Larry Brauner

The decisions you make and the actions you take before you set up your marketing blog are at least as important as the steps you take once your blog is up and running.

Proper planning can help you avoid many false starts and much backtracking.

Start by asking yourself basic marketing questions such as these:

  • How will you monetize your blog? For ideas refer to Blogs and Blogging for Fun and Profit.
  • What will you sell?
  • Which are your target markets?
  • Can you reach them through advertising? Offline business networking?
  • Can you connect with them at social networking sites such as MySpace, Facebook, Direct Matches, Yuwie or Ryze? While you’re building credibility with the search engines, you can use online social networking and forums to enlist subscribers and readers for your blog.
  • What can you write about in your blog or what other content can you offer that will attract them?
  • Which keywords are they searching for that are relevant to your project?
  • Which keyword searches can you realistically compete for?
  • How will you position your products and brand yourself?

Asking these questions up front will make it possible to develop a coherent plan of action, and we will consider them in coming weeks.

You will need to choose a home for your blog, and that raises another key question.

Will you join a blogging community such as Blogger.com or Wordpress.com — or will you host your blog independently? I explain in Creating a Home for Your Blog why serious bloggers usually prefer to host their sites independently, and later we’ll look at what that entails.

And you will also need to evaluate your marketing and technical skills. Where are you on the learning curve? What will it take to get up to speed? Will you require some amount of personal guidance to get off to the right start?

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Larry Brauner

Blogging and Personal Branding

Personal blogs and business blogs often factor into the marketing mix of both large and small businesses.

Blogging is interactive and enables direct communication with the customer or end user, a subtle form of business networking.

Blogging as a form of networking is not as direct as attending a meeting of a chamber of commerce or a small business association — nor does it replace online social networking at social networking sites. However, it builds credibility while refining and reinforcing the blogger’s personal or corporate brand image.

Search Engine Optimization

As I stated in Top Reasons Why I Blog, “Blogging endears me to the search engines.”

Search engines love to deliver fresh content to their clientele, and that’s what blogs are all about. Each blog post creates new content for search engines such as Google to sink their teeth into.

Search engines send visitors. Some of those visitors become readers and bond with the blogger and his or her company or cause.

Make Money Blogging

This bond presents opportunities.

For example, when bloggers are looking directly to monetize their blogs, as is very often the case in the world of blogs, their readers are often redirected to another site or to a sales page to purchase an endorsed product or service.

This transition is easy once a trusting relationship has been created between blogger and reader.

To learn how to make money blogging, my previous post, Blogs and Blogging for Fun and Profit, is a good place to start.

We’ll continue to explore the relationship between blogging and search engine marketing.

Be sure to visit the Blog Marketing and SEO Training page.

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