30 Lessons from the HubSpot 30-Day Blogging Challenge

Posted by Mark Gibson

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Feb 3, 2014 10:27:00 AM

I joined WittyParrot as VP Marketing in July 2013 and recommended that WittyParrot use HubSpot for Inbound Marketing.

There were no other candidates in our evaluation as I have been working with HubSpot for 5 years and have implemented it in 7 other technology companies. 

I did not need convincing of the underlying, technology, methodology or ROI on effort and investment… it works as advertised. We installed the software in July and began work on the new Website for the company launch in October.

We chose the HubSpot Enterprise system because we expect WittyParrot to scale rapidly and need the full functionality of the enterprise system from the start, even though we were starting from scratch.

When HubSpot announced the 30 day blogging challenge, we accepted the challenge as we were beginning to see the fruits of our early blogging effort with the direct correlation between a great blog and leads that followed.

Prior to the lauch of the new Website and Hubspot we had around one thousand visits per month, nearly all from direct traffic or where wittyParrot was the keyword in a Google search.

The Results

Our goals in our blog are:

  1. to create awareness of WittyParrot capabilities,
  2. to build readership of our blog and to attract visitors
  3. to build a community through-leadership content and insight
  4. to convert visitors into contacts.
  5. to convert contacts into customers.

Here is our traffic and lead conversion chart for the January 2014

hubspot_sources.1.3.14 

These are our top 10 January articles (in the descending order of page views)

top_10_blogs

30 Lessons

Without further ado, here they are:

  1. “Top 5 tips articles continue to do well”.
  2. 6/10 articles took the contrary view to popular opinion on their subjects.
  3. Articles you expect to do well and slave over don’t necessarily do well.
  4. One person must assume the role of editor and arbiter of quality and set the tone and direction of the blog.
  5. Blogging every day is a huge effort for a small company and very difficult for one single person.
  6. A team effort is required and a blog ideally needs two co-anchors to create the bulk of the content, Rajesh Setty is my co-anchor on our blog.
  7. Every member of the executive and marketing team must contribute at least one article per month.
  8. With a rising river of effluent content, quality and thought leadership is everything. Articles that are too generic or lack insight must be rejected.
  9. Guest blogging works. Dr. Mani’s wonderful article “Whittle down and tune-in” is our #1 ranked article of January. Ardath Ablee’s insights on Buyer Personas are of value to a broad B2B audience.
  10. Every piece we published had to achieve a quality threshold and numerous pieces were rejected or sent back for rewriting.
  11. Every piece must be edited by another person for grammar, relevance and construction. The editor is edited.
  12. We combined articles on the problems our target audience experienced where using our product or services had relevance, with articles that made people think about themselves and their daily approach to their jobs.
  13. Not every article has to have a call to action. A quality article that makes you think, reflect and potentially change your point of view is reward enough.
  14. Every article had an image that amplified the point. No smiley faces and only one stock image was used, that of a wood carver.
  15. Give people a volume control. We have added a volume control to our blog subscription so that readers can control their readership.
  16. We created a blogging calendar, but this was a nominal set of topics as a guide. People wrote about topics they were familiar with and used the Win-themes created in our sales and marketing alignment workshop to amplify our value message.
  17. Every new eBook we created produced an immediate influx of new leads and we are committed to creating downloadable content on a monthly basis.
  18. Blogging every day is like exercising every day… its good for your SEO (muscle), it build a legacy of content  (endurance) its good for your readers (diet) and it’s good for your writing (well-being).
  19. Something to think about is more valuable than an ebook if you can get someone to change their behavior.
  20. There was a steady rise in the quality of leads throughout the journey.
  21. It was easier to get buy-in from everyone as the results started showing up.
  22. It was important for all of us to lend our social graph to amplify the content.
  23. Quality content everyday helped with our outreach efforts to influencers as they could see that we were “real.”
  24. Social Media played an important role in gaining traffic. We were active on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn. Without a lot of additional work, we gained a few dozen Twitter followers on our WittyParrot twitter account
  25. Link backs from other blogs helped increase our PageRank on Google
  26. Guest blogging by team members outside of our blog (at Salesforce.com blog, Sandhill.com, Venturebeat, TopSalesWorld and Copyblogger) helped increase visibility of our own blog.
  27. There were not only leads from prospective customers, we also saw an increase in interest from potential partners, employees and investors
  28. Some of our blog posts gave us ideas for future eBooks, helping us pave the road for future content creation with ease. We are already working on a couple of them and will release those in the near future.
  29. There were positive side effects outside the blog as well. Internal discussions and email exchanges related to content creation brought out new ways of positioning our product in the market.
  30. Producing quality content every single day was not easy but the exercise was well worth the effort in more ways than one.



The Future

We learned a lot from participating in the HubSpot Blogging Challenge.

We created new habits, which have now stuck.

Not having the forward tension of “what we are going to publish on the blog today” to start off the day would seem unnatural.

Guest blogging with insights from industry experts will increase as will wisdom and thought provoking articles. I’m not talking about the “guest-blog solicitations" we receive every day in email, you know the kind of offer - from unknown agencies and people who provide generic rubbish loaded with penal back links.

If you are interested in writing a guest blog on WittyParrot, please reply to me, mark@wittyparrot.com.

If you haven't read it, you may be interested in our Sales and Marketing Alignment eBook as it describes how to create a messaging architecture and componentized content as a foundation for creating quality blog articles.

Topics: messaging alignment, content creation and reuse

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