So, we’re kinda idiots. For those who know us, that may not come as a real shock but to be a startup in the content marketing space and not have your own blog, well, that takes the prize… . That doesn’t mean we didn’t practice content marketing, write guest posts or use inbound marketing for lead generation or nurturing but we simply didn’t have our own blog. The main reason was that we put off starting our own blog until we were sure we could commit to it. By committing I mean devising a content strategy, posting regular updates, gather and research valuable content, etc.. Now that we are ready to make this step, here are some reasons why we were idiots for not starting our own blog sooner and why, if you’re a b2b or performance marketer and don’t already have a blog, you should start one right now:
1 – Content marketing actually works
We knew first hand that content marketing works. Working with dozens of b2b, financial, tech or consumer brand, we witness on a daily basis how content marketing can perform and boost revenue. Especially in certain segments, like b2b, tech startups or financial brands which require a bit more educating of prospective customers, this is critical. It’s no surprise then that many marketers, including small businesses, are increasing their content marketing spending:
2 – it’s ridiculously easy to start your own blog
The basic mechanics of starting the blog are dead simple. Here are some technical points and resources we use (also, stay tuned for a specific step-by-step post on how to setup your blog):
a) download and install WordPress on a server you control. Why WordPress? the most common blogging platform on the planet. See for yourself:
Why on a server you control? So that you can easily add plugins (like TrenDemon’s WordPress Plugin, what a shameless plug…), try different themes and basically have full control over your property.
b) Choose a nice clean theme for your blog – check out some of the WordPress themes on Themeforest to get an idea for some of the cool blog designs out there.
c) Setup your blog – one great tip from the wonderful Iris Shoor, make sure that you keep the same header format as your main site (so that not to confuse visitors that come to your blog from your main site, and convert better. If you need a hand setting it up correctly, checkout Fiverr to find someone who can lend a hand.
d) Build a content plan – for whom you’re writing, which topics will you be writing about, which terms are important for you to include, how often do you plan to write and update your blog, and to which stages of your customers journey are you targeting each post.
3 – Increase organic traffic from SEO
This one’s a no brainer. The best kind of traffic you can wish for is people looking for your type of solution. Being visible for your main key terms is only possible if you have enough content on your own site. We’ve had many blogger review our product and link back to our site with relevant key terms, but all of this heavenly Google juice simply goes down the drain if you’re site is not SEO oriented and optimized, and nowadays, that means high quality, engaging and regularly updated content.
The good news is that after Panda, Penguin & Hummingbird finished their little dances (see more info here), high quality publishers have a better chance of getting visibility.
4 – Share insights and tips your own customers can use
You’re gathering a lot of insights. From your clients, partners, own successes and failures. Some of those insights can help your own customers grow their own businesses. When we started sharing some best practices of some of our clients, we got great responses from other customers facing similar difficulties. For example, when we shared a case study about a new way we found to integrate Silverpop with TrenDemon, other clients using the same marketing automation platform came forward wanting the same solution.
5 – Get more data and insights about your potential customers
We are data junkies. Being able to actually see which pages and posts were most effective and which journey customers took before converting can tell you a lot. This is especially useful if you have more that one target audience. In our case, for example, we’re provided a tool for content marketers as well as to publishers and bloggers. These are two very different audiences and so the content and topics which interest them are also respectively different. You also can learn from the data about which search terms are most effective at bringing visitors to your blog. Are these the terms you were aiming at? Maybe people were searching for a different solution and getting you instead.
6 – We actually make a tool that helps content convert better
This last point is especially painful, seeing as we’ve actually BUILT A TOOL TO HELP CONVERT FROM CONTENT. We were missing out on a chance to benefit from our own creation and also learn first hand on how to improve it.
In summary, although starting your own company’s blog is a commitment, don’t overthink it, don’t blow it over proportions in terms of the required time and effort. Overall, it really isn’t that much work especially when you look at the impact it can generate to your business. For us, it took an overall investment of 5 hours setting up the blog (theme, graphics and all), another 3 hours compiling the strategy, resources, initial topics and key terms, and between an hour to 3 for actually writing each post (which I hope over time will take less time).