I spend a lot of time reading HubSpot articles. I stumbled upon their articles early in 2020 after listening to The Marketing Book Podcast and hearing them mentioned a number of times. I figured if all of these prominent marketing and sales authors are talking about HubSpot, there’s probably something good going on there. In this article I am going to give you a step-by-step guide on how to write a blog like HubSpot.
Who/What is HubSpot?
HubSpot is a an all-inclusive customer management and business marketing system. The company recently hit a major milestone have over 100,000 subscribers to their CRM (customer relationship management system). The cost of their software? Over $1,000. So with 100,000 subscribers to their software that’s a very successful company.
But here’s the thing – this is not a greedy, slimey tech company like so many of us have learned to know. No there is a great deal of integrity that comes through with everything that HubSpot produces.
I follow them on every form of social media and they do an exceptional job of engagement. They share information and then give the audience a chance to retweet or reply. On instagram they often use polls to help you move through an educational piece of content.
As a customer relationship management software company you would hope that they would be this good at connecting with their customers.
HubSpot also runs a very popular marketing conference, Inbound, which is named after the 21st-century mega-marketing strategy known as Inbound marketing. This is the core marketing strategy that I have learned from HubSpot and it has helped many businesses around the world bring their customers to their website. Not only that, but once those customers are on the website, Inbound marketing creates an ecosystem on the website that is full of educational content that helps answer the customer’s questions, dispel their doubts, and make them believers and high quality leads.
The best part – besides the time and labour required to make the content, Inbound marketing is essentially a free lead generation system.
But enough about that. This article is about the fool-proof method that HubSpot uses to write articles that educate and convert customers.
Titles that Answer Audience Questions
The best way to write a title is to write it in a way that answers your target audience’s questions (or your buyer personas questions, to be more specific). This is not just about writing about what you think your customers are asking about – its about doing the research to know exactly who you customers are and what their specific pain-points and questions will be.
For example, I have been talking a lot about ClubHouse in my IGTV series, #SocialSaturdays, but because I am an android user, I can’t access the app and therefore don’t know how it works. As a social media manager, I imagine I fit into one of he 4-5 buyer personas that HubSpot has created through buyer persona research. We are young, eager learners who like to stay on top of social media trends. So they wrote the following article with this title:
Starting an article with “How To” has been shown in tons of studies to be great for click through rates. I needed help understanding how to use ClubHouse, and HubSpot wrote a How To article, and made sure to mention it was a step-by-step guide.
So step 1 of writing a blog like Hubspot: Let your audience know that you are going to answer their question in the title.
The Art of Instant Gratification
Another thing that sets HubSpot apart is their use of free resources to provide instant gratification to their audience. If I am looking for how to create a marketing plan I can read through their article, or I can get an instant download of a marketing plan template – score!
All you have to do to get the resource is enter your email and voila – free resources. Of course this means that you are now part of HubSpot’s CRM, and more often than not you’ll receive an email shortly after downloading a few resources asking if you’d like to set up a call to talk about their CRM software. This is fine and their customer management employee are pleasant to deal with.
Anyways – back to blogging.
Once you’ve drawn in your audience with a great title that lets them know you are going to answer their questions, the next thing you can do is let your audience know that there’s a free template available. Like this:
I have become trained to look for those square brackets when I am perusing the HubSpot blog. I know that the articles with those square brackets have additional value and their resources are always awesome.
Step 2 of writing a blog like Hubspot: Add extra value as soon as possible (if it is relevant to your article)
Guide Your Reader
When an article is going to be longer format, it is important to introduce the contents of the article in a table of contents. Not only does this allow the reader to jump to the relevant section it is also great for Google Featured Snippets, which are those quick answers that Google gives you when you ask a question like “What are popular social media apps?” and it gives you something that looks like this:
When Google is crawling a website it will look for HTML anchors associated with headers (this is why being strategic with H2 and H3 headers is important), or bullet point lists. If you get these right you’ll find yourself with a coveted spot on the first page of Google search.
Step 3 of writing a blog like Hubspot: Use a table of contents to help guide the user through the subtopics in your article
Okay so I have a confession. I have been using one of the HubSpot tricks throughout this article. Those grey-ish blue boxes that highlight the steps to writing a blog like HubSpot – that’s a strategy used by HubSpot for a number of different purposes.
I particularly enjoy when they use it to summarize the main points of the article, or, when they use these highlighted sections to provide a definition of a technical term. Look at this example from their article on how “How to Optimize Your Content for Google’s Featured Snippet Box”:
As someone arriving at their site you would be looking for more information on the featured snippets. HubSpot very quickly gives you a dedicated moment in the article to learn what a Featured Snippet is and they explain it in layman’s terms. This helps build trust with the audience and establishes HubSpot as an expert on the subject.
So without further ado, here is my next highlighted section:
Step 4 of writing a blog like Hubspot: Create highlighted sections to build trust with your audience and make it easy to pick out important content.
The Rest Is Just Good Webcopy Etiquette
After optimizing their title, adding value right away, creating a roadmap for the reader, and making important content as obvious as possible the rest is just good online writing etiquette. Here’s a summary of the best practices for blogging
- Use headers to break up the text into sections. These are your H2, H3, etc. tags. They can also be crawled by Google and can improve your SEO rank
- Keep your paragraphs short and easy to read. A paragraph with too much text will look like neverending text on a mobile device and it will be easy for the reader to lose focus. Remember that humans have short attention spans, and those white spaces between paragraphs are enough to refocus your audience
- Using active voice more than passive voice. Active voice is a more accessible way to write and will be easier for larger audiences to understand.
- Break up your text with relevant media. This is where the highlights boxes can be useful. You can also embed videos or images, just as long as they add to the content and don’t distract the audience from the content.
- Have clear calls to action throughout your text. HubSpot invites you to read related articles and download useful resources throughout their articles. This is great for lead generation and for keeping people on your website longer (which is great for SEO).
Step 5 of writing a blog like Hubspot: Remember the basics of good online writing.
You Are Now Ready to Write a Blog Like HubSpot!
If you follow and practice these 5 steps in your own writing, you’ll be well on your way to writing blogs like HubSpot. Remember that knowing your audience is like the pre-step to these steps. You have to know who your audience is before you start answering questions.
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