Increasing Marketing Effectiveness with Blogs

Marketing Blogs Anyone?

Marketing with Blogs

If you are a small business owner or Internet marketer who has seen the ray of light emanating from the Internet and are tracing it back for more advertising exposure, you've likely heard about the effectiveness of "Blogs" in helping achieve that goal. It is a known fact that many people have effectively used blogs to either propel their main product or opportunity thus creating substantial incomes .... an obvious appeal to any entrepreneur.

What is a blog and why all the hype about them?

Blog ... even the word seems strange until you realize where it comes from! Basically it is an acronym derived from two words: "web" and "log". Blogs are websites where the owner maintains an ongoing log of content about a subject or set of subjects important to them. It serves as a venue where the individual expresses their opinion or provides information in an area of expertise (whether it is real or perceived is sometimes questionable).

Many blog hosting sites enable the blogger to select one of numerous potential designs and format to fit an individual's taste and specific needs; another feature that adds to the appeal of blogs. Oops, and an even more significant attribute to blogs, many, if not most of the host sites provide either FREE or low-cost access (I thought that may put a smile on your face). Some of the more "blog specific" free hosts include: WordPress, Blogger, and LiveJournal; free website/blog hosts including: Weebly and SynthaSite; and low cost sites: SquareSpace and TypePad.

One last feature that also tends to make blogs an attractive option for marketers; they are dynamic, not relatively static like conventional sites. Readers are encouraged to comment on your "words of wisdom" therefore making this form of website a form of social networking thereby enhancing feedback and creativity.

OK ... Ready ... Set ... BLOG!!!!


And it's that easy .... well .... almost.

Though the mechanics of actually getting to a host; creating a blog; the initial set-up is very straight-forward (you can use HTML but you don't have too); and even entering your "words of wisdom" to be displayed for all the world to see, you need to give some fore-thought to your ultimate purpose.

When using the blog to provide a message carrying your "value content" as part of your marketing plan, you'll also want other features on that page. These features should include links to other information sources, sign-ups for your newsletter or free reports (lead capture), RSS feeds, etc. to add value to your visitors. Be sure to visit the blogs of experienced marketers and consider the layout of their blog site before you dive into creating all of your important postings. It is possible to change the format/layout of the site at anytime but it will be far easier to spend time on page design in the earlier stages of blog creation rather than later.

Final Countdown to Blog Launch ... 10 .... 9 .... 8 .......

You've made it!

Format set, several blogs of value-added content posted, links to other content and widgets added, lead capture established. Next step - you hit the "Publish Button" and wait with heighten anticipation for the masses to pour in and swoon over the results of your effort. So off you go to work on other pieces of your plan, do a little networking, some social bookmarking and a few other things that were partly neglected during your passionate blog set-up. Having the patience of Gibraltar, you just know that when you check back on your new blog's stats the visitor numbers would reach the stratosphere!

Heart-pounding, you check the blog's stats after a few days and what do you see:

"Number of Visitors: 3" and when you check your contact manager, nary one entry .... A really big sigh utters through your clenched teeth.

And a voice resonates in your head ..... But, but ... blogs are supposed to be great, highly ranked by the search engines, sought out by all the newbies and struggling network marketers ...... aren't they?

And even though the answer to all your questions are yes, there is one very LARGE qualifier! Like most marketing efforts on the "Web" it take both time and other key activities to establish your presence on the Internet.


Key Factors and Activities to Help Build Traffic

Following are several techniques to assist in "increase your readership and build your leadership". Keep in mind that the list is structured such that each successive technique build on the previous one. When successful, these techniques not only provide a regular stream of visitor and followers but also lead to "word of mouth" advertising by your readers.

1. Several of your blogs need to be "foundation pieces. A foundation is the main supporting framework in anything we build. Similarly, at least four to six of your blog posts need to set the foundation for your overall blog environment. These foundation articles usually consist of longer (several hundred word) pieces that provide "high value content" to your readers. Blogs focused on useful, practical content and "how-to" articles definitely fill this niche and also provide long-lasting drawing potential. Remember to add additional "foundation" blogs to the mix as the quantity of your postings grow and your blog matures.

2. Keep your blog active. It is usually best to keep a steady stream of blog posts flowing to your site. Many prominent bloggers indicate one per day is essential, especially in the early days of establishing your blog.

3. Select a meaningful and "easy to remember" domain name. The blog sites provide a modified version of their standard URL that will include a name you select. Even if you take care in selecting a name that makes your blog's URL easy to remember, a far more professional approach (when the option is available) would be to purchase your own domain through a service such as GoDaddy with a ".com" extension and set the forward to your blog site.

4. Be an active "Blog Networker". After getting your blog site set with your foundation articles, other shorter content posts, links, widgets, and so forth, start visiting blog sites with similar content and post your comments. Blog comment widgets usually request that you provide your name, email and web or blog site URL as well as the actual text of your comment. This places the web address of your blog in plain view of their readership; an obvious benefit in marketing your blog!

5. Welcome others to comment on your blog. No you are not trying to increase the number of "back-pats" you receive. Here you are trying to get readers to make a constructive (at least hopefully) critique of your content. When newbies and new visitors see this positive feedback and interaction, it provides an added sense of credibility and often results in the visitor becoming a regular reader.

6. Submit your foundation articles to article submission sites like EzineArticles. Once it's published, others can then take and republish your article on their newsletters, sites, etc. EzineArticles includes your resource box containing a short description and the link to your blog in addition to the article content. Each time the search engines find links on the article pages that point back to your site, it increases your blog's ranking by that search engine (a nice SEO tactic).

Implementation these techniques is not overly difficult but they do take time to complete and there will be a lag before you start seeing the impact but when it happens sighs change to smiles :-) .....

Remember to keep your posts flowing on a regular and consistent basis (for your readers and the search engines) and intermix an occasional foundation article to enhance the content value of your blog. In time your blog readership will grow enhancing your leadership qualities and even better, the whole process is reproducible and highly teachable ultimately leading to success for all following you!

Wishing you the best in all your ventures .....

Jim Hickey

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Comments 22 comments

Cindy Schulson 7 years ago

Great hub Jim. You have done your homework on blogging and provided valuable tips. And its great that blogs can really focus on anything that is of value and interest to your target market.


Jim Hickey profile image

Jim Hickey 7 years ago from Maryville, Missouri Author

Hi Cindy,

Thanks for the comments and support.

Jim


Marian Swift profile image

Marian Swift 7 years ago from San Francisco Bay Area

Great info, clearly organized. Thumbs-upped and bookmarked!


Jim Hickey profile image

Jim Hickey 7 years ago from Maryville, Missouri Author

Hello Marian,

Thank you so much for the kind words and support!

Wishing you the best in all your ventures ......


Susie Writes profile image

Susie Writes 7 years ago from Northern California

I second the comment "Great info, clearly organized." I found this hub very useful as I started a blog sometime back but it just sits there because I wasn't really sure where I wanted to go with it. Your article has given me valuable tips on how to focus my blog. I also see that I will need more than one for a couple of different themes.

Job well done!


Jim Hickey profile image

Jim Hickey 7 years ago from Maryville, Missouri Author

Thank you so much Suzi. It's always nice to hear when someone reads a Hub and finds something useful!

Have a wonderful day ....


marketingcoach profile image

marketingcoach 7 years ago from Georgia

Jim, 

Great Hub! It will be Stumble.  

Donna Wells 


Jim Hickey profile image

Jim Hickey 7 years ago from Maryville, Missouri Author

Hi Donna,

Thanks so much!

Jim


LeanJoeForever 7 years ago

Is HubPages the best forum for a blog for our honey import/export business? We want a cheap, bug-free, attractive site that allows the user to easily do whatever blogs should be able to do. I suppose the blog could draw people in by helping them solve special problems with our industry, locating buyers/sellers, hmmm....?


Internet Marketing Agency  7 years ago

Wll done Jim. Good to see your on the side of promoting blogs for business.

I have a blog post that your readers may also be interested in, "5 resasons to blog"

Keep up the good work.

http://www.sixthsensemarketing.com.au/blog/interne...


Jim Hickey profile image

Jim Hickey 7 years ago from Maryville, Missouri Author

Good evening Lean Joe and IM Agency,

First Lean Joe;

IMO - Blogs could help you in your import/export business if you construct it by providing articles that someway relate to your products and help the visitor. Your blog would then be a "value-content" site that benefits the visitor (but not trying to sell anything directly). Since blogs that provide valuable content tend to be "Search Engine" friendly that helps build your traffic (leads). If you also have a conventional web site supporting the main venture, you can then link from the blog to the web site. That provides a route for your blog traffic to follow to your main venture site. (at least that is one approach that quickly comes to mind - I hope it helps).

IM Agency; Thanks for the kind comments and the link out to your blog!


Jim Hickey profile image

Jim Hickey 7 years ago from Maryville, Missouri Author

Hi Steve,

Thanks for stopping by and reading the Hub; I'm glad you found it helpful!

I wish you the best in all your ventures

 


Purple Perl profile image

Purple Perl 7 years ago from Bangalore,India

Great Hub,Jim! Thanks for all the info.


Jim Hickey profile image

Jim Hickey 7 years ago from Maryville, Missouri Author

Hi Purple Perl,

Thank you very much for the support!

Jim


Lgali profile image

Lgali 7 years ago

this is one of the best hub I read


quicksand profile image

quicksand 7 years ago

Interesting indeed! Thank Google for Blogger. :)


Jim Hickey profile image

Jim Hickey 7 years ago from Maryville, Missouri Author

Good Morning Lgali & quicksand,

Thank you both for the kind comments .... and thanks to Google for so many things they offer!

Have a great day .....


Home 'n Biz Blend profile image

Home 'n Biz Blend 7 years ago from Yarrawonga Park

Hi Jim,

Thanks for this. I've needed some of the mud to seive out of my brain about blogging.

The waters were muddy but your article has helped simplify this for me. Thanks a lot.


Jim Hickey profile image

Jim Hickey 7 years ago from Maryville, Missouri Author

Hello Merilyn,

Thanks for the kind words and I am glad that it helped. Seems that there is so much to do (online) and so little time; every little bit helps,

Wishing you success in all your ventures,

Jim


Wes Chambers 7 years ago

I have had my blog up for about three years. I post short stories about interesting places on California Desert These are intended for folks that enjoy backcountry exploration. I average about a post every six weeks. I would like to increase visitations and will now follow your recommendations.

Thank Jim


Georgina_writes profile image

Georgina_writes 6 years ago from Dartmoor

Thank you - really useful info here. I'm bookmarking this one.


ambrking profile image

ambrking 4 years ago from Encino, California

Great Hub Jim. I love blogging so this is very helpful. Blogging is really an effective marketing tactic.

Voted up!

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