Over the past few days, I’ve been reading a lot more. Since there was a poorer Internet connection (maybe I’m just too impatient), I decided that I might as well make full use of the time to get something else done!
So I dug out some of my digital dust, and started reading them – some of them may be a little outdated, but I think its worthwhile to read them still.
Anyway, I’ve found out something.
People have really different perspectives on what blog really is!
In the corporate blogging books that I’ve bought, most of them mentioned that the most powerful thing about blogging is really about consolidating opinions, reaching out the customers one by one and answering their queries, soliciting feedback, and building yourself a brand. Its a complementary means for companies to “get online”.
As of today, there is still a huge number of companies that are still using press releases and newsletters as their primary means to push information and news out – these means are usually one way. There are seldom any options for the reader to reply with their feedback.
But corporations which have already jumped of the corporate blogging bandwagon say they love it! Bob Lutz, Vice Chair of GM, seems to be getting a lot of success for the Fastlane Blog he’s been maintaining, and if you hop on to the blog, it really sound a like a great way for a top executive like Bob to communicate directly to their fans.
In the corporate blogging book, the author Debbie Weil addressed the issue of ROI – that it really difficult to calculate the ROI of adding a blog to the matrix of marketing channel. Corporate blogging opens up a new means of communication – but what you actually do with the means is really up to you!
Its like… “I’m going to get a multi billionaire to go up and down the elevator with you, and you have 45 seconds with him. In this 45 seconds you have ALL his attention, but what are you going to say?” Your eventual ROI really depends on how you compose your message – corporate blogging represents only that opportunity.
In short, “blogs” to corporations, are “instant worldwide one-to-one communications channels”.
I can go on and on about corporate blogging, but I’ll stop here for today
Internet Marketers on the other hand, look at blogs in a different perspective. Do Internet Marketers really care about building a fan base and communicating directly to their customers? You bet! But they do not with their blogs. They do that in emails. That is why they have all the email autoresponders and stuff.
Internet marketers use blogs solely as “Instant publishing platforms“, because it is so much easier to post a blog post, than do up a HTML file and upload it to the server. With a blog set up, all they have to do to create a new page of content is to type (some of them just copy and paste), and hit publish. That, is what they say, is the power of blogs.
The fact is that you cannot afford to put too much sales talk in a blog – period. Do that and I think its a surefire way to drive your visitors away! But you can do that in email! Blogs are not great cash cows like their micro-site sales letters, and the primary means of revenue for blogs is advertising – and traffic takes a lot of time to build!
So what do Internet marketers do? Instead of building one blog, they build 30. Each may have 1000 visitors per month, but in total they have 30000 visitors! That maybe substantial enough to get some clicks on their ads!
Of course, there are many marketers who are bloggers to, but often that is just one of their blogs – only that one blog where they have their original authentic voice and content. The rest are just syndicated content from article directories and articles which they paid to get written. These articles do not “engage the visitors” like what they always say in corporate blogging, and its rare, if they ever get any comments on these posts.
I personally feel that republishing articles do not add value to the web… but then again, there is nothing wrong with the venture if both the publisher and the author of the articles are fine with it.
So, are you taking blogging more as a communications tool, or a publishing platform?