What is a blog?
A blog is a type of website that gets updated regularly. The name blog comes from the words "web log", and it’s both a noun (I have a blog) and a verb (I blog daily).
Blogs are used by people from all walks of life, from the stereotypical bored teenager expressing their angst, to CEO s to anthropologists to marketers to theologians .
Just like any form of publishing, a blog is as good or as bad as the content that goes in it.
Why would you blog?
- To show thought leadership in your area of expertise
- To raise your profile as an expert
- As a creative outlet
- As a way to explore and refine ideas
For example, Paul Reynolds, IT commentator and head of web development firm McGovern Online, blogs at PeoplePoints .
When we interviewed Paul, he had two pieces of advice for aspiring bloggers:
- the best blogs work when they have a really clear "voice" or point of view
- blog anonymously to discover your voice – try out different "voices"
- organisations don’t blog. People in organisations do.
See the interview with Paul
So if organisations don’t blog (see above), how does blogging work for an organisation?
It’s all about finding the voice or voices inside the organisation.
- Raboplus has a blog co-authored by its general manager and a financial journalist, offering advice and commentary on finance.
- Google keeps its various audiences up-to-date with a team blog , coordinated by an editor. (Hear an interview with that editor)
- ASB Bank’s iwantahome.co.nz blog has an anonymous editor. It’s not best practice, but at least they are enjoying the benefits of blogging – regular exposure to an interested audience, and the opportunity to hear back from readers quickly and easily.
Hear ASB Bank’s Toby Hilless and Janet Meacher talk about how iwantahome.co.nz began. (Part one , part two ).
Interacting with bloggers
Sometimes companies aren’t ready to create a blog themselves, but they do need to engage with bloggers who are mentioning their product or brand. A few tips:
- Use services like Google Alerts and Blogpulse to be notified when someone mentions your company, your industry or your competitors.
- When you have something to say – whether it’s to help someone out, or correct a misrepresentation – be courteous, be honest and most of all, be transparent. It may seem clever to pose as an "average joe" while talking up your company but astroturfing – that is, trying to fake grassroots support – goes down extremely badly on blogs. Just make sure to be open and honest that you’re representing your company.
The tech stuff – blogging platforms
Blogging is easy to set up. Sometimes the hardest part is choosing from the many blogging platforms available.
This list is in order of popularity among the world’s top bloggers (according to this report ).
How we can help you with blogging
Blogging can play a part in a larger strategy. iJump can help you:
- identify key blogs in your industry/area of interest
- engage with bloggers
- develop a plan to start your own blog
- attract more readers to your blog
Most importantly, we make sure you’re working within a strategy that meets your business objectives. Blogging is great, but unless it directly meets your needs, it can be counterproductive.
Blogwrite for CEOs
(The best way to subscribe to a blog is using an RSS feed .)
For Immediate Release – the Hobson and Holtz Report covers all kinds of PR and communications issues, and blogging comes up very frequently
(Find out how to subscribe to a podcast )