Adventures in Mobile Marketing

Why Start a Professional Blog?

Despite having many blogs, I only recently started this professional blog. I was motivated after attending a seminar on SEO by a friend of mine who is an expert in SEO, Andreas Ramos. Before his talk, my sites were usually on the first search page of a relevant query. After his class I was either the first or second result. He doesn’t focus on tips & tricks, instead he helps you organize your information and target your audience, as well as understand the Google engines that determine search results. I started writing blog entries differently- but that’s a whole post in and of itself.

What led me to start a blog from that talk? I realized that educational content is key. Nobody decides to buy a coat, goes online and purchases one from a site. While that’s ideal, it’s rare. Instead they nose around, read blogs on coats, visit a few sites, or maybe even find a buyer’s guide. According to Andreas’ research, a user wasn’t prepared to buy until 3-5 searches. So the more you make your site have welcoming educational content, the more leverage you will have in a conversation with your customer. To get the customer to see you as a knowledgeable person enough to write a coat-buying guide, you had to earn a reputation. To achieve this, most specialists contributed freely to the area of their expertise.

I found that there were areas of my specialty that I went on and on about ad nauseum in meetings, so I started off with those. Of course when starting this blog, I had two conflicting thoughts: “I don’t have enough topics to write about! ” and “Oh there’s so much to write about, where do I begin?”

Recently, I was approached with some questions about what makes a good corporate blog. Since most of my experience is in non-corporate blogs, it’s a combination of Andreas’ SEO points, and good common sense from other blogs:

1. A central voice, by someone who enjoys writing, has a strong clear web style. Guest writers are fine, but the main writer should be comfortable expressing her opinion, be even-tempered and an engaging writer. People who feel easily frustrated by writing, no matter how specialized they are, will either stop posting, or their style will be stilted and not as effective.

2. Frequent editorial content. Nothing hurts a blog more than a month of silence, with a few quick posts, then another three week lag. I’m guilty of that on here, but I try to make a post a week, at least.

3. Networking with like-minded blogs and sites. Writing in a vacuum doesn’t help anyone. Reading, responding, and contributing with help or tips, or with ideas and encouragement to blog “neighbors” improves your credibility with Google and Technorati, as well as in the real world.

4. Reaching out to the customer base and creating interactivity. Contests, memes, open ended questions, responding to comments, all of these activities help embrace your audience and readership and shows that you’re listening, much like in the real world. Nobody likes a knowitall pontificator. Penelope Trunk does a great job of this on her very popular blog. Valleywag also responds on each other’s posts. Note, while this was a perceived earlier technique to rank higher in Technorati and Google, currently it doesn’t. Now it’s just seen for what it is- responding to other’s comments.

Side Benefits
A huge benefit to blogging for corporations is that they can easily leverage marketing content in RSS format. Users who prefer to subscribe via RSS are no longer left out in the cold. RSS subscriber numbers have been climbing steadily now, so as another channel for content, it should not be missed. See Pheedo for more info on RSS and marketing.

Blogging, because it is easily syndicated via RSS, is far more efficient than email. Instead of paying a vendor to email out 1M plus bulk campaigns, the blogger simply posts new content.

Metrics for blogs are improving vastly and in ways are better than emails- no need to worry about images-off issues with metrics and tracking, with blog views. RSS Aggregators like Bloglines are also enabling the blog host to see which and how many readers are viewing a blog, as well.

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Written on Friday, 06. July 2007 at 17:10 In the category blogging, strategy, techniques. Follow the comments via RSS here: RSS-Feed. Read the Comments. Trackbacks- Trackback on this post. Share on FriendFeed

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5 Comments »

  1. Hi. Thank you for mentioning me as someone who is good at reaching out to the community. It’s something that’s really important to me, so it makes me super happy to be noticed for it.

    Also, in your list, the part about how a blogger should be even-tempered is a new idea to me. I think you’re right. It doesn’t come naturally to me, so it’s helpful to see it prescribed. Reminds me to be even.

    Penelope

    Comment: Penelope Trunk – 06. July 2007 @ 9:48 pm

  2. [...] I started this blog in March 2007, based on the advice of my friend and SEO expert, Andreas Ramos (position2). I wrote a post about starting the blog, of course, and here it is: “Why Start a Professional Blog?” In the post I present a few tips on how to make a succesful blog. I think becoming part of this Top 20 list proves that post too! Being part of the email marketing blog community means more than just posting on topic. To me, it means continuing a kind of dialogue with other specialists that all have their unique points of view. [...]

    Pingback: Adventures in Email Marketing » Adventures in Email Marketing Recognized in Top 20 List | – 02. October 2007 @ 10:44 am

  3. [...] blog, I woudl have helped him. Ironically, one of the pages he stole and rewrote had a link to starting a professional blog. Did he read it? I would have freely offered advice. That’s what blogging is about- free [...]

    Pingback: banane » Blog Archive » Talking to My Splogger – 26. April 2008 @ 5:28 pm

  4. We need to talk one of these days. Let me know if you’re ever in Seattle again. While this post is old, I’d like to hear about how you changed your blog writing style.

    Comment: Peter Chee – 11. June 2008 @ 12:57 am

  5. I think after reading this blog I totally agree with the blogger. We are content developing company and we decided to share our blogs about our research with common people and prospective customer. I agree with the blogger that nobody buys anything before doing any type of research and in our business we need to provide relevant information in order to gain some credibility.
    http://shakespearesquared.com

    Comment: Asfand – 22. July 2010 @ 10:10 am

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