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To Blog or Not to Blog

Shakespeare

Remember when mobile phones first had cameras? "Why would you need a camera on your phone?" we all wondered. Now, can you imagine not having a camera on your phone?

Blogs are kind of the same thing. Early enthusiasts raised a lot of marketers' eyebrows. Who would program them? Who would read them? With everything else on our plates, when — for heaven's sake — would we find time to write them? Happily, technology advanced to the point where we don't need help from IT. LiveJournal, Squarespace, Blogger and WordPress (and a dozen others) are fast and easy to use. 

And, it turns out people do want to read blogs. Take a look at the numbers ...

• 6.7 Million people publish blogs using blogging platforms and another 12 Million publish blogs on social media.

• 346 Million people read blogs worldwide.

• And 81% of U.S. readers trust the information they find in them.

Blogs are big business. In fact, these days a website without a blog is like a day without sunshine. Or a direct mail piece without an 800-number. 

Here are some persuasive arguments for blogging:

+ Blogs improve your search rankings

+ Blogs are a two-way channel, so you and your customers can have a marketing conversation

+ Blogs are easy to create

+ Blogs are inexpensive — all you need is a domain (or existing website) and some free software

+ Blogs can actually become a source of revenue if you sell ad space on them

+ Blogs give people a reason to return to your site

+ Blogs allow you to become a thought leader and subject matter expert

+ Blogs can make a little company feel bigger

So why doesn't everybody blog? Good question. Here are some of the obstacles you may have grappled with:

- Blogs take time away from other, possibly more pressing, activities

- Blogs need a commitment from someone (someone smart who can write) in your organization; they need fresh content, constantly

- Blogs can get lost out there if you don't promote them on a regular basis in everything you do

- Blogs take time to build momentum and readership

If you're paying attention, you may have noticed that our list of pros is twice as long as our list of cons. Like any marketing medium, blogs take work: strategy, commitment, time, talent and even money, if you consider that the blogger could be working on something else instead of blogging. But, they are an integrated part of your go-to-market communications. 

With a robust blog (and dedicated readers), your website works harder; your emails work harder. And, you can leverage blog content across other platforms, like social media and print communications. Write once, publish lots.

So, back to the beginning. To blog or not to blog? That's no question. Get thee to your laptop. 

Go forth and blog.


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