Your Blog, Your Rules – Why Marketing Should Always Begin at Home

Blogging gives you the story to begin conversations in your social media channels, but keep it on your own blog for safekeeping. (Image source)

When it comes to sharing and promoting your stuff online, fragmentation seems to be the name of the game. Every day it seems there’s a new site that becomes the hottest destination for online marketers. Google+, Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Quora – how’s a poor web marketer supposed to cope? And does this mean that blogging is dead?

Uh, no… the demise of the blog has been greatly exaggerated (thank you, Mark Twain).

There are significant benefits to maintaining your own blog – and there’s a lot you can do with your blog content to amplify your marketing. Let’s look at the benefits.

Control

Not being in control of your own content strategy is like driving a car without a steering wheel. (Image source)

Owning your own blog puts you in control of your content which is important when it comes to web marketing. How many people do you know of who have built a following on Facebook or Twitter and then had to start again because of some supposed violation of the terms of service? If it hasn’t yet happened on Google+, that’s only because it’s new, but it will.

Social Hubs

Using any social platform you don’t own to house your content holds an inherent level of risk. Examples include: Tumblr, Facebook Notes, Posterous and now even Pinterest.

By doing this, you are at the mercy of the people who own those sites.

All they have to do is THINK (not prove) that you have violated their terms of service and they can yank your content offline in a millisecond. With your own hosted blog, as long as you don’t do anything really silly and your hosting fees are all paid up, you own that space and control what’s there.

And you aren’t relying on the success of another. While it’s hard to imagine the demise of Facebook, imagine the poor marketing team that made MySpace the primary Web presence for their brand.

You need all of these sites to extend the reach of your content, just don’t use them exclusively as the source.

Good SEO

Original, well written blog content is the purest form of white hat SEO. (Image source)

Nothing gets indexed as quickly as your blog’s content, making it by far the best way to broadcast word of your products, services and initiatives. Yes, Twitter and Facebook also perform well in search engine results, but if the SEO of those sites suffers, so does that of the content you’ve posted there. With your blog, a regular publishing schedule means more entries next to your name in Google.

With Google’s recent emphasis on verified authorship, that could be important in your search engine rankings in the near future.

Your best bet is to make sure you are identified as the publisher of your site and the author of your posts by implementing Google authorship and publishing markup. This iBlogZone tutorial on setting up authorship markup is a good starting point.

Boost Your Authority

Blog Authority
See strategy in action on the HubSpot blog

Authority helps you market successfully on the web. It is the perception by your audience that you know what you are talking about and a blog can be a key tool in enhancing that perception. Since you own it, you get the chance to tell your story your way. You can pull together useful resources for your customers (even those that you haven’t created), comment on the trends of the day and show them that you are to be trusted.

Check out Chris Brogan’s Trust Agents for more on this and see the strategy in action on the Hubspot blog. Hubspot gives away free reports and great information like there’s no tomorrow and the result is an authoritative position in the inbound marketing niche. And you’d better believe they are making money too!

An Online Home

Your Blog, Your Home
ProBlogger suggests developing a Twitter landing page

Every business needs a place where their customers can find them. For your small business or your professional persona, that place is probably your blog. Because you own (or at least have a long term rental on) the virtual space where it’s hosted, it’s the best place to point people to when they need to interact with you.

Sure, your blog won’t be the only place you interact online, but it can be the place you send all your social media contacts back to. There are lots of ways to do this. One good example is the creation of specific landing pages for visitors from different networks. Track these landing pages in your analytics program and you will soon be able to see where your messages are having the most impact – and that info is priceless if you’re a web marketer!

Five Ways To Syndicate/Re-Purpose Your Blog Content

By now you should be convinced of the need for your own blog, but there’s more to having a blog than a couple of updates. You need to get active to get even more web marketing and authority juice out of your blog. We’re not just talking about pushing your updates to Twitter – pretty much anyone can do that now. It’s about getting more bang for your buck with the content you already have.

Here are five examples:

  1. Write a series of posts on a topic and then turn the series into a free ebook which you give to people who join your email list. Not only does this build trust, but it will encourage people to return to your site (remember it’s your hub) for more information. Don’t forget to put links to your key resources within the ebook.
  2. Use your blog content as the basis for a podcast. Pick the posts that people have received the most comments, record a reading of them and look for places to add value. Put links to those podcasts in the original posts and publish new posts saying that they are available. That’s two more chances to reach your audience.
  3. Have some fun making a video related to a topic you are an expert on. Many people respond well to people they can see and hear, don’t be afraid to take a lighthearted approach–if you have fun with it, so will your audience–and it might even go viral.
  4. Publish your blog on Kindle via the Kindle publishing for blogs program. E-readers and tablets are big and you can’t afford to miss out on this audience.
  5. Syndicate your expertise via content curation. There are dozens of tools for this, but some of the most popular include Paper.li and Scoop.it. Be sure to go beyond self promotion and share useful resources originated by others – your customers will thank you.

See how useful your blog can be?

— Sharon Hurley Hall


About Sharon Hurley Hall
Self-confessed word nerd and polymath Sharon Hurley Hall has the perfect job as a professional writer and blogger. Her career has spanned more than 20 years, including stints as a journalist, academic writer and ghostwriter. Connect with Sharon on her website or Google+.
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