Blogging is dead if you fail to measure it

My friend and colleague Chris Brogan recently wrote an excellent post reiterating a point many of us have been making since the earliest days of social media: build on land you own. Here’s a post from 2010 on the same topic. Blogging as a communications and marketing method certainly isn’t dead.

There’s one caveat to Chris’ argument that blogging isn’t dead: we don’t know if our specific blog is alive or dead unless we measure it. Your blog could very well be dead if no one takes any action of value.

What should we be measuring for your blog? Like all forms of content, we should be measuring three buckets:

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We should measure our blog by how much audience we can grow, from subscribers to social followers. While audience isn’t the end goal, an audience of zero means we can never grow.

We should measure our blog by how much our audience engages with it. When we share our blog posts to social media, in email newsletters, in meetings, how many people engage with it?

We should measure our blog by how many people visit it, how many people take action on it, how many people convert. Does our blog generate real business results and revenue?

If the answer to any of these buckets of metrics is zero, there’s a good chance your blog is dead.

What if your blog is dying, but not dead yet? Should you be posting to rented properties instead? Before you make that leap, I recommend investigating when your blog was growing, rather than fading. What did you do differently then? What topics did you write about? How did you do your outreach? Understanding what made your blog grow, what need your blog served for your audience, is the key to the building its growth.

Here’s an easy exercise to try. Copy 10 blog posts that were popular during your blog’s ascent into a text file. Copy 10 current blog posts into a separate text file. Paste both sets of text into a word cloud generator. What is different now to what you were writing about then? Is there a difference in content?

To understand whether distribution is your problem or content is your problem, analyze your content first. Once you’ve ruled out that content is the reason for your blog’s fading popularity, then focus on potentially changing way to distribute your blog and how you distribute it.


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Marketing For Kids, Part 8: Conclusion

Marketing For Kids, Part 8: Conclusion

We’ve covered an enormous amount of ground in this guide. Let’s recap:

That’s a lot to do, and each piece has supplementary reading. However, all of this is achievable; almost all of it can be done from your smartphone.

Expectations

One expectation from part 1 I need to reiterate is that marketing and growing a business takes time. It’s highly unlikely that you’ll open your doors and be an instant success; while such fairy tale stories do rarely happen, they’re extremely uncommon.

What about…?

When you read about marketing on the Internet, almost everyone has an opinion of the right way it should be done. Like any discipline, practice, or craft, marketing takes time to practice and learn. This guide isn’t for the experienced adult professional marketing expert who’s trying all the new shiny objects as they roll out. This guide is for that adult’s kids.

In the same way it would be highly irresponsible to enroll a child who’s never done martial arts in a black belt class instead of a white belt class, it would be highly irresponsible for a professional marketer to overload their kids with every possible marketing tool, tactic, and strategy. Master the basics first! (a lesson many adult marketers should heed as well)

Thank you!

Thank you for reading and sharing this series! I wish you all success in your marketing and business ideas.

marketing ride

Marketing can be a lot of fun; it’s the ride that never ends. Thanks for spending some time with me on it.


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Marketing For Kids, Part 7: Email Marketing

While social media and messaging apps are the darlings of the new digital landscape, an incredible amount of purchasing power – meaning potential customers who have money to spend on our products – is held by people who use email to communicate. Email is how we stay in touch when we’re not sure what app someone uses, when we don’t know how to reach out to them otherwise. Email marketing is a form of publishing. Think of it like a newsletter, only without wasting paper.

Ground Rules

As with social media, sit down with your parent/guardian and review how you’ll use email for your business. Consider choosing an email address that’s non-personal, named for your business rather than you. Work with your parent to check that inbox together so that you know who you’re talking to.

Email Marketing List

In part 4, we chose Mailchimp as our platform for email marketing. To be effective at email marketing, we need three things: a list, an offer, and a creative.

Our email list will come from people who visit our website or our social media posts. Before we begin, we will need to create a list in Mailchimp. Select Create New List and name it appropriately:

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Once we’ve created a list, we’ll need to add the widgets to our website. Mailchimp offers a plugin to do this automatically; directions can be found in this tutorial.

The other addition that’s important will be to tie Mailchimp to our Etsy store, if we’ve chosen Etsy as a vendor. Under the Integrations menu, find Etsy and enable it; you’ll need to authorize Mailchimp to speak to it:

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By far, the email list is the most important part of this process; if we have no one to send email to, our email marketing efforts are guaranteed to fail.

Email Marketing Offer

The offer part is simple; we should have a running list of pages on our website which have different products, and feature those products in our emails. Depending on the store platform, you may want to offer special discounts to email newsletter subscribers as a way of enticing them to sign up. Services like Gumroad let us set up coupon codes for just this kind of offer.

Email Marketing Creative

Once we have a subscriber or two, we can start creating an email. What should go in our email? The easiest thing to do is round up our most interesting finds of the week and put them in a simple text email. For example, in part 6 we developed a process for reaching out and identifying interesting social media accounts on Pinterest based on topics. Take the 5 most interesting pins, copy their URLs, write a bit of text about them, and put them together in an email.

Later on in the email, feature our offer.

Here’s an example from my email newsletter:

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Send an email newsletter every week so that we’re staying in touch with people who have indicated they want to hear from us!

In the next and final post, we’ll review where we’ve been and what comes next.


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