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Blogging vs. Social Media – what gets you the best ROI?

“The key to success in blogging (and in many areas of life) is small but regular and consistent actions over a long period of time.” – Darren Rowse, Founder of Problogger

Wondering how to get the best ROI from your content?

Most businesses find it at least a bit challenging to build and maintain consistent readerships on their blogs…and many get frustrated.

But we’re here to help you keep going, even when times are tough.

Read on for a few of our favourite strategies for getting your blog working for you.

Blog Content or Social Media: What should you focus on?

Consider this scenario: Your update on Facebook got 15 likes, you just added 7 followers on Instagram, and a few people just added some great comments on your most recent LinkedIn article.

That sounds like a pretty good day, right?

While most people would agree, we need to consider the bigger picture: Is all of this social media traffic really bringing you the revenue and staying power you deserve?

It can be hard to compete with the “sex appeal” of social media, but a good quality, well-maintained blog will help your business stand out from the crowd.

Can you take your social metrics to the bank?

“Don’t try to plan everything out to the very last detail. I’m a big believer in just getting it out there: create a minimal viable product or website, launch it, and get feedback.” – Neil Patel

It might appear that pouring more attention into social branding and reach is the wise choice for marketing professional services or your line of products.

But…is it?

Here are a few points that might change your mind:

  • Social media is shared on “rented land,” but you own your blog content in perpetuity, so it can (theoretically) make money forever.
  • These channels have plenty of competition, but with your blog, you can build a consistent relationship with your audience.
  • Social media might bring you likes and shares, but your blog is more likely to lead people to make a purchase.

Get the best ROI from your blogs and social media

Your social media channels and your blog should absolutely be connected, but you can use your blog to build relationships and sell products via a targeted strategy, leading to a higher ROI rooted in your blog, but composed of the two content types.

Get the Best ROI by Building Blogs for Lead Generation

Blogs aren’t directly for selling, but they are great for educating and informing your readers about what you know best.

Readers who find blog posts online are often looking for information about specific products or services.

So if they are already interested, you lead them to learn more about your product by making a soft offer — for instance, a free e-book — which will help them keep your brand on their mind.

If they have read the entire blog, you can keep on them on your site by linking other blogs at the end of the article. Another option is to take the opportunity to also send them to your revenue pages, whether that be a particular product, or your consult/contact page.

Here at Blogworks, we like to think of your website like a conference.

When people stop to read your blog they are staying for 4-10 minutes – that’s a big opportunity.

Imagine your homepage is the main conference room and your blog posts are breakout rooms where different speakers are talking about different topics. While people may stay in the main room for only 1 or 2 minutes to grab a bite to eat; they could spend 7 to 10 minutes in the breakout rooms listening to the speaker.

It is the same with your website. We have found that people tend to stay on blogposts significantly longer than any other page on your site. So why not capitalize on that?

Instead of letting them go from the breakout room, back to the main room, send them to your revenue pages. In doing so, you can turn those readers into leads, and possibly even clients.

Share Blogs on Your Mailing List

If you use social media, think about which type of content sticks with you more: that random post that you scrolled by when absent-mindedly scrolling through Facebook?

Or the well-crafted, thoughtful and handy article you were introduced to after signing up for a favoured company’s newsletter?

The truth is that marketing is always a puzzle – one way can work better one day, and the other the next.

With its capacity to generate an ROI of 3,800% (according to HubSpot), email marketing remains one of the most versatile and inexpensive of all marketing options.

Try using A/B testing to see what subject lines or email content work best. By doing this in conjunction with the statistics generated by whatever CRM you are using, you will be able to better understand what works with your list, and what does not.

Build a Useful Library of Content

“Don’t focus on having a great blog. Focus on producing a blog that’s great for your readers.” – Brian Clark

When investigating strategies for the best ROI, you will hopefully be thinking long-term. Building a blog is essentially like creating a little business “library” where people can go to learn about your business anytime.

So long as you own this content, you can use it over and over again in different ways in perpetuity.

Here are some ways to repurpose your blogs:

  • Re-share older blog posts on social media with a fresh image and title
  • Update old blog posts to include some current relevant information
  • Mix and match media – combine blogs with podcasts and videos

Get Support

No matter which way you spin it, keeping a high-quality, consistent blog takes time.
So why not leave it to the experts?

Book a consultation with us to get started with a fresh content strategy asap!

Enjoyed this article? Here are 3 more articles all about putting your blog to work:

10 surprisingly simple tune-ups to make your blog sexy
5 brilliant ways to start your blog post with a bang
9 blog topic ideas your audience will love

4 Social Media Activities You Should Be Doing in 2020

4 Social Media Tips for Getting Your Blog Working in 2020

As of January 2020, Statistica reports that Facebook remains the most popular social media site in the world, and was the first social channel to reach 1 billion accounts.

And while some other applications like WhatsApp and TikTok have sprung into popularity in the past few years, it’s no surprise that three key platforms continue to dominate.

Here are the number of monthly active users for key social sites as of January 2020 (via Statistica):

  • Facebook: 2.45 billion
  • Instagram: 1 billion
  • YouTube: 2 billion

This is good news for your business!

Read on for a few ideas of how to use these sites to build and grow your business in 2020!

1. Facebook Ads

Facebook ads are still one of the most effective ways of marketing your business as of 2020
They allow you to target your audience based on what they’re searching for.

So for instance, if someone recently looked up “best skincare products” and you’ve targeted your ad accordingly, they should see your ad on their Facebook feed.

According to Hootsuite, about 87% of marketers in the US will use the platform to market their products and services in 2020.

In light of the fact that personalized marketing is becoming increasingly necessary, they have also recently introduced a way to make your Facebook Ads more personalized.

For more social media marketing ideas, here are 21 clever ways to attract more readers and boost blog traffic this year.

2. Use Video as Part of Your Social Media Marketing Strategy

Video is really the king of content these days, and for good reason: it’s personal, easy to use, and good for SEO.

Data from Cisco suggests that by 2021, 80% of traffic will consist of video, and Hootsuite claims that twice as many people watched product videos in 2018 than 2017.

Have you made video part of your content strategy yet? Learn How to Leverage Video Content on Your Blog for SEO. 

3. Instagram Stories

Instagram stories are 24-hour snippets of live video which you can use in a variety of ways to help build brand awareness and trust.

They are simple to view and use: all you need to do is log into Instagram, and find the circles at the top of the screen.

Click on “your story,” (the top left “circle”) and get creative!

Here are some examples of good ways to use Instagram Stories:

  • Share a new blog
  • Promote a new product
  • Introduce a staff member
  • Talk about something you learned today

This is one social media marketing tool where the possibilities are truly endless, and it’s one of the best ways to get “up close and personal” with your customers!

(P.S. You can use Stories on Facebook, too!)

4. Use Twitter Strategically

If you’re still wondering what Twitter does and how to use it, here are a few things to try which can help you build a following and generate brand awareness.

Microblogging

Microblogging is exactly what it sounds like: creating short, written posts which can be combined with various forms of media.

Twitter is really the key platform for microblogging, but it’s not a bad idea to generate a bunch of short, punchy posts in advance and have them at-the-ready so that you can stay in the conversation on any social media channel.

Engaging with Influencers

Following your influencers on Twitter might be fun, but actually engaging with them is what counts.

Take this Jimmy Fallon Tweet, for instance: A quick little response using this hashtag could get you on the show!

The key here is to find influencers who are relevant to your niche or industry, then connect with them by following them and liking, commenting on, and sharing their posts.

Cross Promoting & Media Mentions

When using Twitter, be sure to use the @ sign to mention other media outlets — for instance, if you have a guest post or interview.

This type of cross-promotion can work wonders for your authority and help attract more relevant followers.

If you want help building an exceptional library of content to base your social media marketing on, we can help!

Want to make your blog stand out? Email us to set up a quick call so we can learn more.

Want to be able to write like a pro? Download our Ultimate Writing Template.

Enjoy this article? Here are 3 more articles to help you get your blog working for you:

7 Ways to Make Your Blog Stand Out from the Crowd by Being Different
11 Blogging Statistics That Might Surprise You
How to start a blog post – 5 examples that really work!

This article was originally published on March 7, 2017, and has since been updated.

5 questions to ask before building your first mailing list

Notebook with notes about building a mailing list

“Focus on growing your list all of the time as newer subscribers are more engaged adding to healthier open rates and ROI.”  Karl Murray, Founder of Send.ie

There’s one marketing strategy that will never get old.  Grow your mailing list.

Of course, today we would rarely call it a ‘mailing list’ – it’s your list of followers, enquiries and clients.

Sure, you want Instagram followers, more retweets, YouTube subscribers and more site traffic. But none of those can compare to…

an email from you being opened and read by a loyal follower.

More on that in just a minute…

In this post we will share why a list is so important and how to build a list with your blog.

Why a mailing list is so important

Something magical happens when someone joins your list (read this post to learn the 5 ways to make money with your blog).

When a reader of your blog accepts an invitation to join your list, the relationship with you and your company changes.

They are now one step further down your sales funnel. You can email them directly to their InBox. They recognize your emails and are more likely to read them.

They see your sales offerings and consider them (not sure how to make this happen? Book a call for a free consultation).

To use the old marketing line – they know, like and trust you. And you now have a follower.

And here’s the most important benefit…

when it comes time to buy your product or service, you are now a preferred supplier.

A real life example

In 2013 James Clear, a part-time photographer, weight lifter and neophyte writer started publishing two blog posts a week. To nobody.

Cover of James Clear book Atomic Habits

No list, no reputation, no marketing…nothing…just a desire to learn how to blog and to see if there was a possible business opportunity.

Fast forward to early 2019 and Clear is a New York Times best seller (his book Atomic Habits takes a fresh look at the now-classic 3-part habit building model popularized by Charled Duhigg in The Power of Habit.)

How did he do it?

He built a list. From the very start, Clear invited readers to join his list. At the time, the offer was simple: join my list and I will email my blog directly to your In-Box as soon as I publish the next article. That’s it!

To give you a more concrete idea of the bizarrely viral growth of his following, in 2018 alone he added over a quarter million readers to his list!

To put this in perspective, it is extremely unlikely any of this would have happened without a list.

What about you? Are you growing your list?

How to grow your mailing list

To get serious about growing your list, there are 5 considerations:

1. Where to keep my list?

This question deserves an entire post, but the basic questions you need to ask are:

  • What is a simple, inexpensive way to get started? Mail Chimp is the gorilla (sorry) of inexpensive mailing list tools. Constant Contact and ConvertKit are great alternatives to get started.
  • What tool offers room to grow, but is also simple to use? Resist the temptation to dive into the deep end with a subscription to a full-blown CRM (Keap, ActiveCampaign, HubSpot, etc.) until you are ready. You can lose hundreds of hours learning how to use a system you aren’t ready for.
  • How can I quickly get started? Ask anyone who has subscribed to a mailing list tool and they’ll admit that all their learning came from just getting started. If you are new to the game, simply sign up for Mail Chimp, get started and consider moving your list to a more robust system once you have experience growing the list.

2. What’s the offer?

Surprisingly, you don’t need a fancy, complicated offer to attract followers. To get started, you can simply offer to send your articles to their InBox.

mailing list opt in form

Once you have some experience, you can add a “Lead Magnet”, like a free self-assessment tool, or self-help How-To article (see our Lead Magnet on our site).

3. What opt-in to use?

The two ways to position an opt-in on your site are a static “box” or responsive pop-up. If you know how to log-in to your site, you should be able to add (or update) a static box opt-in in a few minutes.

There are lots of excellent tools (plug-ins) to add a pop-up on your site, like Optin Monster, Thrive Leads and Convert Pro.

example of a site pop-up

At BlogWorks we use both a static opt-in (at the bottom of our site pages) as well as a pop-up. Despite the possible annoyance for some readers, when used well, a pop-up will consistently get you better results.

4. How to promote the offer?

Having a static invitation to grow your list is a good first start. Even better is promoting the offer.

Remember, getting an additional 1,000 interested followers on your list could turn into more subscribers to your membership program, sales of your online course, or sales of your product line. Every year.

Some of the easiest ways to promote your optin offer are:

  • Invitation in your blog post.
  • Experiment with settings on your pop-up optin.
  • Change the invitation message on your optin.
  • Signature on your emails.
  • Monitor and adjust your current campaign with new Lead Magnets.

5. How to use my mailing list?

The most obvious way to your list is to announce every new blog post. Even with a 15-3-% open/click through rate, this will give you a nice boost in blog traffic.

More sophisticated campaigns use lists to promote book launches, product sales and new products, surveys, conferences and anything that your followers might want.

The bottom line

Here’s the bottom line…

You can spin your wheels chasing YouTube subscribers or fixing your hair for the next Facebook Live, or you can build followers on your land.

You own your list (you don’t own followers on any other platform) and you can use it any way you want. Over time, that list will turn into loyal followers who will read what you write and buy what you offer.

It’s time to get started.

Liked this post? Got another 5 minutes? Here are 3 more of our most popular posts all about putting your blog to work:

How to (finally) make money with your blog
5 brilliant ways to start your blog post with a bang
9 blog topic ideas your audience will love

 

Blogging Tools For Beginners (Or anyone!) to Save Time

“Time grabs you by the wrist. Directs you where to go.” -Green Day

We’re all busy.

And new projects and opportunities are always waiting to fill any spare moments.

And then, there’s your blog. You know sharing your best content will build followers that know, like and trust you – followers that will build your business. The trick is to find ways to keep the blog publishing efficiently. There are blogging tools for beginners (and seasoned blog writers) that can help.

We’ve written posts about creating a Standard Operating Procedure (highly recommended if you are thinking of outsourcing any part of the blog publishing process), how to compose, write and publish faster and how to dress up your post to get better results.

In this article I want to share 4 simple blogging tools that will cut of few minutes off your work.

HubSpot Blog Topic Generator

You’ve decided to finally update your blog. The kids are asleep. Your partner is happy watching Game of Thrones. It’s time to start working.

What are you supposed to write about? Coming up with blogging ideas is tough – especially for beginners.

A really useful tool to start your blog topic search is the HubSpot topic generator. Simply type in a topic and then, 5 blog title ideas will be generated for you. Enter your email and it will unlock another 250 topics.

In this post we describe the process we use to generate ideas for this blog.

Evernote as a Blogging Tool

If you’re like me, you might just have a drawer full of random bits of paper. Or two drawers. Or maybe a room whose door is best left closed. That’s fine for collection—terrible for recall.

Instead, use a free system like Evernote. This is among the best blogging tools for beginners! You can keep all your ideas, articles, To-Do lists and reminder notes in one place. Evernote syncs quickly with your smartphone, laptop and desktop and with the paid version you can access your information off line.

There’s no need to rummage through the junk drawer, trying to find that great idea you had last week. Instead, simply open the app and everything will be there.

To learn more about the power of Evernote check out this article.

Trello

If you like visuals and seeing projects move from start to finish, you might like Trello. This free project organizer is popular with solopreneurs and small teams. In Trello, each project is a Board and each Board has a list of tasks for that project. Team members can log in and slide work from left to right as they progress through their responsibilities.

For those that write for multiple blogs, it can start to become quite confusing just what content needs to be posted. Luckily, there’s a handy tool for all this.

Trello allows you to create different boards for each blog. You can fill in important information, such as your WordPress password.

For each blog board, you can create a title card of a blog. Then, you can attach the document for it and even images.

Finally, all your creative output can be stored in one, easy to find place.

BlogWorks Blogging Tools

We’d like to add ourselves to our list of blogging tools for beginners!

You’ve found a topic to write about. You’ve started making notes. You even managed to write and publish a few blogs – now what?

It’s time to promote them. And one of the best ways to get leverage in your promotion is to put your blog in front of your followers. Think of it this way…

If you add up your social media followers and, let’s say that number comes to 6,000 on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, combined. And if you announce your new blog post to those followers and only a fraction see the post and an even smaller fraction share you post with their followers, your reach could be in the tens of thousands.

how blogworks works

Of course, you still want to share you blog with your email followers, but don’t ignore the viral potential of social media.

That’s what BlogWorks was designed to do. You publish the blog, we turn your blog into daily updates on social media.

And if you don’t have time to write your blog, we can also help you with that.

Get Started Blogging!

Now that you know a few great blogging tools that save time, there’s nothing stopping you from writing. Pick up your pen. Start typing. I expect to see your next blog post soon!

Need more tools and ideas to get you started writing a blog post? Check these out:

5 fast steps to writing an awesome blog post in less than 60 minutes.
How to write your blog posts better and faster
7 WordPress plugins you need to create amazing content