The Business of Blogging
When blogging began, it often got blown off as a sort of quasi-journalism, a gratuitous, public display of emotion, in other words, a community diary. Then something happened. People started reading blogs, a lot. And (previously obscure) bloggers developed followers, legions of them. The connections bloggers were making with 100s of thousands of people they had never met were the stuff of advertising wet dreams.
Virtually overnight, bloggers became the new journalists, the new trendsetters and culture mavens, and, the new thought leaders. Those who had formerly held these esteemed positions found that they had to become bloggers to retain them. This evolutionary leap led to the legitimization of blogging as the preeminent means of creating community, shaping culture, and influencing consumption patterns.
Eventually, businesses caught on and seized the opportunity: tapping bloggers as brand ambassadors and blogging as a form of marketing (content marketing, to be precise) was born.
The Bane of Banners
The customer is always right, and the customer does not on the whole-care for banner ads. This pink elephant in the traditional online advertising room is driving marketers and content publishers to shift marketing resources and strategy to sponsored content, which is a prudent choice. Quirky articles generated by BuzzFeed, such as “Baby Animals Say Hello to Spring” have inspired companies like Dunkin™ Donuts, FedEx and General Electric to generate similar reader-friendly sponsored copy. Even major publishers like Forbes have become branded content producers for brands.
The Dollars and Sense of Blogging
Blogs and articles that closely approximate traditional editorial content are an increasingly common and viable way that publishers are creating more sources of revenue. Blogging, along with other brand publishing, is no fad, nor is it hyperbolic to say that it pays off in substantial dividends.
- 82 percent of blogging marketers report a positive ROI on inbound marketing. (Source)
- Blogs are considered the most valuable type of content marketing, according to 37 percent of marketers. (Source)
- 15 blog posts per month can net 1,200 new leads per month. (Source)
- Companies (B2B) generate 67 percent more leads each month from blogging than those that don’t. (Source)
- Blogs generate 97 percent more indexed links and 434 percent more indexed pages on websites. (Source)
- Content marketing costs 62 percent less than traditional marketing and generates about 3 times as many leads. (Source)
- The majority of marketers, (72%)believe branded content to be more effective than traditional (magazine ads) (Source)