As a follow up to my previous post on why it’s OK not to have a popular blog (i.e. one with lots of traffic): I found a great post today, thanks to Seth Godin who says:

“So what if your company’s blog only reaches a few dozen people a day. If they’re the right people, the payoff is obvious”

Bill Sweetman describes how he chose a whale-watching company in the Bay of Fundy area, Canada (which, by the way, is a gorgeous place to visit).

Here’s the process he went through to make his decision:

  1. Gathered tourist brochures to get a short list of companies and reduce this to those with websites.
  2. Visited the company websites for further information.
    1. Companies without websites were crossed off the list.
    2. Companies without additional information on their websites lost his interest.
    3. One company had a sightings and updates blog which has regularly updated photos and stories of recent whale sightings.

I was immediately captivated by the near-immediacy of this information and the fact it chronicled the spontaneous nature of whale watching. The blog also demonstrated to me that Quoddy Link Marine really cared about whales and the environment, not just selling whale tour tickets. Thanks to their blog, I also felt one degree closer to the people behind this tour company than with those from any of their competitors.

Needless to say, I chose to go whale watching with Quoddy Link Marine, not because they had a blog, but because of what the blog revealed to me about the company and its staff, something a typical corporate Website is not usually very good at. And in case you’re wondering, the company and the whale watching tour lived up to my expectations.

The number of times I’ve had a similar experience – grabbed some brochures then jumped on the web to do more research – but didn’t discover a blog (business blogs are rare here in New Zealand) is far too many to list.

We can get so caught up in the numbers game but forget that a useful, helpful informative and insightful blog can have a far great impact than the numbers would ever imply.

I wish the stores I like buying clothing from ran a blog with “what’s new this week”, fashion tips and trends, in-store specials and information about upcoming events. I wish the companies I want to use the services of had a blog with photos of their latest work and insight into who works there and I’m not just talking about the big corporates – small businesses would be probably even more interesting to me.

On a blogging note, I was disappointed and frustrated this week when a regular tech radio show I often tune into here in New Zealand pointed out all the problems with blogs (anyone can do it, so the quality isn’t high; people writing slanderous comments about teachers and others which could get them into legal hot water; more than half of all blogs are written anonymously so there’s no credibility…) and ended up with the host having a good laugh about blogs just being a silly place for gossip.

The tech, gossip and political blogs may be getting a lot of attention right now but there’s countless other blogs out there like the whale watching blog.

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