Just like Bill's success with BlogBurst and his blog post's major distribution to Reuters and Nielsen and with Janie's ActiveRain Chain Reaction explaining how blogging and networking interconnected real people and delivered real benefits, our own Lucky Blog Post finally produced real, measurable results. While in Bill's and Janie's case, the core expertise is real estate and in ours it is technology, the common theme in all these three cases is the fact that blogging (self expression in a low cost, highly distributed and visible media) was the vehicle which delivered the message. Without the publicity a blog post can bring to the authors, the following story would have never happened:
On April 22, the official Google Maps API blog included a direct, editorial link to RealBird using us as an example for their Street View applications (among a list of other great sites). This is big for us and big for our randomly selected client whose RealBird listing website is linked from Google's blog.
From a speculative blog post capturing a very interesting, undocumented feature of Google to actually delivering high visibility to one of our clients, our Lucky Blog Post traveled a long way, transformed in the process and finally captured some trophy for everybody involved.
Here is the timeline:
- On January 28, 2008, we made the Google Street View embeddable in the RealBird listing websites, after accidentally discovering a hidden feature provided, but not publicized by Google. Our blog post got really lucky, in terms of receiving a lot of organic search engine traffic due to the high demand for the Street View features from all over the world.
- Due to the fact that we were already focusing on the Street View technology and because it was proven that the search demand is high around this topic, once Google released their API finally, we jumped on the train and 28 hours later we had the RealBird integration completed. One thing to be one of the first and another one is to let the world know. This is where blogging came to our help. We posted about the release on the RealBird Blog on March 28 and linked to Google's announcement. Lucky again, we ended up being the number one trackback link under their post for a long time, at a very visible position. That led to even more traffic and eventually the Google Maps API team visiting our blog and congratulating us.
- Finally, on April 22, we noticed some incoming traffic from GoogleMapsMania, which referred to the official Google Maps API as a source for their post. And there we are: a Denver auction of CO Homefinder is linked under the RealBird anchor as an example by the Google Maps API team
The moral of this story? Blogging and only blogging made this happen. It's true that we are a mapping expert (we were providing maps and aerial photos before Google entered the game), it's true that we are agile and fast in developing new features and products, but the only way we could achieve such public visibility and eventually, delivering the same to one of our randomly selected clients is through the power of blogging. To achieve the same, it would require an impossibly costly PR and advertising campaign and no valid ROI could ever justify that. With blogging and social networking, the transactional cost of delivering your expertise is reduced to a level, which makes it accessible for everybody.
While the topics are distinct, in all 3 cases (Bill's, Janie's and ours) blogging was the key to the overall success. Blogging was the mechanism which delivered one's expertise in a certain field and created a network of people or events by which real-world results were reached.
So keep doing it, blog it away, it works.
-- Zoltan Szendro