How Blogs Work – Example Three

Type "why should entrepreneurs blog" into Google and you’ll know see one way blogs work. Type "why should businesses blog" into Google and you’ll see how they work again. For these two topics, almost all the top Google search results link to blogs.

Search engine users are consulting other people–through blogs–for information, opinions, and recommendations. To provide its own customers with good service, i.e. what they want and value, Google search results apparently favor blogs.  According to a February 2008 Inc. Magazine article, "…Google, the great arbiter of Web success, has a particular love for blogs."

One caveat:  Although we often take Google’s instant gratification of our search needs and wants for granted, as a company, the algorithms it uses to determine how it lists results of searches are legitimately proprietary.  Since I do not work for Google, I cannot speak with authority on Google search results.

But I can offer you Example Three on how blogs work. 

We are redecorating our living room and I want to make sure our innovative interior designer understands that my top priorities are 1) the comfort of our guests, and 2) the comfort of my cat.

I type cat furniture into Google and what do I see? Dozens of links to cat furniture companies. I thought Google listed blogs in its results.  Where’s the blog I can read to find out which company is trustworthy?

That’s how blogs work.  I, and other search engine users, are starting to expect to consult blogs.  How else does one make sense of dozens of web site pitches from dozens of companies?

If a blog is written with credibility, brevity, and supporting links to other sites, it builds trust with potential customers and partners. Paradoxically, high-pressure web sites alienate customers.  Blogs help them.

In a Wall Street Journal interview (1/28/08) on the art of selling, Ram Charan addresses this with regard to business-to business sales:  " It has become very hard to differentiate yourself in the eyes of the customer…So salespeople should not sell the product any more.  They should find out what the customer needs, which will be a combination of products and services and thought leadership."

Similarly, in the February 2008 issue of Entrepreneur Magazine, Guy Kawasaki writes, "Your company’s blog could be one of your strongest marketing tools–so get talking."

I type "cat furniture blog" into Google and what do I see? Ahh… Lots of blogs written by thoughtful, interested, and interesting people. How do I know? From clicking around on my own, I’ve found that Google lists first the blogs with the most links to and from other reputable sites.

Look! The Coolest Cat Furniture Around! Now that’s for my cat!

Here’s another way blogs work.  They provide entrepreneurs–engaged in innovation, always high risk–an opportunity to increase their transparency, and, therefore, their credibility.

This is how I use a blog’s transparency for my own due diligence.  I right click the site’s page and select View Source. The HTML for the site opens in Notepad, and I scan the source code to see what blogging software the site uses. Movable Type? I Google it. Ha! Movable Type is a product of Six Apart, which also created the online software I use for my blogs, TypePad.  I read TypePad is "The choice for professional bloggers." Therein lies the value of a good catch phrase.  I’m in with the pros!

I click on the home page of the cool cat furniture blog, Furniture Fashion.  I snoop the about page.  I look for transparency rather than secrecy.  They answer who they are and what they’re doing.  They pass. 

For the last test, I check the date on the latest entry.  It’s today.  The site is current.  John and Will (they offer first-name-basis relationship-building) post daily, sometimes more often.  I value consistency, reliability, and commitment.

Thus, through a blog, credibility is fostered, connections are made, and relationships begin.

Think my due diligence is over the top?  Hey, this is about my cat.

Can you imagine my scrutiny if I were looking for a house, a vendor, or a high-tech start-up in which to invest?

That’s how blogs work.  They let readers know that businesses and their entrepreneurial leaders understand what’s really important to them.

Comments

  1. How you found the time for all of those links I don't know, but what a great example of how a blog can help your business! Who knew I needed cat furniture?

  2. Anne Clelland says:

    It's my cat.

    'Nough said.

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