Consider these points:
- He started the blog from scratch less than two years ago;
- He spends just a few minutes a day on the initiative. He doesn’t struggle to generate the postings (which generally appear twice a week on his blog site);
- He’s already reaping the rewards of his blogging success, though these are indirect. Search engine rankings and traffic to his site are increasing, and business opportunities and relationships for his multi-location truss design business.
You can learn more in this video interview:
However, I’ll summarize how he manages to make the blog effective, yet non-stressful:
The focus is always NOT on selling, but sharing; and the sharing is about ideas, concepts and values that transcend the actual truss design business. You won’t find stories extolling his business successs in the blog pages; rather you’ll learn about his values. (Christopher is one of the rare individuals who has elected go through the arduous process to convert to Judaism. The Jewish religion does not generally encourage non-Jews to convert. You really have to want to do it and seriously accept some serious rules to be accepted, especially among Orthodox branches, which Gould respects.)
Christopher delegates guest posts to others in his organization (and even family, there is a recent posting from his 11-year-old son, Jake) He provides his guest posters with guidelines to follow to make the work easier. (These internal “guest posts” are in my opinion much more effective than accepting the many external offers successful bloggers receive — almost all with self-serving objectives.)
The blog design, framework and technology is far less important than its content (but it certainly doesn’t hurt to have a good-looking blog.) Christopher’s blog is on the commercial wordpress.com site; I used Google’s blogger.com to start (and you can still see my earlier postings at constructionmarketingideas.blogspot.com). While there are in my opinion some advantages in self-hosting the blog, you shouldn’t let the technology dissuade you from getting started.
Note that Christopher didn’t assert sizable direct business from his blog. This is reasonable. His market is specialized; the number of decision-makers who will use his service is not huge (though they can be important, repeat and lucrative clients). Gould also has to be careful about the designers he assigns projects to complete, so he has built an evaluation testing/tool into his recruitment strategy. Overall, Gould’s message can be summed up here: Focus on the values first, and then apply resources, delegate and keep things simple. He has proven how these basic approaches can be highly successful, and effective.
This is the first of a series of interviews with the top five contestants in the 2013 Best Construction Blog competition. Your comments are welcome. Nominations for the 2014 competition will open in December, 2013, but you can let me know ahead of time at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have a blog you would like recognized or linked.