A weblog, also called a blog, is a journal that is maintained by a blogger and contains information that is instantly published to their blog website. Blogging is a very popular activity. The number of online users creating and maintaining blogs has increased dramatically over the past year. The number Internet users who read these blogs has also shot up, with some blogs boasting thousands, even millions of daily dedicated readers.
Definition: Blog Marketing
Blog marketing is any process that publicises or advertises a website, business, brand or service via the medium of blogs. This includes, but is not limited to marketing via ads placed on blogs, recommendations and reviews by the blogger, promotion via entries on third party blogs and cross-syndication of information across multiple blogs.
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Ads on blogs can be in the form of banners, text links, streaming video, audio clips, flash animation and even plain text. Most blog-based advertising involves payment in some way or the other to the blog owner. Owners of popular blogs will typically capitalise on their readership numbers via a combination of ad formats and Google AdSense ads.
Recommendations & Reviews
A nod from a trusted blogger can result in considerably higher sales for the recipient. Trusted figures in industry, popular product reviewers and critics often maintain blogs where they provide information about their experiences with some products and services. Readers tend to trust these reviewers and critics more as they are often unbiased. Businesses, however, do pay popular bloggers to review or mention their products. Examples of popular technology blogs that provide a lot of product reviews include Engadget and Tech Crunch.
The greatest power of blog marketing comes from the viral effect of some blog posts. News travels very fast via blogs. Readers pick up interesting stories and blog about them on other, third-party blogs. Their readers in turn spread the word to others. All this is done at very little cost to the advertiser, and often has a snowball effect that can be started off with just a few strategically placed blog entries and comments on others’ blogs.
While blog marketing presents a fantastic opportunity for marketing agencies and businesses, it can be a dangerous medium, as originators often have very little control over the message that gets spread. If users perceive the blog marketing effort to be objectionable, they can easily turn the tables and create a PR nightmare for the advertisers.