Creating a blog that converts is a challenge. In the digital world, 99.9% of the content we create goes nowhere. So how do we position ourselves to be in the critical 0.1%? According to Scripted, 86% of B2B marketers use content marketing, and 70% of B2B marketers are creating more content than they did one year ago. As a result, participating in the content creation competition is no longer a choice.
Please take a few minutes to either read my blog post or, better yet, spend a few minutes and watch my vlog and I will explain the Five Step Guide.
There are so many digital platforms to create your brand story – so why do you blog? Blogging allows us to be transparent, generate brand awareness, and create thought leadership.
With so many blog posts being published every single day, how does a marketer generate blog traffic, let alone move these consumers through the funnel toward conversion. This post is designed to provide you with actionable tips that will help you break through the content clutter and convert.
1. Create Killer Content
Crappy content ultimately kills conversion rates. When writing content, you must provide the reader with more value than they are asking for in return. If the value of the blog post does not meet, or exceed their expectations, readers are likely to click the “x” button instead of providing you their email address, or migrating to your website.
There are three types of content that you can write about in your blog posts:
- Keyword posts
- Problem-solving posts
- Posts written to delight your audience
Once you have written your blog post, before you click the “publish” button, ask yourself – would I read this blog post? If the answer if no, you need to rethink your strategy. In the blogging world, quality always outweighs quantity. Although it is important to post regularly, if you are posting simply for the sake of reaching a numeric goal, you are not winning the blogging game.
At the end of the day, you need to remember that you are your content. How do you want to be defined?
2. Out-of-the-Box Blog Design
A lot of blogs look exactly the same, with the same conventional design. The cookie cutter route may be the easy route to take, but it is definitely not the most effective. This is why we, as marketers, need to think outside of the box.
How do you get readers to fall in love with your blog? Creating killer content is critical, but if you don’t offer an engaging user experience, visitors may not even read the first sentence of your post. How you present yourself on your blog says a lot about your company and your brand, so it is critical to put your best foot forward.
Hubspot has a great blog post titled “16 of the Best Examples of Beautiful Blog Design.” I highly encourage you to read the entire post, but here are a few key design takeaways.
Simple is sometimes better.
Help Scout uses a very simplistic blog design, limiting the amount of copy and visuals. It also uses bright, vibrant colors in a color-blocking pattern that is eye-catching, inviting, and clean.
Use a consistent color scheme and style.
Color is one of the most significant brand recognition triggers for consumers. Pando uses a simple design with a cohesive and consistent color palette that is aligned across all of their branding.
3. Generate Traffic
Okay, you’ve created killer content and developed an out-of-the-box blog design. Now what? If we want to have any hope of conversion, we need to first generate traffic to our blog.
How will consumers find my blog? By clearly defining your audience and your keywords, you’ll rank higher in search engines. Once you have established these keywords, integrate them into your URL, blog title, body copy, and meta description to increase your search ranking. SEO is complicated, especially if you’re a newbie, but I have written a blog post that offers basic tips for conquering SEO – you can check it out here.
The second step to increasing traffic – share, share, share. Once your post is published, engage with potential readers by sharing the link to your post with followers on social media, and email your blog subscribers.
Now that we’ve generated traffic, its time to convert readers into customers.
4. Integrated Calls-to-Action (CTA)
Calls to action are ultimately how your blog makes money. Without a CTA, it is very difficult for your blog to generate profit. Many marketing professionals have a misconstrued belief that blogs should not have CTAs – however this could not be farther from the truth. CTAs are great because they promote progression through the marketing funnel with one simple click.
There are many different types of CTAs, each serving a unique purpose. I personally like using a “HelloBar” CTA. The best thing about this CTA style is that it displays in a contrasting color along the top of your blog making it noticeable, but it does not interrupt the reader experience. Additionally, it doesn’t disappear, so readers can convert when they want to.
Here’s a couple examples of the “HelloBar,” being used for two different purposes. QuickSprout has a “click here” button that redirects readers to their website, whereas Buffer uses the “HelloBar” to obtain email addresses of readers.
Keep in mind – there are tons of CTAs that you can use, so use the application that works best for you!
5. Monitor Your Results
As bloggers, we need to recognize that there is a difference between bad traffic, and good traffic. During the day-to-day blog grind, it is easy to lose sight of the ultimate purpose, which is to generate leads and customers, not just traffic. Engagement is great, but conversion better, which is why going viral should never be your main goal.
For this reason, ongoing performance monitoring is critical. Where are you ranking based on your target keywords? Are you generating leads? And are these leads converting? Understanding where any bottlenecks exist in the funnel, and minimizing those bottlenecks, is critical to increasing conversion rates.
Data is your friend – be thankful for it, and use it to help evolve your blog.
Ready to Start Blogging?
Starting to blog is undoubtedly intimidating. However, it is also a critical form of marketing that is not to be ignored. According to a U.K. survey, bloggers have ranked as the third most trustworthy source of information, following friends and family. If you want your brand to resonate with consumers, you simply can’t afford not to blog. Blogging also gets you more bang for your buck than many other digital platforms, increasing the number and quality of your leads.
So what are you waiting for? It’s time to get started. And don’t forget to use the five steps in this post to help you put your absolute best blogger foot forward. Happy Blogging!