The blog platform has proven itself as a brilliant way for engaging like-interested individuals in all types of subject matter. Over the years it has evolved from a simply hobby into a powerful marketing tool. This article will present a “cliff notes” history of how blogging developed and how it has become a dominating marketing tool. Then, we will delve a little deeper into the secrets of how to market effectively with a blog.
Brief History of Blogging
The progression of blogs throughout the web’s short history is an interesting one. At first bloggers were predominantly hobby writers who desired to share their interests with the rest of the world. The blog platform began as a sort of personal diary with international access. In fact, the word “blog” is a combination of the words “web” and “log,” or “web log.” As time went on, some bloggers developed considerable sized followings. Once bloggers figured out that they could make money from advertising to their loyal readers, a new marketing platform was born.
Today individuals and businesses on all levels of the marketing spectrum, from neighborhood stores and service providers, to international corporations, are using blogging as a means of marketing.
The Blog’s Secret Marketing Power
The secret of the blog’s marketing power is in the ability to engage readers on a personal level. As long as you produce content that engages potential customers or clients, your blog posts can be a source of free marketing power.
Engaging an Audience
The blog is your opportunity to engage an audience; likewise, gear posts towards the audience that you are trying to engage.
What to Write
What are the people that you are interested in working with most interested in knowing about? Providing that information for them is doubly beneficial to your marketing position.
- It shows that you are an expert in just the things they need help with.
- By providing good content, the audience begins to feel indebted to you, and naturally feel a desire to reciprocate that goodness.
Being too Personal
While it’s cool that blogs used for marketing can mix the realm of business with the realm of personal life, it is not necessary to go into too many of your life’s gory details. Basically the rule that I like to follow is, “If I wouldn’t talk about it with a client, I don’t blog about it either.”
As a general rule it’s not a good idea to mash together too many subjects as the main subjects of a blog. For instance, if your interests include computers, and surfing, and basket weaving, then just pick one of those subjects as the main angle of the blog. On the other hand, once you have picked a main topic, you can, and should, use your multifaceted knowledge to add richness to the content of the blog.
The difference between having a multifaceted blog and a multi-subject blog might seem to be a very fine line, but the difference in the readers experience is huge. For instance, if you want to have a blog about computer technologies, and you are also an avid football fan, you might be tempted to have a computer tech and football blog. The problem with doing that is that it alienates readers, unless they are specifically interested in both of those subjects. But if you were to write a blog that is about computer technology and you sprinkle it with football analogies, then the football aspect of your blog won’t end up alienating anyone, in fact it will work to further engage readers since you are sharing another side of yourself with them.
The blogs that are most effective for marketing today engage the reader in a way that a regular website, advertisement, or social media platform cannot, while at the same time presenting the products or services of the blogger in a tactful manner.
Rachel Walker is a FastUpFront Blog contributor and business consultant. Fastupfront offers working capital to businesses in need of a loan.