Blog It and They Will Come: Should Blogging be Part of Your Marketing Strategy in 2019?
Blogging is still relevant in 2019 because it’s a fantastic way to let your fans and your readers get to know you. It’s a wonderful platform to really engage in conversation with your fans, which will eventually happen if you are delivering interesting, well-written and engaging content consistently over an extended period of time. You will need to know who your target audience is, and how and when to reach them to build an effective blog audience. If you don’t know who they are and what kind of blogs they actually read, then you may be blogging about all the wrong things. You must start using analytics and use that data to build new content based on what your customers and fans really want, not just what you “think” they want. Once you have that data-driven information, you’ll be able to deliver the material that matters to your fans. What I’ve learned is that no magic formula will make blogging success happen overnight. A Blog is an excellent way for your fans to get to know the real you. It’s a way to let them see into the world that you’re actually living, and not just the world everyone assumes you’re living. And this takes time. If you write and publish, one high-quality blog each week, within a year you’ll have a lot of content that gives your fans some real insight into who you are. Why is this important? Because friends hang out with friends. People generally hang out with people who have the same or similar interests. Your fans will be much more likely to show up at one of your performances if they feel like they know a little about you. Your shows and events will become a more comfortable and familiar place for them to visit. There are a lot of things you can do to increase traffic to your blogs. Neil Patel, in his video presentation on YouTube, says that by following these tips, you will be able to make your blog successful in the 2019 online world. Here are some of the tips he suggests,
“Focus on quality
Respond to comments (your blog is a communication channel),
Encourage conversations by using the words, you and I in your conversations,
Add call to actions,
All of the things he is suggesting are things you can do to open up the lines of communication with your fans. Gone are the days of one-way communication. Your fans need to become part of your story, part of your journey. They need to feel invested in you and your career, and to really do that, you need to build trust!
Trust. Ages to build, easy to lose and difficult to get back.
People want to be in a community of other like-minded people. Humans are social animals and don’t want to be alone. We will consistently seek out communities that share similar interests. Think about it, do you hang out with people you don’t know and have nothing in common with? No! And, if someone in your group of friends starts being dishonest and hurtful, do you hang out with them as much? No, I’m sure you don’t. Keep that in mind when you are building your online presence and persona. Being truthful, honest, competent and consistent will help develop the first necessary and foundational element in your quest; reputational capital.
The wisdom of crowds is now king, and if you build a bad reputation and are untrustworthy, you may be doing a whole lot of work for nothing. If you think getting fans is difficult, try getting one back after you’ve lost them. Openness and transparency rule today’s B2C world. You need to become a reliable voice in your area of expertise and building that confidence takes time, effort and patience. Blake Morgan, a contributor for Forbes, writes, “Trust is the cornerstone to all customer experiences. It can’t be built in a day, but it can be destroyed quickly. Focusing on each customer individually instead of rushing to get things done can help create a long-term relationship of trust” (para 7).
In another excellent article written for Salesforce, Walter Rogers cautions, “Avoid selling a solution that isn’t in the customer’s best interest” (para 2). Among a list of great advice, I agree with him that this should be at the top. Your job is to provide something for your customer or fan that “they” consider to be valuable. If you try and off-load bad content or merchandise, you will lose their respect and support. Joan Jett once sang, “I don’t give a damn about my reputation, The world’s in trouble, there’s no communication.” Well, today it’s all about building an excellent reputation and two-way communication not just forcing something on the consumer. Selling something for the sake of selling something is no longer tolerated. Your fans are telling you what they want. If you are listening and building thoughtful and meaningful products and content, you will create a successful empire.
It Takes Time: Perseverance is the Price Tag of Success.
It’s a marathon, not a sprint. I, like many people, want things to happen now. Many things in life can be achieved quickly but building a blog audience ain’t one of them! Neil Patel, a contributor to Forbes, writes, “It can take a long time to build a solid following of 20,000 unique monthly visitors. Remember, visits and visitors are two different things, as one person could visit 1000 of your pages” (para 2). As a business entrepreneur, you must have a business plan and strategy to implement that plan that is realistic and reasonable. Corbet Barr, Co-Founder, and CEO of Fizzle wrote that “For me, publishing 500 posts has helped attract an audience of 100,000+ unique visitors here per month, which directly led to building the little 3-person business now known as FizzleCo. My life and career have literally changed because I published my first blog post in March 2009 and kept publishing every month” (para 4). If you can write one quality blog post per week for a single year, you’ll have 365 posts. There is no magic formula or concrete time frame on when things will tip in your favor, but if you keep writing and posting they will eventually tip your way. What you can be sure of is that if you never post anything, you’re losing out on an impressive, and free, marketing tool that might just help you build life-long fans.
Quality v. Quantity. (GIGO!)
Choose something you enjoy and are passionate about because you may be writing for a very long time before your blog catches on. If you are writing something you care about and subject matter that you have some expertise in, like you, then you’ll be able to write consistently and skillfully each week. Let your personality come out in your writing, or your video’s fans just want to get to know the real you. They don’t want to put their money and their energy behind something they don’t believe in. Be yourself. If you’re goofy, be goofy. If you’re awkward, be awkward. If you’re a hippie, or a grunge guy or a metal singer, be who you are. That’s the only person your fans want to see and get to know. If you are really pulling back the curtain, so-to-speak, on your life, you will be blogging the kind of quality material people want to read about. I know occasionally people want to see pictures of my cats, but I don’t spend hours writing blogs about them because I know that people are more interested in different personal areas of my life, like my fitness goals and routines and learning to play guitar. I’m not bombarding everyone every day with useless information. I value my fans, and your time, and want to give you something that is useful to you.
Consistency: Precise and consistent practice makes Sally a sustainable artist.
Another tip that will help you succeed is to set a schedule, date and time, and be consistent. You have to set time and date goals for all of your projects. I attended a talk this week and the speaker compared it to booking an airline ticket. You may be thinking of taking a trip, but until you actually take action and book the ticket, which includes the time and date of your flight, you never go anywhere. Take action! Tell your readers when you will post and then make sure you hit those deadlines and goals. If you do, you’ll be letting your fans know, that 1.) you care enough about the material your posting to actually spend time writing it; and 2.) that you care about their time and schedule.
Do stick to the time frame if you want to be reliable. Don’t bite off more than you can chew, or you may be building that bad reputation Joan Jett was talking about. The best thing you can do is to start making a daily and weekly schedule that you can stick to. It will free up a lot of your time and energy and being consistent and reliable for your audience won’t be an issue. I know everyone thinks this is so hard to do, and it does take to disciple, but you absolutely can do this! You just have to decide on what it is you really want and what you’re willing to do to get there. Remember as Rush sang in the song Free Will, “If you choose not to decide, you still have made a choice.” I hope you go for it. Put in the hard work, it will pay off!
Barr, Corbet. Fizzle: What Publishing 500 Blog Posts Taught me About Rocket Science. [Blog Post]. Retrieved from: https://fizzle.co/sparkline/500-posts
Jett, Joan, Cordell, Ritchie, Laguna, Kenny, Kupersmith, Marty Joe.(1980) Bad Reputation. Recorded by Joan Jett and the Blackhearts. On Bad Reputation. California: Ariola and Boardwalk. March 1979 – March 1980.
Lee, Geddy, Lifeson, Alex, Peart, Neil. (1990). Free Will. Recorded by Rush. On Permanent Waves. [Album]. Quebec, Canada: Mercury Records and Anthem Entertainment. September and October 1979.
Morgan, Blake. (June 11, 2018). Forbes. How to build trust with your customer. Retrieved from:https://www.forbes.com/sites/blakemorgan/2018/06/11/how-to-build-trust-with-your-customers/#7bf78ca41cd3
Patel, Neil. (October 13, 2016). Forbes: How Long Does It Take to Get 20K Website Visitors Per Month? Retrieved from: https://www.forbes.com/sites/neilpatel/2016/10/31/how-long-does-it-take-to-get-20k-website-visitors-per-month/#315ac2fd58ca
Patel, Neil. (January 14, 2019). Does Blogging Still Work in 2019? [Video File]. Retrieved from YouTube: https://youtu.be/i4CY-XD6agM
Rogers, Walters. (July 07, 2014). Sales Mastery: 10 Keys to Building Trust and Credibility with Your Customers. Retrieved from: https://www.salesforce.com/blog/2014/07/sales-mastery-10-keys-to-building-trust-and-credibility-with-your-customers-cso-gp.html