This isn’t much of a local post, although it is relevant to any small business who has tried to blog or is considering it as a marketing strategy. My new online bud, Andy Beard, whom I met via blogging, has a post up called “Why Blogs Suck” with a number of good points about why the return on the blogging investment can be depressingly low. Andy should know as he has been doing it for some time and he clearly puts a lot of effort into it by providing some of the most insightful information around on Web marketing, all for free.
While I am still too new at this to have come to the conclusion that blogging does in fact suck, I can say that thus far it does not. In the week that I have been actively blogging I have made a number of valuable connections with people in my line of work whom I never would have met otherwise. Even more relevant is that after only four days of actively blogging this morning I got my first client lead off of the blog. If that lead converts into business thus far I would have to say that blogging does not suck.
What does this mean for small businesses? Bill Slawski of SEO by the Sea put it best here, but the short answer is that if you put a focused effort into blogging and actively engage with your potential customers it can do good things for your business and it does not have to suck.
9 Response Comments
Andrew- I could not agree with you more. Blogging has opened up a huge new avenue for me and my business. Yes it takes some time but right now I consider it a worthwhile investment.
When you talk about building business relationships, learning new techniques, and helping others, then blogs are terrific.
Getting leads is just one of the benefits.
andrew, you are correct. Over the last 1.5 years my blog has opened many doors for me I never thought were possible. Thanks for the linky too, see blogging doesn’t suck for me.
The thing is: Measuring blog conversion is almost impossible. I have a really small website with like ten relevant pages that are optimized for some SEO very targeted terms and I get visitors and clients from those pages for years now.
On the other hand I have a blog for 10 weeks who just aims at the long tail and I already have dozens of posts, thousands of visitors and no direct revenue.
But you just can’t see or count what’s the best about it: People mention me along with SEOmoz oder SEO Book in lists of 5 must read blogs. Can you imagine that?
So sooner or later this will pay off but more indirectly.
Just look at SEOmoz. They’re just a small company in Seattle (not New Yor, LA or Chicago) and yet they are perceived as the global leader of the SEO industry, just because of their blog.
I have been blogging steadily for nearly two years now and I thoroughly enjoy what I do. I think the difference between good blogs and bad blogs is this: re you blogging because you enjoy doing it or are you blogging simply to make money?
If you are a good blogger, the money will eventually flow. Maybe not right away, but certainly down the line as you build an online presence and have the reputation to go with it.
Good post, sphunn and stumbled.
Quite agreed – too many hear buzz about blogs and presume they need one – then roll out a piece of crap, imagining great benefits. And that’s all they’re doing. Blogs are a form of independent publishing – that clearly needs bearing mind, if looking to start a blog IMO. 2c.
Obviously depending on it’s purpose, blogs do not always have to stimulate conversation. Blogs encompass those entries that are ‘online journals’. Saying that, it is nice to know people are reading what you have spent time crafting.
In response to Tony:
I agree. Not every blog tries to have a debate between their readers. However this is what makes them viral and, therefore, easier to make its way up on google results.
Although blogging can have its good and bad days, I wouldn’t say it sucks. It does take a lot of work to reach a point of becoming a full time blogger, but if you’re a writer who wants to make a living online, the payout is worth all the hard work.