If you use the internet on a regular basis, you are sure to have heard about blogs. Many people use blogs to write about personal topics, feelings, and opinions. But did you know that blogs are also used as a business marketing tool? The interactivity of blogs along with the ease of creation and maintenance makes them an attractive option for online marketing purposes. Developing a regular readership of your blog can help you to achieve several goals. You can build solid customer relationships, inform people about your products and services, and generate links for search engine optimization purposes. Take a look at the many ways that having a blog can benefit your business and you’ll find ways to use blogs almost immediately in your marketing efforts.
Setting Up a Blog
Setting up a blog can be pretty simple if you have the patience and time to learn how to use one. You can choose to design your own blog format on your existing site or you can use a blog from WordPress or www.blogger.com. Your marketing goals will help you to decide which type of blog to use. Blogs from www.blogger.com are free, but since they’re not a direct component of your web site, you may have to optimize them differently than you would than if you had a blog integrated into your site. If you choose to use your own design and have it be a direct component of your site, you have more control over design and function and you may also be able to market your blog more easily.
Profiting from Blogs
Blogs help you to be profitable because they allow you to market your products and services without using overt sales messages that may cause prospects to stop visiting your site. Instead, you use blogs to communicate information and subtly promote your own products and services while you help others. This creates goodwill for you and your business. There are many opportunities for using blogs to turn a profit. Learning about each of them can help you decide which ones are right for your business.
Blog articles are a great marketing tool because they allow you to showcase your expertise in your chosen field. You can publish articles on almost any topic related to your business and continue to provide information to your prospects and customers. Blog articles can also be optimized for the search engines by using specific keywords that help people find your web site. If you pick the right keywords, you can start seeing improved traffic results in as little as a few months. You can also integrate your blog with your viral marketing efforts by encouraging people to share your articles with other people.
Keyword-Optimized Blog Postings
One of the great things about blog postings is that they can be as short as 75-100 words and still help you accomplish your internet marketing goals. When you keyword-optimize your blogs, you are using specific keywords to help people find you when they do searches for information. The more specific your keywords are, the better your chances of being found by your target market. Another positive aspect of short blog postings is that they make it easier to maintain your blog from day to day. Instead of having to write 500 or 1000 words every day, you can take as little as a few minutes to dash off a 75 or 100-word paragraph that gives information or lets people know about new products and services.
Linking with Blogs
One-way links are one of the best search engine optimization tools available. One-way links are links that are placed on other web sites that point people to your web site. When you post articles and other items of interest, people may like them enough to post the link on their web sites. The more one-way links you can generate with your blog, the better your chances of improving your search engine rankings and driving more traffic to your web site.
Affiliate Marketing with Blogs
You can also participate in affiliate marketing by using your blog. When you sign up to be a member of an affiliate program, you’ll want to do as much as you can to promote those products and services and generate commissions. Having a blog makes it easy for you to promote the products and services of other companies. You can write a short post about a new service or write reviews of helpful products and services and include your affiliate links. When people visit your blog and become interested in the products and services discussed in your postings, they may become interested enough to click on your affiliate links and make a purchase. As long as the products and services are appropriate for your target market, you can use a number of affiliate links so that you can make money in several different ways.
Creating a Buzz with Blogs
Blogs are part of a technique called buzz marketing. Buzz marketing is when you create a “buzz” about your company and turn prospects into loyal customers. Creating a buzz is simply putting your message in front of your target market and getting them excited about your products and services. There are several ways to create a positive buzz about your business using your blog. If you post interesting items, you’ll generate interest in your blog and encourage people to link to your web site and share your blog with friends. Buzz marketing can also be accomplished by using your blog to promote products and services. The tone of your blog can make or break your buzz marketing efforts. Straightforward information and boring posts will probably turn people away from your site. If you make posts that convey your excitement, enthusiasm, and passion for your products and services, you’ll start to create the same passion and enthusiasm among your prospects. Using this technique can help turn your blog from just another web page into a dynamite marketing tool that keeps visitors coming back again and again.
Google AdSense with Blogs
Google AdSense can also be used with blogs to earn extra money. Google AdSense is a simple and free way to earn income while you are also promoting your products and services with your blog. You can sign up with Google for free and go through a web site review. No obscenity or adult material is allowed in the AdSense program, but most other web sites will qualify. Once you have been approved, you keep posting to your blog. The AdSense program will give you advertisements based on the keywords used in your postings. If you write a post about recipes, you may get ads about cookbooks, restaurants, or food distributors. You can choose where the ads go on your page so your blog maintains its unique look. When people click on the links provided with the ads, you’ll earn a small commission. You can earn even more extra money by putting a Google search box on your blog. When people use this search box, targeted ads will appear in their results. You will get a commission from each ad they click.
Blogads is a service that was created to put advertisements on blogs. Advertisers develop their own advertisements, choose blogs to target, and select the amount of time they want their ads to appear. Bloggers can accept or refuse to put the ads on their blogs. The Blogads service gets a percentage of your commission earnings since they host the ads and act as the intermediary between advertisers and bloggers. The more people visit your blog, the better your chances of earning money with this program.
AdBrite is similar to Blogads as the company acts as an intermediary between bloggers and advertisers. With this program, you can place banners, text ads, and vertical ads on your blog. As the blogger, you choose what advertising opportunities are made available to your visitors. Businesses can visit your blog and purchase advertising directly from a link on your page. AdBrite manages the payment process and the relationship between advertisers and bloggers. Like Blogads, the company keeps a percentage of the money you earn for the work they do at moderating the advertising relationship.
Selling Customized Products
To further create a buzz and improve your brand identity, you can sell merchandise from your blog that is customized with your logo or color scheme. When you have a loyal following of readers, your chances of being able to sell this type of merchandise improve greatly. You don’t need to go out and have items printed only to sit in your office unused. You can use one of many companies to print products on demand, as your customers order them. This eliminates the need for inventory and reduces your chances of wasting money on products that don’t sell. You can find some of these companies by doing a search on your favorite search engine.
Whatever methods you choose, blogs can be a great way for you to develop your brand and create a community of loyal customers.