Actually, you might be surprised at the many people I’ve encountered who, when asked to define what blogging means to them, offer a response that goes something like this:
“Blogging is……… like an online diary or a journal or something.”
While this is not exactly a wrong answer, it is very limited in scope. Blogging can be defined as the art of creating content for the purpose of engaging an audience. Let that sink in for a minute.
There are different mediums of blogging, from online video to podcasting to the time-tested method of simply writing. And, there are tons of purposes for doing so. Some blogs are meant to inform (The Huffington Post, TechCrunch.com), some are designed to entertain (Perezhilton.com, Failblog.com) while others are meant to teach and educate (Problogger.net, Copyblogger.com). And of course, there are also those who talk just to hear themselves talk. But they serve a purpose too. There’s no wrong reason to have a blog.
Whether you’re the president of a $20 million a year company or you’re an intern at a small law firm, as a business person there are a multitude of benefits of blogging.
Your blog is a version of you. It’s an extension of your personality that you display freely for all to see. It’s a window into your life and your thoughts. In many ways, your blog may be the only glimpse into your life that most people will ever have. For example, I am most likely never going to meet Mark Cuban, but through his site, Blogmaverick.com, I get to know a side of him and how he sees the world.
The ever-expanding prominence of the Internet and all the latest emerging technology has a widely varying degree of benefit to those of us who utilize it. That said, one thing is undeniable: The digital revolution has a universal connotation to its existence that applies to every one of its two billion plus users: The Human Connection.
You cannot use the Internet without connecting to another person, or interacting with someone’s work. And most often, you will likely engage someone every time you fire up your web browser. Interested in buying a book? Go to Amazon.com and read some reviews. Comparing the new Chevy Malibu to the Ford Fusion? A quick Google search is a gateway to numerous automotive sites – all with tons of information put forth by other people.
So why have a blog? Because it puts a voice to you or institutes a human element to your company that otherwise may not have been there. Instead of the perception many companies fall into – that of a nameless, faceless, soulless entity whose sole existence is for taking in revenue, you can engage your potential clients and partners by offering them valuable information in a friendly, easy to consume manner that will build trust and loyalty – a feat that was exponentially more difficult just 10 years ago.
There are numerous reasons to have a blog and even more benefits – for you and your readers. So many in fact that it’s impossible to name them all here. Entire books have been dedicated to the subject. The reality is this: If you choose not blog, you’re missing out on a fantastic and cost effective way to provide enormous value to a wide array of audiences, which can both cause you to lose out on potential future opportunities, and can also cause you to fall way, way behind those that do take advantage of this terrific medium.