This article was found on IronPlane and republished with permission.
In today’s business environment, brick-and-mortar stores are losing customers daily to eCommerce ventures. With 24-hour shopping available, the ability to reach out to an international customer base as well as easy, speedy access to an almost infinite array of goods and services, both customers and entrepreneurs see the value of eCommerce business ideas. It truly is the wave of the future.
Image via Flickr by ZERGE_VIOLATOR
Up to 40% of internet users have made an eCommerce purchase via a desktop computer or smart device (i.e., tablet, phone). That translates into 1 billion online consumers of goods and services. Mobile devices are becoming even more popular when it comes to eCommerce, already surpassing $40 billion in yearly revenue.
Multiple platforms are also available. While Amazon dominates the B2C market (business to consumer), other platforms are reaching out in different ways, such as eBay, which is the largest platform by revenue in the C2C market (consumer to consumer). Even payment platforms are cashing in, with PayPal reporting revenue approaching $15 billion just from mobile payments alone.
For an entrepreneur, any business idea must incorporate an online business strategy. There are numerous sectors that are rapidly developing an online presence, such as entertainment, consumer electronics, and travel. Even business models that have long been predicated on traditional brick-and-mortar designs are starting to branch out online. For example, in many U.S. cities, you can now order groceries online with same-day delivery.
In the United States, consumers spend almost $3,000 yearly with online business. It’s a growth market. Here are a few eCommerce business ideas for entrepreneurs that appear to be high profit for 2018-2019. One caveat – this is not a comprehensive list, and prospective business owners still need to do market research before implementing any of these ideas.
As more and more people begin to take a more active interest in their health and beauty needs, this business sector has grown by leaps and bounds. According to one study, the health and beauty market is worth over $15 billion, and since customers are so used to shopping online, it’s easy to provide services and products that many are looking for.
When it comes to health products, eCommerce brings a newfound market, as customers can now purchase items that were previously only available through their doctors. In addition, preventative products and services, as well as educational information, are in high demand. A business can offer personal training sessions or online classes and still see a high revenue stream.
For both beauty and health, the market is becoming dominated by apps. Up to 85% of customers prefer apps versus websites. This makes your health and beauty business easily accessible with the addition of a simple online app with convenient shopping cart and payment options.
Along the same lines as health and beauty, many entrepreneurs consider trying to serve more niche audiences through their businesses. There are quite a few consumer bases that don’t seem to be served through traditional business outlets.
Businesses have cropped up to provide products for consumers who need gluten-free products that aren’t available locally. One company provides online engagement ring customization right in the customer’s home. M&Ms expanded its online business with customized candies for significant life events.
The possibilities are endless for micro-audiences. Sometimes, eCommerce success comes not from reaching a national or global audience, but from tailoring a business idea to meet the needs of a smaller consumer base that cannot access those products or services due to geographic location or limited availability of product.
Sometimes, great eCommerce business ideas come from thinking outside the box and doing your research.
For example, did you know that 80% of American households have tea in their pantry? It’s the second most popular drink in the United States (behind water) with more than 158 million people consuming a cup every day.
In the United States, Japanese items are very popular, and there is a growing awareness of the health benefits of matcha (powdered green tea). Studies have shown that matcha can detoxify the body and lift the metabolism. It’s full of antioxidants and can be used in recipes, not just cups of tea. This is an example of a trend that could easily be picked up by a good entrepreneur and used to create a successful eCommerce business.
Another example of thinking outside the box comes from the area of phone accessories. This market is predicted to produce around $121.72 billion in revenue by 2025. A huge segment (around a fifth) of the market is phone cases. Even though people buy lots of cases yearly, there is still room for customized and specially designed cases, not to mention all the other varieties of phone accessories that can be sold.
Many entrepreneurs shy away from customized or specialty items because they think the market will be too low to provide adequate revenue. The truth is that, as far as eCommerce is concerned, this is a chance to build a business that a huge conglomerate like Amazon can’t really compete well with.
For example, one online business that has perfected customization and customer service is Dazadi. It sells large items, such as game tables or fitness equipment, that aren’t easily shipped. But the consumer experience doesn’t end there. It also arranges, with the help of ShipperHQ, for the truck drivers to unload the product and assemble it in the customer’s house. That level of service can’t be matched by a huge company and gives smaller companies a leg up on the competition.
As an entrepreneur, you may be nervous about selling a small inventory of customizable items and having to sell your product line harder than a big online retailer, but it’s worth it in today’s marketplace. The bottom line is that, due to economies of scale, if you’re trying to sell a product that doesn’t require much customer input, the likelihood is that customers will be able to get that product through Amazon or eBay much easier.
There are so many eCommerce business ideas for entrepreneurs. One common thread is the need for an effective online platform. IronPlane offers solutions, large and small, to entrepreneurs who want to see their business ideas in an eCommerce format. Whether you’re just starting out or want to revamp an already existing eCommerce platform, IronPlane has the experience.
If you’re on the hunt for a full or part-time job you can do from home on the Internet, you’re probably in the process of weeding out legitimate options from questionable ones. The good news is there is a multitude of options available for you to turn the time you spend online into cash in your pocket. Consider some of these Internet jobs as options or use them as the platform to draw inspiration for creating your own online success.
If you possess the talent for writing then you can search online job and freelance sites for writing projects. Employers, businesses and companies post online writing projects on a myriad of online job boards and websites seeking writers. Projects can range from writing online articles and blog posts to writing copy for marketing brochures and the company policy and procedures manual.
If you make your own products, offer a service or can come up with someone else’s products to sell, then build an e-commerce website. E-commerce websites can sell anything from dog and cat collars to whimsical wind chimes. Conduct some research ahead of time to see which products seem to be hot sellers online and then find suppliers to obtain the goods to sell. Some companies even offer drop-shipping programs so you do not have to worry about maintaining inventory and shipping orders. The supplier of the goods ships the orders for you and under your own business name.
Affiliate marketing is when you promote products or services and the company you’re promoting pays you a commission for each sale that originates from your efforts. Check out sites such as Commission Junction or Linkshare to see the products and services you can promote online and the companies that will pay you to do so.
In a fast-paced world like the one we live in today, convenience and ease of access are two of those most important areas for new product development to focus. Such is the case with Square. A typical point of sale device, Square does what it’s larger counterparts do, just on a much smaller and convenient scale. Used most frequently by those who own small businesses or have the need to take payments quickly and on the go, Square has become an asset. Still capable of doing everything that the larger terminals do, Square has revolutionized the business world and those who work within it.
“What is the key to boost blog engagement?” – This is one of the most pressing questions asked by every blogger. Want the honest truth? Well, it takes a lot. The era where “content is king” is an often quoted rule, it takes much more than great content to encourage audience engagement. Here are the proven ways to boost your blog engagement. Let’s dive in.
Get to Know Your Audience
You spend hours slaving over a carefully worded post and then just get greeted with cricket sounds after hitting the publish button. Great content only serves as a starting line; your first aim should be to churn content that will resonate with your audience. You need to get exactly who your audience is, what they need help with and how your blog can help them.
Include Magnetic Headlines
Do you know as per the studies, blog traffic can fluctuate as much as 500% just by the headlines? With giant of information available on the web on the topic, you are writing, competition for audience’ attention is stern. So, let your intriguing and impressive headline help you beat the competition.
Perk up Your Linking Strategy
Some think that linking is all about SEO, but it actually not. Linking is a way to give your readers the chance to check out more relevant content. Internal linking is the smart way to keep your readers engaged with your site. For building trust, in the long run, your content must include external linking to authoritative sites. Just ensure the links to be more credible and interesting.
Involve Some Engaging Quiz
The key to exerting a pull on the readers is to present the content in an appealing way. An interactive quiz can work wonders. For instance, a long article on topic like life insurance can be quite dreary to read on. However, if you manage to put a life-insurance quiz, like the below quiz from Health IQ with all the necessary information, it will make it more interesting.
Keep these guidelines in mind before you hit the finish line where your engaged audience waits for you. For more blogging related and an assortment of other quizzes, visit HealthIQ.com.
Every day many things occur around us. Some things are good, and some things are wrong. Blogging offers us an opportunity of sharing our thoughts regarding those things. In addition, it is a good way showing your creativity to the world. You can write whatever you think, and blogs have a much better impact than social networking posts. You can encourage people for good things, show them a right way of doing something and raise your voice against something bad taking place in the world. Here are some impressive reasons why you should start a blog today.
1. To help others:
It is true that many people search for the solutions of their problems. Some people want to know health tips, some search for better career options and some love to read about new technologies. You can address those readers through your blogs. There are many attractive topics to choose from. Pick your favorite one and start writing. If your ideas are good and helpful, you will get many readers for your blog and thus you can help others. It is a way of helping others because your offered solutions and ideas can provide readers with better ideas and helpful solutions.
2. To improve your writing ability:
Practice makes man perfect; it is a renowned quote, and it is true. Probably you may think that you are not a good writer, but you should write. In starting you may get failed in tempting a large number of readers, but you will get some readers for sure. You can improve your writing skills with regular blogging and become a great writer. You will get better ways of presenting your thoughts in the blogs and articles if you continue blogging. That’s what many bloggers did and today they are succeeded in this field.
3. To face new challenges:
Some people think that blogging is easy and just a hobby, it is not true. Blogging is quite challenging, especially if you have never done it before. You need to think very deeply before you write for any topic. You also need to think about its impact on readers. Today’s world needs bloggers, who can help in making this world a better place to live. It is all about choosing words carefully and set them in the form of a blog to send a right message. You can take it as a challenge and challenges are good for life.
4. To make some money:
Blogging is not only done to help the readers for their needs but also done to earn good money. Probably, you may know that there are many writers and bloggers, who make hundreds of dollars weekly by their blogs. You can be one of them if you get a large number of readers. It is quite easy to start a blog on any blogging platform and make it live. You can write on hot topics and let people read your blogs. It will fill your account with bucks, which will encourage you to write more on new things.
5. To increase you knowledge about the world:
Whenever you write on a new topic, you need to learn new things before writing. You may plan to write on new technology or the cure of any disease or any other thing. You will have to read about that thing to understand what it is and then turn those details into your words. That’s how you increase your knowledge about a new thing. A blogger is not only a good writer but also a good reader who learns something new about the world every day.
The blogosphere, made up of countless blogs from all over the world, is one of the most popular faces of the Internet. It’s not just for teenagers anymore. Several years ago, most blogs were run by kids who just wanted to keep in touch with their friends, or people who just wanted to talk about their daily life.
These days, almost everyone online has a blog.
Chances are, you have one – and if you don’t, you should.
Stay at home moms like to blog about their daily lives and raising children. CEOs of major corporations own blogs about the latest happenings at their company. Many celebrities run blogs, and they blog about their upcoming events, movies, and roles (not to mention scandals).
And marketers have blogs about every niche imaginable!
I’m confident to say I myself am part of the blogging culture.
Blogging is a great way to reach out to the people on the Internet. They can touch millions of lives, and spread your message like no other medium. You can say almost anything you want, and there will be an audience for almost every niche!
You can run a blog just for fun. If you want to talk about parties you attend, restaurants you eat at, places you go shopping, or where you go on vacation, someone will probably want to read about it.
Even if the only audience you have is your close friends and relatives, you’ll have fun and be able to say whatever’s on your mind.
More and more people are turning to blogging as a way to make money. Some people just want to make a few extra dollars for spending money, but others are actually making a full-time income with their blogs.
A few prominent bloggers even boast of making hundreds of thousands of dollars with their blogs (a la Perez Hilton, who parlayed his blogging fun into thousands of dollars in ad money each month, which delivered him his own TV show, podcast, and clothing line)!
There are plenty of ways to make money blogging. Whether you’re a college student who just wants to make a little extra cash for pizza and clothes, or you’re a serious marketer who wants to make a small fortune, it’s totally possible with blogging.
Blogs are big, even if they’re small. Some blogs get millions of hits per month. Blog traffic has been growing steadily for several years as consumers gain confidence from peers rather than trusting hard hitting sales pitches they find on the web.
With more and more people jumping onto the blogosphere bandwagon, it probably won’t slow down within the foreseeable future. If you’re thinking about getting into blogging, it’s a good idea to get started now.
It generally takes a few months to begin building up a following. And you really need regular visitors if you want to make money with your blog. You should work to gain subscribers to your RSS feed, because those people will come back often to read your new posts.
And remember to lend your own unique voice to your posts. One of the most important nuances in regards to why blogging is such a major global phenomenon is the fact that people really enjoy reading unique voices on certain topics.
They crave the differences in personalities. It’s refreshing to read information that has personality and isn’t stale or stuffy, which means it’s been translated by a single editor so that every voice is uniform. This is why columnist pages in local newspapers are so popular.
Your unique voice is the most important part of getting regular visitors to your blog. If you want to see examples of this, visit some of the most popular blogs you can find. You’ll see that one thing these blogs have in common is the fact that the bloggers make engaging, funny, or original posts.
That’s your key to making it big in the blogosphere!
How To Make Money Blogging
Today, blogging has become the preferred option for establishing your presence on the web. Blogs provide an insight into the lives of so many people. However, did you know you can also make good money from blogging? Many people now earn part-time and some even full-time salaries by blogging for money. Here are tips on how you can monetize your blog and earn some good money.
Starting a Blog For Money
1. Log on the blogging platforms and register yourself. You will get all the necessary instructions. You can also create a blog on your website using top-level domain name. This is a great plan if you plan to transform the blog into an internet business totally.
2. After creating the blog, it’s time to start working. Here, you need to put your best food forward if you really want to make money. Your posts should make your blog distinct and easily identifiable. If you want to promote a business, add relevant, interesting and fresh posts.
Every day, more and more people are creating blogs, but only a small percentage manage to make money. If you want to earn money through blogging, then you need to stand out and work extra hard. The content should be catchy and the layout has to be extremely good. The layout, themes and templates must be excellent.
Money Blogging: How To Make Money Blogging
1. Contextual ads
Sign up for advertising sites like Chitika, Google AdSense and Kontera to add advertising links to your blog. Every time a reader clicks on the link, view ads or buy something from a sponsor, Google will give a percentage of that revenue. You need to apply to Google AdSense and then wait for acceptance. You will then have to work with your own blog to embed the code so the ads are well displayed. This should not be difficult. You also need to follow Google’s terms of serve in order to maintain good standing. Never click on your own links.
2. Sell advertising space
Sell advertising spots of your blog to companies. Once you have steady traffic and growing popularity, approach different companies. Offer them advertising space on your blog for specific monthly price. This type of advertising differs from programs like Google Adsence, since Google only pays when someone clicks. Selling ad spots guarantees monthly income.
You can also join paid blog networks and make money by writing for fellow bloggers or promoting their products on your blog. There are many blog sites that will pay a flat fee for writing specific advertisement and link into your blog. If your post is accepted, you’re subsequently paid. Sites like Blogtive, Payperpost or Blogvertise offer these services once your blog has been indexed in search engines.
3. Affiliate marketing
You can earn good money with Affiliate Marketing. Affiliate marketing is a type of performance-based marketing in which a business rewards affiliates for each customer brought through the affiliate’s own marketing efforts. You, the Affiliate, must find a high quality product, apply with the product creator for a link through which you will promote his product. Every time someone buys the product through your affiliate link, you get an agreed upon percentage as a commission.
Join affiliate programs like Chikita Mini Malls and Amazon that offer the ability to advertise on your blog.
Also to build a customer or prospect list. This will provide an avenue to keep in touch so you may offer additional products and services. A good method of creating this list is to have customers sign on to a newsletter or free offering attractive enough to encourage them to give you their email address.
4. CPA offers
Cost Per Action (CPA) is similar to affiliate marketing models. However, you get paid for completing a task for companies and advertisers. The tasks may include having users provide their contact information to receive any future offers or downloading a program to their computers. Just like other promotional methods, all you need to do is select the offer you want to advertise on your blog through hyperlinks or banner ads as provided by the advertiser.
5. Sell your own products and services
If your bog is able to get a steady amount of traffic, you can always sell your own products and services to your loyal visitors. Just create a trusted relationship with your visitors and then offer them your services such as writing, web design or even photo editing. Impress your potential customers by showing example of your work. Try other tactics such as one-time free services to the new visitors.
You can also turn your blog into an e-book. Companies like Apple, Amazon and Smashwords allow authors to self-publish their work on their electronic platforms. Assemble you blog content into an e-book and then advertise the e-book to your blog traffic and social media network to create sales.
Before you even start to create your own blog, it is necessary to know what a blog really is. The term blog is actually derived from the word Weblog or Web log. Back in the days, around the late 1990’s, these Web logs were utilized by individuals to track updates and references to other resources online. They served as journals, which made them useful as a publishing tool for the user’s stream of consciousness. Of course, the readers can still comment and share their thoughts on just about anything under the sun. Technically, blogs are also known as CMS or Content Management Systems. Being a CMS, blogs allow the writers to easily publish to a specific Web site and manage the content without the need of having to deal with the program code. Publishing software also provides users with a GUI or Graphical User Interface for easy pointing and clicking of their articles. Through the use of easy-to-do procedures, you can perform configurations and set up, which can ease your job as a blogger since the tool can automatically organize your published articles the next time you publish.
The main question is; why should you start blogging? The first thing you need to know is that blogging can enhance and support your online communications. However, you must first understand the outcome of your blog that you desire in order to attain success. The main reason why you should start blogging, is that it can be both an excellent outlet for your frustrations or excitement. What you are passionate about and profitable at the same time. It does not mean that if you are not into blogging, you should not blog. Being in a business, especially those with dealings on the Internet, requires you to establish a clientele that are actually interested in your products or services. Blogs can do this easily due to its accessibility and being an excellent medium for marketing that it is, blogs are essential for businesses. More so, if you are handling a business, there is a good chance that your competition is blogging about their products and services. This is an easy method for you to examine the competition and what their clients’ preferences are. Additionally, blogs can create strong customer relationships since your target market can easily and directly communicate with the authority within your business. This kind of opportunity is hard to resist since a strong customer relationship can eventually lead to lasting trust to your product and services; hence, eventual increase in your revenue.
How to start a blog as a business — here are 7 steps to get you started on your journey to creating a blog for profit. Follow this step-by-step guide that shows you how to be a blogger who provides value to your readers.
In order to determine how to start a blog, we’ve still got to go back to the basics of determining a terrific blog idea.
We’re back to “fit” again – blogs are just like business ideas — they need to be a “fit” for you, your personality, interests, and expertise.
Another important factor for how to start a blog is to take a look at your competition to determine what they might be doing? This is good market research! Spend some time on their blogs…
What is the competition doing well – can you incorporate this into your blog? What ideas do you have to improve your blog compared to the competition? How can you write your blog to incorporate information which you don’t readily see available? What will be your internet voice – witty, humorous, serious, challenging, etc.?
Sit down with a notebook when you’re learning how to start a blog and start jotting down a variety of names which get at the intent of your main topic idea and/or your spin. This will give you and your business a head start determining a terrific domain URL and providing you with the most flexibility and traffic at the beginning for your business blog.
When you’re first figuring out how to start a blog, it is easy to fall into the trap of trying to do this as cheaply as possible. Don’t do it with your domain name!!!
You’re domain name will cost you around $10 – do this step! It’s important and will save you problems down the road. Remember that this is like any other business and do the right steps!
Find a domain that has your specific topic in the domain name – this will help you with the search engines and building your traffic organically over time. Maybe you can even get your “spin” in the name to give your domain some character.
Try to purchase a .com or .net URL — this will serve your business best since these are the most recognized tags on the internet (this may change over time, but for now these remain the standards). Avoid “cutesy” or “weird” domain names – while they’re fun in the moment, others may totally miss your point if they find you at all on the internet.
When you are learning how to start a blog, one of the major decisions you’ll make is deciding on blogging software and hosting sites, make sure you are comparing apples to apples (and not oranges). Many sites which claim to be “free” are anything but free. There are some perceived cheap options in the hosting world (or so it seems when you’re just getting started!)
Does your host offer you training (you’ll need it for whatever type of business and software you’re using)? Look for a system that includes everything you need to build a business — this includes built-ins which offer keyword searches, software built-ins so everything works together, e-zines, quality monetization models, constant upgrades as the internet and Google become smarter, and support forums to help you grow your business.
Beware of hosting systems requiring you to pay extra for every little plug-in you’ll need to build a successful business. With this type of hosting model, you’re charged for each individual piece of business software including a separate fee for your domain name, domain hosting, blogging software, keyword searches plug-in, new business plug-ins, premium templates, e-zine support, traffic analytics, even extra charges for additional traffic as your blog followers grow, etc. This can cost your business a fortune!
And as you are learning how to start a blog, make sure to take advantage of any tutorials offered. These will be a tremendous value and benefit for you and your business — remember you’re learning a whole new industry and language. There will be specific nuances you’ll need to learn at each step along the way. Keep learning and building your blog so it looks professional to your visitors.
What Is Blogging?
A blog, a term derived from “Web Log”, is a collection of thoughts or analysis on a topic or topics of the person running the blog.
There are now tens of blogs started every minute of the day. This obviously means it is now a crowded market, which makes it even more important that a blog is good enough to stand out from the crowd.
In the yesteryear, well, actually not that long ago, but when blogs first started appearing on the internet in the 1990’s, they were often a simple a collection of thoughts from individuals, often on the daily happenings in their lives. No matter how dreary, they were often compulsive reading, something I guess, typifying our big brother culture.
However, more recently, blogs have become much more commercial with topics that have greater commercial value. People have started to realize blogs, especially popular ones, can make substantial money for the proprietor from advertising revenue.
Potential of a Blog.
There are certain characteristics that are shared by popular blogs no matter which topic(s) they cover.
Why do you Need a Blog?
People love something for nothing. If you provide regular advice and helpful tips on your blog about something, then it is likely to draw regular visitors. Free helpful information – even if it’s a collection of links to other sites/blogs can still attract lots of visitors. The key here is to find such information on a regular basis to attract many repeat visitors.
This will also result in increase in popularity of your blog through natural linking – the equivalent of marketing through word of mouth. Links, especially on other high traffic sites or blogs about your blog will lead to a steady stream of traffic from these links, but they will also boost your search engine rankings because major search engines put a lot of weight onto natural linking patterns.
How to Build a Successful Blog?
1. Write your Heart.
One certain way to attract large traffic is to either provide tutorials that people find extremely useful which they will link to, or providing free downloads of useful tools. These tools can be anything such as web tools for people to develop their sites and blogs or help to improve the quality of offerings on their sites or blogs, free financial tools to help people better analyze their income and expenditure, etc.
2. Add Personal Value.
In addition, it greatly improves your reputation on the Internet as so many people start recommending your blog. Of course, with so many people linking to your site, which acts as a “vote” for your blog from everyone linking to you, the search engines will take that as an affirmation that your blog is of great value and move your rankings higher.
3. Spread the Words.
Commenting daily on interesting stories on different subject matters is a good way to draw traffic. Making interesting observations on them together with a link to their original source is a great way to capture regular readers. Let’s face it, most of us like to catch up on daily news, but today, we do it in different ways to gone days before when we all sat around our television set.
4. Be an Authority Writer.
Another way to draw many repeat visitors is to provide great analysis on latest news and big stories that are in development on the topics covered on your blog. The analysis has to really stand out. You have to convey yourself to your readers almost as an expert i.e. an authority on the subject matter, which of course acts like a magnet for visitors. So, providing a unique perspective will always have people coming for more.
5. Catch Their Attention.
People love entertaining themselves when they are browsing the internet. This is why entertainment sites tend to draw a lot of traffic. A blog with lots of funny clips and jokes tend to become big hits because they tend to get linked on lots of other sites.
One way to attract attention through your posts is to be shocking by posting something controversial that gets noticed.
What’s the Big Deal About Blogs, Anyway?
The coolest thing about a blog is the fact that is has become a respectable journalistic medium for writing and capturing the voices of individuals, entrepreneurs, and companies alike. Many individuals use their blog as a sort of online diary or journal where they write about things that happened to them, things that inspire them, things they like (verbal Pinterest), or philosophical musings. Sometimes individuals keep their blogs private and only write when they need a personal outlet, and other bloggers invite an audience of followers.
But when businesses blog (it’s a noun and a verb, stay with me), it’s a way to communicate to the world at large without actually selling. Professional blogs aren’t supposed to be overly technically written and solicitous, or even specific to the company. Many are, and it’s easier to get away with if it doesn’t make up the majority of the posts. But the best professional blogs are educational in nature, offering good advice or tips that will engage readers and keep them interested in the brand, with a bit of fun and whimsy mixed in (a little satire doesn’t hurt, either).
How Do Blogs Work?
It’s worth noting that some businesses are, well, all business and maintain a much more serious online presence. In extremely technical or heavily regulated industries, you might not see too many novelty posts (prepare for much dryer reading). However, that’s the beauty of blogging: the internet has always been touted as a place of free expression, and a blog is (generally) considered the intellectual property of the entity that created it. Bloggers and businesses alike can blog about whatever they want, and their audience can respond accordingly.
Blogs are designed to draw traffic to a website and enhance brand credibility. When people engage with a blog, they typically experience one of three reactions: interest (they enjoyed it), indifference (maybe it was boring), or disinterest (content or opinion expressed was perhaps unfavorable or disagreeable to the reader). Good, bad, or indifferent, the reader wouldn’t have any opinion about the writer or the company if the blog hadn’t been written in the first place, though. Hence, blog = good.
When a blog has a following, whether it’s on a company’s website or in a forum like Google’s Blogger, the regular posting of new and appealing content will keep the audience coming back for more and attract more followers. Blogs can be interactive if the moderator enables sharing and commenting, which is an irresistible feature for many blog-followers. Unlike static content on a website that is directly related to a company and its offerings, a blog will often include tips, tutorials, checklists, and even personal insights about the people who work there, like favorite playlists and novels. Some companies blog daily, which means that their subscribers receive regular updates inviting them back to check out the latest news. It’s a perfect way to nurture prospects and get the word out about a brand.
Do Blogs Really Attract Customers?
There’s a democratic, unfettered, and almost voyeuristic quality to blogs that seems to be alluring to consumers and internet surfers of all levels. There are technical blogs which compare product specs and debate the finer points of performance and usability, there are individual blogs which give you a peek into the writer’s subconscious mind and personality, there are beauty and fashion blogs (which really come in handy for shopping addicts), food blogs, you name it – there’s probably a blog about it.
And blogs can go hand in hand with one’s social media profiles. In marketing it’s generally understood that the companies of today need to have a strong online presence. Most companies hire people to coordinate their virtual branding strategy, which requires a lot of careful thought and consideration of who’s their audience, what’s their voice, what constitutes their buyer persona, etc. When someone publishes a blog post, they can then share it to social media, which will drive traffic to the original blog or site and give an expanded audience of readers one more way to interact with the brand. If they’re lucky, the company will get their page bookmarked, have their content ‘favorited,’ ‘liked,’ or shared, acquire new subscribers, receive inbound inquiries, and garner a reputation of expertise, knowledge, and helpfulness (all of which are great for business).