Simply put, blog marketing is the marketing of a blog. But, before we get into the weeds of the marketing of a blog, lets take a quick look at what a blog is.
So what is a blog?
A blog (sometimes, especially during it’s creation, know as a weblog), began essentially as an online diary. It was a place, prior to Facebook, Twitter, Myspace, and other online social media platforms, that one could write about their daily lives, and post it on the web for hundreds, thousands and eventually millions of people could read it.
When blogs were first created, they were built on older coding formats, often PHP in its infancy, but sometimes also in static HTML. Regardless of the specific coding, when blogs were first born, they had to be manually updated by actually writing HTML or PHP code. This limited the ability of non-programmers (for the most part) to maintain their own blog, or to create one on their own.
As technology progressed, and website hosting matured, and began offering a new technology known as WYSIWYG (pronounced WIS-E-WIG), or What You See Is What You Get, HTML editors, it became easier for “non-technical” people to create and maintain their own website. But, blogs were still limited as you still had to work with the HTML code to create and maintain one.
Further advancements, and to the credit of hundreds and thousands of coders, in the technology eventually produced open source (free) tools specifically designed for blogging. Most notably and certainly a leader in the field, was WordPress. Between WordPress’ easy to configure wizard, and the ease of changing themes, adding plugins, and otherwise customizing, it became increasingly easy for even the non-technical to create and maintain a blog.
Being able to create a site that the owner could regularly update (as opposed to a static HTML site where once it was up, it took a Webmaster or other expert to update it), greatly enhanced the appeal of blogs. During this time, blogs were about the only platform where your visitors could actually interact with the owner. Static pages had “Guestbooks”, but nothing that was truly interactive. Blogging platforms provided this with the ability to add, and reply to, comments on any given blog.
In the infancy of blogs, but once they started getting more notoriety, forward thinking entrepreneurs and business owners and executives began to see and use the power of blogs to regularly update their clients with the latest information about their business (whether it was new products, discontinuation of products, new services, etc.) But, blogs were still used primarily for marketing of existing businesses.
It was not until later that more forward thinking entrepreneurs began to actually use their blogs as a business. Whether used for affiliate products and marketing, or other informational products, they saw the power of actually having a business without the need for a physical product, or even a physical (brick and mortar) business.
But, as with traditional businesses that used their blog to update their clients, entrepreneurs that were using a blog as their business then had to market their blog. Thus came the need for blog marketing, and how to do it effectively.
Now that we know what a blog is, what is blog marketing?
Blog marketing can be split into two different categories. Using a blog for marketing purposes (i.e. using a blog to market an existing business), and marketing a blog as a business.
Using a blog for marketing purposes
One use of a blog is as a marketing tool for an established business, or for a business whose primary product or service is not related to the blog. It can be used to keep current and prospective customers up-to-date on what is going on with the business, what products are being created, or retired, press releases, and more.
It can also provide an interactive forum for customers and potential customers to leave feedback, and for the company or company’s representative to reply to the feedback directly.
It also can be used as a marketing tool that generates interest in the company, whether that company is a local business, a corporation, or a website, and whether or not physical or virtual (informational) products, or services are offered.
If you have an existing business a blog is a great additional marketing tool at your disposal, and as mentioned in the So what is a blog section, with advances in the blog platform technologies, it is easier than ever for even non technical people to create and maintain one.
Marketing your blog as a business
The other use for blog marketing is if your blog is your business. In which case, you are marketing your blog rather than using your blog for marketing – well, mostly. It could be argued that in marketing your blog, you can also use it as marketing in and of itself. But, for the sake of argument, we will keep this section to just marketing of your blog rather marketing your blog with your blog.
There are many ways that you can market your blog. There are free and paid ways. Sometimes paid resources can yield results more quickly than free, but it really depends on the quality of the paid advertisements. Even though free is not free per se, as you still have your time involved, which is valuable, but there are no out of pocket monetary expenses.
When you are marketing your blog (rather using your blog for marketing) you will want to engage as many potential viewers as possible. Especially perspective clients. Obviously the more perspective clients view your blog, the better results you are going to get.
Search engines are an important aspect of blog marketing, however, direct contact and face to face interaction with potential leads is equally, if not more, important. Since search engines can provide a host of irrelevant traffic, that is, traffic not really intending to get anything out of your blog, or be repeat visitors, face to face or at least more direct contact with people in the same niche, or looking for a resolution to a problem that you solve via your blog, carries a much higher chance of getting repeat visitors and word of mouth marketing.
Why do it?
Simply put, if you have a blog, and if you want to get visitors to your blog, you may want to market it. I say may, because if your blog is a hobby, then perhaps you are just posting and not really caring who sees it, or when.
However, if you are dreaming of your blog becoming a source of income, or a popular blog, or both, then you will need to market it. You will need to get it and your brand in front of as many people as possible, but especially those looking for the information, products or services that your blog provides.
In getting your brand and blog in front of those people looking for your products, services, stories, or whatever your blog is about, you have to market it.
How to do it?
Now that the Why do it has been answered, it is time to answer How to do it.
There are many ways to market your blog. From offline sources, to online sources. Free sources to paid sources. This How to do it section will be focused primarily on the free sources. But keep in mind, as mentioned in the Marketing your blog as a business section, free means, for the sake of this article, without monetary expense (as it does require your time which is valuable.)
You can market your blog by using offline resources such as business cards, and word of mouth. You can go to free workshops and network with like minded people, and people that may need your products or services. You can also network with people that are in the same niche but are more recognized. Network and offer to contribute and provide samples of your work. This is the face to face interactions that you cannot get from a search engine, and that shows people you are in fact a real entity, and helps assure them, and other prospective visitors that you are not a fly by nighter.
Flyers and mail inserts are another option for offline marketing, and even local businesses (or their customers) that may benefit from the products or services that you provide on your blog.
In today’s digital world, there are a great many free resources available to market your blog. Let us take a look at some of those available resources.
One of the best way to market your blog online is via social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter. Millions of people view these platforms on any given day, week and or month. And you may be thinking of ads on Facebook and Twitter and other social platforms, but, what is meant here is just everyday posts – as yourself. I mentioned in my last post, Tips For Marketing Your Blog, I mention the importance of posting your personal Facebook and Twitter accounts (or any other social media account) as your personal accounts are already established, and the friends and family you have know that, obviously, you are not a scammer.
Also as I explain in the Tips For Marketing Your Blog post, let us say that one has twenty friends on Facebook. Then, you share a link to your blog on your feed. of those twenty, let us say that two (ten percent) of those share that link. Now, lets say that each of those two have twenty friends. Of that one feed that you posted with a link to your blog, you have now gotten your blog link in front of sixty potential visitors (your twenty friends, plus the forty friends (combined) of the two friends that shared the link.) All for free.
I use Facebook as an example, but Twitter is almost identical, and in some ways may be more prolific, especially if you can intertwine any trending hashtags with your tweet. It is important to remember though that just because it is trending you should not add it to your tweet. If you do, you will simply look, at best, like a marketer just trying to get views, or at worse, a bot trying to capitalize on the trending hashtags.
There are still other social platforms in existence, and for the most part the ideas for Facebook and Twitter can be used on them, perhaps with minor alterations, but in general the process would be the same.
Article sites, although not has highly ranking as they had been at one point, can still be used to generate links and back links to your site.
With that said, I would not go to them and spend time writing articles. However, to me, any exposure is good exposure, and especially if you incorporate your blog’s title and link in your signature.
But, why would you spend hours and hours on end writing articles for article sites when you could just as easily spend that time writing blog posts on your blog? But, you may be wondering, you added article sites as this subsection, and, you are correct.
Even though I would not say write articles over spending time writing on your blog, however, there is nothing wrong with copying that post and post it on your favorite ezine article page. After all, it is your article (assuming of course you are not plagiarizing someone else’s article), so there is no harm in getting some more credit for it, exposure, and exposure for your link to your blog.
I would recommend though only putting your link in your signature, or author bio. That way you are not abusing the article post.
Definitely do not be excessive with your link or you will likely have your article rejected, if not have your account put on probation or, worse yet, suspended or revoked – permanently.
This day in age, classified ads, especially free ones, do not lend to the marketing importance that they had at one point. More often than not, instead of posting on free classified ad sites, one ends up reading the free ads, and then gets hooked on the “shiny object syndrome.” (also mentioned in my Tips For Marketing Your Blog post)
But selective sites, some such as Craigslist, can occasionally yield results.
Though I would not spend a tremendous about of time and effort on them, going back to the mantra of any exposure is good exposure, then if you are bored, and have time to drop a classified or two here and there, it certainly does not hurt.
Just do not spend all of your time on it.
Never underestimate the power of commenting on someone else’s, especially an expert in your field or niche, blog. But, be mindful, your comments represent you. And, if you post comments that are not related to the blog, or comments that obviously show that you have not read the article, then if it is even approved, it will not garnish much benefit.
Be constructive on fellow blog comments. Do not just say “Nice blog!” and put a link to your site. Be critical if you disagree with a portion or portions of the blog. Be human.
Blog marketing – finale
These tips and marketing ideas for your blog is just the tip of the iceberg. Feel free to post your ideas and thoughts in the comments below!
And, if you are looking for more tips, check out our TIps For Marketing Your Blog.
If you are looking to create and set up a blog, check out my course, Website setup in one day, which will walk you through the ins and outs of getting up and running.