As part of our LinkedIn Bloggers weekly ‘blog boost’, I’ve been asked to make some observations on the post Converting Traffic Into Business on the Corporate Blogging 101 blog.

You’ve jumped into the blogosphere with both feet.  After diligently developing and sticking to your blog strategy, you begin to see the fruits of your labour – traffic to your site continues to increase each week and you’ve started to get good reviews from peers and colleagues.  Everything is going according to plan except that you have not been able to monetize your traffic – presumably the main reason for starting your blog.

It’s a good post, to the point, thought-provoking. I take issue with what I see as a too narrow focus on the concept, if I understand the author rightly, that a business blog should be directly monetized. And I’ve left a comment on the post indicating my views.

It’s a truism that people like to do business with people they know and trust. And not just for discounts, although that can help!

I did a course with someone a long time ago who said, often, “the purpose of being in business is to make a profit”. At the time, that was a good message for me to get, because I had come from the public service where the purpose of going to work was to provide service rather than to make a profit. So having gone into business I needed to develop a focus on profit.

But since those days, reflecting on my own experience and listening to a lot of other business people, I happen to believe that a better purpose of being in business is to provide a product or service that someone else isn’t providing or isn’t providing as well as you can. And the profit comes from that. Profit may be the motivator to do business, but it doesn’t have to be the purpose. And doesn’t it often show when someone’s purpose is profit, not service? Do you like going back to do more business with those people?

So my position is that I don’t believe that everything you do or produce in a business should produce a sale directly from that action or product. Maybe no one else does and I’ve made a straw man for my argument. I just worry that people are going to think that if they are not making sales directly from their blog they are missing something.

Essentially, my view on the monetizing issue is that a blog can serve a perfectly useful and even productive function in a business by helping raise awareness of the business, helping to build trust and providing other benefits, none of which need to be directly attributable to this or that sale of goods or services on or directly from the blog.

Which is not to say people shouldn’t make money directly from their blogs. Some do – and some of them do very well indeed. No problem with that. Just don’t want to see an equation being developed that “good business blog” = “directly monetized”.

But I feel there are some other distinctions to be made here. Hmmmm.

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