Archive | Content Development RSS feed for this section

Executing A Content Audit In The Right Way


Content audit is one of the most important task to do if you’re working on any kind of redesign project involving a large amount of content, such as that of a website, intranet or mobile site.

For those who don’t know, content audit is not something you’re necessarily going to want to tackle. It’s one of those tedious jobs that hardly anyone talks about. However, you can’t undertake a redesign of a content-heavy site without it.

Content Audit In A Nutshell

In short, content audit is the activity of checking all of the content on a website and compiling it into a big list. There are three main types of content audits that you can perform:

  • Full content inventory: A complete listing of every content item on the site. This may include all pages as well as all assets, like downloadable files and videos.
  • Partial content inventory: A listing of a subset of the site’s content. A partial inventory may include, for example, the top few levels of a hierarchical site or the past six months of articles. All sections of the site will be covered.
  • Content sample: A less detailed collection of example content from the site.

What is a Content Audit Used For?

The main purpose of a content audit is to produce a listing of the site’s content, usually in a big spreadsheet.

This list of content will come in handy at various stages of the project. If you’re re-doing the information architecture, you’ll return to it again and again to remind yourself of the details of each page; you can also use it to talk to authors about managing and rewriting their content; and if you’re going to be moving to a new content management system, you’ll use it to keep note of what you started with, and where you’re up to.

That said, having a comprehensive list of content isn’t the only benefit of this process. Just by taking the audit you’ll get a much better understanding of the content. You may find things you didn’t know existed, spot duplication and identify all kinds of relationships in the content. It can also serve as a precursor to a more comprehensive content analysis, but that’s a topic for another post!

What Does A Content Audit Include?

You need to record a content audit in a spreadsheet, mainly because spreadsheets are so flexible. They are also great at holding a large amount of information in a fairly manageable way. Plus they’re easy to share with other people.

Try to collect the following information for every page:

  • Navigation title: The name of the main navigation link to the content (e.g. the link title in the main navigation)
  • Page name: The displayed page title
  • URL: You may want to display the URL or just link from the page name
  • Comments: Notes and things for you to remember
  • Content hierarchy: Some way of showing the basic relationship of the content items

You may also like to add information about:

  • Content Type: Is this a basic page, publication, news story, article, technique, FAQ, or something else?
  • Basic content description: A brief reminder about what’s on the page
  • Topic, tags or category: Meta data for products, articles, news, blog posts
  • Author: Who wrote this content?
  • Owner: Who is responsible for the content?
  • Date last updated: When was the content last updated?
  • Attached files: How many files are attached, and what type of files are they?
  • Related: What information is linked from sidebars or Related Links boxes on this page?
  • Availability: Is the content available to desktop, mobile and/or app users? Is the content syndicated to other sites?
  • A numbering system: An index to help you when referring to each content item.

You may need to collect different information for each type of content. For example, you may want to list topics or categories for news content; and only list downloadable files in a publications area.

The most important thing to know about a content audit is there really is no right or wrong way to do it. Content audit is a tool for you to use throughout your project, so create yours in a way that will help you. Don’t be afraid to adapt it after you start, as each client and project is different.

Where to Begin

Getting started is easy! Here’s how you make the spreadsheet:

1. List the main pages or sections of the site in the first column of your spreadsheet (right alongside your index).

2. Choose one page to start with and dive into it, capturing the information you’ve decided upon for that page.

3. If that page has sub-pages, make a list of each of them, and repeat the process for each of these in turn.

4. Then just keep going, until you’ve explored and written down everything you need to. That’s all.

If you’re auditing a big site, it can be very easy to get lost. You need to take this process step-by-step, and to finish one section before starting another.


  • If your site is run from a CMS, you should be able to get access to a list of all the pages from the site. If it’s a good CMS, and the content is already fairly well structured, you may even be able to have the CMS generate a good quality starter audit for you. If the CMS can’t do it, a tool like the Content Analysis Tool may help.
  • Don’t capture information you are unlikely to need or use. If you’re unsure whether you need information for a specific page, write it down for a handful of pages, to get a feel for whether it will be useful. You can always come back and fill it in for other pages at a later stage.
  • It can sometimes be difficult to determine how a site is structured. In fact, often the process of figuring out what the main sections of a site are can be a challenge. Don’t worry too much about getting the relationships right and showing how pages are connected at the beginning. Just focus on getting pages written down into the spreadsheet—as you get through the audit, you may find a better way of organising the information.
  • Don’t expect the content audit to be fast. Big sites can take days and days to audit. I use this fact as an excuse to buy new music, then sit down and plough through it!
  • Don’t try to take shortcuts, skip sections or skim through without really looking. It’s important that you understand all of the content before you try to work with it later.
  • If you’re working on a brand new site, a content audit can still be useful. Instead of starting with the current site, make a list of all of the resources you’ll be using—printed procedure manuals, fact sheets, videos, paper forms and other documents that will influence the site.

It All Starts with Content

Whether you decide to create a comprehensive list of every item or just a sample items, a content audit is an important process in the path to understanding any content-heavy website. While the process may sound boring, it will provide you with the insight and context you need to make informed design decisions.

Creating a content audit doesn’t require years of experience, but it does require patience, persistence, curiosity, and attention to detail. Take a look at the video below:

The Top Ten Content Marketing Lessons


In today’s social media era, everyone is a publisher. They want to be awesome online. No one wants to be average.

Here are top ten lessons you can learn and apply to your content, blog and website:

1. Don’t expect to be successful all the time.

All marketers want their content to be successful every time. However, that’s not going to happen. A recent study revealed that only 0.3% of articles will reach the top level with over 1,000,000 views. The reality is that you will only have some of your content go viral.

So how to achieve success? Persistence is the key. A lot of trial and error experiments might be tiresome and frustrating, but that’s the only reason you will stay in the game longer than the others.

2. Write multiple headlines for each article.

David Ogilvy was famous for having written over 100 headlines for one advertisement. If you are serious about content marketing this is one of the “biggies”. Learn and keep learning to write the best headlines you can.

3. Make a large listicle of headlines.

In order to build a solid editorial, you need to master the art and science of large list headlines called “Listicles”. It is a short-form of writing that uses a list as its thematic structure, but is fleshed out with sufficient copy to be published as an article.

4. Test your headlines to find the best ones.

When you have written multiple headlines, you need to test them. In certain circumstances, one headline shines better than others.

5. Stack images in content.

Stacking images in articles can be very handy, especially for visual-oriented readers. This tactic becomes very effective, since you are giving your article the best chance to resonate with your audience, thus urging them to share it. Sometimes, less images would not have received that level of viral traffic.

6. Make it easy for readers to share.

The title says it all. You need to have a very clever technical tactic that makes it easy for your readers to share different parts of the article. You might want to include hovering share buttons that pop up as the user scrolls down the article. According to Upworthy’s research, the result of this “small update” is as big as 398% increase in traffic!

7. Curate the best content possible.

Don’t try and break the news. It would be better if you can give a constant lookout for what works and then curates it. On the other side, this technique can improve the framing on the site you’ve curated, so that more people see it.

Content curation is a mutual relationship. It should be an important part of your content marketing strategy. Watch what is trending and then add your own spin to it.

8. Make it easy for people to like your Facebook page.

You have to love the relentless pursuit of squeezing every piece of viral sharing capability out of readers. You can add a pop-up that appears after you have finished watching a video that politely inquires whether you want hang out with them on Facebook. This produced 419% more likes. You can also added a hover banner that asks the readers to “like” your Facebook page.

9. Target a niche, cause or issue.

As content marketers, we are often trying to reach a broad audience to get that mass appeal. However, it’s more important to tap into niches and cause, because readers are often much more passionate about the right topics.

10. Keep looking for “awesome content”.

Trying to be unique all the time can be an exhausting process. Sometimes, all you need to do is keep reading, hunting and seeing what sort of content works well on the web and your competitors sites.

You might want to look for content that contains:

  • A “hero”
  • A “villain”
  • An emotional story
  • An inspiring message

26 Statistics That Verify The Effectiveness Of Content Marketing To Increase Lead, Sales and ROI


Marketers from around the world might have heard about the power of content marketing and how it affects your business.

First, let’s make it clear: what is content marketing?

Content marketing covers any efforts to convert online visitors to buying customers through tactics that align content with customer interests, nurture these leads along conversion paths into customers, and persuade these customers so they become outspoken promoters of the company.

If you are still unassertive about content marketing, here are some impressive statistics that might convince you that content marketing is definitely worth the time, money, and effort.

1. Five Statistics About How Consumers Feel About Inbound Marketing

Knowing where your consumers are spending their time online, how they assimilate information, and how they are influenced is the first step to formulating an effective inbound marketing strategy.

  1. 80% of business decision makers prefer to get information in a series of articles versus an advertisement.
  2. 61% of consumers say they feel better about a company that delivers custom content and are also more likely to buy from that company.
  3. 90% of consumers find custom content useful.
  4. 78% of consumers believe that organizations providing custom content are interested in building good relationships with them.
  5. 50% of consumer time online is spent engaging with custom content.

2. Four Statistics Showing Increased SEO, Website Traffic, and Conversion Rate

Understanding your consumers is a great first step, but does inbound marketing actually improve your website rankings, drive traffic, and compel visitors along the buyer’s journey? The following stats answer that question with a resounding “Yes!”

  1. Blogs give websites on average 434% more indexed pages and 97% more indexed links.
  2. Year-over-year growth in unique site traffic is 7.8 times higher for content marketing leaders compared to followers (19.7% vs 2.5%).
  3. Website conversion rate is nearly 6 times higher for content marketing adopters than non-adopters (2.9% vs 0.5%).
  4. Inbound marketers double the average site conversion rate, from 6% to 12% total.

3. Nine Statistics Proving Inbound Marketing Increases Lead Generation

Not only does inbound marketing improve your online presence, it can dramatically increase the number of marketing qualified and sales qualified leads.

  1. 78% of small businesses attract new customers through social media.
  2. 34% of all leads generated by marketers in 2013 come from inbound marketing sources.
  3. Inbound practices produce 54% more leads than traditional outbound practices.
  4. 54% more leads are generated by inbound than by outbound.
  5. HubSpot customers average a total of 9,100 leads after 1.5 years of inbound marketing.
  6. Brands that create 15 blog posts per month average 1,200 new leads per month.
  7. Businesses with 31 to 40 landing pages got 7 times more leads than those with only 1 to 5 landing pages.
  8. Those with over 40 landing pages got 12 times more leads than those with only 1 to 5 landing pages.
  9. Companies that excel at lead nurturing generate 50% more sales ready leads at 33% lower cost.

4. Five Statistics Proving Inbound Marketing Increases Sales

Increasing the number of leads is nice, but it’s all about the bottomline sales.

  1. Customers who receive email newsletters spend 82% more when they buy from the company.
  2. Nurtured leads make 47% larger purchases than non-nurtured leads.
  3. Companies that automate lead management see a 10% or greater increase in revenue in 6-9 months.
  4. Companies with mature lead generation and management practices have a 9.3% higher sales quota achievement rate.
  5. Nurtured leads produce, on average, a 20% increase in sales opportunities versus non-nurtured leads.

5. Three Stats Proving Inbound Marketing Increases ROI

Swimming in sales is euphoric, but take it a step further by showing your boss that inbound marketing actually costs less per lead compared to traditional marketing with the following stats.

  1. Content marketing produces 3 times more leads per dollar.
  2. Inbound marketing costs 62% less per lead than traditional outbound marketing.
  3. Within the first 6 months, SmartBug Media ranked in the highest client ROI in HubSpot history with an overall 1,047% ROI.

These are just a handful of compelling stats out there proving that inbound marketing is too important to ignore. Do you have any other stats to add?

17 Examples of Great Content Marketing Strategy in Australia (SlideShare)

Content marketing development in Australia has been grown fast for a couple of years now.

Google’s recent algorithm change has taught us that content marketing is very important for all businesses that want to take online selling more seriously. According to one research report, spending on content marketing in Australia is set to increase by 61%, with 12% of respondents saying they will be ‘significantly increasing’ their budget this year.

Obviously, this statistic has marked the rise of content marketing age in Australia. Here are some prime examples of Australian brands that doing their content marketing job well.

Eight Growth Hacking Tips To Drive More Traffic And Conversions


What is growth hacking?

Growth hacking is a marketing technique designed to turn clever hacks into fast-paced product growth. Content marketing is also about growth; if you’re creating content, you’re doing it because you want to grow your traffic and reach more people.

In today’s post, we will share nine growth hacking tactics to make your content marketing efforts more impressive.

1. Set your OpenGraph tags in order

Almost every social media site uses embedded OpenGraph HTML tags to generate link previews so readers can preview page content before they click through to read the post. These link previews are generated using a small bit of meta-tag code that is included in the <head> of your HTML page. Configuring and testing the tags may require some technical wrench time, but it is worth it; OpenGraph tags can help improve click rates. If you are using WordPress for your website or blog, the WordPress SEO Plugin by Yoast does an excellent job of making things work for all of the major networks.

Here are some handy tools to test how your link preview looks like:

  • Facebook OpenGraph Debugger
  • Twitter Hovercard Validator
  • Google+ Structured Data Testing Tool
  • Pinterest Rich Pins Validator

2. Utilise microdata and rich snippets

By now, most of us know about Google Authorship, the functionality that displays the author’s profile image next to search results. These little gems have been proven to increase attention and click-through rates, but the opportunities don’t stop there.

Microdata (also called rich snippets) are the few lines of text that appear under every search result. They were designed by Google to “give users a sense for what’s on the page and why it’s relevant to their query.”

In other words, rich snippets provide you with a few additional characters to convince your readers that your link is worthy of their click. Luckily, if you have some HTML skills, you can control what is seen here. This is an advanced topic, but worth exploring if you want to get the extra oomph out of your content. If you want to take it a step further, take a look at Google’s In-Depth Articles markup.

3. Share your business data with your readers

Readers love stories, and even more importantly, they love sharing compelling stories with their friends. Sharing your business data is one of honest way to craft a reliable story. While some may see this strategy as extreme, others may see it as a brilliant content hack.

However, by sharing the data-based content that they use internally, you are actually opening yourself up to an entirely different audience and traffic source. Undoubtedly, there are mental hurdles associated with making “private” data public, but your readers will appreciate the transparency.

4. Make your content load faster

Matt Cutts, one of the official spokesmen for Google Search, has made it clear that site speed is a factor that Google uses for determining search rankings. In addition to this, the average website visitor will leave your website in 10-20 seconds if they don’t feel that their needs are addressed. You don’t want to waste that time loading your website.

A great place to start is Google’s web performance best practices guide, which outlines a number of things that you can do to optimize your site speed.

5. Rewrite old content

A great way to extend the life of your evergreen content (content that will not lose relevance or interest over time) is to turn it into a simple autoresponder email course that is dripped out to subscribers over time. By giving “old content” a new life in this way, we have collected thousands of new leads.

The easiest way to start is to choose a common theme on your blog and find a group of posts that match your topic of choice. Next, aggregate the posts in your email autoresponder account so that they drip out to your subscribers over time. Create a dedicated landing page for the course and start promoting it; soon you will see that autoresponder courses are content pieces that keep on giving.

6. Promote your content on social media more than once

Sharing your content more than once on social media is a polarizing practice. Some people don’t care for the continued promotion of a piece, but as is often the case, it’s hard to argue with results.

The truth is that no one cares or even notices that you’re posting your content more than once, provided you don’t act like a spammer. You don’t want to be sending your messages out in too close succession, which is why you need to create a plan for pre-scheduling across your social media accounts. A well-executed schedule may look something like this:

  • Social message sent when blog post goes live.
  • Further social messages trickle out to your accounts over the next 2-3 hours.
  • Messages are shared again on the appropriate social channels the next day.
  • Another series of messages are pre-scheduled and sent the following week.
  • More social messages are pre-scheduled for the following month.
  • Additional messages can optionally be scheduled for the three-month mark or beyond.

7. Develop a guest blogging calendar

You may have recently heard that guest blogging is dead. Well, it’s not. It’s just misunderstood.

Guest blogging is an age-old content hack and as a link-building tool it probably is dead. That being said, as a way to build trust and awareness for your personal brand, it’s still very much alive. If you are doing it right, guest blogging is still a powerful method for promotion and professional networking.

On top of this, guest posting helps us build our influence online. It is still a classic way to growth hack your content marketing – as long as you’re using it to build influence, not SEO.

8. Understand the real definition of content marketing

Everyone knows that content marketing can drive traffic if it is done well, but it’s not an overnight process. Getting the most out of each piece of content that you create is a great start, but you also have to account for the fact that content marketing takes time.

Content marketing isn’t about bringing someone to your site once and immediately converting them into a customer; it’s about bringing them back time and time again. It’s about building trust with your audience and earning their business over the long haul.

Five Most Reliable Keyword Research Tools For Your Content


“It’s all in the tools.”

The above quote is absolutely true in keyword research process. In fact, using the right tools as a part of your content marketing strategy can make all the difference in the world. There are many free and paid tools that can help you find the right keywords that might elevate your SERP. Here are top five keyword research tools that will save a lot of your time and make your SEO work easier.

1. Ubersuggest


This tool is a quite reliable when it comes to keyword research. It gives you hundreds of keyword suggestions related to the term you enter.

2. Google AdWords Keyword Planner


Google AdWords have provided a Keyword Planner on its service. It will give you various data such as related keywords, average monthly search volume, and the level of competition you can expect for a particular term.

3. SEO Book


A fantastic tool for finding related keywords. It estimates for monthly search volumes and even the cost per click or a particular keyword, which might be useful when combined with AdWords.

4. Moz Keyword Difficulty Tool


The best tool for estimating how difficult a keyword will be to rank for. It is a paid tool, you will not regret it.

5. Wordtracker


It gives you an estimate of the traffic you could receive for a particular keyword, as well as the level of search competition. Offers a free trial, but a full membership will cost you about $27/month.

Three Strategies On Content Creation That Will Help Your Business To Gain More Traffic (Infographic)


Did you know that 90% of the information your brain receives is in the visual form? Or that blog posts with images tend to get 94% more views?

Using images is not the sole strategy you can rely on to get more engagement. Increasing your word count can help too. Blog posts that contain 3,000 to 10,000 words, on average, get more social shares.

To show you how you can gain more traffic through content creation, here is an infographic that dissects all the content creation strategies you need to follow. From increasing readability to gaining more social shares, the information in this infographic will be handy for all serious marketers.


Click to Enlarge


Getting More Share For Your Infographics With These Ten Practical Tips (Infographic)


Content sharing is the backbone of social media and viral campaign. Getting the content shared as many as possible is one goal every online business should strive for.

In this visual age, infographics are one popular method to provide information, data and statistics in a way which is easy to understand. Infographics are also appealing enough to share through multiple social media and marketing channels. However, having a wonderful infographic is pointless, except you know how to get your message out there quickly.

In today’s blog post, we provide an infographic that offers ten practical tips to get your infographic shared quicker than you may thought. What are you waiting for? Start grabbing the attention of your audience and encourage them to share your content right away.


Click to Enlarge

For more useful tips and Internet marketing services, contact us today or just give us a call on 1300 911 772.

Five Main Reasons Why Your Fabulous Content Doesn’t Go Viral (Infographic)

the words going viral placed in a white background with youtube style logo

Going Viral? Why Not?

All content creators want their content to go viral. Sadly, it’s not an easy task to do.

Think about it for a moment: if making viral content is so easy, why can’t all the content in the world become viral?

Creating “positive” and successful viral content is not easy. It needs continuous study, dedication, experimentation and numerous trial-and-error processes.

Without question, remarkable content is one of the primary requirements to make content go viral. However, if you think that your content is good enough but it hasn’t gone viral, there must be something wrong with it. In today’s infographic, The Website Marketing Group will cover five main reasons why content doesn’t go viral, even when you think it has exceptional quality.  By avoiding these mistakes, we hope your content can have a better chance to go viral.


Click to Enlarge


The 100 Day Challenge To Become A Successful Inbound Marketer


Finally, you’ve decided to become an inbound marketer. Congratulations. So where do you start?

Basically, inbound marketing is not just a marketing strategy. It’s also a philosophy. At the core of inbound marketing, you’ll be turning your point of view from company-focused marketing to customer-based marketing.

In today’s post, we will shared the 100 day challenge to execute a great inbound marketing checklist. Most people get scared by its length, while this is supposed to be a document you use over three months.

However, this challenge isn’t intended to be a complete list of everything you need to know about inbound marketing. Still, it’s a fairly exhaustive collection of the fundamentals. Your company’s plan could be tailored based on the goals you need to achieve.

Are you ready to start?

Day 1 to 33

1. Broaden Your Knowledge

Read a lot of resources about inbound marketing during your first week. Get familiar with inbound marketing terms, key concepts, themes, and methodologies that will help you strategically tackle your marketing goals.

2. Create Buyer Personas

Buyer persona is one of the most important parts of a successful inbound strategy. A buyer persona is a semi-fictional representation of your ideal customer based on real data. It contains some educated speculations about customer demographics, behavior patterns, motivations, and goals. It’s common for a company to have several different personas.

Buyer personas are the ones you’re creating content for. They are the ones you’re trying to reach, and the ones who (hopefully) will eventually turn into real customers. Creating them and tweaking them over time allows you to better understand your customers’ needs and interests, giving you specific clues where they spend their time online. There are a lot of nuances to buyer personas. They aren’t just job titles, so learn more about them.

3. Set SMART Goals

When creating your new marketing program, setting realistic goals should be a top priority. These realistic goals are called SMART goals. They stand for:

  • Specific. Set real numbers with real deadlines. “Having a good marketing year” is not a specific goal.
  • Measurable. You need to be able to use hard numbers to measure your success.
  • Attainable. You want to set challenging goals, but they should still be attainable. Be honest with yourself. You know what you and your team are capable of. Anticipate and account for obstacles when possible.
  • Relevant. Your goals should actually matter to your business. Let’s say you’re a beer company that has 100 stores that will only accept 100 beers per month in their store. In this situation, your goal likely shouldn’t be to “increase production of teddy bears from 10,000 per month to 50,000 per month.” While it’s great you have more products, if no one is going to buy them, why bother?
  • Timely. Give yourself a deadline and stick to it. Don’t keep pushing toward a goal you might hit “someday.”

4. Use Content Mapping

Content mapping is a process that helps you identify the flaws in your content. It helps you to deliver the right content to the right people at the right time. Knowing who your buyers are by creating those buyer personas is half of the content mapping equation, so finish it first. The second half of content mapping is knowing where your buyers are in the buying cycle, which is also known as the lifecycle stage. There are three lifecycle stages related to content:

  • Awareness. In the awareness stage, a person has realised and expressed symptoms of a potential problem or opportunity.
  • Consideration. In the consideration stage, a person has clearly defined and given a name to their problem or opportunity.
  • Decision. In the decision stage, a person has defined their solution strategy, method, or approach.

By combining buyer personas with lifecycle stages, you can really hone in on specific segments of your audience and tailor content to resonate with each of those segments.

5. Make a List of Relevant Keywords

Do some keyword research before you change anything on your website or start publishing content. Otherwise, you risk “keyword-stuffing” your content after you’ve already written it, which looks forced and can get you penalised by search engines.

There are some helpful tools out there that will help you choose the right keywords. In general, good keywords are popular industry terms that your buyer personas are searching for that don’t have too much competition. Start with a list of 40-50 keywords to build on over time. You’ll use your keyword list to optimise the rest of your marketing content.

6. Create a Landing Page and a Thank-you Page for One of Your Existing Offers

Do you already have a demo, trial, or free quote service? Pick your favorite offer and create a landing page and thank-you page for it. If you already have landing pages and thank-you pages, redesign or revamp them to be more inbound-friendly.

Your landing page should include a description about the offer and a form for the visitor to fill out with their personal information. Visitors see your thank-you page after they’ve filled out the form on your landing page.

7. Set Up a Blog if You Don’t Already Have One

Consistent blogging is a fundamental part of inbound marketing. Whichever blogging platform you choose, familiarise yourself with it by playing around with the tools on a daily basis. Search for tips online, watch instructional videos on YouTube and meet with anyone you know who’s used that platform before to learn some tricks, tips, and shortcuts in person. Once you get up-to-speed on your inbound marketing, you’ll be using your blogging tool every week.

8. Design and Create Two Types of Calls-To-Action

Calls-to-action (CTAs) is the key to lead generation, and every inbound marketer should be able to design and create their own without relying on our busy designer friends. If this is your first time creating a CTA, don’t let it scare you off. It’s not nearly as complicated as it sounds. In fact, you can create CTAs using Microsoft Word, PowerPoint, or pre-made images.

The two CTAs you make should be:

  • A CTA for the existing offer you’ve already created a new landing page and thank-you page for.
  • A CTA encouraging people to subscribe to your blog. (You’ll also include this CTA in a re-engagement email campaign during your second month)

To analyse the success of your CTAs, you should look at the number of clicks and views each CTA received. Then, look at the percentage of views that lead to clicks and the percentage of clicks that lead to landing page form submissions. If you find that you have a low clickthrough or submission rate, you may need to tweak your CTA design or copy.

9. Brainstorm a Backlog of 10-20 Blog Post Topics

These shouldn’t be just any blog post topics — they need to be ones your prospects would find interesting. Use your keyword list to help you come up with working titles for posts, and backlog them somewhere. Google Docs also works just fine.

Make sure your topics are specific. “How to Fish” is far too broad a working title. You can start your brainstorming session with umbrella topics like that, but make sure your working titles are much more narrowed down: “How to Pick the Perfect Fishing Spot”; “Must-Have Fishing Gear for Beginners”; “The Ultimate Guide to Choosing the Right Bait [Infographic].”

Day 34-66

1. Publish 4-5 new blog posts by the end of your second month.

You’ve already learned how important blogging is for getting organic traffic and leads. Next, challenge yourself to write, edit, and publish your first blog post as an inbound marketer on the first day of your second month. Then, write 3-4 more new blog posts during the rest of the month.

After you publish each post, check to see whether your blog traffic has increased — but don’t expect to have tons of new visitors overnight. Building your readership will take a long time, and you need to build a lot of content to increase credibility and up the chance of your posts being found on search engines. This is why it’s important to stick with it and blog consistently, and you’ll see we suggest increasing the number of posts per month throughout these 100 days.

You’ll also want to look at where your traffic is coming from. If you’re getting organic search traffic, it means more visitors are arriving at your site from search engine results pages. If you’re not getting organic search traffic, you may be focusing on the wrong keywords, or your blog may not be optimized for search. For some great blog SEO tips, check out this post on blog SEO and optimizing your posts for search.

To keep an eye on your traffic without getting discouraged by the initial progress, monitor the percentage your blog traffic grows every week and month.

2. Scrub and Segment Your Email Lists

Inbound marketers don’t push their companies or products at people. They pull people toward their companies and products with great content. This means no more sending emails to people who haven’t opted in to receiving your emails. No more spamming or buying email lists. It’s time to significantly decrease your email bounce rate by sending emails only to people who expect to receive them.

Start with a ‘healthy’ email contact lists. In your first month, check how healthy your lists, then review your lists and remove every single email address on there that doesn’t pass the test.

Next, segment your email lists. Remember the buyer personas you created in your first 33 days? There’s a reason you probably have more than one of them. Your buyers don’t all fit into just one category. If you own a fitness club, you might cater to athletes as well as first-time gym goers — and you shouldn’t send both those groups the same exact email. Sending more targeted, relevant emails to each subgroup will improve your clickthrough rate.

There are a few ways to segment your email lists. The first thing you should do is look at the data you already have about your contacts and figure out the most logical subgroups based on the information these recipients want from you, the questions they may have, or their stage in the buying cycle. Once you get the data into an Excel spreadsheet, you can import it to your contacts database and create the different segments.

3. Send a Re-engagement Campaign

You cleaned your list last month while, at the same time, creating some great content for your blog. Now it’s time to reinvigorate the rest of your list with a re-engagement campaign. This is a chance for you to remind the people on your email list that you exist, to tell them about the cool content you’ve been creating and will be sending from here on out, and to urge them to subscribe to your blog. (You’ll need to include that subscribe CTA you made earlier on.) After emailing this out, you’ll remove anyone who didn’t choose to opt in to your emails from your contact list.

To create a re-engagement campaign, create a compelling opt-in email message that gives readers the chance to opt in to your emails. Get creative! For example, check out the re-engagement campaign that increased our email click-through rate by 583%. Use this opportunity to ask for feedback, too, so you can learn how to better customize your email marketing to their interests and needs.

Day 67-100

1. Publish 6 New Blog Posts By The End of Day 100

Again, the key to a successful blogging strategy is consistency. As your blog content volume increases, more people will find your site through search and you’ll build credibility. Remember, these posts don’t have to be novels. Know when good enough is good enough. You’ll find it’s much easier to write and keep track of blog posts and ideas when you have a plan. Create an editorial calendar so you know what you’re writing and for when.

Continue tracking blog traffic numbers and sources. As you publish more and more content, start tracking how many inbound links your blog posts are getting. Inbound links are link back to your site from other sites on the web.

2. Set Up and Optimise Your Social Media Accounts

Now that you have your bearings with keywords, blogging, and CTAs, it’s time to focus some more on your social media marketing efforts. The reason you didn’t do this until the third month is because you need to have content to share on social media to be successful, so you needed to spend time getting that all optimised first. Now, you should:

  • Figure out which social media sites your buyer personas are using (usually the social networks that are already sending you traffic), and then create accounts on those sites.
  • Make your social media profiles look good. Are you using the proper image dimensions for social media profiles and posts? Do your descriptions include a link to your company website? Are you using the right tone and voice for each social media channel?
  • Stop buying followers. Instead, grow your following organically by posting awesome, relevant content and putting social media sharing and follow buttons for your website, blog, and emails.
  • Grow your reach by becoming really active on social media.

At this stage, track your follower count and measure engagement (retweets and @replies on Twitter; Likes and comments on Facebook and LinkedIn). Message clicks (the number of people who have clicked the link attached to your social message) is another way to gauge how your content is doing.

Don’t be afraid to experiment with your social media messaging — tone, voice, offers, photos, and time of day. Test different tactics, measure everything, and then adjust. Do more of what works and less of what doesn’t.

Day 101

Congratulations, you have made it! You’ve learnt a lot about inbound marketing methodology. You’ve set up a blog and wrote some killer posts. You’ve cleansed and segmented your email list. You’ve designed and created your own CTAs to drive prospects toward certain actions, and you’ve created a gated offer to generate leads. Continue these steps and expand your business.