I recently had someone ask me:
Do I really have to blog?
The answer to that is simple. NO! You don’t have to blog.
There is nothing in this world that compels you to blog, just like you don’t have to get up and brush your teeth in the morning, or put fresh clothes on, or take a bath once in a while.
However, you may not get the results you want though if you don’t.
The Importance of Blogging, and Blogging Some More
If your goal for your book, product, service or brand is to gain more visibility (the positive kind, mind you!), then blogging is a very powerful way to begin, for many reasons.
- It’s fresh content, which the search engines like to see.
- It’s easy for readers to share with their friends.
- It brings traffic to your website, increasing its visibility to the search engines.
- It’s more information on the internet that’s all about you and your favorite topic!
- It gives prospective buyers a sense of who you are, what you care about, and how you present yourself.
So, how do you get started? Don’t you have to have your own website to blog? Well… The answer isn’t quite so simple.
When it comes to blogging, there are many options. You could maintain your own (and have it syndicated), seek out opportunities to guest blog on other people’s sites, and give people reasons to blog about you and whatever it is that you have to share.
Maintain Your Own Blog
If you don’t have your own website, I highly recommend making that a priority. (Aleweb offers website development and blog training services if you’re stuck with how to begin.)
The problem there is, it will take time to build its visibility and let people know it’s there. Once you get started though there are communities, like Triberr, who will partner with you to share your posts, and aggregator sites, like Business2Community and AllTop, that will share your latest posts on their well-trafficked sites.
Become a Guest Blogger
Once you’ve got your own website up and running, start building connections and relationships that will allow you to share your expertise on other sites. Personally, I’m a contributing author to the Lead Change Group’s blog, among others.
When I interviewed Jeff Goins, author of Wrecked, last year, he shared that guest posting was one of the top 3 things he did to grow his audience. And Josh Allan Dykstra, author of Igniting the Invisible Tribe, had similar things to say in his guest post on 4 Unconventional Ways to Market Your Book.
Give People Reasons to Blog About You
Unlike guest blogging, where you give someone your content to put on their website, when you give someone a reason to blog about you, they create the content.
So, how do you get them to do that? Offer interviews to blogging sites whose audiences are interested in what you have to share, or offer a review copy of your book, product or service to a prominent blogger for their review.
The most important thing to remember when approaching someone to feature you is to present “what’s in it for their readers.” This isn’t about you.
Every blogger I know who is passionate about blogging doesn’t do it because they love to write. They do it because they love their audience. So, make sure that you understand who that audience is, what they want to see, and what interests them. Avoid self-promotion by serving their audience, and you’ll still get the exposure you’re seeking. Everyone wins that way!
Spend some time on the blogger’s site, looking at past articles, reading comments to get to know the readers, etc. Then when you pitch your idea to the blog’s owner, it’s on-target and is about the reading audience’s interests.
These ideas and more are covered in my do-it-yourself guide to marketing your book online, The Plan that Launched a Thousand Books. For more suggestions on how to blog, pick up your copy today!
What’s your most effective strategy for using blogs to market your brand?
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