Welcome to Step 4 of the 10 Week Blogging Success Recipe. If you’ve been following along, hopefully you’ve already started working on the first few steps. For those of you just joining us now, we’re breaking down the 8 steps of the recipe into individual posts to help you fully understanding how to jump start your blogging efforts.
If you would like to review the entire recipe or are interested in a particular step, the links below will direct you where you want to go.
The fourth ingredient the recipe calls for is 1 offering. Watch the video below for a quick overview of this step.
Before you can dish out an offering, you need to understand what an offering actually is. Well, it’s a lot like how it sounds: something you can offer your audience. Creating an offering is all about providing visitors to your website with the answers they need in one nice, neat package. The offering needs to be valuable to your audience so that they are willing to exchange their contact information in order to download it.
Offerings come in various forms including, but not limited to:
For the purposes of this blogging success recipe we’re challenging you to create an e-book offering. The best part is that, if you’ve already completed Step 1 by writing out 10 blog posts, a majority of your e-book offering is already complete!
To create the offering you’re going to bundle the 10 blog posts you’ve already written into one downloadable package. This is called repurposing content. You don’t need any fancy programs to create a professional-looking offer. You can bundle the posts together using Microsoft Word or PowerPoint as a tool, inserting your company logo as an image and adding simple design elements to brand your e-book. Any software that will allow you to save your e-book as a PDF will do the trick.
Offerings are generally downloadable, although that’s not always the case. For instance, when we offer webinars, those are offerings that people sign up for and attend.
The main purpose of creating a cover for your e-book offer is to make your offering seem more tangible and valid. People will be able to see they’re not just giving their information to then be contacted by a salesperson; they’re actually getting something useful right then and there. The cover image will then be used later on in the next steps of the recipe to help promote your offer.
Add a table of contents at the beginning of your e-book…it is a book after all. Each item listed in the table of contents should link out to the topic to help readers easily navigate the book. The first item on your table of contents will probably be the author page, followed by the titles of each of your 10 blogs posts and ending with a conclusion or final call-to-action.
There are six important elements to include on the author introduction page.
This is the meat of your offering. This is where you paste in your 10 blogs posts. However, as you’re compiling all of your blog posts together, keep in mind that the offering should feel like a book, not just a collection of blog posts. In order to do that, fill in the gaps with little additions. You may need to write a few extra paragraphs here or there or add infographics, charts and images to make it more cohesive.
This is your opportunity to sell, or guide your viewer further down the buying funnel toward becoming a lead (fingers crossed!). While your offering wasn’t about selling anything, per se, it was about offering the information people need to make a buying decision. Your offering should be designed to help your audience understand they have a challenge…and a buying decision needs to be made to fix it.
If you don’t have another offering, direct people back to your website or blog. Perhaps encourage them to subscribe to your blog now since you rocked Steps 1, 2 and 3 and are planning to continue posting more content.
If you do have another offering, link people to it as a “What’s Next?” suggestion. For an example, take our Plan a Winning Website e-book. At the end of the book we encourage people to try out our website estimator, moving them down the buying funnel. Continue to do this, linking potential customers from one resource to another, by selling the next offer until they’re comfortable enough to come in and have a consultation with your business.
If you’re interested in previewing a completed e-book before getting started with creating your own offer, download our free Introduction to Business Blogging e-book. In addition to checking out the layout, you may even find the information useful to your blogging efforts.
Ready for Step 5: Whip Up 1 Offering Landing Page?
Check out the 10 Week Blogging Success Recipe for a complete outline of the recipe ingredients and directions.[hs_action id=”9190″]