Lesson 9: Blogging Strategy to Generate Sales and Build Relationships (Preview)

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 B2B marketers who blog receive 67% more leads than those who do not. Companies with a blog receive 97% more links to their website. And 81% of US online consumers trust information and advice from blogs.Those are some really compelling stats.

My Blogging formula

I blog about once a week at least, but the frequency is up to you and the time you feel you have and what you think the return of your efforts will be. My strategy involves choosing weekly themes that tie into what I am selling, writing articles for my blog (including embedding videos etc), then selecting these to be featured in my weekly e-newsletter. I encourage guest bloggers to write on my site to help generate quality content and have when possible my site linked to their sites. The more sources that link to your blogs the better it is for your SEO (Search Engine Optimization). I also look to write for other sites that have high authority and sure they link to my site. My column for Microsoft is an example of this.

Important:

  • Have a formula for how you will measure if you are successful. This will take time, so measurement will be done over time. What will be your measurement tools? The number of subscribers, views of posts, followers on social media, readers who purchase products etc.

Why do I do this? 

  • It is good for SEO
  • It helps me sell products, events, and services by writing articles for my prospective clients and including links to what I am selling
  • I improve my Google ranking because many sites with authority link to my site
  • It is a great way to build partnerships and cross sharing of content within your B2B Communities

 

Blog Platforms

WordPress

My recommendation for blogging platforms is pretty clear – WordPress.org. There are tons of useful plugins that will make your blog super powerful.

A couple of other platforms exist of course including:

  • WordPress.com – a free hosted blogging platform (you can’t post advertising on this platform)
  • Blogger – another free hosted option – owned by Google (Limiting by what you can do)
  • Recommended Reading: Choosing a Blog Platform

This is a presentation on tools/strategy for blogging. 

 

Hosting

There are many hosting services available for bloggers.

If you’re just starting out or have a smaller blog I highly recommend you check out BlueHost who have put together a special discount offer for ProBlogger readers.

BlueHost – WordPress has been recommending Bluehost for web hosting since 2005. With 1-click WordPress installation, 24/7 support, and a super affordable rate, Bluehost is a great option for building your first website or blog.

Learn more about how to start a blog in this step by step tutorial.

Key Word Tools

  • KeyWord Finder – This is my favourite tool for generating key words. Use your key words in article subtitles titles. This will help your SEO results greatly.

Tools for Graphic Design

  • Canva – an online graphic design tool that even someone like I can create decent visuals for my blog with! Great for creating graphics for social media.
  • PicMonkey – another useful tool for creating visual content for your blog
  • 99designs – need some graphics, a logo or some other design element created by a pro? Check out the services offered by the thousands of designers at 99designs.
  • 24slides – are a team of professional presentation designers who specialise in building awesome PowerPoints, Keynotes and more. An efficient service to make you look good.

Best Free Photography Sites 

Tools and Services for Email Marketing

  • AWeber – a email/newsletter management tool that I used on all my blogs
  • MailChimp – another email provider that I use on a couple of my blogs – very reliable with some great features and the most popular service among our readers.
  • ConvertKit – a tool we’re just starting to experiment with that looks very promising. Built from the ground up for bloggers.
  • Feedblitz – a great tool for managing your RSS feeds and email
  • SumoMe – a tool to help you collect email addresses through a variety of popups, hello bars, welcome mats and other innovative tools.
  • OptinMonster – a similar tool to SumoMe
  • LeadPages – a powerful tool to create landing pages for your blog.
  • Rapidology™– is the only 100% free WordPress plugin that lets you quickly create beautiful email opt-in forms, popups, and widgets — no design or coding skills required.

Tools for Social Media Management

  • Edgar – a social media tool that has revolutionised the way that I approach my social media strategy. It’s very powerful and allows you to make the work you put into creating your tweets and social updates to keep working for you indefinitely.
  • Sprout Social – a tool that manages most of my day to day social media interactions on Twitter and Facebook.
  • CoSchedule – A tool that we first started using to help us create an editorial calendar for ProBlogger but which does so much more including scheduling some of our social media messaging – all from within WordPress.

Tools for Productivity and Team Management

  • Evernote – where I manage a lot of my brainstorming, note taking, capturing of ideas, writing of blog posts and much much more!
  • Slack – the tool we use for our team’s internal communications.
  • Trello – another tool that we use internally for communications and project management
  • Fantastical – a great calendar app for Macs and iOS.
  • Wunderlist – my todo list application

Other Blogging Resources and Tools

  • BuzzSumo – a fantstic tool for analysing how well content is being shared on your site (or anyone else’s)
  • MarsEdit – a little Mac blog editor that allows me to write content and upload it to my blog without actually logging into WordPress
  • Easy Digital Downloads – a fantastic solution for you to use from within WordPress if you’re selling products from your blog. It’s what we use to sell our eBooks here on ProBlogger.
  • E-Junkie – another solution for a shopping cart if you’re selling products from your blog. It’s not as powerful as Easy Digital Downloads (EDD) but is very simple to set up and use. We have used it on both of my blogs over the years but are now shifting to EDD.
  • Auphonic – a great little online tool that we use in our production of podcasts to level out different tracks and levels.
  • Zoom – a tool that we use for webinars but also to broadcast to Facebook Live video that allows bringing on guests and screen sharing.
  • ScreenFlow – a tool for recording Screencasting
  • Grammarly – a very cool Chrome extension that checks your spelling and grammar for you!
  • Google Analytics – a great free metrics/statistics program. It’s an industry standard, you need to have it installed!

Source: CopyBlogger 

Challenge for you:

Setup a monthly or weekly theme for your blog for 3 months then get writing. To save time you can always find stories you like online and write an intro for them and then copy some of the article and then link to their article. Be sure to credit them when doing so. If you prefer speaking to writing you could start a podcast or video series and embed the videos/podcasts.

How will you measure your success? Write out your criteria and add it to your marketing plan 

Tip: Get some guest blog articles posted on your site – a win win for building business relationships.

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