Blogging, Content, and What Is Inbound?
In the second episode of the Builder Funnel Growth Series, Spencer talks to us about creating content plans, blogging as an SEO strategy and traffic driver, and we also get an explanation about the Inbound Method.
Spencer covers long term strategies that, if implemented correctly, can transform your marketing from a liability to an asset.
Related: A few blogging tips from industry veteran Mike Foti
Learn how to establish yourself as an expert thought leader in your community with the knowledge you already have. Spencer even talks about how this gives you a leg up on your competition.
Learn all about it here on Builder Funnel Radio.
- 2:30 Why blogging is so important
- 4:22 Blogs hit multiple fronts...
- 9:00 How often should I blog?
- 12:47 The Inbound Method explained
- 16:35 Wrapping up, here's what you need to remember...
- 257 Effective Home Builder Blog Topic Ideas
- 8 Ideas for Your Next Home Builder Blog Post
Episode Bonus Discount
Full Episode Transcription
Note: this podcast was transcribed automatically and may contain minor grammatical errors and missed words.
Hey, welcome to Builder Funnel Radio. Today I'm super excited to announce a new segment of the show called the growth series. That's been listening to builder funnel radio for a while you know that we bring you industry guests, thought leaders, experts, people that are in the trenches. And we do that every other week we sit down, have a conversation, and we extract all this great information that they have, and we pass it on to you so you can improve your business. Now, we're still going to do that. But on off weeks, we're going to do the groceries episodes. Now these will be a little bit shorter, but a little bit more tactical. So the idea is that we want to dive right into a topic and give you actionable things that can help you grow either as a person or help your company grow. So you're going to see us dive into very specific marketing topics, sales topics, but it could be team culture related as well.
And again, the idea behind the groceries is that we want to help individuals grow and thereby companies grow. So I really hope that you're going to enjoy this new segment of the show. Again, you can look for it on these off weeks in between our guests features. And so sit back and relax and enjoy the growth series by filler funnel radio. Hey, welcome back to builder funnel radio. This is our second installment of the growth series. And today I'm super excited for our topic, which is blogging and content and the huge misconception I see with that topic. And so today we're going to kind of do a deep dive and uncover what's really going on and why we're seeing a lot of people blogging with no purpose and it's not really having an impact in the way they want it. So let's dive right into today's episode. Alright, let's get started. So today I want to talk about blogging. And I see a lot of people blogging, they've been blogging for a while. Sometimes I look at a website and I see that somebody's last blog was six months.
Go nine months ago, a year ago. And sometimes it's pretty recent. And I can see, you know, you're blogging regularly, maybe that's once a month, couple times a month. But I don't often see a clear purpose or clear direction with that content. So today, I want to kind of debunk some of the things that are maybe going on, talk about some best practices, and really open your eyes to the possibilities that you have with this marketing strategy. So let's talk about the whole concept of inbound marketing, and how blogging fits into that and why this is such an important topic. I feel like it's always important to understand the why versus just diving right in and going, Oh, I heard that I should be blogging at this conference. So I'm just going to start doing it. And I appreciate the action behind that. But sometimes that can lead to a lot of wasted time and wasted effort. So the whole concept behind inbound marketing and blogging as it relates to that is that
The way people shop and buy has changed. So we go online to do our research. Doesn't matter if we're going to buy something on Amazon, or we're remodeling our home or buying a new home. Basically, we want to do our own research. And so we're going to go to Google, we're going to go on social media, we're going to look at reviews sites, we're going to go all over the place. And we're going to start gathering information. So the idea behind blogging isn't just that, oh, blogging is going to get me some more traffic, or I heard I should be blogging, so I need to do that. The core element behind it is that blogging is actually going to help you develop some thought leadership, it's going to help attract people that are in that research phase. So as you write articles and you create content, an easy place to start is by answering your prospects questions, because if they have questions, you know, they're going to Google with those questions. And so if they start typing these questions in
Google, and you have an article, a blog posts on your website that addresses that they find the article, suddenly now, they're on your website. And you're starting to build that thought leadership because you're providing the answer. So that's the general concept behind why blogging is powerful, and how it matches up with the way people shop and buy today. Now, there are several reasons that I really love blogging as a strategy and as a tool to grow my business as well as your business. And that is it hits multiple angles. So one, you know, you're going to get that SEO benefit, you know, you're going to have that benefit of attracting people that are looking for that content. But then it also starts to build that brand awareness for you. So somebody reads a blog and they go, Wow, this person, this company, they really know what they're talking about. And the other piece is that it gives you some good content to share on social media. So you've written the content. Now you can go
amplify that content by posting it to Facebook or sharing it on a social network. So you have a lot of layers going on here. But blogging has actually been one of the biggest factors in, I would say, my professional career in terms of providing growth, it was one of the first strategies that I use to help start attracting people to build a funnel into finding us. And it's also been a huge impact to a lot of our clients. As we've created a blog post for them, they start drawing in more of their prospects. And the reason that I really, really love blogging is that it's a little bit different than your traditional marketing expense, which I would think of as like traditional ads, you might think of a billboard, a TV ad, radio, ad, newspaper, magazine, even direct mail, all these things you basically you pay for it. It has some sort of time to
Stamp to it, I paid for a billboard, it's good for a month, I paid for a TV ad, it's going to run once or you get so many segments, you put an ad in a magazine, all these things you pay for it, you get the activity, and then whatever lead flow comes out of it, you get. And then if you want that result, again, you pay again. Now with blogging, I look at it as more of an investment. And the reason I say that is because let's say we take the time to write a really great blog on a topic. Maybe it's about the process of remodeling, or maybe it's about a community area that we have where we're building a new home community, and we're talking about restaurants in the area or activities in the area. And we read a really good article on whatever that topic is. Now we publish it to our website, and people can start to find it. We can share it on social media. And then next month, we write another article so you're saying okay,
I've got that same expense, I wrote another article. Yes, but now people can still find the article from last month. So then we fast forward six months, 12 months, maybe you've got 20 articles on your site. Now going into year two, you continue to invest in blogging, but people can find all of your past content. So some of our best performing blogs or blogs that we wrote two years ago, four years ago. And every single month, they bring in traffic, and leads. And so that's the super cool part about blogging is that you're basically building this asset, this powerful asset in your website that's going to continue to produce traffic and leads over time for you. So I like to use the analogy of a planet. It's not a perfect analogy anymore, because Google's changed a few things. But generally, the concept was, if you think of your website, like a planet, and the bigger the website gets, or the more powerful as maybe the better
better way to phrase it, the more powerful your website gets, the more gravitational pull it has just like a planet. And so if you create all these really good blog posts, and they start getting social shares, and people are linking back to it, those articles get stronger and stronger over time. And so your website gets stronger and stronger, and you start pulling in or attracting more traffic and more leads. And so that is one of the biggest reasons that I love blogging, and we've seen over the course of almost a decade, all of these blogs stacking up stacking up and then traffic has just continued to grow. So I really encourage you to think about blogging and content SEO as an investment. If that content is really good, and you're answering questions, you're tackling topics that are actually important to your prospects, things that they care about. So that's a good place to start when you're thinking about what topics do I cover when I'm blogging?
Let's talk about frequency a little bit. I know I just use that analogy of like, the more content, the bigger your website. And that's shifted with some of Google's changes. It's not all about more content. We do want a volume of content, but the content has to be really good. And so we've actually backpedaled we used to blog four times a month, we slowly ramped that up to about 20 times a month. It was a lot of content took a lot of work, but it really grew traffic. And then we saw Google make some changes. And they had a huge emphasis on quality. So we started paring back our content, combining content, we'd noticed we had a lot of articles on similar topics. So we started looking at making some of those blog posts more comprehensive, they were a lot longer, but those posts tended to rank better, they had more inbound links, more shares, and so they were getting the bulk of the traffic and so we've seen that shift back. I think if you're just starting with blogging, or
You've been having trouble with consistency, starting in that two to four a month range is a good place to be. And again, if you focus on quality first, that will be a really good pace for you. Blogging has really built the builder funnel business. That was where we started, we continue to blog today. But it's all kind of fallen under this content bucket, which today, content comes in the form of blog posts, website pages, video content, social media content, this podcast you're listening to is a form of content. And so at the end of the day, all of these things really fall under that bucket of we're trying to be thought leaders and develop, you know, an expertise in the area or showcase our expertise. And it's kind of funny because the things that are normal to you normal knowledge, your prospects have no idea about those topics. So that's that normal knowledge to you is expert knowledge.
to them. And so when people say, Okay, great. I'm going to start blogging. What do I write about? I always like to refer back to that, you know, kind of they asked you answer. So what questions do you get all the time in the sales process? Those are perfect blog posts, because again, it's something you know, it seems normal, all your competitors know it. But as you start writing about it, you start producing video content about it, you do a podcast on it, your competitors are actually going to get really upset with you because they're like, Well, of course, that's the answer, but your prospects have no idea. So they start coming to you for all the information and then you start connecting with them and you build trust with them, and your authority goes up. And so it actually helps you in the sales process, in addition to just attracting that person to you and generating that initial interest or that initial lead. So I would make the case that blogging is an SEO strategy and it is a strategy
To attract traffic, but it also has that thought leadership component which is super, super powerful. Hey guys, just a quick announcement before we get to the rest of today's episode, we've been getting a ton of feedback on our done for you social media program. Now social media has been a frustration of yours, or you feel like you're not posting enough, this is the perfect solution for you. And as a listener of the podcast, we've got a special promotion going on right now. So just head over to remodeler, social media.com and use the code radio at the checkout. So if you want to get more engagement and more people finding you on platforms like Facebook and Instagram, hit pause really quick and check out remodeler, social media.com and use the code radio at checkout. All right, back to the show. Alright, so let's talk about the next piece of this. This isn't a quick win or, you know a fast acting strategy. In the last episode of the groceries we talked about how to get some quick wins in terms of leads and leads.
conversion, the process of inbound marketing takes time. And that's partially because there's a little bit of that branding element. We've been talking about thought leadership, but also the way Google operates in creating content. And then you're trying to share that content, get people to the website, and then that content starts to rank over time. It takes a while, depending on the competition in the area, depending on how long your website's been around, depending on how strong your website is, it could take a variety of different lengths of time. And so it's, it's tough to say, oh, if I write a blog post, it's going to rank in 30 days or 60 days, depending on some of those factors. It could happen that quickly. But it also I've gone after keywords that have taken one to two years to actually just get onto the first page. And so there isn't necessarily that quick win with inbound marketing in terms of getting your content to rank. Again, unless your competition isn't doing much your way.
website has some authority already, then you can see a pretty quick increase in rankings. But I think it's important to have that long term vision with this strategy. And then again, you're you're investing, you're building this portfolio of assets, and the assets are the content that you're creating. So for us, just to highlight a few things, over the last about 10 years, we've published over 500 blog posts. In the last two years, we've published over 90 videos to our YouTube channel, and well over 100 onto our social channels and social media. In the last 18 months, we've published about 50 podcast episodes, and in total, all those things that we've been doing. This led to over 700,000 visits to our website, we've had over 20,000 downloads on this podcast you're listening to, and millions in sales in terms of services work that we've done. So all the
That has happened from our inbound efforts. But we had that kind of long term horizon. And sure you have quick wins, you have wins along the way. But when you look back to three years, and you've built up all this content, you've built up your conversion rate, you start to see those compounding effects. And so a lot of our clients, they see the best results in year two, year three, year four, because there's a lot of foundational work that happens in year one. And as we talked about in the last episode on lead conversion, if you didn't listen to that one, I definitely recommend you go back and check that one out. You continue to optimize your conversion rate. So let's just say you start investing in these strategies, you start blogging, you start working on your conversion rate. 12 months later, let's say you've doubled your conversion rate, and you've grown your traffic 20 or 30%. Well, now your leads are more than double. If I could do the math in my head. I would just
Really quick but grow your traffic 30% and then double your conversion rate. And you're going to be looking at, you know, somewhere probably between two and three extra leads. But that's every month compounded. So if you're getting 10 leads a month, maybe now you're getting 25 leads a month. And so every month, you've got double more than double the opportunity to close more business. So it can have a really magnifying effect as you start to move into that year to year three, year four and make these adjustments. All right, so let's wrap up this topic, what have we covered today, we've talked about blogging and SEO and how that can be a long term investment strategy for your website. Again, you're investing in your website and your business versus just a social network that could disappear in a couple of years and then all that contents gone. But with your website, that is under your control and your that investment compounds over time and so I see that
As super advantageous for anybody that has a long term vision for their business, whether that's the cell ultimately, or they just want to continue to grow it, you're basically building an asset in your marketing efforts, which is really, really powerful. One of the assets that's a part of that not just the content is that thought leadership. And what I find super interesting is that we've had people that have followed our blog followed our, you know, gotten our emails for three years. And then they eventually said, hey, let's work together. I've been following your content for three years. And I trust you guys. I feel like I know you guys. Let's do business together.
That's super cool. That doesn't really happen with a lot of other forms of advertising. You know, if you sent out some direct mail, you have to continue to send that out over and over again. And the cost on that is pretty high compared to somebody that's just subscribed to your blog, because then they can just
get updates automatically. It doesn't cost you anything, the time investment is super low on your end. And that really is, I think, a testament to the power of thought leadership and branding. And so that part of it is super cool in my eyes. The other part that's kind of crazy is I've actually had people that have never worked with us, but they've been following our content and the content has helped them so much. They've referred business to us, just because they thought our content was good. And I think that's a super cool kind of tidbit and shows you the power of what good content and what thought leadership can do for you. So as you start to think about developing the strategy, think about creating the best information, putting it out there being a resource for your prospects, and you'll start to see some of these things happen. And the kind of my favorite part of it is what I referenced earlier, is that sometimes your competitor starts to see all your content. They're like, Well, yeah, I would say
The same thing, but they're not the one saying it, they're not out there taking the time to create the content. And so you put yourself at a huge advantage when you do that. So my takeaway here for you today is, if you are blogging, don't just blog to be basically people logging in saying, Hey, I'm checking that box, I heard that I need to be blogging at a conference. So I'm doing it, you know, really think through the content? What are you trying to produce for your prospects? Is it answering their questions? Is it adding value to them, and then have that long term vision for it, say, Hey, this is something I'm invested in, because it's an investment in my business, and I'm going to see those compounded returns. If I focus on the quality of content, and I'm consistent. So guys, I know this was maybe a little bit less tactical, but I think there's some some really tactical takeaways from it, which is, you know, thinking about your blogging strategy with a little bit more detail and a little bit more intent. And then
being consistent. And then if you pair it with Episode One of the growth series and work on that conversion rate, you'll start to see that multiplying effect where I kind of talked about those two levers of growing traffic and boosting your conversion rate, and you'll see a huge multiplier on your leads. So hope you enjoyed this episode. Again, give us some feedback, shoot me a quick email at Hello at builder funnel com would love to hear from you. And then we'll see you next time on builder funnel radio for the next segment on the groceries. Hey guys, thanks for tuning in to builder funnel radio. I know there are a lot of podcast choices out there so it really means a lot to me that you choose this as one you either subscribe or listen to regularly. Now before we part ways for today, I have a quick favor to ask you. If you got some value out of today's episode. Please either leave us a review or share this with a friend. We're really working on building a community of construction professionals. They want to treat their customers right they want to run faster.
businesses and create more jobs in our economy. So leaving a review or sharing it with a friend really helps us build that community. And we really, really appreciate it. Alright guys, that's all I've got for today. So we'll see you next time on builder funnel radio.