Anyone who has taken the time to create a blog has done so with the desire that it would be read by many. For online entrepreneurs and internet marketers, their blog is seen as a valuable tool to be used to gather traffic and funnel it to their “money site”, that is; the site where an anticipated transaction will occur. Most mistakenly believe that their function in writing their posts is purely to gain traffic. Although that is the goal of the blog, that is not your function and in order to run a successful blog you need to know the difference…. Your goal cannot be to write posts mainly to promote your widget or business opportunity if you desire it to be successful. That may seem confusing right now, but hang in there because it will make complete sense to you shortly.
Foundational Blog Marketing
I am fully aware that there are blogs that are created to be product driven “money sites” where transactions are designed to occur. Understand that we will be discussing creation, marketing and writing of blogs that will serve as what is called “feeder sites”.
Let’s start with some foundational blog marketing principles. I am a firm believer that one needs a good social media marketing push to help promote the blog. This can be done simultaneously as you get the blog off the ground. The main focus is to increase the number of those who will receive announcements and updates for new posts and general promoting of your blogs mission and what you want to accomplish through the blog. Let’s say you’ve decided to use Facebook and Twitter together for social media marketing. You also decide to duel-publish your posts as articles through a site like EzineArticles.com with your blog promoted in your signature at the bottom of the article. Facebook and Twitter will allow you to reach out and build targeted relationships that you can point to your blog for insight and information that they would find valuable. EzineArticles will publish your posts as independent articles that will not only gain readership themselves but will also rank high when they appear in Google searches for the keywords and title it contains.
You then begin posting on forums where your potential readers might read or contribute. As you do so your blog link is below you signature. This serves not only to highlight your credibility but also creates what’s called “inbound links” (aka. back-links) which are incredibly important when Google ranks your blog page. The more incoming links on other sites the higher the ranking for your keyword searches by potential readers. You’ve just been indoctrinated into Site Marketing & SEO 101. Congrats you got an “A”! Marketing your blog (or any site) should typically have some variation of this multi-facetted approach in it’s marketing strategy to be optimally affective. It can and should be just that simple!
Soap Box Time-Out!
By-The-Way; I could expound the marketing strategy I just threw out there, with tone of mundane details while adding lots of fluff, but I don’t have the patience and you don’t need to read 30 pages and be sold some eBook strategy under the title of “Blogging For Riches” for $35!
Can you tell I abhor worthless ebooks that are marketed to be a real solution to create wealth, just for the sake of creating a product that makes the author money. Sorry (really I’m not), but I see them every day and they drive me bonkers! You guys are smart enough to execute what I threw out there in one paragraph. If I write much more I run the risk of insulting your intelligence and alienating most of you by giving you useless info that makes me look smarter than you and keep you searching feverishly like a crack addict to learn more tactics that will make you successful. You all know you can just let me know if you have questions unique to your business and as always, I am more than willing to help you guys anytime.
But alas, I digress. So, imploring that strategy is a great start. It will gather interest from targeted readers but there are some real questions we need to address. How do you keep them coming back for more? What should you write about to create good blog content? These are important questions my friends, so listen up because EVERY new marketer and blog geek totally miss the answers to those!
Completely Ineffective Blogging
I know incredibly intelligent people who love to write incredibly detailed posts about new marketing software gadgetry or technological wizardry that allow you to implore Jedi-like marketing powers so that you can be the king of the geeks and rule over your marketing kingdom until the next thing that is reviewed next week….yeah well, to that I say, “Whatever…enjoy your hamster wheel of futility”.
I have also repeatedly heard it preached that if you don’t know much technical jargon or new cutting-edge insights for the segment your online-business is going after, you should read those same articles and then recreate (i.e. regurgitate) that information in a post on your blog. I would say that yes, you can do that…..if you really want to be like EVERYONE ELSE! I often ask those I coach, why does the desire to appear intelligent make you want to duplicate something that for you was so difficult to read through originally without wanting to poke your eye out with a pencil, that you would subject your readers to that same torture. The normal “non geek” reader is screaming for someone to speak their language… and lets face it, so are most of you!
Should Blog Traffic Alone Be Your Goal?
You have to understand the purpose of your blog is far more than just to gain traffic. It’s to gain a following. Read that again because it is paramount! In order to do that you need to connect with your potential targeted audience. The easiest way to accomplish that is to write in a way that conveys who you are as a person, a human being beneath the online entrepreneur, while you sprinkle in communicating targeted information that they feel is valuable.
Now, I am a HUGE proponent of continuous learning. I wade through the technical geek-speak that those from “Geek-o-slavia” write, in between their “World of Warcraft” games where they throw their Mohawk-grenades (Ya gotta love Mr. T’s commercials!). Recognize that what they write becomes so weighed down in the minutia that extracting the useful points becomes as tedious as brain surgery. To a certain extent, this is a necessary evil as an online entrepreneur because you have to continuously be a student concerning your business area of focus, your marketing and personal growth.
In my experience, most underachieving business bloggers fit into 2 categories. The first are those that read and duplicate content from tech focused authors of blogs often revolving around such things as SEO, Internet marketing and web technology, who are incredibly likable but write with the appeal of a college astrophysics professor. Then there are others promoting their “widget” or business opportunity who are akin to a little kid crying out for attention “Hey Mom! Look what I can do!…look what I can do!”. If you have been led astray to adopt either of these marketing philosophies then I have a message for you…. please understand that the vast majority of people online do not care. I’m serious! That methodology, though popular, serves only to make people roll their eyes and click the “back” button to get out of your blog or advertisement like it contains a computer virus. When we are talking about personal branding please recognize that doing so is “Committing Self-Branding Suicide” (See previously written post with that title).
Who Are You?
Be incredibly careful to guard against treating the reader of your blog as a potential customer. If you can view this process in a dating context, then you obviously want to show your pure motives to foster a strong relationship where the reader feels you both can continually see each other and eventually “seal the deal” with a transaction. If they feel that you want to hump them like a horny Doberman as soon as they walk in the door then you’ll scare them away, never to return!
Having said that, recognize that like Christmas and birthdays, the most important part of whatever you write to your desired audience has to do with what’s inside….i.e. YOU! So many business blogs fail to gain readership because they believe that the business opportunity or the service they offer is the “gift” when it is not. This is different when readers eventually become prospective customers and are at an “opt-in” or “pitch page” of your “money site”. Within the blog segment of the relationship, the gift is you!
It doesn’t matter if you are marketing a stand-alone business, a fitness blog, marketing an MLM or any other business opportunity. You need to realize that transparency; allowing them to see the real you, is the most important thing. If you write what equates to a textbook, white paper or fax machine user-manual then you’re not going to be very popular. If you have a blog that appears to visitors to obviously have the goal of selling the reader they can’t relax, let their guard down and get to know you. It’s a proven fact that people want to buy from people who talk like them and who they feel they could be friends with.
Forging The Path To Credibility
As you begin to write, commit to letting your personality come through. Write as you would talk to a friend. Have a rough outline in order to work points into the post that help deliver value to your audience and thus credibility as you would in any conversation with a friend looking for advice in the market you’re pursuing. Affectively doing so will position you as a friend who is perceived as intelligent and credible. If you make certain your main motivation is to make a connection with the reader for the overall purpose of helping them, you’ve then established yourself as an intelligent friend who they also desire to learn from. They will continuously return to seek guidance, to seek information and return to see what new posts you’ve written because of the relationship you’ve established.
Case In Point
I know of a blog written by a female online coach who has written an SEO ebook. It’s very basic but I know for a fact that she seriously sells the heck out of it solely from her blog. How? She writes almost totally about her life, her husband, her obstacles during the day, crazy stuff that happens as she grows her online home business etc. She proves my point to the extreme. You see, she also has a habit of cursing needlessly and profusely to the point it would totally offend most people! It’s hilarious how many times she drops the “f-bomb” in a post and yet still attracts readers and customers hand over fist as much as she offends others…because she’s real.
She includes practically no technical content in her blog other than once or twice every month or so, at which time she either promotes her product or one of a fellow marketer she is affiliated with. The result is that she not only draws others like her but she connects far more with those that respect how real she is even if they don’t talk like a sailor. They follow her like the “Pied-Piper” purchasing everything she points them too. Now that’s not my personality-style at all but you know what, I read that blog every week because it cracks me up so much and I relate to her struggles. It’s a great read!
The key is to be real to the point that people can feel that they can relate and connect with you emotionally. Your credibility lies in how earnestly you desire to connect with your readers to create long-term followers in order to offer the service or product that helps them in some way. That my friends should be the way you see your function within your blog which will in turn, stand apart and delineate itself from the masses, allowing you to reach your goals. You’re uniquely different and your blog should be too. The end result will be the consistent building of a loyal following that will regularly return to read what you share and follow your recommendations. Happy blogging!