Are you trying to get it all? Are you looking for the BEST blogging platform?
A blog is a blog is a blog, is a blog... right? Or is it?
Most of the business owners I talk to see blogging as a necessary evil, and believe at some level that it's important, but they don't understand why, exactly, that's the case. For this reason, most overlook the need to have a top-rated blogging platform, and opt for the cheaper, more commonly used tools for delivery, such as WordPress.
But this is a mistake, because having the right tools will make all the difference in the world. No, the best tools won't a carpenter make you, because you still need to swing the hammer and carry out your vision. But you certainly don't want them limiting your ability to achieve your desired marketing objectives.
All that said, let's talk about why Hubspot is likely the best blogging platform on the market.
Do you know how to write a good blog post?
Getting it "all" with your blogging platform is important, but so is writing good content that is easy to digest. This is where having a platform like Hubspot will make all the difference in the world, because sometimes we just need that little extra bit of organization and preset outlining to help us get the juices flowing.
3 of the most important blog formats are:
- The list-based post: This is the most popular blog type out there because it's easy to digest, and it is structured around helping people diagnose and solve their problems. THIS blog post is a list post.
- The How-to post: Another popular format, the how-to does exactly what it sounds like - it teaches people how to do something.
- The Visual post: This is where you'll find all of your infographics and memes.
What does this have to do with Hubspot? Simple... When you hit the button, "write new post," the first question they ask you is whether you'd like to follow a blueprint (template) or write it from scratch. I tend to opt for the blueprint, because the formatting is already set up for me to fit the type of blog I want to write.
What's also important to note is that once I'm inside, it has helpful text throughout to spark that creativity.
Now, don't make the mistake in thinking that this is only for novices. Our agency has to be as efficient with our time as possible, and there is a checklist that each post must go through before being published. Why not have that checklist integrated right into the publishing platform? Why not, indeed...
Does your platform do that?
SEO within the context of blogging comes in many forms:
- Keywords: This is the root of your blogging strategy, and unlike the more popular plugins offered in WordPress, the keywords tool in Hubspot will help you track your most desired word-strings in a separate database, and the blogging tool will pull them into your post for tracking purposes, based on the simple act of writing a title with them in it.
- Meta-tags: Sometimes we need reminders to optimize our URL and metadescription, and HS won't let you get too far without filling those out properly. Best of all - you don't have to download or install some 3rd party plugin to add these components. It's as integrated into the platform as grapes are into wine.
- Density: I know there has been a lot of debate about the importance of keyword density. In the past, most professional SEO Marketers would tout their abilities to reach density requirements. I've seen some pretty crazy SaaS offerings like keyword density heat maps to make sure each page and post are packed to the brim with the words you are targeting. But this kind of "keyword stuffing" doesn't actually help you anymore, and, in fact, can actually hurt you by having too many. So, the Hubspot blogging tool will make sure you meet minimum thresholds and tell you if you are overdoing it.
- Placement: Your keywords need to be found in certain areas to really make a difference. One is your title, others, like we mentioned before, are your URL and meta-tagging. Hubspot will make sure you have them in the right place through easy-to-follow suggestions. In fact, when you hover over a suggestion, you'll be taken automatically to the place where you can make the corrections!
Blogging is one thing - knowing the impact of your posts is another thing entirely. With the HS tool-set, you can see a wide range of data, such as how many visitors you have, how many click your CTAs, and WHEN people were there.
This data will prove to be quite valuable when you're setting up your next post, putting together an email sequence, or getting social in LinkedIn.
You can also review your page's performance, seeing which keywords your posts are responsible for your SEO rankings.
NOTE: This is only available if you actually host your blog in Hubspot, which may seem obvious, but I have seen more than one company opt to keep publishing in WordPress for no other reason than they're comfortable with it - even though they use Hubspot for everything else!
With Hubspot, we can write a post today, and schedule it to release at peak times. This is a simple requirement, sure, but an important one nonetheless.
This is what really sets the Hubspot blogging platform apart from the others. The integration with your keyword tools will help your marketing team wrap your posts around your SEO strategy. You can flip the switch so your social media channels automatically share your posts within minutes of their publication.
You can also very easily tag your posts with campaign tools, which help you track individual campaigns for their effectiveness.
Think of it this way - if you develop a piece of content, such as an ebook for blogging or you have a specialty landing page where you advertise your services, such as Hubspot integrations and management, you can tag your posts with the same campaign as those other pieces. Later, when you're looking at your different campaigns to see which ones are successful so you can do more things like it, you'll be able to follow individual campaign concepts.
It doesn't end there though... We also have integrated email marketing tools, so every month our monthly subscribers get their dose of the Digital Brain Food Blog - without even having to push a single button. It just happens.
For us marketers, this kind of integration is huge.
The reason why all of these integrations exist is because blogging is meant to be more than just a platform for ranting about something or positioning yourself as a thought leader (more HERE). It's a tool for attracting and engaging visitors to your website. It's very likely the first or second step your prospects take with you, and it sends them on a journey.
What's next? Links to your website... Calls-to-action that lead to free content downloads... other ways to convert and become an actual lead.
In addition, we use our blog posts to spark up conversations in social media outlets, and if you write something compelling enough, you'll see it take on a life of its own with sharing and clicking and following and friending... and converting, and paying...
7. Sub-directories vs Sub-domains
This may seem a little out of place in this part of the post, and is perhaps more suitable under the SEO section. However, I believe its significance is worth highlighting alone, because choosing one over the other could have a significant impact on your blog's ability to perform.
Check out this article posted on inbound.org, and pay special attention to some of the comments by Rand Fishkin, Co-Founder of MOZ: HERE
The thing about Hubspot that's important to note is that it can manage just about every piece of your digital marketing efforts, including hosting your website as a CMS (or as they call it, a COS - "content optimization system," instead of "management system"). By doing this and hosting your blog there as well, you don't need to use the sub-domain approach, which is clearly inferior in terms of SEO impact to using a sub-directory. How can you tell what you're using?
My agency uses Hubspot for our marketing AND website hosting, so we automatically have the sub-directory set up.
Okay, so we've walked through a lot of jazz about the bells and whistles of the Hubspot tool-set, but what about ease of writing?
To give you some reference of where I'm coming from, I want to tell you a little about myself.
I'm a musician - have been since I can remember. I made up songs to "Green River" with my little electronic keyboard when I was five. I debuted my first music video when I was 9 - lip synching Wierd Al's "Fat" on my Fischer Price cassette tape camcorder. I had a rock band in high school. I produced several solo albums in college. I was in another a rock band in my 20's, and performed on Sunset strip at places like the Roxy. And I now write and record music in my home studio.
From the very beginning, even as young as 5 years old, I recognized the value of being able to tap into my creativity the moment inspiration hit. Any time that was lost to plugging something in, pulling something out, searching for equipment, or unraveling wires, was quite frustrating, especially when "lightning" struck.
Thus, began my quest for developing the perfect home recording studio that allowed me to sit down, and with just a few switch flips and 60 seconds of waiting, I could play, write, and record my music. And finally, after 30 years varying budget and available technology, I developed a FANTASTIC system. I have a keyboard workstation, electronic drum kit, high-end microphone and pre-amp, a computer, a headphone splitter, and an external sound card.
I have guitar amps with permanent mic setups, and every instrument goes through the external sound card, where I can adjust raw volume inputs, which funnels into the computer via firewire where I have a digital mixing board, editing software, and all sorts of plug-in sounds for my electric drum set. Every device is connected to one of two different power amps, which means I literally only have to flip two switches.
I can now sit down and be recording within 60 seconds of "lightning" striking. As an artist, that kind of simplicity and ease of immersion is the difference between capturing that lightning in a bottle or letting it do nothing but fry my brain with frustration.
The parallel with Hubspot's tool-set is quite simple, because going from inspired to published is just as easy and smooth. The aforementioned tools are non-intrusive, and in fact, supportive, which takes a lot of the guess-work out of figuring out how to incorporate all of these important elements.
Sometimes we have a loose idea rattling around, and sometimes that idea is brilliant... but without structure and tools that keep it focused, it can go off the tracks very quickly, and if we are forced to spend too much time making sure it meets all the right criteria, we'll find ourselves losing important creative inertia.
What makes this platform great is all of the other opportunities you can capture with it. Blogging is just one piece, just as it is in the grand scheme of your digital marketing campaign. Why let all of these pieces operate in silos when they are meant to compliment one another?
I would love to hear about other blogging platforms that you love as much as I love this one, so let's make this a debate! Do you think it's overkill? Do you you have something better? Tell me about it!
Interested in learning more about Hubspot? Schedule an appointment today!