The 2 Most Effective Blog Post Types

Today I did a little research to see what some of the top blogs (in terms of traffic and lead generation) were doing to get some ideas that I could then use on my company’s blog. I decided to pull the blog post titles of the last 15 blogs published by HubSpot, SalesBenchmarkIndex, and KissMetrics and analyze the titles to see if there were any trends on what makes an effective blog post title. My findings were shocking…

44% were “List” blogs

That’s right. 44% of the blogs published started with “5 keys to…” or “Top 10 ways…” or “7 Steps to…” or “The 6 things…”

Here are some examples:

  • 30 Careless Mistakes That Will Totally Muck Up Your Marketing
  • 7 Real Marketing Interview Questions From HubSpot’s CMO
  • 4 Failing Marketing Relationships You Need to Fix ASAP
  • 11 Modern Technologies That Make the Case for Inbound Marketing
  • 15 Examples of Brilliant Homepage Design
  • 8 Real-Life Examples of Outbound Marketing Gone Terribly Wrong
  • 5 Steps for HR to Develop 2013 Sales Leaders
  • 3 Keys to Navigating Change Management in Sales
  • 3 Places Sales Leaders Should Look if You Missed the Number in 2012
  • New Quota? Two Questions You Need to Ask Next
  • 5 Marketing Trends That will Impact 2013
  • 3 Signs your Sales Team Isn’t Happy
  • The 6 Worst Decisions Sales Leaders Make
  • Sell More This Year by Not “Selling” at All – 3 Simple Guidelines, and One Perfect Secret Weapon
  • The Top 50 KISSmetrics Posts of 2012
  • 5 Ways to Automate Your Pinterest Marketing Strategy
  • 5 Google Products That Failed and What Startups Can Learn From It
  • The 5 “Must Have” Metrics for Your SaaS Business
  • Analyze This: 3 Techniques Every SaaS Product Marketer Should Know
  • 3 Great Content Sites and What You Can Learn From Them
27% were “How-To” blogs

Yup. Blogs that teach you something is the next popular type of blog post used across these blogs. Here are some examples:

  • How to Use Photoshop: The Ultimate Guide for the Design-Impaired Marketer
  • How the HubSpot CMO Screens for Top Marketing Talent
  • How to Be a Spammer in 20 Simple Steps
  • How to Pick the Perfect CTA for Every Blog Post
  • How to Develop a Website Redesign Strategy That Guarantees Results [+ Free Template]
  • How to Spot Where Your Customer is on Their Buyer’s Journey
  • How Today’s Sales Manager Needs to Change their Field Coaching
  • Avoid the Headline Holdup: Learn How to Unplug The Bottleneck in Your Business
  • How to Not Get Ghost Banned on Social Media Sites
  • How to Make Your Email Open and Click-Through Rates Skyrocket
  • How to Use Contests and Giveaways to Get User-Generated Content
  • How to Steer Your Company Away From its Own Fiscal Cliff
Why are these blog post types so popular?

I think there are a bunch of reasons these blog post types are popular.

  1. People love lists.
  2. People like to learn.
  3. Lists are easy to scan.
  4. There is a clear upfront promise.
  5. Readers know exactly what they will learn.
  6. Reader knows the info they will receive is valuable/actionable.
Why should you care?

The next time you go to write a blog post think about if you can write it using one of these blog post types. If you can, you’re chances of your blog being successful will be much higher.

How to write a blog post that converts

As an online marketer, are you optimizing your blog posts to convert visitors into leads?

Are you making it easy for readers to share the one big idea of your post?

If you think putting a call-to-action in the right sidebar and including the many social sharing icons in each blog post is enough, you are sadly mistaken.

HOW TO WRITE A BLOG POST THAT CONVERTS LIKE CRAZY

If you’re like 99% of people who write and publish blog posts, you write what’s on your mind and publish it to your blog. This is great if you are a casual blogger. However, if you are an online marketer where the goal of your blog is to drive traffic, leads, and sales, this is the wrong approach.

And, I have to admit, I’ve been guilty myself of taking this “Field of Dreams” approach to blogging thinking “if I publish it, they will come.”

The reality is that even if you have remarkable content, very few people will remember to come back to your blog. This is why it is so important to optimize the content, layout, and call-to-action of each blog post you write in order to get the reader to take the next step with you (subscribe to blog, watch a demo, download a how-to guide, etc).

The good news is that Derek Halpern of Social Triggers has published the exact formula for writing the perfect blog post, and I’m going to share it with you below.

THE MAGIC FORMULA FOR A BLOG POST THAT DRIVES MORE TRAFFIC, LEADS, AND SALES

So here it is, the magic formula for the perfect blog post…

By the way, this post was written using this template, so how’d I do? If you liked the post, please share it on Twitter…

Small Businesses: Use Blogs to Build Trust

Many small businesses and non-profit organizations are missing a golden opportunity to communicate their expertise and personality to potential customers through a blog.  For example, a carpentry business might have a simple website with an about page, services page, pricing page, and a contact page.  This website will probably look like it was built in 1999 and will usually not communicate the personality or quality of the businesses.  As a consumer looking to hire a carpenter I want to make sure that this isn’t some hack who had a nephew taking a HTML class in high school and decided to do his class project on his uncle’s carpentry business.  A way for the carpenter to build trust with the visitor and increase his conversion rate is to create a blog on his website.

This blog can be easily created using a blogging platform like WordPress and can easily be installed in a subfolder of the the original website. For example, the URL to the blog might be http://www.example.com/blog. On this blog the carpenter might want to post pictures of project he has previously worked on or maybe explain the benefits of a new technique or material he is now using in his projects. The carpenter can also establish that he is a professional by giving a how-to tutorial on a simple carpentry tricks that every homeowner should know. If the carpenter is ambitious they can also post how-to videos or videos showing projects they have completed.  The carpenter will also want to post any news that is happening with the company as well as any awards they have received.

So, what are the benefits of creating a blog?  The first benefit is it shows the consumer you care about your business.  Especially in trades like plumbing, carpentry, and electrical, consumers usually have trust issues and have had a bad experience in the past.  By posting to a blog a couple times a week it shows that you care about your business and the consumer, and the consumer will respond.  The blog will also allow you to communicate your personality through the internet.  By blogging it shows that the company is on the leading edge of technology, so the consumer would expect same of the business.  It also allows you to create a connection with the consumer even before talking on the phone or in person.  Finally, a blog will attract more visitors to your website, which will turn into more business.  If you post quality content on your blog other websites will start linking to your website.  This will increase your rankings in the search engines for more local keywords, which will get you more free leads over time.

Hopefully this post outlines the clear benefits of specialized services getting online and blogging.  If you are a small business owner interested in creating a blog on your website then please send me an email for more advice.