Great salespeople know that making a sale is about building a relationship through enjoyable (and educational) conversation. Great Inbound Marketers, like Lincoln Murphy of Sixteen Ventures and Larry Kim of WordStream know there is no difference in growth hacking. Visits, conversions, and customer success all come from relationships driven by enjoyable, educational conversations. Their conversations just come to life in the digital world. These are places like Inbound Marketing Communities, fascinating Twitter accounts like @, and most of all focused, relevant personal blogs like Seth Godin's Blog Typepad.
The best Growth Hackers know that if they focus on building relationships through their blog everything else will fall in place. (Click to Tweet!)
They know not all of their conversations have to be directly related to what they’re trying to sell. They will write and talk about anything to anyone as long as there is an engaged audience focused on what is important to their industry. Talented bloggers like Katie Burke will even teach you how to talk about anything to anyone through her blog. They’ll chat about their dogs, grandkids, and what they heard on the news that morning – but somehow, they always manage to circle back to their product or service. Most of all, in order to create relationships, great inbound marketers give back and invest in their online community, like Darmesh Shah and Hiten Shah show so eloquently below.
That is what your blog needs to do – build a relationship and give back to the digital community it lives in. With that in mind, let's look at the first fundamental business goal for a blog:
Increasing Views and Visits to Your Website
Your blog will naturally increase views and visits when you focus on what you know, become a thought leader in your industry, and nurture relationships through your blog. There are many examples of this to look at like Inbound Marketing expert Will Critchlow who has knocked it out of the park with informative, interesting inbound marketing pieces like Brandopolis, an in-depth investigation of the content strategy of top brands in the world. You just can't read this, and not want to be this guy's friend if you are interested in Inbound Marketing for your business.
The point of your blog is to create something irresistible that your reader just cannot stand to turn away from. When you accomplish this, you will find that your blogs get shared, interacted with, and followed. This will, without a doubt increase views and visits to your website.
- Specifics of your Industry - Talk about the specifics, the details that you find out only through experience. You have found an excellent blog topic when you run into something that makes you stop, and say "Man. I wish I would have known that..." Karol Pokojowczyk, the CEO and Founder of Colibri.io has done this well in the article Segmentation Tools and Live Examples. You immediately become important when you can give in-depth tips acquired through industry experience.
- Informed Industry Hypothesis - Leverage your company data to find similarities or conclusions in the analytics, like Rand Fishkin has done in his blog This Chart Does Not Show SEO is Dying. Get creative with the information and the conclusions you draw. However, keep in mind that you are putting yourself out there. A hypothesis is an educated guess, not a fact. You may have readers with different opinions. Be receptive to that. Remember, it is about building a relationship with others through your blog. Make sure they know that you care about their feedback and value their opinion. When you do this you will engage your readers, ignite spicy conversation, and drive traffic to your website.
- Interesting Tips - You will attract readers and develop relationships through your blog when you can discover information from your own analytics and present something new, like a special trick, tip, or tool to use. Jeff Bullas has done this perfectly in 3 Social Media Tools to Identify Influential Bloggers.
- Solve Your Readers Problem - Know your audience and who you are trying to build a relationship with. This will come from listening, engaging, and effort. It is easy to focus on solving your problem, which is often focused on growing your business, however you will find that your problem gets solved when you focus on solving other's problems first.
It's very important to focus the topics of your blog on a foundation of credible and relevant content geared towards building a relationship with your reader.
For every post about your company, write three focused on building a relationship with your reader. (Click to Tweet!)
Be personable and resourceful and you will find yourself engaged with your readers, relishing in newfound website visits, and enjoying the time you spend writing your blog.
Next Steps in Growth Hacking with Your Blog
Driving traffic to your website is the foundational building block to additional important inbound marketing growth goals for your business. Converting leads, nurturing your customers, and turning them into loyal promoters of your brand are also important to focus on. For help creating goals in all of these areas click below to download your free template to Plan Your S.M.A.R.T. Marketing Goals today.