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If you’re a professional food blogger, getting people to the table probably isn’t a problem for you. The scent of vanilla and cinnamon baked into your homemade apple pie could lure a stranger in off the street, no doubt. The choosiest child could be coaxed into enduring Brussels sprouts and roasted squab just to get to a slice of your seven layer chocolate cake.
You know that the secret to keeping guests at your table in the European fashion of lazy Sunday dinners is to offer several mouth-watering courses and to keep some dishes a secret hinted at only by the tantalizing whiff of warm rum and butter.
Casual readers are converted into dedicated subscribers in a similar fashion. In sales and marketing, this process of converting prospects into patrons is called a sales funnel. It looks something like this:
You’re serving up comfort, taste, and the promise of domestic nirvana, which is sales enough for some people. However, there are a few quick and easy steps that you can take to guarantee a food blog sales funnel that’ll have readers lined up to reserve their space at your virtual table, increasing your site traffic and your ad revenue.
Somewhere out there, someone much like you is daydreaming about preparing the perfect meal – the meal that will be remembered for years to come. That prospective chef needs guidance, and she knows it.
- Use precise keywords in titles, headers, and tags, in the body of your blog, and in image descriptions to improve your SEO.
- Be easy to find on social media and offer social sharing buttons on your site to make it easy for already converted readers to share your content with their connections.
- Guest blog at complementary sites to extend your audience.
You’ve been discovered like that charming, out-of-the-way cafe that intrigues passersby with the scent of coffee brewing and neatly set tables. Now is the time to deliver.
- Use a friendly tone and clear language to engage readers with your blog content.
- Delight the senses with well lit, beautiful photography.
- Write consistently valuable posts on a regimented schedule that readers can trust.
Your bread and butter is nurturing. That’s what warm, comforting, home-cooked meals are all about. Use that same instinct to nurture your prospective blog readers, offering them exclusive goodies that will entice them to become loyal members of your blogging community.
- Offer a gated lead magnet such as a weekly meal planner with a humble request for their email address in exchange.
- Hold a contest in which emails equal entries to continue building your email list.
- Offer discounts on products available only to subscribers.
Your decadent prose and gentle nurturing has readers coming back for more. Now your goal is to convert them from casual reader to regulars in your blogging community. Your hard work has made joining your blogging community irresistible, but don’t forget to make it easy for them also.
- Have a visible Subscribe button that allows readers to easily subscribe to your blog.
- Provide multiple ways for users to subscribe, such Genesis eNews, MailPoet, or Jetpack, and consider a two-step opt-in subscription process that provides readers an opportunity to choose how often they receive updates, giving users greater control over their experience.
- Distribute a short, personalized monthly e-newsletter to your growing list of subscribers that will continuously lead them back to your blog.
As a master of the fine art of bringing people together at the dinner table, you’re already well on your way to building a food blog sales funnel that leaves your subscribers coming back for seconds. In doing so, you can expect to see a continual increase in your web traffic, improving your ad revenue and opening up other opportunities to enhance your brand.
How do you keep your readers hungry for more?