Monday, March 13, 2006

why blogs are so powerful, popular

It seems as if I have this conversation a lot, so it was high time I wrote down my thoughts cohesively. (For reference sake, and for the world to comment on)

I am a former newspaper man; as a reporter and in display ad sales (both sides: art and commerce). Do I still have allegiance to my journalistic background? Of course I do. As a blogger, this is evident in the fact that I faithfully credit my sources when I'm writing a post and I try (maybe not as hard as I should, but that's MY business) to keep an eye on spelling. So I'll start there, with my sources, and then we'll get to the meat-and-potatoes of this post.

First I'll point to a post by John Jantsch at Duct Tape Marketing. He's encountered clients that don't see the value of blogs and have dismissed them as useless online diaries, so he's not using the "b" word anymore. As he points out, this "new marketing strategy"...
  • Will bring you a substantial increase in search engine traffic

  • Will greatly enhance your ability to communicate with your market

  • Will increase your odds of being interviewed by the media

  • Will allow you (or someone you designate) to instantly post news updates to your web site

  • Will guarantee that your web site has fresh reasons for people to come back

  • Will allow you to be seen as a thought leader in your industry and

  • Will give you a tool to help cement strategic partner (Jordan adds the word 'customer') relationships
With evidence to prove that all of this is true, why are there still non-believers out there? Because people fear change, but that's a post for another day.

Get out there, share some information, start a relationship and really LISTEN to your customers. Period.

Shifting gears a bit, from corporate blogs to what I'll call "consumer blogs" (that's still everyone, technically) ::

Steve Rubel (he's a PR man, and arguably the most influential of them all) wrote a simple post today about how bloggers aren't reporters (duh!). He's right, and has the stats to prove it. This is the one that lit my fire today, so this is where I'll take the one-step-up onto my proverbial soap box.

Bloggers aren't reporters, and most don't aspire to be. It would be fairer to compare bloggers to columnists than to traditional news reporters, if anything.

In the newspaper business, only the most opinionated, respected and influential scribes get the honor of sharing their opinion in a column. News journalists are (supposed to be) restricted to the facts and objectivity.

In the blogosphere, everybody has a voice and are free to share their opinion with the rest of the world. Instantly. Popular opinion then spreads like a virus, gains momentum and has the power to create over-night success stories and crushing defeats with its influence.

In these days of media outlets with political agendas and PR firms jockeying to control public opinion, a blogger's word is (arguably) more sacred. Like the difference between the word of a salesman and a testimonial from a customer, for eg. (Corporate blogs excluded)

What I love about blogging is that on here, I am the Publisher. I am the Editerr (sic). And I am Chief Reporter and Head Columnist, all rolled into one. I have made it possible (a little late, mind you) for the entire world to leave their two-bits on what I have to say. To hold me accountable to my words and beliefs, if you will. It's 100% democratic and the whole thing is a lot of fun, too!

If you're a business owner and you still don't see the power of blogs, try reading a few. Read the comments. Read how fans of an idea or product become evangelists and spread the message to their readers and-so-on-and-so-forth, ad infinitum. Then if you like, refer to the "bottom line" of your marketing budget, and try to calculate how expensive it is to create that kind of buzz even ONCE through the traditional means of marketing that you're using.

When you've done all of this and you are a true believer, drop me a line. We've got lots to catch you up on and I'd be more than happy to help.

Thank you for reading. And for commenting.



At 10:08 AM, Blogger Mack Collier said...

Jordan I think one of the biggest ways to sell blogs to a company is to point out that piggy-backing a blog to their main website will result in a surge of traffic to the main site as a by-product of the traffic coming into the blog. A great example is to track the traffic of via Alexa. Very low till he started blogging, since then it's been through the roof.

Of course when you tell them that it will allow them to better communicate with their customers, that SHOULD sell them on blogs as a marketing tool. But sadly most companies don't see that as a selling point.


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