Building a Growth Engine with just 2 Blog Posts

Maybe you’re a startup, a small business or even a large enterprise. You’ve probably read the success stories about companies growing their business through blogging. But how are they really doing it and does it actually work?

If you have a small marketing team with limited resources, this post is for you.

Let’s begin!

As a quick introduction, my name is Johnny and I lead the growth efforts at Pulsate (mobile marketing and Chatbot platform). In this post, I’ll reveal how just 2 video blog posts have generated over 68k visitors and consistently add upwards of 450 new subscribers each month from our Academy.

On top of this, both videos have clocked upwards of 60k views on YouTube and continue to grow month over month. Not too shabby for B2B marketing!

People seemed to like our stuff…

Why we built an “Educational Programme” — AKA The Pulsate Academy

Like most companies, in our early days, we threw around the idea of building a blog a lot.

Great idea! But what do we write about and who cares what we have to say?

The voice of reason usually won the day against the chatter of blog post titles.

“Do we want to be one of those companies that starts a blog, make a few posts and then end up in the blog graveyard?”

Of course not. Let me tell you a little secret… It’s very easy to end up in that graveyard.

Don’t throw the towel in just yet

When your efforts go unrewarded during the first few days, weeks, and even months, you can begin to question the validity of content marketing.

We waited anxiously for the tsunami of traffic from the Gods of Google!

After reading some posts by traffic kingpins Noah Kagan (App Sumo) and Neil Patel (Quick Sprout / Kissmetrics) we knew that “a tsunami of traffic was on it’s way” we just needed to be patient.

And then it began… 9 months later.

Up, Up and Away

Look at the growth curve below of a post we created on “geofencing” http://academy.pulsatehq.com/7-things-about-geofencing. You can see that it took almost 9 months before it started generating more than 1k views a month.

A similar pattern started to emerge on our YouTube channel.

We also noticed a similar pattern for our second post. It took a while to get towards the 1k a month mark but when it did, it really started to gain momentum

Before the Pulsate Academy was born we agreed on two things. We had to be consistent with content creation and search engine optimization was our best option. SEO was the most cost effective method because it was repeatable traffic but we also knew it would be SLOWWWW!

Our production team was relentless; every week we shot, edited, produced and launched one video. Even when “we didn’t have time” we still made time to publish an episode every week. (I’ll share our process below)

Did we expect to grow between 4–6k views a month for a few blog posts? If we are honest, not entirely.

At this point you might be thinking…

“Let’s create 100 posts and if each received 5k views a month

That would mean we could generate… 6,000,000 views a year.

That’s a hell of lot of eyeballs seeing your stuff!

Yes please, sign me up!”

Unfortunately, we discovered that it doesn’t work quite like that!

How do you make blog posts that generate this type of traffic?

For everyone it’s different but today I want to share with you our process and how we produce and optimize an Academy Episode. Most of the tips that I share are a collection of great resources I’ve come across along the way.

The end result…

Make sure you play this in 1080p HD on YouTube

Step 1: Choose a topic/ keyword

I know this will be obvious to some readers but, depending on the competitiveness of your industry, you have a few options:

  1. Choose a long tail keywords phrase (e.g green apple for sale in New York)
  2. Choose a category/ topic keyword (e.g green apples)

If you want to find out more about this, you can read some articles below which explain in great detail your next steps:

Article: How to Generate 20,000 Monthly Visitors Through Long-Tail Search

Article: How to Find Long Tail Keywords

Is this content ToFu, MoFu, BoFu? Unsure where to start? Learn all about these 3 funnel stages below.

Article: Why Inbound Marketing is Necessary at Every Stage of the Sales Funnel

Step 2: Craft a headline

We use a tool from CoSchedule. Basically they will rate your headline and give you a heads-up if you are going in the right (or wrong) direction.

Step 3: Write a script

One of my favourite discoveries was a course on Udemy presented by Jason Teteak, an author, keynote and TEDx Speaker and CEO of Rule the Room. Although he doesn’t tell you how to write a script; applying his teachings will help you figure out what your script should look like.

Step 4: Design a whiteboard

When we have our final script finished the next step is to design our whiteboard. To do this, we send our script to a cartoonist to read and then come up with some ideas about how to visualize the script.

From initial illustrator sketch to…
Final whiteboard on the wall.

Check out our guy below if you need some similar work done!

Step 5: Studio Setup

We basically followed the same steps as Rand Fishkin who presents many of the SEO Moz whiteboard videos (Read their article below on lighting!). I also picked up many tips in the Wistia Library for different types of videos that we ended up shooting for other marketing campaigns

Article: Tips for Filming Whiteboard Presentations

Resource: Wistia Library

Lights, camera….action! There is also a softbox behind the camera.
Canon EOS 600D 18–55mm and audio technica omni atr3350 mic.

Step 6: Remembering the Script

OK this is simple, there are two ways;

1.) Learn the script (This is what we started doing).

Advantages: It will come across very natural.

Disadvantages: It can take some time to rehearse with many takes (Good for bloopers). Sometimes you can go off script and get lost in a tangent.

2.) Use a Teleprompter

Advantages: Great for shorter videos that need to be succinct and precise. For short videos, I recommend using a teleprompter.

Disadvantages: It can come across very rigid and well…scripted!

*I finally got to use my engineering degree once again to build a teleprompter for some other projects. The video below worked a treat in guiding me through the various steps!

Our beautiful homemade teleprompter held together by duct tape.

Step 7: Edit, Render, Export

I’m no video editing expert but I know my way around enough to do the basics and get the footage edited, exported and uploaded. If you want to go along the same learning path as myself take a look at the video below. There are other tools out there but I mainly work with Adobe Creative Cloud.

One more thing….Compress that video!

Step 8: Transcribe the video

If you want to transcribe your video to add to your blog post for SEO purposes and for subtitles then I recommend using a service called Speechpad

Step 9: Submit to google search console

After you publish your blog post you will want to get it indexed fast. We followed the steps in the below post to help us get ranked for numerous long tail keywords along with our main keyword for both posts.

3 Things We learned…

1- Don’t feed the content monster — If we were doing this all over again we wouldn’t have created 50+ episodes of the Pulsate Academy. When you create too many posts you can dilute your marketing message. Stick to your core message and don’t be afraid to share your best content!

2- Top of funnel content is “nice” but it should lead to a commercial insight. At the beginning we didn’t do this as we pretty much said the same things as everyone else. However, we made a change internally and created our own commercial insights and framework called “Win The Moment

Another style of video we created, inspired from the Wistia library

Check out the all the videos here: www.pulsatehq.com/win-the-moment

3- Ask users for their email to view you content. People actually don’t mind giving you their email for good content.

Here’s something I made earlier

If you enjoyed this article, please tap that little ❤ at the bottom of this post to help spread the word. You can follow me on twitter or connect with me on linkedin