Blog: A Good 4-Letter Word

Almost as popular as websites, but with the potential of a lot more credibility are blogs. Why? Besides having their own search engines, forums, and even ad directories, blogs are a way of reaching audiences with credible personal messages from the heart. Previous articles have extolled the value of storytelling, and blogs are a roadway to achieving that.

But with millions of blogs flooding the market, how does one cut through the chatter?

Stand Out

Content that offers real value is the common denominator among highly popular blogs. One of today’s most inspiring bloggers is Pat Flynn, who, after suddenly losing his job during the 2008 recession, started his own website called smartpassiveincome.com.

Flynn then began blogging about various online money making projects. His tips, candor, and transparency earned him a huge following that helped him manage his own business that coaches people on starting their own online business.

True to his transparency, Flynn revealed that he now earns an average of $50,000 monthly. He’s since authored three books and started a podcast.

Popular Considerations

In addition to content, quality is also important. Today’s consumer is more aware and savvier. They’re aware of scams. Then there’s the reality. Blog topics should be around popular topics. Blogging magazine WPVirtuoso reports there are more than 152 million blogs presently available on the internet. In general, blogs about travel, health, recipes, parenting, e-learning, and restaurants are the most popular. However, there’s also lots of competition for these popular topics, so unless there’s something new to offer or a novel twist, success will be difficult. Snake dancing may be novel, but if no one cares, who’s going to read a blog like that?

Other Options

The good news is that marketers also have some newer options to consider. They include community blogs for people who share the same interests like food, health, safety, home improvement, family activities, etc.

Brands working in those areas can gain a significant presence and audience. Live webcam blogs offer the potential for travel-related industries because they have an advantage over printed brochures by bringing popular destinations to life with video.

Podcast blogs have accelerated in the past couple of years. A recent survey by photo-sharing firm Slideshare revealed 104 million monthly listeners in the U.S. alone. Brands that offer advice and tips on their website can leverage that popularity even more.

Slideshare also reported that nearly three-fourths of people who listen to podcasts (74%) learn something new. And while 87% said they prefer podcasts because they can listen while doing other things, 52% also admitted to listening to the entire podcast.

According to Slideshare, consumers find podcasts in a variety of ways, including social media (67%), referrals (66%), podcast recommendations (62%), and ads (54%). Discover Pods offered some different findings.

The podcast website said it discovered that 80% of consumers found podcasts through cross-promotions. They said the second favored referrals were recommendations from others (72%) and social media (56%). Any way one looks at it, brands that intend to employ podcasts should utilize all these resources.