In yesterday’s post on how to make $12,000/year from your blog, we discussed free and paid blogging methods for marketing your blog.
Today’s post discusses how to decide which methods to use – free, paid or a combination of the two.
How to Choose Blog Marketing Methods to Bring in the Most Profit
The problem most bloggers have is that they literally have no money with which to market. But, you can still market using free methods. If you have absolutely no money to start, following is your course of action.
Note: The marketing methods you choose will heavily depend on which niche you target. Some niches are more competitive than others; some niches have a larger target market than others; and some niches don’t have enough of a target market to even bother with; etc.
You will have to do some market research to determine where your blog’s product/service fits in. For example, my blog is on freelance writing – a sizeable market. So I focus on a sub-niche of this market – freelancers who have 0-3 years of experience.
Another fact that I know about my market — they’re not the most cash-flush niche, they tend to be pretty skeptical of information products, and they don’t really spend money online as readily as say a tech-interested, geek market.
As I’m an information seller, I think about this in my product offerings (ebooks), the type of advertising I place and in what I choose to write about on my blog. With my audience, I know I have a high trust threshold to cross. In other markets, the threshold may be higher or lower.
Before you decide on which marketing method to use, you’re going to have to parse, if you will, your target market’s likes and dislikes in this manner to know which blog marketing method(s) will get them to buy from you. And it’s not an exact science; it takes time.
With all of that being said, following are outlines of two blog marketing plans.
How to Market Your Blog for $0
If you have absolutely no money – but tons of ambition and patience — you’re going to have to use free methods. But, which ones? You’re going to have to do double and triple duty. As in, use more than one free method.
I opt for article marketing, guest posting, and social bookmarking and networking. This is in addition to updating your blog on a regular basis, of course. Following is a brief overview of why I chose each one.
Article Marketing: What do people search for when they go online? Information. And, a lot of it comes from informative articles that “experts” like you write. By putting your articles in an article bank, you allow it to be distributed far and wide.
Be sure to make effective use of that resource box – which is the whole reason you write and distribute free articles, remember?
Guest Posting: Again, you’re getting double bang for your buck here. By being featured on heavily trafficked and/or popular blogs in your niche, you not only gain a new audience, you gain credibility, trust, professionalism, know-it-allness, etc.
I’ve been featured on some of the largest freelance writing sites on the web and have gained not only search engine juice from these posts, but new subscribers who’d never heard of me before.
Social Bookmarking and Networking: As much as I try not to like this – because I’m way to busy to do it to any large degree – it just works. MySpace has 122 million users – and it’s growing more every day.
Even garnering a tiny, tiny fraction of this traffic can mean success if you have the right product/service and gain a following on a site like this (or Twitter, YouTube, Facebook, StumbleUpon, LinkedIn, etcc.). Ignore this form of marketing at your own peril.
There are other free methods you can use, but I chose these because they all give you an immediate double bang, shot in the arm, for your efforts.
Blog Marketing for Those with Money to Spend
Now if you have a little money, the ball game changes. It all depends on how much you have. Let’s say you have $250/month to spend on marketing your blog.
Pay-Per-Click: What I’d do is either run a pay-per-click campaign – if the cost is not too high for the keywords I’d need. Sometimes, you can be priced right out of the market, depending on what your niche is.
For example, if your blog is on getting out of debt, you probably won’t be able to get anywhere near the front page of Google because all the major credit card companies and financial institutions can outbid you for top placement.
Remember, advertising is about consistency. Don’t invest in advertising you can’t afford to repeat.
Ads on Popular Sites/Blogs: Barring that, the next thing to do is to find a few reputable blogs/websites in your niche that accept ads and place as many of those as you can – for as long as you can. I like to run ads for at least three months.
The reason is, people don’t buy when they first see an ad. They have to see it numerous times. This is why you can never judge the return on an ad from a week’s run, for example. That’s not long enough.
Free Methods: In addition to this, the next thing I’d do is incorporate one or two free methods into my marketing. I believe in always using free advertising – even when you have money. This way, you will constantly be getting the word out about your blog, whether or not you have money.
Once you’ve placed your ads or started your free marketing campaigns, constantly monitor results to see where your traffic – and sales – are coming from. Then, redouble your efforts on those methods that are working, and weed out those that aren’t.
The reason advertising agencies are paid hundreds of millions of dollars is because it’s not an exact science – but they’ve come pretty close to making it so. They know how to identify target markets, give them what they want and fine tune successful campaigns to make them even more successful.
Unfortunately for the rest of us, no advertising agency is in the plan – yet. For now, it’s just us and our blog. But, it can be done. The advice dispensed here is a helpful start.
Good luck with your blog marketing.