Welcome to Marketing Monday, where I give you tips and tricks for being your own content marketer. This week’s post is all about what not to do on your blog.
I’ve had to redirect a few clients lately who want to use their blog for selling their services, but here’s the thing: that’s not what your blog is for. That kind of content should go on your About and Services pages. It can even go out in your newsletter (but only for special promotions, not on a regular basis). But it doesn’t belong on your blog. Your blog needs to have actionable tips people can follow to make their lives better because that let’s them know you really know your stuff.
But Then They Won’t Need Me
False. I provide free content marketing tips every week, but people still reach out to me when they decide they need my services. Why?
Partly because they can tell I don’t talk about everything I know. I put a lot of valuable information out there, but I still have a few tricks up my sleeve that people won’t be able to access without hiring me.
The other reason is time. People can use all the tips and tricks I provide in this blog, but then they’ll be spending half their time developing content instead of doing what they do best and serving their own clients.
The same goes for training and keeping up with the latest trends. In order to do everything I do, my clients would have to devote time, not only to creating and editing their content, but to researching best practices, keywords, etc. and they simply don’t have time for that.
Marketing Is Not Advertising
I think a lot of the problem is that people confuse marketing with advertising. Advertising is when you’re directly trying to sell your products or services. Advertising includes television and radio commercials, movie trailers, roadside banners, etc.
By contrast, marketing is about building a relationship with the audience. Most forms of content marketing (including blog posts, social media, ebooks, etc.) are all ways in which you can build your brand identity and gain your audience’s trust. By interacting with them on social media and providing them with free tips, you become the go-to person on that particular topic. Because I blog about content marketing all the time, people familiar with my website know to come to me when they need a content marketer.
Have It Both Ways
You can have the occasional blog post that you use as an advertisement, but I cannot put enough stress on the word “occasional.” It should be the exception, not the rule of your blog. You have to build trust first, and only once you’ve accomplished that can you take it to the bank by asking them to pay for something. It should only be used when you’re running a special deal or to announce the launch of a new product or service.
Does This Mean I Can’t Advertise Online?
Of course not. Plenty of companies are still paying for Facebook Ads and Google Ads and gaining traction with those, but they’re not paying to put their blog posts there – they’re paying to put their About and Products/Services pages there so people can go straight to buying stuff from them. Those customers are in a different phase of the buyer’s journey and you have to take that into account when creating your content.
Content Marketer vs. Copywriter
Content marketers are good writers, and a lot of the same language and techniques that get applied to content marketing can be applied to copywriting. I’ve written some advertising copy myself over the years, so if you want to hire a content marketer to write advertising copy, that’s fine. Just don’t put it on your blog.
If any of this has left you wondering what you should put in your blog posts, I’ve covered that topic, too.
Can you think of any other things that should never go in your blog? Let me know in the comments if anything comes to mind.
Ready for more content marketing tips? You can sign up for my newsletter at the top of this page to make sure you never miss an update. If your ready to take your content to the next level, let’s chat.