Whether you are a business trying to create thought leadership and build influence through blogging or a solo blogger looking to learn from the best, here are 5 differences between solo bloggers and business bloggers. They will often share other people’s articles, link to other bloggers and reply to people who comment on their blogs. Bloggers who write for business blogs, however, aren’t incentivized to build relationships with other people. Instead of just emailing people with links to his article, Alex focused on building relationships with people before he needed them by sharing other people’s content and commenting on their blogs. For businesses looking to build authority and influence, consider selecting someone to be the blog’s main personality. The Moz blog with Rand Fishkin is a great example of how a business can create a lot of content form, multiple authors while building authority by showcasing a strong central individual. Suggestion: Find writers that have a strong curiosity in the niche they are writing about and who are likely to spend their own time learning about and actually gaining experience in that field. The idea behind content shock was that as more businesses invested into content creation, people would get overwhelmed with all the content out there and content marketing would become less effective. Brian quickly grew his influence by sharing his own personal case study and a powerful link building tactic that allowed him to rapidly grow his own SEO traffic. Suggestion: Having a documented content strategy is good, but allow writers to get creative from time to time.
According to a study conducted by the Content Marketing Institute, 86% of organizations surveyed are doing content marketing. Compared to outbound marketing, content marketing on average produces 3x more leads and cost 62% less.
Many businesses are getting into content marketing and investing resources to make it work, but businesses still seem to struggle when it comes to building influence and thought leadership.
Despite businesses having much more financial leverage and manpower, top solo bloggers seem to still outperform businesses in terms of influence.
How are solo individuals with limited budgets able to effectively compete against businesses with more funds and manpower in terms of influence?
Whether you are a business trying to create thought leadership and build influence through blogging or a solo blogger looking to learn from the best, here are 5 differences between solo bloggers and business bloggers. I’ve also included some lessons you can learn from successful solo bloggers to take your content marketing to the next level.
1. Differing motivations
One big advantage that successful solo bloggers have is being self-motivated. Solo bloggers know that the harder they work on their blogs, the more their blog will grow and the more money they can make from blogging in the long run.
As a result, successful solo bloggers put more time into creating quality content that stands out. Some bloggers have spent over a week working on a single blog post.
In contrast, bloggers that are hired to write for businesses get compensated in a very different way. Freelance bloggers are often paid per article, which encourages them to crank out articles as quickly as possible rather than focusing on quality.
Full-time salaried bloggers often have deadlines and are required to write a certain amount of content in a given period of time. Once again, this compensation structure encourages speed over quality.
Some solo bloggers only blog once a month, but put a lot of time into making their articles really stand out. When you take into account the amount of time that goes into each article, a business would have to spend thousands of dollars to create something similar.
Is it practical for businesses to spend that much for just one blog post?
And how can businesses compete with individuals who are working more than 40 hours a week to build their personal brands?
Suggestion: For businesses getting into content marketing, figure out a way to measure and reward quality. Talk to your bloggers, find out what they want and give them the resources they need to succeed.
Find and hire people who are naturally self-motivated and encourage them to build their own personal brand. People who have already made the effort to learn about their own niche in their own time are great candidates.
Gregory Ciotti grew Help Scout to 4 million readers per year while growing his own blog Sparring Mind to over 20,000 readers. Help Scout allowed Gregory to build his own personal brand while growing Help Scout, which is why both Help Scout and Gregory were successful.
Another thing influential solo bloggers are good at is building relationships with others. They will often share other people’s articles, link to other bloggers and reply to people who comment on their blogs.
I’ve also found that influencers are more likely to reply to emails than non-influencers. Successful bloggers know that building relationships are an important factor when it comes to building influence and succeeding in blogging.
Bloggers who write for business blogs, however, aren’t incentivized to build relationships with other people. In fact, replying to comments and emails can take time away from focusing on paid work.
I even saw a Glassdoor review once where an employee complained that their employer wanted them to spend time responding to blog comments.
It’s not surprising that businesses often overlook the importance and impact of relationship building. You rarely see data-driven studies or case studies proving that relationships correlate to more traffic or more customers.
In case you’re not sold on the importance or relationship building, here are a couple of examples worth considering…
In this article written in 2014, Neil Patel mentions that he’s received over 50,000 comments on his blogs and that it takes him 26 hours each month to reply to them. But, commenting increased sales, traffic and social shares which is why he took the time to reply to all those comments.
Alex Turnbull from GrooveHQ also grew his blog at record speed, gaining 5,000 subscribers in the first five weeks of publishing by using an engagement schedule to systematically build relationships with influencers. Instead of just emailing people with links to his article, Alex focused on building relationships with people before he needed them by sharing other people’s content and commenting on their blogs.
His approach allowed him to quickly grow GrooveHQ though content marketing into an 8-figure business.
Suggestion: Businesses should hire bloggers that view relationship building as important and perhaps even incorporate relationship building tactics and processes into their marketing…