Blogging Your Business

What is a blog? The term was coined in 1999, and today ster’s dictionary defines a blog as a “diary; a personal chronological log thoughts published on a page.” More importantly, it says that blogs are “typically updated daily” and that “blogs ten reflect the personality the author.” But think seriously about frequent blogging. According to Technorati – an internet search engine focused on the world blogs – only 11% all blogs update weekly or more. What matters more and more is what you write not how ten you write – quality not quantity or frequency.

For a business, there are several potential reasons to blog, but, (there is always a but, isn’t there?) what you really need to consider before blogging, is: Why are you doing it?

Is it a forum to have a more between you and your customers?

Is it to create a channel where media regularly check what you have to say, instead media just being passive recipients press releases.

Is it private, a workspace where project members keep each other updated without wasting time?

Is it to establish your company as a thought leader so that people in will pay attention?

Is it to test ideas or s, a place where people can comment, and provide you with a measure value or interest?

Is it a bit more ‘cynical’ another attempt to rank higher in search engines because they reward sites that update ten, that link to other sites and have many inbound links?

Blogging tools (our favourite is b2evolution) will allow you to publish news, information and opinions widely. You do not need any real technical expertise to write a blog. You just add pages or through a “Windows” type interface so there is no need to rely on a designer to update it for you.

Business Blogs can be very effective. Blogs can put a human face on your company and the s and services that you fer, which increases the value your organisation in the eyes your customers. This in turn will build much higher levels trust so that, in fact, the readers your Blog ten become your most passionate word--mouth ambassadors.

The key issue is discovering what a Blog really can do for you. However, I find that once a business has the chance to have their questions answered about blogs and understand what they can fer, the question tends to change from “Why have a blog?” to “Why haven’t we got a blog?”

Northeastern University’s Pressor Walter Carl, the students in his Advanced Organizational s class (Spring 2006), John Cass and his colleagues at Backbone Media, Inc. carried out the “Blogging Success Study”.

The research team interviewed twenty corporate bloggers from companies varied size and industry, and asked each blogger a series standardized questions. Only bloggers who had been blogging for over one year and considered their blogging efforts successful were eligible to participate.

They identified five factors for success.

1. Culture: If a company has particular cultural traits worth revealing or a bad reputation it wants to repudiate, blogging can be an attractive option.

2. Transparency: Transparency is critical to establishing credibility and trust with an audience. People want to see an honest portrayal a company.

3. Time: It takes a lot time to set up, research and write a quality blog. Companies need to identify a person who has the time to blog.

4. Dialogue: A company’s ability and willingness to engage in a dialogue with their customer base about topics that the customer base is interested in is critical to its blogging success.

5. Entertaining style and personalization: A blogger’s style and how much they are willing to reveal about their life, and opinions brings human interest to a blog, helps build a personal connection with readers and will keep people reading.

Nevertheless, they missed out the most important:

6. It takes time and dedication to build a good business blog. You must stick with it and expect it to take months to build up a sizable audience. Lots people blog for a few months and stop. You need to blog constantly and at a constant pace. You need to find time to write posts, to reply to comments from readers, monitor other blogs, keep up with the latest industry news and build relationships with other bloggers. However, sticking with it is actually the only hard and fast rule to creating a successful business orientated blog.

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