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Marketing through the Blogosphere

Blogging has become an international phenomenon in the last ten years. In the US alone there were almost 105 million blog readers in the year 2008 with that number expected to grow to almost 150 million by 2012. The reach of blogs is growing, which means now is the time to get into the blogging world and make it an effective prong of your marketing campaign. There are several ways in which you can market your business through the blogosphere, three of which will be discussed here.

1. Advertising on Popular Blogs: Some blogs are so popular they get over ten-thousand views per day and some have as many as one-hundred-thousand views per day. If you have the budget for it, those are the blogs you want to advertise on for obvious reasons. More exposure generally means more business for you. Advertising with the popular blogs can mean large numbers directed toward your business website.
There are several types of advertisement used in the blogosphere. Some of the more common types of advertisement are search ads, display ads, rich media ads, and affiliate marketing links to your site. The most popular method of advertising bloggers use on their sites is Google Ad Sense which uses search ads. To be featured in the Google Ad Sense ads, you simply have to sign up for a Google AdWords account and follow the steps. It will take a little research and a little effort to really make search ads work for your marketing campaign.
2. Sponsoring Popular Blogs: Sponsoring a blog basically gets you advertising by the blogger mentioning you or reviewing your product in one of more of their posts. Sponsoring a blog can take on many forms such as a paid postings or paying someone to be a spokesblogger. You can send a blogger free samples for them to review or recommend on their site, as well as samples to give away on their site and promotion codes for their readership for purchasing your product. Like a business, specific blogs target specific audiences, so you can really tailor your marketing to a specific target group through sponsoring a blog. If you don't know of a popular or up-and-coming blog who targets the same audience you would, there are companies such as Quantcast or IZEA who can help pair you with influential bloggers in your target niche.
There are several types of bloggers out there, and depending on your business and product, you can find a blogger who is right for your business. For example there are hobby bloggers, political opinion bloggers, news bloggers, and entertainment bloggers. Which type of blogger would be best suited for you to market your business through?
3. Creating Your Own Blog: One of the most cost-effective ways of marketing your business through the blogosphere is by creating your own blog. Blogs are generally free or low-cost to create, and once created, just cost time to update and maintain. The biggest obstacle you face is making your blog work as an effective marketing tool is generating readership. Popular blogs don't just happen, so it will take a lot of work to get your readership to a point where your blog is actually generating business for you. But once your blog is generating business for you, it can become a powerful resource for future marketing campaigns. Examples of a business blogs that are generating major traffic for their business website is the "Blue Shirt Nation" blog and "Geek Squad Intelligence" blog both of which are connected to Best Buy. Both exemplify how blogging for your business is an effective marketing technique.

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