Everyone today is a reporter and a content creator. If you have a smartphone with a camera and video, you can catch an event happening and upload it to social media, Youtube or a media outlet and in 24 hours generate hundreds, thousands or a million-plus views!
Blogs, blogging and bloggers have quickly become a “must” new media activity for any professional or company that wants to establish credibility or brand leadership in their industry. They are also a serious way to get coverage for your products and services. Content is king, especially for brand and branding promotion.
Consider some of these current statistics about blogging from Technorati that substantiate the importance, advancement and impact blogs, blogging and bloggers have today.
- 71 percent of bloggers only write about brands they think are reputable.
- 42 percent of bloggers say they blog about brands they love (or hate).
- Although just 2 percent of bloggers are “Mommy bloggers,” these bloggers get 500 pitches a day, and focus on writing about brands.
- Hobbyists account for 65 percent of bloggers.
- 33 percent of bloggers have worked within traditional media.
- 65 percent say blogs are being taken more seriously.
How Bloggers use Facebook and Twitter
- 87 percent of all bloggers use Facebook.
- 81 percent use Facebook to promote their blog.
- 64 percent use Facebook to interact with readers.
- 45 percent say Facebook drives more traffic to their blog than it did a year ago.
- 73 percent of hobbyists and 88 percent of professional bloggers use Twitter.
Technorati’s Shani Higgins highlighted a number of interesting Blogger Relations Case Studies, including:
- Walmart (@Walmart)
- Vogue (@Voguemagazine) brand
ambassador blogger outreach programs
- Samsung Galaxy S (@SamsungmobileUS) product
review blogger outreach program
- Ebay Inside Source website (@theinsidesource) online
traffic generation blogger outreach program 30:30
The challenges for most small businesses and solo professionals with regard to blogging continues to be:
- What to write about
- How to generate ideas
- How to promote and market their blogs
What to Write About
Take your core industry and the niche you target and put that in the center. Are you a realtor, HR professional, business consultant, retailer, chef, travel agent, marketing specialist? What is the main content you know the most about? Build topics off of that. Think about all the topics related to that core that you could write about?
Here’s an example: The core industry and content I write about is career branding, personal brand development and all the branding activities that market a brand.
Here are 25 areas that I can write about that are all related to that core: Integrated marketing, visual marketing, brand messaging, website and blog design, social media marketing, LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, email marketing, radio podcasting, career transition, career skills, career change, networking, business relationships, blogging, online marketing, joining groups, sales process, leadership, business skills, professional development, business education and motivation.
How to Generate Ideas
The best way to generate ideas is simply to be present in the day you are in and watch, listen and look at all the things around you. Personal experiences, ideas and inspirations are all fodder for generating blog article ideas. Keep a little notebook handy in your purse, briefcase or next to your bed. Also use the record or notes feature on your smartphone. When you think of something, write it down or record it.
Once you have generated ideas, set up a monthly blog content schedule. Create a monthly plan and form for your blog and schedule the topics you are going to write about. Consider series, how to’s, lists and the monthly themes for your industry that come up in any Google search. Here’s a great article from Entrepreneur.com on 10 Ways to Turn Your Blog Into a Lead-Generation Machine!
Marketing Your Blog and Articles
The good news is that Google loves blog posts, so the more you write and the more keyword-friendly your article titles are, the more activity you will see. Set up Google Alerts for your name, your company and your blog. Pick five key blogs or bloggers and connect with them on social media. Request an opportunity to submit a guest post. Most importantly, integrate your blog with all your social media activity. Go to Twitterfeed.com or Feedburner.com to set this up.
Less than two years ago blogs, blogging and bloggers were fighting to gain position, recognition and credibility. Now brands and the public are fighting to get bloggers’ attention and are more than willing to compensate them for marketing to their communities. This trend will only continue to grow.
Are you on the blog train yet? Plan for it and put it at the top of your branding activity list for this coming year!