Most posts and books on blogging are about “how to blog,” what I call the Ins of Blogging. Topics can range from how to write, what to write about, which platforms to use, and what to do with writer’s block. Tons of posts here at The Blogger’s Bulletin deal with these important, get-started topics.
A harder topic, and one that has less posts even from me , is the Outs of Blogging, or how to get word out about your blog. It’s generally called Marketing.
My profession is marketing, yet few of my posts have to do with marketing a blog. Why? For one important reason: to most marketing professionals a blog is marketing. It is a marketing tool to get the word “out” about everything else your business, or you as a professional are doing.
Marketing for Money
The people most concerned with marketing a blog are those who want to make money from blogging. That’s no surprise. The reason most people engage in marketing, in general, is to make money by getting the word out about their business. Those people deeply concerned with marketing a blog are the very same who most view it as a potential at-home business that can somehow magically make them money through advertising or sponsorship deals.
As a marketing person, I advise clients to use a blog as a key tool to establish credibility and thought-leadership. It is also a test to see if their unique selling proposition (USP) stands the test of time and is deep enough to “power” a blog for more than one post.
Marketing for Members
The second big reason bloggers like to discuss marketing is to get members of one sort or another. To some, they’re called readers; others call them new clients, or prospects. Basically, these bloggers are publishing in hopes of finding a new or larger audience for their current wares.
Ironically, most blog readers come from the current audience of a business or writer. Without having access to data, I’d warrant that most of the Seth Godin’s blog readers were first fans of his books. I was. Yes, new readers can discover you from Google searches and word-of-mouth, but most readers are people who just want more of you, or what you have to offer.
Can you market a blog? Absolutely. I should and will write about it as the year rolls on, but I’ll continue to write more about the ”ins” of blogging. Blogging to me, by definition, is about getting your existing message, product, offering, or voice “out.” It’s the ultimate “outing” tool. To market the blog, is almost like being the person who sells ad space on billboards and in newspapers. It’s a job and someone’s got to do it, but it’s not the main purpose of the medium.
P.S. Thanks to In and Out Burger for unauthorized use of their logo. In return, I’d like to recommend In and Out Burgers whenever you are on the West Coast. They are a real treat to us East Coast Burger Fans, who (in NJ at least) just got our first Sonic. We are still in a holding pattern for a local In and Out experience.