Business Blogging Resources For The Little Business

Measuring the state of blogging for business can be tricky. Statisticians are inconsistent and shift daily because of the exponentially rapid development of the blog as a medium (not to mention its relative newness).

A recent Pew Internet research poll the amount of businesses using blogs is in the area of 7 percent (a research survey that was conducted by American Express last month suggested a similar percentage). A different poll conducted of Guidewire Group suggests 89% of businesses are using blogs now or will in the near time. In spite of these vastly different numbers however, the commonality is that blogging for business is increasing. This is the issue.

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There are about 175,000 blogs creating blogs every day (or approximately two blogs every second), but don’t let that number scare you. The percentage of businesses is a drop in the bucket. Experts put the number of active business blogs on the U.S. today at about 5000, with about half of them less than one year old, and just 10 percent older than 3 years. There are many new business blogs that as with all blogs end up being abandoned after just a few months. Only about 39% of total blogs are written in the English or Japanese (Japanese is the top). What this all means is that the blogging industry is becoming an international norm, but it remains accessible to newcomers.

There are different trends based on company size, with smaller companies tending to utilize more business blogging, while larger firms maintain a large portion. Around 55% of blogs on business are launched by businesses with less than 100 employees. Approximately 15% account for companies with more than 1,000 employees. But, of the biggest 500 businesses in the United States, 40% utilize blogs in their comprehensive strategy.

Outside the unruly data, what makes successful in the world of business blogging is a little clearer. Nearly every research and opinion on the subject points to certain key elements which include:

  • A style of writing that is able to both communicate on a personal level as well as be enjoyable. This means knowing your audience and establishing a significant connection with them through blogs.
  • The company’s willingness to be engaged in an honest and open dialogue with its clients (the basis of the valuable credibility of any blog).
  • The blog’s writer’s time is allocated to the blog for pertinent research, thought, responses to blog posts by readers, and the overall construction of quality work as well as frequent updates.

Of course, individual companies in their particular industries have specific challenges and challenges. For instance, based on the situation or industry, your business may want to be particularly attentive to the tone and style of the writer. A company with a reputation that they’d like to enhance or diminish (oil corporations, as for instance) might be interested in the transparency of blogging. When it comes to a highly competitive industry (such as technology or media) blogs for companies could need to evaluate the time spent updating content to the blog more carefully. A lot of businesses start blogging with clear objectives from the onset, or even develop a blog internally before setting up an external blog. Some companies run multiple blogs. General Motors, for example, runs an entertainment website (Fastlane) as well as an information blog (FYI) combination which has proven to be extremely successful.

The General Motors blogs is a excellent example of business blogging that has reached its maturity. They’re easy to browse and subscribe to as well as written concisely, and use content created by customers that includes video and photos. There are numerous links (not just to GM but to other auto sites as well as other blogs), so the reader has a sense of genuine dialogue and openness. The high number of comments and replies in the Fastlane blog proves that successful blogs are both social and useful.

In the blogosphere There is still some disagreement over who should be the one writing blogs for business. For example, in Fastlane’s case, Fastlane the Vice Chairman is Bob Lutz. In certain businesses However, the dangers might outweigh the privileges of having an executive doing the blogging. Voices of bosses may not always translate well in a blog. In addition, an executive could be reluctant to blog for a long time due to simple lack of time. This is what happens to the majority of blogs that are launched in the first three months. After that, the entries stop and the blog is essentially dead. This is why, generally the most effective business blogs are managed by employees, not the CEOs. This is why it could make more sense for your company if employees conduct blogging because they typically have the motivation and deep insight (and voice) to create an appealing blog that is more read to their peers, the readers, it is a credible.

Legitimacy has been shown to be important to any success in marketing or business blogging. A few years back, Dr. Pepper attempted to overstep this in the marketing of their now infamous novel product Raging Cow (a flavored milk drink). The company enlisted teenagers to try the drink and blog about it after they were coached. Dr. Pepper’s attempts were met with viciousness and even boycotts, for trying to penetrate the “integrity” of the blogosphere with marketing through coached clients and “hip-ness.” The whole affair went down a storm and Raging Cow was never released. In addition, many of us are pondering the fate of “Pay-Per-Post” and its legitimacy in the near future.

Another drink manufacturer, Jones Soda, offers a much different and more efficient model of blog legitimacy and customer engagement. A visit to the blog can give an impression more of a teenager hangout rather instead of a commercial venture. The blog, actually serves as the central point for various customer blogs. The blog has all the typical business-related content available the blog, such as an online shop as well as a product search messages boards (with posts that go into the thousands). But the people at Jones are very clear about knowing their customers and have created a highly profitable blog for their business by loosening the reigns and putting the clientle completely in charge. While this could be a bit frightening to some executive It seems to have resulted in a great outcome for Jones.

In summary, business blogging can be best looked upon as it is still in its early stages, even though the sheer number of blogs that are appearing daily appear to be high. Businesses who want to get into the blogospere should do so carefully unless they’ve got an established strategy that fulfills many of the criteria above. If done properly, a business blog can be an excellent source of customer interaction as well as a way to build relationships with customers. It can also be an extension of your business’s brand.

 

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