So you'd like to see more leads from your website. Blogging can be just the right tool. In fact just some of the few things a blog can do for you include: getting your website found online more, attracting more visitors and allow your website to collect more leads. Not to mention also showcase your expertise and helping build up your image.
What I'm about to share with you is a key part on how I grew leads in my company four times over in six months. ...and yes, this is a blog about blogging for lead generation.
When starting out a blog, you need to know what to write about. You need to make a plan.
For now, make a 3-month blogging plan since it will be your "pilot" that will surely evolve as you move forward. One free tool you might useful is a mind map (MindMup). Your plan MUST cover all the following topics that we'll be discussing below.
Who is your audience and what are their main challenges? Make a personification of your target and make sure your blogs have an added value for your persona. Here's a quick example of a buyer persona for an online interior decorating consultancy:
Angela is a 35-45 year old full-time mom of 2 who lives in suburbs. She constantly tries to find a way to make her home look beautiful and her key challenge is to decorate her home within a certain budget despite not being a trained interior designer. She frequently browses online for ideas using her desktop.
What keywords do your audience use? Think of both short, general primary keywords (i.e. interior decorating) and more specific long-tail keywords that revolve around your primary keywords (i.e. Parisian style interior decorating, or even "Parisian style interior decorating"). Both long-tail and primary keywords should be present in the text, title, URL (once it's published) and image alt-text at least once. These help bring you up the search results.
Since keywords play such an important role in getting your blogs found online, you may consider using tools to help you pick the right keywords. Some marketing automation software such as HubSpot have tools that will show you the popularity of your keywords, the difficulty it is to rank in the 1st page of search results and which keywords have great opportunity. While blogging in HubSpot, it can also remind you where to include the keywords.
Tie blog titles to the long-tail keywords. Using the interior decorating example, you can create different blogs such "Interior Decorating Styles", "Interior Decorating Tips for Small Spaces" or maybe "Rustic Interior Decorating Pieces for Under $100" etc.
You need to ensure that these titles will both satisfy keyword requirements as well as pique the interest of your personas.
Blog Length and Layout
Blogs can generally be from 300-700 words depending on the topic. The important thing is to get to the point, as quickly as you can and deliver your valuable message across.
Remember! No beating around the bush. Always start with an introduction, explain all the arguments in your body, use paragraphs and don't be afraid of white spaces, and end them with a conclusion to tie everything together.
If you're not too confident about your writing "voice" just write as you would explain something in conversation. At the end should be a call-to-action button that would lead them to your pillar content.
Now, tie these blog titles all together and plan for a "pillar content" valuable enough for your personas to take the trouble to fill forms and download. Most of the time, the pillar content is more general in scope and includes in it the topics you blogged about. One example could be an ebook for "Beginners Guide to Interior Decorating" or "Interior Decorating 101". Anyway here's what a pillar content offer could look like:
Basically, all the blogs of the same topic would have a call-to-action button (CTA) that will link them to the pillar content offer page which collects visitors' information through a form and register them as leads and then finally, they will be redirected to a thank you page with the link for download. Here's what a CTA looks like. Don't you just wanna press that button (don't be tempted to click on it though! it is blank):
Set the frequency you want for publishing articles and sharing them on social media. Inbound marketing leader HubSpot said in 2015 that B2C companies that blogged 11 or more times in a month received up to 4 times more leads than those that only blogged 4-5 times while for B2B it was 3.75 times more leads for companies that blog 11+ times compared to those who only publish 0-3 blogs monthly.
Whatever the case, remember that most likely, the pillar content has to be produced first along with the landing and thank you page since it has to be ready for download by the time you publish your first blog.
We hope this quick guide could help you get started with blogging. If you want to have a more holistic view on how blogging fits in the overall lead generation effort of your organization then we've got something for you!
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