Pick any random small business and you’ll see them doing some egregious but avoidable small business blogging mistakes. Most business owners look for guidance but several marketers and agencies either don’t even do the basics or try to implement “way too much”.
Entrepreneurs won’t get anywhere blogging is overdone, when your content strategy is half-baked, or do nothing at all.
When it comes to small business blogging, it’s critical to draw a balance. I’ve been working to help implement blogging strategy (and sustainable content marketing strategies for businesses) for several years now (counting to more than a decade now).
Here are some of the most common blogging mistakes I see several small businesses do all the time.
Creating Perfect Blog Posts [ Focusing way too much on grammar?]
I keep repeating myself (bear with me), but tell me this: when you talk to your friends, do you keep checking yourself for grammar? When you think in your head, do you keep thinking about commas, periods, active voice, and passive voice?
Why do you strive to create that elusive and “perfect” blog posts focusing so much on grammar? Who told you that you’d need to use big words or clever writing?
Several studies prove that the average reading level of the typical web user is around 7th-grade. Anything more than that, you severely cripple content consumption.
If it weren’t for the habit, you could produce and publish blog posts faster. You could have a publishing velocity that works for your business, delivers great SEO results, and helps you stay on track of your digital marketing plan.
The content writers you hire and the teams working to help digital marketing work for your business would have more room to think creatively and work on a content production schedule that works for your business.
You ain’t writing a novel. It’s not a scientific journal that you are writing. You aren’t aiming for the Pulitzer.
Kick the perfection habit. It’s slowing you down to the point of no return.
The super-long blog posts [ Why? Says Who?]
You could have your blog posts rank even if you publish blog posts that just around 550 to 750 words. So, why do you always need to aim for 1500-word blog posts? Or worse, why do you spend time (and resources) creating 2000-word posts or even gigantic 5000 to 7000-word blog posts?
Just because a Brian Dean and Neil Patel do so, it doesn’t mean that every small business should follow suit.
There’s only one rule for the “length” of the blog post: just do justice to the content you promised (and no, it doesn’t have to be perfect — see above).
Tie-in Blogging With Lead Generation (Where are the results, honey?)
Blogging — and all of the time, resources, and efforts over years — is worth nothing if you don’t have a way to tie-in your small business blogging efforts with lead generation.
Blogging = Content = traffic (from search, social media) = Lead generation = sales = revenue = profits
That’s it. That’s business.
No one is going to buy from you just because you rank on the top of SERP, they read your blog post, or maybe you got their attention and they keep coming back to read (or consume) some more.
It’s worth noting again: your customers won’t buy from you just because you publish blog posts. They buy when they are ready to do so. Your job is to nurture this relationship until they buy (and that’s why there’s a thing called a Pipeline).
For this reason alone, there’s lead generation and the reason why it’s crucial. You should have pop-ups on your website, and you ought to have sales funnels working 24×7. Not doing this is one of the most unforgivable small business blogging mistakes, ever.
Not using Landing Pages & Sales Funnels
Following through with lead generation, the question still remains: How do you generate leads for your business? Pop-ups are one way. Landing pages are another.
Depending on your business, you’ll sometimes need a lot more than a simple set of landing pages: you’ll need sales funnels.
Either way, not using landing pages is a huge mistake. Even marketers and agencies still don’t use landing pages for their clients.
So, you’ll be forgiven if you didn’t embrace the power of landing pages yet.
Learn to use landing pages to help get more leads, strive for better conversion rates, and bring in the results your business deserves.
Send out exclusive content for your email subscribers, write to your subscribers like you’d write to your friends, strive to provide more value to your subscribers, and more.
Do that and then see the money come right in. Relationships sell, nothing else.
Start with Convertkit for free. Or start with MailChimp. Or maybe start with Drip. The actual email marketing tool you use won’t matter.
Starting with email marketing — just taking action — however does a lot for your bottomline.
Blogs as base, Social Media as extension
Not many businesses use social media the way they should. For most businesses, building social proof, gaining traction on social media, and most things that come with using social media the smart way are just out of the question.
Why? That’s because small businesses show up on social media “sometimes”, “rarely”, “on and off”, and maybe “never”.
If and when they do, they flood social feeds with desperate pleas to “buy”.
There’s “social” in “social media”. You won’t sell a peanut by getting desperate on social (trying to push and push). In fact, it’s one of the most common small business blogging mistakes you can make.
Your business blog is the base. Social media is an extension of your content marketing base. So, this is what you should do:
Distribute the content you create on your blog on social media (on repeat, forever). Use a free social media scheduling tool like SEMRush to help.
As you distribute your own content, share other content (related to your business) on social media as well. When you do, tag these sources. Mention others with their social handles.
Genuinely help out others, share your ideas, provide some inspiration, and answer some questions.
Build one-to-one relationships on social media. It’s crowded there and this is one opportunity to stand out.
Aim to be “personable”, even as a brand. Don’t sound over-the-top, condescending, or like you don’t care. If you are in business, you better care (I could start a competing business in less than a day. So can everyone else).
On top of that, social media is also about trying to build real relationships with others (sometimes, at scale).
Given that most businesses don’t have anything that closely resembles a lead generation strategy, the question always surfaces: Should I use Pop-ups on my website for lead generation?
I ask you this: Why not? Because you read somewhere that “pop-ups” are bad? Have you been brainwashed into thinking that pop-ups are intrusive, pop-ups are bad for Google, or that Pop-ups don’t work at all?
According to Sumo, the top 10% highest-performing pop-ups averaged a 9.28% conversion rate.
Wondering how well you are performing and how your own conversions are stacked up against industry benchmarks? See this Conversion Benchmark Report.
Most businesses that write opinions on pop-ups — including marketers, influencers, and marketing agencies also use pop-ups, by the way.
Unless your name is Seth Godin or Guy Kawasaki — or anyone else with a humongous following and influence — the pros of pop-ups for marketing and lead generation outweigh the cons (and I don’t see why there are even disadvantages of pop-ups because there aren’t any).
The rest of us whose names don’t match with Elon Musk, Mark Zuckerberg, or Warren Buffett have a need to “grow audiences”, generate leads, and make our businesses work.
Here’s some more dope to help you answer this “Should I use Pop-ups? question , once and for all:
Pop-ups just work (your opinions don’t count).
Love pop-ups? Hate pop-ups? Your opinions don’t matter.
You could go all vocal with your hate for pop-ups on Twitter all you want but the fact remains that pop-ups work. They are essential for lead generation.
Everyone whining about pop-ups doesn’t use pop-ups maybe. If they don’t, they find other ways to generate leads and make their respective businesses work.
The fundamental reason you have a website is because you want your website to work for your business.
With a comprehensive, well-executed digital marketing strategy, you work hard to bring in relevant, high-intent traffic to your website.
But how will you pique the interest of your visitors? How will you retain your visitors? How are you going to take this relationship forward? How do you turn these visitors — they visited, they read your blog posts, they visited your website often, and they often also find you on social media — into customers?
Now, you could give away lead magnets with your pop-ups, ask visitors to sign up for a free trial, or maybe entice new visitors with a discount for your eCommerce store.
That’s a basic sales funnel.
Without a sales funnel, why do you even do what you do online?
Should You Use Pop-ups? Yes. The right & wrong way to do it
All the hate for pop-ups comes in only because most people don’t give a thought to user experience when designing them. They also don’t care about just how difficult some businesses (or websites) make it for their own visitors.
Here are a few very common mistakes (apart from the design aspect of pop-ups):
Pop-ups popping up as soon as someone visits (way too soon)
No visible “X” or a way to “close” the pop-ups or to click out of it.
No links to “opt-out” on the pop-up.
Pop-ups on mobile without a responsive layout for the website (the pop-ups don’t rotate with the website).
Pop-ups that have no offer to make.
Pop-ups that don’t have a compelling offer to make (but this isn’t that big of a mistake since you can tweak, test, optimize, and work on it).
The right way to use pop-ups is to:
Try to be as relevant as possible
Trigger pop-ups after a while (say after 6-10 seconds)
Personalize your pop-ups, if you can. For instance, you can identify visitors with the source (from Twitter? From a Google Ad?) or you can use their first names ( Try OptinMonster for this. Or you can also try Unbounce Pop-ups).
Use exit-intent pop-ups
Bring in other ways to trigger pop-ups (such as 60% page scroll)
Try to use multiple pop-ups for multiple lead magnets or offers. Example: If you have various topics that your blog posts are based on, use relevant pop-ups to give way lead magnets such as content upgrades on the topic those blog posts are all about.
Use pop-ups for 5 years. Do it the right way. Then, come back and tell me the answer to should you use pop-ups or not.
Digital marketing is no longer what it used to be. Digital marketing results are appalling, to put it bluntly. The Internet is incredibly crowded (and with that, there’s unparalleled rise in anonymity — there’s no way to tell who you can trust now, can you?).
It’s getting harder to publish and stand out. For that, you’ll need smart ways to get digital marketing results. You also need a dependable marketing stack.
Your social media updates are barely visible (or is anyone listening?), it’s harder to get testimonials from customers for social proof, and paid advertising only keeps getting expensive.
What do you do?
One word: Optimize.
Another word: Get smart.
First, stop with the useless things you still focus on such as spending 5 days writing a blog post (you ain’t going to get a Pulitzer for it, just so you know). Any half-attempts and half-baked content strategy isn’t going to cut it either.
Throwing money at PPC ads won’t solve your problems (if any, such as a bad product or inconsistent advertising strategies).
Second, get smart with your marketing. Build and use a marketing stack that serves you well (and no, you don’t need to use every single marketing tool out there) — this is what we’ll talk about briefly in this post.
None of these will get you the digital marketing results you seek. At least, not what you’d really love (and profit from).
Here’s how you get digital marketing results, the smart (and more sustainable) way:
Collect Leads on Autopilot
Go visit a few websites (including those who claim to be marketers and marketing agencies) and you’ll barely see anything that closely resembles anything to do with “collecting leads” or “lead generation” of any sort.
I don’t see why lead generation should have “opinions”.
For all the talk, the coaching programs, and the advice that marketers dole out, no one seems to be following that advice.
Just how efficient any of the lead generation campaigns are (if anyone is committed to doing it right is another thing altogether).
There’s no need to convince you on the importance of lead generation. You are a business owner (and you know this).
Regardless of your business, you’ll need to collect leads. What’s the smartest way to generate leads you ask? The very act of doing it (using software and digital marketing tools can help).
Use any of the following tools. Start generating leads today.
That’s it. Choose one of those lead generation tools, plugins, or apps above and generate leads. Don’t even bother to read the rest of the post without doing this.
Nurture with Email Marketing
The next step after you generate leads for your business is to nurture your new leads with email marketing.
Why? It’s simple to do so, it’s automated, and it only rings the cash register somewhere down the line.
Using email marketing automation, you get to keep the relationship going. It’s a smart way to build trust. It’s a way to nurture your entire sales pipeline (all the potential customers still sitting on the fence) at scale.
Don’t worry about copywriting, email marketing best practices, copywriting for subject lines or email copy, or split-testing subject lines.
Start email marketing first (you can do all of the above later)
Grab any of the email marketing software below and start email marketing today
Convertkit (also works great for digital content creators, consultants, coaches, online course publishers, musicians, artists, bloggers, and those who’d like to sell digital products)
Drip (also works great for eCommerce business owners)
You know what takes up most of the time you’d have to spend on digital marketing? The grunt work. Downloading leads from Facebook Ads to load them to your CRM or copying a CSV file of your existing customers and then uploading this to Facebook ads so that you can create a custom audience.
There are all sorts of twists and turns when it comes to digital marketing processes. The smart thing to do is to “not” spend time doing any of this.
That’s why tools like Automate, Zapier, and Integromat exist. Use these to your advantage and streamline marketing workflows, automate marketing processes, and more.
Use Artificial Intelligence To Build Landing Pages
Landing pages are an integral part of your marketing. In fact, there’s no marketing without landing pages (which can also be extended as full-fledged, multi-page sales funnels).
For all this while, you’d have had to build landing pages (or get them created by marketers or others).
It’s time to switch to AI. Use artificial intelligence and get your landing pages built by artificial intelligence.
Unbounce Smart Builder, for instance, takes answers to a few questions (about your business) and builds out an entire landing page for you on its own, and with the brand elements (such as colors, typography, and graphic assets you provide).
You’d only have to edit (if you want to) and launch. The Unbounce Smart Builder also lets you know how well your campaigns will convert (even before you click publish).
Using the smart A/B testing features and the “conversion Intelligence” features, Unbounce also lets you split test your campaigns as you go along.
On that note…
Build websites Fast
Creating websites with artificial intelligence has been around for a while. Wix already has a way to help create complete websites
Or there’s a way to build world-class, crafty, astonishingly-pretty but high-converting websites using templates.
Webflow is incredible when it comes to building websites that not only look great but also load fast and convert like crazy. Of course, there’s WordPress with all sorts of templates for Dynamic websites or regular websites (Including WordPress eCommerce).
Looking for simple tips for live streaming like a pro? Worried that your blogging strategy, social media push isn’t going too far? Does your publishing velocity need a herculean push? Read on 👇
Note: This is from the perspective of someone who attends live streams on a weekly basis. Too many to count. These are my takeaways as a live stream attendee. About me doing live streams? Someone motivate me please.
Streaming democratizes content production. Apart from the ability to find and consume live streaming content, you also have a democratized opportunity to “produce” content.
Switch from consumer to producer and you’ll end up doing a lot for your business.
Let’s not talk business for a while; let’s just focus on the fun stuff you (and I) love to do: Streaming entertainment.
According to Google, between 2019 and 2020, there’s been a whopping 800% increase in global watch time of both ad-supported and purchased feature-length movies.
The watch time for live content is up 250% in the U.S. specifically, watch time on TV screens is up 350% for documentaries and 450% for news.
Between mid-March and mid-April, 60% of viewers signed in to YouTube on TV screens watched a video published in the last 7 days.
Convinced that live streaming has potential and reach at least?
Now, let’s follow through with some simple tips for live streaming, why it makes sense for your business to adopt and embrace live streaming, & how it helps you pack a punch to your overall digital footprint:
Show up and Mesmerize (Read: Be Yourself)
There’s only so much that written text can do. Further, you can polish, grind, sand, and polish some more that you’ll only showcase the best of your content.
Here’s the problem: you’ll find it hard to connect with your customers. You see? Your customers don’t want jargon thrown at them nor do they expect polished “Pulitzer” material when they consume your content.
All that they seek is a way to connect with your business,relate to your brand, clap along, cheer along, and resonate with you.
It’s hard to do this with just text and images. It’s much easier (and way more effective) if you do it with live streaming.
Instead of thinking “strategies”, “leads”, and “sales”, just make the effort to show up. This alone is more than what most businesses can’t do. Gives you a definitive edge as long as you do it consistently, right?
It’s hard to be consistently showing up on Live streams, hosting them, talking into the camera without even your mom in attendance (there was a time when she’d at least read a blog post or two).
But that’s just the nature of the game. Patricia Benandez of The Verge wrote about several live streamers on Twitch who streamed for years before gaining ground and making it big (you decide what’s big).
Consistency applies for everything: from live streaming to blogging; from ads to landing pages; from success in investing to reversing diabetes.
Out of all the simple tips to live streaming, this is the one you should walk away with.
That’s just how it is.
Start with YouTube Live (for free). Or Start with Restream and push your live stream to several platforms (such as Facebook live, Instagram Live, and LinkedIn live at once (also for free).
Why bother with top SaaS website templates? That’s because of the following reasons:
SaaS websites are pretty but dysfunctional when it comes to marketing.
As it is with most businesses, across industries, most websites are slow, prone to security issues, vulnerable, and downright crappy as far as user experience (UX) goes.
Most SaaS founders don’t focus on marketing, results, leads, sales, revenue, and profits. Instead, they keep working on the product, reworking on the product, and keep tweaking the product. Most startups are “product centric” — as if these products sell by themselves (nah, they won’t).
SaaS founders (and teams) don’t even focus on digital marketing properly. It’s a shame since SaaS founders are usually well-informed and have already rolled deep in the mud as far as knowledge (and the advantages of online marketing go)
Before you gloat on Twitter that your startup is now funded, or is worth billions of dollars in valuation, remember that for “real” growth, you still need to make some money.
Your SaaS website is a starting point that most founders don’t care about (but you should).
Starting with some of these top SaaS website templates offer an easy way for you to get started on the right note, with emphasis on awesome-looking, functional, fast, marketing-ready, and result-driven websites without having to spend hours and hours on design or implementation.
These templates are ready-made, professionally designed websites for software companies of all sizes. So, here are some of the Top website templates and UI kits for SaaS startups:
Note: All of these are non-WordPress SaaS-specific templates that work with Webflow (cut the chase and just choose Webflow for your SaaS business. You’ll want to send me a wine bottle later). If you are still wondering, there are several YCombinator startups that also use Webflow.
Clean, modern, and a multi-use UI kit for SaaS startups with quick-start pages, flexible use cases, and amazing layouts.
20+ ready-to-use blocks (build a website in 3 hours or less)
Retina-ready, high resolution graphics
Great typography, usability, and user experience
You also get blog posts templates and blog layout templates helping you get to more important things like blogging and content marketing (instead of endless fussing over design — something that doesn’t always pay off).
Is your SaaS startup all about some character? Do you love colors? How about staying away from the “done-to-death” blues and grays all over the world of SaaS? If you love color, Jeeti is the Webflow eCommerce template that you should be looking for.
The colorful global swatches allow you to switch and put on the colors that best fit your brand. The Jeeti Webflow template is 100% customizable (and you can do it in an instant, without writing code).
Jeeti comes equipped with everything your SaaS website might need such as reponsive designs, media lightboxes, 3D transforms, forms, and more. Jeeti is Webflow content management system ready and also has eCommerce enabled (we are talking money now, eh?).
The SaaS website template comes with intentional focus to help you drive results for your business with strategically built pages (all of them) to help boost your product sales, free trial signups, lead generation, and other results for your SaaS business.
Along with at least 3 different landing page layouts you can choose from, there are also special pages built out (ready) to showcase your Integrations, blog posts, blog layouts, careers, product pricing, sign-in and sign-up pages, and several utility pages.
Invoicy is a website template built specifically for SaaS businesses. It looks SaaS; it feels SaaS and it has SaaS DNA built right in.
Perfectly built to help you generate leads or free trials on the home page itself, it allows for a large cover shot of your SaaS product and then the rest of the utility pages, blog post layouts, and other features you need.
Invoicy also comes with a pricing page, contact form, Sign in and sign up pages, an FAQ page, buttons, and more.
As it is with Webflow, you can instantly change the colors, copy, and start working on the marketing aspects of your SaaS business while getting the website for your business ready in a few hours.
The Startup X Webflow template designed for modern companies looking to launch a simple, premium and modern website. With a total of over 30 pages, it’s the perfect template to help you launch a stellar website for your startup.
With a grand total of 35 page layouts, and several variations of each of the important pages (such as home, about, blog, and more), it’s a great choice if you are looking for an instantly usable, marketing-ready SaaS business website.
Startup X template also comes with landing pages, eCommerce pages, a dedicated landing page for forms, and more.
Startup X is also speed optimized (Webflow’s hosting will also help tremendously, but you can host the website however you want). The SaaS website template is responsive, uses seamless animations, and is customizable as per your needs.
Built with a rich dash of blue (most startups and SaaS businesses just love blue, don’t they?), Felix is a beautiful and fast website template for your SaaS startup. Built with more than 80+ functional sections and 25+ pages, Felix is totally customizable with reusable components for your business website.
While it’s built for Enterprise SaaS companies, all SaaS startups can use it by easily mixing and matching the pages and components while customizing the site to go with your brand.
Felix also comes with several variations (for each of SaaS specific pages) that you can choose from along with utility pages such as a dedicated page for customers, testimonials, case studies, video sections, jobs, team, FAQ, and more.
Created with fun, elegance, and functionality in mind, Tribe is a startup website template created for startups with some character and a voice to match. Use modular UI templates to mix and match or choose from more than 121+ ready-made blocks or reusable sections that you can customzie.
Tribe is equipped with Webflow eCommerce functionality giving you the option to sell goods through your Webflow site. Ecommerce layouts include product listing, product details, category listing, checkout and order confirmation.
With Tribe, you can also create Webflow CMS-powered case studies, blog posts, and launch other content assets to take your digital marketing to the next level.
Some of the notable features of Tribe include a Site-wide dismissible Notification Bar in Navigation element, Email Subscription, Contact pages, Request Demo forms and also a Subscribe modal on blog pages.