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BLOG MARKETING: HOW BLOGS CAN INCREASE YOUR REACH AND DELIVER NEW CUSTOMERS

“My customers don’t read blogs.”

I’ve heard this more than once. But let me ask you this: do your customers visit Web sites? Do they search for things on the Net? Do they receive email newsletters? Well, then it’s possible they do read blogs.

A blogging platform, such as TypePad or WordPress, allows you to deliver your message in at least three different packages with no more effort than it would take to update your Web site. Maybe less.

I often refer to these different methods as the Three Faces of Blogs.

The Blog as Web site. This is how most people connect with a blog: they visit the Web site address, also referred to as the URL. Maybe they found your blog through a search engine, a link from another Web site, or through some other marketing or advertising you’re doing.

Your blogging platform generates Web pages for all of your posts and organizes them by topic (category) and archives them by date.

Since the content is served up as a Web site with lots of cross-linking between pages, search engines can find and archive your material. Most blog platforms generate search engine friendly pages with focused copy and links to related material.

Since your blog is also a Web site, other sites and blogs can also link to you, generating more traffic and improving your search engine findability.

By leaving appropriate comments and trackbacks on other blogs, you can draw even more attention and drive additional traffic to your blog.

The Blog as Newsfeed. More sophisticated blog readers–you know, the ones who raise their pinkies when mousing around–tend to follow many blogs. However, visiting dozens (or hundreds!) of Web sites a day to see if there’s an update is a waste of time. Instead, people can subscribe to the feeds of their favorite blogs and have them delivered to one central place: a newsreader.

A feed is a simple text file that includes summaries or the entire text of recent posts, including some extra information about the feed itself.

A newsreader is to blog feeds like an email program is to emails. You can organize feeds into different categories: Small Business Blogs, Leadership Blogs, Red Sox Nation Blogs, etc., to create a virtual newspaper tailored to your interests. A newsreader can be a standalone program like NetNewsWire or a Web site like Bloglines.

Visitors can also receive your posts at their My Yahoo or My MSN pages as well. Reviewing my blog traffic I often see referrals from My Yahoo pages; in other words, people who have carved out a little of their personal page to receive updates from flyte.

Again, there’s no additional work you, as the blog owner, need to do. Blogging platforms will create the newsfeed for you automatically.

The Blog as eZine. Feeds are great for the technorati, but most of the population still doesn’t “get” newsfeeds. However, everyone “gets” email newsletters. Some blogging platforms allow you to send email versions of your feed. Even if yours doesn’t, with a little extra up front work, you can add an email subscription option to your blog. This extends your reach to anyone with an email address.

There are a number of different services you can install to offer this type of email delivery of your feeds, including FeedBurner and FeedBlitz. You can even customize the look and feel of the email to look like your blog, further branding your message.

Even if your readership is savvy enough to understand newsfeeds, adding an email newsletter component is a great investment. I’ve found that sometimes I’m overloaded with the amount of unread posts in my newsreader, but I almost always skim the blogs I’ve subscribed to via email.

In Conclusion:

If you haven’t added blogging to your Internet marketing toolbox, you’ve got three new reasons to get started.

If you’d like to get started on a business blog today, please contact flyte new media today.

–Rich Brooks
President, flyte new media

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