How To Grow Your Business Through Blogging


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Imagine that you’re businesses blog is an employee. A living, breathing, employee that plays an integral part of your businesses growth (as it should). Now, how is that employee performing? Would you give them a raise? Do they consistently generate business and help establish you as an authority and thought leader in your industry?

Some of you are probably shaking your heads as you realize that your business blog is not performing the way that you want it.

Thankfully for you, our Lunch Lesson at Roam focused on how you can use your blog to grow your business, and turn it into an employee worthy of a corner office. In this interactive lunch and learn session, which you can download here, we covered the following topics:

1. Blog Strategy
2. Blogging Must-Haves
3. Ideal Blog Length And Frequency
4. Content Campaign Essentials

Published in: Marketing, Technology, Business
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  • Today we’ll cover strategy, must –haves, frequency and length, writing headlines that get noticed, content campaign essentials.
  • For fun
    Grow your business
    Help grow other businesses
    Ask audience – which bucket they fall into?
    This will really benefit those who want to grow businesses.

    Ron is next to talk about strategy, the opposite of aimless blogging.
  • The first step in any content or blogging strategy should be to get to know your potential customers. If you don’t take the time to understand the painpoints of your customers and create content to help them solve those painpoints, then it’s going to be very difficult to build a blog that meets your business goals.
  • So how do you get to know your customer’s needs. Well you ask them. The best way to get to know your customers is to interview them. You should interview your current customers, prospects that went through your sales process but chose another product or company, talk to your sales people which might be you if it is start thinking about who you typically talk to and what common questions they’re asking.
  • Some of the insights you want to gleen from these interviews are their role in the company, are they the final decision maker or were they an influencer delegated the task of finding a solution. What was the problem that caused them to start looking for a solution? Was there a certain event that caused them to start this search? What was the final goal of the search what did they want to accomplish? And with these interviews you want to dig deeper into broad answers until they get very specific and you feel you can move on.
  • Some other great info to get from these interviews are where they went to search for information on their problem? Was it Google, was it social media, industry blogs? Where did they look? What keywords did they use and what questions did they ask? This can become a gold mine of content ideas. What social media channels do they frequent and how do they use them? So take all the answers from all your interviewees and find the commonalities and create a profile of your ideal customer we call this your Buyer Persona. This is basically an Avatar of your perfect customer and it will help you create better content to help you meet your business goals.
  • The first thing to do when planning out your editorial calendar is to think about the major events that are important to your potential customers. For instance if you happen to sell flowers then you’re probably going to want to mark down Mother’s Day and Valentines day as important dates and then create targeted content around those holidays. Another example is in our industry where Hubspot has a big conference every fall where businesses and agencies come to learn about inbound marketing, so we definitely want to make a note of the dates of the conference on our calendar and plan some content around the time leading up to the conference maybe like a 5 Presentations You Don’t Want To Miss at Inbound 2014, and during the conference we could have a live blog, then after we could do a wrap up piece reviewing what we learned at the conference. So again, make not of the key dates that are important to your audience.
  • Unfortunately every month you’re not going to have events or holidays to help you create great content for your potential customers, so what kind of content do you create. What we like to do for our clients is create a series of posts based around a specific topic and each post in that series will promote an offer like an ebook or video series so we can capture leads. So how do we come up with these themes? There are several ways we do this.
    One is to find posts that have worked in the past, both from your blog, blogs you follow in the industry, and your competitors blogs. Find the blogs that have generated the most traffic, have helped you convert the most leads, or have gotten the most social shares or comments. This helps you find the topics people are most interested in.

    Industry trends are another way to find hot topics people are interested in. Monitor the conversations going on in your niche on social media can you spot any trends? Set up Google alerts around your keywords, and your competitors this will also help you spot trends?

    This is also another reason we wanted to key in on your competitors questions and painpoints this will help you to come up with monthly topics to create your content around.

  • Now let’s talk about keyword research. Does it Still matter?
  • So for those of you who don’t know what the Hummingbird Update is and what it means for using keywords in your content, I’ll give you a little background. On the eve of it’s 15the birthday Google announced that it had changed over to a new search algorithm they called this new search algorithm Hummingbird. It was said to have effected 90% of all search queries. Hummingbird is much better at judging context then it’s predessor - and therefore better judging the intent of a person carrying out a search, to determine what they are trying to find out.

    So now rather than ranking content based on how well content is optimized for a particular keyword Google has become much more efficient at finding the content the matches the actual intent of the search. And yes this in a way does diminish some of the value of optimizing your content for keywords. But keyword research is still important and when you combine it with being able to So let’s talk a little about how to find and used keywords in your content.

  • So now that we have the ideas and topics you created in the planning phase of the editorial calendar and we want to find the best keywords to focus on for each post. The goal of keyword research is to find the best words that you have a high chance of ranking for, and optimize your post for that phrase.

    Here is a list of the keyword tools we use to build our target keyword list. We kickstart our keyword research by creating a list using the Google Keyword Planner and then grow that list using the other tools listed here.

    Once we’re satisfied with our list we dump it into a Keyword tracker tool. We use Hubspot, but you could also use other tools like, or link assistant, or several others out there. We then use Hubspot to analyze the keywords and choose the low hanging fruit to target for our content. I’ve added a link to a video about how to use Google Keyword Planner and that links to some additional keyword research videos. I’ll be adding more over time so you can get all you need to know on that topic.

  • Now that you have the topics for your editorial calendar and the keywords you want to optimize your posts around, you can start coming up with your headlines which we’re going to discuss a little later and plug those into your calendar.

    Once you’re ready to start writing and publishing your content, there are some other very important places you want to use your keywords. In the URL of the post so the web address of the post, in the post title or headline like we just talked about the closer to the front of the title the more it helps your ranking, the meta description this one is kinda optional but it helps to get people to click your listing, Image “alt” tag, in your H1 tag also known as your subheader.
  • You wanna try to get your keyword somewhere in the first couple of sentences of the first paragraph if you can, but don’t sacrifice quality to do this. Also sprinkle some variations of your target keyword throughout the post but again don’t sacrifice the quality. And then finally any text links that point to this content you wanna use your keyword but not the exact keyword itself put it inside a phrase that describes this piece of content you’re linking to.
  • Promotion this is the step most people miss. And it’s probably the one of the most important steps in your strategy. Just blogging will work…eventually but wouldn’t you like to speed up that process? Well let’s talk about some ways you can do that.
  • To help build your blog audience quickly you need to get it in front of the right people who can read it and share it with their network. The first thing you need to do is determine the best channels where your audience hangs out and if we did a good job on the first step “knowing your audience” we should know which blogs, forums, or social media channels are the best for our content promotion.

    Next you need you need to develop promotional plan that you can reproduce for each and every piece of content you produce, and that will be different for each channel. But an example would be for every post I want to create 5 tweet variations to promote throughout the week, start a several discussions linking to your article in some of your linkedin groups, and run a targeted ad campaign on Facebook.

    Another thing you want to do is build relationships with influencers in your industry - follow and comment on their blogs, retweet them, answer their questions. Another great thing to do is to quote them or link to them in the post you create and once you’ve built some rapport you can email them letting them know that you included them in your post and encourage them to share if they found it useful.

    One of the best ways we’ve found to get some traction on newer blogs is to find popular blogs in your niche and see if they accept guest posts. If they do this is a great way to leverage their audience and build some authority for your blog. A great way to find these blogs is to do a Google search for Top insert your keyword blogs. Also AllTop is a great tool for finding popular blogs.
  • Ultimately you would like to create traffic - more than a just a handlful of views from your Mom and your competitors - our goal is tons of views.
    A title is the 1st impression, on whether blog post gets read
    when shared socially - most times only see title

    Matthew will discuss in much more detail about writing headlines that get noticed and tools that you can use to get you started.
  • Use eye-catching Images to help tell your story. They break up content. Human minds tend to remember and recognize images more easily than text.
    Hand-drawn images count, so do cartoons, infographics...
  • Simply put, a call-to-action causes the reader to take the next step. Maybe that’s subscribe to your blog. Or to purchase something, or to demo your software. Whatever it is that you want as a goal of reading your blog post - you must provide the pathway for a reader to take the next step.
  • Here are some examples of Calls-to-Action. USE HIGHLY CONTRASTING COLORS

    make sure the Call-to-Action is related to the blog article.
    Mix up placement - put in the middle or at the end of a blog article.
  • You have to try different approaches, different types of titles, to see what resonates with your audience most effectively.
  • Emotional Intrigue
  • You have to try different approaches, different types of titles, to see what resonates with your audience most effectively.
  • BlogPros set out to answer “What makes the perfect blog post?”
  • the length of your blog posts and frequency of your blogging should be dictated by your GOALS
  • If I want to teach you how to design, develop and execute a content marketing strategy, 500 words will probably not cut it.

    Conversely, if I want to provoke you or appeal to your curiosity, I might only need a few words to do so.

    So giving a blanket statement of "This is how long and this is how many" is not an appropriate way to answer your question.
  • The numbers show that longer blog posts perform better. and again, by better I mean land at higher position on the Google search results page.
  • What we’re seeing here is the average length of a piece of content related to the average position in the Google search engine rankings. The trend that we spot here is that higher ranking content seems to be longer.

    Now, what you’ll also notice is all all of the top 10 pieces of content have above 2000 words, so that means, in general, the content is long, with longer content performing better.
  • This number is from an infographic that tackled “What makes the perfect blog post?”. The authors, which were, analyzed over 100 high ranking blog posts, and spotted a few trends. Along with discovering that each article had an average of 3.2 images and 9.96 links, they found that the articles had 1149 words on average.
  • This study was done by the folks at BuzzSumo. The graph shows the average number of shares a piece of content received, based on it’s length. What we can see is that the longer the content the more the shares. Content between 3000-10000 words received more than 3x the shares of content 0-1000 words.
  • The numbers show that longer blog posts perform better. and again, by better I mean land at higher position on the Google search results page.
  • blogging is one element of content marketing. to have a complete campaign you need more than just blogs.
    Let me repeat that…

    Here are 2 important tactics to round out a successful content marketing campaign.

  • Use blog articles to attract new visitors and to convert them into leads and eventually customers.

  • This example is from a recent blog article, where an offer was placed at the end - clicking on this action button takes the reader to...
  • this landing page where they fill out the form and

  • We use a marketing automation software called HubSpot. There’s other marketing tools out there like Marketo, Pardot, Infusion-soft…
    HubSpot makes it so Easy to integrate all of the elements of a campaign and measures every step and allows for easy analysis.

  • [put group’s responses on the whiteboard]
  • Improvements can be made once we know answers to the interest and effectiveness of blog posts.
  • The deck will be up this afternoon.
  • How To Grow Your Business Through Blogging

    1. 1. How To Use Your Blog To Grow Your Business
    2. 2. 98toGo presented by
    3. 3. Today We’ll Speak About: 1. Blog Strategy 2. Blogging Must-haves 3. Content Campaign Essentials
    4. 4. Why Blog?
    5. 5. Step 1: Know Your Audience Step 2: Create Editorial Calendar Step 3: Keyword Research Step 4: Promotion Blog Strategy
    6. 6. Step 1: Know Your Audience
    7. 7. Interview: Current customers Prospects that didn’t choose you Your sales people
    8. 8. Audience Insights ● What is their title/role in the company? o Influencer o Decision Maker ● What caused them to look for a solution? ● What did they want to change? ● What was the goal of their search?
    9. 9. Audience Insights Cont... ● Where did they look for information? ● What questions do they ask? ● What keywords do they use? ● What social media channels do they frequent? ● How do they use social media?
    10. 10. Step 2: Create an Editorial Calendar Failing To Plan Is Planning To Fail
    11. 11. Key Dates For Your Audience ● Holidays ● Industry Events ● Seasonal Events ● Films, Music ● News Events
    12. 12. Create Monthly Themes ● Customer Pain Points ● Find Posts That Work ● Industry Trends
    13. 13. Step 3: Keyword Research Does It Still Matter?
    14. 14. Google Hummingbird Update
    15. 15. Keyword Research Tools ● Google Keyword Planner ● Google Suggest and Related Search ● ● Google Trends ● Social Media o Topsy and Social Mention o LinkedIn Groups
    16. 16. Using Keywords In Your Blog ● Post URL ● Post Title ● Meta Description ● Image “alt” tag ● H1 tag (subheader)
    17. 17. Using Keywords Cont... ● First paragraph ● Keyword variations throughout the post body ● Anchor text of links pointing to the post
    18. 18. Promotion If You Build It They Might Not Come
    19. 19. Promoting your blog ● Determine Channels ● Create a distribution plan ● Build relationships with influencers ● Find guest blogging opportunities
    20. 20. 3 critical items Blogging Must-Haves
    21. 21. 1. Clever Titles Weally Weally Work
    22. 22. 2. Eye Catching Images
    23. 23. 3. Include a Call-To-Action
    24. 24. Call-To-Action examples
    25. 25. Writing Titles That Get Noticed
    26. 26. Experimentation Is Key
    27. 27. Types Of Titles Normal - Ways to make tea drinking more delightful Question - What are ways to make tea drinking more delightful? How-to - How to make tea drinking more delightful? Number - 30 ways to make tea drinking more delightful Reader-addressing - Ways YOU need to make tea drinking more delightful source:
    28. 28. Marketer’s Title The Ultimate Content Marketer’s Guide To Writing Blog Titles That Don’t Suck!
    29. 29. Rule Breaking Title You Might Have Thought You Knew How To Write Titles Before, But The Results Of Our Research Are Going To Blow Your Socks Off! Breaking rules isn’t always a bad thing! (but best practice says 70 characters or less)
    30. 30. The Point Is Experimentation Is Key
    31. 31. Let’s Look At Some Studies
    32. 32. source:
    33. 33. Here’s What Works Graphic language: “Google kills feature” vs. “Google shuts down feature” Use the negative form: “Without” vs. “With” Go big with #s: “50 ways…” vs. “5 ways…” A promise to teach: “The Beginners Guide…” or “DIY…” or “Step-by-Step…” Piggyback brand names and topics: name drop Twitter, Facebook, others source:
    34. 34. A HubSpot A/B Test Demonstrated Pose a question Use broader topics Unique adjectives “you-focused” titles Exclusive info State your offer at the front of your title Begin with a # Unique description of your content Fun toneEmphasize the content Make it clear source:
    35. 35. Using The Right Tools (and make your life easier)
    36. 36. My Favorites! Title & Content Topic Generator Tools Portent’s Content Title Generator Tweak Your Biz Title Generator Link Bait Title Generator Ubersuggest
    37. 37. Takeaways ● Experiment with different types of titles ● Pay attention to best practices from studies ● Use title tools to help get you started
    38. 38. Ideal Length & Frequency
    39. 39. What is your opinion?
    40. 40. It’s About…
    41. 41. Think About These Things ● Why are you blogging? ● What value do you want to provide to your reader? ● What are YOU looking to gain? The goal of your blogging should dictate everything else
    42. 42. Different Goals In My Writing ● To educate ● To entertain ● To provoke ● To stimulate ● To rank Each goal has an ideal length and frequency!
    43. 43. Let’s Look At A Few Studies
    44. 44. Longer Is Usually Better
    45. 45. source:
    46. 46. source:
    47. 47. source:
    48. 48. The Data Says 1000+ … 2000+ … 3000+
    49. 49. Longer Is Usually Better (We recommend shooting for 1500 words)
    50. 50. A Smart Person Said [The study] is a perfect example of high quality content rising to the top. Now, it doesn’t always take thousands of words to create value for your readers, but that’s the case more often than not. source: commenter on
    51. 51. How Often Should You Post?
    52. 52. Just like it does with length, frequency depends...
    53. 53. Depends On… ● Why are you blogging? ● What value do you want to provide to someone? ● What are you looking to gain? The goal of your blogging should dictate everything else
    54. 54. No One Size Fits All Find what works for you, and stick to it!
    55. 55. Takeaways ● Goals and value first ● Longer articles usually perform better ● 1500 words if you must ● Post when you can regularly share value
    56. 56. Content Campaign Essentials
    57. 57. Tactic 1: Create a Campaign 1. Blogging 2. Premium offer 3. Calls-To-Action buttons 4. Landing page 5. Segmented leads 6. Drip emails
    58. 58. Tactic 1: Create a Campaign Premium Offer Action button
    59. 59. Tactic 1: Create a Campaign
    60. 60. Tactic 2: Measure & Improve
    61. 61. What Blog Measurements? exercise…
    62. 62. Measure Blog Activity: 1. Top-viewed 2. Conversions 3. Shares, Comments 4. Attracted links Tactic 2: Measure & Improve
    63. 63. What To Do Next? To access presentation deck: ROAM help hours: Monday June 9 at 11am Tuesday June 17 at 10am *Blogging questions, inbound marketing help, what the heck is HubSpot?? Ready to explore a content strategy, grab Ron after the session (
    64. 64. Take A Leap And Start Blogging It can be exhilarating!