Is blogging really worth it?

This is a valid question to those just getting started in eCommerce. I’ve known about blogs for some time but until about eight months ago I hadn’t really done much with blogging. What a great marketing opportunity; what a great way to share ideas and learn new information; what a great way to make additional income via the internet. Wikipedia explains blogs in the following way:

A blog is a user-generated website where entries are made in journal style and displayed in a reverse chronological order. Blogs often provide commentary or news on a particular subject, such as food, politics, or local news; some function as more personal online diaries. A typical blog combines text, images, and links to other blogs, web pages, and other media related to its topic. The ability for readers to leave comments in an interactive format is an important part of most early blogs. Most blogs are primarily textual although some focus on photographs (photoblog), sketchblog, videos (vlog), or audio (podcasting), and are part of a wider network of social media. The term “blog” is derived from “Web log.” “Blog” can also be used as a verb, meaning to maintain or add content to a blog. As of November 2006, blog search engine Technorati was tracking nearly 60 million blogs.

Other explanations I’ve heard about blogs include “online journal”, “digital newspaper”, and “web logs”.

So why are blogs so important when it comes to eCommerce? This is a common question too. Isn’t a blog just something else you have to work on and spend time doing? You betchya! However, the return on investment of a blog can come in a variety of ways. Here are some of my favorite things about blogging:

  1. Free (or very inexpensive) Targeted Advertising: there are many free options out there. My favorites are WordPress.com and blogger.com. I use both of them but am leaning more and more to wordpress.com because of all the functionality. Having multiple blogs, in relation to your website, can be so helpful: it’s a way to build additional quality links – ways that search engines can find your website. (ie. I have 2 blogs specifically used to promote my dance bags website: clogon.blogspot.com and bestdanceshoes.blogspot.com. I also have a new blog for my customized DVD and photography website: highlightsports.wordpress.com.) As you make posts on your blog, you can create anchor links to specific pages of your new website using keyword phrases. This is offsite advertising at it best! If you want even better recognition, purchase a domain name from GoDaddy and host it with BlueHost. That’s what I’ve done with this blog.
  2. Build Industry Credibility: the more quality information you post about products, services, and information within your industry, the more your visitors (and potential buyers) can see that you know what you’re talking about; they can trust in the products you are offering. Without content and quality information to back up buying decisions, buyers will probably look elsewhere.
  3. Affiliate Marketing Opportunities: as you can see at clogon.blogspot.com and bestdanceshoes.blogspot.com, I have a few different ways to actually make money with these blogs. The first is through Google Adsense, a pay-per-click campaign that makes money as visitors click on the advertising links. Google Adsense is free to set up and can be a great supplemental income to your business plan, at least to start. The other affiliate marketing campaigns on those blogs are the products on the side navigation. These affiliates were found through Commission Junction (www.cj.com). Sign up as a Publisher and start applying for affiliates within your industry or that compliment what you are doing. The pay may not be as good as getting products at a wholesale price and reselling at a retail price but at least you give yourself the opportunity to make money (and the cost is minimal if at all).  Before you start adding tons of ads to your blog, you should probably read about why it is not best to monetize your blog right out of the gate.

To finish up, make sure you remember the key word for effective blogging – Consistency:

  • How often you post – whether it’s once a day, week, or whatever, it’s important that you post new information on a consistent basis if you want readers to come back.
  • What you write about- if you have questions about this see my post about Focus
  • Anchor links – we don’t want to overdo the anchor links to our website, but it’s important to make keywords links to your pages
  • Product Reviews - if you are selling products on your website, it’s a good idea to do reviews from time to time – tell visitors why your products are better than the competition (use testimonials and feedback from clients)
  • Posting to other people’s blogs - find blogs you like that relate to what you are marketing and make good comments; use the Trackback tools if you have a lot to say: this can get your comment to show up on the blog you made the comment on and on your blog too.

What are your thoughts (if you can still think after all this…)?

Comments

  1. Jinger Jarrett says

    You are on the right track by blogging. I use my blog to build relationships with those that visit my sites. I’ve also found it to be a great public relations tool. Most won’t use it for that, but they should.

    It’s also an easy way to build a content rich website, and using a good blogging platform like WordPress makes it really easy to build your site because you aren’t dealing with building pages. You can focus on your content.

    Keep going. You have a really interesting blog, and your viewpoint should definitely be heard.

    Sincerely,

    Jinger Jarrett

  2. says

    I think the best thing about blogging as I understand it so far is the contact with people you wouldn’t otherwise have a hope of reaching or getting to know. The possibilities are endless but you do need to put in the time.

  3. Konrad Braun says

    Cool blog. Out of curiosity, what do you think of the new “$7 Secrets” Script and how did its sudden release affect you? I just thought I’d toss this question out there – simply because I know that almost all internet marketers were affected by its release one way or another. True, not true?

    Konrad Braun

  4. Charley Dibble says

    A lot to think about for a new guy like me. Your blog is awsome. I will visit other blogs to get the feel and then try it for myself.

  5. Mr. Performance Parts says

    I think blogs can be important for many different businesses. Talking about products you sell, make, or promote on a blog can get a lot of people interested in what you have. It gives customers a chance to interact with the business without having to buy anything. I blog mostly to vent frustration, or talk about something that’s interesting in my market. I don’t get much traffic to my blog, but it’s just another way of reaching out to customers.

  6. Nav Patel says

    Good article. Blogging allows a site owner to helps build a personal touch via the impersonal medium of the internet. The returns may be difficult to measure but quality links are important!

  7. Herbert Hidalgo says

    Everything it says is excelent, blogging nothing but help the website, by reaching people you would not be able to reach otherwise, I am going to start looking into getting one for my website.

  8. Doug Bleak says

    I believe the greatest thing about a blog, when you have a web site, is the aspect of virtually free advertising. Yes, they do take some time to keep up, they keep us thinking of new ideas to post (the mind is like all things, use it or lose it).
    Having just started in the e-commerce business we do not have a lot of money sitting around that can be used to advertise our site. Tools such as blogs can be used to further our business and get our site recognized by more people, and they don’t cost us the dollars we don’t have, who wouldn’t ask for more. People and businesses have been handing out business cards for ages. A blog is an excellent business card, with the potential to reach a far larger audience than you could reach with the old style paper cards. Although I do use the regular business cards and will as they to are a inexpensive way to advertise.

  9. Marie Rodgers says

    I am just learning about blogging and intend to post my own blog this week. If you want to have a profitable business, it makes sense to reach as many people as you can and blogging is another avenue to achieve this goal. Deciding on a subject has me a little baffled but I’ll come up with one. This is a very interesting and informative post about blogging. Thanks.

  10. Steve says

    Blogging can be a good tool, I think I have some other areas I need to put my focus on first though to get my site up and running. Once I feel comfortable with my content and product availability, I think it is a good advertising tool.

  11. says

    Blog can help you build relationship with your subscriber or customer. If you always post good information and you will gain a trust from your reader. I believe blog can do a lot of things and have high potential to earn money online.

  12. Nancy Wecker says

    That’s a lot of good information. A great way to get more personal with your public and generate interest for your site.

  13. Konrad Braun says

    A quick word of encouragement:

    H. L. Hunt (Haroldson Lafayette Hunt) back in the 70s – owned 200 + companies and earned over $3 million a day in royalty income. when asked what his key to success was, he responded: “2 things: #1 – Decide exactly what it is you want and make a plan to achieve it. #2 – Determine the price you will have to pay and then resolve to pay that price.”

    Not much gets done without any action being taken first. Do today what you can do today – for tomorow you will do what you can do tomorow!

    Konrad Braun

  14. Allen Bohart says

    I’ve all but abandoned regular websites in favor of blogs. The advantages are just too numerous to ignore. Just the search engine friendliness of a wordpress blog hosted on it’s own domain is reason enough.

  15. says

    Blogging is so worth it. Not only can it help you with SEO, SMO, and building relationships with others, but it is also a great way to make money by writing about things you have a passion for. Aaron Wall literally makes millions from blogging: it’s a way he shares some of his knowledge and catches peoples interest. His blog is a way to wet peoples palate and then he does consulting for a good share of doe. You can also tie in affiliates with your blog as long as they relate to what you are writing about. Since getting involved in blogging, I’ve had absolutely no regrets (and it’s helped me promote other websites I run too.) Good post.

  16. john h markus says

    Excellent, being new to blogging,this helps me see the advantages of this process to help my business. Now i must apply this knowledge. Thanks.

  17. Patsy Kelly says

    Great info in this article. I’ve blogged a couple times, but have since changed focus and need to re-think it. (In fact, I guess I better go delete that old blog from last year).

    Blogging certainly has a lot of merits and at a low price tag–just one’s own time and creativity. I found it hard to come up with subjects, but it helps if you have a little notebook to jot down ideas as they pop up.

  18. says

    We are in the eight week of coaching with Nate. We have a website, a blog and a new product, a scripture confession CD, by Janie Baer, God’s Word Spoken. Is blogging worth it? Nate taught us directories and articles which are bring results. Blogging will work for Nate has taught us well.

  19. says

    I have tried Adsense and didn’t like it because: they put competitive ads, my most competitive website everywhere. I could not compete with them because they bought in bulk. So I finally got rid of it. As far as blogs are concerned, I have tried them, but to be honest with you I am very new to them and have no idea “where in cyber space” they go. I have never found any of them. I do believe they are great, but here again you have to watch what you ‘try to advertise’ because you will have to pay for the “added LINK” to your site. You cannot from what I have read put your links into the text with out having to pay for it. You get one! But as I say, I am not an expert in blogging.

  20. says

    This is a very good article and educational as I had never thought blogs were anything but informational and had not thought about the business end of them. I am new to ecommerce and am still in the process of getting my website up and going. With so much competition out there, it behooves me to become educated on all the different tools accessable to me. I never thought about blogging as one of these until Nate introduced the idea. I am now working on my first blog. I realize it will take time and commitment and just not something I can do once and be satisfied. I am all for free advertising as I do not have alot of dollars at this time for advertising. I also believe it will be a way for me to communicate with others and build a relationship of trust.

  21. Gina says

    I am now a subscriber to this blog. I am getting the idea that blogs are the new way for “word of mouth” advertising. Though they aren’t new. I have made more purchases and have received more business from “word of mouth” comments and recommendations than any other way. I am now going to look to blogs to get my information and give my information.

  22. Lawrence whipple says

    Thank you for this article. It has helped me to understand the importance of blogging. I need to get a better handle on it but i see it as a valuable tool for marketing my sites

  23. Keith Hensley says

    I am just starting to learn about blogging. It does make sense. The more people who you can reach out to in the blogs and get to your website, the better your chances to make sales.

  24. Nathacha Arango says

    There are so many things to actually accomplish with blogging just like there is in every day life, so taking it step by step will be the way to accomplish our blogging. thanks NATE great Article!

  25. Nancy Washburn says

    Yes, blogging is important and cheap! Often, adding to a blog will allow people to Google you and give you more credibility. Blogging is a tool that is often overlooked by many and needs to be used more. Links can be added for more eyes and help being seen by the spiders and such.
    Slowly, I have been compiling articles to put on my website, http://www.bestnaturalhome.com. I want good products and good information for those who are health minded and not pushing the latest diet fad or miracle pill.

  26. fatma says

    Thank you for this interesting article. I am really keen on having a blog myself and am looking forward to connecting with as many as I can through it.

  27. Linda Bonney says

    Good blog full of useful information. I will be looking at other blogs and try to get one set up on wordpress.com. Thanks

  28. Peter Sandle says

    There’s a big opportunity out there with blogging and other practically free emarketing tools you’ve told us about . Good info about technorati. It all inspires me to try to find more time for my project.

  29. Chuck McIntyre says

    Great advice as usual Nate! Just set up a WordPress blog to get familiar with. Keep the great info coming!

  30. says

    Blog, blog, blog! All these blogs, all these opinions, does anyone really read them? I’m about to find out as I enter the world of blogdom (is that a word?). I should be pretty good at blogging because I can talk about stuff I’m into for hours. This sounds like it could be fun. I just hope I don’t offend anyone. Oh well, we’re all just one big happy Internet family, right? Am I right….can we talk….can we blog? Do you think audio blogs will ever catch on? I could record audio blogs all day in my studio at http://www.VoiceCreation.com. Am I onto something with that idea, or has it already been done? Thanks for reading my comments, if in fact, you really did.

  31. says

    I am new to blogging as well, I am looking forward to see what happens. I like to write, it’s just finding time.
    I think it will be a good tool and outlet for interesting stories about my products. I can see getting my customers involved in the blog – good way to keep them talking about my sites.

  32. Kevin O'Donnell says

    Just set up a wordpress blog and will be posting on it soon. Hopefully this will add some new visits to my website.

  33. Randy Green says

    Dont know a lot about blogs yet. Sounds like a personal journal type of article , definitely willing to put in the time to try this strategy out. Not sure what to write yet.

  34. says

    It’s great to know of other ways to bring traffic to my site. I am still new at all this, but know that http://www.babyshowercreators.com will benefit from blogging!!! I eventually want to reach the top of the search engines, and am excited to start this process as soon as my site is up and running! Thanks Nate

  35. Barb says

    Blogging is my most recent assignment and just like with articles, I seem to be scared. This is a novel concept for me as I am usually fearless. I want to succeed so much with this business and Nate keeps telling me that I can do it. This week I will post my first blog — like I said, scares me to death! I will be back to link my web site for you guys to check out. Catch you later.

  36. Cassie & Rick says

    Ok, I was a bit skeptical about this blogging. But knowing that I have many friends who live by different blog sites, I saw the possiblities. That and Nate has never steered us wrong!
    So, I did my assignment and created a blog and posted! Well, what do you know! Someone read it and posted a comment. This was incouraging. So, I let my personality flow through and added “Character” to my blog, yet still keeping in mind that I needed it to focus back to my site. I posted my second entry and it was again read and someone different posted!
    So, I’m a believer! I will continue to do this blog and keep inserting my weblink! This is awesome. And here I wasn’t a believer. Just another example of what a fabulous coach we have.

  37. Chris & Graham says

    Here we go again stepping into a hitherto unknown scary new world, Nathan your helping hand and encouragement inspire us. Blogging is now added to our future and time will surely prove its benefit. Knowing our product makes it easier to emarket and blog. The technology is the frightening part, warp speed is how we feel.

  38. Wanda says

    I had never even been to a “blog” site until you mentioned it during our mentoring session. I think it is a great way of keeping your website/products in reach of potential clients. Thanks again!

  39. Linda Brooks says

    I agree that this information on blogging is a most excellent. And I can see blogging is the way to go, now I just need to become more familiar with it and apply it.

  40. Justin & Cynthia Fitzpatrick says

    We are just learning about the importance of blogging and what a big role it plays in building relationships not only with your customers but with fellow internet marketers as well.
    It’s all about marketing and blogging sounds like a great way to get traffic to our site so we better get writing……

  41. Adnan Kaleemi says

    My job is to provide forex signals to my clients. As I am providing my services, blog also allows me to communicate. This is great! especially in the type of service I do.
    I am still working on the link building and getting fimiliar with building a blog. I see a lot of possibilities in blogging.

  42. says

    Whew! Where do you find the time? Between building my site, and all that entails (through the rabbit hole anyone?) learning about SEO, PPC, writing and submitting articles, and now blogging it is a lot to digest. I know that it is all worth it, but it’s a lot to get done. I’m still eating the dang elephant one bite at a time. I’m sure that everything all begins come together from all of the small steps. I just want to get it all done NOW. Maybe I should put this all in my new blog!

  43. says

    I had no idea what the purpose for a blog was previously, but now have a better idea. I used to think it was a bunch of people with nothing better to do than leave comments on articles, but now realize the value of the information, and the SEO value as well. Thanks for the breakdown and refresher.

  44. Rene says

    I agree with your comment, Jan Davidson, all this info, really there is a lot to learn, is overwhelming ! BUT I firmly believe is worth it, and just to prove the point, lets go back to ” ask Shane.org” & ” Aaron Wall’s those are great examples ( and many more) that we are on the right track.

    ” Is blogging …. ”
    of course it is, a wonderful tool to make money, WITHOUT forgetting
    to ” FOCUS ON CONTENT NO ADS ” we all are here for a reason, we want to create a source of income, but doing it the right way, will make blogging a great experience.

    This has been one of the best article in blogging that I found with very important links. Great article Nate.

  45. Barb says

    I am back. When I commented on Sept 3rd, I said that I was scared to write. It has been over a month and I still am scared!, but I am working to get over that. Nate has had to beat me over the head to get through all the fluff in the way. Blogging is not just about writing, it’s about gaining credibility with search engines. Having people find and comment on my blog is not as important as maintaining regular posts so the SEO police see that I am a credible source and that the links that I have attached to my site are also credible.

  46. mike koubele says

    Hi Nate

    I found that I am not alone dreading on my first attempt to really get things started . So thank you for the information again and your support.

    Mike koubele

  47. Gisela says

    I see the importance of blogging as an advertising tool, however, writing is not a “natural” skill for me. I love reading, but writing is a different story. I am focusing on the end result, not the tasks at hand.

  48. louie says

    Hi Nate Thanks for all the great info. again. I am going to need as much info. as I can get to start my blogging site. I am starting to understand the importance on getting your trust and links to your customers through blogging. Well I am going to give it a try wish me luck.

  49. Oleta Young says

    A good learning experience! I followed so many links, I had to go back and read the article again. There is so much to learn, and I want to learn it all now. I can see why blogging would be a great tool for marketing, and will start useing it as soon as possible. And after reading the Focus article again, I realized that I need to work on that also.
    Thanks Nate.

  50. says

    Great article Nate ! As I am learning more and more about blogging, I start to get the big picture of all that blogs have to offer. Building a relationship with our customers, and accessing potential customers by providing useful information definately makes sense. I’m sure I’ll be starting simple and small, but there are a lot of options as I’ll be getting use to the whole “writing frequently” aspect of blogging. I will prioritize and make sure to leave a bit of time for this weekly. Thanks for the tips !

  51. laverne says

    Thanks for the article on blogging, Nate, it helps me understand the importance of blogging. I have set up my blog with wordpress and plan to post soon.

  52. Rick says

    The article is very clear as to the importance of blogging. The comments reveal individual journey’s into this networking. I am glad you had me read this. I can see where others began which urges me along.

  53. says

    Yeah Nate,
    Great article. I’ll put the blogging thing on the “to do list.” So much to do, so little time. I also thought that blogging was just another avenue for the interneters to vent their egos. Just a small portion of the blogging scene, I suppose. Keep up the good work Nate and thanks for being so patient.

  54. Don Holt says

    As you know, Nate, I am just being introduced to blogging. This info will help build my knowledge of this subject and take me further toward my goals. Thanks!

  55. Larry Julian says

    I agree with another blogger above that Nate has never steered us wrong. Although this is totally new to me, I am going to build my skills in this area.

    Larry

  56. karyn says

    Excellent info on blogging, definitely going to bookmark it and refer to it to help me get into the swing of blogging!

  57. says

    I am a novice computer user, I began with a personal family blog. I found it is a great way to keep with touch with family and friends. I then created a business blog. I am just learning how to incorporate that into a positive marketing tool. Realizing the scope and possibilities of using the computer world effectively is enormous.

    • says

      It’s a whole new world! Welcome to the dance! I feel strongly that blogging is a critical part of running an effective online business. It used to be that businesses didn’t do well without a website. Now it’s really that businesses all have sites, but if they don’t have an effective and personalized blog, they are not maximizing all their possibilities to socialize in “Web 2.0″.

  58. Aaron says

    I totally agree that blogging is crucial to your ecommerce site. I have seen a fairly new company gain considerable amounts of traffic solely because of their blog content. I cant believe how many blogs are out there and i believe we are just scratching the surface.

  59. Jesse Rucker says

    The idea is fantastic, but I’m still overwhelmed. We will definitely give it a try. We need to do a lot research and reading to fully understand blogging. Do we need a blog site other than blogging on our website?

    Jeanie and Jess

    • says

      The best news is that your website is all part of a blog. WordPress, which is what you are using, is the best blogging platform out there.

      The key is to be consistent and passionate about sharing information about what you two are doing. Think about it, you could write a product review for EVERY product you all have access to. That would be one blog post a week for like 3 years!

      I’m confident you can do it!

  60. Jesse Rucker says

    On the interview with Andy Beal, we did not get to see the interview because we could not download the plug-in, as many as four times of trying to down load. We read all of the responses and your commentary. Without knowing the contents of his interview, the information we got is very good.

    • says

      I’m glad you liked it Nancy. I attempted to call you today, left a message. We’ll set up a time to meet soon. Let me know via email on some times that would work for you.

      Keep blogging!

    • says

      Hey Jovan,

      I’m really glad you liked it. If you have specific questions as to how it can be applied with what you and Sherry are doing, please let me know.

      Thanks for the comments. Let’s talk soon.

    • says

      That’s the cool thing about the Magellan builder, it’s got a reviews section built right in. Magellan also has a blog tied right to it with WordPress. The fun thing about blogging is it gives you a way to directly interact with your clients, get feedback and share your knowledge and passion for the industry you’re promoting.

      It’s all coming along! Keep me posted!

  61. says

    I hope bloggin is worth it. I haven’t made any money so far, and because of that I find I need to put all my time and effort into selling my house. I find I can no longer afford to live in my house with my current income. I was hoping my blog would bring in additional funds. Once I get my house ready to put on the market in January, then I will be able to make time to work on my blog. Thanks for the info Nate.

  62. says

    What a wonderful way to get your information out to possibly millions of bloggers! So much better and cheaper than paying for a 3-5 minute blip on TV and then you are history!

  63. says

    Nate:

    That’s without a doubt the best definition of a blog that I’ve ever seen.

    Does the separate domain for your blog give more credibility to the search engines?

    Thanks.

    Jan

  64. says

    Great way to find new customers. Link products, pictures, and text to my site. I’m starting to get this whole Blogging thing, and how it ties in with my store. Just need alot of practice with WordPress.

    Thanks,

    Curt

  65. says

    You are one of the many eloquent voices out here in e-commerce frontier-land that are saying these things. I get excited when I think of the opportunity for marketing that this medium presents.

    I also like the idea that this industry is evolving in it’s possibilities. New wrinkles cropping up all the time. Ain’t it great!

  66. Jarad says

    I think blogging brings a more “personal” experience to the web let alone shopping online. But with respect to shopping; I’ve been in situations where I had went to a store and couldn’t decide on something. If I didn’t ask for advice from a store clerk or stranger, it would be offered to me in order to aid my decision.

    From the perspective of the online consumer; blogging/blogs provide that kind of advice 24/7, from one to hundreds of persons at a time. There is a certain comfort attained when you know that your concerns have already been brought-up and addressed. If the advice/information proved to be satisfying, then you won’t hesitate to trust the same source for more (which will lead to sales). Blogging can prove to be that “source”.

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