More than a decade ago, blogging was just an online venue where people get connected through links. Formerly known as weblog, which was coined by John Barger in 1997, a blog used to be a link pitch – a place where links are lined up for readers to click through. It has then transformed into a space where people share personal information or thoughts; it’s similar to a diary, except it’s for public consumption and not tucked in bed and covered by secrecy.
Since its origin, blogging runs by the “my game, my turf, my rules” principle. While it remains to be a personal dais to most bloggers, blogging has taken a new face in the past years by becoming a marketing venue to both big and small businesses.
By using the word of mouth marketing approach and extending one’s reach through the entire social networking showground, blogging has ousted traditional marketing and has become a vital tool for cultural or movement marketing. Cultural or movement marketing is the method centered on creating communities or cultures acting as brand champions, which are generally concerned about sharing and building credibility rather than creating a sale at point-blank, making it comparable to blogging’s principle. Instead of hard-selling their products, companies commission bloggers to talk about their products – all for a fee lesser than the cost of one-time TV or magazine ads, through exchange deals, or sometimes even for free. The partnership between brands and bloggers may benefit both parties, with bloggers promoting brands and brands promoting bloggers – a publicity cycle in its own.
From the creation of Blogger.com in 1999 up to the launch of micro-blogging site Twitter.com, blogging has indeed reached the peak of its growth curve, making it an industry in its own right. What with bloggers becoming brand ambassadors, playing second to renowned endorsers in some cases – take the MANGO IT Blogger program for instance, where the high-street clothing brand chooses an IT blogger who will act as one of the faces of its upcoming collection alongside its official endorsers, such as Miranda Kerr and Kate Moss – and blogs being monetized through banner ads, sidebar ads, and SEO content, how can people not assume that?
John Bohan, founder of SocialTyze, has been in the Internet marketing industry since 1994 – almost the same year when the first blog was created, making him one of the industry’s pioneers. More articles about Bohan and social media are available on this blog site.