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Are you ready to start blogging yet? If not get reading some.

From a business perspective Blogs can be a goldmine if aligned correctly with your other communications and marketing initiatives.

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Are you considering writing a Blog? From a business perspective Blogs can be a goldmine if aligned correctly with your other communications and marketing initiatives. Easy to say, much harder to put into practice, first you have to ask yourself “why am I doing this and do I have something of value to say?” Social media commentators talk about the need of “establishing yourself as a thought leader”. This quite simply is demonstrating to your readers that you are an expert on a given topic and worth their time investment.

We can compare bloggers to traditional newspaper columnists because it’s the same principle. You attract readers because your opinion is some or all of the following; educational, thought provoking, inspirational, controversial, motivational or entertaining. If you don’t capture the attention of the readers first time they will move on, possibly to your direct competitor.

There’s plenty of theory and instruction by well seasoned professionals on how to write a great blog. Some basic concepts you have to consider include maintaining some consistency in your message, your writing style, publishing frequency and of course the topic. A great advantage with the self published Blog is you can inject some personality, be yourself. Always keep in mind you are representing your brand so don’t let that down by getting too personal or controversial and regretting it later. As with any form of publishing it is important to respect others and understand there are codes of conduct inclusive of civil laws and copyright that must be observed. Once you hit the publish button your private thoughts are in the public domain, and you may not only be answerable for what you say but accountable.

The more niche your area of expertise is the easier it is to gain a relevant “following”. Using social mediums like Twitter allows you to target “followers” or readers who have an interest in your area of knowledge and then point them to your blog or website. Any good marketing or communications initiative does require some advance thinking (Strategic Planning) so your time is invested effectively. I’ll be covering more on that at a later date

I read blogs to gain insight into what others are thinking and to alert me to new ideas or products. At last count I subscribe to about 15 Blogs using Google Reader. Technically Google Reader is a Web-based aggregator, capable of reading Atom and RSS feeds online or offline. In plain English it’s a tool for reading Blogs I select at a time that suits me without having to move from one site to another. There are lots of versions of these “RSS Readers” available so just pick one that suits you and subscribe to this or any other blog of your choice.

Here’s a couple of recommended thought leading bloggers to get you going if you have an interest in the Web 2.0 or Social Media environment.

Seth Godin http://sethgodin.typepad.com/seths_blog/
Copyblogger http://www.copyblogger.com/
Chris Brogan http://www.chrisbrogan.com/
Web Strategy by Jerimiah Owyang http://www.web-strategist.com/blog/

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