I recently participated in a free webinar from a web marketer, Kimberley Ann Jimanez, who was sharing some tips on what it takes to start and maintain a profitable blog. It was really interesting, and you can find more great advice on starting a blog and content marketing over on her site.
This is part one of a two part series on why blogging is good and how to be great at content marketing.
The Myths Around Blogging
The truth that many are capitalising on in this day and age is that blogging works. Not only does it work, but it costs 62% less to operate than traditional marketing, as well as creating x3 as many leads.
Myth 1: Blogging is a fad
As I said, it is one of the most cost effective ways of marketing. However, it’s more than just that. Blogging creates the sense of a relationship between you, the seller and the reader, who is a potential buyer. It removes the hard sell from the equation, which means the buyer is going to be happier with their purchase and your brand.
Publishing posts just a handful of times a month, even if it is only 1-2 times, can generate 70% more leads than those companies or individual business owners who are not on the blogging scene at all.
Myth 2: Monetisation only gives a profit for monster blogs
This may have been more true a few years ago, however, there are now more ways to monetise your blog than ever. Especially (but not limited to) if you have a product of your own to sell. All you really need to make monetisation work is strategy and consistency.
Myth 3: You’ll run out of things to say
Really? I used to think this before as well. But truthfully, if you are writing about something that matters to you, this is extremely unlikely. If your blog is related to your business, or your passion, or your hobby, there will always be something that you are researching or learning or doing. Therefore, you’ll always have one more thing to share with the world and add value to other people’s lives. Whether it’s a tutorial, a new strategy you happened upon in a free webinar (like I did for this post…!) you will always have something to say or share.
A good way to alleviate this worry is to practise content strategy. Sit down with a notepad and pen, and come up with a long list of possible things you could write about. It can be a list of questions you’d like to know the answers to, and the answer is then your post. If you are really stuck for inspiration you can find some popular blog posts in your niche and remix the information, adding your own slant to it. For example, if you wanted to learn about how to knit a pair of gloves, you could look it up and remix what you find into a blog post of your own.
It’s important not to copy, as people want to hear what you have to say, not what Mary said (especially word for word) as they could just read that first hand instead. You can point them to the original content that you found useful, but make sure to put your own interpretation on it, such as what you found easy or hard about certain points.
Myth 4: Writing a blog is a soul-sucking activity that only writers can bare
Contrary to popular belief, writing a blog doesn’t require you to have a Master’s degree in English, a super poetic mind or infallible grammar skills. The only thing you need is the authentic, genuine you. If your content is engaging, relatable and resonates with your reader, you are all set.
You don’t even need to write an essay every single time. (But you can if you want to.) Blogs work well with a whole blend of media to convey your message to your reader. You can blend in photographs, infographics, cartoons, sketches, or diagrams to your writing. You can abandon writing long prose altogether and post a video with you talking to your reader instead. You could do a podcast. What about an inspirational quote by itself?
Blogging doesn’t have to be a chore. So long as you are connecting with your audience, and the audience you have is the audience that you want, then you know that your blog is on the right track for success.
Blogging for Your Brand
If you hadn’t figured it out by now from the myth debunking, here it is in black and white: blogging is thoroughly good for your brand. Talking about what you know and sharing your expertise raises your authority in your industry and builds up the positioning of your brand on the marketplace.
The content promotes you, your product and your brand with less friction than if you were going for a hard sell. You create rapport with your audience, who are by and large your customers. Building up a relationship by providing them with a solution to a problem before you sell them a product, such as how to fold a napkin like a swan before selling them the napkin, avoids the hard sell and builds trust and demonstrates your authenticity.
Getting your brand out there on the web and generating valuable content for your readers will attract fresh readers. Fresh readers who are looking for more information – information that you just so happen to be sharing with the online community.
Not only that, but if they find you in order to find out more about you and/or your product, having a blog can turn those cold leads into something warm.