It’s not an obvious question and one that goes to the heart of whether you need to market your blog (it’s your product) or the blog is a marketing vehicle for everything else you do (the product is you).
A blog is a unique communications medium because it is effectively being used both ways. When asked “how do I market my blog,” I know the person is looking at the blog as a product simply wondering how to monetize it and have more people read and comment on it. They may not be looking at its other, potentially more powerful rasion d’etre, to present the author as an expert, trend-setter, or thought leader.
In many small businesses, the business is the owner, principal or chief. The company carries the owner’s name followed by Group, Associates, or some other word that implies a bigger organization, but the essence of the company remains the owner. The product or service provided is the principal’s abilities and expertise.
When the company or product is the owner, it’s a perfect scenario for a blog to help promote the key offering as well – you. It’s the company forum for showing exactly why the principal is special, what he or she has to say, and demonstrate his or her level of expertise. Done correctly, it offers value by sharing the person’s knowledge and is a subtle but substantial marketing mechanism, both in SEO listings and as proof of performance especially as a followup to a sales call.
In review of the 5 P’s of marketing and how they may apply to blogging, we’ve already reviewed Price, Place, and People. This post is a quick review of Product and what it may mean relative to blogging in the digital age.
A blog, alone, is rarely if ever a product. More accurately, it’s a by-product, or sometimes a test product. As a test product, it’s effectively used to test the popularity of concept, or the appeal of a book idea before a chapter gets fleshed out into a full narrative. As a by-product, it’s providing snippets as well, but as a teaser to entice a reader back to o book, web site, or form to order a product or service.
Teasers are a classic marketing tool. The blog is a natural extension of that in the digital age. So how do you market your blog? A better question is: how does your blog market you?