Content Marketing
How to Make Your Blog Posts Generate Serious Leads

How to Make Your Blog Posts Generate Serious Leads

June 19, 2017
5 min read

Your blog either has that all important ‘it’ factor, or it doesn’t. You’re either generating significant leads from your posts or not.

If you’re not, you’re also missing out on an exponentially beneficial competitive advantage that other businesses are enjoying.

B2B marketers garner 67 percent more leads when they use a blog than when they don’t. You’re also losing out on the sustainable website traffic – and potential droves of qualified leads – with the 97 percent more inbound links you’ll have popping up throughout the web, directing more online users to your site.

When your blog content is valuable, it becomes a resource, not just for your market but also for your industry. Over time, more sites will link to your useful posts, attracting more potential leads to your site without you having to put in more work to generate those leads.

Why do some businesses seem to have the secrets of lead generation abundance figured out? While others simply aren’t getting results?

The truth is, there is a lot that goes into crafting excellent blog posts, the kind that will attract plenty of organic traffic but also compel readers to take that next step and become a lead.

Ready to turn your blog into a machine for lead generation? Here are the essentials you want to master to ensure your blog is doing its job.

Put a Lot of Effort Into Your Opening

Your first goal with your blog isn’t to generate leads but rather to get your audience to read your post. You only have a few seconds to impress your readers and capture their attention.

When looking at both B2B and B2C blogs, the average time someone spends on a post is a whopping 37 seconds. Yep, the time it takes you to pour your coffee, stir in your creamer and sigh is all the time your readers are going to spend for your average post, no matter how many hours you spent creating it.

How do you win over your audience before those 37 seconds are up and convince them to keep reading? You need a strong opening.

Try asking a question, leading with a beguiling fact or statistic, or just going all out, guns blazing at the beginning and present the reader’s problem and answer all within the first three sentences. Give them value in the introduction to convince them they will get more value if they keep going.

One of the best tactics is to start with a highly personal opening. A snippet of the author’s world. Hubspot offers a few examples of great openings, like this one, written by Jeff Deutsch in “Confessions of a Google Spammer.”

Then Write a Long-Form Blog Post

Wait a second? If the average reader only spends 37 seconds – why write a 1000 or 2000-word blog post? That’s a really good question. Here’s your answer: for those people who do read beyond the beginning, as in, the highly qualified leads that stumble upon your blog post, they are more likely to take action after reading if they you answered all their questions and concerns and then some.

When you don’t cover a subject in-depth, how often do your readers simply continue searching elsewhere on the web until they get the fulfillment they are after? Long-form posts have been found to generate nine times more leads than short-form posts.

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Use CTAs in Your Posts

Call-to-actions aren’t just for the end of your blog posts. What if your readers never make it to your punchy closing and colorful CTA link? You should also be using links within your content, directing readers to a relevant white paper or eBook to download, landing page, or simply to more information they may be interested in reading on your website, like this.

Use a Posting Schedule

Not only will a blog content calendar simplify your life, but it will also help you to grow your audience and potentially generate more leads. Here’s how. When you post regularly, you do two things.

First, you help your site’s page rank. Google rewards sites that post regular, fresh content. Publishing ten one week and then none the next because of burnout is going to make it difficult for Google’s web crawlers to identify your site’s freshness.

Second, you provide your readers with a media source they can count on. When your Twitter followers, email subscribers, and other site frequenters know there will be a new post every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday morning, they are more likely to visit to check out your latest and greatest.

Your readers may even come to expect a new post, seeing it as something to look forward to while waiting for the bus or stopping by their favorite coffee shop for a work break. Don’t rob people of their blog reading rituals because you post intermittently.

Be Visual Heavy

Blog posts with visual content are better for generating leads. They make a post, especially the long-form blog posts you are creating, more interesting to read. They can provide more insight into your text or replace it altogether.

Illustrations will help your readers know how they can take that all important next step to download content, sign up for your special offer, or in any other way become a lead.

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Video isn’t just highly digestible. You can add a clickable CTA in your video content.

Images enhance your blog posts by making them more appealing to look at, which means more people will actually read through your entire post and reach each and every CTA.

Images also help to make your text more relevant by expanding on your ideas. They can be used to provide a personal, emotional connection with your audience, encouraging them to keep reading and priming them for clicking a CTA button or link.

Take this one for example. Who can look at this picture and click away? Using images can really help to subconsciously encourage readers to stay on your post a little longer.

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And infographics are an excellent way to get across your information in a succinct, visually impressive way. They’ll build traffic, make your website’s blog content more varied, and help to establish your brand as an industry leader.

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Use the Walk-Away-Satisfied Test

This is probably the most important facet of creating a blog that is capable of generating leads that will help your business grow. All the technical and formatting features of your blog are important but what will sell your CTAs is your actual content. Make sure it is of value to your buyer personas. After reading your blog, your audience should feel satisfied that they:

  • Found a clear answer to their question or problem.
  • Are inspired to dig deeper.
  • Feel better informed about a subject and so can take their next step.
  • Are confident that when they need more information on your business’s niche subject, they know where to turn for more – your blog.

These are the sentiments that will encourage them to download your eBook, click over to your landing page to find out more, make a purchase or subscribe, explore other posts on your blog, or sign up for your newsletter.

Don’t Forget Lead Generation System Maintenance

Don’t forget, just like any company asset; you want to not only build your blog library, but also to spend the time to maintain, refine, and improve your old posts in both quality and SEO on a consistent basis. Do that, and you’ll have a blog with enviable organic traffic metrics and a growing business.

3 thoughts on “How to Make Your Blog Posts Generate Serious Leads

  1. Andrea Torti

    Absolutely – visual content is getting more and more traction.

    Also, repurposing your content can both extend its lifespan and make it available to different audiences.

  2. Derek Little

    Great post Michael. But I have to completely disagree with your opening statement that… “You’re either generating significant leads from your posts or not.”

    While that maybe true if you’re selling a $47 dollar eBook on “getting better abs,” it’s not the case for high priced consulting services, for example. Then, in most cases a great result is leading readers to your website (maybe for opt-in materials). But it’ll take more than one post to get them to go for Free consultation. Probably a few good case studies too.

  3. Michael Brenner

    Thanks Derek,

    I’m not sure we disagree necessarily, but I don’t think it matters what you are selling, blogs either generate leads or they don’t. The best examples of B2B content marketing (see my post for 150+) are all generating leads from their blog. Typically it’s in the form of lead forms on “offers” like e-books and whitepapers or webinars. Or it is simply in the form of email addresses.

    Having run the blog for SAP where our average selling price was $180K, we found that NO ONE ever read a blog and then “converted” on our website. We tested dozens of ways to do that and in a million pageviews, we had 11 “conversions.”

    But once we added subscriptions and offers, the leads flowed in. 1,000 in the first year. Those leads converted into more than $540,000 in sales revenue. So yes, blogs either generate leads or they don’t.

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Michael Brenner

Michael Brenner is an international keynote speaker, author of "Mean People Suck" and "The Content Formula", and Founder of Marketing Insider Group. Recognized as a Top Content Marketing expert and Digital Marketing Leader, Michael leverages his experience from roles in sales and marketing for global brands like SAP and Nielsen, as well as his leadership in leading teams and driving growth for thriving startups. Today, Michael delivers empowering keynotes on marketing and leadership, and facilitates actionable workshops on content marketing strategy. Connect with Michael today.

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