4 Steps to Kick Your Builder Blog into High Gear

Posted by Spencer Powell

Sep 10, 2012 7:32:00 AM

builder blog gearMany builders who have blogs did not establish them because they have a particular passion for writing.  This can make it tough to start a blogging routine.  At first, it can be overwhelming to write even one blog post per week.  Don't let this discourage you.  Everyone has to start somewhere.  Use what you have and build from there.  Here are four steps that you can take to kick your builder blog into high gear.

1.  Push Yourself
In order to start growing as a blogger, you have to sit down and write everyday, no matter what.  Some days it will be easier than others.  It is important to write posts that push you out of your comfort zone on a consistent basis.  This process is similar to working out.  The next time you write a post and get to a point that you feel like you're ready to stop, push just a little bit further.

2.  Set Goals and Work Toward Them
Do you have blogging goals that you think about on a daily basis?  These goals can be a great tangible reminder to keep you on track and motivated.

Keeping these goals front and center on your desk or somewhere prominent in your office will make it easier to keep writing each week.  Even if it doesn't greatly increase the number of posts that you write, it may boost your overall productivity, which will still positively impact your building business.

3.  Don't Influence Your Intentions.  Instead Influence Your Behavior.

Instead of making endless brainstorm lists that don't lead to anything, be proactive with your brainstorming.  For example, sit down and brainstorm a list of 12 possible topics for your building company blog.  Then make a promise to your blog readers that you will blog about three of these brand new topics during the next month.  This accountability will help keep you true to your word.

4.  Outline Each Blog Post Before You Start Writing
Structure for your blog postsis helpful for you the author as well as for your readers.  Start with a rough template and fill in your ideas from there.  If you are having trouble putting your thoughts together, this can be a less intimidating method than staring at a blank piece of paper.  With that being said, don't let your templates limit you.  They are simply a starting point.  You can change them as you need to during the writing process.
spencer powell inbound marketing certified professional

Blog Post Written by Spencer Powell

Spencer is the Inbound Marketing Director at TMR Direct. Spencer specializes in helping clients create and execute effective inbound marketing campaigns.

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Topics: builder blog content, builder blogging, builder blogging tips


Generate Builder Leads Over the Weekend

Posted by Taylor Vowell

Sep 6, 2012 7:19:00 AM

generate builder leadsMany builder blog managers put their blogs to sleep over the weekend.  The majority of the people who read blogs regularly are out enjoying time with their friends and families on the weekends and aren't online reading blogs.  As more people are using on-the-go mobile devices (iPhones, iPads, etc.), this trend is starting to change and it can be worth posting blogs on the weekend.  Some blog managers plan special weekend post themes so that people have specific posts to look forward to during the weekends.

However, if you decide to put your blog to sleep for the weekend, you can leverage the power of a simple CTA to generate weekend leads even when there is no new blog content.

Leveraging the Power of a Simple CTA
One of the best ways to keep your leads coming in all weekend is to include one of your most effective calls-to-action in your final weekday blog post.  If you aren't already using calls-to-action in your blog posts on a regular basis or aren't using them at all, it's never too late to start.  Begin by considering where you can place sidebars and how you can form CTAs for the end of your blog posts and go from there.

Here are three simple steps to leverage the CTAs for your builder blog for maximum weekend lead generation.

1.  Analytics: Take the Time to Review Them
Review the data on the offers that you've created.  This may include builder kits, ebooks, and webinars.  Look at how each offer has converted and how many leads it generated.  Compare these different offers and organize them into a list from best-performing to worst-performing.

2.  Your Best Offers: What Are They?
Hopefully step #1 helped you figure out what your best performing offers are.  This includes knowing which offers performed the best and generated the highest numbers of leads for your builder business.

3.  Now that You Know What Your Best Offer Is, Create Content For It
Create the content for your last weekday blog post around your best building call-to-action.  For example, if one of your top offers is for an ebook about effective digital builder marketing strategies, don't write an article about your new roofing services.  Instead, write an article related to marketing strategies.

Many successful blogs use this exact strategy for generating leads on the weekend.  The key is to continually keep track of how your offers are performing and then use this data to optimize your lead generation.
taylor vowell inbound marketer

Blog Post Written by Taylor Vowell

Taylor Vowell is a certified inbound marketing specialist with a background in graphic design and website development. www.tmrdirect.com

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Topics: builder blog content, builder blogging, builder blog articles, builder blogging tips


How Builders Can Develop an Exhaustive Blog Idea List

Posted by Taylor Vowell

Aug 17, 2012 9:00:00 AM

builders develop blog idea laptopWhen you have just started blogging and need inspiration, it can be difficult to come up with new ideas for blog posts.  The following four steps outline a popular brainstorming method that is successful for many new bloggers.  Give it a try.

1.  List your most important keyword phrases.  Think about the keyword phrases that you already use for your builder web site.  If this is brand new territory for you, start small and work your way up.  What can you add to the phrase "building company?"  Consider location, services, specialties, and more.  Make sure that your keyword phrases are searchable.  You want people who are using major search engines to pull up your building blog posts.

If you are unsure what people are searching for or simply want confirmation that your keywords are valid, use an SEO software tool such as
Google AdWords: Keyword.  Test your keyword phrases and make refinements as needed.

2.  Recall frequently asked questions. Consider the questions that you are frequently asked about your building company.  Think about questions that you get from potential leads and customers as well as fellow building company owners.  If you want to be seen as a thought leader in the building industry (which you should), you should be writing content that is relevant and useful for people both within and outside of the industry.

If you are drawing a blank for questions, start keeping a list throughout the next couple weeks as you talk to anyone and everyone about your business.

3.  Use these questions to brainstorm more questions.  For each question that have, use it to come up with five more related questions.  For example, if you frequently get questions about your roofing services, consider what the follow up questions are, such as costs and time estimates.  These questions will directly address problems that your blog readers have.  They will also establish your expertise in the building industry.  The process of expanding on each of your questions and points in full will provide a rich outline with keywords already scattered throughout it.

4.  Review the outline that you've just made.  Now that you have a rich outline, you're ready to make it into a full blog post.  As you pose the questions that you frequently receive, consider how you can both demonstrate your expertise and outline the services that your company provides.
taylor vowell inbound marketer

Blog Post Written by Taylor Vowell

Taylor Vowell is a certified inbound marketing specialist with a background in graphic design and website development. www.tmrdirect.com

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Topics: Blogging for Builders, blog idea list, builder blog content, builder blogging, builder blogging tips, important keyword phrases, building company, building blog posts


5 Questions Builders Need to Ask When Thinking About Website

Posted by Jimmy Donnellon

Aug 15, 2012 7:31:00 AM

blog keyboard1.  Where should I host my blog?
A number of marketers choose to host their blog on a separate subdomain or external blogging program such as Blogger or Wordpress.  One of the many reasons to blog is that it allows you to create a wealth of niche content so you will be found online through a variety of keyword combinations.  While there is nothing wrong with an external address, your blog will maximize SEO potential if it's part of your existing builder web site (i.e. www.bobsbuildingcompany.com/blog or blog.bobsbuildingcompany.com).

2.  Is it important to include pictures and/or videos in blog posts?
Graphics do matter.  In addition to providing aesthetics, they also drive search engine and site visitor traffic.  Make sure that your photos are relevant and include captions and ALT tags that describe your image and its relation to the content at hand.

Video is not only not going anywhere anytime soon but they are quickly dominating global traffic growth.  Blog posts and other interior web site pages are excellent places to add videos.  Use videos to display case studies, explain product features, and debut building industry data.

3.  Should customers have a say in web site updates?
Start any redesign process with usability testing.  Give customers scheduled site walkthroughs and note their reactions and patterns.  Your understanding of their preferences and habits will guide your decisions throughout the redesign process.  Stay away from surveys and other venues that will allow uses to vent lots of frustration and negativity and keep the process as positive as possible.

Capture blogging4.  What will get people to my blog?
You will drive traffic with three basic steps: creating content, promoting on the appropriate channels, and engaging your target audience in conversations.  Optimize your posts around specific long-tailed keywords.  Engage other experts in the building industry.  Don't forget about social media (including promotion buttons on your blog), RSS feeds, and e-mail subscriptions.

5.  Should I make changes gradually or all at once?
We have all seen web sites that overhauled drastically overnight and left users confused and frustrated.  Don't do this to your potential leads and customers.  Take a gradual approach to reduce confusion and unexpected experiences ("how did I end up over here...?").
jimmy donnellon – inbound marketing professional

Blog Post Written by Jimmy Donnellon

Jimmy is an inbound marketing professional with a background in public relations and marketing. Jimmy helps his clients found on the web, convert visitors into leads and helps them track their results.

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Topics: builder blogging, builder blog guide, builder blogging tips, maximize SEO potential


5 Places Builders Need to Publish Content

Posted by Jimmy Donnellon

Jul 31, 2012 7:58:00 AM

5There is a lot of focus around blogging for builders...and with good reason.  Blogging creates content for relevant keywords, gets web site pages indexed, and converts your web site visitors into customers.  However, other areas of your builder web site still need content, too.  This additional content will drive even more web site traffic.  Here are just a few aspects of your web site that may have gotten lost in all of the excitement of blogging and need to be re-visited.

News Room
How many times have you come across a web site news section with links that are all at least 2 years old?  Nothing says stagnant business like old links.  News sections can contain event information, press releases, product updates, news mentions, awards, and more.  Put everything a single feed so it is easy to manage.  When you aren't getting a lot of publications elsewhere, don't be afraid to write your own product update or event bulletin.

Resource Center
One of the best ways to establish your building company as experts in your field is to create valuable industry resources.  Consider guides and ebooks as well as third party content such as analyst reports and market research.  If you're worried about losing lead generation, put your content behind a form that is easy to complete and will direct visitors right to the content redemption page.

Learning Center
Have you ever been able to troubleshoot a problem at home by watching a "how to" video online from the company?  Videos, written content, and images with explanatory captions about your products and services will be a huge asset for your customers.  Keep your page fresh by using stories and images that customers submit themselves.

Multimedia Content Library
If you find that your videos and other multimedia content, such as podcasts and webcasts, are cluttering your learning and resource centers, create a separate section for the them.  Customers are likely to give this more lengthy content the time it deserves if it doesn't have to compete with the written content.  Include written forms again to encourage lead generation.

Testimonials, Reviews, and Case Studies
Many people check out information online about businesses to get reviews before trying products or companies.  When customers are in the evaluation stage of the buying process, reviews can make or break sales.  It can take a while to build up written reviews, but it will be well worth the effort of gathering and publishing them.
jimmy donnellon – inbound marketing professional

Blog Post Written by Jimmy Donnellon

Jimmy is an inbound marketing professional with a background in public relations and marketing. Jimmy helps his clients found on the web, convert visitors into leads and helps them track their results.

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Topics: builder blog content, builder blogging, builder blogging tips


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