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Internet Marketing vs. Blogging

As a strange hybrid of Internet Marketer and Blogger (amongst other things) I noted with interest Darrens worry about Talking to Internet Marketers about Blogging

The —˜daunting’ feelings don’t come from being afraid of public speaking (I’ve been doing that for years) but more because to this point I’ve always found internet marketing —˜types’ to be slightly different (or extremely different) to blogging —˜types’.

I spend all my time with one foot in both camps so I feel I understand both quite well. Even though I had a blog for years it was only in 2005 I ever considered a blog as anything other than a tool for communication. Perhaps that is where a lot of Bloggers are still at today. There are still some who do not like commercialisation of blogs in any form.

At first I didn’t see any value in changing my winning formula, my affiliate sites were doing reasonably well and my client sites were considered a success. It was partly reading Darrens blog that changed my mind.

There are more similarities than differences between the two groups but there is still a definite difference in culture between marketers and bloggers.

  • Both camps want to attract an audience. Internet Marketers build lists, Bloggers like to gather their audience however the audience chooses.
  • Internet Marketers inevitably want to make money, only a segment of bloggers have that motivation.
  • Blogs are conversational and don’t like overt sales language, marketers are used to direct sales writing.
  • With a blog (a good one at least) you are entering a conversation, whether you like it or not. With Internet Marketing the communication is mostly one-way

If I was standing before an audience of Internet Marketers I would be telling them what I often advise in private

  1. Make an effort to understand blogging. The best way of doing this is to read lots of blogs.
  2. Decide what your blog will be for from the point of view of your reader. Answer “What’s In It For Me” – it can not be all take take take, you have to provide value.
  3. Blogs can be a powerful weapon in your arsenal, use them to attract attention and help build your lists.
  4. Funnel traffic to your sales sites, do not try to do everything at once
  5. Most important, join the conversation; a blog is NOT a series of sales letters.

Many bloggers will be surprised at how many Internet Marketers, the best ones, already do get blogging and social media and are using it to their advantage. You don’t notice them because they have integrated. Same with pro-bloggers who are crossing over into Internet Marketing as they develop the money side of their activity.

Blogs have a terrific benefit for Internet Marketers and Bloggers could learn a thing or two from their Internet Marketer friends.

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  1. “What is in it for me ” Thats what every reader looks for while they come to your blog.If you cant express your ideas clearly they might just move to another.You made on more excellent post.Good one for my spawners lol

  2. Chris, you remind me of an internet conference focused on agriculture that I attended in 1990. Imagine being the only business attendee among academics and government workers. My objective was to find out ways to leverage the internet for commercial purposes in the agribusiness industry. Most people thought I was a heretic for thinking of charging businesses and educators for indexable, organized and searchable content.

    The tension today is similar. I agree that one of the most valuable uses of blogging is to stimulate conversation. As blogging expands in popularity and use, I think we should be open-minded about how the next wave of adopters will use these tools.

    Sometimes the ultimate use of an innovation is not what was originally intended.

  3. Chris, I found you on Liz’s site. Great post. You’ve got me really thinking. I can’t draw a Venn Diagram here, but I’m wondering if Blogging is a small circle inside Internet Marketing, if Internet Marketing is becoming a small circle inside blogging, or if the circles just overlap some. I’m thinking the third idea.

    Which raises the real question. Which ideas work for both Internet Marketing and blogging? Which ideas work in only one context or the other?

  4. @Ashish, we *always* need to remember WIIFM 🙂

    @Greg, “because it has always been this way” or “it should only ever be this way” are always warning signs that a new wave is coming 😉

    @Mark, I think it is two circles overlapping but there are a ton of tactics that work for either. Especially in the copywriting and usability arenas.

  5. Yea! I’m in copywriting and editing. It’s the skill that seems to help people no matter what platform they are using.

  6. Ahh Chris – you are speaking my language!

    Yes, I agree the blogging and IM worlds overlap but thankfully blogs just don’t work if traditional hype-copy is used constantly.

    The need for conversational-selling is crucial I believe in the web 2.0 world and Internet marketers are going to need to understand that more and more as their lists become less and less responsive to what has worked in the past.

    We should chat sometime over skype – trade stories 🙂


  7. Any time Yaro 🙂

  8. Nice post, Chris. I think the most important thing to consider when looking at using anything on the web is how does it fit in with my business? Blogs are great. But they should serve a purpose in your business.

  9. Hi Chris,

    In regards to this statement

    With Internet Marketing the communication is mostly one-way

    I couldn’t agree more. That was what I share with Darren the other day. “It’s almost impossible to have a conversation with them. Think of it as a one way traffic.” Another thing I notice, “no moolah, no JV deal, and certainly no free link.”

    I might be stoned by some after this comment! 😛

  10. Hey, this has turned out to be a pretty interesting thread. Miracle asked the million dollar question for me. I’m pushing blogs at my work (we’re nonprofit), but it is hard to justify my hunches that we can create an online community with real purpose. There are just so few models to examine. I’m trying to be logical and conservative in making our ROI goals, but it feels like a crap shoot sometimes.

  11. @Mark, most businesses and charities need a sticky relationship with their audience. Particularly nonprofit organisations don’t have the sort of money to throw around doing things in a BIG way. A typical BIG approach would be
    – focus groups
    – tv/radio/print advertising
    – PR campaigns
    – direct mail
    Add up the cost of all these things then compare the cost of blogging well. Focus groups? Ask questions on your blog and you will get answers. Advertising? PR? Talk about what you do in a benefits-led way. Drive those that are interested in finding out more to your sales/donations/conversion landing pages and email lists.

    In my mind it works better and for lower costs. It’s just a shame there are so few good case studies yet but they will come for sure.

  12. What a response! I’ll have to chew on it some.

  13. @Renne: I agree with you on that.Its almost impossible to make them say anything, best thing they do is by being a faithful reader.

    However I did try sometime and I do got response from some readers out of no where.SpeciAly when i asked what you want next on my blog.I had like 3-4 ppl coming from no where and 2 on email to tell what they liked.It worked somehow and I am still trying to get some more ideas.

    @MArk: Dont chew lol This discussion is still not to its end.

  14. I think there is a marketer inside all of us. We negotiate prices at car dealerships, trying to be a marketer, selling our money and word to a car salesperson. We do the same in relationships; we market our qualities in return for the other person’s qualities.

    People who are into marketing full time are sometimes feared or dreaded because of the thought that they only consider selling to be the most important thing. That is why many people/consumers I know do not like marketers or blame them if something goes wrong in a business, like increasing music prices.

    I think an effective person is one who puts focus on quality, and then along the way has the ability to get other’s attention when needed.

    Also, regarding having a one-way communication with marketers [from their side], I have noticed that most big bloggers do the same once they start getting a lot of traffic. They simply post and communicate what they want, and rarely listen to other smaller bloggers.

    A blogger or a marketer who is also a blogger should feel happy; they are putting focus on humans as well as selling. Otherwise, they will only be marketers who want to sell, sell and sell even more at the cost of anything that cannot be brought to court.

    I hope I did not go a bit off-topic on this.