Blogging for (Bible) Business

Sitting in a breakout session facilitated by the ESV Bible Blog guys – Geoff Dennis and Stephen Smith. Turning out to be like a Penn & Teller setup, where Geoff is doing all the talking, and Stephen is smiling and offering moral support. 🙂

Some sound bites, with some of my embellishments:

  • Crossway is a small publisher; they (ESV) have content, that people want to engage, use, read, get access to. People are passionate about their Bibles, and they want to talk about their Bibles.
  • As a publishing house, they don’t want to talk badly of other translations; and rightly so. So this can be quite a setup for one Bible publisher (Crossway and their ESV), talking to another Bible publisher (me, with American Bible Society.)
  • In order to get management “buy-in” and to assuage concerns about control on messaging that might come back to haunt them, they don’t allow comments on their blog. First hurdle they had to overcome was the issue of trust – that no content will go out with some [semblence of] approval. There’s not a lot of data to build a case for financial viable platform. What they can track is this: if blog traffic increases, sales increase.
  • They’ve done two Bible giveaways online (so far). I love their first Bible Giveaway, especially their recap chart.
  • If you’re a business, people [tend to] automatically give you credibility, and think you know what you’re talking about.
  • They’re looking at where technology is going, and providing a way for people to access their content in various ways, as much as they’re able to provide. Podcast of the Bible in a year is one exploration.
  • People get product information online instantly and immediately! And they seem to expect that..
  • They do want to provide their customer the best possible value, a whole range of content on various media, providing the printed book, e-book, and audio. Audio they can work with a partner to encode and distribute and sell; they don’t have to do it in-house.
  • It’s okay for people to criticize you; it fosters dialogue and conversation. And, it creates a more authentic voice. Link to those who are constructively critical can be helpful. Negatively is different from critically.
  • They aim to publish a blog post 3 times a week.
  • [why they went with a blogging strategy]… to have people carry your message for you. Much better than a multi-million radio and traditional media campaign.

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