Blogger

Fixing “full path disclosure” issues

Whether you’re running a web service or a blog, you should always keep your software fully patched to prevent attacks and minimize your attack surface. Another smart step is to prevent full path disclosures. For example, if your blog or service throws an error like

“Warning: require(ABSPATHwp-includes/load.php) [function.require]: failed to open stream: No such file or directory in /home/horace/public_html/wp-settings.php on line 21”

then by noting the full pathname from that error, an attacker could reasonably infer that your username is “horace” and use that try to guess your password. It’s not the end of the world if your attacker has that information, but why not make an attack as hard as possible?

For WordPress, here’s a couple ways to prevent full path disclosure vulnerabilities:
– In a php.ini file, you can add a line like “display_errors = off” (without the quotes).
– In an .htaccess file, you can add a line that says “php_flag display_errors off” (without the quotes).

It sounds like the php.ini approach might be slightly better, because some web hosts run PHP in CGI mode which might not allow php_flag or php_value directives in .htaccess files.

After you’ve made this change, php errors shouldn’t be shown to web clients. If you’re developing live code on a PHP installation, that can make debugging slightly less easy. But if you’re running (say) a blog, it’s probably better to turn off display errors for a little extra protection against attacking hackers.

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Daily

[CASE STUDY] How We Sold an Amazon Affiliate Site for $550,000 in 29 Days

Hey everyone, today I’m excited to bring you a guest post from Greg Elflink, the content manager over at EmpireFlippers.com.  I have know the founders of Empire Flippers since, well, before Empire Flippers ever existed!

I’ve seen their marketplace grow and I’ve even used it myself to both buy and sell websites.  Lots of great affiliate and other types of websites are constantly coming up over there.

Today, Greg is going to walk you through how they sold a customer’s website on their marketplace for $550,000.  If you are looking at either buying or selling a website, Greg has some great tips.

With that, I’ll let Greg take it from here…

If you could spend two years working on a site that would later sell for almost 14 times more than the average American annual salary, would you?

Spencer is well known for his awesome knowledge of how to build Amazon affiliate niche sites, and if you want to build out sites and make them turn a profit, then this blog is one of the best out there for teaching how to do just that, you don’t have to go far to see case studies he’s made like this one where he created a successful niche site from scratch.

But what if you wanted to collect future revenue from one of those sites all upfront without having to wait for months on in for your affiliate commissions to come your way?

That is exactly the question confronted by one of our sellers when he listed his Amazon affiliate site in Empire Flipper’s online business marketplace.  This seller in particular realized the earnings he could get “now” by putting his profitable website up for sale.

When it comes to selling your site, one of the most important things you can do is to make it as easy to hand off as possible.

This site had a few things going for it that made it a simple matter of plug and play for the new owner:

Monetized via the Amazon Associates program, which is a very easy to understand monetization method, and one that is simple to transfer over to a new owner.
Built on WordPress, one of the most widely-used CMS platforms on the internet.
Outsourced content to competent writers.
Needed only two articles a month to maintain earnings.

The interesting thing about the content on this site is that it was almost all commercial intent-style articles, including reviews, top 10, the best X for Y, etc.

The site covered a vast array of products in the electronics space, too, which goes to show that you can earn quite a significant income in this space even with the lower Amazon Associates commission fee typically attached to sales of electronic products.

The next important piece of selling a business is to make sure that the buyer has seen that the business is profitable. The best way to do this is to keep track of everything — gross profit, expenses (with explanations for the expenses), and net profit. Track these numbers religiously every month.

Of course, we verify the earnings of every Amazon affiliate site that comes into our marketplace, so some of this work can be done for you if you are using a professional broker to sell your asset.

Still, it is good to get into the habit of tracking both profits and your actual traffic. Therefore, make sure you have something like Google Analytics or Clicky set up from the start, so a potential buyer can see any trends or opportunities when they are doing their due diligence on your website.

Now, at this point, you might look at an Amazon affiliate site earning $18,857 per month and wonder, why would anyone sell this?

I mean, it’s pretty passive income, right?

As is the case with an offline business, there is a plethora of reasons why someone might sell an online business. We have had people sell their businesses so they could buy a house free and clear, adopt a child (which is quite expensive to do), or reinvest their profits into other businesses and projects.

In the case of this specific site, the seller was living in a low tax country but had plans to move back to Europe, to a country with a much higher tax rate. Therefore, they decided to sell the business and collect as much money upfront as they could, without having to pay a large tax fee on the profits.

Understanding how taxes work for your specific situation is an important part of doing business, which is why we highly recommend you have good tax counseling as your business gets bigger.

So how exactly DID we sell this business for $550,000 in just over a month?

Let’s dive into the details!

$550,000 Amazon Associate Business Highlights

The business began in August 2014, focusing on the electronics niche, where the vast majority of articles are based on commercial keywords written as in-depth reviews of products.

After producing dozens of articles for over two years, the seller saw the website’s earnings explode. The site currently makes $18,857 on average every single month from the Amazon Associates program. This was all done without a private blog network (PBN), a choice made because Google’s updates of its search algorithm increasingly hammer PBNs. Natural link-building strategies were used instead, making this site a safer investment because it used no black or grey hat strategies.

The site had some expenses —$127 a month — but compared to the net profit, they were pretty minimal and covered the costs of outsourcing and uploading two new pieces of content a month.

Other than its size, the website is a classic Amazon affiliate niche site. The one big difference is that this site has far more content on it than your average niche site, and when I say niche I mean that very loosely. While the site mainly reviewed electronic products, it also reviewed products in tons of other niches, too. The way the branding of the website worked also allowed the new owner to write about pretty much any niche they desired.

As the site’s domain authority grows, it will be able to rank for more and more broader niches as time goes on.

So how did this website get sold for such a high price? How was the valuation done?

The site was initially listed at $565,711, and this price fluctuated due to our monthly re-evaluation. Basically, new net profit and expense numbers are sent in every month, this can move the needle up or down on the price for the business. Ultimately, this business sold for $550,000 due to the negotiation process, which we will get into below.

Let’s talk a little bit about how a site of this size is valuated properly, in order to attract a slew of qualified buyers.

Preparing and Listing the Business

Before this business went live on our marketplace, there were a few items that we needed.

Every site that enters our marketplace has to be vetted if they’re going to become one of our websites for sale. That means we have to verify income and the site’s traffic. Depending on the business, there are several different ways we can go about this. For instance, an Amazon FBA business will go through a different process than an Amazon affiliate business.

For Amazon affiliate businesses (including this one specifically), we verify proof of earnings by logging into the seller’s Amazon account. The seller gives us view-only access, and from there we take screenshots from their accounts to show what they earn with their associated tracking IDs.

This site was a bit different in that it used about 12 different tracking IDs. Once the website was being prepared for sale, the owner converted all the tracking IDs into one to keep all the earnings for the site in one place.

Once our agents logged in and checked everything out, we moved on to traffic.

We always want to make sure the traffic that a website is getting is legitimate, which is why we also get permissions to login to their analytics. Typically, there are two analytics a seller uses:

  1. Google Analytics
  2. Clicky (a third party analytics software that is very reliable)

This seller was using Google Analytics, so it was a simple process to login and gather the data.

One thing we make sure of is that the seller doesn’t have any other sites that might be in direct competition with the website they’re selling. While we have ways to figure out who owns what (which obviously we won’t reveal here), this seller in particular was very forthcoming.

He revealed all the sites he owned, and while some had overlap, none of them were directly competing with each other. In the cases of overlap, there were a few items in similar niches that were also written about on the main site. This was unavoidable, since the seller’s site was a gigantic review site covering multiple niches.

We ran all the content through Copyscape, a plagiarism checker, which proved that everything on the website was unique.

After all the vetting was concluded, the website was given the valuation of $553,859 at a 30x multiple. This was due to the length of time it had been around, its solid content, and its long history of ranking on Google.

This initial list price was later changed to $565,711 due to the site accumulating another full month’s worth of earnings in the days after going live on our marketplace. Since the site earned more, the average was adjusted in line with the original valuation given to the site and the price was updated.

Once the site was listed, we began the process of weeding through unqualified buyers to give the seller the “crème de la crème” of qualified buyers.

We do this through our marketing process, which includes advertising the listing to our 35,000+ email list of buyers, plus pushing the listing via social media.

For buyers to see the site in its entirety, they are required to submit a deposit. This gets rid of the majority of tire-kickers, since typically only serious buyers will submit a deposit. From here, the seller will give these new potential buyers access to analytics for them to begin their own due diligence.

Within two days, we had three interested buyers willing to put down a deposit to view the specifics of the site. One even wanted to set up a call with the seller.

While they set up the call, even more depositors came along wanting to start the process of looking over the site.

The Negotiation Process

While many depositors performed due diligence, only a few became qualified enough buyers to allow them to get on the phone with the seller. One issue that potential buyers had with the site, despite the very attractive fact it was monetized via the Amazon affiliate program, was that it wasn’t really focused on a single niche. This turned away a couple of high-end buyers.

However, after our vetting process, we had a range of buyers looking at the site.

The potential buyers that wanted to set up a call with this seller had a few questions:

  1. Did the seller’s VA come with the purchase?
  2. Were there notes on how the seller performed keyword research and built backlinks?
  3. Could the last three months of Amazon ordered items be exported to discuss on the call?
  4. Was the seller’s second site available to purchase as well?

While the second site wasn’t for sale for at least another six months, the seller was more than willing to share his process for growing his sites. His VA wasn’t part of the deal, so the seller decided to create a two-hour video outlining all of the tasks that his current VA did.

This was an awesome value boost, because the potential buyers then had a good roadmap and understanding of how to do the tasks themselves, whether or not they did hire it out to a new VA.

In addition, the seller provided 29 new keywords for a buyer to go after, along with his backlinking process. The seller also provided eight additional articles that he had already had written but had yet to upload to the site. He also included his strategy for how he got backlinks from actual manufacturers of products.

For the keyword research process, the seller decided to instruct the new potential buyer via Skype on how he used Long Tail Pro to find new keywords to target with his website.

The Buyer-Seller Conference Call

Once this information was gathered, the seller and buyer moved ahead with a buyer-seller conference call. These calls are an indicator that a buyer is nearly at the end of our sales cycle. While it doesn’t always happen on a conference call, we do frequently have hard offers made on these calls.

Because of this, we have a deal consultant on the line to assist both the buyer and the seller. The deal consultant coaches the seller about the buyer and helps smooth out the negotiation process.

In this case, the buyer made an offer of $550,000 for the website. The buyer would pay $430,000 upfront as a down payment on the website and then $10,000 a month for the next year in an earn-out scenario.

The seller agreed to these terms and sold the site for a total of $550,000 — receiving a total of $467,500 in total profits after Empire Flippers’ brokerage fees.

Not a bad payday for an Amazon affiliate site!

The Migration of a Six Figure Website to the New Owner

The migration process for Amazon affiliate sites is a pretty straightforward task, and it’s something our migration specialists excel at. Once the down payment was received and the earn out was agreed on, the migration process began immediately, along with a valuation period of 14 days as outlined by the buyer.

All the Amazon Associates links were transferred over to the new owner. Along with the site came a few other domains that were associated with this website. These sites and the main moneymaker were converted into the new owner’s name.

For the seller to receive their $10,000 a month, the earn-out agreement stipulated that the site had to earn at least $14,000 per month.

These earnings were achieved and, as the year went along, the buyer decided to accelerate the payments to the seller, finishing the payments in just four months instead of twelve. The buyer was able to get the seller to agree to a $11k discount for the accelerated payment. The seller was more than happy to get the remaining $109k in his bank account sooner rather than later.

With the buyer verifying traffic numbers and earnings from Amazon’s Associate program, and the seller’s earn-out complete, the deal was closed and deemed successful.

How Can You Sell a Six Figure Niche Site?

Selling a business is an exciting process.

You can collect 20-30 months of profit upfront, often in as little as a month’s time. So what are some quick tips you can use to prepare your site for sale, possibly even in the six figure range?

Track your analytics and earnings religiously from day one.
Prepare future keywords for a buyer to target after the purchase.
If you have a VA and don’t wish to include him or her in the sale, then create tutorials for the new buyer to educate a new VA with.
Be open to negotiations. This seller was open to a year-long earn out; this flexibility allowed them to sell a very big site in a very short time.
Be as transparent as possible when you are selling these sites.

The sky really is the limit when it comes to how big a niche site can become. While common wisdom dictates that sites always focus on just one niche, this site proved that even a website that meanders around different niches can still be incredibly successful.

If you want to sell your online business, we recommend using a professional brokerage. The seller would have been more hard-pressed to sell this site if it hadn’t been for our marketing of the listing. The buyer reach would have been much lower, and the room for error much larger, without a system in place for both selling and migrating the site successfully.

If you are in the market right now, it might also be worthwhile to check out our podcast episode where we talk about preparing your site for sale.

The post [CASE STUDY] How We Sold an Amazon Affiliate Site for $550,000 in 29 Days appeared first on Niche Pursuits.

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News

How to Create Amazing Content Even If You Feel Like an Industry Imposter

Imposter syndrome: “A collection of feelings of inadequacy that persist despite evident success. ‘Imposters’ suffer from chronic self-doubt and a sense of intellectual fraudulence that override any feelings of success or external proof of their competence.”

Have you ever felt like you’re living a lie?

Like you’re trying to cover up the fact that you don’t really know what you’re talking about?

That you’ll eventually be “found out?”

Maybe you’re actually quite knowledgeable and have significant industry experience, but you just can’t seem to shake off the pervasive feeling that you’re a fraud.

If this sounds like you, you’re likely suffering from an acute case of imposter syndrome.

But don’t worry. You’re not alone.

I’ve experienced it myself. A lot.

It’s a fairly common phenomenon that affects some of the best and brightest minds on the planet.

Some famous people who have struggled with these feelings include Tina Fey, Seth Godin, Kate Winslett, Maya Angelou, and Michelle Pfeifer to name a few.

The imposter syndrome makes us feel like we’re cheating. This feeling can, in turn, cause us to reduce the quality of our work even if we’re not consciously aware of it. I’ve seen the imposter syndrome turn would-be marketing rockstars into timid underachievers.

That’s where the imposter syndrome often hits the hardest. It keeps content marketers, specifically, from producing top-tier content.

How do you create amazing content even if you feel like an industry imposter?

Here are some tips.

Change your mindset

I think neurosurgeon and author Henry Marsh nailed it in his description of imposter syndrome:

Part of you knows you’re not as good as you’re pretending to be, but you have to come across as being relatively competent and confident.

Deep down, many people are just balls of insecurities. One day our confidence is on, and the next day it’s off.

Some of us have a tendency to judge ourselves a bit too harshly. We may feel unfit at times and struggle with feelings of inadequacy.

But the truth is that everyone is winging it to some degree.

Everyone experiences self-doubt at some point. It’s a normal part of life.

And if you really think about it, feeling like an imposter at times isn’t necessarily a bad thing.

That’s because people who never experience self-doubt may feel overly competent to the point that they’re unable to realize how incompetent they really are.

There has even been extensive scientific research that proves that “incompetent people think they’re much better than they actually are.”

Download this cheat sheet to know how to create amazing content even If you feel like an industry imposter.

It’s called the Dunning-Kruger Effect. Here’s a graph that illustrates this phenomenon:

Feeling like an imposter can actually provide you with the fuel to keep improving and stay on top of your game.

The key is to not allow imposter feelings to rule your life.

Eliminating them entirely probably isn’t realistic, but you should definitely try to minimize them and ensure they don’t get out of control.

I like this quote from Valerie Young, author of the book Imposter Syndrome:

You don’t need to try to eradicate the impostor feelings – but you also don’t need to obey them, either. It’s a matter of ‘changing your thoughts, slowly over time’, and taking risks in spite of the inner voice telling you you’ll fail.

Call yourself out when these feelings emerge

Self-awareness is a critical first step to changing this type of thought pattern.

You need to catch yourself when these feelings emerge and become aware of them.

I recommend doing a little self-reflection from time to time so that you’ll know just how pervasive your imposter feelings really are.

Once you get in the habit of calling yourself out, you’ll be in a better position to slash through those ugly feelings and move forward.

Recognize you’re not the only one who feels this way

It comforts me to know I’m not the only one facing something or dealing with a particular challenge.

Just knowing there are other people in the same boat offers a certain sense of relief.

As I mentioned earlier, there are plenty of people who feel like imposters.

In fact, there’s a laundry list of incredibly smart and talented people who’ve felt unworthy.

Many people—artists, musicians, authors, and even business tycoons—have dealt with this. And even at the height of their success, many continue to struggle.

The bottom line is you’re by no means the only person who has felt like an imposter.

Try not to stress out too much if you feel like an imposter.

Acknowledge your role in your success

Have you experienced some degree of success in your business, marketing campaign, content writing, etc.?

Well, guess what? You obviously had some role in that success.

Maybe you’re not where you’d like to be or still have a lot to learn about your industry before you could be considered an expert.

But regardless, you are, to at least some extent, directly responsible for your success.

Acknowledging this fact is very empowering and can help you get over self-doubt.

This doesn’t mean you should be arrogant about your success, but you should definitely give yourself a pat on the back every once in awhile.

Stop with the comparisons

It seems we’re living under one big microscope these days.

With social media, personal branding, and digital portfolios, everyone’s affairs are seemingly out in the open for everyone else to see.

Constantly comparing yourself to others is a surefire way to become discouraged and generate feelings of being an imposter.

It can be disillusioning when a primary industry competitor seemingly has it together and is completely killing it without a flaw.

But this is often an illusion.

We naturally put our best face forward in the world, and what you see on a social media profile or website doesn’t necessarily align with reality. Everyone struggles in their own unique way.

For all you know, a competitor may be a complete charlatan, and their experience doesn’t hold a candle to yours.

Although a little comparison can be healthy from a self-motivation standpoint, too much of it can kill your confidence and is futile.

That’s why you should remember that you’re completely unique and have something of your own to bring to the table.

Think of yourself as a work in progress

It’s impossible to know everything.

Those who think they are total experts are often the most delusional and provide very little value.

I’ve found I can increase my confidence and feel a lot better about myself when I simply acknowledge that I’m a work in progress.

I’m going to make mistakes, and that’s okay. Rather than beating myself up about them and holding myself to unrealistic standards, I prefer to have an attitude of embracing mistakes and learning from them. That allows me to avoid being crippled by the fear of making them.

After all, everyone is learning on the fly to some extent and making it up as they go along.

You don’t have to know every single detail about your industry in order to provide great content.

Remember: the more you write about it, the more you’ll learn, and the bigger of an authority you’ll eventually become.

As time goes on, you’ll inevitably make more and more progress.

Make it about the content, not you

I think the easiest way to get over imposter syndrome is to place your focus on providing value to your audience and not make it about you.

Trying to position yourself as an authority or expert will put additional pressure on you.

It’s like you’re trying to prove to yourself that you actually know what you’re talking about.

A better approach is to just work on creating real value.

Having the mentality of legitimately trying to help someone shifts the focus from you to your content.

As a result, you’re able to churn out amazing content without placing unnecessary stress on yourself.

Concentrate on originality

Every single person has their own unique ideas, insights, and take on things.

If you really want to get over your imposter feelings, be hyper-diligent about being 100% original with your content.

Doing this accomplishes two very important things.

First, it ensures that you maintain a high quality level.

When you consistently take an original approach and create content like no one else, it’s almost guaranteed to translate into quality.

In turn, it’s likely to receive plenty of shares, and you’re going to be rewarded by Google with better rankings.

To prove it, here’s a breakdown of the top ranking factors of 2016.

As you can see, original content takes up a large slice of the pie chart:

Second, originality is the ticket to eventually gaining the respect and admiration of your audience and peers.

When you’re less concerned with “being found out” and more concerned with creating high-quality, original content, you’ll increase your odds of getting positive results.

This can create a positive cycle of increased confidence, which leads to better content, which leads to even more confidence, and so on.

Conclusion

If you feel like an industry imposter, don’t sweat it. It’s an issue that countless people have dealt with and will continue to deal with.

The important thing is that you catch yourself in the act and change your mentality to effectively combat the issue.

By developing a healthy mindset and focusing your efforts on your content, you should be able to weaken any imposter feelings and move past them.

At the same time, you can use it for fuel to maximize the quality of your content.

If you’ve ever experienced imposter syndrome, how did you deal with it?

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Blogger

How to Spice Up Your B2B Blog if It’s Mind-Numbingly Boring

Feel like something’s missing on your blog?

Maybe it’s your font…

Maybe your theme…

Or could it be your logo?

While most B2B bloggers focus on improving minutiae, the truth is their content is just plain boring.

As a B2B owner who engages in online marketing, you were probably told that a blog would propel your company to the top of the search engine results pages.

Little did you know, however, how tricky it would be to come up with engaging blog posts on a regular basis.

People often assume that trade blogs are dry and uninteresting by their very nature. That isn’t—and shouldn’t be—the case.

After all, who will keep coming back to your blog if they’re bored to tears whenever they visit?

Luckily, there are plenty of easy ways to spice things up.

Here are 25 useful tips to turn your B2B blog into something that delivers the returns you deserve. It’s never too late to make your B2B blog an effective part of your online marketing strategy.

In fact, I’m bursting with ideas for making industry blogs more dynamic and engaging. Here are my 25 best tips:

1. Use a talented writer

I can’t emphasize this one enough: Whoever writes for your blog should be an innately talented writer.

Moreover, they should actually enjoy writing, and their enthusiasm should shine through in their work.

It’s plainly obvious when an industry blog has been written by someone who lacks the necessary writing chops.

Even if you must pay for it, make sure your content is penned—or typed, as it were—by someone who can truly do it justice.

Download this cheat sheet to learn about 25 tips to make your b2b blog more dynamic and engaging.

2. Write in the first person

Blogs are meant to be personal. Readers want connect with the human being, not the letters on a screen.

Start with a simple introduction that explains who you are and why you’re qualified to talk on the topic.

It’s okay to sprinkle in a bit of humor if you like, but not necessary.

Whatever you do, avoid the impersonal third-person writing style, which looks like this:

“[Company Name] has made several advancements in recent years.”

Instead, stick with the first person, which switches the example above to the following:

“We have made many advancements in recent years.”

Feel free to use the second person too by addressing readers as “you” from time to time.

3. Convey authoritative industry knowledge

If you decide to run a B2B blog, it should revolve heavily around your industry. The more niche you make it, the better off you will be.

With that in mind, stay abreast of the latest industry happenings, and touch upon important topics as they arise.

Stay in the loop about the latest news and trends concerning your industry, and pay attention to what thought leaders in your industry are doing and saying.

This will have you jumping out of your seat with new, creative ideas.

4. Let your personality shine through

Industry blogs are often stifled by the notion that they should be formal and professional at all times. The result is stilted, dull language and bland, uninspired content.

Go ahead and let your personality shine through in your blog. It’ll make it more fun to write, and your readers will appreciate it too.

5. Don’t overthink it

Because a B2B blog represents your company, it’s natural to want each blog post to be absolutely perfect.

However, editing it to within an inch of its life won’t do you any favors.

While posts should be proofread prior to publication, don’t fret over every last thing.

That’s a surefire way to sap your creative energy and to start hating everything about running your blog.

6. Keep it niche

To broaden their horizons a little, B2B owners often stray from their niches to cover completely unrelated topics.

This may make it easier to brainstorm new ideas, but it has the negative effect of alienating your audience.

Readers will turn to you for specialized information, so give it to them.

Padding your blog with posts covering random topics does more harm than good in the long run.

7. Skip posts about blog or website updates

To you, updates to your blog or website are probably pretty exciting.

Trust me, though: no one else cares. Sharing such news in your blog only shows that you are completely out of ideas.

If you find yourself tempted to share news about technical updates, sit down and start over. Better ideas can and will come to you—I promise.

Source: Quickmeme.com

8. Be prophetic

Be like Nostradamus from time to time by making predictions about the direction of your industry.

It may feel a bit risky—will readers come back and call you out if you turn out to be wrong?—but it’s a great way to expand your horizons when coming up with new topics to cover.

You don’t need a crystal ball to make this work.

Just stay informed about your industry and share educated predictions with your audience.

9. Express emotion

A big reason for running out of writing inspiration is feeling like you must hold in your emotions.

Here’s the thing: Readers appreciate it when you do, and it makes your content a lot more relatable.

Go ahead and express how you feel about stuff from time to time. For example, are you excited about that upcoming trade show, or are you dreading it?

Expressing your emotions should open up many new possibilities for spicing up your blog.

10. Share inside stories

Let readers in on how your company operates by occasionally sharing inside stories about interesting happenings.

Giving them a glimpse “behind the curtain” will keep them engaged and give you a lot more interesting fodder for your blog.

For example, in the weeks leading up to an important product launch, create posts about how the company is preparing.

When important new employees come on board, share the news.

11. Be personable but professional

Writing blog posts is much easier when you keep it personable. Still, because it represents your company, your blog should maintain an adequate level of professionalism.

Spice up blog posts with occasional quips about how you’re thinking or feeling about certain topics. Write as if you are having a face-to-face conversation.

Everything else will fall into place from there.

12. Go in-depth

All too often, B2B blogs merely skim the surface of the topics that matter to their audiences. Generic, fluffy posts are easy to churn out, to be sure, but they leave a lot to be desired.

Your industry blog will be far more compelling when you delve deeply into topics from time to time. If you’re worried about holding your audience’s interest through such topics, create a series of posts to break things up into digestible chunks.

This has the added bonus of keeping your readers coming back for more.

13. Interview people

I know, you’re not a journalist.

However, getting out there and interviewing important people in your industry is a great way to come up with interesting topics for your blog.

Of course, you don’t have to literally interview people face to face.

Through email and social media, you should be able to conduct at least occasional interviews that will give you all kinds of blog fodder.

14. Add images and other types of media

Internet users dislike being presented with walls of text.

A great way to enhance your industry blog is to sprinkle it with relevant images, videos, and other media.

Get a subscription to a stock photography service to ensure you have plenty of options at your disposal.

Include your own photos, videos, and other creations too to keep your audience engaged.

15. Load posts with facts and data

Online, you can find statistics and other data about virtually any topic under the sun.

Fill your posts with data from reliable sources to make it more engaging and useful.

Don’t stop there, though. Share statistics and other data regarding your business and industry too. In other words, be your own source.

16. Become an expert

Since you own a B2B, you are surely very knowledgeable about topics that relate to your industry.

Kick things up a notch by focusing your attention on a very niche area, and learn everything you can about it.

By becoming an authority on a particular subject, you will be swimming with ideas that matter to your audience.

As you learn new things, additional ideas will spring to mind more easily.

17. Write listicles

A B2B blog needn’t be stodgy or overly prim and proper (in fact, quite the opposite).

Like Buzzfeed does, create posts in a list format, publishing listicles from time to time.

Listicles are easy to write and fun to read even if they are written on dry topics.

18. Tackle tough topics

B2B blogs tend to shy away from especially difficult topics.

Getting to the bottom of something that tends to stump people who rely on your products or services requires a lot of work, but it also gives you incredible ammunition for generating interesting blog posts.

Zero in on issues nobody seems to be trying to resolve, and commit yourself to solving them.

Whether you’re successful or not, share your findings with your audience.

19. Share memes

Source: memegenerator.net

I don’t care how niche your B2B business is—there are sure to be plenty of pertinent memes out there regarding it.

Dig them up, and share them on your blog from time to time. Provide commentary regarding the meme to keep your blog plugging along.

If you strike out and can’t find many memes, create your own.

There are tons of apps for this, so there’s no excuse for not giving it a go!

20. Don’t promote constantly

Yes, you primarily write on your B2B blog to promote your business.

However, constantly posting overtly promotional posts is not the way to go.

Tooting your own horn from time to time is fine, but don’t let that become the overriding theme of your entire blog.

Your audience will be bored to tears, and they’ll probably be annoyed to boot.

21. Share findings from surveys and polls

Use apps and widgets to quickly and easily survey clients and prospects. Share the results, and comment on them in your posts.

Don’t be afraid to seek out surveys and polls from other sources too.

Even if they are not very recent, they will probably be interesting to your audience, and creating posts around them is fun and easy.

22. Be empathetic

On the one hand, you want to come across as an authority in your industry.

On the other hand, though, you want to connect with your audience to keep them engaged.

You can’t do that without showing a little empathy here and there.

When the situation warrants it, use phrases such as “…like many B2B owners…,” “…I know how it is…,” and “…I see that all the time…” to show your audience you understand them and to give your posts more personality.

23. Tie posts to current events when applicable

If a newsworthy event impacts your industry—even if only tangentially—go ahead and write an article about it.

On social media, this has the added bonus of potentially having your post appear in trending topic feeds.

Don’t go too far, though. You may find yourself trying to tie every current event to your industry, and that just won’t fly.

When it makes sense to do so, however, this tactic can work wonders.

24. Tie related topics together

Write crossover blog posts that tie seemingly disparate ideas together from time to time.

For example, let’s say you run a business that provides uniforms to the hospitality industry.

You spend time marketing your business too, so why not write a post that explains how the right uniforms can enhance your marketing efforts?

This is great because it subtly promotes your products while allowing you to showcase your expertise in a whole new way.

25. Go there

The vast majority of industry blogs give controversy of any kind a wide berth.

This is generally a wise move, but rocking the boat a little here and there wouldn’t be the end of the world either.

Go ahead and “go there” regarding the proverbial elephant in the room from time to time.

Get stuff off your chest. Just make sure to stay tactful and professional while doing so.

Conclusion

As you can see, B2B blogs tend to be dry and boring due to preconceived notions about how B2Bs should express themselves online.

While your blog shouldn’t come across as careless and sloppy, it shouldn’t be formal to the point of complete dullness either.

Commit the above tips to memory, and keep them in mind to transform your B2B blog from one that’s mind-numbingly boring to one that’s absolutely fascinating.

Be honest: Would you voluntarily read your own B2B blog?