Annmarie’s Top 10 Most Popular Blogs and Why

When it comes to business-to-business marketing, blogging is considered a must for what marketing experts call “inbound” marketing. According to Hubspot.com, the goal of inbound marketing is to convert strangers into customers and promoters of your business.

My blog has been very successful at inbound marketing. I like to think of it as encouraging potential clients to come to you instead of the other way around. That’s different from traditional marketing, which is when you reach out directly to customers through emails, brochures, cold calling and, well, you get the idea.

Hubspot publishes that since 2006, inbound marketing has been the most effective marketing method for doing business online. Inbound marketing, however, is not easy. It requires strategic thinking to figure out what kind of quality content will attract potential clients to your website and, ultimately, to boost your business results.

Blogging is a primary tool for inbound marketing. Effective blogs should incorporate the idea of brand journalism.

What is brand journalism? It’s a newer term of art that describes what successful public relations professionals have always done. That is, providing useful and quality content to attract readers to your brand. I did this years ago for a client’s newsletter. I produced newsletters that had more focus on news readers can use instead of marketing hype. As a result, potential customers approached my client for its services.

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Effective inbound marketing is both an art and science.
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When it comes to successful blogging, brand journalism and inbound marketing, I have an advantage. Since I have a journalism background, I am used to thinking about information through the lens of what will attract and retain readers. I also write about technical subjects in a non-technical way to reach broader audiences.

If you are thinking about blogging, you should be clear on the purpose of your blog. Mine is to reach insurance professionals looking for writing and public relations services. That is why you will find a mix of insurance information and marketing advice in my blog posts. (For more on successful blogging, please check out the “blogging” tag.)

Effective inbound marketing is both an art and science. There is a lot of great advice out there on anticipating search terms, considering search engine algorithms and profiling potential customers and readers. Since I am too busy servicing my clients, I just stick to writing what I think will interest readers. (For more on knowing your audience, click here.)

So why has my blog worked? To determine this, I reviewed the 10 most popular blogs I’ve run since I started blogging two years ago. By offering what has worked for me and why, I am hoping my blog can inspire greater blogging success for others.

1)   Discovering the Power of F#. This blog is based on an article I wrote for Contingencies magazine. It generated most hits, was the most tweeted, reached readers from all over the world and helped me to reach a new market. Why it works: Everyone is looking for innovation that will boost their competitive prowess.

2)   Workers Need to Know the Truth About Workers Compensation. Why it works: It offers practical advice and information non-workers’ compensation experts need to know.

3)   Ten Ways to Improve Workplace Safety. This blog consistently attracts readers every single day. In fact, if you type “ways to improve workplace safety,” my blog is the third on the Google page. Why it works: The title mirrors wording that searchers are likely to use and delivers on its promises.

4)   Why Injured Workers Hire Attorneys. Why it works: The title is search engine friendly and the information usefully distills research by the well-respected Workers Compensation Research Institute to make it practical for employers.

5) 21 Lessons From My First Year of Blogging. Why it works: Because it provides helpful insight for new and future bloggers.

6)   Converting the CEO to the Cause of Workers’ Compensation. This blog was shared and commented on extensively in workers’ compensation LinkedIn groups and is the top Google listing for “convincing the CEO about workers’ compensation.” Why it works: Convincing the CEO to invest in workers’ compensation programs is a major pain point for professionals in the field. The blog offers internal strategies on how to convince the CEO that workers’ comp initiatives are worth the investment.

7)   Reduce Claim Filing Lag time Through Effective Employee Communication Plans. Why it works: Employers are always looking to save on workers’ compensation dollars and claim lag time is a key cost driver. Again, writing headlines that will match search terms is key. Type in “how to reduce workers’ compensation claim lag time” and my blog is the sixth in the list.

8)   What Employers Should Know About Workers’ Compensation Predictive Modeling. Why it works: Employers have heard of predictive modeling, but they need to know how it will affect them.

9)   Opening A Window Into Health Care’s Future. This blog covers an article I wrote for Leader’s Edge magazine that covers the future of health care, its technology, the ethics involved and implications for ObamaCare. Why it works: People like to read cutting edge information and the subject has universal appeal.

10) Ten Attributes of Quality Content. Why it works: People want to write better content and this blog offers ways to do it.

 




Actuary Helped Form Workers’ Comp, Social Security, Casualty Actuary Society

Since the insurance industry and its actuaries tend to be politically conservative, it might surprise people to know that it was an actuary who influenced the beginnings of workers’ compensation, Social Security and what is now the Casualty Actuarial Society.

The actuary was Isaac M. Rubinow who moved to the United States in the

From http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/I._M._Rubinow.gif

From http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/I._M._Rubinow.gif

1880s at age 18 to attend Columbia University. He left pre-communist Russia where Karl Marx’s political philosophy was growing in popularity. While attending Columbia, he was part of a group of young intellectuals on the lower east side of New York who discussed social reform, according to Leon S. Senior, who was part of the circle and wrote an obituary about Rubinow.

Rubinow helped pioneer social insurance in the United States by writing articles and later publishing his 1913 book “Social Insurance.” In 1916, he wrote “Standards of Health Insurance.” His 1934 book, “The Quest for Security,” was so appreciated by President Franklin D. Roosevelt that he had Rubinow serve the economic security committee that formed Social Security.

Before his post in Washington, D.C., he was also appointed to the Ohio Commission on Unemployment Insurance. Around that time, the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation, the nation’s largest exclusive state fund, was founded in 1912.  (As an aside, BWC’s building, named after labor advocate William Green, was dedicated in 1992. I wrote the dedication speech, which is in a time capsule to be opened in 100 years.)

Before studying statistics and becoming an actuary for a New York insurance company, he was a medical doctor who practiced in the lower east side for five years. Senior wrote that Rubinow found being a doctor to be “uncongenial and too narrow for his mind.” Philosophically, he wanted to help people on more of a collective basis.

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The reality is that private engagement has played a critical role
in improving workers’ compensation as social insurance.

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Rubinow laid the foundation for the “workmen’s compensation” rate structure as chairman of the first statistical committee in casualty work. He wrote the Standard Actuarial Table that guided rate making in the early years of workers’ compensation and founded what is now the Casualty Actuarial Society. The CAS represents actuaries who work in all property/casualty lines including general liability, medical malpractice, home and auto insurance. Workers’ compensation remains the most complicated coverage for rating.

Public vs. Private Coverage: Philosophy and Reality

Rubinow’s ideas helped begin workers’ compensation, which is the nation’s oldest form of social insurance. Its formation 100 years ago came at a time when labor unions were growing in strength and before other nations began wholesale experimentation with Karl Marx’s ideas. (You will find a great critique on Marx in the book, “Intellectuals” by Paul Johnson.)

We have seen the economic, social and political ramifications of wholesale communism and socialism in other countries have done little to keep workers from being “miserable commodities” as Marx would say.

The workers’ compensation social insurance system, mostly run by the private sector, has continued to grow more efficient. The workplace continues to become safer. Thanks to medical management and return to work programs, workers are getting better care and returning to work more than ever. For the most part, employers are protected from tort suits related to work-related incidents.

The private sector, through insurers and self-insured employers, handles the lion’s share of the workers’ compensation market. The debate, however, continues as to the degree to which the insurance industry should “profit from pain.” The reality is that private engagement has played a critical role in improving workers’ compensation as social insurance. (To learn more about insurer profitability, click here.)

While other countries are finding social insurance to be economically untenable, our nation is transitioning to its newest and most expansive form: ObamaCare. (For more on the future of health care and the implications of ObamaCare, check out my Leader’s Edge article on these subjects by clicking here.)

As the United States struggles with the implications of ObamaCare, I wonder what Rubinow would say about social insurance in our country today.

Would he side with the labor unions that want their members to keep the labor-movement-inspired employer-sponsored health care instead of embracing ObamaCare?

Or would he want to see social insurance expand despite its disregard for actuarial tables, which encourage solvency?

That question is really the root of the challenge of social insurance. It’s philosophy appeals to our desire to help others, but its reality is tough on the wallet.

Go ahead and comment! You know you want to!