Friday, July 07, 2006

Happy First Anniversary To Me or I cannot believe she made it this long!

On June 14, 2005, I posted my first wine-y thoughts on this wine blog. I was really proud of reading my published words on the World Wide Web. However, I kept reading it over and over and realized I needed to market myself if I was going to get others to read my words about wine.

Marketing is a well-tuned craft, and it isn't about luck. The American Marketing Association will tell you that marketing is "the process of moving people closer to making a decision to purchase or repurchase a company's products. Simply, if it does not facilitate a 'sale,' then it is not marketing."

So how does marketing apply to a wine blogger and to you, the reader? One must move people closer together to purchase a product - namely, I had to move people to read my blog. So how did I do that? I had to let potential readers know I was here, and I had to be pro-active about it. That meant visiting other wine blog sites and introducing myself. I looked at the best wine blogs to see how they were promoting themselves and I followed their lead. I did a lot of networking -- a lot of networking, which I am still doing it every week. I have to do my homework and I have to read other sites about what is going on in the wine blogging world.

But the work paid off. I now feel a certain amount of success on where I have been over the last year. I made some "sales" - my readers. But now that I have gained your readership I will not rest on any laurels. I have to work even harder at marketing. I have to continue moving people closer to "purchase" my product, while keeping the same people, my readers, "repurchasing my product." Every click of that site meter to my blogging site means a "sale."

Marketing is about perseverance and timing as well as work. The persevering part is relatively easy for me: I have lived in Walla Walla most of my life and I love the valley's rich history and its wines. Blogging is like a diary, so daily thoughts and local wine-industry events feed my blog. Finding topics to blog about is easy: I keep a list of drafts ready to pull during those days of "blogging block." Every final entry I make is all about timing. The timing can be difficult, especially if you want to have a life away from the computer. I have my down times where I do not go near the computer for a day or two.

During the past year, I had my critics. Oh well, you have to take the bad along with the good. What I found is that the good outweighs the bad. Some people said it wouldn't last. Some people rolled their eyes. And some people were even dismissive that I had any knowledge of wine and marketing at all! One of the first things I learned about putting yourself out in the public is that you have to have a sense of humor.

So to those of you who check in to read what I have to say or who are new and just now reading my blog, I give you a big smooch and a thank you. In fact, I wish I could pour you a glass of wine every time you visit. We would drink some wine, eat a little cheese, shmooze a little...

And to my critics I don't really have anything to say. Instead, I believe that a picture is worth a 1,000 words.

7 comments:

Josh said...

Congrats on the big one-oh! I like your approach and how you turned your anniversary into more than just a celebration, but also a primer on starting down the rewarding path of blogging about wine.

Many more happy returns!

Josh

wineguy said...

Smooches to you, too. I like your blog a lot.

melinda said...

Congrats! Thanks for the advice, too. If you ever find yourself in the Big T (and I mean BIG), you know who to call.

GollyGumDrops said...

Happy Birthday!!! So, what wine will you celebrate with?

Catie said...

Thank you everyone! Let's see -- what wine did I celebrate with? Not one bottle in particular, but many bottles!

Sue said...

Catie

I have been following your wine blog for some time silently and have enjoyed it very much. I have taken several of your wine suggestions and have never been disappointed.

Sue Clark

Catie said...

Hey Sue!
Good to "see" you. Thanks for reading and hopefully I can continue to suggest some fabulous wines that you will enjoy.
Cheers,
~C