To Blog or not to Blog – Internet Marketing Dilemma
Why Blogging Should Be Evaluated as Part of an Integrated Internet Marketing Strategy
To Blog or Not to Blog, that is the question! Let me start off by acknowledging that there are many very successful businesses who don’t blog today with no plans to do so. My view is that all businesses who are not currently blogging owe it to themselves to, at the very least, evaluate blogging as a potential addition to their existing Internet marketing efforts, even if that is starting with a website which most businesses recognize the value of having. Blogging is a great way to drive targeted traffic and capture contact information to begin a marketing relationship with potential clients who discover you online. If you use social media, it is a great way to grow your business network and communities.
Like any other form of Internet marketing, blogging to publish your content on the Internet can be a way to build brand and targeted traffic with the end game to grow sales/ROI. If you use some widely available tools, some of them open source, it is easy to get the SEO basics right (title, description tags, use of keyword in post, etc.) These SEO fundamentals haven’t changed in several years and if you create quality content, it will naturally earn links, likes, tweets, shares (assuming you provide links/buttons to make this easy for the user) driving the right signals to Google and other search engines which will get your content indexed and ranked for keyword relevant to the information you are creating.
Bloggers and online publishers who need worry most about the changes made by Google and others impacting SEO/publishers are those viewed by google as “trying to game the system.” If things look natural to the search engines with quality content, natural accumulation of links by people who link to content because they see value in sharing it, then you are unlikely to have your site become collateral damage in one of the search engine (i.e. Google) updates, which are designed to filter lower quality content and present the best search results to their users. The search engines business focus and priority is on user experience by delivering the highest quality, most relevant results based on the user’s search, which in turn drives market share and revenue for the search engines. The competition is always just a click away. Well sort of. Those of you who search many times a day know what I am talking about. As an Internet marketer, your goals are the same. Poor quality content = poor reflection on your brand = lower reach through reduced rank in search results.
Too Busy to Blog
Beging to busy (i.e. too many customers) is a valid reason not to blog. Those businesses that are in that admirable position likely need to focus resources on operations and fulfillment and not new customer acquisition. It takes time and resources to successfully create and launch a blog that drives targeted traffic to a website. The most time consuming part is also the most important which is the ongoing investment in creating quality content that is unique, fills a current information need and offers value to the readers. Creating content is easy but creating quality content is hard. Just ask any major TV Networks or Newspaper or Radio Station. Creating online content is no different. The good news is that there is a wealth of talent online and if you know where to look, affordable quality content can be just a click away and for less than you think. In fact, there are entire marketplaces such Zerys.com that can connect agencies and businesses with excellent copywriters who specialize in particular niches and are rated by other users. Like anything else in marketing and advertising, quality content is an investment, one in which can be leveraged across multiple channels where the the ROI can be measured and monitored.
Blogging ROI Should be Considered Before Saying No Way
To emphasize the value of blogging, the #1 visited page on our website is a blog post, just ahead of the home page, mostly driven through search. Who would have thunk! Providing unique content is important. Unique in this context is topic that has limited existing content indexed in the search engine, because to be at the top of the search results, your content will have to be better than the all other existing web pages already indexed in Google on the same topic. In our expereince, those that provide unique, valuable information on the topic that people are searching for will earn links and visitors interested in that information. To be successful requires a deliberate content strategy integrated into an overall Internet marketing plan. Though not easy, the results can be tremendous. Not immediately, but overtime. Remember the The Tortoise and the Hare?
As an Internet marketer, I have an acknowledged bias, but if you’re spending money on other online and offline marketing and advertising but not currently blogging, then blogging should be evaluated as an Internet marketing opportunity relative to other marketing investments, otherwise, how can you be sure that your getting the biggest bang for your marketing buck adn that you are not leaving money on the table?
The key is to invest and then track returns, methodically. If projected impacts of blogging in terms of cost per lead make financial sense for your business, then invest and test and if not, then pass on the blog, but for goodness sake, the data available today shows that cost per lead from blogging for many businesses can be significantly less than that of traditional channels, so you owe it to your business to do the math, making some simplifying assumptions based on industry benchmarks is see if you are leaving money on the table.
Bonus for those who Decide to Blog
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