Is it possible for one person to create funnels instead of mere articles?
A “blog funnel” is like a sales funnel but with an article in place of a landing page.
The content game is stepping up. Businesses need to publish increasingly attractive content to stay competitive.
Software is always stepping up its game too, though. Tools constantly crop up to help non-designers design, non-writers write, and non-analysts analyse.
To answer my own question, I’m going to create a super-simple bare-bones blog funnel. I’ll document the tools I use for each step.
Step 1: Write the Article
This article is very “meta”, and has almost written itself just by being written (if that makes sense).
But there’s still a lot of potential for waffly sentences and weak tone.
To prevent a flabby foundation to this blog funnel, I’m going to run the text through Hemingway and Grammarly.
Hemingway App highlights common writing mistakes such as lengthy sentences and the passive voice. It also alerts you to things that can weaken your writing if you over-use them, such as adverbs.
I don’t take its advice as gospel, and neither should you. I left a few instances of adverbs and passive voice in here, at times when they add something.
Grammarly is a spell-checker that’s been hitting the gym. It uses context, i.e. the sentence surrounding a word, to catch more grammatical errors than a standard text editor.
Time spent: 2 hours
Step 2: Add Images to The Article
My go-to resource for public domain (free for any purpose) photos is Unsplash. I’m beginning to see Unsplash images on other people’s blogs and websites, however. It looks as though it’s getting a bit popular.
In the name of staying “unique”, I’m going to use lesser-known free image sites, of which there are a few.
Time spent: 22 minutes
Step 3: Create Social Media Assets
Once I finish this article, I’ll pick out a few Tweetable lines and use Canva to create some visual assets.
I’ll add them below when I’m done.
Time spent: 27 minutes
Step 4: Turn it into an Infographic
Piktochart is my fool-proof infographic maker of choice right now.
I’ll keep it quick by picking a template that looks like it would suit this format and populating it with text from the article.
Here’s the one I made. It might be a slight stretch to call it an “infographic”, but it’s close enough.
Time spent: 1 hour
Step 5: Turn it into a Slide Deck
Piktochart is good for this too.
The process is the same. Pick a template, and populate it. Here’s one I made earlier:
One of the great things about infographics and slide decks is they give you access to Slideshare. Although it’s a low-engagement platform, it’s consumption-heavy. In other words, people on Slideshare are hungry for content like this.
Time spent: 54 minutes
Step 6: Turn the Slide Deck into a Video
A video might be overkill, but what the hell. I’m on the lookout for a tool like Canva that will make videos a cinch. Sadly, I don’t know any. For now, I’ll put the slides made in step 5 to the sound of myself reading it out. I’ll use Screenflow. It’s not a cheap option, but it’s the one I’ve been using since I was a marketing baby in 2012. It’s also simple to use.
Why make a video as well without putting in the effort to make it amazing? – Because it gives you new platforms on which to promote the article. Something is (usually) better than nothing.
Time spent: 40 minutes
Step 7: Create a Content Upgrade
I’ll use Canva once more to create a one-page cheatsheet listing these steps.
It’ll be perfect for anyone who wants to do the same thing with their next blog post. It’ll focus on the core details and relevant links. No fluff. A snapshot of the process, saved to your computer, will help anyone inspired by this idea to follow through on it.
Click here and enter your email to get the PDF. That way it’ll be in your email archive forever, accessible with a quick search for “blog funnel”.
Time Spent: ~ 1 hour
Step 8: Analytics
This daily post is getting much too large to go deep into analytics over it. Instead, I’m going to shorten the links using Bitly, which will show me what gets clicked in the coming days.
When I worked as a project manager for James Cook Media, a small marketing agency, I got my chops into a few types of analytics software. Hotjar was the easiest to use and had everything you need to get clear on what people are doing on your website. Hotjar has a free personal plan to wet your beak with.
It took me about 2 hours to write this article, and 4 hours 30 minutes to do all the rest.
Considering that A) I’m still at half my typing speed thanks to recently switching to the Dvorak keyboard layout, and B) I’m quite new to most of these extra content types, I would say this is a good result.