Everyone likes interesting blog posts, with useful information. If your expertise is on, for example, dachshunds, I strongly encourage you to write about caring for dachshunds, what kind of foods they like, their favorite treats, that sort of thing. People will love it.
But if you're tempted to add a "...and by the way" to the end of your blog post, you will ruin it, and turn it into an "infomercial". You know, just a long lead-in to a sales pitch. Nobody like that. Don't do that.
This surprises a lot of well-meaning people who just tack on "...and by the way, you can order it here..." at the end of a blog post. Even if it's an afterthought, the people reading your post won't think so. They will feel that they have been suckered in, by reading your post, into a slick sales trick.
The reason for this is that blogs are not advertising. If they were, people would block them, not read them. And if that leaves you with no reason to write a blog, then well, maybe you shouldn't be writing one.
But waitaminute, that doesn't mean that you shouldn't use a blog as part of marketing your product or service. Blogs are an important part of your marketing mix, and are in the category of promotion, or public relations. And since building your reputation is critical to your success, writing a blog is worthwhile. I've gotten several clients through my presence on the web, but I don't do a "going out of business sale" or "limited time offer". I present what I do, and give a link to how to contact me. If you've done a Google Profile, that should be enough. You can post your telephone number or email address at the bottom of your posts if you want to, or you can do a link to your website. But keep it separate from your blog post. If people look for it, it will be there, but it won't be "in their face".
So, put away that sales flyer when you're thinking of blogging. If you want to do advertising, believe me, there are a lot of ways to go, including Google's AdWords. And yes, they cost money, and yes, people block them. That's because they're advertising, not blogging.
|A cartoon truck in a big hurry|
Cartoon illustrations by BradHallArt