Whereas letter writing was the primary method of communicating with friends, family, heads of state, and businesses 150 years ago, today’s blogs have become a major means of interpersonal and mass communication. Before there was telephone or TV or Internet, people actually enjoyed letter writing. Others recognized the necessity of communication and disciplined themselves for it.
Today’s high-speed, want-it-now, Internet-savvy world citizens crave information. They are also craving authenticity and relevance from every form of media that they listen, watch or read. That’s where a blog may be just what your company needs to reconnect with your customers and the world.
What is a blog?
“Blog” is short for web log. It is like an online journal but more. It provides you with an extremely easy way to communicate your thoughts, opinions, announcements, ideas, events, etc., to a huge segment of people through the Internet. Blogs typically have the option of enabling “comments” for each entry that is made. Therefore, people (customers) can provide immediate feedback on what you’re posting.
Here’s an astonishing (but becoming more common) example of the power of blogging from an Aug. 21, 2006, article of Business 2.0 about TechCrunch, Michael Arrington’s blog about new technologies and companies:
“In the year since he launched the site, he has amassed such a strong following that he’s become a go-to person for VCs and tech execs looking to leak corporate tidbits or announce news. More than 1.5 million readers regularly check out his site. But here’s what gives Arrington real distinction: He’s pulling in $60,000 in ad revenue every month. That’s 10 times what the site was making earlier this year, which was when Arrington, convinced of the potentially monstrous riches ahead, quit his day job as president of a startup to blog full-time.”
The question these days is not whether a company should have a blog, but why doesn’t it? Blogs are relatively easy to start and require little to no overhead. Many successful business blogs are run by one person.
Benefits or business blogging include:
- A sense of immediate response from customers and shareholders
- Goodwill generated when people see your company responding to concerns in a public fashion, or rather, see that you’re open to input from outside.
- Opportunity to communicate news, information, and events in an inexpensive way, supplanting large expenses for traditional advertising.
- Being able to reach your customers directly and immediately
- Consider this as well: your competition may already have a blog.