Discover The Power And Potential With A Future Of Blogging

Indulge me one more day to do some writing about blogging and what potential it has.   After all, tomorrow is this blog’s 9th anniversary so look at this post as sort of a “state of the state” message on where things are currently at and and where they eventually will be.

Folks, blogging has transformed into one of the most dynamic facets of the Internet.   I certainly could not have envisioned that possibility back 9 years ago…but that’s what it has become.   Let me explain.

C619587_lOne of the best selling marketing books you can find these days is called YOUTILITY: Why Smart Marketing Is About Help Not Hype.   If you sell anything on the Internet I urge you to run out to the bookstore and get this read NOW!   Don’t delay.   This book will change the way you think.

Actually, that’s one of the troubles with marketing.   If you are doing just about anything Online the same way you were doing it, say five years ago, you are nearly completely missing the boat, so to speak.   Terms such as SEO, Content Marketing, Content Strategy, Analytic Conversion, Responsive Websites, and others all need to become part of your lexicon.

So, what does all of this have to do with blogging, you ask?   Well, it has EVERYTHING to do with blogging.   As you will learn in YOUTILITY, a website which also contains a blog (properly written) has the potential of increasing that website’s traffic 5 times with just a minimum of 15 blog posts each month.

Now, consider that for a moment.   You can pay Google Adwords to send traffic to your website on a cost-per-click basis potentially spending thousands of dollars or you can simply blog about content answering the same questions that people are searching for on Google and accomplish even more.

Consider this case study about blogging.  Here, the small business by just having pertinent information helping people on the Internet was able to double their web traffic.   Also, consider this…when people read the blog and begin trusting you, doesn’t it also stand to reason they will likely hire you when they need some assistance beyond their basic skills?

Okay, enough on the nuts and bolts of blogging for marketing purposes.   The point I am trying to make is blogs have tremendous power and potential for the future.   A website that is designed and never updated for months or years is simply boring to search engines.   Yet, a blog that seems to hit all the key words and appears to stay fresh on a fairly consistent basis will drive those search engines and web crawlers sheer crazy.

All of this being said, I am here to tell you blogging isn’t going away anytime soon.   In fact, the day is soon drawing near when most folks will discover (if they already haven’t) how blogging has become a vital part of our Online world.   Blogging has a way of building relationships through trust, helping those who are in search of relevant information, entertaining and informing of news or issues.   In a nutshell, blogging is about helping people (you, the readers) and not a self-promoting, ego-inflating mechanism for the blogger to become someone they certainly are not.

As I travel full-steam forward with Sportsman’s Blog, I certainly don’t plan to make any substantive changes to what this blog has become.   On the other hand, it is my hope to begin blogging with even more of a focused purpose in mind.   When readers have questions about the outdoors and I’m in a position to answer it, I plan to share that information in a helpful, succinct fashion.   I also plan to share more information my peers in the blogging world happen to be discussing.

There’s some great outdoors hunting and fishing related content being produced by bloggers these days and I hope to long continue being part of that world.   I’m rather proud to say I’ve been blogging for nine years because when I started out many folks didn’t even know what the heck blogging was about.   Guess what?   In the years to come I’m convinced EVERYBODY will be understanding exactly why blogging is so powerful and packed with so many possibilities for all of us who use the Internet.   Just wait and see.

©2013 Jim Braaten. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction without Prior Permission.

What I Learned From A Bunch Of Mommy Bloggers

Okay, so it wasn’t just a bunch of mommy bloggers per se, but yesterday I attended the 2nd Annual Minnesota Blogger Conference and it was quite enlightening. It was an eclectic group with a wide variety of blogging genres–marketers, food bloggers, lifestyle bloggers, yes…mommy bloggers, to name but a few. Even though I was likely the only hunting and fishing blogger in attendance…I feel I gained some valuable insight into blogging by hanging with this interesting group of bloggers for a few hours.

Here’s some miscellaneous take home information I gained from attendance:

  • Out of more than 200+ conference attendees…when asked for a showing of hands only about 6 people stated they were NOT on Twitter. Bottom line is if you have a blog most bloggers understand the important connection of promoting that blog via social media(Twitter, Facebook, etc).
  • Important to leave thoughtful comments on other blogs…in time your blog’s readership potential will explode.
  • To dominate, your blog needs to stand out–for something specific. What does a blogger expect to get out of the effort? Simply having no blog plan in and of itself is a sure plan to fail.
  • When a blogger is at a loss for blog post subject matter, one of the best places to turn for inspiration is to look on forums to see what questions people are routinely asking. Then use your blog post to answer the question. Great way to overcome writer’s block.
  • Bloggers must have a disclosure policy for their blogs. Because more and more marketers are recognizing just what an effective marketing tool connecting with bloggers can be, to maintain integrity with the readership a blogger must disclose how they handle links, accept free products/services, etc. Click HERE for my new disclosure policy. When a situation arises when I have a specific connection with a marketer and I make some kind of endorsement contained within the blog, there will be a proximal disclosure contained within that specific blog post.
  • Bloggers need to recognize that compensation in exchange for an endorsement can come in many different forms besides money or free products/services. For instance, an action resulting in more blog readers could be construed as value being received by the blogger. All relationships are best to be disclosed with the reader upfront.
  • Another striking fact about the blogging conference was the gender breakdown. I heard many folks comment how the female to male ratio was about 10:1. Is it possible that across the blogging disciplines there is this much disproportion between the sexes? Interesting to consider.
  • Even though most of us blog about uniquely different topics, it was interesting to see how we all face quite similar challenges. Whether the aspect might be deciding which platform to use, how to best use SEO, increase readership, improve our writing style, or to prevent violating laws or FTC guidelines…much of it is the same. In fact, I will go so far as to say blogging is 90% communication technique…and perhaps only 10% is specific topic-oriented.
  • I’ll end this by saying the one comment overheard that made me thankful I am a hunting and fishing blogger and not some other type of blogger was this. Apparently one of the bloggers in attendance described a situation where a company sent her panties to do a product review. She went on to say she ripped the product in her blog because her boyfriend stated they looked like “granny panties.” Yeah, it was at that moment I counted my blessings for what I do on this blog.

©2011 Jim Braaten.  All Rights Reserved.  No Reproduction without Prior Permission.

Making Some Improvements For The Future

Hey folks, just a quick blog post to say we’ve made some improvements to the Sportsman’s Blog site so it might be necessary to update your news feed to be alerted to all the new posts. I’ve also noted that by migrating the old site to a new blogging platform it may have caused some posts to appear twice in your feed aggregator. I apologize for this occurrence, but from this point moving forward only a single entry should appear in future blog post alerts.

I’m hopeful moving to the new blogging platform should allow for easier posting when away from the office. Honestly, when I first started this venture almost 6 years ago I never thought blogging would evolve into the important communication medium it has now become. Stay tuned…I have lots of exciting things planned for the upcoming months.

Thanks for being a loyal Sportsman’s Blog reader!! Be sure to leave any comments or suggestions you may have below.