By Kevin O'Keefe

Toy company credits blog for its success

Steve Spangler, a former science teacher, credits his blog for the success of his educational toy company which now employs 30 people.

Here’s an excerpt of the WSJ’s interview with Steve about his blog’s success. (sub req’ed).

WSJ: When did you realize it was time to update

Mr. Spangler: I took the business online in 2002. Every small-business owner thinks as soon as you push the button, [customers will] come – but they don’t. I remember a day in 2002 when we did $200 in sales – I was celebrating. We had some people coming to the site, but we weren’t converting [into sales].

WSJ: So what did you do?

Mr. Spangler: I found a couple Web sites [that I liked] and they said ‘Netconcepts’ on the bottom. So I contracted [the company] to redesign the Web site. I wanted to find somebody that wasn’t in my industry, to not get the same old stuff. I liked what [the Netconcepts LLC founder Stephan Spencer] was saying about showing people you’re the expert in that field by what you write. I found out how important it was to have more content, like our experiment library. People started visiting.

WSJ: What was your reaction when Netconcepts suggested you write a blog?

Mr. Spangler: I said, ‘I don’t think I have anything to say.’ But I developed the blog. A lesson came when Insta-Snow [a powder that turns to snow when water is added] was featured as one of the month’s top stupid products on Good Morning America. I thought I should refute it [in the blog], but [Mr. Spencer] said I should blog this as: ‘It’s great to be stupid.’ So I said on the blog that in fact it was stupid that someone else hadn’t thought of it… I watched sales skyrocket.

People didn’t know my blog from anyone else’s — but they happened to pick up the headline: ‘It’s Great to be Stupid.’

WSJ: How has your blog changed site traffic and sales?

Mr. Spangler: These days, the blog gets 15,000 to 20,000 unique visitors each day. Early on, if I got 200 or 300, I was ecstatic. I attribute 13% of overall sales online to the blog. People come in to us through the blog. They’re searching on something, and the blog indexes so well on Google.

I know you’re not selling toys, you’re a lawyer. But blog success applies equally to the law. Establish yourself as an excerpt. Get people citing and linking to your blog posts. Get content that relates to your area of practice and locale indexed at Google. People will come to you through your blog.

Kevin O'Keefe
About the Author

Trial lawyer turned legal tech entrepreneur, I am the founder and CEO of LexBlog, a legal blog community of over 30,000 blog publishers, worldwide. LexBlog’s publishing platform is used on a subscription basis by over 18,000 legal professionals, including the largest law firm in each India, China and the United States.

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