While Blogs have been around for a long time, it seems that in the past few months they have become a very hot topic. I have attended three business association luncheons in the past two months where Blogs were the topic of discussion. In addition, I began this Blog in March as I was finishing up my book on Networking ("Some Assembly Required: How to Make, Grow and Keep Your Business Relationships" will be released by New Year Publishing in July 2005. More information available at www.thomsinger.com). My reasons for creating this blog was to continue sharing my views on the importance to networking to build a more successful career, and having a blog is a great way to publish your thoughts and promote your business (in this case, my book).
There are many people who have strong views about Blogs. The one thing that is certain is that blogging is not just a fad. The medium is here to stay. (I once worked for a guy in 1988 who swore that cell phones and fax machines were just a fad..... come on Joel, how do you feel now?) . How Blogs are used and which ones succeed will be determined over time, but if you are a professional who wants your business to be viewed as the expert, you should consider publishing your own blog.
The purists in the blogosphere do not believe that people should be promoting their business in blogs, but the "Business Blog" is one of the fastest growing segments in the marketing and public relations world. While less than 10% of companies currently have Blogs, that number is growing.
I believe that if you want to help grow your credibility and your visibility a blog is a great tool. The most important thing is that you need to be committed to writing on a regular basis, and that you have something to say that people will want to read. You can have links from your website or use other ways to lead people to your blog. The more relevant information you can create, the more chances that you will be found via search engines, and thus lead those seeking your services directly to you. I will admit, I have not been as good about contributing to my own blog as I advise others, but I am hoping to make more regular posts.
My goal is to continue my writing on the topic of growing your professional reputation and image, as creating the book has been a wonderful experience. I am passionate about the importance of having a personal career brand, and hope that my experiences can help others. In addition I can promote the book and log a body of writing that can be used for future articles.
While reading a blog authored by my friend, Larry Bodine, I discovered a great while paper on the do's and don't of having a corporate blog. The paper was put out by Edelman PR and Intelliseek. I think that everyone who has a business slant to their blog MUST read this paper: http://www.edelman.com/image/insights/content/ISwp_TrustMEdia_FINAL.pdf
Larry Bodine's Marketing Professionals blog can be found at: http://pm.typepad.com/professional_marketing_bl/
Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions.