As we approach the end of the year, I thought it might be fun to share Ten for 10 in 2010 – a list of people, blogs, apps, platforms and more that I think you might enjoy checking out in 2010.
These are just personal takes and, as with any list, this is subjective so please feel free to leave your own thoughts in the comments after the post.
Today I look at ten ways to use your blog as a marketing tool in 2010 – I hope you enjoy.
- Secure Your Domain. This might seem obvious, but having your own domain tied into your business or service is so important. You can even do this on free blogging platforms, so there’s no excuse. Not only does it make your blog appear more authoritative but it helps with search engine visibility.
- Update Your Signatures, Digital and Otherwise. One of the things many people forget to do is let others know they have a blog, so make sure you’re not one of them. Add the URL to your email signature, online profiles, company stationary, etc.
- Define Your Voice. You don’t have to be a great writer, but you do need to be a passionate one. Love what you’re talking about; don’t be afraid to sound off; don’t just go with the flow of other bloggers in your niche. Simply put – be you.
- Make Your Blog Porous. One of the best ways to market yourself is to open up your knowledge. Too many bloggers don’t really share (even though they say they do). So open up your blog to sharing some of your best practices, and empower your readers – trust me, it works.
- Create Great Ideas. Any business thrives on how creative it is to a solution and how that benefits customers. Make your blog the same – use your readers as testers for ongoing new products and services, and incorporate some of their ideas. It’s the best focus group you’ll ever have.
- Soap Boxes. People read your blog because they’re interested in the topic(s) you write about. It’s why they’re your customers, or customers of your industry – use that. Invite manufacturers or service providers to share their news and stories on your blog. In return, you’ll have an “in” to their audience – it’s a win-win.
- Be Visible. While the social space has made business transactions easier, we still prefer face-to-face contact. It helps build trust between partners we find out more about each other, and we can see what we’re buying – your blog can do the same. Use video to offer a more personal approach, as well as offering first views of cool new products or services.
- Share the Wealth. You don’t have to be the only voice in town – the online space means there’s much more opportunity for business, and you don’t have to be so protective of your “customers” (readers). Encourage them to visit other “stores” – for instance, Jim Connolly has one of the best marketing blogs around, and Michael Martine offers excellent blogging advice. Share your peers and build your customer knowledge base, and they’ll appreciate you more for it, and share you with their peers.
- Community Spirit. One of the best ways to use your blog as a marketing tool is to encourage an interactive community. This could be via a forum, member list or email list. Give your customers somewhere to share views, ideas, issues, and be the host with the most and act on their suggestions. Again, you’re building brand loyalty and showing you really do care.
- Sell Yourself. You have a blog; it’s for marketing your business; so why not sell directly from it? There are a host of e-commerce solutions available to suit your needs, and they’re pretty easy to set up. Use your blog for exclusives – buy one on your blog, get one half-price on your main site. It builds connection to your main business and offers loyal customers an incentive to shop with you.
These are just ten ways that you can use your blog to market yourself or business/service more in 2010. There are many more, and please feel free to leave your favourite methods in the comments below.
I hope you can join me tomorrow when I share ten bloggers to look out for in 2010 (and there may even be a special video message to lead into the New Year with!).