By Melissa Walsh
Blogging content is distinct from website content. It gives a website life and nourishment for competing in today's e-commerce environment. Updating your blog regularly with new posts makes a static website dynamic and draws a target readership — or target market — to point of sale in a friendly, no-pressure way.
Disseminated as entertaining, informational feed to a target audience, blogging is content marketing syndication via social media, embedded links on third-party websites and sharing among a network of friends or business associates. It is pure inbound marketing.
"I'm just browsing this niche, thank you."
Stumbling upon a good blog is like walking into a store and, as if reading your mind, a clerk immediately steps up to you to provide helpful information about the exact items you wish to browse. If the store is specialized for a niche like fishing supplies, hockey equipment or musical instruments, chances are the store's personnel have specialized knowledge in that niche. And you may frequently enter the store not necessarily to purchase something but to learn more about the niche itself. Should you decide to purchase an item at a later time, you're likely to make the store you've enjoyed browsing in, the one with the helpful personnel, your point of purchase.
Targeted inbound marketing
Blogging is the perfect inbound marketing method for turning niche-market prospects into customers and generating a monetary return on the investment of time you spend writing about niche topics. Here's why:
Niche market prospects are passionate about their niche and naturally network and build relationships within that niche. So your primary role in marketing to them is being available to them as a relevant participant in their network — building relationships, listening and offering value.
Join the niche conversation with blogging.
© 2014, Powerplay Communications
Stumbling upon a good blog is like walking into a store and, as if reading your mind, a clerk immediately steps up to you to provide helpful information about the exact items you wish to browse.
By Melissa Walsh
Effective blogging requires consistency and endurance. It is not for the impatient nor for those with no marketing communications plan. "Good blogging is strategic," they say. "It leads to business partnerships and customers," they say … And so it does, eventually over time.
Good blogging requires labor hours and a commitment to spinning interesting enough blog content to attract a target audience as repeat consumers of your valuable content freebies. Ideally, these consumers will become your customers.
Is it worth it? What is blogging's ROI?
In their book, ProBlogger: Secrets for Blogging Your Way to a Six-Figure Income, Darren Rouse and Chris Garrett point out that a blog has value if the blogger has these five traits:
A blogger's role demands making the blog content and blog readership top priority. This is why it is important to commission a quality blogger to maintain a company's blog — someone who knows how to write, knows the topic and knows the audience. Don't task the work of blogging to just anyone in the office with the time to do it, like the intern, office assistant or sales guy.
A professional blogger develops a strategic blog plan that fits into a company's content marketing plan and marketing communications vision. Blog content can be modular and repurposed for ebook content, training or other reference collateral, social media post, or other online or print materials. It can also add personality to a company's branding.
A professional blogger also has the good sense not to treat a blog as display advertising or in-your-face e-commerce, cluttering a web page with flashy ads and frustrating pop-ups. The professional blogger instead cultivates a relationship with the target audience by offering free information that the audience desires, like tips, reviews or stories.
So back to the ROI of blogging … if you want a return on the investment of paying a person to blog for you, commission one who knows how to write, knows your topic and knows your market. Over time, your professional blogger will convert readers into customers for your business.
© 2013, Powerplay Communications
Raised in the Motor City, Melissa Walsh is a content solutions guru with a background in reference publishing, journalism, teaching, and applied engineering. Her identity is shared as a writer, mom, history nerd, and hockey player. She also knows how to turn a wrench and use a scantool.