The Bloggers Guide to Marketing

July 19, 2013 Bookish chat, Marketing Your Blog 0

Marketing and blogging might sound like a paradox after all this is a hobby not a business. However, don’t you want visitors to read your posts, to have bookish discussions with and give you feedback? Right? I know I do.

I studied marketing as part of my finance qualification and thought it might be interesting to just show you some marketing basics and how to apply these to your blog. Nothing technical or ground shattering but maybe you’ll get some ideas that you can apply to your own blog.

We are not trying to sell anything (thankfully!) so we are providing a service with our blogs. The service marketing mix consists of the 7 p’s – product, price, place, promotion, people, process and physical evidence. Like a making cake, you mix all these ingredients together to create the best marketing strategy for you. The most relevant of those for bloggers is Product, Place, People and Promotion.

Today, I’m going to focus on Product and how you could apply the marketing principles behind it to your blog.

Product :

Our product is our blog and like all products, it should have a unique selling point. Which means thinking about what is unique to your blog and your blogging style. Think about what you do best and try to expand that.

For example these are some of my favourite blogs and the reasons that I visit them.

Asti @ A Bookish Heart posts creative content and is constantly coming up with new and unique features

Dani @ What Danielle Did Next has kickass reviews that are emotional and heartfelt and leave you in doubt about the bookish experience that the book gave her

Chelsea@ Starbucks and Books Obsession  participates in lots of tours and book blitzes for YA, Dystopia and NA. As we have similar taste, this is where I find out about new and upcoming books and use her reviews to eliminate those that are below par.

Kimba the Caffeinated Reviewer  Kimba has blogging tips and tricks. This initially brought me to her blog and then I discovered she is a genre hopper like I am and her diverse mix keeps me coming back

How to find your unique selling point?

So it’s easy enough to analyse your favourite blogs and why you visit them but if you are like me it’s harder to think what attracts followers to your blog. So what I suggest you do is look at your stats, (eliminate memes and events like readathons as they get visitors for different reasons) and see what 5 posts have had the most views. Or you could check what 5 posts had the most comments. This might give you a clue about what you are doing right and then you can brainstorm to see how you can do more of that.

My hits are my Saturday discussion posts and my Green Giants feature so I’m using that feedback to develop my blog more in that direction. Not that I’m neglecting reviews or memes but as these seem to be my Unique Selling Point, I’m going cultivate them.

More Product bits and bobs:
Your blog should be visually appealing, easy to navigate and relatively quick to load. If not just like in a shop where a product is unattractive, people eyes move swiftly to the next item on the shelf. We all have different ideas about what is appealing so I just went with what I like; simple and uncluttered.

All products also have a product lifecycle – new to market, growth, maturity and decline. The way I would apply this to blogs is that in order to prevent decline, you need to keep reinventing the wheel. You can’t sit on your laurels, you need to find new features to add to your blog, experiment, tweak your formats, change your review style, try something that is outside the box for you. So instead of reaching that decline stage, you circle back around to the growth stage. Similar to the way that your favourite phone keeps relaunching itself with a better more updated version.

Other Product features to consider:

– Quality – how do your posts meet and satisfy your followers expectations ( I know, easier said than done!). I’m considering this one a work in progress!

– Branding – is your blog image (header, button, etc) recognisable, memorable, relevant to your content?

– Product mix – different features appeal to different people, do you have an interesting mix of blog posts? For example reviews, memes, discussion

– Innovation – Boldly go where no others bloggers are going. So what if it fails, you won’t know unless you try.

Like I said Product is only one part of a marketing mix, there is also Place, People and Promotion which are hugely relevant to bloggers.

Bookish Chat : This post is me taking a risk, I have no idea if it is of any help to anyone. Let me know in the comments if this is something you would like to see more of or not or if it has been of any use to you. And apologies if I sent you to sleep :O

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