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Marketing: #AskTheExperts – The Best Blogging Advice You’ll Ever Get Ask an Expert

By Siobhan McGinty on April 13th 2015

Starting up a blog can be challenging.

But for those writers who make it through the journey, blogging can be really rewarding. Often, they’ll look back on their journey and wish that they knew back then what they know now.

With that in mind, we reached out to marketers from some of the best UK marketing blogs and asked them for their two cents for those starting or developing a blog.


Graham Charlton – Econsultancy

1) Find your own tone of voice

According to Graham Charlton from Econsultancy, defining your own tone of voice is critical and helps to distinguish your content.

But if you have multiple writers writing for your blog, how can you maintain a fluid tone of voice?

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The folks at Econsultancy have created a style guide that defines their tone of voice. So while the four writers at Econsultancy might have different styles of writing, they are all careful to follow the guide to ensure their tone of voice is aligned with how the company has defined it.

TOP TIP: Create a style guide defining your brand’s tone of voice to help your team write effectively for your blog. [Click to Tweet]

2) Focus on quality over quantity

Starting out, you’ll want to spend every waking hour making your blog better and creating more and more content for it.

However, it is important to understand how far your resources stretch, as well as what is sustainable.

Graham believes it’s far better to spend time producing one useful article, rather than creating three quick pieces to make up the numbers: “I’d rather read a blog with one good post a day, compared to a blog which is just churning out as much as possible.”

TOP TIP: Spend time producing one useful article, rather than creating three quick pieces to make up the numbers. [Click to Tweet]

3) Focus on your specialist subjects

If you’re starting a blog on digital marketing, you’ll probably want to cover everything there is to know about marketing. But is this the right thing to do?

Regardless of what niche you’re building your blog in, it’s important to focus your blog on covering topics you are a specialist in, and can write authoritatively in.

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This ensures that your posts are of higher quality and – as a result – readers coming across a new blog will take you more seriously. One way to broaden your topic base is by inviting people to write for you.

TOP TIP: Focus your blog on covering topics you are specialist in & can write authoritatively in. [Click to Tweet]


Stephen Kenwright – Branded3

4) Blog ≠ content marketing strategy

It’s important to outline a content strategy. A big mistake made by many companies is that they think that their blog is their content strategy.

Of course, your blog is an ELEMENT of your content strategy, and indeed it can be the central part of it.

For example, at Branded3, most of their leads come from their blog. However, if you run an e-commerce site your blog should act as a support for the rest of your pages.

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Your blog should not house all of your content – it’s VITAL that you spend at least some time on your product descriptions/service pages, “Our Customers/Clients” pages and the ever neglected “About Us page”. People will rarely do business with you without looking at these pages first.

TOP TIP: Remember that your blog is not your content strategy. Don’t ignore content on other pages of your site. [Click to Tweet]

5) Practice what you preach

There are so many organisations out there advising you about what to do with your website, how blogging and creating useful content is so important and so on.

If you are serious about growing your blog, make sure that you practice what you preach. Write useful blogs. Help your readers.

Imagine if HubSpot advised people to do inbound marketing and didn’t do inbound marketing well themselves. Would you take them seriously? Didn’t think so!

TOP TIP: Practice what you preach. Write useful blogs & help your readers if that’s what you’re advising them to do. [Click to Tweet]


Linda Bolg – SocialBro

6) Be interesting

There are so many blogs out there – so much so that you need to be able to differentiate yourself.

Whatever you do, don’t be boring. If you want your blog to be the industry “go-to” resource it’s worth spending time making sure its content is as engaging and interesting as it is insightful and helpful.

TOP TIP: Don’t be boring. Make sure your content is as engaging & interesting as it is insightful & helpful. [Click to Tweet]

7) Don’t be afraid to be controversial

Playing it safe all the time is boring.

Get involved in discussing controversial topics. They often provoke the most interesting discussions and can change the way readers think about a particular topic. Furthermore, don’t be afraid to have a controversial opinion on something – but don’t have a controversial opinion for the sake of having it.

TOP TIP: Playing it safe all the time is boring. Don’t be afraid to be controversial in your blogging! [Click to Tweet]


Lisa Toner – HubSpot

8) Know who you’re writing for

The biggest mistake we see companies making when starting their blog is that they jump straight in, blindly writing about everything and anything that comes to mind without thinking first about who they are trying to target that content to.

It’s vital to think about who you’re writing your content for so that you attract the right people to your website and keep them engaged with your brand.

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Think about your ideal customer; what challenges do they face on a daily basis? What does success look like for them? What are their goals and motives? What are they typing into the search engines when they need help?

Once you’ve answered those questions you’re going to have a plethora of topics you can write about on your blog that will be in line with your company’s objectives – to generate quality traffic, and convert that traffic into quality leads and sales for your business.

TOP TIP: Thoroughly research who you are writing for. Understand what their challenges are & what their success looks like. [Click to Tweet]

9) Share the workload

Many people think they need a blogger or a content marketer to start a blog.

This is one of the biggest roadblocks for businesses getting started and it’s completely avoidable. Whether you have a dedicated content marketer or not, everyone in your organisation should be contributing to your blog. Think about how many people speak to your customers and know their goals and challenges – as well as how to solve them.

Think about your sales reps who have conversations every day with your leads and prospects about what they are trying to achieve. This content makes for excellent blog posts and will attract quality traffic to your blog.

By creating a rotation schedule whereby one person outside of marketing contributes a blog each week you’re going to have a ton of really valuable content at your disposal.

Another great place to start is to take your customer FAQs and divide them up among your employees. After all, if your customers are frequently asking these questions, everyone in your company should know how to answer them, so why not get them to blog about it!

TOP TIP: You don’t need one dedicated blogger to start blogging. Share blogging among people throughout your organisation[Click to Tweet]


Natalie Meehan – Brandwatch

10) Empower your writers

Ensure that your writers feel empowered to come to you – the editor, or manager – with creative ideas. Make sure that they all know that any idea is welcome. When an idea comes to you, make sure that you can answer these questions when you discuss it:

  • Why is this a good fit for us?
  • What unique perspectives can we bring?
  • What are we trying to accomplish?
  • Who are we targeting?
  • Is there an advantageous time to publish this?

Empowering the talent around you to create great, compelling content from interesting ideas is half the battle won.

TOP TIP: Create a team of talented writers and empower them to question each other’s ideas and riff off them. [Click to Tweet]


How do you approach your blogging? Have you got any great advice? Let us know in the comments, and be sure to check how you rank among the best marketing blogs in the UK and Ireland.



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Siobhan McGinty

@siobbz

Siobhan is Campaign Marketing Manager in HubSpot's Dublin office, and spends her days creating content marketers love. She also dances a mean jig.

  • Wonderful tips for new bloggers! I spend a majority of my time on research and editing rather than marketing right now. Once I develop a voice I am comfortable with I will start to promote. Because you are right it is more about quality and having a voice.

    http://www.menarentfromvenus.com

  • Great tips – particularly focusing on your speciality! Too many blogs veer off topic and you just stop losing interest/not relying on them to give you the specific content that you want.

  • Thanks for your kind words Sarah. For a blog to be successful the content needs to be useful and unique to your readers. So yes, it’s very important to focus your blog on covering topics you are an expert in or your readers will lose interest.