Sunday, August 26, 2007

Status Quo

Posting only once a week isn't going to get me steady readers, I know. So be it. For now, I will just write what I need to write without worrying about that.

I have run into a dissonance between what I am capable of doing and what people want to hire me for. The few companies who want to hire a corporate blogger want to do so because they see blogging as part of the new marketing, which means that they want me to bring in lots of business and lots of links ... quickly.

Unfortunately, maybe that's what a traditional marketer does, but it's not what I do. My blogging and social networking is a slow process. I can create a slow buildup of traffic. I can create a community. I can present a company image and give customers a place to go.

I can't blitz the web, drawing in lots of traffic and increased sales; well, not in two months.

All the permanent jobs that I've seen that required "blogging" are therefore not really for me. They're for a traditional marketer; the blogging aspect was added as a side thought for the job position; the company knows that they have to have a blog, but don't get blogging.

Meanwhile, other blogging jobs which I see are pay-per-post or per-comment are ... how can I put this ... demeaning. The vast majority of these payments are for posts where the content is almost entirely irrelevant. They just want the links. It's cheap and dirty work. It pays next to nothing. Because they don't care what you write, or that you establish a relationship with the people you're writing to.

That's also not what I want to get into. OK, if they paid $50 a post, I could do it for a while, but not forever. And anyway, they don't pay a tenth of that.

What am I looking for? I want to be the Internet point-man of a company. I want to be the guy who finds the conversations around the Internet and ensures that the company gets heard, too. I want to build a reputation as an expert in whatever field the company is in, so that I will get quoted and referred to when people want information about that field. I want to build a sticky site that people will want to come to and participate in. I want to make the company known as a company where at least one employee listens full-time to what the customer wants to say and supports him.

I don't want to sit around measuring how much traffic and sales I made this week. And I don't want to blog garbage just because it will drive up the SEO.

The status is: I'm talking to two companies, and I have to make this clear to both of them. I'm waiting to hear from another 4 or 5 that I sent my resume to. And I'm still scanning the wanted lists for something that pays more than crap for crap work.

I'm still compiling a huge database of information about Web 2.0 sites.



Gavin Schmitt said...

I love the philosophy you've got here. Perhaps most of all because no one else really appreciates it / hasn't seen it make money, and thus have 'value' to them.

I mean, how many companies out there have leadership that essentially just follows trends?

How many companies see BoingBoing as "just a bunch of link opportunities that draw people to sites, and thus make money each day?

How many think the content doesn't matter -- that the writers may as well be RSS feeds?

At Gama's Origins Game Expo in Ohio this past year, we saw a start up called geekalize spending good money to push what is essentially just a message board with some minor community commerce and gamers-only social networking functions built in as "the new thing". What makes that competitive with the existing mass social sites like Myspace & Face book, or the already established gamer-focused social sites like Boardgamegeek? Their marketing director couldn't answer that question and I don't think their staff has really even thought about it, because "people are making money doing it already... so why can't we?"

Keep up the good work! Struggle or no, I think you are onto something really cool here -- something sincere which other's won't be able to immediately emulate -- and eventually, you'll find someone who actually gets it :)

Yehuda said...

Thanks, Gavin. It could be that I'll get good enough at this job at some point that I will be able to give definitive numbers at how much traffic I bring in over a certain period.

But right now, I can't think that way.