Talia is a frequent keynote speaker at marketing conferences, teaching conversion optimization and growth on stages such as Google, Unbounce, MozCon, GMIC, CXL live, Search Love, Learn Inbound and many more.
She is the Co-founder & CMO at Banana Splash and was recently listed as one of the most influential voices in conversion optimization.
Latest posts by Talia Wolf (see all)
- [Webinar] 7 Fail-Proof Steps for a High Converting Blog Strategy - November 13, 2017
- Minimum Viable Conversion Optimization: If You Only Have One Day a Month, Do This! - October 16, 2017
- [Webinar] How to Create High-Converting Drip Campaigns - October 10, 2017
Are you pushing out content nobody reads?
Or dare I even suggest… converts to?
Time to stop messing around with your blog.
Anyone can publish a blog post (almost everyone does right?)…
But let’s be honest,
Most blogs are pushing out content no one cares about.
Maybe you’re writing about yourself, maybe you’re copying your competitors…
Perhaps you’re genuinely writing content you think should work,
Whatever the strategy is, chances are, it’s not working.
Either people aren’t reading your articles or if they are, they’re not doing anything with them.
They’re not turning into your customers, or sharing your content or whatever your goal is.
You need a solid strategy. One that’ll make your customers stop everything they’re doing and read your content.
That’s exactly what Kaleigh taught us on our latest webinar.
The fail-proof step-by-step process she uses to help companies like AT&T, Campaign Monitor and SumoMe write content their readers actually want to read.
Kaleigh is a freelance writer who specializes in blog content for SaaS and eCommerce brands.
Here’s what we learned during this webinar:
- How to find out exactly what your customers want to read
- How to look for trends, patterns and topics you should write about
- How to plan a content calendar you’ll actually use and much more
Watch the replay:
Read the transcript:
7 Fail Proof Steps for a High Converting Blog Strategy
Talia: I’m so happy to have you all here, and I’m really excited about having Kaleigh here today because we’re gonna be talking about one of the most important topics to me. I think I wrote this to you guys in the email, that I literally invited her for myself because I just wanna learn some new ideas for my blog. So we’re really looking forward to this. We’re seeing loads of people filing in but it looks like we’ve had enough time, so I’m just gonna hand it over to you Kaleigh. Guys, feel free to send over all your questions in the chat. I will be filtering that through for Kaleigh as she goes, and at the end of her presentation I will ask everything. So, let’s get started. Take it away.
Kaleigh: All right, great. Well, hello everyone. I am Kaleigh Moore, I live in Central Illinois, and I’m a freelance writer. I work mostly with e-commerce and SaaS companies. Folks like Campaign Monitor, AT&T. Kind of a variety of companies in regard to size and industry, but all kind of fall within that general world. So, the good thing about that for me is that for the past four years, I’ve gotten to see a lot of different companies and how they approach content, how they approach their blogs, and it’s changed a lot in those four years. It’s really kind of evolved.
And one of the big things I can tell you that I’ve seen, this year especially, is that a lot of people are writing more long form content now. And they’re spending more time and investing more money into creating longer form pieces of blog content, which I think is great. I think that that’s important because a lot of the times those longer pieces of content that have a lot of examples and really get into detail. They’re a lot more value driven than some of the shorter, like 500 word or so posts. So I think that this is a good trend, and I know that there’s data especially…I just saw a set from Orbit Media cut out the back setup, so I think that that’s kind of an interesting shift in general.
But, what I wanna talk about today is how do you take the content that you’re creating for your blog content, whether it’s for yourself or the brand that you work for, or your own company, how do you take that and make it produce the results that you need? Because even if you’re a one person team or if you’re working for a company, you have numbers to report, and you need to show that it’s a worthwhile endeavor to keep blogging. And so I think the question that a lot of teams are asking themselves right now is, why does this matter? Why does blogging matter to us? So, I’m gonna pull up some slides here. I’m gonna disappear for a little bit but I’ll still be talking. So I’ll pop back in at the end when we do questions but I am gonna use the slides for this, so just kind of enjoy the sound of my voice I guess. So I’m gonna switch the slides.
Okay, so this is our topic today, “7 Fail-Proof Steps for a High-Converting Blog Strategy.” And like I said, the point of this is, you know, why does it matter? Why does blogging matter and what can we do to make sure that what we’re doing with our blogging efforts is worth our time and money that we’re putting into these efforts?
So first of all, let’s talk about just kind of from a high level perspective, why this topic matters. The first thing is that, let’s be honest, there’s a lot of garbage produced every single day when it comes to blog content. The environment is extremely noisy. There’s almost three million posts published every day, and there’s a lot of competition. There are a lot of companies that are, maybe in your same niche or your same industry, that are publishing posts on a regular basis. And so, the problem we run into is that sometimes those topics, they just don’t resonate with the target audience, and there’s a couple of reasons that that happens from what I’ve seen, from my experience.
A few of those reasons are, number one, people just can’t dream up relevant or interesting ideas for the audience. They’re really spinning their wheels, they’ve been blogging for a long time, and they just don’t have any good ideas anymore. They’re really kind of feeling burnt out. Another thing is a lot of people just look to their competitors and they look at the types of posts that they’re creating and they try to do that. They try to one-up them a little bit with a very similar type of post, whether it’s the same subject matter or the same kind of ‘how-to.’ I see that happen a lot.
The other things that happen are that sometimes people make assumptions about what their audience wants, or they purely write for their marketing objectives, which just doesn’t work because they’re thinking, “Okay, well, we’re gonna create some blog content that drive sales for our company.” Or, “We’re gonna work on really promoting the product in this blog post.” Or, “We’re gonna work on lead gen.” And all those things are great from the marketing perspective but for the reader, for the audience, a lot of the time that just doesn’t translate, and it kind of falls flat, which is not good news for companies especially who are investing time and money into creating blog content because it’s a waste of time and money. If you’re hiring freelancers or if you’re tying up a marketing person’s time with creating this content and it’s not working, that’s purely a waste of time. It’s a waste of time and it’s a waste of money. So you have to produce results with your blog. You have to show that it’s working; otherwise, you’re literally just churning out content for no point, which is not…that’s not something you wanna be doing.
So what do you do about it? And that is one of the biggest questions that people come to me with, is, well, what can we do to make our strategy better? And you know, I don’t consider myself a content strategist, I’m usually on the writer’s side, but with the variety of companies that I’ve worked with over the past four years of doing this full time, I do have some insights that I think would be helpful for anyone who’s watching this. So that’s what I wanna really dive into next.
So, jumping right in here. Step one, I think this is the most important slide of the whole presentation today. And this is my number one tip for any company that comes to me and is like, “How do we fix our blog strategy? How can we do better?” The first step is to poll your audience, okay? So you literally, you have to go to your audience. You have to ask your current readers what they want from you. You have to give them a voice in that conversation, and really make sure that you’re writing about the things that they want to hear from you, and that they need to hear from you.
So there’s a lot of ways you can do that. When you go to them and you ask these questions, you need to kind of be strategic. You need to ask questions like, “What was the most valuable post you read recently about whatever industry you’re in or whatever product you’re writing about? What are the topics that you read about most often? Who are some of your favorite bloggers? You know, who do you look to for really high quality information?”
Questions like these are what’s going to help you really get a better grasp on what your company needs to be writing about when they’re blogging, because a lot of the time we build out these great buyer personas or customer personas and we think we know the customer so well, or we think we know the reader so well, but the fact of the matter is we really just don’t unless we ask them directly because every audience is so unique. They’re so different and they have really kind of specific needs based on what they’re looking for and what pain points they’re facing.
So how do you go about collecting that information? There are a lot of great tools who make this really, really simple. A couple that I use on a regular basis are GetFeedback and SurveyMonkey. And the first place I always go is email. I think that that’s kind of the easiest, most lowest hanging fruit, I guess, when it comes to asking these types of questions. So you can use a survey tool like these to build out an online survey that you can send through a lot of different channels, but I think email is the first one you really wanna focus on.
As you’re building out a survey, a couple of things to keep in mind. You wanna include both multiple choice questions and open-ended responses so you’re gathering the right information. I found that if you only use multiple choice questions, you really kind of pigeonhole the reader into giving you a certain response instead of really being able to tell you what they want. So those open-ended questions where they can write a paragraph or even just a sentence or two, that’s where the best information comes from. So make sure that you have a good mix of both types of questions within your survey so you can really find out what exactly they want to be reading from you.
As far as distribution, once you’ve gotten past the email crowd, you can also think about putting this out on your website or promoting it on social media, going through those channels. Think about forums where your target audience spends time, is there places like Reddit or like an inbound.org where you can distribute this or at least, you know, try to do a focus group of sorts where you go in and have a group of people who kind of fit who your target audience is, answer a couple questions for you. All of these things are extremely valuable and they’re gonna inform your blog strategy in a way that you can’t get this information any other way.
So I think it’s important to do this regularly. Not just do it one time and say, “Yaaay, we did it. We’re done.” But to keep polling your audience as your blog goes over time and as time passes, so you’re always really keeping a finger on the pulse of what your audience wants from you because giving them a voice, not only informs your strategy but it also makes them feel like you value them more because you’re asking for their opinion and you’re asking for their feedback, and then you’re literally putting it into action. Well, hopefully you are, but we’re gonna talk about how you do that next.
So step two is, once you’ve gathered the information from your survey or from your focus groups or whatever you do to gather this feedback, is to start looking for the patterns. So what are the common themes? What are the topics? What are the questions your audience wants to learn more about from you? Obviously, you want this to be niche specific or blog specific, but you really wanna look for the patterns in what the responses are. So you can use something as simple as an Excel spreadsheet to kind of keep track of these, or Google Doc, or even just literally build out a list of questions or topics that you’re seeing kind of repeated in pattern from the responses that you’re getting. I think that it’s important to really document these and not just keep them in your head because when they’re on paper, they become easier to kind of planned around and to really grasp and to get strategic about. I think that that’s the first step.
And the other thing, I think, that’s important about looking at the patterns is, even if you’re a team of one person, like me, I think it’s important to take your information and have somebody else look at it with you. If you’re a team, that’s great. You can brainstorm as a team and really dive into what the different perspectives your group has on the feedback that you’ve gathered. But I think when it’s stuck with one person, that’s sometimes where you get into trouble because you miss things that the data may be trying to indicate or you get caught up on a specific point, and you let a lot of the feedback that you’ve gathered just kind of go to waste.
So I think it’s important to document what you found as common themes within the data you’ve collected and then discuss it with at least one other person if you can, and really dive into, what can we do better part? What are the common themes here? How can we use this and build a new strategy that’s better and more effective? So that’s the next step.
Step three is to make a new plan. And one thing that’s kind of common, unfortunately, with strategy especially for teams, for company teams, is that it’s hard to be flexible and it’s hard to be open to change when you’ve been doing something for a long time. So I think the first step here is to be willing to reformulate your blog strategy to maybe bring in some new tools, some new topics, some new approaches to, maybe, content formats, or the things that you’re writing about. You have to be open to change, and not just say, “This is the way we’ve always done it, we’re gonna keep doing it this way. It’s how we do things.” That’s a very dangerous mindset.
So once you have this data, you’ve found the patterns, then it’s time to start putting that information into action. And because you’re so flexible and you’re so willing to change, oh, bless you, you’re gonna build out a new content calendar based on the information that you’ve gathered. And so, a lot of the clients that I work with use a tool like CoSchedule or Trello to really get a good plan and a good handle on how this is gonna be executed effectively. I think it’s important to really prioritize the topics that you’re gonna tackle moving forward based on highest volume of requests, or this is the biggest question that we saw asked on it. You know, that was the most common out of the feedback data that we collected. That’s a good approach to it.
If you’re wanting to organize your content calendar by theme, you can do it that way, but I think that if you see there are some common questions that are being asked over and over again, those are the ones that need to be answered first or those are the ‘how-to’s’ that need to be built out first. And so, it can be tempting to jump on the easiest kind of to create post first, but I would really encourage you to tackle those posts that your audience really wants from you on a first come, first served basis.
When you can let them indicate what they want from you, and then you can immediately act on that, I think that that’s a great… It shows that you’re listing. It’s a great indicator that you’re leveraging the feedback that these people took time to give you. So be open to changing your strategy, don’t get stuck in, “This is how we do it.” Build out a new content calendar. There are lots of great tools out there that make this super simple. If you’re not using them already, you can, or if you wanna keep things really simple, it’s just important to document it. A lot of people don’t take the time to document their strategy, and it’s important to do that so everybody’s on the same page. And then prioritize based on what your audience has told you that they want from you.
So from here, talked a little bit about tools in the last slide but I wanna talk about; specifically, content related tools, and how they make your strategy in your blog content better and more effective. So, one of the first ones that’s kind of a no-brainer and a lot of you probably do this already is to use Google’s related searches tool. So you have all these ideas, you have a rough list of topics you’re gonna cover with your blog content but you wanna start thinking about your headline strategy, and your keyword approach. And so these, especially these tools, because they are free versions or they are free, just kind of how they are, like the Google related searches tool. I think that those are a very common sense place to start.
So what I do is, with Google’s related searches, I will type in some of the topics I’m thinking about, and then I will look at some of the related searches that comes up so I can get other ideas. I can see about adding specificity to kind of a high level query that I started with. So, for example, if you were a business that organized closets, for example. And you typed in that you wanted to do a blog post about closet organization. In the related searches, you might see things like, “How to organize a small space,” or, “Cabinet organization,” or, you know, like Pinterest style infographics on how to better organize a closet.
I’m pulling this off the top of my head and I’m feeling like this is a very strange example to use right now, but that just kind of gives you some more ideas on what can feel like a kind of limited topical area. So use like Google related searches tools to get other ideas and to look at other keywords that are related to what you’re gonna write about as well.
The Google Keyword planner tool is also great for this. Again, I think that that’s kind of a common tool that a lot of people use but if you don’t know about that, it’s free. You have to have a Gmail account but you can go in there and look at keywords for the topic that you’re wanting to write about, the competition for the keywords, things like that. If you’re not into keywords, it’s not that important but it’s still good for brainstorming and getting new ideas.
BuzzSumo is another tool that I use quite a bit. I use the free version because I’m an extremely cheap person but there is a paid version that’s a lot more advanced and has a lot better data. But it shows you what the top 10 most shared keywords are for a specific topic. You can organize by date, location, content type. You can see what kind of social traction it’s getting. It’s extremely helpful for seeing what kind of similar content is out there already, and what’s doing well. So if you’re thinking about writing about a certain topic, this is a good idea to kind of keep an eye on your competition and see what’s already been written, and see what’s working well, and what’s not working so well.
So again, it’s a great tool as you’re formulating this new strategy and you’re building things out. It’s kind of the next step in the plan, is getting a little bit more specific and making data based decisions about what you’re going to do, and how you’re gonna execute. Again, you’re not just guessing, you’re moving off of data, you’re moving off of numbers and real hard facts instead of just making assumptions and moving ahead without any real data to back up what you’re doing. So those are my two favorites.
Again, I think that they’re great tools for working on your headlines through blog posts, getting a keyword approach, really getting a feel of what some related topics might be. The point here is just to work smarter and not harder, and to make your decisions based from real data, not just assumptions or what you think is a good approach. Always try to use, especially if there’s free tools out there. I mean, it’s silly almost not to use these tools. They’re fantastic.
So the other thing that I think is really important about coming up with a strategy and making sure that it’s highly relevant and interesting and something that converts for your blog is thinking about timeliness. So look at the news and ask yourself, “Is there data that I can synthesize to illustrate a point that no one is making yet?” This is especially great for evergreen content, and creating that type of content that’s good for years or months, and it’s not… It ages well. So it’s still good even after you’ve published, and people are still coming to it month after month. This is something that I do when I’m writing for places like Copy Hackers or ConversionXL. I really try to think about what data points I can pull together to say something new and fresh that hasn’t been said yet.
Other questions to ask yourself, are the shifts within my niche opening the door to new challenges, nuances, and points of struggle? If so, what do people need to know about overcoming those obstacles? So what can you tell them to build authority for yourself as a writer and for the company that you’re writing for, or the brand that you’re writing for? What do they need to know and how can you prepare them? What can you teach them that they don’t already know that’s maybe timely or relevant to something that’s coming up in their industry, or with a shift, or with a trend? Think about kind of being at the cutting edge of that, and really keep a finger on the news so you know what you need to be talking about to your audience so that you’re seen as a go-to source of information. That’s a great way to build authority quickly and easily.
And then last, do I have unique data that I can share that brings new insight into an ongoing conversation? So original data, original research gets shared all the time because it’s original, and people, anytime they wanna link up to it, they have to reference your post. So that’s great for building out back links and that’s good for the quality score of your website. And I know that that’s kind of getting into a more specific side of blogging, but really thinking about publishing original data and taking the time to put out a survey, or to put out research. Conduct research and gather the data points so you can have this fresh perspective and this fresh piece of data to share with your audience is extremely valuable. And that’s what can keep people coming back again and again, and in turn, as more people come to your website, and they’re seeing you as a source of authority, and they’re coming to know you and trust you, that drives conversions as well. Maybe not right off the bat but over time, it does for sure. And I’ve seen that happen again and again for the companies that I work with.
Step six, be original. I kind of touched on this in the last slide, but so often I see companies just…they’re saying the same thing that’s already been said a million times before. You know, they’re writing the same round up style post or they’re just simply rehashing a post that they found on a competitor’s website. It’s just not that effective. You wanna contribute something that’s fresh and new to the online conversation around your topic.
You wanna take a new angle, draw a new conclusion, research-backed of course, and not just restate what’s already been said, because then people just…you know, they have their sources for those pieces of information probably. They’re not gonna come to your site if you’re just saying the same thing that everybody else has already said. So try to have a new take, have a hot take. Have something new to say to the conversation that’s happening, and make sure that it’s interesting and that it’s backed up with lots and lots of data points.
I think that this is something, again, that when I’m writing for places like Copy Hackers or SumoMe, places like that that are really seen as go-to places for their niche, this is what they always ask me for, and this is what they’re looking for. So a lot of times, that means tying together different points to illustrate a larger idea. So for example, one of the posts I wrote for Copy Hackers was about mirror neurons and how that relates to emotion and persuasion in sales writing. And it was a really long post. I think it was probably more than 4,500 words. But what I had to do when I was constructing that was look for different examples. I looked at everything from the ASPCA, you know, the animal refuge shelter; everything from them to Velveeta’s ads from the ’30s. And pairing that with research and different studies and scientific data, I was able to kind of connect the dots with my idea here, and keep backing up the point that I was making, that emotion and persuasion are closely tied together, and that there’s a very strategic way you can tap into those when you’re writing.
That post is something that even now, 18 months later after I’ve written that, I’m still really proud of. It still performs really well for the keyword that we targeted. It still gets lots of traffic and it’s still driving conversions for the Copy Hackers site. I just recently asked Joanna for the numbers on this, so I don’t have them yet but I know that it’s something that aged really well on her site and it still performs well. And I think that that’s kind of a testament to the strategy and this approach of being original and connecting the dots and really making an interesting point.
Honestly, it’s almost like writing a research paper when you were in college. You’re finding these different sources and these different examples that really spell out the point you’re trying to make. And anybody can do that, and I think that that’s when you’re using the information that you’ve gathered from your audience to really find out what they want from you, and then you’re taking that approach, I think that that’s almost a guaranteed home run for blog content and for driving conversions with your blog.
Step seven, this is the last step. I think it’s important to integrate your story. And a lot of people forget to do this because it can be scary to share personal experiences that are both good and bad. A lot of people don’t wanna share the bad things that they’ve learned along the way, or the mistakes that they’ve made, or talk about the times that they failed. I think that those failure stories, especially, are extremely powerful and they really help connect with the audience. They break down the walls between you and your readers because it shows that you’re human. You know, that there’s another person on the other side of this blog article, and that they’re willing to share the good and the bad with the audience, and that they’re showing they’ve learned things along the way, and that it hasn’t all been unicorns and rainbows. You know, they’re willing to kind of show that human side.
And I think that that’s kind of another hallmark of really successful content that connects with readers, that gets shared, that drives return on investment for blogs. It’s being able to have that story element, and so often it gets left out. So I think that that’s kind of the last thing to remember about all this.
So the bottom line here…I’ve rambled for a really long time, so I’m gonna wrap up soon, I promise. The bottom line here is that blogging is an investment of time and money to drive ROI. Your approach has to be strategic. You can’t just make assumptions, you can’t just guess. The big thing to remember here is to always let your audience tell you exactly what they want from you and then execute on it in the best way you can. So again, I’ve kind of walked you through the steps on how you do that. I think it’s fairly simple and fairly straightforward. There are a lot of great tools out there that make this simple. So yeah, that’s kind of the bottom line here. Is to take this approach and really rethink your strategy and be open to making some changes.
Talia: Okay, we have a few questions. You know, what I’m really happy that you spoke about, and for me as an advocate for using emotion and, you know, customer centricity. That is my go-to. I’m constantly, you know, advocating for it. That’s what I wanna build our business on obviously, but just really as you say, speaking to your customers. Not making those assumptions that you think you know what your customer wants when they don’t. You know, it’s just you guessing. And as you said, at the end of the day the data is out there, you just have to go and get it. So I really love the approach and I love the idea of storytelling.
I can tell you that my most successful articles or even emails that I send are always the personal ones when I tell an embarrassing story or if I talk about a failure that I’ve had, or even, you know, as a funny example, when I send an incorrect email or I’m missing a link in an email. And you say, you know, “Oops, you know, error,” or whatever you send a correction of the email. That gets like a hundred percent open, right, because people want to connect with you, and people want to feel that you are human too and that there’s a person sitting behind the screen that’s actually talking to them. So I think…thank you Tina. I think storytelling is so important and I love that you brought that up.
We have quite a few questions.
- Q: So we’ll start with Kate’s question: “On timeliness, are there any specific tools you use to identify those timely concepts or news, or they just come up in the regular industry-related reading you do on a consistent basis?” So where do you identify those important times where you need to change content?.
- Kaleigh: Yeah, I think that I go to Twitter, first of all. I look at what’s being discussed, kind of in my niche on Twitter. I think that’s a great source for finding those trends. And then, like you said, it’s also a lot of just industry related reading and looking into what’s being discussed. Also forums like Inbound for me is especially helpful to see what people are asking questions about, the points of struggle that people are discussing. That’s been really helpful for me to really kind of find out, you know, what are the things that are changing, or what are the things that people are struggling with right now. So that’s kind of my approach, with a short answer.
- Talia: Yeah. No, I love using inbound.org. I think it is such a great place to see what people, specifically within our industry but there’s all sorts of different industries of people just bringing up topics. I mean, you know, even talking about politics can be relevant for your blog post even if you’re very far from the politics in your industry. So that’s always a really cool thing to look at.
- Q: John asks, “Do you include survey links in blog posts or are you just sending surveys to your existing email list?”
- Kaleigh: So for me, I always send it to my existing email list first, then about a week later it’ll go up on my blog with a link to the survey within the blog post. And then, like I said, I’ll use the other channels like social media to also share it. That way, if I am not getting a lot of response then I’ll put it kind of as a sider on my website or I will do some one-to-one outreach where I will email people that I want to get feedback from specifically and kind of ask them to be my mini focus group if I know that they’re a good fit for the audience. So yeah, I think that that’s kind of a good approach. There are a lot of different ways you can do it but I think that that’s a good starting place.
- Talia: Fantastic. And I’m gonna throw in my regular tip, which actually happens to be one of my favorite articles that I wrote for Copy Hackers. I think it was a year and a half ago about Thank You pages. So Thank You pages are the most, you know, unused real estate that there is. And I actually do a lot of poll surveys, and surveys on Thank You pages. And the reason is, it’s called a foot-in-a-door technique. So once someone has performed a certain action, they’re much more prone to perform another one. So if someone subscribed to your blog, it is so easy to say to them, “Hey, what would you like to read about?” Because they’ve already taken that step where they’ve signed up and they’re ready to get your content. So ask them, you can ask them on the Thank You page itself. So what you usually do is you say, “Hey, you know, go to your email inbox and you’ll see an email from me.” You can do that, to even you can ask them in the email itself once someone subscribed. But why don’t you call the people right from within your website. Before they leave your website, ask them on the Thank You page. I’ve seen 70% and 80% increase in response rate just by doing that. So I was able to plug that in because the Thank You page is just so underrated, and it should be loved. So use your Thank You pages.
- Q: Nicole wants to know, “What if you’re just starting out and you don’t necessarily have an audience to poll yet?”
- Kaleigh: That’s a good question and that’s a big problem for a lot of people. I think that that’s where the focus groups or the forums or participating in this space is where your target audience spends time. I think that that’s where that really pays off. So for me, when I was getting started and I had maybe 20 people on my email list, I would go to the people that I wanted to be on my email list and I would ask them questions. So I did a lot of one-to-one outreach. And I know that Emma earlier in the chat said something about getting on the phone. I think that that’s a great tip too. Get on the phone or go meet with people who fit…who your target audience is and ask them questions. People are there and it’s super intimidating sometimes to make that reach and to put yourself out there in that way but that’s how you find that information and that’s how you get those pieces of data that inform the strategy and make you better and make you more effective.
- Talia: And give you the voice of customer, right? Kaleigh: Exactly.
- Talia: Which is so important because we think we need to make up the words. We think we have to make words up in our mind but if you actually speak to a few of your customers, they’re going to give you their actual words. You don’t have to make anything up, it’s there. So I love customer interviews.
- Q: Joseph asked, “What are some of the content calendar tools that you use that they could try out too?”
- Kaleigh: Yeah, so I know that I mentioned CoSchedule. That’s the one that a lot of my clients use. It’s kind of the fancy one. It’s a little bit more expensive, I think, but its super effective and you can do your social strategy from within the tool, which is great. You can push it out through social right there. It’s great for teams too as well because the team sharing and there’s like a chat feature. And I’m kind of rambling about this tool but CoSchedule is fantastic. Trello is kind of a simpler version, which is more like a note card style but that’s really effective as well. Those are the two that I use most often. If you don’t want to invest in a tool at all, I would just say use something like a Google Sheet or even just a Google Doc to build things out.
- Talia: That’s what most of the people here on the chat were talking about by the way, Google Sheets. I think if you’re going to use it, it doesn’t matter. Obviously, there are really cool tools you can use but as long as you make sure you’re using it, that’s what really matters. So Google Sheets could work too.
- Q: John says, “When you have a very specific service like student loan repayment strategies…” that’s very specific. “…and there is only so much to write about it. Do you think it’s better to focus on just a few pieces of content with highly targeted keywords?” This is also kind of the SEO brink there, “And link building rather than actually pumping out content all the time, like new content?”
- Kaleigh: Okay, so when I was getting started I worked with a lot of different industries like heating and cooling and a medical industry person. And yes, I think that that is the approach that works. I think you need to focus on quality over quantity, and building out really helpful long form pieces of content that are targeted to your keyword, that are really home run pieces rather than just cranking out maybe 500 words once a week. Don’t do that. It’s a waste of your time, it’s a waste of your energy. It’s not gonna help you. Focus on building out, maybe one or two pieces a month that are extremely valuable, that are right on the mark for what your audience needs to hear from you and that’ll help your SEO efforts. And don’t worry so much about producing oodles of content. I don’t think that that’s the point. I think you wanna be the person who’s the go-to source for really good content rather than the person who’s putting stuff out but nobody’s really reading it.
- Talia: I couldn’t agree more. At the end of the day SEO isn’t what it used to be. It’s not about keyword stuffing anymore, it’s about delivering the content that your customers want. Even on my blog, I usually put out two blog posts a month. That’s my capacity, that’s how much I can do because each one of my articles is about 5,000 words, and there’s a lot of research that goes into it. So I’d rather do that than push out, as you say, 500 words every week, which no one’s going to read. It’s not interesting and it presents no value. And I think this comes down to what you were saying before about the strategy. Like if you know the goal of your business and what you’re trying to do with your blog, then it’s easier than just like, “Okay, I just need to stuff some keywords in there and just get like loads of, you know, articles out there so that people can see me.” It’s more about moving towards your customer’s goals and your business goals.
- Q: Chad, “How about going to top retailer in your town and in your niche and asking them what they ask the most?” Oh, that’s cool.
- Talia: So that’s kind of a trick maybe more than a question, Chad, but that’s really cool. Yeah, why don’t you actually go into a brick and mortar store, if that’s your industry, and ask them, you know, “What do people ask the most?” That’s really cool.
- Kaleigh: Yes, support…I must say quickly on this point. If you have a support team, if you’re a company and you have customer support or customer success, those are the people who know exactly what questions are being asked on a regular basis. They’re good as gold if you will give them the voice and give them the opportunity to share what they know with you. They often have some of the best insights for what your customers want and what they’re struggling with and what they need to hear from you.
- Q: Tina asks, “Are there any other free tools like BuzzSumo that she can use?”
- Kaleigh: I’m sure that there are but I don’t know what they are off the top of my head. So if anybody else knows, let her know in the chat. But the ones that I mentioned are the ones that I use regularly. For me, I try to keep things pretty simple and I don’t use a ton of tools. I just use a couple that work really well for me and for what I’m trying to do, but I’m sure that there are other resources out there for doing those types of things.
- Q: Amy asks, “What are your favorite content marketing blogs/experts that you both love to read?”
- Kaleigh: Okay. Well, obviously Copy Hackers, ConversionXL. Those are the two that I’ve mentioned a lot throughout this. GetUplift is a great resource. I think that Unbounce has a lot of great resources. Gosh, they’re so many. Those are the ones that are coming to my mind off the top of my head. But Buffer also has a great blog. I love them for content marketing resources. Yeah, those are kind of my go-to people for that specific type of writing. Oh, and Enchanting Marketing is also a good one too. It’s not really content marketing specific but it’s writing specific and she has a lot of kind of high level tips that are very effective for just making your strategy better and making you a better writer. So I love those.
- Talia: For me, so Copy Hackers is a given. I read everything that they put out. I read your stuff Kaleigh, which is I love. I think it’s brilliant. Backlinko is fantastic John. I agree, you know, Brian does a great job with such fantastic guides out there. Andy Crestodina does the same with Orbit Media. They have great guides. Like really good, informative guides and infographics telling you how to do stuff, which I love. I also read the Buffer Blog, which I think is good. And I also read Dan Ariely’s blog, who is sort of like a mentor to me I’d say. Everything to do with behavioral economics, and just how people buy things and how they think, and anything to do with psychology like really intrigues me. So I definitely read a lot of his stuff. He has a really cool blog. He also has an online course that he does for free, which is really cool, about how people make decisions. And I think that’s pretty important when you’re marketing to people. ConversionXL has a fantastic blog. Let us know in the chat what you like to read guys. I can see some of you are saying…Oh, Jessica Merring, yeah, she’s fantastic. Cup of Copy. Copy Hackers, of course. We’ve got Backlinko.
- Let’s see, we have a few more questions coming in. Oh, what software do you use for surveys on Thank You pages?
- So I am pretty straightforward Laura, I use Typeform. Really easy to integrate on your Thank You page, on any page actually, so it’s really simple. Or if you don’t want to actually integrate it because you don’t wanna pay for Typeform, you can just have a link there and say, “Hey, do you mind just answering a few questions and sending them to that link.” Looks great. If Rand Fishkin can do a free poll on Typeform, anyone can. Just go pay for it. Though they have an awesome platform and program for paying but just so you know. Yeah, so that is what I use for forms. And I think we’ve answered everyone’s questions. That was really good. Let’s see.
- Q: how does the art of copyrighting influence how you write your blog posts and who are your favorite copywriting mentors as a blogger?
- Kaleigh: Okay, that’s a good question. So for me I kind of live in the world of copyrighting and the art of copyrighting, and it’s what I write about a lot of the time so it influences what I’m blogging about a lot. I think about it a lot as I’m writing in a specific voice for either myself or for a client that I’m working for. I think about how to persuade someone. I use a lot of research that I’ve learned about, you know, just copywriting formulas like pain agitator solution, things like that, as I’m writing to just kind of inform what I’m doing and take a more strategic approach to it. Obviously, Copy Hackers is probably my biggest mentor. I started writing with Joanna a couple of years ago, and she just always has fantastic content on her site, not just by her but by a lot of different writers who contribute there. So yeah, that’s my go-to person for copywriting mentor, I guess, but it definitely has a big role in all of the work that I do. Not just my own blog content but when I’m writing for a client as well.
Talia: Agreed. Kaleigh, tell us where people can find you and contact you and read your stuff.
Kaleigh: Yeah, so I just put the link on the chat. It’s www.kaleighmoore.com/newsletter. My first name is very kind of hard to spell. I also have a newsletter that I send out twice a month with typically writing tips. Sometimes I talk about freelancing, sometimes I talk about working from home and how it’s lonely and I’m sad. So I’m not sad today, this is great. Oh yeah, that’s where you can find me.
I’m also on Twitter. That’s where I spend most of my time during the day. I use it as my water cooler. Since, again, I’m a lonely person who works from home alone with her dog. But yeah, that’s where I spend most of my time, is Twitter. I’m also on other places but that’s the best place to get in touch with me.
Talia: Perfect. Kaleigh, I wanna thank you so much for today. I learned a lot. As I told you, I had you on for my own personal reasons. I’ve learned a couple of really cool things. I’m gonna send you guys the recording, the transcript and a few screenshots of like the most important slides that we’ve seen today, so no worries about that. Just look out for that email in a few days.
Thank you everyone for joining us today. It was really cool turnout, and thank you Kaleigh so much for the great content.
Kaleigh: Thank you for having me, and this is really nice. I had a good time, thanks.
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