Hobbyists and business leaders alike have asked “is blogging free marketing?” since the blog became a user-friendly form of promotion. And today, free marketing is the only option for businesses with tight marketing budgets or, worse, no marketing budget at all.
Is blogging free marketing? Or is the cost of blogging too high to sustain?
The answer to your question isn’t so straightforward. For example, how serious are you about blogging? How well do you understand search engine optimization? And how creative are you willing to get with your digital marketing tactics?
Is Blogging Free Marketing? Not Quite.
The concept of blogging can be considered as free marketing. In theory, you provide additional words on your website or blog site that potential consumers find organically online which can turn into leads and business partnerships.
Yet is blogging free marketing? Far from it.
It takes time and money to start a blog, maintain a blog and strengthen your blog’s value. From technology and tools to writing and promoting, how much your blog is going to cost you depends on your skill level, resources and drive to earn revenue from your blog.
Setting Up Your Blog Isn’t Free
It’s true that there are free blogging sites and free blog themes. These blog hosting platforms allow you to launch your blog within minutes—but it won’t launch your revenue or your blog’s search ranking status.
If it’s free, it comes with a lot of limitations and restrictions. Free blogging sites restrict your ability to earn money and how your blog looks as well as prevents access to essential plugins geared towards increasing blog traffic and revenue. Free blog themes often limit your ability to maximize SEO value across your blog.
Blog Maintenance Isn’t Free
Technology is constantly changing. You can count on your blog site requiring updates, code review and manual revision in order to remain competitive within your industry and within the blogging arena. Even if you’re able to make these updates in-house, a person’s time is still a resource cost.
Maintenance isn’t all about the hardware. Search engines like Google and Bing are continuously refreshing the rules on ranking high in SERP. If you want a better chance at maintaining or increasing your rankings, you must revisit and revise your blog posts, both in content on the page and metadata behind the scenes. Whether you enlist external or internal resources to make that happen, there’s a price to pay.
Writing Blog Posts Isn’t Free
Blogging requires a consistent schedule of publishing valuable content in order to be effective. Blogging for the sake of blogging isn’t enough—your blog posts must resonate with your readers and provide beneficial information in order for them to return and want to do business with you. This is why you need writers who can create engaging content that interweaves SEO best practices—and great writers cost money.
Of course, you can write the blog posts yourself. Remember, the cost of writing one blog post yourself can be hours of your time, from topic brainstorming and keyword research to writing the blog post and publishing it live on your blog site.
Promoting Your Blog Isn’t (Always) Free
Sometimes, you have to pay to play. Sure, you can post for free on social media and reach out to your contacts on a free email marketing platform. But if you want to see real value return on your marketing efforts, you have to pay for it.
Paid posts on social media, upgraded email marketing features, retargeting ads—money makes it happen. But this investment can often lead to increased web traffic, more leads and more revenue.
Is Blogging Free Marketing? Actually, Yes!
What if you can’t pay to play in the blogging scene? Can you still see value by using all free blogging tools and free promotional solutions?
That depends. If you’re a pro at digital marketing and resourceful with your current connections, you may find blogging to be a free way to market yourself.
Is blogging free marketing? In a way, yes. But it takes a lot of creativity and strategy to keep that price tag at zero.
You Can Still Boost SEO on a Free Blog
With a blog on a free blogging site, the odds of ranking on Internet search engines are not in your favor. That being said, it is still possible to earn top ranking on search engines if you are skilled at optimizing your blog post content so that it engages with the right target audience.
I repeat: you can still boost SEO on your free blog. How do I know? I ran my blog on a free blogging site for years. Even without a customizable theme or upgraded plug-ins, I still received tens of thousands of views on several blog posts, from holiday vs holidays to writing scavenger hunt clues.
Guest Blogging on Partner Websites is Free Marketing
Your blog posts don’t have to live in isolation on your blog site. In fact, you can create original blog posts that are featured on an external blog without having to pay for the opportunity.
Many companies with a successful blog program, including your current partners or business connections, welcome guest bloggers. Simply put, you provide the original blog post (read: you cannot have this post featured on your website) and they’ll publish the blog post on their website as well as promote it (and you!) on their promotional channels.
Blogging is Free Marketing Over Time
The right blog post can serve you well. If your blog post still remains relevant to your readers, you can still see a steady stream of website traffic and generate new leads from an old blog post written months—even years—ago.
Choose the right topics to write about on your blog site so that your all blog posts, from your latest post to articles within your archive, provide value to your consumers and ROI to your business.