Zen99 Corporate Blog Review

As somebody with many years of freelance experience under his belt, companies like Zen99 always catch my attention. Here is what you need to know, in a nutshell, direct from its homepage:

“Tax and insurance tools for independent contractors.”

If you have ever worked as an independent contractor, from a freelance writer to a Uber driver, you know that taxes and insurance related details have a way of dragging you down.

How much do you owe in taxes? Where are you going to find an affordable health insurance plan? These questions can drive you crazy, especially if you struggle to find answers.

Despite the fact that I have never used the Zen99 service, it is easy to recognize its power. Some of the top features include:

  • Track income
  • Estimate taxes
  • Protect yourself (insurance)
  • Educate yourself

Enough about the company itself. Let’s move onto its corporate blog. For a startup, I came away impressed with what I found:

  • Plenty of updates. With six posts last month, the blog is on par with what I typically see in this space. This is enough content to keep people interested and coming back for more, but not so much that it bites into valuable time that can be used to grow other parts of the business.
  • Strong focus on what matters. There is nothing more frustrating than a corporate blog that doesn’t stay on topic. You don’t see any of this with Zen99. All of its blog posts cover the basics of tax and insurance. In other words, you know what you are getting when you visit the blog.
  • Not as boring as it sounds. Let’s face it: most people, independent contractor or not, don’t enjoy talking about taxes and insurance. That being said, most people also realize it is a big part of life and business. The Zen99 team has done an excellent job keeping its blog informative yet engaging.

What I would Fix

By making a few minor tweaks, the Zen99 corporate blog could be improved in no time.

Create more Content

There is a lot to be said in this space. For this reason, it would be easy enough to create anywhere from three to five blog posts per week.

This may sound like overkill, but with so many topics to cover it would be relatively simple to keep the pace.

Here are a few topics that would fit in nicely:

  • Independent Contractor Tax Myths
  • Facts and Figures: What you need to Know about Self-Employment Tax
  • Why Health Insurance is more Important for Independent Contractors

These types of topics will inform readers, keep them engaged, and of course, attract visitors from the search engines.

Spread the Love to Different Topics

I mentioned above how much I love the strong focus of the Zen99 corporate blog. What I didn’t mention was how the company could expand its focus to attract more readers.

For example, a post entitled “How Freelancers can Avoid the Flu this Winter” would fit in nicely. It is related to the overall theme, thanks to its medical spin, but doesn’t fit under the health insurance category. Furthermore, titles like these are social friendly.

Final Word

The Zen99 corporate blog has a solid foundation on which the company can build as 2014 comes to an end.

The suggestions above, as basic as they may appear, could be just what the blog needs as this startup continues to grow.

Socedo Corporate Blog Review

Every business owner, regardless of industry, is well aware of the importance of sales lead generation. The more leads you generate the better chance you have of making a sale. And as you know, the more sales you make the more money you earn.

From a sales perspective, things have changed quite a bit over the years. In today’s world, social media lead generation is all the buzz. While some companies have had success in this area, others need as much help as they can get.

Say hello to Socedo.

The tagline on the Socedo homepage says it all:

“Discover new social prospects that match your custom criteria and qualify them via automated engagement.”

You don’t have to look any further than the company’s testimonials to realize that its service has a lot to offer. This blog post isn’t about using Socedo. Instead, we are going to take a close look at its corporate blog.

There is a lot to like about the Socedo corporate blog. It is only natural to believe the company is generating plenty of business by using its own service, but at the same time it has a huge opportunity to do big things with the help of its corporate blog.

It didn’t take long to recognize why the Socedo blog is so strong:

  • Content depth. Many companies fall short in this area, but Socedo is not one of them. Most blog posts, even those with titles that leave something to be desired, dive into the finer details. Here is one of the best examples: New Ways to Track ROI from Your Social Lead Gen Efforts. At nearly 1,000 words, this post leaves nothing out. The content dives deep, and even more exciting is the fact that it includes several images.
  • Sells the service, but not too hard. It drives me crazy to see wildly popular corporate blogs fall short when it comes to providing high quality content that has the ability to turn readers into customers. The Socedo blog goes far enough to push the envelope, but not so far that readers are scared away. One of the best examples of this can be found here: 6 Social Selling Myths Debunked.
  • A little bit of everything. While many posts provide readers with advice, others touch on company news, such as those that announce a new feature. It is this type of variety that keeps people coming back, time after time, while also attracting a larger pool of readers.

What I would Fix

There is a lot to like about the Socedo corporate blog, however, there are a few things I would change.

Blog More, Keep Up the Quality

A quick glance at the past few months shows that the blog is updated somewhere between five and eight times per month. This is solid output, especially when you consider the fact that the quality never lacks.

What Socedo should do is this: up its production to two to three posts per week, or a total of roughly 10 to 12 per month. This is about two times what the company is doing now, so the time commitment would be bigger. That said, the pay off could make it worthwhile.

Grab Some Quotes

The quality of the content and use of images is what makes the Socedo blog stick out. It could easily be taken to the next level by adding quotes from customers every so often.

In my experience, this is a great way to generate interest from prospects that are on the fence. Once they have “social proof” they are more likely to take the leap and give a service or product a try.

Blog on these Topics

These topics may have been covered in some way in the past, but they are definitely worth touching on again. Here are a few sample headlines that would work well:

  • Socedo vs. the Competition: Where and Why we Win
  • Social Selling Setbacks: Don’t Let the Past Dictate Future Success
  • Socedo Success Stories: Will your Company be Next?

Headlines like these are dual purpose. Not only do they attract readers, but they give them a nudge in the right direction. Providing this nudge when a reader is already on the site may be just what it takes to make a sale.

Final Word

You don’t have to spend days on the Socedo corporate blog to learn more about the company and its industry in general. I am impressed by the fact that the blog has been going strong for more than 18 month, never compromising on quality. By implementing my suggestions above, the Socedo team should be able to reach more people and generate more interest through its blog.

Recurly Corporate Blog Review

When it comes to subscription billing and recurring payments, Recurly is one of the big dogs. Just how big is big? Earlier this week, the company received $12 million in Series B funding.

I have long been enamored with SaaS (software as a service) companies, staying current with the latest updates ranging from funding to new products to launches and much more.

As a corporate blog specialist, I always have one eye on this part of a company’s website as I browse in an attempt to learn more.

From the moment I laid eyes on the Recurly corporate blog, a few things stood out (especially when compared to the competition):

  • Clean, simple layout that allows the reader to scour the content and move from one post to the next with ease.
  • Variety of content. While some companies focus solely on one type of content, Recurly has stayed away from this. Its most recent post touches on a new feature, but you don’t have to dig deep in the archives to find other types, such as this one that provides advice to the customer while also attracting new business.
  • Reader-friendly writing style. Let’s face it: some people will have a solid grasp on everything a company offers, including its technology, while others will not. This is why a reader-friendly writing style is so important. Recurly hit the nail on the head with this one.

What I would Fix

After a thorough review of the Recurly corporate blog, there are not many things that need changed. The layout is clean, the content is varied, and the writing style makes each post enjoyable to read.

Here are a few ways Recurly could improve its corporate blog, making it an even more powerful marketing tool:

Become More Consistent

Even though the rule of “quality over quantity” is a good one to live by, there is no doubt that Recurly could generate enough high quality content to post on a more regular basis.

A quick review of the blog’s first page shows 10 posts, with the most recent published on October 22, 2014 and the oldest on August 15, 2014.

During a period of approximately 67 days, Recurly only created 10 posts. This is an average of roughly one per week.

By pushing this number to an average of two per week, Recurly could experiment with a variety of posts to determine which types yield the best results in terms of traffic and conversions.

Go Deeper

I like that almost every post on its blog includes at least one image, often times a chart of some sort.

Some blog posts – A Better Way to Calculate Your Churn Rate – for example, go into great depth on the topic. Judging from the social media widget, this post was shared three times on Twitter and 35 times on LinkedIn.

Now let’s take a look at another blog post published around the same time: Get more out of taxes with Recurly.

Despite the fact that this post was full of useful information, it did not explore the finer details, such as the one listed above (regarding churn rate). As a result, it was not shared on Twitter or LinkedIn.

Not every blog post has to be a novel. Not every blog post is going to provide in-depth knowledge and guidance. That being said, longer posts, those that share unique advice, in great depth, typically perform better.

Final Word

It only takes a few minutes on the Recurly corporate blog to realize that it is well managed and useful on many different levels. As the company continues to reach new heights, there is greater potential for the blog to generate interest, inform others, and strengthen its brand.