[Today I’m speaking at the Online Traffic Optimisation conference in London. Here are my notes:]
So you want to use blogs to boost your bottom line. Here are some thoughts, in no particular order:
1. The First Rule of Blogging: “Blogs don’t write themselves.” Be prepared to fail. Blogging is a work in progress. Blogging is experimentation. Blogging is more about “The Porous Membrane” than direct selling.
2. Read Robert Scoble’s “Corporate Weblog Manifesto”. Most of it is dead on. Also worth a read is the book, “Naked Conversations”, which Robert wrote with Shel Israel.
3. Read Seth Godin’s blog. Every day. Just shut up and do it.
4. Ditto for Jeff Jarvis.
5. Ditto for Kathy Sierra.
6. Ditto for Guy Kawasaki.
7. Ditto for Doc Searls.
8. Ditto for The Cluetrain.
9. Ditto for Steve Rubel.
10. Blogs are a good way to make something happen indirectly. I proved this to myself once and for all with the work I did with Stormhoek, a small vineyard in South Africa.
11. Passion. Authority. Continuity. Without those three, you have nothing.
12. English Cut, a blog I started with Savile Row tailor, Thomas Mahon is often cited as my first big blog marketing breakthrough. A couple of months ago I gave a list of eight reasons why it had worked so well. Here are three of them:
Continuity. He kept at it. He didn’t expect the blog to transform his fortunes overnight. As I’m fond of saying, “Blogs don’t write themselves”. Based on our experience, if you want blogs to transform your business, I’d say give yourself at least a year.
Focus. It was always about the suits. It was never about what he had for breakfast, Technorati rank or frothy gossip about other bloggers.
Thomas spoke in his own voice. Thomas is a straightforward, affable fellow, and the voice on the blog is the same as the voice you meet in real life. He never tried to misrepresent himself on his blog, nor try to create some over-glamorized image of his profession. He just told it like it is. And people responded well to that. As he once put it, “We’re so lucky we don’t have to create the brand out of thin air. We just tell the truth and the brand builds itself.”
13. Love, respect, trust and goodwill are the main currencies. Cash will only get you so far.
14. A lot of marketing people seem to be hoping for a proven blogging method that is (A) invented by somebody else, (B) easy to replicate, (C) easy to implement, and (D) easy to sell to their boss. Good luck.