Are You a Blogging Consultant?

March 25th, 2005 by Bob Bly

I frequently get asked by readers, “Can you recommend a blogging consultant to help me set up and run a blog for my business?”

If you are a blogging consultant and advisor, please let me know by leaving a comment in response to this post, so I can add you to my referral list.

Also, should my clients hire a blogging specialist to help set up their blog … or can their current Web designer do it just as well and easily?

Your thoughts?

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This entry was posted on Friday, March 25th, 2005 at 8:47 am and is filed under Blogging. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

116 responses about “Are You a Blogging Consultant?”

  1. John Keehler said:

    We do blog consulting at the interactive agency I work for. We’ve been doing it for several years.

    In my experience, at a minimum, the client should hire a blog specialist to consult on the design and functionality. There are certainly best practices, and an unfamiliar web designer might actually hinder efforts to market a blog by not keeping these things in mind.

  2. Garrick Van Buren said:

    I consult on implementing and maintaining weblogs. The key to a successful weblog is making it easy to publish – both from a technology standpoint and a organizational standpoint.

    With so many weblog options, I’d recommend a consultant to identify the most usable weblog solution for a specific situation. From there, existing web designers may be able to set it up and make the visual design consistent with other websites. After that, it’s a matter of creating a ‘publish it to the weblog’ mentality in the organization.

  3. Elisa Camahort said:

    Hi Bob: My company, Worker Bees offer blogging consulting among its services, and in fact I already blog for a few companies. As for setting up the blog: sure, if they have a web designer there’s no reason the designer can’t set it up and integrate it into their overall web solution, but the more critical questions are: What is your goal for the blog? Who is your target audience? How are you going to measure success? Who’s going to blog? How are you going to manage the ongoing feedback loop that the blogosphere provides? A business sets up a blog as a marketing, or PR, or customer support, or investor relations tool…and they can think it through as they would any other such tool.

  4. Tom Kane said:

    I offer blogging and marketing consulting to law firms. I leave the design and actual maintenance of the blog to others, such as lexBlog.com which did my blog. My consulting involves assistance in researching ideas for, and writing posts for client sites when they are too busy to post regularly.

  5. B.L. Ochman said:

    I do blog coaching for my clients, helping them to determine what to blog about; showing them how to find their voice; teaching them how to search engine optimize their posts. And, since nothing in the blog matters unless it builds an audience, I coach them on how to develop a reader base.

    My blog, What’s Next Blog was set up by a designer with whom I work. It is crucial to have a web designer with blog experience because the software doesn’t come out of the box with all the necessary templates.

    My blog is set up with style sheets so i don’t need to know any code at all to make my text wrap around photos, so I can put a bulletin on the blog, etc. There also are extensions and fixes that need to be added to Moveable Type to make it perform flawlessly, so blog experience is really crucial.

    We’ve also integrated the blog software into my site so that many pages of the site are now blog pages. I can, therefore, update my content and publish my newsletter without paying someone to do it for me. This has been very liberating for me, and also required someone with blog experience.

    That’s my $.02. I’m available to speak about blogs, write them, and coach executives who are interested in blogging.
    B.L. Ochman

  6. Derek Scruggs said:

    I help clients set up and run blogs, with an emphasis on marketing and driving revenue. (I also do marketing consulting – see http://www.escalan.com.) Appreciate any referrals you send.

  7. Bruce DeBoer said:

    Bob,

    My company recommends blogs and how to use them as part of their overall marketing strategy. My blog is built into the company website to help integrate communication with prospects and clients. It’s how we design blogs so you’re traffic is exposed to your company site seamlessly. Also, we design your company contact manager as a web based application so blogging, e-zines, project management, e-mail marketing, white papers, on-line commerce and practically anything else can be central to your business communication and consumer relationships.

    My recommendation is to use a blogging consultant if you feel comfortable with one, but ultimately be sure to integrate your efforts. Personally I’d find a company or a consultant that understands more than just blogs.

    That’s my $.02 – I apologize if it sounds like a business plug but it is my best advice on the subject and it just happens to be what we do.

  8. Toby said:

    Bob – thanks for the opportunity to post and for helping promote blog consulting.

    If the web design firm understands formatting and technical aspects of a blog, of course a company should retain that relationship. The other side of the equation is – there’s a new internet strategy…now what?

    Even before the look and feel of a blog is on the drawing board, it’s critical to set goals and objectives, terms of success and develop strategies that integrate the blog into the company’s marketing. A blog that doesn’t support the brand is not worth the RSS coding it’s made from.

    Once the direction of the blog strategy is developed I continue to work with clients to create the actual blog (now we bring in those creatives!), identify blogger/s, provide posting style/voice coaching, draft blog guidelines and launch internal/external marketing strategies to promote the blog, as well as, the bloggers.

    I work with a team of talented blog creative designers, blog copywriters and tech staff. That means I can support a company’s blog strategy from concept to launch and beyond.

    Toby
    divamarketingblog.com

  9. Tris Hussey said:

    Hi Bob,
    I’m a professional blogger and blog consultant. I have recently launched a services division for Qumana, where I’m also CBO, because I was getting so busy in my own practice–Larix Consulting.

    On the web-disigner-blog consultant question. A good web designer can compliment a blog consultant. Your blog consultant can help you pick the right blog platform, determine your “blog readiness” and help coach you in the whole blog start up phase. The getting going phase usually goes well because everyone is really excited, but a month in sometimes things start to come apart. This is where a professional blogger can help by supplying a steady stream of content and coaching your bloggers.

    The designer, then, can focus on making the whole blog look great and match the look and feel of the main site.

    Feel free to e-mail me or Skype me (tris.hussey) if you have any questions or like to chat.

    Tris Hussey
    CBO Qumana Software, Managing Director Qumana Services

  10. Paul Chaney said:

    I own Radiant Marketing Group, a business blog consultancy. I help businesses learn how to communicate online using blogs and RSS.

    Specifically, I assist businesses at the strategic level, helping them see how blogs can benefit them as marketing communications tools. I help them identify their audience, clarify their message, and coach them on finding their voice and writing style.

    I handle design and technical implementation, train the bloggers, and even find freelance bloggers if they an outsourced solution for blog content. Pretty much everything from soup to nuts.

    I’ve worked with small mom-and-pop businesses all the way to corporate clients.

    Bob, you once referred to me as a blogging authority. While that’s all the recommendation I need, I will mention I’m also President of the Professional Bloggers Association, and was Technical Editor and a contributing writer on the soon to be released book, Buzz Marketing with Blog for Dummies.

    If it has to do with business blogs, I can consult!

  11. John Keehler said:

    The interactive agency I work for, Clich Here, offers blog consulting, design, development, marketing, advertising, sponsorship, etc… And we’ve been doing it for several years. Click Here is the interactive division of The Richards Group Ad Agency.

  12. John Keehler said:

    Sorry for the spelling error… it’s Click Here.

  13. TonyD said:

    This thread started as a “help me find a blogging consultant”, but it’s quickly turning into the blog consultant yellow pages.

    My view is that every product and business eventually becomes a conversation with customers. Blogging’s a great way for passionate and knowledgeable businesspeople to become involved in the conversation. I offer blog coaching, strategy guidance, and technical know-how so that businesses can get involved in the conversation, reach their customers, and hopefully learn something themselves.

  14. Debbie Weil said:

    Bob,

    There are three sides to the “Should my business blog and we need help figuring this out” question. I am an online marketing and corporate blogging consultant who handles all three. Recent clients include HP and Intermec.

    I also coach CEOs and other top-level execs who want to write a thought leadership blog.

    1.) Strategy

    A blog is just another communications channel, albeit one with a particular etiquette attached to it. Does this channel integrate with your other marketing communications efforts, both on and offline? Can a blog achieve the business goals you want? Does a blog mesh with your company’s culture? Can your company accept negative feedback?

    2.) Content

    Does your company have a story to tell (either internally or externally) and do you have someone – or perhaps a group – who can write that story? You probably need a corporate blogging policy to handle both authors’ posts to the blog as well as reader comments. How will you monitor and maintain the blog over time? Should you consider hiring a blog writer, much as you might hire an editor for your e-newsletter?

    3.) Technical execution

    For this you need a Web designer/developer who is skilled in blog software set-up, both hosted and installed. This is a sub-set of Web design. It requires familiarity with best practices in blog design and functionality as well as creativity in solving problems such as comment and trackback spam. I work with several designers who can handle the execution of a corporate blog. Many companies already have someone internally on the IT staff.

    I also give customized internal workshops for companies who are exploring the idea of blogging and want to bring their marketing communications teams up to speed.

    Debbie Weil, President/Publisher WordBiz.com, Inc.
    I blog about corporate blogging at BlogWriteForCEOs. Reach me direct at +1 202.364.5705 or wordbiz @ gmail DOT com.

  15. Yvonne DiVita said:

    Did you get enough response, Bob? There are many more out there– but I’ll add my name to the list, also. If you aren’t aware of the Business Blogging Boot Camp check it out at http://www.businessbloggingbootcamp where folks can find out more about our blog consulting services. We do in-house training (including how to develop a posting style and how to add web elements to your blog) and we develop blogs for companies, after much back and forth discussion. We also will ghost write a blog, if a company just doesn’t have the time to do their own. It’s our feeling at the BBBootcamp that once a company, big or small, begins a blog, it’s only a matter of time before they will take it over themselves. I am also one of the co-authors of the soon to be released book on Business Blogging with Typepad, a User’s Guide to Blogging with Typepad.

  16. Denise Wakeman said:

    My partner, Patsi Krakoff, and I work with clients to integrate blogs into their overall marketing strategy. We are completing a book which is due out this week called Build a Better Blog System: Tips, Tricks & Techniques for Creating a Professional Business Blog. http://www.buildabetterblogsystem.com Our niche is specifically solo professionals such as coaches, consultants, therapists and other free agents who want to implement a blog as part of their communication and client attraction strategy. Thanks for the opportunity.

  17. Susan Getgood said:

    As others have stated (and we have discussed at length here on Bob’s blog), the key to any successful marketing strategy is to use the right tools for the job. I help my clients achieve their sales and marketing goals — if a blog makes sense, that is what I recommend, and then I’ll help them build it. But for some, it is not going to be the first thing we should do. So: my first question is always: what are you trying to achieve? I think we need to keep reminding people of this: Strategy first, tactics second. Otherwise, unrealistic expectations will end up in the “blogs don’t work” discussions.

  18. Michael Heraghty said:

    Hi Bob,

    I am a blogging consultant, though I describe myself primarily as an internet consultant. I have been running my own weblog, relating to new media, blogging, usability, seo, etc. for almost three years now. Before that, I had an online web diary (the more personal/emotive/creative form that preceded the standardized weblog).

    A good example of a weblog I created and managed for a client is Kevin Kelly’s weblog. I coached Kevin on how to update his weblog, how often, how to create search engine friendly entries, etc. The website is now a major driver of business for him, and has significantly enhanced his brand both here in Ireland and internationally.

    Your visitors can contact me through my business website. Many thanks!

  19. Jeremy C. Wright said:

    I came here because someone said it was like “feeding time at the zoo”… Intrigued, I clicked through. Ironically, I’m also a blog consultant. I stand proudly with some of the people here like Tris, Paul, Susan, Yvonne, Toby, BL and Elisa. All people I know personally and respect.

    The challenge with blog consultants is rarely finding one – it’s more often finding the one with the right experience for your company. I know that all of the individuals I know on this page would happily recommend me for projects I’m ideal for, and vice versa. It’s an exciting and growing market and one in which my company, InsideBlogging (www.insideblogging.com) is proud to be a leader.

    Thanks for asking Bob, and keep up the great work :)

  20. Jeremy C. Wright said:

    I’d forgotten about this page, a list of blog consultants: http://www.thenewpr.com/wiki/pmwiki.php/Resources/BizBlogConsultants.

  21. steven streight aka vaspers the grate said:

    We “blog consultants” need to get our own acts together first.

    We, and I include myself, need to write better, think smarter, and offer much better value to clients.

    We could do more harm than good to clients.

    We aren’t writing valuable posts, too many “I went to such and such conference” or “Billy Blogalot is a great blogger, let me introduce him, so he can kiss my behind later on his blog” or “guess who has a great tv commercial right now? Nike and Tiger Woods”.

    Give me a break.

    We all need to improve, and I ain’t no role model. I need to improve more than my esteemed colleagues here, some of which Toby, Paul, and Jeremy are wonderful allies and friends.

    I just don’t think our own blogs are good enough yet.

    Don’t hate me for saying this, it’s my grating goading opinion onion.

    :^)

  22. Roger C. Parker said:

    It takes more than accessible technology to create a blog.

    In my experience, blogs work best when they are teamed with a powerful, monthly One-Page Newsletter that provides the informational and educational foundation for a meaningful website and customer development program.

    Technology changes, but the importance of target marketing, customer education, and consistency are as important today as they were twenty-five years ago.

  23. Debbie Weil said:

    I’m a corporate blogging consultant. I show large companies how to brand themselves as customer-friendly and media-savvy using the Web, blogging and email. Current and recent clients include HP , Wells Fargo , Arent Fox , and Intermec .

    Debbie can train and educate your company on corporate blogging via a customized presentation. It can be delivered remotely via Web and teleconference, or she can do it on site.

    The presentation will get you and your senior execs up to speed on blogs & RSS as a corporate marketing and communications strategy. She will suggest ways your company can blog, both internally and externally. Who should do the blogging, what to write about and what you can expect in terms of a time and resource investment.

    Her presentations are widely praised for being clear and intelligent. She demystifies the blogging phenomenon and explains clearly how blogs can be a cost-effective and powerful addition to your online marketing strategy. Her emphasis is always on the ROI of blogging: how and why blogs are a significant new business tool.

  24. Andrea Coutu said:

    I am a marketing consultant who blogs and helps others set up blogs. In addition to strategic marketing consulting, I also offer general marketing and freelance writing services.

  25. Lee Odden said:

    I am sorry to see all of those comment spams here Bob. BTW, I just heard your interview with John Jantsch, nice job.

    My company, TopRank Online Marketing consults with businesses on using blog as lead generation tools, for search engine optimization campaigns and for public relations. Blogs are just web sites with special content management features.

    What most blog consultants miss the boat on regarding blogs is that they can be used to achive communication goals as well as search engine marketing goals. After 2 1/2 years we’ve refined a process that has been so effective, clients are coming to us to ditch their web sites in favor of a blog platform.

  26. Lucas Sawyer said:

    Businesses think they know what they want when it comes to blogging, they have done research, seen what other people have done, and that. Every company is different, I can work with you to develop the perfect blogging campaign. I know what will work for your industry.

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