Letter: Bly Blunders When It Comes to Business Blogs

Much as I respect business-to-business copywriter Bob Bly (I consider him a friend and colleague), he’s off the mark … waaaay off the mark when it comes to his column about business blogs. He writes: “[blogs are] a complete waste of time – a pure vanity publication that won’t pay you back even one thin dime for your effort.” He quotes from my Business Blogging Starter Kit report to make some of his points. Taken out of context, the quotes sound OK (and I appreciate the exposure), but they’re just that. Out of context. Bly blunders on several key points:

1. You can’t subscribe to a blog. Wrong. He omits any mention of RSS. He writes: “With a blog, the reader has to go out and proactively look for [updates]. And since your contributions to your blog may be irregular and unscheduled, he has no way of knowing when something new of interest has been added.”

This is simply incorrect. RSS is a marvelously elegant and simple way to subscribe to both blogs and news feeds and have every update pushed to your desktop without having to navigate the e-mail/spam jungle of overstuffed inboxes and filters.

2. A business blog has no proven ROI. Wrong. That’s like saying that a BTB Web site has no proven return on investment. A well-designed and organized site is often your company’s most powerful, widely distributed face … and voice. It’s your brand. It’s a lead generator. And sometimes, if you’re selling digital information products or subscriptions, for example, a site is a channel for direct sales.

Often as not, a business Web site is a vehicle to collect sign-ups, record downloads, enable members to access paid content, etc. It takes some work and effort to track and measure a precise ROI from your site, but it can be done.

Oh, and by the way, a business blog (Weblog) is nothing more than a Web page. In fact, blogs are really just next-generation Web sites. Bob, I challenge you to report the exact ROI of your content-filled site about BTB copywriting!

3. As for that “one thin dime,” thousands of blogs are making hundreds or thousands of dollars a month by running Google AdWords. This is one of them. Another advertising vehicle for blogs is Blogads.

Debbie Weil

WordBiz.com Inc.

[email protected]

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