Can SMBs Benefit from Blogging?

Ann All

For a business of any size, the value proposition of blogging can be pretty squishy. Though marketing is the reason cited by most businesses for blogging, actual sales generated from such activity may not be all that great.


Some folks, like pundit Nicholas Carr, say that for many businesses -- if not most -- the risks of blogging outweigh the possible benefits.


That may be why so many SMBs -- 95 percent of companies with fewer than 100 employees, according to a recent American Express survey -- eschew the practice. It also may be that folks at such companies, where resources are often stretched to the limits, simply cannot spare the time required for blogging.


Frequent posts are a requirement for bloggers, notes Rob Enderle in his post Corporate Blogging: You Don't Really Have a Choice so Do it Right:

You have to blog a lot. Blogging once a month doesn't cut it because you won't build or hold an audience. Writing a lot isn't for everyone; those that do it often find it addictive and also find it can eat up a lot of their spare time. Those that can't write find it a chore and quickly find reasons to avoid doing it. In the end, if you really don't like to write, this isn't for you, and starting but failing to maintain a blog reflects badly on both you and the company. In effect, it communicates you can't meet commitments and, for any company, this isn't a good thing.

Yet some SMBs find blogs are worth the effort, reports The New York Times. A Boston-based lawyer and health care consultant mentioned in the story gets up to 300 visits a day on his blog. That kind of visibility has helped him attract clients and become viewed as an authority on health care issues.


Denali Flavors, a small ice cream manufacturing operation, spends just $400 a year on a blog that generates 4,500 visits a day. Visitors to the blog view ads for its Moose Tracks ice cream, a valuable branding effort for a company that licenses its ice cream flavors to retailers. It also earns $30,000 to $40,000 a year on ads from other companies -- though it donates those profits to charity, according to the story.


Consultants are good candidates for blogging, says Aliza Sherman Risdahl, author of "The Everything Blogging Book," as are businesses serving sectors that value specialized knowledge (like wine), those that offer products and services geared to a certain lifestyle (like camping) or those with a social mission (like improving the environment).

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Add Comment      Leave a comment on this blog post
Dec 27, 2007 3:49 PM Raza Imam Raza Imam  says:
Why not stir up some controversy? Why not go on an all out offensive against an entire industry? My blog has helped me do just that. I own an offshore software engineering company and it's very hard to differentiate myself from the dozens of "Bob's from Bangalore" that call on the same prospects I'm after. I started a blog (http://BoycottSoftwareSweatshops.com) making fun of the entire outsourcing industry. The results have been phenomenal. In a crowded marketplace, I all of a sudden stand out. It ain't safe, but it works.As a small business, your blog is just an extension of your personality. Its a daily peek into your thoughts. Its a way to break down barriers and show people who you really are.My industry is NOT sexy. I started a blog a few months ago to liven up my brand. I wanted to make it funny, relevant, and insightful. Its been my main lead generation tool. It shows that we dont take ourselves too seriously, but were dead serious about what we do.Mentioning my blog to people helps break the ice because its funny. I've gotten new clients all over the country, and even one in Belgium because of my blog. I publicize it like crazy at events and wear buttons with my blog logo. When I make cold calls, I tell people to visit my blog. I tell them that Im making fun of my own industry, so they're more inclined to check it out. It differentiates me and has been the main reason for my growth. Raza Imamhttp://BoycottSoftwareSweatshops.com Reply

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