Inbound Marketing DEFINITION:Inbound Marketing is the process of attracting the attention of prospects, via content…
Nowadays business people are realizing of the true power and benefits that blogs can have, specially those that do it as business blogging. But before telling you some of those benefits, first, let me go directly to the definition and origin of blogs.
The boom of weblogs happened in 1999 when several companies & developers made easy blogging software and tools. Since 1999, the number of blogs on the Internet has exploded from a few thousand to over 100 million.
What is a Blog?
A blog is a shortened version of “Web log”. The term is actually weblogs coined by Jorn Barger in 1997. A blog is an easily updatable website comprised of posts (entries, updates or articles) that are usually displayed in reverse chronological order, usually, newest first. Each new entry in a blog is called a post or a blog post.
Think of a blog like a magazine. Magazines contain articles, and blogs contain posts. Essentially, Blogs are sites on the Web that may cover news and events, interests, hobbies or business of the person writing the blog or virtually any subject. For example, you are currently reading a blog post at this moment.
Who is a blogger?
A blogger is someone who uses a blog as a platform to share their unique viewpoint on a particular topic. There are at least 5 different types of bloggers.
Blogs can fall into two general categories.
A mixture of a personal diary, opinion posts and research links.
A corporate tool for communicating with customers or employees to share knowledge and expertise.
Blogs are an excellent method to share a company’s expertise, build additional web traffic, and connect with potential customers. Something to add here is the fact that there blogs owned and run by only one person that are extremely successful in popularity and revenues.
Why Blogs are Popular?
Most blogs allow readers to comment on a story contained in the blog, thus blogs have become vastly popular with visitors. The engaging part with this is that a visitor can make a comment in a post, and then will come later in order to see if someone else or the owner of the blog added some opinion about his or her comment.
Instead of traditional websites, which provided plenty of information but no way for users to interact or provide their own opinion, the commenting feature in a blog makes it interactive. Of course, blog owners have to deal with spam, but that’s another topic.
Blogs can act as websites on their own. Because of enhanced features in blogs and available free blog templates, a blog can be set up with various categories, just as a website would be organized. However, most people find maintaining a blog and adding content to it much easier than trying to maintain a full-blown website.
Blogging for Business
We already talked about blogging in general, let’s see now business blogs. A business blog is a special section of a company’s website that is updated regularly and provides valuable information that benefits the reader and demonstrates the company’s expertise and capabilities.
A blog can also be an effective and inexpensive way to market a business, large or small, through blog marketing. Marketing a business with a blog may mean not only posting new, fresh content on the business’ own blog, but posting comments on other blogs where the business’ customers may frequent and linking back to the website or blog for the business. In this way, a blog can not only bring increased traffic to a company’s blog or site, it can help improve search engine rankings and can be an effective search engine optimization tool. Finally, a blog can be a business in itself by earning revenues with advertising programs, like Google AdSense, affiliates or both.
Did you know that businesses that blog average 65% more website visitors than those that don’t?
It’s also important to note that when you’re doing business blogging, your blog posts are about a particular subject matter related to your business. For instance, LFStudio is a Web Design, SEO and Internet Marketing provider, so our blog talks about web design and marketing topics — using Facebook and Twitter for business, email marketing, business blogging, etc. Your business blog will talk about subject matters that are related to your business.
By consistently writing new content to a business blog, you can
• Stay visible to your audience so they think of you when they need your product or service
• Demonstrate your expertise about topics related to your business
• Share original content on social media
• Follow up with new contacts and prospective customers
• Keep your website fresh, which shows prospective customers and search engines that you are a trusted source of information
• Get online visibility
And speaking of online visibility, let me give you some words about it…
Not because you have created a website for your business, no matter it be beautiful or not, the people will come to you if you don’t do anything else on it. You might have an awesome website with all the details about your products and services, your about and contact us section and photos of your team. It’s fine, but that’s only the start. No one likes to read the same newspaper more than once. And that also applies to web pages.
Online visibility is exactly being able to be found and seen on the Internet. This could mean your business pops up a lot in search engines, on social media, on other people’s blogs as a guest writer, etc. Business blogging is one way to help get your business out in front of people looking for your products or services on the Internet.
Let me give you a small secret here…
Google and other search engines LOVE blogs!
Considering each blog post as an opportunity to be found is a great way to look at it. It’s a simple way to think of what type of content to create. Will this subject attract a potential customer? Would my target market actually search the right combination of words to find this article? Will this article attract the type of reader that would subscribe or consider purchasing afterwards? Blog posts written years ago continue to generate leads and customers to this day. Several hours of work years ago, might still generating business, and that’s a good time investment!
Ciudad Corazón is an old website that I created several years ago, to promote different topics and news about my city of origin. I remember that I left that project and didn’t write anything for about two years and the traffic that it was receiving, even being out dated, it was in the range of 1500 to 3000 people every single day. And most importantly, it was still generating me a decent income every single month. Why? Because I spent a couple of years creating valuable content and it had more than 3,000 articles on it. So, think that every time you publish a blog post and create a new web page, you create one more opportunity. Of course, that’s if you’re creating something with value.
If you ask me, without any doubt I will say that my blog is one of my most important marketing tool.
Now, it’s certainly true that you can create and maintain your personal blog or your business blog. But although anyone can use the Internet, or have a website and with all the facilities that technology provides to have your blogs, never understimate the power of a professional in this topic. Do almost anybody can have a blog? Yes. But, not everybody can have a profitable blog, one that pours money into his or her account. Why? Because to do that, they need a lot of time, knowledge and a huge effort.
You can read more about having a standard blog or a profitable blog here.