Tuesday, December 14, 2004

There's Money in Blogs...?

I read an interesting article yesterday, "Blog Bucks" in the A VC blog, that stated...
There's money in blogs, for sure, and I think the big bucks will be made in scalable platforms that leverage all that is happening in the blog world.

This article discussed/debated the various views on where money could be made blogging.

Business blogging is a relatively new concept. When I think of business blogging, I think of promoting my small business, networking or providing legal notice on business issues I want aired.

I provide software services -- for a fee so my primary goal is to derive income from this source. I think too much is made of blogging for dollars or ads that run on blogs. I am not sure why the debate... If you can command the ads and you want the ads you should run the ads. [To date I have been approached about one ad, BlogAds post. I started accepting ads October 1, 2004.] My focus has never been on what I can make from advertising, but how I can advertise my business... If I sell ad-space I consider it a bonus.

Where can money be made blogging? I believe there are two schools of thought here:
  1. Words can sell ad-space
  2. Blogs can promote and sell business products

Seasoned writers can make money selling their words and therefore ad-space if they have a topic worth reading about or a loyal following. I believe there are more small business owners that are business bloggers for the latter reason.

Many of the business blogging discussions I have happened on of late -- seem to center on selling ad-space and not on promoting business services and products. I hope this trend wanes. The concept of business blogging is very new. I would like more discussion on promoting ones own business and not the "sexier" discussion of selling someone else's products and services on your blog.

I am not in advertising. I believe there are a lot of lessons I could learn from those that are. But I feel that ad people, on the subject of blogs -- tend to think in terms of advertisers for blogs and not how to use a blog as an effective marketing tool. Has business blogging been around long enough to have accumulated enough lessons learned for anyone to be considered an expert in this area?

I read media reports and the same 2 or 3 blogs each day. One blog is more personal with a slightly political flavor. The other two are more business in nature but tend to adopt any non-business cause at the drop of a hat. I mention the first because of the amount of ad-space provided on this blog. What is business blogging? And how do I do it? Who do I want answering these questions? Small business owners successful at promoting their businesses through blogging.

Where is the money in blogging? Using effective means to promote ones own business... Your business may be selling your words. My business is selling software tools. I think what has me concerned -- business discussions where blogs are concerned -- sound as if they are coming from newspaper advertising departments and not from the lessons learned of small business owners.

Small business owners.. one of my lessons learned. Discuss your product in detail and add a search function to your blog or site so visitors can easily find the product that you have -- that they want. "Blogger Calendar" could be found all over the net and correctly referenced my business site, but when visitors found my site -- they couldn't find the mentioning articles. I added a site search function to correct this oversight. How did they hear of me in the first place? My forum posts and the signatures I add to everything I post outside of my own domain.

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