Blog by John Song
It's no great secret that your business needs bloggers like you to write compelling content. Only if it wasn’t so hard! Well, Addy, a new text analytics tool, should be able to save you substantial time and effort when blogging (more on that later).
Here are some facts and stats on the benefits of business blogging as posted by the digital agency Single Grain:
• 36% of Fortune 500 companies are using their blogs for thought leadership, product promotion and engagement.
• Companies that blog receive 55% more traffic than companies that don't and they have 434% more indexed pages compared to those that don't.
• Active company blogs have 97% more inbound links than websites without blogs.
• Active company blogs generate 67% more leads than websites without blogs.
• 81% of US online consumers say that blogs are trusted sources of information and advice.
• 61% of US online consumers have made a purchase based on recommendations from a blog.
• 68.52% of respondents say that a blog adds credibility to a website. [1*]
Pretty convincing stats. I know that when I blog, it noticeably increases traffic to our business website and our “call to action” (CTA) conversions.
In short, I take the time to blog because:
1) It helps drive traffic to my website
2) It helps convert that traffic into leads
3) It helps establish thought leadership
4) It drives long-term results as the blog becomes increasingly popular
Regularly writing a blogpost, however, can be intimidating and time consuming. Writing in general can be difficult for some people. But creating a blog is much more than just the act of writing. You also need to do good research to find the right topics and to provide a compelling point of view.
Search tools like Google have made information very accessible today. You can gather a lot of supporting information from a Google search but it’s difficult to read and understand the gist of all the results. It’s usually too much data. And it takes up a lot of time.
Fundamentally, Google is great at returning specific quantifiable answers ("When does Whole Foods close today?", "Who won Super Bowl X?") However, it isn't so helpful when you want to discover qualitative insights ("What are the new trends in blog writing?" "What are the sentiments around 2020 Academy Awards?"). Yet, research for writing requires these more qualitative types of insights.
I wholly agree with BootCamp Media in the UK which writes, “If you want your content to be read by other people (and, let’s be honest, why else would you create it?), you need to do a significant amount of research.”
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The good news for all established and aspiring bloggers is that technological advancements around AI’s NLP (Natural Language Processing) is starting to make researching and writing a much easier process.
Addy, for example, is a research and writing tool that uses NLP capabilities to organize and summarize large sets of textual data, making general comprehension faster and discovering insights easier. In the time it takes someone to read one document, Addy can “read” and summarize hundreds or even thousands. In fact, all of the research and links identified in this post were discovered with Addy.
Addy was created with the writer’s workflow in mind. It allows its users to gather internet data in a similar way to conducting a Google search. It also has a growing number of API’s to connect directly with specific data sources like Reddit, Amazon reviews, among others.
Once the data is gathered, Addy organizes it into different topics by a clustering algorithm, making the themes of the data set easier to understand and to research. Addy allows users to filter the data by topics, top words, sentiments, emotions and top entities (people, organizations, products, locations, events, dates, numbers).
Now, you can find specific insights easily and push the most relevant information into Addy’s workbench with “clipping”. This is the act of highlighting different portions of the textual data with your computer mouse and sending to the workbench with a simple click. The information can later be used in the workbench as you are writing the blog. All the links are attributed to the clips for easy reference citations.
The workbench is a module that makes organizing the content for your blog easy. Once you are ready, the workbench reports can be downloaded into a MS Word document for further edits, and then to share.
We don’t apply the AI in Addy to write the blog for you. That’s still where your expertise and style comes in. Addy does, however, greatly assist the act of research: Gathering information, understanding all the gathered text data, and using the pertinent artefacts within your data set.
Given today’s wide use of blogging as a marketing strategy, it is important to rise above the noise with compelling and resonating content. According to the web design company Orbit Studios, the average time it takes to write a blog has gone up substantially since 2014 to around 4 hours. The average blog post is 1,236 words long… 56% longer than in 2014. Fifty-two percent of bloggers report that it’s getting harder to get readers engage with their content.
As a blogger you need to post regularly and show your readers that you are dedicated to providing great content consistently. You can’t do anything halfway in the blogging industry and expect to be successful.
By using new emerging AI-driven tools like Addy, regular blogging can now be easier, faster and more comprehensive for you.
Addy and the Typical Writer Workflow
- General online research on interested topics: You may have a general idea about a topic. Addy allows you to gather a collection of information around any search term as shown below (see figure 1). Addy takes the results from the search and starts to organize and summarize the content (see figure 2 & 3). After analyzing the Addy insights, you are ready to write your theme and outline.
2. Create blog outline with strong theme: From the initial research, you are ready now to start using the Addy workbench to write your theme and outline (see figure 4)
3. Further research to gather evidence and arguments to support the blog theme: Now that you have a strong theme, you can build additional models using different search queries to find more supporting insights. Each model can spear on ideas for additional models (figure 5). The Addy workbench works across all the models in the same project. As you filter through the information, you can “clip” (highlight and save) the most interesting parts to the workbench (figure 6).
4. Write a blog post with a personal voice and use artefacts from research: Now you are ready to fill in your outline with content. The clips are organized by tags and can be retrieved easily to help you write. The Addy workbench report can be downloaded as a MS Word document for further editing, and to share (see figure 7). I do a substantial amount of editing within MS Word after downloading my report.
5. Provide references with links for content used from research: This is automatically done with the clipping function in Addy, saving substantial time (see figure 8).
Voila, your blogging experience can be improved with Addy. Remember, consistent cadence and quality content are two key factors to your success.