Tuesday, June 23, members of the Fairfield County HubSpot User Group convened to learn some tricks of the blogging trade. The event featured a panel of experienced bloggers sharing their insights on how to maximize your blog’s potential. They discussed keyword strategy, developing your voice, and best practices for growing an audience and generating leads. Panelists included Dan Woog of 06880: Where Westport Meets the World, Emma Snider of the HubSpot Sales Blog, and Michael Schein of MicroFame Media, . Our moderator for the evening was Ellie Becker, an inbound marketing veteran and consultant for Austin Lawrence.
Michael helped to open our discussion with his comments on the early days of blog writing, where standing out was easy and everyone was part of the ‘in-crowd’. Given the cluttered blogosphere we navigate today our panelists agreed on the importance of developing a unique voice that lets a writer connect with their audience. Dan added that blog writing provides an opportunity for a more conversational approach, one that he employs in his blog.. But in order to grow the audience size, you need to do more than just converse with your visitors.
Attracting and retaining readers is where SEO (Search Engine Optimization) techniques come into play. Tagging keywords and linking to other relevant material all help drive SEO juice, but determining your keywords can be a challenge. Emma shared her practice of using the HubSpot Keyword Tool (non HubSpot users can try keyword.io, a free tool that generates keyword suggestions) to select relevant, actionable keywords before she sits down to write. Emma and Michael both cautioned against writing a post first and then selecting keywords, this kind of approach can back you into a corner and lead to disjointed writing.
Another SEO play -- suggested by Michael -- is to use social media to form relationships with those who already have influence in your subject area. When you have built an established relationship you can request those people or companies contribute material to your own blog to leverage their dedicated following
But the success of a blog doesn’t only boil down to the writing. Including a photo or graphic to grab a reader’s eye can go a long way. Dan even commented that a blog lives or dies by its graphics. As good as your writing may be a compelling graphic never hurts.
However, it is important to make sure the graphic is appropriate to the written topic. For topics that are more quantitative or are data heavy a tool such as infogr.am -- another great suggestion from Emma - allows users to create charts and infographics to visually represent their data.
Our panelists had a wealth of knowledge to share, and these points don't even begin scratch the surface. If you were unable to attend, want to re-watch, or want to share the event with friends you can watch the recording below or by clicking here.
Don’t forget to mark your calendars for our next meeting on July 14th! We'll focus on making the most of HubSpot integrations to enhance your inbound marketing efforts. This session will highlight popular tools as well as hidden gems and offer tips on how to apply the to your marketing campaigns. Register now!