Yelllllo... Did you know that the top content marketing strategy for 53% of marketers is blogging? Then why are so many blogs so dang plain BORING?
It’s as though marketers just churn them out aimlessly, for the sake of blogging versus the sake of any semblance of ROI whatsoever.
Yikes. Don’t let that be you.
Here’s how to make your blogs the best gosh darned blogs anyone has ever read – and how to use each blog post to your advantage, FOREVER.
Blogs are a killer way to boost your reputation, reinforce your brand, generate inbound and act as a pipeline for additional content. In fact, 66% of marketers rely on blogs to fuel their social media messaging. But building a successful blog content strategy (and dedicated readers) takes mayyyyjor work!
For blogging newbies, this isn’t ye ole “Desmond Llewelyn blog.” Like the iconic quartermaster, even blogging evolves with ever-cooler gadgets, modern-day, quartermaster-level planning and perhaps a glorious mop of shaggy hair. (Ben Whishaw crush, anyone?)
But seriously, a Daniel Craig-like laser-focus doesn't hurt. The thing you want to ask yourself first is: "What are my blog content goals?" As in:
These simple objectives must be answered BEFORE you put pen to paper – and referenced OFTEN to keep your blog on track. After all, you gotta give the people what they want, so knowing what your audience actually cares about in combination with what you want is oh-sooooo important.
Next, take a moment to plan out how much time you’ll need to spend on each blog. Researching, planning, drafting, execution and maintenance take an average of 4-6 hours per post. 4-6 HOURS. Great blogs aren’t built in a day! This blog has taken us (gulp) 7 years to finish... Just kidding!
For example, say you want to write a blog about how your company has a 98% sales conversion (#truestory for yours truly, no joke). Since you’re not going to just chuck your Head of Sales in front of a computer and force her to start typing, you'll have to plan an interview. That means not only scheduling a sit-down but preemptively laying out a series of questions, a.k.a. research, baby, research! And depending upon your baseline knowledge of your company’s sales process, you’re looking at 30 minutes to an hour of Googling right there.
#ProTip: try to imagine what others would Google if they were looking for sales conversion tips, tricks and best practices. Like: “sales conversion tips, tricks and best practices.”
In your research, also make a point of looking at other blogs on the same or related topics. Are there any keywords that get repeated across multiple posts? Chances are, you’ll want to ape those for yourself. But always be thinking: what point of view or fact can I highlight that will set my post apart from the rest? That’s reader-bait right there. Blogger’s GOLD.
Luckily, if you have Hubspot CRM, the interview itself should be a snap. Because not only will your Head of Sales have all the juicy insider’s insights but she can also access all the data to back it up in barely a blink. Winning!
Two additional questions to ask yourself while typing away at your keyboard, or typewriter or scratching via ink and quill, if you’re going wicked old-skool (we don’t judge) are:
“Why would someone keep reading this entire blog post?" and – bonus question – "What makes our audience come back for MORE?"
First, your introduction should hook the reader with a teaser; a statement or idea that's unresolved (the goal being to inspire continued reading to get to that resolution). Controversy always sucks ‘em in. Metaphor can do the trick as well. Think: if this was a movie trailer, how would it start?
Hint: Create a soundscape of sorts – imagine how people hear your voice in their minds as they read your text. Use the tools on your keyboard to accentuate the emotion of your voice and to convey intrigue, excitement and occasionally shame (!).
Like: “Luke, I am your father.” vs. “Luke… I am your father.”
Or: “Don’t you dare eat the last Pop-Tart.” vs. “Don’t you DARE eat the last Pop-Tart.”
Or: "Why you should never ever use the phrase "check out" as a call to action – plus other tips that get a 98% sales conversion." vs. "Why you should nevah EVAH use the phrase "check out" as a call to action (GAHHHHH!). Plus other tips that get a 98% sales conversion (not a typo)."
Does it have to always be grammatically correct? NO! Is it fun anyways? YES.
And let's not forget, blog articles with photos or graphics woven throughout get 94% more views. 94%! So don't skimp on the eye candy, yo.
Tah-DAH. Your blog is finished, congrats! But…. dun dun DUNNNNNNNN. First thing you gotta do after closing your laptop in triumph is opening it back up again and proofread your work. Sorry! All blog posts require editing – and not just for spelling and grammar.
Best trick ever? Read the entire piece out loud. Anything you trip over needs a rewrite.
After you’ve combed through thoroughly, be sure to insert a CTA (Call To Action) at the end. Because everything you write is about getting people to do what you want them to do, riiiiiight? Right.
CTAs should be aimed at promoting a next step. Get a demo. Take a free trial. Listen to the full podcast. Follow us on LinkedIn. Eat an entire Charleston Chew. (Well, not that one.)
Lastly, pick a compelling title that both summarizes what you've written and pings the curiosity strings. Short is good. SEO matters. Above all, try not to be boring.
But wait! There’s more. The average marketer spends 4-6 hours writing a blog post, remember? And then makes the mistake of publishing it and just walking away. TERRIBLE. (Okay, okay, maybe you wrote a couple of social posts touting the fact that you just published a new post. Whoopeeee.)
That, my friend, is a HUGE waste of 4-6 hours. DON'T LET THIS BE YOU.
With Lately x HubSpot, you can turn those 4-6 hours into dozens of social posts designed to promote your blog in just a few seconds. The social posts generated by Lately’s artificial intelligence learn your brand voice and know which keywords and phrases from your blog will produce the highest engagement on social. Look over each post and edit as you like, then click “Send To HubSpot,” where you can schedule them out with HubSpot Social as a drip feed, over time and drive exponentially more readership! As you gain followers, you can also recycle that old blog so that the new followers can still read it and learn a thing or two and get even MORE eyeballs on your content. Woot!
Since you now know how to write a fan-freaking-tastic blog post AND make that content last forever with Lately’s A.I. and HubSpot Social, you might as well call yourself Double-Oh AWESOME! Plus, using Lately x HubSpot, you’re basically 100 steps ahead of the competition. Wanna see how it works?