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Book Review: Blog Marketing

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Jeremy Wright is known for many things throughout the blogosphere, including some zany antics that have made him famous, such as auctioning blog marketing services off on E-Bay, just prior to launching a blog marketing company, right before the U.S. Border Patrol declined letting him cross for stating that his profession was being a blogger, and of course, the latest, which is getting fired for blogging. This is, of course, in addition to launching the new blogging network, b5media, and his recent book, Blog Marketing.

When first reading the book I experienced deja vu, primarily because I was reminded of many of the blog-marketing methods I wrote about marketing real estate and marketing real estate services using blogs.

Wright says in the book, and rightly so, that blogs create customer evangelists. However, as Guy Kawasaki pointed out to me earlier this year, t-shirts are likely the best tool to enable customers to evangelize you, or your product, but adding blogs to the mix doesn’t hurt. Blogs do create evangelists, but the evangelists are typically your readers, and those readers often have blogs, or they may write for a news media outlet (print or broadcast), and you are likely to be quoted for your expertise by these readers, who also happen to blog, and by the news media folks who read your blog.

Of course, if you feature comments on your blog, your customers can write about their positive experiences with you and your company, and, as Wright points out in the book, your customers can spread these positive experiences by communicating them to others via blogs. You can also find out about customers’ negative experiences via those comments, according to Wright, and solve a customer’s problem more quickly because of a blog.

(I do not have comments enabled on my blog because I am aware that anyone can post anonymous comments that are ill-intentioned and false, and I therefore do not advocate corporate blogs using open comments on their blogs. Wright and I differ on this particular comments philosophy.)

While blogs can easily make you into a thought leader in your field among your current customers, potential customers and the media, they can also turn you into an instant project manager, using an internal blog, says Wright.

According to Wright’s book, a project management blog, such as those offered by Basecamp, can offer project managers the ability to more efficiently and effectively keep everyone informed on a project’s progress, archive important documents, raise important discussion points and involve all members of the project, or team. This can be done using a password-protected blog, which is important, as most corporate teams do not want most project information divulged to the public, at least until the project becomes public knowledge. Internal blogs can also be used for administrative communication, as well as for internal communication and marketing, according to Wright. Large corporations such as Microsoft already uses blogs for such communication and for projects.

Blogs are also easily tracked by Google, which also provides most blogs with prominent PageRank status, which is another good reason to include blogs in your overall marketing strategy.

Wright says bloggers favor accuracy over timeliness, which we know is not always the case, however, many of us here in the blogosphere prefer to get our news from blogs because there is no pretentiousness in there being no bias, as most articles written on blogs typically have some sort of opinionated slant, and what straight-news there is here, we know the advertisers have nothing to do with how it is reported on a blog, although as more blog-media networks are launched, that may change.

Wrapping It Up

Wright says that marketers can use blogs to enhance search engine marketing, provide direct communications to customers and potential customers, build brands, differentiate yourself from your competitors, build relationships with customers and potential customers, market yourself to various niches, create successful media and public relations campaigns and to position you as the expert. I already do all of these things with my blog, and I have been doing it successfully for years.

Project managers and administrators can use blogs for a multitude of communication methods, including internal marketing, as well as for project management. I have yet to use a blog for these purposes, but I do hope to use one for project management in the not too far-off future.

Where Will Blogging Be In 2010?

Wright predicts that one of three things will happen to blogs by 2010. In the first scenario, blogs will disappear, because everyone will have a blog and therefore the term will be forgotten. The second, blogs will redefine everything that businesses do, and if this occurs, I think more than blogs alone will be the cause, but blogs have changed business communication quite a bit, already, and those who have not blogged on with the rest of us have seen some slipping numbers in many cases. In the third, Wright predicts that blogs will never die. I feel that’s the most easily predictable answer, as my old PR blog is still lying around from my old PR business, which is no longer in existence.

How Was the Book?

Overall it was a great book with insightful information, although somewhat of a long read, however, if you are new to blog marketing, you should definitely add it to your reading list. If you already use blogs in your marketing or project management campaigns, you may find some useful tips, but you may also find them around the blogosphere, as well, although not all of Wright’s tips can be found in the blogosphere. Either way, Blog Marketing is a fantastic book, and definitely worthy of your readership and a place on your shelf. Buy it for that special someone in your life, or just for yourself.

-John Mudd

John Mudd is the author of Blogging For Profit: Turning your point of view into a marketing tool, published in REALTOR Magazine and Broker Agent News. He writes for and publishes the Tampa Bay’s Inside Real Estate Journal blog and the Tampa Bay’s Luxury Real Estate Journal blog.

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