By Priya Florence Shah
In part 2 of this article series on marketing with blogs, I discussed the reasons why blogs are excellent tools for marketing. In this article, I outline some tips on using your blog as a good vehicle for your marketing communications.
Tip # 1: Choose Your Blog Topic Well
Make sure you are targeting the right audience for your products. You might love golf, but you can’t use it to sell your products unless they’re meant for golfers. You generally wouldn’t write about something like golf on a marketing blog, unless you’re using it as a metaphor.
Pick the topic that will attract the right audience – people who are looking for your products, but more importantly, people who are willing to actually spend money on them. If you’re not an expert on your topic, but are learning about it, blog about your learning process. There’s no shame in being a learner, in admitting that you don’t know everything.
In fact your journey could even teach others who are learning and help them relate to your experiences. Products you recommend would then be easy to sell to this group because you’ve established the emotional connection that makes selling easier.
Tip #2: Learn The Basics Of Blogging
You need to learn how to use your blogging software, and which blog engine or service will give you the results you need. Decide how much time you want to spend on your blog.
Hire a blogging coach or buy a blogging tutorial. Spend some time learning about trackbacks, pingbacks, keywords and how to use them, linking, blogging etiquette.
When you know how to use the tools that are available to you, it becomes that much easier to focus on your goals and save time in the actual process of blogging.
Tip # 3: Don’t Sell On Your Blog
When you start writing a blog, forget about selling. Too many people use their blog like a sales letter. Those people just don’t “get it.” That’s not what a blog is about at all.
Blogs are about communicating – connecting with your audience. Use your blog to build relationships with your audience. State your opinions whether they are popular or not. Politically-correct or not.
A while ago I wrote an article on this titled “It’s a Blog, Not a Sales Letter” in which I recommend using your blog for branding yourself, building your reputation and communicating with your audience – and not just for making a sale.
As marketers we aim to sell. But when you blog, you have to forget about selling and focus on sharing. That doesn’t mean you give away all your secrets on your blog. But it does mean that you should not use your blog for in-your-face marketing.
Your readers will be very put off if all they read on your blog is one sales pitch after another. People are not stupid. They know when they’re being sold.
The most unobtrusive way to sell is to write reviews about products and link to them, mention products in passing, write articles or tips and recommend products (yours or other people’s) and services on your blog.
Part 4 of this article series offers more tips on using your blog to market your products and services online.