The Wall Street Journal recently published a very enlighting -- and tongue-in-cheek hilarious -- column by Scott Adams (Dilbert's creator). In it, Adams recounts the saga of his foray into blogging. At one point he mentions he spends about 1/3 of his day writing, and "thanks to the miracle of online advertising, that increases my income by 1%."
He does, however, note the intrinsic value of frequent blogging -- something that many companies could apply while crafting their own blog strategy. Blogging encouraged him to write without having to consider what his Editor would think, as he did with Dilbert. With blogging, Adams says, he had an "army of volunteer editors," ready and willing to pick apart his writing, correct his mistakes, and offer helpful advice to improve.
In terms of dollars and cents, a blog may not be the best road to quick riches. The value that a well-executed blog does have, however, is constant feedback from customers; input and advice; and a well-fostered creative atmosphere, in which ideas would ideally bounce around like pinballs.
In Adams' analysis of his blogging saga, I found one little gem. Says Adams, "[Blogging] was like the old marketing saying, 'Your customers tell you what business you're in.'" In the end, Adams' blog turned into a book project, so he removed the 'free' entries from his blog in order to encourage people to purchase the book. That opened up a whole different can of worms...
Blogging image by cambodia4kidsorg [cc, 2.0]