Under the Business Blogger Spotlight this week is Matt Chatterley, a Director at the software company Mattched IT. He’s been writing a blog for his company for the last 4 years.
Describe your blog in one sentence.
“It’s awesome!” – no, seriously, the Mattched IT blog is a mixture of opinion and discussion from our experiences running a small software company, mixed with posts offering technical information and advice to our readers.
How long have you had your blog?
The first post was published on September 19th 2008 – when we launched the second version of our website.
What made you decide to start writing a blog?
I’ve had a personal blog for a lot longer and always enjoyed writing posts (I think secretly I’d quite like to be a writer if I wasn’t already a software developer) – and setting up a company blog seemed a good way to combine something I enjoy with something that can provide huge business benefits.
What was your most popular blog piece?
It’s a short piece from early 2009 about the ‘real’ (and hidden) costs of setting up an online shop / eCommerce website: http://www.mattchedit.com/Blog.aspx?id=how-much-does-an-ecommerce-website-cost – it’s actually one of the most visited pages on our site overall.
What was your most memorable comment or share?
One of my favourite comments is on this post – http://www.mattchedit.com/Blog.aspx?id=a-day-in-the-life-of-a-web-developer-30dayblog – partly because I never thought I’d be called organised!
What are the biggest challenges in writing your blog?
There are two – finding interesting topics to blog about and making the time to do it. You never know when a good idea (or title) will strike you, so I always make a note of ideas which I have and keep them in a list – so on days when I want to blog but don’t have a clear concept in mind, I can grab one from the list. As for time, well, you just have to make time – I insist that blogging is an important business activity, but sometimes it can be hard to practise what I preach and put it ahead of other work!
How do you promote your blog?
Mostly by posting the links to various social media outlets where we have followings (Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin, etc.). Occasionally we send links more explicitly to people if we think a post is particularly relevant to something they’ve mentioned or asked us about, and we often refer people to specific posts that might answer a query they have.
How much traffic does your blog generate?
Blog posts probably account for about 60% of the traffic on our site and any time I’d say the 5 or 6 most viewed pages will also be blog posts.
What difference has your blog made to your business?
Although difficult to quantify, I think blogging has definitely helped develop the way we communicate with clients and prospective clients – over the years blogging has shown us that a more relaxed style of communication has been met with a generally positive response. It’s also caused us to think more carefully about our audience and to refine the ways we market our services – something we’ve always found hard (after all, we come from a technical background, not a marketing one!)
Which software do you use for your blog and what do you think of it?
I might be biased here. We use Cloudeware CMS, one of our own products, which is just coming up for an open beta. It’s designed for situations where you want “bits” of a site to be easily editable, but don’t necessarily want to build (or indeed re-build) your entire site within the constraints of a traditional Content Management System.
What advice would you give to businesses that are thinking of setting up a blog?
Stop thinking and do it! It might take you a while to settle into it properly, but it’s well worth the effort – anything that helps you to connect with your clients can only be good, right?
What do you enjoy doing when you’re not blogging?
I’m quite often found in the kitchen as I love cooking; I also enjoy running, which is convenient as it helps to prevent piling on the pounds too badly!