The Blogging Renaissance: From Online Diaries to Billions of Dollars

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The Blogging Renaissance: From Online Diaries to Billions of Dollars

Once upon a time a blog was an online diary.  Fast forward to today, and there are millions of people sharing information on the webspace through blogs. Blogs today has become a part of our digital landscape. They inform, they educate, they influence decisions. From being a simple hobby, blogging has now become a source of income.

But is it really as easy as it looks? Unfortunately, the answer to this is no. Blogging involves a careful balance of content and social media marketing. Let’s take them up separately.

CONTENT

  • Find your niche
    There is a whole world of possibilities waiting to be explored once when you start a blog. But it would be advisable to stick to a niche, establish yourself as a blogger in that particular niche and then move on to other areas. This way you ensure that people do not get confused with what you have to offer, and most importantly, brands recognize you as a blogger in a particular field. Many bloggers have started off writing about food, fashion, travel, home decor, beauty, etc, only to fail miserably in weeks that followed. Find your niche. It will work for you in the long run.
  • Get your facts right
    While writing an article make sure you confirm the facts before posting them. No one expects hardcore data in your blog posts, but being factually and logically correct definitely takes you a long way. The other day we read something about hot dogs being a delicacy in Europe and we instantly knew the blogger wasn’t achieving her dream of being a travel blogger anytime soon.
  • Don’t make it about you
    Connect with people, engage, give them something they want to read. People are more likely to read an article when they spot something that they can connect with. Do not make anyone feel that they made the wrong choice by not buying a certain outfit you blogged about. Lead, don’t force.
  • Proof read your post
    One spelling mistake can cost you a lot. Yes, you don’t realize how seriously brands take a small punctuation mistake. Take some time out to read the entire article before you hit publish. Avoid using too many emojis. Make sure your font is standard all throughout the post.

Now that you have your content in place, how do you go about spreading the reach of your blog? This is where social media comes into play.

SOCIAL MEDIA

  • Have a strong personal brand
    Many blogs fails simply due to the absence of a strong online presence of the author. In fact a large number of startups fail when their founders have poor social media presence. They can argue saying their personal branding might take away the focus from the company, but at the end of the day that is what gives you credibility. A strong online presence will give your blog a personality.
  • Grow your social network
    Be present on all platforms. Study the way each platform works. Take time out to analyze the groups and communities in every network. Interact with the audience, grow your network by commenting and regularly engaging with them.
  • Study your social network
    It’s not as simple as posting your link on every platform. You need to take out time every day to study the sentiments in each platform, the time of maximum activity, the groups with the most discussions, people who engage the most, interests of active members, network of other members and a lot more. Study the groups and communities you wish to post on. It isn’t only about posting in maximum number of groups, it’s about how relevant the groups are to you. A post on skincare cannot be promoted on a group of book lovers. More often than not, you will be marked as spam. Another thing you must keep in mind while promoting your blog on different platforms is the language you use while promoting it. Twitter is all about wit and humor, Facebook can be a lengthy fun post. LinkedIn and Google Plus on the other hand are professional platforms while Instagram needs to be short and fun.

So will this get you instant success? Well, that’s the beauty of social media- there is no right rule to get things going. Things change every minute, something that worked for you last week might not work for you today. You need to be in touch with your blog at all times. Study the analytics and optimize the performance. There is a lot of magic hiding behind those numbers, waiting to be unleashed.

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Could All of Your Digital Media Dollars Be Spent on One Platform?

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It goes without saying that today’s digital marketer has an infinite set of options for reaching their target audience online. Within the single umbrella of “digital” there are multiple formats ranging from classic display media to native advertising, and from keyword marketing to high-impact video advertising. Plus, just about every device is now connected so marketers also need to think about replicating their messaging on mobile, desktop, tablets, and eventually, virtual reality.

These choices present endless options, and marketers today are under significant pressure to understand, utilize, and ultimately master them all. Stitching enough media partners together to achieve the necessary scale seems like a daunting task, let alone the process of buying, optimizing, and reporting on such a broad media plan.

If marketers do have the wherewithal to build and execute on such a plan, how then do they think about issues such as viewability, cross-device tracking, and multi-touch attribution? With so much of the “traditional digital” media ecosystem existing in the long-tail, these concerns can stop the best laid media plan in its tracks. Content publishers themselves will tell you that delivering audience at scale involves so many third party vendors and stitched-together technologies that even getting an accurate measure of ad viewability is near impossible.

But there are media companies that can fuse together today’s most important ad formats and deliver them seamlessly across every device.  I call them “autonomous marketing platforms” because they are technologically independent and do not conform to most of the traditional media formats. You call them Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Kik, etc. Interestingly, they eliminate most of the cross-platform and accountability problems just outlined while delivering on most of today’s digital marketer’s needs.

Autonomous marketing platforms certainly deliver scale. The ecosystem, in its entirety, reaches over 2 billion unique consumers – or nearly a third of the earth’s population. And they don’t just offer reach, they connect the most diverse set of audience segments across the globe, all of which can be targeted by geography, demographics, and a broad range of interests. Since most of these platforms have a strong sense of their user’s identity, in addition to simple geo and demo targeting, they make hyper-advanced targeting possible. This ranges from targeting a company’s actual customer-base and lookalikes, to layering on a multitude of behavioral, lifestyle, and intent information from third-party data companies.

This ecosystem also offers the most impactful media formats. Most of the advertising inventory is native, which always delivers an experience that is unique to the platform. And when you consider the video distribution across YouTube, Twitter, and Facebook, you can hit any GRP target with far greater efficiency than traditional television.

And of course, autonomous marketing platforms run on all devices, with a heavy emphasis on mobile, which captures attention in a powerful way. But it’s not just the multi-device nature of these platforms that makes them so powerful, it is the fact that they have the ability to tie every impression back to a unique identifier and help marketers truly understand their unduplicated reach across devices. True multi-touch, multi-channel, multi-device attribution becomes possible – without all the stress of viewability that traditional digital media brings.

The Holy Grail is bringing all of these autonomous marketing platforms together in a way that generalizes their differences and simplifies the process of planning and buying across multiple platforms, but at the same time takes advantage of all the unique opportunities that each has to offer.

Now that technology is bringing the industry closer to this Holy Grail, marketers should ask themselves – with the ability to reach the largest audiences in the world with the most precise and accurate targeting, utilizing the most effective media formats across many trackable devices, in order to achieve virtually any marketing objective – why would I invest my media dollars anywhere else?

Marie Joshi is the Director of Strategic Partnerships at Adaptly.

Image courtesy of Shutterstock.

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