Marketing

User Story: Will Blunt Speaks About Building Online Communities Through Inbound Marketing

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Piktochart User Story Profile - Will Blunt Piktochart User Story - Will Blunt

 

A tribe is a group of people connected to one another, connected to a leader, and connected to an idea. For millions of years, human beings have been part of one tribe or another. A group needs only two things to be a tribe: a shared interest and a way to communicate.” – Seth Godin, ‘Tribes’

Since 2011, content has been rising as the primary method of user acquisition for internet businesses. Fantastic businesses have been built by providing valuable content to a specific audience – Buffer, Crew, Groove and KISSmetrics are some of the most symbolic examples.

Rise of Google searches for ‘content marketing’ from 2005 to 2015.

Source: Google Trends

Will Blunt is well aware of this, and a few years ago, he founded Blogger Sidekick, an online business that helps marketers get more traffic, leads and revenue by taking the guesswork out of blogging.

Now, Will is an inbound marketing specialist with a dedicated following, but this hasn’t been always the case. He is not a regular ‘internet kid’. When he was 12 years old he became obsessed with the online world, frequenting online communities and even starting a forum of his own. “Then I discovered the more social aspect of life and moved away from that.“, explains Will. From 15 to 22, he neglected the internet. He went on with his life, got a Marketing degree and Master’s in Management and then, landed a job with a management consultancy firm.

That’s when everything changed: “I was doing online marketing for them without being exposed to it before  and I started discovering blogging and social media, all these things I knew existed but I’ve never actually done myself. As I started to enjoy it and helped these people build their online communities, it really traced back to when I was 12 years old and was building my little community myself.”

Now, he runs Blogger Sidekick and is a regular contributor to sites like BlueWire MediaMarketingProfs and Hubspot.

How Everything Started

After re-discovering his love for the internet, Will started reading and writing a lot more. That naturally led to blogging for a couple of prominent online marketing blogs like Social Media Today and Bluewire Media.

Will was getting pretty good feedback on his writing style, so he decided to do it more often and read more about it: “It became my obsession. I also had a burning desire to start a business. So these things lead me to start my own blog“.

The businesses originally started with Will’s name as the domain name. Then, he decided that it made more sense to build a business that wasn’t relying only on him in the future. That’s when Blogger Sidekick was born: “I was really enjoying reading things about content and inbound marketing. I was applying a lot of those things myself, for the company I was working for at the time and also trying to do that for my own personal blog and that’s where it came from really.

Now, Blogger Sidekick provides training and consulting services: “We help businesses come up with and implement their marketing strategy. We do an assessment on their online marketing activities, from blogging to email marketing and social media. Then we put together a plan to help them further optimize their inbound marketing channels, attract more people to their website and convert them into customers.  We can help anyone who is trying to make money online or attract leads. We are also in the process of developing an online product – a training course.”

The Biggest Challenge: Finding More Time

Over the past few years, Will has realized that content creation is the single activity that brings the biggest return on investment for Blogger Sidekick. But content is more than blogging – Will turns those articles into all kinds of downloadable resources:

  • checklists,
  • e-books,
  • cheat sheets,
  • slideshares,
  • and infographics.

This is a great way to offer more valuable content to his audience, and at the same time, build some backlinks to optimize his search engine rankings. The problem is that this is an extremely time-consuming endeavor that can’t be outsourced.

Typically, he gets up at 5:30am and gets to the office just after 6am. He spends the first 2 hours of each day writing while he invests the rest of it in managing clients, doing some community management and social media outreach. But that’s not enough: “Right now my biggest challenge is getting more value out of my day… So for me it’s  about freeing up my time to do things that bring in the most return as a business owner which is attracting new people to the website. Those visits could potentially turn into a sale in the future and that’s what keeps my business growing. And so that eventually the business doesn’t rely on my presence.

As a result of that thinking, Will prioritizes content creation, but he still struggles to find time to do that. Consistently creating and promoting the right content attracts more visitors, but if the content wheel stops for long periods of time, traffic and engagement drops.

The problem is that it’s not an easy task to keep producing new articles regularly, especially when you don’t have many resources: “Editing a blog post, making it look perfect before posting and preparing images takes up a lot of time. This is where services like Piktochart come in.” says Will.

Repurposing Old Content With Piktochart

Although Will has only used Piktochart a handful of times, he’s already in love with it: “I have so much content that I could turn into infographics and Piktochart is the best way to do it.

At first, he tried to use the popular service Fiverr to outsource an infographic, but things didn’t go as planned. Will submitted a project with a lengthy and detailed description carefully explaining what he had in mind: “I submitted a project to design an infographic and it looked… awful. That’s what forced me to say: I can probably do it better myself.”

That’s when he started looking into Piktochart and found it much easier: “I was imagining it would take me several days to get used to it and put together something. But it didn’t. It took less than that… Piktochart was very easy to pick up, I didn’t face any challenges in understanding where to find things.

It allows me to shortcut the process of creating a resource, whether it’s an infographic or an image. I don’t like stock images. I prefer to create a personalized experience for people who come to my site. Whether it’s an infographic, an image or a download, the thing I like about using tools like Piktochart is it allows me as a non-designer to create things that look just as good as a designer would have made it. Or better.

Bonus Marketing Tip: Increasing Your Conversion Rate With Piktochart

During our conversation with Will we caught a really interesting marketing tactic anyone could use to increase the number of subscribers you get per blog post: content upgrades. The tactic consists of three steps:

  1. Create an amazingly valuable blog post.
  2. Turn that blog post into an infographic, a checklist of an e-book using Piktochart.
  3. At the bottom of the blog post, offer that extra resource to visitors in exchange for their email.

    Content upgrade in Blogger Sidekick

If you follow these steps accordingly, you should see conversions skyrocket compared to a generic offering.

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Thanks for reading so far! Is there any content or inbound marketing tactics you’d love to share? If you do, then do it in the comments!

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