Essential Checklist for a Successful Inbound Marketing Blog, Part 3


Essential Checklist for a Successful Inbound Marketing Blog, Part 3

To continue the series on building your successful inbound marketing blog, we look at further engaging site visitors. Part 1 in the series covered some basic CMS specifications for creating your blog. In part 2, we talked about integrated site search and how to guide users to the content that interests them.

Remember, regularly publishing authentic content is the key to long term traffic generation and building your online footprint. Content on your website will last considerably longer than a social media post. Every article you post can reach anywhere in the world to build goodwill 24x7. Truly remarkable content will get amplified as others share your story for you. Use these tips to help guide and engage with visitors on your blog.

Multi User

Traditionally blogs are a single individual’s personal web log. However, most corporate and non-profit blogs are authored by a team of people similar to a magazine or newspaper staff. This is called a multi-user blog.

Blogs are personal. There are meant to show off the human side of your organization. They should be designed to enable your visitors to connect with the personalities on your team. To do this, your blog should support the ability for people to properly maintain their persona. The best strategy for doing this is to setup a sub-blog for each author under the main one. Create the author sub-blogs by adding their name after the path to the main blog. All the content on the sub-blog should change to be author specific including the RSS feed. To see an example of how this works checkout

Related Content

Your first goal for your blog should be to attract people. The second is to get them engaged. One of the easiest baby steps toward a deeper engagement is to entice your audience to start clicking around to additional posts. When people come to a blog post about a particular topic, it is likely they would be interested in more relevant information. One great way to do this is inline links. This is where you link important phrases in the body of your blog posts to articles about that topic.

A second method is to provide a list of related articles. It is best to do this at the bottom of the post so your visitor can finish the post they are on, then have a convent link to additional information. There are two ways to create the related content links; manually or automated. The first approach simply involves manually finding related posts and add them to your blog post page. This can get quite tedious though. A second approach is to use a mechanism to automate the selection of related articles. This generally involves a add on that works like a search engine to analyze the content on the current page, extract the main keywords and find other posts about the same topics.

Most popular

Another great way to get people clicking around your site is to provide them with a list of other posts that were popular with other site visitors. This could be a manual list, but it is recommended to automate a popularity analysis so the list is always fresh and up to date. Automated most popular lists work by adding a popularity scoring system. They will score content based on what is most visited and how recently. Other factors such as comments, sharing and ratings may also be factored in.

Social commenting

Enabling your visitors to comment on your blog and other appropriate content types on your site is a vital method for getting your audience engaged and gathering invaluable feedback. All popular CMSs have built-in commenting support. However, these built in commenting features can be problematic, minimizing the value of commenting.

The biggest problem with commenting is spam. There are add ons for CMSs that are fairly effective against robot spam (using to a program to automate comment spamming). However, spamming by humans is fairly difficult to defeat. If you have a popular site, you will quickly find your comments full of people congratulating you on a great blog post then linking to their Viagra site.

A second interrelated issue is authentication. If you have open commenting, you end up with a lot of spam, low value and even inappropriate comments. People can say whatever they want, they are anonymous. If you require people to register and log in, you will greatly reduce the number of comments. A few services have figured out a clever solution. Provide a social commenting engine that ties people back to their social media profile such as their Facebook account. People are automatically logged in via one of their social profiles. Since the comments are tied back to their social accounts, they watch what they say. People are also more likely to comment. These systems keep stats on the number of comments you leave across many sites. A gamification dynamic occurs that encourages people to leave comments. The leads to more comments and a higher quality of conversation. To get the most out of commenting, you should integrate one of these services as your commenting engine. We prefer Disqus, but there are several other good services including Facebook comments, Intense Debate and LiveFyre.

Sharing buttons

Every page on your blog, and quite possibility the rest of the site, should contain buttons that make it easy for people to share, bookmark and email your webpages. Some of the more popular button functions are:

  • Tweet – Posts a tweet linking to the post on Twitter
  • Facebook Like – Likes the item on Facebook
  • Facebook Share – Posts a summary of the page on a user’s updates
  • Google+ - Post a summary of the page on Google+
  • LinkedIn Share – Post the a summary of the link to a LinkedIn stream
  • Pinterest – Adds the post with a featured image to a Pinterest page
  • – Bookmarks the page on Delicious
  • StumbleUpon – “Stumbles” the post on StumbleUpon
  • Digg – Adds the post to Digg
  • Bookmark – Adds the page to the browser’s bookmarks  
  • Email – Presents a form to email a link to the page 

There are many different styles of sharing buttons. You can implement each one individually, but it is best to embed your sharing widgets using a sharing service such as AddThis or ShareThis. These services make it easier to embed multiple buttons and get them looking and acting the same way.

The real benefit of using a sharing service is you will get a statistics dashboard tracking how many people are sharing on each network and how many clicks you are getting from those shares. This is important feedback as you develop your content strategy. Sharing stats provide insight into what content resonates most with your audience to help you more intelligently select future topics.

You also want to make sure your sharing widgets are always easily accessible to your readers. One great trick to solve this problem is to make your button set “sticky”. Sticky buttons will float maintaining an absolute position in the browser independent of page scrolling.


Now that site visitors are on your blog, reading, engaging and sharing with your remarkable authentic content, it's time to convert them! Stay tuned for more!


Featured image credit: Patrick Lanigan



Related Posts

Essential Checklist for a Successful Inbound Marketing Blog, Part 1

Tonya Cauduro
Read more

Essential Checklist for a Successful Inbound Marketing Blog, Part 2

Tonya Cauduro
Read more

How Inbound Marketing and Content Marketing are Different

Julie Miller
Read more

What is Inbound Marketing? Learn the Basic Methodology

Felipa Villegas
Read more

Inbound Marketing - Doesn't Seem To Be Slowing Down

Felipa Villegas
Read more

Transform your Website into an Inbound Marketing Machine - Webinar Recap

Felipa Villegas
Read more