How to Actually Get a Link from a Blogger

earn links from bloggers

If you’ve ever been tasked with building links for a website, you know it’s earn links from bloggersone of the hardest parts of SEO. Most SEO specialists spend a lot of time sending outreach emails to bloggers asking for a link, and most of those emails go unanswered. You can easily send over 100 emails without earning one link—or, in a campaign considered successful, get one or two for all that work.

Prospect.io shared the numbers of a couple of their campaigns. Their less successful campaign earned them one link per 60 sites they reached out to, and even their more successful one only netted them 13 links per 120 sites. Total that’s over 150 people that didn’t respond—or at least, didn’t respond positively.

link building results

So why don’t most link building campaigns work?

As a blogger that receives frequent link building emails, I can provide an explanation of the main reasons most link building emails I get don’t work, as well as a description of the rare times link building outreach did get results.

Link Building Pitches That Won’t Work

The most common type of link building email I get that never yields a positive response looks something like this:

Dear Kristen (or worse, Dear Austin-copywriter.com),

I came across your piece: <link to something I’ve written>. What a useful resource!

I thought you might like to know, we recently published a piece on <related topic> which provides a ton of information that would be valuable to your readers.

Maybe you can add our link to your great piece? <their link>

It’s a polite enough email and one I can tell is applying tips that are suggested in articles around the web. It tries to demonstrate that they did some research on me to make sure the email is relevant (although actual emails sometimes undercut that point by doing this part badly). It includes flattery. And it attempts to make a case that what they’re suggesting will be useful to my audience.

But none of that really matters for some key reasons. Here’s why this doesn’t work.

It’s asking me to do more work.

Going back and adding a link to a piece that’s already published takes time out of my busy day. And in order to make sure the link is added in a way that’s natural and relevant, I’d generally have to re-write some part of the piece to make it work.

The likelihood that putting that work in would actually result in a blog post that’s better for my audience or produces better results for me is low. In most cases, it’s frankly nonexistent. The only person that work would benefit is the person sending the email—a total stranger to me.

For pieces I wrote for clients, it’s even asking me to ask my client to do more work.

Many of these emails aren’t asking me to add links to pieces on my own blog, they’re wanting me to update blog posts I wrote for clients. When I submit a piece I wrote to a client, there’s a whole level of work in between my submission and the post going up on their site. Someone does editing work, loads it to the blog, adds images, and schedules it to be published.

Making an update to that piece isn’t as simple as me going in and changing it. At that point someone else working for that client who has the right access would have to do that work. So not only would I be doing work to figure out how to update the piece so the link would fit naturally, I’d be asking my client to do extra work to go in and make changes to the live post.

That would be an awkward ask for me at best, and something that’s just not really appropriate to ask of a client when there’s no benefit to them or me.

A decent portion of the time, the email is sloppy or the link isn’t relevant.

Even if you do everything right in a link building pitch like this, you won’t get that link because of the two points above. But the majority of these emails I get don’t do everything right.

In fact, the most common page I get people asking me to add a link to is this one:

http://austin-copywriter.com/writing-samples/

If you took two seconds to read that URL and figure out why that page is not a logical target for someone else’s link building campaign, then you just did more work than most of the people sending me these emails. You don’t even have to click through—the reason’s right there in the URL that these people include in their very email.

Sometimes the pages they ask me to add links to are tag or category pages on the blog—not quite as egregious as the Writing Samples page, but still not a piece of content I could even add your link to if I wanted to.

Sometimes the subject line of the email doesn’t match the contents, an obvious copy-and-paste error. Or sometimes they get my name wrong or say things that make it clear they don’t understand I’m a freelance writer (something that’s extremely obvious in the first few seconds you spend on my site).

In short, the attempts to show they did their research and made sure the email was relevant fail, in obvious and ridiculous ways.

Link Building Pitches that Do Work

In the eight years I’ve been blogging around the web, I’ve gotten just a couple of link building pitches that actually do lead to the source earning new links.

Here’s what they did differently.

They made my life easier.

That’s it. That’s the big secret.

Instead of asking me to do more work. A good link building email finds a way to make me do less.

Specifically, these pitches:

  •      Suggested topic ideas that hadn’t been written about yet.

For many of my clients, part of my job is coming up with blog topics. I have to do a certain amount of research and brainstorming on a regular basis, which takes work and time. If you take the time to look at the blog, find a gap in the current coverage (that in some way relates to your business or content), and send a suggestion, you’re helping me out.

If you include a few links in your email to resources you’ve created that will jump start my research process on the subject, even better! And when I start writing, I’ll include a link back to those helpful resources, both as a thanks for the help, and because they genuinely provide useful, relevant information to my audience.

  •      Made sure the topics they provided were relevant to my audience.

I mentioned how the email templates that don’t work often pay lip service to thinking about my audience, but you have to go beyond lip service here. Make sure you figure out who a particular blog is targeting and suggest topics that will matter to them.

If you’re link building for a security company and contact me about a piece for a client’s blog that has an audience of seniors, your pitch should have a senior-specific angle. Don’t suggest a post on “How to Make Your Home More Secure,” go for something like “How Seniors Living Alone Can Stay Safe.”

And often getting more specific is better, since broad topics have usually already been done. Think about how you can use your expertise (or your client’s expertise) to help suggest a unique angle.

  •      Tied the pitch into to a trending topic or date.

Many of my clients love it when a piece can be tied back to a specific holiday or trending topic coming up—even the kind of goofy ones, like National Ice Cream Day (July 21, if you’re curious). Look for something that makes your pitch more timely. HubSpot has a handy calendar with all the unofficial holidays you can use in your pitches.

Keep in mind here though that some businesses plan their schedules out far in advance. Pitching a topic relevant to National Popcorn Lover’s Day (March 14) in late February may work out for you, but often looking ahead a couple of months will work better.

Start Actually Earning Links

Does this sound like more work than copy-and-pasting the same template 100 times? You betcha.

Will it get you more than one link per every 100 or more emails? Almost certainly, if you do it well.

Take time to learn who you’re contacting, who their audience is, and what the blog regularly covers. Then suggest a new post that you can be a valuable resource to help them write. That’s much more likely to earn you a link than asking them to update an old post they’ve already published.

5 Data-Backed Steps to Better Content Marketing Results

No matter how long you’ve been doing content marketing, you’ve got more to learn. We all do. And not just because there’s always room for growth, but also because the industry keeps changing.

Every year brings new trends, technologies, and tips. It’s hard to keep up.

But every year also brings us the original research from MarketingProfs and the Content Marketing Institute that takes the industry’s pulse and packages it for us in a collection of useful insights.

While the full report is 44 pages, there are five main takeaways I think every business doing content marketing can benefit from.

  1. Fully commit.

Content marketing isn’t something you can dip your toe in and hope for the best. It requires a significant investment in time, money, and energy. And the research shows that commitment is key to content marketing success.

Of the businesses that said their content marketing was successful 93% say their company is at least very committed to content marketing, and 92% say there’s buy-in at the highest level of the company.

content marketing commitment

A good content marketing strategy includes devoting time to:

  • Understanding your audience
  • Developing a strong strategy
  • Creating high-quality content
  • Actively promoting your content
  • Tracking how it performs

It also involves a financial investment in talent and technology. All of it adds up. If your company’s lukewarm about the idea of doing all that and only does a little, they’re unlikely to see much of a result.

But if you do fully commit, you’ll gain more customers and build better relationships with them. 76% of successful content marketers say it helps them nurture leads. 73% say content marketing inspires more customer loyalty, and a full 96% say their audiences view them as a trusted resource.

  1. Document your content strategy.

This insight isn’t new to this year’s research. Every year, the research finds that a content strategy is one of the main keys to content marketing success. It helps you organize your efforts and make sure you’re putting your time and budget toward the content marketing tasks most likely to pay off.

content marketing data

This year’s study found a couple of notable additional benefits. 81% of respondents said that having a documented strategy aligned their team around common goals. And 81% said it makes it easy to decide the types of content to develop.

documented content strategy

With so many different channels, tactics, and content formats to consider, sitting down with your team to develop clear content strategy can help you all get on the same page and make sure your efforts all support each other. And writing it all down gives you something to refer back to throughout the year to stay on track.

  1. Talk to your customers.

Content marketers devote a lot of time and energy to trying to get inside the heads of our target audience. The only way to create content that will connect with the people we want to reach is to make sure we’re basing it on what they care about. That’s content marketing 101.

Which is why it’s a little surprising that only 42% of content marketers are taking time to actually talk to customers to understand their needs. That’s a huge missed opportunity!

content marketing data

This was also one of Margaret Magnarelli’s top tips in her talk at Content Marketing World on being an empathetic communicator. Before you can empathize with your audience, you have to listen to what they have to say.  And really listen. Don’t interrupt or try to steer the conversation. Sit with them and listen to their complaints, their pain points, their experiences, and the way they say it all.

Instead (or in addition to) investing in social listening or audience research tools, invite a few of your customers in for a conversation and spend time listening.

Then revisit your content strategy and look for ways to incorporate what you learned. Rework your personas based on the new information. And get your insights in front of everyone on your team so they can keep the audience’s actual concerns top of mind when creating content moving forward.

  1. Start using paid distribution for your content.

You may already use paid advertising channels to promote your products or services, but fewer businesses think to spend money promoting their content in the same way.

Every year, as more businesses get in the content marketing game, it gets harder to get your audience to notice your content to begin with, much less engage with it. Creating great content doesn’t accomplish much unless people actually see it.

For that, paid distribution methods have become an important part of the content marketing equation. 71% of the most successful content marketers use paid distribution methods to get their content to new audiences.

content marketing paid distribution

Paid distribution includes:

If you’re disappointed with how few people are finding the content you work so hard on, add paid distribution to your content marketing budget.

  1. Have a customer content marketing plan.

Marketers tend to think of their job as bringing in and nurturing leads. Once a lead converts into a customer, they can fall off our radar. But content marketing is a rich opportunity for strengthening the relationship you have with your current customers—which can really pay off. Increasing customer retention rates can increase profits by anywhere from 25-95%.

High-performing content marketers focus on their customers as well as leads. 73% say they use their content marketing to successfully build loyalty with their customers. But as of now, that’s only true of the best content marketing programs. Out of the full number of marketers surveyed, the total is only 54%.

That means for many people reading this, customer content marketing is currently a missed opportunity. If you develop a content marketing plan now that helps you nurture your relationships with customers, you can start to see some of the improved results that top content marketers already enjoy.

 

The data will only help you if you put it to use. Let the insights from the research guide you toward a better (documented) strategy that enables you to bridge the gap between your business and the content marketers at the top.

 

 

5 Actionable Tips from Content Marketing World Speakers to Improve Your Marketing Now

austin copywriter content marketing world

Everyone walks away from Content Marketing World inspired. Many of the talks provide fascinating insights and share good ideas. But in my opinion, the real holy grail of a good conference talk is a specific, actionable step I walk out of the room knowing I can take when I get home.

This year I was lucky to sit in on a few sessions that provided such gems. Here are a few great actionable tips that are now on my to do list and you might want to put on yours as well.

  1. Write down your goals (and read them every day).

The first keynote talk of the conference came from Joe Pulizzi, the Founder of the Content Marketing Institute, and it covered a subject he’s written about before and clearly believes strongly about: writing down your goals.

He provided examples from his own life of how meaningful it is to set clear goals and remind yourself every day what they are so you hold yourself to them. He recommended the goals you write down be ambitious, tied to specific dates, and serve others in some way as well as yourself.

And he named five categories that he urged attendees to write goals for:

  • Career/wealth
  • Family
  • Spiritual
  • Mental
  • Giving

I’m still working out exactly what my goals in each category will be, but I plan to put them at the top of the to-do list document I consult each day so I have a solid reminder of where I want to be and keep working to get there.

  1. Create (and use) your mission statement.

Does your company have a content mission statement? It should. If that sounds intimidating though, don’t worry. Andy Crestodina makes it easy with a simple template:

Our company is where [audience X] finds [content Y] for [benefit Z].

content marketing mission statement

Plug in the relevant info for your company and you’ve got a line you can do a lot with. Andy recommends sharing it far and wide. Make it the tagline for your blog or even your whole website. Put it next to your email signup form. Add it to your social media profile. Tack it onto your email signature.

Your mission statement tells people why they should care about your brand’s content. It’s a good, concise way to pitch everyone that encounters your brand on why they should follow you.

  1. Create a spreadsheet of microcontent.

Lee Odden gave a talk on influencer marketing which included this useful tip. Every interview you do with an influencer is full of quotes and insights. Why just use a quote from it once and be done? Instead, he suggested organizing all the valuable nuggets you get from your interactions with influencers over time into a spreadsheet.

In the spreadsheet, fill in each influencer’s details (name, company, position, link) so it’s easier to access those when you quote them. Categorize the different quotes based on what they’re about so you can more easily identify relevant ones to use as you create new content. And even if you don’t find the right quote for the new content you’re creating, your spreadsheet can help you quickly identify a good influencer to get in touch with to provide one.

This is useful for making your influencer marketing go further, but you can employ the same tactic for other types of microcontent as well. Add all the valuable statistics you find you may want to reference again to your spreadsheet (this is something I could definitely use). Pull in good examples of the types of tactics you write about and good social media status updates you may want to embed in future content. By having all this information well organized in one place, you can make your future content creation efforts more efficient while still always adding value.

  1. Use details to immerse readers in your content. Content Marketing World - Michelle Lazette

Michelle Park Lazette’s talk on writing more like a journalist included a number of good suggestions to bring better storytelling to your content writing process. A few of them related to this idea that getting detailed and specific in how you describe what you’re talking about can bring it more to life for your readers.

She suggested paying attention to the sensory details of any situation you’re in – adding in a mention of smells, weather conditions, colors, or the looks on people’s faces makes the reader feel more like they’re there.

She also recommended, as often as possible, replacing adjectives with numbers. Saying a company has been doing business for a long time means less than saying they’ve been at it for 37 years. Getting specific adds believability to what you’re saying and makes it more real for the reader.

  1. Do a validation audit of your content.Content Marketing World - Margaret Magnerelli

Margaret Magnarelli spoke on a topic I care a lot about in life as well as content: empathy. She shared the three phases that all empathic communication, professional and personal alike, must have:

  • Listen – Before you can do anything else, you have to actually hear what your friend or customer is saying. Listen to their complaints and pain points without inserting yourself into the story or trying to jump too quickly to solving the problem.
  • Validate – This is the step people most often leave off. After you’ve heard the person out, let them know you’ve listened and understood what they’re saying by repeating back to them what they’ve said. This shows them you were paying attention and get it. It’s an important step to them feeling like the communication is successful.
  • Suggest solutions – Only after the first two steps is it time to provide suggestions for ways to solve their problem.

You may already do a good job of addressing the problem and solution in your content, but there’s a good chance you’re skipping the validation step. Margaret recommends doing a validation audit of your content.

Go back through everything you’ve written to look for pieces missing the validation step and add it in. Doing this exercise will also help you get better at recognizing where and how to include validation in future content pieces moving forward.

 

My brain is spinning with all the ideas from the conference I need to now organize and put to use. Whether you made it to Cleveland last week or not, hopefully these actionable tips can help you create a plan to get something specific and useful out of Content Marketing World this year.

How to Make the Content Writing Process Easier (And Get Better Results)

Consistently creating high-quality content is hard. Whether you’re a professional content writer or someone

easier content writing

Image via picjumbo

without a writing background trying to figure out this whole content marketing thing ­– creating content requires a lot of work, and doing it well is an ongoing struggle.

I can’t provide any shortcuts to make content writing quick and easy, while still maintaining the level of quality good content marketing requires. But I can provide a few tried and tested tips that make the writing process easier, while ensuring the end results are still well worth it.

5 Tips for Easier Content Writing

  1. Devote time to research.

As a reminder: I didn’t promise that these tips would make the work faster, just easier and better. Committing some real time to doing solid research before you start writing will help with both those things.

This is the step most likely to get lost in the shuffle when you rush your writing. You may think you can get by just getting words onto the page so it’s done. The problem is it’s much harder to write about something you don’t understand than it is to write on a topic you know well. Trying to pull information out of your brain that’s not there is difficult!

And obviously, doing your research upfront means your piece will be more accurate and include better information than if you’re essentially making guesses or making things up.

Unless you’re already an expert on the topic you’re writing about (and a lot of the time, even then), you have to make sure you do your research. Give yourself time to learn your topic well before you dive into writing.

  1. Create an outline.

When I was in school, I used to rebel against this idea. Sure, every teacher recommends it, but I knew what I was doing. Why spend time on organization when I could skip that step and just get to the writing?

Soon after I started writing professionally, I realized how silly my earlier thinking had been. No matter how good of a writer you are, creating outlines can make you better, make your work process more efficient, and make writing easier.

This is especially true when you’re writing for the web. Between SEO and the way people read online (specifically, a lot of skimming), using headings and lists to organize your writing is important.

When you create an outline in advance you:

  • Determine the post will have a structure that makes it easy to read.
  • Can create advance opportunities for optimizing and including headings and sections that aid in SEO.
  • Give yourself a head start on the post that makes the actual writing part easier.

You know the writer’s cliché of staring at a blank word document? Filling that blank document in with an outline is easier than starting with the writing itself. And once you do start writing, the document won’t be blank anymore and you’ll have your initial notes and structure to guide you as go.

  1. Find your writing time of day.

Mine is usually morning and early afternoon, but yours may be something completely different. Writing requires a lot of mental energy. It will be much harder to do well if you try to do it at a time of day when your brain doesn’t want to do that work.

Everyone has times of day when they have more energy and will be more productive. Start paying attention to how productive you are in the morning versus in the afternoon versus in the evening. Once you identify the time of day when writing’s easiest, start to plan your schedule around it. You’ll both be more productive and do better work.

  1. Block distractions (but do take planned breaks).

The internet is very distracting. Writing requires focus, but it’s hard to keep that focus when you know Facebook or Buzzfeed (or whatever your go-to time waster is) is just a click away.

Here’s the thing: your brain does need breaks. You don’t have to swear off every distracting website on the web during your working hours, and doing so might actually be to your detriment. But if you let your brain wander off course every few minutes (or worse, seconds), then you’ll have a harder time getting your writing done and the distraction will show in a more scattered and unclear end result.

So decide in advance that you’re allowed breaks and plan out when you’ll take them. You can use something like the Pomodoro Method to time them out in set intervals or you can assign yourself a certain number of words or sections before your next break is allowed.

And if you have trouble keeping your focus in between the planned breaks, you can block all the distracting websites with a tool like Focus. It’s ok to need a little outside help to control your worst impulses – certainly better than giving into them and facing a harder, slower writing process because of it.

  1. Don’t aim for perfection.

You should absolutely hold yourself to a standard of quality, but if you always aim for perfection in your writing, you’ll overthink the writing process and make things a lot harder on yourself. At some point, your writing has to be done so you can move onto the next thing. And trust me that you’re thinking a lot more about the words you choose than your readers are – most of them are skimming, remember?

Do commit to writing well. Make sure:

  • The information you include is accurate
  • Your word choices aren’t awkward
  • Your sentences make sense and read well.
  • You correct any typos or errors during the proofreading process (and don’t skip the proofreading process!)
  • And that your content is well designed to achieve its goals – whether that means educating readers, increasing brand awareness, or including CTAs to drive a specific action.

If your writing makes sense, provides valuable information, and is easy to read, then you’re probably good! Don’t drag down your process by overanalyzing every word choice to make it perfect.

At the end of the day, writing is subjective anyway and you’ll never make everyone happy. What’s most important is making sure your content writing is useful enough to help your readers and achieve its goal.

 

If you’re worried your staff is getting burned out trying to keep up with all the writing that good content marketing requires, I may be able to help. Get in touch to see if we might be a good fit.

7 Good Business Blogging Examples

Blogging has become one of the most valuable marketing tools that businesses have for improving SEO, building an email list, and connecting more directly with customers and leads. When done well, blogging can do a lot of good for your business.

But blogging isn’t easy to do well. It requires a lot of ongoing work to produce regular content, and making sure the content you publish is useful and entertaining to your audience is a constant challenge on top of that.

If your company struggles with business blogging and could use some inspiration, I’ve brought together a few good examples of businesses* that consistently produce solid blog content for their audiences.

1.    Care/of

business blogging example care/of

Care/of is a vitamin subscription service that customizes the vitamins they send to each customer based on their particular lifestyle and needs. The company’s blog includes articles that directly discuss the benefits of the supplements they sell, summarizing and referencing research studies that back up their claims. But they also publish posts less directly related to their products that address health-related topics that their target audience is likely to care about.

Some good posts that demonstrate this are:

  • Spice of Life: A Closer Look at the Benefits of All-Powerful Turmeric

    Turmeric is one of the supplements they sell, so this post is directly touting the benefits of a product, but the post manages not to feel overly promotional. It gets into the history of how turmeric has been used as both as a spice and a medicinal aid and references a number of research studies that have found evidence of its health benefits.

  • 5 Ways to De-Stress Over the Holidays

    During the holiday season, people get overwhelmed and stress becomes a big part of many people’s lives. This post covers a number of strategies that can help people reduce stress, including (but not limited to) taking some of the supplements the company provides. It’s another good example of a post that provides value first, but mentions their products where it’s relevant.

  • 7 Healthy Living Blogs You Need to Follow Now

    I call this a sharing-the-love post. It can feel unnatural to write a blog post that sends your readers to other blogs similar to yours, but people have room in their lives for more than one blog about a topic!

    By highlighting other blogs that cover health-related topics (most of them more about recipes or exercise rather than supplements, so not direct competitors to Care/of), this post provides something valuable to readers while also potentially starting positive relationships with influencers in the space.

2.    Media Bistro

business blogging example mediabistro Media Bistro helps play matchmaker for hiring managers in the media industry and the talented professionals they hire. Since the company has two equally important audiences, they produce two blogs: one for employers and one that offers career advice to media professionals.

The blog for employers is a good mix of posts that cover news relevant to hiring managers, answers to questions their readers are likely to have and general advice. Some recent examples worth checking out include:

  • Congress Weighs Massive Changes to 401(k) Contributions

    Employee benefits are something every hiring manager has on their minds, the benefits they offer and how competitive they are can make a big difference in the caliber of talent they attract. So when the government considers legislative changes that could affect the value of a common employee benefit like the 401(k), it’s something the Media Bistro audience needs to hear about. This post explains the proposed changes and what it would mean for the blog’s readers

  • Can You Hire or Fire Based on Political Beliefs?

    In the divisive atmosphere that’s followed the last presidential election, this is a question probably on the mind of more than a few hiring managers. This blog post provides both the technical answer (legally, yes, at least in most states), while also getting into the bigger question of whether or not you should factor politics into your personnel decisions.

    The career advice blog regularly publishes roundups of top jobs available in different cities – something that’s definitely valuable to readers looking for a job – along with posts that offer general career advice and answers to common questions. A few good examples to look at are:

  • 6 Ways to Track Down a Magazine Editor

    For many professional writers, figuring out the right person to pitch is a big part of the job. This post provides specific steps writers can take to discover the editors at publications they want to pitch. It’s a useful piece that solves a common problem readers have.

  • How to Land Higher Paying Assignments

    No matter the industry, any blog about careers should address the issue of money. It’s one of the biggest topics readers are thinking about. Media Bistro tackles the topic in this post, which provides specific advice on how to start making more money and backs it up with anecdotes from expert sources.

3.    Priceonomics

business blogging example priceonomics

Priceonomics has a business model based on data: tracking it effectively and putting it to good use. And they use their blog to effectively demonstrate the kind of good use their clients can put it to. Their blog posts all use data to answer common questions – or at least as often, questions you didn’t even know you had, but find yourself really interested in learning the answer to.

A lot of the content on their own blog serves as an example of collaborations with their clients. By showing the ways their customers use data to create great content, they make a case for their products, while also entertaining their readers.

Their posts are a mix of fun, useful, and just interesting information. Here are a few good examples:

  • Is There a Connection Between Bad Grammar and Bad Reviews?

    This post is a good example of a collaboration with a client, Datafiniti, a company that has a large database of products and their reviews. Once you hear the question, you probably think back to the large number of badly written negative reviews you’ve read – many of them with lots of unnecessary capital letters or confusing typos. It’s a good example of the kind of question you didn’t know you had until you heard it, and now you kind of want to know the answer, don’t you?

    The post not only answers this question (the answer is yes, if you’re wondering), but also includes a lot of interesting insights on the average length of reviews (apparently one-word reviews are quite common) and how length and spelling errors both correlate to whether a review is positive or negative. It’s a thorough and interesting analysis that does a good job of demonstrating the value Priceonomics provides to customers.

  • Ranking the Most (and Least) Nutritious Meals for Your Dollar

    This is a good example of a really useful post. If you’re someone who cares about your health (most of us) and also cares about spending your money well (also most of us), then this is the kind of information you need to make better decisions when choosing your meals. This is another collaboration with a customer – this time a company with software that helps people plan and track healthy eating.

    It tests the common supposition that healthy eating costs more (spoiler: it does). But it follows up that depressing finding with a list of healthy foods and recipes people can eat that pack a lot of nutrition for the cost. In short, it’s super useful.

4.    Grammarly

business blogging example grammarly

Grammarly sells subscription software that automatically checks customers’ writing against a number of rules and best practices to help them improve. Obviously, their audience is anyone that writes often – from students, to professional writers, to professionals who want to write better emails. Their blog posts therefore often delve into common problems and questions writers have, but they also sometimes explore fun history or weird information that curious learners (something most writers are likely to be) will find interesting.

Some good examples to check out include:

  • Want to Stop Procrastinating at Work and Get Stuff Done? Here’s How

    If I wasn’t currently hard at work on this blog post as I type, I might feel personally called out by this post. Like a lot of creative professionals and well, probably everybody else, writers often deal with procrastination. Staring at a blank Word document has a way of reminding writers about other things we could be doing.

    This post therefore addresses an issue that Grammarly’s target audience definitely cares about. It provides actionable advice that can really make a difference for a common problem.

  • Mexican Novels to Help You Celebrate Cinco de Mayo

    You know something all good writers like to do? Read! In fact, I’ve long considered reading one of the most essential tips for being a good writer. This post makes use of a timely reference (it went up on May 5) to provide Grammarly’s audience with information they’re likely to care about: recommendations for good books.

    This post technically doesn’t have anything to do with the company’s product, but that doesn’t matter. It keeps their target audience interested in the blog and more likely to come back for more.

5.    Threadless

threadless

Threadless mostly sells t-shirts, along with home décor, art, and accessories. People can buy t-shirts anywhere, so what makes Threadless really stand out is the hip and artsy personality they pack into their products. The blog continues that branding with posts that are fun, interesting, and highlight original art (including the art they put on their t-shirts and other products).

Here are a few posts that will give you a good taste of the fun personality they present:

  • No Context Needed: Overheard at Threadless

    This is a funny post that says a lot about the brand as it mixes design (each of the quotes are displayed with original illustrations) and humor. The quotes from employees around the office show the kind of light and goofy atmosphere that defines the company’s work culture and make it easy for readers to feel a connection to the brand.

  • The Cute Meets Creepy Creations of Comic Artist, Maria Ahokoivu

    This post features one of the artists whose work shows up on Threadless products. It humanizes the artist behind the work – she talks about favorite movies and pizza toppings, along with her work as an artist. And the post includes examples of her work, along with some links to specific Threadless products readers can buy. With artist interviews like this, they’ve found a human, personal way to sell.

  • 6 Tips for Making it as an Artist (And Making Money)

    Some of the people most likely to love and buy the products Threadless sells are other struggling artists trying to figure out how to get their own designs out in the world. This post provides advice for how to start profiting off your art and includes quotes from artists that have actually pulled it off. It’s valuable advice that speaks to a common struggle of the kind of people who follow and buy from Threadless.

  1. Intercom

intercom2

Intercom sells customer management software that helps businesses better organize and improve their relationship with customers and leads. As a result, they have three main audiences: marketers, sales reps, and customer support professionals. Their blog addresses topics relevant to each audience, as well as tackling issues important to anyone helping run an SaaS company. They often use their own experiences working at Intercom to provide useful advice to readers likely to face similar challenges.

Here are a couple of good examples of how they do that:

  • Motivate Your Star Performers with Meaningful Career Conversations

    For all three of the main audiences Intercom targets – sales, marketing, and customer support – one of the most important parts of success is finding and keeping good employees. This post provides specific steps that companies can take to make sure good employees want to stick around and uses examples of how Intercom does things to illustrate how the recommended process works and why it’s valuable.

  • Why Your Privacy Ecosystem is Crucial in the Age of GDPR

    This post addresses head on the biggest issue many tech companies are worried about right now: GDPR legislation. It provides useful advice on how to approach your own product and those it integrates with in order to better protect your customers’ privacy and stay on the right side of GDPR.

  1. HelpScout

good business blogging example helpscout

To promote their customer support software, the HelpScout blog provides a lot of information on providing great customer service, along with posts that more generally address how to run a business well. They regularly publish fairly long posts that include helpful tips coupled with examples that help illustrate the tips.

For an idea of what their posts often look like, here are a couple of good ones to read:

  • 22 Customer Retention Strategies that Work

    One of the many good reasons to provide great customer service is that it convinces happy customers to keep coming back – which is good for your bottom line. This post provides a lengthy list of good ways to keep customers happy once you’ve earned that first sale and backs up the recommended strategies with research and statistics.

  • Writing Support Emails: A Style Guide

    Style guides are a valuable tool for businesses that want to be consistent in the way they communicate across different channels, but they’re not commonly associated with support emails. This post provides a corrective to that. It gives specific and useful advice on how to structure emails to better provide your customers with what they need and accomplish your support goals. And it uses specific examples to illustrate the suggestions throughout.

Hopefully spending some time with good examples of business blog posts will give you the inspiration you need to get fired up writing for your own blog. Even though blogging requires a lot of work, it really can be worth it if you keep up with it and make sure you provide great blog posts that are helpful to your audience.

If you’re struggling with staying on top of all the writing that a blog requires, it’s ok to ask for help. Writing blog posts for businesses is a big part of what I do. I can take some of the load off for you. Just contact me to see if we might be a good fit.

 

*While I think all the blogs I write for are pretty great examples of good business blogging as well, I left them off the list here to avoid personal bias. Lucky for you, that means you can see even more examples of good business blogging over on my writing samples page. Enjoy.