People are still confiding in me that they aren't quite sure what a blog is. And, well, I honestly can state I am not sure either (but in a Good Way).
What I mean is a blog is whatever you make it. But let's start with the conventional thinking about what a blog might be:
Traditional thinkers state: A blog is an online diary or journal (period, end of discussion).
This makes one envision Junior High girls talking about their latest crush, sharing cute little pictures of cats, and stating all their important revelations like, “My parents let my older sisters/brothers do whatever they want, but they don't let me do anything!”
So, based on that limiting view of a blog, I have had corporate clients say to me, “Why would I want to blog?”
They can't get past the idea of their own kids sharing too many personal thoughts world wide.
But that is not all a blog is, I see it as a valuable and genuine way for your company to build trust within your community. Not by telling all, but by sharing ideas and information.
For instance, if you think people should be using your product in a more effective way then they are, you can share that insight. If you know people always ask you the same 10 questions, you can post each as individual entries into a category called FAQs. Or if you about to attend an important conference, why not let people know why you think it is important and that you will be in attendance, if they want to meet up with you. Tell them to check back afterwards, too, because you will be posting a personalized synopsis of the most important info you learned and want to share with them.
UniqueThink's answer to why you want to blog is: How about to extend your online presence, build a community and share conversations?
HOW TO BEGIN A BLOG: First, evaluate what unique content your company has and how it can best be shared with your audience, or the community you want to attract… (no period, just open ended possibilities)
UniqueThink can help brainstorm these ideas, as well as find the most appropriate tools to integrate with your existing site, or a new site. We'll either set it up for you, or consult you on how to do it, depending on your budget. And, finally, we'll educate you on the best way to set up your content and brainstorm additional ideas with you.
How about if I give you some examples from current UniqueThink clients who have started blogs:
The Video Station: This Boulder based video rental store whose audiences is film lovers – they want the truth about the movies being released weekly, as well as info on classic films:
- New Releases: Weekly, their staff offers their own views (negative or positive) about what movies are being released
- Staff Picks: Their staff has a wealth of information, and opinions, which their customers love, so frequently, individual staff members will write up a synopsis of a favorite film from their preferred genre – and what made this film great for them
- Coupons and special offers: They have seen the benefit of tie-ing in with other local businesses to bring great offers to their customers. Both businesses introduce their regulars to what the other offers and the customers get a great savings, while learning about another great local establishment
Approachable Nutrition: As mentioned in my own recent post, this blog was just launched. Janeen's blog is on the subject of nutrition (with a focus on helping people with Multiple Sclerosis get healthy with food).
Some ideas we plan to implement, along with some she has already started, include:
- Feature Articles
- Recipes for healthy, tasty meals
- Charts and Tools to understand the subject better
- Health News about nutrition or MS
- Mis-perceptions about both subjects (for instance, recently, she overheard some of those junior high girls talking about wheat in the grocery store…I won't say more, because I'm hoping she will write about it on her new blog!)
Lingoport: This company makes it easy for software and web developers to adapt their code to work throughout the world. They currently use their blog to:
- Post Press Releases
- Provide an archive of the press they have received
- Highlight feature articles (from their newsletters)
Joseph Brenna: Joseph is a musician and an accomplished guitar instructor. He is gearing up to use his blog in the following ways:
- To offer free online video lessons
- To post Frequently Asked Questions
- To inform people of both his own shows and his students' shows
So, now, I ask not “What is a blog?”, but instead “What creative directions are you taking on your blog?”
It is entitled What Is A Blog?
Brian asks the question “Where do you think blogging is going?”
P.S. Oh, and if you haven't already, check out my MarketingAndWriting.com blog post entitled:
In it I talk about a free Multi-media Blogging Course, that Mark Joyner is offering.
Now, let me ask you: what is a blog or what do you think it has or will become?