Many businesses have blogs, but they aren’t using them to their full advantage. They don’t produce leads.
That could be for a number of reasons:
1) They aren’t updated consistently. And by consistently, I mean several times a week. It’s not easy — especially when you have competing priorities. There’s nobody standing over you making you blog when you’re the business owner. You’ve got clients or customers to serve. Only you pay the price when you don’t get around to blogging. “Tomorrow” always seems to be soon enough to get serious about it.
2) The posts are weak. They are short, shallow articles that consist of obviously promotional copy rather than high-quality content that show off the business owner’s or management’s thought leadership about their niche.
3) The posts are poorly written. Face it. Writing just isn’t your bag. It’s OK. Your skills lie elsewhere. But your business image is at stake here. Your blog and website copy need to be flawless.
4) The titles are boring. Often they are topics rather than titles. They may be a word or two, such as, “Dog bones,” rather than, “The best dog treats for your pet.” You should spend as much time thinking about your blog titles as you do writing your entire article. It’s that important.
5) There are no strong calls-to-action. A phone number and email address on your website do not count as strong calls-to-action. Many visitors to your website are not sales-ready, so they read your blog posts and leave. Opportunities lost. What if you had a way to capture those visitors’ email addresses and feed them more information until they were ready?
6) Your blog posts are not optimized correctly for search engines. Perhaps they were optimized correctly for prior Google algorithms, but not the current one. What? You didn’t realize that the rules change — frequently?
Blogging is the heart of inbound marketing, which is the proven method for doing business online in the digital age. If you aren’t getting blogging right, you can’t expect to maximize your leads from your online presence.
So what’s the answer?
Hire a blogger.
If you don’t have the resources internally, hire a blogger who has a vested interest in getting your blog right. How do you know what to look for?
1) You not only want a great writer, you need to make sure that the person or writing service you hire has blogging experience. Blogging is not just article writing — the writer must be familiar with using keyword tools and SEO writing techniques.
2) A blogger should be trained in the principles of inbound marketing. This means she should know how to create and integrate effective calls-to-action at the end of your posts to entice visitors to exchange their email addresses for your premium offers, such as ebooks, white papers or checklists.
3) A professional blogger will understand the importance of keeping a consistent posting schedule to encourage a loyal readership.
4) When you find a blogger who knows how to do research and is interested in your industry, he should be able to create content that resonates with your audience while writing in your voice. Such a blogger should not take it personally when you review posts prior to posting to make sure they are factually accurate and represent your company well.
A professional, experienced blogger is a very important marketing asset. Seventy-three percent of B2B marketers said they are producing more content now compared to one year ago, according to Content Marketing Institute and MarketingProfs’ fourth annual B2B Content Marketing: 2014 Benchmarks, Budgets, and Trends—North America report, sponsored by Brightcove. Keeping up with that demand is proving more difficult as 58 percent of B2B marketers plan to increase their content marketing budget over the next 12 months, up from 54 percent last year. More and more businesses are finding that they will be hiring bloggers to keep up with the demand for excellent content that produces leads.