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Analyst sees blogs generating buisness

Charlotte Li, a principal analyst with Forrester Research who I recently wrote about, is recommending businesses publish blogs, as she does. The reason — to generate new business.

Here’s some excerpts from an Interview of Li published in Newark’s Star-Ledger (free subscription req’ed). Again not coming from a law firm publishing a blog, but there is always much to learn from innovators outside the legal profession.

Why do you have a blog?

I think blogs are an interesting way for people, and for companies, to talk to customers and people interested in business. … It’s a give-and-take conversation, much more so than e-mail marketing. You’re saying something relevant to the audience and asking for feedback.

Do you feel a pressure to write?

I don’t. I try to post at least every two to three days. The pressure — I’m not a news blogger. I’m really trying to provide analysis and thoughts and insight into the news that’s coming out.

It is extra work. But, in many ways, it’s helping me do my research efficiently. While working on (this) study about corporate blogging, I asked for people to give me examples. They came pouring in. So instead of me having to beat the bushes, I let my blog do that work for me.

As I build my audience, as I write about RSS and social media and continue my coverage on search and online advertising, those people will be chiming in — if nothing else to tell me what I should be covering.

Has it helped your business?

I can say that people who have never realized that Forrester had coverage in their fields are contacting me. It gives us more exposure. Obviously, I wouldn’t be doing this unless there was some sort of hope that it would help our clients, attract new clients and exert a greater influence in the marketplace. And I’m interested in how much information and connection I can have not only with clients but also customer prospects.

What kind of feedback do you get?

If I put something onto my blog, I get comments instantaneously — from people who agree with me, and those who don’t agree. Fortunately, I have a pretty thick skin. But it is very helpful to know what people like and don’t like about what I say.

Blogs are the exhaust stream of somebody’s attention. If you can tap into what people are paying attention to, you should have a pretty good idea where you as a company or organization should be going.

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