Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Blogging And Marketing

"The traditional marketing model we all grew up with is obsolete," James R. Stengel, Chief Marketing Officer, Procter & Gamble.

Wow. That says something.

So, what is the new model? According to UK Marketing firm, Collaborate Marketing:

As marketeers we are living through fascinating times. The landscape is changing from one dominated by the broadcast model to one driven by digital communities, networks and distributed media. For marketeers, this is creating many challenges, such as transparent markets and a more powerful consumer, but also many opportunities.

So even though blogs have gotten a reputation for being nothing more than online graffitti, that's a small part of the picture. Start one for your business and see how your stakeholders respond.

"We need to embrace the urgent implications of consumer control." Jim Stengel.

Give them a little "control" or better said, give them input into your enterprise and watch some very special things happen.

Find out more:

Monday, August 29, 2005

The Realities Of Blogging

The biggest reality of blogging is.......reality.

I've been absent from blogging for a couple of days, much to my dismay, due to the death of my father-in-law. Now, I'm not looking for sympathy, but what I'm pointing out is that for those of you who are considering beginning a blog. Before you do it, just know that there will be days, even 'seasons' of time, where blogging will not be as easy as it seems before you start.

Now, there's no rule that says how many times you have to blog, but the frequency of your posting is THE critical issue facing you. If your content is not fresh, readers will not come back. And to start out strong and then fade could have the effect of showing that you don't have "staying power" or the foresight to plan ahead.

This is not meant as criticism, but as a reminder that blogging takes commitment. A commitment that all of us need to consider carefully.

Friday, August 26, 2005

Great Quote

As an example that blogging doesn't have to be overly complicated, here's a possible post to a business blog.

I found this quote on from Marketing Consultant John Lawlor:

"People ask me what blog means. I tell them it means Better Listings On Google," says John Lawlor.

Short and sweet. It's great content. It doesn't take much time to research or to read. It speaks to your (my) business. It's inspiring enough that people will take something away from it that directly relates to my business, and how I'm marketing it. It will keep people coming back because there is something of value to be found each and every day.

All aboard - the train is leaving the station. Your ticket is at:

Thursday, August 25, 2005

Some More Thoughts

I've finally found a decent article on that details some of the reasons for businesses to blog. I think this guy gets it. He should. He's Robyn Aber, senior director of Solutions Development, Engineering & Marketing at Cisco Systems Inc.

So how do blogs fit into a business? They can be used in several different ways. Many companies use them for communication and collaboration among distributed colleagues, partners, suppliers, customers and others. That's the most popular use. My personal favorite is that they also can be used as a unique, informal way to establish a company or individual's reputation or brand. Other businesses use them to improve operations (like for project management or tech support knowledge-sharing), to demonstrate expertise (useful for professional services businesses) and to establish competitive differentiation. Blogs let companies reach out to value chain members with organizational news, marketing promotions, new product announcements and more.

That's good, but he also gets the core issues as well.

For many companies, blogs have become a business staple. They're mainstream and not just for techies! Blogs, though, are not for every company. Their informal
style probably won't suit very conservative organizations. But they're great for companies that value freedom of thought and informal communication of ideas. If
the fit is right, companies must decide:

Who should blog.
Whether the company is really committed to the ongoing care and feeding that blogs demand.
What's to be achieved by the blog.
Who will get access to company blogs. (They're password and access level protectable.)
How blogs will fit in with the company's content strategy, which may include e-mail, blogs, wikis, the Web, voice mail, newsletters, PR and MarCom.
Blogs are a unique vehicle for communication. While they're not for everyone, many small and midsized businesses will find that they're a great way to craft a distinctive image, convey important messages and relate informally with the outside world.

Ongoing "care and feeding" that blogs demand. Perfect. Maybe we'll change the blog name to Well...

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Some More Reasons To Blog

From a corporate blogging website - I like most of these:

Become the Expert

Position yourself and your company as the thought leader of your business.

Customer Relationships

In a forum where your main objective not is to sell, you'll have a more personal relationship between you and your customers. Blogs are a fast way to join the customers' discussions, provide tips and insights or receive feedback.

Media Relations

It's every PR-consultants dream to create a channel where media regularly check what you have to say, instead of media just being passive - sometimes indifferent - recipients of press releases.

Internal Collaboration

Use blogs as a workspace where project members keep each other updated without wasting time writing reports or searching the Outlook inbox.

Knowledge Management

Blogs works in two ways. First of all, they're an easy way for the readers to find information and resources they want or need. That's obvious and could be used internally in many organizations. Second, blogs are a kind of "university light" for the blogger. Blogging is on-the-job learning.


If you establish your company as a thought leader, people in your business will pay attention. They'll read and discuss what you have to say. Chances are good they will see you as an attractive employer. (ed - or attractive, period!)

Test ideas or products

A blog is informal. It's part of a conversation where people (often) can comment, and the blog can provide you with a measure of value. Publish an idea and see if it generates interest. Does anyone link to you? What do they say?

Rank high in search engines

Well, this has nothing to do with relations. But Google and other search engines rewards sites that are updated often, that link to other sites and most importantly, that has many inbound links. Start a blog at your regular site and your ranking will boost.

Just remember, blogging is like real estate. Instead of "location, location, location", it's "content, content, content".

Do it and do it often. We can show you how. Ghost blogging (anonymously, but in your 'corporate voice') takes time but ROI can be impressive. We'll talk about that later.

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Putting The Cart Before The Horse

I love juxtaposing 19 and 21st century 'technologies'. Sorry.

Look at what this blog consultant is saying:

Weblogs (blogs) are quickly changing the face of business communications and 'public' relations. .... provides a number of technology and strategic planning services to help organizations effectively utilize blogs. Blog consulting services include:

Listening & Planning:
Assistance and training on the use of blog search tools along with RSS news readers to monitor current trends and issues within the blogosphere that are related to your organization. Identify the key blogs and bloggers within your industry. Develop contingency plans to deal with both positive and negative blog content regarding your organization.

Blog and RSS Technology Solutions:
Assistance with the selection of blogging platforms and related technologies. This includes RSS readers, monitoring tools, blogging software platforms such as TypePad, Moveable Type, Wordpress, etc.

Services include: software selection, installation, configuration, integration with existing web sites/branding and training on effectively utilizing the software.
... also provides consulting on the integration of RSS into existing applications and web solutions, such as press release distribution tools and online forums.

Blog Promotion:
Developing effective strategies to publicize your blog and gain RSS feed subscribers. ... also works with public relations and marketing firms to integrate your blog with existing campaigns and promotions, or to create new initiatives. An added benefit to an effective blog is increased Google Page Rank.

Blog Metrics:
Establishing tools and software to measure visitation, click-thrus and readership of blogs and RSS feeds. Review and analysis of blog and RSS statistics to measure blog effectiveness.


Sort of. But I'm wondering where the emphasis is on content. It doesn't matter what the content is, it just has to be there ALL THE TIME! Without it, it's like panning for gold, but forgetting to keep the sluce filled with water.

All the technology in the world will be useless, and a colossal waste of money, if you don't have the content to keep people coming back.

I'd be willing to bet that I could do more with a simple free blog and 4 posts a day than you could with all the latest technology and 2 posts a week.

Wanna' wager a steak on it?

Monday, August 22, 2005

Celebrate With Us

If you don't mind.

I'd cut the cake, but it'd be a little stale by the time it got there.

Just to let you know that we've just contracted with a company that runs multiple blogs. I mean, lots - dozens, and growing. We've just become the primary content provider to this company. Our plan is to elevate them to unheard of status. And our challenge is that we need to take all of these sites to unprecedented levels, not just one. But you watch. We'll use our knowledge of the blogosphere to catapult them to both search engine and revenue generating success.

We'll keep you posted, and maybe even let you have a sneak peak after we get up and running.

In the meantime, our inbox is open for your e-mail.

Saturday, August 20, 2005

I'm Still Amazed

I'm becoming more convinced the more I look around, that there are a ton of blogging "experts" that are under the impression that 6 to 10 entries a month is sufficient to call what you're doing a blog! I'm either really out of touch, or a certifiable radical.

If keyword heavy content is one of the keys to your website showing up on the search engine 'radar', then why wouldn't you major on keyword heavy content? I mean, is it me? Am I missing something here?

I don't think I'm missing anything, and I think this goes to my point of just how difficult blogging really is. It takes time and a singular focus on making and keeping your blog on target.

That's where we come in. WE CAN DO EXACTLY THAT FOR YOU! Let us show you how.

Friday, August 19, 2005

Look Who's Blogging

You might be surprised.

From a special in the LA Times (courtesy of Newsday)

When Mesha Provo and her husband decided in March to sell their 1,350-square-foot home in El Sobrante, a San Francisco Bay Area suburb, she saw green in her garden.A self-styled "fanatical gardener," she recognized the potential draw of her labors - and she hoped to find a buyer who would appreciate her garden's beauty.

So in addition to hiring an agent to list the property, Provo started an Internet Web log - blog for short - and told her real estate agent to include the Web address on her home's Multiple Listing Service information.

Each day she wrote about and posted photos of her daisies, jasmine and roses to entice prospects. "I had this idea that I would first tease them with pictures of the garden," said Provo, 52, who is the national sales manager for Ballentine Vineyards in Napa Valley. Later, she added shots of the interior and exterior.

Her clever marketing appeared to work. The house sold for $612,000 - $43,000 more than the original asking price - to another gardener who had read her blog.Provo's story may be unusual, but it shows that Internet blogs have the potential to be effective consumer tools for home buyers and sellers.

Again, some might say that I'm giving away trade secrets, but I know what it takes to do a blog right, and 90% of people simply don't have the resources or patience to do it well. Nothing personal.

You're literally letting business opportunities slip by each day you remain on the sidelines. Contact us for heaven's sake!

Thursday, August 18, 2005

I Mean, Who Really Is Blogging?

Some interesting thoughts from a blogging 'summit' recently held (emphasis mine):

Bob Wyman, CTO of PubSub, is trying to explain to the audience what the point is of blog search tools like PubSub, BlogPulse and Technorati. I like the way he puts it: "For the first time you have an open, trackable conversation." In other words the babble of the blogosphere can be analyzed. If you (a company) listen carefully, you will learn what people are talking about, what they're interested in and what they want to hear about. And then YOU will know what to write about, rather than issuing a press release once a month because you think you should.


...was given 48 hours to design and launch the blog for Boeing VP Randy Baseler after getting "the blogging phone call." Audience members nodded at this. Seems both managers and techies are getting "the call" from top management to "get into this blog thing."

Blogging: it's not just for techies anymore.

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Search Engine Optimization

It's a fancy phrase the simply means your website will be one the the first (usually top 10, since that's usually how many search results are on each page) sites that come up when searching for "key words" that relate to your business. The ultimate goal is to show up on first-page search engine results.

As I was doing some searching on SEO 'experts', I was still amazed that blogging is not mentioned more. I see lots of 'consultants' talk about making websites more content rich, especially with your 'key words', but I just looked at the blog of an industry leader who hammers that point and was amazed. She posted to her blog less than once a month! Either she doesn't really care about the blog, because it's not really critical to her business, or she's just too busy, in which case I suggest just dropping it, because it's basically useless.

Here's an easy way to reinforce your "key words": Post to you blog daily and use your keywords a couple of times in each post. Voila, a content-rich website with greater SEO.

It's really just common sense.

Ghost blogging, ghost blogging, ghost blogging.

Monday, August 15, 2005

Size Doesn't Matter...

...not really anyway. Any company will benefit from blogging, but small companies may have an advantage. From Red Nova News:

"It's kind of like when the printing press was invented," (said blog consultant Josh)Hallett, before leading a session on business blogs for a Palm Beach County public relations trade group. "With blogs, anyone can quickly publish content."

The ease of use may be attractive, but companies can benefit from blogs in other ways, Hallett said. For example, if companies are being discussed -- or, perhaps, disrespected -- by their customers online, a blog can provide a way for businesses to be part of that conversation because the blog lets businesses communicate directly with customers, and helps businesses get their message out.

Another benefit: higher Internet exposure for your company. Internet search engines like Google favor sites with frequently updated content, and many blogs update at least once a day, if not more. "If you blog on a regular basis, you will generate a lot of content, which could then be indexed by the search engines," said John Cass, director of Internet marketing strategies for Backbone Media.

He thinks small businesses in particular can benefit from a blog. Business blogs provide a venue for companies to interact online with their customers and respond to their needs -- something that many small businesses do offline, Cass said. "Most small businesses ... spend a lot of time on providing customer service to their customers," he said. "It's a strategic advantage that they have."

Don't let the strategic advantage of your own organizational weblog gather dust, it's yours for the taking. Let us help.

Sunday, August 14, 2005

Tips, pt. 5

And lastly:

5. Have a contingency plan.

If the party gets out of hand -- your company hits a crisis, say -- you should be ready. General Motors' Bob Lutz ignited blog readers' ire when he avoided discussing the struggling automaker's strategy. "Could you be a little more vague on your game plan?" one customer wrote. Confronting a problem directly can earn your company some needed trust.

Saturday, August 13, 2005

Tips, pt. 4

Still with me?

4. Don't scrimp.

Nothing brings a party to a halt like running out of food or booze. Likewise, one reason blogs fail is a failure to dedicate the resources necessary to keep the conversation going. "Blogs are incredibly low cost," Lark says. But "they require a time commitment." Adds Albrycht: "Blogging has to be part of someone's job description. You have to have a maintenance plan."

Friday, August 12, 2005

Tips, pt. 3


3. Dress business casual.

An informal style (and grammatical imperfection) works well in blogs. But don't go too casual: Stay away from topics you wouldn't share with your mother -- or without a nondisclosure agreement. Yahoo's blogging policy is a good one: "Be respectful of your colleagues, get your facts straight, provide context to your argument, and engage in private feedback."

Thursday, August 11, 2005

Tips, pt. 2

More thoughts from Fast Company Magazine's August edition:

2. Be authentic.

Perhaps you are authentically reserved, or authentically dull. That's okay: Being yourself, in any case, plays best. If you can't write passionately, consider "blinking" -- Lark's term for snippets of commentary that alert readers to interesting articles or discussions. But storytelling is a better way to get readers interested in your ideas -- and in your product.

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Tips, pt. 1

This month's issue of Fast Company Magazine has some tips for blogging 'style' and etiquette.
"Creating a business blog is a lot like hosting a cocktail party: You're networking with customers in a low-pressure setting and, at best, nurturing great relationships."

Blogging consultants Elizabeth Albrycht and Andy Lark suggest:

Tip #1

1. Make Introductions.

A good host connects guests. Albrycht recommends spending 30 to 60 minutes a day scanning feeds from your favorite blogs. Maintain a blogroll, linking readers to blogs you recommend, and use the trackback function on most blog publishing programs to notify other bloggers by email when you cite them. Chances are, those grateful peers will return the favor.

More to come. Questions?

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Trade Secrets?

Some might think that I'm torpedoing my own boat by giving away advice I should charge for. That's a valid comment, but I look at it this way.

I believe true, vibrant, compelling blogging is not done easily and most people won't do it. Many more will start something but it will wither on the vine in short order.

What I do is not duplicatable by the majority of people, so I don't feel like I'm damming up my revenue stream. The ideas I share will (hopefully) validate my position as a professional in this industry.

We'll see though, won't we!

Monday, August 08, 2005

Lies, Damned Lies and Statistics

There are lots of numbers floating around about blogs, bloggers, and blogging.

Dave Sifry, CEO of Technorati has posted "State of the Blogosphere - August 2005". Here are some of the findings:

- total number of blogs (i.e. the blogosphere) is doubling every 5.5 months
- there are now over 14 million blogs
- 80,000 new blogs are being created everyday
- of those, about 55% are considered active (i.e. have a new post within the past 3 months)
- a new Weblog is created every second

Interesting, but look deeper.

55% of blogs are considered "active". That means 45% are not. That's alot. Heck, that's a huge number.

"Active" blogs are considered so if they have a new post within 3 months! Are you kidding? A real blog in my book is one that has posts at least every other day. Once every three months is just a statistic to make blog stats look better. Ridiculous.

There's a lot more, but try these on for starters.

Honestly, don't blog unless you're serious. We are.

Sunday, August 07, 2005

Don't Do What I'm Saying...

...if you're not willing to do what I'm doing.

Author, blogger (he has 3 of them!) and entrepreneur
Dave Taylor says that there are some businesses that shouldn't blog.

Imagine two (pick a business). One says "I take care of .... There's lots of medical info on ..... out here, so my Web site will be a digital brochure, and that's good enough for me" while the other says "I get the same questions from every (client), and there's so much confusing information nline, I'm going to try and shed some light on (pick an industry) by writing about it. But ot with a newsletter, how 90s!, but with a blog."

Now, a slight aside: I believe that the future of business is
findability, and if your business doesn't appear when your potential customer looks for you online, you'll eventually wither and die. Given that, you can guess which (business owner) I think is going to be more successful in 24 months.

Let's be frank, though. The first (entrepreneur) above should not blog. They aren't going to be engaged, interesting, or informative, and they'll find that the exercise of setting up a weblog and having a blank "input box" staring at them each morning will be more than they can handle, and they won't stick to it and work on their blog for at least six months before they ask "am I getting results?" Better for them not to start at all.
Amen to that. Now, if you could only find an experienced blogger who would be in charge of putting regular content on your site in your company "voice", so you didn't have to do it all....

Saturday, August 06, 2005

The Simple Side

Let's say you don't have ton of content - the proverbial 'slow news day' - keep your blog short and sweet. Link to a fun site, or something trivial but interesting. It doesn't always have to be earth shattering.

Just make sure that your site constantly changes because the internet savvy have high expectations and literally billions of other options.

Friday, August 05, 2005

Reinforcing The Point

As blogging becomes more and more mainstream, a consensus is beginning to emerge.

In an article written by Carole Matthews for Inc. Magazine, The Top 10 Things You Should Know Before You Blog, I found this:

It will take longer than you think to build awareness -- and a following. Don't expect your weblog to be an instant hit. Traffic to it and building a following will take a while to develop. "You will find you need to give at least a three- to six-month commitment, updating routinely [to get noticed]," Chaney says. And Weil suggests at least one year. Whether its three months or a year, you need to be committed for the long haul, regardless of feedback, or lack thereof, from readers. "You're not going to be found after a couple of weeks," says Weil. It will take at least several months before the major search engines and other bloggers and websites find you.

Let us talk to you about ghost blogging your site and put the advantages of new media to work for you.

Thursday, August 04, 2005

The Ongoing Saga

Being consistent with your blog is essential. It is critical that stakeholders visiting your website be rewarded with what you're promising by offering a blog. Regular content. A blog that only offers new fare on a sporadic basis is no blog. There are plenty of examples of so-called blogs that only add new content every few days. That is no blog. If that's your plan, it's no plan. You'll be outflanked by half the bloggers on the planet, most of which are still in school.

Be serious. Giving stakeholders a reason to come back daily is key. Get them and keep them by making them feel like that they can't afford to miss your blog for even one day. Be one of the sites that they consider an essential part of each day's internet activity.

Again, it's not as easy as you think. Plan on allocating significant resources to keep things current. Or, let us allocate the resources. It's what we do!

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Thinking About 'Blogging'?

Some thoughts:

"The fact is, ad agencies hate blogs. They utterly despise them, even if they tell you otherwise. They hate them because if done well, they're cheap and they're easy. Frankly, they're in the business of selling you stuff that is neither." -Hugh MacLeod

Agencies mostly bill by the hour now. Take the number of hours a person like Hugh or The Scobelizer spend blogging and mulitply said figure by $150/hour. Then factor in the potential need for multiple voices on a corporate blog. I believe an agency could bill $1000 a day, give or take, for a truly effective, totally authentic blog that serves the client's needs. That's neither cheap, nor is it easy.

Some more thoughts from Ad Pulp:

At this point in time, I am unaware of a good blog being generated for a client by an ad agency. But I believe this will soon change. Agencies didn't get the web at first, and many do not get the web today. The same holds for blogs. Yet, I have every reason to believe some smart agency people will find a way to build a legitimate blogging practice. There are too many upsides in blogs to dance around them for much longer.

We concur. If you want to find out more about the upside, just ask us. As far as the downside, agencies that charge $150 an hour - that would be one! That is not us.

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Staying Ahead Of The Curve

From a small business networking website, here's something from Adam Gaffan.

"People within corporations do not have the time to 'blog' for their company, and few feel that they can write. Already, I write three blogs for large companies and have a growing list of clientele. I will soon be putting writers on to handle the volume of writing. The task is to listen to what is going on within a company, learn the voice of a key person and blog for that person. The client ultimately publishes today's blog, but a professional writer, thinks up the ideas, and puts a spin on today's blog to match in with a series of events within the corporation."

It's immediate, it keeps up interest in your website, and it's probably way ahead of your competitors.

Why play 'defense' when it's so easy to go on the offensive. Now's not the time to be shy. Contact us and we'll show you how.

Monday, August 01, 2005


You remember the old adage: It's cheaper to keep a customer than to generate a new one. That maxim is very true. You probably have a myriad of 'customers' (clients, stakeholders, etc.) that already know who you are and what you do or offer. Reinforce that.

Here's a novel concept. Show them how much of a forward-thinking organization you really are. Having a web log as an integral part of your strategic planning would do it. A regular voice from your enterprise reinforcing your strengths, quickly responding to changes in your business environment, distancing yourself from competitors or competing ideas.

It's there for the taking. But, be careful or you might bite off more than you can chew. A web log is simple, but it's not easy...