Forgive me if this post seems a bit self-congratulatory. It’s notmeant to be. But as a great writer once said, write what you know. Andwhat I know is this:
When I entered the world of blogging in October 2004, no one outsidemy immediate circle had any clue who I was. Today, not seven monthssince my first post, my ideas and ramblings are read by hundreds ofpeople every day. My site is linked to by people from around the globe.I’ve been asked to comment on marketing plans, and have won a number ofjobs directly as a result of my blog. This companyis a direct extension of my personal experience with blogging. I’ve hadthe smallest taste of its potential, and I want to share it with you.
First, let’s just get one thing out of the way: your blog is your brand. I’ve written about branding on my personal site My conclusion is basically this: a brand is a collection of experiences related to a thing
A brand is not a logo, although your logo is a partof your brand. A brand is not advertising, although that too is animportant aspect of it. Rather your brand is the sum of all of yourthoughts, feelings, and experiences related to any one thing.
In my case, my brand is based on 3 things: my work (the finishedproduct), my interactions with my clients, and my blog. Let’s assume fora moment that my work and my client relationships are good. Which ofthese 3 things has the greatest impact on the value of my brand? Myblog. Big time. Here’s why.
Reach, Authority, and Trust
Let’s get the obvious out of the way first; the internet has hugereach. Without my blog, you wouldn’t be reading my words right now. Youknow the drill.
Authority is far more interesting. In business, we are pressed fortime, money, and energy. If we are engaging someone to provide aservice, we want that experience to be beneficial and efficient. We wantthe service provider to know what she’s doing. When we recentlyrenovated our house (don’t get me started), we interviewed lots of contractors, looked at lots of portfolios, and checked lots of references. It was a pain in the ass. But necessary in order to establish who had the highest authority in his field.
Blogs make this much easier. They do this in a number of ways. I’mnot going to get into all of them right now. Some of the reasons aretechnical, and I’ll get into them at a later date. But the essence hasto do with links. The more authority you have on a subject, the moreincoming links (people linking to your site) you will have. Period.Human nature makes this so. More incoming links means you get moretraffic. This is good. More people reading your writing gives you morecredibility; more authority.
Having authority makes it easier for people to decide to a) believeyou [aside: biting tongue to keep political jokes out] and b) buy fromyou. Authority is good. Blogs can build or grow your authority.
Trust is also an interesting topic. We are very wary beings, hesitantto dole out our trust. Blogs have the unintended potential to buildtrust. How? Two ways. First, the internet is incredibly self-healing. IfI make a false statement online, odds are high that someone will callme on it. If I’m consistently wrong, all those incoming links that werehelping me establish my authority will disappear.
Second, trust is earned through consistency. Every article I post tomy blog adds to my archives. As a new visitor, you have access toeverything I’ve posted, allowing you to get up to speed with me in ashort period of time. This is partially why its so important to startblogging now.
Blogs create intimacy
In my case, there are only three main components to my brand. You mayhave many more. Regardless, a blog is an incredibly powerful brandingtool. Blog writers and readers form intimaterelationships based on frequency, honesty, and feedback. Blog readersare open to information – that’s why they’re reading you, after all.Because they are open, you have the opportunity to make a deep, lastingimpression. We’re not talking about an ad on the side of a moving bushere. We’re talking about 10 minutes spent concentrating on what you’vewritten and what other readers have to say.
Can you see where I’m going with this? Blogs are extremelypowerful. They should be treated as such, with the proper investment andcare. Blogging is not for everyone. In an upcoming article I’ll writeabout who shouldn’t blog. There are rules and etiquetteto follow too. Until you’re established, the blogosphere can be anunforgiving place. The purpose of this new business is to help businesspeople make the most of their blogging investment. Blogging takes time,and time costs a lot more than money.
I’ve had a hard time staying on topic with this post. I have so manythings to say they’re all trying to jump out at once. If I’ve piquedyour interest, please consider subscribing to my rss feed by clicking onthe buttons at left, or clicking here to be notified when new articles are posted.