Exploring the business of blogging
Monday, February 17, 2014
Blogging is 20 years old. It took off in the late-90s with the development of consumer broadband in Europe and the US.
By now it was predicted to be a dominant form of media, and in Europe at least, it isn’t. Why is that?
I sought out the opinion of respected bloggers in my network and asked them about the future of blogging. I also asked them to share the benefits they’d experienced from blogging.
The responses were varied. The business of blogging involves learning, professional and personal development, networking and profile. It is evolving but for those individuals and organisations that are prepared to invest the effort it has a strong future.
I recommend that you look up each of the authors online and connect with them via their blogs as I have done over the last 10 years. Their contributions show that the business of blogging is alive and well.
Here’s a link to each of their blogs, and a summary of what they each had to say.
A building block for business
“We have invested in more than a million words about topics our target audience cares about. The payoff is virtually no cost of sale and bringing major companies in as clients from McKesson to Dell to LinkedIn along with being cited by the Wall Street Journal, The New York Times and The Economist.”
Lee Odden, TopRankBlog.com
A shop window to the world
“Real blogs that express opinions are the future as they chime with the increased demand from people for increased openness and transparency from companies, organisations and government.”
Stuart Bruce, A PR Guy’s Musings
Building a network and a business
“Blogging translates thoughts from my head into action in my network, and is the lifeblood of my business. As a professional communicator, it has allowed me to experiment with style, format and content and connect and collaborate with like-minded people.”
Rachel Miller, All Things IC
Thinking, connecting, and sharing
“I’ve blogged for five years. Why do I blog? Because I can flesh out an idea far easier online than in practice. I can capture or share. It’s changed how I think, how I work and I’m finding doors opening that the blog has led me to.”
Dan Slee, The Dan Slee Blog
Blogging with a public relations-specific and global mindset
“I can attest that being involved in a global, collective blog that consistently produces high-calibre articles has had a significant impact on my professional profile and global network.”
Judy Gombita, PR Conversations
Building and serving a community better than mainstream media
“PRexamples.com serves a very useful purpose of fostering a community based around quickly-highlighted examples, providing me with a supplementalincome stream and delivering more than just eyeballs, something traditional media fails to do half as well.”
Rich Leigh, PRexamples
Your start with blogging
“Writing and publishing something that sets out what you think about a topic is one of the easiest – and pleasurable – uses of your time that can put you at the heart of discussion, debate and people’s attention.”
Neville Hobson, NevilleHobson.com
Open and transparent thinking
“The sense of having an audience, however small, keeps me thinking about new research peripheral to the work that I do from day to day; this keeps me fresh.”
Mat Morrison, The Magic Bean Lab
Reasons to keep blogging
“In an increasingly competitive world for individuals and organisations, it is not enough to simply be able to ‘do’ things or even to do them well. You need to be able to know why something is the right thing to do – and be able to explain this to others.”
Heather Yaxley, Greenbanana
A career development and personal reputation platform
“I am also certain that every new role I have been offered has in some way been helped by my blogging profile and presence. I know that the requests I receive to speak at conferences have been a direct result of my blog presence.”
Andrew Grill, London Calling
“There’s a strong case to me made for personal publishing, and a blurred line between the personal and professional. A student blogger using free, open source WordPress is using the same tool as many professional sites across commerce, media and government.”
Richard Bailey, PR Studies
Creation, curation and community
“Blogs are undeniably elitist – only a limited number of people have the skills to create engaging content, whether in terms of writing ability or having something to say. “
Philip Young, Mediations
Excellence is hard to find
“The reality is that most blogs are poorly managed, attract dismal readership numbers and are soon abandoned. Does this mean that blogging is dead? Of course not. It just means it’s not easy. Like most things in business the blogging market is subject to the basic principles of supply and demand.”
Heather Baker, The B2B PR Blog
The evolution of blogging
“The blog has hugely surpassed our own expectations in all areas. It now underpins our social media activity, our email and search strategy, and more than a million stories are read on it every month. It also generates a very healthy profit for our business.”
Chris Lake, Econsultancy
Stephen Waddington is Chairman of Admiral PR, European Digital & Social Media Director at Ketchum and President of the CIPR. Author of Brand Anarchy and Brand Vandals; and editor and contributor to Share This and Share This Too.