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The Fundamentals of Blogging
 

The Fundamentals of Blogging

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Blogging is critical to inbound marketing success. Blog posts not only allow you to demonstrate thought leadership, but they allow you to educate your prospects, answer their questions and solve their ...

Blogging is critical to inbound marketing success. Blog posts not only allow you to demonstrate thought leadership, but they allow you to educate your prospects, answer their questions and solve their problems. Blog posts are also incredible at enhancing the search engine optimization of your website. They help to generate more visits, leads and customers.

This presentation is part of HubSpot's complimentary Inbound Certification. Get started at: http://academy.hubspot.com/certification

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  • This is the imm... The story of inbound. Blogging fits into the attract category because as we’ll talk more about in today’s class, blogs are one of the best possible ways to get more visitors to your site—eyeballs on your content.
  • a collection of articles that provide helpful, valuable, educational, and remarkable content to your target audience. By providing this value, blogs can easily and effectively draw prospects to your website. So esseintally, blogs are collections of posts that are designed to be helpful and educational to exactly the people out there on the internet that we’re looking to attract to our site. In that way, we can really think of each blog post we write as a marketing asset—a tool we can use to attract more traffic.
  • Blogging is here to stay. That's one of the greatest things about blogging. Sure, something like paid search will give you much quicker returns, but those quick wins come at a cost (literally). And if you want to keep getting those quick wins, you'll have to keep paying for it.With blogging, on the other hand, the content you create today will continue to generate results long after you first hit "publish." Case in point: 73% of HubSpot's blog post visits in February 2014 were to posts published prior to February. In fact, 33% of HubSpot's blog post visits in February 2014 were to posts published prior to 2013! So if our blogging team decided to go on vacation for a month, we'd still generate 73% of the traffic we generated the month before. Pretty amazing, huh? And when you consider the fact that all those posts are optimized with calls-to-action for lead generation, the long-term ROI of blogging becomes even more evident.
  • Well if you WANT MORE TRAFFIC, LEADS, AND CUSTOMERS, then you have to blog. It’s really just that simple.
  • Well, each and every time you write a post, it gets saved on your website as its own indexable website page.
  • This is because blogs give you a lot more opportunities to get found through channels like search engines and social media.
  • Another major benefit of blogging is that it also helps you demonstrate thought leadership, since you’re attracting visitors to your website through helpful and educational content.
  • Remarkable just means that it’s content that’s worth talking about. Yes, creating high-quality, remarkable content takes time, but it’s also rewarded with things like more social shares and more inbound links.
  • This is because companies that blog have content on their website that’s worth linking to. Companies that don’t blog … don’t.
  • Because business blogging is so closely tied to search engine optimization, it can be tempting to think first about writing for a search engine. Instead, focus first on your buyer personas and create content they’re looking for. Use the language they use, and make it valuable for them.
  • Know who your audience is, and know what their problems, interests, and needs are. This will help you come up with the right topics and ideas for your blog content. Make a list of the biggest problems and interests your customers have. Then write blog posts that provide practical and non-product focused solutions. The idea is to attract the right people by being mainly helpful, not to turn them off by trying to sell them your products or services right away.For example, a plumbing company might write a blog post about do’s and don’ts for unclogging a sink drain.
  • Put yourself in the shoes of your prospective customers (or better yet, interview a few). What would they search for that would bring them to your doorstep? What questions or challenges do they have that you can help address? 
  • In other words, by consistently creating content that helps your target audience solve their problems, you’ll start to earn a reputation with them as a trustworthy, helpful, valuable resource that is worth coming back to over time. And the more they interact with your content, the more they’ll come back to your website and learn more about your business and products or services over time. You’ll become their go-to resource for industry information.
  • While you should primarily be blogging with your buyer personas in mind, that doesn’t mean you should completely forget about optimizing for search. If you’re focusing on creating content that truly appeals to your target audience, it will probably be naturally search engine optimized, but there ARE still SEO best practices to keep in mind.
  • Links and anchor text: When search engine spiders crawl your blog, they don’t read every word. Instead, they scan for certain parts of your post: the headline, subheaders, alt-text of images, and anchor text. Anchor text is the word or phrase you highlight when you insert a hyperlink. Choosing the right words to hyperlink can help add some important SEO value.Google recommends optimizing your website using some form of responsive design. Any mobile-optimized website will fare better on mobile search results than non-optimized versions. Google has actually begun to deprioritize websites and blogs that aren't mobile optimized in search rankings when a search is conducted on a mobile device.
  • Okay, so what makes a great blog title? I think there are 6 main characteristics that make a blog title awesome, so let’s go talk about each and give an example of each one.A great title should be …
  • There are a couple main reasons why this is important:Remember when we talked about how blogging helps fuel your other inbound marketing efforts? The more frequently you create content, the more fuel you’ll have. It also gives search engines a reason to crawl your website, and similarly, the more content you create, the more pages your website has for search engines to index and rank you for. This results in more traffic to your website.Because it drives visitors to your website more often – as a result, you have more opportunities to convert visitors into leads and build relationships.
  • Think about how you read a piece of content. You likely scan it first to see if the content catches your attention before you commit. Use formatting to optimize the look and feel of your content so it’s more reader-friendly. Rather than overwhelming readers with blocks of text, let your formatting invite them in.
  • Our final blogging best practices is #7: Don’t miss out on lead conversion opportunitiesOnce you attract readers to your blog, the next step is to capture them as leads that you can nurture and ultimately close as customers.So how exactly do you capture leads from your blog?
  • You can also add CTAs to the top and sidebar of your blog’s homepage.And include in-text links within your blog posts that lead to landing pages.
  • Make sure every blog post you publish includesrelevant calls-to-action – or CTAs – that enable you to convert visitors into leads.Since we just threw a ton of marketing buzzwords at you, here’s how it works …
  • You also know why it’s so important to make your blog an educational hub for that target audience, so you can establish thought leadership and credibility, and become a trustworthy source of information that keeps your buyer personas coming back for more.We’ve already talked about some general business blogging best practices. By now you know that you should be creating high-quality, valuable, content that your buyer personas are looking for to speaks to their interests or solves their problems and needs.
  • Remember we talked about those before?Offer your two cents on the latest industry news and why your audience should care – this is called “newsjacking”Talk to your sales and customer teams – the people who talk to your ideal customers every day – and ask them to share the most popular questions they haveMonitor your blog comments for questions that could inspire a blog topicRead what others in your industry are writing about and offer a fresh or new perspective Audit what content you already have. Can you turn a presentation your exec did at an event into a blog post? Can you take an excerpt from an ebook or whitepaper you wrote and turn it into a blog post?Ask other bloggers in your industry to contribute guest articles.
  • Whatever you write about, keep it fresh and relevant for your audience. By nature, a blog should always provide the most up-to-date information, whether it be in terms of industry advancements, data and statistics, or tips and best practices.
  • Remember we talked about those before?Offer your two cents on the latest industry news and why your audience should care – this is called “newsjacking”Talk to your sales and customer teams – the people who talk to your ideal customers every day – and ask them to share the most popular questions they haveMonitor your blog comments for questions that could inspire a blog topicRead what others in your industry are writing about and offer a fresh or new perspective Audit what content you already have. Can you turn a presentation your exec did at an event into a blog post? Can you take an excerpt from an ebook or whitepaper you wrote and turn it into a blog post?Ask other bloggers in your industry to contribute guest articles.
  • Content Level – Lists: Ordered
  • Elaborating on #3 … Like we showed in the screenshot on the last slide, highlight blog articles relevant to the topics of certain web pages.
  • Talk to slide
  • Talk to slide.
  • Last, but not least, make sure you’re measuring your blog’s performance. After all, what’s the point of spending the time to consistently create content if you can’t even tell whether it’s working?
  • Talk about how in Page Performance, you can sort by any column, and specify dates. This enables you to analyze which topics resonate with your audience, and which don’t, so you can do more of what works and less of what doesn’t.
  • Talk about how in Page Performance, you can sort by any column, and specify dates. This enables you to analyze which topics resonate with your audience, and which don’t, so you can do more of what works and less of what doesn’t.
  • Talk about how in Page Performance, you can sort by any column, and specify dates. This enables you to analyze which topics resonate with your audience, and which don’t, so you can do more of what works and less of what doesn’t.
  • Talk about how in Page Performance, you can sort by any column, and specify dates. This enables you to analyze which topics resonate with your audience, and which don’t, so you can do more of what works and less of what doesn’t.
  • Talk about how in Page Performance, you can sort by any column, and specify dates. This enables you to analyze which topics resonate with your audience, and which don’t, so you can do more of what works and less of what doesn’t.
  • Finally, remember that success from business blogging takes time. But if you stick with it and maintain your blogging frequency and over time, you’ll start to see blogging success.

The Fundamentals of Blogging The Fundamentals of Blogging Presentation Transcript

  • THE FUNDAMENTALS OF BLOGGING. Inbound Certification Class # 3
  • #INBOUND
  • 1  Blogging and inbound marketing 2  Best practices for remarkable blog content 3  What blogging in execution looks like 4  Key takeaways and resources AGENDA
  • BLOGGING AND INBOUND MARKETING.1
  • What is a blog?
  • DEFINITION OF A BUSINESS BLOG A collection of articles that provide helpful, valuable, educational, and remarkable content to your target audience. By providing this value, blogs can easily and effectively draw prospects to your website.
  • 79%of marketers with a company blog reported inbound ROI for 2013. SOURCE: STATE OF INBOUND MARKETING, HUBSPOT, MARCH 2013
  • Want more visits, leads, and customers? Blogging is a fundamental way for you to attract more qualified website traffic, therefore helping you convert better leads and close more customers.
  • Each and every post you write gets published as its own, individual, indexed page on your website.
  • EACH PAGE IS AN OPPORTUNITY. The more indexed pages you have, the more opportunities you have to get found online.
  • GROW YOUR KEYWORD FOOTPRINT. Blog posts can be optimized for the keywords that you want to rank for. FLICKER USER CHEZ_SUGI
  • Each blog post is an opportunity to generate new leads. Once a visitor finds your blog, this opens the door to them wanting to learn more.
  • of companies have acquired a customer through their blog. 43% SOURCE: STATE OF INBOUND MARKETING, HUBSPOT, MARCH 2013
  • Blogging helps you become an industry leader through education.
  • Through education, you can build authority and trust with prospective customers.
  • BEST PRACTICES FOR REMARKABLE BLOG CONTENT. 2
  • If you build it, they will come: The value of remarkable content Remarkable content will be rewarded. Rewards can come in the form of social shares or even inbound links. FLICKER USER iowa_spirit_walker
  • Use your remarkable content to get inbound links. Inbound links are another way for search engines to see the authority of your website. They are like votes.
  • Keep your buyer persona in mind. Blog consistently and frequently. Don’t forget about great formatting and imagery. BLOGGING BEST PRACTICES FOR REMARKABLE CONTENT Address one topic per blog post. Or miss out on lead conversion opportunities!
  • Keep your buyer persona in mind. Blog consistently and frequently. Don’t forget about great formatting and imagery. BLOGGING BEST PRACTICES FOR REMARKABLE CONTENT Address one topic per blog post. Or miss out on lead conversion opportunities!
  • Focus on the visitor — your ideal buyer, not the search engine.
  • KNOW YOUR AUDIENCE. If the content on your blog doesn’t appeal to your target audience – your buyer personas – you’re never going to convert all of that traffic into leads and customers for your business.
  • The Buyer’s Journey
  • The Buyer’s Journey How does blogging fit into the buyer’s journey?
  • Publish content that’s on-topic and important to your buyer personas.
  • If you help to solve their problem, they’ll come back to you.
  • Keep your buyer persona in mind. Blog consistently and frequently. Don’t forget about great formatting and imagery. BLOGGING BEST PRACTICES FOR REMARKABLE CONTENT Address one topic per blog post. Or miss out on lead conversion opportunities!
  • FOCUS ON ONE TOPIC PER BLOG POST. If you find you’re writing about something else than where you started, it’s time to break up your post. FLICKER USER 55Laney69
  • Don’t forget about SEO.
  • •  Keywords in the title (55 characters) •  Meta description (140 characters) •  Image file name and Alt tags •  Links and anchor text •  Focus on mobile optimization SEO BEST PRACTICES FOR BLOGGING
  • Write compelling blog titles.
  • WHAT MAKES A COMPELLING BLOG TITLE? 1  Actionable ... “How to Write Stellar How-To Posts for Your Business Blog” 2  Keyword-Conscious … “What Is a Landing Page and Why Should You Care?” 3  Brief … “15 Examples of Brilliant Homepage Design” 4  Clear … “Answers to Your Top Questions From the Science of Inbound Marketing” 5  Definitive … “The Ultimate Guide to Creating Compelling Case Studies” 6  Intriguing … “30 Terrible Pieces of Social Media Advice You Should Ignore”
  • Keep your buyer persona in mind. Blog consistently and frequently. Don’t forget about great formatting and imagery. BLOGGING BEST PRACTICES FOR REMARKABLE CONTENT Address one topic per blog post. Or miss out on lead conversion opportunities!
  • Blog consistently and frequently. Publish as often as you want to get found online.
  • 75% 82% 71% 67% 57% 0% 50% 100% Multiple times/day Daily 2-3 times/ week Weekly Month Consistent Blogging Boosts Inbound ROI 82% of marketers who blog daily report positive ROI for overall inbound efforts. SOURCE: STATE OF INBOUND MARKETING, HUBSPOT, MARCH 2013
  • Keep your buyer persona in mind. Blog consistently and frequently. Don’t forget about great formatting and imagery. BLOGGING BEST PRACTICES FOR REMARKABLE CONTENT Address one topic per blog post. Or miss out on lead conversion opportunities!
  • Don’t overlook the importance of formatting. Use formatting to draw the attention of the reader and keep them there.
  • •  Make the blog post as long as it needs to be •  Use bolded text •  Include subheads, numbers, and bulleted lists •  Embrace whitespace •  Use high-quality images BLOG FORMATTING BEST PRACTICES
  • Keep your buyer persona in mind. Blog consistently and frequently. Don’t forget about great formatting and imagery. BLOGGING BEST PRACTICES FOR REMARKABLE CONTENT Address one topic per blog post. Or miss out on lead conversion opportunities!
  • Remember, your blog also has huge lead generation potential.
  • Add CTAs to your blog sidebar Include in-text links/CTAs And be sure to add a CTA to the bottom of each post you write. Add a Call-to-Action to your blog and blog post
  • OPTIMIZE EVERY BLOG POST WITH CALLS-TO-ACTION FOR LEAD GENERATION. MAKE SURE YOUR CTAs ARE RELEVANT Calls-to-Action (CTAs) are providing the next logical step.
  • Not relevant to blog topic Relevant to blog topic Make sure your blog CTAs are relevant
  • Keep your buyer persona in mind. Blog consistently and frequently. Don’t forget about great formatting and imagery. BLOGGING BEST PRACTICES FOR REMARKABLE CONTENT Address one topic per blog post. Or miss out on lead conversion opportunities!
  • WHAT BLOGGING IN EXECUTION LOOKS LIKE.3
  • Become an educational hub and offer high-quality content. FLICKER USER GADL
  • •  Long-tail keywords •  Recent industry and industry-related news •  Common questions from your customers •  Respond to blog comments or other blogs •  Go negative or positive •  Hot industry topics •  Invite guest bloggers BLOG TOPIC IDEAS
  • Stay fresh and relevant. By nature, a blog should always provide the most up-to-date information, whether it be in terms of industry advancements, data and statistics, or tips and best practices.
  • Reuse and recycle your blog posts. To keep content fresh, update and republish outdated blog posts. FLICKER USER NICKWHEELEROZ
  • •  Identify your top-performing outdated posts. •  Keep the URL the same. •  You can change the title, but keep the keywords. •  Include an editor’s note for transparency. •  Update the content for accuracy. TIPS FOR REPUBLISHING BLOG CONTENT
  • Now that you have this great blog post, how do you promote it?
  • Leverage your website HOW TO PROMOTE BLOG CONTENT 1 2 3 4 Use your social media presence Include in email marketing Connect with your network
  • LEVERAGE YOUR WEBSITE1
  • WAYS TO LEVERAGE YOUR WEBSITE. 1  Add blog link to your main website navigation. 2  Add a blog RSS feed to your homepage & ‘About’ pages. 3  Link internally to relevant articles and posts. 4  Use your blog sidebar to promote popular/recent posts.
  • USE YOUR SOCIAL MEDIA PRESENCE2
  • USE SOCIAL MEDIA. 1  Promote blog articles through social posts. 2  Answer questions and link back to a related blog post. 3  Use blog content as fodder to engage in meaningful conversation with others in your industry.
  • INCLUDE IN EMAIL MARKETING3
  • INCLUDE BLOG POSTS IN EMAIL. 1  Use your personas (and their interests/pain points) to segment your leads and send relevant blog posts. 2  Include articles in a email newsletters. 3  Create a weekly or monthly blog digest email.
  • CONNECT WITH YOUR NETWORK4
  • OTHER BLOG PROMO IDEAS. 1  Publish a press release. 2  Add a blog link to your other content. 3  Add a blog link to your business card. 4  Add blog articles to a “resource center” of helpful articles and content. 5  Add a blog link to your email signature block. 6  Encourage blog subscriptions.
  • DOES IT WORK? Analyzing the efficacy of your blog.
  • WHAT TO ANALYZE 1  Number of article views. 2  Blog subscription growth by both RSS and email. 3  Most popular articles (by author, by content, and/ or by channel). 4  Number of inbound links.
  • ANALYZE TRENDS
  • What do you look for when analyzing blog post views?
  • What do you look for when analyzing blog post views?
  • What do you look for when analyzing blog post CTA click-throughs?
  • What do you look for when analyzing blog post CTA click-throughs?
  • DON’T EXPECT OVERNIGHT SUCCESS.
  • KEY TAKEAWAYS AND RESOURCES.4
  • KEY TAKEAWAYS 1  Use your blog to provide remarkable, educational, helpful, industry-related content meant for your target audience. 2  Blog consistently and frequently to reap maximum benefits. 3  Optimize your content with keywords to get found via search.
  • 4  Optimize your content for lead generation by adding a relevant CTA to each post. 5  Promote your blog content in channels like your website, social media, and email. 6  Measure and analyze your blog so you can do more of what works (and less of what doesn’t). KEY TAKEAWAYS
  • RESOURCES 1  An Introduction to Business Blogging [eBook] 2  15 Business Blogging Mistakes & Easy Fixes [eBook] 3  HubSpot’s Blog Topic Generator [online tool} 4  7 Elements of a Blog You Need To Include to be Successful [blog post] 5  How to Think Up a Year’s Worth of Blog Post Topics in an Hour [blog post]