B2B marketers who blog get 67% more leads than those who don’t.
47% of buyers view at least three pieces of content before even engaging with a sales rep.
These are just two examples of statistics that prove content marketing and blogging are worth your time and your investment. You can check more of them here.
But despite the overwhelming number of reports and survey that tell us the same thing (invest in content and keep at it), a lot of companies still fail to see actual ROI from their blog.
I’d like to say I don’t know how that feels.
But I do.
When I started my agency, Idunn, I made mistakes that I had never made for my clients. I lost sight of what truly matters in business blogging. And I wasted my time on writing, publishing and promoting utterly useless content.
I wrote an in-depth post on how we convert blog readers into paying customers and on how we bounced back and created a content strategy that works, so I won’t go into detail about it here.
I’m here to talk about bacon.
More specifically, how you can make blogging bring home the bacon.
Let’s look past traffic – we all know that it doesn’t pay the bills. Let’s see what you can do to turn your blog into a well-oiled cash machine.
1. Add CTAs and opt-in forms
One of the mistakes I’ve done on my own blog was to assume that everyone knew they could hire my agency for the expertise our blog proved we had.
No one knew.
The best we got from blog posts with no CTAs was people asking for free advice. Or a job.
Don’t do what I did. Don’t assume they’ll figure it out.
Here’s why: they don’t have the time. Your audience is not stupid. They can piece together the fact that you’re not only writing for fun. After all, they’re not on a personal blog.
But why should they?
It is your job to direct them through their buyer journey.
Otherwise, they’ll just be grateful for your useful information and move on to buy from your competitors. You know, those guys who make it easy for readers to turn into leads or buyers by adding opt-in forms to every piece of content they publish.
2. Find the right balance between self-promotion and usefulness
I know I’ve said you need to let people know that they can buy your services or products. But this doesn’t mean you should turn your blog posts into advertorials.
A healthy balance in content writing is as crucial as it is in every aspect of life and business.
Sure, toot your own horn, brag about your accomplishments, add social proof or testimonials. But make sure these take up no more than 10% of your entire blog post.
Because people can easily spot ads. If you offer nothing of value in your content, they’ll move on to someone who does.
Don’t worry. With CTAs and opt-in forms in place, those readers who are truly interested in buying something from you will know what to do.
In the meantime, prove to them you are worthy of their trust with useful content.
3. Explore topics in-depth
A 500-word blog post barely gives you the space to scratch the surface on most topics. When you aim to provide readers with truly valuable information, you need to be sure you have explored every angle of your topic.
Long form content is a great way to prove your expertise. Better yet, it’s a great way to rank higher in SERPs and give more readers an opportunity to discover your company.
Yes, long form content takes time. And, more importantly, research. 2,000 words of fluff mean less than 300 words of solid, data-backed information.
So don’t fill countless pages just because you read somewhere that long form content can help you sell AND rank higher in search engines.
I’ll say it again: balance is key.
Write enough to explore your topic. No more, no less.
Be honest and respect your reader’s time. Make sure that every sentence you write is useful to him. Or at least funny or entertaining.
4. Promote your content
Even the SEO-friendliest of blog posts need some help along their virtual journey.
I know, it would be great if every reader who lands on your new blog post would have the decency to share it ALL on their social media channels.
But we all know that rarely happens.
Until you find the magic formula that turns any blog post into a viral one without you lifting a finger, you need to work on promoting your content.
Share via social media, your email list, send personal messages to any influencer you may have mentioned in your article and so on.
One mistake I often see happening is posting about a new article on social media only once. In an era where organic reach is almost zero on Facebook and declining on all social networks, you need to do more than that.
Sponsor your post or post about the same article several times.
Think about it this way: no more than 5% (and that’s being optimistic!) of your fans or followers will see your post. Out of them, how many will have the time to read it that very instant? Once they have scrolled past it, it’s forgotten.
Promote every new blog post on social media at least five times or until it loses its relevancy. An evergreen article, for instance, can bring in traffic for years. But if your blog discusses recent events or news, it will become stale after a week or less.
Getting sales out of blog posts is possible. We have made it happen for our clients and for ourselves. But it takes more than a couple paragraphs that you publish and forget about.
If you take the time to understand what your audience wants to read about and how they want to read about it, sales will happen.
I encourage you to test various headlines and CTAs for the same post. See what works and what doesn’t. See which topics bring actual buyers and which only bring traffic. You won’t get it all right from the very beginning, but you will eventually.
If you need help with blog posts that sell, my team of seasoned writers and I are always happy to lend an expert hand. Check out our content writing and copywriting services and get in touch.