When I talk about blogging, I’m not referring to telling stories about your kids or debriefing your day. I’ll leave that special attention-seeking ridiculousness to fame-seeking lifestyle bloggers. Some of you might be thinking: “Wait, there’s more to blogging?” Yes. Yes there is. 67% more leads for your business, specifically… but it’s important that you know: it’s not all rainbows and butterflies.

Hosted By
Monica Maye Pitts
Monica Maye Pitts Chief Creative Officer
Katie Guinn
Katie Guinn Designer & Content Developer

When I talk about blogging, I’m not referring to telling stories about your kids or debriefing your day. I’ll leave that special attention-seeking ridiculousness to fame-seeking lifestyle bloggers. Some of you might be thinking: “Wait, there’s more to blogging?” Yes, there is. 67% more leads for your business, specifically… but it's important that you know: it's not all rainbows and butterflies. How could an activity like blogging produce results like that? Let’s find out…

Transcription

Hi, and welcome.

 0:03  

Hello.

 0:04  

Whoa, Katie is like on point right now. 

 0:07  

I got water bottle number two.

 0:10  

Yes, she is ready to record the second podcast of Marketing with Purpose.

 0:16  

It's pretty big deal. 

 0:17  

I'm Monica Pitts and I'm with 

 0:19  

Katie Guinn. 

 0:19  

And today we are breaking down part of the big six. We talked about the big six in our last podcast, and those are the three big types of online marketing that people think of when we say online marketing. 

 0:33  

You said three Do you mean six? 

 0:35  

I mean six!

 0:36  

Okay, cause I was like, did we lose three big areas of online marketing in this little amount of time?

 0:41  

Oh my gosh, my math is so bad Katie, you don't even know.

 0:44  

I think it's just the human brain; too. That's okay. We've all got one. 

 0:47  

I have to break out my calculator to like count how many toes I have.

 0:53  

One, plus one. Haha!

 0:53  

Wow, that is really building confidence that I have any idea what I'm going to talk about in this podcast. Thanks for sticking with us!

 1:00  

Ya know, it's that online marketing is your strong suit, not counting toes. 

 1:04  

Yeah, yeah.

 1:05  

And that's okay. 

 1:06  

All right. 

 1:07  

We've already derailed.

 1:09  

The big six! We talked about the big six, we're talking about website, email marketing, paid online advertising, social media, blogging, and directory listings. And today we are going to focus on blogging.

 1:22  

It's my favorite kind.

 1:24  

The good, the okay, and the ugly. And we've been blogging a really long time. I think we started our blog back in 2006.

 1:32  

And we can touch on later on here. In this episode, we can touch on how I felt like I almost killed it, but I didn't, and we'll talk we'll talk about that you felt you felt

 1:39  

You felt like you -- no! You killed our blog?

 1:42  

No, because we'll talk about why you can really can't kill it. Once you start, you know, it's still there. 

 1:47  

Gosh, I didn't know you killed it!

 1:49  

I didn't kill it. I had a fear that I'd killed it. You remember? Remember when I started, and we were like, "do you remember that time when we blogged?" And then I started, and we never blogged because we just didn't have it worked out into our schedule or whatever happened. It felt like I killed it. But we're going to talk about why it wasn't dead. And we got back into it, it's fine. 

 2:06  

Alright! You know, Katie, I just thought of something pretty valuable. 

 2:10  

What's that Monica? 

 2:11  

Or would it be invaluable?

 2:13  

I would say both. Because they kind of mean the same one means valuable in the other one means, like, so valuable, I can't even put a value on it. So either one. Go on.

 2:21  

Thank God I have you. Now the real question is, how do you spell either one of them?

 2:25  

Do we have time for this?

 2:26  

No, we don't. What I was going to say is, we cover this topic in depth on our blog.

 2:34  

Mm hmm. Many different angles, from technical to philosophical

 2:38  

-- ideas and all of it -- like, imagine that: covering blogging on your blog, kind of novel. If you would like to physically read articles about blogging, you can head on over to mayecreate.com/blog, M-A-Y-E-C-R-E-A-T-E.com/blog.

 2:45  

Oh, we do have time for spelling.

 2:58  

Oh, I'm sorry, I didn't let you spell! I'm over here I'm just spelling my face off, 

 3:04  

My feelings aren't too hurt. 

 3:07  

Moving on... Each piece of content on your website is like a door to welcome visitors. Now, if your website only has five doors or five pages if it only has home about service team and contact, there's only five ways that you can optimize that website and welcome visitors in through those five doors. Now imagine that you have thousands of pages on your website. That means you have thousands of opportunities to welcome people into your website through all kinds of different topics that they might be interested in learning about. I like to use the example of a concert hall -- if your website only has five pages, it has five shows that it can offer, so it can only attract the music enthusiasts of those five different shows. Now, if you have thousands of pages, then you can attract the music enthusiasts of thousands of different shows all at the same time. 

 4:00  

I like that analogy

 4:00  

 now now if you're not into concert,

 4:03  

as soon as I said, I like that analogy... go on....

 4:05  

What's better: five pieces of candy or 500 pieces of candy? 

 4:09  

I like this analogy better.

 4:10  

I guess that depends if you're on a diet. 

 4:12  

I'm not, I'll take the candy! 

 4:14  

What about steaks? Five steaks or 500? 

 4:17  

Steaks? Oh God, do I get a T-shirt for eating 500 steaks? Either way, I'll take the 500 steaks.

 4:21  

Okay, so if you're a vegetarian, then what's better, like five friends or 500 friends?

 4:26  

I think whether you're vegetarian or not 500 friends is better than five.

 4:29  

Because you're not eating your friends... 

 4:31  

Ha ha, no, I'm certainly not.

 4:32  

That is yucky! 

 4:34  

Yeah. Don't do that, it's...illegal. 

 4:38  

Okay, so I rest my case. Blogging is a great way to get people to come in to your website.

 4:46  

Yep, more is better in this case.

 4:48  

Yes. Another great thing about blogging is it meets people where they are.?

 4:52  

What do you mean where they are?

 4:54  

Think about what we usually put on a service page on a website. Who's that content talking to? 

 5:00  

People who must have gone as far as the click on the page with the name of the service, so they've gotta be somewhere above the beginning of the funnel, if they're -- well, they're collecting data or collecting information -- they're in a place where they're gathering information.

 5:11  

Yeah. And they're probably evaluating you against your competitors. 

 5:14  

There you go. 

 5:15  

So your blog, depending upon what questions you're answering in it, and what you're talking about, can talk to people who are at the very beginning of the buying cycle, or even potentially before the buying cycle even starts, because they might not know that the thing that you do offers a solution to their problem. Then as the buying cycle continues, they're wondering things like, you know, what's the square footage of the backseat of a Toyota Highlander? Can you put a car seat back there? Yeah, think about how much car buying has changed in the last 10 years. The first car I bought in 1998, I went down to the car dealership. My dad introduced me to this guy named Joe and Joe said how much money you have to spend and I told them, and he showed me three cars that I could pick from and I bought a truck, because why wouldn't you buy a truck? 

 6:03  

They're the best. 

 6:04  

Really. And then I had to learn how to drive a five speed and it was a horrendous mess. And I definitely ran my truck into another car while going up a hill.

 6:15  

That sounds like a challenge.

 6:16  

I should have never taken that way to school. Anyway. Now when I go to buy a car, I knew what the trading value was on my current car, I knew what vehicles I could get in my price range and what dealerships offered them, I knew whether I should buy a new car or a used car based on the incentives that are currently offered. I literally knew the square footage of the backseat of the Toyota Highlander before I went in and test drove the car. That is a hugely different experience. It was like I walked in there and they said, "What color do you want to buy your car in today?" 

 6:55  

They just skipped over all the other stuff because you'd already taken care of most of it, because we're in a different time, people. 

 6:59  

We really are. And so all those articles that I read all along the way helped me fill in the blanks to make this buying decision. And that is how your blog can meet people where they are. And it's also how it can be like a salesperson anytime a day. They don't have to be there to answer the phone.

 7:06  

And at every stage. Any time of day, at any stage, you've got sales people out there as blog posts answering questions for people.

 7:22  

And in that same way, it's great for search engine optimization. People, as they're going through their buying journey, are searching for the questions that they have right now. And each page on your website is going to optimize for a set of terms that are related to one another. And depending upon how far-fetched those terms are from one another, Google does not associate them with the other. So for example, if I search for pizza, I get pizza restaurants. If I search for gluten free pizza, I get recipes, which is crazy, because how far away are those two search terms? Right? Now, if you have a blog, you can speak to gluten free pizza, right and if you have a website, you're speaking to pizza.

 8:03  

So clear!

 8:05  

Totally clear. And also your blog helps Google understand what you do. So when you blog over a specific subject matter all the time your blog is connected to your website, or, Heaven help you, it should be connected to your website. And if it's not connected to your website, right now, we really need to have a conversation about how to move it into your website, because you can't get any of this good mojo of it's like living out someplace else. So move it in, move it in, 

 8:32  

It's time to make the commitment. 

 8:33  

Yes. As you release content regularly, Google's algorithm recognizes the cadence, and in turn, it adjusts the frequency with which it goes out to your website and indexes your pages, and the more often it indexes your pages, the more pages you have to be found in the search engine. 

The more shows are showing that concert. 

Yes! And the more that you show concerts, the more that it knows that you show concerts

 8:57  

That makes so much sense.

 8:59  

That's why it's so difficult when some of our clients come to us and they add a Career section to their website. They're like, "Well, you know, we really, we want people to be able to find these job opportunities in Google when they search." And I'm like, "Well, I want people to be able to find your job opportunities in Google when you search, but I think you're going to need to put them on an actual job board to get that to happen." And they're like, "Why? we're putting it on our website." And I'm like, "Well, Google things that you're an engineering firm, it doesn't think that you're a job board. And so it's not scouring your website continually looking for job opportunities to serve to people, it goes to these reputable job boards first to publish that content." And it's the same thing with an event section, and that type of thing. 

 9:39  

It can be a little tricky. 

 9:41  

Another thing that's wonderful is that even if you stop blogging, the traffic does not stop.

 9:46  

Yeah. Remember what I said earlier about almost killing our blog and then finding out that I didn't because you guys had blogged for so many years before I started? And that carried us through the really dark depression of of me having a hard time blogging on our website? 

 9:57  

We have no excuses. 

 9:59  

No,

 9:59  

No. Yeah, we have our priorities straight 

 10:02  

We got it figured out, now!

 10:03  

We are blogging, friends!

 10:05  

Check our frequency now over the last year, you'll be impressed. 

 10:08  

We do it. I know. I'm going to sound like a complete fruitcake right now. I have went out and tracked in spreadsheets.

 10:17  

Sounds like you.

 10:17  

Yeah, it does. I went out to multiple websites of our clients who blog regularly, who blogged and stopped, and who do no blogging. And I have to say that the people who release content regularly always have an upward trend of traffic. The people who released regularly and then stopped plateaued, and after a really long period of time, it did start to trickle back down, but not that fast. Not like not the same thing as if I were running ads, and then I turned them off. Like that's immediate.

 10:53  

That's like cutting off your traffic immediately. 

 10:55  

I mean, that's pretty cool. 

 10:56  

Yeah, that is really cool. 

 10:57  

You earn traffic that is related to the thing that you do, and you don't have to pay for it month over month. 

 11:03  

With money. Not with money, but we'll get there.

 11:06  

Yeah, and it compounds, right? Like it has a multiplier effect and getting more and more. 

 11:09  

I think the current statistic is one in every 11 blog posts, somewhere around there, is a compounding blog post. So for every 10 to 12 blog posts you're writing, you could have one that's continually building traffic, even if the other ones are just not that great. 

 11:21  

For example, we have a client who -- they wrote a blog post over the cost of LASIK, because their LASIK surgeon, and that blog post brings in like 1500 visitors to their website a month. 

 11:34  

That's pretty good. 

 11:35  

Which is awesome. And they published that blog post in like 2014. And then they didn't publish anything else.

 11:44  

Until when, Monica?

 11:45  

Yo, that one worked. Hey, if all you had to do is post one blog post --

 11:50  

Right, that was a pretty good one.

 11:52  

We pay Google thousands of dollars to bring that many people to their website through AdWords every month and that one blog post --

 11:59  

-- just keeps Bringing 'em in. 

 12:00  

Boom.

 12:01  

Yep, I mean, it's a big subject, a lot of people are looking for it, but it's a good point.

 12:06  

Now, transitioning into the Okays of blogging, because right now it probably sounds like everything that you ever needed to do. It is so amazing. Like, you should start blogging. Right. Now.

 12:17  

So the answer to all of your online marketing woes is blogging. That's what it feels like.

 12:21  

How would we even have any other types of online marketing that we need to talk about? Because blogging is great. 

 12:26  

You're done. 

 12:27  

WOO!

 12:27  

That's not true.

 12:29  

Okay, now, so here's the challenge. While blogging does have a multiplier effect, it takes time, you're not just going to publish a blog posts and then suddenly have 1500 people a month going to it or 20,000 people a month going to it. That's just, that is not how it works. It is a slow and steady build.

 12:45  

A marathon.

 12:46  

Yeah, exactly. It's a marathon activity, you have to continually be posting so that you can reap the benefits of blogging. So for example, our client that, you know, posted once in 2014, and then came back and started posting again a few months ago, I just looked over their traffic. And the first month, their blog posts brought in like, you know, 30 visitors. And the next month, we had more blog posts out there, but they brought in like 50 visitors. And and you know, over the past three months, they brought in like over 300 visitors, which is awesome, because that will continue to go up every single month, and then they don't have to pay for that traffic. Right now, we've been running ads on Google to catch people in the early buying phases of LASIK asking questions like, "Does it hurt?"

 13:35  

"How long does it take to recover?"

 13:37  

Yeah, you know, and "Who can get it?" Well, those things can easily be answered in a blog post. And a savvy web visitor probably would not click on the ad anyway. So in this way, they can get all that traffic, but it takes time. Like I said, it's a slow and steady build. So it's not like just turning on an ad and suddenly having hundreds of people at your website. It takes time 

 13:59  

Like anything worthwhile, as they say.

 14:01  

I suggest starting with a minimum of four blog posts a month. People will be like, "Well, you know, Monica, we don't have a lot of time. I think it would be better than doing nothing if we just did one blog post a month." And I'm just kind of want to be like, "All right, if you're only going to do one blog post a month, then let's just pay money and run ads"

 14:21  

Right? Because, what, it would take how long to get a significant return on one a month?

 14:26  

Right, you said one out of every 12 blog posts have a possibility of like --

 14:29  

Right, so your one blog post for the -- you get one a year!

 14:32  

Yeah, maybe! You might

 14:34  

-- compounding. Gotcha. That's a good way to look at it. 

 14:36  

That's painful. 

 14:37  

Yeah, a painful way to look at it. So avoid that part.

 14:41  

So I feel like if you can release four blog posts a month, you are getting ahead of the curve. Now if you go out and you visit and look at all the awesome metrics out at HubSpot, they say that the sweet spot is around 13 a month, and there was a year that MayeCreate released 13 blog posts a month. It was crazy. We got so much more traffic, you know? 

 15:05  

Mm hmm. Mm hmm.

 15:06  

It really did.

 15:07  

I mean, we're getting into I think the between six and nine a month now and even then it's more than it was before.

 15:13  

Yeah, but well it just keeps compounding and then we were like this is not sustainable. But we'll built up a great base, and some of those blog posts, Email Newsletter Do's and Don'ts --

 15:23  

Man... or the Coca Cola... the Three Things to Learn from the Coca Cola Marketing Campaign. 

 15:29  

Yes! 

 15:30  

Just, consistently, like, a top...

 15:32  

Great Construction Websites. These things like bring in hundreds of visitors to our website every single month, sometimes thousands, it, you know, depends on which blog post it is.

 15:41  

But those took time.

 15:42  

Yeah, it took time. And so here's the deal --

 15:45  

It didn't happen overnight.

 15:45  

While blogging is incredibly awesome. Remember, I just told you that you have to probably do at least four blog posts a month, the ugly of blogging is that it is a huge time suck depending on how -- I mean, I guess if you're somebody who is a great writer and can roll this stuff out fast, then, yeah.

 15:46  

I mean, that's -- you could always say there's a super efficient way to do it.

 16:09  

No, there's totally more efficient ways to do it. 

 16:11  

But it still takes time. 

 16:13  

Maybe we should tell them some more efficient ways to do it.

 16:16  

Oh, you mean like maybe like voice recognition software or something like that? Are we talking about hiring more people to do it? There's a number of ways, but we will talk about it. 

 16:25  

Yeah. So first, let's finish with the unicorns and rainbows and like the banishing and the sadness. Okay. So I find at my office, it takes our people someplace between two and six hours to write a blog post. It depends on how long it is and how comfortable they are with the subject matter. Let's just say like, let's meet in the middle and let's say it's four hours on average. And that's with Katie also putting them into the web. 

 16:50  

That includes publishing.

 16:51  

Yeah, and and we write two social media posts from them. So I mean, we're doing a little bit more than just writing a blog post. We have to find images and --

 17:00  

Yeah, there's little pieces, it all adds up.

 17:02  

Alright. So if we were going to post four blogs a month, and it was going to take us four hours each to do them, that would be 16 hours a month that we need to invest. So you need to ask yourself, like, do you have 16 hours a month to invest in blogging? 

 17:18  

You or your team. 

 17:19  

Yes

 17:19  

We don't mean to freak you out, it doesn't have to be you all by yourself.

 17:22  

You're right. It doesn't have to be you all by yourself.

 17:24  

No, but, in terms of... haha, it's time.

 17:27  

And I don't want to freak you out and make you like, never blog. I just like to walk into a situation with  a real --

 17:34  

Expectation of for you're doing? Yeah.

 17:37  

To understand what it is... Alright. So we said that there are ways at MayeCreate that we streamline blogging. Let's talk about some of those ways.

 17:44  

Okay. Well, I know that we've kind of, I think it started with kind of segmenting, whose strengths were where, and then and once you started dictating blog posts, I mean. And again, we talked a little bit about top of two to six hours proposed. So like, if Monica were to want to cover a topic that she's extremely familiar with, she would just dictate something -- in what, 15 to 45 minutes, just depending on what it is, how long you want to go with it, and then you find someone who's got the open time to edit it, who speaks Monica-ese and can edit it, you know. And then once you've got it edited, it's, I mean, you know, compared to writing it from research and scratch -- it's a two-hour process to get it ready for publishing versus eight. 

 18:27  

Yeah.

 18:27  

You know, depending, maybe eight includes publishing, but you know,

 18:30  

I mean, we started out where, first off, we have a blog calendar, we know what's being published when, we think of all the subjects ahead of time. When clients ask questions, especially through our sales process, and, and in account service, we write those down, because those are the questions that people are asking when they're searching online, too. So starting with a plan is important because when you sit down the blog, it's hard to think of what you want to write about. It's easier to go to a list and just pick one of these topics that you can just start rambling about.

 19:02  

Agreed.

 19:03  

Okay, maybe not rambling, but in an organized way. 

 19:05  

Depending on the topic, maybe? 

 19:06  

Yes.

 19:07  

We do like the occasional rant blog posts - those are so fun.

 19:10  

We use Google Sheets to manage our content calendar. And then we use a project management system called Active Collab to pass the information back and forth to keep ourselves organized. So really, if we didn't already have Active Collab, I think we could easily manage it through my Google Sheets, and it would be okay. My personal process? Well, what we used to do is Katie would sit down with me, and she would interview me and she would take notes, and then she would try to write in my voice, which was a lot harder than it sounds. When she first came to us. I mean, you had all kinds of experience with email marketing, but you didn't have all kinds of experience with web design. And we spend so much time blogging about web design that it was a lot of education, back and forth. Then we came -- literally I had this moment and I'm like, "What? I don't have to type it, I can say it and something else will type it for me!" 

 19:29  

Modern age.

 20:07  

It's crazy!

 20:08  

Something besides Google Voice. 

 20:10  

Oh my goodness, yes. So I did a bunch of searching and I found this really neat dictation software you can use it on your phone, you can use it online -- it's in the cloud. You can share the document with other people. You can export it both the audio and the text. It's called Otter. You can go to otter.ai.

 20:35  

Wow, I'm looking at you and you got that from memory. 

 20:38  

Yeah. 

 20:38  

Takes me forever to remember how to get there.

 20:40  

Cause I've typed it in so many times.

And it is an artificial intelligence software, so it does a pretty darn good job of picking up the things that I say. So here's what I do: I think through my topic, I write an outline. Then using the dictation software, I write from my outline or I answer the questions in my outline. If it's easier for you to answer questions, then write the entire outline in questions and answer them using the dictation software. Usually, then I take that dictation and I edit it back, because I've probably rambled and ranted and maybe made a mess out of half of it. So I literally pull it back to the pieces that I like, I add in the other pieces I need to add back in, and I dictate it again. And from there, I usually have a pretty workable script that I hand over to Katie, and then she can edit it for me or another member of my team might do it, too.

 20:41  

Yeah, it's a weird one. Right.

Mm, yep. And then I think it's usually 15 minutes of editing. It's great on a really good day.

 21:35  

Yes. So it's little things like finding apps that will help you do this work getting organized beforehand, blocking off time in your calendar and then using resources like your team and their strengths -- like, one of my non strengths is spelling.

 21:54  

Yeah.

 21:56  

I will spell the same word four different ways.

 22:00  

In the same document. 

 22:02  

Yes. While Katie is our resident spelling bee champ.

 22:06  

I mean, first grade, but I'll take it, it carries through for a lifetime for me.

 22:10  

Did you only have to compete against first graders? Or did --

 22:12  

It was just first grade. But I beat my twin sister, and that was not easy, cause ya know, we're pretty similar intellectually, so...

 22:20  

You're good!

 22:21  

I nailed it! I have a trophy to prove it. 

 22:23  

Ladies and gentlemen, she has a trophy. She can spell.

 22:26  

It's no big deal, but it's kind of a big deal. So yeah, use those assets.

 22:29  

All right. So hopefully today, you can better grasp the idea of why you might blog and have a realistic expectation of what to expect if you just jump on into it, how much time... And then also think through your process, and maybe our process can help you develop one that will become effective and efficient for you to manage and will that that blog content.

 22:52  

Yeah, there's definitely a post about that, how we publish things even to streamline that piece of it. So there's stuff out there.

 22:58  

So in our next couple podcasts, we're going to continue to break down the individual types of online marketing. We might throw in, you know, a website or or two. 

 23:08  

Yeah, we got to tie some of those back into the website. I mean, clearly your blog should live on your website and it'll be the home for your blog. But I mean, we'll definitely get into some other great things about what taking care of your website will do for your online marketing. 

 23:19  

If you love this subject matter and want to read more about it, you can hop on over to our blog, mayecreate.com/blog. Thank you so much. I'm Monica Pitts. 

 23:30  

I'm Katie Guinn .

 23:31  

Go forth and market with purpose.

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