Stave Puzzles’ Steve Richardson on Marketing Blogs
With a job title like chief tormentor, it’s not surprising that Stave Puzzles Founder Steve Richardson started a company blog to communicate with visitors to his firm’s Web site. Richardson gets a kick out of being in the puzzle business—Norwich, Vt.-based Stave develops custom, intricate wooden puzzles—and he likes to share that enthusiasm with customers and employees. Since last fall, he’s been experimenting with blogging, mixing personal vignettes with product highlights and customers’ stories and photos. This week, Richardson chats with Target Marketing about the lessons he’s learning from this relatively new online tool, including the delightful way it’s helping him reconnect with numerous aspects of his business.
Target Marketing: What led you to develop a blog for your business?
Steve Richardson: I was sitting on vacation in Martha’s Vineyard, reading USA Today, and they had a nifty article about blogs for businesses ... this was last September. For three or four years I had contemplated it, but I’d been intimidated by many facets of it. There’s the technical aspect and also the time aspect. The content I wasn’t too worried about, because I can always dream up something. But I didn’t want to start something that I couldn’t complete. I was afraid I’d get started with gusto, and then my interest would fade and the blog would die. The article in USA Today gave examples of blogs and mentioned a couple books to read. I think I was ready, but I needed to have a sense that it was going to be doable. And this article convinced me that there was software out there today that would make it easy for me to [blog]. And that’s turned out to be true.
TM: What type of information do you include in your blog?
SR: Last week we posted a customer testimonial. … We have lots of neat testimonials that come in. That’s just text. We have wonderful puzzles that we’re crafting, many to order. I’m so proud of my talented gang that I have them take pictures of the puzzles and I put them [on the blog] to show off the new and great stuff that we’re doing. And people find that fascinating. A customer saw [a puzzle] … ordered a 1,000-piece puzzle, about a $3,500-$4,000 order, and said do something really interesting there with a negative-space design [like the puzzle on the blog].