I think you will agree that growing sales with blogging is getting harder. Blogging works. Blogging is cost-effective. Blogging pays long-term dividends. But, successful business blogging is a tough nut to crack.
The good news is that you can solve the business blogging riddle. You can generate high-quality leads by making simple tweaks to your blogging strategy. You just need to take a step back and approach blogging from a different angle.
Today, I’ll walk you through ten “Must Have” components needed for successful lead generation blogging. Implement each element and you will see leads increase.
Use These 10 Elements to Boost Your Blog’s Lead Generation Power
1. Buyer Focused Editorial Calendar
Your blog is your primary online lead generation tool. Each post should have one purpose – attracting filling your sales funnel with fresh leads. This is hard to pull off without a plan and your Editorial Calendar is the best tool. The first step is to understand your prospect’s information needs, match those needs with relevant content, and publish on a frequent basis.
This article will get you started. How to Create a 52 Week Content Calendar in One Hour
2. Lead Magnets
Lead Magnets attract mailing list signups in exchange for high value content. You could say that our Content Toolbox is a lead magnet. We hope that subscribers are the type of people we would like to work with in the future. You will need a lead magnet too. Blog posts aren’t enough. Create a special, high-value, offer that someone would happily pay fo. Offer this lead magenet in exchange for a name, email, or phone number.
3. Follow-up Email
Email has changed. It is harder to get your email into inboxes but email marketing still works. Successful business blogging relies on quick follow-up with new subscribers. New subscribers should receive an email delivering your lead magnet and inviting them back to your site. Email can’t be beat as a “repeat visitor” tool. We recommend setting up a 52-week drip campaign that delivers special content to subscribers. These follow-up messages will keep your organization top-of-mind with your most valuable prospects.
It gets better
Stop Guessing and Understand How Your Blog is Truly Performing
4. Relevant Analytics
Create a report that describes how your blog is performing. Your report should display the top-level numbers needed to make decisions about your blogging program. These metrics should be customized for your business. In general, I suggest the following:
- # of visitors by traffic source
- Lead magnet signups by source
- New visitors by source
Notice that these metrics are cross-tabbed by source. We do this to keep attention focused on finding profitable source of new readers.
Configure your reporting app to deliver an updated report weekly. I prefer Monday morning updates to inform testing and set weekly priorities. I recommend you start with Monday reporting and adjust based on your organization’s tempo.
5. Consistent to High-Tempo Testing
Sean Ellis, founder of Qualaroo and GrowthHackers.com recently outlined how he supercharges growth by rapidly testing and deploying incremental improvements to his website’s and apps. He calls it High-Tempo testing and it is a gamechanging methodology for growth-minded businesses. Watch his excellent presentation to get the details.
Here’s a quick summary:
- Define a goal: Example: More signups
- Create a list of goal-focused experiments. Example: Use Sumo’s Welcome Mat to create an entry interstitial page.
- Focus resources on deploying the experiment
- Evaluate actual resuts versus projected results.
- Scale the winners. Terminate the losers.
High-Tempo testing works especially well for important projects that have hit a growth plateau. This describes most buusiness blogs.
High-Tempo testing can be used by anyone. The number of tests deployed each week depends on the size and capability of your team. Solopreneurs may only do one experiment per month while an enterprise can execute dozens per week. Find a testing pace that suits you.
You might be wondering:
Is all this testing more work than it’s worth?
Ask yourself – how long will it take to get results with random tests and hunches? A systematic approach my feel like work but it is the quickest path to success.
Use Simple Systems to Consistent Create High Quality Blog Content
6. Content Creation Systems
Creating blog posts, podcasts, slide presntations, videos and books is easier when you use a system.
A Content Creation System has three parts:
- Ideation: Topic discovery and research
- Creation: Turning ideas into useful and interesting content
- Publication: Publishing content and distributing it to an an audience
As a business, allocate resources (time, staff, money) toward creating a sustainable and efficient process. Your process may include an outsourced writing team or a well-staffed internal team.
7. Content Value Proposition
Why is your content valuable? What can you reader expect to gain?
- Save time?
- Earn money?
- Save money?
- Feel better?
- Look better?
- Achieve more?
Start with your product and think through how your content can extend it’s benefit.
8. Social Engagement Plan
Its likely that your readers are using a social media network. Business professionals congregate on LinkedIn or Slideshare. Marketers, opinion-makers, and the press scour Twitter. Consumers from teens to grandmas can’t live without Facebook. Identify where your blog’s audience spends their time.
Now create a plan for building relationships with your audience on this platform. Engagement is give-and-take.
Ask questions, get answers. See questions and answer them. Offer an opinion. Follow-up with new followered. The best engagement is immediate, relevant, and manual. Which means it’s tough to have meaningful engagement on several different platforms. Pick 1-2 and block time on your weekly schedule to engage.
9. Promotional Plan
A blog post is just another web page without promotion. As competition for reader attention stiffens the need for a consistent, high-quality blog post promotion is becoming a necessity. The challenge for most is finding the right combination of promotional tactics. It gets harder to decide when your plan is based on the latest article our guru talking point.
We recommend a different approach. Use relevant metrics and high-tempo testing to systematically test a series of tactics. Focus on SEO, social engagement, paid media, and other tactics to find the tactics that work for your content. There isn’t a one-size-fits-all plan. The best plans are a combination of tactics unearthed by thoughtful experimentation.
10. Robust but Easy Content Creation Platform
1. Can you write and publish a blog post without assistance?
2. Can you add a page to your website (it doesn’t have to be pretty) without assistance?
A “No” to any of these questions means you need another content creation platform for your blog. I recommend building (or migrating) your site to WordPress: The most popular platform and easiest to use. After set-up an hour of training is all you need to publish content. There are others but I don’t feel comfortable recommending them unless you have technical experience.
What’s the bottom line?
Speed, frequency, and consistency are the keys to successful business blogging. You can’t fight with your website, your “webmaster, IT team or hosting company and win.