This year there are new opportunities emerging around us. There's nothing new about blogging, though, and this powerhouse online marketing channel promises to give more bang for your marketing buck this year. And precisely because it has been around for quite some time now, we've learned quite a few things about how to make blog marketing work for you.
It's the Relationship, Not the Sale
A lot of people are thinking about blog marketing the wrong way. The thing about online marketing is that it does not work in a straight line. Very few people are going to buy something from you the first time they visit. But they will remember what they read in your blog if you have great content. And if what you put out there is consistently good, high quality and relevant, it will resonate with your visitors and they will likely keep coming back for more information. The "coming back" part - that's the start of building familiarity, then trust then finally establishing a relationship with your readers. And building a relationship with them, or at least enhancing your reputation, is what matters. That is what your blog should be all about.
Eventually your readers may need a widget you happen to be selling on your site. Who do you think will be top-of-mind for them?
It's All about Community
Content may be king, but Community is the kingdom. It's not really a chicken-and-egg situation but the dilemma is similar: Which comes first, content or community? By all means get started with creating content because this is the fuel that will ignite your community. But do not neglect growing your community because that is how your content will go viral. Content spreads when people are inspired, informed or entertained by it so that they share with others.
It helps to ask yourself who will read your content, why they will read it, and why they will be compelled to share it with their friends.
Create for Sharing
There is a simple and almost guaranteed (emphasis on "almost"!) way to ensure that your content will be amplified by your community.
Hit the search engines and find content by others that has been successful within the niche you are serving.
Discover where this content is being shared. Which social networks are being used to pass the content around? Beyond the social networks, what other media and channels did people use to share it?
Find out who are sharing the content. If it is possible, hook up with these people via social media. They could end up sharing your content as well, so it would be a good idea to build a relationship with them as well.
Now you have your template for content that can go viral. Adopt it! You don't have to reinvent the wheel, just do what works already.
SEO Still Matters
Contrary to what naysayers may proclaim, SEO is still alive and very much relevant when it comes to blog marketing. Do not make the mistake of ignoring it. At the very least, do your keyword research and seed your blog posts with them. You will soon discover that SEO and blog marketing are a perfect pair.