blogging case study

A Case Study in Blogging: 21,600 Keyword Rankings in Google and 90,000 Visitors Per Month

This May, we’re celebrating our 8th full year of business at Express Writers.

Looking back, it doesn’t even feel like eight years.

More like a century. (Just kidding!)

Seriously, though, I’m thankful that we’re here this May. Eight years is nothing to sneeze at. Just look at these statistics from Motley Fool:

  • 80% of new businesses survive past their first year of operation.
  • 50% of businesses make it to five years.
  • And only 33% of businesses make it to ten years.

Considering that I started this entire operation back in 2011 with an investment of the crumbs left in my broke-college-student savings account, $75, I’m thrilled that we’ve made it this far.

With a 100% chance of failure, I rolled up my sleeves and put in many 60 and even 90-hour work weeks in the beginning. We kept chugging along, growing at incredible speeds every year. (If you haven’t seen my entrepreneurial story video on YouTube, you might enjoy it.)

As I was digging into ideas to write a blog to celebrate our eighth year here on the Write Blog, it hit me that we didn’t have any fresh case studies on our blogging traffic and analytics, which have recently been the highest they’ve ever been. It also came to my mind the current state of affairs: how many content marketers and blog publishers are still struggling to even see success from their online efforts. So, this case study is needed.

If you read one blog from me this year, make it this one.

Check out @JuliaEMcCoy's new study on @ExpWriters' content success 🔥 A Case Study in Blogging: 21,600 Keyword Rankings in Google and 90,000 Visitors Per Month Click To Tweet

blogging case study express writers

A Case Study in Blogging: 21,600 Keyword Rankings in Google and 90,000 Visitors Per Month

Let’s dive into my blogging case study! First, let’s talk about the beginning (strategy), and the end (results).

The Power of, and Strategy Involved In, Brand Blogging that Works

Fun fact: Blogging used to be just for the people that “journaled their thoughts” on the web.

The idea of blogging online itself originated in 1994, when a college student named Justin Hall began a stint of “personal blogging” that lasted eleven years. He was enrolled at Swarthmore College in Pennsylvania. Originally, the words “escribitionists” and “weblog” were used to describe what is now known as “blog.” Thank goodness that word evolved!

Blogging is now far more than just an online diary.

It’s a huge opportunity for businesses, brands and marketers to express themselves to their audience, grow and build a real community, and share the authentic real “human side” behind the brand.

Blogging is a #1 method for marketers and brands to add consistent new site traffic that may eventually convert and become a buyer.

At Express Writers, I’ve managed to write and publish over 1,100 blogs on our site over the past eight years, with the help of my team.

The amount of content we publish on our blog, the consistency of it, and the quality and relevancy of our blog posts are the biggest factors behind what is now 90,000+ visitors/month coming to our site:

  • We have 1,188 blogs published to date since 2012, the year I began consistently blogging.
  • That’s an average of 169 blogs published per year.
  • Our traffic went up steadily over the years, increasing when we put an emphasis on quality over quantity of content in late 2016 and ramped up in 2017.
  • Our quality > quantity emphasis that began in 2016 focused on a few things: implementing a real content strategy for the first time and going from publishing four blogs/week to 1-2 high-quality blogs/week.

The amount of content we publish on our blog, the consistency of it, and the quality and relevancy of our blog posts are the biggest factors behind what is now 90,000+ visitors/month. @JuliaEMcCoy Click To Tweet

Here’s a timeline tracking our biggest historic growth points, pulled from this blog I wrote on content strategy and my masterclass on how to build a strong content strategy. Right around the time we focused on a content strategy and quality over quantity, our results started to shoot through the roof.

The data speaks. Check out how our SEO tracking in SEMrush reflects a spike in growth right around the time we built a content strategy and emphasized quality over quantity:

semrush express writers traffic

Last week, when I was giving a talk on content creation right here in Austin, Texas, I shared these two slides that sums up our content success story well.

The Google Analytics screenshot below was from March of this year, and this April, we had our first 90,000 traffic/month.

blogging case study

Smart marketers shouldn’t be too excited by these numbers until they see the conversion rate and the sales. (Mr. Wonderful on Shark Tank, anyone? “Talk numbers!”)

On average, we are achieving the benchmark conversion statistic for organic search traffic. 14-16% of our leads are converting.

roi from blogging

As Mr. Wonderful would say, “To cash flow!”

cash flow mr wonderful shark tank

Now, here’s what our traffic numbers look like as of writing this blog over late April 2019.

Our Google Analytics:

google express writers traffic

On the right, in the blue box, you can see how 10 out of these 14 visitors are on a blog post the moment this screenshot was taken. This is very common for our traffic.

Now, check out our SEO ranking statistics in SEMrush again.

We’re at 21,600 keyword rankings in Google. I have the graph set to “all-time”, so this is going back to May 2013, when I first started a SEMrush tracking project for our site. I’m in love with the traffic growth shown in this graph that spiked beginning in 2017, which is the year we got strategic. Learn more about how getting strategic paid off for us, here.

semrush express writers traffic

Because of the content geeks we are and how consistent our content is, Google loves our site. Plus, everything we do is always organic, audience-first, and ethical. I never pay a dime in PPC ads, and we don’t allow advertisers to ever have access to our site or blog (even though I’m pitched at least once per day).

You can see proof of our Domain Authority with expresswriters.com in Alexa, Amazon’s pioneer in the world of analytical website insight. Alexa clocks us at being the 97,000th-most popular website in the world, which is pretty crazy given there are over 1.6 billion websites in the world (InternetLiveStats).

alexa ranking express writersAs for our content creation itself: everything — everything — we publish and create on our site is focused around several key things:

  • Offering real value, factual and statistical (real) insights, truly useful
  • Is focused on topics our audience is interested in
  • Optimized at an advanced level for SEO; semantic-search-friendly
  • Great writing is #1
  • Consistency in fresh, great content every week

I believe one of the main factors behind our success is that we’ve blogged once a week, minimum, for 8 years. Consistency pays off. We took it to the next level in 2016 when we added a focus on the strategy behind and quality of content.

I believe one of the main factors behind our success is that we've blogged once a week, minimum, for 8 years. Consistency pays off. We took it to the next level in 2016 when we added a focus on strategy and quality. 📈 @JuliaEMcCoy Click To Tweet

We constantly gauge things by will our human audience like this? Will they feel at home with this? Does this make me/she/he uncomfortable or turned off? If the answer to that last question is no, we never publish. I have barred dozens of writers from writing my content for these reasons. If my content borders anywhere near fluff, my audience might be lost and never want to come back.

Maintaining these standards is key.

Plus, it’s important to note that no “paid tactics” will ever get in the way of our core, human-centric mission and organic marketing focus: delivering great content consistently to our human audience.

No 'paid tactics' will ever get in the way of our core, human-centric mission: delivering great content consistently to our human readers. @JuliaEMcCoy Click To Tweet

What’s Your Content Schedule?

Now please don’t go and copy my schedule. But, because I’m always asked, here’s what our content publishing amount and velocity looks.

Fact: Your content schedule should be up to you, your team, your audience, and your goals. But you need to get one put in place. (Keep reading for more advice about that.)

  • 1 powerful Write Blog post every Tuesday morning: These blogs have to fit in the category of SEO goals, thought leadership, or brand awareness, and be a minimum of 1,000 words and a maximium of 5,000. Learn more about content goals here. One amazing blog per week is what we are able to commit to.
  • Bi-weekly and once-a-month: A new YouTube video with recap posted as a blog (see an example), and a recap by our social media manager Rachel of our monthly #ContentWritingChat (example).
  • Once/quarter: Product updates and stories about our clients or team (here’s an example). (These are usually once per quarter or less).
  • 1-3 email campaigns/week: Sent in tandem with the new content we create to our list. We use ConvertKit.
  • Guest blogs: I write once/month and once/quarter for several publications to drive more traffic to our site, including Search Engine Journal, Content Marketing Institute, Thrive, and less often, MarketingProfs, MarTech, KissMetrics, SiteProNews, and a few other random ones.
  • Once-a-month: Content on my other sites, including The Content Strategy & Marketing Course blog, and soon, my new personal brand Content Hacker. These typically include links back to Express Writers.
One amazing blog per week is what we are able to commit to. Learn about our #contentmarketing publishing schedule for @ExpWriters Click To Tweet

content schedule Express Writers

What Are Your Tools & Process?

I love Airtable for at-a-glance blog topic tracking and publishing. My social media manager, Rachel, and my team editor, Danielle, are both collaborators on the Write Blog calendar. My designer is also an Airtable collaborator and uploads header sets and CTA images once I have a topic and a date nailed down. We communicate through our teamroom, which Josh, our CTO, set up years ago for our internal workflow inside our website.

Here’s a sneak peek at the Write Blog calendar in Airtable. We’ve set up our calendar entirely custom to us and our workflow. This isn’t based on a template. For us, these custom and specific columns work best because we have collaborators that help me with the blog: editor, designer, social media manager. The designer has a column where she can upload header sets and CTAs after she knows what blog to produce them for. Up at the top, you can see all the tabs we have — a tab just for ideas, a tab for content that’s been scheduled, a tab for the content we’re updating or rewriting, a tab for our Twitter chat, and more.

write blog airtable julia mccoy

Sidenote: I can’t recommend Airtable enough – in fact, I teach how to use it to my content strategy students. I’ve tried many editorial calendars, and this one is the best. Sign up to a free trial of Airtable here. 

My blogging process looks a little like this:

  • Stage 1: Ideation. I have an ‘ideation’ day, which is typically Monday and sometimes Friday, if Monday was dry. This is a day devoted just to producing ideas that will work for the Write Blog and my YouTube channel, as well as guest publications. I research each and every idea for SEO keywords or data-backed topic velocity using tools like SEMrush and BuzzSumo, or I map my content to a non-data-centric goal (i.e., recapping an event for my audience that I was at or spoke at, sharing product updates). Since I look at this as a ‘stage,’ I batch. I typically come up with 5-6 great ideas from a few hours just in brainstorming.
  • Stage 2: Creation – Outlining & Delegating. Once I have a data-backed idea that will work, I produce a topic and outline, and hand it off to one of my three dedicated writers in Express Writers. These specific three have been handling my content tasks for years now. Since I came up with 5-6 ideas, I’ll assign all of those at once with different due dates in the ‘delegation’ or ‘creation’ stage. Sometimes, I’ll write the whole thing myself. For example, this blog is 100%, fully written by yours truly.
  • Stage 3: Editing & Scheduling. This is a full stage in and of itself. After the content piece is fully written, I carefully review, add my own thoughts, rewrite where necessary, and add personal case studies. I request an image set from my designer, and plan out any content upgrades (lead magnets) we’re going to create CTAs for. Then I hand it to Danielle, my Write Blog editor, for proofreading and uploading/formatting inside WordPress and our Write Blog. Then, I review again (yes, I’m a blogging Nazi). Finally, we schedule and Danielle makes sure it’s live.
  • Stage 4: Promotion. At this stage, Rachel, our social media manager, pulls the data from Airtable and anything else I’ll Slack or email to her, and she writes and schedules shares for our blogs across all our social channels: Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter, and LinkedIn. I personally write and schedule my own tweets and posts across my platforms and personal profiles, as well. I also share individual snippets to my Facebook group and Instagram stories.

It took years to get this process down, and I will say that a process and especially the delegation of creation is what makes me a ‘content boss’ – p.s. that’s what others have called me, not what I’ve called myself.

My best piece of advice for incredibly consistent, high-quality content production? Get your process down, delegate the meat (but not the ideas), and you’ll be off to content rockstar-dom. Psst… did you know we handle full-circle monthly blogging plans for our clients? Your only responsibility — ideation. 

Which Blog Posts Can You Tie to Revenue — and Which Ones Fell Flat?

Ah, great question.

I definitely have examples of blogs that won and blogs that fell flat on their faces — and I’ll pull a few, but it’s important to make a disclosure first.

Today’s buyer journey is NOT predictable.

I repeat: today’s buyer journey is not predictable.

Essentially, the old funnel developed in the 1920s for ‘salesmen’ is dead. I wrote about a Marketing Lifecycle concept on the Write Blog a few months ago that shares some insights into this.

Andrew and Pete, two rockstar content marketers, made this analogy in one of their YouTube videos. It’s a terrific analogy of today’s (REAL) buyer journey.

buyer journey andrew and pete

Our Buyer Journey: In Short, It’s Completely Unpredictable

I have seen our buyer journeys go into a multitude of areas. Here are a few pathways our leads have taken.

  • Finds us in Google, downloads this lead magnet after reading this blog -> They’re enrolled in my 5-day sequence on why and how SEO writing skills are more than just ‘one item’ to learn and the story behind why I built my Expert SEO Content Writer Course -> They buy the course on the second day.
  • Same pathway as above, but they unsubscribe and leave instead of buying the course.
  • I wake up to a $999 course sale from someone. I research them, their name, and there is nothing. No data. They aren’t on any list I have. I have no idea where they came from. I’ll ask, and it’s a random “My boss found you and we decided to enroll because we really need the training.” (Which is awesome!)
  • A subscriber for 3+ years reads this blog on how long should a blog post be -> They book a call with our Strategist, John -> They buy over $1,000 in content services that Friday.
  • A marketer finds our blog posts in Google and reads one, gets familiar with us -> follows me on Twitter -> Scrolls through Twitter one night, reads one of my tweets on content marketing that is intriguing to them, checks out my profile, hops over to @ExpWriters from my Twitter bio, follows a tweet of a blog post to our blog, schedules a call with our team leader -> Says they’ll invest in content when they’re ready -> That’s fine – we leave them alone -> They subscribe to the Write Blog newsletter -> They read every new blog I publish -> Four months later, they load a cart and buy their first content service from us late at night when we’re asleep.
  • No matter how many times I optimize our Write Bot (Drift chat), I still see this one: Person starts chatting with the Write Bot -> Was instantly annoyed it was a bot -> left and never came back.

buyer journey

And these are just the known pathways. What clients have told us (word-of-mouth data), and what I’ve seen from my own lead magnets and sequences that I’ve personally set up. There are many other pathways I can’t even put a finger on. For example, someone buys our services or my course, no discount code, $1,000+ — and they weren’t on my subscriber list. I’ve never interacted with them once. Where did they come from? God knows. And if I ask them, they might not even remember the first time they saw my content (I’ve gotten this before: “Oh, some guest blog somewhere!”). That’s the best, right? Of course, that doesn’t happen often enough. You can’t just build up random expectations on random purchases. 90% of our leads and purchases do come from strategic content that was created around a target keyword pulling in our ideal client. The other 10% is totally random and we have no idea who they are, or how they found us.

Today’s modern buyer wants to follow and make their own path, and it’s important we allow them the space and breathing room to do that. Any kind of pressure from us marketers will actually negate and spoil their journey. We might lose them before we even gain them, just from trying too hard.

What an age to live in!

Today's modern buyer wants to follow and make their own path, and it's important we allow them the space and breathing room to do that. Any kind of pressure from us could cause us to lose them before we gain them. @JuliaEMcCoy Click To Tweet

Here are a few examples of real-life blog posts that have won real return and revenue for us, and a blog that has fallen completely flat.

  • This one in January of 2019, How to Build a Strong Digital Content Strategy in 2019 & Beyond, is now ranking in Google’s featured snippets and top 3 for “digital content strategy.” We found that keyword in KWFinder sitting at just under 40 in KD (Keyword Difficulty). (Hey look, I practice what I preach!) We’ve gotten some Content Strategy & Marketing Course enrollments from this blog ranking already!
  • This blog on How Long Should a Blog Post Be, Really? earned real responses from a couple of blog subscribers, who replied to my New Content Campaign I’d sent from my ConvertKit account. (I send all my emails using ConvertKit. Very user-friendly.) Plus, someone opened the chat and booked a call with us about ongoing content after reading it. It built trust and interest from existing subscribers and generated interest in our services.
  • This one ranks #1 in Google for “funny words” and a bunch of synonymous phrases, but earns not a single lead: 34 of the Craziest Words in the English Dictionary. In fact, we get a lot of young people trying to get us to help them with their essays from this blog. (Which we do NOT do.) I’m still debating what to do with it. I’ll probably rewrite it with an angle towards marketers that need to learn how to write content and use words that fit in their target market.

Content Works – But It Doesn’t Work if You Don’t Set It Up to Work

I think I’ve written down the reality of blogging and content marketing ROI so many times in so many blog posts, I’m blue in the fingers. (That’s my synonymous analogy to speaking till you’re blue in the face, but for writers.)

Specifically, these four statistical truths:

  1. The average time span to see content marketing or even real blogging results is 12-18 months (Joe Pulizzi & CMI, [New Research] B2C Marketers Need to Give Content Marketing Time)
  2. Hubspot studied over 13,500 bloggers and found that the more blog posts published, the more inbound traffic publishers got to their website.
  3. An accumulation of more content brings more leads: companies that have published 401+ blog posts get 2x as much traffic as those that have than 400. (Same study referenced above.)
  4. The current ROA (return of advertising) is .6x, down from 11.8x in 2016. (Ad Strategist) You’re losing money, most of the time. The ROI (return of investment) of organic content is anywhere from 14-16% of traffic (conversion into sales).

But here’s the thing.

I can’t keep spewing these statistics over and over again, just to see you all out there, spinning your wheels.

I can’t.

That’s why I’m writing this blog today.

For those still in the rut of zero action in their content marketing. 

Not getting the fundamentals of great copy on their site right, and not stepping into consistency and greatness in content production.

All the while, complaining about the things they don’t have.

Not enough leads.

Not enough sales.

Not enough people on the website.

If they just sat down and fixed these problems, which are so easy to fix — hired an educated writer to rewrite all that not-so-shiny content, bring on a website designer to finally fix their site, get a blogging plan set up and rocking…

Those leads…

Those sales…

Those people…

Would come.

I'm writing this blog today for those still in the rut of zero action in their content marketing. For those complaining about the things they don't have that would come if they took action: leads, sales, traffic. @JuliaEMcCoy Click To Tweet

I’m tired of seeing you out there. Working your knuckles off to make those sales appointments happen.

I just need one more sale today. One more.

You think it’s a quick fix, and it’s none of these fundamentals.

And you complain about all the things you wish you could have.

Which you could have — if you fixed your content. Get your broken website rebuilt. Take another look at all that content written more than two years ago. Rethink your absence on the company blog.

I care about you, and that’s why I’m calling you out today.

Quit complaining about the leads, traffic, and sales you don’t have.

Start doing something about it.

Content marketing action-takers are the content marketing winners.

Content marketing action-takers are the content marketing winners. @JuliaEMcCoy Click To Tweet

Let my case study be your inspiration.

You can do this.

And getting on a pathway to content success is as easy as 1,2,3…

I’ll even give you these three steps.

  1. Hire a good WordPress designer from platforms like Upwork to fix, clean, or rebuild your messy site to make it lightning-fast, Google-friendly, reader-friendly and beautiful – $30-50/hour
  2. Get a writer to help rehaul all your icky content, and an SEO’er to help research the right target keywords to use – psst, we do all of that!
  3. Plan a consistent amount of blogs to happen on your site every month – oh, we do high-quality set-and-forget blog plans, too

Don’t forget a pro photographer to take your headshots if you don’t have any on your website. You’ll need to get your social media going, too. We write the copy and create images, but you should get a social media pro to help if you don’t have one.

Really, though, this is the action you need to take — and it’s not hard.

Get a great website. (Build one if you don’t have one. Rebuild one if yours is crap. Seriously. You’ll thank me later.)

Make sure all your content is original, conversion-crafted, and beautiful — and SEO-optimized so the right people can find it.

Plan your blogs and make ’em happen.

Special Announcement!

As promised, I have a special announcement for you.

My all-new content marketing brand, Content Hacker™, is coming out to play this June.

You can sign up to hear about the launch here: contenthacker.com.

With this brand, I want to grow a community of smart content marketers and offer tools, resources, training, and education that will give every single budding marketing smarty the chance to really make a difference.

Build content that resonates. That returns. That earns.

And of course, I’ll still be here, leading operations at Express Writers — if you need custom content, all you need to do is holla… we’re your team.

Let’s do this. 

Build profitable content that delights our audience, and exceeds every goal and expectation.

“Nothing is impossible, the word itself says ‘I’m possible’!” – Audrey Hepburn

how to promote a blog post

How to Promote a New Blog Post: 15+ Trusty Techniques to Try

You put lots of hard work into creating that new blog post. It cost you real money, time, and effort. 💸⏳😅

Now, how can you get serious return out of your content? 

Promote it.

Without a boost from a few smart, strategic promotion strategies, that blog won’t get traction beyond bare-bones SEO and organic shares. (Which could be significant by itself, but why settle?)

If you feel comfortable letting your blog hang out on the internet without any help, be prepared for a surge of activity followed by a quick decline. Your blog will limp along for a while until it’s forgotten entirely.

If, on the other hand, you want to give all your new blogs a fighting chance at getting read by a wider audience – not to mention a longer lifespan online – promotion is essential!

So, how to promote a new blog post in ways that actually get it noticed? Follow along as we share our best tips and techniques.

Want some #blog promotion techniques that really work? Expand your reach and eyeballs, and get your $$ worth out of your content with @JuliaEMcCoy's guide! Click To Tweet

How to Promote a New Blog Post: Your Comprehensive Guide to Boosting Traffic and Engagement

1. Do These 5 Tactics BEFORE You Promote a New Blog Post

  1. Make Your Blog the Best Version of Itself
  2. Build Your Email List Using Lead Magnets
  3. Optimize Your Blog Posts for Search
  4. Promote a New Blog Post Internally
  5. Build Relationships with Peers, Fans, Followers, and Customers

2. Promote a New Blog Post Using Email

  1. Segment Your Email List and Target by Interests
  2. Did You Mention a Specific Brand/Influencer in a Post? Email Them
  3. Write Your Emails the Right Way

3. Promote a New Blog Post on Social Media

  1. Use Instagram Stories
  2. Cross-Post to Each Platform You’re On
  3. Plug Your New Blog on Relevant Twitter Chats
  4. Add the Link to Your New Blog on Your Profiles
  5. Share Your New Blog Multiple Times on Fast-Moving Feeds
  6. Use Those #Hashtags and DO @ People
  7. Share Your New Blog to Your Social Media Groups and Communities

4. Promote a New Blog Post with Smart Tools

  1. Use Quuu Promote or Zest
  2. Curate Your Blog Posts in a Content Hub
  3. Add Social Sharing Buttons to Your Posts

Do These 5 Tactics BEFORE You Promote a New Blog Post

So, you’re all ready to start learning how to promote a new blog post.

Hold on one second. There are a few foundations we need to cover first. Don’t skip these steps – they’ll help make blog promotion much, much easier.

1. Make Your Blog the Best Version of Itself

Content promotion will mean absolutely nothing if all you do is lead visitors to a subpar blog.

All the promotional tactics in the world can’t save mediocre content.

Why?

Quite simply, people don’t want to read, share, or engage with content that’s “eh.”

They may be lured to a blog that sucks because they won’t know it sucks until they land there. Once they find out, they’ll bounce away from the crappy blog as fast as they can. You’ll be no better off than you were before.

That’s why you MUST commit to creating the best blog this side of the internet. An amazing blog makes people want to stay, read, engage, and share. Plus:

Amazing content promotes itself!

A case study from Ahrefs nicely demonstrates this point. They regularly receive organic promotion from outside sources without any effort, like this Reddit post:

Reddit example for Ahrefs case study

As they explain in the post, Ahrefs did absolutely nothing marketing-wise to get this kind of great P.R. – their readers love their content, and that love makes them WANT to share Ahref posts.

How Ahrefs posts get shared in Reddit

Simple logic, but something that a lot of people forget about when considering how to promote a new blog post.

Make sure your blog is amazing at the start, and organic promotion will follow.

All the promotional tactics in the world can’t save mediocre content. @JuliaEMcCoy on #blog #promotion techniques Click To Tweet

2. Build Your Email List Using Lead Magnets

I can’t emphasize the importance of this next point enough:

Build your email list to create a built-in audience for your blog promotion.

According to the latest report from The Radicati Group, today there are over 3.9 billion people using email worldwide. That’s over half the population of the entire globe.

Radicati Group report about email

Not only is email widely used – it generates the most ROI per dollar spent out of any other marketing activity. (A Litmus study estimated that email is worth an average of $38 for every $1 spent.)

Your list, when you build it, is worth a TON. It’s a direct link to people who are interested in you/your brand, and thus the perfect channel for blog post promotion.

Next question: How do you build your email list?

Create lead magnets.

Lead magnets are golden nuggets of content that are high-value. You offer these as exclusive downloads for your audience in exchange for their name and email address. A truly high-quality lead magnet is well-written and packs in tons of helpful/valuable information.

Here’s an example of one of our own lead magnets at EW: 25 Proven Email Subject Lines for Your Email Marketing.

Express Writers Lead Magnet Example

Create lead magnets offering high-value information, then offer them to readers in exchange for their email address. Once you get their email – boom! – your list building has begun.

Once you have an email list, send out messages to it with links to your new blog posts. Done and done.

3. Optimize Your Blog Posts for Search

Besides blog promotion, don’t forget about SEO. It’s a major way to scoop up organic traffic to your blog posts from search engines like Google.

That said, a LOT more goes into proper SEO besides just inserting keywords in the right places. You need to think about factors like:

  • Content quality
  • Whether your content fulfills user search intent for your focus keyword
  • Whether your blog showcases relevant expertise for the topics you’re covering
  • Your site design and page-load speed
  • Your use of links and sources in your blog
  • And more

It’s important to get your SEO down before you think about how to promote a new blog post with other tactics. That’s because SEO is a passive way to draw more traffic and leads to your blog. Cover this base, draw in readers organically, and then hustle for more traffic actively using the other tactics we’ll cover in this post.

If you’re new to search engine optimization, read Moz’s comprehensive guide to get the lowdown.

moz seo guide

4. Promote a New Blog Post Internally

Linking internally is one of the best ways to promote your content to people who already read your blog.

What do I mean by “linking internally”?

Basically, just that you include links to your other blogs inside your new blogs. This is what that looks like:

internal link example

Inside this EW blog, the internal link takes you straight to a related post that further explains the concept of CDF.

EW blog

As you can see, internal links in your blog posts are there to help your readers, first and foremost. Your links should be there to provide more information or further reading.

Secondly, and most importantly for blog promotion, those links also lead your readers on a journey through your website and content. It’s a great, free, easy way to promote your other blogs – old AND new.

5. Build Relationships with Peers, Fans, Followers, and Customers

What’s another foundational tactic to do before you learn how to promote a new blog post? Start building relationships online.

Connect with peers in your industry. Talk to your followers, fans, and customers on social media. Most of all, do it genuinely.

This, itself, is not about promoting your brand. It’s about forging friendships and building your network. If you start anywhere, start here.

Not only will you create a support system for yourself and your business, but you’ll also give yourself a built-in audience who will cheer you on when you start promoting new blogs and content.

Remember: These relationships aren’t one-sided! It’s important to give as much as you receive. Cheer on others in your network and industry, share posts, write comments, and engage. I guarantee you’ll get back every ounce of goodwill you put in.

How to Promote a New Blog Post Using Email

Now that we’ve gone over the basic steps to follow pre-promotion, it’s time to dive in. Get out there and promote your new blog posts, starting with email.

1. Segment Your Email List and Target by Interests

Remember that email list you built? It’s time to put it into action.

First tip: Don’t just send your new blog post emails to your entire list. Segment your list into smaller groups, first. Then, target each group by their interests.

This will make your emails far more personalized, which readers really appreciate, according to research from Dynamic Yield.

email personalization

Plus, email segmentation is a proven way to increase your email opens and clicks, and decrease your bounces and unsubscribe rate. This MailChimp study compared segmented email campaigns to non-segmented campaigns. The segmented campaigns performed much better:

mailchimp email segmentation results

For example, segmented campaigns got 14.31% more opens and 100.95% more clicks than non-segmented email campaigns.

Some examples of email list segments may include:

  • Splitting up your list by demographics (where people who live in the same general area are lumped together)
  • Splitting it up by gender
  • By age groups
  • By education level
  • By job industry

To learn how to split up your email list into smaller segments, read this guide by HubSpot or these tips from Optinmonster. Using email segmentation is how to promote a new blog post strategically.

2. Did You Mention a Specific Brand/Influencer in a Post? Email Them

In most well-crafted blog posts, you will be citing research from other sources or mentioning other brands, influencers, or industry experts.

These links, citations, and mentions are a perfect opportunity for blog promotion. Crack open your email and send your new post over to the person/brand/influencer you gave a nod to.

This is a great promotion technique especially if:

  • You furthered the topic discussion in some way that might be useful to them
  • You promoted the person/brand or gave them an accolade

For best results, make this about being useful, not about being spammy. If you send an annoying email like this, without any context…

“Hey! Check out my awesome new blog post! You won’t regret it!”

…You’ll get ignored, or worse, marked as spam. Instead, make a point to be thoughtful, intentional, and useful. This is as much about relationship-building as it is about blog promotion.

Look at this example written by Brian Dean for inspiration – it’s simple, relevant, to-the-point, and personal (this is how to promote a new blog post using networking power!):

Brian Dean email outreach

3. Write Your Emails the Right Way

In keeping with the above point, you should also focus on writing your emails the right way.

Here are a few things you shouldn’t do:

  • Don’t clutter your email with babbling unrelated to the topic. Get to the point.
  • Don’t be overly promotional.
  • Don’t be impersonal. People WANT personalization, remember? (See tip #3).

And here are a few things you should do:

  • Be friendly, open, and genuine. People can see through a ploy for attention from a mile away. Aim to be helpful and informative, not promotional and spammy.
  • Use your voice. Be you.
  • When in doubt, keep it short.

For more tips on creating readable emails, check out our post, How to Write Content for Email Marketing.

How to Promote a New Blog Post on Social Media

Social media is a major channel you can use to promote your new blog posts. Follow these tips to get the word out there.

1. Use Instagram Stories

Instagram Stories are HUGE! According to data from Statista, over 400 million users are active on Stories daily. Plus, the IG Stories feature is twice as popular as SnapChat.

ig stories active users stats

Its high-use factor means it’s a great channel to promote your blog posts. Here’s how:

If you have 10k followers, you can add a link directly to your story. Here are a few screenshots of stories where I’ve linked to a new blog, guest blog, and even a new video.

instagram story

instagram story 2

instagram story 3

The best part? It only takes a few seconds to record yourself talking about your new blog and add the link.

Don’t know how to use Instagram Stories? This IG Stories guide from Later covers every aspect for the newbie.

how to use instagram stories

2. Cross-Post to Each Platform You’re On

Don’t just post a link to your new blog on one social media platform. Create unique posts for ALL of your accounts. This is how to promote a new blog post to get it in front of more people.

This is necessary because your entire audience doesn’t live on one social channel. They’re spread out.

Some people use Facebook but not Twitter; some are on Instagram and Twitter but not Facebook; and some people prefer LinkedIn exclusively for networking. Create posts for each channel to get the most traction and hit every type of social media user in your audience.

3. Plug Your New Blog on Relevant Twitter Chats

If you join a Twitter chat, you’re welcome to share a link or two as long as it relates to the topic and adds value. I’ve shared links from our blog relevant to the topic at hand in a Twitter chat, and earned a lot of clicks.

Relevancy and usefulness are key, here. If sharing your link in a Twitter chat doesn’t hit either checkbox, don’t share it.

4. Add the Link to Your New Blog on Your Profiles

One often-overlooked place to promote your blog is on the main information panel on your social media profiles.

This is what it looks like on Instagram, using @cmicontent as an example:cmi instagram

On Twitter, too:cmi twiitter

And even on Pinterest:cmi pinterest

On these platforms, in particular, the featured link is prominent. This is a perfect spot to plug the link to your newest blog post, as anyone visiting your account will no doubt see it immediately.digital marketing consultant content strategy course

5. Share Your New Blog Multiple Times, at Optimum Times, on Fast-Moving Feeds

Some social media feeds move fast – so fast, lots of your followers may not even see the link you posted to your new blog post.

For these feeds – think Twitter and Facebook, especially – it’s a good idea to post about your new blog multiple times the day you publish. Here’s a good rule of thumb for how to promote a new blog post:

  • Post once, right after you publish the blog
  • Post a few more times, a few hours apart

Keep a few things in mind to make sure more people see your post:

  • The best times to post on your chosen platform based on research
  • The best times to post based on your audience’s preferences and habits

For example, SproutSocial analyzed their own customer data to determine the best general times for posting to the biggest social media platforms, like Facebook:when to post on facebook by sproutsocial

CoSchedule did research on this topic, too, and came up with some benchmarks for each platform:bes tposting time facebook by coschedule

Don’t consider this type of research your posting Bible, though. Take into account your audience, and try experimenting with post times to see if you can find your personal sweet spot.

6. Use Those #Hashtags and DO @ People

Another factor to remember when composing social media posts promoting your newest blog: Use hashtags and mention relevant people!

It’s surprising how much more engagement your post gets when you include some well-chosen hashtags and mentions.

This is a good example of hashtag usage on Instagram from a candle company, Frostbeard Studio:using Instagram hashtags

And here’s another post they shared that includes a mention of who originally created it:how to ig mention

On Twitter, this will look a little different, like so:

Not sure which hashtags to use? This post from AdWeek has some excellent tips for finding the right ones for your posts.

7. Share Your New Blog to Your Social Media Groups and Communities

Final tip for how to promote a new blog post on social media:

Share that puppy to your groups and communities!

That includes Facebook groups, group chats, discussions, and forums. Especially if you’ve been engaging in your groups for a while, you’re likely to have a whole team of people ready to spread your post around the web like there’s no tomorrow.

When it counts, lean into your networks and use them to your advantage. Again, relationship-building always pays off.

content strategy course cta

How to Promote a New Blog Post with Smart Tools

Beyond email and social media, you may be scratching your head for ideas on how to promote a new blog post.

Good news – there are tools out there for that.

1. Use Quuu Promote or Zest

Want your content pushed out to more people? Tools like Quuu Promote or Zest make it ridiculously easy.

You have to apply and pay, but these are high-quality “sources” of content for marketers. That means you’re getting in each tool’s high-quality promotion queue, where they only approve the best of the best for promoting to their audiences. (Check out Quuu’s promotion criteria to see what I mean. It’s strict!)

quuu promotion criteria

These useful tools qualify content, which is good in a world of 3+ million published blogs/day. They help separate the wheat from the chaff – and YOUR blog posts could be the wheat that gets promoted to subscribers. (Just make sure your content is the best of the best – scroll back to the top of this post, to “Make Your Blog the Best Version of Itself” to get my drift.)

2. Curate Your Blog Posts in a Content Hub

Content curation is a great way to do a few brand-promoting activities at once.

  • It builds you up as a thought-leader because you’ll be sharing and highlighting the best content that catches your eye (as well as your own high-authority content, which will get the benefit of association).
  • You’ll build an asset that both supplements and boosts your own content and blog posts. (For instance, you know video does really well with readers, but you don’t produce a lot of it yourself. In this case, you can curate relevant video content from other sources to supplement your own blog posts.)

There are plenty of good tools out there for creating content hubs:

  • To create one to host on your own website, try Scoop.it. Here’s an example of a content hub they created called “Content marketing resources”:

scoop.it content hub

  • Or, try Flipboard to create curated boards with your blog posts and related content from around the industry. Look at this Flipboard from Copyblogger


copyblogger flipboard

3. Add Social Sharing Buttons to Your Posts

What happens when your readers are on your website, reading your content, and they want to share it?

If you add social sharing buttons to each post, they’ll have an easy way to do just that with a few clicks. (Much, MUCH easier than copying and pasting your link into Facebook or Twitter.)

A good tool for the job is Monarch, a WordPress plugin. It gives you lots of options for button placement and design.

monarch social sharing

Bonus: These buttons also make your blog posts look snazzy and professional. Win-win!

How to Promote a New Blog Post: Done and Done

This is where our exhaustive answer to “how to promote a new blog post” ends, but…

How far your posts go from here is up to you. 📈

Blog promotion takes a lot of work, but it’s worth it. You’ll help MORE potential leads and customers find your amazing posts, which will lead to more traction for your brand.

Don’t let those promotion opportunities fall by the wayside – dig in and take advantage. They’re not difficult, and they WILL lead to better ROI for your content babies.

One more thing, before you go…

One Final Tip for How to Promote a New Blog Post

Never outsource the thought in thought leadership – that needs to come from you. @JuliaEMcCoy Click To Tweet

Don’t outsource TOO MUCH of your promotion and creation.

Help and delegation is good, but remember that you need to be the idea originator for all your blogs.

I can’t stress this enough! You promoting your own content should be natural and authentic.

You can absolutely hire someone to help schedule and post for you, but make sure you’re in the thought process! In short, don’t outsource the thought in thought leadership – that needs to come from you.

How do you plan to go forth and promote your new blog posts? Let us know your game plan in the comments!

CTA blog post

how long should a blog post be

How Long Should a Blog Post Be, Really?

There’s been a lot of moaning about our shortened attention spans, which are just 8 seconds in length — shorter than that of your goldfish.

Apparently, our dynamic, tech-laden world has made us busier than we’ve ever been — we’ve got inbox overload, and Attention Deficit Disorder, and . . . oh, look — a chicken!

image of a chicken

And yet, the wizards of the marketing world would have you believe that long-form content — those posts, white papers, and other e-content that passes the lofty peak of 1,200 words or so — is supposed to be king for getting results in the form of traffic.

These two things certainly  don’t  go hand in hand.

How long should a blog post be, really?

As we approach 2019, I thought this would be a useful topic to tackle, as you’re prepping those content pieces for the New Year calendar. Read on and discover the startling truth about blog post length best practices.

How long should a blog post be? @JuliaEMcCoy discusses the long and short of it (yes, pun intended!). #contentmarketing Click To Tweet

how long should a blog post be

Size Matters — The Ideal Blog Post Length for 2019 Is . . . Long

So, you’ve heard, right? Gone are the days of short-form content, those bite-sized posts of less than 600 words?

(Actually, they’re not dead yet, but more on that later.)

And gargantuan posts that might take you — gasp — seven minutes or more to read are here to stay?

You’ve got your fingers pressed to the keyboard and you’re ready to start writing, but you need a goal, a number to reach for. Well, it’s . . . it’s . . .

It’s complicated.

You see, “long form” means something different to everyone. Take a look as some of the experts weigh in.

1. Moz and BuzzSumo — Contented with 1,000 Words

SEO-focused Moz coordinated with BuzzSumo to analyze over a million articles to understand how shares, links, and content are intertwined. Here’s what their research showed:

  • Content that was at least 1,000 words or more got higher levels of shares and links than shorter pieces, particularly when the material dealt with research and fact-finding.
  • They also found that most of the content online — over 85% — doesn’t reach the 1,000-word threshold, so it will be easy for you to perform well if you can surpass that high-water mark.
  • Their research found the boost in search rankings and links diminished when content got over 2,000 words.

That’s a lot of in-depth study, but it’s not the last word on content length. Check out the next one:

2. Google Says It’s So — SerpIQ — Contented with 2,416 Words

SerpIQ, the keyword research tool, conducted a study in 2012 using over 20,000 keywords to find the average content length of top 10 results.

average length of top-ranking content

Image: serpIQ

Survey says — all of the content sitting in the top 10 spots in Google was over 2,000 words and the average of the content in the number one spots across all keywords was 2,416 words.

Looks like Google like the long stuff. And yet . . .

3. Backlinko – Contented with 1,890 Words

Backlinko also conducted some research on factors that affect search engine rankings by using a million search results from Google.

They found that the content featured on Google’s front-page results averages 1,890 words. And in case you weren’t confused enough . . .

4. Hubspot — Contented with 2,250 Words or More

Moving along, we asked, “How long should a blog post be, Hubspot?” Their answer was in line with Google’s estimates, coming in at 2,250 words or greater.

word count versus average organic traffic by hubspot

Image: Hubspot

However, once you tip over the 2,500-word count, traffic drops off sharply.

On the flip side, content with over 2,500 words has more backlinks and is shared more often on social platforms, so if your goal is more social media sharing, then aim for >2500 words.

You’ve seen all the data. So, how long should blog posts be in 2019? The answer is — it depends on your goals. Let me explain — remember my three-bucket content strategy?

julia mccoy' three-bucket content strategy

While content should always — let me repeat — always be high-quality, the length will depend on your specific goals and where you are in your marketing cycle.

How long should a blog post be? The answer depends on a lot of things. @JuliaEMcCoy shares her insights, alongside the experts, in this new blog post. #contentmarketing Click To Tweet

How Long Should a Blog Post Be If I Want to Rock SEO?

In determining how long a blog post should be for SEO, it’s important to consider trends in the world of search engines.

For example, if you asked how long should a blog post be in 2017, your answer would be totally different than this year’s response.

Why?

Because Google’s adopted a mobile-first index for this year. That means your content needs to be optimized for mobile to achieve the rankings you desire, which may affect rankings for even posts with spot-on length.

Nonetheless, research pegs the best content at about a 7-minute read.

average length of top content - 7 minutes

Image: SearchEngineLand

But that still doesn’t help us discern the absolute right blog post length for SEO success.

And do you know why?

Because it’s not just about length.

You need to outpace your keyword competitors by producing longer — and stronger — posts, not just copying what they’re doing.

To do this effectively, you need to set two goals for your content.

  • Answer your audience’s questions or fill their needs
  • Exceed competitors’ content length

And then you need to realize that content length is keyword-dependent.

For example, if your research shows the average length of posts for your target keyword is 600 words, then you need to write at least 600+. If it’s 3,000 words, write more than 3,000.

If the average post length for your keyword is 200 words, you can probably slide into the number one position with a post of 1,000+ words.

Post length signals the search engines that you’re giving readers more value than your competitors, justifying a boost in ranking.

The Fly in the SEO Ointment

Seems like you have your answer now, right? Not so fast.

To really filter all this “how long should a blog post be” data requires stepping back from the results and giving them a broader look to understand why the longer posts are doing better.

Brian Dean from Backlinko has the answer, and it’s short and sweet:

Longer blog posts rank better because they’re filled with details. These details are what is giving readers value. Reader value is driving ranking.

So, this takes us back to my favorite mantra, “High-quality content is more critical than quantity.” People invest in you because of the quality of your content, not the quantity.

High-quality content is more critical than quantity. People invest in you because of the quality of your content, not the quantity. More on the truth about #content length via @JuliaEMcCoy Click To Tweet

And the data from the Backlinko study backs me up, showing that high-quality, comprehensive content helps websites achieve higher ranking than shallower content.

comprehensive content rank better than shallow content

Image: Backlinko

The secret sauce in this recipe is your authority.

How Long Should a Blog Post Be If I Want to Target Brand Awareness?

I am so glad you asked this question because here’s where the blog-post-length plot thickens. Let’s untangle the mystery by starting with some basics.

What Is Brand Awareness?

Brand awareness is the extent your audience can recognize — and connect with — your brand. It’s the first association they have when they hear your brand’s name or see your logo. Examples?

  • Mercedes — luxury vehicles
  • Toyota — reliable vehicles
  • Jeep — rugged vehicles

Your goal in creating this awareness for your brand online is to have a positive association with your brand — using content, of course.

Short-Form Content Shines for Brand Awareness

Ideal blog post length is less of an issue for businesses with brand awareness goals.

That’s because the focus of this content should be shouting like a Who down in Whoville — “We are here! We are here! We are here!”

via GIPHY

There are many great ways to accomplish this, including repurposing some of your long-form content blog posts into snappy infographics, cheat sheets, and checklists.

These provide real value for your audience in a short, easy-to-consume format. Other ways to leverage the power of short, but mighty, content includes:

Interactive Content

Interactive content, like video, helps your target audience understand your brand better. In fact, 97% of marketers claim video has performed exactly this way for their brand.

Add that to the fact that 72% of people would rather see a video to learn about a service or product and you’ve got short, interactive content that packs a punch.

Remember, using video still requires the creation of actual content — in this case, a script — to relay your point succinctly and accurately.

But, you can fit a lot of words into a short time frame with video. In fact, a Forrester study showed that one minute of video can contain up to 1.8 million words!

image showing video is worth 1.8 million words per minute

Image: IdeaRocket

Even if you choose video over “standard” content, you’ll need to craft those words carefully to ensure they’re providing value for the viewer — or no rankings for you!

Social Media Content

Social media is the ultimate short-form content venue, with the added plus of increasing engagement among your audience.

Brands like GE, Airbnb, and IBM have mastered the art of brand storytelling on these channels with creativity and aplomb, pulling their followers right into the narrative.

Standard Short-Form Posts

Part of short-form content’s bad rap stems from the fact there’s so much crappy short content hanging out there.

And yet, Seth Godin has become a front-runner in his industry by focusing on short-form content. His second most popular post, Stretching, is under five paragraphs!

length of seth godin's most popular blog

Image: BuzzSumo

How can this be?

In part, because it’s incredibly valuable to his audience, whom he knows well (read: develop a persona, people — it works!).

Okay, okay — so you’re not as recognizable as Seth, how does this affect you? Well, have you heard of IFLScience? Most of you probably haven’t.

Yet this brand’s customers know them very well, indeed, as witnessed by their performance:

website performance of IFLScience

Image: CoSchedule

And their content is made up almost entirely of short-form — under 1,000 words — content. Why does this work?

Because they’re grabbing their target audience’s attention through their short posts by:

  • Providing shareable content that’s unique, educational, informative, high-quality
  • Using a single topic as a focus to each post
  • Adding striking graphics to underscore the point
  • Writing creative, hook-oriented headlines

What do all those features distill down to? Knowing your audience and providing high-quality content.

There is no one-size-fits-all template for content length. But there is one thing more important than content length: high-quality content. #contentmarketing Click To Tweet

How Long Should a Blog Post Be for Sales Enablement?

Have I mentioned how important content is to your sales efforts?

All of those posts you’re creating — including blog posts, white papers, case studies, and more — are building trust and authority with your audience.

This positions your brand with them as the go-to when they’re ready to make a purchase.

If you look back to what we learned earlier in this article — that long-form content is critical because it provides those salient details your customers crave — you’ll realize that how long a blog post should be is directly related to the topic you’re sharing.

You want to create deep, highly informative content on your topic. If it’s a complex subject with lots of layers, then you’ll need to explore it in as much detail as possible.

Complex subjects require longer, more comprehensive blog post lengths. @JuliaEMcCoy on #blogging Click To Tweet

Of course, that doesn’t mean you need to always write 5,000-word posts. For information that requires this kind of depth, consider a series of posts or a white paper.

Any way you slice it, your posts should be offering potential clients all the reasons they need to choose you over your competitors through high-quality content that trumpets your expertise in your industry.

Blog Post Length — The Long and Short of It

There you have it — the whole story on blog post length as it relates to each bucket in your topic strategy, for results as well as maximized profit.

You should have all the answers you need to forge ahead — whether you’re a new brand wondering, “How long should my first blog post be?” or an existing brand looking to fine-tune your content marketing strategy.

Just remember, there is no one-size-fits-all template for content length. It will vary depending on your industry, your keywords, and your marketing goals, so don’t let word count get in the way of your ultimate goal.

Can you guess what that is? (If you’ve been paying attention, I bet you can!)

High-quality content.

That’s right — length doesn’t matter at all if the content you’re writing doesn’t have information, actionable steps, and real value for your audience.

For best results in rankings, awareness, and sales, the final target should be producing exceptional content that stands head and shoulders above your competitors’.

And hey, if you’re not sure about how to do that, I’ve got about a hundred of the finest content writers on the planet that can help you with that. 😉

blog ghost writer

How to Expertly Partner with a Blog Ghost Writer for Content Domination

The benefits of blogging for business are BIG.

(Say that 5x fast.)

When you blog, you will:

  • Attract organic traffic to your website
  • Help search engines index your pages for relevant industry keywords
  • Build up trust with visitors, turning them into readers, then customers
  • Educate visitors about your industry/business/products/services
  • And more

Need content creation support? We can help! Click to see our prices, or register as a client here.

According to a well-known HubSpot study, businesses who blog generate more indexed pages in Google than those who don’t blog. Plus, those extra indexed pages literally lead to more leads.

Blogging is a big deal. It can quickly lead to more exposure online to the exact right people (read: future customers).

The only issues that could possibly get in your way?

  • Lack of time
  • Lack of writing skills
  • Lack of SEO blogging knowledge

No biggie. The solution is obvious:

You need a blog ghost writer.

This is a writer who can seamlessly step into your brand’s voice and style, write blogs that appeal to your target audience, and position you as an authority with high-quality, optimized, amazing written content.

Sounds great, right?

blog ghost writer guide

Not So Fast: There’s a Common Problem Inherent in Working with Blog Ghost Writers

If you get that outsourcing your blog writing is going to help you or your clients gain more traffic/leads/conversions/sales, that’s great.

However, there’s another problem that may pop up:

How do you work with a ghostwriter (or a team of ghostwriters) so you get to the scenario we described above?

More often than not, marketing agencies and small businesses turn to ghostwriters hoping to achieve that amazing ROI, but what they get is significantly less than they expected, like:

  • Poor writing or obvious clues a non-native English speaker wrote the piece
  • Bland, general blogs that don’t show off any industry expertise
  • Writing riddled with silly errors and inconsistencies
  • Writing that doesn’t match up with the desired brand style/tone

An example of bad content. Did a human even write this?

For a few of these examples, the problem is obviously with the quality of writer you’re hiring. (Cheap writer = cheap content. See above.)

As for the rest, what if I told you the problem might not be with the writer’s skill set? What if the problem (ghostwritten content that doesn’t live up to expectations) stems from the way you’re working with your ghost writer?

It’s possible.

That’s because there is a right way to communicate and work with your writer so you get the best outcome possible: Amazing content that brings in ROI, so you more than recoup what you originally invested in its creation.

That’s what we’re discussing today: How to work with your blog ghost writer to get the best results possible. Results like:

  • Content that hits the bullseye for your brand voice
  • Writing that draws in the right readers
  • Optimization that ensures search engines love your blogs
  • High-quality content that converts

Ready to get into it?

Working with Blog Ghostwriters: 6 Keys to Remember to Get the Best Content Possible

1. Be Willing to Collaborate

Let’s get something straight.

In your industry, business, or profession, you’re the expert – not the writer.

Don’t get me wrong. Ghostwriters are exceptionally good at research, and they excel at taking on the tone and voice you want. Many also have years of experience behind them, including a background in your industry.

Despite all this, the writer still can’t ghostwrite for you without any guidance.

You can’t just hand them the wheel with no direction and expect magnificence.

You must – I repeat, must – be willing to collaborate with your ghostwriting partner. You are the one with ideas, knowledge, and experience to gift to the wider world.

Ghostwriters are just the vehicle, there to help you clearly communicate all of that in ways that are readable and interesting.

So, to start off, come to your ghost writers with ideas, direction, and purpose for what you want them to produce. Talk with them, collaborate, be willing to answer questions and provide guidance. The end result will be a much better product, and will lead to higher ROI.

2. Respect the Writer’s Process…

Although online writing has become more common as a profession, the job itself still doesn’t get much respect (unless you’re a Stephen King-type penning best-selling novels).

Proof: The median pay for online writing, content writing, and ghostwriting is still absurdly low. Well-paying jobs are the exception, not the norm.

According to data from PayScale, freelance writers earn an average of $24.70/hour.

But that’s just an average calculated from the self-reported pay from about 400 writers across the country.

A more accurate picture of an online writer’s pay looks like this:

It varies. Widely.

  • You’ve got your content factory workers, who make bottom-of-the-rung pay (literal pennies per word written).
  • Then you have the other end of the spectrum: The highly-paid experts who can make upwards of $50/hour.
  • In the middle are the majority.

Perhaps this pay situation stems from the fact that writing looks deceptively unlike work.

That’s a sad misconception, because, as any writer will tell you:

Writing is hard.

You probably have a good grasp on that fact – after all, you attempted to sit down and write your own blogs, but couldn’t figure out how to do it profitably.

You need a ghostwriter for a reason, so respect their work, their process, and their time. You’ll end up with a loyal partner who will be glad to continue a long-term working relationship with you.

3. …But Don’t Give Your Ghost Writer Too Much Free Rein

Give creative work like writing too much free time, and it will run amok.

For most, open-ended assignments are a recipe for disaster. Writers can edit something forever and get stuck in a loop without clear deadlines.

Via Inkygirl

For instance, did you know the more familiar you are with a written work – like your own writing – the more likely you’ll miss obvious errors and mistakes? (A study from the Journal of Research & Reading proved it.)

Boundaries, on the other hand, help encourage the kind of honed creativity that results in stellar content. Set them for your writer for better results, like so:

  • When working with a blog ghostwriter, always set deadlines. Don’t just say you need the piece “A.S.A.P.” – specify a day on the calendar when you would like it ready.
  • If you can, it’s helpful to identify a window of time for when the writer can hand in the completed piece.
    • This is because each writer has their own individual process and works at their own individual pace. They likely have multiple projects on their plate at once, so a deadline window helps them figure out what to prioritize and lessens the pressure, so they can do better work.
  • It’s additionally wise to check in on your writer periodically, especially if the deadline is weeks or months away.
    • A pro will happily provide progress reports and updates – just don’t bombard your writer daily with messages asking if the piece is finished yet if the deadline is still in the future. That’s a recipe for a harried writer who won’t produce their best work.

4. Include Extras in the Contract (Like Revisions and Keyword Research)

Many people who hire ghostwriters for the first time are unaware of the little details that come with the territory.

Think edits/revisions, research time, and deadlines/turnaround time.

For example, you may need to send a piece back to a writer to make specific changes. Are these revisions included in the agreed-upon rate?

The writer may also need to spend a significant amount of time researching your topic and gathering sources. This is time for which they will want to be compensated, because it’s often an essential part of the process.

Making sure these extras are covered, either in the agreed-upon pay rate or in the contract, is essential to avoid hiccups down the road.

For example, at Express Writers, our policy is to include two free revisions with each project. This is clearly stipulated so there are no questions later.

5. Chat One-on-One with your Blog Ghost Writer About the Project

A huge part of collaboration is communication, but what if you’re struggling to get your ghostwriter to understand what you want?

Furthermore, what if you have an easier time explaining concepts in speech rather than writing (which may be one of the reasons you need a ghostwriter in the first place)?

In these scenarios, talking with your writer one-on-one can be an immense help. Whether you meet with them in-person, chat on the phone, or connect virtually via Skype or some other tool, sometimes a quick talk can immediately clear things up.

This is also a great time to bounce ideas back and forth, answer questions, and help the writer get an even more intimate feel for your style, perspective, and unique voice.

Recommended collaboration/communication tools:

6. Don’t Get Too Nit-Picky

Of course, you want your content to look and sound a certain way – that’s why you hired a ghostwriter.

However, there are reasonable expectations and unreasonable ones.

For example, don’t send a piece back to your ghostwriter for a revision if they misspelled a word or forgot to add a link. That wastes everybody’s time.

Instead, include these small changes you made in your feedback to the writer. A good one will note what they missed and double-check that everything is in order before they submit next time.

In the end, the big picture of the content is more important than the niggling details. If the writer nails your style and voice, hits all the points you want covered, and produces an engaging read that addresses your target readers, a few tiny errors that are quickly fixed are no big deal.

You + Your Blog Ghost Writer = Content Magic

If you dream of content magic but don’t have the time or the skills to make it happen, a ghost writer could be your ticket to greatness.

You just have to know how to work with your writer to get the best results.

Take some time to understand the writing process, give your writer plenty of direction, and communicate.

After all, your ghostwriter is on your team. Are you on theirs?

 

technical writer blog

5 Blogging Tips for Technical Writers to Help You Explain High-Tech Topics to Your Audience

If you’re a technical writer engaging in content marketing, you may not be reaching all of your possible readers.

Technical writers are great at writing for other tech experts, but what about the average person?

  • The person with basic computing knowledge (they can navigate word processing software, cloud storage, and basic photo editing, and can set up online accounts)
  • The person who is handy with their phone as long as they have the right app
  • The person who is adept at social media
  • Someone who can build a website as long as they go through a platform with a drag-and-drop editor

These people have some basic tech knowledge.

It doesn’t go very deep, though. They have never tinkered with HTML, XML, or CSS; they don’t understand how back-end development works, and they don’t have the technical vocabulary required to understand your more in-depth blog posts.

So, why are they worth your attention?

Sometimes, these people are the big decision-makers. They’re the bosses who have the final say on whether the tech expert you’re writing for can buy that new software.

Or, they’re the higher-ups who have the last word on whether their company invests in your technology.

Their tech knowledge may be basic, but their clout is BIG.

So, if you’re only blogging and writing for other developers and tech-savvy experts like you, you may want to rethink that approach.

By all means, continue writing in-depth articles and how-tos on nitty-gritty tech processes, workflows, and developments.

If you’re in a tech industry, you also absolutely must consider writing for the tech layperson every once in a while to help them understand the value of certain technologies, including how they work.

With that said, we’re sharing tips to help you come down to earth and write for people with average tech knowledge and know-how.

technical blog writer guide

The Technical Writer’s Blog Guide to Writing for a General Audience: 5 Key Tips

1. Imagine Explaining Your Topic to a Person You Know

It can be hard to sit down and write a blog post with a “general audience” in mind. It’s not specific enough to help guide your writing.

Instead, when you sit down to write the post, focus on explaining the topic like you would to someone outside your field who has average tech knowledge – like a family member or a friend.

How would you approach helping them understand the subject?

For starters, you wouldn’t use a technical vocabulary. If you had to use technical terms at all, you would need to explain them first, and maybe put them into contexts your listener would understand. (See tips #2 and #3.)

As you can see, thinking of a specific person can help direct your approach to explaining complex topics. It gives you a starting point because you’ll have a good idea of what that person knows and doesn’t know about your subject.

Just remember to choose someone to write for who matches up with the base knowledge of the general audience you want to address. (Note: This is a good opportunity to develop a new audience persona for future use!)

2. Use Analogies, Comparisons, and Examples

One of the best ways to introduce complex topics to a general audience is to relate them to concepts or ideas your readers already know intimately.

One apt comparison or example can neatly illustrate a difficult point much more effectively than you’d think.

For example (see what I’m doing, here?), look at this blog post from an IT services company. The post topic is the present-day use of the cloud.

In this section, the writer explains how companies use cloud technology:

The technical blog writer could have said “It seems every company out there has to have some product or service with ‘cloud’ attached to it” and left it at that. Or, they could have reeled off a list of companies with cloud technology and stopped there.

That wouldn’t work, though, because that approach wouldn’t help the audience put the concept of cloud computing in context with their everyday lives.

Instead, the writer uses multiple examples of how his readers might be using the cloud without even realizing it: The music they listen to, the fitness trackers they wear on their wrists, the pictures they share on social media, and even their fancy new refrigerator implement cloud technology in some shape or form.

For many people, this is a huge key to unlocking comprehension of a concept. As soon as they can relate it to what they already know and understand, the lightbulb clicks on.

As such, sprinkle plenty of real-world examples, analogies, and comparisons into your content to make complex ideas relatable and easier to understand.

3. Be Mindful of the Words You Use

Take a look at this blog post about dynamic email templates from a software company:

“Transactional templates”? “Deep object replacement”? “Dynamic templating languages”?

The vocabulary used here is way over a general audience’s head, but that’s because the writer is talking to other developers.

If you don’t have any of these terms in your word bank, this post isn’t for you. However, if you’re the one knee-deep in terms like these day-in and day out, it can become second-nature to include them in your speech. You may forget what a general audience knows and doesn’t know.

To write for the masses, you don’t have to dumb yourself down; you just need to adjust your vocabulary.

  • Avoid specialized terms and industry jargon. If you do use them, offer definitions and explanations.
  • Try to find simpler terms that are easier to understand to replace specialized vocabulary.
  • If you find you can’t explain a concept without using specialized terms, you may need to broaden your topic to explain it more generally.

Look at how WebsiteSetup.org highlights specialized terms in the text and takes ample time to explain what they mean:

4. Start Broad

Complex topics are easier to explain if you begin with broad, basic facts to set up a foundation for understanding. Then, once your readers get the basics, you can drill down to specifics.

Setting up your explanations this way is called the cone principle:

Start with the most basic concepts you can assume your general audience already understands.

For example, if I wanted to write a blog about setting up a website from scratch with WordPress, I would begin with these basic assumptions:

  • My audience has heard of this platform
  • They have a very basic understanding of HTML
  • They know how to carry out basic internet tasks, like downloading and uploading files

In the blog above, the writer assumes his audience understands these basics, which lets him start his explanation of website setup by going over the function and use of a content management system as an alternative to coding a website.

He doesn’t have to teach them how to boot up a computer, how to use the internet, or what the heck WordPress is. They have a broad baseline of understanding the writer can use to walk them into new concepts.

That said, the writer is still starting by explaining fairly broad concepts, but he needs to do this to orient his readers. Once he walks them through the landscape of that topic, he can introduce them to specific parts of the scenery.

For example, once the writer explains the broad concept of a content management system, this sets up the reader with a baseline of knowledge so they can later learn how to customize and tweak their website within that system.

5. Break Up Your Content into Manageable Chunks

The final tip for simplifying and clarifying your writing is the easiest:

Break up your content.

Yet, in school, we’re trained to write differently. We’re told that each paragraph should contain a topic sentence, plus 5-6 supporting sentences.

For online writing, that doesn’t work.

The average internet user has an attention span shorter than a goldfish.

Long paragraphs full of complicated explanations are hard to read, hard to understand, and, because your readers are staring at an electronic screen, hard on the eyes.

Your audience isn’t reading a printed page, so don’t treat your content like you’re writing a book.

Help aid ease-of-reading and shorten your paragraphs – significantly.

Look at this example, a blog about how to set up an email campaign. It’s nice that they have bolded key terms, but the paragraphs are way too long:

Paragraph #2 alone could be divided into 4-6 separate paragraphs, which would make it easier to read and understand.

In contrast, look at this blog on a similar topic. Paragraphs are very short, and each one is limited to a single key point:

As a result, it’s a much clearer, easier read.

When you’re writing about complex topics or addressing a general audience, you need to make sure you are as clear as possible. Shorter paragraphs can help immensely.

This is the easiest way to make your writing more readable right away, so don’t neglect it.

Technical Writers CAN Blog for General Readers – And They Should

If it makes sense for your business, blogging for a wider, general audience can do a lot for you. It can:

  • Help expand your online presence
  • Introduce newbies to your technology or software
  • Help the tech experts you usually write for to get buy-in from their non-techie bosses or higher-ups

Before you dive in, analyze your audience. Are there readers you’re ignoring with your content? If this is the case, implement the above steps to help you write technical posts in a down-to-earth way. Dedicate one or two posts every month to this group.

You never know what opportunities may come from your technical writer blog as a result.

 

blogging roi case study

Blogging ROI Case Study: How 18,000 Keywords In Google Bring Us Six-Figure Income Months

“I’m ‘doing’ content, but it’s just not bringing me clients.”

“I’m posting and creating regularly – in fact, consistency is my middle name – but I’m still a one-person show with little funding to achieve my next level.”

Lately, I’ve heard this ALL too often – but the reality is, if you develop content strategically, you CAN achieve six-figure income months in your business.

Since it’s been almost two years since I created a case study on my brand (specifically, how we are our own content guinea pig: we’re able to make monthly six-figure sales happen from clients that found our content online), I decided it was time for a new one.

CTA-EW-02

I started the research for this in February, and today – almost five months later! – the case study is all done and live, as of today.

Our last case study focused on how we achieve rankings – “How We Outrank Every Competitor & Win Through Organic Content Without Spending a Penny on Ads (Express Writers’ Content Case Study),” from October 2016. Today’s case study focuses on how we actually earn real income (to the tune of six-figures per month) from the content and rankings we’ve achieved.

I’m specifically thinking of you struggling, DIY-marketers still not achieving the kind of revenue you’d like to see from your organic content efforts… yes, you! I think you’ll find today’s case study truly useful.

In today’s blog, we’re sharing a real, practical look at how we’ve built our company through content marketing. 99.9% of our leads and business revenue comes through the content we produce. And the majority of that content? Well, it’s published on our blog.

Next, we interviewed a client we work with from time to time: Magnificent Marketing, a full-service marketing agency. They also incorporate content marketing and blogging as their primary marketing avenue, using us to produce much of their content. We’ll share how they’ve boosted their client traffic numbers and rankings with great content.

If you read one blog of mine this quarter, read this one. Grab a cup of coffee or tea, and dig in!

blogging roi case study guide

Why & How SEO Blogging Equals ROI for Any Brand

Blogging (a form of great content marketing) equals ROI, for any brand.

In itself, blogging is a key online content format capable of building a brand, attracting your ideal clients to your website, and growing your entire business. Especially blogging written around viable SEO keywords you want to rank for.

But here’s the caveat to that.

That statement is only true if your blogging strategy includes consistency, relevancy and quality.

'Blogging is a key online content format capable of building a brand... BUT... that statement is only true if your blogging strategy includes consistency, relevancy and quality.' - @JuliaEMcCoy Click To Tweet

Businesses who create content strategically achieve ROI in the form of:

  • Better, more qualified leads that convert at a higher rate than traffic from paid ads or paid search
    • How many leads? Our content marketing ROI formula can help you estimate your average monthly leads/sales from content marketing
    • Here’s the formula: Monthly Visitors x 16% Organic Traffic to Lead Conversion Rate = X Leads/Month)

content-marketing-formula

  • According to that formula, an average of 1,000 visitors/month can get you at least 160 high-quality leads/month from strategic blogging

That’s not all, though.

Blogging also brings in:

  • Year-over-year site traffic growth that’s 8x higher than those at the back of the pack
  • 6x the conversions of those who don’t publish content, according to a well-known study from Aberdeen and Kapost

Incredibly convincing numbers, right?

But, even better than stats, we have a prime, real-life example of what blogging ROI looks like.

Ready? Let’s dig in and see exactly what the power of blogging–and great content–can do for a business.

Express Writers’ Blogging ROI: $1,600 in Content = $66,700 Worth of Traffic & Organic Google Positions

Here’s a real-life, extreme example of how great, consistent content creation can work incredibly well.

Take a look at the current traction below for Express Writers. This is after six years of consistent content, with over 1,000 blogs published to-date on our site across those six consistent years.

(Remember, steady content creation has a dominoes effect: It does better over time.)

hubspot_compounding-blogs

According to our data on SEMrush (pulled June 1, 2018), current paid search efforts to achieve our current month’s site traffic — 22,800 visitors — would cost $66,700. (This amount increases on a monthly basis for us. Lately, every month it’s been a 1-2k increase in traffic, with a fluctuating increase in rankings as well.)

If we were to buy this much traffic through Google Adsense, that would be an average paid search cost of $2.92 per visitor.

And, we haven’t even figured out how many of those are leads (buyers) yet. Expensive! $$$

semrush_06-01-2018

How Much Content Do We Produce to Achieve Blogging ROI? + the Costs

We publish, on average, one long-form, comprehensive piece of content weekly, and we update content on a monthly basis, too. Besides that, we publish monthly podcasts with show notes, and monthly #ContentWritingChat recaps.

Here’s an example of one of our long-form blogs:

ew_seo-blog

And here’s an example of a #ContentWritingChat recap post:

ew_content-writing-chat-recap

What does it cost to create this type of content regularly?

Our costs run:

  • Money: $400/month (this used to be $750, but we shaved off $300+ in costs by switching our Twitter chat to once/month instead of weekly)
  • Time: 4-5 hours of my time/month in blogging prep, publishing, writing, outlining, optimizing, & 3-4 hours/month in email marketing

If you qualify the hours I personally spend on our content into a “staff cost,” that alone could run $1,600+ per month.

How Do the Costs Compare to Paid Methods?

If paid search would cost $66,700 to achieve our current traffic in a month (22,800 visitors), and my cost of content marketing to achieve that traffic is $1,625, then paid search would be (at a minimum) 40x more expensive than my organic content marketing efforts.

Or, put it another way – a solid, consistent content marketing strategy over time could be 40 times cheaper than a paid marketing strategy. For business owners and higher-ups who think exclusively in dollar signs, that’s convincing.

What’s the Estimated ROI from Blogging at Express Writers?

Now, let’s put those numbers into the ROI formula (using my base visitor amount, to stay conservative — my site traffic is an extreme example after consistent years of targeted content):

  • 6,701 (monthly visitors) multiplied by 0.16 (average traffic-to-leads conversion rate) equals 1,072 monthly leads.
  • 1,072 (monthly leads) multiplied by 0.14 (average leads-to-sales conversion rate) equals 150 monthly sales.

In this example, a monthly investment of $1,625 into a content marketing strategy would lead to 150 (minimum) sales.

The Reward: Just How Much ROI Does Our Business Blog Bring In?

Here’s what you really want to know.

Let’s look at real, hard data and see just how much ROI an average month of blogging brings in for us.

Let’s use May 2018 as our example month of data.

Inside that one month, expresswriters.com had 93,000 visitors:

expresswriters-traffic-may2018

And the majority of those visitors came in through search rankings:

expresswriters-organic-traffic-may2018

Let’s estimate the leads and sales from that traffic once again using the content marketing ROI formula. Then we’ll compare the results to our recorded data for May 2018.

Infographic: Using the Content Marketing ROI Formula, Here’s our Real ROI Numbers for Blogging Results

Infographic roi of blogging

Our Estimated Blogging ROI Using the Content Marketing ROI Formula

Our formula is grounded in two vital stats:

Plugging those stats plus our traffic volume into a simple equation helps us estimate two huge content marketing ROI benchmarks: leads and sales.

First, we’ll estimate the leads we could see stemming from the month’s total traffic (93,000):

  • 93,000 Monthly Visitors x 16% = 14,880 Leads

Next, we can estimate how many of those leads will turn into sales:

  • 14,880 Leads x 14% = 2,083 Sales

Based on our traffic numbers for May, we could expect to see 14,880 leads and 2,083 sales resulting from our blogging and content marketing efforts.

How much ROI does our business blog bring in? @JuliaEMcCoy shares how to use the Content Marketing ROI Formula in finding actual #bloggingROI Click To Tweet

The Actual Blogging ROI

Here are our sales numbers for May 2018:

  • 235 orders placed
  • 2,140 “items” (content services) ordered
  • $186,128.50 in gross sales

expresswriters-gross-sales

  • Keep in mind: Many of these orders were from return and repeat clients, although many of them were new clients, too. Our average client retention rate is increasing, as well. Several of our recurring clients have stayed with us for 3-4 years now.
  • But, it’s 100% accurate to say that across all of our clients and lead generation methods, 99% of every client we’ve worked with to date has found us through our search rankings.
'99% of every client we’ve worked with to date has found us through our search rankings.' - @JuliaEMcCoy on Express Writer's successful #bloggingROI Click To Tweet

Our ROI from Blogging Is on Fire

The 2,140 individual content services ordered matches up very well with our predicted ROI from traffic we earned through consistent blogging (2,083 sales from 14,880 leads).

The real kicker, however, is apparent in our gross sales number.

If $1,600 in content costs per month can generate $186,128.50 in gross sales, I’d say content marketing is a safe investment to bet on if you’re considering every marketing avenue (keeping in mind these are gross numbers before we pay our team of 70+ people, and cover other business costs & taxes).

Even more importantly:

  • If we had to pay $66k in PPC ads to achieve our gross sales numbers, we’d be broke (there’s no way we’d make a profit after that high PPC cost and then the cost of delivering content services).

It’s safe to say that content marketing, mainly in the form of blogging, is the lynchpin for us in terms of drawing customers to our business.

Magnificent Marketing Case Study: Blogging = Steady Monthly Traffic Growth

magnificent marketing case study

I recently sat down with David Reimherr, founder of Magnificent Marketing, and their firm’s content marketing manager, Bre South.

Here’s what they had to say about how content marketing and blogging contributes to their client’s success.

“Our content strategy success begins with a deep dive onboard with our client to walk through targeted audience demographics, content mission statement, and their content tilt. In discussing the core messaging of the client’s product; we dig into the core of a client’s product and why it would resonate with its audience. We find which content angles will serve their audience, and how to reach their audience appropriately.

We help them figure out how to talk the talk their audience wants to hear.

All content efforts are driven by the content mission statement in addition to what our client already knows about their audience and experience. This gives way to the creation of determining main pillar topics and sub-topics the client commits to producing content for.

We help them create this mission statement for which all efforts will follow.

The main pillar topics are determined based on what a persona would actively be searching for as a problem they are looking for help to solve.

What topics will the audience care to read, interact and engage with?

All pillar topics funnel up to the brand’s content mission strategy and position the client as a thought leader in their specific industry. From here we are able to segment awareness, consideration and purchase pieces specifically and begin the roadmap of content construction and execution.

Blog writing is SEO focused which stems from a detailed keyword discovery and current ranking report to highlight the keywords to target for from their pillars.

We outline their content writing strategy by creating suggested headline topics built from our keyword report.

ROI & Success in Content Marketing

We’ve seen tremendous success, specifically in Emancipet, a national nonprofit veterinary service providing low-cost but high-quality care since 1999, through identifying keyword opportunities and crafting content around the terms to target.

We took over the account in January 2018 and through a strategic SEO focus around blog posts, consistent social media scheduling, and additional content creation we’ve seen a 16% increase in organic search. From that increase, 15% have been new users.

magnificent-increase-in-users

In addition, Emancipet nationally ranks in the top spot (#1) organically for the following keywords:

  • affordable heartworm treatment
  • Austin low cost vet
  • low cost heartworm treatment
  • cost of heartworm treatment
  • how much does heartworm treatment cost
  • how does microchip work for lost dog
  • free vet clinics in Houston
  • low cost heartworm test
  • heartworm shot cost
  • affordable pet care Austin

On a local level, we kicked off marketing efforts with Austin Dental Care, a company that has been around since 1997, with no previous strategic marketing in place, in November of 2017. Unfortunately, they did not have the proper Google tracking in place for us to historically compare but we saw the following continual uptick in organic search since our content plan kicked off. 

Increase in organic search users:

  • November: 30 users
  • December: 112
  • January: 216
  • February: 263
  • March: 313
  • April: 337
  • May: 408

magnificent-organic-traffic

Magnificent Marketing continues to implement successful content for their clients–and Express Writers helps fulfill that content!”

How Can You Achieve the Same Results and ROI from Blogging?

One of our passions is to spread the word about content marketing and help people achieve amazing results with it, like our own success at Express Writers.

Because – fantastic news – you can absolutely do this, too.

Here are some solid steps to help you get to a real level of blogging ROI.

1. Write Down What You’re Willing to Invest in Blogging and Content Marketing – and Stick to It

The type of blogging that earns ROI requires a two-fold investment of time and money.

Whether you take content creation in hand or outsource it to experts, the best stuff depends on what you’re willing to put into it.

Thus: Budget for your blogging. Write down a ballpark estimate of what you’re willing to spend, then proceed to the next step.

A typical starting budget could look like a monthly cost of investing a blog management package, where you’re posting 1-3x per week or more, and a social media plan that boosts the activity on your brand’s Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.

'Tip #1: Write down what you’re willing to invest in blogging and content marketing – and stick to it.' Read @JuliaEMcCoy 's tips in achieving real #bloggingROI Click To Tweet

2. Calculate How the Investment Will Pay Off

Let’s say you choose to outsource your content.

At Express Writers, if you want our best writing level, that’s Authority Content. One authority-level blog costs $375, including full design, content, research, keyword strategy, and more.

ew_pricing

You would actually receive SEO keyword research from our trained experts in each Authority piece, and have the possibility of ranking high with each blog. Investing in one year of authority blogging would cost about $19,500 if you publish one authority blog/week.

Or, if you want our next-best writing level, you could invest in expert writing, which is not as intensified, long-form and powerful as authority, but is also a high-quality, worthwhile writing level. You get an expert writer who knows your industry. No SEO research and full design, content only. This costs $395/month for 1 blog a week, posted on your site. Or $4,740 a year. (See blog management packages here.)

Since we write to appeal to your specific readers and search engines, we can estimate your keyword rankings. We can also use stats to figure out your click-through rate and traffic from organic blogging.

We hashed it all out in our post on content marketing ROI:

ew_content-investment

With an estimate of your monthly traffic in hand, we can then estimate potential leads and sales using our trusty formula:

ew_content-investment2

As you can see, this is an easy and eye-opening way to determine how your blogging investment will pay off.

If you’re not satisfied with the potential ROI, play with the numbers and see what happens as your investment increases.

P.S. A note about blogging. You really need social media activity (posts, sharing of your blogs, relevant facts about your brand, etc.) from a qualified social media copywriter if you don’t have social media going on yet. It will really complete the full-circle picture. For example, our Twitter profile @ExpWriters is responsible for 10% of our monthly traffic! 

If you were to add social media coverage from our social media packages to the blogging you do yourself, or the blogging we could do for you, this would start at $360/month to promote the blog and share other relevant posts about your brand consistently, adding $4,320/year in costs. Making sure you have activity under your brand name on social media is absolutely necessary for every brand.

3. Blog the Right Way (that Makes the ROI Roll In)

Here’s one caveat: You’ll only earn blogging ROI if you blog the right way.

The ROI formula only predicts what you’ll earn from consistent, high-quality, targeted blogging.

If you phone it in, you will not see the results the formula predicts.

We have lots of guides here at EW that can help you blog profitably. Here are a few for starters – read up to improve your game:

4. Remember That Cheapening Out Also Cheapens Your Content

Remember that investment you committed to in step #1?

If you flake out on it, your content will flake out, too.

Cheapening out likewise cheapens your content.

For example, if you cut the time you devote for blog creation in half without improving your productivity, you’ll start pushing out lower-quality blogs.

Similarly, if you cut the budget for your content, you’ll only be able to afford the cheapest content mills. Usually, this means bottom-of-the-barrel writing, or writers whose native language is not English.

With the latter, mistakes like these are too common:

Examples via Mark Matsuno

No bueno.

Mistakes like these can kill your blog ROI, because content that’s thin, riddled with errors, factually incorrect, poorly written, or hard to read does NOT rank.

Need a visual reminder of poor blogging? Here you go:

poor-content-example

Not only does this blog make your brain hurt, it’s also completely useless information. From one post, it’s painfully obvious that this business went the cheap route for their blog.

Yikes.

Ready to See ROI from Your Blog? Be Inspired from Our Success Stories

Here’s the deal:

Our blogging ROI at Express Writers is huge because:

  • We have invested SERIOUS time and money into creating great content
  • We have blogged consistently, regularly, and predictably for six years
  • Our blogs are usually long-form, SEO optimized and targeted to our audience
  • We’re committed, heart and soul, to high-quality blogging

There are no “buts” about it.

If you want to see similar ROI down the road, you MUST commit to blogging and invest in quality.

Are you ready to bring it?

bring-it

We can help with that. Trust us with your blog content creation – we know what it takes.

 

 

blog optimization

Blog Optimization: The Ultimate Guide on Optimizing Your Blog Posts for Better SEO & ROI

Want your blogs to rank in the top #3 of Google… or even earn a coveted Featured Snippets placement?

Want huge ROI in the form of traffic, leads, conversions, and even sales from your blogging efforts?

It’s time to start optimizing your blog posts.

Blog optimization is the road to take if you want to hit the bullseye on Google’s various ranking factors.

SEO success factors

And, because ranking factors for your posts/web pages are based on the relevancy and ease-of-use they provide to your audience…

… Optimization is also the #1 way to draw in more profitable traffic.

In other words, what satisfies human searchers also satisfies search engines.

If you do that, your content will rank.

Here’s how Moz puts it:

search engine rankings

Think of it this way:

The more work you put in to make your blogs 100% user-friendly, the more your results will skyrocket.

So… Where to start?

If you have no idea how to create a blog in a way that nets targeted SEO, traffic and subscriber growth…

…Or you’re staring at a recommended laundry list of what to do, but aren’t sure you know the right points to focus on, this post is for you.

With this guide in your hand, I promise you’ll be able to learn the methods and techniques you need to optimize your blog posts for results, right now.

(Psst: I’ve been able to net 99% of our traffic, leads, AND clients at Express Writers through publishing consistent, SEO-optimized blogs.)

Ready? We’re digging in deep for this one, so buckle up.

Learn the methods and techniques you need to optimize your blog posts for results, in today's Write Blog by @JuliaEMcCoy Click To Tweet

ultimate guide on blog post optimization

Table of Contents: Blog Optimization (The Ultimate Guide on Optimizing Your Blog Posts for Better SEO & ROI)

Before the Blog: 4 Simple Steps to Prep for Powerful Blog Optimization

  1. For SEO Rankings: Do Keyword Research
  2. For Your Audience: Do Topic Research
  3. For Better Content: Outline Your Blog
  4. For High-ROI Blog Optimization: Craft Better Headlines

How to Write Your Blog (& Optimize Correctly As You Go) in 5 Steps

  • Keyword Use and SEO Optimization
  • Blog Length
  • Adding Images + Using Keyword-Rich Alt Text
    • How to Optimize Images with Alt Text in WordPress
  • Blog Formatting
  • Conversion Techniques That Get the Clicks
    • Write Matching CTAs for Your Blog Posts
    • Write Your CTAs Powerfully
    • Insert at Least One CTA at the End of Your Blog, & Test Other Placements
    • Try Offering a Lead Magnet

Publishing the Blog (How to Push Blog Optimization Over the Top)

  • Writing Metas
    • How to Write an Optimized Meta Description
  • Optimizing in WordPress with Yoast SEO

After It’s Live (What to Do for Blog Optimization and What NOT to Do)

  • Low-Cost Content Promotion
    • How to Write and Send Emails Promoting Your Newest Blog Post
    • How to Not Get Canned in Spam
  • Blog Optimization Done Right: A Crazy Good Example

table-of-contents blog optimization guide

Before the Blog: 4 Simple Steps to Prep for Powerful Blog Optimization

Before you can start crafting a high-ROI blog, you need to do some blog optimization prep.

This is the research, drafting, and outlining that will make all the other steps much easier.

It all starts with keyword research.

1. For SEO Rankings: Do Keyword Research

You cannot optimize your blog for search results, Google rankings, traffic, and more without keyword research.

quote 1 blog optimization guide

It’s just impossible.

The value of using the right keywords in your blog content is astounding:

Businesses that use blogs with keywords generate 67% more leads than businesses without keyword-optimized blogs.

quote 2 blog optimization guide

The right keywords will attract the right traffic.

No matter your industry or niche, use this general guide to get started finding those high-ROI keyword opportunities to use in your blogs:

1. Start with broad, general seed keywords (also called “root keywords”) related to your industry, products, or services.

  • Example: If I sell bike parts, I might start with a no-brainer root keyword, “bike parts.”

2. Plug that keyword into the tool of your choice (find good ones to use in the next sub-section).

  • Example: Plugging the keyword “bike parts” into Keyword Tool immediately brings up a list of long tail keyword variations I can research further:

keyword-variations

3. Continue to search for long tail keywords that expand on your root term, but hit a desirable sweet spot: low competition + high search volume + low difficulty score.

For a deeper dive into to keyword research, check out our guide, “How to Find SEO Keywords.”

Recommended Keyword Research Tools

2. For Your Audience: Do Topic Research

Got your keywords? It’s time to dive into potential topics you can write about using those hot terms.

Topic research is essential to the blog optimization process because it ensures you’re writing about what interests your readers.

What’s important to them, what will help them, what will capture their attention?

If, on the other hand, you write about topics they don’t care about, your content marketing will suffer. Nobody will want to read those posts.

How do you find hot blog topics?

Try a few tried-and-true methods and tools:

1) Watch Your Competition

The most successful competitors in your industry are a good benchmark for content and blog topics.

Check out their content, and start taking notes about the topics and subjects they’re covering.

Analyze each topic idea and ask yourself a few questions:

  • How can I put my own spin on this?
  • Can I write a better post on this topic? (more thoroughly researched, better writing, better visuals, etc.?)
  • Is there a sub-topic or facet of this broader topic I can write about with more depth?

quote 3 blog optimization guide

2) Use BuzzSumo

BuzzSumo is a great tool to use to get a sense of what’s hot with readers.

One of the easiest ways to find topics is to use two general features: “Most Shared” and “Trending Now” (under “Content Research”).

buzzsumo most shared

The “Most Shared” feature lets you research which content pieces have the most engagements over a set period of time. So, I could search a broad keyword and see which topics have done well in the past for that term.

In the example above, I searched the term “mountain biking” to see which articles were most-shared over the past 6 months.

News articles do very well, but I also notice that mountain bike reviews are hot, as are reviews of the best places to mountain bike.

buzzsumo results

buzzsumo results

buzzsumo results

These results give me some great jumping-off points for my own blog topics.

Similarly, the “Trending Now” feature can help you find topics that are hot or trending in your industry.

To see these articles, you’ll need to create your own Trending Feed:

buzzsumo trending feed

This lets you add custom topics to follow based on hashtags and keywords you specify. Once you create your Trending Feed, BuzzSumo saves it for you so you can quickly click on it and see what content is trending right this second.

buzzsumo trending

Check out the topics that are hot, and brainstorm ways you can use this information.

For a deeper look at how to find hot topics using BuzzSumo, check out our guide, How to Use BuzzSumo to Crush Your Competitors & Produce High Traction Content.

For additional research inspiration, take a look at What Blog Topics Get the Most Shares & Reads? A Data Driven Answer.

3) Analyze Google Results

Sometimes doing a cursory Google search can give you great ideas for blog topics. This is a perfect method to use when you’re short on time.

First, start by entering a keyword into the Google search bar. A box should pop up underneath with a list of keyword variations, which can give you ideas for topics:

google search for mountain bike comparison

Next, analyze the top results for the keyword you want to use and see how various competitors have spun the topic.

google search for mountain bike comparison

Remember, all this research is for inspiration/ideation purposes only. NEVER copy another creator’s content!

For even more inspiration for coming up with blog topics, read up on our list of 20 creative blog ideas.

3. For Better Content: Outline Your Blog

You may groan at the idea of creating an outline for your blog post, but this is a helpful optimization step you shouldn’t skip.

After you have one or two keywords and a solid topic to write about, creating an outline will:

  • Give your blog post direction and organization (think of it as a map or blueprint for writing the post)
  • Help you plan keyword-optimized headers and sub-headers
  • Make sure you cover everything that needs attention
  • Increase your writing speed (because you’ll know exactly what to write about and when)
  • Prevent rambling or tangents that can bore your readers
  • Give your creativity a honed focus

quote 4 blog optimization guide

Convinced yet?

The best part is your outline can be as simple or as detailed as you want. No matter how loosely or precisely you organize your thoughts, your outline will serve as a tool for a better final product.

quote 5 blog optimization guide

Copywriter Henneke Duistermaat of Enchanting Marketing has some great outlining tips – for example, she likens creating an outline to following a recipe.

Henneke on outlining

You could go deeper than this. For example:

  • Try writing out first-draft versions of your headers and subheaders with a short explanation of what will go in each section.
  • Or, simpler: Make a list of your main topic and subtopics using only key phrases.

Outlining is a great way to draft your blog post and get all your ideas on paper. Commit to making outlines and your posts may just become more cohesive, thought-out, and organized – all of which is great for your readers and optimization.

4. For High-ROI Blog Optimization: Craft Powerful Headlines

Another step involved in prepping your blog post for the most clicks, traffic, and shares is optimizing your headline.

What does this mean?

It means you make your blog title as enticing as possible, which ensures it looks good in Google search results.

And, if your headline looks good, more people will click on it and check out the meat of your post.

Here are the steps to get there:

Insert your keyword at or near the beginning of the headline. Google cuts off headlines in search results after about 50-60 characters. Keeping your focus keyword toward the front helps readers understand the relevance of your post more quickly.

example of focus keyword

Keep your headlines shorter, about 8-14 words.

quote 6 blog optimization guide

Research from HubSpot has shown that headlines that fall into this length range get the most engagement on Twitter and Facebook.

content title length vs social shares

Write for the reader. If your headline does nothing but plainly describe what your blog post is about, it won’t look very enticing. Instead, write your headline to appeal to your audience.

Luckily, there are tried-and-true words, word combinations, and formats that have been proven to make people want to click. Here are the best of them, according to a Conductor study:

  • Start with a number, i.e. “10 Ways to Improve Your Life without Spending Money.”
  • Address the reader, i.e. “You Need These 10 Tips That Will Improve Your Life Without Spending $”
  • Start with “how to,” i.e. “How to Improve Your Life without Spending a Dime.”

headline preferences

Find the best words for the job. Don’t be afraid to evoke emotion in your headline. Use strong verbs and adjectives that are descriptive and powerful. CoSchedule says all great headlines include both emotional and power words to make the biggest impact.

To see how many of both are in your headline, use their Headline Analyzer. You can also use this tool to tweak your headline and optimize it for length, character count, format, and more.

coschedule headline analyzer

coschedule headline analyzer

Read more about crafting high-ROI headlines: The Ultimate Guide: How to Create Headlines that Will Go Viral

How to Write Your Blog (& Optimize Correctly As You Go) in 5 Steps

Now that you’re prepped and ready, armed with strong keywords, blog topics, an amazing headline, and an outline, you can dive into writing the actual body of your blog post.

conan o'brien gif

What are some ways to SEO optimize as you write?

Ah, the tricky part.

This section will show you everything you need to know.

Let’s start with keywords.

1. Know Keyword Usage for Better SEO Results From Blogging

Using the keywords you found during the research phase is essential for blog SEO.

But, how should you use them while writing your blog? When? How often?

Strategically, strategically, strategically.

Here are the basics.

Using keywords this way will help search engines crawl your page faster and understand its relevance quicker (which leads to higher rankings).

Your Handy-Dandy Blog Post Keyword Usage Shortlist

  1. Use your focus keyword once in the title tag (A.K.A. your headline).
  2. Use your focus keyword once in the opening paragraph.
  3. Use that keyword in most, if not all, of the subheaders (H2s).
  4. If you can, use the same keyword in a few of your H3s (sub-subheaders).
  5. Write the body of your blog post. If using the keyword feels natural in the text, do it. The same goes for any related terms or secondary keywords.
  6. Include the keyword once in the closing paragraph.

your handy dandy guide to blog post keyword usage

2. Know Your Blog Post Length Standards for Better Optimization

What’s the right blog length for the post you’re writing?

This is a common question that leaves many content creators scratching their heads.

The reason?

There are different answers to this question all over the internet.

Many experts like Neil Patel agree that 2,500 words is a good standard length for highly-shared blog posts.

I’ve even put together a study on why long-form content is incredibly sticky in the rankings:

why long-form content works

Be comprehensive at all times when you're working on blog content that has a goal of building your online authority. @JuliaEMcCoy Click To Tweet

And remember, the length of your blog needs to depend on the audience you’re writing for, the topic you’re writing about, and the exhaustiveness of the information you’re sharing.

If you’re going super in-depth, your blog post should be longer. 10,000 words isn’t easy to bluff your way through, and will absolutely position you as an expert on the topic (and take weeks, or months, to put together).

Case in point: the blog you’re reading is 5,000+ words in length, and took 4 weeks to assemble, create, produce, and publish.

On the other hand, if you’re sharing news in your industry or a personal opinion, your post might be shorter. The key is to follow the outline you created during your blog prep, edit ruthlessly, and write as clearly as possible.

Remember: A successful blog post doesn’t always depend on its length. It depends on the quality of the research and writing, the accuracy of the information, the usefulness of the content, and the value you provide.

3. Add Images and Use Keyword-Rich Alt Text

As you write the body of your blog post, you may want to use images and screenshots to help support your points.

That’s great!

Images are proven to encourage your readers to stay on your page longer AND remember your content better (this is called the picture superiority effect).

picture superiority effect

Of course, if you include images in your blog posts, you need to optimize them, too. You can do this by using keyword-rich alt text.

Alt text (alternative text) tags are pieces of HTML markup that tell web browsers what to show the user if your image won’t load (like if the user has a slow connection or uses a screen reader).

Here’s what that code looks like, via W3schools:

alt text code

If your image can’t be loaded, the browser will grab and display the alt text inside a placeholder instead, like so:

alt text example

Image via wpbeginner

Alt text is also useful for web crawlers, which can’t “see” or interpret images.

Descriptive alt text tells the crawler what the image is about. (Bonus: this will help your images rank in Google Images, too.)

How to Optimize Images with Alt Text in WordPress

If you use WordPress to publish your blog, you can add alt text for all your images as you go.

1. In your WordPress dashboard, when you’re creating a new post, you can insert images or gifs directly into the body by clicking “Add Media”:

add media in WordPress

Now you should have a view of your image library, where you can select images or upload new files.

2. Select the image you want in your blog post (or upload a new one). On the right-hand side of the image library, a sidebar will pop up where you’ll find the image details as well as the option for adding alt text:

wordpress_alt-text

3. Enter a short, yet descriptive, word or phrase into the text box that will tell web crawlers and users alike what the image is about.

4. Then click “Insert into post.”

add alt text on WordPress

  • Remember to keep your alt text short.
  • When relevant, use your keywords as alt text to describe your images.

That’s it! Easy-peasy.

Bonus: Not only does using alt text for your images help ALL users understand your page better, it can also contribute to Google rankings.

Win-win.

4. Know Your Blog Formatting

Another way to optimize your blog while you write?

Blog formatting.

This piece of the puzzle is important mainly for your readers.

A well-formatted blog makes the text easier to scan, read, and digest for internet users and their short attention spans.

This also means you’ll help people stay on your page longer because they’ll find reading your post as easy as breathing.

This is called “dwell time” – the logic is, the longer someone stays on your page, the more relevant your page must be to their search.

Here’s a good example of that from Ahrefs:

ahrefs dwell time

Longer dwell-time (and a lower bounce rate) is great for more possible conversions and Google rankings.

Since good formatting helps increase dwell-time (time visitors spend on your site), never neglect it in your blog creation process. @JuliaEMcCoy Click To Tweet

Blog Formatting Shortlist

Here are the basic must-dos for a well-formatted, easy-to-read, organized, logical blog post:

  • Outline! This helps organize your post and is useful for making sure your points are logically laid-out, which aids reader comprehension.
  • Keep paragraphs shorter. Electronic screens are harder on your eyes than printed paper. Plus, the internet is full of distractions that can pull at your readers’ attention, especially if you present them with mind-numbingly large blocks of text. Shorter paragraphs help with both issues.
  • Use headers and subheaders. This organizes your content so readers can find the pieces that interest them. Most online readers skim, so don’t hinder that process.
  • Use H1, H2s, H3s, etc. for headers. Your headers need to be a larger size (and perhaps a different color) to help differentiate them from the body text.
    • In WordPress, you can apply headers to your text by highlighting the phrase and choosing the right heading level from the “Paragraph” settings.

wordpress heading headers

  • Where it’s logical, use bulleted and/or numbered lists. For example, if you have a long list of items separated by commas, that list will be easier to read if you format it with bullets.
    • In WordPress, it’s easy to add bulleted lists:

wordpress bulleted list

  • Use bold or italics to highlight significant words in a paragraph. I’m using this technique right now – it draws your eye to the most important information, which makes the text easier to understand and skim. Just don’t overuse this technique; you’ll start looking silly, and may hinder the reader rather than help.

5. Know Conversion Techniques That Get the Clicks

Everything we’ve discussed so far should go a long way toward helping your blog conversions. Making your post as user-friendly and SEO-friendly as possible are the first steps.

However, there are a few extra strategies you can use to nab more profitable reader action from your blog.

1) Write Matching CTAs for Your Blog Posts

If you want more conversions from your blogs, each and every post you write should include at least one matching call-to-action.

What do I mean by “matching”?

Just that: the CTA you include should seamlessly integrate into your blog post topic. It shouldn’t stand out like a sore thumb – it should make sense within the text.

quote 7 blog optimization guide

Here’s a good example from a HubSpot blog, The 17 Best Advertisements of All Time:

hubspot best advertisements of all time

Their CTA naturally ties into this topic – they want you to download a freebie about “The Best Marketing and Advertising Campaigns”:

cta example

We’ve done the same thing with our posts at the Write Blog.

Check out, for instance, how the header of this very blog you’re reading and our CTA at the end match.

Here’s the blog header:

ultimate guide on blog post optimization

And, the CTA:

cta authority content

2) Write Your CTAs Powerfully

Including CTAs with every blog post is important for conversions, but nobody will convert on a weak CTA.

Your CTA is weak if you use weak words. Here’s an example: Say you want to encourage people to subscribe to your mailing list at the end of your blog post.

Weak CTA:

  • “Subscribe to the mailing list.”
  • “Book me for a call here.”

Why it sucks: This CTA is not persuasive. It’s boring. It uses weak verb, “subscribe,” which, frankly, nobody will care to do, because they have no idea what’s in it for them. And “book me for a call?” you should tell me why I should do it, not just tell me what to do.

Powerful CTA:

  • “Sign up today to get freebies, tips, and updates sent straight to your inbox!”
  • “Want copywriting so good, it’s internet-breaking? Click to see our services!”

Why it works: I use straightforward action verbs (“sign up,” “get”) to inspire the desired action. I also tell the reader what’s in it for them (freebies, tips, updates, results so good they’ll break the internet) if they follow through. Finally, I top the whole thing off with an exclamation point for emphasis.

3) Insert at Least One CTA at the End of Your Blog, & Test Other Placements

There are lots of studies out there that compare how well various CTA placements on a page convert: above the fold? In a right-hand sidebar? Tucked into the body text?

According to Kissmetrics, though, there isn’t much difference in conversion power between these options.

What should you do, instead?

Focus on at least placing a CTA at the end of your blog. Then, test out other CTA placement areas and see what works best for converting your particular audience.

Optimizely explains A/B testing (or split testing) in more detail in their glossary. This technique can be great for finding the perfect formula for your CTAs.

A/B testing

4) Offer a Lead Magnet

If your current CTAs aren’t enticing enough, maybe you’re just not offering the type of goods your readers will go for.

Try to up the ante and offer a lead magnet in exchange for mailing list sign-ups, for instance.

Lead magnets are high-quality content pieces that contain information you haven’t offered elsewhere. Their value should be apparent, which will make your audience much more likely to opt-in to get them. (Read: they’re conversion gold.)

Here are some lead magnet examples for inspiration:

  • Digital Marketer offered these free Facebook ad templates, which netted them almost 36,000 new leads in 60 days:

digital marketer facebook ad template library

shopify return policy generator

  • Our lead magnets, plugged into our Resource Page and featured in different blogs, earn an organic subscriber growth of 6-12 new people per day, and is heavily targeted to win the attention of our ideal customer. See our Resource Center. Here’s an example of one popular lead magnet:

2 Major Steps in Publishing Your Blog (& How to Push Blog Optimization Over the Top)

You’ve done the research and prep. You’ve written the blog.

It’s time to publish.

But, wait.

Not so fast.

There are some final steps you can take to prep for publishing and make sure your blog hits every possible optimization note.

1. Write Your Metas

Once your blog is finished and edited, it’s a good idea to write out your metas, next.

  • A meta description is simply a short summary of your blog, up to 320 characters in length.
  • A meta title is the main headline of your blog.

Search engines often, but not always, use metas to populate your listing in the search results:

meta headline example

Good news: You’ve already written an SEO optimized headline, which also can be used as your meta title.

Now you just need to write your meta description. Then you can insert both metas into your blog.

How to Write an Optimized Meta Description

Along with a short summary of your blog post, your meta description also needs 4 things to be optimized for search engines and users:

  1. Your focus keyword included once, near the beginning of the description
  2. A secondary keyword (if you have one) included once, naturally
  3. Actionable language (much like a CTA!)
  4. A benefit – what users will get from reading your post

Here’s an example of a good meta description, broken down into its essential elements:

meta description example

To learn how to add metas to your post in WordPress, continue on to the next section. You can do it using a plugin called Yoast SEO.

2. Optimize Your Post in WordPress with Yoast SEO

If you use WordPress, you can double-check your blog optimization and add meta information to your posts using Yoast SEO.

Here’s what it looks like on the WordPress dashboard when installed. All the options show up when you’re ready to add a new post. Just scroll down the page and find this box:

yoast seo plugin for wordpress

This plugin has lots of features that help you optimize your optimization (see what I did there?).

First up: the snippet preview. This shows you what your blog post may look like in Google search results:

yoast seo plugin snippet preview

If you click “Edit snippet,” you can directly edit the title, URL slug, and meta description from there.

using yoast seo plugin

Underneath the “Edit Snippet” feature is the place where you tell Yoast your focus keyword:

yoast seo plugin focus keyword

This information is vital, because the plugin will check your post for the strategic inclusion of your focus keyword in the right places.

Next up is the “Analysis” feature. Yoast will analyze your content and SEO for best-practices, readability, and accuracy.

As you can see, this part tells you what’s good and not-so-good about your post. It also offers suggestions for improvement:

yoast seo plugin analysis

If you get a lot of red and orange bullets in this section, you should review and try to fix them.

For example, for the red bullet that reads “No meta description has been specified,” I can click back to the snippet preview and edit the meta:

yoast seo plugin for wordpress

If you’re shaky on SEO best-practices and techniques, Yoast SEO is a great help and can get your blog posts where they need to be. Just don’t go 100% by the green/orange rating: I’ve had a few orange-rated blogs rank in the first three of Google.

Remember, a great blog is all about optimized SEO, relevancy to your reader, and usefulness (value). Put that above a Yoast rating at all times. @JuliaEMcCoy Click To Tweet

Double-checking your SEO is a fantastic last step for an SEO-optimized blog post, right before you publish.

But, what about after you publish your post?

Are there still ways to optimize your blog for more clicks, traffic, engagements, and conversions?

The answer is yes.

2 Major Steps to Do After It’s Live (What to Do for Post-Publishing Blog Optimization and What NOT to Do)

Finally.

Your blog is published.

It’s LIVE.

You may want to dust yourself off at this point and settle back to monitor its traction…

But wait!

You know the drill by now: There’s still stuff you can do to optimize your blog and get as many eyes on it as possible.

Do Some Low-Cost Content Promotion

Promoting your content can be a vital step toward pushing your blog post to the next level.

quote 8 blog optimization guide

Want more traffic and engagement? Promote.

Here are some of the best, lowest-cost ways to do it.

How to Write and Send Emails Promoting Your Newest Blog Post

One content promotion tactic you can’t beat (it’s free) is sending an email to your list every time you publish a new blog post.

This doesn’t have to be a complicated or long email – it can be nothing more than a short-yet-sweet heads-up with a link to your post.

Here are some basic best-practices for sending out these promotional emails:

  • Test your subject line using the Email Subject Line Tester from CoSchedule to optimize for the most opens.
  • Only include one link in your email (the one to your new blog post) to avoid hitting your readers’ spam folder. (For more tips to avoid being marked as spam, check the next section.)
  • Keep it friendly, but not too informal. Starting your email with “What’s new, losers?” might work among your group of friends, but it won’t go over too well with your audience. Stay friendly, but not too friendly.
  • Quickly summarize what your post is about, then reveal one benefit your audience will get from reading it. This could be insider knowledge, fresh stats, or maybe a freebie/lead magnet that goes with the blog post.
  • Send your promotional emails on a schedule – same day, same time. For instance, if you publish on Monday nights, you might choose to send your emails on Tuesday morning.

How to Not Get Your Fantastic Blog Email Canned in Spam

For your low-cost email promotion to work, your messages have to actually reach their destination (i.e. your readers’ inboxes, not their spam folders).

Here are some tips to avoid getting canned in spam:

  • Only send emails to readers who opted-in for your mailing list. Sending unsolicited emails IS spam. Period.
  • Keep your subject lines honest. Don’t promise something you can’t deliver.
  • Include your business address in the email footer. It’s actually against the law to skip this. If you work exclusively online, consider getting a P.O. box to use for business purposes.
  • Include an opt-out or unsubscribe link in your email. Your readers must always have a way to manage the email communication they receive from you.
  • Keep your sender information accurate. This includes the “from,” “to,” and “reply-to” fields as well as the routing information. For example, you can’t try to make it seem like an email you sent came from somewhere else.

Here’s an example of accurate, trustworthy sender information in a promotional email from Barnes & Noble:

barnes & noble email example

Blog Optimization Done Right: A Crazy Good Example

Whew.

We made it this far.

By now, you should have the hang of optimizing your blog posts from start to finish.

To keep the good vibes going, let’s look at an example of superb blog optimization.

Study this blog and note how all the pieces, from huge to tiny, seamlessly fall into place.

Take inspiration, then go forth and optimize!

How to Write Sales Copy (and Win More Clients) – Enchanting Marketing

Here’s a great example of a post ranking in Google that’s optimized to a tee: How to Write Sales Copy (and Win More Clients).

google search results for sales copy

Let’s look at each piece of optimization that contributes to the whole.

First off, the focus keyword (“sales copy”) is used strategically throughout.

We can find it in the optimized headline and first paragraph:

enchanting marketing on sales copy

And in the H2s and body copy:

enchanting marketing sales copy

Next, let’s dig deeper into the HTML.

The meta title and description are on-point:

meta title and description

And we can even see that the post was optimized with Yoast SEO:

yoast seo

Let’s not forget the blog formatting, either.

It’s easy to read, well-organized, and incorporates lots of bulleted lists. Paragraphs are short, and headings give meaning to the content and make it skimmable:

copywriting articles for beginners

The images are optimized with alt text, too:

optimizing blog post images

Finally, there are CTAs throughout the post that are persuasive, well-written, and make sense for the topic of the blog post:

blog post cta example

Overall, this blog post has optimization nailed. It’s no coincidence that this post is currently ranking #2 on Google for “sales copy.”

Now, what about earning a coveted spot in the rankings… like ranking as a Featured Snippets answer?

Here’s an example of a blog I wrote for Shopify. It’s ranking in the featured snippets as one of the primary answers to define “seo product descriptions.”

Look at how the snippet content itself is structured.

Do you see the pattern of a well-structured blog post that we’ve been discussing all along?

google snippet content

Shopify did something smart and created a Table of Contents featuring these 5 points at the top of the blog post:

shopify featured snippets

You might have seen a Table of Contents in this blog, too (scroll to the top). 😉

And finally, here’s an example of a blog on our very own site, ranking #2 for “blogging statistics.” 

blogging statistics blog post ranking

Again, if you check out the blog, you’ll see the exact same structure, formatting, and style that we’ve been discussing in our guide.

example of a high ranking seo blog

Bonus: I jumped on a keyword that was at a 30-ish score in keyword difficulty at the time of publishing.

Months later, this same keyword went up 10-15 points in difficulty!

Need to know how to find (and jump on) great SEO keywords for your content? Read my guide on how to find SEO keywords here.

Optimize Your Way to Better Blogging Results

Taking the time to optimize your blog from beginning to end can have amazing returns…

But only if you do it the right way.

Follow this guide to make sure your posts are user-friendly, not to mention SEO and ROI-rich.

Trust me: the time it takes to research, prep, write, publish, and promote will pay off tenfold when all is said and done. So, opt to optimize your content!

online content strategy

legal blog writers

10 Smart, Easy Tips for Starting Your Law Blog and Working with Legal Blog Writers

The benefits of starting a blog for a law firm or legal business bear repeating, even if you’ve heard them before (and you probably have).

By now, you understand how blogging helps grow the chances of getting discovered through online search for any business.

You’re well aware of how it builds trust with readers.

You know how a blog helps position you (or, if you’re a marketer, your client) as an authority in any industry.

A blog can play a hugely instrumental role in the first part of the sales journey:

(Via Hubspot)

As a result of its ability to attract prospects, it can help grow your business, too.

Just look at this case study from Jeff Bullas to see five great examples of blogging success, including companies like Etsy and OptinMonster.

The benefits of blogging can’t be disputed. In fact, you’re probably ready to get going with a law blog right this second. After all, the sooner you begin, the sooner you can reap the rewards.

But where to begin?

If you need a little push making the first move toward content marketing success with a law blog, you’re in the right place. These tips for starting a blog with legal blog writers will show you how it’s done.

working with legal blog writers

How to Position a Law Business for Success with a Blog + Legal Blog Writers

The first must for starting a law blog? Hire the right writing talent!

1. Hire Legal Blog Writers!

A blog can’t be successful without good writing talent behind it.

You can’t just hire any writer, either. You’re working within a niche industry. Useful, thorough, factually accurate blogs about legal topics require expert knowledge. You need writers who are up to the task.

Generally, you won’t find these types of writers at a content mill. If you do end up hiring cheap services, it’ll leave you with cheap, inaccurate filler blogs that provide no value for your audience.

Bottom line: If you want a good legal blog, one that does everything you need it to do for successful content marketing and SEO, you need higher-level writers who know their way around legal topics.

You gotta hire and invest in expert legal blog writers.

For inspiration, here’s what a great law blog looks like:

The Startup Law Blog is a perfect example of a blog with solid writing and expert knowledge behind it.

It also gets tons of engagement!

For proof, look at how many comments a recent post got:

2. Don’t Give Legal Advice

Lawyers and law firms need to tread carefully when posting online and blogging. There are ethical lines you should not cross to avoid misleading readers.

The American Bar Association has outlined general guidelines to follow when posting online. One biggie is to know the distinction between offering legal information and giving legal advice.

Legal advice is specific and relates to the information and circumstances of an individual case. Legal information, on the other hand, is general, hypothetical, and can be applied to lots of different cases. To avoid ethical tangles, you should stick to the latter in your blog posts.

Here’s where hiring an expert legal blog writer can save you – they’ll know this distinction inside-out and can make clear statements in posts about it. They’ll let the reader know the information is general and not intended as legal advice.

3. Keep the Language General and the Tone Approachable

It could be easy to forget who you’re writing for and include legal-speak in your blog posts.

This is a big no-no. For one, your audience is probably much more general than you think. You’ll mainly be talking to people who have been searching the web for basic information and explanations about legal topics. These people won’t have any legal training.

This means you need to keep your language general. Don’t include legal jargon (unless you’re willing to define it in plain terms), and explain basic concepts in a down-to-earth way. Otherwise, you may turn visitors away.

4. Focus on Quality and Usefulness

It can be hard to come up with a steady stream of blog topics, but there are always two keys to keep in mind for subject matter. Focus on providing quality and usefulness to your readers.

What does quality look like?

  • Clear, easy-to-read text with good grammar, punctuation, and spelling.
  • Ideas are broken up into short paragraphs for maximum readability.
  • The blog is organized with headers and subheaders.
  • One idea flows logically into the next, and the next, and so on.

What does usefulness look like?

  • The topic is one that would interest your target audience.
  • The blog features enlightening or practical information – it speaks to your readers’ lives, concerns, or pain points.
  • The blog is written in a relatable, understandable, clear tone.
  • It’s factually accurate.
  • The blog is timely, or better yet, timeless (it will still be good information a week from now, a month from now, or six months to a year from now).

Quality and usefulness are two universal aspects that should apply to every single blog you write, no matter the topic.

If you phone it in, your readers will know, and they’ll stop caring.

5. Write to Your Target Audience

With a blog, you can’t write to the entire world at large.

First of all, that’s impossible. Second of all, if you tried to do that, you would end up with something way, way too general to be useful.

You need to have an audience in mind when you write in order for your content to be effective and serve its purpose.

What’s that purpose? Helping people find answers you can provide.

You can’t help everyone, though. You can, however, help the people your professional law services target. Plus, this kind of targeting helps your business and your blog tie together seamlessly.

If you haven’t found your target audience yet, you need to get going on market research. Only then will you understand who to address in your blog posts.

Need training to become a more proficient writer? The Practical Content Strategy Certification Course is an in-depth training from Julia McCoy featuring A-Z teaching for online content creators, including legal ghostwriters. Get in today and save up to $130 on all-access enrollment with coupon BLOG10. 

6. Stay in Your Lane

You may be tempted to write about any law topic under the sun for your blog, but you really shouldn’t. Instead, focus on your expertise.

In other words, stay in your lane. This will help you build a unique blog that is incredibly useful.

Go too general, and you might not bring in the audience you’re looking for. Stick to that sweet spot where you can write about useful topics and employ your personal expertise and practice area. This combination will help you hit each blog out of the park.

For example, this blog successfully focuses on a niche legal topic/practice area – contract drafting:

Staying in your lane also includes writing about your specific geographic region. Focusing on law topics for your state or city will help you attract local readers who could become clients.

Take a look at this blog from a Nebraska law firm. They have targeted a specific county in this post to draw in readers from that region:

7. Use Your Voice

Over 2 million blogs get published on a daily basis. There are hordes upon hordes of voices clamoring for attention online.

To stand out, you have to use your voice. You have to position yourself as an individual. After all, there’s only one of you. Use that to your advantage!

General tips for finding and using your voice:

  • No matter what you’re writing about, pretend you’re talking to one person.
  • Imagine this person as an individual from your target audience (look at your brand personas and choose one to write for).
  • Write to them on a one-to-one level, like you would if you were addressing them face-to-face.
  • Really think about how that conversation might go. It would be professional, of course, but you might throw in a joke or two to lighten the mood. You might have a warmth and sincerity that comes out naturally. Or, you may prefer to get down to business and waste zero time.

Whatever your personality and conversational style, let it leak into your writing. Use your voice and stand out from the masses of other law blogs out there.

8. Avoid Sounding Salesy

If your blogs sound like you’re selling your legal services, you’re doing it wrong. To put it bluntly, you’re making yourself look like an ambulance-chaser.

Selling should be the very last thing you think about when you’re blogging (the call-to-action at the end of a blog post is the only exception).

9. Don’t Rehash Easy-to-Find News or Information

Planning to write a blog about a big law that just passed, or a high-profile case that’s in the news? Just say no to rehashing information that’s already out there and nothing more.

If your readers can easily google the topic and find a better-written news story about it, there’s no reason for you to rehash it. Instead, summarize the details briefly, then provide your take on the issue at hand.

For instance, approach it from your perspective as an expert in a specific type of law. Give your readers a professional’s opinion on the matter.

This tip goes along with #7, above. Don’t contribute to the wasteland of duplicate, useless content that’s already out there. Be unique, have an opinion, and avoid rehashing.

10. Change Up Your Posts

To help your blog stay fresh, change up the type of stuff you post. Don’t feel nailed to one style or format – think outside the box.

Here are some quick ideas:

  • Go slightly off-topic. As long as your blog has a general focus that you stick to regularly, you can feel free to go slightly off-topic every once in a while. This can shake things up and even draw in new readers.
  • Share a personal story. A personal story can help your blog and your brand seem relatable, friendly, and approachable – all great for business. The story can relate to your profession or not. If it’s entirely personal, this helps reinforce the idea that a human is behind the screen.
  • Invite discussion. Sometimes it’s fun to sit back and let your audience take the reins. Introduce a hot-button issue or topic that’s deeply relevant to your readers, then hand it over to them in the comments and see what happens. Make sure you participate and add your two cents!
  • Do an interview. Do you have a wise mentor who guided you to where you are today? Have them drop some of this wisdom on your blog. Can a colleague provide some timely information? Or maybe there’s a law blogger you respect who you’d love to feature. Present any of these people in an interview format to shake things up.

A Law Blog + Legal Blog Writers = A Smart Business Move

Content marketing is proven. Blogging is proven. These facts are undisputed.

If you haven’t started blogging yet for your law business, what are you waiting for? People are out there on the internet, looking for expertise on legal topics that’s both solid and trustworthy. They have questions that need answering.

You are uniquely positioned to provide those answers. It’s a golden opportunity to build your reputation in your field and draw in new clients. All you need is a blog and legal blog writers to make it happen.

Ready to begin, but lack the time or expertise to start writing?

Express Writers has a team of general, expert, and authority writers who can do it for you. Try a blogging package today and start taking advantage of the power of blogging.

express writers cta 2017

professional blog writers

6 Reasons Professional Blog Writers Are Worth Every Last Cent of Your Investment

There are writers, and then there are writers.

Or, let’s put the distinction this way: There are cheap writers, and there are pro writers.

What’s the difference?

Cheap writers are cheap. That’s all they bring to the table.

Professional blog writers have experience, talent, skill, and style. There’s more, though.

Writing is a field of expertise, just like any other industry, and these people know it inside-out. They read widely and absorb different writing techniques. They know how to conduct thorough research. They understand the basics of constructing a solid article, whether short or long. They’re creative and dedicated to their craft.

Should I keep going?

writing skills

Proficient pro writers need to have all of these skills, plus more. (Via Learn How to Become)

And yet, despite the obvious benefits of hiring a professional writer for their content marketing, lots of brands and businesses still aren’t doing it. Instead, they think they can cut corners. Something’s gotta give somewhere, and, a lot of the time, that something is the writing.

You may be guilty of this, too.

If you are, I’m here to set you straight.

You have to understand exactly why professional writers are worth it. You need to know what cheap content mills are doing to your content marketing. You need to understand the value of good, professional writing.

why invest in professional blog writers

Why Professional Blog Writers Are Worth Every Last Cent of Investment

There are reams of blogs out there that try to tell you the secrets of professional writers.

Even more explain the basic elements that make up good content. You’re supposed to learn these and then apply them to your content marketing and copywriting.

Articles like these are all over the ‘net. They try to give you a lesson in skills which pro writers already have. (Via Quick Sprout)

Guess what? Professional writers have an entire arsenal of writing “secrets.” You’ll never learn them all, or understand them in the same way, because writing isn’t your bread-and-butter.

You haven’t been reading and writing for years upon years – for fun. You probably didn’t major in English, journalism, or communications in college. You most likely never attempted to write a hefty fantasy or detective novel when you were 12. (Seriously, ask any pro writer – they’ll tell you all about their ridiculous first novel, short story collection, etc., that they wrote when they were young and foolish.)

Of course, not every writer has professional training or education. However, every single pro writer has passion and experience.

Let’s get more basic. If you’re a marketer, marketing is what you do. If you’re a business owner, running your company is what you do, and all that it entails. If you’re a pro writer, writing is what you do.

If these still aren’t good enough arguments for you, here’s more about what good writers can do for your content marketing. These key factors set them apart.

1. Professional Blog Writers Treat Your Content with Care

Cheap writers are not concerned about quality – they only care about quantity. That’s because they sell their services for the cheapest price possible, then get as much volume as they can to make up the difference.

As such, the work they do has no craft behind it. They are focused on getting the words out as fast as possible to make a dime.

Pro writers, on the other hand, are concerned with quality and quantity in balance. They’re trying to make money, too, but they’re also worried about producing good work.

Because this balance is number one, that means…

2. They Spend the Necessary Time Getting the Writing Right

Any pro writer will tell you straight out: Good writing takes time.

You cannot dash out a page of text in 10 minutes and expect it to be worth anything, let alone readable.

Writing for content marketing requires even more diligence. It needs to mirror the brand’s voice, use the right keywords in the right places, address the target audience effectively, and be readable and useful.

If it’s really good, the content will also pull the reader into the text. It will encourage them to keep reading aaaaall the way down to the end of the page.

Interlude: Case Study Time

You want a good idea of what focusing on quantity over quality looks like (versus a focus on balancing quantity + quality)?

Let’s take a gander at the difference using a fantastic example from this real-life case study by Startup Grind.

They readily admit that they fell for the lure of cheap content. As such, they hired five writers offering ridiculously inexpensive rates to do a paid test assignment. What they got back made them balk, to say the least.

Here’s one example from the test. This piece was titled “Quantity Is the King in B2B Lead Generation”. (The phrasing of this headline alone is worth a long pause of concern. What follows is not all that surprising.)

If you can read this without wanting to bash your head against a wall, I sincerely applaud your effort.

What’s wrong with it? Everything, for starters.

It’s not engaging – it’s repetitive and wordy. The overuse of determiners also makes me suspect the writer’s first language isn’t English.

This is supposed to draw in leads? I don’t think so.

Naturally, Startup Grind abandoned this approach and tried a different tack. They did the research, came up with the blog title, and provided points to cover. They hired two test writers from cheap agencies who could fill in the blanks. Easy-peasy.

Well, actually…

Neither writer could deliver. One handed in an article that had nothing to do with the outline. (After two more revisions, the resulting article was still incoherent and messy.) The other writer included points from the outline but loaded it with filler and meaningless sentences in the gaps.

Yep, it turns out the old saying is true. You get what you pay for.

To drive this point home, let’s compare the example of cheap writing, above, to this introduction from a pro-written blog:

(Via Hubspot)

Can you compare them? They’re not just in different leagues… they’re in different universes.

Part of the reason they’re so different is not just about the overall quality, it’s also about the attention to detail.

This leads us to the next differentiator for pro writers…

3. Pros Love Good Grammar and Are Shameless Punctuation Nerds

Details. Good writers delight in details.

In fact, though it may be counterproductive, a writer can spend quite a bit of time perfecting even one sentence. They may agonize over the placement of a comma or whether an em-dash is necessary.

This is because they know the details are everything. Paying attention to them is how the writing reaches its height.

The details include grammar, spelling, word usage, and punctuation.

If you want to know the truth, writers are punctuation nerds at heart. A well-constructed sentence sets our hearts aflutter (go ahead, judge us all you want).

(Via Bored Panda)

4. Professional Blog Writers Are Often Subject Specialists

Good, thorough research must be an essential part of content creation for lots of niche industries.

Your content needs facts and stats to back up claims. The writer also needs underlying basic knowledge about key concepts within that industry.

Will a cheap writer from a content mill have that expertise? Will they be able to write about your specialization or niche industry with authority and confidence? Can they teach your readers and provide value?

No, no, and no.

In fact, if you go with a cheap writer for your specialized blog topics, you’re playing with fire.

Why?

Because you risk confusing, misleading, or turning off your readers altogether. Goodbye, leads.

This is the precise reason why so many professional writers are subject specialists in multiple areas. It lets them swoop in and write with clout, gravitas, and confidence for lots of different industries.

If you’re in an industry that requires specialized knowledge, like SaaS, stocks and trading, contract law, or advanced B2B marketing, you need a writer with a corresponding specialization. Neil Patel even lists specialization as one of the key essential skills for content marketing copywriters.

Need training if you’re a professional writer seeking to upgrade your skills? The Practical Content Strategy Certification Course is an in-depth training from Julia McCoy, with A-Z teaching for online content creators. Take your skills to the next level. Get in today and save up to $130 on the all-access pass with coupon BLOG10. 

Pro writers will have it. Cheap writers will not.

5. They Can Switch Between Tones and Styles

Another key factor that sets professional blog writers apart is they’re adaptable. Their writing skills can morph to fit the content need.

Part of the reason they can do this is they have immersed themselves in different styles of writing. This means they read. A lot. And, as any writer knows, reading is one of the best forms of training.

They are constantly reading, constantly writing, and continually work toward improving their game.

They can write in third-person, with an objective tone, for a blog in the medical industry. The next day, they can easily switch to writing in first-person for a beauty brand that requires a lighthearted, fun approach.

Pro writers are masters of flexibility. Can a cheap writer do that?

6. They’re Passionate about Writing

Here’s the main distinction between pro blog writers and content factory grunt writers: passion.

Professional writers become professionals because of their dedication to their craft. They have a passion to produce great work, get results for clients, and keep getting better.

After all, the writing profession is no joke. Like most creative career paths, it’s hard out there. Only the most dedicated scribes become true pros and make their living this way.

For writers offering cut-throat rates, the clients they take are no more than dollars and cents. They want to get hired, crank out some mediocre words, get paid, and move on to the next. There is no passion or craft involved here.

These people probably won’t be working as writers-for-hire for very long. They’re just trying to make a quick buck.

If You Need High-Quality Content, You Need High-Quality Professional Blog Writers

Good writing is essential for successful content marketing.

If you want content that’s engaging and grows your readership, you need a pro writer.

If your content needs to address specialized topics in your niche industry, you need a pro writer.

If you want your content marketing to succeed beyond your expectations, you need a pro writer.

If you want to grow your authority and your brand voice, you need a pro writer.

Still don’t think you need a professional writer? Consider this: Lots of marketers have expressed concern that we’re well on our way to reaching what they call “content shock.” It means that we will eventually produce so much mediocre, half-a** content, audiences won’t be able to keep up.

Not that they won’t want to – they just won’t be able to. There simply won’t be enough hours in the day. This means brands will be fighting over readership and paying people to look at their content. At least, this is the bleak future according to Mark Schaefer.

Here’s the thing. This is the future of crappy content. And who writes crappy content? Cheap, crappy writers!

Copyblogger sums this up nicely: “There is no glut of quality content.

“…there is not a glut of content that is useful, passionate, individual, and interesting.”

Useful, passionate, individual, and interesting.

This is exactly what professional blog writers bring to the table. If you want to set yourself apart, if you want to improve your content marketing, if you want to differentiate yourself – you have to have the right talent backing you up.

You’re not a writer. You can’t do it alone. And that’s okay.

If you’re ready to hire a pro blog writer, we’re here, ready to step in and level-up your word game.

Check out our awesome blogging packages and expert copy, and let’s get going!engagement cta

1000 blogs express writers

We Hit 1,000 Blogs! What It Looks Like to Blog One Thousand Times = And the Return

On Wednesday, October 4, we hit a major milestone:

We published our 1,000th blog.

write blog 1000 post

How crazy is that?!

Across the last five years, we never stopped blogging, and it has really paid off.

Need great content? Click here to sign up as a client.

To celebrate, I’ve put together a short, interview Q/A style piece on why and how our blogging has brought us serious return and become a worthwhile investment.

Enjoy!

we hit 1000 blogs

We Hit 1,000 Blogs! What It Looks Like to Blog One Thousand Times = And the Return On Investment

Ready? Let’s jump in!

How Long Has the Write Blog Been Running?

Since September, 2012, we’ve been blogging at www.expresswriters.com/write-blog.

As of today, that makes 5 years and 1 month.

How Consistent Have We Been?

On average, we publish 3-4 blogs every single week, and have kept up this consistency since our first month.

How Much Has This Consistency Paid Off?

HUGE dividends.

1) Rankings: Today, we have over 11,000 keywords ranking organically in Google from the blogs we’ve posted:

express writers 11,000 rankings

Many of the ranking terms are long-tail keywords, and we see our blog posts hitting the top 3, 5, 10 and 15 spots in Google for these keywords. Over 400+ keywords are within the top 5 results of Google.

2) Direct leads and sales: Our talk to sales forms come in primarily when prospects find our content in Google. Here’s an example of one of those forms. Our Sales Manager, Tamila, assisted prospect Jeff with a cart containing the product he needed, and he bought within just a few days.

And…

We’ve had over 500 talk to sales forms filled out since 2012!

over 500 talk to sales

On average, 50-70% of our Talk to Sales close within 1-2 weeks. Our typical minimum investment is anywhere from $60 – $100 or $150, on a new client’s first order. If we were to shoot for the middle, $100, that’s $50,000 minimum right there. But, many of these Talk to Sales have worked out to much more. For instance, one contract was worth $75,000 over the course of 15 months.

Safe to say, these organic leads have brought us a HUGE majority of our income.

How Much Have You Invested Into It?

I write a major part of all the content on the Write Blog, with a lot of assistance. I have three trained expert writers on staff that help me create some of the content, while I research and write about the trends. I write and schedule all email content. We have a designer on staff that creates the content visuals for us.

Rachel, our social media manager, writes weekly recaps for #ContentWritingChat, and sometimes guest blogs as well as schedules shares on all our published content. Hannah, our Content Director, has also guest blogged on the site, along with one of our client social media copywriters, Krystal.

Content types like infographics, for example this one, can cost upwards of $500 to create, plan, and design. We do infographics quarterly.

Besides that, I audit and check our website content, product descriptions, and update as needed, which is usually a bi-weekly job. We have more than 90 site pages, not including product descriptions!

Tools and Costs Involved?

We use ConvertKit, which is $75/month for email marketing: MeetEdgar, $49/month to social share: and on average, I pay out a minimum of $250/weekly in content creation time to my designer, content creators, editors, and our staff social media manager. My hours are at least 5 weekly, sometimes more.

It’s Not Easy, But Done Right The Dividends of Blogging Are Huge

If you’re not regularly blogging, let this be a testament and inspiration to what happens when you do – and roll your sleeves up and get going!

We’re a team that lives what we say – we abide by the products we sell! Seriously, I don’t know of another content agency that lives and eats because of the huge amounts of content they’ve created. We’re able to see leads organically roll in from Google consistently – day in, day out.

And if you need help – because I for one know how tough this is to maintain! – our professionally written and managed blog packages are always here, anytime you need us to help you.

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