Today on the podcast, we chat with our friends Martin and Lyndsay from Jammy Digital who told us all about using your blog and leveraging Google to build a whopper of an email list. So if you think blogging is dead, have tried and failed to start and maintain a blog (much like us), but want to understand how to use blogging for email list building, you just HAVE TO check this interview out.
Ready to learn some tricks that will completely change the way you look at blogging?
Let's do this!
SOME EPISODE HIGHLIGHTS:
(:) Want to get more sales from your email marketing? Grab our Click Tricks.
(:) Fancy a 14-day FREE trial with Keap?
(:) Did Martin and Lyndsay really meet at the Peter Pan ride queue at Disneyland Paris?
(:) The benefits of turning podcast show notes into blog posts.
(:) How to make your business blog more effective.
(:) How to come up with effective blog post ideas.
(:) What if you don't like writing?
(:) How can your blog posts be found on Google?
(:) How often should you blog in order for your efforts to be effective?
(:) Subject line of the week with Martin and Lyndsday from Jammy Digital.
We put a little something together for you. It's really cool and it's FREE (yes, it's cool and free – we're nice like that). If you want to make more sales from your email marketing, you need more clicks on the things that you're selling!
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As you probably know, we’ve been podcasting for a while. In the past, we tried different types of show notes to see what would work well, but over the last year we've been providing a blog post for each podcast episode (yep - that's the one you're reading right now) that people can skim-read. This is perfect for anyone who doesn't like listening to podcasts or can't at a particular point in time. This in-depth article allows anyone to still access the information, even if they don't listen to the podcast. Pretty cool, right?
So it's not just a matter of content repurposing. It's about tapping into what's going to make the biggest difference in terms of what you're trying to accomplish. And that's different for every business. But for Martin and Lyndsay, as well as for us, it’s about getting more email subscribers and building an audience of people that you can pre-qualify. How? They’re consuming your content. So they know you’re right for them. And that's why they’re comfortable handing over their email address to get more content from you. And creating written content (over podcast or video) is the best way to do this.
So let's say you do create other types of content - a podcast, a YouTube channel, or do a lot of Facebook lives. Should you drop everything to start a blog? Absolutely not! You can do what we did - we didn't add blogging as an extra piece of work we do. Instead, we continued to produce our podcast and a member of our team takes that episode and turns it into a blog from the same piece of content. And then you can easily embed these different pieces of content into your blog, which is a piece of web real estate that you own.
If you have a blog, there are ways to make it more effective and attract more visitors. And the main tip Martin and Lyndsay have to help you be found on Google is to answer the questions your customers and audience are asking you. Sometimes these questions can make us uncomfortable, especially when they're around price. But being upfront and answering them means you’re going to get found on Google. And that's because you know people are searching for this information, and your competitors might not be answering them and choose to shy away from those topics. So you're more likely to get rankings and traffic that way.
You can address the questions people have in the decision-making stage, for example. They're trying to decide which option to go with, and a lot of businesses don't focus on this. Instead, they create content that tends to fit into the awareness stage of the buyer’s journey. So answering these types of questions can help you stand out. By all means, try and find the balance between creating content that sits at the awareness stage of the buyer's journey and the decision-making stage too.
Martin and Lyndsay told us that a lot of people rely on tools and try and mimic what big brands do in terms of creating long lists for their blogs. But when you try and compete with big companies, you’re going to find ranking more difficult. So instead, .focus on what your customers are asking. That gives you better chances of standing out.
There might be scenarios where you get asked a question by several clients, but when you look it up on the keyword research tools, you might find it's not a popular keyword. And yet you know it's a question real people have! So remember that customers come before the data. They are the first point of call for communication and letting you know what people are struggling with.
Martin and Lyndsay recommend keeping a clean notebook at your desk so every time you have any kind of communication with a client, you can record it in your content book. Content ideas are everywhere - in the emails you receive and the questions people have. Everything is a content opportunity. And when you start to train your brain to look for them, you'll find them everywhere. The more you’re aware of it you are (and the more you look for ideas), the more you'll find.
So look at any communication you've had with your clients in the past and instead of answering questions individually, answer them in a blog post. That's more efficient. It makes everything faster - even sales calls. Be conscious of them and keep a record of them, and your list of ideas will grow quickly. And in addition to that, there are tools you can use, such as Answer the Public or Quora, for example. Right now you might feel stuck for ideas, but once you start this simple process, you’ll end up with loads!
Martin isn't a keen writer himself, he told us. But when he started writing blog posts for their business, he chose the strategy to be as direct as possible. He didn’t try to be overly fluffy with the writing - he simply focused on explaining the exact steps to someone who doesn’t know anything about the process. He wasn’t trying to be clever with words. Instead, he wanted to give people direct information.
So he got his head down every week and produced a piece of content. And soon enough he realised the blog posts were longer than he initially expected them to be. Because when you go all-in on answering a particular question, you end up giving all the necessary information in your blog post.
Some people think they should only share some of their knowledge, in order to get people to hire them and pay for the rest. But Martin and Lyndsay think you should let go of this mindset completely. There's no shortage of information on the Internet. So if you can be that person – that hub of knowledge for your audience – then go all in and hold nothing back. People will still pay you for implementation and extra services because you created and shared something amazing for free.
Remember that people don't care about your writing per se - they're not expecting Shakespeare. They're looking for information. So they don't care if you’re not being overly clever with your writing – that’s not what they’re looking for. What matters is that you helped them. And they’ll remember that. That’s much more important than how beautiful your writing is.
Martin and Lyndsay told us that what's good for users is generally what's good for Google. They want the exact same thing. Because the people who create algorithms for Google want to provide the best result to their users – it's their job. So when you focus on delivering exceptional value to a reader, you'll give yourself the best chance of ranking on the search engine results too.
When you create content that's clear, direct, and easy to read for your users, they'll spend more time on your blog. And when Google sees people reading your content and clicking on your links, they'll rank their content highly. Of course, this is an oversimplified way to look at this because there are more factors at play. But it's a great principle to live by. It works for Martin and Lyndsay, who are in the competitive niches of marketing and SEO. So if they’re able to rank on the first page of Google for lots of keywords, then you know that thinking about your users first is a strategy that works.
When it comes to making things easier for your readers, Martin and Lyndsay told us it helps to have plenty of white space on the page, as well as clear headings and bullet points. People don’t want to look at War and Peace when they’re on your blog. So remember to use these strategies and jargon-free, clear, and direct language.
Martin and Lyndsay increased their website traffic by 10 times in the space of 12 months by blogging once every two weeks when they started in 2017. Their blog posts were generally quite long, as they wanted to deliver value. If you're specific about the actions you take and focus on delivering value, they said, you can get fantastic results. But definitely prioritise quality over quantity and don't believe that you have to blog twice a week in order to get results.
Also, think about making all of your blog posts work hard for you. At the back of each article they share, Martin and Lyndsay create five or six LinkedIn posts and another eight Instagram graphics. Hardly any of their social media content is original – it’s taken from their blog posts.
The advantage of starting from your blog content is that it's published on a platform your own. It's your home base – your website. So when you think about promoting your content, think about getting as many people over to your website and then onto your email list. Because once you have that, everything else becomes secondary. So promote your blog article on your website where people can sign up to your email list and you'll see blogging have the impact you want on your business.
This week’s subject line (courtesy of Martin and Lyndsay) is “How Jammy is changing”. Lyndsay tells us this subject line did incredibly well and had a high click-through rate. Why? Because, Martin added, because people care about your business and the changes you make. In fact, Martin and Lyndsay found that whenever they made announcements in the past about changes in their business, they always had more views and interest. So why not try and use this format for your own business? Maybe for a product or service you sell or a promotion you’re running?
If you want to connect with Martin and Lyndsay, you can find them on their awesome website Jammy Digital. Definitely go and check out their blog!
If you want to write better emails, come up with better content, and move your readers to click and buy, here's how. We put together this list of our Top 10 most highly recommended books that will improve all areas of your email marketing (including some underground treasures that we happened upon, which have been game-changing for us). Grab your FREE list here.
If you want to chat about how you can maximise the value of your email list and make more money from every subscriber, we can help! We know your business is different, so come and hang out in our FREE Facebook group, the Email Marketing Show Community for Course Creators and Coaches. We share a lot of training and resources, and you can talk about what you're up to.
This week's episode is sponsored by ResponseSuite.com, the survey quiz and application form tool that we created specifically for small businesses like you to integrate with your marketing systems to segment your subscribers and make more sales. Try it out for 14 days for just $1.
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