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Using Blogs to Build Your Branding

How Relationships, Frequency and Interaction Can Generate Pay-back.
 
Paul Smithson - 12th February 2009
   
paul smithson Blogs are a fantastic way to build your both your reputation and your online branding.

There are few better ways to reach your clients or customers on a regular basis than making regular blog posts and it certainly gives e-mail marketing a run for its money as more and more people becoming accustomed to subscribing to RSS feeds.

The key to running a successful blog is to provide high-quality content on a regular basis. The latter is particularly important as to keep people interested in your blog you need to be providing a steady stream of fresh and worthwhile content. Ideally, you should blog at least once per week, and several times per week would be even better. 


The more often you blog, the more often your message will be in front of your readers either via the site itself or in people’s RSS readers if you’ve managed to get them to subscribe.

The second key to success is to aim to build a relationship with your readers. This adds a stickiness factor to your blog and encourages people to stop by on a regular basis or subscribe to your RSS feed so that they can view your posts as soon as they come out via their RSS feed reader.

Building that relationship often means going above and beyond what you would post on a regular web site.

For example, John Chow, a well-known blogger, often posts pictures and descriptions of the gourmet dinners he eats, and these posts are always well received by his audience. The fact is that John Chow’s site has nothing at all to do with gourmet food, it’s actually about business and making money online, but people obviously enjoy catching glimpses into his personal life.  It makes them feel almost like they know him personally and this ensures that they keep coming back again and again for more.

The spin-off benefit of this relationship building is that the more people start to like you personally, the more comfortable they will feel buying from you, and recommending you to their friends and family.

Millions of people around the world now know the names of the bloggers they read often.  Steve Pavlina, John Chow, and Perez Hilton are all known worldwide because of their blogs.  This is the kind of branding major corporations salivate over and the irony is that all of this publicity and the fame that comes with it, hasn’t cost the bloggers a fortune to acquire. Companies spending millions of dollars on advertising each year struggle to acquire this kind of recognition and yet these people have achieved it for nothing.

The final key to successful blogging is to encourage interaction. If you make a post and nobody comments the interaction is just one-way; you to your audience. However, if you can encourage people to make comments to your blog posts the interaction become three-way; you to them, them to you and them to your readers. It becomes a three-way dialog where readers can respond to your posts or the posts of other readers, and you can respond to the comments that are being made. This kind of interaction can really help shoot a blog into the limelight and it’s something you should aim to achieve right from the start.

Like many tools of the Internet marketing trade, blogging isn’t something that will get you overnight success, but with time and effort it can become a highly profitable revenue generator for you. As people start to visit your blog on a regular basis or subscribe to your RSS fee you have an audience to which you can sell and which will be happy to buy if you have spent the time providing them with valuable information that has been genuinely useful to them.

But a word of caution. Don’t kill the goose that lays the golden egg. Once you have a successful and very active blog in can be very tempting to want to squeeze every cent you can out of it, but down that road lies failure. Once people realize that you’re taking more than you are giving their visits to the blog can go from several per week to zero overnight, and once you have lost the support of your readers it is difficult, often impossible, to win it back. So be careful to give as much if not more than you are taking. Make sure to keep providing your readers with a steady stream of free information that will keep them hungry for more, and the rewards will come.

About Paul Smithson - Paul Smithson is the founder of Intellimon and the driving force behind the best-selling XSitePro web site development tool. Since graduating in Business Strategy and Direct Marketing from two of Europe’s leading business schools, Paul has set up five multi-million dollar companies, one of which is now owned by the BBC. His areas of expertise include business strategy, e-commerce, on-line and off-line marketing, software development, and maximizing the potential of on-line businesses.


For more information about this, and many other Internet Marketing-related topics, visit Paul Smithson's site, www.xsitepro.com.

Source: http://www.xsitepro.com/using-blogs-to-build-your-branding.html


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