have websites generating a bunch of traffic that doesn’t turn into revenue. 

Too many blogs that are too proud of vanity KPIs. 

Why? Well, mostly because building a blog that actually sells stuff is extremely difficult

In the last 10 years, I’ve generated millions of dollars for my own businesses with blog content (even with topics as boring as dog food), and I’ve generated even more for clients via their blogs. 

And let me tell you: getting traffic is the easy part. Getting people to do something when they land on your site is exponentially more difficult. It always has been, and because of that, I had to spend lots and lots of time figuring out how to do it. 

I’m still only okay at it, I think. 

But I do have a few tricks up my sleeve, a few chess moves you can steal. 

You’ll find those tactics below. 

But before you can deploy any of those, we have to get a couple prerequisites out of the way…

Prerequisite #1: You have to have a strong voice with real opinions and real expertise. 

Raise your hand if you specifically like reading blogs. 

… didn’t think so. 

This ain’t TikTok. Sure, we all have one or two blogs we like, but in general, no one wakes up in the morning, grabs their coffee, sits down on the couch, and browses a bunch of blogs. Especially not blogs written by businesses.

In the context of all the other media they compete with, blogs are inherently boring.

Businesses don’t make it any better by writing blogs as if they’re in a high school writing class. 

Boring headings. Boring language. Regurgitated information. Walls of text. Lots of articles about X with the inevitable first section titled, “What is X?”


Y’all… if we want to have even a prayer of actually selling stuff to our audience with our blog, we cannot let them become victims of blog-induced narcolepsy. 

We gotta be interesting at all costs. 

You do that with voice

Developing a strong voice could be a topic all on its own, but in general, having a strong voice means writing in a way that shows readers the person behind the words as clearly as you possibly can

To give you an entirely inadequate list, writing with a strong voice means:

  • Leaning into your own opinions and analysis. It's the easiest way to write things people can’t find anywhere else.

  • Writing like you talk. Even better, write like you’re passionately explaining something to a friend.

  • Giving readers ways to take action on their problems immediately. Like, right this second.

  • Having fun. If you’re not having fun while writing, your readers aren’t having fun while reading. 

If you’re writing your own content, lean into your voice.

If you’ve got a writing team, give them a style guide, but encourage them to write in their own voice, as themselves, to other human beings who desperately need to know the information. 

None of this is easy. But it’s essential. 

Because people buy from people. Content is sales. And if we want people to read our content and then buy something, we have to show them our humanity in a way that connects with their own. 

Prerequisite #2: Write high-intent stuff in the first place.

Your blog does not need a glossary. 

Nor does it need to publish updates about your company. 

No one cares. 

Your blog needs to help people either (1) find solutions to a problem or (2) satisfy an immediate desire. 

That means you need plenty of content at the bottom of the funnel:

  • “Best X” lists

  • X vs Y posts

  • “Alternatives” posts

  • Anything else where people reading are likely to have their credit card out

At the top of the funnel, it means you need lots of stuff about:

  • How to do things

  • Giving people unexpected ways to solve problems

  • Helping readers understand they why of a solution

  • Show them exactly how to do something in an over-the-shoulder way

  • Curating exciting collections of their desired thing

  • Before-and-afters

Anything. But every single thing you write should tap into either a problem or a desire. 

If we’re not doing that, it doesn't matter how well we do everything else. We won’t even be having the right conversation. 

K. Let’s talk tactics.

Tactic #1: The best way I’ve ever found to get people to take action in a blog post is bullet lists of hyperlinks. 

I do not know why this works.

But it works like hell. 

I stumbled on this in my affiliate marketing days, which is where I cut my content marketing teeth. 

In those days, everyone was doing big comparison tables. You’ve probably seen them: tables with lists of products, features, pros, cons, prices, etc. And each row in the table would have a product name and hyper link.

They worked super well, but they were really complicated to create, and I guessed that it wasn’t actually the table that worked. I reckoned it was just having a group of links that were part of a solution. 

Instead of having to create massive tables for every post, I guessed that just a simple bullet list with hyperlinks that directed people to investigate possible solutions would work just as well – but maybe even better. 

So I tried it on my dog food blog, and it worked like crazy

Couple examples. Almost always, these are product lists. 

For a dog food post about dog food for chihuahuas, you might just do a simple product list, and I’d put it right up front (all these examples just go to example.com, so no need to click).

“Here are my picks for the best dog food for chihuahuas:

This works best for “Best X”-style posts. Think: “Best VPNs for Small Businesses.” 

But you can absolutely use this for more informational posts, too.

For example, if you sold powertools, you might write an article about how to build a shed. 

Then, in the article you could be like…

“Before you get started, you’re going to need these tools if you don’t already have them:

You can adapt this to anything you want. 

Just put groups of hyperlinks in bullet lists and start pushing people into sales funnels.

But giving people a group of links that are part of a solution generates lots of clicks. 

In my own testing over millions of website visits, I’ve seen this single tactic generate 10-40% CTRs very consistently. 

This is the thing I’ve seen generate the second-most clicks from blog posts. 

It’s not out of the ordinary to include CTAs in blog posts. 

They just normally don’t work. 

Usually, that’s because people either bury them, or they turn them into buttons. Neither generates clicks. 

I’ve found that single CTAs in blog posts work best if: 

  • They’re in sentence form

  • They talk directly to the reader in the same way the rest of the text already is

  • The full sentence (or most of it) is a hyperlink

  • Appear when you’re agitating the problem and / or talking about a solution

  • It’s entirely on its own line/paragraph

Let me show you what I mean. 

Suppose we have a business that sells accounting software. And suppose our best channel is webinars, and we have a webinar about expense management that generates super high-quality leads. 

In the middle of that blog post, while we’re talking about possible solutions to out of control expenses, we could create a new paragraph and drop something like this (this link also just goes to example.com, so no need to click):

It’s on its own paragraph. It talks about something they’re already worried about. It’s high-value. It talks to the reader as if you’re sending a link to a friend. And the whole thing is a link. 

These kinds of CTAs usually work much, much better than buttons. 

It’s been a while since I tested this, but I’ve seen these consistently generate ~10% CTAs if they’re relevant and timed well. 

Tactic #3: Use chat boxes that have real human beings on the other end.

I think I’ve told you guys this, but in order to get my first content marketing client, I agreed to also service as a sales agent in their chat system.

They were a testosterone clinic, and the chatbox profile picture was that of a young, attractive woman. 

So please believe when I tell you that these old dudes were flirting with me for hours on end. 

But I was bootstrapping a business, and I was doing whatever it took to keep that revenue coming in, so what did I do? 

I flirted my ass off & sold boatloads of testosterone consultations. 

Not my proudest moment. BUT… 

It DID wake me up to just how insanely powerful chatboxes can be on blog posts. 

By chatboxes, I mean something like LiveChat (not an affiliate link).

It’s basically a little box that pops up and asks readers if they need any help. Importantly, there’s a human on the other end. 

Then, you can ask them questions about their problems, help them find solutions, etc. 

Here’s what I found to be most important for a chat box to really convert people:

  • It needs to open as if it’s a chat (instead of just showing a notification)

  • The first message (which is usually automated) has to be relevant to the content

  • There has to be a good profile picture for the agent

  • The agent needs to respond quickly

This works best in verticals with extremely strong pain points. Think: balding, back pain, divorce, etc. In these sorts of niches, people are usually excited to get some guidance. 

Tactic #4: Include supplementary video w/ CTA in the video & below the video.

This is part of something I’ve loosely called media stacking.

Basic theory of media stacking is: when someone lands on one if your pieces of content, you can build 10x the trust if you can get them to engage with you not just with a second piece of content – but with a piece of content of a different media type

E.g., if someone watches one of your videos, and you can direct them to a book you wrote, you’ll generally build way more trust than just asking them to watch another video. 

This works because it makes you feel like more of an authority and more present in their world.

This is easiest to do in blog posts, and it’s best with video. 

So if you have the capacity to create video, I’d create video content that complements your blog posts and embed it in post. 

In the blog post, explain why people might find the video valuable and then explicitly ask them to watch it. 

Something like: 

“I actually made a video tutorial on this exact thing, so if you’d like to see how I actually build XYZ, watch this video around the 2:00 mark:

[embedded video]”

The video should have lots of CTAs (ideally with a person talking), and you should include an inline CTA (from above) after the video. 

Tactic #5: Use stuff like PearlDiver to turn cold website visitors into warm outreach prospects.

This is mostly for B2B folks. 

There is a class of software that I really wish I would have known about sooner – especially when I was running my agency. 

I’m not even sure what they’re called exactly. I think they’re maybe called website visitor tracking software?

Examples are: PearlDiver, Snitcher, and Factors.ai.

Anyway, here’s what they do. 

When someone comes to your website, they give you as much information as they can find about that person using whatever pixels and publicly available data they have.

Almost all of them will at least tell you which companies people work for.

Some will tell you exactly who’s visiting your website, down to the name and email.

This is an extremely good way to accelerate sales prospecting outreach because you can reach out to people who are already looking at your content

So the flow might look like: blog post > promotion > reader > visitor tracking software > SDR reaches out to book a meeting. 

If you have high-ticket items, this might be one of THE most powerful ways to turn traffic into dollars. 

Honorable mention: read the post I wrote about “conversation stacking.” 

This issue was mostly about converting blog traffic into revenue directly. But blogs are even better at turning traffic into revenue indirectly. They’re amazing at feeding the top of the funnel.

All of this stuff goes hand-in-hand (and overlaps) with the post I wrote about conversation stacking. 

Summary of tactics you can use to actually sell stuff with your blog posts: 

  • Include bullet lists of hyperlinks near the top of the content

  • Use inline, text-only, hyperlink CTAs that are full sentences on their own lines

  • Use chat boxes manned by real people

  • “Media stack” by embedding supplemental video that includes CTAs

  • Use visitor tracking software to significantly increase sales prospecting

That’s the issue. If you missed last week’s issue, you can read it here.

Go forth & conquer.



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