Much as I respect B2B copywriter Bob Bly (I consider him a friend and colleague) he’s off the mark… waaaay off the mark when it comes to his column about business blogs in today’s issue of DMNews. He writes: “(blogs are) a complete waste of time — a pure vanity publication that won’t pay you back even one thin dime for your effort.” He quotes from my Business Blogging Starter Kit report to make some of his points. Taken out of context, the quotes sound OK (and I appreciate the exposure), but… they’re just that. Out of context. Bly blunders on several key points…

1. You can’t subscribe to a blog. Wrong.

He omits any mention of RSS. He writes: “With a blog, the reader has to go out and proactively look for (updates). And since your contributions to your blog may be irregular and unscheduled, he has no way of knowing when something new of interest has been added.”

This is simply incorrect. RSS is a marvelously elegant and simple way to subscribe to both blogs and news feeds and have every update pushed to your desktop without having to navigate the email / spam jungle of overstuffed inboxes and filters.

2. A business blog has no proven ROI. Wrong.

That’s like saying that a B2B Web site has no proven return on investment. A well-designed and organized site is often your company’s most powerful, widely-distributed face… and voice. It’s your brand. It’s a lead generator. And sometimes, if you’re selling digital information products or subscriptions, for example, a site is a channel for direct sales.

Often as not, a business Web site is a vehicle to collect sign ups, record downloads, enable members to access paid content, etc. It takes some work and effort to track and measure a precise ROI from your site, but it can be done.

Oh, and BTW a business blog (Weblog) is nothing more than a Web page. In fact, blogs are really just next-generation Web sites. Bob, I challenge you to report the exact ROI of your content-filled site about B2B copywriting!

3. As for that “one thin dime,” thousands of blogs are making hundreds or thousands of dollars a month by running Google AdWords. This is one of them. Another advertising vehicle for blogs is Blogads.

I’d love to hear your reaction to Bly’s DMNews column. Yes, you’ll have to “register” with TypeKey in order to leave a comment. But you only have to do it once. Apologies for the inconvenience but I had to install a hurdle in order to protect this blog from the thousands of spam comments it was getting. Go for it… what do you think about Bob’s blog column?

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