Had a great lunch yesterday with Russell Stalters, CTO of a system and software engineering firm and author of BetterECM (stands for enterprise content management).

He works nearby and a mutual friend suggested we get together. When I asked Russ what his blogging ROI is, he responded with a slight wince that “no” he couldn’t pull a dollar figure out of the air and yes the blog does take time.

But he thinks the benefits are tangible. Namely:

1. Lead generation for his company, Applied Information Sciences.

2. Name recognition for him (he gets invited to speak at events like Gilbane’s content conferences).

3. He meets interesting people (they leave comments on his blog or he discovers them on other blogs).

4. Writing the blog helps him gather and articulate his thoughts (he’s been working on one blog entry for several months – it will be a definitive statement on where ECM is headed).

The lead gen piece is significant and a perfect example of what I try and explain to would-be corporate bloggers. A blog (with good content) is a heck of a lot more interesting / compelling / persuasive than a static site.

Send your prospects to your blog. They’ll find their way naturally to your site. And they’re much more apt to be in a positive state of mind about doing business with you when they get there.

Russ said his contacts at Microsoft (AIS is a Microsoft partner) send prospects to his blog first, as do his colleagues.