B2B Blogging Focus: Blog Tips from LinkedIn Expert & Inbound Marketing Evangelist Josh Turner
Can LinkedIn help your online business grow?
Absolutely. Just ask Josh Turner.
He knows a lot about how to get the best ROI from LinkedIn, conducting webinars that lead to sales, and inbounding marketing.
As an inbound marketing enthusiast, Turner understands how important a blog is for any online business.
He currently is the founder of three online businesses. Two of them are laser focused on LinkedIn…
1. Linked University – The Definitive Training Program for Building Your Business on LinkedIn
2. Linked Selling – Design and manage strategic marketing campaigns for businesses on LinkedIn
3. Webinarli – Provides outsourced marketing teams who plan and implement lead generating webinars for businesses
In fact, LinkedIn is where I first met Josh Turner a couple of years ago. He started a helpful LinkedIn group I am a member of called the B2B Roundtable.
Recently, I asked Turner some questions on blogging. Anyone who blogs to make money will find his answers interesting.
Let’s begin my B2B Blogging Focus Q&A with Josh Turner…
Josh, let’s start with your background. Tell us what it is you do.
We help b2b companies generate leads, and we do that through two specific vehicles: LinkedIn and Webinars. In addition to the client side of our business (LinkedSelling and Webinarli), we also run one of the leading online training program for learning how to leverage LinkedIn to grow your business. It’s called Linked University. And we also run Webinar University, which is all about learning how to generate leads using webinars.
Can you share with us the role blogging plays in your own business and any other blogging experience in your past or present?
We blog fairly consistently at LinkedSelling.com. It’s not our most successful online tactic, but I think it plays an important role in our overall marketing mix. If nothing else, we want our potential clients to see an active presence online. It’s a basic step in the relationship building process. If a potential client looks at our site, and it’s just a brochure explaining our services…they’re far less likely to feel a human connection to our team and mindset.
You help people position themselves as leading experts in their space (niche)…what role does a blog play into your strategy?
Content gives us something to say. For example, when we’re running a LinkedIn campaign for a client, a big part of our process is staying top-of-mind for so long that our client’s prospects really are pretty comfortable with our client. One way we do that is by sharing relevant content, which sometimes takes the form of a blog post. It’s all about priming them with valuable content, and nurturing these “suspects” so that some percentage of them become “prospects,” and some percentage of those “clients.”
Another thing you do is help businesses and individuals increase sales. From your perspective, how can blogging help increase sales for a company or sole proprietor?
In and of itself, blogging will not increase sales. As part of a broader marketing mix, it can play a part. The fact is that for a lot of old school companies, their customers are not reading their blog and are unlikely to find them via their blog or organic search. But even for those businesses, who have other ways of reaching customers, having the blog is important in delivering an excellent first impression.
You teach businesses how to leverage online tools like LinkedIn….what are some blogging tools you highly recommend? WordPress? What plugins or widgets do you like?
Yeah, we use WordPress. Some of our favorite plugins are Yoast, ClickDesk, Digg Digg, Gravity Forms and Tweet old post.
Do you recommend a blogger share their blog content on LinkedIn? When is it a good idea and when is it not and why?
Absolutely. If you’re putting out good stuff, definitely share it with your network (status update) and post it in relevant LinkedIn groups.
The only time it’s NOT a good idea to do this, is if you’re content is overly promotional and provides no value, or is written for search engines. Sharing that kind of content on LinkedIn may cause more harm than good.
Your website LinkedSelling has a robust blog with consistent weekly posts. Can you talk about your blog strategy here? What is your content process? You can see there are other writers besides yourself also publishing on this blog. Do you hand pick these writers or is this blog open to guest writers? Why or why not?
Jamie Kreft in my office manages the editorial process, and the rest of the team collaborates. We aim to publish one or two new articles each week. Sometimes it’s less, just depending on what’s going on in the business. We come up with ideas as a team, and people raise their hand to volunteer to write articles on the topics they have some expertise in. None of it is outsourced, it’s all done by our in house team.
How do you find new content ideas?
As mentioned above, Jamie in my office handles coming up with new ideas. So I asked her how she does it:
“Most people are overwhelmed by the thought of generating new content ideas. They don’t know how or where to start. I begin by checking out the trending topics in my industry. I set up RSS feeds, take advantage of Twitter’s search tool, and follow the top thought leaders to see what the people are talking about.
It is also important to look to your clients and prospects for inspiration. What are the top challenges they are currently facing? What questions do they ask over and over? You can then turn around and produce a compelling piece of content that provides them with the answers they are looking for.
Of course, these content ideas don’t always come to you at the best time. It’s important to write down the ideas whenever they come to you. So when the time comes to sit down and actually write the content, you have a ton and notes and ideas to go off of. “
Let’s focus on B2B blogging…When a B2B business has a blog, how often do they need to post a new article?
It really depends on the audience and the goals of the business. My opinion is that every business should blog at least once per month. For a lot of businesses, it makes sense to blog weekly or every other week.
Most business owners don’t have the time to maintain their company blog alone. The marketing team is an obvious source of help with that. Are there any other staff members a company should consider to help create new and effective blog content?
Anybody in a company can help write content. Almost everybody in our company, from the sales team to account managers, are expected to contribute to the blog. They all have a unique window into the things our customers care about, our processes, and so much more that puts them in an ideal position to talk from a position that is often more informed than what a marketing associate can deliver.
What can a business do to develop their audience?
Be sure that you have a number of ways to get people on to your email list. I’ll take a large email audience over a large blog audience any day. So as it relates to blogging, make sure your content is driving people to your list. (Matt also teaches bloggers the importance of building their own email list.)
If a business owner asked you what is the one most important piece of blogging advice you could give them, what would you say?
Set up retargeting campaigns based on the content people consume. That’s one of the best ways to see a clear ROI from blogging.
Personally, what are some of your favorite blogs and why do you like them?
DigitalMarketer.com is one of my favorites right now. They put out a ton of super actionable content. None of the fluffy B.S. that you see on most marketing blogs.
And thank you for sharing this B2B Blogging Focus with Josh Turner…
I have more Q&As lined up from bloggers and online business professionals who can teach you a lot about effective blogging and how to use your blog to generate income.
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If you have a question or comment about B2B blogging or using LinkedIn with your blog, leave me a comment below.