5 MINUTE READ

Blogging is an important business process in your business strategy to get leads and build your brand.  The best processes have process improvement built into their life cycle.  This applies to private equity, venture capital, Fortune 500 corporations and entrepreneurs.

At Guerrilla Analytics, we set a goal for 2 posts per week or 8 posts per month.  This was an educated guess.  While researching this post I found our target was a bit off:

Businesses that publish 16 or more blog posts a month receive almost 3.5 times more traffic than those that publish 0-4 posts a month.

 

Businesses that publish 16 or more blog posts a month receive about 4.5 times more leads than those that publish 0-4 posts a month.

Actually, I’m not even hitting my target.  I’m lucky to get 1 because my performance is all over the board.  So after indulging in a quick sigh, I move on.

The solutions I come across online as pretty standard – hire someone.  I just need to hire 3 more people and then we’ll get 3 more posts, meeting our new target of 4 per week.  This solution sucks for 2 reasons:

  1. I don’t have data to back up a return on investment for this extra Marketing expense = cash burn not investment
  2. A bad process in your hands is still a bad process in someone else’s hands

You don’t have someone a sinking ship expecting that because it’s a new captain the ship won’t sink.  For some reason, we forget this in business.  We hand over broken processes expecting them to get better results.

You’re leaving your future to chance that someone else might have a better process.  If they don’t, now you’ve just made your problem more expensive.

This is first in a simple case study in scientific marketing showing you how business process consultants help you solve problems without cash.

 

WHY IS BLOGGING AN IMPORTANT BUSINESS STRATEGY

 

I don’t like to should on others but blogging should be a part of your marketing strategy.  Let’s put the data from above aside and talk about why.  If you put on your consumer hat, ask yourself how often you look up a company online before talking to them.

This is part of your customer journey.

customer journey map

Blogging = Lead Source

 

Blogging is how people are going to find you (Discover Phase).  Without blogging, you have no interaction with this potential client and you’ll never know you’ve lost them.

If we dig into a marketing analytics we see leads come from a number of sources or channels.  One of greatest asset you can build is through SEO in your blogging.

 

Customer Journey – Evaluation Phase

 

If you’ve done a good job on your website, visitors move into the next phase of your marketing funnel and their customer journey – the Evaluation Phase.

This is where blogging scales and becomes part of their process to see if you’re the right fit for their problem.

 

Guerrilla Analytics Example

 

Step 1: Change Needs a Reason “WHY”

 

We have 1 strategic company target which cascades down to everyone.  Every day we work towards increasing our company conversion rate.

We break down company conversion rate into 3 things including website conversion rate.

website conversion rate optimization

 

To manage or inspire change, you have to create some hope – something to reach for.  This creates a why so when we start to improve our process we’ve baked in change management at this step.

Without a good reason to change, we stay the same.

 

Step 2: Get Out of Our Own Way

 

Part of our blogging process is a SERP review to understand what questions people are asking.  No surprises here, no one is asking “how to improve” a blogging process.

The insight here is important.  If I had written this article using a process designed by me, I would have titled this post “how to improve your blogging process”.

SERP research for blog post

 

Because I design for you, my title was based on more popular searches about “speed” and “getting more traffic” = quality.

 

DEFINE THE PROCESS GAP

 

If you’ve done something once, you HAVE a process.  You may not like it but you did a series of steps that turned inputs into outputs.  If you never done it, here’s a great guide on how to create a blogging process.

Now that we agree there’s a process – what’s wrong with it?

 

Case Study: Guerrilla’s Blogging Problems

 

Problems:

    1. Reading score could be better
    2. SEO could be better
    3. It’s taking too long to write a blog post
    4. I hate blogging now because it’s so painful and I want to murder my blogging process and salt its grave

Don’t pay attention to the concerned faces or people backing away from you right now because you’re slamming keys typing out your problems.  They don’t have to do this stupid process now do they!

We have to turn this emotion into something other people can buy into.  This is where we build more change management into our problem solving process by turning emotion into data.

data based problem solving

BLOGGING PROCESS KPIs

 

  • Reading score could be better = 
    • Target reading score: 70
    • Actual reading score: 65
    • Gap reading score: 5
  • SEO could be better =
    • Target SEO = Yoast ranking of Good + 10 enriching keywords
    • Actual SEO = Yoast ranking of Good + 3 enriching keywords
    • Gap SEO = 7 enriching keywords
  • It’s taking too long to write a blog post
    • Target post lead time: 1 day
    • Actual post lead time: ?? days
  • I hate blogging now because it’s so painful and I want to murder my blogging process and salt its grave
    • Let’s parking lot this one…

WHAT’S YOUR PROCESS?

To figure out your process you complete this sentence:

  • From X to Y.
    • X = First step
    • Y = Last step

In our specific case study, we’ll be improving the blogging process from queue post to publish post.

GEEK OUT:  Mac out efficiency by limiting yourself to 2 words.  Specifically a “verb” + “noun” statement.

 

current business process

WHERE DO YOU START IMPROVING?

We picked some potential gaps above so now you have to figure out which gap is the priority.  For our case study, I selected lead time because we have market data proving that increasing post frequency, we’ll get more traffic.

After we get the post frequency up, we’ll focus on quality to turn traffic into leads in our sales funnel.

 

ANALYZE THE PERFORMANCE GAP TREND

 

If you’re lucky enough to get everyone aligned on the problem being the gap between your target and actual performance, this is where it can go all to hell.  People naturally want to jump to solutions but the truth is we don’t know enough yet.

Our next step is to understand if the gap has gotten better or worse – on its own.  By understanding this, you’ll have more insight into how to turn it off.

We do this by collecting data on a sample of blog posts.  Below we did a manual review of our Trello card activity log to see when we started and completed each blog post.

continuous improvement data collection

We reviewed 14 samples to understand how long each post took from end to end:

lean process data analysis

Let’s graph!  The key is to turn this data into insight.  We don’t analyze every data point or trend because this isn’t amateur hour.  The specific insight around where to prioritize our analysis efforts is here:

DMAIC measure

The process above is best when you have a large data sample.  It wouldn’t be efficient to look at a graph with 100 samples.  Aggregating into time periods like months or weeks is great.  If there’s another grouping that works for you – go crazy.

Since our sample size was smaller, we looked at the sample level too.  Here’s the insight we get from this graph:

process gap analysis

The insight isn’t far off in both graphs so we know this is the right road.  June had so few posts it throws the average off.  Either way, this doesn’t derail our analysis and we can move to your favoriate phase: process mapping.

 

WHAT’S NEXT

 

Change only happens when the pain of staying the same is greater than the pain of changing.  The only thing I changed for this post was writing about something I’m passionate about.

We never advise to improve a process without data but I cheated.  I know all processes need quality up front and I had a background job running in my brain that jumped to a solution.  This isn’t efficient because even though I know better I’m still human.

There’s no book or blog that can tell you how to be an entrepreneur or how to build your business or be the best blogger on the interwebs (present company excluded of course).

Continuous improvement is the only thing that can save your sanity by stopping you from jumping to solutions.  And when you do, knowing how to recover from them.

Let’s review the data to see if I can recover from this mistake.  As of now, the lead time for this post is at 3 days.  I’ve also decreased my revisions by 50% and surpassed my readability score target to hit 75 without edits, SEO good score with 10 enriching keywords.

I got lucky.

In the next post, we’ll take the 14 data samples and turn them into a process map so we can keep change rolling by getting everyone to interpret data the same way.

Ashley Asue Guerrilla Analytics Private Equity Consultants
At 26, she was asked to create a new department to grow their Fortune 300 company using Lean Six Sigma continuous improvement.
While working with consultants and experts, she saw a common thread among their challenges and failures.
With this insight, she created a custom process to create a high-performance company.
As the only CPA and business architect in the US, she helps others use creativity instead of cash to efficiently build their businesses.