What makes a B2B blog post get 100 upvotes on inbound.org?

If you want the best B2B marketing news, there’s one place to go.


The marketing community -slash- news site is the brainchild of Moz founder Rand Fishkin and HubSpot founder Dharmesh Shah. Today it’s a one-stop-shop for the best of the best content about content marketing.

Though founded by marketing wunderkind, it’s Inbound.org’s users who are really responsible for the quality content on the site. Users publish content, users vote on content – and the cream rises to the top. The more upvotes an article gets, the higher it appears on the homepage.

But how do posts earn upvotes on Inbound.org?

I took a closer look at the top performing posts in the last month on Inbound.org and discovered some useful information.

There’s no magic formula. You don’t have to offer up your firstborn to the moderators (though I hear they do like a nice gift basket).

But there ARE 5 elements that the top performing posts have in common.

5 elements that the top performing Inbound.org posts have in common.  Tweet: 5 elements that the top performing https://ctt.ec/b07YU+ posts have in common https://ctt.ec/7J7g5+ @snap_app

Here are the top 10 posts in the last month at the time of this writing so you can see these elements in action.

  1. How to Write the Perfect Business Email Using Just 5 Questions [Infographic]

  2. Goodbye inbound.org! I am Ed Fry. Employee #1 at inbound.org, now Growth at Hull.io – Ask Me Anything.

  3. How to Write a Persuasive Case Study Without Any Numbers

  4. Google will soon start punishing mobile sites that show hard-to-dismiss popups

  5. 20 Content Marketing Resources to Bookmark ASAP

  6. We Looked At 137,052 Tweets & Found Out Hashtags Are Worthless

  7. Important Lessons Learned from Over 1/4 Million SlideShare Views

  8. How To Promote Your Content With ZERO Budget

  9. Migrating from HubSpot to Marketo — How We Did It in Just Three Weeks

  10. 11 Content Promotion Tips From 11 Heavy Hitters

Read on to learn the top 5 elements and how you can use them in your own content for better marketing results.

Top Performer Element 1: They Teach Something Valuable

When writing content, there are four broad content objectives to consider: inspire, entertain, educate, and inform.

Every post in the top 10 list above is largely educational – with the exception of the Goodbye inbound.org post from Ed Fry.

But even though that Ed Fry post starts off informational, the ask-me-anything format turns it solidly educational as the content continues in the comments below.

Every other post teaches the reader something valuable up-front. Examples include:

  • How to write a business email
  • How to write a case study
  • How to deal with Google’s new pop-up rules
  • How to create better content and promote it

Top Performer Element 2: They Help the Reader Make an Immediate Change

All of the top Inbound.org posts I analyzed have actionable takeaways. In other words, you can use what you learned right now to make a change in your life or business.

These are not high-concept posts. They are heavily tactical and include specific advice on how to make use of the information.

Top-performing posts on inbound have actionable takeaways and help the reader make an immediate changeTweet: Top-performing posts on https://ctt.ec/cbz1r+ have actionable takeaways and help the reader make an immediate change. https://ctt.ec/8J8bd+

Take the 11 Content Promotion Tips From 11 Heavy Hitters post, for example. At first glance, it’s a roundup of lessons learned by the Autopilot team when they went to the Content Promotion Summit. Look closer, though. All 11 points have actionable takeaways.

Top Performer Element 3: They Use Data

These writers don’t shy away from numbers, that’s for sure. If there’s data to be had, it’s included in the content of these posts.

  • How to Write the Perfect Business Email starts off with email statistics.

  • We Looked At 167,943 Tweets is based on data gathered over – you guessed it – hundreds of thousands of tweets.

  • Important Lessons Learned from Over 1/4 Million SlideShare Views analyzed data gathered from SlideShare.

  • Even 11 Content Promotion Tips shared the data around the interesting promotion tactics that they’re recommending.

Not every post needed numbers to make a point, and not every writer had numbers to share. But most of these posts included metrics, statistics and data-backed research of some kind. Why? Because numbers make a stronger case, and they boost credibility.

Top-performing Inbound.org posts don’t shy away from the numbers.Tweet: Top-performing blog posts don’t shy away from the numbers. https://ctt.ec/m2Cti+

Top Performer Element 4: Their Headlines Are Clear – but Not Necessarily Concise

There’s a headline copywriting formula called The 4 Cs that pretty well captures headline best-practices:





Notice that most of the headlines in the top posts on Inbound.org are not very concise.

I’m actually seeing an interesting trend, here.

You see, today one of the biggest reasons to keep your headline concise is that a longer headline will get cut off in Google Search results. Yet there’s a trend of longer, more detailed headlines happening. You can see this clearly on Inbound.org’s top posts.

So why is this?

First, it could be that the post’s meta title (the title that appears in Google Search) is written concisely. So we can’t say for sure that these post titles would get cut off in Google search.

The longer headlines you see on Inbound.org posts, however, give more details. Important details that make the case for clicking on the post. The power of compelling copy – even if it’s not super concise – is nothing to sneeze at!

Top Performer Element 5: The Topics Are Conversation-Worthy

Each of these posts have lots of comments. Maybe not the most comments of every post on Inbound.org, but still, a fair amount.

What does this matter?

It matters because people care enough about these posts to take the time to comment on them. If people care about the post, they’re more likely to share it, too.

So what makes people care enough to comment?

  • The topics are compelling, thought provoking, and in many cases controversial. Posts that make people think are often the posts that get people talking.
  • The voice of the writer is human and exciting, not corporate – so the reader can more easily connect with the writing.
  • In most cases, the writer responds to all – or at least most – of the comments, so there is actual interaction happening. This encourages others to chime in.

To learn more about how to get people to comment on your blog posts, I recommend HubSpot’s article here and Quicksprout’s article here.

5 Ways to Become an Inbound.org Superstar

You can use these 5 elements to improve your odds of engaging your audience with any piece of content – but especially keep them in mind when you’re writing B2B blog posts.

One thing many people don’t know, too, is that on Inbound.org, moderator upvotes count for more than the average user upvote. So if you can impress the Inbound authorities with your outstanding blog posts, you have a higher chance of rising to the top of the homepage.

Best of luck with your next Inbound.org masterpiece!

This post originally appeared on SnapApp.