Why Blogging Is Still a Powerful Marketing Strategy
Writing a Blog (or Having Someone Else Write It for You) Can Bring You Extra Exposure on the Internet With Likely Buyers in the 34-73 Age Group… If You’re Selling to a Younger Crowd, However, Facebook and Twitter Are the Place to Be.
In a recent feature story, the New York Times examined the latest trends about blogging, Facebook and Twitter.
Their conclusion? Blogging is down…but also up.
First, the downtrend: A Pew Research Center study cited in the article said that “from 2006 to 2009, blogging among children ages 12 to 17 fell by half; among 18-to-33-year-olds, blogging dropped two percentage points.”
Now the up-trend: The same Pew survey found that, “While the younger generation is losing interest in blogging, people approaching middle age and older are sticking with it. Among 34-to-45-year-olds who use the Internet, the percentage who blog increased six points to 16 percent. Blogging by 46-to-55-year-olds increased five percentage points to 11 percent, while blogging among 65-to-73-year-olds rose two percentage points to 8 percent.”
Other research says these age groups are not only writing blogs that maintain a meaningful dialog with their market or audience, they also read blogs — and act upon them. 33% of people surveyed said they had read blogs, while 47% of people in another survey said they read reviews, recommendations and other website content before making a product purchase.
Link Bait: The Most Important Reason Why Blogging Is Still a Powerful Marketing Strategy
When you write a blog post (article), and upload it to your blog, the title of that blog post gets indexed (or listed) by Google right away — usually within 5-10 minutes, in fact. So one way to turn your blog into a true marketing tool and magnet for prospective customers searching online, is to put likely search phrases in the titles of your blog posts.
For instance, if you sell electric cars, one way to get immediate traffic to your blog (and therefore, your website) is to write an article entitled, “10 Ways to Choose an Electric Car.” You can write another blog post called, “Buying an Electric Car at Discount Prices.”
We call this strategy “creating link bait” — producing blog articles, web copy, and other website features specifically to get attention from Internet browsers or to encourage other website owners and bloggers to link to your website.
Google Loves Blogs
Not only does Google consider websites with blogs more authoritative, the continually updated and increased content that a blog brings to your website also gives you extra points with Google when it comes time to rank you against other websites in the search results.
To see an example of how fast Google indexes an article and returns it as a search result, click this link. You’ll see THIS post, which I’ve turned into an article on my blog, ranked by Google for the search phrase “Writing a Blog Can Bring You Extra Exposure on the Internet.”
What Can You Do to Make Writing Your Blog Easier?
If you know that writing a blog is a great way to bring likely buyers to your website, but you hate to write or don’t know what to write about…what can you do?
- Choose your article topics by researching search phrases that your potential buyers are already typing into Google. One tool that’s indispensable for discovering how visitors are currently finding your website is Alexa.com. Simply type in your website and Alexa will not only tell you how you rank amongst all websites worldwide, but it will also (more importantly) give you a list of major keyword phrases people are typing into Google before finding your site in the search results. (InstantIncome.com, for instance, lists keyword phrases like “business turnaround” and “small business” as primary search terms.) To maximize the benefit from search phrases people are already using to find you, simply write more blog articles with those keywords or phrases in the title of your article.
- Get someone else to write your blog posts for you. If you hate to write or don’t believe you write well enough to be read by your potential customers, hire a freelance writer or journalist on a site such as Elance.com. For about $20 to $30 per article, you can provide keyword phrases, your company’s brochures, audio snippets you record about your company or product or service, industry trends related to your field and so on. Don’t worry that blog posts need to be “current news.” They don’t. So your writer can produce 20-30 short articles at a time — rather than working every week for you.
- Write the articles yourself in batches. Since I’m a former journalist and enjoy writing my own content, this is the strategy I use. I’m careful to check with my web team prior to writing so I make sure that I write articles that are both meaningful to my blog readers and useful as link bait, too. Then I write 6-8 blog posts at a time, at least one to be posted each week.
- Create videos as blog posts if you find those easier and less time consuming to produce. For many people, writing even a few paragraphs seems to take hours. If this describes you and you’re comfortable speaking into a camera, you can produce short YouTube-style videos about a current trend in your industry or other information your potential customers need to know. One major benefit of this technique is that Google really likes video so it will help boost your rankings in the search results against other competitors.
Don’t just write a blog and post it out there in the abyss. Make sure your website visitors are reading your blog articles by encouraging them to subscribe to your RSS feed. You can also “push” your blog out to potential customers — rather than waiting for them to wander by your site — by turning it into an email.