5 Marketing Skills Every Blogger Needs to Master
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By John Alexander Adam
The stratospheric rise in profile and influence of top bloggers in the Middle East means that there has never been a better time to be a blogger in the region. Brands are clamoring to team up with well know bloggers across a wide variety of different styles and interest areas. Their support and desire to gain exposure to the followings of established bloggers has meant that many of them can now afford to employ specialist online marketing experts to help them popularize their blogs even more effectively. The flipside to the increased status and influence of bloggers in the Middle East is that it is also harder than ever for new bloggers to break into the exclusive club that brands want to be associated with.
But don’t despair! Almost every industry has its established titans and agile, fresh newcomers still succeed in breaking through and establishing their own position. This can be done by either usurping the position of a bigger, more established player who has become complacent or because the market is growing and there is room for more participants. Aspiring bloggers can hold onto the hope that they can build their own following big enough to have brands chasing them for either reason, or a combination of them both. Blogs as an alternative media format are growing in popularity generally, particularly in the Middle East, meaning there is room for newcomers to take a share of the audience for their particular niche if they can produce the right quality of content. Ambitious new bloggers can also arm themselves with the marketing know-how and skills to give them an edge in what has become a competitive industry.
It’s no use having great content if potential followers don’t get to see it in the first place. By putting in some time and effort to master these 5 key marketing skills you can give yourself what could be a crucial edge on your competition when it comes to growing your blog!
Social media marketing
The explosion of social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn has not taken place over a parallel period of time to the growth in blogger influence by coincidence. In many ways they have gone hand-in-hand, with social media one of the most powerful platforms for popularizing your blog’s content and reaching new audiences.
Posting all of your blog posts across relevant social media channels both keeps your current followers involved and interactive, as well as helping reach new people. However, if you really want to make the most of the leverage the social media platforms can provide, take things to the next level by harnessing the power of some of the great analytics tools out there. Products such as Sumall, Falcon and Meltwater can give you the comparative data insights on how your social media activities are performing which will allow you to optimize your efforts and get ahead of competitor blogs.
Tailor Different Social Media Profiles
Each social media platform is different and requires a different approach to maximize the benefits they can bring to your blog’s growth. It’s not a one-size-fits-all approach, or shouldn’t be. Facebook is a great place to show some of your personality, with Twitter the focus should be interaction and LinkedIn requires a more serious ‘business’ face to your profile. You need to learn what works best on which platform and have different profiles on each social media platform that reflect that to make the most of them.
Learning how to use different analytics tools and exploring the science behind tailoring your approach and image to different platforms can give you a great competitive advantage.
Most bloggers don’t start out thinking that SEO and other search marketing techniques will be crucial to how successful their blog becomes. It’s all about the quality of your content, right? Well, right, and not so right at the same time is the answer. Of course you need great content but the key to success is exposing as many people to that great content as possible and that’s where search marketing skills play a key role.
Understanding SEO techniques such as analyzing potential traffic for particular keywords relevant to the audience you want to attract, how to rank for them and understanding how realistic that might be can give your blog a massive boost. If you write book or film reviews, you probably can’t practically hope to come up in the first organic positions for ‘book reviews’. But you might be able to rank for long tail keywords such as ‘independent book reviews’. There may be less overall traffic for such long tail terms but it’s traffic you can potentially get and if you learn what to do to find good, relevant long tail keywords and how to rank for them you could give your traffic a massive boost!
Optimise Your Blog
A follow-on from the previous point is to understand how to put your blog together from a technical point of view so it is optimized both for your readers as well as Google bots. We’re not talking about becoming a programmer here but you do need to learn how to customize the blog platform you use to adapt layouts to reflect best user experience practices.
And you need to learn about the science behind user experience. It’s not airy fairy but based on real statistical analysis on how users respond to different layouts, advertisement placement and a hundred other little things that can make a real difference to both how many followers you retain and how effectively you can monetize. And you need to make sure your blog is friendly to Google bots so they can easily move around it, see what content you have and rank it for Google searches.
Again a natural progression of the previous skill set, there is marketing science behind turning traffic into registered followers of your blog in the most efficient way possible. The success of a blog can live or die on your conversion ratios from visitor to follower and it is followers that makes the brands sit up, take notice and start to want to be associated with your blog.
Do you know what statistical difference it might make where exactly you place your subscription buttons, the calls to action you use and how simple the procedure is? It can be massive and it’s something you should be motivated to learn about!
Putting in the effort to acquire and develop online marketing skills is crucial to anyone who wants to become a successful blogger, regardless of their niche or area of interest. Almost without exception the top bloggers are both great content creators with their own bold and articulate voice and personality and fantastic marketers. It’s the combination that separates them from the crowd.