This is an Interview I had with David C Aaronson of Digital Inbound Marketing Blog. I am so glad to be part of his Expert Interview series. Here is the copy of that Expert Interview:
David: Hubspot posted an article about “The Benefits Of Business Blogging,” where they discuss a number of different ways you can get traffic to your website. First of all, how can regularly posting to a blog help a business expand beyond their existing audience?
Philip: When a blogger posts content for their readers regularly, that adds real value to their lives, over time their readers begin to look out for their regular dose of valuable information. When they do not get it and reach out to the Blogger and ask why posts are not coming out, you know you’ve arrived and that you are recognized as an authority Blogger. If you are an Internet-driven business, when your Blog posts are shared by your post readers on their social streams, the content gets viewed by a wider and wider audience. When this happens there is an excellent possibility that the sales of the business will grow exponentially. All of this stems from the simple act of delivering measurable, value-add Blog posts for your readers.
Yes, regularly posting to a blog with a promotion of 80:20 ratio (that is 20% time for creating content and an 80% for promoting it) will help fetch a lot of new readers. I am sure that regular posting and sharing through different social media can help in getting more audiences and thus the expansion of the existing one. A regular update about their new products and services will surely get noticed by the visitors and the same news will be spread among their circles and that chain may continue to spread and more and more people will come to know about it. That helps in a wonderful way to expand their business to the new audience.
David: The author also warns against buying an email list as a way to build your business. What are some of the risks of pre-purchased email lists? How can blogs help prevent those risks?
Philip: Email marketing is a tremendous opportunity to expand your business. Buying an email list from a third party, however, involves a lot of risks and in most cases, buying a pre-purchased email list from a third party is a waste of your time, and of your prospective clients. The number one risk is the fear of getting messages sent straight to the spam box or deleted immediately. The main reason for this is that we are dealing with an unknown person by using such emails, and there is every chance to get ignored as spam. For the recipient, you are totally a new person and in most cases, your mail may not even be opened.
This risk can be prevented by getting the list only from reputable companies, and not the cheap options. Though most of them offer a high-value reputation for their service but in reality, it’s just not true. Opting for a genuine mailing list may help prevent some of the risks.
David: They also talk about PPC advertising, which can be useful but also disappears once the money runs out. What are some other risks of PPC advertising? How much might a PPC campaign cost, per month, for a small- to mid-sized business?
Philip: Though I haven’t done a lot of PPC advertising, the best answer I can give, based on the experiences of my fellow bloggers, is there are two main risks involved, on the level of keyword and platform. For keyword-based PPC platform, Google Adwords is recommended and for social PPC, Facebook is on top. The budget highly depends on our objective and also on the level of competition. If you are going into a highly competitive market, you must be ready to set a corresponding budget. There might be keywords with high competition and high bidding rate.
It mainly depends on the keywords we choose. So, you need to choose those keywords which have low competition, high traffic and mainly less bid on the same keyword.
David: Regularly posting to a business blog is also an exceptional way to gain SEO ranking. How does hosting a blog impact a site’s SEO, and why does it matter at this point?
Philip: A blog is an excellent way to bring more exposure to one’s business.
Using blogging to rank your business website can be really tricky. Many people go in for sponsored posts, insisting on do-follow backlinks. This can raise flags and attract sanctions from search engines co-citations, while mentions can boost ranking and avoid any penalties from Google.
It also helps Google understand your niche and ultimately helps you gain and build authority with trust. Well, for SEO ranking, a domain must be bought for a longer period of time like 5 to 10 years and SSL certification also makes the SEO better. As Google prefers safer sites than those sites which are less than safe. Of course, hosting is important because it has a huge impact on site speed Also, how many domains are hosted on the same IP as of yours and what kind of domains they are etc to be taken care of.
David: The Hubspot post also talks about blog content being good material for social media channels. What are some reasons a company focus on creating original content rather than just reposting/sharing?
Philip: Yes, blog contents should be quality, which will get the best attention on social media. If it is worthwhile, readable materials the word spread fast through social media. Not only that, search engines like Google, Bing, Yahoo etc. will always look for original and quality material on their landing pages. So there will always be value for original quality posts or reposted material that gets shared several times.
David: That being said, how might a blogger or business engage with OTHER bloggers and businesses, via social media, to help grow their audience and outreach?
Philip: This can be done by joining in different forums and groups, spreading the news about our products or services by sharing it and discussing it, that surely spread like a wildfire through these forums and groups. Of course, one needs to be an active participant by attending the queries of the members there.
Engagement is the key here. Active engagement with the members of forums and groups will fetch a lot of good results in this regard. Facebook is the best option for this, since there a numerous number of platforms available now. Not only that, but this is the place where many consumers spend most of their social time for business purpose as well as for personal or entertainment purposes. A recent survey says that Facebook is the biggest social media site in terms of monthly active users. According to the latest statistics, there are a total of 850 million monthly active users.
ComScore’s findings say that although Google exceeds Facebook in monthly unique visitors, Facebook tops in engagement business. Though there are many social media platforms, Twitter, Google+, and LinkedIn are some of the major platforms which can play a vital part in spreading our resources to new audiences. So our active involvement in social media will help us to grow our audience and outreach.
Also, we can share our contents on the pages of Internet Marketing platforms like Inbound.org, Growth hackers, BizSugar, Klinkk, Blogengage, GuestCrew, Indiblogger etc.
David: You posted an Infographic called “13 Secrets About Your Blog,” where you state that 80% of blog visitors, on average, are new. What are some different ways this traffic finds their way to the site? Can you offer any advice on how to identify new traffic, and sell or market to them specifically?
Philip: Apart from Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Google+, I have accounts on many other social sharing platforms. Regular sharing on these platforms can get a tremendous flow of traffic. Apart from this, Quora is one of the best options to pull traffic to our sites. A regular check in on the Google algorithm will identify where this traffic is coming from.
David: Writing a blog is also one of the fastest, easiest ways to become known as a thought leader in your industry. In an era of substance-over-style and get-rich-quick schemes, why is it mandatory to be known as a trusted voice in your field? How might a business blogger go about showcasing that trustworthiness, without appearing boastful?
Philip: While it’s true that the process of writing a Blog is the fastest way to become known as a thought leader it’s also the toughest. This is because too many Bloggers churn out sheer crap. Spun content, duplicated content, tons of grammar and spelling mistakes. Hence, the process of writing a Blog alone achieves NOTHING. It’s only when a Blogger delivers measurably valuable content, (measured by the post readers themselves) that the long journey to become a thought leader starts. It’s also a journey that can easily get thrown off the rails because of one bad/crappy Blog post among a lot of great ones. When a Blogger delivers great stuff, post in the post out, over time readers begins to believe in their trustworthiness. When the Blogger replies to comments and engages with their audience humbly that adds to their trustworthiness quotient.
David: You also talk about blogs getting up to 5 times as much traffic when posting daily, or at least weekly. What are some reasons for this drastic upsurge? Can you share any other tactics for getting as many eyes and ears on the website as possible?
Philip: Yes, regular posting and sharing via different social platforms will get the quick attention of many eager readers or browsing persons. Though the bloggers know that very well, to get more traffic we need to have good content on our page on a regular basis. Of course, there is no doubt about it but at the same time, there are many other ways to catch the attention of more people on the go. One of the best options is that one should not just restrict the content to their own blog instead of spreading it onto the other platforms. I mean to say that republishing it on the reputed platforms like The Huffington Post, Medium, Linkedin, Quora etc Here most of the bloggers have a terrific fear of getting penalized by Google for duplicate contents. But the truth is that Google never penalizes for republishing full content on other platforms with the full acknowledgment of the original author. Their support page gives more information on this line:
Yet another wonderful option I found and experienced in the recent times is that conducting meaningful roundup posts, especially involving influencers with it. Though it is a tedious job, surely it will make a great impact on our pages. And of course, most of the influencers have huge followings in their social circles and their re-share and mention of it on their pages about the roundups will fetch a lot of traffic to our pages. I am sure that 95% of influencers who have been mentioned in this round-ups have shared and re-shared the posts on their social platforms and on their web pages. This will give a long-lasting impact on our pages. Some of the roundups I have participated in are mentioned in a special blog post on my page that you can read over here.
Also, the two major roundups I conducted in the recent times are noted here for your reference. Roundup Post #1
And another Roundup Post #2
David: You’re also a multilingual blogger. What are some of the potential benefits of having multilingual bloggers and content creators as part of an inbound marketing team?
Philip: Yes, I am a multilingual blogger. Having said that I started my writing career in my native language Malayalam at a very young age. Malayalam speaking people are spread all over the world and the latest status report says an estimated 38 Million people speak this language.
Being a multilingual blogger has countless potential benefits, the traffic I get from my Malayalam readers to my pages are tremendous. Kerala State is the first state in achieving 100% literacy rate in India and the Keralites speak Malayalam, although English is also a mandatory subject. A good number of Malayalam readers are familiar with the English language and my Malayalam readers do visit my English pages, too.
This post first appeared on the pages of DigitalInbound.com