How to increase blog traffic by almost 30% in only 90 days – a case study

Busy street symbolizing an increase in blog traffic

At BlogWorks we love to see results.

Especially when the results are fast.

And we really, really love seeing client results when we’re using one of our favourite techniques.

What we call re-loving old posts.

The idea is simple…

If you have been blogging for a while, your inventory of posts will have been indexed by the search engines. In other words, Google will have decided how to “rank” your blog posts against all the other posts about similar topics.

This is why some of your posts show up on the first page of search results and some on the 13th page.

Updating old content can fix that.

Let’s start with why updating old posts works.

Why you need to update your old content to increase blog traffic

The strategy of updating old content to increase blog traffic works best if you’ve already published at least two dozen blog posts. This post explains in detail how to use this strategy.

Here are the most important reasons why we love this strategy. Book a call today to learn if this can work for your business.

1. Better click-through. When you update that old content you improve your click-through rate – the volume of people who choose to click on your article – simply because the date is more current.

2. Google likes fresh content. One of the many factors Google looks for in posts is how fresh is your content. When you update your old posts you also will update the publish date. More recent equals more results.

current dates in search engine results page
In this example, 6 of 7 search results were posted in the last 12 months

3. Improve your title. Your post title tells readers what the article is about but also should attract and intrigue the reader enough to want to jump in. Now is the time to turn that boring headline into a killer question, or use any of the 5 techniques described in this article.

According to Convince and Convert, a great title is clear (what will I get if I read this?) but intrigues the reader to dive in. Remember, you are competing with everything else on their phone or laptop – you need to get and keep their attention!

blog post title matters
The best headlines are about 8 words and 70 characters

4. Fix grammar and spelling. Updating your old posts gives you a chance to catch those spelling mistakes or tighten up the grammar. A quick improvement is to remove the word “that” – it will make your sentence read better and improve the flow of your post.

5. Link to “revenue” pages. Here’s a quick test: in the first third of your article does you post link to at least one “revenue” page, like a product or service page? When you update the old post, also update internal links to your site.

image of internal links in a blog post

6. One less article to post. Updating an old post takes a fraction of the time it takes to write a new one. Many of our clients combine one new article (we do that as well!) with one updated article each month.

Now that we’ve looked at the reasons, let’s look at an example of how one BlogWorks client used this strategy.

The Speaker Exchange

Like many small business owners, Brittanny and Julie at The Speaker Exchange were aware of the value of content marketing, but needed an outsourced solution. They had been using newsletters to stay in touch with their audience.

They reached out to BlogWorks for a solution.

Home page of The Speaker Exchange

The goal was to create consistent inbound traffic using original blog posts targeted to the event planner audience. At BlogWorks we have a team of local writers, each with specialties.

We write blog posts for a wide variety of wonderful clients ranging from leadership authors and public speakers to cyber security experts. And in this case, we have writers who know the speaking industry.

The BlogWorks solution

The BlogWorks solution was to write one original post and to update one older post every month, plus promote the blog through social media. In the first 90 days, site traffic was up almost 30%! Even better, Sessions and Pageviews were both up over 20%.

Image of analytics showing increased blog traffic

A part of the solution was more consistent blog publishing, but the biggest results was from updating old content with better keywords, headlines, and content.

The client example we shared in this post could be yours(!) Contact us today to learn how to increase your blog traffic by updating old posts.

Liked this post? Got another 5 minutes? Here are 3 more of our most popular posts all about writing blogs:

How to start a blog post – 5 examples that really work!
5 brilliant ways to start your blog post with a bang
9 blog topic ideas your audience will love

 

Tips on writing a blog post faster and better

Write blog posts faster and better

It can be a grind to write a blog.

You have to come up with clever ideas.

Find the time…write a draft…edit…add images…

Here’s what helps (and helps with any business):

You need a system.

When I started blogging I assumed ideas would pour from the heavens and my fingers would fly effortlessly across the keyboard pouring out publish-ready prose flocks of salivating followers would fall on.

Nah, didn’t happen.

As the reality of researching, writing, editing, image selection and publishing became clear my motivation started to slide.

…and slide…

…and slide…

Pretty soon, I was missing publishing deadlines.

Then there weren’t any deadline.

Then my blog routine became a random game of chance.

Enter the system

It took some time to realize that without a system blog writing was going to be painful. Later I learned the value of a system for that day when you want to outsource parts of the publishing process.

It took some time to realize that without a system, blog writing was going to be painful. Click To Tweet

The system I’m going to share is simple – it has to be – it’s designed to be repeated for every blog.

And it starts with finding the ideas. With a steady supply of fresh ideas you are halfway there.

1. Finding the ideas

In my post “How to never run out of ideas ever again” I shared sources for blog ideas. I also explained our process for republishing older blog posts (like this one). This is a strategy we’re now using with most of our clients and having crazy-good results. Read that post here.)

I’ll add you should be looking for micro ideas – not big, scary, all encompassing ones.

For example, this post is just about a writing system.

I could have also talked about researching, choosing the perfect topic, or how to use the WordPress editor. But, that’s too much width for a quick-to-read blog post.

When you tackle a micro topic it’s easier to complete the post and, I think, easier for the reader to quickly get value they can turn into action (without getting overwhelmed with advice).

Now that you have the ideas, it’s time to…find time.

2. Finding the time

The best way to find time for writing a blog is to not have to “find it” in the first place.

I recommend having one block of time for writing. For me, it’s the first thing I do every morning. For you, it might be 8:30-10:00, 3 days a week – whatever it is, make it a routine.

The best way to find time for writing is to not have to “find it” in the first place. Click To Tweet

At first, you might want to post this time for a month on your calendar to help develop the routine. You might also need a reward for your efforts, like crossing the task off a list, or marking your calendar with minutes spent writing every day.

The less you have to work at finding the time, the more likely the work will get done.

Now that you’ve found the time, you need to get started.

3. Sitting down and writing a blog

writing a blog post without distractions

I need to have a clear desk, a full cup of tea and a quiet room to write. I can edit on a moving train full of goats (still haven’t tried that), but writing requires complete concentration and no distractions (or goats).

Commit to a block of time. If you are writing at 8:30 in the morning, you might want to work for 90 minutes with quick breaks every 30 minutes – but commit to the time. That means Facebook and email are closed, papers are cleared away and your phone is put away or on airplane mode.

Whatever works best for you, create that situation every time.

Next, you need a template

4. Use a template

I can hear it now “But, I’m an artist and artists never use paint-by-number formulas.”

Bullhooky. Even artists use a template of sorts to organize their thoughts – certainly authors do.

Every blog posts (with exceptions to recipe blogs or vacation journal blogs) needs to take the reader on a journey. Usually that journey is from problem to solution.

My template for writing a blog (hundreds of public speakers use this template) is very simple. I follow it for every post (like this one) and the reader never complains.

Here it is:

  • The Problem – what problem does your reader have?
  • Personal – what is your experience with this problem?
  • The Promise – what are you giving the reader?
  • The Solutions – your solutions to the problem
  • A Call to Action – what do they need to do first?
  • Final thoughts – motivation

Like most books that follow a template for every chapter, we’re too busy enjoying the content to care much about the structure.

Template ready? Time to get the first draft done.

5. First draft

Your first draft will not be great – expect it. Anne Lamott famously calls it your “Shitty first draft” and for good reason.

When I’m writing an 800-1,000 word blog post, I like to crank out a first draft in about one hour. After that I let it simmer while I go for a run, do some other work, or read – but I don’t think about it.

When I sit down to finish the post, it’s amazing how obvious all the problems are. The run on sentence or weak arguments jump off the page and are much easier to fix.

Plan on two sittings and it takes the pressure off and allows you to write more freely for that essential first draft.

6. Ship it

At some point you need to admit this is only a blog – not a novel – or, as Seth Godin says, ship it.

“Shipping is fraught with risk and danger. Every time you raise your hand, send an email, launch a product or make a suggestion, you’re exposing yourself to criticism. Not just criticism, but the negative consequences that come with wasting money, annoying someone in power or making a fool of yourself. It’s no wonder we’re afraid to ship.”

More time fussing over semi-colons won’t get you more readers or more social shares, it just burns up more time.

Your goals should be to help the reader reach their goal faster and better than they could on their own.

Once you’ve done that, your job is done.

Now, get writing.

This post was originally published in 2016 and has been updated for your entertainment, education and just because.

Liked this post? Got another 5 minutes? Here are 3 more of our most popular posts all about writing blogs:

How to start a blog post – 5 examples that really work!
5 brilliant ways to start your blog post with a bang
9 blog topic ideas your audience will love

 

21 incorrectly used words that can make you look dumb

A typewriter with a page that reads "Words Have Power";

Many of the words you use in your blog could be, well…

wrong.

Should you use advice or advise?

How about affect or effect?

Then there’s everyday and every day.

Aaaaaagh!?!?

Dear reader, instead of running off to Google every time you’re unsure we have scoured the lexicon library to help clarify, demystify, enlighten and sort through 21 words that often get misused and abused.

Here we go with our list of incorrectly used words…

1. Advise and advice

First, advise is a verb – the act of giving, while advice is a noun – what you give. A quickest test is to say your sentence out loud, like: “I went to the coach to get advise.”

2. Affect and effect

Not only do these two sound similar they are very often confused (fortunately most people don’t know the difference.) A simple distinction is to use effect if you are making the change happen and affect if you are helping make the change happen. For example: “The CEO’s decision effected a major change in direction.” And “What she said affected my decision to go ahead.”

3. Everyday and every day

This is an easy one to mix up. Doing something every day means you do it every single day, like drinking coffee in the morning.

Meanwhile, everyday means commonplace or normal, like hearing sirens is an everyday event.

4. Along and long

This is an easy one to clarify. Along means moving in a constant direction, like “I was moving along the highway.” While long means a great distance or duration, like “The highway was long and boring.”

5. A while and awhile

This is a tricky one. First, the difference between while and awhile is easy to spot. While refers to a period of time “We talked for a while.”

The word awhile means for a period of time “He waited awhile for his appointment.” Whereas a while can only be used to replace while – a longer period of time.

6. Any way and anyway

Anyway means “nonetheless” or “regardless” as in: “I knew I had to get work done, but checked Facebook anyway.” You can also use anyway to connect a story that’s continuing: “Anyway, I was describing how to write a better blog post…”

Any way means a variety of ways of doing something, or in any manner. “I had so much to get done I tackled my list any way possible.”  

Anyway, let’s get onto #7.

7. Fewer and less

Here’s a trick for this one: use fewer when referring to items you can count, like “fewer homes” or “fewer car sales.”

Use less when referring to items you can’t count, like “time”, or “income.” There are some conventions with fewer and less: we tend to use less with time, money and weight.

8. Insure and ensure

This is an easy one to remember: insure refers only to insurance. Ensure means to make sure. So you might want to ensure you are insured.

9. Irregardless and regardless

This is an easy fix: don’t use irregardless. You might find irregardless in text (and certainly hear some well-meaning folks use the word), but it’s not commonly accepted and just sounds wrong.

10. Principle and principal

My trick to remembering the difference between these is that my Principal at school should be my “pal” or friend, as in principal. Whereas principle is a guideline or rule: “…basic scientific principles.”

Principal can also refer to the amount borrowed on a load, the most important item in a particular set “The principal account makes up 65 percent of our revenues.”

11. Stationary and stationery

This is an easy one: you write on stationery. When something doesn’t move it is stationary.

12. It’s and its

It’s is a contraction of it is or it has. Use it’s to move a sentence along and to give a more casual feeling to your writing.

Its is about possession “The store increased its prices.” An easy test is to try removing the apostrophe and see how it sounds: “It’s raining” becomes “It is raining.” (which sounds better).

By the way, there is no use for its’.

13. They’re and their

This is similar to #12 and many other incorrectly used words, they’re is a contraction of they are, whereas their is all about ownership.

14. Who’s and whose

Who’s is a contraction that means either who is or who has. “Do you know someone who’s living in California?” 

Whose is possessive. “You and whose army?”

15. You’re and your

Here’s another contraction and one you probably get right: you’re and your.

You’re means you are and your is about ownership “Your car.” “Your home.” So, “If you’re going to your home to get your car you’re doing the right thing!”

16. Accept and except

Here’s an easy one…

These two words sound the same but are quite different: accept is to receive, except signifies and exclusion. So “I accept the offer, except I won’t want it for another month.”

17. In regard to

The only distinction to note here is that the expression In regard to is singular. To write “In regards to” is incorrect.

18. Ironic vs. Coincidental

Here’s an interesting distinction: if something happens at the same time “I was about to go see her when she showed up at my house.” that’s a coincidence. But, when there’s a reversal involved, like “When we returned from our trip to Mexico we learned the weather was actually better at home.” That’s ironic.

Comedian Ed Byrne writing about Alanis Morisette’s song, Ironic: “The only ironic thing about that song is it’s called ‘Ironic’ and it’s written by a woman who doesn’t know what irony is. That’s quite ironic.”

19. Imply vs. Infer

“The implier is the pitcher; the inferrer is the catcher.” Theodore Bernstein, The Careful Writer

To imply is to say something indirectly, like: “The host implied it was time to leave by saying she was tired.” To infer is to gather, deduce, or figure out. “We inferred it was time to leave by the host’s actions.”

The way to remember this one is: a speaker/writer implies, while the listener/reader infers.

20. Adverse and Averse

To be adverse is rarely used to describe people, but more commonly to describe events, effects, trends in the economy, changes in weather, etc: “The new medication has no adverse impacts on health.”

Averse describes people and means to feel opposed or disinclined. “We are not averse to holding another meeting.”

21. Irrespective and respective

Irrespective is not just the opposite of respective. Their meanings are completely different.

Irrespective of means regardless of as in “he continued to blog irrespective of how many readers he had.”

Whereas, respective means relating to two more more things individually”, as in “We all met for lunch and then returned to our respective offices.”

Enjoyed this article about incorrectly used words? Here’s three more of our most popular posts:

How to start a blog post – 5 examples that really work!
90 seconds to becoming a better writer
5 steps to writing an awesome blog post in less than 60 minutes

43 random blogging terms you really don’t need to know

43 random blogging terms you really don’t need to know

Personally, I despise people who obfuscate and inveigle with obscure language and acronyms.

You too?

In this article I will attempt to decode and demystify the crazy language surrounding blogging (somebody has to.)

After all, isn’t blogging just about writing great, helpful content that readers love to share?

I think so.

Let’s get into the list of blogging terms (feel free to skip the boring ones)…

A is for Apple

1. Absent – yup, that’s the business owner who’s ambitions exceed their abilities and haven’t learned to outsource. If that’s you, please read this article.

2. Alt tag – Ever wondered why an image shows up in a search? Good chance that’s because some smart cookie added Alt Tags to the image. In WordPress this is super easy (open Media, select the image and add).

I despise people who obfuscate and inveigle with obscure language and acronyms. Click To Tweet

3. Anchor post – this the dandy you wrote one late night, half way through a mellow bottle of Merlot, that – for some miraculous reason – attracted loads of attention (from other Merlot lovers maybe?). Tip: make sure you link to your anchor posts in future articles.

4. Anchor text – these are the neat blue links inside one blog post that link to another page. According to SEO gurus at ahrefs “Google uses external anchor text to help understand what your page is about and also, for which keywords it should rank.” So they are 1) important to create 2) super important to get your post found.

5. Article – Easy one – this is task you wrote on your To-Do list last Thursday. And again Friday. Oh, yeah, and on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday. Oh, damn it! Get writing!

6. Author – Duh.

7. Avatar – This is the person you should have created a perfect description of because you went to that very expensive conference, got SO inspired by the speaker and on the flight home thought “I really need an Avatar!” It’s not complicated: Who is your ideal customer? That’s your avatar.

B is for Boy (okay, okay, it’s also for Blog…and Blogging Terms)

8. Backlink – a link that points to one page, from another page. For example, you can link from your “About” page to a “revenue” page.

9. Blog – A Blog is a gift for the world and for you. Your blog gives you license to write massively irreverent (and occasionally super, super looooong posts) like Tim Urban about whatever got your interest the last time you headed to your local coffee shop. Or to go deep into research, like Maria Popova (7 million readers, thank you very much), or launch an empire like Tim Ferriss (who never returns emails, just saying.)

10. Blogger or Blogging – a person who thinks blogging is a business, when really blogging is a way to make business!

Your blog gives you license to write massively irreverent (and occasionally super, super looooong posts) like Tim Urban about whatever got your interest the last time you headed to your local coffee shop. Click To Tweet

11. Blogosphere – This is the place all good bloggers go to die. Nope, that’s not right. It’s a place where…actually I have no idea, because nobody actually talks that way.

12. Blogroll – This is the list of all your published blog posts. This actually super important, especially if you track traffic, like we do. The good news is you can download this list by simply adding /sitemap_index.xml to the end of your URL (now you have to see ‘U’) and then clicking on (usually) the first link. Cool, huh?

13. Bummer – that’s what happens when you publish your amazing article and…nothing happens. That’s a bummer.

C is for Cataclysmic (and Cat)

14. Calendar – this is what you should be using to plan your next blog post – capiche? Tip: one of our favourite (free) plugins is Editorial Calendar.

15. Category – According to WPBeginner “Categories are meant for broad grouping of your posts. And Tags are meant to describe specific details of your posts.” You must categorize your post, tagging is optional.

16. CMS or Platform – CMS stands for content management system. WordPress is a CMS, so are all the alternatives. Bottom line – you will never use CMS in a sentence.

17. Comments – oh, for goodness sake…I’m not going to insult you with this one. We all know comments are the rare gems we all hope to get!

18. CSS or Stylesheet – has something to do with style sheets and if you have to ask you need to go to ‘O’ and think about outsourcing.

D is for derogatory, aspersing, calumnious, defamatory, insulting, libelous, maligning, slandering, slanderous, vilifying (and, of course, dog)

19. Directory – These are strange and mysterious sites that list your blog as authority site worth a visit. According to theblogpressccom, “These are websites which categorize blogs under many different categories.” Good luck with that!

F – it’s too tempting, so we’ll skip this one

H is for being Human with a touch of Humour (while being honest)

image describing how to view source code

20. Header – this is the top image for each post. Your header image should “pulled” with your link and show up in your social media posts.

21. Hyperlink – is the clickable content within a web page (typically colored blue) that takes the user to another page, website, or within part of the same page.

22. HTML – this is short for Hypertext Markup Language – the language used to write web pages. In WordPress, if you select “Text” you can view the html code and make simple changes, like highlighting text with a background color. This is what that would look like (Here are the colour choices)

<div style=”padding: 12px; background-color: #ff9999; line-height: 1.4;”>TEXT HERE</div>

TEXT HERE

I is for turning “I” into “you” (or “your”)

23. Index(ed) – indexing is the mysterious process of search engines organizing and prioritizing your blog and the pages on your website. SEO is the art of getting your blog and site pages to “rank” higher (show up on pages 1,2,3, etc).

K is for a Killer post that goes viral (Yes!)

24. Keyword(s) or Keyphrase(s) – is what someone types into a search engine – a single word or phrase. By including those keywords in your blog post you make it easier for search engines to rank your post for that topic.

M is for making money (the thing we don’t talk about, but secretly all want)

image showing meta description in search results

25. Meta Description – this is the short block of text readers see when they get their search results. Tip: keep your phrase to 150 characters and include the keywords readers will be searching for.

26. Meta Tags – refers to all the Tags hidden in your html code that tell the search engines what you page is all about and how to categorize that page.

27. Meta Title or Page Title – is the name of the page and is the bold text that shows up on a search results page when you rank in a search engine.

N – sorry Nothing here worth Noting

O – is for Outsourcing – the one thing that will mostly quickly earn you more money(!)

P – is for Procrastination and Perfection—two things that will keep you from Publishing!

28. Permalink – this is the funky URL that shows up in search engines, like this https://yourblogworks.com/start-a-blog-post/ Tip: if you are updating, or republishing a blog post, don’t change the permalink—you will lose any ranking you might have in search engines.

P - is for Procrastination and Perfection—two things that will keep you from Publishing! Click To Tweet

29. Plugin – Just like an app on your phone, a plugin is a piece of software that adds a operation to your website. For example, you can add Yoast to change the SEO settings, Pretty Link to create unique, memorable URL’s, or Editorial Calendar to get a calendar view of all your blog posts.

30. Post – this is just another name for your blog article. You can also call it “great”, “amazing”, “outstanding”, and “awesome” (knock yourself out.)

R – is for Really, Really, Really helpful blog posts (and getting and ROI)

31. Redirect – this is when one link takes you to another link (huh?) For example, if you click on www.yourblogworks.com/call you will be taken to https://go.oncehub.com/hughculver to book a call with us. That redirect uses a nifty WordPress plugin called Pretty Link.

32. Robots – we all know about WALL-E and R2D2, but there are online robots as well, like the ones that categorize web pages (like your blog post) for search engines.

33. RSS – stands for Really Simple Syndication (now you’ll sound smart at any party) and is the way updated information is fed to sites like Feedly, so your favourite blogs are waitinf for you.

S is for getting social shares of your post (yummy)

34. Sitemap – this is a page on your site that organizes all the pages on your site into a simple list. Search engines use your sitemap in their indexing process. Tip: you can see you sitemap by adding “sitemap_index.xml” to the end of your URL, like this https://yourblogworks.com/sitemap_index.xml (If you don’t have a sitemap consider using Yoast…see #43 below)

35. Social Media Sharing – this is what our team at BlogWorks can do for you! Get the word out and let your social followers enjoy your latest blog post.

36. Subscribe – when a reader joins your mailing list they are subscribing to receive your emails.

T is for Terrific content that Turns heads and Translates into new Transactions!

37. Tag or Tagging – is a bit of information, hidden in your html code, that tells search engines what your page is about. Tags include: Title Tag (for the whole site), Alt Tag (for images), Robots Meta Tag (tells search engine robots if it should index this page), and Header Tags.

38. Tip – if you want to get more business from your blog include 3-4 links in every post to your “revenue” pages.

39. Title or Subject – The title, or headline, of your blog is one of the most important ways to attract more attention and readers.

U – is for those Unicorn posts that get Unbelievable results

40. URL -Smarty pants know that URL is short for Uniform Resource Locator, but we all know the URL is the unique address for every page of your web site. Tip: want to create an easy to remember shortened URL? Check out the free WordPress plug-in called Pretty Link in this article.

W – is for putting your Blog to Work

41. Widget or Module – the little boxes of content (like an offer for a free book) are called widgets (now you know.)

42. WooHoo! – the sound you will make when you see your blog post getting shared across the social channels. You have made it happen!

Y is for…. yellow?

43. Yoast – sounds like toast but is not something you eat. Yoast is a popular SEO plugin that allows you to edit and optimize the SEO of the post and the way the post appears (Meta tag) in search engines.

Not bored yet? Well, we’ve got loads more of great articles for you…

How to (finally) make money with your blog
90 seconds to becoming a better writer
5 steps to writing an awesome blog post in less than 60 minutes.

 

 

 

How to start a blog post – 5 examples that really work!

How to start a blog post - 5 examples

“An opening line should invite the reader to begin the story. It should say: Listen. Come in here. You want to know about this.” ~Stephen King

There’s not much point having a blog if nobody reads it.

Right?

The trick is how you start a blog—it comes down to the opening.

Yes, you must have a dynamite headline that pulls readers in. And, sure, you might have 5, 7 or 51(!)  brilliant suggestions with dazzling arguments, but if nobody reads past the first sentence, well…

Before we jump into how to write the perfect opening, let’s revisit why more readers is so important.

Why you blog is so damn important

Every web site we look at has the same off-balance characteristic: people spend 5-10 times more time on your blog than on any other page on your site.

People spend 5-10 times more time on your blog than on any other page on your site. Click To Tweet

In other words, your blog is where you get people’s attention and get them interested in buying. Your blog is where the conversation starts.

It’s no different than striking up a conversation with a vendor at a farmer’s market or salesperson at a conference. The more time you spend with them the more likely you are to buy.

But, first we have to get them reading. And that’s gotten harder.

If your prospect searches for your solutions but don’t see a match right away…they’re gone. If they get your email, open the blog, but aren’t curious to read more, they’re gone.

And once people click away…they aren’t coming back.

So, we have to start our blog by snagging the reader by their synapses. And that starts with the first sentence.

Before we get to that, let’s look at what kills the start of your blog…

How to kill the start of your blog

It’s easy to kill the opening and send readers away screaming. Here’s how.

  • Run-on sentences that go nowhere: “If you want to be a great leader you need to understand the needs of your team while simultaneously keeping an eye on the future and coaching for performance”…WHAT?!?!?!
  • Starting with a negative: “Bad leaders bring their team down.”…bummer.
  • Stating the obvious: “Every team needs a leader”, or “Technology has changed how we work.”….Duh!
  • Boring your readers: “This article will help you understand excellence in customer service”…Zzzzzzzz.

A good opening sentence is sticky – like Spiderman. And a great opening sentence is both sticky and does one more thing:

It makes you want to read the second sentence.

As William Zinsser wrote in the classic, On Writing Well “The most important sentence in any article is the first one. If it doesn’t induce the reader to proceed to the second sentence, your article is dead.”

Now that you’re (hopefully) convinced your blog is essential for attracting and starting meaningful sales conversations, let’s jump into how to start a blog.

5 ways to start a blog post and hook your reader

  1. Ask a question

In his now famous blog post How to Quit Your Job, Move to Paradise and Get Paid to Change the World, uber blogger, Jon Morrow doesn’t waste any time. With a 71 character headline that he assumes you will read, he goes straight to this opening question:

“After all, that’s the dream, right?”

Mike Stelzner’s massively successful Social Media Examiner blog has adopted a two-question opener that seems to be working. Like in this post:

“Are you trying to get more local customers? Have you tried Facebook video ads targeted to your local market?”

The technique is simple: work backwards from your topic to the question your prospects would be asking and start with that.

  1. Make a bold claim

What’s the most common (and useful) advice for creating viral videos on YouTube? Make a big claim in the first 7 seconds.

One way to do that with your blog is to start with a blog claim.

I like this style for two reasons: I think it grabs the reader by their curiosity and it challenges me to write a post that has some punch!

Here are some examples from our site at BlogWorks:

  • About making money: “You want your blog to make money. Right?”
  • About adding videos to your blog: Video is a great way to attract more readers to your blog and having them stay longer. If you know how to do it.
  • About measuring the performance of your blog: Let me ask you a question: Would you drive a car without a dashboard or put your money in a bank if you couldn’t see your balance?
  1. Be a contrarian

Another way to get your readers’ attention is to start a blog with an uncommon thought. Chances are you have some beliefs and theories that would work perfectly for this style of opening.

Best-selling author, Ryan Holiday used this approach in his post: “Dear Entrepreneurs: Please Don’t Write a Book—We’re Begging You” to attack first time authors who take writing short-cuts (like hiring book-in-a-box companies).

“There has been no worse piece of advice out there recently than: If you’re an entrepreneur, write a book.”

I like the surprising opening to the post: “A Public-Private Partnership Could Be Key to Your Startup’s Survival” from Entrepreneur.com:

“Despite what many of us might think, there are a lot fewer startups than there used to be.”

  1. Use a statistic (or two)

There is something about including a statistic that adds instant credibility to your post. If fact, 98% of bloggers (ha ha) agree with me on this.

Futurist, entrepreneur and author Peter Diamandis is a big fan of this style of writing. Here’s how he opens his post about the future of cities:

“By 2050, two-thirds of the population, more than 6 billion people, are expected to live in urbanized areas. Exponential technologies will radically change the way we build and organize our cities in the future.”

Or this article about cell phones and homicide rates from the NY Times.

“The increased use of cellphones reduced US homicide rates in the 1990s, according to new research distributed by the National Bureau of Economic Research.”

  1. Create a hook

We all love a mystery. It’s like a friend leaning in and saying “You know there’s something I’ve always wanted to tell you…”—you have to know what comes next.

When you start with entrigue you open a scene, but just enough for a movie to start playing in your reader’s mind. Now they want to know what comes next.

Here’s how uber-blogger Tim Urban of the massively successful Wait but Why blog opened his post about what would otherwise be a highly technical subject called Neuralink.

“Last month, I got a phone call.

Okay maybe that’s not exactly how it happened, and maybe those weren’t his exact words. But after learning about the new company Elon Musk was starting, I’ve come to realize that that’s exactly what he’s trying to do.”

And this is how artist, blogger Henneke Duistermaat of Enchanting Marketing breaks the ice in her post about mindfulness:

“At 3 AM, I was tossing and turning.”

And from one of my favourite authors, Ann Handley:

“Here’s the best writing I read all week. It’s 170 words tucked into a belly of a 7,000-word article.

And yes… it’s about stink bugs.”

Ready to start your next blog?

At the end of the day, your blog has to deliver value if you want it to be read, shared and bring you more followers. Kicking it off with a well thought-out opening sentence is a great place to start.

 

Enjoyed this post? Still not ready to go back to work? Here’s more great stuff:

5 brilliant ways to start your blog post with a bang
9 blog post ideas your audience will love
90 seconds to becoming a better writer

How to (finally) make money with your blog

how to make money with your blog

You want your blog to make money. Right?

Well, I’m sorry to tell you this, but you’ve been badly fooled.

Yes, thousands of dollars later, you have no idea what’s going on with your web site.

How do I know this?

Well, for the last 5 years I have been talking with business owners about their blog and for the most part…they are clueless. Of course, I’m sure you’re not in that boat and you can tell me what your blog is converting into dollars – right?

Typically, when I ask about measurements I discover there are no numbers, measurements, metrics, ouija boards, dashboards…nada, zip, zero, nothing.

But (sorry, I’m feeling a bit cynical), no worries, because your friendly web designer will happily charge you $5,000 more to “redesign” your site (one more time). Oh, and don’t forget to politely mention that maybe, just maybe, it would be really nice if they would think about installing Google Analytics so that you could, you know, see what’s actually working!

It’s time to change all that. You own your business and you need to take charge of your web site and your blog.

Let’s jump in and look at 5 ways to increase the money you make with your blog.

1. Get the numbers

As you might guess from my rant, if you want to make money with your blog, first you need some numbers. In this post learn how to make sure Google Analytics is installed. In this post learn how to begin reading Google Analytics to learn what’s really happening on your site.

The basic numbers you need to watch are total traffic and traffic to your “revenue pages”. These are the pages for your products and services. Overall traffic is reported as “users” and you can see traffic to revenue pages by going to Behaviour > Overview and entering the URL of your revenue page in the search bar at the top of the display table.

use a search for revenue page when trying to make money with your blog2. Make it obvious what you do

This will sound obvious…if you want to make money with your blog you need to make it obvious WHAT YOU DO.

Look, I can read 100 blog posts about leadership, customer service, or how to have a great marriage and I’ll guarantee you only about 10% ever mention what they do.

I can read 100 blog posts about leadership, customer service, or how to have a great marriage and I’ll guarantee you only about 10% ever mention what they do. Click To Tweet

Imagine you go to a sales presentation and the sales person never asks you to buy. Strange.

mention what you do to make money from your blog
Don’t make your readers work: every blog post needs to mention what you do.

The fix is easy. Mention a client experience, talk about a speech you gave, refer to a coaching client you helped. Don’t make the reader work hard…tell them what you do.

3. Drive traffic to your store

When readers come to your blog they stop and read. On average, visitors will spend 3-10 minutes on a blog. Whereas they might spend per visit an average of 1 minute on all your pages combined.

That’s a huge opportunity to make money with your blog! When we re-publish our clients’ articles we always include at least 2 links to their revenue pages.

to make money from your blog, tell people what you do
Every blog post would point readers to your revenue pages.

Instead of waiting to the end (only about 30% of readers get to the end of your blog post), insert links in your blog to your revenue pages.

On average, visitors will spend 3-10 minutes on a blog. Whereas they might spend per visit an average of 1 minute on all your pages combined. Click To Tweet

Look for words or phrases that describe what you do. Next, insert links to your products or services pages. It’s that easy—2 to 3 links in every post will start getting more traffic going in the right direction.

4. Build your list

Nothing beats a mailing list. Unlike social media posts that disappear in minutes, an email might get opened hours after arriving in your prospects’ Inxox – even days later. And when you write with a personal tone – your email can be perceived as more helpful and less like a sales pitch.

The trick is to keep building your list.

Start by making it easy to join your list. You can include an optin offer beside your blog, or use a free pop-up tool like OptinMonster or SumoMe.

And, just like traffic to your website, if you want your list to get bigger you need to track the numbers. At least once a month record in a simple spreadsheet the total list size and the change for that month.

5. Ask for the money

If you want to make money with your blog you need to start by doing what any good salesperson would do…ask for the money!

Ridiculous, right? Of course you ask for the sale.

Let’s try a little test…

Go to your latest blog post and count how many times you ask for the sale. Here’s what to look for:

  • Point your readers to your revenue pages: “To learn more about coaching click here.”
  • Invite your readers to download a self assessment: “Thinking about selling your home? Download my free guide ‘15 things to do before you sell your home’”
  • Send readers to your contact form: “Looking for a speaker for your next event?”   

Here’s the bottom line. Your investment in a website and especially in a blog should be returning revenues. You need an ROI on your blog.

The good news is it is possible to retrofit those old articles and put them to work. Instead of collecting digital dust, your blog posts can be generating leads.

That’s what we do. We identify blog posts that have the most revenue potential and then supercharge them with SEO juice (to get higher ranking in search engines) plus drive traffic to your revenue pages.

It’s time to put your blog to work.

Enjoyed this article? Here are three more of our most popular posts:

51 ways to get more business from your blog in the New Year
90 seconds to becoming a better writer
5 steps to writing an awesome blog post in less than 60 minutes

5 Quick Ways to Measure Your Blog’s Performance

5 Quick Ways to Measure Your Blog’s Performance

Let me ask you a question:

Would you drive a car without a dashboard or put your money in a bank if you couldn’t see your balance?

Not likely – right?

So why are you investing in a website, but not measuring results?

Of course, if you are measuring your results, please pat yourself on the back and go back to your spreadsheets.

If not…you really need to take 5 minutes and read this article.

Every day at BlogWorks we speak with wonderful, hard working business owners who have a website and a blog. Almost all fail to measure results.

No numbers, no comparison of this month to last month—no way of knowing what’s working.

Meanwhile 78% (I just made that up) want to invest more money into their website so it will “perform better”!!

What if you could get basic feedback on your blog’s performance – without having to hire a pimply 21 year old or having to learn SEO?

What if you could get basic feedback on your blog’s performance - without having to hire a pimply 21 year old or having to learn SEO? Click To Tweet

Great, right?

Well, it is possible to measure your blog’s performance and do it quickly and easily.

Here’s 5 ways to get you started…

1. Dollars in the Bank

The most basic question to ask yourself is: does your blog put money in the bank? After all, you should be getting a return on your the investment you put into your blog.

The most obvious return on that investment is enquiries from prospects who read your blog:

    • a prospect replies directly to the email you sent announcing your latest blog post.
    • prospects are responding to an offer in your blog announcement.

When you email your blog to your list do you get a spike in traffic to your site (see Google Analytics below)? That spike in traffic can drive more attention to your product and services pages. This article will show you 7 ways to include a Call-To-Action in your blog posts.

2. Comments and Shares

This isn’t the most scientific measure, but reader engagement is a sign of your blog’s performance. On the most simplest level, more comments and social shares equates to performance of that post.

Let’s face it, we all have blog posts that miss the mark and complete winners that haul in half your traffic. More comments on one post is a positive sign, just as posts that get shared more mean your readers found value in your content.

We wrote about social sharing plugins that are free and easy to use in this article.

3. Growing your list

Your mailing list is one of the most powerful ways to reach your audience. Even with the incredible power of social media, emails have more shelf life—an email might be opened, read and responded to days – even a week – after you send it.

So consider your list growing strategy. Do you have obvious opt-in invitations on your blog? Is the incentive to join your list working? Do you have a simple email sequence that is sent out automatically when someone joins your list? This article is all about adding call-to-actions to your blog.

As a speaker, I invite my audience to sign up for my blog. At a typical presentation 50-80% of the room complete a simple form to sign up. My blog becomes a way into those businesses. That’s a value I can measure.

4. Check your Numbers

analytics overview to measure your blog performance

The real data behind your blog performance comes from Google Analytics.

Once you know Google Analytics is installed, you can dive into the data as simply or as deeply as you are comfortable. Learn more about using the data in this article.

Once you log-in, set the date range for the last 30 days (top-right hand corner of display). The basic 3 numbers to pay attention to are:

  1. Users – this is the number of unique visitors (each person is counted once).
  2. Pages/Session – average number of pages per visit (session) indicates if readers are exploring your site.
  3. Avg. Session Duration – the higher this number, the better – you want readers to spend enough time to go from reading your blog to your “revenue pages.”

If you want  to go a bit deeper (and impress your friends), set your dates to the last 30 days and then click “compare.” Now you can see how your site performance compares to the past 30 days.

Google Analytics comparison to measure your blog's performance

Dashboard Delivery

It’s unlikely you’ll log into Analytics very often which is why we recommend it comes to you! In one minute you can set up Analytics to send you a simple dashboard report every month:

  1. Click “Share” (top right corner)
  2. In the pop-up window, enter your email address.
  3. Choose “Attachments” – PDF
  4. Choose “Frequency” – Monthly
  5. Click “I’m not a robot” > Send

gif showing how to use google analytics compare to measure your blog's success

5. Think long term

You have lots of marketing choices – always will. And one of the best marketing strategies is to  create relevant, valuable unique content to attract prospects. That takes time.

With a little planning, some consistent effort and by checking your results you can outdistance your competitors.

Blogging is not a bright-shiny-object you do for a week. It’s about thinking long-term and committing. The good news is, measuring your performance results not only will let you know what’s working and what needs attention, but you’ll also get to enjoy watching your investment payoff.

Enjoyed this article? Here are 3 more articles all about blog performance:

51 ways to get more business from your blog in the New Year
90 seconds to becoming a better writer
5 steps to writing an awesome blog post in less than 60 minutes

 

5 easy steps to publishing your next blog post (even if you don’t have time)

easy steps to publishing your next blog post

This post was originally published in April 2017 and was updated in 2019 just for you!

You’ve got a blog – great!

You haven’t published for at least a month – not so great.

The reality is, your blog can be a central point in your marketing strategy. In our research we see visitors to client’s sites spending 4-7 minutes on a blog post, but only 1-2 minutes on any other page. That’s a huge opportunity!

Think of your blog like this:

Imagine you rented a small meeting room in a hotel. You advertised, told all your clients, friends, neighbours and emailed like crazy to your mailing list. And let’s say 100 people showed up.

Great right?

And those 100 people listened to you talk for about 4-7 minutes. That’s an enormous opportunity to get, let’s say, 10 people to make a sale. That’s what your blog could be doing…day after day, 12 months a year.

Sure, it’s easy to forget this. After all, you’ve got existing clients, bills to pay, staff and freelancers to deal with…

That’s a mistake.

“If you want to continually grow your blog, you need to learn to blog on a consistent basis.”

Neil Patel

At BlogWorks, we want your blog to be humming along making sales. So, let’s deal with how to get new blog posts published.  

Through our work with hundreds of clients we’ve developed a 5 step process to consistent blogging. You can use this process to rescue a stale blog (haven’t published for a while) or improve the existing process you have.

Here goes…5 steps to consistent blogging:

#1. Create an SOP (Standard Operating Procedure) (20 minutes)  

If you don’t have a process, you’re wasting time inventing one every time you write a blog.  

Make a list (use Google Docs to easily share with the freelancer you will hire!) of all the steps you follow to write and publish your blog. We wrote an article on this here.  

#2. Make a list of 36 blog topics (30 minutes)  

person writing list of easy steps to publishing your next blog post

Pour yourself a nice Merlot, or crack a beer—you need to be in a creative mood for this part. Make a list of all the blog topics you can think of that will:  

  1. solve one (small) problem your ideal customer has and  
  2. fit tightly with your products and services.  

We wrote an article on this here.

#3. Block time (60 minutes)

“Our highest priority is to protect our ability to prioritize”

Greg McKeown, Essentialism

Face it – you will never have enough time to write a blog. So you have to make time by blocking it. Twice a month block 60 minutes on your calendar to write your, as the wonderful author Anne Lamott famously named it, shitty first draft.  

Face it - you will never have enough time to write a blog. So you have to make time by blocking it. Click To Tweet

Block another 30 minutes to clean up the draft, add images and publish. Those 4 hours a month will increase your traffic, build your list, attract prospects and grow your business. What else would you be doing with that time?

#4. Use a 3-step writing routine

One reason our clients don’t get their blog published is because they don’t have a writing routine. Just like your SOP (#1 above), a writing routine takes the mystery and stress out of writing a post (it’s how I’m writing this post!)

[BACKGROUND COLOUR FOR NEXT 3 POINTS]

1 – Collect (15 min). Pull together your notes, saved articles (Evernote is brilliant for saving articles off the web) and favourite quotes.

2 – Use a template to write your shitty first draft (45 min). Don’t edit, don’t worry about spelling, don’t even worry about making sense…you have one goal – get the draft done in 45 minutes, then take a break. Get your template here.

3 – Edit, add images, quotes, links and publish (30 min).

#5. Think money, not task (timeless)

person holding up money and thinking of easy steps to publishing your next blog post

As long as “write blog” competes with everything else crowding your To-Do list, it ain’t going to happen. You have to think money!

As long as “write blog” competes with everything else crowding your To-Do list it ain’t going to happen. You have to think money! Click To Tweet

Your blog is the magnet that will get readers to slow down and look at what you sell. Just like a magazine, T.V. show or half time concert at the Super Bowl – content (or entertainment) attracts buyers and gets them to look at your products and services.

Put another way, unless you’re Amazon or Alibaba, nobody will visit your website to look at what you’re advertising—you need your blog to bring them back.

WAIT! You weren’t about to click away were you?

Before you go – we can take this off your hands.  

Here’s how we can write your blog.

Here’s how we can promote your blog.

Thank you, you are free to go.

One more thing! If you liked this article, here are 3 more about writing blogs:

9 blog post ideas your audience will love

A proven 3 step method to finally overcome procrastination and get it all done

How to never run out of blog ideas ever again

57 remarkable blogging facts, statistics and insights for 2019

blogging facts

Every day there seems to be the newest, latest, greatest, must-have online social media strategy that digital marketers claim will blow your blog away. Instagram stories have replaced Facebook Live, which replaced Vine, which replaced Snapchat.

Well, good luck with all that.

Sure, you can bury your head for a month, take courses and maybe — just maybe — get an iota of the results promised by the guru you got the idea from. But sometimes it’s best to stick with what works.

Like blogging.

In our books, a blog is still the best way to showcase your brilliant skills, talents, and solutions. Blogging the right way can keep prospects coming back to your home base — your web site.

But how do you blog the right way to keep prospects coming back? Well, we use social media to bring prospects to our blog — and it works.

To prove how important your blog can be to your online presence, engagement, and traffic, we have collected some blogging facts that will give you some insight into what you should be doing to grow your blog in 2019. Feel free to share these facts so other people can start getting better marketing results with their blog — just like you.

Blogs work (still)

1. 85% of B2C marketers and 91% of B2B marketers actively blog or use other content marketing. (2018, Content Marketing Institute)

2. Small businesses with blogs get 126% more growth in leads than those without a blog. (2018, Orbit Media)

3. 55% of companies surveyed report that their blog is one of their top marketing priorities for 2018 onward. (2018, State of Inbound marketing industry report)

4. 80% of bloggers surveyed report that their blog delivers positive or strong business results. (2018, Orbit Media)

5. 55% of marketers say blogging is their #1 most important inbound marketing channel. (2018, Hubspot)

55% of marketers say blogging is their #1 most important inbound marketing channel. @Hubspot Click To Tweet

6. Consumers use blogs to make buying decisions: 47% of buyers view 3-5 blog posts or other pieces of content before starting the buying process. (2016, Demand Gen Report)

7. 38% of businesses report they rely strongly on vendor-generated content like blog posts and eBooks to help make purchase decisions. (2018, State of Inbound marketing industry report)

8. 95% of marketers consider blogging to be a smart marketing tactic. (2018, State of Inbound marketing industry report)

9. 43% of business-to-business (B2B) companies say blog posts are the most important content they produce. (2017, Social Media Examiner)

10. Blogs work! Written articles (when compared to all other forms of content creation) still get the most engagement on social media (followed by videos and images). (2017, Clutch)

11. Of over 2,000 top marketers surveyed, 57% plan to increase their use of blogging in the near future. (2018, Social Media Examiner)

12. Content marketing (like your blog) gets 3X more leads than paid search advertising. (Content Marketing Institute)

Bored already? If you’re also bored trying to get your blog written, edited, scheduled, published and promoted (whew!) we can do all that for you — and for a whole lot less money and hassle than you think! Packages start at $97/month.

How’s your headline?

13. Headlines with 6-13 words attract the highest and most consistent amount of traffic. (Hubspot)

14. List articles (listicles) still work! 36% of people prefer list-based headlines. (ConversionXL)

15. The “How-To” headline is a close cousin to the listicle. “How-To” headlines also get lots of traffic! (ConversionXL)

16.Common words/phrases used in the most highly-shared headlines are “you/your”, “free/giveaway”, “how to”, “DIY”, “I/me/my”, “easy”, “win”, “new” and “aardvark” (kidding). (OkDork)

Common words/phrases used in the most highly-shared headlines are “you/your”, “free/giveaway”, “how to”, “DIY”, “I/me/my”, “easy”, “win”, and “new”. @OkDork Click To Tweet

17. 3, 5, 7, 9’s work! Odd-numbered listicle headlines outperform even ones by 20% (like this one!) (Content Marketing Institute)

18. Here’s an odd one: Including a colon or hyphen in your title can result in a 9% traffic improvement. (CMI)

19. Make me cry! Emotional headlines get shared more. (hint: speak to their problem, not your solution). (OkDork)

Headline, schmeadline. Do you really want to be messing around with long-tail keywords and headlines when you could be taking care of your customers? We do all that for you. Packages start at $97/month.

Is your blog long enough?

20. The average length of a first page blog post is 1,890 words. (2017, Backlinko)

21. Over 50% of bloggers who published articles over 2,000 words in length reported strong results, compared to only 10% of bloggers who wrote articles under 500 words. (2018, Orbit Media)

22. Longer, in-depth blogs can generate 10 times more leads than shorter content (they provide a better connection for long-tail keywords). (Curata)

23. Blogs are getting longer! The average blog post length has gone from 808 words in 2014 to 1,151 words in 2018 — an increase of over 42%. (2018, Orbit Media)

24. Longer posts get shared more! Articles over 1,000 words consistently receive more social shares and links than shorter posts (over 85% of online content is less than 1,000 words long), but the benefit starts to wear off past 2,000 words. (2015, Moz)

That old SEO stuff.

seo & blogging facts

25. Long tail keywords: 50% of search queries are four words or longer. (Wordstream, 2016)

26. 61% of marketers say improving SEO and growing their organic presence (what prospects search for) is their top inbound marketing priority. (HubSpot, 2018)

27. Video content is 50 times more likely to drive organic search results compared to plain text. (Omnicore, 2018)

Video content is 50 times more likely to drive organic search results compared to plain text. @Omnicore Click To Tweet

28. Organic SEO results are about 6 times better than paid search ads. (New Media Campaigns, 2018)

29. Are you mobile-friendly? Google drives 96% of mobile search traffic. (Jody Nimetz Co., 2018)

Successful bloggers get help!

30. Editors are worth it! Bloggers who use editors are 50% more likely to get strong results from their blogs. And the number of bloggers using professional editors has doubled since 2014 from 12% to 24% in 2018. (2018, Orbit Media)

31. Ready to outsource? 56% of B2B and 62% of B2C companies outsource at least one part of their content marketing or blogging (like editing, or publishing). (2018, Content Marketing Institute)

32. Ready to recycle? 55% of bloggers update older posts and those who do are 74% more likely to report strong results. (2017, Orbit Media)

33. 99.99% of bloggers who rely on BlogWorks to write and promote their blog sleep soundly at night, knowing our amazing team is saving them hours of work and getting them better results. (Learn how we do it!)

A little content strategy goes a long way.

content strategy & blogging facts

34. Stop the skimming! 73% of visitors skim rather than read the blog post thoroughly. (Hubspot)

35. Better content gets better results and can drive traffic to a blog by up to 2,000%. (Omnicore)

36. Does your blog help solve problems? 94% of people share posts because they think it might be helpful to others. (Impact)

37. 79% of B2C marketers and 74% of B2B marketers say their companies focus on creativity in their blog writing and content creation. (2018, Content Marketing Institute)

38. Recycling is good for the planet: 29% of leading marketing professionals reuse and repurpose old blog content (Curata). Learn how we do it at BlogWorks.

Pictures and video work!

39. Images work! 45% of B2C marketers consider visual content to be their most important type of content. (2017, Content Marketing Institute)

40. Our minds process visuals 60,000 times faster compared to text. Blog posts with images get 94% more shares as compared to those without. (Adpushu)

41. More images are better: Articles with an image once every 75-100 words get shared twice as much. (Hubspot)

Blogs with an image once every 75-100 words gets shared twice as one without. @Hubspot Click To Tweet

42. Blog posts with images get 94% more views than those without. (Jeff Bullas)

43. More images? List? Video? 54% of bloggers include more than one image in their article, 49% include a list, and 19% include video. (2018, Orbit Media)

44. Including a video in a post increases organic traffic (from search results) by 157%. (Search Engine People, 2017)

45. Using photos of real people — instead of stock photos — can result in a 35% conversion increase. (Marketing Experiments)

Hey, did you really think we would put together all these amazing statistics without a little plug for our business? Do you want your blog to start kicking %#$ and getting you more business? We do all that for you. Packages start at $97/month.

Sharing is caring.

sharing your blog is one of the most important blogging facts

 

46. Is your blog helpful? 94% of people who share blog content do it to help other people. (New York Times Study)

47. Blog posts are the most successful kind of linked content shared on Twitter. (Expresswriters)

48. This is kind of obvious, but you have to make it easy for readers to share your blog — like have a floating social share bar (read this post about our 3 favorite WordPress plugins).

49. Support a worthy cause? 84% of people will happily share a post to support causes or issues they care about. (New York Times Study)

50. LinkedIn is the preferred network for buyers looking for advice on business-related content. (Curata)

51. Women share more blog posts than men (so there!). (AOL)

Promote your blog to get performance.

52. Social media for traffic: 87% say that social media helps them boost their exposure. (Social Media Examiner)

53. Emailing content marketing pieces (like your blog) generates a 38x return for every 1$ spent. (Campaign Monitor)

54. Bloggers who use BlogWorks to promote their blog save an average of 8 hours per month (and a whole lot of frustration!). (Learn how we do it!)

55. 61% of B2B content marketers increased their use of social media for content marketing (including blogging) compared to one year ago. (Search Engine Watch)

56. LinkedIn works! LinkedIn is the most effective social media platform for delivering content and getting audience engagement. (Hubspot)

57. Are you emailing? 21% of all business bloggers send posts through an email newsletter to their subscriber base at least weekly; 39% of best practitioners do this weekly. (Curata)

There you have it — enough statistics to fill a boatload of statisticians and keep them arguing for a month. Meanwhile, you have a business to run — and we can turn your blog into a prospect converting machine. We do all that for you. Packages start at $97/month.

Enjoyed this blogging facts article? Here are 3 more of our favorites:

7 Types of Call To Action to Move your Blog Readers to Action
Why you should be re-loving your old blog posts
How to never run out of blog ideas ever again

Sources:
https://searchenginewatch.com/2018/11/21/7-content-marketing-stats-2019/
https://contentmarketinginstitute.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/09/2018-b2b-research-final.pdf
http://text-ex-machina.co.uk/blog/new-york-times-study.html
https://expresswriters.com/blogging-statistics/
http://bit.ly/2DtAcaL
https://www.campaignmonitor.com/resources/guides/email-marketing-new-rules/
http://bit.ly/2Dsjn03
https://www.wordstream.com/blog/ws/2016/08/26/seo-strategies
http://www.curata.com/blog/content-marketing-statistics-the-ultimate-list/
https://marketingexperiments.com/digital-advertising/stock-images-tested
https://www.impactbnd.com/
http://www.curata.com/resources/ebooks/content-marketing-tactics-technology-planner
http://contentmarketinginstitute.com/2011/06/headline-click-through-rate/
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A proven 3 step method to finally overcome procrastination and get it all done.

procrastination

You had the best of intentions.

Heck, you even coloured it with a highlighter, put a star beside it and blocked time on your calendar.

Then you procrastinated.

Or, at least you thought you did…

The reality is you didn’t procrastinate and – better still – with a 2 minute secret action you can overcome pretty well any resistance you have to any action.

Let me show you how.

You are NOT a Procrastinator

“Everybody procrastinates, but not everyone is a procrastinator” – Joseph Ferrari, Ph.D

This might surprise you, but you are not a procrastinator. Nobody is (even though 20% of people think they are.)

Let me explain.

You respond differently to different situations. You don’t procrastinate about buying groceries or thanking a friend for listening to you or flossing your teeth (more on flossing below.) You’ve got those actions nailed.

If you were a “procrastinator” you would be completely unreliable – that’s not you.

You are a responsible person…you just put somethings off until later.

Get it?

This is an important point. If you think you are a procrastinator then please stop reading right now, because I can’t help you (of course I can help you, it just will take longer 🙂

STEP 1: Before you move to the reason behind your resistance, catch yourself thinking you’re a procrastinator and to stop and to remind yourself you are NOT a procrastinator – you are simply resisting this action.

Now, let’s look at what’s really happening.

Why you DON’T take Action

It’s all about value.

You do something because the value of that action is better than the alternative. You thank your friend for listening because you know that 5 minutes from now you’ll regret it if you didn’t.

You floss you teeth because the alternative is an expensive trip the dentist.

And everything you procrastinate about happens because, in the moment, it gives you more value than the alternative. This applies to refilling the chip bowl instead of stopping at one serving, allowing Netflix to load the next episode of Game of Thrones, instead of turning the TV off or checking email instead of calling the client you’ve been avoiding.

So, it comes down to what you value. Yes, you can build habits, but habits are built on values, so you have to start there.

STEP 2: Stop and think about the value you attach to the alternatives. That sounds more complicated than it is.

In other words, before you take action decide what will give you the biggest reward, long-term.

>> I know that if I go for my 15 minute morning walk I have more energy later in the morning (the walk gives me more reward than not walking.)

>> I know that if I work in blocks of no email, no social media I can plough through my work uninterrupted (focussed work gives me more reward than distractions.)

>> I know that if I take a few minutes before I finish my work day and plan my next day I am far more focussed and productive in the morning (making a list gives me more reward than just ending my work day with no list.)

Now, that you understand what action will give you the biggest long-term reward, let’s take action.

The 2 minute rule will help.

The 2 Minute RULE and how it Works

“Once we start a task, it is rarely as bad as we think. Our research shows us that getting started changes our perception of a task. It can also change our perception of ourselves in important ways.” – Timothy Pychyl, Ph.D

One of the simplest ways to overcome procrastination is also one of the fastest. It’s the 2 minute rule (Stanford Professor B.J. Fogg popularized this idea by demonstrating how to start the habit of daily flossing by starting with just one tooth.)

One of the simplest remedies to procrastination is also one of the fastest. It’s the 2 minute rule. @bjfogg Click To Tweet

Here’s how it works.

When you realize you are about to put something off, take a 2 minute action.

For example, you are trying to get traction on a big project, like redesigning you web site, or cold calling prospects, or doing your taxes.

Start with just 2 minutes of action.

But, that’s not all…

Yes, you will start up the mountain with 2 minutes of walking, but you must also finish by planning your next step – what will you do and when will you do it.

It works like this.

Let’s say you want to redesign your web site (we can show you how to save thousands$’s from bad advice) – that’s a humungous job! Of course, you’re going to put it off—you have all sorts of other priorities that can be finished faster.

But, it has to get done. You know this is overdue and, if you get it done, it will help your business long-term (more value than putting it off.)

Step 3: Enter the 2 minute rule: what can you get done in just 2 minutes that will be a step in the right direction up the mountain?

>> You could bookmark competitor’s web sites in your browser for future reference.

>> You could make a list of changes you want to make to the existing site.

>> You could email 3 designers you know and ask about their availability (no point getting quotes if they can’t start for 2 months).

You get the idea.

You can make progress, break the ice and get a tiny dopamine reward by working uninterrupted for just 2 minutes. And then plan your next step.

We can all make progress, break the ice and get a tiny dopamine reward by working uninterrupted for just 2 minutes. Click To Tweet

Block time in your calendar for the next step (read this article about blocking time), to list what you like about your competitor’s sites, or prioritize the changes you want to make, or reply to the designers and ask to see their latest work.

Time investment: 2 minutes.

Reward to you: feeling great about making progress!

What You Must DO the Next Time

“So let’s get started. I’m ready to be heard. Before the dear departed. Can have the final word.” Get Started, Paul McCartney

It’s normal to put things off until later. We all do it. We’ll always do it.

Sometimes it’s a smart strategic move, like waiting until the morning to make a tough phone call, or ignoring your email in order to finish a proposal uninterrupted.

And then there are the non-strategic, wimpy moments when you caved. We all do that as well.

Here’s the thing. Those moments of uncertainty or hesitation don’t define you—those were just human moments.

Let it go and go back to your 3 steps:

Step 1. Don’t define yourself as a procrastinator. You aren’t.

Step 2. Consider the long-term rewards: what is most important for you right now?

Step 3. Take 2 minutes, take some forward action and then plan your next step.

It may not look heroic working on a project for only 2 minutes. But, it could be the most heroic thing you did all day. And you might just impress yourself with the ice-breaking momentum you just started.

Enjoyed this article? Here are 3 more all about procrastination and getting more of what you want:

A simple lesson in Time Management (that will make you money)
How to Blog More Consistently (And Stop Missing Deadlines)
9 expert bloggers reveal their best strategies