What is blogging? It’s not what you might think.

business blogging definedA 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.

  • http://www.facebook.com/alisondiaslaverty Alison Dias-Laverty

    Thanks for this great post Cas! I notice that everytime I mention blog to my clients, they look at me like, what is that??? Now I just tell them that I write help articles. They love it with an really inspiring email.

    • http://www.casmccullough.com/ Cas McCullough

      Thanks Alison! Yes, say it’s articles or helpful info and they’ll totally get it!

  • http://www.facebook.com/leonieorton Leonie Orton

    This is a really helpful article Cas… ‘Blog’ has definitely become a jargon term that often loses all meaning. It’s good to strip it back to basics and demystify it. Also great to distinguish personal from business blogging. Thanks.

    • http://www.casmccullough.com/ Cas McCullough

      You’re welcome Leonie and thanks for your comment. I agree. Many people don’t know what a blog is. I must confess, I didn’t really get it till about 3 years ago and now look!

  • http://www.facebook.com/MandaPandy Amanda Foy

    I bow to you that you did not get offended by the comment your friend made. Perfect example of foot in mouth disease :-) Great blog and I LOVE the tweet this feature. Noice.

    • http://www.casmccullough.com/ Cas McCullough

      Thanks Amanda! Yes, I love the Tweetherder plugin! And, on the other matter, no point getting offended… although, a few of my friends clearly were… written communication leaves so much scope for misunderstanding, don’t you agree?

  • Annabel Candy

    Hi Cas,

    I always tell clients it’s just a website that’s easy to update. Some people are scared of the word blog so I tell them they can call it News, Events, Specials or anything else that takes their fancy. It’s not a very sexy word – it needs rebranding 😉

    • http://www.casmccullough.com/ Cas McCullough

      I so agree! Who made that word up anyway?

      • http://www.embraceordinary.com/ Jenni Parry

        Blog has to be better than Weblog …. doesn’t it ???

  • sonif65

    I enjoyed this article very much Cas – as a fairly new blogger, I was a little anxious about what to write. I now do a mixture of personal event and business blogging. I’m still very new so looking forward to Queensland Bloggers Circle feedback on my efforts!

    • http://www.casmccullough.com/ Cas McCullough

      i think, so long as it resonates with your ideal clients and is authentic for you, ythat’s what is important. All the best with it!

  • http://www.embraceordinary.com/ Jenni Parry

    “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.”<<<< This is where i start to get confused as to where i sit in the world of blogging. My blog is a raw, real, completely transparent look into life sharing all those things that one usually thinks they are they only one doing in life. It is a self development workshop that never ends, a journey of self discovery that shines the light on your ordinariness and awakens who you are in each and every moment in life and uncovers the real extraordinary you.
    I see that as educating consumers, at this stage there is no products however there is potential for them to be clients in the future. That then leads me into all the different blogging awards and conferences. Where i feel i sit and where i really do are two very different areas. I'd love to get involved with different groups of bloggers to share my words with a wider audience and raise my profile out there.

    • http://www.casmccullough.com/ Cas McCullough

      Hey Jenni, I love your blog. I get what you’re saying here. My Mumatopia blog is along the same vein. Interestingly, on Triberr, my Mumatopia blog posts, which are raw and honest and aimed at consumers, are shared most frequently by the biz bloggers. I highly recommend Triberr, if you haven’t discover it yet.

  • Di

    As a relative new blogger , I was a little like Jenni and wondering where I sat in something that is quite new to me.

    What I a writing about sensuality and confidence for the mature woman has already taken a few turns I did not expect, rather like a life of it own.

    The article has defined blogging more clearly for me. Thank you…

    • http://www.casmccullough.com/ Cas McCullough

      You’re welcome Di! Glad it’s helped you!

  • Kama

    What I love about Blogs is that they are so varied and we can browse according to our moods or what we are looking for at the time. I love factual blogs when I am looking for ways to improve my photography and I love inspirational blogs when I feel the need to be inspired. We are so fortunate to have such choice. As for my own blogging, I blog as I reflect on the world at the time, sometimes from a personal perspective and sometimes pondering life, the universe and everything :)

    • http://www.casmccullough.com/ Cas McCullough

      So true! Every blog is as individual as its author. Thanks for your comment Kama!