Almost a decade ago, I started a blog. It was a blog about motorcycles. I started that blog because I was bored as the company that gave me a placement offer was delaying my joining date. The decision to start a blog was the best career decision I have ever made in my life, ever. It has helped me shape my digital marketing career and made me what I am today
After having worked in leading start-ups in India as a digital marketing manager, I am taking steps to start my own digital marketing agency. I am yet to complete the company registration but already have 150 clients lined up, ready to sign up for my services. If there is one thing that I would like to attribute most of my career success to — that would be blogging.
But people are skeptical and find it difficult to believe that you can actually become a digital marketing expert through blogging.Here I’ll explain how blogging can help you become a digital marketing expert.
It would also answer the following questions that people keep asking me:
- How do I land a senior digital marketer position at an awesome company?
- How do I learn marketing tactics that nobody else is using?
- How do I create a personal brand that will have companies approaching me to hire my services?
Digital marketing has several aspects to it. The market has grown so big that each of these modules needs a separate expert inside a company.
Some of the major modules in digital marketing are as follows:
- Content Marketing
- Search Engine Optimization
- Search Engine Marketing
- Social Media Marketing
- Social Media Advertising
- Email Marketing
- Marketing Automation
- Integrated Digital Marketing
To become a true digital marketer, you should be able to conduct high-quality digital marketing campaigns to help build brands from scratch. And, to do so, you need to know how to leverage all the skills mentioned above. And, if you want to become a specialist in one of those skills, you need to go deeper in it and master it.
In digital marketing, we call this a T-shaped marketer. The horizontal line of the ‘T’ is knowing all the basic components to be a good digital marketer and the vertical line of the ‘T’ is becoming a specialist in one of the component.
To master one of the mentioned skills, it will take a lifetime and it’ll be almost impossible to do so with the traditional method of learning. You can only become a master when you successfully apply the knowledge, not when you complete the learning. And, considering the fast-changing nature of the skills, you’ll need to constantly learn and apply.
Now, let’s look into each one of the skills and how blogging can help you to master it.
Content marketing is the hottest skill that’s in huge demand. Content marketing is not just writing a blog post or article and publishing it online.
According to Seth Godin, content marketing is the only marketing that remains. It has gained more traction as more and more businesses are starting to realize the importance of it. And it is mainly because the ads are becoming inefficient by each day.
How can Blogging Help You Master Content Marketing?
The three important phases of content marketing are — planning, creation, and promotion.
You sitting down to put together the blogging calendar for a month is more or less equal to content marketing planning phase. With each blog post idea, you have a goal — what you want to achieve through that particular blog post and a plan — how you’re going to achieve the goal aka what to write in the post. If you’re not doing this activity, there is a good chance your posts will not be helping you to achieve your bigger goals.
When you start writing the blog post, you do a bit of research on the topic or idea, then create an outline first and then you set off to write the blog post, edit it and publish it. It is equal to the content creation phase. researching, outlining, writing, editing and publishing are the core steps of the content creation process. With each blog post you write, you’ll be able to refine each of the steps and in time, you’ll be mastering it.
Blogging doesn’t stop with publishing what you’ve written. Getting visitors to read, share and promote is the next important step. Most of the bloggers neglect this step or fail at this and that results in the premature death of their blog.
Experts recommend that if you spend 40% of your time in writing the blog post, then you need to spend 60% of your time in promoting it. When it comes to promotion, you have plenty of options - social media marketing & advertising, search engine optimization & marketing, email marketing etc. We’ll discuss them when we approach those skills. Here you learn the promotion phase of the content marketing.
It’s how blogging helps you to master content marketing.
Search Engine Optimization: Search Engine Optimization, popularly known as SEO is the most sought after and the most difficult skill to master. Google is tweaking its ranking algorithm 200 times a year which keeps the practitioners on their toes as the tactics that worked before could become useless at the instant Google pushes an update.
When you write your blog post, you would’ve done keyword research to pick the right keyword to focus and competitor research to know what kind of content your competitors have published. Those two steps are the starting of a good SEO process.
While writing the blog post, you’ll be using the ‘target keyword’ in the right areas to improve the ranking possibilities of that article. Also, you’ll be using it in the URL and anchor texts. It is the ‘on page optimization’ part of SEO.
Once publishing the post, you’ll be reaching out to influencers to promote your blog. You’ll use social channels to promote it. You’ll also consider tactics like using PR coverage or commenting or posting the blog post link in the communities or using social bookmarking etc. Those steps are part of the ‘link building’ component of the SEO.
So, while focusing on writing and promoting your blog post, you’re mastering the crucial components of SEO.
Search Engine Marketing:
If you really want to excel at blogging, you cannot just rely on the organic traffic. As it might take a while to receive the organic traffic to your new blog posts, you can leverage Google Adwords and Bing Ads to gain instant traction. Since you’ll be focusing on research or awareness keywords for ads, it won’t be costing you much. Also, you don’t have to focus only on Adwords or Bing Ads, you can try and test second tier and third tier players like 7Search, AOL search etc.
And, if you chose to use this tactic, you’ll be learning to create ad campaigns, writing adverts, measuring and optimizing the ads which mean, you’ll be mastering search engine marketing aka PPC advertising.
Social Media Marketing:
Social is an essential component to succeed in blogging and in earlier times blogging is considered as a social media activity because your blog posts can evoke comments, likes, and shares from the readers. To leverage social media to drive interactions, you need to learn the right time to post on social medias and to craft social media posts that get likes and shares. When you do it, you’ll be learning and mastering social media marketing.
Social Media Advertising:
It’s a known factor that Facebook doesn’t want to you get much of free likes and shares and the organic reach for the posts are diminishing by the day. Running successful social media ads have become a crucial component to succeed as a blogger. Many bloggers have failed to recognize this change and adapt to it and it has cost them, robbing many of their readers and the shares from them. This opens up the path to learn and master social media advertising.
List building and blogging go hand in hand and any successful blogger (or the ones who want to become a successful blogger) will focus on it. Also, as part of monetizing the blog, bloggers use email to support their revenue generation plans. Keeping the readers updated with the latest blog posts through weekly newsletters, engaging readers with email only contents and promoting products and services through emails are few of the email tactics commonly used by the bloggers. And those tactics are the most important components of email marketing. When you build, manage and engage your email list, you are also en route to mastering email marketing.
Most savvy bloggers automate their marketing. When a new blog post is published, it is automatically posted on their social media profiles, submitted to ping servers and added to the sitemap. Also, they segment and show relevant content and ads to their readers based on the source of the visit. With email automation, they can tag, segment and promote relevant content and offers. All these are part of the marketing automation skill set and blogging can help you learn it effectively.
You need to know about your blog readers - where do they come from, what do they consume, where do they leave, how much time they spend and what actions they take and analytics tools like Google helps you with it. Mastering such analytics tools is important for a blogger to improve his game by publishing more blog posts in the topics that get more readership, likes, and shares. Every good blogger will be a pro analytics user.
Integrated Digital Marketing:
By now, you would’ve realized that becoming a successful blogger is not luck-dependent. it depends on how well you’re using the marketing channels and tactics together to achieve the best results. Using two or more marketing channels and tactics to achieve results is termed as integrated digital marketing. And, if you’re truly focusing on driving the best results to your blog, you’ll be automatically mastering the integrated digital marketing skill.I guess now, how you can become a digital marketing expert through blogging is clear.
If you’re serious about blogging and do everything it takes to make it a successful one, you’ll eventually end up becoming a digital marketing expert.