Why Outspoken Blogs & You Maybe Should

September 18, 2009
By Lisa Barone in Content Strategy

Blogging has become a favorite marketing strategy for many over the past few years. It’s given companies a voice, it breeds authority and before Twitter came, it even delivered a whole lot of links. No one can deny that the social media boom and birth of Twitter have changed the way people blog. But has it decreased its value? Is blogging still “worth it?”

Brian Carter wrote a post earlier this week giving four reasons why SEO blogging sucks and why you shouldn’t do it. And the post is filled with the exact same anti- blogging arguments I’ve heard time and time again. I’m certainly not going to hate on Brian’s post because he’s not alone in his opinion. However, I did want to share some of the reasons for why I think there’s still value in blogging and why we decided to create a blog when we started Outspoken Media.

Here are my thoughts. Feel free to tell me I’m worthless in the comments. That’s what the blog haters say this is all about anyway.

Not Everyone Can Be A Client

As a small business, we like helping other small businesses. It feels like there’s good karma in that. However, SMBs usually come without budgets and taking them all on pro-bono would bankrupt us pretty quickly. To still give back, we do our best to offer free information via resource posts. Posts like how nonprofits can use social media, how to launch your SMB Web site and what to look for in an SEO audit are all aimed at helping small business owners learn the basics, whether they’re looking to hire someone or just starting a DIY plan. Creating resources like the Online Reputation Management Guide have also helped us point people in the right direction when they come to us with an issue that we feel they can best (and more cost-efficiently) handle on their own. Being able to answer questions by pointing people to information they can digest at their own pace helps everyone.

We Get To Start Good Conversations

Brian takes a shot at SEO blogging saying it’s all “theory” and not a lot of substance, but I think that’s doing it a bit of an injustice. A lot of that “theory” sparks conversation that allow SEOs to talk through whatever troubles they’re having, issues they’re seeing, and potential new ways of doing things. Yeah, they need to take the information they’re getting and actually act on it and test things, but the discussion is often a lightening rod to get people thinking in new ways. Sometimes it’s not even what the blogger actually says, but what one off-the-cuff remark sparks off in your brain or the followup email someone will send you privately later. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had someone reach out privately when I brought up an issue in public. People like helping.

It’s a Differentiator

It’s not all altruistic, of course. Blogging has helps us to stand out in a very crowded niche and let people know that we’re alive. If there was no blog, nothing setting us apart and helping us to get our message out there, we’d be just another wallflower SEO company. One of hundreds on Twitter. Instead, we’ve used the blog to share information, connect with people, attract more clients attract better clients, get some links, and to just have a little fun. There is no way the company would be as well branded today had it not been for the blog and the conversations we’ve been able to start here. As Chief Branding Officer, the fact that you know who we are makes me happy. And keeps Rae off my back.

Someone Has To Be The Bitch

No? Well someone has to say it. There’s a whole lot of sucking up, genuflecting and ass kissing that goes on in our little incestuous bubble. I do my absolute best to avoid it and to veer on the side of being useful. As a result, when people compliment Outspoken they often use terms like brutally honest. Or genuine. There are worse things to associate with your company.

Connections

Without the blog, would you know me as well as you do? Would you feel like you know Outspoken as well? Would you feel comfortable reaching out to me and asking for help? Would any of us know one another?

The answer is probably not. Which is why this “blog thing” is so damn powerful.

I don’t think blogging is for everyone, whether the topic is SEO, your children or your travels. However, there are benefits there. Before you write it off, check it out. Determine what your goals are for your company and whether or not a blog can help you accomplish them. It’s easy to say “blogging sucks”. Especially if you’re not very good at it.

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