Business blogging is a way to gain attention for your business or skill if done well. The "done well" part of a business blog is addressed in a post by Donna Fenn on the Owners Only blog.
Like other successful blogs, business blogs require steady commitment to given aims -- to entertain, enlighten, or, in this case, grow a business. In blogging for business, though, it's best not to be too obvious about the self-serving part -- growth. Rather, make your blog informative, engaging, and regular. A business blog should be aimed to develop not so much sales as sentiment. It's for service first. That accomplished, sales will likely come.
Donna Penn offers three cautions on business blogs. Don't start blogging, she advises, unless:
- You only plan to blog about your company and its products or services. Stick to press releases for promotional announcements. Penn notes how Mint.com devotes its MintLife blog to informative material, not directly promotional stuff. She cites Debbie Weil's "The Corporate Blogging Book" as a source of insight.
- You can't post at least three times a month. The ideal frequency, Penn advises, is weekly.
- Your blog isn't part of a bigger social media strategy. Alone, a blog may trudge along, but linked to Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, and the like, it can be reinforced and introduced to a much wider audience.
Yes, business blogging takes commitment, but it can be a bully pulpit for a business looking to serve its publics, not simply profit from them.
Illustration by Flickr user H. Michael Karshis