Blog Thunder

Handshake 2.0 asked this question:  How does a small to medium business (SMB) “monetize” a business blog?

Kevin Dwinnell, Director, Product & Marketing, Brand Thunder, LLC, replied:

Brand Thunder, LLC is a start-up in Columbus, Ohio.  We have 4 full-time and 5 part-time employees.  We've received funding from TechColumbus and Ohio TechAngels, and have a solid client list that includes NASCAR, the National Hockey League, the NCAA, The Huffington Post and more.

According to Patrick Murphy, our founder and CEO, "Blogging is the source for so much of our marketing.  We then pull headlines, sections or points for distribution on Twitter, Facebook, MySpace and the like.  The echo effect of those postings results in re-tweets and link backs which ultimately drive connections to prospects, leads and sales."

Kevin Dwinnell and Patrick Murphy of Brand Thunder, LLC

Kevin Dwinnell and Patrick Murphy of Brand Thunder, LLC
share a Handshake 1.0 for Handshake 2.0

Our blog’s sole purpose is for sales, marketing and SEO support.  We are not marketing to the end user on our site, but to the brand marketers or agencies that would use our product to reach their customers.  We try to keep our blog interesting and relevant, being fairly open with our information related to our growing company.  We've rolled some of that information into a case study that was promoted through the blog and has placement on the homepage. 

Inbound queries from our website have increased from zero over the summer to 4-5/week and that response growth is directly correlated to the increase in blog postings.  We have also seen 2-3 new followers on Twitter due to blogging.  Most of Brand Thunder's Twitter activity is to post the blog title and link to the post. 

In addition to the brands that use our custom browsers, we sign distribution partnerships with advertising and new media agencies to market our browsers to their client base.  Two of these relationships were direct results from inquiries generated on our web site. The two partners are The Puck Agency and Mackey Marketing.

A specific example of business results from our blog is the Los Angeles-based radio station that contacted us after picking up our blog for the launch of our first Radio station branded browser

For small to medium businesses seeking business results from their business blogs, our advice is this:

Be consistent and persistent with postings.  We strive for at least a weekly post.  Then leverage that work by using as many tools available to reach your network – including LinkedIn, Plaxo and the sites already mentioned.  Finally, look for avenues to amplify the message in networks beyond yours.  Being a member of TechColumbus, we can log into their news distribution site and our blogs will be listed and included in their RSS feeds – extending the reach of our blog and driving new users to our site.  Look for these opportunities with any groups or organizations where you participate.

Thanks, Kevin Dwinnell, from Handshake 2.0!

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  1. Anne:

    Thanks for the post, the recognition and allowing us to be a part of this series. It is truly something we believe in. As a matter of fact, we kicked off our upcoming SXSW attendance in a blog post this morning (, and you’ll see us reference this article later this week..

    Since we’re essentially creating a market for branded browsers, we’re the primary ones telling the story and we use the blog to do so on a regular basis.

    And we’re proud of our work. We do some pretty compelling things for the benefit of brand marketers and the fans of those brands. Screen shot examples can be seen at

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