How to use the power of blogs in your online marketing

Nobody who has an online presence, or who is involved in any form of online marketing, can afford to ignore blogs, or web logs as they were previously widely called. It is now pretty obvious that any entrepreneur, who insists on continuing to ignore blogs, is bound to live to deeply regret the decision.
In recent times blogs have quickly climbed up the ladder of importance in online marketing to a point where no serious online marketer will fail to include blogs in their arsenal of key marketing weapons.
Blog power
Actually, there is no denying the sheer power of blogs. For instance the growth rate of websites has declined in recent times and most of the growth online is now being driven by this new kid on the block. It is estimated that a staggering 40,000 new blogs are being launched daily. 
Then there is the fact that blogs seem to almost effortlessly gain traffic very quickly in the sort of volumes that websites take years to achieve. Part of the reason is that blogs seem to link to each other very easily and virtually at the least excuse. It is amazing how quickly the average new blog accumulates links to itself. Links and traffic are naturally close relatives because people mostly use links to get to a site or blog. Little wonder that many blogs gain traffic at such a breakneck speed.
Blogs are also now threatening the media establishment as we have known it for years. Two recent examples that have clearly underlined the importance of this medium were the last American Presidential elections and the tsunami tragedy in Asia which were both widely covered in blogs.
But then how does an online entrepreneur or marketer seeking to effectively promote their business online benefit from blogs and all the advantages they seem to come with? 
Actually there are several ways.
Use blogs to drive traffic to your website
The most obvious way an entrepreneur can use blogs, is to drive traffic to their site. Many online marketers have been very successful in using blogs to direct heavy traffic to their websites.
There are in fact two main kinds of blogs being used to drive massive traffic in the direction of various websites. The first is the sort of blog that is closely related to the subject of the site it links to. The other type of blog will tend to have a popular topic with little or no relation to the website topic. Here the idea is to attract huge volumes of traffic and then direct as much of it as possible to the website using attractive and catchy headlines on links situated at the blog.
Both types of blogs work pretty well and what s more, there is nothing to stop an online marketer from using both types of blogs at the same time to win and direct even heavier traffic in the direction of their website. The fact that blogs are easy to maintain makes it simpler for virtually any small business to have several blogs successfully running alongside their main website.
All you have to do with blogs covering unrelated topics to the site you want to direct traffic to, is to be careful to ensure that it attracts the kind of people who qualify as prospects for your site. For instance, it will not help if your main site focuses on a product for women and yet your popular blog attracts mostly men and very few ladies.
Use blogs to test your ideas
As vital as it is, research has never been cheap. Now blogs have made it virtually free. Online marketers are using blogs extensively for testing purposes. What makes blogs even better research tools is the fact that visitors can leave comments under posts that they make on your blog. These comments can be invaluable in gauging public reaction and can help any online marketer to tailor their products better to fit client demand.
Even by simply using your existing blog stats, you can collect valuable research data. For example you can check which pages and posts are most popular with your visitors.
The secret behind the leading online marketers is the fact that they usually test extensively. It is the only way to constantly improve something. Blogs allow you to test all the time and are therefore extremely valuable to any top online marketer.
Use blogs to finance your marketing efforts for your website
These days the blogs fairy tale has gone even further. If you have a reasonable amount of traffic, you can apply to post Google Adsense pay-per-click ads. Every time visitors to your blog click on the ads, you get paid.
Now this opens up a wide range of different opportunities. For example you can finance a huge chunk of your online marketing expenses from your Google income from the blogs. So launching a blog or blogs alongside your website will not drain your scarce resources, if anything it has the potential to pay for itself and give you a profit.
There is no doubt that blogs are set to make an even larger impact in our lives in the future. No online marketer should be left out of these exciting developments.

Article by David Callan. David Callan is a search engine optimisation consultant and is currently working closely with Red Sky's Web design Ireland team optimizing their clients sites from the ground up.

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