Are you trying to promote your blog and sell products that share your expertise with your audience? How do you appeal to your readers and potential customers so they will connect with you and what you have to share?
If you want to be a professional blogger, and especially if you want to monetize your blog and sell your own products, you need to get into the head and heart of your audience.
If you’re going to sell your products, you have to function like an advertiser. In your case, the product is you and your products. You may not be airing commercials on TV or buying billboards next to the highway, but you are advertising yourself and your products in other ways. Every time you promote your blog on social media, or by commenting on someone else’s blog, or by writing a guest post, you’re advertising yourself.
This is why bloggers who sell a product, whether it’s the blog itself, a book, an e-course, or another product, can learn a lesson or two from advertising. An advertisement for a product or service begins by identifying a reason for you to buy that product. This is called an appeal. Ad agencies then build ad campaigns around this appeal.
Just like advertisers, bloggers can also use appeals to connect with their audience. The three main types of appeals are emotional, rational and moral. Ad copywriters start by determining which appeal works best. Bloggers can do this, too.
Emotional appeals are based on our emotions, those powerful feelings that affect our behavior. When we react emotionally, feelings take control over our thinking. Emotional appeals in advertising are used to elicit either a positive or negative emotion that will motivate us to make a purchase. This is done by emotional arousal – or making consumers feel a particular emotion. We seek products that arouse an emotion, and advertisers capitalize on this.
For example, if you’re a pet owner, you love your pet, right? They’re a member of your family, and you’ll do anything to keep them healthy for as long as possible. Think about what impact pet commercials have on you. People have strong emotional attachments to their pets, and advertisers play on this.
Advertisers use emotion reduction, which comes from products aimed at reducing unpleasant emotions, such as shame, guilt or helplessness. One example is weight-loss products or systems such as Weight Watchers, Jenny Craig or Gold’s Gym.
As a blogger, you can use emotional appeals to cause positive or negative emotions in your audience. You can use persuasive blog posts, or you can show your audience how your product will make their lives better.
Rational appeals are based on thinking and logic. If you are being rational about something, you put your emotions into the background and act based on the best logical outcome.
In advertising, rational ad appeals are usually based on price and quality. We want a good price on our products. But we also want a quality product that’s going to last and be worth the money we pay. Retail stores that advertise their lower prices or better quality products are using a rational appeal.
Bloggers can use rational appeals to explain the logical benefits of a product, or appeal to a reader’s intellect. How would your product make them smarter, or help them improve a skill?
Moral appeals are aimed at our sense of what’s right and wrong. This appeal is frequently used for social support causes. For example, you’ve seen those ads pleading to sponsor a starving child in an underdeveloped country, right? They say that for just a few dollars a week, you can help a child have an education, clean water and enough food. That’s an example of a moral appeal.
On your blog, you can use this type of appeal to show your audience why caring about a cause or issue is the right thing to do. Or you can show how your product will help them be a better person.
You can use one or more of these appeals in your quest to sell your blog and your products. All of these appeals might not all be right for your blog. But using one or two might help you connect better with your audience.
Figure out which appeal works best for your audience, and connect with them on that level. What has worked for advertisers for decades can work for bloggers, too.
Readers, what do you think of using appeals to connect with your audience? Have you done this yourself? Let us know in the comments.