Alan Devereux, Communications Officer for the British Business Group, Dubai and Northern Emirates, discusses why the power and influence of blogs should not be taken lightly.
The word blog comes from two words pushed together, Web Log, which is in essence an Internet diary or journal. Despite the silliness of its name, a blog is an extremely sensible thing. Mae West, a Hollywood darling of the 1930s once said: “Keep a diary and one day it will keep you.” Nearly 100 years later and the saying still stands true.
Blogs can take many forms, there is no one set rule for blogging. A blog can be a personal diary, a company newsletter, a review Website or a collection of photographs. A blog can be anything the user wants it to be. The one thing you should always remember is that a blog is a newspaper column, an interview and a window into you or your company’s practices. Blogs should not be taken lightly.
You are now wondering what your blog should be about; do you even have the time to write one? How do you promote it? How will it generate income?
The first thing you need to do is decide what your blog will be about. Whatever you decide it needs to reflect you as an expert in your field. I have a friend, who he is a headhunter (he likes the term). One of his blog entries was C-Level interview tips. A COO seeking to move companies saw the blog and hired him, passed the blog to five of his friends and they also hired him. At 40% commission of the contract, he made a lot of money because of his blog, because he sat down and wrote about something he was an expert in.
You are reading this now because of my blog. I wrote four entries and when I approached SME Advisor, I sent them the link to my blog. They were happy, so I adapted the first two entries and made a content calendar for the year. You are reading my words because I wrote a blog – blogs work.
To move back a sentence or two, I mentioned the content calendar. When you start you must make a plan. Let’s imagine for a moment that you are going to update your blog weekly. You write the first 500 words, upload and share. You write the second article, upload and share. Come the third week you are short on ideas, or you have a workload that does not permit sitting and thinking for an hour, or perhaps your child is ill and you need to dedicate some time to domestic chores.
If for any reason you run out of content your blog will become stale (and therefore a bad advert). We are not all naturally gifted writers. Those that are will find blogging easy; those that are not will need a plan. My plan was set in May this year and told me what each article was going to be about. There may be some changes along the way but I have a good idea of what I need to do.
And, I do not write my entries the day before the magazine needs them, I write them in advance. My advice is to update your blog every two weeks and before you publish the first article you should have written three entries at least. That gives you six weeks to write the fourth entry. After a while it becomes easier.
I now have a question for you – a question I ask many people who I speak to about digital and social media practices. Would you put your PA up for an interview with a national newspaper about your company? I make this point as it will be very tempting for you to delegate your blog to someone else, but there is no one in your company who knows it as you do.
There is, however, scope for you to have different writers. You may want to express the quality you have in your organisation by allowing your CFO to write an entry or perhaps you have a genius in your IT department. If potential clients see an organisation full of intelligent people they are likely to be impressed.
You can have a blog as part of your Website or you can register an account with www.blog.com, or www.blogger.com, or any one of the multitude of free services found with a simple Web search.
The Huffington Post was brought by AOL for USD 315m ; the Huffington Post is a blog.
Alan Devereux is a husband, a father, and Communications Officer for the British Business Group, Dubai and Northern Emirates, and can be found here: http://ae.linkedin.com/in/alandevereux He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org