Category: Blogging

Blogging

How to Monetize Your Brand’s Blog, According to HubSpot’s…

Whether you’re running a personal blog or managing the official blog on your company’s website, monetizing your work is entirely possible — it just takes a good amount of time and effort.

While there’s no exact formula to start making money, there are some tried and true strategies you can start experimenting with to see what works best for your content, your business model, and your audience.

Below, we’ll dive into some of these monetization ideas and get advice from HubSpot’s own blog leaders.

How Do Blogs Make Money?

Before we dive into the monetization strategies, you might be wondering, “How will my blog make money?” Well, your blog can make money in several ways including lead generation, affiliate marketing, brand partnerships, collaborations, or advertising. To find out more, you can learn about the types of blogs that make money and see which strategy would work best for your blog.

Now that we know a few ways that blogs can make money, let’s dive into the top monetization strategies for your blog.

1. Map blog posts to specific conversion points.

As a company, you can use your blog to drive leads and conversions.

AJ Beltis, a marketing manager on HubSpot’s channel monetization team, says, “Conversion is the foundation of blog monetization. Whether it’s an ecommerce purchase, a demo request, or a content offer download, it’s imperative to have your blog posts point to an intentional, related next step in the buyer’s journey.”

So, you might be asking yourself, “How can I do that?”

Beltis’ advice is to ask yourself what somebody reading this specific blog post would want or need from your company. Then, you should create the assets you’ll need to make that conversion happen in the form of website pages, forms, or content. After that, you’ll naturally place your calls-to-action to that next step in the blog post so readers are reminded about what your recommended next step is.

“By placing these CTAs in appropriate sections of the blog, you’re more likely to capture the attention of readers with high intent. This process puts more readers on the path to become paying customers for your business,” Beltis adds.

2. Include information about your product or service in your blog posts — but do so sparingly, and thoughtfully.

When you’re writing blog posts, it’s important that each post isn’t just a sales tactic. Your blog posts should provide educational content that anyone could benefit from, not just your customers.

However, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t ever mention your product or service.

According to Caroline Forsey, the editor of the HubSpot Marketing Blog, “If you’re writing content about the best tools for X, and your product or service is a good solution to that user’s search query, I’d highly recommend including it in your total roundup of tools to increase exposure and, ideally, drive more leads and customers towards your product. This is one of the most effective ways to monetize your blog for the long-term, particularly since that same piece of content might provide your business with leads 3-5 years into the future.”

Again, this doesn’t mean you should always and only promote your own product or service.

Forsey adds, “You risk damaging your blog’s reputation if you do this too often, or outside of the appropriate context. Readers don’t want to see a random ‘buy my product!’ CTA in a piece of content irrelevant to your product — and, if they feel like your content is actually just a gimmick or hidden advertisement, they’ll distrust your brand as a whole.”

To avoid this, Forsey suggests only mentioning your product or service where it makes sense, and in a list of other tools you’d suggest for businesses so they feel you’re arming them with useful information so they can make their own decision best-suited for their needs.

“Trust me: if readers enjoy reading your content and feel your brand is genuinely helpful, they’ll give your product or service a second look,” she says.

3. Build a lead funnel for your product.

If you work at a B2B company or have a long sales cycle, reading a blog post is usually a customer’s first and furthest interaction from their actual purchase. But it’s also arguably the most important stage of the inbound funnel. Attracting your audience’s attention with helpful, educational, or entertaining content creates a larger pool of people to convert into leads and close as customers. In other words, your blog marks the start of a relationship with your customers.

Lestraundra Alfred, the manager editor of the HubSpot Sales Blog, says, “If you’re looking to gain exposure from your blog, your content should help bridge the gap between the problem the reader is trying to solve and your product, which can serve as a solution. By creating content that your ideal customer is searching for and interested in, you can build a solid community of readers who are a great fit for your product, and when nurtured, can turn into customers for your business.”

Ideally, you’ll want to craft compelling blog content that your audience can discover easily through a Google search or social media. You can also pay to amplify your distribution on Facebook, which has the best targeting tools out of all the social media sites and is cost effective, or through paid search, which can thrust you to the top of a high-volume Google SERP, although some keywords are expensive.

After people start reading your blog content more, and want to read it on consistent basis, they’ll sign up for your blog’s email subscription. Once strangers to your brand, they’re now regular visitors.

When these visitors read enough blog posts, you can entice them to download conversion offers like Beltis mentioned above. Then, you can then nurture qualified leads with more blog posts and lead generators through email or Facebook ads. Consistently educating them and helping them solve their problems will build their trust, making it more likely they’ll move to the middle of your funnel when they’re ready. And once you see them researching your product or service by reading case studies, requesting a demo, or trying to contact sales, you can move them to the bottom of the funnel, where sales will qualify their fit as a customer.

Sales will close some of these leads into customers, and they’ll be thanking you when they do. Your blog introduced their customers to your brand.

4. Offer sponsored content opportunities to other brands.

Publishers like BuzzFeed and The Dodo produce content that floods social media every day. And they make money by helping other brands do it too.

Brands will collaborate with their video production, social media, and analytics teams to craft posts and videos that follow their formula for virality. Publishers also distribute this sponsored content to their massive social media and website followings. This content is similar to the publishers’ native content, so their audience will enjoy reading it, exposing their clients to a huge, engaged, and new viewership and boosting their followings and audience engagement.

If your blog generates a significant amount of traffic, you can leverage your editorial expertise and audience reach to help smaller brands tell captivating stories to a bigger and better viewership.

Doing sponsored content right can pay huge dividends for your brand. Not only does it create another revenue stream, but partnering with other marketing minds can help your team unleash unprecedented amounts of creativity. In fact, T Brand Studio, the New York Times native ad business, crafted paid posts that captured as much engagement as some of nytimes.com’s highest-performing articles.

5. Provide coaching services.

Your blog posts can serve as a teaser for how much your readers can learn from you about a certain subject matter. Because if you write about enhancing certain skills like selling, social savviness, sports, cooking, and music, your blog posts can only teach your readers so much. They need to practice these skills in real life to see substantial improvement.

But if your readers practice these skills on their own, they’ll only get so much better. If they really want to improve, training with a coach will guide them toward success faster than anything else. Think about it. What would improve your basketball skills the most? Reading Michael Jordan’s book about shooting and practicing his tips by yourself? Or reading his book and then taking shooting lessons with him?

If you’re running a personal brand, as a coach, your blog is your most important marketing asset. It helps your potential clients improve themselves while giving them a glimpse into what life would be like if they actually achieved one of their life-long goals. Your blog inspires readers to strive for their dreams. And when they’re more motivated to reach their potential, they’ll usually want an expert directing them toward greatness, not just themselves.

6. Market your freelance writing skills.

If you’re a freelance blogger, you need to show potential clients that you can write compelling content. To do this, you could try to attract their attention with your previous work, but you usually don’t have control over those topics. So what if they don’t pique their interest?

The best way to show potential clients you can write compelling content is by engaging them with your own content. When you start a blog, you have access to your post’s performance metrics and complete control over the topics you cover. This allows you to write content that you know your target audience will devour, attracting more and more potential clients to your blog. And once they realize they rely on you for content marketing advice, they’ll know they can trust you to help them improve their own content marketing.

For instance, Eddie Shleyner, a freelance copywriter and content marketer, markets his business called VeryGoodCopy by writing articles about copywriting, content marketing, and psychology. His articles are so engaging and insightful that organizations like The North Face, Geico, and Mercedes Benz hire him to write articles, eBooks, landing pages, website copy, and email campaigns.

7. Participate in affiliate marketing.

Affiliate marketing is one of the best ways to monetize a blog when you don’t sell a product or service. It’s a relatively simple process too. You’ll partner with an ecommerce platform or businesses that have affiliate programs and pick out relevant products to promote on your blog. Your partners will then send you custom links to their product pages that can track customers referred by your blog. And if someone clicks on the link and buys the product, you’ll earn a commission.

One of the most popular affiliate marketing programs is Amazon Associates. You can choose from over one million of Amazon’s ecommerce products to advertise on your blog, and you can earn up to 10% in commission.

Out of all the ways you can make money blogging, affiliate marketing requires the least amount of time, money, and resources. You don’t have to build, market, or sell a product or service and inserting affiliate links in your blog posts doesn’t cost any money. All you have to do is wait for people to click on them and buy something.

Start Making Money with Your Blog

Choosing your monetization strategy will depend on the type of blog you’re running and the type of product or service you offer. To up-level your blog, learn how to set yourself up for success and avoid the top blogging mistakes.

Editor’s note: This post was originally published in March 2018 and has been updated for comprehensiveness.

Blogging

How to Leverage Sensory Language in Your Blog Posts…

Check this out:

“You’re sitting in the creaky, mesh-backed, black ergonomic desk chair you bought at a discount off Amazon — hunched over, eyes reluctantly wide open, staring intently at a dimly lit laptop screen bearing a blank document.

It’s 4:45 PM. For most of the day, you’ve heard hardly anything except for the occasional click-clack of keys to commit some fruitless inspiration to your blog post and the intermittent spells of grating silence that came after deleting everything you jotted down.

The lasting taste of the coffee you drank about two hours earlier has gone sour but still coats your tongue and the roof of your mouth. And you can feel the effects of the caffeine slowly waning. Subtle muscle fatigue is setting in. Your eyelids are heavy and it’s a struggle in and of itself to keep them from covering your aching, weary eyes.

Your mind has gone stagnant — trapped in the clutches of what’s most commonly known as writer’s block.”

Now, I like to think that passage was vivid and immersive, and that’s mostly a credit to the kind of language I used and the personal sensations I played on — specifically how it described the sensory experiences of the subject matter.

That language is most commonly known as sensory language, and it’s a powerful resource for any writer to understand and apply. Here, we’ll cover what sensory language is, review some of the data surrounding it, and go over how you can use it in your blog posts.

Sensory language is used to describe the five primary senses — touch, sight, sound, smell, and taste. They’re most commonly used to convey the specific details of scenes or add a more imaginative element to concept descriptions.

Sensory language is most commonly associated with literature. It’s a central component of most fiction and poetry, but that doesn’t mean this kind of vocabulary is exclusively artistic in its application. Marketers stand to gain a lot from understanding how to leverage it as well.

Let’s take a look at some of the data on sensory language to get a better picture of why it’s effective and how to apply it.

What Data Says About Sensory Language

Our day-to-day experiences are multisensory, but that’s hard to capture linguistically.

A 2012 study from Charles Spence, published in Science Direct, established that “most of our everyday experiences are multisensory.” Very rarely — if ever at all — are our senses siloed when we perceive the world around us.

That said, the English language is limited in its ability to capture that phenomenon and general sensory overlap. In his book Sensory Linguistics: Language, Perception, and Metaphor, linguist Bodo Winter, explains those limitations by describing the experience of eating Kimchi.

He says, “The experience involves the salty and spicy mélange of pepper and garlic notes that excite the taste buds, on top of the fermented smell, the tingly mouthfeel, and the crunchy chewing sound.”

Though his description is vivid and engaging, he notes that “conveying this experience forces the use of decoupled sensory adjectives such as salty and crunchy. The compression inherent in these words, each one singling out one aspect of the experience, means that the simultaneity of the multisensory taste experience cannot be conveyed.”

This passage helps illustrate what might be the main challenge that comes with using sensory language. Ultimately, the goal is to capture a seamless multisensory experience, but the language you have at your disposal is mostly categorized by individual senses.

Taste and smell are the most difficult senses to describe.

The five senses are essentially tiered when it comes to expressing them linguistically. Certain senses are more ineffable — or difficult to put into words — than others.

A 2014 study from Stephen Levinson and Asifa Majid, published in the journal Mind and Language, found that “in English, at least, it seems generally easier to linguistically code colors than (non-musical) sounds, sounds than tastes, tastes than smells.”

Everyone’s sensory perceptions are different, but how we individually experience taste and smell — also known as “the chemical senses” — is particularly unique.

A landmark 1990 study in the journal Physiology and Behavior found that the number of taste buds humans have on their tongues can vary radically from person to person. It’s also been found taste and smell vary as a function of factors like age, gender, and culture.

In short, it’s tough to capture the essence of senses so personal and, in turn, ineffable. And the English language’s limited vocabulary for the senses doesn’t exactly make things easier.

As Winter puts it, “Detailed descriptive characteristics of smells are not encoded in the English lexicon.” Instead, smell is often described in terms of perceived pleasantness through words like aromatic and pungent.

It might seem like taste and smell have less practical application in marketing — especially when it comes to elements like blog copy — but don’t count them out. You can get a lot of mileage out of those senses if you can convey them articulately and compellingly.

The perception of taste and smell is more emotional than other senses.

Though these senses are harder to capture, it’s in your best interest to try when appropriate. Sensory language is used to invoke meaningful images and feelings. And research indicates that language describing taste and smell bear more emotional weight than other kinds of sensory language.

As Winter puts it, “Taste and smell [as senses] are more emotional in perception, and the associated words are more emotional as well, compared to words from the other senses…There is, by now, a wealth of converging evidence for the emotionality of taste and smell language “

This point can mean a lot in the context of certain schools of marketing. If you can believe it, emotionally charged and compelling language can be an asset to a company’s emotional marketing efforts.

And if you’re interested in using sensory language in your copy in the interest of that cause, it’s worth having a pulse on which aspects of the concept are the most emotionally evocative.

Multisensory language makes for better marketing.

As I mentioned, our perception of the world around us is always multisensory, so it’s intuitive to assume that we’re naturally more receptive to marketing that reflects those kinds of experiences. And the data on the subject is consistent with that notion.

A 2009 study published in The Journal of Consumer Research focused on how multisensory advertising impacted subjects’ perceptions of taste. It found that multisensory ads result in higher taste perception than ads focusing on taste alone.

And while the study focused primarily on multisensory advertising’s impact on a single sense, other researchers have extrapolated upon its findings and assumed it applies to the other senses as well.

What does this tell us? Well, this means that multisensory marketing — supported by tactful use of sensory language — is more engaging and enriching than marketing that focuses solely on conventionally touched-on senses like sight or sound. It shows that there’s tremendous value to using a robust sensory vocabulary in your copy.

How to Use Sensory Language in Your Blog Posts

Understand when it’s appropriate to use.

First and foremost, you need to understand that sensory language can seem awkward and jarring when you force it in certain contexts that don’t necessarily warrant it.

For instance, if you’re writing a matter-of-fact, professional post about a business concept, you probably wouldn’t want to use sensory language while defining it.

Take this definition from a HubSpot blog about strategy consulting:

“Strategy consulting is when businesspeople — generally executives, boards, or management — bring in a third party to offer an outside, expert perspective on their business challenges. Strategy consultants usually have considerable industry knowledge and are expected to assess high-level business issues objectively. They take a holistic look at specific problems companies are dealing with and give advice on how they should approach them.”

It’s more appropriate to keep that aspect of the article more straightforward and professional. Overloading it with sensory language might undermine your ability to clearly establish what the concept is. That said, there are ways you could incorporate sensory language to bring that dry concept to life and make it engaging.

Add a narrative element to the post.

Even though sensory language might not be the best way to convey the more rigid, objective aspects of your post, you can still use it to qualify and illustrate certain concepts. One of the best ways to do that is by giving your piece some narrative flair.

This method gives you some space to use sensory language and make concepts more engaging and entertaining. Here’s an example of how you could do that when covering the concept of strategy consulting I just described above:

“Picture this: A CEO sits, poised in a high-backed pleather chair at the head of an engineered wood conference table, eyes shut tight with a cast of stuffy, sharply suited board members flanking the table’s sides. They look on intently — expressions caught somewhere between frustration and desperation.

The smell of stale coffee and the special kind of silence that only comes after an hour or so of beratement hang in the air. Day has turned to night out the floor to ceiling windows without any resolution about how to amend the company’s recent marketing campaign — the one that’s been trending on social media for all the wrong reasons.

The CEO finally opens their eyes, and in a tone that’s equal parts stern and exhausted, they say it: ‘We need to bring someone in.’

Enter the strategy consultant.”

With that kind of description, I was able to set the stage, capture reader attention, and pave the way for a more thorough description of what a strategy consultant does.

Use metaphors or similes.

This point ties into the one above — to a certain extent. Sometimes the subject matter you’re writing about is too dry to pull a narrative from without coming across as desperate to force sensory language on a concept that it doesn’t naturally gel with.

In those cases, it can help to use metaphors or similes — rife with sensory language and vivid description — to simultaneously engage and inform the reader. For instance, let’s imagine you’re writing a piece about quote graphics. You might want to incorporate something like this:

“Think of your quote as the entree to a Michelin star meal — an immaculate cut of filet mignon that tastes like heaven and cuts like butter.

It’s the centerpiece of the dish, and it’s delicious in its own right, but some side dishes and ‘eye-eats-first’ presentation would take it to another level. By filling out the plate with crispy, golden-roast potatoes and perfectly charred, still-sizzling Brussel sprouts, you can take the dish from ‘intriguingly a la carte’ to ‘bonafide five-star.’

That’s the fundamental principle behind quote graphics. The engaging backdrop, distinctive font, and other engrossing visual elements you use can elevate your content and make it compellingly complete.”

Though it might not always be obvious, you can often find ways to incorporate sensory language into your blog content. And when done tastefully and effectively, it can pay off in spades. So if you’re interested in finding ways to add some oomph to your blog copy, consider taking some time to better understand sensory language.

Blogging

How to Create a Successful Blog Strategy: A Step-by-Step…

Did you know that 55% of marketers say blogging is their top inbound marketing priority?

Did you also know that these marketers are 13x more likely to see positive ROI than marketers who don’t invest in blogging?

Over the last decade or so, businesses have increased revenue, improved brand awareness, and boosted conversions with valuable written content published for their target audience and customers. The key here is that their blog content is valuable — it isn’t enough to simply have a blog; there has to be a purpose or reason for its existence.

So, how can you create and maintain a successful blog that provides your target audience worthwhile, high-quality content — all while building your business’s reputation as an industry thought-leader and expert?

The answer is with a blog marketing strategy.

Before we review the steps to your blog marketing strategy, let’s take a look at how to start a successful blog. We’ll also include examples of successful blog sites to illustrate some of these steps.

1. Choose your blog topic and purpose.

The first part of developing your blogging strategy is to clearly define your blog’s topic and purpose.

Your blog topic should be broad enough so you can write hundreds of articles about it but also specific enough to relate to your business niche and area(s) of expertise.

When thinking about your blog’s purpose, ask yourself, “Why does this blog exist?”

You should be able to answer that question in one, straightforward, defining statement. (Document your blog’s purpose to you can refer to it as you grow and your business evolves.)

If you need help defining your blog’s purpose, take a moment to ask yourself these questions:

  • What is the greater purpose your company is trying to fulfill?
  • What story supports this purpose?
  • Who shares your passion for this purpose?
  • Is your team aligned with the meaning of this purpose?

Example

HubSpot has four blog properties: Marketing, Sales, Service and Website. Each blog focuses on its respective industry and relates the content back to the appropriate HubSpot product.

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2. Register and host your blog

This step is two-fold. First, let’s talk about your blog’s URL structure.

A domain name, also known as the root domain, is the text in a URL that identifies your website — and, therefore, your business — for a web browser. For example, HubSpot’s domain name is hubspot.com.

Subdomains are part of your root domain — they appear before the domain in your URL like this: blog.hubspot.com. “Blog” is the subdomain. Subdomains are helpful for organizing a lot of content, including multiple content types. If you have a large blog operation, this structure can help you over time. However, it does pass less authority from your root domain in the short-term.

Subdirectories are divisions of your domain that live on your website, but represent specific pages on your website. For example, a subdirectory that’d take visitors to a specific blog post on a website would look something like this: hubspot.com/blog/article-name. Subdirectories often pass more authority from your root domain and subdomain. However, they can make it hard to scale your content strategy over time since you need more subdirectories to organize your content properly and protect your user experience (UX).

Subdirectories can also represent certain types of content within a subdomain. For example, blog.hubspot.com/marketing/article-name takes visitors to a marketing article on blog.hubspot.com.

The option you choose for your blog has the potential to impact your organic ranking, which is why it’s important to choose wisely.

Next, you’ll need to pick a host for your business’s blog. The simplest way to host your blog is through the same software on which your website is run.

For example, HubSpot users can employ HubSpot CMS and access their website creation and management tools alongside their blogging tools — all from a central location.

Another common way to host your business’s blog is through WordPress — compare HubSpot vs. WordPress here. Other popular options include Wix, Bluehost, and Squarespace.

3. Design your blog.

Design your blog in a way that entices your readers to regularly read (and hopefully, share) your content.

Your blog should be inviting and on-brand. It should be well-organized, clean, and easy to navigate. Within seconds of visiting your blog, readers should know it’s published by your company.

To do this, choose a theme that’s consistent across your blog properties and articles. Depending on the host you choose for your blog, you’ll likely have several theme options that are both free and paid.

For example, HubSpot offers a marketplace of free and paid blog template options. Templates help you easily customize and edit your blog template to tailor it to your business.

The Help Scout blog is a wonderful example of beautiful blog design. Its minimalist design limits the use of copy and embraces negative space by promoting the latest posts with gorgeous feature images. The blog is aligned with the Help Scout brand and promotes readability and easy navigation.

beautiful blog design help scout

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4. Decide who will write and manage your blog.

Now it’s time to think about who’s writing, running, and managing your blog. Ask yourself (or your team): Who’s accountable for each role within your blog strategy?

There are lots of moving parts when it comes to your blog — if you don’t create ownership around each component, it’ll be difficult to reap the benefits of a successful blog operation.

We’ve put together a list of some examples of the roles you need to fill to effectively implement a blogging strategy.

  • Blog article topic ideation
  • Search engine optimization (SEO) and keyword research
  • Statistics, examples, personal stories, and thought leadership
  • Editing
  • Strategy and editorial calendar governance
  • Promotion
  • Repurposing, updating, and historical optimization

Depending on your resources and the size of your marketing team, you may find one person holds responsibility for multiple roles.

5. Determine how frequently you’ll share blog posts.

How many blog posts can you commit to writing and publishing? How often are you planning on producing blog content for your audience?

Consistency is the key to keeping your audience engaged and interested. This will also allow you to maintain your status as an active thought-leader and expert in your industry. Use a content calendar to consistently manage and schedule your blog posts.

Plan and optimize your marketing content with these free calendar templates.

The beauty of creating this type of blogging rhythm and sharing that information via an editorial calendar is that it creates a sense of accountability among your team of bloggers. It ensures all writers and contributors have optimized for keywords, added CTAs, and edited their pieces by a certain time and date. This way, you’ll have a consistent stream of content your readers can get in sync with.

If you’re a HubSpot CRM user, you already benefit from an editorial calendar built right into the COS.

6. Write compelling and valuable content.

It’s important to reiterate just how critical it is for your blog content to be both compelling and valuable to your readers. This plays a large part in how you’re viewed by your target audience, customers, competitors, and other industry leaders. It’s also how you’re going to keep readers engaged and loyal to your blog — and hopefully converting to customers, too.

Remember, it takes more time and energy to obtain new subscribers than to maintain current readers. Plus, your current readers have the potential of becoming your brand advocates faster than new subscribers do. So, focus on consistently producing content that captivates your audience all while providing them with useful and worthwhile information so they stick around for the long run.

Patagonia’s blog, The Cleanest Line, is a fascinating publication. It’s not a generic brand blog that discusses Patagonia products or customers; it tells compelling stories written by some of the best writers on the web — yet it still resonates with Patagonia’s target audience and those who share its core values. I’ve personally spent hours reading the articles on The Cleanest Line, and it’s endeared me to Patagonia in the process.

patagonia the cleanest line write valuable content

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7. Include CTAs.

Are any of the reasons you’re developing your business’s blog to drive organic traffic to your website, improve conversions, and boost sales?

That’s great news — but to accomplish these goals, you’ll need to include relevant calls-to-action (CTAs) throughout your blog posts.

CTAs can be paid or free for your audience members. Either way, effective CTAs provide readers with a level of value that they simply cannot pass up.

A CTA might share in-depth content and information with your audience on a specific topic. Or maybe it includes a discount code or special deal on your product or service. A CTA could also provide further training related to the subject of your blog article.

Check out this blog post if you’re looking for some examples of clickable CTAs to insert in your content.

If you’re a HubSpot user, the CRM offers a CTA creation tool to help you develop relevant — and even personalized — offers to drive traffic to your landing pages and convert more leads.

For example, the Omniscient Digital blog naturally weaves CTAs into its posts, making the linked items part of the broader story or takeaway. The goal of CTAs should be to encourage readers to take action without deviating too far from the purpose of the post.

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8. Launch your blog.

Now it’s time to launch your blog!

This is the exciting part — you finally get to share the content you’ve been working so hard to develop. Put your blog content on it’s corresponding landing page on your website and send your email list of recipients their blog article(s). Share it via social media and send it to members of your network as you see fit. 

9. Track and analyze your blog’s success.

Remember to track and analyze the success of your blog over time. To do this, decide which metrics matter most to you and your business. Once you understand how a specific metric contributes to a positive outcome, then you’ll be able to make your blogging strategy more targeted. Examples of blogging metrics you might track include:

  • Number of readers and subscribers
  • Number of page views per post
  • Number of conversions
  • Number of backlinks
  • Number of referrals
  • Overall traffic

When applying these metrics to the goals you’re looking to set, consider the following questions to provide concrete targets that make sense for your business.

  • Does this goal help you achieve your purpose, or is there something more relevant we can aspire to?
  • Is this goal aligned with the initiatives of other parts of our business?
  • Which metrics track the progress towards this goal? Are these metrics complementary or counterintuitive?

Once you determine which metrics you’re going to use, start by setting goals for a 60-day period. This gives you enough time to see whether your strategy is working and then you can adapt your goals based on the results you see.

Next, let’s dive into your blog strategy.

Blog Marketing Strategy

Your blog is an important component of your business marketing strategy and will hopefully market your products and services, but in order for it do this, you must market the blog itself.

A blog marketing strategy is how you share and promote the content on your blog. Unfortunately, “build it and they will come” doesn’t apply to blogging as well as it does in Field of Dreams.

For your blog to do its intended job — drive traffic, convert visitors, increase revenue, and/or promote your brand as a thought-leader or expert — it must have a marketing strategy in itself. How will people locate your blog? What type of content will keep them reading? How can you use your other promotional channels to elevate your blog content?

Follow these blogging best practices to promote and market your blog content to your target audience.

Always keep your buyer personas top of mind.

When writing, managing, and scheduling your blog — or working on anything related to your blog, really — keep your buyer personas in mind. 

Ask yourself, “Who are our ideal customers?” and “Why do they need our product or service?” Once you can answer these questions in detail, you’ll be nail down your buyer persona(s).

Use this free template to create your business’s buyer personas.

Once you create your buyer personas, document a detailed description of who this person is so you can reference it has your business and blog grow. You should be able to refer to this description every time you write a new blog post.

This way, you’ll be able to create content specifically suited to your target customers’ wants, needs, challenges, and/ or pain points. This will also help you turn your blog into a powerful lead conversion tool for your business (i.e. your blog will show your readers and target audience why they need your product or service).

To get a deeper understanding of the actions your buyer personas are likely going to take, research the behaviors of your target audience so you can adapt and tailor your blog content to meet their needs in a way that pushes them to convert in some way. To conduct this type of customer research, you can use:

  • Q&A forums (Quora, Yahoo! Answers, or Fluther)
  • Social media (LinkedIn Groups, Twitter Advanced Search, and Google+ Communities)
  • Content creation tools within your industry or niche (BuzzSumo or Topsy)
  • Other blogs (comments and interactions on blogs similar to yours; your competitors’ blogs)

Keep an eye on your competition.

Speaking of your competitor’s blogs, it’s important to keep an eye on these other thought-leaders in your industry. Your competitors provide insight into what’s working (or not working) in terms of blog content among your target audience.

It also tells you a little bit about what they’re experimenting with and what you’ll need to accomplish to stand out and provide your readers with valuable content they can’t get anywhere else — something unique to your business and your business only.

Create a list of 5-10 of your closest competitors with blogs you could conduct a content audit on. Make conclusions about the type of content they share, unique techniques they’ve implemented in their blog, and how they’re doing in terms of ranking for the keywords you hope to rank for.

Then, look for gaps in their content so you can capitalize on them. To help you do this, use tools like QuickSprout, Open Site Explorer by Moz, and SEMRush Competitor Research.

Perform SEO and keyword research.

When one of your customers searches a phrase on Google (or any search engine), you want them to find your blog (or web page), not a competitor’s. To make this happen, dedicate some time to researching which keywords and phrases your target audience is typing into search engines so you can include them in your blog posts where they naturally fit.

In other words, you’ll significantly improve your chances of ranking on the search engine results page (SERP) by performing appropriate search engine optimization (SEO) and keyword research prior to writing your blog post, and then incorporating those findings in your content.

Start by creating a list of 5-10 keyword groups you want to rank for, along with their associated long-tail keywords, in the SERP.

Remember, Google’s algorithms are constantly changing to become more intuitive — meaning, old tactics like keyword stuffing will hurt your ranking in the SERP. Instead, you’re better off writing copy that engages audience members first and search engines second.

Note: HubSpot customers have access to a built-in keyword and SEO tool to help with this.

Focus on your blog’s SEO and keyword research with HubSpot CRM’s Content Strategy tool.

Decide where you’ll distribute your blog content.

Strategically determine where you’ll distribute your blog content. You chose a host for your blog already, meaning your content is likely already easily shareable on your website.

For example, if you use the HubSpot CRM and blogging software to host and manage your website and blog, it’s simple to add your articles to their corresponding landing page on your site.

Other ways and platforms through which you might distribute your content include social media, such as Facebook or LinkedIn, and online publishing platforms, such as Medium. You might also work with industry leaders, experts, and influencers to share your content on their websites and social profiles.

Promote your blog content.

It’s probably safe to assume you want your blog content to be as discoverable as possible. In terms of your blogging strategy, this refers to your ability to get your content out there so members of your target audience find, read, and (hopefully) share it.

There are many inbound tactics you can use to promote your blog. We touched on a few options above, but another common form of effective blog promotion involves an influencer marketing strategy.

Get started promoting your content with the help of a free influencer marketing guide.

To begin, identify the key influencers in your niche or industry you want to contact and work with. These should be people your current customers and target audience perceive as credible, trustworthy… and, yes, influential.

As you begin making and managing your influencer connections, remain in regular contact with the ones who are promoting your blog content. Be sure you know what they’re doing to support, share, and promote your blog content and that their tactics meet your business’s standards — you want to ensure they’re representing your brand accurately. After all, you’re likely paying them to promote your content among their audience members.

You can make your relationship with your influencers even stronger by interacting with their content regularly to show your support. For example, if you’re working with an influencer who also has a blog, then go to their blog and read, comment on, and share it (even when the content they’re publishing isn’t necessarily related to your business). 

How to Maintain a Blog

Creating and marketing your blog is merely half the battle. As we mentioned above, consistency is key to a successful blog — which means maintenance is most of the hard work.

Creating blog content can be time-consuming, especially when you aim to command authority in your niche with researched, thoughtful, and planned posts.

This is why updating, repurposing, and republishing your existing blog content is so valuable — it saves you time and energy but it also allows you to efficiently achieve the results you’re looking for.

What do I mean by this? Well, ranking in the SERP with a net new post takes significantly more time (I’m talking months) than an updated post. Meaning, you’ll see a positive impact sooner if you start repurposing existing posts rather than solely creating new content.

Audit your existing blog posts to determine what you can repurpose and update. Outdated content to remove and/ or replace might include statistics, examples, infographics, quotes, product or service details, research, and irrelevant ideas. You can also add keywords you’ve determined are missing through your research.

(Check out this post if you’re looking for more ideas on how you can effectively repurpose your blog content.)

The process of updating content also allows you to reinvigorate the brand new content you’ve worked so hard on. Updating allows you to maintain the quality and relevance of your blog without having to recreate blog posts from scratch.

Grow Better With An Effective Blogging Strategy

Growing an influential blog in your niche is a surefire way to nurture your potential customers. By creating regular content that solves the challenges of your readers and fulfills their biggest curiosities, you’ll start to build a vault of trust and advocacy. This will inevitably contribute to the overall success of your business. Start with your purpose — the big why — and slowly unpack the individual levers that will contribute to your blog marketing performance through the steps and strategy we’ve reviewed above.

Editor’s note: This post was originally published in December 2014 and has been updated for comprehensiveness.

Blogging

What Is a Blog Category and Why Are They…

Do you read every post on a blog? If you’re like me, you visit sites for a specific reason — be it the New York Times crossword puzzle or the latest gear roundup from Outside. You know what you’re looking for when you click. That frame of mind is why blog categories help readers navigate your site.

But what categories should you choose? How do you name them? And what’s the difference between categories and tags?

Let’s cut the confusion with blog category best practices that keep readers combing through your content.

For example, imagine you run a food blog. You create recipes, write reviews for appliances, and share photography tips. These main topics (recipes, reviews, photography) are your blog categories. But within each topic fall a handful of sub-topics like bread and pastry recipes, small appliance and tool reviews, and low lighting and stop-motion photography tutorials.

If I’m visiting your site for dinner inspiration, I should be able to quickly click your recipes category to view all of the tasty options you have to offer.

No matter what kind of blog you run, the content you create needs to fall under one of your chosen categories.

Why Blog Categories Are Important

You put hours of work into each blog post, and you don’t want it to disappear into the black hole of your archives. Without defined blog categories, your content quickly sinks out of view — only to be found by endless scrolling. Preventing this from happening is only one benefit of categories.

1. Blog categories provide simple site navigation.

A visually appealing site is incredibly important for visitors. 90% of people have left a website due to poor design. Blog categories group content under a handful of topics, so people get to where they want to be, fast. Some website themes limit the number of categories you can create, so make sure to consider that before grouping your content.

2. Blog categories improve site SEO.

Categories give you a leg up in the blog SEO game by adding hierarchy to your pages. This helps search engines better understand what each page is about and rank accordingly.

If you create a category page, for instance, and continue adding and linking posts that are relevant to that category, it will become increasingly optimized. Search engines will recognize this and bump up the ranking, which makes it easier for people to find your site.

3. Blog categories make blog content strategy easier.

Planning an editorial calendar is no easy feat. But with well-defined blog categories, you have a guide for what to write about. Your strategy can touch on each category to avoid stacking one with all the content. This rounds out your blog and prevents you from falling into single-category chaos.

If that’s not enough to sway you, know that 65% of the most successful North American bloggers have a well-documented content marketing strategy. Among the least successful bloggers, 39% admit they don’t have any strategy and 14% actually write down a strategy.

Blog Category Examples

Every blog is unique, but it’s worthwhile to look at others for inspiration. Here are a few examples of how different sites sort their content into blog categories.

1. HubSpot

Since you’re already here, let’s take a look at how this blog is organized. The main categories are Marketing, Sales, Service, and Website. But within the Marketing category, for example, are sub-topics like social media, branding, SEO, and digital marketing.

Image source

2. Patagonia

Outside of their product website, Patagonia runs a blog called The Cleanest Line. It’s broken down into the following categories: Stories, Films, Books, and Activism. You can search deeper by clicking on sub-topics organized by sports like kitesurfing, climbing, and trail running.

Patagonia blog categories

Image source

3. The New Yorker

Personally, I go for the cartoons. But The New Yorker has a lot to offer, which is why they sort content into 10 categories: News, Books & Culture, Fiction & Poetry, Humor & Cartoons, Magazine, Crossword, Video, Podcasts, Archive, Goings On.

blog categories on The New Yorker

Image source

4. Joy the Baker

I could scroll through this site all day, but it’s easy to navigate thanks to five categories: Recipes, Cookbooks, The BakeHouse, Drake on Cake, and Workshops. Joy infuses her personality into the names while still making it clear what she’s all about: delicious baked goods.

Joy the Baker blog organization tags

Image source

Blog Categories vs. Tags

Maybe you’ve grouped all your posts under one category and gone tag crazy to create some sort of structure. You’re not the only one. The world of tags and categories can be confusing. But now is the time to learn the difference between the two so you know when to use one versus the other.

While categories and tags help organize your site, you already know categories are the high-level topics to guide readers where they want to go. Categories usually make up your navigation bar or are displayed on a sidebar for people to see. The fewer categories you have, the better. This is especially important if you’re running a niche blog, because it helps you stand out from the other sites in the space.

There’s no hard and fast rule for the right number of categories, but most niche blogs have between three to five, while larger sites have around five to ten categories. The New York Times has 19 categories, but this is definitely too many for most businesses. The larger the number, the more difficult it is to stay organized.

On the other hand, a tag is an indicator of what a particular post is about. It’s one to three words that sort your post into a particular archive. It’s not typically shown on your site, but helps search engines find your posts.

For instance, this post falls under the Marketing category, but it’s also organized with a tag for Blogging so that you can easily navigate to other posts on the topic at the very bottom of this post. With tags like this, our post now pops up when you’re looking for information about naming blog categories.

Choosing tags is simple — start with the keywords you already plan to use for a post. If you’re using a pillar/cluster model like we do, you might even consider naming the tags after the pillar or cluster your piece(s) will sit under.

Or, simply use existing words people may type into search that relate to your post. Avoid tags with the same names as your categories to prevent overlap. Aim for less than 10 tags per post. And don’t make up words unless it’s a strategic part of your blog or brand strategy.

Now that you have a better understanding of tags and categories, it’s time for strategic fun: choosing category names.

Naming Your Blog Categories

1. Use analytics to help name your blog categories.

Choosing names for your categories starts with one major factor: analytics. Yes, really. Even if your site is whimsical or totally unique, creating strong categories requires data.

What articles are getting the most views, comments, likes, or shares? If you know what people love about your blog, you’ll have a better idea of where to focus. It also helps to look at what topics aren’t resonating with your readers, especially if you had considered them a priority in the past.

2. Narrow down the topics you cover.

It’s time to whittle down your topics. There’s no ideal number, but between three to five categories gives you enough breadth without being too overwhelming to manage. Some bloggers prefer five to eight categories, while news sites may have around eight to ten. The number is up to you. Just consider your content, your strategy, and your time. Blog categories are meant to make writing easier, not more complicated.

3. Get specific with your blog categories.

For some people, choosing names will be easy. Of course, food blogs always have a Recipes category. But this is the time to think about your unique brand and what you want to present to people.

For instance, the food blog Kitchn has categories for Recipes, Holidays, Meal Planning, Learn, Shop, and People. This site is mainly for an audience who cooks often, plans ahead, hosts holiday meals, invests in quality cooking tools, and is inspired by famous chefs. Know your readers, and cater to what they want. Just don’t get so creative that people have no idea what your content is about.

4. Be consistent in your blog category naming.

Be consistent in style and structure. Remember how bad design scares away readers? Inconsistent categories play a part in the overall look and feel of your blog, so keep them as similar as possible. This includes capitalization and use of nouns, verbs, or adjectives. Not every category has to be exactly the same, but you don’t want one to be a six-word question while another is a one-word noun.

If your blog has been around for a few years, you may have some serious organization to do. Blog categories are a great way to start sorting. Consider what categories your readers enjoy best, and get rid of any with only a few posts. Trimming down categories isn’t always easy. But it’s definitely worth the effort for a site that’s simple to navigate and build a strong content strategy around.

Blogging

The Beginner’s Guide to Setting Up a Blog

Did you know that there are more than 600 million blogs on the internet, and that 77% of web-surfers read blogs regularly?

Blogging has exploded since its humble beginnings in the 1990s, and many people today interact with blogs frequently if not daily.

By setting up a blog, you have the opportunity to make meaningful connections with other people, whether you want to share your recipes, talk about your lifestyle, or sell products and services. Whatever the topic, blogging serves as an outlet that can even become profitable.

But before you see dollar signs, you’ll need to set up a blog, which involves choosing a content management system (CMS), deciding on themes and color schemes, and reaching your target audience.

This guide will help you navigate the process of setting up a blog successfully across various platforms.

But before you set up a blog, you’ll need to choose a CMS. Let’s dive into that, first.

How to Choose a CMS

You can’t have a blog without a CMS, or a content management system. As the name suggests, this is a system that manages your content. While you could certainly build a blog from scratch with savvy coding skills, a CMS does the hard work for you.

This software makes it nearly effortless to switch up your blog’s font styles, colors, and overall theme. It also means you can generate content much easier, simply clicking a few buttons to add photos and videos.

All of these seemingly simple actions can be difficult to implement through HTML and CSS coding, which is why many bloggers opt to use a CMS. This way, you can dive right into making great content.

When you’re looking at different CMS platforms, there are a few things to consider.

  • User-Friendly Interface
  • Price
  • Customization
  • Support
  • Extensions
  • Security
  • Marketing Capabilities

Let’s dive into each element to help you decide what you need in a CMS.

1. User-Friendly Interface

The point of choosing a CMS is to make creating your blog easier for you. If you find it difficult to navigate the dashboard or the text editor, blogging will just like a chore.

Look for a CMS with drag-and-drop capabilities, and unless you have top-notch developer skills, steer clear of anything that requires heavy coding.

2. Price

As we’ll cover below, it is completely possible to start a blog for free. But if you are looking for more robust features, you’ll need to consider your budget.

If you are looking at paid platforms, consider what you get with each CMS for the price, and double-check for hidden fees.

3. Customization

You want your blog to look and perform how you’ve envisioned it, so make sure your CMS allows for customization through different themes and templates that can also be adjusted as you see fit.

For example, with Ceros, you can completely customize every element of the content you publish without adding a single line of code.

4. Support

If your blog glitches while you’re writing an important post, you’ll want to be able to get help right when you need it.

CMS support ranges widely — you might only find a digital handbook or FAQ page full of common issues and fixes with no number or live chat to reach for urgent matters.

Or the platform could only have an email or number available during standard office hours, Monday through Friday. Meanwhile, some CMS platforms have extensive support options, including agents available 24/7.

If you don’t have experience working with CMS systems and want access to hands-on support, take this into consideration when comparing platforms.

5. Extensions

One of the most helpful features for CMS platforms is the ability to work with third-party extensions or plugins, which add even more functionality to your blog.

There are extensions for nearly everything you could think of, so whether you want help with search engine optimization (SEO) or the ability to create galleries or social media feeds on your blog, extensions and plugins can help you do so. If your CMS isn’t compatible with most of these applications, your blog could suffer.

6. Security

Protecting your information and your content is important. You could also lose your audience’s and customers’ trust if your blog is compromised. As such, you’ll want to make sure the CMS you choose has plenty of security features.

Check if SSL, Firewall and content delivery network (CDN) are included, and be sure updates and vulnerability scans are done frequently. This also relates to support — is someone available to help you should your site be compromised? If not, run — don’t walk — to another platform.

7. Marketing Capabilities

Once your blog is established and you are producing content, make sure you can get this content to your target audience. Check to see if your CMS offers options for social and email marketing, or if it offers compatibility with extensions such as UpContent to make sharing your content simple.

How to Set Up a Blog for Free

If you are working with a limited budget, you can certainly start blogging for free. There will be some limitations, but you can always choose to upgrade or move your content to a paid CMS. To get started, you’ll need to find a free blogging platform. Common free blogging platforms include

  • WordPress.com (not to be confused with WordPress.org)
  • Blogger
  • Wix
  • Weebly

Tumblr. Keep in mind that some free blogging platforms will restrict your freedom with domain name and may be limited in services like support, security, and customization. After choosing a free platform, you’ll sign up and head for the dashboard to choose a free theme or design template, then use the platform’s CMS to add content.

How to Set Up a Blog

Whether you decide to invest in a blog or go the free route, there are a few different ways to get started depending on the platform you choose. Here are some of the most-popular blogging platforms and how to set up your blog on each one.

1. WordPress

If you want to blog on WordPress, you’ll need to choose a domain name and a hosting service. The hosting service is the server space that stores your website’s files and information, making it accessible to others on the internet.

Hosting is typically a paid service; there are free options, but be wary of the security, support, and functionality if you do choose a free host.

Once you’ve selected the domain name, such as yourblog.com, and a host, you’ll be able to create your WordPress account. From there, you can access the dashboard, where you can decide on themes, add plugins, and, of course, write and publish content.

2. Blogger

If you are looking for a popular and free CMS, Blogger, formerly BlogSpot, is a free blogging platform by Google.

To get started, visit Blogger and create an account with your Gmail address and password. From there, you’ll choose a profile. If you don’t wish to have the name associated with your Gmail address on your blog, you can choose a limited profile.

After this, you’ll be taken to the dashboard, where you can choose your blog name and theme. Then it’s as easy as using the straightforward CMS to write your blog.

3. Wix

Wix is another free and simple CMS to consider when setting up a blog. Simply sign up for an account, then you can choose from templates.

Note that while Wix offers many templates, only certain ones offer Wix Blog. If you choose one without this application, you can still add it on later through Wix’s App Market.

Customize the template to fit your vision, then go to the Wix Editor>Menus & Pages>Show More>Rename to name your blog. Wix offers free hosting, but if you want your own domain name, you’ll need to establish that and then connect it to your blog via the Wix Editor. Once these logistics are set, you’re ready to start a new post and get to blogging.

Now that you know the ins and outs of starting a blog, you’re ready to get started! Evaluate CMS platforms based on support, security, and design and functionality features.

Once you’ve decided on a CMS, the platform will make the rest of your work a breeze. And once that blog is up and running, you can start considering even more options, like marketing and advertising, to make your brand known and even turn a profit.

Blogging

Why Blogs Fail — And How to Make Sure…

Of the 1.7 billion websites in the world, 600 million are blogs. And the number of US bloggers is set to reach 31.7 million in 2020.

Clearly, blogging is competitive. You’re constantly vying for people’s precious online attention, which is around 15 seconds for more than half of readers. But for many, the benefits of running a blog outweigh the time, cost, and effort involved. That’s because in 2019, marketers who prioritized blogging received 13X more ROI than companies that put it at the bottom of the stack.

Beyond revenue, blogs are a great way to raise brand awareness, share engaging articles, and bring in new customers. Seems like an easy marketing win, right? Not quite. Before you hit ‘publish’ on that first piece, it’s important to consider why blogs fail.

To figure out what causes blogs to flop, let’s look at a handful of blog statistics — and simple ways to make sure yours is a success. But first, let’s answer that nagging question in the back of your brain:

So, we know what percentage of marketers feel their blogs aren’t successful, but what might have contributed to this failure? And how do you avoid these mistakes? Let’s take a look.

Why Blogs Fail

1. The blog lacks a content strategy.

Do you know why your blog exists? If so, does your content support that raison d’être?

One of the main reasons why blogs fail is a lack of purposeful, engaging content. In fact, “original written content” is the most important type for 58% of marketers. If you’re wondering what exactly is a purposeful post, Google defines it as “original content that adds value for users.” And that value is “meaningful content or features, such as additional information about price, purchasing location, or product category.”

The first step to creating valuable content is to make it a priority, like 72% of B2B content creators. Planning starts with a well-documented blog strategy, which you can dive into in our Business Blogging Course.

A strategy may sound like a simple solution — but it works. Sixty-five percent of the most successful North American bloggers have a well-documented content marketing strategy. Among the least successful bloggers, only 14% write down a strategy and 39% admit they don’t have any strategy.

Once your plan is in place, you’re ready to craft engaging content. It’s important to learn what works well for your buyer persona, but you can use these guidelines as a starting point.

  • 55% of bloggers see results from blog posts with 2,000 words or more. (Orbit Media)
  • 39% of consumers are irritated by content that’s “poorly written” or “too wordy.” (Adobe)
  • Articles with images get 94% more total views. (fundera)

2. The blog isn’t optimized for search.

Let’s just say it — search engine optimization (SEO) can be frustrating. Just when you think you’ve done all you can to optimize your blog, the algorithms change. But ignoring SEO altogether is another reason why blogs fail.

You need people to find, read, and share your blog, yet that’s nearly impossible without any optimization. Across all industries, search is the top traffic source for blogs. In 2019, 68% of web traffic came from paid and organic search, beating out channels like display and social media.

Fortunately, certain SEO rules continue to ring true. So, if you focus on the following practices, your blog will be better poised for success:

  • Research keywords. Keywords are a short string of words that help search engines understand what a web page is about (e.g., “Why do blogs fail?”). While experts debate whether or not keywords are still relevant for SEO, they do share the intent of your blog and improve rankings. Take a look at our SEO keyword research guide to pick up the best practices.
  • Write descriptions for images and videos. Text is the foundation of search, so you’ll rank well if you create copy that algorithms can easily understand.
  • Optimize for voice search. With 62% of people in the US aged 12 and older using voice-operated assistants, optimizing your blog for voice search is a way to get ahead of the SEO game.

3. The blog is not well-designed.

Imagine you click on a blog you’ve never visited, only to be met with low-quality images, slow loading times, and an unorganized layout. You’re likely not staying long — and you’re not alone. Ninety percent of people have left a website due to bad design.

While the look of your site is important for reader retention, a well-designed site architecture helps search engines organize and index your blog pages (Both benefit your SEO). If it’s tough for people to navigate your blog, they’re probably going to bounce … and never come back. A bad experience makes 88% of consumers unlikely to return to a website.

The solution to keep people scrolling your site? A good experience.

User experience (UX) design is a speciality all its own. So unless you want to dabble in the psychology of human decision-making, it’s best to work with a professional or a templated web design software like Squarespace, Wix, or WordPress. But you can improve the look of your content by incorporating design elements from these blog statistics:

Blog Statistics

  • 40% of content marketers say original visuals, like infographics, perform best in their posts.
  • 90% of bloggers boost visual appeal by including images in their article.
  • An infinite scrolling feature can reduce a website’s bounce rate. (Think: Your Instagram feed).
  • 52% of web traffic worldwide comes from a mobile device. And users are 5X more likely to leave a site if it’s not mobile-friendly.

4. The blog manager posts inconsistently.

On day one of your blogging journey, you have big plans to post every day. Two weeks later, only one article is live. This scenario highlights another reason why blogs fail: inconsistency.

Blogging takes time. In 2019, bloggers spent an average of three hours and 57 minutes writing a single post. You then have to factor time to add images, edit, format, share, and promote. For small companies, it can be too time-consuming to put out content every day. Posting one to four times a week is often enough for smaller teams. Large companies, on the other hand, usually have the resources to share a new piece every day.

Don’t worry if you can’t post seven times a week. The biggest challenge for 52% of bloggers is finding time to create and promote content. Instead, try the following tips to get on a consistent blogging schedule.

  • Use templates. You don’t always have to start from scratch. Blog post templates are guided outlines to inspire creative thinking and help you format posts.
  • Get inspired. Writer’s block happens to everyone — even bloggers. To get ideas for your next post, look for interesting headlines, formats, and designs. Then, make it your own by adding stats, images, examples, and thoughts.
  • Create an editorial calendar. Psychology research has shown that in 90% of cases, specific, challenging goals led to higher performance than easy goals, “do your best” goals, or no goals. You can use goal-setting to your advantage by planning your blog content for the next one, three, or six months with an editorial calendar.

There are hundreds of reasons why blogs fail. But if you avoid these four common pitfalls, you’ll have a better chance of creating a blog that shows up in search results, offers engaging content, and keeps readers coming back.

Blogging

Blog vs. Podcast: Which Is the Best Choice for…

Blogs and podcasts are both powerhouse marketing tools. Company blogs are well-established inbound marketing channels, while business podcasts are the up-and-comers garnering a lot of excitement in the industry.

A few stats in the blog corner:

  • 59% of marketers find business blogging valuable. (DemandMetric)
  • Prioritizing blogging gave companies 13X the ROI compared with companies that did not prioritize their blogs. (HubSpot)
  • About 70 million new blog posts are published each month on WordPress alone, with 77 million comments added per month. (WordPress)

And in the podcast corner:

  • 37% of Americans ages 12 and older listened to a podcast in the previous month. (Edison Research)
  • Podcast listening is more prevalent among younger Americans. 49% of people aged 12 to 34 listened to a podcast in the previous month, followed by 40% of people ages 35 to 54, and 22% of people aged 55 and above. (Edison Research)
  • The heaviest podcasts users listen while they are away from home; often while at work. (Nielson)

Both blogs and podcasts nurture customer relationships, validate expertise, deepen brand loyalty, capture search, and generate leads. But each tool has benefits and drawbacks, and you probably wonder which will offer your business the most significant ROI.

Let’s take a closer look at the pros and cons of blogs and podcasts, the audiences for each — and when offering both is best.

Podcast Benefits and Drawbacks

The Pros of Podcasting

1. Podcasts are personable and facilitate connections.

Your podcast host or hosts lend a human voice to your brand. Podcasts put a knowledgeable person from your company in conversation with industry experts to tackle current topics and share advice, often with a touch of lighthearted humor. You can also ask your audience what they want you to cover and whether they have questions they want answered.

2. Podcasts reach younger audiences.

An entertaining and informative podcast is an opportunity to build brand awareness among Millennials and Gen Z.

3. Podcast listeners are growing fast.

The number of people who listened to a podcast at least once increased by 20 million between 2018 and 2019. The number of weekly listeners rose by 14 million in that time.

4. Podcasts increase opportunities to reach your audience.

People can listen to podcasts while driving, working out, or doing the dishes. Reading a blog post requires stopping and reading on a computer or mobile device.

The Cons of Podcasting

1. Podcast tech can be intimidating.

Getting comfortable with podcast technology can feel daunting. Learning the tech and launching a podcast requires time and money, and companies with small marketing teams and budgets can question the ROI.

2. Podcasts take time.

Once you are comfortable, podcast production still requires a significant investment of time. You have to brainstorm topics, reach out to guests, and record, before shifting to post-production and marketing.

3. There’s a call-to-action gap.

People listening to podcasts in their car or on a walk can’t press the CTA button the moment the inspiration hits. Instead, they must choose to return to your website to explore and fill out a form.

Blog Pros and Cons

The Benefits of Blogging

1. Blogs support search engine optimization (SEO).

Including keywords in authoritative and helpful blog posts can drive traffic to your website.

2. Blogs don’t require as much tech knowledge.

For a blog, you need a strong writer and someone who knows how to publish the post to your platform.

3. Blogs draw leads.

Companies that blog earn 67% more leads on average per month than those that don’t.

The Drawbacks of Blogging

1. Blogs face stiff competition.

It’s not enough to pick a topic based on the keywords people are searching in your industry. There are scores of blogs across industries and subject areas. To make your blog stand out you have to go deeper, approach topics from a unique angle, and share must-know expert advice.

2. Blogs must offer value — and it’s no easy task.

With so much pre-existing content online, you have to offer an above-and-beyond return on your reader’s time investment. Then, once you’ve grabbed attention, it’s important to deliver consistent high-value content so your blog becomes a destination for knowledge building rather than a one-time find.

3. Blogs require a strong copy team.

Overcoming the cons of blogging takes a creative group of content strategists, writers, and editors who spot opportunities for engaging blogs that teach and help readers solve real-world problems.

Determine who you need to reach.

Blog readers, podcast listeners, or both? To decide the ideal medium for your content, get clear about who you want to engage with, what they want to know, and how they access their content.

The number of people listening to podcasts on mobile apps increased 60% between 2018 and 2019, and millennials drive that growth. One-third of listeners between ages 25 and 35 pressed play on at least five podcasts per week. Reasons for listening to podcasts range from entertainment, staying updated, and learning something new.

Podcast consumers differ slightly by gender, as well, with 39% of males and 36% of females in the U.S. listening to a podcast in the previous month.

Escape Fitness is an example of a company podcast that knows its fitness-industry audience, and produces audio content that engages. Weekly episodes of the Escape Your Limits podcast feature discussions with entrepreneurs about health, exercise, productivity, and the mindset needed for success.

The HubSpot 2017 Content Trends Survey found that 18% of consumers in the US, Germany, Colombia, and Mexico want blogs from the brands they support. Though that percentage may appear small — it is mighty. Businesses that blog get more website visitors and receive 67% more leads than those that don’t.

Among people who read blogs regularly, 34% read to learn something new, 20% for entertainment, and 12% to learn about news and trends in their job industry.

Because people are there to learn, you should focus on content that makes their life easier at work and beyond. The Grammarly blog does a great job of providing value for students, job-hunters, and people for whom English is a second language. You’ll find to-the-point posts on writing persuasive essays, giving writer feedback, and common writing problems, such as passive voice or run-on sentences.

People skim articles for tidbits of information rather than read them thoroughly. Your blog posts should be easily skimmable with headers that help them understand the topic more deeply, and engaging images or graphics that act as stepping stones from top to bottom. List articles are easy to skim and break your copy into bite-size pieces, and many marketers say they perform well.

When to Consider Both a Podcast and a Blog

Choosing between the two isn’t always necessary, and some companies benefit from offering both, if they have the budget and the time. REI Co-Op has produced four podcasts and has an extensive blog covering the environment, gear, and how-tos.

Here are first-steps to aid your decision making and lay the groundwork for a successful launch whether you share your brand through one or both mediums:

1. Assess your marketing team.

Has someone been pushing your company to create a blog and tossing topic ideas your way for the past year? Maybe they’ve even been writing shorter posts for LinkedIn already.

And perhaps someone else on your team devours podcasts and has heard enough of them from within your industry to understand what works and what doesn’t. Knowledgeable and passionate marketers make developing blogs and podcasts more manageable with a better chance of success.

2. Explore tools and platforms.

If you already have a CMS, such as HubSpot, it’s simple to add a blog. You can focus on building a content calendar, graphic design, and a blog marketing plan.

Recently, podcast platforms to streamline production and releases have also come online. Casted, for example, offers a podcast marketing platform that integrates with a company’s existing customer relationship management (CRM) and content management system (CMS) tools.

The podcast platform also offers a service that helps companies build their podcasts from scratch, so marketers learn the tools while moving production forward.

3. Understand that voice content is here to stay.

You saw those stats above. Like video before it, voice content is fast shifting from nice-to-have to must-have. But if producing a ground-up podcast isn’t in your wheelhouse or the budget, don’t fret; you can make your blog content audio accessible.

For example, Vooozer is an audio marketing solution that extends a blog’s reach with narration by real people and audio players embedded in the blog. People can learn and get advice from your company while they’re driving or on their lunch-break, and the CTA is on the same page to boot.

4. Assess the competition and clarify your value.

You need to know what’s out there so you don’t churn out content that’s already extensively covered. Research long-tail keywords to help you brainstorm niche topics that separate you from the pack on both platforms.

Blogs and podcasts increase your inbound marketing reach and nurture customer relationships. Choose the strategy that makes the most sense for your company, your in-house talent, and your customers, and you’ll see results.

Blogging

15 Amazing Blogging Insights Your Analytics Can Tell You

A blog is a critical component of your inbound marketing strategy — it’s the vehicle for driving traffic, generating leads, and establishing authority and trust… All in the early or middle stages of the buyer’s journey.

But how do you know if it’s working?

With all that content, traffic, and leads you’re generating, are you aware that you’re sitting on a gold mine of valuable data? Enter… Blog analytics.

In this post, we’ll cover:

  • What blog analytics are
  • Why they matter
  • What metrics to measure
  • How to measure them (Hint: With tools!) 

By measuring performance based on data, you can identify what’s working, what’s not working, and why. 

Why Blog Analytics Matters

Let’s say a key stakeholder in your company comes to you with this question: “How is the blog contributing to our goals?” They want to craft the marketing budget and put their dollars toward the activities that make the most difference to the bottom line.

Responding to their question with “Trust me” will not sway that individual to continue celebrating and investing in content marketing. By gathering and analyzing blog data, you can get a pulse on your blog’s:

  • Search presence (such as impressions, clicks, and click-through rate)
  • Traffic performance (based on total views and visits, individual post performance, and by referral source)
  • Authority in your online niche (based on number of inbound links)
  • Readership engagement (by measuring time on page, bounce rate, social shares and comments, and subscriber count)
  • Lead generation (by measuring CTA click-through rate, goal conversion rate, number of leads, and lead-to-customer conversion rate)

All of this data is leverage as you prove the ROI of the blog and improve the performance of your blog content. You just have to know how to use it!

Let’s dive deeper on this…

Blog Analytics Metrics and Insights

Let’s break down the individual blog metrics you should be tracking so you can start making incremental improvements and generate even more traffic and leads… based on data that’s right under your nose.

1. Organic Search Impressions

An “impression” is the number of times your post or page has been seen in the Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs). The higher your blog posts rank in the SERPs, the more visibility (and, as a result, traffic) your blog can earn through organic search. 

If you have a low number of impressions, your search presence may not be strong enough to get the organic traffic numbers you’re after, and it’s your job to then implement SEO best practices and create content around queries that people are searching for. 

2. Organic Clicks

It’s not enough to simply be present on the SERPs, which is what impression data measures. Your content must be compelling enough to compel the searcher to click. The more organic clicks your content earns, the more traffic your blog receives. 

If you’re finding that your clicks are low, first check your impressions. If impressions are low too, you must work on increasing your impressions.

On the other hand, your impressions could be lower if your content is targeting a low-volume query (i.e. you can’t change search behavior and make people search for something more).

However, if you’re finding that your SERP positions and impressions are high and your clicks are low, you may have to work on your title (blog headline) and meta-description to gain attention and earn more clicks. 

3. Organic Click-Through Rate

Comparing organic impressions to clicks can be hard, but that’s where organic click-through rate comes in. This metric is the percentage of impressions that resulted in a click. 

The higher the percentage, the more bang you get for your impressions buck. You can even have posts that get little traffic (because of low keyword volume) that rank highly, get a lot of impressions, and earn a high share of clicks from those impressions. 

At the same time, you could rank lower for a high volume query yet still drive a lot of traffic with a low click-through rate. 

4. Total Views and Visits

A visit measures the number of times your website was seen by a user. Page views refer to the number of times a page was seen by a user. It’s important to keep in mind that there can be multiple page views for every visit since users can browse multiple pages in a single session. 

These overall metrics can tell you: 

  • Whether blog traffic is trending up or down
  • Average number of page views per visit (i.e. whether a user is engaging with multiple pieces of your content when they do visit)
  • Average views per post (how far your content goes on average) 

(And more…)

5. Individual Post Performance

The number of views for individual blog posts can give you more granular data about how your audience responds to the different topics you’re blogging about.

Do you notice that posts about certain topics aren’t doing as well as others? This is likely an indication that those topics aren’t as important to your audience. If this is the case, you might want to publish fewer posts on those topics and more on topics that truly resonate with your target audience.

Blog post views can also help you identify other patterns and cues in your blog content. Does a certain title structure work better than others? Do posts that are more pontificating generate a better reaction than how-to type posts? Use all of these insights to inform your future posts to increase the value of your blog and generate better results.

6. Traffic Referral Source

Your blog’s referral sources will tell you where (which sites) users are coming from and give you a sense of how people are finding your blog. Use this information to identify deficiencies in your blog’s visibility and to help diagnose why you may have low traffic to your blog.

Is the bulk of your traffic coming from social media sites per your heavy social media promotion but few visitors are coming in from organic search — or vice versa?

a chart in excel showing referral sources

Make sure you’re optimizing your blog content with the keywords your target audience is searching for so it gets found in search engines, and allocate some resources to promoting your blog on the sites your audience tends to populate.

Continue to track your referral sources as you ramp up promotion in certain channels so you can determine the ROI of leveraging one channel over another. A lot of focus on social media promo that yields few visitors might not be the best use of your time when another channel is a better driver of blog traffic, for example.

7.  Number of Inbound Links

“Inbound links” refer to the links that your blog earns from other sites. Inbound links, or links from other websites and blogs pointing to your blog content, can indicate how authoritative your blog is.

Think of inbound links as votes of confidence. If someone thought your blog content was worth linking to within their own content, it’s a good indicator that content is an authoritative resource on the subject.

Inbound links can also show you how effectively your blog is contributing to your website’s overall SEO, since inbound links are one of the most powerful factors impacting search engine optimization. They can even help you generate blog traffic from the referring website and expose you to brand new audiences.

Individual inbound links will also help you identify some of your blog’s top content that you might consider using as fodder in social media updates, new blog posts, or ebooks.

8. Time on Page

“Time on page” measures how long a user stayed to engage with the content once arriving on the page. It can* be a good indicator of how engaging the content is to your blog visitors. The idea is that the longer they stay, the more time they took to read the information rather than skim and bounce away (more on that later). 

*However, take this metric with a grain of salt. Shorter posts take less time to read and, as a result, have shorter time on page averages. Also, if you take time in making your posts easy for the user to navigate and find what they’re looking for, you may get shorter times for this reason (and that’s okay!).

9. Bounce Rate

Bounce rate will tell you how frequently visitors leave your blog without visiting other pages on your blog. While this is a great indicator of the quality of your content and the stickiness of your blog overall, don’t be fooled by some implications of bounce rate. While you’d probably want visitors to stick around and read other articles on your blog, you probably wouldn’t consider it a bad thing if a visitor clicked on a CTA at the end of your post and headed over to one of your landing pages to fill out a lead-capture form, right?

That being said, if people are quickly leaving your blog for a completely different website, you’ll want to take some measures to increase the quality of your content.

To help decrease bounce rate, consider adding a sidebar widget to your blog that features your blog’s best-performing posts and switching up the homepage of your blog to show a preview of your 5 most recent posts rather than a full view of your most recent post. This will give visitors the ability to choose to read more posts that cater to their individual needs, enticing them to stick around.

10. Social Shares and Comments

social share buttons

Comments and social shares are good supplementary metrics to indicate the likeability of your content and the sentiment of your audience’s perception of it. In addition, comments and social shares can be a great way to identify strengths and weaknesses in your content and help you generate ideas for new content.

If you’re noticing few social shares of your content, make sure you have social sharing buttons installed on every blog article you publish. Be sure that you’re also spending time promoting on social media.

11. Subscriber Count

Your blog’s RSS subscriber and email subscriber count can indicate how much your blog’s stable community of readers is growing over time.

Visitors who subscribe will likely make up your blog’s solid readership, and it usually indicates your content’s true fan base. These readers are most likely to share your content with their own networks, expanding your blog’s reach, so you’ll want to do some work to build up your subscriber count and track its growth over time.

Make sure you display email and RSS subscribe buttons prominently near the top of your blog’s sidebar to encourage new visitors to subscribe to your content.

blog subscribers resized 600

12. CTA Click-Through Rate

A view on your blog post or a social share is not the end-all be-all. You actually want your blog to make a meaningful impact on revenue… and traffic is only part of that equation.

With that in mind, if no one is clicking through from your blog to your landing pages, you’ll never generate any leads. That’s where CTA click-through rate comes in.

CTA click-through rate measures the percentage of visitors who clicked on your blog’s CTA. 

The higher the CTR, the more effective your CTA is for the traffic your blog is currently generating.

But a low CTR could mean a few things:

  • The offer in your call-to-action isn’t compelling or relevant enough (blog readers are there for a reason, and the offer doesn’t meet their needs or excite them)
  • The CTA has not been placed in a prominent enough location for visibility
  • The CTA design just isn’t attractive or prominent enough to warrant a click (whether it be because of the aesthetic design, or ineffective button copy)

To improve your blog’s click-through rate, make sure the offer you’re presenting aligns with the content of your posts as closely as possible, uses compelling button copy that clearly demonstrates the value of the offer, creates a sense of urgency, and that the button utilizes an attention-grabbing design. Conducting some A/B tests is a great way to optimize for the best calls-to-action for your blog to improve click-through rate.

cta click through rate measurement in excel

13. Number of Leads

Obviously, the number of leads generated will tell you how effectively your blog is supporting lead generation. Is it trending up or down? Are they the right kind of leads?

To make sure you have your bases covered here, tell your readers what action you want them to take. Make sure that:

  • Every post you publish includes a call-to-action for a relevant offer
  • The homepage of your blog itself features your best-performing CTAs in its sidebar/top bar
  • You include anchor text links to landing pages within the text of your blog posts

Knowing the number of leads attributed to your blog can also help you diagnose other deficiencies in your blog’s performance.

14. Goal Conversion Rate

The goal conversion rate measures whether your blog readers completed the action you wanted them to (the goal) to convert from a visit to a lead. As opposed to the number of leads metric which tells you how much you’re generating leads for your business, conversion rate tells you how effectively you’re doing it.

Keep in mind that conversion rate is highly dependent on your existing traffic. So if you have low traffic but an amazing conversion rate, you might generate leads at the same rate as you would with high traffic but a low conversion rate. Coupled with the knowledge of your blog’s CTA click-through rate, you can gather some pretty awesome insights.

For example, if you have a high click-through rate but a low conversion rate, this means that while you’re getting visitors to click on your CTAs, they’re abandoning your landing pages before completing the form to convert into a lead. If this is the case, you likely have a conversion problem that can be due to a number of things: the messaging in your CTAs don’t align with the messaging on their landing pages or you could have a number of very landing page-specific problems. Start first with testing better alignment between your CTAs and their landing pages, and if that doesn’t do the trick, dive into landing page optimization testing.

15. Lead-to-Customer Conversion Rate

Your blog’s lead-to-customer conversion rate will tell you how effectively the leads you generated from your blog turned into customers. This insight becomes valuable when you’re examining and comparing the effectiveness of your multiple marketing channels against each other. If your blog is one of your top customer-producing channels, it might make sense to allocate more time and human resources to it. If it’s not, the opposite might be a better approach.

Now, all of the above are fantastic metrics to measure the performance of your blog. But how do you get the data? Below are blog analytics tools that can help you gather and analyze blog data. 

1. Google Search Console

google search console blog analytics chart

Google Search Console is a free tool that helps website owners measure and analyze their presence on Google. Based on the data that is provided by Google themselves, you’ll be able to track: 

  • Organic impressions from Google
  • Number of clicks from Google
  • Click-through rate
  • Positioning (the ranking position on Google SERPs)

Google Search Console also provides the ability to segment based on individual pages, individual queries, countries, and devices. You’re also able to compare date ranges to show change over time.

The only thing you need to do to get access to this data is enable it is sign up and verify ownership of your site. 

2. SEMrush

rankings overview chart in semrush

Image Source

SEMrush is a third-party tool for measuring search presence and rankings. You can use it to track positioning changes over time, monitor your inbound link profile, and optimize content for SEO. 

What makes it different is that SEMrush goes beyond providing the data and into helping you uncover actionable insights. You’ll be able to do keyword research and uncover strategies to help your blog perform better, and you can also do competitive analysis to understand what your competitors’ search presence is like.

3. Arel=”noopener” target=”_blank” hrefs

backlink profile for blog analytics in arel=

Arel=”noopener” target=”_blank” hrefs is a similar tool to SEMrush for tracking search performance and performing keyword research and competitive analysis. With this all-in-one SEO tool, you’ll have access to keyword data, site auditing, and rank tracking. What makes Arel=”noopener” target=”_blank” hrefs special is its SERP feature tracking, helping you understand exactly what your users are seeing when they perform a particular query.

4. Google Analytics

google analytics chart for blog performance

Whereas Google Search Console helps you understand and measure your positioning and performance on the SERPs, before users get to your site, Google Analytics helps you understand what happens after they get to your site.

It’s a free tool. In order to implement Google Analytics, you must set up an account and implement the Tracking ID with a JavaScript tag. Once this tag is in your site’s code and functioning properly, it can then gather data about your site’s users from that point forward (i.e. no back data is available previous to the script being installed).

Google Analytics can help you understand: 

  • Audience – Who came to your site? Where are they located? What are their demographics? What device did they use?
  • Acquisition – Where did they come from? What referring sites sent them?
  • Behavior – Where did they land (which page or post)? What did they do once they got here? How long did they stay? How did they navigate the site? What page did they exit from?
  • Conversions – Did they do what you wanted them to? 

There are many metrics to look at within these larger buckets, and Google Analytics also provides ways to filter, segment, and compare various metrics. This can help you determine if you’re getting the right traffic, if that traffic is trending up or down, and if they’re navigating and converting how you want them to.

5. HubSpot

hubspot blog analytics graph showing event completions (conversions)

HubSpot is a CRM platform that also has marketing, CMS, sales, and service tools to help your business grow better. The advantage of using HubSpot for blogging is that you can monitor the performance of your posts and tie that data into CRM records, helping your team see all of their marketing interactions. This helps you be able to track the complete customer lifecycle from initial blog view to becoming a customer and beyond.

6. StoryChief

story chief blog analytics for social media engagement

Image Source

StoryChief is a tool for centralized content management ranging from publishing to blog analytics and content insights. Its analytics, reporting, and data management features help you analyze your data, track trends on top-performing content, and guide you to insights for creating buzz-worthy content. The edge it has over something like Google Analytics is its intuitive interface. (Fun fact: It also integrates with HubSpot.)

7. Tableau

Tableau is a data management software that can help you create data visualizations that can lead you to valuable insights. It works by integrating multiple sources of data and allowing you to drill-down, filter, and build graphs and dashboards to spot trends and forecast opportunities.

Whatever tools you decide to use as you focus on the metrics that matter to your blogging efforts, keep in mind that data alone is not enough to create an actionable strategy. It’s important to understand the context of the data and be able to interpret insights into the inbound marketing activities that will generate ROI.

Editor’s note: This post was originally published in January 2012 and has been updated for comprehensiveness.

Blogging

150 Power Words to Add Some Oomph To Your…

I can guarantee you that this article will be absolutely eye-opening.

It will provide actionable, research-backed insight that’s proven to take your marketing copy from mind-numbing to mind-blowing.

I know what you’re thinking — “Wow! The language you just used was absolutely electric! I’m totally engaged and emotionally invested! I need to read this article and learn more about whatever it’s discussing! Wow!”

Well, the words I used there — the ones that have you totally spellbound and intrigued — are designed to trigger emotional responses and capture attention. They’re known as power words, and they’re strong resources for getting more out of your marketing copy.

Here, we’ll explore the concept of power words a bit further and see a list of 150 of the most effective ones.

Power words are evocative — that’s the key to their appeal and efficacy. They subconsciously urge readers to take action. Words like “amazing”, “definitive”, and “jaw-dropping” give some extra oomph to your copywriting.

They’re over-the-top enough to play on strong feelings and trigger high-arousal emotions. Taken together, those factors can put a certain urgency behind your copy — one that consumers have been known to respond to.

It’s also worth noting that power words’ utility extends beyond traditional marketing copy. These words can be used in sales or marketing emails, to urge consumers to read blog posts, or to flesh out successful CTAs. In all those cases — among several others — power words have been known to prompt action and increase conversion.

Power words tend to play on emotions related to fear, encouragement, anger, lust, greed, safety, and taboos. For the sake of our list, we’ve condensed those components into three categories that are immediately relevant to business — urgency words, affirmation words, and security words.

Without further ado, here’s our list of the most effective business power words.

Urgency Words

Urgency words are meant to create the impression of an immediate, pressing need behind an offering. They’re used to push concepts like scarcity and value — to lead consumers to believe they only have so much time to capitalize on an excellent deal.

1. Bargain

2. Before

3. Big

4. Big Deal

5. Big Time

6. Billion

7. Bonus

8. Cash

9. Cheap

10. Deadline

11. Dollar

12. Double

13. Exclusive

14. Expiring

15. Extra

16. Fast

17. Final

18. First

19. Frenzy

20. Giveaway

21. Huge

22. Hurry

23. Immediate

24. Instant

25. Jackpot

26. Limited

27. Luxurious

28. Massive

29. More

30. New

31. Now

32. Premiere

33. Prize

34. Profit

35. Quick

36. Reduced

37. Rich

38. Running low

39. Running out

40. Save

41. Savings

42. Scarce

43. Special

44. Surge

45. Ultimate

46. Value

Affirmation Words

Affirmation words can be used in two main contexts — highlighting a product or service’s high esteem or boosting consumers’ self-perception. They can show that an offering goes above and beyond its competition or lead prospects to believe that a product or service will improve how they’re perceived by the world around them.

47. Amazing

48. A-Plus

49. Astonishing

50. Astounding

51. Awesome

52. Beautiful

53. Blissful

54. Breathtaking

55. Brilliant

56. Celebrate

57. Celebrated

58. Colossal

59. Courage

60. Daring

61. Delight

62. Effortless

63. Empower

64. Epic

65. Excellent

66. Excited

67. Extraordinary

68. Eye-Opening

69. Fabulous

70. Fantastic

71. Fearless

72. Fierce

73. Flawless

74. Glorious

75. Greatest

76. Grit

77. Happy

78. Heart

79. Hero

80. Hope

81. Incredible

82. Jaw-Dropping

83. Life-Changing

84. Lovable

85. Magic

86. Mind-blowing

87. Miraculous

88. Next-Level

89. Perfect

90. Phenomenal

91. Remarkable

92. Sensational

93. Spectacular

94. Splendid

95. Staggering

96. Striking

97. Stunning

98. Terrific

99. Thrive

100. Unbeatable

101. Unbelievable

Security Words

These words are generally used to put consumers at ease. They show that a product or service is well-tested, trusted, and safe. Security words are designed to show, first and foremost, that several other consumers reliably use the product or service in question.

102. Above and beyond

103. Accredited

104. Anonymous

105. Approved

106. Authentic

107. Automatic

108. Authoritative

109. Authority

110. Best

111. Best-selling

112. Better

113. Bonafide

114. Cancel anytime

115. Certified

116. Definitive

117. Dependable

118. Detailed

119. Endorsed

120. Ensured

121. Expert

122. Fail-proof

123. Foolproof

124. Genuine

125. Guaranteed

126. Guilt-free

127. Legit

128. Legitimate

129. Obvious

130. Patented

131. Professional

132. Protected

133. Proven

134. Refund

135. Reliable

136. Research-Backed

137. Results

138. Risk-Free

139. Scientific

140. Secure

141. Sensible

142. Surefire

143. Tested

144. Thorough

145. Trustworthy

146. Unconditional

147. Verified

148. Well-beyond

149. World Class

150. Worry-Free

If you want your copy to have some extra gusto and impact, consider referencing this list when writing it. Because now that you have an unequivocal, bonafide, authoritative understanding of power words, you can use them to elevate your copy to phenomenal, jaw-dropping, awesome, astounding heights.

Blogging

50 Lucrative Blog Niches & Finding One That Works…

There’s an obscure album by an equally obscure guitarist named Duck Baker called There’s Something for Everyone in America. I don’t know a ton about it — apart from the fact that it came out in 1975 and that its cover art is absolutely next-level. And while neither of those facts is particularly relevant to this article, the album’s title is

Image Source: Best Buy

That idea that “there’s something for everyone” doesn’t just apply to America — nor does it have anything to do with what appears to be Lady Justice stabbing a tiger in the heart while Duck Baker casually looks on and smiles from a nearby window.

No, that concept is also relevant to niche blog topics. Everyone has something that’s meaningful and interesting to them in its own right, and in a lot of cases, those kinds of passions and pursuits can be channeled into a well-crafted, consistently maintained blog property.

Here, we’ll go over what you need to consider when choosing a niche blog topic and look into 50 potential blog niche ideas you can choose from.

How to Choose Your Niche Blog Topic

So what should you blog about? How do you land on the topic that will resonate most with readers and keep you fulfilled in the long run? Well, first and foremost, you need to consider your areas of expertise.

Where are you an authority? What can you talk about comfortably and compellingly? If you write a blog in some niche you only halfway understand, readers won’t be receptive to it. They want to hear from an expert — someone who can demonstrate that they’re qualified to offer tips or trustworthy opinions. But it doesn’t end there.

Writing a blog is a personal pursuit, so you need to write about something that bears personal significance. What do you like to write about? There has to be some degree of joy and enthusiasm behind your blog.

It takes a lot of work to maintain a blog. It’s tough to keep that effort up if you don’t actually enjoy what you’re writing about. You have to start your blog under the assumption that it will take a while to get off the ground.

You’re probably not going to be able to monetize your site or sell ad space immediately, so you need to be in it — in large part — for the love of the sport.

Your niche has to reflect your passion because you’ll probably be writing for the sake of writing for a while. Attracting an audience neither easy nor a given. If you don’t care about your preferred topic, you’ll be less inclined to stick it out.

Careers and Education

1. Career Advice

There’s always a market for professional guidance — particularly in uncertain times.

2. Learning Employable Skills

Job seekers can always use an edge on their competition. If you can offer the insight or resources to give them that leg up, you can find a solid audience.

3. Professional Social Media Tips

Business owners often look for advice on how to bolster and enhance their presence on social media. If you have some experience in this arena, you can likely find a solid readership.

4. Study Hacks

There will always be a base of students looking to improve their study-game. If you’re particularly savvy when it comes to tips and tricks to boost your grades, consider this niche.

Entertainment

5. Acting Tips

If you’re an experienced actor who can share stories and insight that’ll help newbies refine their craft and prepare for auditions, consider giving this niche a shot.

6. Card and Board Games

There’s a lot of material to draw from card and board games. It’s a fun niche with an active base.

7. Concert Reviews

This niche is particularly fun and active. If you can reliably make it to shows and offer meaningful criticism, look into it.

8. Film or TV Reviews

There’s a sizable audience for an aficionado who can dish out some compelling opinions about new movies or TV shows. If you’re an outspoken film connoisseur, try this niche.

9. Music Criticism

This point is similar to the one above. An articulate music buff can rein in a sizable audience by offering their takes on new albums.

10. Stand-Up Comedy Instruction

Newer stand-up comics can always use a little (or a lot) of guidance as they’re starting out. There’s definitely an audience for a comedy veteran to offer some tips, tricks, and anecdotes.

11. Video Game Tutorials

There’s a solid population of gamers looking for walkthroughs and assistance through the trickier parts of certain games. If you’re an experienced gamer who can provide that help, look into this niche.

Finance

12. Budget Shopping

Everyone loves a bargain. If you’re a particularly deal-savvy shopper, check this niche out.

13. Frugal Living

People are always after ways to live a little smarter financially. This niche lets you demonstrate exactly how cost-conscious you are day-to-day.

14. Investment

Do you have a knack for calling all things Wall Street? If so, consider creating a blog up this alley.

15. Personal Finance

People will always need to know how to balance a checkbook and do taxes, so there’s a good chance you can generate readership by covering those kinds of financial fundamentals.

Food and Beverage

16. Coffee

Coffee enthusiasts are always looking for information on new blends. There’s a market for someone who can offer some astute coffee reviews and bean referrals.

17. Craft Beers

Similar to coffee, there’s an audience that loves craft beer and wants to be pointed towards hot new breweries.

18. Exotic Cuisine

Big-time foodies are active online. A lot of traffic can come with some interesting culinary exploits and tales of exotic cuisines.

19. Kitchen Equipment

Consumer electronics and accessories — specifically, those related to cooking — are always a big draw.

20. Meal Planning

Writing about regimented meal prep can bring in all kinds of readers — from cost-conscious consumers to health nuts.

21. Recipes and Cooking Tutorials

People are always looking for fresh new ways to prepare meals and snacks. If you have a knack for cooking, you might want to look into this idea.

Hobbies

22. Gardening

Green thumb readers can always use some tips, tricks, and new plants to incorporate into their gardening repertoire.

23. Makeup

Makeup tutorials have become a big hit across most social media platforms — a blog that capitalizes on that trend can be lucrative if done right.

24. Photography

Whether it’s a forum to offer tips to aspiring photographers or a place to post your own art, a photography blog can draw a solid crowd.

25. Technology

Compellingly writing about new and emerging tech can attract a forward-thinking base looking for the next big thing.

26. Writing

It might be slightly meta, but writing about writing can be a big hit. Many aspiring authors and columnists love a source for new prompts and pointers.

Personal Relationships

27. Blending Families

It’s a touchy, tricky subject to handle, but it’s a tough challenge a lot of people face. They stand to gain a lot from some sound advice on the topic.

28. Dating

Dating can be a minefield, and if you know how to help people navigate it, you can build a sizable, dedicated following.

29. Parenting

It’s arguably the hardest part of life — if you can make it that much easier for people, you’ll attract a solid audience.

30. Relationship Advice

Love ain’t always easy. That’s why plenty of potential readers are looking for someone who can help them figure it out as they go.

31. Weddings

Almost everyone looks forward to their big day, but planning a wedding means having a lot of balls in the air. Anyone who can help soon-to-be newlyweds successfully juggle them can find an audience.

Politics

32. Current Events

In the modern age, people need to stay on top of the news. If you can keep them posted with some eloquence and integrity, you can find readers.

33. Ethics

We could all use a refresher on basic human decency and morality every now and then. A well-crafted ethics blog can rein in a crowd that wants to do that consistently.

34. Political Opinions

Do you have some incisive, compelling political takes to offer? There might just be an audience that wants to hear what you have to say.

35. Political Satire

Sometimes, we need to see the humor in the modern political landscape. If you can tastefully (or not-so-tastefully) find it, there could be some a solid readership for it.

Self-Care

36. Meditation

There are plenty of readers looking to be a bit more mindful and a lot more centered. A meditation blog can tap into that population.

37. Mental Health

It’s an important topic that is (deservedly) getting a lot more attention nowadays than it has in recent years. If you can offer some meaningful insight on how to improve readers’ mental wellbeing, you’ll find an audience.

38. Self-Care

A more general, catch-all self-care blog can register with plenty of potential readers looking to improve every facet of their wellbeing.

39. Skincare

Skincare is a hot topic. There’s a massive crowd looking for the best products and techniques to keep their pores small and skin smooth.

Sports and Exercise

40. Extreme Sports

Out-there, wilder sports can be extremely entertaining in their own right, and there’s always a market for “extremely entertaining.”

41. Personal Training

Hardly anyone can afford a real personal trainer. Posting workouts — no matter how rigorous — can attract an audience composed of everyone from dedicated fitness nuts to out of shape newbies.

42. Running

Running is one of the most fundamental, popular fitness pursuits. There are plenty of readers who would want to hear about your running exploits and anecdotes.

43. Specific Sports

Football, baseball, basketball, soccer — sports are a staple of modern life. If you can consistently break news or offer interesting takes on a given sport, you can find a base.

44. Weight Loss

A lot of people are looking to shed some weight. If you can publish workouts or provide inspiration for weight loss, you can find a fairly dedicated audience.

45. Workout Trends

People want to stay hip to emerging workout trends, so providing news about and guidance for bold new ways to get can help you wrangle in some readers.

Travel

46. Hotel Reviews

Whether they’re looking to book rooms or just want to live vicariously through your incredible hotel stays, there will always be a base interested in hotel reviews.

47. Language Instruction

Nesvarbu, ar tai būtų praktiniai, ar asmeniniai tikslai, yra daugybė žmonių, kurie norės išmokti naujų kalbų. That’s Lithuanian for, “Whether it be for practical or personal purposes, there are plenty of people who will want to learn new languages.”

48. Travel Stories

Travel stories are some of the best ones you can tell. If you have some wild, outlandish exploits to share from your time in Bangkok, Paris, or wherever else, consider maintaining a travel blog.

49. Traveling for Work

Sometimes, travel is for business — not pleasure. There are plenty of readers interested in learning how to do that right.

50. Trip Reviews

A lot of people want to know which destinations are worth their time, and they might find a nicely maintained trip review blog entertaining and appealing.

As you can assume, this list of blog niches isn’t exhaustive. There are more than the 50 potential topics I’ve listed to choose from. If you’re looking to start a blog but don’t know what to write about, consider your passion and areas of expertise before anything else.

It comes down to a matter of want. You need to consider both what people will want to hear and what you will want to talk about.

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