On October 4, 2012 I was at an industry reception hosted by 1105 Government Media. Several of the people I met mentioned having read my articles or thoughts on multiple forums: LinkedIn, Washington Technology, my blog, even a couple of my books.
It's always flattering when someone tells me they like what I write but most of all I just like that they took the time to read what I wrote.
"Content is king" has become a catch phrase in the marketing world, and as far as it goes, it is true.
A more accurate statement would be that relevant content delivered on a consistent basis to a targeted market over a long period of time can make you stand out in any crowded field.
Writing and editing what I write helps me to think and evaluate the market we live and work in.
Putting my thoughts in various public forums affords me the opportunity to get feedback from multiple sources that I would not normally get. This feedback makes me think not only about what I have written, but about what else I can write.
In my seminars, starting in 1991, I started talking about the value of content delivered via newsletters before I started writing my own.
Shortly thereafter I co-wrote an industry newsletter with Terry Miller. It came out sporadically for about 4 years. From that, The Amtower Report was born in the mid-1990s, which was a hard-copy monthly. Early versions were rife with typos until I had my wife and in-laws proof read the copy for typos and unclear sentences. The newsletter improved greatly as a result of other eyes editing.
In 2002 The Amtower Report became a weekly email newsletter. Then it went bi-weekly, then monthly, and when I started blogging, I retired the newsletter. The e-newsletter ran from 2002-2008 (http://www.federaldirect.net/newsletterarchives.html) and became popular (over 4,000 subscribers) because of the heavy dose of attitude that was present in nearly every issue. Attitude is OK if you are not mean and you are factual. Occasionally Olga Grkavac or Anne Armstrong would let me know when I was going too far and crossing that line to "mean" or simply letting my ego run wild.
During the 1990s I started writing for several publications: Reseller Management, Government Technology Reseller, DM News, Catalog Age, Federal Computer Week,Target Marketing, Government Executive, BtoB and others. For the last three years I have written a monthly column for Washington Technology.
In 1998 the first occasional Amtower Off White Paper came out, followed by 24 more through 2004. Among these, FOSE, the "Big Bag Theory", The Creation of Myths and Marketing Myopia (http://www.federaldirect.net/offwhite21.html) is undoubtedly the most popular, documenting the size of the bags given away during the premier trade show in our market. The "battle of the bags" was discussed for a long time.
In 2005 I published my first book (Government Marketing Best Practices), and there have been two more. The latest, Selling to the Government, was published by John Wiley in December 2010.
Writing also contributed to WFED inviting me in early 2007 to host the first radio show anywhere to talk about the business of government. Nearly six years later Amtower Off Center is still on the air.
Writing has led to me being interviewed or quoted in over 200 publications and being invited to speak at over 150 industry events.
What does this have to do with you?
Exposure and name recognition.
Writing has helped me differentiate myself from most marketing professionals, consultants, and agencies and others in this market.
Why? Because I have been doing it longer and in as many venues as possible.
While most marketing consultants have blogs, few if any write for publications, or have written for more than a few years. Fewer still have written books.
Generating content that is germane to your market niche is critical to your growth.