Seven things a blog post is not…

A direct response marketing program – This means we need to avoid the urge to include conversation stopping things like hyperbole, canned benefits statements and a call to action.  Few things shut down a blog conversations faster than “act before Friday…” or some other type of offer.

A press release – PR teams have a very specific role as the “official voice” of the organization for the media and other third parties.  This typically means speaking of your organization in the third person.  In contrast, effective blogging works in the first and second person as you would in a conversation.  This also invites comments, both positive and negative.


An email substitute – Just because your house email list is losing its pop doesn’t mean you can blindly move your promotions to your blog.  Blogs with no obvious value to your audience are spam.  You need to get beyond the facts and tell me something new, fresh or surprising.

A case study – Blogs are great for telling stories but again think in the first and second person rather than the third person.  You have to interview your customer for the case study so why not take the time to capture the narrative as a Q&A or podcast?

Buzz – You are not stupid.  You can see through it when there is no substance.  It is no secret that the best blogs are full of fresh content and interesting ideas. Why bother blogging at all if you have nothing new, original or real to share?

Advertising – If you are a consistent blogger with a thoughtful SEO plan, you can crank up your pagerank and generate significant inbound traffic that can replace expensive paid media.  Again it starts with compelling content that your readers want to read, share and link to.

Viral marketing – Sure a blog post can “go viral” and get shared broadly but you first need to create something your audience cares about and is worth sharing.

– Mr. Tangyslice thanks you for joining us today and wonders which of these things you see most frequently and if he missed anything?

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Author: Frank Days

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  1. I guess whether or not a blog is or can be thought of as advertising depends on whether or not one thinks of the word “Advertising” as a pejorative…IMHO good advertising starts conversations and informs the viewer/reader– just as good blog posts do. In some ways I think the same can be said about all of the tools (PR, e-mail, etc) you’ve listed. The blog is a newer form of communication – because it is easy to set up, use, and find, many companies don’t yet know how to control it. As a result it is often more “real” than other forms of corporate communication. But the other forms, done well, are also effective and useful ways to tell a story or start a conversation. How well each medium is used depends on the person using the medium. Ultimately all of these tools can be used to find customers.

  2. Good point. I guess I was seeing it from the “I have a smaller ad budget this year so let’s do more social media promotions” standpoint. As a regular blog reader I’m sure you;ve been annoyed on more than one occasion when an otherwise strong blogger gets too caught up in shameless self promotion, hyperbole or third part shilling.

  3. Depends on what product is being promoted…if it is something that has value to me then I don’t mind seeing a bit of promotion, whether in a blog or some other media. Speaking of small budgets, what would you put your $$ towards if you had a start up with a small (less than 2k/month) marketing budget? (Assume a consumer good, already made and produced — you are only charged with moving product). Would you pay someone to blog about the product? Buy ad space? Hire a part time PR person? What’s the most effective means of getting the word out, dollar for dollar? I’d say blogging. And if the blog was all I had, I’d expect the blogger to do a bit of promotion in addition to relationship building and conversation starting.

  4. But a blog post can be all of those things. It depends on your audience – and their expectations for what the content of your blog can and should be.

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