Blogging is one of the oldest marketing tools on the Internet—and still one of the best.

If you’re like many of our users, you may have put hours into developing your course, and are now faced with a common conundrum: how do you attract learners to sign up? Without a pre-established audience, progress might be slow. But there is a proven way to build that audience—and sustain it for years to come.

Yes, I am talking about blogging.

The blog has been a foundation of Internet culture practically since its inception. Some bloggers have become so successful that many of the rest of us discount it as a strategy for ourselves. If you’re reading this thinking “I’m not a blogger, I’m an educator,” you might be one of that group.

However, your blog doesn’t have to be massively popular as a blog to be wildly successful as a marketing tool. Many of these merits are indirect and therefore not obvious to anyone who hasn’t tried their hand at it. So, if you’re wondering whether this is a path you should pursue, here are seven reasons why the answer is probably “yes.”

1. Blogging can help you grow an audience and establish your brand.

Let’s start with the most basic marketing benefit of blogging: SEO. If you want people to find your website, you need to be showing up in search results. And to show up in search results, you need content. Not course content, because most of that will be gated (unless you set it to “open”), but public, discoverable content on your website. The more the merrier.

Blogging is a great way to create content that hits your search terms and draws in a new audience. Furthermore, that blog content can then be share don social media to bring in more traffic. It’s also a way to establish who you are in your industry—to find a voice and a perspective that sets you apart from your competition. In other words, it lets you define your brand.

2. Blogging lets you test course ideas and find what resonates.

Have an idea for a course, but not sure if there’s any interest? Blog about it. See if people respond. If you get a good reaction, then you can use your blog to continue to grow interest, to keep your readers attention, and to float ideas as you go to refine your idea into something you know your audience wants.

Is the reaction tepid? Well, now you know to scrap the idea before you put too much time into it. Or not! If you’re really convinced your idea is worthwhile, you could use the blog to drum up interest.

Read More: Leveraging Your Blog to Create a Course

3. Blogging keeps you up to speed on the industry.

There’s nothing like a blog to make sure you have your finger on the pulse of every new development. Blogging forces you to be accountable. You’re too public to be uninformed about the latest news. More than that, once you fall into the blogging mindset, you’re constantly looking for new ideas to write about.

And if you get a good idea, writing about it means you’ll have to go research it and learn more about it to be sure you’re providing the best information. Blogging keeps you on your toes.

4. Blogging lets your audience get a taste of your teaching style.

A lot of learners are hesitant to try something from an unknown source. How do they know you’re really an expert? How do they know they’ll like you as a teacher?

Your blog is a great chance to give them a preview of what your classes might be like. Are you charismatic? Does your sense of humor match theirs? Are you delivering information at a high enough knowledge level for them? All these are things they can learn from your blog.

5. Blogging is an outlet for your big ideas.

Many of us go into online education because we’re passionate about our subject matter. We’re in touch with the industry, and want to share our thoughts and ideas. If this sounds like you, then blogging may be less a marketing task that needs to be completed, and more a welcome relief.

Your blog is where your ideas can live. Publish the thoughts that make you feel inspired, and you’ll inspire others as well.

6. Blogging creates additional resources for your students.

When you publish posts on your blog, they aren’t lost in the void. On the contrary, they are an archive of your writing and thinking on your subject matter. This means that, if your learners have questions, you have posts ready to share with them. Or, you can take questions from your learners and turn them into blog posts. Either way, you’re creating more resources for your learners to use as they improve their own skills.

Over time, you may even be able to take the content from your blog and use it to develop a new course!

Read more: How to Create a Course Using a Blog

7. Blogging lets you sell your audience on the importance of your subject.

Finally, not everyone is going to be sold on the need to educate themselves in your subject area. Your blog is a place to convince them otherwise. And you have all the time in the world to do it. There’s nothing stopping you from discussing the importance of your subject from every angle, and the more you do so, the more you will convince others that taking your course is, indeed worthwhile.

Blogging doesn’t just help your marketing, it makes your course better as well.

As we said, blogging isn’t just about its direct marketing benefits as a driver of inbound traffic. Rather, it’s also about keeping your mind focused on your course subject matter, and making sure you’re constantly creating—and demonstrating—value for your learners.

I often compare blogging to exercise. It’s not something that will change your life immediately. In fact, for a while, you may feel like you’re putting in a lot of effort and not getting anywhere. But in the long run, it’s one of the most important things you can do to build the strength of your business. Make it a habit, and the results will follow.

Laura Lynch photo

About Laura Lynch

Laura is a marketing specialist with experience presenting at WordPress events in Ann Arbor and Vienna. She speaks Russian and German and holds a double MA (Hons) in History and Russian Studies from the University of Edinburgh.

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