Here’s a quick example of the kind of results that can be achieved with a well-marketed blog. If you are either thinking of starting a blog or you already have one, but wonder if it’s worth marketing it more effectively, you will find this extremely useful. It’s based on 3 key areas you need to consider – But first, here’s why I decided to write this post for you today.
I had the pleasure of speaking with one of my long term readers for the very first time yesterday. The guy’s name is Brent Pohlman and Brent’s the Marketing Director at Midwest Laboratories in Omaha, Nebraska. During our call, Brent mentioned how he attended a morning meeting that day, for local businesspeople in his part of Omaha.
During the meeting, Brent told the group that he was going to be speaking with Jim Connolly later in the morning. When he said this, one of the businesspeople there asked;
“Isn’t he that bald marketing guy from the UK?”
Ohama, Nebraska is located in the beautiful Mid West of the United States; 6 time zones away from the small village here in the UK, where I live and work. Even so, through the effective marketing of this blog, people were already aware of what my name was, who I was and what I did. What makes that name / brand awareness even more amazing, is that the people attending that meeting were marketing people and business owners; the exact people my work is aimed at. For those of you, who don’t know, I help market small businesses all over the world.
Now, I have no idea how many millions it would have cost me, to generate that kind of targeted, international name awareness via old-school, paid advertising. However, I do know what it cost in order to achieve this using the blog.
There are 3 investments you need to consider:
Blog marketing – The FINANCIAL investment
I use a premium WordPress theme for this blog (it’s called Headway and I love it so much I am an affiliate.) This theme allows me to make all changes to the blog myself and have it look exactly how I want it to, with the functionality I need, without requiring a web designer or CSS expert.
Then, there’s the financial investment for hosting this blog. However, as I already host 2 other sites with my server people, this one actually costs me nothing. I recommend to everyone that they get the best hosting they can afford – not the ‘cheapest.’ When it comes to hosting a site, avoid the bargain bucket providers.
Blog marketing – The TIME investment
The biggest investment required for successful blog-based marketing is time. For example, there’s the time it takes to write the kind of compelling copy (articles/posts) that people will value and want to share. Like many successful blogs, this one doesn’t grow its readership thanks to Google; it relies on people sharing what they find here with their friends and contacts. That means the information here needs to be good enough to regularly motivate people to want to share it with their friends on social networking sites, bookmarking sites and via their blogs.
Another time investment that I believe is essential for marketing your blog, is to read other people’s blogs. I read around 10 marketing-related blogs every day and about 50 others semi regularly. This is a great way to keep abreast of what people in your industry and marketplace are talking about.
There’s also the time it takes to interact with the people who comment on your blog, and those, who share your content. If someone comments here, I always try and find the time to thank them. I do this either on the blog or, if they use Twitter, I will often thank them on Twitter – sometimes both. There are a few posts here with over 200 comments and one with close to 700 comments, which were impossible to keep up with, but I do regularly connect with everyone who comments here. The people who comment on this blog and those, who share my content, are of FAR more value to me, than the blog itself. I can start a new blog tomorrow, but those relationships are pure gold dust!
Blog marketing – The expertise investment
The final investment you will need to consider, is the investment in expertise. You will either need to invest in learning how to produce inspirational, compelling posts and market them, or you will need to buy that expertise in. This could have been placed in the time investment or financial investment section – but it’s so important (and neglected) that I wanted to give it special attention.
You see, some of the most interesting blogs out there are among the least read! The thing is, from a marketing perspective, having a ton of great content on your blog is of little real value, if your prospective clients aren’t aware of it.
You must find out how to create content that will motivate people to; call you, buy from you, visit you, email you, subscribe to your mailing list, etc. You need to know how to inspire people to want to share your content. You need to find out how to build an active community of people around your blog. You need to know how to make people feel great about you and your business / brand. This requires considerable expertise.
In my experience, most business bloggers decide not to invest in at least 1 of those 3 key areas. If there’s any 1 area listed above that you are neglecting right now, I strongly recommend you give it the investment it deserves. Your business will thank you!