Selling yourself, not products, through blogging

Last night I was on a free teleconference regarding becoming a successful speaker. The actual title was How to Become a Highly Paid Speaker Quickly. It was a hour and a half presentation and the first 30 – 45 minutes were some tid bits about being a good speaker. Then the teleconference evolved into a sales pitch for their speech coaching service.

Blogging is just like that teleconference. Its a free service where you can provide information that people might find interesting and valuable. As a matter of fact, yesterday’s blog on Blogger’s Block turned out to be extremely popular, so I thought I would continue to talk about blogging for a while.

However, there are three kinds of blogs, which are free information shared to people:

1. Blogs fully dedicated to selling a product or service, which pretty much are nothing but wordy advertisements. These blogs promise when you open them up to provide good information, but are really fully focused on providing you information on what they can do for you in regards to that information.

2. Blogs that are informative to a point, but then (normally at the bottom), become an advertisement. These blogs give you some information–enough to get you interested, but not really enough to do anything with the information. Then they hit you with the “if you want to learn more or how to do this, this is why you should contact us.”

3. Blogs that share information openly without holding back information. Simply put, they’re giving the recipe away for free. Yes, they might have some contact information at the bottom, but they’ve really shared the whole story and held nothing back to sell to you.

These approaches are all forms of what has become known as Content Marketing. It’s marketing, even if you didn’t know you were doing it, because the marketers have coined what you’re doing and they are packaging it up to sell–even though many of your have been doing this for a while.

The problem is that Content Marketing is really what cause blog type 1 and 2. I’m sure you’ve fallen into the trap of opening a blog that looked really cool by its title and first paragraph only to be fully disappointed by the blatant marketing of the body. Much like the teleconference I was in yesterday.

Last night I was looking for information on how to become… However, what I got was, an appetite wettener for what I wanted and then a how to buy their service.

So, let’s talk about true Content Marketing.

Content Marketing is about selling your capability by “giving it away.” Many bloggers out there today have been “giving it away” for years and inadvertently selling themselves without even focusing on the act. That is true Content Marketing.

When the likes and follows blew up yesterday after my Blogger’s Block article, that told me that many people were interested in information about blogging itself. Hence, I figured I would write another blog about blogging. Why, not because I want to sell my services as a blogging mentor or something like that, but because I want more people to enjoy, share, like, and follow my blog.

As a blogger, your focus should be on selling yourself and you should provide stuff that your readers find interesting. That interesting stuff is called Content and getting more and more people to read your blog is called Marketing.

Yes, it is that simple.

One thing that the presentation did share with me, before it went marketing crazy and I hung up, was that when speaking, you have to be genuine. Genuine speeches are what attract listeners and genuine and genuine blogs attract readers.

That’s why I’m blogging about blogging again today. Yesterday, my Blogger’s Block blog received a lot of attention’ so I wanted to continue with what you might want to read.

I’m not doing this to attract followers and get you to buy something, but to share information and hopefully learn something back in the process.

True Content Marketing is just that. Anyone can openly share information–Content–with their readers. Hopefully their readers will find their content interesting and continue to come back and read their blog. Better yet, they will follow them and share what they’re saying to others. This is true Marketing without selling anything.

Somewhere in there, someone is going to read their blog and be at the point that they need help in that area. They will see, through their multiple of free blogs, that this company or person is really good and knowledgable at whatever they’re talking about. Then they’re going to contact that person and see if they can get their help. Or, someone who has been reading these interesting blogs has a friend that has a need and they’re going to share the name of the company or person that has been providing all these great blogs.

Anything in the 1 or 2 category of blogging is nothing but marketing and no one is going to follower share that. Even if you want to ultimately sell your services or products, be genuine in your blogs.

I’m not the all knowing expert in blogging, but I am pretty darn good at strategic communication. I wouldn’t want anyone to really ask me to be a “blogging coach” or something like that, but I can definitely help companies build and implement strategic communication plans.

However, my purpose in this is to not sell that or any other service. My purpose is to share my opinion on blogging and using blogging to sell yourself, not something else.

As always, as all bloggers should do, I ask for your thoughts on blogging and content marketing. If you don’t want to comment’ but like the blog, please like it, follow me, and share this to others. I won’t mind.


About johnrknotts
John Knotts is a results-oriented business professional leader, manager, and supervisor with experience from the military, small business, several nonprofits, and is currently a management consultant. Working out of the San Antonio, Texas, he retired from the Air Force in July 2008 and worked with Booz Allen Hamilton from the end of October 2008 to December 2011. Now he is a Strategic Business Adviser with USAA. John leads large and small strategic transformations and has extensive experience in the areas of change management, strategic planning, process improvement, strategic communication and marketing, strategic human capital and resource management, education and training, facilitation, organizational design and development, modeling and simulation, financial and budget analysis, activity based costing and management, quality management, competitive sourcing and privatization, leadership development, and business development.

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