How to use blogging as a marketing tool on a shoestring budget

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blogging as a marketing tool

 

Are you using Blogging as a marketing tool?

Can you identify with these:

*          I don’t have enough money to use blogging as a marketing tool for my business

*          I am starting an online business, but there is no budget for blog marketing.

*          I don’t even know where to start blogging for my business.

If you find yourself in any of the scenarios above, then I congratulate you!

The truth is:

For a lot of businesses, there is no such thing as buckets of money to spend on blogging.

In fact, a study carried out by e-consultancy revealed that 35% of companies do not have enough money for content marketing and 42% do not have enough people to write for them.

The thing is, using blogging as a marketing tool is not as expensive as you think.

This article will show you how you can use blogging as a marketing tool on a shoestring budget to get tangible results.

In this article, we will be covering the points below:

  1. Create a new blog for your business (you can skip this step if your business already have a blog)
  2. Create high-quality content on your blog
  3. Share it on the social media networks
  4. Guest blog on popular and top website in your niche

 

1.    Create a new blog for your business

If you have a website, this step is very easy. You don’t need to create a new website for it.  All you need is to create a blog on your domain.  For example, if your domain is www.beansmill.com, your blog on the domain will be beansmill.com/blog.

WordPress is the most popular blogging platform out there and it is free and easy to use.  If you already have a WordPress website, you can easily add a new page and call it “blog”. Then, link to it from your main page.  How much does it cost to install a blog on your website?

If you already have a website, it cost next to nothing. It takes few minutes to add a blog to your website.

You will only have to shell out a few dollars if you don’t know how to do it on your own.  You can always hire a web designer to do it for you at a low price.

If you are an adventurous person like me, you can read the following guides to do it on your own:

How To Manually Install WordPress Blog on any Web-Hosting

How to Add a Blog to a Business Website

 

2.   Create high quality and actionable content for your blog

Now that you have your blog all set up, it is time to start blogging.  You do this by creating content. You need to post at least 2-3 times a week.

The question now is, how do you get the content on a shoestring budget?

These days, content can be very expensive.  Professional copywriters charge between $400 – $700 per post.

This post is all about blogging on a low budget, so obviously, that amount will be too high for you, at least for now.

You can do three things here to cut the cost:

Do it yourself

Since we are looking for ways to cut cost, the best thing will be for you to write your content by yourself.  This option takes time because it takes an average blogger a minimum of 2 hours to create a blog post.

This can be difficult if you are the CEO of a small company and you wear almost all the caps.  You are the CEO, the marketing manager, the accountant, etc. So, you may need to consider the second option below.

Use your in-house staff members to create content

The second option you have, if you are a business owner with a fairly large workforce, is to use your staff to create content for the company.

However, your team members are not exactly ‘free’ in the sense of the word.  You have to take note of their workload and ability to write blog posts.  They must be good writers who are willing to write blog posts for your company.

Once you are clear on that, plan the blogging approach and come up with topics you want them to write.

Create a blogging schedule and calendar for your staff members.  If you use WordPress, you can give them access to submit their post for review.

If you are a one-man business or your team members cannot write, then the last option is good for you.

Hire a freelance blogger

If you are considering hiring a freelance blogger for your content creation, then you need to know that the more money you pay, the better the quality of your article.  There is no profit in searching for low-quality article writers because you want to save cost. At the end of the day, you will lose traffic and audience.  So, what is the ideal cost of a post (say 500 words)?.

It ranges from $30 – $75 per post. With this cost, you will get a high-quality, search engine optimized and engaging content written for your business blog.

3.   Share it on social media networks

Now that you have your content in place (either created by you, your staff or a freelance blogger), it is time to start promoting it on the social media. According to Duke University’s Fuqua school of business, marketers are allocating close to 10% of the budgets to social media.

This shows the relevancy of social media to businesses. Social media is much more than a place where you get acquainted with people. It is becoming a business hub.  A place where you can promote your business, share blog posts, and increase your lead and income.

In using social media for your business on a shoestring, you need to determine your audience.  Knowing your audience will make you focus directly on people that will convert for your business.  According to John Haydon, there 5 different types of people on social media that you need to start engaging with(shown below):

blogging as a marketing tool

 

Offer a value proposition for your audience on your preferred social media network. It can be a free e-book, a white paper, a report etc.  This will entice them to like and share your page.

For example, check out Michael Yatt’s Facebook page below.  He has over 121,403 likes because he gave away a free e-book on his Facebook page.

blogging as a marketing tool

 

Also, use different types of content and track their performance.   But the thing is since you are operating on a low budget, you need to know the best content type that generates the most result. You don’t have the luxury to try out content types.

You can share written content (blog posts, quotes, etc), infographics, videos, podcast, etc.

 

4.   Guest post on popular websites

Another way you can use blogging as a marketing tool is to promote your content for free is by guesting posting on the top popular website in your niche.  This will give you the added exposure you need for your business.

All websites need quality content to succeed, if you can create a quality content or hire the services of a blogger to do it, blog owners will be happy to publish it.

The first thing is to find guest post opportunities. There are two ways to go about this.

Firstly, go to Google.com and type in your niche keyword, for example, weight loss + write for us .i.e.” weight loss + write for us”

 

You will see many opportunities for guest posting. You can now start clicking on anyone you want to read more details about the opportunity.

The second strategy is to find guest bloggers and where they have posted their content online.

You will still use Google for this strategy.

Type in “weight loss + in inurl:guest author

Remember that your niche will replace the weight loss above.

 

You will see more opportunities for guest posting here also.

Now, it is time to pitch your content ideas to the website.

Use the Buzzsumo tool to discover popular topics you can modify to write your blog post.

Type in your niche keyword, search for content that has proven to do well on social media channels.

Now you can choose any topic you want and modify it to suit the audience of the website you want to write for.

You can write your content based on the title you find.

Now, there are three things you will need to do to maximize the guest posting opportunities:

  • Create a long-form content
  • Add a free downloadable resource
  •  Create a landing page for the website on your blog

Create a long form content that the audience will fall in love with and then provide a free download resource that relates to your topic. Make sure you have a landing page to welcome the visitors on your website. When you have all these things in place, you will get good results.

Above are four things you can do to use blogging as a marketing tool on a shoestring budget. You don’t need a huge amount of money to profit from blogging.  Start blogging now!

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