Blogs for business in China, does it work?

As a trader actively involved in the dealings between China companies and their counterparts for the rest of the world (ROW), I need a cost effective platform to bring the two worlds together. Entirely for the sake of ease of reference and with no political agenda at all, when I mention China in the context of this blog I am referring to Mainland China. Technically, Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan are part of China and they fall within the unofficial term,  Greater China. Again, when I refer to China and ROW or the two worlds, one should not interpret them literally that China belongs to another world. With respect to my mother country, when it comes to doing business, China is another world. The country is unique because of, among other things, its immense manufacturing and consuming powers, controlled currency, culture and political system.

Returning to my need of an effective platform, a specially designed website should be ideal. Think about those niceties, such as icons and photos whereby I could exhibit my wares and forums for my followers, if any, to discuss interesting topics . Moreover, I could put up a bunch of Google Adsense banners to make some extra incomes.  However, the problem is that for a start-up business, I am operating on a shoestring budget, I simply cannot afford to do that, yet.

The next best thing would be to do my marketing through social medias, or simply known as blogs. Many people know that blogs are free and efficient and it can work or look as good as a professionally designed website (look at my blog :). To show how cost effective “blogs for business” could be, I would like to  tell one of my recent experiences. In about the middle of July this year, I started twitting at Twitter. At the time, I loosely put up some of the CM products of a China supplier at my tweets for trial basis. Let’s call this supplier “my client”. Within 24 hours I was “followed” by an editor of an international CM web magazine. One thing led to another, the editor invited my client to do a profile at their magazine. After an interview and subsequent exchanges all through e-mails, an article about the client’s businesses, products and future plans was published in the magazine’s August issue. It took only about 10 days to do that. The client was impressed with the professionalism and efficiency that I showed in handling the matter, which I have to thank Twitter and the said editor.  Needless to say I have built a good rapport with the client and hopefully it would translate into dollars and cents in the near future..

Prior to that I asked my client to comment on my tweets at the Twitter. Unfortunately, the client could not do it as it had no access to Twitter.  The reason is that Twitter was and still is blocked in China. So is WordPress, Google and etc.. So if I want to reach my Chinese clients through these popular blogs sites, it would be hopeless. I don’t think there is a blog site which crosses both worlds. It is not a language problem. The English language level of some Mainland Chinese, at least for those I deal with in business, is unusually high. They like to talk with and write to foreigners in English. Further, The Chinese love to blog as much as their overseas counterparts. However,  they have their own blog systems, such as QQ, Sina. I think WordPress and Google blogspots were at one time available in China, but when they got too political they were barred from China.

I don’t think there is a quick solution to this conundrum. What I intend to do is to take a shot gun approach, which is to have  a couple of blogs in China and at the same time doing the same through WordPress and Google for my international clients and see how things pan out.

Dear readers, if you have any good ideas please let me know. I would be grateful.