Biz Blog Profile Series: Monster's Blog - Monster Worldwide, Inc.

05/10/2005

Biz Blog Profile is a behind the scene look at how corporations, non profits and higher education institutions are using blogs to support their marketing goals.

Biz Blog Profile: Monster's Blog

About Monster Worldwide, Inc.
Did you know that one of the largest online recruitment websites has its roots in a small yellow pages ad sale company?  Monster.com has changed the way people look for jobs and how companies look for people. Today this online recruitment business services millions of job seekers in 20 local language sites.

Just to put things into perspective...Monster Worldwide stats as of March 2005
-Unique visitors: 22,020,000
-Page views per visit: 27
-Minutes per visit: 17.4
-Registered users: 58,879,1100
-Resumes: 46,311, 602

Monster.com surely didn't need to start a blog to increase search rankings or visibility. As Dan Miller, VP Content, explained to me, the Content team wanted to provide value-added information to their users. Couple that with the vision of Andrew McKelvey, Chairman and CEO, and his belief in the employees and you've got the makings of a monster blog (ouch! sorry about that one).

We are a company that never settles, embraces change, does what it says, and does it fairly and with great passion. Andrew McKelvey

Great culture for blogging!

Monstercom_monsterWhy Monster Is Blogging via Monster's Blog

Monster entered the blogosphere in December, 2003. We created a blog geared toward job seekers to help them find their way through the rigors of the job-search process.

Job seekers have been using our Career Advice area since Monster's inception to improve their job search and their work lives. We empower them with useful information, innovative services and supportive communities.

The blog complements this approach by letting individuals who work on the Content team comment on events of the day and issues that affect people looking for work. We are here to help. We are here to help people advance their lives. We are here to help job seekers create their future.

How Blogs Fit Into Monster's Marketing Strategy

They don't. The Monster blog was never part of the marketing strategy.

The blog was created by the Content team as a way to personalize the work we've been doing since Monster began offering career advice. We're not trying to actively promote Monster. We recognize the inherent viral marketing the blog will create, but there was no marketing plan, no meeting with the marketing folks for buy-in, no "project plan."

Yes, we're delighted for the traffic that comes to the blog, but traffic has never been an issue for Monster. We've been one of the top 20 visited Web sites in the world for for a while now.

What we like about the blog is that it's always been kind of "underground" here at Monster, flying below the radar. Senior management is aware of it, but they've been gracious to just let us do our thing. There is no heavy-handed editorial control.

The Content team is comprised of professional writers and editors, and we're not writing or saying anything that's out of the realm of Monster's mission -- to bring people together to advance their lives. The blog helps us do this, in a very cool, grassroots kind of way.

Blog Design Strategy

I had been using Typepad for my (Dan Miller) personal blog and it's easy to manage, so I recommended we use it for the Monster blog. The design is simple. It was important to use Monster colors, and we worked with our Creative team to make sure we got them just right. Of course it was important to add "Trump," who lives in the upper left-hand corner of the page.

We link to other career-type blogs on the left and include links to our best content on the right. Information about resumes, interviewing and salary is important to job seekers on the Monster Web site, so we felt it was important to include these links on the blog.

Search Optimization Strategy

We understand the power of blogs. We understand how writing about certain issues with good key words will give the blog strong visibility in search engine results. While the core Monster Web site performs well through search, the blog is complementary content to raise awareness.

Selling-in To Management

This wasn't a much of an issue. I went to a blogging conference in Boston back in June '03 and came back invigorated with the possibilities. I immediately put together a presentation for my manager focusing on blogs as a complementary way for Monster to extend its brand to an audience that might not be using Monster.

Shortly thereafter, I met with our Legal department to see if they had any issues with us starting a blog and got the OK. I was asked to add some legal documentation (similar to what we use on message boards), and we were ready to go.

I think it's been an evolving education here as not everyone is familiar with blogging and what this really means for Monster. Lots of blogging questions come to me and I'm happy to answer them. My message to everyone back in 2003 was that this was something we needed to do. Monster has always been cutting edge and creating a blog for job seekers made perfect sense, and still does. I think senior management likes the fact that we're part of the blogosphere.

How Is Monster Marketing Its Blog?

We are not doing any active marketing for the blog. Somehow, an active marketing campaign for the blog doesn't feel right. The spirit of blogging is that what you're writing about is good enough and important enough that people will find you. Hopefully we're writing something that resonates with someone, they'll read it, perhaps comment and pass the link along.

If we're lucky, people will think the Monster blog has valuable information and they'll link to us. That's how we'll build traffic. Our audience will decide whether or not we're good enough. Yes, we have a link on our Career Advice home page and we sometimes feature the blog in our newsletters. Our moderators on our message boards may sometimes point job seekers to a relevant post, but we are not doing any traditional marketing. We're here, like everyone else. If you find us and like us, great.

Lessons Learned

We knew from the outset that we didn't want to come across sounding corporate, even though the blog is an extension of a very successful company. So we've always tried to have a real, down-to-earth, passionate voice in our writing. This has played well for us.

We have five different content producers who contribute to the blog, and each producer writes whatever they feel like writing. What's touched them today? What did they hear on the news or read about that they may want to comment on? How does what we're writing about help someone looking for work?

Because we've low-keyed our approach, I get the sense that our audience respects us. Some large media outlets have had nice things to say about us. We feel like we "get it," and that we're enveloping the spirit and passion of what makes blogging such a phenomenon. You can't force it. There's no editorial calendar and there's no agenda. The reason we're blogging is to help people by offering our personal insight in a cutting-edge community that grows bigger every day.

Dan Miller On Blogs

As a student of communications, I have been fascinated with blogs as a medium that blurs the line between traditional media and this new art form. While blogs can be done badly (and should be recognized as such), each person is allowed to be their own publisher. Blogging is a way to circumvent gatekeeping.

Blogging mirrors Marshall McLuhan's philosophy in 1967 that technology would remove the barriers of time and space. Everyone has an opinion and they now have a place to share those opinions. The companies that get this right will be the companies that recognize that blogging is not a forum to issue press releases and company news.

If a company blogs, it needs to recognize the hip culture of which it is taking part, and that the audience will see right through a planned, structured message. A corporate blog should mirror a company's philosophy, but it needs to be done in a way that is respectful of this unique grassroots, viral culture. A company that understands this will have an easier time being accepted as a corporate blog entrant.

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Comments

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Posted by: Business for sale on Jan 1, 2006 9:24:50 AM

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