Ah, 2018, we hardly knew ye — or perhaps for some of us, we knew ye a little too well. In either case, 2018 was nothing if not an exciting time to be involved in content marketing. Sure, the year had some highs and some lows, but as long as we learned along the way, then we are better content marketers for it.
Of course, whether or not we learn is up to us. If you kept up with the bevy of brilliant blog posts we published this year, then we’d venture to say you learned a lot. If you didn’t have a chance to read them all (It’s OK. We’re not offended.), let us introduce you to 11 of this year’s top blog posts.
11 ClearVoice blog posts you loved in 2018 (and we’ll take them as hints for more)
Blogging a Comeback: How We Rebooted Our B2B Blog From 3K to 50K+ Organic Monthly Page Views (and Growing)
What you’ll learn: Certainly one of our longer blog posts this year — but for good reason. Take a look and you’ll learn of the painstaking — but ultimately rewarding — process involved in revamping the ClearVoice blog to become a major success for us and a source of consistently useful information for our readers.
Why you should care: If you have a blog, you already know what it’s like to struggle for page views and generate leads. We feel your pain. Because we care, we included a lot of detail about the exact steps we took to become the blog you know today.
What you’ll learn: Determining the amount to pay a freelance writer is often tricky because there are several variables that need to be considered, including writer experience, content type, and your own budget. We think this blog post gives a clearer view of these variables than you can find anywhere else.
Why you should care: Paying too much for a freelancer can quickly zap your budget. Paying too little can be disastrous for your content strategy. Our survey results can help you in your quest to find the sweet spot in the middle.
What you’ll learn: The video habits of millennials may not be as extreme as you once thought. This survey found that few millennials publish live social videos and the majority of those surveyed feel their social feeds already have enough video in them.
Why you should care: Video is often touted as the solution for reaching millennials. This survey shows that you are wise to continue to use video, but not forget about other important tactics as well.
What you’ll learn: Get some of the important high-level strategies that are necessary for any would-be podcaster to understand how to connect with and build an audience.
Why you should care: It’s true that people love podcasts, but only if the podcast engages, inspires, or intrigues the listener. If you have struggled to get a podcast off the ground — or even if you are succeeding with your podcast — you might look to Hernan Lopez for inspiration. Wondery earned the #1 and #2 spots on the list of most-downloaded new podcasts in 2018.
What you’ll learn: Content creators can take advantage of a classic narrative paradigm to develop compelling stories for publication — even when the source of the content doesn’t appear to be especially engaging.
Why you should care: As exciting as you may think your organization is, not everybody is going to agree. Grasping fundamental story structure can help you capture the attention of those who have escaped your efforts up to this point.
What you’ll learn: Brands are more apt to hiring employees for freelance projects than ever before. WONGDOODY CEO Ben Wiener sits down for a Q&A about how his tremendously successful agency uses freelancers and what it means to the company’s bottom line. Spoiler alert: WONGDOODY has decreased its workforce 25 percent while still growing revenues.
Why you should care: If you have individuals or teams of full-time employees in your organization devoted to content creation, you may find that embracing the “gig economy” could have a significant impact on your company’s bottom line.
What you’ll learn: In addition to learning about the tactics involved in building a Facebook chatbot, you also can expand your horizons about how different industries can use chatbots. These industries include real estate, life coaching, politics, investments, and home service. Martech expert Ben Beck just refreshed his tutorial with December 2018 info, too.
Why you should care: Chatbots can significantly cut down on the amount of time you or other employees spend responding to customers or other leads. Also, with more than 2/3 of Americans on Facebook, there is a large potential audience.
What you’ll learn: Explore the importance of knowing your niche audience, tracking data, capitalizing on controversial topics, and taking calculated risks. The data shows that by taking a stand, brands may attain a level of brand affinity with customers they might not ever achieve otherwise.
Why you should care: Traveling the path of least resistance or creating vanilla marketing campaigns that appeal to the largest possible demographic might be robbing your organization of opportunities to reach more people with the messages you feel most passionate about.
What you’ll learn: Building and maintaining a website that is scalable, accomplishes business purposes, and helps customers find needed information is difficult. Advice is helpful, but when that advice comes from Wix’s Shelly Cohen, the information quickly jumps from helpful to invaluable.
Why you should care: Simply put, if you have a website, there are always ways to improve its functionality. This primer provides you with the outline you need so you know what you should be working on next.
What you’ll learn: Even marketers who use voice-enabled search in their daily lives are sometimes unfamiliar with the best ways to optimize this powerful tool. Gregg Rosenzweig compiles a number of changes you can make to your existing web properties to make your content more attractive to Siri, Alexa, Google, Cortana and others.
Why you should care: “Voice first” is the newest marketing mantra. Some sources say that by the end of 2020, voice search will make between 30 and 50 percent of all online searches. The year 2020 is now only a year away—so the time to optimize is now.
8 Long and Costly Shortcuts: The Worst Mistakes Marketers Make While Trying to Sidestep Content Marketing
What you’ll learn: This article is unique from the others on the list given that its purpose is to teach you exactly what not to do. Some of the pitfalls it calls out include relying on SEO specialists to create content, assigning employees who have no content creation expertise to participate in content development, and expecting quick results from link-building campaigns.
Why you should care: Learning from mistakes is great, but learning from others’ mistakes is even better. Lena Katz’s rundown will help you know what to avoid so you can save time, money, and frustration.