Blogging for Marketing: It Started Without Money

Google's official blog intro post:
Google’s official blog intro post: “Ever since I came to Google, they’ve been talking about putting up an official Google blog.” Evan Williams writes

[EDITOR: the post was refreshed and moved from the original 2015 publishing date]

Many companies blog to generate leads, promote their brand, influence sales and essentially market (a product or idea). This idea of making money for a company is what makes the older bloggers run to corporate blogging jobs. The older bloggers started about 19 years ago in 1999 with blogger, some migrated quickly to WordPress. But the blog, as a humble “you don’t need to write HTML and know about JavaScript” started simply as a way to publish stories and information. It was usually associated with individuals. What started as mere simple publishing platform turned into the most popular format for personal and corporate writers-publishers. What did not happen with straight sites (there were many simple “frameworks” to design sites), Wikis (also very simple site publishing method) did happen with blogging. Essentially the writing, commenting, linking and guest blogging (writing on other blogs) combined to make an unbeatable combination. Today blogs are estimated to hold 50% of the internet’s content. 

This trend of content-focused sites with simple design is crucial to marketers today. Blogs give marketers the ability to write and publish quickly. Readers are not lost with difficult navigation or unfamiliar information location. Product descriptions, features, benefits and uses can be written linearly in a steady stream. In the case of the Google blog, everything worth writing about when it comes to search was streamed out one post at a time. Over many years, the blog was the main outlet explaining how to use Google webmaster tools. Essentially the field of SEO (Search Engine Optimization) was officially supported by the company through the blog. Ten years ago, the idea of free and open publishing was an attractive proposition. Also, the idea of not needing anything except for an internet connection to publish was even more attractive. When Google acquired Blogger (Feb 2003, Wikipedia) the platform a seal of approval. But life moves forward fast and Blogger lost some of it’s cutting edge popularity. Some was lost to WordPress and other blogging platforms, some to social media (Twitter was called a “micro-blogging” platform) and other popular sites. Now blogs are losing popularity to mobile use which is not strong in the blogging domain but offers simple access to news and social networking.

Back to the title and blogging for marketing. Besides technical fields, blogging seem to have found marketing fans in many fields. What blogging gives marketers besides ease of use and standard, simple to understand format (i.e. design), is the ability to “mimic” a customer experience. Customer experience is an old method to give a personal perspective to people who don’t know you. In complex and abstract product features (i.e. software or technology driven products) the use of blogs is extremely effective. In fields such as consumer goods, we have seen it in clothes (i.e. Manolo’s Shoe Blog) the linear simple design is a good way to write a steady flow of articles. There was a time when the blog was compared to syndicated writers and cartoonists. People who enjoy a certain columnist or cartoonists read the entry every day. Once you got a steady captured audience, you inform, influence and SELL to them.


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