You've been told you need to blog, but you don't fully understand the inbound process. You're probably making some mistakes. 

In this podcast, we talk about content and inbound blogging in terms of what to include, inbound blogging tactics, what inbound blogging isn't and some of the common pitfalls. We talk through the process from choosing a keyword, right through to the final results.

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Full transcript:

- Welcome to Inbound After Hours, I've got myself Paul and just Rikki.

- Yep just the two of us today.

- The other are Andrew's off, he's on leave.

- Christmas shopping.

- Some much earned rest I think getting dragged around the shops. And Mark is building some Othello stuff I think.

- Yeah doing some process and project management work so unfortunately he can't join us.

- So Rikki and I are gonna take this one today, how are you doing, you alright?

- Yeah, great looking forward to the Christmas break I know people will be listening after Christmas but we're looking down to, looking down to, looking forward to getting some downtime over Christmas.

- Yeah couple of days away so we're breaking up in a couple of days, we've got Christmas party on Friday in the office.

- Yeah can't wait for that, should be, it's the first time we've done it in the office to start with so should be interesting.

- We've got a full bar downstairs to take, make use of.

- Yeah.

- But we're having the party in the office.

- I saw bottles of vodka coming the other day in the bottle load so it's set the tone for what it's gonna be.

- So don't expect any useful work out of us Friday afternoon.

- No definitely not, I think yeah officially shut.

- So we've had a think, we're gonna, today's topic for this week, this episode of Inbound After Hours, we're gonna look at content inbound blogging and the theme today is what should an inbound blog be? So we'll talk about what to include, what to look at, and where we started was what it's not and you made a good point Rikki about what you come across is a common blogging pitfall really, you right a lot of sales pitches don't ya?

- Yeah.

- And selling the business to clients and a lot of clients haven't done any inbound yet.

- No.

- A lot are doing blogging.

- Yeah.

- And you've found some common stuff to look out for.

- Yeah basically if people haven't got into the concept of inbound yet but they've been told they need to blog, I think the trap, they fall into one or two traps. They talk about themselves a lot, so how's little Johnny's apprentice doing, it was Susan's birthday, we bought new equipment, it's about them.

- Yeah.

- And the unfortunate truth is, no one gives a shit. Really which is harsh but unless you've put the groundwork in to build up that value, you haven't really earned the time of day with prospects, maybe current customers care, maybe suppliers care so you could do it from that perspective but if you're focused on new traffic, new business then talking about yourself isn't going to go too far.

- Why, yeah, why would a new browser to your website who looks on your blog care that it's someone's birthday or something like that?

- No, it's.

- A prospect might, you're building a relationship might they?

- Yeah if you're getting right to the bottom of the funnel neck maybe. Yes, there's a possibility.

- But for attracting new customers, yeah nobody's, nobody's gonna be that interested are they? So nobody's gonna be searching.

- No.

- For anything like that.

- No.

- And that's the root of what we've got to planning what goes in an inbound blog, what should an inbound blog be? And then it all start with the keyword doesn't it? Of what it needs to be, it needs to be centred on a keyword.

- Yeah, you need to know what channel you're using it for so the vast majority of people blog for SEO benefit, to drive traffic from search so if you're gonna do that you need a keyword to try and attract or a least a key theme. I know with a lot of longer tail keywords, there's not that many type in that exact phrase but you'll be the closest match on a lot of very similar long-tail phrases. So it's having a good keyword to be a backbone and then it'll attract the similar themed keywords around it. That's what we do say, I don't know, 90 percent of our blogs are aimed that way. There's also those other blogs that you'll probably want to just aim at the persona pain point in general so maybe no one searches it but you know it's a real struggle for your persona then that could be really useful when you're doing your email roundups or you're putting out new social channels, not necessarily for search but nine times out of 10, you've gotta find a keyword to put it round, you can marry the two together, it can be a pain point and a search term for them.

- Yeah and then we were talking today just in a meeting earlier with somebody who's planning one of their first campaigns for their new client. They've had campaigns in the past but it's the first time he's planned one for this campaign so we were looking at old titles, you know, can always revisit another title 'cause the keywords that you pick for your inbound titles, you'd like them all to bite and resonate.

- Yeah.

- And get good traffic, obviously some get more than others and then when that algorithm kicks in and it climbs up the rankings, you can actually get more views on that particular blog.

- Yeah if you go in retrospectively, upscale it.

- Yeah so if you've got that keyword right like that, then you can really see the success and the beauty of it being centred around a keyword is if you know the pain point's right.

- Yeah.

- And the keyword isn't bringing in the traffic that you need, you can always switch that keyword as well in retrospect, that's the word I'm after. So you can go back and look at it can't ya and change the keyword, tweak the title around a new keyword.

- I think that's a massive tactic that a lot of people miss it's just posting out new blogs, which is great you need to keep that going but there's so much value in old blogs, if you look at stats, I think HubSpot released some recently, the overwhelming majority of their traffic comes from blogs that are over two years old and I think when you look at our blog, probably a similar theme, we've got a few that have done well in the last sort of, at least nine months ago but they're generally older blogs 'cause they've had time to rank in Google, Google knows they're gonna stay there and they're a good answer, people have managed to link to them, all of those things that come with time.

- And when you look at the, when you do your analysis on Google, when choosing your titles, if you look at some of your keywords, eight out of 10 on page one will be from 2014 or earlier.

- Yeah.

- A lot of them are from 2012 as well. I don't know what's out there, like five years I guess.

- Yeah

- Five years seems to be they're cemented on spot one,

- Yeah

- Page one sorry.

- No definitely.

- And then the ones that are top three spots on page one.

- Yeah

- They're also updated.

- Yeah, so the five-year-old ones get updated once a year at least or something like that.

- Publish date of 2013 or 2012 and amends every, every year or whatever.

- No that's a good tactic, it's a clever tactic, isn't it? 'cause all of the other thing to talk about what an inbound blog should be is it should probably be evergreen so that's a, they're not necessarily, and this is another pitfall that I see people go wrong is writing about the news, like what's happening today and while that can be a good tactic for, again, email and social and stuff, the search volume's generally low or it's very high and then gone.

- Yeah.

- So for us an inbound blog should be evergreen, it should be a problem, it's consistent over a number of years.

- When this comes up then, when, 'cause I don't go on many pitches in my role with us. So when this comes up, when you're chatting to a client and you're talking about what the purpose of it is and someone might have asked these questions, what is an inbound blog? What would you say to someone then who say well I've only got one blog a week to play with so how do I get around this 'cause there's timely stuff that might be useful for social.

- Yeah.

- But we want stuff that's gonna be there in the future.

- I guess ultimately a lot of, where we see the ROI is in the longterm game so if you've only got one blog a week, I'll make them all evergreen, I'd forget the timely stuff unless it's really pertinent or important in your industry. People aren't necessarily coming to companies or brands for news, there are sites that do news better than you, there are sites that'll release it the minute the story breaks.

- Yeah.

- People are set up for it really so there'll have places they go to for the news, they're coming to you for value and that's the main thing. You are, as a company, you've got a unique stance, a unique value proposition and that's why they're with you, they're not there because you're a news company. I think if you can do a bit of it, great but if you're stuck with, I've got many priorities, priority is always evergreen for me.

- And that brings us nicely to what we thought was the ultimate aim of what makes a blog inbound and that's offer value.

- Yeah.

- And give the persona a value to what they want value for, so whether that's a search query of how to do a particular thing or.

- Yeah.

- What should I be looking at for this? Or ideas for X. If you offer that value, then it's gonna be, it's gonna do all the right things in Google's eyes

- Yeah.

- 'Cause users are gonna appreciate it aren't they?

- Yeah.

- So that's gonna climb your SEO benefits and then if you're offering value, they're gonna trust you and reward you for it you'd hope, wouldn't you, for a click through on your CTA.

- Definitely, you're playing the long-term game like anything, you put value out, next time they've got a challenge and they see you in the search results, they're much more likely to click you so it's gonna increase your click-through rate, they'll recognise your brand. And when they come to buy in that arena, you've got a head up on the competition even if they haven't gone through, which we'll talk about in a minute, the sort of inbound process from a blog, even if they don't click the CTA and download the guide, you've still built up some sort of brand authority and recognition with a customer by adding them value.

- Definitely.

- And I think it's definitely the, my biggest pet peeve with blogs is that it doesn't answer the question, or I read it and I don't know how to do what it said to do.

- Yeah.

- So if it's a step-by-step guide to using Snapchat and I read it and I can't use Snapchat at the end which is the case, that's the most annoying thing for me so, I mean first and foremost, yeah add value to the user, make it really worth their while reading but a quick checklist if you want someone to quality control your blogs, the first thing is - does it say what it's supposed to do? Does it answer the question? Can a user do what they're supposed to do off the back of reading that blog?

- Two things that made me think of one was one of our early podcasts, we talked about social media and I think you said by this time next year, your mam'll be on Snapchat. Is your mam on Snapchat?

- My mam is not on Snapchat.

- Are you back on Snapchat?

- She came on Instagram I noticed 'cause when you're on Facebook and someone joins from your Facebook community, it tells ya, she's on Instagram, I think Instagram's just from where we were when we recorded the first podcast nine months or so ago, I think Instagram's just grown much bigger than I thought it was.

- Facebook ad spend innit?

- Yeah, 100 percent.

- That links to have products spending on, companies spending, showing their products on Instagram

- Yeah.

- And then you can link through to the product page, they've just monetized it haven't they?

- It is and it's just a huge community now, I was looking the other day, if you look at true social networks so taking out things like YouTube, and the Messenger apps and stuff that.

- Closed ones.

- Yeah closed ones, if you take those out, open ones, Facebook's obviously overwhelmingly the most popular, but then Instagram, massively ahead of everything else in second place like, I think it adds six times the user base of LinkedIn, three times the user base of Twitter and on, it was about, it was only a, it had about 40 percent of Facebook so it's huge.

- It's amazing what they've done 'cause it's changed from what it originally was.

- Yeah.

- Which is a community of iPhone photography fans.

- Yeah.

- Then you could get to know people a little bit 'cause it was small enough to follow someone with even a few hundred thousand followers in America or Australia, and they'd appreciate you liking their photos.

- Yeah yeah.

- It's just a completely different beast now.

- It is.

- It's happened in about nine months.

- It has.

- It's crazy.

- And I think they've been clever enough to, coming back to the question about Snapchat, they've just ripped the rug from underneath them.

- Yeah.

- Instagram stories just take away the USP of Snapchat really.

- Yeah.

- Without the complication of how to use it.

- So much simpler.

- It's just, yeah, easier, I get it. Snapchat, I kinda get it but I don't understand why it's that complicated.

- They've taken what Snapchat's USP was and make it popular.

- Yeah.

- And made it easier.

- Yeah.

- You can't fail doing that, can you?

- Exactly and Facebook have been doing that for years on their own platform, obviously now they're just doing it on Instagram and that product line they've built up with Messenger and with, what's the other one, I don't use it, WhatsApp.

- Yeah.

- That they own as well, they're just cleaning up like if you look at that.

- Yeah, I remember there was, I think it was at partner day at Inbound, the top, they showed the top 18 social media apps in the world. If you discount the one in China,

- It's called like WeChat or something.

- WeChat or something?

- Yeah.

- That they use it's just a lifestyle tool but so discount that one 'cause of the numbers and it's not used anywhere else, like the top 18, Facebook actually own something like 14 or 15 of them.

- Yeah, it's insane, they've got such a dominance. If you look at everything online and if you appeased Facebook and all of its properties and Google and all of its properties so Google and YouTube, you'd do alright.

- Yeah.

- You wouldn't really notice the rest if they weren't there.

- So back to the blogging.

- Yeah sorry, social chat in the middle of that.

- The, yeah I just wanted to know if your mam was on Snapchat.

- No no, not yet, I'll update you when she does.

- The blog, yeah appeasing Google is what made me think we're actually meant to be talking about blogs. So if you do all the SEO stuff, you offer the value.

- Yeah.

- Your users gonna have a better journey.

- Yeah.

- And like Ran said when we met him when he was on the podcast, he said am I gonna do what, you know, somebody who's been successful at blogging tells me to do or am I gonna listen to Google who've said, no we've changed the rules.

- Yeah.

- User experience above all else.

- Yeah.

- Just do the write-up content that the user wants for that search query and our algorithm, our RankBrain or AI will work out that yours is the best answer.

- Definitely.

- And we've switched to that, we've had a chat with Raza in the team here who joined us from a journalist website.

- Yeah.

- Their tactic wasn't inbound blogging, it was sports event blogging.

- There was timely stuff on there.

- Timely very quickly live blogging events, stuff like that. And he's got some old habits that die hard, he'll be the first to say that.

- Yeah.

- And their goal was to keep you on the page, put the answer at the bottom.

- 'cause it'll be ad revenue driven which is based on impressions and time on the page and all that stuff.

- And he said no matter what the answer is, put it at the end.

- Yeah.

- Main point of your post, put it at the end. Just make them scroll to the bottom 'cause it'll have those banners yeah.

- And you spoke to another agency recently.

- Another agency yeah.

- Who said that as well which was surprising.

- Yeah we were just chatting and we got just talking about tactics and another inbound tactic that we don't employ, but just thought it was interesting, was to offer a little bit of the value to the question at the top, but then go into the why's and the conceptual explanation and then offer the main value at the bottom of the post so that the thinking being that the user is then read, has spent, invested a minute scrolling through and found it and then they've been, had time on your page and they're at the bottom of your blog post which we used to do but we kinda moved away from that.

- No, I agree with you, it's not a good tactic, in my opinion, it's, why don't you just make the full blog good value for the user rather than having this value at the start?

- Yeah.

- A bit of woolly backgroundy stuff that.

- Might be relevant.

- Yeah but most people probably know that I don't know, maybe, but then at the end, the real value.

- I'd just be pissed off.

- I would yeah.

- I'd go right well, no I'm not clicking that at the bottom.

- Yeah, you're wasting my time a bit.

- Yeah.

- Particularly if it's obvious.

- Yeah, so what we've started doing over the past few months is offer value up top.

- Yeah.

- First and foremost and the question that he had, that was talking about was what about bounce rate why don't people just leave?

- As soon as you've got the answer. There are very few questions in life, but in blogging that can be answered in a paragraph like if your blog tactic is how tall is Donald Trump? Like you've got an answer, there's probably not much else you can say about it so Google's gonna take those type of queries, put them in the results box so don't even need to click you but most things you can't just answer like that, okay you can give them, so we've got a blog which is how much does PPC cost? Okay we can tell you it's whatever it is £1.30 on average in the UK, whatever it is the answer's there in the first paragraph but that's not the answer for you by any means, it's gonna be what--

- Might be if you're writing an essay.

- Yeah.

- At college and need the average cost.

- Yeah.

- Fine.

- That's it and you've got what you need, move on your way but the real --

- We don't want you anyway to convert 'cause.

- But the real persona's gotta know it's dependent on your location and your industry, what your budget is, what your goals are and then you can talk about all that which actually really answers what their real question is, what they're trying to achieve with that question. I think that's the same for most blogs is okay, there's a quick answer but the value's in what you're actually trying to solve and if you can talk about that, you're adding value all the way through, they're gonna get to the end obviously you wanna convert them and then you've done both, you've kept them on without.

- Yeah.

- Having that grey area in the middle, you've just added value all the way through.

- Still can come as well in another thing we've put on our list of what should an inbound blog be, it needs to be a decent read or at least pleasant to read, I just had a call with a client who works in a, by their words, a dull uninteresting industry but you know they said it's our job to make it worthwhile reading.

- Yeah.

- So if you can do that by offering value, answering the question and then kinda going, if the answer's yes but it's not quite that simple, here's why then looking in and sort of giving knowledge is gonna sort of entertain along the way isn't it?

- Yeah.

- It doesn't have to be, you know, it's not a story in terms of a cliffhanger and twists and turns but just, your giving value is entertainment in itself, it's rewarding you.

- Definitely.

- It's one form of making it an entertaining read.

- Yeah.

- If you can do that throughout the rest of the piece after the simple answer up top,

- Yeah.

- I mean the stats are there, it does convert more.

- Yeah.

- And more quality leads is what I mean, so if the answer's, if the answer's just simple and you only need the simple version, you're not ready to convert anyway so you're not actually losing anything.

- Yeah and if you look at these sort of things we've mentioned so far, they're not secret inbound marketing tactics.

- No.

- They're answering the blog question, making it enjoyable to read, probably the two most important in that order really.

- The only one is put the answer up top.

- Yeah exactly and there are some tactics like we're gonna talk about like making the blog skimmable to read 'cause realise most people don't read a thousand words so --

- Especially if you've just read the answer in the first two sentences.

- Yeah exactly.

- You're gonna say, you're gonna think, well why is my scroll bar this big.

- Yeah yeah.

- What else has it got? Ooh, that subheading looks alright.

- So yeah exactly we always kinda put subheadings with anchor text links so they can jump to the subheadings so if you're, back to the PPC blog, if you know what the average is but then we've got a subheading that says check this out in the retail industry, you can click to retail and jump to your bit straight away.

- Yeah.

- I think that's a good tactic but again, all about the user, it's not really about inbound, it's about making the experience better for the user.

- And their technical SEO features, Google's benefit they used to be there, bullets, numbers, prioritising information but Google now reads like a user does so if you put an anchor link into a particular subheading, make a point and then offer a back to the top link.

- Yeah.

- The spider will as well.

- Yeah exactly, so you could actually rank for that part of the page is the answer to the question but the most important bit for why we do that, from a search viewpoint is to get in the rich snippets or the answer box or whatever you want to call them. The vast majority of those answer boxes are list based, or bullet point based so how do I do this, how do I cook that? It'll just give you the quick overview steps and a lot of people don't like Google doing that, like taking their content and giving it to them but again, most things can't be answered with five bullets, someone can think, ah this is the right thing for me

- Yeah.

- I'll click the link then I've gotta go in these subheadings and read all the separate paragraphs or all the steps, you're gonna get the overwhelming majority of traffic, and we've seen that whenever we get in those boxes.

- Yeah.

- The blog just goes through the roof, so we drop that in all of our blogs, the primary aim is to get in that.

- Yeah I mean we had a client get it in their first campaign and the numbers shoot right up.

- Yeah.

- So then you've got something to work with then, then you can do a specific CTA.

- For that blog.

- And a specific download and then

- Yeah exactly.

- Then you'll see the conversions come.

- Yeah or move the CTA around and have a play with it.

- It's an idea for their next campaign actually.

- Yeah.

- Whether it should just be for that one blog.

- Yeah, we did it for another client recently, changed the CTA from the bottom of the page to like a layover one, so instead of having to scroll to the bottom of the page, it's a long blog, it cuts off half way through so if it's 50 tips for doing summat, we give them 20 and say do you want the rest? And your email here and it opens it.

- Top of the funnel level, just give us your email and that's all it.

- Yeah and that's all we ask for and it's a good way of capturing it but we wouldn't ever have done that and invested the development time if it didn't already have that traffic.

- The brings us back to the revisiting then point as well 'cause that blog was built up over time, started with--

- 10 tips or something, yeah.

- We get two, we paid for a couple of hours work for the first draught so that's how one got put into it, it got up to 20, it did alright.

- Yeah.

- Upped it to 40.

- Exactly.

- Then 60.

- Just keep going.

- And then yeah, get those wheels turning, algorithms get them in your favour.

- Yeah.

- Word count, word count what do you reckon?

- My opinion on word count is it takes what it takes to write the blog and there's, there's kind of two contrary pieces of advice really, there's that 'cause that's what I want as a user, there's the search engine side of it that unfortunately pretty much says as long as possible because there's a huge correlation between the longest blogs and the rankings.

- There is, even though they say put user experience first.

- Yeah, it's tricky but I guess, I guess what they're looking for with all the changes in Google recently in terms of they're trying to make the search engine understand semantics, trying to make them understand themes and topics and authority on the topic rather than just keyword-based, I think it ties into that like it's saying okay we don't want users to click on a link and pogo stick back to results and have to find other ones, we want people to click on a link and get their problem solved the first time, that's Google's aim. If you've got more content, I guess Google's theory is you've got a much higher likelihood of answering the question fully and probably answering the other questions around it.

- Yeah.

- Kind of the argument we talked about recently with pillar pages and things, which we'll go into in more detail on another show but I guess that's where the correlation comes from, it's can we answer all the other questions on the page? So it's something to think about when you're blogging is, I've answered what I set out to answer, and there are some very closely related, other things that if you were in that user's shoes, you want an answer as well and that's a good way to extend the blog length without just overwriting 'cause again another pet peeve is waffle.

- Yeah.

- And no one likes waffle it's just there for nobody.

- Nobody reads it.

- No one reads it so.

- And that harms you in the long run anyway 'cause the more people, people will bounce then.

- Yeah.

- If you've gotta read through waffle to find an answer, they're gonna bounce.

- They are.

- And if you do what we were saying a minute ago and go for length with your post with relevant content.

- Yeah.

- In the area and related to the topic, probing and developing questions that are relevant to the reader's initial search term, they're gonna be on your page longer so that's good but if it's a short answer in the first place, answer it quickly at the top.

- Yeah.

- And then you've catered for them anyway so you don't, even if it's a short answer and the short answer is a short blog.

- Yeah.

- You can still, when you've got the time, you can still add the depth behind it can't you?

- Exactly there are some blogs that you just can't write 2,000 words for.

- No.

- Just doesn't end it, how tall is Donald Trump? Six foot three, what else can we do? Probably say how does that rank against previous presidents or how is that against an average American man.

- Using that analogy if you're googling Donald Trump's height, how tall is Donald Trump? For the purpose on that analogy of where he sits in all the world leaders, well give them all the other world leaders on that blog.

- Yeah exactly.

- And they don't need to go anywhere else and Google, how tall is Theresa May?

- Yeah exactly so you could do that, you could give them like the average height of the man to compare it against, I don't know why people would be googling how tall is Donald Trump? But I did see it as an example on something that I read the other day so it's in my head. But yeah so, even if you answered all of the subsidiary questions of how tall is, like all the scenarios you can envisage why someone would search it, it's still gonna be a 400, 500 word, it's not a lengthy blog anyway.

- No.

- So there's just gonna be those scenarios where you're just, write to the piece, think about those other questions that could lengthen it but sometimes writing to the piece is 200 words, sometimes it's, we've got a blog six and half thousand words. On average, I don't know, it's hard to put an average on, a thousand ish?

- Yeah I think we're averaging at the minute with the type of search queries we've been doing this week about 800 to 1200 is typical.

- Yeah I'd say so.

- And then but the thing is, a proper long-tail keyword for an inbound audience who's in research mode typically B2B or some sort of long-form purchase is gonna be quite pricey.

- Yeah.

- You're gonna, they want the time to read anyway so it's naturally gonna have a topic that lends itself to a higher number of words.

- Yeah and that's a good point, there's more factors than just the digital marketing side there's all of the context from what have you got? How complex is your solution? It's like a technology or an engineering question, you might have to be quite lengthy versus something more B2C, if you've got long sales cycles so to really consider purchase, maybe it needs to be longer so there's a lot of other, and your persona, how, is your persona like a real researcher? Do they need to get to the bottom of that question or are they more skimming people? There's all these sorts of questions that are unknowns but you've got to take into account.

- That's made me think of another big thing that you need in an inbound blog, the stuff that you're offering to your persona should be actionable. So the knowledge needs to either move them on

- Yeah.

- To do the next phase of their research journey or give them some advice to put into action.

- Definitely.

- Either way, after reading that piece, they need to have moved on a step.

- Yeah, no 100 percent agree with that, it's like a lot of the stuff we write at the top of the funnel isn't necessarily anything about inbound or HubSpot even it's how do I do better marketing is even quite low for us and if it was that, we would talk about PR and print and all of the other things that are possibilities, inbound's one of them but we need to give them the value even if they don't wanna go with inbound, give them the argument for and against and I think, I think that's another good tip is just be honest, like, be, if we're doing a review of HubSpot, HubSpot's not 100 percent perfect, if you're Amazon, you don't wanna buy HubSpot, it's not right for ya. If you're a teacake sandwich shop, you don't wanna buy HubSpot, like be honest about who it is and isn't for. At the end of the day, if you sit and write a blog and say it's perfect for everyone, two things are gonna happen, you're gonna lose trust.

- Yeah.

- Or worst case is they call you to buy it and waste everyone's time in the sales process, get to the end it's too expensive for them or unsuitable so best just be honest, everything's got its place and be honest about what that is.

- That's what I when I joined, came into the inbound movement, that's the crux of it, isn't it?

- Yeah.

- Offer value and be honest with folk and then you won't go far wrong.

- No that's it, I mean like I say when you recapped the things that was suggesting to do it's so simple, isn't it? Answer questions, give value, think about the user like none of these are advanced tactics we're saying to do it's just that--

- How many then, I'm gonna use my stat now. How many of the blogs that are written and there is, per day, 1.97 million blogs written.

- Wow.

- Just on WordPress.

- Okay, so you're doubling that on everything else probably aren't ya?

- Just under 60 million posts a month.

- Across everything?

- Blog posts are written.

- Wow.

- How many of them a day do you reckon,

- Meet these remits?

- Meet these rules? I don't know the answer by the way.

- That would be awesome if you did. God 0.01, tiny amount, I think.

- So like we said, when we picked this topic earlier this week I said I wanna mention that we've hit peak content and it's very noisy out there.

- Yeah.

- But fucking hell, it's not because even though there are 60 million posts a month,

- Yeah.

- You read so much stuff that isn't doing these things to help people on a user journey, on a buyer journey.

- Yeah and some, I can't remember, I've seen another stat, I didn't research it today, unfortunately, so I can't remember but I think it's like the average user reads somewhere about four blogs a day, an average person.

- Yeah and ask your mates, do they--

- And most people say no, I don't do that.

- Do you read blogs? No, I don't read blogs no. No, take the mick, oh you're a blogger.

- Yeah.

- Yeah.

- It's usually Google-

- If you Google anything.

- That's the answer that's coming up and I don't think people realise that but you read so many blogs a day so it is noisy out there, depending on your industry it will vary how many people are doing a good job or not. Again if you can just add the best value to the user in that marketplace, it doesn't matter.

- No.

- Other people won't be assured we've worked in a lot of industries, other people won't be brutally honest about their solution, give user first, try not to be salesy I can guarantee it, there'll be a small handful in any market that do it that way, thinking about the long-term and building up that authority and trust.

- What would you say in a sales pitch? You'd, they'd say oh we've been looking at competitor B and competitor C, you'd say yeah well, they are they are quite good at what they do, being honest what we do better is this.

- Yeah.

- Which I think is right for you and that'd be building that relationship. Why wouldn't you do that on your website? 'cause that's all your blog is, it's.

- Most people get this when you actually chat with them.

- Chance to speak to them isn't it?

- Yeah 100 percent, prospects get it when you explain it to them and you go through, they understand, the only resistance you ever get with blogging is time like, I get it, I do it, that's how I search, that's how I buy stuff but can I wait nine, 12 months for this to give me results? And that's the only pitfall I see in sales and I get it, everyone's got targets.

- Andrew tweeted another graph today did you see?

- Yeah, I saw that he's hot on his blogs.

- Upward curve.

- Graphs on his blogs recently. But that's it and you've just gotta decide as a company do we want long-term value, trust in the market, best ROI? Yeah well, I'm prepared to wait the year for that, if not stick your money on PPC and get what you can today but.

- Or if you're very lucky, do that in the meantime and build your own brand up.

- And start building this which is, yeah if you've got the budget.

- If you can

- Definitely.

- So lastly internal links, external links.

- Yeah.

- We've covered anchor links, guiding people around the page but link to your other content that's relevant.

- Yeah.

- Give the user a little ecosystem to well, now we've touched on that but now do you want another full blog on this?

- Yeah.

- Click through, good.

- Do it in the middle of a blog or wherever it's relevant, yeah.

- Obviously, you've got a CTA at the bottom, external links so it's not just us saying this, it's this massive industry thought leader, here's what he's had to say about it or what they've published or what she was saying on Twitter last week, something like that.

- If you look at who's absolutely dominated Google in the last 10 years in Wikipedia, go on any Wikipedia page it has links to the other relevant pages that they have.

- And that's just user content.

- It is.

- None of it's very fair.

- No exactly and then the bottom of it's got all the external links of sources and verifications so it's, yeah, look at that model if you need to look at the proof that it works.

- Yeah, external linking.

- And some people are scared of that but.

- Yeah.

- There's no need to be really like a user's gonna find that thing anyway if you're the one that points them then great.

- I think we've said it before if you don't give it 'em for free, they'll go ahead and find it for free anyway.

- Yeah exactly so you can't be scared about that.

- No.

- If they, if you've got good stuff to read on, they'll come back and finish what they were doing. Or they'll see you on another day and click on ya.

- I like to open those in another window.

- Yeah I do definitely, and I think a lot of people multi-tab now, the days of I'm on a blog, I've clicked, I've gone and oh where did I start? They've gone a little bit now.

- I think logically it's a link, yeah it's opened in another tab 'cause I'm going onto another website if it's an internal link I'd keep that in the same window.

- Yeah, yeah.

- But anyway.

- Yeah everybody's got their rules, haven't they?

- But that's my own user preference.

- Yeah.

- Maybe another podcast, new window or not?

- Yeah, that'd be a good one. And then obviously the final point is the CTA, the point of the blog is to drive them down the funnel, so if you're writing top the content, top of the funnel piece of content, drive them to the middle, if you're doing middle, drive them to the bottom. The big thing is that CTA has gotta be relevant to what the blog's about.

- And that's hard early on.

- It is, really hard.

- If you're just starting blogging you've only got one download piece.

- Yeah, super hard.

- It's not gonna be super relevant to every blog.

- No exactly which is why we, brand new client absolutely zero content, we start with something quite generic that spans topics, but yeah that is really hard to do and the click-through of those are gonna be okay but it's really when you get into months, 12, two years in, whatever it is.

- I was thinking a bit longer, yeah, two years onwards.

- Yeah then you've got eight pieces, most clients have got some stuff they've done prior to us so they've done their own case studies or whatever it is so when you've got that selection of five to 20 pieces and you can tailor it to each blog, that's where you're gonna win big.

- Yeah definitely. I think that was all our list.

- Awesome.

- There'll be others.

- I'm sure.

- Let us know.

- Yes, definitely.

- So I think that's covered everything, offer value.

- Yeah

- Be honest, move them on in their journey and by helping them, they'll be willing to let you take them through the buyer's journey and then eventually when that time comes, you're in the mix with a decision and you've converted them, you've been messaging them and you can hand over to the sales team then.

- Yeah however you wanna look at it, long-term, Mark calls it the boomerang effect, put good stuff out there, good stuff come back to ya and there's always gonna be that unknown middle area of any market in that it's untrackable sort of goodwill and trust and authority that someone's read that blog and hasn't converted today but next time they see you in the search, you'll get that click-through rate. You're not gonna be able to measure that.

- No.

- But the correlation's there.

- Two clients have said things that back that up, I remember Kev saying that's the beautiful thing about what you guys do. I can't quantify that but I know it works.

- Yeah.

- And I trust ya and Phil another guy just saying, the numbers going up, I don't get it but

- As long as that happens, yeah exactly and that's a good way to think about it and having your nerve and having the vision and ambition to do it for the long term and know that you'll get the results out of it but.

- These are some of the basics.

- Yeah, awesome.

- Well thanks for listening to us two rambling on about blogs.

- Yeah no I enjoyed it, it's been a bit of a different dynamic, yeah I enjoyed it.

- Let us know any other ideas that you think should be on an inbound blog.

- Yeah.

- Thanks for listening throughout this year it's, like I said, just before Christmas for us, and this'll be going live start of 2018.

- Yeah.

- I hope you've had a good Christmas break, nice and refreshed to start the New Year.

- Awesome.

- And yeah, speak to you soon.

- Fantastic thanks, guys.

- Cheers.

- Bye.

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