It’s time to start talking about the difference between blogging tactics and blogging strategies. Hang on – the ride gets a little bumpy as we start out.
Just as there’s a difference between a marketing tactic and a marketing strategy – there is a difference between blogging tactics and blogging strategy. What’s marketing got to do with blogging? Possibly everything if you’re a small business owner who has chosen to use the marketing tactic of blogging as part of your overall marketing strategy.
First let’s cover the basics. Blogging – in an of itself – is simply a form of COMMUNICATION!! There is no “magic” in launching a blog – as millions of abandoned free blogs will attest. Publishing a random stream of incoherent thoughts online via a blog is not the path to instant wealth and riches.
I do social media consulting for SMB and to be honest, I’m horrified by the number of people who contact me and wonder why their business blog isn’t “working” for their business when the only post on the blog is the introductory “Hello World” which comes with each new installation of WordPress.
In the 8 Week Power Blog Launch Program I spend roughly the first week of the program helping readers (new bloggers) define the goal for their blog. After all – if your goal is to sell more widgets – then you’re going to adopt a different blogging strategy than say someone who wants to become the next Perez Hilton or Matt Drudge.
Blogging goals usually fall into one of five categories:
1) I WANT MY BLOG TO BE MY BUSINESS.
Another way of stating this goal is to say, “I want to make money directly from my blog.”
If this is your blog goal, then you’ll be making money based upon the number of eyeballs you attract to your blog. You’ll be selling advertising and featuring those ads on your blog prominently. Follow the blogging lessons from the Next Food Network Star series… because you’ll want to become the next blogging start to achieve your blog goal.
In addition to those tips, you’ll be focusing religiously upon increasing visitor traffic to your blog. You’ll
want to become well versed on Search Engine Optimization and will probably need to “tweak” your blog installation to maximize your blog’s search engine friendliness. Be sure to build your blog on the search engine friendly Thesis theme to get the most “bang” out of WordPress with the search engines.
2) I WANT MY BLOG TO PROMOTE MY FREELANCING/SERVICE BASED BUSINESS.
You’re a freelance or small business service provider and you’ve heard that a blog is a GREAT marketing tool
for promoting yourself and your services. You’ll write about topics associated with your services in order to demonstrate your expertise and you’ll write posts which highlight your services.
I’ve had freelancers report that they average 2 new clients a week as a result of their blog.
3) I WANT MY BLOG TO PROMOTE MY CORPORATION.
You’re part of a larger business that wants to connect with customers and manage the company’s image and online
presence. Blogging goals for a large corporation can be varied and therefore, the means to accomplishing these goals are equally varied. Major corporations may blog to
- educate consumers on the many innovative ways to use their products
- inform current customers about updates/upgrades/special offers
- serve as a customer service portal
- solicit ideas from consumers about product development and promotion.
One company encouraged employees to blog but when visitors didn’t leave comments, the employees lost
their enthusiasm. After log file analysis revealed that blog readers were 6 times more likely to make a purchase
from the company’s website than visitors who didn’t visit the blog, the employees found a brand new enthusiasm for
blogging. Their blogging efforts were increasing sales – even if customers weren’t “talking” via the comments section.
One major mistake most major corporations do in launching a blog is to do so without an end goal in mind… so decide
in advance WHAT you want the blog to do for the corporation before you launch your company blog.
(In other words – it’s not just the little guys who launch a blog and then don’t know what to do with it.)
4) I WANT MY BLOG TO PROMOTE ME SO I ACHIEVE FAME
Whether you want to be the next Perez Hilton, or you just want to become a superstar in your industry, a successful
blog can definitely raise your profile. To achieve this goal, it’s essential that you tightly target your niche audience. You’ll want to utilize various social media channels such as YouTube and Facebook to really grow your following.
5) I WANT MY BLOG TO PROMOTE ME AND ACT LIKE A VIRTUAL RESUME
A blog’s profile raising status can also act as a virtual resume. Career consultants are strongly recommending job
seekers set themselves apart from the pack by launching a blog to promote the blog owner’s expertise.
Think about it… if you are an employer and you have to choose between two candidates – one has a blog with a
respectable following and the other doesn’t – which are you going to hire?
Defining your blogging goal is the first step towards creating a blogging strategy.