How do you get your readers to buy your products?

Any blogger or online entrepreneur wants to appeal to an audience. You have to find your niche to find readers, right? And if you have expertise or products to sell, you hope to turn some of those readers into buyers.

Finding readers and turning them into buyers doesn’t happen overnight. It takes some effort to find the right formula. We can take a few lessons from marketers and advertisers, especially if we didn’t come from that world before we started blogging. In the end, that’s what we need to do: market and advertise that we have knowledge, expertise, or products that will help our niche.

If you’re a blogger, and you’re trying to sell your own products, you need to understand why your customers buy. To better understand your potential customers’ buying behavior, it helps to understand the factors that influence people’s buying decisions.

Buying-behavior

If you have expertise or products to sell online, and you want to turn your readers into buyers, it helps to understand what influences your readers’ buying behavior.

Cultural, social, personal and psychological characteristics are one group of factors. Of those, culture is the most basic determinant of a person’s wants and behavior. Culture is so important because we learn our perceptions, behaviors and basic values and wants from our cultural institutions, such as church, school and family.

America is made up of many subcultures, such as racial groups, religious groups, age groups, immigrant groups and people from geographical areas. Marketers track cultural changes so they can develop new products and target various cultures. Bloggers who are trying to sell can do this, too. Figure out which part of the culture is most likely to buy your products or services, and target it.

Another important determinant in buying behavior is social class, which is determined by income, education and occupation. Members of a particular social class share values, behaviors, interests and buying behavior. If you want to target a particular social class, knowing what each class shares can help you market your expertise.

Groups are another factor in influencing buying decisions. People are either members of a group or aspire to be part of a group. Groups have a direct or indirect influence on our behaviors and attitudes. They expose us to new behaviors and lifestyles, making us want to “fit in.”

We all belong to groups. Think about it: Are you involved in a club or organization, a volunteer group, or a support group? Are you in a blogging or freelancer’s group? If you’re employed by a company, that’s a group. Your family, your neighborhood, your city, your grade school and high school class and your church are all examples of groups.

A membership group is a group we currently belong to that has a direct influence on us. An aspirational group is a group we want to belong to, but we don’t. When we don’t belong to a group, that also influences us because we either wish we were a part of that group, or we disdain the group.

Advertisers try to identify the reference groups of the target market they are trying to reach. If you’re trying to find customers, you can research your audience to find out which groups they belong to, then use that information in your marketing efforts.

You can also use a strategy from advertisers, which is to create audience needs and meet them. You’ve probably heard of Abraham Maslow’s famous “Hierarchy of Needs.” He described five levels of needs that you can appeal to: physiological, safety, social, self-esteem and self-actualization. You can point out these needs and center your products around solutions that will meet them.

A couple of other needs not covered by Maslow can also be a way to appeal to your customers. Stimulation is the need to find life interesting and have a variety of experiences. It’s the things people do for enjoyment. Acquisition is the need to buy goods and services that go beyond basic needs of food, clothing and shelter. In other words: stuff. We all buy things we want, but don’t really need, even if we try to live a frugal and non-materialistic life.

If you’re trying to create an online business or monetize your blog, you need to know where and how to market what you have to sell. Learning about the culture, social class, group memberships and needs of your audience can help you identify the most likely customers.

Once you figure out who your ideal customer is, you can find the right formula to sell your expertise to your niche of readers.

Readers, what lessons have you learned in trying to market products and services to your customers? Have you been successful in establishing an online business? Let us know in the comments!

Comments

How do you get your readers to buy your products? — 14 Comments

  1. Thanks for the tips Jennifer. I have been struggling to make a mark in affiliate marketing. Guess what? I have not sold a single product through my blog. I was dropped by Amazon for not making any sales. I put up very enticing offers, ranging from extra income opportunities to bags, make up and household items. No luck so far. Will keep trying though. Thanks for your post.

  2. Good suggestions for identifying your ideal clients. One thing to remember is that you may have several. If you identify all of them, you can market to each type differently. I’m not suggesting that you market to everyone, however. Just types that have a real interest in your solutions to their problems.

  3. My son is in marketing and he keeps telling me to identify my target audience. Right now I’m blogging for fun but at some future point I do need to start looking at that. Thanks for another informative post.
    Lenie

  4. As always identifying your audience is key. That and providing an experience and/or product that gives good value. In my case I write books. They’re mystery and suspense with some humor. By far my most popular are my chocolate mystery series (2 so far) and I notice that if they read one they will usually read the other which I consider positive. I also suspect with more time, money and expertise I could do better. I suspect I may be able to pick up some tips and tricks from you!

  5. Good tips. One I miss is trying to find out how your clients use your site. A lot of online reading is now done on mobile phones, tablets, eReaders, etc. so make sure that your website/blog’s theme is responsive e.g. has a mobile theme.

  6. Very good point about groups. After all, we’re all in a group here, right?! I wonder if you can substitute the word “community” for “group” – after all, isn’t that what it’s all about? Finding like-minded individuals with similar interests and supporting each other. I suspect we try to market to people much like ourselves, don’t we?

  7. I like these informative blogs. It seems I get the opportunity to learn something new every time I read one.
    Finding your market is the hardest thing anyone can do.

  8. These are nice tips for bloggers or entrepreneurs to change readers into buyers.
    It is true that this can not happen overnight and takes a lot of time and effort.
    I feel that culture is important , it is easy to consider specific culture in start to target and slowly develop more links and move up to other groups and categories of religion age etc.

  9. I would think culture is important to but what is more important is memories. If you can tap into a persons childhood memories on a grand scale then marketing just became a lot easier. Memories with a positive emotional reaction of course.