How to Make Money Online Using Customer Loyalty (With a Brand New Blog)

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How to build customer loyalty as a beginner blogger
Last spring, I started leading a quarterly blog writing workshop. Looking at the signups, I noticed something curious: over 50% of the attendees were past customers.

In other words, they had already bought something from me before — a template, an online course, etc.

I’ve led three workshops since then, and the same thing has happened every single time. Uncanny?

Well, no.

Habits maketh the man.

When someone pays you once, they’ll pay you twice.

And thrice and so on.

In business lingo, this behavior is called “customer loyalty.”

In this post:

What is Customer Loyalty?

If someone buys something from you once and has a positive experience, they’ll buy from you again rather than go to your competitor. This behavior is called customer loyalty.

As a blogger and creator, chances are you’re planning to sell your services or digital products (templates, courses, consultations, etc.) To make sure you maximize your selling power, you need customers who trust you and the quality of your products.

You need loyal customers who wouldn’t hesitate to give your their money.

So, in this post, let’s look at one of the ways to build customer loyalty, even if you’re a brand new blogger just starting out.

The System to Build Customer Loyalty

When you’re a beginner blogger or content creator with little to no audience, a couple of things can happen:

  • You lack confidence, so you don’t even try to sell anything, thinking that nobody will buy, so what even is the point?
  • Or, you’re needlessly overconfident, so you try to sell a premium product from the get-go, resulting in a crushing failure. (Uhh, wouldn’t I know?! I’m still bitter about that one time I… never mind.)

Either of these scenarios holds you back and delays your success and profitability.

But I have a better idea for you. It’s a simple, automated system that runs on its own once you’ve set it up.

This system has two characteristics:

  1. It’s simple enough to implement quickly, even if you’re a total beginner.
  2. It requires starting small.

The end goal of this method is to sell a relatively cheap, low-stake product. It won’t make you rich, but it’ll make people open their wallets for you.

Here’s how to do it:

Plan a minimalist product sales cycle

Your product sales cycle will have these three stages:

  1. Write a value-packed blog post: This is the entry point. People will land on this blog post on your website, which they can read for free.
  2. Create a freebie in exchange for email addresses: This freebie, or better yet, let’s call it a “content upgrade” (because it’s attached to and accessed via that specific blog post only), is directly related to the topic of the blog post and doesn’t cost money; however, you won’t give it away to just anybody. A reader will need to subscribe to your email list to access this piece of content.
  3. Deliver the freebie + a timed sale on a cheap product to create FOMO: Once readers sign up for your email list, you’ll send them the freebie, and you’ll offer them something even more exclusive for a small price. Better yet, offer it for a limited time only to create scarcity or fear of missing out (FOMO.) That’s when a reader will need to open their (quite possibly proverbial in this day and age) wallet and give you their money.
A minimalist product sales cycle at a glance.
A minimalist product sales cycle at a glance.

The system at a glance

I’ll share an anecdote — it’s the best way I can explain this system:

Back when I was a noob blogger, I wanted to learn Pinterest to grow my traffic. So, I consulted my trusty sidekick — Google — and found an amazing blog post.

Here’s what happened:

  • This blog post was better than some of the other posts on the topic. I was intrigued by the thorough but easily digestible information.
  • At the end of the blog post, there was an offer of a content upgrade — a free Pinterest planner for newbie bloggers. It was perfect for me! It felt like this blogger could read my thoughts and understand my needs.
  • But something interesting happened when I signed up for the freebie: when I confirmed my subscription, I was directed to a sales page. (I also got the freebie in the next email, and it was awesome!)
  • This was a timed discount page for a mini Pinterest course (a 45-minute video) that demonstrated how this blogger personally uses Pinterest to grow traffic.

The kicker: the sales page had a timed discount.

Basically, it said that I had only 15 minutes to grab this mini-course at a super-affordable price point ($17). After that, the course will go back to its original price, around $39 or something like that…

This landing page even had a timer, counting down from 15 minutes, showing exactly how long I had left to grab my special discount.

Now, I’m privileged enough not to have to worry about 17 bucks. So I figured, well, what the heck, might as well grab it!

Of course, my decision to purchase was that much easier because of how cheap the product was.

After all, it was the first time I came across this blogger, and I didn’t know them well enough to trust them with a premium product quite yet. Had the product been more expensive, I probably wouldn’t have made the purchase so quickly.

But this mini-course was totally worth it, and more!

To this day, that $17 remains one of the best investments I’ve ever made.

I wonder how many more people thought the same way and invested their, more or less, disposable $17 for a super awesome and actually valuable product.

But here’s the real nugget:

After I bought this course, I went back and bought more products from this blogger over the years.

As I’ve said before, I’ve noticed a similar pattern in my business too. When I release a new product, the ones who buy first are always the ones who’ve already bought something from me before.

And this system I’ve outlined above is one of the best (and easiest) ways to get people used to buying from you, even if you’re a brand-new blogger.

Now, if you’re not sure how to implement the timed sale, keep reading.

How to Implement the Timed Sale

If you’re confused about implementing the timed sale, worry not. It’s easy once you understand how it works.

But first, let me describe what it looks like from the subscriber’s perspective:

  • A reader loves a blog post and opts into your email list for a freebie (using an email service provider such as ConvertKit, for example.)
  • When the subscriber confirms their subscription, two things happen simultaneously: They are redirected to a timed sales page, while they also receive an email in their inbox with their promised freebie.
  • The sales page offers a timed discount on a related product (such as a mini online course, for example.) This discount has a short window, usually 15-20 minutes.
  • When a subscriber clicks the buy button within the time limit, they go to a checkout page where the discount has already been applied.
  • If they let the offer expire, the discount page automatically redirects to an expired page. This page should also have the buy button, but without the discount applied. In case, a subscriber still wants the product, they’re able to get it at the full price.
  • If a user clicks the buy button on this expired page, they’re taken to a checkout page without the discount.

There are plenty of different ways to go about implementing the above steps. The following steps will outline how I’d do it.

For reference, I’m using the following tools:

I’m going to assume you’ve already written the blog post, created the freebie, and made the cheap product. For the sake of this tutorial, I’ll assume you’ve created a cheap online product such as a short course (I’d advise maybe 2-3 short videos or one long video—no more than 30 minutes to an hour or so in total, at most.)

In the following steps, I’ll focus on setting up only the timed sale.

Step 1: Create a discount coupon

The first thing you have to do is create a discount for your short and cheap product.

I sell my online courses using Thinkific. I can create a discount coupon on Thinkific for individual products and even grab a checkout link that has the discount automatically applied to it. (As in, people don’t actually have to enter the coupon themselves.)

In the past, I’ve tried a similar approach with my WooCommerce products. No matter where you sell your digital products or courses, chances are that you’ll be able to create similar functionality.

For the timed sale, you’ll need two links:

The first is a checkout link that has the discount automatically applied. And the second is the regular checkout link without the discount.

Consider these for the Thinkific platform:

Thinkific coupon page.
Thinkific coupon page.

If you’re not using Thinkific but some other platform, use our common best bud Google to find out how to get a direct checkout link with a discount coupon applied.

Step 2: Set up two landing pages

I create two separate landing pages on my WordPress site. One is the timed discount page, and the other is what people see when their discount window has expired. We’ll call it the expired page.

I use Elementor Pro page-builder for WordPress, so it’s really a zero-coding, drag-and-drop effort. I designed both of the demo pages you see below in under 30 minutes!

The two landing pages. Left: the discount page. Right: the expired page.
The two landing pages. Left: the discount page. Right: the expired page.

Elementor Pro comes with a “countdown” widget. It’s a powerful widget that lets you redirect to a different page once the timer expires.

I added this countdown widget to the discount page and added a redirect to the expired page. Again, there was no coding involved! Everything was done within the widget’s settings.

On the discount page, the buy button takes the user to a checkout page that already has the discount coupon applied (see step 1.)

Once the offer expires, the discount page redirects to the expired page, and the buy button on the expired page takes the user to a regular checkout page without the discount coupon applied.

We create two pages to prevent people from accessing the discount after the sales window has expired. Because if you don’t redirect, people will always have access to the discount page. We don’t want that! Once the discount window expires on the first [discount] page, it redirects to the second [expired] page, thus preventing users from getting the discount.

Above, you see the pages I just built (strictly for demonstration.) There was zero coding involved, and I made both pages in under 30 minutes!

Elementor Pro Countdown widget settings.
Elementor Pro Countdown widget settings.

The “countdown” widget comes with the premium Elementor Pro plugin. However, if you don’t have Elementor Pro, you can use a free WordPress plugin like the Evergreen Countdown Timer.

There’s also a premium service like Deadline Funnel that can automate this process for you. This service can work with any website, not just WordPress.

Step 3: Set up the discount page on ConvertKit

This one is super easy.

When you create an opt-in form in ConvertKit, it gives you the option to show a default confirmation page or a custom one using an external link.

On the opt-in form page, click “Settings.” Then, on the card that pops up, under the “General” tab, check “Redirect to an external page” and paste the URL of the discount landing page you’ve created in step two above.

Choose the link option and add the link to your discount page, and voilĂ !

This way, when a subscriber confirms their subscription, they’re automatically directed to the discount page.

Here’s a guide on how to use ConvertKit if you need some help.

How to set up the discount page on ConvertKit after a subscriber confirms their subscription.
How to set up the discount page on ConvertKit after a subscriber confirms their subscription.

Step 4: Bring traffic to your blog post

Now that the system is set up, you’ll need to bring traffic to your blog post.

I recommend using Pinterest for beginner bloggers. You can also use social media to drive traffic as well. If you write on Medium, consider republishing (syndicating) your post there using a canonical link back to your original content. The more traffic you bring, the higher the chances of getting people on your email list and making sales.

Again, the goal is not so much to make a huge profit with your cheap product at this stage, but to build relationships with your potential future customers when you start selling your premium products.

Step 5: Grow your audience and prepare to sell your premium product

Because this system is so simple, and the products are easy to make, I’d even recommend creating a few of these. See which ones resonate with your audience more.

Pay attention to things like…

  • Which freebie is more popular with your readers
  • Which cheap product people are buying the most

Once you have a good idea of what’s resonating with your readers, go ahead and consider making a premium product.

The good news is that the premium product doesn’t always have to be in the exact topic as the cheap products you’ve made. They can be, but it’s not necessary. By the time you’re building your premium product, chances are you’ve already given value to your readers, and some of them have already purchased something from you and trust you to deliver quality.

So, when you’re ready to sell, they’re more likely to buy from you again.

Some Final Remarks

  • This method wouldn’t work unless you have awesome content. For example, when I purchased the Pinterest course, my decision was driven by the fact that I loved the free blog post. It was so useful that it made me want to learn more from this blogger.
  • To make this work for beginners, you have to make your product cheap. So, of course, this method wouldn’t make you rich. But remember, the goal is to get people used to giving you money over time. And that’s what makes this a beginner-friendly approach. If you’re someone who’s been around a while and already has a decent-sized audience, I’d recommend you start selling premium products with a lot more value with proper sales funnels and launches.
  • This system has some flaws. For example, if a user is techie enough, they’ll be able to find a way around this system and save the URL that has the discount applied for a later time. And that’s OK. As long as you’re making sales and people are giving you money, you’re fine. That’s the original goal anyway, remember?
  • Since the product is so cheap, make sure you’re not spending too much time creating it. Do not give a premium product away for just a few bucks. Make sure the product is valuable to your ideal audience but not so much that you’re leaving money on the table.

While this is a great way to start building customer loyalty for beginners, anyone—even veteran bloggers and creators—can implement this method to create evergreen revenue from their blogs.

It’s not that hard to build, so why not give it a go?

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How to build customer loyalty as a beginner blogger

3 thoughts on “How to Make Money Online Using Customer Loyalty (With a Brand New Blog)”
  1. Well, this is my first visit to your blog! Thanks for sharing methods to start building customer loyalty for beginners. Your blog provided me valuable information to work on. Keep sharing!

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