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Is Your Blog Just Another Billboard?

Ah, the beautiful, bountiful world of blogs. The stats make one thing clear about blogging: YOU SHOULD DO IT. And oh yeah, you should DO IT NOW.

But is your blog really doing its job? Or is it just another dingy, long-forgotten billboard (advertisement) on the side of the super sales highway?

BLOG

First, some staggering stats:

Top 10 Reasons To Start/Have A Blog:

  1. 57% of companies with a blog have acquired a customer from their blog. Source: HubSpot 
  2. B2B marketers who use blogs generate 67% more leads per month than those who do not. Source: FactBrowser
  3. Once you write 21-54 blog posts, blog traffic generation increases by up to 30%. Source: TrafficGenerationCafe
  4. Once you write 52 or more blog posts, blog traffic generation increases by up to 77%. Source: TrafficGenerationCafe
  5. 81% of U.S. online consumers trust information and advice from blogs. Source: BlogHer
  6. 61% of U.S. online consumers made a purchase based on blog recommendations. Source: BlogHer
  7.  37% of marketers say blogs are the most valuable type of content marketing. Source: Content Plus
  8. 60% of consumers feel more positive about a company after reading custom content on its site. Source: Content Plus
  9. 90% of consumers find custom content useful,  78% believe that companies behind content are interested in building good relationships. Source: TMG Custom Media
  10. 68% of consumers are likely to spend time reading content from a brand they are interested in. Source: The CMA

Blogs can certainly make your company or brand credibile. Sadly, some of us get in the way of our own credibility with our eagerness to stuff leads into the pipeline.

billboard blog

From WOW To WTF

Sometimes marketers and bloggers publish regularly, have a gorgeous design, give lots of tips for solving their readers’ issues and still mange to muck it up. How?

They end every post with a hard sell, or with an ask to buy or sign up for something.

Why would you spend all that time gaining your readers’ trust, and then ruin it with, “OH and if you liked this article, buy our Fast Amazing Product! Here’s a $10 coupon, too!”

I just went from WOW to WTF.

What if it was my first time on your site? What if that hard sell slapped me so silly that I refuse to come back?

Wouldn’t you rather WOW your readers and provide so much value with every article that they’re on pins and needles waiting for your next installment?

Yes, there is a time and place to make the ask and get the sale – but I beg you reconsider making that place at the end of your posts.

Make your blog the Google of [Insert Your Industry Here]. Be the SOURCE of constant, helpful, insightful and valuable updates that your community cannot live without.

Blog Buzz

Uninspired? Try one of the tips below to show your customers you’re more concerned with helping than selling:

  • Case studies
  • Infographics
  • List of resources
  • Helpful statistics (like the 1st half of this blog!)
  • How-to pieces
  • Checklists & Cheat sheets
  • Templates
  • Guides
  • Problem/Solution (give problem and possible solutions)
  • FAQs
  • Interview the experts
  • Book reviews
  • Testimonials

How do you feel about selling at the end of blogs posts? I’d love for you to let me know in the comments section below!

See you in the social sphere!

 

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Brooke B. Sellas is the in-the-trenches Founder & CEO of @HelloBSquared, an award-winning social media, advertising, and customer care agency. She's also the Co-host of The Marketing Companion podcast with Mark Schaefer, where they discuss jaw-dropping marketing trends. Brooke's marketing mantra is “Think Conversation, Not Campaign” so be sure to give her a shout!
Category: Best Practices, Content Curation, Content Marketing, Online Marketing, Social Selling
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6 Comments. Leave new

  • Avatar
    Veronica Solorzano Athanasiou
    July 3, 2013 7:26 AM

    We’re on the same page today Brooke. Was thinking of you this morning as the queen of ROI as I must analyze my page insights and use my Statistician skills… but also I posted a question about selling on our Social Platforms vs offering value. I’m with you. I don’t like those blog authors who always end the post with a selling proposal. I just put them on a black list and never read their articles again. Their emails end up in my spam folder. Thanks for reassuring my position, I’d add what Robert Caruso posted yesterday (if I may): Our money is in other people’s pockets and the way to get it is to offer VALUE! Cheers!

    Reply
    • Thanks, Veronica, I’m so glad to hear that. I don’t know if I’m the queen of ROI but I do think it’s very important for marketers and social media professionals to understand/learn it, and start performing it (and not just collecting and relying on vanity metrics). First and foremost — yes even before ROI — you have to understand your audience(s) and be able to give them extraordinary value. It’s the only thing that will set us apart in the social sphere. Really appreciate you stopping by and starting this conversation with me this morning!

      Reply
      • Avatar
        Veronica Solorzano Athanasiou
        July 3, 2013 1:11 PM

        It’s been my pleasure to connect with you Brooke. And yes you ARE the Queen 😉
        Now I’m off so I can reach the target of 51 posts to see those increases in followers mentioned above. What do Social Media and the Stock exchange have in common? 😉

        Reply
        • Same, Veronica! I feel ya – I thought I was doing “good” with my consistant one blog post a week, but it seems to really grab more traffic I need to boost to twice a week. It’s been a goal of mine for a while, but I don’t want to do it until I can make a serious commitment! So many bloggers blog sporadically or when they have time, and I think that’s a really good way to lose readers!

          Haha – oh boy … what do they have in common??

          Reply
  • Excellent article, Brooke. I am with you on the WOW factor and absolutely agree that the selling at the end of the article can definitely turn readers away.

    I’m curious, too, Veronica. What do they have in common?
    Robin Strohmaier recently posted…The Best Blogging Tips for Anyone Beginning to BlogMy Profile

    Reply
    • Thanks so much for stopping by, Robin! Veronica actually wrote a blog post about the Stock Exchange and social media – very insightful. It’s on her Oroklini blog if you want to take a gander. 😉

      Reply

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