John Espirian is a technical copywriter and editorial consultant. He specialises in producing simple B2B support content that helps business owners gain and retain customers.
He’s known as the “relentlessly helpful” technical copywriter and writes content that explains how products, services and processes work.
John has seen his website traffic double and then double again in the last couple of years due to – amongst other things – regularly blogging, so we thought he’d be the perfect person to have as a guest on our #GoWithThePro Twitter chat to talk about how you too can have the same success by being consistent with creating blog content.
Here we share, in his own words, some of John’s many valuable blogging tips:
How can creating blogs drive business growth?
It’s the best way to show subject matter authority. My website gets me two-thirds of all my new clients and consistent blogging has transformed my web traffic.
Answering questions at scale via your blog can attract clients you might have no chance of meeting 1-to-1. It’s much better to provide answers in public than in a series of email exchanges. Show your value to the whole world!
The internet’s effect on buyer behaviour means people will look online for answers. If they see you turning up and providing good answers, they will build trust with you. Trust is the most important currency in business. Blogging puts that credit in your bank.
Creating a long-term bank of content means you don’t need to rely on ads. Ads stop working the minute you turn off the tap, but evergreen content can keep getting you in front of people indefinitely.
Here’s my summary of business blogging benefits:
* IMPROVE your chances of being found on Google
* INCREASE the web traffic to your site
* BUILD more trust with readers
* GENERATE more leads and sales
* REDUCE your ad spend to ZERO
Some B2B buyer stats from the Content Preferences Survey 2018 might also be helpful here:
* 71% consumed blog content during the purchase process.
* 74% shared blog posts with colleagues.
* 78% consumed 3+ pieces of content before engaging with a salesperson.
In short, blog content matters!
What do you need to consider before getting started
Blogging is not a campaign – it’s a long-term strategy, so you need to be sure you can commit the time to creating content on a regular basis.
It took me 18 months of consistent effort to start seeing results from my blog. You need to map a plan of posts so that you don’t lose motivation in those early months.
Think about the strategic purpose of your blog. Everything should be in service of that. Are you promoting a service, getting people to take a trial, book a call, sign up to a mailing list?
Have in mind what you want to be known for and keep your content on topic. Write about the work you want to do, and you’ll attract interest from relevant leads.
It’s important to have a consistent ‘voice’ that’s informed by your core values. You’ve got to nail those brand values.
What are your top tips for people who struggle with ideas for blogs?
Look in your email inbox at past conversations with clients. What questions are they asking? What areas are they struggling to understand? You have to be an armchair psychologist.
Start typing questions about your industry into Google. What answers come up? What’s missing and could be improved on?
I’ve written a post with 5 methodical approaches and 5 creative approaches to finding blog post ideas which you might find helpful.
When in doubt, write something about money! People are endlessly interested about pricing. Even if you don’t spill the beans, you can still talk about factors that determine prices in your industry.
Knowing consistency matters, how often should you create blogs?
The more the better, ideally, but it’s all about how much time you can devote to your marketing. Orbit Media’s survey last year said:
* Average time to write a blog post: 3 h 20 mins
* Average word count of a blog post: 1142 words
But, that’s a lot of effort!
One or two per month is fine for small businesses. Consistency matters more than frequency. Stay top of mind and don’t vanish for months at a time!
Big businesses might blog several times a day. Don’t compare your small business with theirs, but remember that you can stand out with unusual topics and a bit of personality – things that corporations would be too nervous to risk in their content.
Why do people find it difficult to get their blogs seen?
Beware of spending ages writing and only minutes promoting. Use social sharing, direct messages and your email list to get the word out.
Make sure you answer the questions people care about and are actively searching for and use research tools to find the right topics
Make sure you focus on clear, info-rich titles, for example.
* How to speed up Google indexing
* 7 ways to increase web traffic in 2018
* How long should my blog posts be?
* Business blogging: the definitive guide 2018
(All real headlines from my blog.) What are you trying to say? Make the value clear in the first paragraph:
* Use a relevant keyword
* Tell people what they’ll get from reading
* Establish your experience and credibility
Remove the fluff and keep the content tight and focused on delivering on the promise of the headline. Long content performs well on Google but only when it’s packed with value. Short posts that answer questions well still have value.
Once you’ve published a blog, how can you repurpose it?
I recommend republishing on LinkedIn and Medium. Here’s a guide on that here.
Don’t worry about duplicate content penalties when republishing. Only spammers and content thieves will be affected by this.
John gave so much valuable information during this Twitter chat and it’s a great reminder of just how important blogging is and how powerful it can be when done right! He has published a free guide on business blogging.
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