When I tell people that I’m a blogging consultant, the usual response is, “Now, that’s a job that didn’t exist a few years ago!”
True enough. And if you’re like most business owners, blogging is a strategy that you’ve never considered, until you started hearing from marketing agencies, web designers and content marketing experts that blogging is not only helpful, but essential. In fact:
- B2B (those who sell products or services to other businesses) companies that blog generate 67% more leads per month than those who do not
- B2C (those who sell products or services to consumers/the general public) companies that blog generate 88% more leads per month than those who do not
Source: HubSpot State of Inbound Marketing Lead Generation Report, 2010
There is a lot to know about blogging, but here’s the good news and the bad news – and it’s one and the same: the same effective marketing principles that work in other settings will also work on your blog.
Why is that good news? Because you can stop thinking of the blogosphere as some sort of secret world, and get down to learning the simple techniques that will allow you to apply sound marketing principles in this new forum.
Why is that bad news? Because blogging is not a cure-all, instant gratification solution that lets you off the hook from knowing your clients, listening to what they want and sticking with one central message.
A blog is an online diary
While a blog may seem like a mysterious entity if you’re not familiar with it, a blog is really just a special type of website that can be published both easily and instantaneously. By its very nature, a blog is meant to be updated frequently like an online diary or log. In fact, the name blog came from combining the words “web” and “log.”
Blogs are a place where anyone can publish his or her thoughts about a topic they are passionately interested in, so they can share those thoughts with the world. There are plenty of people blogging just for that purpose – “hobby bloggers.”
In fact, anyone who uses Facebook or Twitter to update friends and followers are doing what’s called “microblogging” (blogging in really small doses). Some people have even blogged their way to success, like Julie Powell of Julie and Julia fame.
If you’re curious about who is blogging and why, Technorati.com publishes an annual “State of the Blogosphere” survey. I’ll be taking a closer look at some of their numbers in an upcoming series of blog posts about what you – the business blogger – can learn from the other types of bloggers.
This blog series will lead up to the next Secrets of Content Mastery training webinar, “The Blogging Mindset.”
For now, I invite you to browse Time’s list of the 25 best blogs of 2011, these Canadian Blog Award winners and this list of 2011 Weblog Award winners. You’ll see a wide range of topics and treatments that are bound to open your mind and get your imagination swirling. Remember that you can learn just as much from what you don’t like as from what you do.