Running a blog takes hard work. First you need to create content, then you have to market it, and marketing your blog requires a different strategy than one you’d use for marketing products and services.
Although a blog technically does sell a product — the consumption of content — people won’t buy it on impulse or through persuasion. The only way to get people to consume your content is by hooking them with good content, as paradoxical as that sounds.
The difficulty is that one piece of good content isn’t enough to create a loyal, dedicated readership. People often read articles they enjoy and move on. Internet users are constantly on the move, searching for content and picking over search results, bouncing, and rapidly skimming content.
Also, good content is subjective. For instance, when someone needs to know how to fix a hole in the wall, their criteria for good content is whatever helps them get the job done. If they’re not constantly working on projects, they probably won’t bookmark your blog to come back when they need more advice. They’ll run another Google search and click on the first result that looks good.
Websites like Instructables.com and Doityourself.com don’t have to worry about that because they’ve branded themselves as go-to resources for DIY projects. The first time a visitor lands on one of their tutorials, it’s immediately apparent the entire site is a worthwhile resource to bookmark. They launched a DIY revolution by creating massive resources with endless content.
People need a reason to return to your blog
People are inundated with content coming in from all directions. Even readers who love your content might forget about you, and you need to remind them to come back.
One great article isn’t necessarily going to cause a reader to make a purchase, bookmark your blog, or remember to come back. Case in point: Social Media Today reports that 47% of B2B buyers consume 3-5 pieces of content before engaging with a salesperson. If the first piece of content they consume doesn’t catch their interest, they’ll bounce and visit a competitor. However, if you capture their email address, you can sweetly reel them back in through emails.
Marketing your blog is a combined effort of sparking the interest of your readers and capturing email addresses so you can reel them back in for more. Sometimes you need to reel them back in multiple times before they’ll remember you exist.
If you’re not the biggest resource in your industry, you especially need to capture email addresses so you can market to first-time visitors and turn them into regulars.
Your content might make someone stop for a moment, but if they have something else on their mind, they’re going to keep moving. If you aren’t capturing email addresses from first-time visitors, you’ve lost future fans and sales.
Get help with inbound marketing
You may need to hire a professional marketing company to help craft this engaging content. For instance, inbound marketing is something every blogger does, but few understand fully. Lead generation is especially tricky and involves more than capturing email addresses. It also requires qualifying and disqualifying leads at the same time.
Scott Rogers from Simple Machines says, “Many businesses misunderstand the art of lead generation. They think capturing leads is enough. What they need is a system to qualify leads so they don’t end up with false leads who only came for a freebie.”
You probably have an existing inbound marketing campaign going, but a professional marketing agency knows how to appeal to your market at every stage in their buying journey. Professional marketers understand the psychology behind why and how customers buy and can craft content (including ads) that meets customer criteria.
Marketing your blog is different from content marketing
Content marketing isn’t the same as marketing your blog. Your blog and your content can be marketed separately.
For instance, marketing your blog might look like advertising to potential visitors by telling them about your genre (as opposed to marketing specific articles). You might say something like, “If you’re interested in learning everything there is to know about homemade soap, my blog is full of tips, tricks, and advice.”
To be successful, you need to do both: market your blog as a general resource, and market individual pieces of content.
Blog marketing is a perpetual process
If anything acts to persuade people to subscribe to your blog, it’s your content. Keep pumping out high-quality content that people want to consume. Contract a professional agency to help you reach your market with the right psychology. Stay in touch with visitors through email and be dedicated to the process long-term.
You have to dive into marketing with everything you’ve got. There is no “set it and forget it” approach to marketing a blog. It’s an intense effort that takes time, money, resources, and skill to employ. You can’t step off your game for a moment. Not because you’ll get buried in the search engines, but because you’ll become irrelevant to visitors. You need to be in their sights frequently, or they’ll forget about you.