By Patsi Krakoff and Denise Wakeman
Blogs are one of the hottest advancements when it comes to marketing on the Internet. A blog is a way of delivering your messages and article to clients. They are like personal Web sites, easy to create and far less expensive than traditional Web sites.
But just when you thought you mastered the tasks of e-zines and newsletters, along comes blogging, and you have to ask yourself lots of questions:
- Do I really need a blog?
- Doesn’t an email e-zine or newsletter do the same thing?
- Should I do both?
- Will these two marketing tools eat up all my time, energy, and money?
- What’s the best way to spend my resources in order to gain clients and results out of my marketing efforts?
Here are ten reasons why you should pay attention to the blogging revolution, and use both an ezine and a blog to interact with clients and promote your business:
- Because a blog is web-based, it is published instantaneously every time you post. This allows you to be spontaneous and current with issues that affect your readers/clients. Blog posts are short, e-zines can be longer. One can complement the other.
- Because blog posts are spontaneous, they tend to be more informal, friendly, and conversational. Blog posts highlight your personality. E-zines demonstrate your knowledge. Your readers and clients need to know who you are before they will invest in your services. Providing both an e-zine and a blog allows your readers to get to know you in a variety of ways.
- You can set up a subscription form on your blog, and your subscribers will get a short notice in their inboxes each time that you post something new. This is a great way around the spam filter problems which block so many e-zines and legitimate messages from professionals.
- Blogs link to other blogs and Web sites, which helps you to create a viral marketing system, increasing your exposure to search engines. Search engines love blogs because they are text based and keyword rich. Your rankings go up when you publish a blog and use linking on a frequent basis. You can also link to your own Web site(s).
- You have instant access to all of your published articles on your blog. A blog automatically creates archives of previous posts. You see them in a side-bar for easy access. You can put them into categories for easy finding. One clever person we know spent a day posting all of her e-zine articles to her blog, so that it would appear as if she had been blogging for a much longer time. Also, readers of her blog may not have had the opportunity to read all of her other e-zine articles.
- You can use your blog to become a trusted expert in your field by filtering content on the web for your subscribers. Readers don’t have time to surf and to collect information, but you can do it for them, thereby establishing yourself as a valuable resource.
- You can set up links for ads, products, and for your affiliate programs in the blog side columns so you don’t have to include them in the body of your article. In an e-zine, you have to be careful about promotional stuff in the article as it can be annoying and cause readers to unsubscribe. A blog is a non-intrusive way to promote your business, and an e-zine can link to the blog where more information can be found.
- Readers can comment on your blog postings, a feature which creates rapport with your readers. You can ask questions, stimulate responses by being controversial, and survey readers. It is a great way to keep your finger on the pulse of what readers want.
- You don’t have to mess with a Web site, or pay a Web designer to update your site every time you have a new article, teleclass, program, or product. Blogs are user-friendly, and with a few instructions or tutorials, you can learn to use it yourself. And it is less expensive than setting up your e-zine in HTML.
- The bottom line is this: Using a blog and an e-zine will attract more visitors to your Web site; some will become subscribers, and some may eventually become clients.
Denise Wakeman of Next Level Partnership and Patsi Krakoff of Customized Newsletter Services have teamed up to create blogging classes and marketing services for independent professionals. You can read and subscribe to their blogs at http://www.biztipsblog.com, http://www.coachezines.com, and http://www.bizbooknuggets.com.