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Forget about Marketing: Concentrate on Blogging

This is a guest contribution by Nicholas Whitmore.

The title: What on earth does it mean?

Well, recently it seems like a lot of bloggers fancy themselves as marketers. You can’t read a post on a blog without seeing a load of other bloggers commenting at the bottom, with a link back to their own site. Of course other bloggers use black hat SEO tricks and other shady tactics in order to drive traffic to their blog. Each to their own you might say, but at the end of the day life can be much, much easier.

If you publish blog content that’s truly awesome, everyone else will market your blog for you.

If you seem to spend half your life trying to promote your blog with your efforts never coming to fruition, now’s the time to stop. There’s a reason why things aren’t working out – and you can bet your bottom dollar that it’s the actual content in your blog posts.

Sorry to have to break it to you, but your blog posts suck.

It’s time to go back to basics because if you’re guilty of trying to build links and force traffic to your blog, you’re trying too hard.

The art of blogging involves thinking up great topics and blog titles, performing research where required, then authoring great work.

Building links and driving traffic to your website does not fall under the blogging remit – that’s marketing, something different altogether.

Good things come to those who wait

Starting a successful blog is not something that you can do overnight. In fact, it can take months or even years before you start to see traction and those crazy traffic figures you’ve dreamt of. If you’ve got a short attention span or you’re incredibly impatient, the chances are that you won’t make it as a blogger.

Whilst some bloggers out there make a living from their sites, don’t go quitting your day job and blowing your life savings just yet – getting a blog to the point where it can be successfully and sustainably monetized takes a very, very long time.

Expedite success with more awesome blog posts 

The only way in which you can expedite the success of your blog is to publish more high quality content. Be careful not to inundate your visitors with too much content to digest though in your race to the top. Careful balances need to be struck between quality and quantity – a balance must also be struck between too many and too little blog posts.

Rarely will you see a sparsely populated blog that’s extremely popular. One of the core ingredients of a successful blog is frequent content – there’s no getting away from that fact. You don’t have to post 10 new blogs each week, but it would help in a lot of cases.

Hard work always pays off 

On my desk is a mug that my father used to drink out of. It says: “Hard work always pays off” – I find that little saying resonates around my head at least one million times each day. There are few things in life truer than this saying – and it can of course be applied to the world of blogging.

Be prepared to spend a good few months writing awesome posts that few people will read initially.

Keep plugging away – keep publishing great content and your blog will be recognized. The pay off comes when the recognition that your blog receives snowballs – links from other blogs start rolling in, and people recommend your posts on social media.

Recognition usually starts like a little trickle of water – gradually it will build up into a raging torrent. The more recognition your site receives, the more people will read it. As more people read your blog, it’ll receive further recognition. It’s an infinite loop of goodness for you as a blog owner!

In Summary 

When you write and publish awesome content on your blog, good things will come your way.

When you write and publish boring content then spend hours on end building links to it, trying to force people to your website, good things will never come.

Spend your time blogging – not marketing. The marketing side of things will be taken care of for you by your visitors if the blog posts that you publish are good enough to be recommended and shared across the internet.

There’s absolutely nothing wrong with sharing posts you publish via social media with friends and followers – it’s the ideal way in which to generate that initial buzz and interest about your blog. When the marketing of your posts takes longer than it does to actually write them however, you’ve almost certainly lost your way as a blogger.

 Nick is a freelance journalist and website content editor from http://www.contentwriting.org. He writes extensively about the art of blogging, as well as online marketing techniques such as SEO, PPC and SMM.

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  1. Your post is a good reminder, Nicholas. Content is king. If we are spending more time marketing than blogging, we are on the wrong path. I am sure not everyone will agree but in the short time that i have been blogging I was struck by the irregularity of blog posts on a lot of sites. One post one month. Twenty the next. I am far from an expert on blogging but I think that would frustrate their readers.

  2. The only way to get people to come back is to write something worthwhile! Great post.

  3. Nice distinction between a marketer and a blogger. Writing and publishing/marketing are two different activities. One is an artistic endeavor subject to its own particular principles, the other a commercial endeavor subject to the principles that govern commerce and business. For the blogger, the question seems to be of knowing which hat to wear, and when to wear it. Thanks for the post Nicholas – I look forward to more!

  4. Getting better at writing and finding what we are good and passionate about. It is simple for bloggers like Hyatt or Godin because they love and their passion overflows into what they write. I think the best thing that has happened to me is finding out that I can write about what I do everyday even on my blog and it is my passion and what I love. Music and teaching music is what I do, it is who I am… Now I’ve defined that very clearly and I’m writing about it all the time.

  5. Thanks for nailing it right on the head. I once was heading towards “video marketing.” Scratch that, I want to make films and inspire people. The audience will come! Great reminder.

  6. What a great reminder.

    And this is GREAT news for those of us who blog because we love to write and want to get better at it.

  7. I think you have a point I focused a lot on promoting and forgot about what I am writing.I think maybe we just need to take a break in order to reboot

  8. Good article. Find out what other successful bloggers have done, and repeat it.

  9. I agree with the fact that writing is what should take most time, not marketing. However, blogging is not a case of “build it and they will come”. You need to go out there and give your content an opportunity to be found. I mean, that’s why you’re writing here on problogger right?

  10. We all want to go viral right?

    The only way to do that is to help people. I’m learning that with my blog.

    We used to get 60-70 people a day on our site. I’ve been blogging consistently at http://ignitespot.com/blog/ for about a month now and we are averaging about 300 people a day.

    I’m amazed at how much more fun blogging is too. We used to blow our money on traditional marketing to try and drive traffic and this is way better because we get to create our own community.

    Thanks for the great article!

  11. I really appreciate your post, and it is very timely for me! I recently started a new blog and spent tons of time getting the ‘bones’ in place… all the info pages, contact form, resource page, etc. Now I’m working on the actual blog and trying to market it at the same time… but I’ve been telling myself, “Just work on the blog now!” I think we see so much info on how to market one’s blog that we end up spending more time on that than on creating content. Your post was just what I needed to read right now… thank you!!

  12. I think this is one of my biggest failures as a blogger. I honestly spent so much time trying to drive traffic because I had a niche blog that had too small an audience. I kept widening the focus to try and draw in more people and it just didn’t work. I’ve scrapped it almost altogether and I’ve started over. Hopefully it will go better in the future.

  13. Thanks for a great post by Nicholas. By the time I got to the 3rd paragraph I knew I was about to learn something I probably wouldn’t like to hear. However, I think I needed to. So thanks very much for a blog that helped me put it into perspective how much time I am dedicating elsewhere that I should be dedicating to furthering my blog career. Thanks again!

  14. Journalists speak truth more bravely than bloggers; that is why you very outrightly said in your post blogging success needs very very long time; this reality is less repeated in blogosphere because most of the pro bloggers don’t want to discourage their newbie friends and want them continuing to succeed; but anyone who really wants to make blogging his ultimate profession must bear in mind it may take even several years to get full-time earning. So you need not to see even calendar during your blogging struggle

  15. You have hit a very pertinent nail squarely on its head here, Nicholas. There is far too much talk on the web of overnight success and instant traffic, but it certainly isn’t like that in my experience. It’s easy to get seduced by social marketing, juice-wheels and all that stuff and forget about the essentials. I find myself guilty of that only this week, so thanks for the reminder

  16. Good post. I will use these tips. Be sure to visit my blog at… haha just kidding. For real though Nicholas, great post. I’ve noticed that a ton of blogs with the comment luv plugin get a ton of comments and a decent amount of traffic, despite the fact that their content sucks.

    They’ve done a good job attracting people and marketing their sites, but because they’ve never taken the time to write good content they’ll never be able to make their blog a MASSIVE success. In addition, as soon as they stop marketing their sites they’re going to slowly die. Long term, great content passively brings traffic, marketing doesn’t!

  17. Really, doesn’t it depend what you want to do? If your goal is to get satisfaction from writing about your hobby, yes fine no marketing. If your goal is to make some money, you need a marketing plan.

    I totally agree your content has to be excellent. There is so much competition for attention these days, you have to grab your readers and entertain them with correct information, personal anecdotes and riveting stories.

    …but you should have a marketing plan as you move forward. Maybe you will be into this in another post. The blog is where you capture your audience, your marketing takes place off of it, that’s what’ the list is for

  18. No instant traffic. Just got to be good content that people want to share and talk about. The best marketing!

  19. Thanks for the great article Nicholas, I like your rhetorical style here, getting straight to the point. You make really great points, I like how you convince the reader that they have to be very patient or they will not gain traction. When I first started I wasn’t that patient and it ended up costing me money. If we display the patience,and like you said realize the differences between marketing and blogging this will shape our understanding better, and we will be more successful. Thanks again for the relevant information.

  20. thanks for this wonderful post, most bloggers do focus on marketing while their blogs are dying and i believe and see things from your point of view
    thanks for sharing

  21. I agree with latter half of your post about being patient and consistent. However, i disagree with your point of view on marketing.

    Marketing is not a one-off activity. Its a long term strategy that you need to work on in parallel to producing great content.

    I agree that word of mouth will eventually get you the real traffic once you establish yourself as an authority, but waiting to market your blog till then wouldn’t be wise.

    If you treat blogging as a business, then you need to have a marketing strategy in place right from the word go. The strategy would obviously vary for the different stages of your blog life cycle.

    By your logic, established brands like Pepsi or Yahoo! should never market themselves, word of mouth should be enough…but thats not the case.

  22. Love this post, it speaks directly how important content of blogs is and a part of promoting your blog content is also need to be useful to get more traffic. And the more time you put into your work, the better quality your readers will take.

  23. Hello Nicholas !
    You are saying absolutely right. I totally agree with you. If your are providing best quality or quality according to your customer then definitely that customer will use positive words of mouth and definitely its going to effect your business. This is the logic. People always want to solve their problems not to promote you. So, we should focus on our blogging.

  24. Bloggers will exploit all the possibilities that will make their blogs stand out from the rest, and they use techniques like black hat, back linking to name a few. This is living a thumb print on blogs that has a high page rank. In this manner, the blog that has left its thumb print will eventually gain a p.r.

    The truth of the matter is, creating a good content will lead to standing out from the rest of the blogging world

  25. When do we get a winner from the Discussion Post earlier this year? https://problogger.com/group-writing-project-write-a-discussion-post/

    April 12th has come and gone some time ago

  26. Very informative blog post indeed. Content was and will be the king for a long time ahead. Generally, more and more bloggers are targeting mostly on marketing, SEO, and write for Search Engines rather than human being which eventually become the major factor for weakening his/her blogging capabilities. The blog post or article becomes popular when more and more people like, share, tweet and talk about it, so targeting people then machine should be the major goal. So, keywords research is very important for content creation as well as curation. But, little bit marketing is also needed to create the BUZZ and initial flame otherwise the content will be submerged deep beneath the pages of search engines. So, i apply the rule of 70-30. 70% for creating content and 30% for marketing.

  27. Great Aritcle .. It was nice to read ! I really don’t see any difference when it comes to corporate blogging and content marketing. Sure, you can have other content marketing strategies like ebooks, whitepapers, etc… but a piece of content to drive authority and inbound leads is content marketing whether or not it’s written on a blog.

  28. Building your blog slow and steady is a bitter pill to swallow for most people. It’s exactly why the majority of new bloggers quit around the three-month mark.

  29. I am on a mission to improve American Basketball one player, and one click at a time and blogging is a mjor part of that plan. I am involved with http://austinbasketballcamps.com/ and also http://www.basketballhq.com/. We are working on in person and online curriculum and blogging is our primary marketing effort other than referred business. Thanks for all your inspiration, keep it coming.

  30. I agree with you, Content is King indeed, ultimately it is what that matters. However, without marketing, i don’t think our usual blogs get enough exposure to ignite crowd -source marketing. So atleast, during initial stage, it is important.

  31. Its true that content is the heart of blog or any website.as it plays a very vital role in bringing audience and stay for longer time on your content. I agree with article.

  32. I enjoy writing post. But blog marketing is really a painful thing for me.

  33. Good post. Well said, forget about marketing concentrate on blogging. If you write a better and worthy blog then it will get marketed on its own.

  34. HiAdmin,
    Blogging is latest platform for create good & high quality backlink ! Many web master truns about Blogging for getting & build high quality back links. I’m 100% favour of Hard work always pays off I understand & I believe Hard work always pays off :)

  35. Wow i love this post, Actually i have implement this idea on my blog Crackmp4 , and yes I really got amazing SEO response.
    Specially I would love to share one of the most famous post of crack mp4, every one should see it once in their life Superman The Man of Steel

  36. OK. Me and my blog will wait the popularity one more year.

  37. Andrew Dawson says: 06/18/2013 at 6:21 am

    I have read through all the comments and I am basically going to repate what everyone else has said because I think it deserves repeating. First of I really liked this post. I have started a couple blogs (I have had a horrible time sticking with them.)
    I just started a blog about business books. I am really excited about the topic and as a result I am blogging much more regularly.
    I actually had not heard too much about the idea of not marketing all that much. I am a marketing student at University of Washington, with a special interest in social media marketing. Coming from this educational background it is easy for me to get carried away with the marketing side of blogging.
    I agree with the idea that content is king and this was a good reminder.
    I think that in many ways all content is is marketing. The new hot term in marketing is content marketing. I am sure most of you understand this concept but it basically says that useful content from the same source over a long period of time is the best way to market online.
    In this sense your blog posts are really the just your most central marketing tool. Anyways I agree with this post but I thought I would through out the connection between content marketing and blog posts as an interesting connection.

  38. Hi Nick,

    Great Post! It gives us Hope to the new blogs, and bloggers that eventually if and only IF you write great posts, you will see the gold pot at the end of the rainbow… For me, It gets difficult to know how exactly to give the posts quality… but it is the only way…


  39. What a nice articles here, as a newbie I got lot of information on this Blog, Gracias Sir!

  40. Yes! So very true.

    I have a small handmade business and sell on Etsy. I often see sellers expecting great sales right away, without taking the time to make compelling products or photographing them well. They promote to one another, which isn’t their target market, and don’t work on making awesome products. Then there are others who are successful because others love what they do and post their stuff all over the web.

    Same is true about blogging! I have to admit it is hard to continue to blog with barely any readers, but when I get down I remind myself that I have at least one reader who is crazy about my photos and interests-me. Yes, it is cheesy but I thoroughly enjoy what I do, and I intend to feel that way while I wait for my audience.

  41. Truly said. I believe blogging is a best way of marketing but it requires different strategy. All we should be focusing is to product quality and useful content. Let it be a problem solving or research post and forget about the marketing as people will do it for you.

  42. excellent post!!…. its a great reminder for anyone trying too hard… and quite inspiring as well, especially for the ones not seeing immediate results….

  43. While I do agree that you need amazing content I also think that for the first one or two months you do need to build links yourself and market in order format to grow :) Great Post!!

  44. Yes it’s very hard to just blog and not worry about doing the marking part of it aswell, since we all want fast results this days.

  45. Nicholas, I must say that you are a influence maker. You have just influence me with this post.

    Till day whatever post I have gone through about blogging success has only depressed me that I have started late blogging and being a writer, I should have started earlier. This is why I have emotionally forced me to rush towards doing a lot of things.

    But as you have mentioned in your post –

    “Starting a successful blog is not something that you can do overnight.”

    “Recognition usually starts like a little trickle of water – gradually it will build up into a raging torrent. The more recognition your site receives, the more people will read it. As more people read your blog, it’ll receive further recognition. It’s an infinite loop of goodness for you as a blog owner!”

    I am sure that these will definitely help new bloggers to be patient and keep loving what they are doing without quitting soon.

    Thanks for inspiring to keep patience to achieve blogging success and keep focusing on the content.

  46. Its is undeniable fact that hard work always pays off, when I was in college we had posters everywhere with quote,

    “Hard Work Can Beat Natural Talents, Never Fear To Work Hard”

    And I have seen real people who are evidence of above fact. But so far as connecting marketing and blogging is concerned I have little different opinion than yours. You can’t ignore marketing if you are really planing to become full time blogger.

    You need some kind of exposure before people start building your reputation. For that you have to market your blog. Your request for quest blogging is also an attempt to market your blog. Your this guest post is also marketing attempt for your website and your services.

    As you said, “Starting a successful blog is not something that you can do overnight”. I honestly believe that but your blog will never get success you want if your blogging and marketing approach, both will not stay balanced.

    Many good blogs met dead end just because they totally ignored or took wrong marketing approach. A marketing approach is marketing approach and it doesn’t matter it is small, big, different or same.

    Adding good content to you blog is also a kind of “Content Marketing”. If it sounds little harsh, sorry for that. I just a guy with little different opinion.

  47. I’d say both blogging and marketing have its own purposes. If you’re not the only shop on the side of the street, you ‘ll need to point people to your shop and tell them that they can find good stuffs in there.

  48. I’m a new blogger and concur wit your post. Great content is more important in the long run. I’m stil working on it, although all this talk of blogging about a subject you’re passionate about won’t work for me as no one subject holds my interest for long, so restricting myself to one niche subject is bound to be stifling. Whatever works, i’m gona concentrate on developing a blog wit good content, like you suggest even if i have to do it with varied interests.

  49. Well this post of yours have completely opened my eyes and now I am seriously implementing the tips which you have given here. My Apps Blog though very new is showing very good results.

  50. Some of the nice tips you have given here. Thanks for this. I really liked it!

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