It’s often times funny how things change over time. Not too long ago the mainstream culture looked down upon the everyday blogger. Blogs, were the wide open cyberspace that was hard to gauge, value and most of all legitimize. In any industry the narrative would often read, regardless of the content, “that’s just a blog” or “they’re just a blogger”.
Since launching Sports Rants in 2011 I have experienced this “brush off”. Regardless if I am offering an opinion, citing sources or offering real sports news I am often dismissed completely because “I’m just a blogger”. At one time, that may have gotten under my skin, but in all actuality it is exactly who I am. I am a blogger.
But I don’t see that as a stiff punch to the gut. I don’t take it as it is often implied, as an insult. In fact, I fully embrace being a blogger, working with fellow bloggers and penning my thoughts in a blog.
Despite what your local newspaper columnist, beat writer or national columnist may think, bloggers are a powerful entity and a driving force into putting a big hurt on the “old school” media outlets like newspapers and magazines. The standard media culture can “poo poo” the blogger all they want, but these days it shouldn’t be met with anger, it should be met with understanding.
Being a blogger without a degree in journalism or broadcasting, without “proper” training and without traditional roots, makes me tick a little bit different. Sure, all of the aforementioned milestones are nothing to sneeze at and while maybe in hindsight I would have possibly considered taking a course or study, it by no means suggests that the content I produce is less viable than other sources.
Because of my unique background I have had to work harder at building my brand. I had no cushion of a heavily financed media conglomerate to provide me or my career a safety net. I had no marketing machine, outside of my own abilities, to help my content meet the masses. Every thing I have done, and this goes for all blog owners, is by my own. The risk is often much greater than the reward, but the blogger walks a uniquely different path.
And that is why the blogger is a powerful marketing weapon.
I, like many of you, and many bloggers are easy to connect with. From the CEO to the everyday blue collar type, there is something about reading a blog that seems less “suit and tie” and more like a natural conversation. Sure, every blog has it’s downfalls and the industry as a whole needs to continue to evolve, but the growing value of the blogger is growing just as fast.
There is a reason why major media conglomerates such as ESPN, CNN and others end up buying blog brands. It makes business sense.
Not only do bloggers create a unique relationship between writer & reader, but they deliver a unique value to advertisers as well.
According to The Custom Content Council Spending Study 72% of marketers think branded content is more effective than advertising in a magazine; 62% say it is more effective than advertising on TV; 69% say it is superior to both direct mail and public relations. Think that is impressive? That study was done in 2011 when blogs were starting to really make impact. The numbers have dramatically expanded 3 years later.
Here are some interesting tidbits from statistics in 2014:
68% of all organic clicks go to the top three search results. (eConsultancy)
B2B companies that blog only 1-2x/month generate 70% more leads than those who don’t blog. (HubSpot)
Companies that increase blogging from 3-5x/month to 6-8x/month almost double their leads. (HubSpot)
An average company will see a 45% growth in traffic when increasing total blog articles from 11-20 to 21-50. (HubSpot)
- 44% of B2B marketers have a documented content strategy
- 78% of small companies have someone who oversees content marketing strategy
- 73% of B2B organizations have someone in place to oversee content marketing strategy
- Content marketing costs 62% less than traditional marketing and generates about 3 times as many leads. (Source: DemandMetric)
- 82% of marketers who blog see positive ROI for their inbound marketing. (Source: HubSpot)
- Brands that create 15 blog posts per month average 1,200 new leads per month. (Source: HubSpot)
- The most effective B2B marketers believe blogs are the most powerful content marketing tactic. (Source: CMI)
- 90% of consumers find custom content useful, 78% believe the organizations behind the content are interested in building good relationships. (Source: McMurray/TMG)
- 27,000,000 pieces of content are shared each day. (Source: AOL)
Blogs are increasing their value in the internet marketing industry. It has a profound impact on Social Media and Search Engine Optimization and builds relationships that are unique and often times, organic. They are a lightning rod in Reputation Management and can help videos go viral.
Even traditional media such as newspapers have started embracing blogging by adding blogs & bloggers to their staff.
Utilizing content marketing strategies that work closely with blogs is a vital component of successful campaigns and have a unique multiple layered impact on various areas of marketing with numerous streams of ROI.
Blogs are a weapon to be used in your marketing arsenal and a unique outlet that can pay major dividends!