You have objectives for your business, right? Your blog is no different. You’ve spent some time browsing the different blogs in your niche, noticed the variety of writing and posting styles, how different blogs guide you to some desired action. Your blog is far more than a journal or a way for your readers to communicate with you, it’s a chance for you to stand out and carve your own niche. The benefits of blogging are abundant, it’s up to you to decide what goals you want your blog to help you reach.
Though there are certainly other ways to use your blog, most of the strategies will lie within one of three categories: commercial, media outlet and marketing. You can choose any number of objectives in as many categories as you want, but like everything else, the more you dilute your primary objective, the less successful any on of your objectives will be. Decide on your objectives, design your blog so that it compliments those objectives and write good content that supports your goals and guides readers to a desired action.
What types of commercial objectives should I think about?
- If selling more products or services is your objective, you can guide readers towards your products/services page or build landing pages for new visitors that highlight a specific product or service
- If getting email addresses to build up your mailing list is your objective, you can create a free product or service to give away in return for a prospect’s email address
- If gaining subscribers for your blog is your objective, you can place your RSS buttons in a prominent location and invite your readers to subscribe on a consistent basis
What types of media objectives should I think about?
- You can use your blog to be your in-house public relations department by issuing press releases through your blog and referring all information back to it
- You can use your blog to perform customer service functions of your business by inviting clients to report problems to your blog so you can resolve them publicly. Be careful with this strategy, but it can really pay off if you are diligent about correcting issues your clients may have
- You can use your blog to perform crisis management by using your blog as the central location for information about a situation that may be occurring with your company
What types of marketing objectives should I think about?
- You can use your blog to perform costly marketing research functions basically for free. Tap into your reader feedback to see how they feel about your current and future products or services
- You can use your blog as the branding vehicle for your company. Decide on the words and images you want your company to convey and use your blog to spread that message
- You can use your blog to advertise your products, services, joint ventures, referrals and affiliates. Nowhere else will you get this much free advertising, use it wisely
Obviously the objectives you have for your blog are only restricted by your creativity. Blogs are incredibly adaptive to whatever goals you may have, just be sure to spend the time to design your blog around your objectives so the two can work together. Blogs can persuade and promote with the best of them, but they can just as easily be mishandled and confuse and irritate prospects instead. Plan ahead and implement accordingly.