This is a guest post by Todd Giannattasio from Tresnic Media and the case study he shares with us is very powerful. It builds off of my SEO Experiment and speaks to the power of blogging consistency. Enjoy.
Like a plumber with a leaky faucet, our website had gone neglected for longer than I’m willing to admit. After Hurricane Sandy, business slowed down a little bit for us and I decided it was time to start taking my own advice. I would commit myself to an aggressive blogging routine to test/prove how valuable blogging for your business can be.
Many of our clients are reluctant to start blogging no matter how much I stress the importance.
Well, what would they say if I could show them what real commitment to business blogging was and how much it can help grow a business?
I decided to set my sights on 50 blog posts. With pure determination (and lack of patience), I decided I wanted to reach 50 new articles on TresnicMedia.com in 5 weeks. Posting a new article twice a day (on weekdays).
With this ambitious goal and almost unrealistic expectation of myself, I would have to have a smart plan from the beginning.
How To Write 10 Quality Articles A Week Without Feeling Stressed
I can honestly say that at no point throughout the five weeks did I feel a stress on myself for a deadline or fear of missing a day. How was this possible? By having a solid blogging plan and efficient routine and multiple sources of content inspiration.
Where can one possibly get so many ideas for blog posts from in such a short period of time? The answer is simple: from leads and customers.
Every conversation I had with a customer about something, I made a note of and would put together an outline of things we touched on. Then, I’d go back and write a full blog post about it.
A prospective client calls and asks what information should go on a new website? Blog post.
Need step by step instructions for creating and editing your WordPress menu? Blog post.
Want to know how to use Twitter more effectively for your business? Blog post.
Get Over The Mental Hurdle Of “Blogging”
Too many people stress over the idea of “blogging”, but if a customer emailed them with a question or two, they’d easily fireback 400 words. All it takes is that same information with a little formatting to make it more “web page ready”.
Don’t talk to your customers frequently? Start now. Right now. Unrelated to blogging and online marketing, you need to have real relationships with your customers to build a thriving business.
See what things your customers like about your product or services and write about them. Do they have questions about something? Write a blog post about it. The best part? If you tell them you’re going to write an article to help answer their question, they’re going to be flattered! This means a higher possibility of your customers going to read your blog and more importantly share your article with their friends. Two birds, one post.
Turn customer stories into case studies. Not only is that feel-good content for you, it will also help warm your website visitors into becoming real business leads.
The Article Writing Process
If I had to sit down every day and look at a blank slate knowing I had to walk away with two new articles, I don’t think it would have happened. You can’t manufacture inspiration on the spot like that and over the course of 5 weeks, I’m certain I would have fallen short if that was my plan. I needed to be able to write easily and efficiently.
Instead of sitting down every day to write 2 articles for that day, I tried getting ahead of myself. I would use Evernote to create drafts of multiple things I wanted to talk about. Throughout the day/week, when I would think of a new point or supporting idea, I would add it to the outline.
Then, when I sat down at the end of the day to write the posts for tomorrow, I would already have the topic and outline ready to go and all I had to do was jump into the conversation I had already started with myself.
Having bullet points listed made it very easy to turn them into full sentences followed by supporting details or step by step instructions.
I’d really get a jump start on things on Saturday and Sunday morning over my morning cup (*cough* 4 cups *cough*) of coffee.
Am I saying that you need to dedicate time at night and on the weekends if you want a successful blog? By no means is that the case. My particular experiment was just very aggressive and I was very committed to proving a point. For most of our clients, we recommend a twice a week schedule. But then your results will of course take a little longer to see.
Which leads us to…
So What Happens When You Blog Twice A Day For 5 Straight Weeks?
The results were astounding. I knew that my traffic would increase, but to the heights that it did even caught me by surprise.
During the 5 weeks, my website traffic increased by 481%! Now if that’s not unbelievable enough, what happened next is even more incredible.
My 50th post went viral. Talk about the “magic number” (though really just coincidence).
My last article of the twice a day challenge was a wrap up post that detailed all of my results (you can read that here) and it caught a ton of traction in multiple LinkedIn Group discussions. At the time of writing, I think there are over 100 combined comments in 3 or 4 different LinkedIn discussions around the article (some of which are still going almost a month later!).
It even caught the attention of Hubspot’s Peter Caputa, who then not only shared the article himself, but referenced my article in a blog post of his own (thanks for the link, Pete!).
This all lead to website traffic increasing 1,000% compared to the 8 weeks previous to the blogging experiment. And mind you that this time increase in traffic also spanned across Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years, normally a down time for websites not related to consumer shopping.
What Really Matters: Did It Generate Any Leads?
While all the web stats are pretty to look at and certainly boost my ego and give me (and all content marketers) validation, it really only matters if it generates business. And I can say that my referral network has certainly grown and I’ve gained some very valuable relationships with people that would not have connected with me if it weren’t for coming across one of the articles that I posted. I also have generated direct leads from the site in a variety of ways.
Search Rankings Are A Collateral Benefit To A Full Online Presence
With all of the Google updates and debates about how to get a website to rank high in the search engines, I’ve proven my own theory correct. *Prepare for long winded, run on sentence.*
By blogging frequently, providing quality information directly related to my business and what my customers want AND by sharing those articles via social media and in online communities where my target demographics are active and then happy to share amongst their own circles, we saw our search engine rankings not only climb but appear faster. Because of the frequency of new articles, Google was checking our site every day. This meant that if I posted a new article about generating leads via LinkedIn, then that afternoon it would be showing up in the top 20 results.
Our site went from being indexed in Google for 20-something keywords to 486 (at the time of writing).
Back to generating leads from the blogging experiment.
The first way we generated leads was that people found TresnicMedia.com via a Google search for one of the almost 500 keywords that we’re now ranking for.
Another was via LinkedIn Discussions where we highlighted certain tactics (SEO or lead generation) in an article and people were interested in learning more about how we can help. If not for having an article about one of our services to post and start a discussion around, those leads would never even know who we were.
But the best, and my personal favorite, once post #50 went viral, people started calling ready to hire us to do what they saw we did for ourselves. This is a brand new position for me, where the customer is no longer looking for a service and wants me to sell to them. But they are actually calling to hire us because they already know we can deliver results. It is a great feeling and well worth all of the time and effort put into this blogging experiment.
Does Your Business Have A Blog?
I’d love to hear more from other people about their experiences in blogging to help their business grow, especially across different industries.
About Todd Giannattasio
Todd quit his job in Corporate America in mid-2011 to start Tresnic Media, a web design and online marketing agency based in New Jersey. Follow Todd on Twitter and keep up with the Tresnic Media blog for practical articles that can help your business use the web to grow.