Today I found solace in the words of one of my regular feed reads, Brian Clarke from Copyblogger, and he quotes Seth Godin, who I reckon is one of the marketing geniuses of our time. Basically, Brian asks a question of himself that he realises his readers have been asking all along, not out of concern for him, but to work out his motives and credibility, “What’s in it for me?”
Giving a reason why you’re willing to make the offer that you do is a fundamental of good marketing. Without it, an excellent offer can be seen as untrustworthy.
And I totally forgot about it myself early on with this blog.
Back during the first six months of Copyblogger, I would constantly get email from people who thanked me for the content, but also really wanted to know what was in it for me as the author.
I didn’t have ads.
I wasn’t soliciting clients.
I wasn’t selling anything.
I wrote all of those people back, thanked them, and told them not to worry about me.
But they weren’t worried about me.
And then I read this post from Seth Godin (in particular his mention of “user confidence”) about why Fred Wilson has ads on his blog (even though he doesn’t need the money). It was one of those forehead-slapping moments, and I understood why people were emailing me, some actually sounding concerned.
There was no apparent reason why I was doing all this work.
Read more after the jump…
Brian goes on to list the reasons that he set up the blog, and the other things he’ll probably do as well…
And thanks to this blog, I now have a business network and several lucrative working relationships that didn’t exist this time last year. The point is this—blogging can serve many commercial purposes.
You can make money from ads.
You can sell products.
You can sell services.
Or you can simply blog to meet cool people with great skills and great ideas and do business with them in a variety of ways.
That last one is the reason why I started this blog. And I’ll probably go ahead and take a shot at the other ones too.
I’d normally not quote a post as heavily as this, but it resonated with the reasons I’m blogging. Now, I may not have 5000 subscribers to my feed yet, but I do have a purpose with it all.
I set up Urban Workbench as a forum for me to write about what I know, to make a little money from advertising, but ultimately to move towards a consultant role in either or both, new media and corporate blogging, and sustainability. For the moment, I’m happy to add to the conversation, but would be open to discussions with anyone who was interested in my abilities and services.