A few days ago one of my membership program clients for Support a WAHP asked: “What is blogging?”
As someone who does this stuff daily, I was a little taken aback… not at the question but at the fact that I had never thought to answer that question. Why? Because I thought everyone in my audience knew what blogging was. When you’re in the midst of something, sometimes it’s hard to see the wood from the trees.
So, today’s post is my answer to that question.
A lot of people think a blog is like an online written diary or collection of opinion pieces, and for some bloggers this may be the case, but the truth is that blogging comes in many forms including video (eg. a Youtube channel), audio (eg. podcasts), pictorial (photo blogs), micro (for instance, Twitter). A blog can be self-hosted or hosted on a cloud platform (ie. hosted online through someone else’s server), or a combination of these (ie. you host your Vimeo videos on your website by embedding them in posts). It can be something you do via social media channels or something you do via your website.
However, not everyone looks at blogs the same way.
Recently, when my website was nominated for a blogging competition, one of my Facebook friends kinda dissed my nomination, saying that the competition should be for “real” blogs.
Now, rather than get offended, I realised that she thought a blog should be about something more personal or more meaningful (to her) and that perhaps, she viewed business blogging as manipulative and self-promoting.
But that’s the thing, business blogging is different to personal blogging. You are writing and producing content for completely different reasons and even when it doesn’t seem self-promoting to us, it can be viewed that way by someone else, purely because of where the blog is housed (ie. on your business website).
As a personal blogger, you would focus on what personally matters to you the most, your life and adventures, your challenges and triumphs, but as a business blogger your primary goal is to answer potential clients’ questions and be a thought leader, or go-to person in your industry niche.
As someone who writes about content marketing, my goal is to answer your questions and help you gain a deeper understanding about content marketing and how it works, why it works and the benefits to your business. And while I might include some personal anecdotes and stories to illustrate different principals, these are not focused on.
So here’s my overall definition of a blog:
A blog is regular, self-published content that you produce and share online.
Now, if I’m talking about business blogging, the definition would go like this:
A business blog is regular, self-published content that you produce and share online, with the goal of educating consumers and/or your potential clients.
Business blogs come in all shapes and forms.
Big businesses will often have a blog and forum site that barely contains any branding for their business and sometimes they will sponsor a blogger to write about their brand.
The danger in this, though, is that a blog may come across as biased or overly commercial.
I love the Sales Lion, Marcus Sheridan’s take on this. He tells his followers to write content that addresses issues nobody else wants to talk about–Things like pricing, and even competitors who are also delivering quality services. Imagine that! So many business bloggers only talk about themselves, especially in the marketing field. I can tell you right now I have a blog post coming up where I will share about other quality content marketing consultants and trainers in Australia…stay tuned for that.
Business blogging is not about delivering a one-sided view or looking at things from a rosey perspective. Blogging is about getting real and being real with your readers so they can learn as much as they can from you.
What are some of your favourite blogs? Why not share below in the comments.