The Mathematical Equation That Will Make You a Better Blog Writer


Can you measure in numbers whether a blog article is good or bad?

I’ve always resisted any claim that good writing could be quantified by a computer. Surely no app can beat my brain at crafting perfect sentences and choosing the right words.

Je suis une artiste!

My own rage against the machine aside, the rise of inbound marketing has caused the creation of an army of reluctant writers. These are executives, sales professionals, marketers, and rank-and-file team members asked to contribute to their company’s blog. Perhaps you’re one of them.

Most of these people have fewer artistic pretensions than me and would be more than happy for some objective way to measure — and improve — the quality of their writing.

So I’m going to hold my nose and take a look at the most well-known tools for improving your writing, the Flesch-Kincaid readability tests.

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Jan 12, 2016 7:30:00 AM

Does Blogging Frequency Impact Website Traffic?

As a partner at a Boston-based inbound marketing agency, Innovative Marketing Resources, I spend a great deal of time on the new business development front. I am having conversations with CMOs, CEOs, VPs of marketing, and admissions directors from all types of businesses and educational institutions every week.

It is clear to me that HubSpot has done a fantastic job of educating marketers about inbound marketing and the importance of educational, non-salesy content, but what I do not see consistently is a clear commitment by most of these organizations to the process of creating high quality content. (Here is a good blog post on what makes quality content).

Most organizations struggle to blog on a consistent basis. When I talk with marketers about blogging, the number one question that I am asked is, “How often should I be blogging?”

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Dec 3, 2015 8:17:00 AM

Your First Blog Post Ever? Do These 4 Things and You’ll Be Fine

What a relief it was to hit send on your final college essay (or, if you’re old enough, scrunch your final handwritten word at the bottom of the last page of your last little blue book). In that moment, you knew you would never again be judged for the quality of your writing. You had a lifetime ahead of you free from care of grammar and sentence structure. The agonizing hours you spent forcing your jumbled thoughts into well-ordered strings of words were over.

How wrong you were.

After years of writing nothing more complex than a text message, you’ve suddenly found yourself in the role of soon-to-be-published author. How did this happen? Inbound marketing. More specifically, your company’s marketing team and their annoying obsession with getting everyone to contribute to the blog.

So You Have a Blog Post Due...

You’re facing the first blog assignment of your life and whatever writing skills you had, you left far behind you in college with your Frisbees and Dave Matthews posters. How do you cram for this test?

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Nov 17, 2015 8:00:00 AM

How to Write a Blog Post Even When You Don’t Feel Like It

It's a gloomy Saturday here in Boston; 43 and raining, which makes it the perfect day for laundry, heading over to Porter Square for a bowl of ramen, or writing a blog post.

If you’re like me, I already know what you’re thinking: that spicy delicious ramen is a no-brainer, but writing? That sounds like work. And on a Saturday? Forget it!

We all know blogging is important, but it’s often a struggle just to get started. Lucky for you, I’ve fought the fight and learned to come out on top. So today I’d like to share the techniques that not only help me write blog posts consistently, but make the process enjoyable, as well.

Go ahead and grab yourself a nice cup of tea, and let’s get started!

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Nov 5, 2015 3:45:12 PM

New to Inbound Marketing? Your Top 5 Writing Questions Answered in 500 Words

Until you discovered inbound marketing, you probably didn’t think of writing as a skill worth cultivating. It couldn’t help your business or advance your career, so you left writing behind you in college.

Now you know that well-written blog content will attract visitors to your business’s website, gain their trust, and convert them to paying customers. You’re ready to get writing but you have some questions:

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Oct 20, 2015 7:30:00 AM

Freelancers or Staff? Who Writes for the World’s Best Inbound Marketers?

If you want your inbound marketing efforts to pay off, who should write your content, freelance writers or your own company’s staff?

Here’s something you won’t see me write very often; let’s look at the numbers.

Buried on page 29 of HubSpot’s exhaustive State of Inbound 2015 Report (get your copy now) is this fact: Among the 4,000 organizations HubSpot polled, of those that achieved greater return on their inbound marketing investment this year than in 2014, 79 percent had staff members writing online content. Of the organizations with lower inbound ROI in 2015, only 62 percent used staff writers for blogging.

Forget the numbers. What does this mean? It means that most companies that are really good at inbound marketing write at least some of their own content.

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Oct 14, 2015 7:30:00 AM

5 Reasons Your Business Stopped Blogging (and How to Get Back on Track)

Check the date on your business’s most recent blog publication. Does it end in “4”? If it does, you’re hardly unique. The Internet is littered with abandoned business blogs.

Spurred on by promises of pumped-up page views and can’t-miss leads attracted through content marketing—and maybe looking to justify hefty HubSpot subscription fees—countless businesses over the past few years have launched blogging efforts with enthusiasm and good faith only to see them peter out over the course of a few months, weeks, or even days.

Publishing regular, self-produced blog content on your business website is neither impossible nor is it pointless. Content marketing works, but it does take a bit of work to gain momentum and it is fairly easy to derail, especially in the early days.

If your business’s blog is frozen in 2014 (or earlier), it’s probably because of one of these five reasons:

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Sep 22, 2015 8:30:00 AM

6 Inbound 2015 Sessions That Might Help You Write Better Content

As I read through the agenda for Hubspot’s Inbound 2015 conference (which starts today but really gets going tomorrow, Sept. 9), I’m not surprised that so many of the sessions have to do with content, specifically, writing it: how to write better content, how to write more content, what to write about, who should write it, and so on.

In my experience, one of the most common reasons businesses lose interest in inbound marketing is because they find out that writing content—and writing consistently—is a lot harder than they expected. Judging from the many content-related talks at Inbound 2015, I suspect HubSpot has come to the same conclusion.

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Sep 8, 2015 1:06:47 PM

1 (Longish) Step to Becoming a Better Blog Writer

For inbound marketing to do your business any good, you’ve got to write, and you’ve got to write frequently. Unfortunately, this isn’t a skill you’ve spent most of your career honing.

Most business blogging projects fail for the same reasons most exercise programs fail:

  • People get frustrated by a lack of rapid progress.
  • It’s not as easy and takes more time than expected.
  • The results just aren’t that impressive—not at first, anyway.

Faced with these disappointments, co-workers and clients often ask me if I can provide a few quick tips to help them improve their writing skills, become more efficient bloggers, and in general, drastically cut down the amount of time and effort they have to put in to knock out their dreaded blogging assignments.

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Aug 19, 2015 8:00:00 AM

Who Should Write for Your College’s Blog? 4 People You Should Ask

Colleges, universities, and specialty schools are all jumping on the inbound marketing bandwagon, and for good reason. The modern college applicant has one and only one source they turn to when researching schools—or, anything really—the Internet. If your college isn’t reaching applicants online, you’re not reaching applicants.

So you’ve launched a blog in hopes of attracting qualified applicants to your college. Now who’s going to do the writing?

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Jun 11, 2015 8:00:00 AM

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