The concept of blogging started in the late 1990s. It used to be a way for people to easily create a website and just “talk” about what they felt like. In addition, it had the added feature of allowing visitors and readers to comment on the content of webpages.
Eventually, online advertising tapped into the potential of blogs and then so did business. Here are 5 reasons why you should use blogging as an Internet marketing tool.
1. Blogging is simple.
The simplest way to get your information on the net is through blogging. No skills are necessary — if you can read and type, or at least click a mouse, you can blog. It’s like having a virtual piece of paper and you just write your ideas, experiences, new products, etc. If you have a computer and an Internet connection (and if you’re reading this I’m pretty sure you do) then you can blog and market your products and services.
2012 Update: This is still true today. WordPress is a powerful blogging platform that you can use as a simple blog or, with the help of a few plugins, a robust membership and marketing platform.
2. Blogging is authentic.
In this day and age where advertising saturates our lives, we question the credibility of promoters’ claims. However, in blogs, real people share their real-life experiences, usually un-influenced by paid advertising. Reading blogs about first-hand product use is like talking to people about their first-hand experience. You’ll often want to buy that tried and tested product.
2012 Update: It is important to maintain your authentic voice when blogging, for many readers are aware that blogging is being used by people in inauthentic ways.
3. Blogging is free or very low in cost.
Because blogging is yet to be proven as a mainstream online advertising media, most sites see it as something to augment current marketing tools and thus offer it for free. Any opportunity for free webtime is definitely a bonus especially to businesses that are starting up. Needless to say, paid blog pages can generate more income for your seriously growing business.
2012 Update: Although blogging is now a proven mainstream web tool, you can still get one up and going for free or very low cost.
4. Blogging builds credibility. As you get more and more into writing your experiences on a particular product or industry, your readers come to realize that they can depend on your posts for their own information needs. As such, you become an expert on it; as a consequence, more readers visit your site and more bloggers link to your blogs. As companies and professional organizations notice the growth of your readership base, they may soon get in touch with you for advertising on your blog page, or make you an affiliate, which pays for every referral generated from your blog site.
2012 Update: Consistency of blogging … continually adding strong, relevant content … is what builds your credibility these days.
5. Blogging builds your market. Unless you are a Hollywood star, chances are, only your Mom reads your posts. (I know mine does! ;-)) Mom has a lot of friends, so she lets her friends know how interesting your blog is. But you need not depend on Mom to increase your readership base. Look into the following ways blogging can build your market base:
- Search Engine Optimization. Because blogs tend to have fresh content, the search engines like them and spider them more often. I’ve noticed through my use of WordPress blogs that people find my blogs before I’ve even posted a single entry!
- E-mail. If you use FeedBurner to process your blog’s feed, readers can subscribe to your feed via e-mail. DragonWyze Solutions does this so that people who don’t want to use an RSS reader, but still want to know when a new post is posted, can subscribe.
- Subscription. An easy way to get your reader’s e-mail address is to give them an opportunity to subscribe to your blog. Keep some exclusive information for your subscribers to entice readers to subscribe and give you their e-mail address. Just be responsible in using their e-mail address, as the last thing you want is a comment on your blog that you are a spammer.
- Surveys. Many blogging platforms allow you to post quizzes and surveys. With this simple tool, you can gain information from your readers to help you better understand their preferences in relation to your blog. Asking readers to comment on a post is another way to get feedback. In this way, it is like interviewing your readers without the commitment and intrusion of a face-to-face interview.
- Blog Networks. A network of blogs maybe a collection of blog sites that share the same industry, interest, readership base, payment mode, etc. There are also blog networks that help you organize the blogs you regularly read.
Give your business a boost by effectively using blogging as an Internet marketing tool.
2012 Update: Although I originally wrote this post five years ago … a terribly long time for technology … blogging is still a very good way to go and most of the content in post is as accurate (if not more so) today.
Updates added on May 15, 2012