Selling services is one of the most effective ways to monetize your blog.
It requires almost no investment, and you easily combine it with your full-time job until you know it is going to make your living.
Becoming a consultant requires skill and expertise, but you don’t necessarily need an expensive degree to provide consulting services, and there’s no need to lease an office.
Constancy is also the type of the service where you don’t take the responsibility of performing the task, for example, you don’t need the keys to a website to provide an SEO consulting service, so there’s no chance you can break anything or lose any data.
How can you use blogging to sell your consulting services? Here is a step-by-step guide.
Define your narrow expertise
Finding your own narrow expertise makes it easier to get noticed even in over-saturated niches, like SEO. It would take years to become known as an “SEO consultant,” but it is much easier to brand yourself as an “Google Local Profile Optimization” or “Core Sweb Vitals” expert.
Promoting a narrow expertise is also easier because you are dealing with much less competitive search queries and PPC keywords. It also makes your content and blog strategy much better defined, which is why it is important to identify your expertise prior to starting your blog.
How exactly you define your expertise relies on your actual experience, set of skills and topics you are more excited to explore. Avoid becoming an SEO writer if you hate writing, and don’t start a technical consulting business if you are not sure about your dev skills. Take some time to find something you will be excited to do:
You can narrow down your expertise by:
- Providing services focusing on a certain location (e.g. UK consultant)
- Focusing on a specific niche (e.g. travel SEO consultant)
- Focusing on one specific task (e.g. Core Web Vitals optimization consultant)
Keyword research is going to be helpful when determining your consulting angle as it is a good way to evaluate demand (i.e. search volume).
SE Ranking’s keyword research tool allows you to filter keyword suggestions by difficulty (i.e. organic competition) while sorting them by search volume. This allows you to identify keyword opportunities that don’t require years of SEO efforts:
Set up lead generation funnels across your blog
Prior to officially launching your blog or when optimizing it for selling your services, setting up your sales funnels is the top-priority step. You don’t have to wait for your blog to rank to start selling your services. You can drive clicks through tweets, ads, participating in niche forums and communities.
Make sure you have your “Services” pages set up at a very early stage, so that you catch those first clicks.
vcita provides an easy way for bloggers to sell services by managing money collection, call scheduling and even lead capturing. You can embed a consultation booking widget on specific pages of your blog, allowing readers to schedule sessions when you’re available and even to pre-pay.
Additionally, vcita allows to create a more effective sales funnel with its “Service bundling feature,” letting bloggers bundle several of their services into one or combining services with one-time products (for example, a series of consultation sessions at a package price):
Additionally, you need to make sure that you offer convenient ways to get in touch with you, so beef up your contact page by creating an email form, offering a phone number option or allowing your prospective customers to use a smart chatbot.
Blog about problems that your service can solve
Once you identify your consulting niche, make sure it is reflected in all of your further efforts, including:
- Blog name
- Social media channels
Namify will handle the top three of those elements. It finds domains based on your niche, checks its availability on social media channels and generates free logos for you to use:
From there, figure out content ideas that would attract your highly targeted needs. Keyword research is, again, a good place to start. Question research is another great source of content ideas that solve problems your target audience is facing.
BuzzSumo is the best tool for niche question research as it pulls questions from multiple sources, like Quora, Amazon Q&A and niche forums.
When exploring your future blog topics, group them by common search intent or topic. This will ultimately allow you to come up with your static landing pages that will describe your services. For example, some questions may all explore money-saving angles, others may relate to making work processes more productive, etc.
(Learn more in this BuzzSumo review.)
Text Optimizer is a great tool to understand your topic on a higher level by generating semantically relevant questions that deserve landing pages on your blog:
Keep your decision makers in mind
Who is going to benefit from your consulting service? Is it another business that you will provide consulting services to, or will it be individuals? Or maybe both? Understanding your target customer is important for developing your blog content strategy that will address their needs.
For example, if you are going to help businesses, keep in mind that they may have internal teams tackling the same problems.
Don’t position yourself as a replacement to in-house teams, because ultimately those internal teams will decide if you are worth working with. Instead, describe how you can compliment them, make their lives easier and their jobs more enjoyable.
Target audience research starts from your own experience (people you actually came across in the past who may benefit from your service) and continues with competitive research (search your target keywords and explore those ranking pages: Who are they talking to?).
Keep those decision makers in mind when developing your blog content strategy.
Keep building your personal brand
Blogging is a good way to start selling your consulting services, but you won’t move forward too fast unless you promote your blog and your personal brand outside of your own site.
Here are a few more ideas on how to make your expertise and personal brand known:
- Contribute to well-known blogs in your niche. Expert articles generate highest-quality leads. That is actually the only way I am generating mine, so I know what I am talking about. Start with a few expert columns in your niche and then expand to more. Ultimately your goal is to stick to those columns that bring traffic and leads, and drop the rest while always looking for new opportunities.
- Post high-quality expert answers on Quora. This is another on-going effort but it is a great way to establish yourself as an expert on a topic. Keep your answers unique, focused on your expertise and helpful. Avoid being too self-promotional. Your byline will hint that you sell related services, your answers should be genuinely helpful.
- Participate in niche forums. Again, seek connections and focus on contributing value instead of simply promoting yourself. This approach will turn useful in the long run even though you won’t see immediate sales.
- Participate in and host virtual events. These could be Twitter chats, live-streaming Q&As, webinars, etc.
- Blogging is an excellent way to build your personal brand and sell your consulting services
- Define your narrow expertise when starting out. This will make it easier to build recognizability and build organic search traffic (and leads). You’ll be able to branch out to more generic services when you are well-known in your niche.
- Use vcita to set up your landing pages, capture your leads, manage your clients, and even process payments.
- Use keyword and question research to focus your blog content strategy on problems that your consulting service helps solve.
- Keep your target audience and decision makers in mind. Explore your competitors to identify who they are talking to and how they select topics to attract the right customers.
- Build your personal brand and promote your blog by contributing to niche publications, providing expert opinion on Quora and niche forums and participating in niche (virtual) events.