American student Amanda Knox was trending on Twitter all day today – but shortly after her acquittal was announced in Italy, the Internet “lit up” with Tweets, Facebook comments and blog posts all about the case. Gosh – even I’m writing about…! Within one hour of the verdict being delivered Google had found 2,430 brand new blog posts about it. In addition, there were 16,700 official news stories about the verdict which appeared on Google News within 60 minutes of her being freed. In just one hour, a vast amount of content had been produced on a single court case.
What might not be quite as obvious as all this content generation is the way it was done. Many news organisations actually use blogging software to produce their newspaper style sites – with Movable Type being one of the most common suppliers. The BBC and Playboy magazine are amongst the software’s users, for instance. What it really means is that significant amounts of content published on the web about Amanda Knox was all done as a blog, even though we may not call newspaper sites or the BBC “a blog”. Ultimately, blogging software lies at the heart of much of the rapid generation of online content these days. Millions of words are added to the web each day as a result of blogging software. Almost everywhere you look online, blogging is involved somehow, somewhere – even if you don’t think it is a blog.
Blogging is clearly important. Yet significant numbers of business owners still shun it, suggesting it is a plaything of the narcissistic amongst us, or something which is simply not applicable to business. Tell that to the media owners making millions by using blogging software…!
And try telling it to the researchers at HubSpot, the inbound marketing consultancy, which has published a new report which reveals the real value of blogging. This study shows that blogging is the most cost-effective way that we have of generating leads for our business. According to the research on 644 businesses, blogging is the least expensive way of generating new leads – by a long way.
As you can see from the chart, Trade Shows fare the worst. But look at the other Internet methods of lead generation. Social media usage is almost as good as blogging – but Pay Per Click, well that’s more expensive than direct mail. Of all the things considered in this study, Pay Per Click is one of the worst performers; time to cancel that AdWords account then…!
It is all too easy to dismiss blogging as a pastime of the people with more time than sense. It is easy to dismiss blogging as the plaything of the younger Internet generation. And it is all too easy to suggest that blogging has no place in your business. This data – like every study before it – says otherwise. This study confirms once again that blogging should be central to your online business strategy. It will bring you new business leads and the cost of generating those leads is the lowest spend you will have to make compared with other ways you could get new business.
The media companies using blogging software tonight to generate even more content about the Amanda Knox appeal know a thing or two. They know that the blogging systems they use are the most rapid and efficient way of generating new content for their websites. At the same time, they also know that by adding new content quickly and regularly, they attract more eyeballs to their pages and that means higher revenue from advertisers. Don’t tell these newspaper owners that blogging isn’t really connected to cash generation…! And don’t tell me either – almost all of my income comes as a result of blogging.
I suspect too that before long we will see Amanda Knox herself blogging as part of some multi-million dollar media contract so we can all read “her story” – and see those cash generating adverts which will pay for it..!
Graham Jones is an Internet Psychologist who studies the way people use the online world, in particular how people engage with businesses. He uses this knowledge to help companies improve their online connections to their customers and potential customers and offers consultancy, workshops, masterclasses and webinars. He also speaks regularly at conferences and business events. Graham is an award-winning writer and the author of 32 books, several of which are about various aspects of the Internet. For more information connect with me on Google+