Blogging is great for rambling publicly about politics, your dog, and other ephemera. But it can also be a powerful marketing tool. Textura Design, a Seattle Web-design firm and holding company, is using blogs almost exclusively to pitch its Clip-n-Seal system, a low-tech rod-and-clamp seal with an array of industrial uses in addition to keeping your coffee and chips fresh.

“As Web designers and bloggers, we felt comfortable in that space,” says Clip-n-Seal brand manager Scott Benish. Staffers blog on company and product news at They also link to other blogs, and encourage links to theirs. Those relationships in the blogosphere drive Google search results — and, so, orders.

To keep customers engaged, the company runs online contests and promotions. The result: More than 1.25 million hits on the Clip-n-Seal site since the product debuted two years ago, with 35,000 pieces sold — via a strategy that costs almost nothing.

The key, says Benish, is authenticity. Unlike traditional marketing techniques, which can rely heavily on spin, blog readers turn off at the merest whiff of PR. “You have to be careful, because if you do something stupid, people are going to write about that,” says Benish. “It’s kind of a double-edged sword.”