Mark Bernstein on who can (and should) problog

Great response and thoughts from Mark Bernstein on Trevor Cook’s Blogtalk Paper, here are just a few:

“-Viable, small businesses can (and often should) support a blogger, especially in a field where everyone needs to be able to write. One fundamental difficulty managing a small firm is that people are quantized and expensive. If you want to add staff, you usually have to add a whole person — and commit to that person for months or years. This means that small companies are either understaffed (and nobody has time to do anything) or overstaffed (and that usually means there’s no money for equipment that everyone needs). A weblog can convert a a fraction of a person to cash, simply by attracting visitors and making them interested in your products. (If you don’t need more visitors and more prospects, you don’t need more money. Please send it to me, ok?) Every bit helps. Plus, it’s great training, it helps build contacts in the industry, it’s got upside. Needed: For a retail business, 10K visits/month ought to translate to about $15-30K/year gross margin, which can make that extra staff position a bit more palatable.

Notice, too, that this is a revenue stream that clusters of small firms can mine much more efficiently than large firms. A small operation can pick up $10K lying on the table, but the overhead burden on a large company makes this a much more marginal proposition.

-Artists need a blog. If you are (or want to be) a professional artist, you need a channel — a path that leads from you to your patrons. Galleries used to be the channel for painters and sculptors, publishers and agents were the channel for novelists. Just about every artist has some unsold stuff, so you can always use a better channel. At minimum, it’s a place where your collectors and fans can see what you’re doing now and dream about acquiring a new piece or perhaps giving one to their cousin or their alma mater. You never know. Needed: a vocation, a style, and a short list of people who want to know what you’re making.”