Business Blogging Resources For The Little Business
Business Blogging Resources For The Little Business
Monitoring the state of business blogging is difficult. The data is inconsistent and changes daily because of the rapid exponential growth of the blog as a tool (not to mention its relative newness). The most recent Pew Internet research poll the number of companies using blogs is about 7 percent (a research survey conducted by American Express last month suggested the same number). Meanwhile, another poll done by Guidewire Group suggests 89% of companies are either blogging now or plan to in the near in the near future. In spite of these vastly different numbers however, the commonality is that blogging for business is increasing. This is at the root of the debate. There are around 175,000 blogs being created each day (or approximately two blogs per second) however don't let that number scare you: the business share is just a drop in a bucket. The number of active blogs for business on the U.S. today at about 5,000, with half of them under a year old, and just 10% older than three years. Many of the newer business blogs are, as with all blogs, end up being abandoned after just a few months. In fact, only 39% of all blogs are written in the English language (Japanese is top). What all this suggests it that blogs are becoming a global norm but is still very much accessible to those who are new. For more detail please visit>>> The trends vary based on the size of the company and size, with smaller businesses tending to utilize more blogs for business, while larger corporations have a substantial percentage. Around 55% of business blogs are started by companies with fewer than 100 employees. Around 15% of them belong to companies with 1,000 or more employees. Of the top 500 companies across the United States, 40% use blogs as part of their overall strategy. In contrast to the chaotic data, what makes effective in the realm of business blogging is a little clearer. All research and opinions on the subject points to several key factors, including:
  • A style of writing that can connect on a personal level and also be enjoyable. This includes knowing your customer and creating a lasting relationship in the blog medium.
  • The company's willingness to be involved in a genuine market dialogue with its clientele (the source of the valuable credibility of any blog).
  • The time of the blog's author is dedicated to the blog for pertinent research, thought, responding to comments from readers, and the overall construction of quality work and regular updates.
Of course, every company in their unique industries face unique challenges and requirements. For example, based on the specific situation or the particular industry your business might want to focus most carefully on the style and tone of the blogger. Businesses with reputations they want to improve or diminish (oil corporations, for example) might be particularly interested in the transparency aspect of blogging. In a highly-demanding industry (such as media or technology) the company blog could need to evaluate the time spent updating content for the blog with greater care. A lot of businesses start blogging with clear objectives at the onset, or even test a blog internally before creating an outside blog. Some businesses also run more than one blog. General Motors, for example has an entertainment website (Fastlane) and information blog (FYI) combination that has been extremely successful. The General Motors blogs is a great example of successful business blogging that has reached its maturity. They are both easy to navigate and join, are succinctly written, and use material from costumers such as videos and images. There are also many links (not exclusively to GM but also to other auto websites and other blogs too) and the user gets a real sense that there is a genuine dialogue and openness. A look at the high volume of comments and responses in the Fastlane blog proves that these blogs are successful because they are active and informative. In the world of blogs there's still debate about who should write blogs for business. In the case of Fastlane the Vice Chairman is Bob Lutz. For certain companies However, the risks could outweigh the benefits of having an executive who is doing the blogging. A boss's voice does not always sound clearly on blogs. Also, an executive might not be able to keep a blog for a long time due to simple lack of time. This is the scenario for the majority of blogs that are launched within the three-month period. blogs cease to post and the blog goes dead. In this way, the most effective business blogs are run by the employees, not the CEOs. This is why it could be better for your company if employees blog because they have the passion and a deep understanding (and voices) to create a more readable blog because to the other readers, they are considered to be legitimate. The legitimacy of a blog has been proven to be crucial for success in marketing or business blogging. It was a few years ago that Dr. Pepper attempted to outdo themselves in the promotion of their now-infamous item, Raging Cow (a flavored milk drink). The company enlisted teenagers to drink the drink, and write about it after being instructed. Dr. Pepper's attempts were met with a snarky tone and even boycotts for trying to infiltrate blogs and the "integrity" of the blogosphere by promoting its products through coaching clients as well as "hip-ness." The whole thing turned out to be sour and Raging Cow went unreleased. Moreover, many of us are pondering the future of "Pay-Per-Post" and its legitimacy in the near future. Another beverage company, Jones Soda, offers an entirely different and successful model of blog legitimacy and customer outreach. A visit to the website gives an impression more of a teenager hangout rather as opposed to a business. The blog, in reality serves as the hub for many customer blogs. The blog has all of the typical business-related content available: an online store as well as a product search messages boards (with posts that reach to thousands of readers). The folks at Jones are very clear about knowing their customers well and have created a highly effective blog that is a perfect complement to their business by loosening the rules and putting clients in total control. Terrifying as this might be to some business leaders but it appears to have resulted in a great outcome for Jones.

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