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If you want to have one of those chatty kinds of blogs, then by all means have one. But make it separate from your marketing blog.
Of course you CAN still talk about your personal life in your marketing blog, and you should sometimes! But don't make your life and troubles focus.
And post a lot. At least three times a week.
You need to build content, after all. The search engines will find you fairly quickly if you have a lot of good content.
The Expert Article
Write an article a week, if possible. More if you have time! Submit it to article directories and article lists right away.
Every time you put an article "out there", you'll see returns in way of fresh traffic. Plus you'll build credibility. More and more people will become familiar with your name. And other publishers will start to post your articles on their websites, in their ezines, and on their blogs.
Write articles to inform, not to sell. Web-savvy readers don't give an ad disguised as an article much of a look anymore.
Keep your articles between 800 and 1400 words. Anything shorter is too little and anything longer will lose readers.
The White Paper or Specialized Report
Most of us know by now that we need to capture contact info of people who don't buy from us on first shot. The one-shot Big Cahuna sales letter can get you some sales, sure, but real money is in follow-up.
What do we offer people in exchange for their contact info? Well, we need a great fr*eebie.
A great fre*ebie is one that carries value AND positions you as an expert.
Somebody else's ebook that you have reseller rights to doesn't really fit bill.
The most killer fre*ebie I know of is what some marketers call an "info widget." This is an authentic lead-generation document, not some thinly disguised sales letter (although sales letters disguised as "fr*ee reports" can work too, especially offline).
The White Paper or Specialized Report is great for this, because it shows that you're not just a run-of-the-mill Web marketer, but a real, bonafide authority in your field. It carries mega-power for positioning.
The name "White Paper" is usually used by companies with a technical orientation. So if you're not in a technically-oriented market, you might be better served by name "Specialized Report." Or you may be able to come up with another name that works well.
The Customer Newsletter
You don't necessarily need to publish an ezine "proper", but you do need to have a customer newsletter to keep in touch with past and current customers.
The real key to a successful customer newsletter is having fun with it. Go out of your way to come up with different, even goofy things to keep your customers informed of what's going on with your business.
And give them some solid info each issue. Offer them tips and advice. And occasional bonuses!
Don't let your newsletter in their inbox be a big surprise either. Keep in touch with them often enough that they aren't shocked to hear from you. Nothing worse than a customer that scratches his or her head wondering who heck this newsletter is from.
More than anything, though, your customer newsletter contributes to your positioning as an expert. To your status as an authority within your niche.
Remember that this is only beginning!
Once you've repositioned yourself effectively, you'll be able to set up hugely profitable ventures, such as consulting services and coaching programs. You'll be able to hold teleseminars with expert contributors, sell information packages...
The sky's limit...
But first you need to get out of commodity business and into information business.
Bruce Carlson is a freelance copywriter and marketing consultant living in Finland. Subscribe to his Dynamic Copywriter newsletter at http://www.dynamic-copywriting.com and see how easily you can improve your online copywriting and direct marketing skills.