People sometimes ask me why I have a blog. What possible value does anyone get from sitting at a computer, writing down their thoughts, and publishing them on the Internet? Like the people who ask me this question, I don’t have the kind of readers that advertisers are lining up to reach, so we can’t expect our blogs to generate revenue. And it takes time, doesn’t it? (The answer is yes.) Who has time to spend on stuff that doesn’t impact revenue?
I know a few people who have blogging in their DNA — I can assure you that I’m not one of them. I don’t have a NEED to blog. I don’t get any personal gratification from writing down my thoughts. But give me a microphone or a telephone and I’m in my element. My favorite past time is talking to people who care about eliminating the waste in marketing and doing work that has a measurable impact on their target audiences.
Thus the primary reason that I blog is that it leads to conversations with very interesting people, people like Jill Konrath of Sellling to Big Companies. Jill’s emphasis is on reaching sales people, not marketers, but she and I work on different aspects of the same challenge — getting companies to stop talking about themselves. (Here’s one of Jill’s great posts on this topic). Because I have a blog, Jill found me and asked me to deliver one of a series of four seminars that she is doing for Marketing Profs.
Here’s a one-paragraph shameless promotional plug — the seminar is Buyer Personas: The Smart Way to Align Sales and Marketing, and it’s tomorrow, Thursday, January 17 at noon Eastern time. Marketing Profs charges $129 for the seminar, or you can pay $249 and see as many seminars as you want for one year. This includes the other three parts of Jill’s series — two have already happened but all seminars are archived for later viewing. Note to anyone who has attended my Effective Product Marketing seminar — I won’t be presenting anything you haven’t heard before.
Jill is just one of many people I’ve reached through this blog. Yesterday I got an email from Amy Lively, who says that she develops personas for retail stores, helping her customers to identify their most effective merchandising and promotional strategies (sorry, I don’t have her website yet). Even though Amy and I work in different markets we have a lot in common. and through this connection we may find a way to help each other. She ended her email with a question that plagues me too — why don’t more marketers use personas to think like their target customers?
Which brings me to best reason to have a blog. Besides people like Jill and Amy, professionals who may have resources I can leverage or answers to my questions, my blog reaches many of my past, current and potential customers. A blog post may not seem like an activity that is directly tied to revenue generation, but in fact nothing is more important than optimizing every chance I have to start a conversation, see what resonates, and truly listen.