Think Like a Blogger
November 13, 2006
Posted by Don Dunnington at November 13, 2006 10:27 AM
I received the following email from a would-be author for this blog:
"Can this blog be used for advertising services? I mean, can I promote our products on your blog.....or no? I guess I'm just confused as to what I should write about?"
I think there is confusion in many minds as to what distinguishes a blog article from other forms of communication, especially for those who are corporate communicators. Following is my short answer to a question that entire books have been devoted to answering. For a lengthier discussion, you might want to drop in on the conversation started today on the IAOCblog, where Phil Weiss is leading a discussion about the challenges of using the web in marketing, and the obstacles and opportunities web marketers are facing.
It’s Not Advertising
No, blogging is not advertising. But, yes, you can promote your products in a blog. You just need to do it an educational, rather than promotional, tone. A blog is a conversation. Use the same informal voice you'd use talking directly to a valued customer. You're informing, not selling. You're sharing insights, opinions, insider tips, thoughts on industry trends, news of new or improved products. You're eliciting feedback from the person on the other end of the conversation, and you're responding in a positive manner, whether it's praise or criticism that you're receiving. Finally, you're pointing to additional sources of information, such as technical articles or free downloads from your own website. But don't limit the information sharing to your own internal resources: point to discussions on other blogs, case studies and articles from online news media and professional organizations, or academic studies on university websites.
We All Have a Personal Brand to Sell
By the way, you don’t have to be a corporate communicator to benefit by posting to this blog. In the Internet age, we all have a personal brand that needs to be developed constantly and communicated consistently. Today, sharing knowledge is one of the most effective ways both to grow you knowledge and grow your reputation. I hope this short tutorial helps inspire more authors. If you'd like to try out an idea, compose it in Word and send it to me. I'll be happy to review it for you.