Last week, a friend in my Mastermind asked a question: Is it selling out to use a blog post for marketing?
As a content writer and blog coach, I’m going to share with you what I told her:
Unless you’re using your blog like a journal (which no business ever should, including solopreneurs), blogging is, by definition, marketing. More specifically, it’s content marketing. That means its inherent purpose is to:
- Attract your ideal client by using great SEO best practices and solving the problem the client knows they have. It’s that problem which brings them to your website via a search for solutions on Google or Pinterest.
- Provide incredible free value, education, and connection geared to your ideal clients so they resonate with you, and feel like, “Wow, this person understands me and what I want in life. They’re my kind of person.”
- Show them a sneak peek of the value that “must be” in your lead magnet and newsletter so they sign up to your email list. Emails are how you can nurture them as leads and convert clients.
- Familiarize them with your business, expertise, and sales offers with consistent content pillars (ie. themes). That way they’ll trust you, browse your sales page(s), and see you as the go-to expert in this area. That means they’ll come to you when they’re actively looking for help (ie. they’re a hot lead) and much easier to convert into a client.
“I want to make a positive impact on people’s lives. Is it selling out to approach my blogging as marketing? Or to think of my readers as leads?”
I’m going to cheat and respond with a few telling questions. How can you help people who don’t know you exist because they can’t find you on the internet? And if your business doesn’t make enough money to sustain itself?
As for your readers being leads: you’re a business owner, which means your readers are leads. However, that in no way devalues your relationship with them.
In fact, content marketing (including blogging) is all about nurturing your relationship. Acknowledging they’re leads and using the best principles of content marketing is how you help readers get to know you, start dating you (through blog and newsletters), and then feel excited about committing to you (by becoming a paying customer.) Content marketing done right should leave them feeling better than when they found you – and spark the curiosity of how fantastic they might feel as a paying customer with all its added benefits.
Let me ask you some other questions in case you’re still doubting whether your blog is meant for content marketing.
- Is your blog part of your business?
- Do you want people to find your business online?
- Do you want people to like your business and trust you as the expert?
- Is it important that your business is financially successful so you can keep doing the work that you love?
If you answered yes to these questions, then my friend, you do want your blog to be the heart of your content marketing.
And let me promise you: if you’re asking the question of whether it’s selling out, I know you’re the kind of business owner that cares deeply about your audience and clients. You’re going to inject authenticity and awesome value into your blog posts automatically, even when your blog is part of your content strategy and includes SEO.
“How do I get started blogging for marketing?”
Write to a problem your ideal clients need solved and embed the SEO to help them find your answer. Once you’re into the heart of your blog post, you can always gently awaken them to the deeper issues that their surface level problem reveals. You can even invite them to look at solutions for it (via your lead magnet, for example) and thereby get them on your email list so you can nurture them.
BUT this is just the beginning of a larger content marketing strategy, like the ones I help clients create in Blog Your Way to Visibility.
Share your thoughts! Did you originally think it was wrong to use a blog for marketing? Let me know in the comments below!