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Systems Fanatic
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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
uh...relevance?
I agree. Lot's of things are free. It doesn't mean I want to spend my time using it.

I may be a little late to blogs, but they seem to have some marketing potential. I'm curious how we might use a blog to market our paint contracting company.

I do have a blog, but it's not for my contracting company. The primary reason is that I haven't figured out how to make it work for that kind of company. Are my customers really going to care about my weekly or monthly thoughts on paint contracting? I doubt it. Thus my question.

Brian Phillips
 

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uh...relevance? oh I get it...new look is your business. gotcha. I guess that isnt a blog being used in the conventional way. This is more like some kind of almost a webpage but not quite. $20/hr...you are the most reasonably priced pro on here I'm sure.[/quote

Besides you little digs, your point!:notworthy:
my understanding is that blogs are used by people as a forum to share information often in the context of a larger vehicle like a website. Yours doesnt have much text and appears to be more of an ad. Didnt mean to sound like a dig, it was just confusing there for about a second.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
my understanding is that blogs are used by people as a forum to share information often in the context of a larger vehicle like a website.
That's my general take on blogs. But it isn't clear to me how we painting contractors could use a blog as an effective marketing tool.

I've tried to provide a lot of information to my potential customers on my web site. But keeping the site updated and timely can be a lot of work. A blog seems like a reasonable way to do some things that would be more difficult with a web site.

I've used both WordPress and Blogger. I prefer Blogger at this point. But I also prefer Publisher over Word. How that translates to marketing, customer service, or anything else in business is the question in my mind.

Brian Phillips
 

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That's my general take on blogs. But it isn't clear to me how we painting contractors could use a blog as an effective marketing tool.

I've tried to provide a lot of information to my potential customers on my web site. But keeping the site updated and timely can be a lot of work. A blog seems like a reasonable way to do some things that would be more difficult with a web site.

I've used both WordPress and Blogger. I prefer Blogger at this point. But I also prefer Publisher over Word. How that translates to marketing, customer service, or anything else in business is the question in my mind.

Brian Phillips
The website traffic data that we have accumulated suggests that you have about 30 seconds on your homepage to draw the viewer in. At that point, the challenge is to get people to stay for several minutes and see everything that you want them to see. We try not to clutter the homepage with info that would distract from lead generation and sales conversion.

However, the blog as an accessory on the website, serving as an online newsletter perhaps, seems like a great way to add a personal and professional touch for customers who are trying to learn about your operation before they hire you. In other words, it could help in conversion but I dont see it as a primary tool. Also, it would be of interest to your existing customer base and your staff. If we set one up, that is how we will use it.
 

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Brian I am involved in a blog program with my SEO company. They have a bunch of them that are probably registered (without google being able to se that one company owns them all) and I submit my blog posts to them. They are primarily used for relevant linkbacks to varying pages of my website. They definitely help with rank.

Here are some examples:

http://cleaningpros.wordpress.com/2007/11/15/oxyclean-for-deck-cleaning/

http://expertpowerwasher.wordpress.com/2007/11/15/what-separates-cleaning-contractors/

http://pwpowerwashingcontractor.wor...l-a-deck-brightener-actually-clean-your-deck/

http://powerwashingexperts.wordpress.com/2007/11/29/deck-cleaning-without-a-pressure-washer/

Those are just a few. I also have other blogs that have been around for awhile:
http://diypartner.blogspot.com/ is one. I won't list them all, they start getting redundant.

As a way to put my message out to contractors I use a hidden area on my DIY Chat Forum (I won't link it here as it competes with Nathan's DIY board even though it is not even in the same league). I alsu use that forum as another site to create leads for Restore-A-Deck.

Articles, press releases, I'm making some promotional videos.. You have to put yourself out there to get known and sell. Of course I may be preaching to the choir. Sorry about the tangent.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Scott,
Thanks for your comments. Using a blog as a customer retention piece makes sense. I've done a newsletter for about 10 years, but a blog could be much more efficient.

Ken,
Your comments are also very good. I can see a blog as being a good means to drive traffic to your primary site.

I started a blog last spring, and then got busy and neglected it (that was on WordPress). I revisited the issue a month ago, and recently started a new blog on Blogger (or Blogspot). Blogger is owned by Google. This isn't a real issue, except my blog is now listed on Google and searches on Google are getting traffic to my blog (this within a week of starting the blog). I can also integrate Ad Sense into my blog, so I can also generate a little, and little is the operative word, income.

Brian Phillips
 

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I read an article about web marketing which recommended having a blog at your site--to encourage people to check back from time to time.

So I established one.
The web log showed that nobody read it.
It becomes one more obligation. You must regularly update it.
And there's the matter of being careful about what you include. For example, you sure don't want to air your political or religious views. Nor do you want to complain about difficult customers.

It's like trying to be the Martha Stewart of the painting world.
I removed it.
 

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Brian, blogs will do that sometimes (briefly outrank your website). Its all good. Its about raising your profile and building confidence. If you think about marketing and it's core definition, blogs are very strong. Get the word out and build trust.

People are immune to advertisement these days. Flashy banners, giveaways, coupons, low price guarantees.. yawn.. everyone has them. But, a good blog will engage readers that enjoy your style of writing.

Again, the goals for my blog wiritng is to write 250 words per piece that each has an active link using good anchor text. I don't care if Google ever ranks it or a single person sees it. It just had to be out there for the Google bots to scan through and track back to R-A-D.
 

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Found this in an article i was reading and this is what it had to say about blogs.
Blogs or social networking profile
What you say in a social networking community or in your personal blog may be even more damaging than what you say in person, Solovic warns. “Comments online can be seen by multiple eyes. An outburst of anger when you are having a bad day … can blow up in your face.”
 

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Interesting Topic. I have several blogs bookmarked that I check, mostly because I find the writers style funny/interesting or it is a subject I am interested in (all year long). Some of my favorites have links to similar blogs. I read them for pleasure, not research. You "get to know" the blogger in a way. If you had a blog on your website that had come experiences/stories I might read it once, probably not check back. Just my 2 cents:)
 

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Here is the major issue with a true blog. When you post the blog whether you are using Google blogger, wordpress or other service is that the content is not targeted to your customer base.... The service "pings" the carriers, they post the info... some people read the content... Let us say a topic like Refreshing Your Ceiling...by Removing the Popcorn. Reader John Doe reads the material...does want his ceiling refreshed and follows your link ... Trouble is he is in a state or country somewhere else....Some painter or interior re-modeler gets the job..."If you are lucky he will send you Thank You Card..

A better way would be to use your blog or webpage as a content page where you write articles or a newsletter on a weekly basis....
Develop a list of e-mail contacts:
  • contractors
  • residential customers
  • prospective customers
  • etc
Add these to your e-mail, autoresponders, and or RSS feed to contact these customers when you update the articles of your blog, newsletter, or website.

:thumbup:
 

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This is my favorite all time blog. Once you start reading this guys writing style draws you in. By 60 seconds in I was cracking up. This dude tries eating stuff that is actually food but you would never eat yourself. Here is an excerpt from his experiment with a spreadable product called potted meat.

"Okay, here we go-- Pulling back the lid (not recommended) lets loose an odor that punches you in the nose like a stinky fist. If you've ever smelled a can of dog food, it's just like that. Only imagine you are opening the can while your head is wedged in a horse's azz.
Inside is a smooth, oddly pink meat paste. So smooth, in fact, I dare call it "creamy." (I actually got a little gaggy just typing that.) Surprisingly, it was a little spicier than I expected. Although, that sensation may have been a by-product of my tastebuds dying...

http://www.thesneeze.com/mt-archives/cat_steve_dont_eat_it.php
 

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This is my favorite all time blog. Once you start reading this guys writing style draws you in. By 60 seconds in I was cracking up. This dude tries eating stuff that is actually food but you would never eat yourself. Here is an excerpt from his experiment with a spreadable product called potted meat.

"Okay, here we go-- Pulling back the lid (not recommended) lets loose an odor that punches you in the nose like a stinky fist. If you've ever smelled a can of dog food, it's just like that. Only imagine you are opening the can while your head is wedged in a horse's azz.
Inside is a smooth, oddly pink meat paste. So smooth, in fact, I dare call it "creamy." (I actually got a little gaggy just typing that.) Surprisingly, it was a little spicier than I expected. Although, that sensation may have been a by-product of my tastebuds dying...

http://www.thesneeze.com/mt-archives/cat_steve_dont_eat_it.php
:thumbup: That's what I'm talking about, I was laughing so hard I was crying!
 

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Serious blogs are controversial timebombs. I'd not go anywhere near creating a blogspot because of my opinionated nature. Some blog sites have reached national recognition because of the subject matter and the writers. None of them involve the trades, but there's always a first.
 
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