social media book reviews“But whether it be dream or truth, to do well is what matters. If it be truth, for truth’s sake. If not, then to gain friends for the time when we awaken.”

Sounds like something from one of Shakespeare’s plays, doesn’t it? Actually, it’s a quote from Pedro Calderon de la Barca, a 17th-century Spanish playwright.

You may wonder where I found such an obscure quote. It was a comment by someone named Vigrx on my blog post titled “Using Social Media to Market Your Business.” He or she was promoting the site The fact that the quote had absolutely nothing to do with social media was a sure sign that it was spam.

And someone named How to Play Guitar Chords left a comment on a post I wrote titled “Is the Traditional Publishing Industry Becoming Obsolete?” He was promoting the site

That same post about the future of publishing also attracted the following comment: “Cats can be spayed or neutered so you never have to worry about them getting pregnant.”

And someone named Oral Piss who was promoting the site commented on that post also.

Like many of you, I started a blog to promote my business, not to talk about anyone’s personal peccadilloes. In other words, I have a business blog.

But when you’re a sole proprietor and you’re the entire business, it’s hard to find the time and the topics to blog two or three times a day, five days a week. I’m so busy using more direct ways to market my business, I just haven’t spent much time on my blog.

And when 99.9% of the comments on your corporate blog are spam, you begin to ask the following questions:

  • What am I doing wrong?
  • Will I ever attract my target market?
  • How do I write about the same products and services three times a day, five days a week, 50 weeks a year?

Have You Given Up on Blogging?

Corporate Blogging For DummiesBecause I’m still struggling to use a blog to promote my own business, I was so glad the Social Media Examiner editors sent me a copy of Corporate Blogging For Dummies by Douglas Karr and Chantelle Flannery as my next book review.

When I got the book, I immediately looked up “spam” in the index. I was disappointed that it was only one page. In addition to comment moderation, Karr and Flannery recommend a spam-blocking technology such as Akismet, a challenge question or CAPTCHA form, and email verification.

So if you already use anti-spam technology on your corporate blog, that’s one page you can skip! But the rest of this 400-page book is packed with information. In easy-to-understand “Dummies” language, you’ll learn how to:

  • Develop a corporate blog policy
  • Choose a blog platform
  • Select and manage a team of bloggers
  • Find the time and the content
  • Use content that drives search engine traffic
  • Promote your blog
  • Design calls to action and landing pages
  • Measure your success

That sounds like a lot of work, doesn’t it? So you may be wondering if blogging will really help promote your business. If it’s so much work, why do so many people recommend it?

Here’s why Karr and Flannery recommend it: “According to Nielsen, folks perform over 10 billion searches on search engines each month. That’s about 33 searches per day per American! Search engines want to provide relevant content to search engine users, so they identify sites that are relevant, updated frequently, and are popular.”

So as you can imagine, search engines love blogs. And you should be thinking about using a blog to establish your online presence. This is definitely an inbound marketing strategy. When people search the Internet for a solution to their problem – as more and more people do these days – you want them to find your website.

But be forewarned! “Blogging is a marathon, not a sprint,” write Karr and Flannery. “Compared to short-term marketing strategies such as pay-per-click and e-mail marketing, blogs are slow, methodical, long-term solutions.” So you may not see results for a year or more. It takes time to establish your company as an authoritative source of business solutions on the Internet.

Corporate Blogging the Easy Way

To address the most common complaint about blogging – “What will I write about?” – can you spell the word “repurpose,” ladies and gentlemen?

That’s right! You can reuse information you already have. Such as:

  • Emails to customers
  • Press releases
  • Speeches
  • Industry news
  • Customer testimonials
  • PowerPoint presentations

If you work for a fairly large company that has been around for a while, you’ll find plenty of existing information you can repurpose and post on your blog.

And you don’t have to do all that work yourself! If you have more than 25 employees, you’ll probably find two or three who can write fairly well. A blog post doesn’t have to be the next great American novel. Your blog team can write one major post once a week, and one 150-word post each of the other four days.

And you won’t have to pay tens of thousands of dollars to put a one-time, 30-second commercial on TV that most viewers will mute.

You can still do that if you want. But as long as your blog team keeps writing, your blog will grow into an authoritative collection of useful information about your products and services. And it will be available to potential customers 24/7/365, when they just happen to be looking for a solution to their problem at three o’clock in the morning.

Do you really believe that person will think, “Gee, let me turn on the TV and see if they show a commercial that will help me with my problem.” I don’t think so.

And remember another major advantage of a blog over a website – you can interact with your customers. You can engage potential customers and convert them into actual customers.

So if you’re one of those companies that abandoned a corporate blog after a few months, you may want to reconsider. A blog can bring potential customers directly to you, with minimal work on your part. Let Corporate Blogging For Dummies teach you everything you need to know to attract people who are looking for your solution to their problem.

Social Media Examiner gives this book a 5-star rating.

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  • In order to build a relationship with existing and/or potential customers, I think it is important not only to tell your prospects something about you and your business but also to reveal some tricks and tricks. It doesn’t make sense just to write a blog article which tells people that you have the knowledge and can help them with their problems. First you have to prove that you are really an expert in your field and that’s why you should first give something in order to get something back. Many people earn their money by selling their knowledge so they want to keep their knowledge as a secret. You don’t have to tell everything but there is no problem with sharing some appetizers. It will help to build trust and more people will finally come to you to ask for your services because they don’t have the knowledge or time to do it on their own.

  • We all should have an corporate blog to promote our business, without that you will be fighting and up hill battle with offline marketing..which can cost you a lot…you want to blog to be found and add value to the search engines..

    “TrafficColeman “Signing Off”

  • A Blog is a multi functional tool that will be an essential part of the successful business. The capabilities it has are endless, I could easily be here for the next hour documenting a Blog’s many different functions. In my unexperienced opinion, the Blog is a launch pad for any project one plans to advertise, test and create valuable resource from feed back poling. With out subjecting interested parties to a stressful atmosphere, it is possible to obtain there genuine opinion, unexperienced or not, i am confident in stating we will all agree how valuable, opinions are. Daily i prey for genuine feed back regarding my own Blog, it would be welcomed. Sheer traffic is a huge positive, weather your selling a product or using it’s platform to advertise and announce others you intend publish. To simplify it is a valuable junction, between one self, your business, your message, and all that with an added social touch. And could cost absolutely nothing except time and an internet connection.

  • As I often say, finding stuff to write about isn’t really an issue, for this reason: every experience you have in your business life, every article you read from the blogs you follow (’cause you *do* follow lots of blogs right?), every successful case history, every customer’s story… so many places to get inspiration from.
    If you really don’t find anything to write about, you might as well reconsider your business involvement as a whole, don’t you think?
    Of course, one thing is having stuff to write about, one other thing is actually finding time to do that.

  • Doug Karr is good people. I followed his blog for quite a long time, always good stuff. Glad to see he’s scored here with this book.

  • Our favorite thing about corporate blogging is being a good source of information for our clients and others in the blogging/marketing world. It says a lot about a company for current and potential customer to be able to see how they can address questions and accept comments from their community!

  • Great Post !!! and what i’m interested about the most is talking about spam , i don’t know really why i’m not reading a lot about it these days, indeed spams are an essential point to be aware of !! thank you for you mentioned

  • Anita Yarbrough

    I recently found value in the suggestion of writing and focusing just on one particular idea at a time and expand on the big idea slowly over several blog posts. I am a fairly new blogger, and having spent so much time preparing my debut, I really need to get out there and give away my tips and knowledge. 🙂

  • Great post and nice examples to illustrate the comments bloggers receive. It reminded me of some of the comments I received, one link in a comment directed me to a lingery shop. And I blog about sustainability 🙂

  • The Twooth Timer Company

    I just started blogging. The hardest thing for me was to find my niche. Through internet searches I found there were no blogs focusing on my subject, children’s dental health. That subject ties into my products and provides a much needed resource for parents. It was a win-win!

  • Great post! We use a blog format for our real estate websites, one site per neighbourhood I represent and my fabulous blogger has been able to get at least 3 of my sites to page 1 on Google in a matter of months. Blogging is a marathon, but it’s well worth it.

  • I think it’s all about reaching out and touching as many people in your market (customers or prospects) as you can with value. If you can make their life easier, they will want to get to know you better.

  • Ruth, I can’t thank you enough for this incredible review! We’re so proud of the book and know that there’s information in there that can impact every company. And we’ll be sure to get some additional anti-SPAM info into the next version!!! Forever grateful for you taking the time out and sharing this wonderful review.

  • okay, you convinced me, i rarely just buy the book that bloggers write about, but this just happens to be just exactly what I need to learn about. Thanks 🙂

  • Hey Doug – Happy to get your book on our site – Mike

  • Great post from you Ruth. I really like what you stated in this post on blogging. One way of promoting your site and business is by reaching out potential customers. Blogging is one way that could be done.

  • I think corporate blogging is vastly different from personal blogging– great post.

  • “Corporations” (however defined – I mean one with several employees) have it much easier than those of use who are in partnerships or solo enterprises. Why? Because they have much more content from which to choose.

    Repurposing content is so easy with a blog. Once you begin to think “how can I use all this on my blog,” your Reticular Activating System will take over and you’ll find TONS of info.

    And blogs are great for companies of all stripes… don’t give up on them.

    Charlie Seymour Jr

  • I think a big key that can lead to success in a corporate blog is having a blogger with a well established web presence write a guest blog post for you. It can be huge to tap into an authentic organic web community.

    We just had a guest blogger at blur Marketing and we were very happy with the response.

  • I think just making blogging part of your daily/weekly routine is a great way to keep your blog maintained.

  • Those were a lot different tricks to rendered there.

  • Thought provoking post. As an active marketing blogger (160 posts in 18 months) I’m keen to take mine to the next level and love what you guys do. I’ve endured the euphoric highs, the miserable lows, and the writer’s block that hits you from time to time. I’ll be getting Doug’s book but, from experience, would advise the following:

    – Create a calendar of possible topics
    – Stick to these topics
    – Write a dozen articles before you post anything
    – Post them at regular intervals as time/resource allows – once a month / fortnight / week – aim for same day, same time – as your audience grows, your content will become expected
    – Think creatively about titles, images, tags and links – SME blog posts always do this well!
    – Offer email and RSS sign up
    – Tweet, email, SMS, Facebook, Linkedin – do whatever it takes to get an audience for your content
    – As the content on your blog grows, periodically re-release older articles.