How to Write a Blog Like HubSpot

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

Highlighting Content

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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Top Social Media and Marketing Article of the Week (Feb 8 – Feb 12)

I am going to start a new series of blog posts that highlights some of the best articles that I have come across. I use an app called Feedly to organize marketing and social media content and spend an hour every day reading through the latest articles.

From the articles in my feed I’ll select a handful of the most useful articles and share with you why they were worthy and how I could see client’s using the strategies outlined in the articles in their own online marketing efforts.

Without further a-do, here are the articles I’ll be covering this week:

  1. How Micromarketing can take you strategy to the next level” – Hubspot
  2. Social Media Customer Service: To Do it Right” – Hootsuite

“How Micromarketing can take you strategy to the next level” – Hubspot

I am a big fan of HubSpot and they do an excellent job of presenting new ideas that allow you to dive deeper into the world on marketing. What I liked about this article was that it was a quick read. When I am being introduced to a new topic, I like to get a summary-type of article so that I am not too bogged down with details. (Imagine a teacher explaining organic chemistry on your first day of science class, instead of teaching you about the periodic table.)

They provided some well-known examples of micromarketing as well, which I found to be very effective. Their use of the Coca-Cola “Share a Coke” campaign helped make the idea of micromarketing very clear.

So what is micromarketing? Based on what I understand from the article it is an even more detailed look at your customer-base and designing marketing campaigns or products/services that speak to the customer directly or a small subset of a larger target audience.

In the example of “Share a Coke”, Coca-Cola was able to provide a personalized experience by printing 150 of the most popular names on their bottles. When the campaign launched they were able to track the bottles that were purchased to get a better idea of who is buying their bottles. More importantly, as mentioned in the HubSpot article, they ended up selling 250 million bottle of coca-cola in a country of 23 million people.

By simply adding a personalized touch to the bottles, they inspired more people to buy more of their products. This is the key to micromarketing: go deeper with your segmentation and targeting. Learn more about your customers/audience, and deliver better products, services, and marketing based on their unique qualities.

Social Media Customer Service: To Do it Right” – Hootsuite

What really struck me about this article was that they opened it with a number of important facts relating to the customer experience online. I’ve included a screengrab of the facts here:

So there is a lot to take in there but I want to focus in on the fact that customer service interactions will increase by 40% this year, and that the time it takes a brand to respond on twitter drops by 30% when they don’t have a designated customer service account.

I don’t know about you, but I have taken to Twitter in the past to reach out to brands when I have a customer service issue. The quickness of those responses is a major factor in how I feel about the brand. I can remember when I tweeted about waiting patiently for my Monday newsletter from Greatist and within a few minutes I had received a DM from them and they were DMing me to say thank you and offer to send me a free t-shirt for being a fan of the blog.

I have never forgotten that experience and still think highly of Greatist because of that interaction.

I wanted to highlight this article because it ties in another relevant practice on social media, which is social listening and monitoring. This is the practice of setting up filters to monitor conversations online about your brand, your niche, and the news. This allows you (as a brand) to interact with people who are talking about your brand – and not necessarily tagging you or using a hashtag. It keeps social media social, which is something you’ll hear me say a lot.

Having a customer service account dedicated to responding to customer service requests is an important part of that online conversation. By dedicating accounts, and therefore a team, to this effort you can expect a higher satisfaction rate from your customers. The customer service representatives are also the ones who have been trained to handle customer service requests, so they are the best trained for these interactions – online or in-person.

Summary

I have to be honest, this was a very busy week, so I wasn’t able to read as much as I had hoped. With that said, I am noticing a trend towards both of the ideas mentioned in this article: more defined targetting/getting to know your customers on a deeper, more detailed leve and better online customer service.

The two ideas go hand-in-hand. If you understand your customer better, you’ll know how to answer their questions better. If you are responding to customer service requests in a timely manner, you’re learning about the issues your customers are having while also providing a great experience for them.

If you are to implement these ideas into your marketing and customer service efforts, I would bet that you’d see a more positive brand sentiment and greater overall satisfaction from your customers.

Try it out and let me know what you think!