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There are many content marketing tools that B2B marketers can use. The most popular is the blog. In Rebecca Lieb’s book, Content Marketing, she says: “No topic or industry is too arcane for a blog”.

She cites a US-engineering company, Indium, that has no less than 73 different blogs…on soldiering materials. Having that many blogs increased the firm's inbound leads by 600%.

But creating original content and finding time to do it is a business' biggest challenge she says. This is also something that I hear frequently too. But as a recent Hubspot report showed that blogging is something businesses cannot afford to avoid.

Hubspot reported that companies who blog 15 or more times per month get 5X more traffic than companies that don't blog at all.

But if you can't commit the time and resources to blog that frequently take heart. Hubspot said B2B companies that blog only 1-2X/month generate 70% more leads than those that don't blog at all

So you know you must do it, and as frequently as you can.

Here the content marketing experts reveal their secrets about how to write a great blog: 

1. Your blog must be useful:

Says Doug Kessler, a well known UK blogger on content marketing and co-founder and creative director at Velocity Partners. He believes:

The best blog posts are timely, urgent, insightful, entertaining, useful, personal and backed up by data. Of these, useful is by far the most important. 

2. Do your research:

Is the advice given by the Guardian Media Network’s Chris Smith. He says:

One of my essential tips would be to use Evernote to collect thoughts and articles for your next blog post. Once you're ready to write, you can go into your account, search for the right tag and pull together a collection of those articles and thoughts to rekindle the ideas you had earlier around that blog post.”

3. Make it easy to read:

Is Econsultancy’s blog editor Graham Charlton’s top tip. He says:

Blogs should be easy to read and written in plain English without a reliance on marketing jargon. They should be well-formatted in short sentences/paragraphs. Big swathes of text deter readers.

His advice is to use headers, bullet points, bold text and images to make the blog piece appealing and easy to read.

4. Challenge convention:

Eric Wittlake, a US-based B2B digital marketer, says to:

Write something that people can use or challenges convention. Too many bloggers just rehash what most people already know.

Michael Brenner, author of the B2B marketing insider blog, agrees. He says:

I personally like blogs that ask and answer the biggest questions on the minds of marketers, leaders and business people.

5. Be personable:

Experienced blogger, Michael Brenner, goes on to say:

A good blog is defined by helpful, thoughtful and creative content, plain and simple. I also think a blog needs to be more personable than formulaic. Every post cannot be “6 Ways To…”. There has to be some ranting and raving to balance out the helpful list posts."

6. Satisfy your customer:

Author of "Content Rules" and chief content officer at MarketingProfs, Ann Handley says:

Think about any content you create - be it a blog post, webinar etc - as satisfying one person: your customer (or, your would-be customer).Lots of marketers who create content on behalf of their companies are still creating very corporate-centric content, which satisfies their CEOs, but doesn't resonate with customers.

7. Think long-term

The Content Marketing Institute's Joe Pulizzi recommends that content marketers think of each blog post as part of a series or larger content package.  He says:

So many bloggers think of their posts as "one-offs". What if every blog post you created became a chapter in your upcoming book?  What if your next six posts became a white paper?  Bloggers need to think of their content posts as one step toward an incredibly useful and impactful content package for their readers."

And six ways how to keep your readers coming back for more:   

1. Use your blog to engage your audience:

Michael Brenner:

The best way to get followers is to use your blog content to engage your audience. I surveyed my audience to define the list of the best B2B Marketing blogs. When I published the list, I received lots of feedback from those who didn’t make the list and support from those who did. I started a conversation and then the audience took it from there.

2. Use your blog to build relationships:

Joe Pulizzi recommends:

Every blogger should have an influencer list, at a minimum of 10-15. Put together content packages that highlight these influencers.  You'll be promoting their good work, building relationships with them along the way, and over time, they'll start to share your information, which will then build your audience, network and subscriber base.

3. Keep doing what originally got their attention:

Eric Wittlake turns the premise on its head by saying:

The goal isn't getting and keeping followers, it is getting and keeping attention

He believes you need to keep being great at whatever originally got your audience's attention - be it an effective content filter, leading great discussions or covering breaking news.

4 Socialise your blogs:

Graham Charlton:

We push our blog posts out through Twitter and, to a lesser extent, our other social channels. Our daily email newsletter features the previous day's blog posts, which drives further traffic.

Graham believes that a good blog will sell itself:

If it's good, it will attract praise and people are more likely to share. That's the most important thing. A catchy headline often helps too;)

5. Have a consistent flow:

Confirming the findings from the Hubspot report Velocity's Doug Kessler says they work hard to have a consistent flow of "useful and entertaining blog posts". He says:

Sometimes it feels thankless - as if there's nobody out there. Then all of a sudden, a post hits a nerve and we're reminded of the power of the medium.

6. Create your own newsroom:

Ruth Hoskins, of White Horse Digital, believes you should "think of your blog as your own newsroom." She says

Keep your readers interested by posting a range of content each week, get to know what your audience wants and let them know what to expect each week.

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Published 17 January, 2013 by Juliet Stott

Juliet Stott is a freelance journalist, content creator and a contributor to Econsultancy.  Connect with her on LinkedIn or Twitter

19 more posts from this author

Comments (12)

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Nick Stamoulis

Consistency is key! Even if you can only write one post a week be sure you write one post a week. You want your readers to get used to coming back to your blog and getting new content. If you haphazardly publish you won't get as much traction.

over 3 years ago

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Emily

I'm with you on challenging convention, alas there's an awful lot of cookie cutter content floating around, endlessly and shamelessly retweeted into oblivion.

over 3 years ago

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Juliet Stott

Yes consistency and challenging convention are good tips. Good blogs are original, have a personality and something noteworthy to say. The author needs to think like a journalist. Seeking out newsworthy stories, interviewing key thinkers that their audience would be interested in reading.

over 3 years ago

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logodesignonline.org

"Think of your blog as your own newsroom" -> I don't think so!

over 3 years ago

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Girish Sharma

Hi Juliet Stott,

Nice points. I agree with you.

1. One more point which i got is we need to make commenting and sharing easy for people. Using social plugins, discussion and commenting plugins like
disqus,
Facebook social plugin,
livefyre,
IntenseDebate,
cackle.me,
NicEdit,
echo realtime conversation and juvia commenting system etc..

2. Instead of making newsroom, create anticipations for people to read your blog posts instead of newspaper.

over 3 years ago

Natalie Green

Natalie Green, PR Officer at Postcode Anywhere

Thanks for posting really useful. I've never used Evernote before so I might give this a try!

over 3 years ago

James Gurd

James Gurd, Owner at Digital JugglerSmall Business Multi-user

Thanks Juliet - some interesting comments.

I think Joe's quote is absolutely bang on. Important learning for people knew to planning and implement content marketing to support their overall business strategy.

Don't isolate content to short-term reactions, think about the bigger goals and create a content plan to deliver. Then work out the best way to get value from the time invested.

Often people focus too much on short-term deadlines and less about how the content will be the gift that keeps on giving. A great way to achieve this is, as Joe points out, to think about series - tying multiple content assets together with a unified theme. You can then create larger content assets off the back and publish for greater impact.

Thanks
james

over 3 years ago

Philip Allen

Philip Allen, Studio Director at D. Agency

News and Blog, definitely different. I think that News is used to reinforce credibility whilst Blog posts are to help inform and educate with the intention of building credibility.

over 3 years ago

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joel

Hi

Thanks for the wonderful blog about making a good blog. Definitely it would be helpful for those who new to blog niche.

over 3 years ago

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Squarefish Inc.

Great blog. This will definitely be a big help to those who are thinking of starting one. This brings me to another topic though. What do you think is better, a general blog or a niche blog? Any thoughts?

over 3 years ago

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Website Design Southport

Thanks for such good blog. I am agree with your views and I want to add my suggestion also. If you have an attractive website design that will help you to boast visitors. And it the first step about this the owner of a website must be aware. Thanks.

about 3 years ago

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social med ia marketing, http://www.orangewebmart.com/social-media-marketing/

I agree here with 'Website Design Southport' that an interactive website design is a key to success these days. Designing has become the field without which one cannot survive in this world of competition. More focus is laid on the designing of web sites which are smartphone friendly rather than system friendly. Maximum users of a site are the mobile users. So the websites should be made accordingly.
Thanks for this. :)

almost 3 years ago

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