Notes from #blogbiz

Yesterday I tuned into HubSpot’s “Blogging For Business” webinar as I try to participate in at least one webinar a month. Here are my notes (in between phone calls and answering emails, too). My additional thoughts in italics.

If I missed notes that you took, or have a comment to add, let me know.

Segmenting content on one blog is better and more time efficient than segmenting content on different blogs. It proves that a single blog can hit multiple topics and several “blog-maturity” levels, rather than a unique blog for each topics. And one blog saves time, a lot of time.

Before you start thinking about a blog, think about what it costs you to acquire new customers and the value of those new customers. Amen.

Your blog is an asset that drives leads and traffic, it’s a long term investment. A long term investment…. like everything in social media and web content.

The number of comments on each blog post does not equate success. So glad to have this “note” written down. You better believe this will show up in a report or two from me in the future.

What are the soft metrics that are important to your blog? — online and offline metrics. Once again proves that the online and offline influence one another in, sometimes, a very immeasurable way.

Blog as often as you want people to pay attention. When we first started our blog, we posted about three times a week and have since increased to nearly daily. And people are actually paying attention to it.

For a mom-focused audience — post when they are online (this means naptime). Makes me wonder if you want your blog to have a mom-focused audience. Perhaps that’s what the millions of mom blogs are for?

Any company that blogs more than once a day is guarenteed new customers. Hmmm….

Set expectations – so if you’re only blogging once a month, blog the SAME time each month. Same advice I give to new tweeters…

Research shows that those who blog more than once a day actually increase their traffic and views per post. Well, I sure hope so. Blog readers tend to stick around longer than general website roamers. So it’s natural that each of your posts will acquire more views if you post more than once a day. I think the “boring” warning sign comes when your post more frequently but your views per post decline significantly.

How important is an editorial calendar? How should a business go about setting that? 2-3 weeks out, have general ideas. Make a path. 50-70% of content can be planned, the rest should be left to opportunity. *Lots of value in being flexible — news worthy topics are valuable. A content calendar has saved my life, and my ability to still take vacations or visit the in-laws for a long weekend if I need to. But my content calendar consists of themes and topics, ideas, not details. That’s what makes it work, in my opinion, like a charm.

Where do you start? Start with the top 10 question you receive, and use those to educate. I actually just had a conversation the other day with our call center about writing up a post on the top five questions their agents answer. But it’s not because we have any issue of “where to start.” We are never short on content, lucky us.

Don’t be just a “me, too.” Your blog should give you something new to say. For a business, it’s likely that the only reason you’re a successful business is because you offer a different product or value proposition to your customer. My advice, focus on that. That will make your blog something different.

Blogs that also have a twitter have more twitter followers. Thanks #blogbiz for affirming my theory that blogs and twitter are more closely related than, say, blogs and Facebook.

Personality is important. Say it with your own flare. Thank God we have the mandate to “say it with your own flare.”

Utilize people at your company that have a knack for it. Kinda reminds me of this post I wrote a couple weeks ago: 6 must have traits in a social media community manager

You’re telling the story of your brand. This means the blogger needs to be well rooted in the organization. “Constantly researching your company.” Like any position of brand voice, you have to know the brand you’re “selling.” (Wouldn’t want to risk authenticity now, would we?)

Become the best content editor: Know your readers… this means balancing the relationship between your audience and your company’s demands. I tweeted this out yesterday right after I heard it. I think it’s so important that the community manager (or blog editor) is trusted by the company to make content and editorial calls. After all, who knows the audience best? But it also takes an editor that is willing to stand up for what the audience wants/needs, like a good parent, or friend.

Blog post elements (specifics): Entertaining and informative, broken in chunks with sub-headers and bullet points, from 10 feet away — you should be able to understand what its about. infographics. HRO (Human reader optimization), FRESH, new content. My take away- you should be able to understand the blog post from 10 feet away… I guess that means making the font larger, kidding.

Common blogging mistakes to avoid: don’t put your foot in your mouth (research first), only blogging the positives (people want to hear the truth), treating it like a time capsule rather than a news source, allowing your marketers to write posts, sometimes comments can be better blog posts than the actual blog post, please include call to actions, dont preach (people dont want to be put down). The key to any good, social content is relevance. An issue that is two days old is “too” old. I also like the note about “including calls to action.” I used to feel like too many calls to action was too marketee. But I’m pleasantly surprise to understand (and personally experience now) that your readers want calls to action. “Don’t preach”… I can’t say this more clearly- AMEN! Nobody likes to be preached to… and even more so, nobody likes a bad preacher. Take that, for what it’s worth.

Thanks HubSpot for the tips:)

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