A while back I wrote a post called What Came First The Chicken or The Blog regarding advice I gave my sister for starting her own blog on raising chickens. The background on it was: my sister wanted to sell decorative eggs online but she couldn't get enough traffic to her site by SEO, she tried PPC but couldn't compete with big gift advertisers like Hallmark, so I suggested she write her own blog to build up traffic and link to her decorative egg site (see continuation of story for an update).
This is the same advice that I gave our friend Muffin Storey on her life coaching business, What's Your Storey. Muffin wanted to have a web presence so I helped her with buying URLs, setting up her email, and talked with her about basic site design. Sadly, I didn't have enough time to design the site for her, but she enlisted some help. Muffin started a blog over at blogger.com and just started posting a few days ago over at http://mkstorey.blogspot.com/.
Ok, so what's my blogging Storey? I get that question all the time. Sure there are sites with more traffic, but you have to start somewhere right? When I started this blog back in September 2005, I wanted to be the voice of the marketer because business blogs out there either linked to other sites with no commentary, were more educational, or geared toward agencies. Wow, that was a little idealistic, no? A year later why do I do this?
- It boosts my Google credibility with more links and listings than I could have imagined back in Sept. 2005
- I've met a lot of great people and built online relationships like then one I have with Ann Handley over at Marketing Profs.
- Just like the advice I gave my sister and Muffin, I use this blog to help generate and land new business. Based on the three new ones I have, I'd say it is working.
You really need to understand what are the motivations behind your news. When it comes to MSM (main stream media) it is to sell advertising space by increasing readership or viewers. Think about how many extra newspapers the Daily News sold today with its headline on Joe Torre about to be fired from the Yankees. What's the motivation behind the DailyKos and other political bloggers? Traffic, support for their chosen candidates and causes? When you read posts from other viewpoints like I regularly do, you need to understand what their Storey is and why certain headlines are posted. One of the first rules of blogging is to be controversial. Don't forget that.
Some bloggers have an excellent following and perhaps push public relations on behalf of their employer. Hopefully, if they are above board, they disclose it properly. Otherwise, they are secretly blogging on behalf of an employer or worse, they are getting paid to post by advertisers as the folks over at PayPerPost.com are now engaging in. Your Storey for blogging or having a website should be painfully obvious.
*****UPDATE AS OF 10/9*****BTW - I just saw this over at BusinessWeek. It is an article called Wal-Mart's Jim and Laura: The Real Story. Yes they are real people but according to BusinessWeek, Working Families for WalMart is sponsoring the couple and that organization was setup by WalMart's PR firm Edelman. Is this a cute little website or a PR strategy that is paying to have a freelance writer and a professional photographer make posts. You decide. Is enough information disclosed? BTW - their Alexa and Google Page Rank is zero so perhaps people have figured it out already.
Understanding why someone is posting commentary is key to forming valued opinions on subjects important to you. Anyone can stretch the truth or be controversial in the name of generating traffic, increasing sales revenue, or just getting their name out there. Until you know where your information is coming from and their motivations, you really can end up with a hollow ghost storey.
****UPDATE**** My sister stopped blogging because well she got very busy, and her business website www.keepsakeeggs.com does not have an Alexa Ranking and a Google Pagerank of 3. Clearly traffic has dropped off, but I think she has put that business on hold for a little while.