As an inbound marketer, I know that blogging is a critical part of creating a strong online presence and generating leads.
But you know the old saying: "You can tell a cobbler by his shoes." For too long I focused on my clients' inbound marketing strategies and let mine fall to the wayside.
I recently decided to take my business to the next level and make my inbound strategy as important as my clients.
Read on to learn what I did to start a blog and the results I achieved after the first month.
Starting a Blog
- Committed to writing 30 blogs in 30 days
- Began developing calls-to-actions to put at the end of each blog post
- Promoted the blogs on social media (scheduled 8 posts per day to Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter)
- Increased my participation on LinkedIn and Twitter (sharing other people's articles)
- Promoted the blogs using email marketing (1 email per week for 4 weeks)
- Blog writing: I spent 60 hours (or about 15 hours per week or 2 hours per article, however you want to look at it). Some articles take less time, some take more. I just want my articles to be good!
- Social promotion: I hired an intern to write and schedule the posts. It took him about 10 hours for the month.
- Social media engagement: I spent about 20 hours, or 5 hours per week, perusing articles I could share with my audience and getting to know my business network.
- Email newsletters: I spent about 6.5 hours creating and launching 4 email newsletters. The first one took a little longer because I had to figure out how I wanted to lay it out.
- Graphics: I hired a graphic designer to help me create a call-to-action for the end of my blogs (see the one below). Others are in progress. She has about 6 hours invested, but the rest will go quickly now that we have the look we want.
Total time investment: approximately 100 hours
That 's a big investment. It's almost a full time position to blog daily. And the interesting thing is that it takes a variety of skill sets - writing, social media, email marketing, graphic design.... Is it worth all that to create a lead generation machine?
Based on the results I've seen my clients achieve, I would say yes. Instead of struggling to get new business, you'll increase leads, shorten the sales cycle, and sell more. I'm convinced I'll achieve a positive return on my investment.
The downside is that it takes time to truly start seeing results from your blogging efforts. And it won't work if you aren't consistent. So, if you're going to make the commitment, make sure you can stick with it for a period of time.
Blog Results After 1 Month
I wasn't expecting huge results from my blogging efforts after only 1 month, but I'm very pleased so far!
1. Increased Leads and Sales
I received 4 leads from LinkedIn as a direct result of my blog posts. These people saw my posts and reached out to learn more about my services. I secured a small project from it so far (with hopefully more to come!). So, you could say I increased leads 400% because I wasn't getting any before I started blogging. 4 is better than none, and not too bad for the first month!
2. Increased Website Visitors
Increased website visitors by 108% compared to the past 3 months.
3. Increased Social Media Visibility
- Approximately 1-3 new Twitter followers every day
- Social interaction on my social media posts (retweets, likes, shares, comments)
- Approximately 1-3 new LinkedIn connection every day (reaching out to me)
4. Better Prospecting
It's so nice to have content to refer to when I'm prospecting. I can follow up a sales meeting with relevant articles to help clarify a point, or write a blog post after a sales meeting based on their questions and concerns. I think it helps build trust and credibility. If my close ratio goes up, then I'll know for sure, but it may take some time to gather that data.
What are you willing to invest to create a lead generation machine for your company?