Business Owner 'Manufactures' a Blog for Dayton
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As the president and one of the founders of Staub Manufacturing Solutions, along with his sister Sandy Keplinger, Steve Staub knows how to cut, form, weld and finish a number of products for his 350 customers. The team of 23 employees make everything from retail displays to aerospace components. But until 2011, Staub did not know what a blog was, much less how to create one.
“You always hear that term ‘social media’ thrown around,” says Staub. “I wasn’t on Twitter or Facebook, and I didn’t know much about it.” So when a local business development group held a seminar titled “What Is Social Media,” Staub went. “They kept talking about blogs and I thought, ‘This is what we need here in town to help disseminate information about our local industry.’”
Soon after, MadeInDaytonBlog.com was created by Staub and his business development executive Gary Weldon. They envisioned the blog as one central place to offer industry news and highlight trends for their region. “One of the reasons we started the blog is because we’re passionate about the industry and the region,” says Staub, a third-generation manufacturer and a fifth-generation Daytonian. “In the Dayton region, there are more people employed in manufacturing than in any other industry. One in five people in this area lives and dies by our industry.”
Staub and Weldon also hoped that the blog would cheer up manufacturers in Dayton who had barely survived the recession. “In 2011, many shops were still suffering. Everyone was taking such a beating the last couple of years, we thought maybe we could help with the pride in the region,” Staub says.
The two colleagues started small, posting three times a week, but they quickly realized it was a heavy lift with little payoff. “Even with three posts, it was a bigger task than we thought,” Staub says. “The first few months hardly had any readership.”
Perseverance has paid off, and Staub and Weldon published 141 articles last year, mostly original content. They’ve also grown their readership to around 250 visitors a day. “I know there are some elected officials whose offices receive it, some state senators, or so I’ve heard,” Staub says. “It is amazing with the Internet how things get forwarded on and on.”
One of Staub's and Weldon’s biggest hits was a June survey of manufacturers in their 14-county region on job availability. “Everyone says they can’t find people, but nobody had put numbers to that,” Staub says. After several weeks of hard work marketing the survey, Staub and Weldon received a respectable 100 responses and found that there were approximately 6,000 jobs available in the manufacturing industry that could not be filled. The survey and post have been picked up and cited by the Dayton Daily News and the Dayton Business Journal.
“The response has been tremendous,” Staub says of the blog. “We hit unintentionally on an area where people are proud of their heritage and what they do, but this isn’t being reported much in regular media. The comments we get are really neat, and people I never met before come up and tell me they like the blog.”