Sunday, June 25, 2017

How to Succeed at Blogging without Really Trying

Want to make your blog "a machine for lead generation?" It's easy, says Michael Brenner, CEO of Marketing Insider Group:

Craft Your Hook. "The average time someone spends on a post is a whopping 37 seconds," Brenner says. Create a strong opening, so they'll  spend at least that much time on your posts. "Try asking a question, leading with a beguiling fact or statistic, or just going all out, guns blazing at the beginning and present the reader’s problem and answer all within the first three sentences." A highly personal opening hooks readers, too.

Write Long-Form. Readers unwilling to spend more than 37 seconds on your post are tire-kickers. Write for the readers who are qualified leads. "They are more likely to take action after reading." Long-form posts generate nine times more leads than short-form posts.

Use Many CTAs. Pepper your posts with calls-to-action. Add links that direct readers to more resources. Remember: they may never get to your punchy closing.

Post on a Schedule. When you post regularly, you boost your Google rankings and give readers a reliable resource. "Your readers may even come to expect a new post, seeing it as something to look forward to while waiting for the bus or stopping by their favorite coffee shop for a work break," Brenner says. "Don’t rob people of their blog reading rituals because you post intermittently."

Use Visuals. Add more emotion to your posts with visual content―and not just photos, drawings, videos, and infographics, but illustrated CTAs. "Illustrations will help your readers know how they can take that all important next step to download content, sign up for your special offer, or in any other way become a lead."

Satisfy Readers. Your efforts are for naught, if your content doesn't inform readers and inspire them to read further. Be sure readers "are confident that when they need more information on your business’s niche subject, they know where to turn for more―your blog," Brenner says.

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