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BUILD AN INBOUND MARKETING BLOG THAT WORKS

There are many reasons businesses start blogs: SEO, credibility, and improved communication are just a few. However, one of the most important tasks your business blog can perform is inbound marketing.

If your goal is to generate a steady stream of qualified leads through your blog, then it may be time to question some of the “truths” that have been passed along by business bloggers over the past few years. (I’m as guilty as anyone else.) It is also essential that you take a look at your own blog’s traffic reports as you try to evaluate the best path for your own success.

Here are some tips to generate more leads through your blog. As always, YMMV.

  1. Don’t worry about your subscribers. Subscribers are great for your ego, but if your #1 blogging goal is to generate inbound leads, then first-time visitors are manna from heaven. Take a look at your stats to see how much opportunity you have here; don’t be surprised to see 75% or more of your traffic is from first-time visitors. What you need to do now is capture those names by making them an offer they can’t refuse.
  2. Comments aren’t clients. (Oh my God! He just shot a white elephant!) It’s nice to see “social proof” that your posts are having an impact. However, comments aren’t clients. If your blog isn’t generating a lot of comments, but it is delivering traffic to your Web site or store, then it’s doing its job.
  3. De-emphasize your categories.Again, take a look at your stats. How does the most popular cagtegory page rank for traffic? At the flyte blog last month our most trafficked category page ranked an anemic 52nd for traffic, less than .4% of our monthly traffic.

    Consider replacing the ubiquitous category-based navigation with the small footprint of a search box. You could use the reclaimed space to link to “top” posts, whether by number of views or your own decree. Alternatively, put a irresistible call-to-action there, generating more email newsletter signups or purchases.

  4. Drop your blogroll.I used to implore clients to include a blogroll. “A blog without a blogroll is like a dead end in the blogosphere.”

    That was then, this is now.

    Personally, I rarely click on links from someone else’s blogroll anymore, and there’s little value for the blog owner. Too many blogrolls are simply a collection of dust bunnies that the author no longer even reads.

So, what will catapult your blog into the lead-generating machine it was meant to be?

  1. Start with your business plan. Your blog is there to support your business. If you’re unclear on your target you can’t hit a bulls-eye.
  2. Perform a keyword analysis. If you’re going to invest the time and money into a blog, don’t try and cut corners on SEO. Get a keyword analysis done and start creating keyword-rich blog posts that will attract search engine traffic (read: first-time visitors.)
  3. Leverage social media. Build your audience and/or community through sites like Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn, which can then be used to drive quality traffic to your blog. Since these people are often well-connected, too, your message has a better chance of reaching a wider audience.
  4. Go beyond the written word. Create videos and embed them on your blog. Record interviews with relevant personalities and post the audio. Include photo galleries as appropriate.

If you’d like help in re-evaluating your own business blog, or need advice in taking it to the next level, please contact flyte today.

Rich Brooks
President, flyte new media

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