Long before blogs were used as a marketing tool, they were used as nothing more than online diaries. People would use them to post regular updates about their personal lives. This was back in the early years of the internet when search engines were very primitive and there really was no such thing as SEO and online marketing – at least not on the scale they exist today.
Over the years, blogs evolved in how they were used. They started being used to produce content on a wide variety of topics including news, music, gadgets, tech, business, and just about anything else you can think of.
Before long, it was quickly recognized just how powerful a blog could be for the marketing of businesses. They were used for keeping customers updated on company news, provide valuable information, keep customers engaged, and attract new leads.
What is Blog Marketing?
Put simply, blog marketing is using content to connect with the target audience of a business. In years gone by, companies would have a separate website to host their blog. Today, it is possible to have a blog incorporated on their business website. This benefits both the company and any visitors. A business owner can manage both the website and the blog from a central location, and the visitor can find everything they need in one place.
Furthermore, blogging on its own has become a business in itself for many. Ad revenue and a strong following is a good recipe for a successful business, especially in popular niches such as food, technology, and travel.
The Pros and Cons of Blog Marketing
As with any type of marketing, there are pros and cons attached to blog marketing. Overall, however, the benefits far outweigh the negatives.
Blogging is an excellent marketing tool for businesses, as it allows them to interact with their target audience. People that are interested in the niche you are blogging about will value the content, information, and knowledge that you provide them. Here are some other benefits that can be attributed to blog marketing:
- Cheap Initial Outlay: For a basic blog, all that is needed is a domain name and some web hosting. For the cost of a few dollars, you could have your own blog setup within an hour.
- Easy to Setup and Use: Most blogging platforms are simple to use. They give you templates to use and you just have to provide the content and images.
- Generates Traffic for Your Website: Valuable content will bring people to your business website. Whether integrated on the website itself or on a separate website that links back to your business, your blog should increase the traffic you receive.
- Great for SEO: Google values quality content and improving the user experience for visitors. For those reasons, a blog is a great way to increase the ranking of your website in the SERPS (search engine ranking positions).
- Increases Trust and Credibility: Providing useful and valuable content allows visitors to see that you are an expert on your chosen niche. This breeds trust and ensures that they are more comfortable when purchasing your products and services.
- Can Bring in Additional Revenue: As well as marketing your business, a popular blog can bring in additional revenue. Through ad placements, affiliate links, and sponsors, you could make some valuable income for your business.
- Blogging is a Time-Consuming Form of Marketing: Writing quality content that is valuable to the reader can take time. Then you have to upload it, optimise it, and market it. Hiring freelance writers is a good way to save some time.
- Consistently Need to Come Up With New Ideas for Content: One of the biggest headaches for bloggers is the need for regular new content. Coming up with ideas gets more difficult as you go along.
- Results are not Always Instant: Building a blog from scratch requires work and patience before you start to see the rewards. As you market your blog and write valuable content, your following will eventually increase. This is when you start to see the benefits of additional traffic, leads, conversions, and revenue.
Blog marketing when used correctly, is a highly effective way to market your business. As the cons show, however, it can be time-consuming, take a lot of work before you will see results, and you need to be creative enough to come up with regular new content. For the reasons listed above, many companies opt to outsource their blog marketing to companies that have the expertise, knowledge, and experience to make it successful. This will allow you to spend time performing other important business tasks.