Is a blog needed to sell products (digital products)?

by hbeezy 41 replies
So I was wondering... I'm pretty sure that some people are selling products in any niche without a blog. If anyone can tell me, what exactly does a blog do for a marketer who is trying to sell their product?

Is it mandatory? and if not, does it open the door for promotion for different products in different niches?

Does a blog give a product owner/marketer a more targeted traffic source? Assuming the marketer uses an autoresponder ("the money is in the list") is it more or less of a hassle when determining whether to place content in the autoresponder or the blog?

Maybe I am asking too much but my brain has been spinning on this for months, which has kept me from taking any action whatsoever.

TL;DR What do blogs do for product owners? What little part (if any) am I missing here?

Thanks for all your help in advance.
#main internet marketing discussion forum #blog #digital #needed #products #sell
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  • Profile picture of the author GetPLRhere
    You don't necessarily need a blog per se. What you need is targeted traffic; Lots of it preferably.

    What a blog does is help attain a loyal following. Over time, some of your visitors might bite and join your list or buy a product from your website out right.
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  • Profile picture of the author ulterios
    A blog isn't needed, but it can definitely help. You can use a blog as a way to draw people to your site so that they can see whatever you are trying to sell, promote, market or whatever.

    It gives you a central location to draw followers, subscribers, customers or whatever you are trying to draw. It can give you a great way to draw traffic from other sources like the search engines, especially if you are active on it and posting lots of articles.

    A blog can help to draw people for one reason in hopes that they are there for the reason you want, and if they aren't interested in whatever drew them there, they might be interested in something else you have on your blog.

    A blog can give you a lot more firepower for drawing people to see whatever you want them to see. Sure, you can sell your products using other avenues like social media or something but a blog is a real good thing to have that can be used for many purposes.

    So, is a blog needed? No

    Should you have one? Yes, for the reasons I stated above plus countless others.

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  • Profile picture of the author danieldesai
    Originally Posted by hbeezy View Post

    Is it mandatory?
    A blog is not an absolute need - so no, it's not mandatory.


    Originally Posted by hbeezy View Post

    TL;DR What do blogs do for product owners? What little part (if any) am I missing here?
    A blog can be a place to publicly showcase your expertise, brand yourself as the go-to-person in that niche, help establish networking opportunities, and generate organic traffic from search engines and social shares.

    Of course, you want to make sure your blog is based around a topic that goes well with blogging, more on that here: 21 Warning Signs You Chose the Wrong Topic for Your Blog


    Originally Posted by hbeezy View Post

    Assuming the marketer uses an autoresponder ("the money is in the list") is it more or less of a hassle when determining whether to place content in the autoresponder or the blog?
    There's no single answer for this but I'll share one of the ways to balance this.

    Use your blog to post longer and in-depth articles so that you'll attract your target audience, and create a series of smaller but useful tips that you share only through your email newsletter.

    Generally, it's easier to get away with shorter content in your emails (such as 200 to 300 words) while it's much harder to generate organic traffic from your blog with short content.


    Regards,
    Daniel
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  • Profile picture of the author hbeezy
    So, say for example, I wanted to promote two niches. Would it make sense to promote under the same blog or make two completely different ones?

    (Also, that goes for the identity, should I create a whole new identity [pen name] for a new blog in a different niche?)
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    • Profile picture of the author rritz
      Originally Posted by hbeezy View Post

      So, say for example, I wanted to promote two niches. Would it make sense to promote under the same blog or make two completely different ones?

      (Also, that goes for the identity, should I create a whole new identity [pen name] for a new blog in a different niche?)
      I would say definitely yes to creating two completely different ones. You will achieve much more visibility and credibility with two blogs.

      About the name I am not so sure, I probably would make both blogs under my own name
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    • Profile picture of the author Steve B
      Originally Posted by hbeezy View Post

      Would it make sense to promote under the same blog or make two completely different ones? . . . (Also, that goes for the identity, should I create a whole new identity [pen name] for a new blog in a different niche?)

      hbeezy,

      IMO, it makes the most sense to create a separate blog for each niche (not for each product, however) if you have multiple products in the same niche. The determining factor is the audience.

      You are trying to attract people that have the same interests (in a niche) so that they will all be interested in your blog posts and in the products that you market to them. Give them the opportunity to be subscribers of your site so that you can email them with valuable content and paid offers.

      Marketing to strangers is much easier when your whole audience has similar desires (they are in the same niche) - your conversions go way up because you are marketing to people that have experienced your knowledge and expertise (shown through your blog and emails). You can be seen as an authority in the niche and people will buy from you because they have seen that you "know your stuff."

      I wouldn't use a pen name personally. I want my followers to know that I am a real person not afraid to put myself "out there." You can be an expert in more than one thing (several niches at the same time). I don't want to be seen as someone trying to fool my audience - they will not trust you IMO.

      The very best to you,

      Steve
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    • Profile picture of the author Anthony J Namata
      Originally Posted by hbeezy View Post

      So, say for example, I wanted to promote two niches. Would it make sense to promote under the same blog or make two completely different ones?

      (Also, that goes for the identity, should I create a whole new identity [pen name] for a new blog in a different niche?)
      I will give you my take on this. A) Blogs help because search engines love fresh content all of the time, and a blog IS the perfect place to feed content to the search engines. So a blog, is a must in my book. B) Unless your niche can be cleverly blended with another--like selling products you recommend and promoting a business opportunity at the same time CAN work with a single blog--then I would recommend a separate blog for each niche.
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  • Profile picture of the author CityCowboy
    You said The money is in the list, but you can't build a list without an Autoresponder! And you can't have create an Autoresponder without a blog.

    Of course, you can promote your products on Clickbank, Jvzoo, Amazon,...

    But why not promote the same product to your audience who trust you and would pay more for it.
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  • If you are going to sell digital products you definitely want to go check out clickfunnels.com it's going to save you time, money, and a whole lot more when it comes to selling digital products.
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    • Profile picture of the author Billy The Kid
      Originally Posted by FunnelMarketingPro View Post

      If you are going to sell digital products you definitely want to go check out clickfunnels.com it's going to save you time, money, and a whole lot more when it comes to selling digital products.
      I agree with this. Clickfunnels is pretty awesome
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  • Profile picture of the author Kurt
    There seems to be a bit of confusion over the definition of a "blog". A blog is not the same as a website. A blog is just software that helps create a website.

    You can have a website without having a blog. There's a number of types of sites that aren't blogs. The Warrior Forum is a forum and uses forum software. You can make web pages using an HTML editor. You can have a script that does something, like Google search. A game can be a website.

    You don't "need" a website. But having one sure makes things better and easier. IMO, if someone can't afford a website and won't invest the time learning how to build and maintain a site, be it a blog or other type of site, then they either need to pay someone that does or not start an IM business to begin with.

    It would be very interesting to know what percentage of people just starting out in IM that didn't have a site of any kind actually became successful? It's theoretically possible, but I wonder what the reality is?
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  • Profile picture of the author fredi
    Blog is not mandatory. What you need is targeted traffic. As long as you are getting targeted traffic traffic blog is not a issue. There are different ways of getting traffic. You can use Facebook Solo Ads to bring traffic to your product. Also Solo Ads is a good option of getting traffic and result of Solo Ads is good too. Opt-in rate of Solo Ads is more than 70%.
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  • Profile picture of the author ChrisBa
    A blog isn't needed but can certainly help get you more traffic and even more sales ..
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  • Profile picture of the author jahangir55
    I also think a blog is very helpful to sell a product. But you must create a blog on a specific niche. Besides, the blog's content should be rich. When you will give informative content you will get more sell.
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  • Profile picture of the author Jelz3
    In my opinion, spending your time writing tons of content for your blog is not the only nor best way to go.
    If you want to sell a product, the most important thing is to build preeminence, sure a blog does that, but there are other ways to establish expertise and build preeminence without spending months writings articles. For example, you could give a free sample of what you have to offer (that can be a small part of your product, the sneek peak kinda stuff, that can be a few minutes of your time like a call, a chat, a few e-mails, you name it).
    By being able to prove you know what you're talking about, you'll be able to get clients.
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  • Profile picture of the author Action Man
    If you think can compete with possibly thousands of blogs possibly in the same niche you are a happy chap. The new bloggers that make it nowadays are mainly lovely make-up lassies who have successful channels on YouTube, or YouTube gamers like PewDiePie.

    You have to build a track record on your own really offline. Sell offline, get sales, you can and will. If you don't have the dream and fighting energy, just go fishing.

    Bad News. The truth is nowadays a blog should complement your successful YouTube channel, times have changed. I would start your selling offline, build up a real track record and a list, but without YouTube success, stay in your bed and relax.

    Or get a pro to build your YouTube channel preferably a Scottish genius like me and my team.

    what is in for me? who knows!

    you don't get rich if you are not sharp!

    Jim
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    • Profile picture of the author John Lloyd
      Originally Posted by Action Man View Post

      If you think can compete with possibly thousands of blogs possibly in the same niche you are a happy chap. The new bloggers that make it nowadays are mainly lovely make-up lassies who have successful channels on YouTube, or YouTube gamers like PewDiePie.

      You have to build a track record on your own really offline. Sell offline, get sales, you can and will. If you don't have the dream and fighting energy, just go fishing.

      Bad News. The truth is nowadays a blog should complement your successful YouTube channel, times have changed. I would start your selling offline, build up a real track record and a list, but without YouTube success, stay in your bed and relax.

      Or get a pro to build your YouTube channel preferably a Scottish genius like me and my team.

      what is in for me? who knows!

      you don't get rich if you are not sharp!

      Jim
      Most youtubers make shyte.

      It's a decent (though slow way) to build an organic following. But if money is your objective (and you have a product to sell), there are far better uses for your time.

      Personally, I treat my blog as a virtual business card. Any traffic/customers I get from it I treat as a bonus, but I certainly don't rely on it.

      If you master paid traffic, and have a good offer, you're not going to have any money troubles.
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  • Profile picture of the author Profit Traveler
    I love blogs...but I do not love blogging. But there are plenty of creative ways to get around that.

    The great thing about a blog is that it can be alive and networking for you from all your content connected with bookmarking sites and social media and people linking to your content as well.

    Also investors would find a well maintained blog very appealing, especially one that generated revenue. So they can definitely be considered assets.

    -Art
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  • Profile picture of the author MrJonny
    You should probably get a blog. Get a free one first, like Blogger.com or Wordpress.com if you don't want to pay. This will start you off and give you experience.
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  • Profile picture of the author JohnMcCabe
    If you've spent more than twenty minutes studying marketing, you probably heard that "people buy from people they know, like and trust." Unless you're dealing with pure commodities, like, say, a candy bar at the checkout register, this is true.

    A blog is one of the most accessible ways to foster that "know, like and trust" but it isn't the only way. It provides a home base for site and product news, a home for your opt-in pages, etc., a base to foster relationships with other people in your niche space, and more.

    Originally Posted by hbeezy View Post

    So, say for example, I wanted to promote two niches. Would it make sense to promote under the same blog or make two completely different ones?

    (Also, that goes for the identity, should I create a whole new identity [pen name] for a new blog in a different niche?)
    It depends on how closely related the two niches are. Do they overlap at all? Do the audiences share demographics and psychographics? For example, you might be able to put some fitness material on a golf blog as long as you relate it to playing golf. The same could be said for travel and golf.

    On the other hand, if you wanted to tackle bodybuilding and competitive eating, you'd probably want separate sites.

    As for different pen names, it depends on just how different the niches are. Very few people are so narrowly focused in their lives that they only have knowledge in one thing. I believe the best combo would be to put two unrelated niches under the same name, one business and one leisure. I would likely take on something related to online marketing and fishing for example. If I wanted to go into DIY brain surgery or something, I'd use a pen name.

    You see this with authors more and more. For an example, look up Nora Roberts and JD Robb.

    Originally Posted by CityCowboy View Post

    You said The money is in the list, but you can't build a list without an Autoresponder! And you can't have create an Autoresponder without a blog.
    Sorry, Cowboy, but this is incorrect. All you need is a website where you can post a few simple web pages - opt-in page, thank you page, success page, maybe a privacy page. Four simple HTML pages, and you're in business. No need to set up Mysql databases, CMS framework (blog scripts), themes and plugins, etc. if all you want to do is collect email addresses.
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  • Profile picture of the author michaelkoehler92
    Google loves blogs, and monetizing them is a good automated method of making money
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  • Profile picture of the author Randall Magwood
    Originally Posted by hbeezy View Post

    So I was wondering... I'm pretty sure that some people are selling products in any niche without a blog. If anyone can tell me, what exactly does a blog do for a marketer who is trying to sell their product?

    Is it mandatory? and if not, does it open the door for promotion for different products in different niches?

    Does a blog give a product owner/marketer a more targeted traffic source? Assuming the marketer uses an autoresponder ("the money is in the list") is it more or less of a hassle when determining whether to place content in the autoresponder or the blog?

    Maybe I am asking too much but my brain has been spinning on this for months, which has kept me from taking any action whatsoever.

    TL;DR What do blogs do for product owners? What little part (if any) am I missing here?

    Thanks for all your help in advance.
    You don't need a blog to sell digital products successfully. Honestly you can only use email marketing and a sales letter. I use my blog to provide an avenue of more new content. Writing is easy to me, and i find that some of my subscribers prefer reading info on my blog, rather than waiting for another helpful email from me. Plus the SEO and RSS marketing benefits are cool too. Plus... with some Wordpress plug-ins, you can use your blog to host your sales letter page, make it responsive, and even create squeeze pages with awesome designs (even if you know nothing about creating a website).
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  • Profile picture of the author abhilasha
    Blog is not mandatory for any website. but you need traffic then it is must as per my experience.
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  • Profile picture of the author YourGoToWriter
    Do not overthink the purpose of having a blog. You don't necessarily need a blog to sell. However, you can use blogs to increase traffic and to promote your business/digital products.
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  • Profile picture of the author Brent Stangel
    Sorry, Cowboy, but this is incorrect. All you need is a website where you can post a few simple web pages - opt-in page, thank you page, success page, maybe a privacy page. Four simple HTML pages, and you're in business. No need to set up Mysql databases, CMS framework (blog scripts), themes and plugins, etc. if all you want to do is collect email addresses.
    You don't even need that. All the main ARs have hosted capture pages and some have landing pages as well.

    There seems to be a bit of confusion over the definition of a "blog". A blog is not the same as a website. A blog is just software that helps create a website.
    I see this alot too. You can configure WP however you choose. You can make a "classic" blog with the home page being your latest posts. Or you can make a static homepage. Or you can have both, a static homepage and a blog on the same install.

    I think it's almost "necessary" to have at least one "utility" site. This is where you build landing and delivery pages, etc.

    If you look at brentstangel.com there appears to be nothing there. The Domain redirects, there's no "about" or home page. But look behind the scenes and there are dozens of opt-in and landing pages, numerous download pages, bonus pages, several entire HTML mini-sites, etc. I like it because it fits for any niche.
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  • Profile picture of the author Hemantkumar
    Yeah if you are damn serious about online earning then you should build a blog first of all.
    This will help you to get your desired traffic and yeah desired money.
    Thanks
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  • Profile picture of the author SEO Pearl
    Of course, there are lots of other methods to selling your products but a Blog helps you a lot for the business. It will useful to make a trust with your customers and you can always be connected with the networking through your blog.

    A blog is a good place to explain about your products to the customer and it's helpful to make you more business and of course there are no restrictions to sell your products because you have own it a blog. Driving a targeted traffic through the organic search results also.
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  • Profile picture of the author Mark Singletary
    While a blog can help in a lot of ways as has been mentioned, I think you need to understand the reality of the situation too.

    Most of the people here that say they aren't making a dime have a blog. Most of the people that can't get traffic have a blog. Most of the people that can't sell anything have a blog. And most of the people making a tiny amount (but still worry about their hosting bill) have a blog.

    A blog, in and of itself, isn't going to do you any good. Yes you might get lucky and Google find a page and get some long tail traffic but it's unlikely.

    What makes a successful blog is people visiting it, reading it, and taking the desired action on the content. If no one visits, reads, or takes the desired action, your blog is worthless.

    Someone made the comment about this sad state of affairs where you have beginners that put their all into creating content but then never get anywhere with their blog. They don't make money and aren't making progress and many get frustrated and quit. They were comparing those efforts to someone that, for example, writes a Kindle book and takes advantage of Amazon's traffic or selling physical products on Ebay who also already has traffic. The same could be said for YT videos, FB pages/groups, and more.

    For example, I've seen threads saying I've got 20/30/40/50/60 posts but no visitors and the answer in some cases is to add more posts. That's just insane. More content isn't needed - more marketing is needed.

    I'm not discounting the usefulness of a blog. I'm just saying that there is more to it than slapping up a blog.

    I've seen people proudly advertising their blogs here, for example, that are copy and paste posts from big sites and wondering why they don't get any traffic.

    If you are focusing on the English-speaking market, you need to be able to write better English than most of the folks that are members here. But most members can't but they are broke so they need a fast way to get started. Many helpful Warriors say - start a blog - it's free. That's advice that isn't going to get you very far without all the pieces of the puzzle fitting together.

    Mark
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    • Profile picture of the author CircuitScream
      Not necessarily - but before you even consider whether you need a blog, you need to have a product or service to sell - one that solves a customer's problem.

      But assuming you already have the product/offer, you need to find out what your target customer prefers - do they like to read long-format articles, or do they prefer quick posts on your Facebook page? Do they respond to newsletters or Twitter, or video? etc etc

      Discover how/when/where your ideal customer prefers to consume your product, and deliver it in that format/medium.
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    • Profile picture of the author CircuitScream
      Originally Posted by Mark Singletary View Post

      Someone made the comment about this sad state of affairs where you have beginners that put their all into creating content but then never get anywhere with their blog. They don't make money and aren't making progress and many get frustrated and quit. They were comparing those efforts to someone that, for example, writes a Kindle book and takes advantage of Amazon's traffic or selling physical products on Ebay who also already has traffic. The same could be said for YT videos, FB pages/groups, and more.
      Mark, I'm one of those folks who have found the type of products I create perform better in a large established marketplace, like the Amazons and eBays. I have one digital product I sell on eBay and it relies 100% on eBay - no blog, no social media accounts, nothing. Just pure list-and-sell. My customer in this niche could care less about a blog or Facebook post.

      But another product I created last year is a PDF download of a role-playing game. I do have a blog, even though I don't really even update it anymore - the game is sold on a 3rd-party marketplace that is basically the "Amazon" for the RPG crowd. Other than product creation and checking sales once a week, I'm hands-off. More so, the price is "free" - it's a name your price thing, and I "sell" about 30-50 downloads a month, and I actually make a little side money from it.

      I suspect it would help if I were to start really pushing and supplementing the game with my blog and social sites, given my customers' preferences and the potential depth of this type of product.

      I should also point out that what other people are saying about targeted traffic rings true - I put this same product on both Etsy and Gumroad, and it didn't do squat, even with me promoting it.
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      • Profile picture of the author S T E V E
        Originally Posted by CircuitScream View Post

        I have one digital product I sell on eBay and it relies 100% on eBay - no blog, no social media accounts, nothing. Just pure list-and-sell. My customer in this niche could care less about a blog or Facebook post.
        I have a product on eBay too and it is a great place to start learning about product creation and conversion.

        You literally are paying pennies for clicks and if you are smart you can easly funnel people from your listings onto your list.
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  • Profile picture of the author discrat
    As others have said it is not a necessity but I have found it can be an effective tool in your overall marketing efforts to establish a Brand and gain more Trust


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  • Profile picture of the author spazz896
    All you need is an converting offer and targeted traffic. Everything else is just fluff! ~ A blog is a tool to help bring in more targeted traffic.
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    • Profile picture of the author S T E V E
      Originally Posted by spazz896 View Post

      All you need is an converting offer and targeted traffic. Everything else is just fluff! ~ A blog is a tool to help bring in more targeted traffic.
      This is absolutely right, you absolutely do not need a blog. If you are serious about making money online I would say that there are just a few vital ingredients and a blog isn't one of them.

      I'm in a bit of a rush so i'll keep this short and sweet.

      1) Nice and short hot problem solving freebie that people simply can't leave your site without signing up for.

      2) A high quality landing page promoting your freebie to the exact people you want to add to your list. You really want specifics here... Weed out the actual bat shit crazy freebie whores and only add people that really want your stuff.

      3) A good relationship with your subscribers, and contrary to popular belief that doesn't mean blasting them with more free shit. Just keep them engaged and waiting for your emails.

      4) Your main product or even affiliate product to promote through your follow up. Obviously if you want the money I'd go with your own product.

      5) Targeted traffic. The best way is absolutely PPC. All you need to do is make sure your funnel makes more than you spend on traffic.Even if it's $0.50 on each subscriber. You know that you can continue running traffic and making those $0.50 over and over again.

      Anything else is really just a waste of time in my opinion. You want to cut out as many of the time wasting aspects as you can and simply focus on the most important tasks.

      Sure start a blog, but spend most of your time doing things that are going to bring you money faster. Make a blog post when you have a bit of spare time.

      Anyway that's my 2 cents.

      Steve

      P.S. Obviously you will need a domain, hosting and an auto-responder... But you'd most likely need these with a blog anyway!
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  • Profile picture of the author Timmo7890
    Originally Posted by hbeezy View Post

    So I was wondering... I'm pretty sure that some people are selling products in any niche without a blog. If anyone can tell me, what exactly does a blog do for a marketer who is trying to sell their product?

    Is it mandatory? and if not, does it open the door for promotion for different products in different niches?

    Does a blog give a product owner/marketer a more targeted traffic source? Assuming the marketer uses an autoresponder ("the money is in the list") is it more or less of a hassle when determining whether to place content in the autoresponder or the blog?

    Maybe I am asking too much but my brain has been spinning on this for months, which has kept me from taking any action whatsoever.

    TL;DR What do blogs do for product owners? What little part (if any) am I missing here?

    Thanks for all your help in advance.
    A friend of mine did very well simply using Facebook advertising and selling high ticket items without a website. However he did spend a small fortune on advertising after 'tweeking' his advert successfully. It takes a bit of nerve to successfully do this and you need the right program to do it with.
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  • Profile picture of the author 3wCorner
    A blog is necessary for your site's traffic. You can also place in your blog any updates, events or promotions that you want to.
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  • Profile picture of the author linux7802
    Basically no need to create blog but its always better to create it, so that you can use it for long term gain instead of looking short term gain because of not creating blog. Blog is a centralized place to give your audience to understand your products , its useful for old products as well as new products.
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  • Profile picture of the author Sitestomp
    No, you don't need a blog to sell online. In fact, I recommend against it unless you plan to blog frequently.

    Having no blog is better than an outdated blog with bad information. Nobody wants to hit your site and see that your most recent blog post was from 5 years ago. It makes the product look abandoned.
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  • Profile picture of the author Chain lee
    Blog is best choice but not necessary, because there are many more ways to promote product
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  • Profile picture of the author silveroaks
    To answer your question in one word , No!
    But if you are going to sell something online and you want to attract traffic that is interested in and is related to your niche then yes creating a related blog is going to help you draw that traffic to you. it is a safe and absolute way of getting free traffic. Also if you want to get any investors then it seems very impressive to have a well maintained blog that backs your product sales.
    In case you do not like to blog and so can not keep up with posting frequently then you should not have a blog instead you should look for more ways for promotion of your product.
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  • Profile picture of the author tyronne78
    It's not required but I highly suggest you get one so you can build an email list. It's easier to sell by email from my experience.
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