Become a Blog Boss with @JessicaThiefelsConsulting
Bringing you the second #desIGnLIVE all the way from Bali, Indonesia! This episode’s guest: Jessica Thiefels of Jessica Thiefels Consulting. Jessica is a blog-master and she is dropping all her knowledge on what to consider when creating killer blog content for your small business brand.
Q: Introduce yourself! Where are you from, what do you do? Who do you help and how do you help them?
A: My name is Jessica Thiefels and I’m originally from Burlington, Vermont. My husband and I have been living in San Diego for almost 8 years now! I help mid-level businesses with content consulting, everything from content strategy to execution, and I also do marketing coaching for entrepreneurs and small business coaching. I coach mostly with social media marketing and blogging. My approach is simplify, strategize and set goals—and I love see how much more confident my clients are with their marketing when we’re done working together.
Q: Have you always been interested in marketing?
A: I am a writer first and foremost. I went to school for journalism, but at my first “big girl” job, as a copywriter, my entire team was fired (but me) so social media marketing just sort of fell on my plate. Everything just came after that, so now I’ve worked in community management, social media management, email marketing, SEO, blog strategy, management and growth—you name it in content marketing and I’ve done it haha. Not because I’m so ambitious, but I joke that I had 5 jobs in 5 years, so I learned A LOT along the way, as I moved between companies both big and small.
Q: What is ‘organic content marketing,’ and how is it different than paid?
A: Organic marketing is the process of driving traffic and building your brand with non-paid efforts. That would include blogging, social media marketing, email marketing, guest posting, etc. If you’re marketing your business with “content” - which includes blog posts, webinars, videos, and images - you’re doing content marketing. Think of organic marketing as Natural – Authentic – Value-Based – Over-Time versus paid, which is Pushed – Artificial – Quick Results. I explain the difference between the two in-depth in a Salesforce article I wrote: https://www.salesforce.com/blog/2018/07/paid-organic-marketing-strategy.html
Q: Most of your clients are small business owners in service based businesses (mine, too)... what are their biggest struggles with content marketing?
A: The biggest struggles my clients face are:
Lack of resources
Lack of time - to write blog posts, post on social media, etc. but also not enough budget to pay someone to do it for them.
I especially see with my coaching clients and lack of strategy, which means they’re just doing without actually knowing why, what, or how it’s benefiting them.
Q: What are the biggest mistakes you see small biz owners make when it comes to blogging?
A: Writing thin content and not promoting it. By thin content I mean 300 word articles that don’t provide much value and have no basis in SEO. Then they don’t do anything with it. It just sits on their blog, which means no one sees it and Google’ doesn’t rank it.
Q: Where do you start if you don’t know what to blog about? What about SEO?
A: Poll your audience on social media or via email (if you have a subscriber base). What do they want to read about? How can your knowledge help your ideal customer?
When it comes to SEO, start with keywords, ensuring that every blog post is based in a keyword that has high search volume and low competition. I recommend the tool Ubersuggest; it’s a free and easy way to find keywords. I have a really helpful Keyword Research guide that can be downloaded for free: https://subscribe.jessicathiefels.com/KeywordResearchGuide
Q: How can you measure your ROI on your blogs and content marketing efforts? What apps do you use to track your analytics?
A: Google Analytics is super helpful, even a cursory knowledge of how to use it will tell you how your traffic is increasing, which means more people are coming to your site, a.k.a. more potential buyers. You can set up goals in GA that allow you to track where conversions are happening.
In terms of conversions, as an ecommerce business, you have to have your ecommerce tools to check ROI—ideally, you can see where customers came in when they purchased, and then you can see if they started with a blog post.
If you’re a business that runs on leads, you can create specific lead forms for blog posts so you know whether someone reached out while reading your content.
If you’re struggling with any and all of these things, check out my Kick-start Your Blog 5-week online course and mastermind that just launched today! You can check it out by clicking the link in my IG bio and it will also be in the show notes. We cover ALL of the topics I discussed here, and I’ll be going live for “office hours” once each week in our private mastermind Facebook group, so you have 100% support and guidance to finally get your blog up and running.
Q: What’s one thing you do BEST in your business? and one thing you’d like to do better?
Provide value and communicate. I am ALL about making sure my content and the work I do is top notch, always, always. I am also huge on communication and struggle working with clients who aren’t. I’ve maintained hundreds of editorial contacts over the last 5 years and and many clients for 2+ years, and I know both of these are the reason why. I would like to be better at confidence with sales! I know that I know i’m really good at what I do, but I struggle with pricing my services for the value they’re worth.