Green Copywriter Earns Dan Kennedy Copywriter for Info-Marketers Certification

Green Ink Copywriting is proud to announce that its principal, Anne Michelsen, has earned the designation of ‘Dan Kennedy Certified Copywriter for Info-Marketers’ through American Artists and Writers, Inc. (AWAI), a leading publisher of direct-response copywriting, travel writing, photography and graphic design courses.

Dan Kennedy copywriter certificationFOOSLAND, IL –  Green Ink Copywriting is proud to announce that its principal, Anne Michelsen, has earned the designation of ‘Dan Kennedy Certified Copywriter for Info-Marketers’ through American Artists and Writers, Inc. (AWAI), a leading publisher of direct-response copywriting, travel writing, photography and graphic design courses.

Dan Kennedy is one of the most sought-after marketing consultants in the country. He is widely credited as having been instrumental in the development of the information marketing industry as well as the use of inbound marketing to promote traditional businesses.  He developed his copywriter certification course in conjunction with AWAI, in order to help remedy a perceived shortage of copywriters equipped to handle the unique demands of info-marketing clients.

Info-marketing refers to the online or offline sale of information products such as traditional books, audio programs, videos, or DVDs; magazines; newsletters; e-books; membership websites and clubs; teleseminars and webinars; telecoaching programs; and seminars and conferences—and combinations thereof. The Dan Kennedy Copywriter for Info-Marketers Certification is awarded to professional copywriters who have successfully completed a course of study in preparation for such copywriting.

InfoMarketing Association President Robert Skrob applauds the program. “Dan Kennedy’s Copywriter Certification Program creates a key resource for growing information marketers, copywriters who understand the business. In the info-marketing business, there’s always copy to be written, call notices, conference promotions and product sales letters. Having a stable of certified copywriters who understand the info-marketing business is a terrific shortcut.”

Anne Michelsen founded Green Ink Copywriting in 2008. She provides revenue-boosting copywriting, PR, and social media services to corporations and nonprofits as well as info-marketers. Anne has special expertise in sustainability and green product promotion, and is one of the most knowledgeable copywriters in the country on FTC green marketing compliance. Her free monthly green marketing tips and e-course on how to identify and sell to the 6 types of green consumer are available at GreenInkCopywriting.com.

For more information, contact Green Ink Copywriting here.

 

 

How Else Can a Skilled Copywriter Keep Your Green Business in the Black in 2014?

thumbs up and keyboard
A good copywriter can be a real asset to your business in more ways than meet the eye.

Everyone knows good copywriting can increase returns from a brochure, sales letter, or website. Many small businesses hire professional help for PR, blogging, and newsletters, too. But only a few realize exactly how much a skilled copywriter can help a business stay successful.

The fact is, a good copywriter can help make a company more efficient and more profitable in dozens of little-known ways.

Most large corporations take advantage of many of these opportunities. This may explain in part how they got big in the first place.

In contrast, the owners and managers of many small businesses (and this includes the majority of green businesses) are too busy trying to put out fires to think about developing or improving their written communication.

Which is really a shame.

Not only are they likely leaving money on the table by not improving these areas, but in many cases they are passing up a golden opportunity to reduce the number and severity of “fires” in the first place.

Here are just five under-utilized ways a skilled copywriter can give your company a real competitive edge in 2014:

  • Collections – How much do you have in past due accounts receivable right now? What percent do you write off every year? What would you do with the sudden influx of cash should a chunk of that money suddenly became available? Or even better – what if there was a way to reduce future delinquent accounts proactively, with no little to no extra effort on your part? Optimizing your written and scripted communications with your customers could potentially do just that.
  • Negotiations –With so much business being done via email these days, doesn’t it make sense to take advantage of the medium? A writer trained in the art of persuasion may give you an unprecedented edge in your negotiations, and even help cement your relationship with your vendor or customer in the process.
  • Customer Complaints – My grandfather worked for 40 years at Eastman Kodak. One of his primary responsibilities was to write letters in response to dissatisfied customers. He had the knack of defusing a customer’s anger, while still upholding the best interests of the company. Often, his letters even turned the irate customer into a loyal fan of Kodak! If handling complaints makes you uncomfortable, or if your attempts to deal with them always seem to backfire, you might consider hiring a writer with experience in customer service to help you in this area. (Be aware, though, that in this age of instant messaging companies are expected to respond to complaints immediately. So if you think you might ever need help in managing them, it’s a good idea to connect with a writer or consultant in advance.)
  • Sales scripts – Almost without exception, sales experts like the late great Zig Ziglar advocate scripting sales conversations. Developing scripts for your sales or retail team can really boost results (especially if you track and tweak).  Scripts can also help ensure that your company is always represented in a professional manner. When choosing a writer to help you with your sales script, it’s a good idea find one who has retail and/or phone sales experience. Hiring a writer who has used scripts herself as a salesperson will go a long way towards getting you a script your employees will actually use!
  • Job descriptions and employee manuals  – Why should your green business have an employee manual? A better question is, “Why on earth would you not have one?” A well-written employee manual can be an indispensable aid to helping your employees work efficiently. It can decrease the time it takes to train in new employees, and make it easier for your managers to help run your business, so you can spend more time growing your company or taking a much needed vacation. And, while no one ever plans to have employees who don’t work out, having all your policies laid out in an employee manual can make the process of reviewing and/or firing employees much easier and more equitable for all involved. While company policy is best developed internally, a competent writer can help you put it together into clear, professional language that will earn your employees’ respect, and help them perform to their highest potential.

These five examples illustrate just a few ways companies can benefit from “outside the box”  copywriting. Can you think of any more? Post them below with a link to your website, and I’ll mention your solution in my next social media shout-out.

photo credit: Adrián Pérez via photopin cc

One Bad Ad: Hyundai’s unfortunate blunder

Every once in a while an ad catches my attention, either because it’s unusually clever – or unusually bad. Like the ad released last April in the UK by Hyundai Motors. To me, the story is doubly tragic. I’m saddened by the insensitive depiction of human tragedy for no other purpose than to promote a product. And I’m disheartened that the world’s first mass-produced, zero-emissions, hydrogen fuel cell vehicle’s marketplace debut had to be marred with such negative psychology.

hyundai-ix35-1
The Hyundai ix35 Fuel Cell is the world’s first mass-produced hydrogen powered vehicle. Will it survive the negative press generated by its debut UK television ad?

I don’t always keep abreast of image advertising, since I’m more involved in the content marketing and direct response arenas. But every once in a while an ad catches my attention, either because it’s unusually clever – or unusually bad.

Sometimes, bad ads can be (painfully) fun to view. Sort of like watching an old Godzilla movie.

But others are just plain tasteless. Like the ad released last April in the UK by Hyundai Motors, depicting a man attempting to commit suicide by piping his exhaust fumes back into the passenger compartment of his car. At the end, he is unsuccessful because – ha, ha! he owns a Hyundai zero-emissions vehicle.

(I decided not to include the video in this post because I don’t want anything that crass on my blog, but if you really must see for yourself, you can do so here.)

Was Hyundai expecting their “clever ad” to go viral and result in blockbuster sales of zero-emissions cars to people wanting to protect their loved ones from suicide?

Or maybe the brand simply had a death wish. Because the ad did go viral, thanks in large part to Holly Brockwell. The U.K. copywriter wrote a tearful and outraged blog post raking Hyundai and its advertising agency, Innocean, over the coals for making her relive her father’s suicide using the same method depicted in the ad.

“I understand better than most people the need to do something newsworthy, something talkable, even something outrageous to get those all-important viewing figures,” Holly wrote. “What I don’t understand is why a group of strangers have just brought me to tears in order to sell me a car. Why I had to be reminded of the awful moment I knew I’d never see my dad again, and the moments since that he hasn’t been there.”

Why, indeed?

To me, the story is doubly tragic. I’m saddened by the insensitive depiction of human tragedy for no other purpose than to promote a product. And I’m disheartened that the world’s first mass-produced, zero-emissions, hydrogen fuel cell vehicle’s marketplace debut had to be marred with such negative psychology.

I’ve said it before, and this incident brings it home: harping on the negative does nothing to promote green products. People want to feel good about what they buy. Who can feel good about a car that conjures up images of attempted suicide?

There’s one more thing that has me scratching my head – Hyundai’s statement after pulling the ad:

The ad was created by an affiliate advertising agency, Innocean Europe, without Hyundai’s request or approval. It runs counter to our values as a company and as members of the community. We are very sorry for any offense or distress the video caused.

What? The ad was created and aired without Hyundai’s request or approval? Huh? I find it awfully hard to believe that Innocean could or would create and run a major television ad without at least a nod from its client. And if so, then shame on Hyundai.

Hyundai slipped up bad by allowing an ad agency that obviously doesn’t have a clue about green marketing psychology (nor, apparently, human decency) to represent their brand. And they slipped up again by neglecting to protect their own reputation and values, and then attempting to shift the blame.

I don’t mean to come down too hard on Hyundai. The company has an exemplary diversity policy, has donated millions to charitable causes, and is a pioneer in eco-aware vehicle manufacturing. I just want to point out that in green marketing, (and increasingly in all marketing), it’s so important to talk your walk as well as walk your talk.

5 Simple Ways to Let Your Customers Know You Care

A little bit of personal attention can make the difference between a prospect who walks away and one who converts to a happy customer – potentially bringing in even more business through word of mouth.

Man playing guitar
It’s OK to strum your guitar while speaking to customers. Just be sure to look up and smile while you do it!
Illustration ©2013 by Anne Michelsen, courtesy of Kids Celebrating Earth

Back when I worked in retail music, I’d frequently hear comments like this from customers:

“To be honest, I was going to rent my son’s trumpet at the other store in town. But I walked in there and the store tender was too busy picking at his guitar to pay me any attention. So I walked out and came here instead. I’m so glad I did. Thanks for all your personal attention. I’m going to tell my friends.”

A little bit of personal attention can make the difference between a prospect who walks away and one who converts to a happy customer – potentially bringing in even more business through word of mouth.

It doesn’t have to be anything earth shaking, either. In my case, all I did was offer a genuine smile and a “What can I do for you today?” to anyone who came through the door. No matter their age or the condition of their clothes.

But what if you’re not involved in brick and mortar retail? What if you never actually see a single one of your customers?

No matter. There are still plenty of ways to help your prospects feel appreciated and acknowledged. When they do, they’ll be so much more likely to stay around and buy.

Here are five things you can do to roll out that virtual red carpet to anyone who comes your way:

  1. Speak to your customer’s needs and desires. This is so basic, I’m sure you’ve heard it a bazillion times before. But I still come across home pages that are nothing but rants on How Great We Are, with nary a thought given to what the customer wants. (Ironically, the worst offenders I’ve come across have been marketing agencies.) Seriously, you might as well go play your guitar to the wall.
  2. Use language your customer can relate to. Ever read an article or white paper you thought might be useful – only to abandon it midway because you just don’t have time to read every paragraph twice? Business writing should be easy to read. Period. Think middle school reading level. And no, that doesn’t mean you’re talking down to your reader. (For example, this article rates at grade level 5.2). It just helps busy people stay focused.
  3. Embed a smile in your words. I have one corporate client who is very formal in his emails to me. Every time I got an email from him I used to wonder if he really wanted to be working with me. This went on for months, until one day I stopped by his office to take care of some business in person. He came out grinning from ear to ear, loudly praising my work to everyone in sight. (Kind of embarrassing, but in a good way!) Now, I’m not picking on my client. He’s not dealing with customers. But if you are, make sure the warm feelings you have towards them come through in every single thing they read from you.
  4. Offer something of value. Of course, your customers want value from your products or services. But how can they be sure they’ll get it from you? When you give them something useful, they don’t have to wonder. Free samples are great. So are coupons. But information is often at least as effective. Try a tip sheet, white paper, or idea book that explains fun or useful things other customers have done with your products.
  5. Keep delivering value. Once you have permission to contact a customer, don’t stop. They’re guaranteed to forget about you if they do. Keep drip feeding them good stuff via newsletters, blogs, or even postcards. Just be sure it’s relevant to their needs and desires. And don’t forget to make it easy and fun to read!

What’s your favorite way to let your customers know you love them? Post it below. If it’s a good tip I’ll tweet it out!

Your (Customer’s) Brain on Computers, Part 3

Some of these online customer characteristics represent challenges from our point of view as marketers. However, keeping them in mind when we structure our online content can help us craft more effective messages. Here are some suggestions.

Ten (plus) tips to reach and retain the online customer

Cartoon - where is everybody?
Ever feel like that little fellow at the top? Follow these tips to capture your online customers’ attention – and encourage them to stay on your site!
photo credit: HikingArtist.com via photopin cc

Some of the characteristics of online customers represent challenges from our point of view as marketers. However, keeping them in mind when we structure our online content can help us craft more effective messages. Here are some suggestions for keeping the attention of your online visitors:

  1. Do your keyword research. The more closely your copy matches a customer’s exact concerns, the more likely he will be to pay close attention.
  2. Pay special attention to headlines and leads. Use powerful, compelling, benefit-driven headlines to draw your reader in. Get right to the point in your copy ; this doesn’t necessarily mean push for the sale right away, but you want to be sure to give the reader ample reason to stick with you.
  3. Use subheads, captions, bullets and graphics. Most web users are “power skimmers.” For max effect, use these elements to tell the outline of your story so a reader can get the gist of your message in a short amount of time.
  4. Avoid large blocks of text. These can intimidate the reader, and encourage him to click away.
  5. Provide excellent, useful information. The online reader won’t stick around if you’re not giving him something on value. He’d rather be on Facebook.
  6. Provide leadership in your copy and design. Have a clear idea of what you want your visitor to do, and include strong offers and calls to action in order to direct him there.
  7. Make it entertaining. Insert a bit of humor where appropriate. Rhyming text and alliterative language patterns are fun and can have a mesmerizing effect. (Just don’t overdo it!)
  8. Use clean, uncluttered design. Your customer is distracted enough without an overly busy web design adding to the mess.
  9. Encourage interaction. When the customer’s involved, he’s more likely to stay around.
  10. Hyperlink mindfully. Hyperlinking is very handy for providing credibility-building references and when you want to encourage the reader to visit a particular page. But hyperlinks can be dangerous, too. They can suck your reader right off your site. That’s why I use them sparingly and strategically. You might want to reserve them for internal links (say, to a landing page), and use footnotes for references as I did in parts 1 and 2 of this article. Why encourage attention deficit in your reader?
  11. Bonus! Type additional tips into the comment box below, and I’ll tweet them out. Be sure to include a link to your site!

<<Read Part 1             <Read Part 2

Your (Customer’s) Brain on Computers, Part 2

Visitors come to your website in a very different mental state than when they’re reading your brochure or speaking to a sales rep. Here are a few of the major characteristics of online customers:

Customer attention and memory retention: a guide to your customer’s brain on computers

Seriously. Wouldn’t you speak to this guy differently? Spending time online really does change the structure of the brain. Make sure your internet messaging reflects the fact!
photo credit: University of Maryland Press Releases via photopin cc

Visitors come to your website  in a very different mental state than when they’re reading your brochure or speaking to a sales rep.  Here are a few of the major characteristics of online customers:

  • Online customers tend to be flighty. The average time spent on a web page is well under a minute – much shorter than the amount of time a casual newspaper or periodical reader typically spends on a page. Web users are usually searching for something in particular, and unless the page they land on speaks exactly to their needs, they tend to buzz off rather quickly.
  • Web customers are multitaskers. When someone comes to your website, you’re competing with phone calls and texts, email and Skype notifications, and other webpages that your visitor has open at the same time (one study indicated that users have open an average of 3.2 browser tabs, with 25% of respondents keeping 11 or more open at a time). 1 Any of these distracting elements can interfere with the amount of time your customer spends on your site.
  •  Internet users will read your content if you capture your attention sufficiently.  A 2007 study found that once online readers settle into an article, nearly two thirds of them will read to completion.2
  • Internet use affects your customers’ memory. Research by Columbia University psychologist Betsy Sparrow indicates that Internet users tend to either remember information they find online, or where to find the information, but not both.3

<Read Part 1          Read Part 3>

 

References:

  1. Open This Story in a New Tab, Slate.com, Dec. 6, 2010
  2. Web News Readers Have Greater Attention Span: Study, Reuters.com, March 31, 2007
  3. Study Finds That Memory Works Differently in the Age of Google, Columbia University blog, July 14, 2011

Your (Customer’s) Brain on Computers, Part 1

no matter how much we limit our own time online, the fact remains: our customers probably don’t. To put it bluntly, our biggest source of competition anymore may not be our competitors, but what’s going on in our customers’ heads! So we need to take special care to structure our messages to both capture and keep their attention despite any adverse effects their brains may be experiencing.

The internet is more than a way for customers to find you. It actually changes the structure of their brains. This series of articles reveals how – and offers tips on attracting and retaining online visitors.
photo credit: Saad Faruque via photopin cc

How much time do you spend online?

If you’re anywhere close to average, it’s somewhere  between 25 and 27 hours per week. 1

That’s right. We spend nearly a quarter of our waking hours plugged in, and that’s not including the time we spend on other electronic devices, including our cell phones and our kid’s handheld gaming devices (admit it!)

Now, hold onto your chair. When you surf the web, you’re accomplishing more than shopping for shoes or chatting up your Facebook friends. Behind the scenes, what you’re really doing is rewiring your brain.

It’s true.  And you may not want to hear what you’re doing to it – but I’m going to tell you anyway.

How the Internet affects our brains

Research on the Internet’s effect on brain activity indicates that it contributes to attention deficit, addictive behavior, scattered thinking, loss of focus, and reduced ability to read human emotions.  In some cases, the effects can be physically measured: one recent study of 18 college students found that excessive internet use actually resulted in atrophy of gray matter in the brain. 2

Clearly, this is a serious issue. Due to my occupation, I admit to spending far more than the average amount of time online, and I can personally attest to feeling some of the effects.  I am starting to take steps to limit my (and my kids’) time online, and I highly suggest that you consider doing so, too.

But no matter how much we limit our own time online, the fact remains: our customers probably don’t.  To put it bluntly, our biggest source of competition anymore may not be our competitors, but what’s going on in our customers’ heads!

So we need to take special care to structure our messages to both capture and keep their attention despite any adverse effects their brains may be experiencing.

>Read Part 2            >>Read Part 3

References:

  1. Millennials Up Their Time Online, MarketingCharts.com, Jan.21, 2013
  2. Does Life Online Give You ‘Popcorn Brain?’, CNN Health,  June 23, 2011

 

When Best Practices Can Land You in Trouble

Every industry has its best practices – methods and techniques that have been proven time and again to bring exceptional results. But best practices are based on what has worked in the past. What happens when an industry – or perhaps an entire society – is in flux?

in troubleEvery industry has its best practices – methods and techniques that have been proven time and again to bring exceptional results.

And few industries test their techniques so brutally as direct response copywriting.

After all, a slight tweak to a sales letter can mean a difference of hundreds, thousands, or even millions of dollars in profit – or loss.

So when three of the highest-paid, most successful copywriters in America all endorse a technique, don’t you think you’d better listen?

Normally, I’d say, “You bet! Listen and emulate!”

But heads up – and this is important.

Best practices are based on what has worked in the past. What happens when an industry – or perhaps an entire society – is in flux?

Then you’d better watch your tail. Because blindly following best practices – even when endorsed by giants in their fields – can land you in trouble.

The Magic of False Logic

Bob Bly is an extremely well-known, top-tier B2B copywriter.  Bob publishes an insightful e-newsletter in which he shares many of his excellent copywriting, marketing and personal productivity tips. (It’s worth following.)

A couple of months ago Bob published an e-newsletter article titled The Magic of False Logic.

“False logic,” he explains, is “copy that manipulates (but does not lie about or misrepresent), through skillful writing, existing facts. The objective: to help readers come to conclusions that those facts, presented without the twists of a copywriter’s pen, might not otherwise support.”

He uses the example of a metal broker who claims that “95% of orders (are) shipped from stock,” even though he does not have a warehouse. When questioned, it turns out they are shipped from the metal supplier’s stock, not his own.

­­Green vs. the Three Giants

Bob Bly isn’t the only master copywriter to endorse the “false logic” technique. I’ve seen Dan Kennedy and Michael Masterson encourage it, too.

Now, each of these individuals belongs to the upper echelon of the copywriting world. To put it in perspective, they are the Donald Trumps and the Bill Gates of their profession. They know what they are talking about, and then some.

So when I say they are wrong, I’m risking my reputation.

But I’m going to say it anyway.

THEY’RE WRONG.

They’re wrong, at least, if you are selling anything that might be considered “green.”

What the Green Guides Say

False logic is an effective, proven technique. And it’s endemic in conventional marketing.

However, when applied to green claims, it’s an approach that is likely to violate the FTC’s standards for environmental messaging.

In Section 260.2 (Interpretation and Substantiation of Environmental Marketing Claims), the Green Guides state:

“A representation, omission, or practice is deceptive if it is likely to mislead consumers acting reasonably under the circumstances and is material to consumers’ decisions…To determine if an advertisement is deceptive, marketers must identify all express and implied claims that the advertisement reasonably conveys. Marketers must ensure that all reasonable interpretations of their claims are truthful, not misleading, and supported by a reasonable basis before they make the claims.”

Preventing deceptive claims is the primary purpose of the Green Guides. The FTC doesn’t care about the literal truth – the only thing that matters to it is whether or not customers might find your statement misleading.

The FTC’s Zero Tolerance

Last October’s FTC action against two paint companies is an excellent example. The paints in question were labeled “Zero VOC.” This was technically true – for the paints as they came in the bucket.

However, depending on the final colors used to tint the paint, the customer could end up going home with paint containing measurable VOC content.

The FTC showed zero tolerance for truth twisting in this case. This, even though one of the companies had included a disclosure in their marketing collateral.  (The disclosure wasn’t obvious enough, according to the agency.)

A Better Best Practice

Best practice or not, I would be very careful about using false logic when marketing and advertising green products and services.

And given the trends I am seeing towards greater transparency even amongst mainstream companies, I would hazard a guess that it’s not the safest bet for anyone anymore.

Despite Bob Bly’s assurance that false logic is not lying or manipulation, it’s a fine line between truth and misrepresentation, and the technique can dance you dangerously close to the edge. All it takes is one or two dissatisfied customers who feel they’ve been lied to (whether or not it’s true) to smear your name all over social media. And then, of course, there’s the FTC.

A better best practice?

Use real logic.

Figure out how to position the truth of your service, product or company as a benefit to your customer.

Like that metal broker. It seems to me that instead of pretending to be something he’s not, he could position himself as having a unique business model (which he does; instead of being a dealer with a big warehouse like all his competitors, he’s one guy in an office.)

He could explain how his business is based on relationships, and how he uses those relationships to meet his customers’ needs better and faster than the competition.

In fact, a true story like that might even be more compelling than his dicey false logic claim.

Just sayin.’

[stextbox id=”custom”]Enjoy this post? Be sure to sign up for my monthly Green marketing tips and insights (sign up at top left) – and don’t forget to comment below![/stextbox]

 

photo credit: CircaSassy via photopin cc

Press Release Sale – 20% Off for New Clients

SAVE 20% on Press Releases Now Through February 15th!
(Valentine’s Sale for New Clients* Only)

Shout out - guy with megaphone
Don’t let your business news go stale. Shout it out and watch your traffic zoom!

Press releases aren’t just for the press anymore. They’re a super effective way to get in front of customers, too.

Shout out your business news, and get the attention you deserve!

I can help you by:

  • Finding the most newsworthy angles about your business for maximum PR effectiveness
  • Writing you a press release that gets editors and customers to sit up, take notice, and want to find out more
  • Getting you in front of the hottest editors in your industry for your best chance at media exposure
  • Introducing you to the blogging community, which can land you a powerful, everywhere-at-once internet blitz

SAVE 20% on Press Releases Now Through February 15th, 2013!

(Valentine’s Sale for New Clients* Only)

Got news? Don’t delay – fresh news is perishable.  Contact me for pricing on press release writing and distribution packages today:
[contact-form-7 id=”1716″ title=”Contact Anne – Press Release”]

*Existing clients – call me: I’ve got an even better deal for you!

Does frequent blogging make a difference?

Blogging can be one of the most effective – and cost-effective – ways to generate new leads. Small businesses that blog get an average of 126% more lead growth than non-blogging companies. But just posting an article once in a while probably won’t get you the results you need. Like everything else, applying strategic best practices is the ticket to achieving satisfactory results.

Bloggers who post more frequently reap greater benefits.

How’s your blog doing? What? Don’t have one? Or are you too busy to post?

If you are, you may be missing the boat. Blogging does make a difference. It can be one of the most effective – and cost-effective – ways to generate new leads. In fact, small businesses that blog get an average of 126% more lead growth than non-blogging companies.

However, just posting an article once in a while probably won’t get you the results you need. Like everything else, applying strategic best practices is the ticket to achieving satisfactory results.

Want more leads? Blog more often.

Blogging is a frequency – driven medium. There is a direct correlation between the number of posts per week or month, and the likelihood of gaining a customer through the blog.

One reason for this is that blogging adds pages to your site and makes it easier for Google and other search engines to find you. This helps your site rise in search engine importance, which makes it easier for your prospects to find you.

If you have good content and promote your blog articles well, you’re likely to find your efforts snowballing as people leave comments and share your content. Google loves shares and comments – they’re solid evidence that your content has relevance to real people.

Again, the more pages you have – especially if you offer solid, relevant content –  the easier it will be for your prospects to find your site.  The chart below (courtesy of Hubspot) illustrates the typical jump in monthly leads once a site exceeds 300 or so pages.

Hubspot page to traffic chart
Statistically, more pages = more leads. Blogging is a great way to rack up the pages on your site, and frequent blogging really does make a difference.

So, how often should you post to your blog?

The recommended best practice for an established blog is to post two or more times a week. For an emerging blog, daily is best (if not multiple times a day.)

Of course you will need to stay within your available budget and time frame, but I would highly recommend posting a bare minimum of once per week if you want the blog to be a significant part of your marketing plan. More is better, so if you can swing more frequent posting, do so.

Allow time to cultivate results from your blog

If your blog is new, or you are resurrecting a neglected blog, it may take few months or more before you start seeing the results you’d like. Don’t despair – just take a look at the nice J curve on the chart above to help keep spirits up during this time. Don’t forget to actively promote your blog through social media and other channels. I’ll give you some promotion hints in future posts.

If you’re not posting frequently enough simply because you’re too busy, there’s an easy fix for that – hire a blogger. (In other words, give me a call!) 😉 But if you are doing it in house for budget issues or just simply prefer to, you’ll want to do it as efficiently as possible. Stay tuned for ways to stretch your content and get more posts for less time!

 

 
photo credit: Adikos via photopin cc