Introduction to blogging: a business perspective.
October 9, 2007
In the following article, using a question and answer format, I try to answer some of the common questions about how blogs fit within a business.
1. Can you describe your introduction to blogging, how you became interested how has it impacted you personally?
I first heard about blogging in about 2001 and dismissed it as another tool for people who didn’t want to learn HTML. A year or so later, I realized the significance of blogging and blogging software:
… it was going allow for the original vision of the Web to actually materialize, where anyone could easily get a website on the Web.
Blogs and the blog phenomenon, made me rethink my whole approach to web design as a web professional: blogs, CMS and other similar content formatting tools where the future of web design.
2. From a business perspective, how do you think blogging can positively impact communications, sales and corporate image?
Blogs offer a great way to connect with your audience/client base in a informal and personal manner. These days, traditional hard-sell tactics of marketing are quickly becoming dated … now businesses have to engage with their audience.
Just as a programmer can get away with wearing jeans to work, blogs allow companies to communicate with the public in a less restricted context.
3. What is the best advice you can give an individual or business who is considering starting a blog?
Find someone in your company who:
1. Knows your products/services.
2. Is fun to be around.
3. Can write and communicate well.
Keep the content of the blog peripheral to your companies core. Remember the soft-sell principle and try to engage with the audience honestly.
Setting up a blog:
You have two basic options:
Go through the trouble of (1,) setting up your own blog or use a (2,) blogging service like killerblogs.com where you can roll out a blog in record time.
Another advantage of going with a blogging community, is that you can take advantage of the community to spread the word about your blog and your business.
4. What industry sites and blogs do you read regularly?
Mostly technology related and international news: CNN, MSNBC.
5. What are your favorite blog development tools or applications?
From my experience (not that I have tested every blog tool out there,) WordPress is probably the best choice out their today because it is:
1. Mature – clean code and refined functionality.
2. The WordPress community is big … lots of resources.
Another option that I have played a little bit is Drupal. Drupal is really a full-blown CMS (content management system,) but it can easily be setup to act as a simple blog.
… One advantage that Drupal has over a simple blog, is that it can be later expanded to do things that a blog might not be able to handle.
6. Can you name 5 tips for successful blogging?
1. Be honest.
2. Be sincere.
3. Keep the writing on topic.
4. Keep the the writing concise – people are impatient on the Web.
5. Be regular with your articles.
7. Can you name five common mistakes in blogging?
The opposite of the above 5 tips.
8. What is the best way to get a new blog promoted?
In the real-estate world the top 3 rules are:
In the blogging world, the top 3 rules:
If you have good content on your blog, people will talk about it and it will spread. The Web is about viral marketing.
9. What is the relationship between your web site and your blogs? How are they interconnected? How does the blog expand upon your website?
My blog allows me to discus topics related to my core business in a editorial manner – I can be informal. In addition, the blog is a great place for me to fill in the gaps that I may have missed in the main site and it creates another contact point for my readers. Blogs provide another style of presentation that appeals to a different audience than the main site.
10. What do you think is the future of Blogging?
I think that blogging will continue to become more and more important because of how easy they make building a website and because they provide an informal bridge between a business and the public.
Beyond traditional text based blogs, I think that video and audio blogging are moving mainstream.