Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Do Business Blogs Work?

Erstwhile 'Internet Psychologist' Graham Jones is constantly making good points on his own blog and a common theme is how many businesses simply do not get business blogs.

How right he is! Now I should declare an enthusiastic interest at this point. It was Graham who was the motivation for the launch of this business blog way back in October last year and has been a constant source of encouragement.

And somewhat sadly he accurately predicted just how many of us enthusiastic novices would falter as we pursued blogging as a business strategy - alas of all those who started blogs almost a year ago I am the only one who still posts regularly.

Although I hasten to add that Graham Chapple (dashingly pictured right) launched Garden4You soon after and it remains an entertaining tale of one man's battle with greenery and is regularly maintained - rather like the gardens looked after by Garden4You!

Now Graham Jone's constant beef with the sceptics is over whether blogging works and it is a question that I am frequently asked by people daunted by the prospect of maintaining a blog.

So does it work? Well Morgan PR is selling a service more than a product, so with the exception of a handful of clicks on Amazon books I might mention from time to time I do not get revenue directly from the blog per se. Although I know plenty that do!

However, as part of an overal marketing strategy that encompasses traditional advertising, networking, a propert website, commenting on other people's blogs, exhibitions, direct mail, newsletters - you get the idea - it definitely works.

Leaving aside piping hot referrals where those who visit the blog via a link on another blog they like or where it has been recommended by others, I have clients who found my website through Google and clicked on the link to my blog. Because it accurately reflects how we do business and our approach to public relations in Newbury and the Thames Valley it allows a reader to familiarise themselves with us and make a decision on moving forward with that.

When I write about work we have done with clients it certainly promotes them, but it is also a clear example of how I can help others too.

A prospect introduced via the blog is very likely to become a client and plenty of businesses have and some have proved very lucrative - and I would never have met them without this blog, the blog you are reading!

Something that does not work is an abandoned blog. It is worse than no blog. To discover a company has started a blog and abandoned it does not inspire confidence in prospective clients.

So check out Graham the blog guru's blog and indeed Graham the garden guru's blog, but most of all consider how a blog could benefit you - and send us the link so we can tell people about it!


Garden4You said...

Hi Nigel,

Just to back up the theory, I get over 40% of my traffic on my website from people coming onto my blog - I try and update this at least once a week, but always when something funny or worthy of note has happened - a small price to pay to keep traffic flowing.....and of course to keep my customers and prospects informed of jobs I am doing etc

Graham Jones said...

Blogs are, as you say, a great way of selling services by helping to create reputation, brand etc. However, I am still convinced we are only just scratching the surface of blogging; it offers so much more - in particular few businesses are yet to use blogging as a means of content management. Equally, blogging offers a huge opportunity for project management, team work and communication with individual customers. There's a long way to go with blogging.