Content Marketing and Blogging: What’s the Difference?

It seems as though everyone is blogging these days, from sports fans to parents to home design enthusiasts.

While there’s an art to successful blogging, it’s a bit different from content marketing, which is a term you’ve likely come across online. Content marketing can include business blogs, but it encompasses much more than that.

If you’re curious about the differences between blogging and content marketing, read on.

What is blogging?

Blogging is a popular approach to publishing content online. Blogs tend to focus on a particular niche, whether it’s sports, health and fitness, parenting, or any other topic that someone is passionate about.

Over the last 20 years, blogging has transformed from being a personal hobby to a bona fide skill that anyone with a laptop and account can use to potentially earn an income. Businesses now see blogging as a core part of their marketing and communications strategies as well.

Blogging is usually the most successful when done on a regular basis. Many blogs post content weekly, if not multiple times every week. This helps with search engine rankings and building a loyal audience that comes back to your site again and again to check out your new content.

Blogging is an important part of building an online presence, but it’s different from content marketing in several key ways.

What is content marketing?

Content marketing emerged in the last decade as traditional digital marketing methods (banner ads and other forms of display advertising) have become less effective.

Content marketing relies on content to drive a brand’s messaging and communication with consumers. It can include everything from infographics and white papers to videos and blogs.

Content marketing often takes the form of blogging, but it relies on a comprehensive marketing strategy that aligns with a company’s products and services, goals, and key performance indicators. Each piece of content has a purpose, a social or online promotional strategy behind it, and metrics to gauge its success and effectiveness.

One great example of content marketing is The American Express OPEN Forum. This site covers topics that are important to small business owners, like money management and building a team, but the American Express logo and branding are front and center. Their blog posts aren’t overtly promotional and could very well be published in your local business journal or on Forbes. But by providing quality content, American Express is building its brand authority and likely driving more consumers to use its products.

Transitioning from blogging to content marketing

Content marketing and blogging are both about audience building. So, if you’ve created a successful blog, you can likely transition to content marketing.

However, the approach you take is about your overall goals. If you have a business that you want to support with your blog, you need a content marketing strategy to build your online presence and your brand’s authority.

The key to building this strategy is to use metrics to clearly understand what people want to engage with. You can then use this information to create quality content that generates more leads for your business and draws more people in.

Blogging is a great way to communicate online, but it’s only one piece of the puzzle when it comes to content marketing. Still, it’s a great start. If you’ve already mastered this piece, you’ll be in good shape to develop a successful content marketing strategy down the line.

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Satta Sarmah Hightower

Satta Sarmah is a writer, editor and content marketing manager who launched her first personal website a decade ago — on WordPress, of course.

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