Who reads blogs anyway?

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Google the title of this article and you’ll find lots of statistics on who reads blogs. That said you may not know anyone who reads blogs. I believe that blogs are worth writing—even if no one reads them right away.

The reason? When readers are ready, the blogs will still be there. And that's the power of on-line content.

Blog statistics track traffic and level of interest

I know this from direct experience. According to the statistics my blog collects, a lot of visitors find my blog posts weeks or even months after I originally publish. Most of these latecomers find my site when searching for information on a particular subject. Many stick around long enough to read several other posts. A smaller, but significant, number subscribe so they can receive future posts.

Social media is word of mouth on steroids

Rich content attracts visitors. Visitors that like the content recommend it to others by clicking on social media widgets such as Digg, Delicious, Technorati, and StumbleUpon.

The social media widgets in turn link back to the posts that the readers found valuable. As the links accumulate, search engine rankings rise. Higher search engine rankings then attract even more readers and more links and so it goes.

New media distribution channels drive new business model for Public TV

The value of rich content was reinforced by Jonathan Abbott, WGBH CEO and President when he spoke at the Boston Club earlier this month. In response to a question about how new content distribution models were affecting public television’s business model, he shared the following observations.

According to Abbott, now that multiple channels are available, users prefer to receive content when and how it’s most convenient for them. Rather than viewing a TV show live, many will prefer to access it from a computer the following month—or even several years later. Others will prefer to download it to their IPOD so they can watch it anywhere, any time.

Abbott believes therefore that content is not only more valuable to viewers; it’s also more valuable to sponsors. When he visits sponsors, he reminds them that their messages will reach far greater audiences now that the station offers multiple formats—especially since these other formats will persist for years rather than just a few minutes.

Social media ROI

It is this quality that causes social media fans to argue that blogs, and other online content, promise a far greater return on investment than ephemeral marketing campaigns such as print advertising, direct postal mail, or even email newsletters that readers discard soon after they receive them. Conversely, the return on investment of rich online content accelerates over time as more and more viewers recommend it to others.

Marketing strategy still trumps tactics

Nevertheless, with as with all marketing, the strategy is more important than the tactics. Your blog can help you gain visibility and raise frequent visitors’ awareness of all you have to offer. But, if they’re not the right people—all your efforts may be for naught. On the other hand, your sales will soar--along with your search engine rankings—if you know who you need to reach and what they value most.

So, as with all marketing campaigns, start there.


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