Interview with Marko Saric – UK Blogging Consultant
Through running a content marketing agency, I’m very aware of not just the huge benefits to a business of having a blog, but also the fact that not having a blog leaves a business is in serious danger of losing online visibility and the ability to attract audience.
As Eric Schmidt of Google said recently “the cost of remaining anonymous… might be irrelevance”. He was actually talking about authorship, but as this wider concept is tied into brands having a platform for authorship he might as well have been talking about blogging. Blogging is such an important factor for anyone with an online business that I’ve asked an expert along for the next OMN event.
Marko Saric is well known on the speaking circuit as being one of the foremost evangelists of business blogging in the UK. His reputation is well earned, and I’m very pleased that he’s going to be speaking at OMN London on the 2nd May aboard HMS President. If you enjoy this interview and his talk on Thursday, you can find out more about Marko on his site: http://www.howtomakemyblog.com/
I asked Marko a few questions about himself to set the scene for what will be a very interesting talk
Hi Marko… you’ve built quite a name for yourself as a proponent of blogging… how did you get involved with blogging yourself?
Hi Gus, thanks for having me. I started creating websites back in 1990’s and sometime in mid-2000’s I decided to move all my static HTML sites to this new blogging thing. Blogs were more social, they included comments area and were very easy to update and design compared to a static website where you needed to know HTML, CSS, FTP etc. That’s how it all started!
Let’s start from the top, why is blogging important?
Blogging is really the best way to integrate some content into a static website, and content is getting more importance all over the place. We all know how difficult it is to get any attention in the media or get any attention with banner ads and other advertising, so being able to have a space where you publish your own content and get earned media is very important and blogs are perfect for that.
What do you say to businesses that don’t think that they need a blog?
I cannot say that every business in the world needs to have a blog but getting attention and media coverage for your business or your start-up is very difficult and very expensive these days. Blogging is an interesting solution for that. If no one wants to cover your business at least you can start a blog and create some content yourself and get attention through the content and the value that you are providing.
Why do you think that some businesses are so slow to get into blogging as a marketing tool?
The transition from thinking like an advertiser to thinking like a publisher is difficult to make. Most businesses still think too much about traditional way of marketing. It’s all about trying to push your brand in front of as many eyeballs as possible via PR, advertising etc. With blogging you are not an advertiser, you are a real content publisher. You need to be creative, you need to be open, you need to join the conversation and provide value to your audience. It’s a bit more scarier approach than just spending a lot of money on buying ads.
What would be your step-by-step process be for a business looking to get into blogging?
Starting a blog is pretty simple actually. If your business is ready to take the step towards becoming a content publisher, it is a pretty simple process to install a WordPress blog and add it to your own website. I have a step-by-step guide to the install process at http://www.howtomakemyblog.com/wordpress/how-to-install-wordpress-step-by-step-guide/. When your WordPress blog has been setup that’s where the real work starts. You need to start creating valuable content and start attracting an audience – that’s the hard part of blogging.
How long would you expect it to take a business to start seeing the commercial benefits of blogging?
Blogging is a marathon and definitely not a sprint so you will need to spend quiet a bit of time and effort into it. You need to create valuable content on a regular basis, you need to do that consistently over a longer period of time to start building an audience, and you need to spend quiet a lot of time being out there where your potential customers are and provide value and show them why they should come to you. Too many think that blogging is easy as they’ve heard all the success stories, so it is definitely important to realise that it takes a lot of hard work and time to start getting commercial benefits from it. If you think it’s too easy you will not be prepared to put in the effort needed.
In terms of content, what’s the best thing that a blogger can give their audience?
The best thing that you can give your audience is the content that your audience wants to consume, to engage with and to share with their friends and network. Always stay in touch with your audience, know who they are, know what they want. Listen to their feedback, listen to what they are talking about in social media, look at the analytics data as that will give you many answers on what works and what doesn’t. Then do more of the stuff that works and that your audience wants, and less of the stuff that doesn’t get much of a response. It’s as simple as that.
Thanks Marko… Really looking forward to learning more about blogging for businesses on Thursday!