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The Power of the Blog (especially in the financial automation industry)

This Guest Post is from Will Donovan of Paystream Advisors of USA

So… my company, PayStream Advisors… our biggest business is Accounts Payable Automation. We make the point to say we deal with financial automation in general, but in all seriousness, our sweet spot is AP automation.

We’re successful as well – we have a great value proposition for corporate consulting and we do a lot of research. But we’ll be the first to admit that we’re out gunned by the major players in the AP research and consulting industry (who shall go unnamed).

So why is it that if you type “accounts payable automation” into Google you see our name in the top ten (amongst a sea of AdWords no less – this is a major keyword in our industry)? Well you don’t really – You’d see our main .Com in the top 20, but you’d see our blog in the top 10, competing with the vendors and consulting players like a swinging deamon or a bat out of hell… or some other appropriate analogy.

Seriously – The blogging platform is changing the way we all do business (I believe) most specifically because most, if not all, blogging architectures are designed with tremendous spiderability and SEO in mind. I’m saying that this element trumps ease-of-pubication entirely. Our little blogs, with their standards based content and well-linked auto archivival, technorati/digg/reddit/whatever tags, auto-trackbacking, etc., are able to muscle their way into keyword lists that sometimes they have little right to be in.

Now in other parts of the blogosphere, obviously this is not the case. How many iPhone blogs are there, and does it matter? They still wouldn’t outmuscle Cnet. How many Red Sox or Manchester United blogs are out there competing for ranting and raving space?

But we in the niche financial automation world have tapped into the “Power of the Blog” because frankly we compete in an industry with legacy web-platforms and legacy marketing strategies. PayStream’s little Voices blog goes mono a mono with JPMorgan Xign and Visa. Manoj’s holds its own against… Forrester!

And therein lies my grand thesis about Blogs – Forrester research in the olden days would never be seen in the same light as a couple of folks like us. They’re a publishing powerhouse (and they have, like, paid employees with benefit programs and the like). But if you do your 50-per-day Google search on EIPP, there Manoj pops up in the top 10, just two down from Forrester.

It’s not just because we’re writing more relevent content – it can’t be. It’s that we just don’t play by the same rules. We could describe it in terms of the Wild West – WordPress, like the original Colt pistol, levels the playing field. No locked PDFs, no registration fees, every single word dropped into the internet delivered as clear as day via RSS and XML and every other data aggregation scheme imaginable.

Our responsibility, therefore, in niche markets where a few blogs with some quality content out-compete the vast majority of legacy websites with similar, if not more relevent, content, is considerable. We really cannot take advantage of the situation without a certain ethical mindset. Manoj’s blog is a prime example of how much blogging has changed the status quo in the publishig world – When his words can muscle their way into a major publishing company’s space, not just because of his considerable content but because of the platform itself, you know the Power of the Blog.

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