The vast majority (in the region of 95%) of all sites and blogs ever created fail to make any money at all - let alone a profit. Against this backdrop it's quite easy to lose faith in blogging as a viable tool for online marketing.
But all is not lost. There are plenty of businesses out there quietly creating great articles and content to share and promote around their networks. Many of them have had great success in driving new leads, customers, sign-ups, traffic and direct revenue.
We asked a bunch of companies to share one of their top performing blog posts and explain what benefits they have derived from that single post. Hopefully, once you see just how powerful a high value blog post can be, it'll inspire you to keep working harder and smarter to get your own blog out there.
Greg from greasebook, an oil and gas technology company, related the following story about one of their most succesful posts:
One of our most popular blog posts came in the form of a special interest post of oilfield history, entitled 'Ever had a look inside a Superior Gas Engine Pump House?'
No hard sells. No marketing fluff. Just simple entertainment and education for oilfield history lovers. There was some adventure to the post (my dad and I actually got off the highway and did a walk through of this old oil production motor...) en route to Tulsa, and lots of folks chimed in with stories and memories of their own.
As it turns out, that post ended up generating more than 20 comments and drove over one thousand views over the period of a few weeks.
These numbers might seem low, but as Greg points out 'For the average B2C company that's nothing. However, for a niche B2B with a target demographic of males aged 55-70 (who don't ever comment on the internet, much less on a B2B site), that's really saying something! '.
He goes on to say, 'what's funny is that I've slaved over other posts for 10X the
amount of time with not a fraction of the client engagement'.
Scott from robertsoncomm wrote a post on the cross-overs between rock bands and brands, talking about how bands' philosophies tend to revolve around being consistently great - providing a valuable lesson for brands.
The article was shared hundreds of times on LinkedIn and also landed him two new business meetings - bread and butter for a marketing and PR agency.
Good Financial Cents
Jeff Rose from Good Financial Cents wrote an article entitled '11 Ways to Invest $100,000 with Confidence' that generates around 7000 visits per month and has resulted in as many as 50 new leads for the company, each month.
Jeff also points out that the article contains a few affiliate links allowing people to convert directly from that page - helping him to increase the revenue he generates from that page via commissions.
We've had a lot of articles become popular within specific niches, but none have ever performed quite as well as 'Top 10 best home based business ideas to make money online' in organic search.
You can see a Google AdWords graph showing the earnings of this post over a period of 3 months over at how much money can I make blogging?
$260 over 3 months is not bad considering this only takes into account earnings from ad revenue and not downstream earnings that come from new followers, more referrals, and newsletter signups, etc.
Can blogging work for you?
I think what I have learned from the above stories, and many of the ones I didn't have time to include in this article, is that the definition of a successful blog post can vary wildly depending on who you are, what industry you're in, and how big the business is.
For a startup, a single blog post that brings in a single new client can mean the world - especially if that client keeps the company going until more new customers can be found.
Conversely, for high traffic, established sites it may be that no less than thousands of dollars in revenue per article is acceptable.
I guess the best way to blog is to:
- decide what you want to get out of it
- research and plan a strategy to get their (including an editorial calendar, influencer outreach, social sharing, etc)
- implement the plan consistently and persistently
You can also check up a few of our resources and guides on blogging:
If you've had great a successes via blogging, or any online content and media for that matter, share what you did and the results in the comments below.