3 Key Elements To Selling Anything Online

Before you start creating content, think about your customers FIRST…always!

Forget about “selling”, or your own aspirations just for a moment. Instead, think about what THEY WANT and focus your energy there.

  • What problems do they have?
  • What does your product or service solve for them?
  • What is THEIR end goal? Not yours!

Chances are, that if you’re reading this, you need to make more sales. That’s a problem, that YOU need a solution to, and one that tons of my SEO clients struggle with.

So, let’s get on with it!

Here are the 3 key elements, to selling absolutely anything online.

1. Solve People’s Problems

In my primary business, the problems my clients have, is that they aren’t at the top of Google for search terms related to their websites. I help solve that.

But that isn’t really their true problem. Their problem is that they want to make more money; and that money may go to solve other problems in their life. If my business focused on what “I” needed, then I simply wouldn’t be in business. Sounds obvious, I know!

But what if you sell energy saving products, give free advice for recovering alcoholics, or need more sign-ups for your dog charity website?

What problems do your visitors have, and how can you solve them?

2. Create Buyer Personas.

It’s no good just writing content, creating videos, or doing podcasts, if you don’t know who you are talking to. When I used to teach English, my audience was right in front of me. It was easy to adapt as I knew who I was talking to. Online, it’s not as simple!

Start off by thinking of 3 types of people, who might be interested in your products/services etc.

Some examples could include;

  • Jack the Uni guy

Most people at university, struggle for money. So Jack is probably going to want more of it!

If you’re pushing high end training programs for $997 a pop, Jack isn’t going to be interested. However, some free training, showing Jack how he can make extra money to support him through school, could hold his interest.

  • Clive who hates his job

I’ve been this guy before. When you’re in a job you hate, you’re trapped (because you usually need to stick it out just to get buy). Clive is going to do anything to get out of his situation. Products such as “how to leave your job and achieve financial freedom” are going to be super-interesting for Clive.

  • Pete the retiree

I have quiet a few clients over 65 that need to make additional income to support themselves. Pete probably isn’t looking to make 10 million dollars and drive flashy cars. I find most of my “retired” clients, want to create content that they are personally interested in, and connect with other like-minded people.

Obviously not everyone is going to fit perfectly into each category. Just make sure you have content for each of your buyer personas.

3. Choose Your Primary Marketing Strategy

There’s absolutely tons of ways that you can market a website.

Here are a just few methods to get you started.


Search Engine Optimization, is a way of pushing your keywords, to the top of Google. There are other search engines out there, but most people use Google. If you are offering SEO services (like I do), I don’t recommend you use SEO to market your services. Why?

Well, the SEO industry is so competitive, that buy the time you have ranked for “SEO”, “SEO company” etc, you’re going to be wishing you spent your money and hardwork elsewhere. SEO for high-competition keywords, can be super-expensive.

If you decide to DIY SEO or hire some help, I would recommend you learn the basics first. Here are some great resources to help you get started.

The MOZ Beginners Guide to SEO

Backlinko Google Ranking Factors for 2015

Kissmetrics Step by Step Guide To SEO

Social Media

Facebook and Instagram can be fantastic traffic pullers if you use them in the right way. Instead of just sharing your dinner or moaning about politics, use it to gain a following for whatever it is you’re promoting.

My own Facebook page has been a great way for me to share material with my followers. You don’t need to “sell” to them either. Just share valuable information and articles, and you’ll be rewarded in the long term. I really like social media, as it helps me connect with “real people” without costing a thing. Unless you pay for Facebook ads…that’s another topic altogether.

Here are some great resources to help you get started in Social Media Marketing

PRdaily 30 Social Marketing Tips

The Moz Guide to Social Media Marketing

Social Media Examiner Getting Started in Social Media Guide

Paid Advertising

ROI is much easier to control with paid ads, than say SEO. If you pay for Adwords (Google’s own advertising platform), you just optimize for your keywords, watch the clicks and weigh it up against the sales you make. It is also WAY quicker than SEO, so you might want to chose this method before venturing into organic listings in search engines. There are many forms of paid advertisement, but for this example, let’s just stick with Pay Per Click. PPC

Here are some great resources to help you get started in Paid Advertising

Search Engine Land SEM Guide

Google Adwords Starter Guide

Wordstream PPC for Beginners Guide

So what problems are you solving for people with your products or services? Or maybe you’re still searching for ideas. Start Making Money Online Guide (coming soon).

If you found this article helpful, please share and connect with me on Social Media. Many thanks for reading!

{ 4 comments… add one }
  • steve July 8, 2015, 5:15 am

    Hey there

    Great points about the buyer persona. What do you recommend for a multi niche website ?

  • BarryP BarryP July 8, 2015, 9:10 am

    Hi Steve,
    Glad you enjoyed the post. If you have a multi-niche website, you can create buyer personas based on each niche.
    To keep things simple, create 3 buyer personas per niche, and base your content around only those people.

  • Greg July 8, 2015, 2:33 pm

    I 100% agree about people that forget about their content. They pay tons of cash for their paid advertising or SEO get plenty of clicks but blame the guys that bring traffic to their site for the lack of sales like it is you doing something wrong. Usually we have already told them “errr your content needs improving” and the usual response is “yeah, yeah, yeah” until they realize they have spent a heap of cash on clicks that brought traffic but in the end the content has been the failing point. We lose plenty of customers from this alone. We could have kept those customers on long term contracts with successful campaigns with better content.

    • BarryP BarryP July 9, 2015, 10:35 am

      Well said Greg. The highest ranking clients I have, ALL have excellent content on their websites that people want to read. It’s definitely no coincidence that poor content, rarely ranks, and even if it did, it’s useless if people don’t want to read it.

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