Website Builders

Blogging as Marketing:
The Complete Playbook

Joe Schwartz

Website Builders Editor

There are many ways to use you can use blogging to drive traffic to your website, build a following and promote brand awareness.

We'll explore 3 of the most popular strategies below.

1) On-Site Blogging

Perhaps the most important tidbit of knowledge I can impart on you is that content is king when it comes to promoting your business or website. The content you have on your business’s or product’s website can not only help improve your Google page rank but can also be used to help build a following for your brand or business.

How?

On-site blogging is one of the best, and most powerful, tools you have at your disposal for driving and building traffic on your website. By creating your very own blog section on your website, one that features a simple, easy to review interface, you can really boost your following and brand awareness.

A few things to keep in mind when creating and writing your blog:

1. Try and stay on top of industry trends to keep your posts fresh and interesting, in addition to being informative.

2. Writing informative articles for your website is not the same as writing blog posts. Keep your writing ‘tone’ light and engaging.

3. Try and incorporate videos, infographics and images into your blog to make your posts that much more attention-grabbing.

4. Since this is a post on blogging as marketing, don’t forget to create posts on any improvements or advances your product or business is making, and to add a call to action to your posts.

5. Interact with your readers. It is not enough to build a following, you have to cultivate a relationship with your readers to maintain that following. Let them comment on your blog posts and try and sporadically respond to their comments.

6. Share your blog posts on your social media pages. Upload a link to Twitter, Facebook, Google+ or Linkedin, for example, and increase the amount of readers your post has.

7. Build a blogging section that is simple to maintain with an easy to use blog service or software. Take the time to find  the best blog service for you and your business.

2) Guest Blogging

Article and/or blog sharing sites are sites designed to host and feature bloggers and writers from all over the world and provide them with a virtual space for posting their articles on any topic or subject that comes to mind.

A few things to keep in mind when creating and writing your guest blog post:

1. Guest blogging is ideal for boosting your Google pagerank. Generally speaking, the more links leading back to your website, the higher your pagerank will be, as Google will index these links and will re-index the page on your website these links lead back to. So, make sure to embed at least one backlink linking back to your site when submitting a guest blog post.

2. You have two backlink options for your guest blog post: a ‘no follow’ link and a ‘do follow’ link. ‘do follow’ links will ensure that Google’s crawler will follow the link back to your website and is the prefered link for guest blog posts. However, you should throw in a few ‘no follow’ backlinks, just for good measure, so as to make sure that Google doesn’t penalize you for too many (“questionable”)  backlinks leading to your website.

3. And, as always: keep your blog posts light and engaging. Same as with on-site blogging, try to keep your guest blog posts informative and relevant to your business/service/product, but don’t forget that your blogs still need to captivate the attention of your readers and to keep them coming back for more in order to build a following and drive traffic to your site.

3) Social Networks & Blogging

These days, everyone is aware of the power of social media in promoting brand awareness. But how do you go about using your on-site blog posts, and your guest blog posts, in combination with popular social mediums to really boost traffic to your site and brand?

1. Share it, share it! Whenever you upload a post to your blog or a guest post to an article and blog sharing site, be sure to share your blog on your social networks. Facebook, Google+, Twitter, LinkedIn, share on them all! You’d be surprised by how much exposure you can get from sharing quality, interesting posts with your followers and how many of your followers will re-share your posts with their followers, thus expanding your reach.

2. As always, keep your blog posts as current and as interesting as possible. If you want to prompt your followers into sharing your posts with their followers, you need to give them a good reason to do so. Make sure your blogs are well-written and engaging, add a little personal touch to your posts, and make sure that you sound at least somewhat human and relatable in your blog posts before sharing them on your social networks (the key word being ‘social’).

3. Last but not least, don’t forget etiquette! It’s not enough to share your posts on your social networks and watch as the re-shares (or re-tweets in the case of Twitter) pile up, make sure that you interact with your followers, that you thank them for sharing your posts and that you, in turn, share their interesting posts with your followers.

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