5 Simple Questions Every Business Owner Should Be Asking Their Marketing Agency

5 Simple Questions Every Business Owner Should Be Asking Their Marketing Agency

In this video we are going to go over the 5 Simple Questions Every Busines owner should be asking their marketing agency. This will save you a lot of time, and money.

Hey, what’s up guys? In this video we are going to go over the five things business owners should be asking their agency or the five things business owners, if they’re doing their own marketing, should know for a good marketing campaign. My name is Jace. I am with Red Digital. And if you’re wondering what happened to my face, I played a lot of basketball this morning, or yesterday morning. I got hit in the face with somebody’s head and I lost. So, got some stitches, got a nose thing. But that’s okay.

So first off, question number one, so how this video came about. Let me explain that first. So how this video came about was yesterday morning, actually the guy who was doing my stitches, we were discussing his marketing agency and he had a couple of questions and they ended up … A lot of agencies do this, is when the business owner starts to ask questions, one, they don’t have good answers or they start to scramble. So, this might’ve happened to you where they start scrambling and they come up with all of this stuff to say, “Oh, your words are climbing.” And they’ll use marketing jargon to try to confuse you to think, “Oh, that makes sense.” Or, “Okay, I guess they’re doing something.”

So, what I want to do is there are some numbers that you guys need to know if you want to have a successful marketing campaign. So, question that you should be asking them. Question number one is: What is your cost per lead? You need to know that. They need to know that. So, as an agency, it’s important to know your cost per lead. Now you may not have it exactly, that’s something where you could have organic stuff coming in. But if they’re running Facebook ads, if they’re running Google ads, you can even track direct mail, any of those types of things, you need to know what your cost per lead is. Whether it’s 10, 20, $30, everything is based off that cost per lead. Okay.

So, that’s question number one you should be asking them and they should know that number and you should know that number all the time. At the end of every week. What is my cost per lead on Facebook? $20. What is my cost per lead on Google ads? This much. So get to know that number.

Next number you need to know is how much you’re actually spending on ads. So, a lot of agencies will charge you a fee. They don’t give you access into your ads account, nor do you get to see what’s actually happening on your platform. That’s another video in and of itself. You should have access to anything. As a business owner, make sure when you hire a company that you own everything. You should own your own Ad Words account. You should own your own Facebook Ads account, or have admin access so you can look at any time.

A lot of times agencies make it proprietary or they say, “Oh, we have a proprietary system.” That’s a lot of B.S. Everyone goes through Google Ads, whether they tie into their API or not. So, just understand that, that need to have full access to everything so that you know how much is being spent on ads. If they are taking a $2,500 fee and they’re telling you we’re spending $500 on ads, there’s a disconnect there. We don’t operate that way. We normally do just a standard fee and then anything above that is ad spin so that you know the exact ad spin.

Next thing. You have to ask business owners, this is number three. Make sure that you have tracking in place. Ask them what kind of tracking do they have in place and do you have access to that tracking? Everyone should be using Google Analytics. You don’t need to go out there and use some other software. Just use the Google Analytics and make sure all your conversion codes are being or setup. When I say conversion is if somebody fills out a form and hits a thank you page, that counts as a conversion. If somebody calls, you have call tracking, that all needs to be put into place. And everyone should be using Google Analytics. It’s the best system. Anybody who has a proprietary one, they are tying into Google Analytics or the Facebook Analytics or you can have them create you something on data studio for free. Got it?

Number four. So, this is a big one and this is going to be a little harder to do for business owners, is does your agency practice what they preach?

Example, if an agency is out there telling you they know how to do SEO, if they’re like, “Yeah, we’ve done SEO. We know how to do it.” And SEO is search engine optimization, but if an agency is saying, we know how to do search engine optimization, what you do is you go look at their own site, see how well their own site is ranking.

Look, I’ve had a lot of people call me and they’re like, “Hey, will you take a look at our agency?” Because we do an agency audit. We’ll look at the agency and immediately we realize this agency has never written a good blog that will rank. They don’t rank anywhere. They don’t rank for keywords. So, you have a company saying, “Hey, we’re going to get you 1,000 views a month organically.” When they themselves are getting 30. There’s just a disconnect.

So, whatever your agency is pitching you, just make sure that they are doing it. Good example, we pitch create video. Well, what do you think I’m doing right now? I am creating a video and I do this for my own agency because I need to know what works for me in order for me to use it all my clients.

And lastly, this is a big one. Who is actually doing the work? You have to understand that marketing takes time, money, and expertise. If you have some intern who is working on your project, and this is how a lot of agencies operate, if you’re working with a big box agency with 50, 60 employees, not every one of them is that good. Very few of them. Okay? The top 5, 6% they’re either going to start their own industry or they’re going to go to some other job and get paid a lot of money.

So, you need to know who is actually doing the work on your account because your account is only as good as that person. If they know what they’re doing, you’re going to have good success. But the majority of these agencies do not have the staff. They do not have the expertise. They haven’t trained well enough for these guys to know what they need to do to make you successful. So if you’re dealing with an intern, somebody who’s been in marketing for six months, that’s a big problem because you’re just not going to see results. And how most of them operate is they have a gatekeeper who is your account manager and then that account manager has three or four other people, “Hey, you’re doing AdWords, you’re doing this.”

And the latest thing that I’ve seen pop up with agencies is they’re just outsourcing it all overseas. So, they’re not even marketing people themselves. What they’ve done is they’ve started an agency, they fooled business owners into signing up with them, and then they’re just going to outsource it all to somebody overseas and hope they can keep you as long as they can. I’m seeing that everywhere right now.

Just had, it was actually a good experience, we were just taking over an account and this account we called up to get access to the AdWords. Well, we found out another company was running their AdWords and then we found out another company who’d never done AdWords was running their analytics. Total mess. So, you need to know who is the one who is actually creating and doing the work on your account. If you are five steps removed, that tells you you’re dealing with an agency that they have one guy who knows AdWords that’s dealing with 150, 160 accounts.

That doesn’t work, so I hope that makes sense. You have to drill down who is the person you are dealing with that can make the changes. Now what we’ve done, just to give you an example of what you can look for. I’m not telling you you have to hire us. I’m not telling you to come to us. But we spend a lot of time in training. It takes a year for you to really know what you’re doing. But we have one person that controls the account and they’re doing AdWords. They’re doing Facebook Ads, they want to know your messaging. So, they operate more as a Chief Marketing Officer so that they understand everything about your business.

So, that’s what we found that model works. Now is it scalable? No. We’re really tapped out. It’s hard for us to take on like low budget clients just because we don’t have the manpower to do it because it takes so much work to get people to where they need to be.

So, that just gives you some ideas. So, if you have questions, let us know. But I hope that helped. Those are five questions every agency should be asking, every business should be asking their marketing agency, or those are some of the five questions you should be asking yourself if you are running a marketing campaign. If you have questions, just let us know. We’d be happy to help. Check out our YouTube channel. Make sure you subscribe if this is on YouTube. Go Facebook, LinkedIn, we’re all around. And at the end of the day, we just want to help businesses grow. So, keep marketing. Good luck. Peace.

Why You Should Make Demonstrations and Samples Part of Your Marketing

Why You Should Make Demonstrations and Samples Part of Your Marketing

I have found one of the most powerful ways to get others to purchase your product or services is by demonstration and sampling. Let me explain.

Claude C. Hopkins is one of the inventors of test marketing and coupon sampling. In his book, he tells the story about his experience with a Beer company. He took classes to learn how Beer was made but learned nothing. So Claude decided it would be best to visit the factory and see for himself.

“I saw plate-glass rooms where Beer was dripping over pipes, and I asked the reason for them. They told me those rooms were filled with filtered air, so the Beer could be cooled in purity. I saw great filters filled with white-wood pulp. They explained how that filtered the Beer. They showed how they cleaned every pump and pipe, twice daily, to avoid contaminations, how every bottle was cleaned four times by machinery. They showed me artesian wells, where they went 4,000 feet deep for pure water, though their brewery was a Lake Michigan. They showed me the vats where Beer was aged for six months before it went out to the user.

They took me to their laboratory and showed me their original mother yeast cell. It had been developed by 1,200 experiments to bring out the utmost in flavor. All of the yeast used in making Schlitz Beer was developed from that original cell.

I came back to the office, amazed. I said: “Why don’t you tell people these things? Why do you merely try to cry louder than others that your bee is pure? Why don’ you tell the reason?”

“Why,” they said, “the processes we use are just the same as others use. No one can make good Beer without them.”

“But,” I replied, “others have never told this story.

Claude told the story and this went on to be one of his most successful campaigns.

There is power in demonstration! This story occurs in almost all businesses. The creator is too close to the product or service that he sees his methods as ordinary. When in fact they are far from ordinary. Where he sees routine, the masses will see the quality.

There’s power in Demonstration. When you show people what you do, how you do it, and why you do it, there is no argument. Just pure selling!

Every Saturday I head to Costco to load up on groceries for the week. I can’t seem to get out of the place without spending $400 bucks. It’s those darn demonstrations and samples. There’s a reason they do it.

Take a lesson from Costco. Give your audience a demonstration and a sample of what you can do for them.

Do it and watch your sells will increase.

Keep Marketing

An Insider’s Guide to Writing a Winning Facebook Ads Copy

An Insider’s Guide to Writing a Winning Facebook Ads Copy

Writing compelling Facebook ads will help you generate more traffic to your website, help you acquire more targeted leads, and boost your sales.

Social media, in general, must be an essential component of your digital marketing strategy. 

Funny enough, companies that neglected Facebook and Twitter in the past, are making a comeback — and this time, they’re investing heavily in it.

Although some say Facebook’s reach has declined, it’s clear that online users prefer this social network.

Over 70% of Facebook users in the U.S. logging into Facebook every day, compared to 59% for Instagram, 38% for Twitter, 27% on Pinterest, and 22% on LinkedIn, according to statistics from Pew Research Center.

Social Media platforms
Social Media platforms

All of these users have tremendous potential for marketers, and Facebook has become one of the best advertising platforms for B2B and B2C companies.

In recent years, when the organic reach on Facebook has shrunk, savvy marketers have been advertising on Facebook to get results.

Many things need to be put together to make a successful Facebook ad — you need the right targeting, good images or videos, and irresistible copy. 

If you’ve been looking for the best guide for creating winning Facebook ads, this is the perfect post for you. 

There are many Facebook users, but sending blank ads does not produce many conversions. The key to Facebook advertising is targeting. Facebook has the best ad targeting you can ever think of.

This targeting allows you to determine precisely which audience your ads are reaching. 

If you sell garden hoses, for example, you can reach people who are interested in vegetable gardens and home improvements.

If you sell a SaaS (Software as a Service) tool, you can target those who have visited your website’s landing page.

Here are ways you can target your Facebook ads:

Custom Audience: This targeting option allows you to reach existing prospects or customers. 

Location: You can target users based on their locations (city, state, country) 

Gender: It allows you to target by gender (male or female).

Interests: It enables you to focus on benefits (such as fitness, entrepreneurship, fashion, literature).

Facebook Interests

Behavior: When you use the “Behavior” option in your Facebook ads, it means you’re targeting users based on their previous interaction with your website or landing page. 

Interests
Interests

Link: It allows you to target people who already like your site or have a connection of some sort.

If you plan to advertise on Facebook, you can think of the big picture. Images are essential in Facebook ads but don’t neglect written elements as well.

When you spend money on Facebook ads, you want to make sure your ads will improve your bottom line. A good ad copy can direct the right users to click-through to your website or specific landing page.

A compelling copy can be convincing, passionate, and entertaining. 

It builds connections, cuts off excess information, and nails your brand story. Effective copywriting is an integral part of successful Facebook advertising.

Strategies for Writing Your Best Facebook ad

1. Laser-focus on your audience using Facebook targeting and communicate to them

When it comes to online ads, it’s tempting to write on the conference floor. But if you want to be efficient, you have to write in a conversational tone, as if you’re writing to one person at a time — and only for one person. 

That’s what zeroing in on your audience means. You can even target Facebook users based on their educational level, income status, etc.

For example, in this GoPro Facebook ad, the company targeted photographers and people who are interested in new gear for hiking and skiing.

GoPro
GoPro

As an effective salesperson, you must devote all your attention to that person and their needs.

You should write a copy on your website that addresses all potential customers, and you might have several different people. However, you can reach a well-defined audience on Facebook if you utilize the targeting options properly. 

For example, you can target ads for women over the age of 30 who live in the US and are interested in fitness and well-being. You can then write targeted ads aimed at reaching this specific audience.

If you’re a business person who wants to reach businesses that are investing in social media marketing, then targeting readers of a particular social media blog could be helpful. For example, targeting “Social Media Examiner’s” readers.

Social Media Examiner
Social Media Examiner

2. Write Different Facebook Ads for Different People

This is in line with the idea of targeting. Your customers turn to you for various reasons. So why the blanket? The strength of Facebook lies in orientation. So don’t create your ad like a billboard.

For instance, imagine you are a clothing retailer that sells men and women’s clothing as well as shoes, accessories, sportswear, underwear, and even bath and body products.

Rose Gal
Rose Gal

Several customers will be interested in some of your offers, but many will be most interested in one area. Women will be interested in the offers you have for women. So you have to keep this in mind when writing your ads.

If you have a diversified audience you want to reach, then you should create different ad campaigns to better appeal to a specific group of audience.

For example, in the ad below, Soylent could target vegans or people who like to keep fit or even new moms who want to get back in shape after giving birth. Or the Soylent team could create different ads to target each of these groups of people.

Soylent
Soylent

3. Make Sure Your Facebook Promotional Copy Matches Your Visual

Many smaller companies — and even bigger ones, especially in the B2B sector — don’t have many visualizations. When the ad is displayed, encoding is done to ensure that the image is attached.

This can cause images to be inconsistent with copies that represent a confusing experience for Facebook users.

If an ad copy and pictures are not ordered, potential customers will be confused as to what the ad is actually about. They may not click on your ads or even bother to consider what’s in it for them. 

4. Focus on call-to-action (CTA)

The best Facebook ads have clear objectives. Are you trying to expand your brand popularity or sell a product?

When writing your Facebook ad copy, be ultra-specific. Use CTA that’s relevant and persuasive. It must tell the user exactly what they’ll get when they click. 

A good example is OAS, where the CTA says “Download” because there’s a free eBook for the user.

Online Advertising School
Online Advertising School

Whatever the case, your ad must contain a clear call-to-action. Without this option, Facebook users will see your ad, but they will not know where and what to click.

5. Keep Your Ad Copy Short and Simple

You pay for advertising, so it’s tempting to attempt to add all of the information about your offer in your ad copy. But don’t do that!

When it comes to Facebook ads, you must keep it short and ensure that you’re giving value.

Did you notice how ZipRecruiter used a simple and clean Facebook ad full of white space to engage the users? You should do the same thing even if you have a lot to say — keep it simple!

ZipRecruiter
ZipRecruiter

What does someone do with your product? What are the benefits for you? This is an area that you need to focus on in your copy, and you need to understand the points clearly and precisely.

6. Run a Test

The only way to improve your ads on Facebook is to run a test. Facebook makes it easy for you to test a campaign out before investing heavily in it. 

After all, testing is the only reliable way to know the best-performing Facebook ads. St. ROIL ran a test on its Facebook ads. 

ST. ROIL
ST. ROIL

In the end, they were able to make an informed decision based on performances from these ad copies.

Try showing two different ads — each with the same image but a separate copy. This would help you to determine which ad is best for your audience, which version is the most preferred, and which one will help you maximize your ROI.

The best Facebook ads ultimately increase sales. 

As an advertiser and marketer, you must ensure that you incorporate persuasive elements into your Facebook ad copy. Persuasive copywriting is an essential part of winning Facebook advertising campaigns.

Since writing a winning Facebook ad copy is essential, you also need the right funnel to convert clicks into buyers. So shall we discuss it?

How to Create an Ad Funnel

You shouldn’t expect a lot of conversions to happen right off the bat. When you run Facebook ads, you need to think long-term and make your decisions based on the data you’re collecting about the audience.

People may see your ad and even click on it but do nothing. That’s why you need to expose your ads to many clients on more than one occasion. 

Most people need to see your ad several times before they convert. That’s why setting up an ad funnel is essential.

Ad Funnel
Ad Funnel

source

Ad funnels are important because they guide users each step of the way. The different stages of the buying process can be complex, so a funnel makes it easy to follow. 

This funnel makes your offer appealing to users based on how much interaction and actions they’ve with your business.

Here’s a Facebook ad example from Almond Cow:

Almond Cow
Almond Cow

As you can see, it’s targeted at cold Facebook users, telling them exactly what the product can do for them.

Here’s another Facebook ad from the same brand:

Almond Chow Ad
Almond Chow Ad

The second ad, as you can see, showcases all the favorite Almond Cow recipes and walks the user through the process of getting an eBook. So the brand uses a lead magnet to capture the user’s interest and send them into the funnel.

The second ad doesn’t show anything about the product or how it works, that’s why the brand is utilizing retargeting to reach a warmer audience on Facebook.

Ad funnels can come in different forms, but we’ll stick to the simple form. In the end, it all boils down to navigating the users through the different phases of the sales process — using relevant messaging and retargeting.

The major stages in the customer journey include:

  • Awareness stage
  • Research stage
  • Consideration stage
  • Purchasing stage
  • Loyalty stage

Or it can be as simple as:

  • Awareness 
  • Consideration
  • Conversion

When a user sees your ad and clicks it, they’ll be redirected to a landing page where they can sign-up to your email list to download a white paper, an eBook, a video course, software, etc.

Once they’ve signed up, they’re instantly added to your funnel. This funnel system is being managed by an email autoresponder service, such as ConvertKit or MailChimp.

The user (who’s now a lead) will start getting follow-up emails from your business. As you begin to build relationships and re-engage with them, they’ll get to trust your brand more and will be more willing to buy from you.

If your offer is subscription-based, you might want to use free trials to engage with users in the funnel. You then start to educate them on the need to continue using your software long after the trial period.

A simple funnel may look similar to this one from NGOA Buyers Club:

NGOA Buyers Club
NGOA Buyers Club

The company is giving away a free survival can opener to Facebook users. Those who click on the ad to claim the item are added into a funnel. The video shows how to use the can opener, and why it’s required for camping or survival quests. 

Here’s another Facebook video ad that offers 50% off everything you purchase from Threadless. 

The ad showcases $12 tees and also offers huge discounts to encourage the brand’s primary audience to take action. New users can also take advantage of it.

Threadless
Threadless

This is also a dynamic ad that shows a different ad in the newsfeed based on user interaction on the website.

Offering discounts right on the Facebook ad copy is a great way to get more interested buyers. If these people are already on your funnel, then you can follow up multiple times to re-engage with and convert them into buyers.

Your funnel is everything. If you’re not intentional about it, you’ll likely waste your Facebook ad spend instead of maximizing ROI. 

More so, you need multiple ads running at the same time. There’s no way a single ad can drive significant conversions, even if it’s the best out there.

You should master the art of retargeting — because it’ll help you bring users back to your website through retargeted ads. 

There’s no denying the fact that retargeting is one of the best strategies for getting results with your Facebook ad campaigns. 

Measuring Facebook Data (Maximizing Results)

Once your Facebook ad campaigns are running, what’s next?

There are no assumptions in online advertising. So you need to get to work on figuring out how your Facebook ads are performing. Rather than guessing or predicting results, it’s time to start measuring your Facebook ads data.

 Measuring Facebook Data
Measuring Facebook Data

To get more accurate results, your ads must have been active for at least 3 weeks. Savvy Facebook advertisers will take the time to understand what’s been happening and what’s not working as they had expected.

So start with Facebook itself. You don’t have to rely on tiny data you get at an early stage of your ad, but don’t underestimate them. 

At this point, you may want to dig into your Google Analytics to keep track of the user’s journey in the funnel.

Data Studio and some other third-party tools can help you visualize the user data. You need all of the information you can get to make decisions.

Data Studio
Data Studio

That said, keep these tips in mind when measuring Facebook advertising data:

i). Measure actionable metrics: Focus on the right metrics and measure your performance across the board. You may not need the big data at the early stages. You’ll eventually, just focus on the basic data that you already have about the user.

ii). Accept what’s possible: Some things are no longer possible on the Facebook advertising platform, for example, hyper-precise targeting is a thing of the past — since Facebook got rid of over 5,000 targeting options. 

Detailed Targeting
Detailed Targeting

That’s why some marketers are concerned as they’re seeing clicks from little or no qualified users. Just accept the targeting options that are available to you and move on.

iii). Measure soft metrics: You should consider measuring soft metrics especially if it’ll drive hard conversions in the future. I’m not saying you should place your bet on reach, likes, clicks, or impressions. 

If you’re in the B2B space, no CEO or top-level manager wants to see those. What they may be interested in are the new metrics: quality ranking, engagement rate ranking, and conversion rate ranking.

Quality Ranking
Quality Ranking

Conclusion 

Some businesses are still stuck in media buying. I once met a founder who bought ads on Page 83 of Vogue Magazine. This guy still has a budget set aside for billboard advertising and outdoor media. 

There’s nothing wrong with these if you have money to throw down the drain. Because traditional advertising is massively overpriced. Worse, no one cares about TV commercials or billboards. 

I can’t even recall the last time I read a magazine. Maybe I did, but it was just for fun, not to look for or pay attention to advertising.

That’s why social media advertising is important. Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest are three social media giants that are priced reasonably. The good thing is that they drive positive ROI. 

And you can start your first Facebook ads with as little as $10. Of course, that may not get you anywhere but it’s a good place to start. Once you start hitting momentum, you can scale from there. 

Your Facebook ad copy is everything. Follow the tips and strategies in this insider’s guide to writing winning ads that will generate clicks, drive traffic to your website, and grow your revenue.

How to Plan a Blog Schedule That Will Grow Your Traffic in 6 Months

How to Plan a Blog Schedule That Will Grow Your Traffic in 6 Months

Blogging is hard work, so you must make your efforts count.

If you want to use your blog to connect with prospects and customers, I wrote this post with you in mind.

Do you want to know how to plan and publish strategic content on a consistent schedule to grow traffic?

It takes time and effort to complete an editorial calendar. But with a well-planned blog schedule, you can not only make it easy but also maintain it in the long run.

Traffic
Traffic

This article will show you how to organize your blog’s editorial calendar to grow traffic in 6 months. We’ll also cover the best practices and “strategy” to help you build a blog that will grow your sales and revenue.

Take these steps to plan your blog schedule in 6 months if you want traffic:

1. Set Clear Goals

Before you open a spreadsheet and save ideas for your calendar, you need to consider your goals.

First, consider your overall business goals. Think about what you want to achieve this year to strengthen your brand.

More brand awareness? More commitment from fans? Build trust and loyalty? Generate more customers, conversions, and customers?

Your blogging goals will help you achieve this business goal. Use the S.M.A.R.T. Goal Setting Template to set realistic and achievable blogging goals.

Smart

Here are examples:

  • Increase your list size by 20% in 60 days by publishing helpful and evergreen content on your blog.
  • Increase your blog traffic by 10% in 45 days.

After setting goals, you can focus on creating and publishing the right content to achieve them. You also need to reach out to other blogs to speed up traffic generation.

2. Know Your Targeted Audience

To improve your blog content, you need to know your audience and what their interests and needs are. 

Use this information to create more targeted content that leads to results (clicks and clicks, downloads, conversions, shares, etc.).

Think about the different people you’re targeting and create a persona for each audience. Although everyone is different, there are similarities between groups of readers.

Customer Personas
Customer Personas

When gathering information from an audience, imagine a clear picture of the person who will read your content. In this way, you can create content based on their needs and interests.

3. Create a Calendar

You have goals and know who you’re targeting. You can now create your schedule. 

First, open a blank spreadsheet template in Google Sheets or Excel. Use the first worksheet (or first part) to plan your editorial calendar as a whole. Start with content or author if you plan on having multiple contributors. 

Here’s an example from the Content Marketing Institute:

Calendar
Calendar

To keep content interesting for your audience, it’s an excellent strategy to mix the types of content you create, not only thematically, but also in terms of content. After all, creating a variety of content is a great way to add ‘interaction’ to your blogging career.

Here are the main types of content you can create for your blog: 

  • Listicles (e.g., 10 factors to consider when buying a House)
  • Opinion article (e.g., What I Learned While Hiking in Australia)
  • Product review (e.g., MailChimp Reviews and Comparison)
  • Case study (e.g., How We Generated 110% More Organic Traffic in 3 Days)
  • Infographic
  • Video 
  • Podcast
  • Interview

Interactive content: quizzes, surveys, interactive maps, personality tests, etc.

Depending on your niche, you might want to add other types of content, such as Slide presentations, memes, social media posts, and so on.

4. Generate Ideas for Blog Posts

After creating a framework for your calendar, you need to think of blog post ideas. Along with dozens of interesting topics and other content takes time and effort, but it will save a lot of time in the long-run.

Remember to always keep an eye on your personal goals and audience. This is crucial if you want your content to be strategic and goal-driven. 

How to Find Blog Post Topics and Ideas

The first step is to look for popular content that’s been shared by your target audience.

Look at your niche more closely to find out what type of content is shared and which content will produce the best results.  

Start with tools like Feedly and Flipboard to track the latest content in your industry. You can subscribe to the best posts in your niche and relevant topics in your industry.

Feedly
Feedly

Also, use a tool like BuzzSumo to find the most searched content based on your keywords. With BuzzSumo, you can filter results by date, content type, number of words, and more. You can also order it with the number of social media shares or share it on your favorite social networks.

HubSpot
HubSpot

This information will help you understand what type of content leads to social media sharing (which usually leads to more readers and more traffic to your blog).

  • When you see the most compelling content in your niche, consider the following:
  • What topics does your niche cover (what needs are met, and what value do they offer readers)?
  • What type of title do you use?
  • How long were the posts and how were they formatted?  

Once you’ve found the right ideas and topics, it’s time to add them to your editorial content calendar.

5. Add Content Ideas to Your Calendar

With previous tips and methods, you should be able to generate dozens of blog post ideas, maybe throughout the year. It’s time to add the ideas to your calendar.

Create your calendar of blog content by topic and at this point, set a deadline for the project and determine who should write it so that the author knows in advance and plan accordingly. 

Be strategic when you include these titles in your calendar:

Create a mix of different types of content to serve readers based on the best way they like to consume content online.

If you have a food blog, for example, you can make a mixture of recipes weekly on Mondays and Wednesdays, restaurant reviews on Tuesday, instructions on Thursday posts, and more.

Here’s an editorial content calendar that HubSpot uses:

Publish your best blog posts on optimal days. For example, usage costs usually generate more traffic and engagement in some industries. 

CoSchedule conducted research to determine the days to publish blog posts and get maximum page views. 

The best day turns out to be Tuesday and Thursdays based on how many shares the post garnered on social media platforms.

Maximum Pageviews
Maximum Pageviews

Case studies and pillar content tend to generate more reads and engagement in the small business space.

So post on the days where your audience is most active (or encourage them). Do the same with all other content that adds value to your audience.

6. Write Effective Blog Headlines

Have you seen news headlines before? They’re bold, big, and irresistible!

When users find your content in search results or RSS feeds, the title of your article appears first.

The memorable blog post title stands out and gets more clicks, while dull and boring titles are ignored, and users may skip them.

You must learn how to write better titles for blog posts that grab the user’s attention and get more clicks. According to Brian Clark, founder of Copyblogger Media, “8 in 10 people will read your title.”

Fortunately, some successful bloggers and research labs have been studying headlines for a long time, and you can benefit from the results.

Several studies have shown that the essential building block of compelling titles/headline is emotional triggers such as excitement, surprise, surprise, curiosity, fear, confusion, greed, and so on.

Blogging Strategy and Best Practices

When planning a blog schedule, you also need to have a solid strategy in place. Your blogging strategy will be driven by best practices that successful businesses and industry bloggers have used to grow their blogs and revenue in record time.

It’s time to discover some amazing things you can do to improve your chances of succeeding with a blog.

1). Build a Landing Page to Serve Your Audience 

Once you’ve defined your blogging goal for the next 6 months, you have to get started with list building. Yes, you need a contact list of your target audience so that you can  keep in touch with them. 

That’s why a landing page, which is separate from your main blog is necessary. This landing page will be the gateway to your marketing funnel.

It should appeal to your audience and have an opt-in form so that potential customers can fill out the form to start getting follow up emails from you.

Here’s an example of a landing page that’s attached to the Bloggingwizard blog. Here, the author gives away “The Serious Blogger’s Toolkit” for free.

Blogging Wizard
Blogging Wizard

So how does it work?

Well, if you plan on creating an eBook on “How to Lose 20 Pounds in 30 Days,” the first step in the process isn’t to sell the product but to set up a mailing list to caters to people who want to lose weight.

To attract the right people to your email list, you can offer a 3-part free email series, you can call it “3 Secrets to Shedding Excess Fats.”

This will be the first product funnel for building your email list. Use one of the popular email service providers to set up an automatic email — such that when people fill out the form on your landing page, they’ll automatically receive the first email.

This is a free gift that acts as ‘thank you’ for subscribing.

Your landing page will highlight the benefits of the 3-part email course. 

Your landing page shouldn’t try to sell the main product but to get the word out about your free course. The visitors who subscribe have indicated an interest in the product.

For your landing page to be effective, keep these tips in mind:

i). Highlight the benefits, not features: There’s no need to explain what the email course entails, just tell users what they will get out of it. 

Velaro highlights the key benefits of its offer but gives away a free guide to show the user how the software works.

Velaro
Velaro

ii). Show the process: How does your email list work. Let subscribers know they’ll get emails from you. You don’t want to surprise them.

iii). Show social proof: If you have endorsements, testimonials, and success stories from your customers, make sure to use them on your landing page. Your potential subscribers will be confident in the fact that you’re legitimate. 

As an example, Nutrisystem shows a success story on how Melissa lost 51 lbs with its diet plan.

NutriSystem
NutriSystem

Even if you have comments or tweets from people, those can be used as a form of social proof on your landing page.

iv). Be easily accessible: The best thing you can do to 10X your blogging success is to make your landing pages, products, and important pages discoverable on your blog.

When it comes to your opt-in form, you can use an exit-intent popup to capture users who’re about leaving your page. 

The objective of this is to capture as many leads as possible. These potential customers will be on the waiting list to buy your online course, eBook, or software once it’s finally launched. 

With that out of the way, it’s time to get traffic to your blog.

2). Drive Hyper-targeted Traffic To Your Blog

So your landing page is helping you capture the email addresses of potential customers already, that’s awesome. It’s time to get some traffic to your blog.

But this time, we’re focused on the right traffic that will make a difference.

This is where most bloggers struggle. Generating the right traffic is hard. You could pay $10 to get 10,000 clicks to your blog, but are these clicks relevant? 

Not all traffic sources are created equal. Go after blog visitors that will help improve your bottom line. 

Content Traffic
Content Traffic

If you have a software that will help doctors and nurses, then you don’t have to attract real estate brokers to your landing page. This should be obvious — unfortunately, most bloggers are making this mistake.

I once came across a blogger who offers consulting services to business. During our discussion, he complained that he’s struggling to attract clients. I was concerned because some consultants I know are very successful.

Interestingly, when I checked his blog I noticed that 87% of his content was aimed at consultants and what they can do to get clients. Isn’t it funny that someone who’s in the same boat is advising others on the same issue? 

Irrelevant
Irrelevant

He should have focused his content to attract business owners and marketers who need a consultant. Period!

If you’re going to use paid advertising, for example, think of users who will be coming from paid sources. Google Ads can be good, but you need to narrow down your audience.

If it’s referral traffic you’re most concerned about, then make sure it’s from people who truly are interested in your offer.

3). Contribute to Industry Blog to Drive Traffic

With your landing page offer in mind, you need to start pitching content to other bloggers in your industry.

There are top and high-traffic blogs in every industry. You need to find and get published there with links back to your landing page. You can listen to Sergey Grybniak to learn more.

Link Building
Link Building

To find these blogs that need guest posts, just enter these search operators in Google:

Keyword + submit a guest post

Keyword + contribute

Keyword + write for us

Note: Replace the ‘keyword’ with your main topic. 

For example, parenting + write for us

You’ll find a list of blogs to pitch relevant and useful topics to. Once approved, you can write the article and it’ll be published. 

You not only get traffic to your landing page and blogs, but you’ll also get link juice that will improve your organic search rankings and website authority.

Remember that all success comes from other people. Effective guest blogging strategy boils down to building strategic connections and relationships with people. You need the right people to mention, support, and link to your website. 

Remember that it’s harder to get the attention of successful bloggers. They’re already killing it, so they don’t need you. 

However, you can get their attention by mentioning them in your guest posts. You can give them a shout out on someone else’s blog. This will get them excited because every mention online is vital to their long-term success.

When using guest blogging as a traffic strategy, make sure you point people to your landing page where they can opt-in to your email course or download your free eBook. 

Don’t send people to your blog post — it’s a waste of effort because even if they read it, they’ll leave and never return.

Conclusion 

An important aspect of your blogging schedule is outreach. Getting the word out is more important than publishing new posts on your blog — especially at the early stages of your blog.

If you must create content on your blog, it must be resourceful so that influencers and industry leaders will be excited to share on Facebook, tweet it, recommend it to your audience, and link it to their posts. 

Growing a blog in 6 months is going to involve a lot of creating content. I’d recommend the 80/20 rule. 

That is, 20% of the time should be spent creating content for your blog while 80% of your efforts should be spent promoting your blog and content on other sites, social media, paid advertising channels, etc.

Above all, stick to one main topic in the first 6 months. If your blog is about gardening, you can focus on indoor gardening and establish your Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness (E.A.T) in that space. 

People will trust you because you’re sharing so much knowledge on one topic — indoor gardening.