The common misconception is that a blog has no place in a professional business environment. It’s nothing more than mere childish acts of sharing his or her personal life for the world to see in cyberspace… Or is it really?
How It All Started… For Me At Least…
Ever since venturing into the exciting world of branding, I have often promoted the use of any and every tool available to promote one’s brand identity. Of course, if you have deep pockets, you could always go the traditional way of extensive advertising campaigns. However, the information age is the age of achieving more with less.
Not only is the automotive industry generally shrinking the engine displacements for the same power output in newer car models, many businesses are also looking for ways to achieve the higher branding impact on a smaller budget too.
Therefore, it’s a no brainer for me to promote heavily on the use of the World Wide Web. After all, the use of the internet is virtually free. You pay the internet service provider to hook you up onto the internet of course, but otherwise, everything else on it is virtually free.
- Usage of the internet – Free
- Access to the internet – Nominal recurring fee
- Hosting a website – Nominal recurring fee
- Hosting social media accounts – Free
- Content creation – Lot’s of elbow grease and brain power, otherwise free
Now you see why it’s a no brainer to hitch a ride on the WWW bandwagon?
What’s A Blog, And How Did It All Start?
A blog is actually a truncation of the word “web-log” (weblog), hence “blog”. And the word “log” itself, another truncation of the word “log book”, or simply known as “a log”, like a ship’s log.
Anyway, while the log books in the traditional sense keep a record of past events, the more modern use of a blog goes way more than just keeping a record of what kind of alien lifeforms you came across in your voyages.
Today’s WWW-based blogs are more of a tool, a means to convey a thought, your thought. It’s like your own little soapbox. You can write down anything you want, and let everybody peer into, and share your little world. Well, anybody who’s interested to know more about your thoughts anyway.
Early Adopters To The World Of Blogging
The early adopters of the world of WWW-based blogging were everyday people. People like you and me. People who wanted to share their insights and opinions with everybody else. What was initially thought of as a personal diary, open for the whole world to see wasn’t exactly an accurate description. It’s more of a journal, a log essentially, and one that’s available for public access.
Those who took to the early days of blogging were sharing basically personal details about how they lived their lives. People wanting to share their experience in any aspects of their lives. People who have experienced something good or bad, and they want to share that experience with everybody else.
A guy who wanted to share his thoughts about where to go for good street food. A gal who wanted to share her thoughts about which hotels to stay in when you travel to any particular place. And another guy who wanted to share his thoughts about cars and the automotive world… You know, guys’ stuff!… Then there’s this other gal, whose love of baking cakes takes second place to her love of sharing the recipes with just about anybody who wants to learn to bake…
As the number of the followers (individual people who actually read their blogs) increases, so do their popularity. And with rise of popularity, so do their authority in the particular topic that they blog about. Eventually, it’ll lead to a grand following of thousands of readers, which in turn open the doors to advertising opportunities, and opportunity to get paid to write something specific (review).
Are you beginning to see where I’m going into?…
Blogging Actually Began Before The Days Of Internet
If you really go down to it, blogging is nothing more than a platform to serve information to a group of existing consumers. The very first blog was probably a local newspaper, serving up information about what happened in the community. It probably started with one guy wanting to keep everybody informed about the latest happenings. He used paper as the medium to carry the “news”, and people who read his weekly newsletters were his followers.
Fast forward a century later, that one-man-show, local weekly newsletter has now evolved into a formidable organisation, publishing several titles of broadsheets and tabloids on a daily basis. And this organisation, the newspaper company, probably has hundreds, if not thousands of writers, photographers, artists, copywriters, etc. on their payroll.
You see, the bigger you are, the more credible you become. And with more credibility, you actually get to manipulate your readers’ thought patterns too.
“With great power comes great responsibility.” ~ Spiderman aka Peter Parker
Blogging In The Business World
You see, a business is a living, breathing entity. It grows and it evolves. It operates the business transactions, and earn profits. And most importantly, it is run by living and breathing human beings like you and me. You see, a business isn’t a lifeless, cold, dark entity. And the fellow human beings that it deals with needs to know that too. So what better way to convey the message to the masses that your business is alive and well other than to churn out periodical pieces of business related information?
Wait a minute… Isn’t that the same as publishing blog articles?…
What used to be an expensive affair of buying advertising space on local newspapers and magazines to publicise their annual report can now be done literary free. And not only do you have to limit yourself to publishing something only once a year. You can actually do it as often as you like… provided that you have the human resources to do just that.
So How Do You Blog A Brand?
So let’s get back to how it all started, back in the branding world. You see, to make a brand successful, it needs to be known. The more people know about your brand, the more successful your brand is. Get people to talk about your brand, and your success literary increases exponentially. And the only way to make that happen is that you have your brand highly visible everywhere human beings congregate and interact.
But hang on just a moment, doesn’t this mean that all you have to do is repeatedly display your company name, corporate logo and tagline on every corner of every street?… No, it doesn’t… The more repetitive it gets, the more likely people will develop a selective blindness towards your brand.
Don’t believe me?… Did you even notice the advertisement on this page itself? Do you even know what the advertising message is all about?…
See?… You’re blind too!… Selectively blind to repetitive and unimportant information, just like everybody else.
The Answer To It All
What you actually need to do is to churn out lot’s of information. It doesn’t really matter whether it’s advertisements, articles, discussions, pretty pictures, or simply sharing something because you feel like doing it. The more often your brand is linked to unique pieces of information, the more likely people will remember you. And the more people remember you, the more successful your brand has become.
So to sum it all up – Yes, blogging is a very important business tool, if not the most important tool. But of course, in the serious world of business, we don’t call it by its childish reference, a blog… We *ahem* important business people, prefer to call it *ahem* content creation…