How to Generate Leads from Blogging

Writing on your company blog can help rank your content in search and fuel your social channels, but most importantly, blogging can produce leads for your business.

When B2B marketers include blogging as part of their approach to content marketing they get 67% more leads than those that don’t.

Getting your staff’s original ideas and expertise out there allows potential customers to find your company and understand how they can help.

According to Demand Gen Report, 47% of buyers viewed three to five pieces of content before connecting with a sales representative.

A prospective buyer doesn’t need a guide to influence their purchasing decisions over the phone as conducting research independently now allows them to review their options without pressure.

Customers are searching for answers to their problems with or without your input.

It is all the more reason to start blogging about your offerings, the industry-at-large and your expertise to ensure your company’s content comes up as a part of their research.

Here are some of the most effective ways to convert blog visitors into leads.

Write and Share Worthwhile Information

Understanding what your audience actually wants to consume is the first and most important step in the blogging process.

If you’re not covering topics of interest to potential customers than no other aspect of your blogging efforts will drive results. This means no leads will be driven from your blogging.

To determine what content topics are of interest to your audience, take the following steps:

  • Do demographic research: Understand who exactly your ideal customer is, where they live, what jobs they have, their age range and more to determine the subjects they are most interested in. Run a survey, focus group or interview customers to learn more about them and what problems they are currently facing.
  • Listen to your customers: The customer service team should be a major resource in passing along consistent questions from your customers that could act as content topics worth covering. Partner with customer service to keep track of the questions regularly asked and consider creating content around any patterns in the issues customers face. Spend time listening on social media as well to detect any feedback from existing customers that can further inform the direction you’re taking with content.
  • Understand what prospects are searching for: Take a look at the data pulled from the search bar on your website, while also conducting keyword research around the most commonly searched phrases on Google and Bing. For further topic inspiration, use tools like Google Trends, Buzzsumo and Answer The Public to see trends in search behavior and content performance.
  • Spy on your top competitors: Review what topics your competitors are covering on their blog, social media and elsewhere to understand what’s resonating in your industry. Don’t copy what they are doing exactly, but use their content as a guide for what works, what hasn’t been covered, what could be written about more deeply or from a different perspective.

Tactfully Include a Call-To-Action

To drive action from an individual blog post and your company’s blog overall, include a relevant call-to-action or CTA without overdoing it.

The goal is to convert a visitor into a lead directly from a blog post after they’ve read multiple articles over the long-term.

By gaining value from your resources, expertise and unique perspective in your niche, they’re confident enough to subscribe to your email newsletter, sign-up for a white paper or another type of conversion.

Before adding a CTA, exercise restraint as either including too many or featuring them in a disruptive way can make it very difficult to read and navigate your content.

The last thing you want from your content or CTA is to provide a frustrating experience for a visitor since your organization doesn’t get many opportunities to impress them.

Avoid including too many social sharing buttons, multiple CTA’s per page, having your CTA blend in too much or making it difficult for a person to read through an entire article.

As a visitor scrolls through a blog post there are many effective ways to include a CTA on a blog post or blog, but the best way to understand what works is to test to see what drives results.

Certain CTA’s are meant to drive leads in the moment and others aim to continue to engage readers, which will ideally result in a conversion in the long term. Here are options to consider, remember that less is more:

  • Recommended Reading CTA: Most likely to drive leads in the long-term, these CTA’s encourage readers to read related articles as seen here on Equinox’s blog posts. Add these mid-way through an article, in the sidebar or at the bottom of a blog post.
  • Lead Magnet Banner CTA: Typically included at the end of a blog post, this CTA features an image highlighting an eBook, white paper, course, case study or another related lead magnet that readers can download for more in-depth information. As seen on the Yale Appliance blog, match these to the subject of the blog post they are included with to increase the chance of a conversion.
  • Blog Homepage CTA: The homepage of a blog typically features a listing of the recently published blog posts, replace one of those listings with a CTA for your products, lead magnet or another offer like the Amerisleep blog does here.
  • Integrated Link CTA: This is a simple CTA added within an article as a link included with minimal emphasis, making it less impacted by ad or banner blindness. Patagonia’s blog recently included a link to a relevant product within the text of their article to help drive conversions.
  • Header or Footer Bar CTA: Add a single CTA to the header or footer navigation bar to encourage readers to take action after reviewing an article. As seen on the First Round Review, a footer bar with a CTA to sign-up for their newsletter appears once a reader gets more than half-way through an article.
  • Sidebar CTA: One of the most common blog CTA’s you’ll encounter is having an ad in the sidebar of the blog that scrolls as the reader completes an article. There’s a CTA on the side of the Kissmetrics blog that invites readers to sign-up for their email list or join their latest webinar, which is updated a few times a month.
  • Pop-up CTA: Encourage action from a reader with a pop-up triggered by them being on a page for a certain amount of time, viewing multiple pages, about to exit and more. The CoSchedule blog encourages readers to download a lead magnet by using a pop-up CTA. This is an example of how to collect leads without bothering the reader since the pop-up isn’t intrusive by having it appear on the bottom left side of the screen.

Anticipate Customer Needs

An overlooked aspect of the lead generation process is continuing to learn what your customers need as it relates to your organization and its offerings.

Many companies fall into the trap of believing that once they’ve achieved a certain level of success with blogging that they can continue to stick with what worked in the past.

To avoid diminishing returns, continue to test new topics, blogging techniques and distribution tactics to see what will spur an uptick in results without abandoning what worked in the past.

The topic choices worth covering on your blog will evolve with the changing needs of your customers, requiring that your team remains observant in order to stay ahead.

Conducting market research should be a regular practice for your company to ensure you’re in touch with what’s going on with your customers and the industry at large.

According to Heidi Cohen, the chief content officer at Actionable Marketing Guide, here are three ways to generate leads for your business by accounting for your customer’s needs.

1. Answer every customer question. This customer FAQ content helps you aid the portion of your audience considering a purchase before you know these prospects are interested. Get questions from prospects, sales and customer service and answer them fully. Add links to your products and services where appropriate.

2. Capture email addresses where appropriate. Email remains the lifeblood for many businesses. Don’t assume visitors are ready to buy or convert—but, instead get another chance to build your relationship over time with email. Use tools to help with sign-ups and use a series of welcome emails to keep visitors engaged.

3. Provide contact information and/or messaging functionality on every page. Ensure visitors have a way to contact you that’s visible. Don’t hide it in small text at the bottom of the page. Jumplead removed all of their gating forms and increased email sign-ups and registrations through the increased SEO visibility of content in combination with their live chat functionality.

Continue to listen to the conversations you’re having with customers and pay attention to what’s being said on social media about your company.

By staying vigilant, your team will be able to prepare your blogging and lead generation efforts to address the current concerns of customers on an ongoing basis.

Treat Every Blog Post Like the Home Page

Each blog post is an opportunity to impress, convert, irritate, confuse or excite a potential lead. Most businesses don’t put enough value behind a single blog post, thinking that the results it’ll drive on its own will be minimal.

The impact of a blog post certainly depends on the effort put into, but regardless, each piece of content represents your brand and is an opportunity to win someone over.

While it’s critical to remain realistic about content marketing, dedicate the necessary time and resources into every article published on your blog.

“Think of blog posts as the home page of your website,” said Nathan Ellering, head of marketing demand generation at CoSchedule.

“When a visitor discovers you via search, social media, or any share from a friend—how do you get that new user to come back? Offer a very specific template, guide, or kit that pertains to the blog post they visit,” he added.

“At CoSchedule, we optimize every blog post to convert traffic into email subscribers, added Ellering. A majority of our 180,000+ subscribers have come from offering free content upgrades in our blog posts in exchange for email addresses.”

To convert more readers into leads when they visit your company’s blog, whether it’s their first or twelfth visit, ensure every blog post includes a strong CTA, provides proper context to readers, clearly illustrates the company the article is associated with and is at an eighth-grade reading level to ensure its easy to read.

Above all, the most important aspect every blog post should have to attract leads is valuable information that is relevant to the customers your company serves.

Cover Existing Lead Magnets

Increase the impact of a lead magnet substantially by writing a blog post about the topics it addresses, cover a particular aspect in more detail or present the resource from a new angle.

Covering a lead magnet in a blog post is different from a landing page because it provides valuable takeaways related to the focus of the lead magnet to help capture additional leads.

For instance, whether your company is hosting a webinar next week or recently hosted one, write an article about it to drive more interest around the topic.

If the webinar hasn’t happened yet, include a signup form at the end of the blog post to attract more people to attend.

If the webinar already aired, embed the video within the article and allow visitors to replay the recording after entering their contact information.

It’s certainly acceptable to explain the lead magnet, its benefits, inspiration for creating it and other aspects that would entice readers to check it out within a blog post.

For instance, LinkedIn developed a guide on thought leadership and then blogged about it to explain its value and drive more downloads of the resource.

To make covering a lead magnet in a blog post more interesting, discuss the subject outside the context of the webinar to ensure it’s of interest even if someone doesn’t watch it.

Either have the focus of the webinar be the subject of your article or discuss in detail one topic that the webinar briefly touched upon.

Go beyond simply summarizing the webinar and instead, write a useful article that can support itself without the lead magnet. The blog post and the lead magnet should connect subject matter wise, but also be useful to customers on their own.

For example, if you’re a 3D printing company focused on empowering businesses to create their own products with your printers, then your business might host a webinar on How to Create 3D Printing Templates.

One of the blog posts to support that webinar could explain the benefits of using templates when 3D printing and another might feature examples of useful 3D printing templates for businesses.

To promote the webinar further, a CTA mentioning the lead magnet could be featured at the bottom of both articles to collect more leads.

Think Convenience

To make it as easy as possible for customers to consume content of interest, deliver your content to them over email in the right formats.

If they decide to opt-in, you’re improving the experience customers are having and collecting leads in the process.

For example, Help Scout uses a pop-up prompt that includes a CTA to download a PDF version of the longer resources from their blog. It’s a quick and easy way to grab leads from your blog audience, while making it easier to save a long article for reading later.

Another way to drive leads from a blog post is to offer a free course over email that’ll teach readers how to best take action with the information found in an article.

For instance, if a company offered exercises classes then their blog might have an article on recipes for healthy meals and another focused on healthy eating habits.

Either article could include a CTA encouraging readers to subscribe for a free email course on how to best integrate a healthy diet with your workout habits successfully.

Create additional video or text in different modules to package the course over a few emails to land in your reader's inbox a couple times over the next few days.

Reply to Comments with CTA’s

The comment section of the blog is certainly a complicated area as it’s hard to encourage interaction there, but sometimes, a majority of the comments can be spammy and unproductive.

However, when the comments come from real customers responding to the topics addressed in your article, it’s an opportunity to get valuable feedback, provide support and delight readers.

When answering questions readers might have and when it makes sense, provide a CTA link to a landing page pointing to a relevant webinar or another resource within a comment.

It’s not advisable to leave comments with links on other websites, but on your own blog it is an easy opportunity to provide more value, showcase your expertise and capture more leads.

Don’t try to squeeze in a link to a lead magnet, instead use this tactic sparingly when it makes sense.

Build Real Relationships with Influencers

To foster more traffic to each blog post and collect more leads in the long-term, find relevant influencers to partner with.

Create a list of influencers in your industry that reach your customers and provide value to them overtime by commenting on their blog, sharing their content on social media, sending them free product samples, featuring them in an article and more.

Sending an email out of the blue won’t likely grab their attention, but being memorable and focused on what can help them advance is what will help your company stand out for the right reasons.

Paying for a partnership is one way to guarantee the attention of most influencers, but it’s not required to forge a worthwhile relationship that serves both parties.

Take note of what an influencer stands for as they’ll likely express their viewpoints and interests on social media and with other forms of content.

Make sure your brand aligns with what they believe in and cater your communication with them around your shared interests.

Whether co-creating a white paper, co-hosting a webinar or promoting your latest blog posts, an influencer can help your B2B organization dramatically increase the flow of leads.

Don’t Forget: Promote Your Blog

While hunting for leads with your consistently published articles, polished lead magnets and useful CTA’s, it’s easy to neglect an important step: promoting your blog whenever possible.

The goal of the blog is to not have people read articles for the sake of it, but to foster a connection with your customers in a meaningful way to reach your objectives.

However, your customers need to know your blog exists and they need to be reminded to reference it for additional insights.

Alert your customers to the value of your blog by including it as a link in the email signature of all employees, adding it on any packaging or print collateral, mentioning relevant blog posts during media opportunities, instructing retail associates to reference suggestions from the blog to customers and more.

Leads won’t magically appear from your blog overnight. Actively promote the value of your written content and be consistent with your approach to see your desired results.

By Brian Honigman


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