A guest post by Carol Trehearn.
Any blog – whether it is brand new or widely-known – needs purpose and direction to be successful.
Many bloggers focus on their passions and interests, opting to build a brand around these concepts. This may ultimately be monetised or transformed into an influential entity. Other blogs form centred around existing businesses which wish to generate additional content, revenue and attention.
However, more than a few bloggers initially view the notions of business and blogging as separate entities. Many struggle to find financial success in the world of blogging. Nevertheless, there are many strategies which either bolster the revenue potential of blogging, or can be used by blogs and online businesses alike.
Today, let’s examine seven broader strategies that show how business and blogging are inherently connected in many ways.
The use of email marketing
Businesses today rely heavily on the collection of email addresses. This method of marketing makes it easy for brands to reach subscribers, clients and customers. They can do this without expensive advertising ploys found in many other methods of digital marketing.
Bloggers also realise the sheer potential of email marketing. The average blogger has a smaller following than the average business. Therefore email marketing provides critical opportunities to connect with readers and users on a continuous basis.
Whether it’s sending weekly product updates to past shoppers or announcing the latest blog posts aligned with users’ interests, the use of email marketing is a critical component in both business and blogging.
Balancing financial and logistical concerns
Every business faces critical challenges both in virtual settings and in physical ones. Managing the complex array of finances and day-to-day logistical concerns requires dedication and focus, along with experienced professionals. Business management in particular is a rapidly growing field. Especially with universities like Aston University Online providing businesses with access to highly-trained graduates.
Even small-scale bloggers have to juggle a variety of similar concerns. From generating traffic and producing new products (usually in the form of content) to ensuring that operational costs are sustainable, bloggers have real-world limitations that can impact the success of their blogs.
However, and from a different point of view, bloggers that wish to monetise their operations won’t find it as difficult as it may seem. In many respects, they have already developed the core skills necessary to manage the operation of a blog as a business.
Demographic and market research
For any brand to be successful, knowing who comprises their most opportune audiences is essential. Businesses generally spend copious amounts of money conducting audience research and demographic analysis. This determines the interests and characteristics of their current and prospective followings. Additionally, market research helps take this information and determine how best to refine products and services for future release.
The situation is very similar with blogging. Bloggers can use a variety of analytics and data-sets to uncover who exactly is demonstrating interest in their content. With this information it becomes easier to customise content for target audiences. It can also help in determining which niches on search engines and social media should be targeted.
Increased search engine visibility
Any business with an online presence designed to drive traffic and increase sales appreciates the value of organic exposure. While paid digital marketing methods can be useful, organic marketing efforts which passively drive traffic are still the lifeblood of many websites. This is why search engine optimisation is such a popular strategy for online businesses.
This may be even truer for the average blogger, who needs to gain attention in one or more niches on a limited budget. By optimising content through the use of keywords, link building and technical SEO concerns for blogs, bloggers can quickly grow their reach and dominate specific search engine results pages. Over time, this helps to increase traffic and provide additional legitimacy for the blog in its given niche(s).
Social media is a driving force
Businesses have come to understand the inherent power social media can provide. For brands of all sizes, platforms such as Instagram, Twitter, Facebook and Snapchat offer access to billions of combined users. Even small businesses seeking to reach a larger audience have both organic and paid means of doing so through these networks.
Blogs seeking to garner additional attention for their posts. Content will be hard-pressed to find a better set of platforms through which quick and exponential growth can be achieved. While search engines and email marketing require time to utilise effectively, social media offers bloggers a chance to put their content in front of individuals immediately via paid marketing options. Bloggers can of course also build organic followings on social media which allow for unpaid reach.
Online shopping as a revenue stream
While not every business model allows for online purchases to be made effectively, many businesses find value in transitioning to online shopping strategies. By allowing customers to purchase items online rather than in-store, overhead costs are minimised and customer convenience is improved. This ultimately can result in businesses earning more profit than they might otherwise generate.
With blogs, creating a revenue stream via an online store is increasingly popular. From branded merchandise to simple donation options, bloggers can allow their readers and fans to demonstrate support virtually and otherwise through this form of monetisation.
Improving the user experience
Ultimately, businesses – whether they’re online or in the physical world – care about the experience customers and clients have when interacting with their brands. For online businesses, the user experience is crucial; a poorly-designed website ultimately leads to a loss in traffic, sales and reputation.
With blogs, the same is generally true. If key features such as navigation, mobile friendliness and search are not optimised for user experience, a significant portion of visitors will simply leave. This can dramatically impact everything from search engine performance and social shares to the success of monetising efforts. Bloggers can take several key steps to ensure an optimal user experience, however. To learn more about improving user experience, click here.
What’s your strategy for business and blogging?
While business and blogging may often be viewed as separate concepts, they’re often more comparable than you think. Businesses can have successful blogs, but bloggers can likewise use the same tips and strategies many businesses do to improve profitability and online reach. These seven strategies are just a few examples of how the overlap between the two is substantial.
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