There is a nice article in the Business Record by Amanda Ripp this week about the Central Iowa Blogga Nostra gaining momentum and growing in popularity.  I am continually impressed with the quality of individuals and business people who are blogging in Central Iowa.  The article features several quotes from members of the Blogga Nostra extolling the benefits of business blogging: 

Mike Sansone (Blogging and social media coach): "The reach (of blogging) extends beyond borders; it brings money and business into Iowa."   "In the old days, it took a phone book and a chamber of commerce to extend your business to another city," Sansone said. Blogga Nostra members are extending their businesses through more high-tech means with their blogs.

Angela Maiers (Independent education consultant):  "I have seen a difference, not just with blogging, but being on the Web," Maiers said. "It has helped me to build connections with businesses and other educators, and helped me to prepare students for the 21st century. There are powerful people with powerful ideas outside of the classroom and I have made those connections through blogging."

Timothy Johnson (Chief Accomplishment Officer of Carpe Factum and professor at Drake University):  Timothy met his favorite author, Steve Faber, through blogging.  "A couple of months after I began blogging, I got an e-mail from Steve, out of the blue, complimenting me on my writing," Johnson said. After making the connection, Faber spoke to one of Johnson’s classes.

Mike Wagner (branding consultant):  "When there are possible business opportunities, you are able to sustain those relationships," Wagner said. "You have a shot to do business with people. Typically you hand a business card to someone and they throw it away. Give them a brochure, maybe they read it and then they throw it away. With blogging you can keep up the conversation. You keep business growing and react to consumers through an interactive piece."

Brett Trout (Iowa patent and intellectual property attorney):  If a blog is linked to a more popular or higher-traffic blog, it will be easier for search engines to find the site, increasing the blogger’s popularity, Trout said, "This is huge to Google."

Andy Brudtkuhl (Web developer with Simplifive):  "The diversity of the group makes for different readership; it allows us to cross audiences," said Brudtkuhl,

and even this Iowa business attorney:  "You link out to other people, or mention them on a post; it is a reciprocal effect," . "They write about you, and then someone else writes about that [post].  That’s how it grows."  "The cost is minimal, Bloggers can spend anywhere from nothing to a couple hundred dollars per month. Web sites can cost thousands of dollars to maintain."

So what are you waiting for?  Join us at the Panera U in West Des Moines the first Friday of every month.  It’s a great opportunity to meet new friends and gain business contacts.

P.S. Thanks to fellow Central Iowa Blogger, Doug Mitchell, for lunch today.  Doug is a perfect example of someone that has gained contacts through the Central Iowa blogging community and is now using those contacts to build a business.