How much might blogging be worth for your company? For one of the blogs that we recently named to our list of 15 companies that really get corporate blogging, the answer is $5 million in extra revenue each year.
As we noted a couple of weeks ago, most company blogs, especially those at larger corporations are failures: they rehash press releases, they’re written without any character, and they utterly fail to engage their user community. That’s a shame, because corporate blogging is an amazing way to speak directly with your customers and users.
In fact, in July, we made starting a blog our number one tip for how to speak directly to your users. We urged business owners to make sure their corporate blogs weren’t just regurgitating press releases and phoning in posts about how great their products are (at least, not all the time). Instead, we counseled that corporate bloggers should offer insight into their industry, their methods, and their thoughts in order to build a loyal following.
We cited 37signals’ very popular Signal vs. Noise blog (which we later named to our list of 15 top company blogs) as a good example of what we were talking about.
“Signal vs. Noise is successful because the employees at 37signals, who all contribute to the blog, don’t just write about the company’s products, but rather writer about design and development practices in general,” we wrote. “They give business advice, links to things they enjoy, tips on how to manage time, and insight into their personal and professional lives. By doing so, 37signals has been able to foster a connection with their community and turn customers into die-hard fans who evangelize their products for them.”
Many of the blogs on our top 15 list write the same type of conversational blogs. Utilizing a blog to speak to your most passionate users is not only smart, but it’s potentially very profitable. Hotel-chain Marriott International’s CEO Bill Marriott blogs up a storm on all sorts of things related to being a hotelier, and the company today revealed to the Washington Post that bookings from clicks originating at the blog are worth $5 million annually. The blog is actually driving a significant amount of measurable revenue — let alone the non-measurable impacts it is likely having on the business.
The Washington Post piece also mentions web development shop Viget Labs, which has four blogs. “Anybody that we’ve hired in the past couple of years, I think any of them would tell you that they read the blog heavily to get a sense of our people,” said company CEO Brian Wynne Williams, who told the paper that the blogs have helped with recruiting. Viget isn’t generating an active income from their blogs, like Marriott, but the blogs are still having a positive impact on their business by helping them recruit top talent.
Clearly, blogging can be beneficial to your business if you do it right. Be sure to check out our list of 15 companies that really get corporate blogging for examples of corporate blogs that deserve emulation.
Josh Catone joined Mashable in May 2009 and is Executive Director of Editorial Projects. Before joining Mashable, Josh was the Lead Writer at ReadWriteWeb, the Lead Blogger at SitePoint, and the Community Evangelist at DandyID.