Just this week I gave my full-day seminar on Social Media Marketing for IAB Canada – Interactive Advertising Bureau – in Montreal (I’m doing it again in Toronto next week on Wednesday, March 19th and then in Vancouver on Friday, March 28th). If you’ve ever given a presentation in front of a crowd, there is always a moment where words just come out. You’re not sure where they come from (sometimes it’s good and sometimes it’s bad), but you "put them out there" and you can’t take them back. During the session on Wednesday, I told the participants that Blogging is still the single-most important thing any of them can do in Social Media and Web 2.0. I’ve been reflecting on this thought, and I believe it to be true.
Here are 15 reasons why Blogging matters more than ever:
1. It brings ideas out to the public – a lot of people have some pretty unique perspectives. Now, we all get a chance to hear those ideas and explore them.
2. You can get something off your chest – imagine if violence in the world went away because more and more people used their Blogs to express themselves (good, bad and ugly)?
3. There are multiple truths – the old saying, "there are three sides to every story" obviously came out long before Blogging. We know there are millions of truths (aren’t there?).
4. New ideas – A lot of Blogs are riffs on other people’s ideas, but once in a while you come across something new, brilliant and beautiful – knowing full-well that this idea would never had seen the light of day if mainstream media was the only place you could publish your idea for the world to see.
5. Different perspectives – probably one of the most amazing things about a Blog – all the various voices from different parts of the world, and how they all flow and groove together. Blogging breaks down cultural and geographical borders. Is there anything more fascinating than alternative opinions?
6. Disintermediate traditional media – is something that was written or reported about you (or your company) inaccurate? Well, because of Blogging you can set the record straight.
7. Search – as powerful as Universal Search will be in the coming years, human beings will still always search for content using text. Search Engines love Blogs. Having your content available and present when someone is doing a search with your keywords is critical, and will become even more important in the coming years as more and more Consumers first brand interactions happen at the search box.
8. Empowers people to respond – we love Blogs because people can leave a comment or trackback to your thoughts. The medium is one that not only encourages people to respond, it was built with that as one of its sole purposes. Blogging has become a true forum for exchange.
9. Very niche segments – isn’t it amazing that there are multiple places where you can get perspectives on Digital Marketing, Personal Branding and Social Media like this Blog? The power is not in producing a Blog that had wide mass appeal. The power is in creating a Blog that has niche appeal. Then, all of the Blogs combined make up a mass amount of content that has appeal to all. Where else can you argue and exchange ideas all about your personal areas of interest?
10. What you’re saying isn’t half as cool as what people are saying back – think about that. Your Blog acts as a spark to the conversation. So, if you’re Blogging for Business or as a Marketing tool, the real "win" is your ability to hear what’s coming back and make your products and services better.
11. The signal to noise ratio is worthwhile – sure, most of the comments and feedback you get are self-serving linkbait, but there will always be a handful that are insightful, thoughtful and will change your previous conceived perceptions. I’ve had a comment or two that have made me question the human condition. It’s powerful.
12. Community can help you solve problems – this needs no explanation. By constantly providing insights and a platform for communication, there is now a community of people who are ready, willing and able to help and contribute.
13. It’s all about honesty – honesty brings success. The more honest you are, the better the Blog is. I believe this to be one of the major reasons why the Blogs I love most are the ones that are not relying on third-party advertising or major industry support.
14. Legacy – Google has a very long tail. Whatever you Blog about becomes part of our global and collective history. It’s there (in some form or another) forever. While that will scare some, I think it’s one of the coolest things ever. It forces me to think long and hard about what I’m going to post and, more importantly, how that post is going to look in two-three years time. Whatever you Blog about is going to be there forever.
15. Blog = Personal Brand – it’s your channel to get your message out. It is how people will see you. It is what people will think about when they hear your name. How do you make a Blog successful and build your Personal Brand? Look at #13.
Very good stuff. I especially appreciated “empowering” people to respond and the importance of honesty.
great post. agree 100% plus:
1. blogging is not a walled garden. Anyone and everyone can find you and those thoughts and engage with you. I know its implied in several of your points, but think it deserves to stand alone.
2. Also you mention three sides to a story, throwing out ideas, and getting something off your chest….the unvarnished truth of how people feel and think is very refreshing, indeed “fresh” compared to alleged “objective journalism”…it truly is “perception as reality” in the most positive sense, I think
Thanks for the comments.
I think the back and forth, the raw voice and the fact that – for the most part – anyone, anywhere can take part are the most fascinating parts.
They’re also the parts that probably get us into the most trouble as well 😉
Thanks for adding Richard and jpblogger.
Mitch, as a non-blogger, I can intellectually agree with every one of your 15 reasons. Probably because I read a couple of very good blogs.
However, some of the reasons I haven’t jumped on the blogging train are:
1. The thought of having to come out with new and engaging ideas on a daily or even weekly basis scares me. I know I have good ideas…but regularly might be a stretch.
2. Unlike the successful bloggers, who’s businesses usually get a boost from their well spoken bloggers, what happens to the corporate brands behind the blogger if the blog is less than impressive?
3. The energy and time needed to sound and express intelligent thought on a regular basis must be taxing. (How you write a blog, prepare a podcast and get work done in a week is beyond me).
4. I have come to expect a certain level of information and knowledge from the blogs I follows. I would be disappointed if they stopped doing it, as I am sure others would be too. I see blogging as a long term commitment, and like all long term commitments I need to be sure it’s a good decision before I start the process.
5. I also wonder if a blog is really necessary. Can we choose to hang out on the sidelines, commenting on lots of people’s blogs and achieve a similar goal?
This is sounding like a lot of excuses, but if you think this can add to the conversation then here I go.
Very interesting indeed. I agree with most of your points here. Blogging has indeed becoming a new growing trend today, almost anyone could blog if they want to. To me, there’s only 1 reason for me to blog, and I wrote it as my new blog post this week. I wonder if you share the same opinion as I have. Perhaps leave me your comment on how you think about it? Thanks in advance.
very good article, I was always wondering what is the driving force behind the blogging and what is the difference between it and between the previous static web page or writing notes in your personal agenda,…your article is convincing and it is really constructive way to listen to each other and to share experiences..I will start developing this blogging habit..
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Thanks for this wonderful and organised piece of info, i think u just inspired a non-blogger. I am sure this gets u to know a lot of the views, and makes u think more broadly.
For once someone who doesn’t lead off with the “blog to build your personal brand” thing… which just becomes tiresome. Most people aren’t interesting enough to have their own personal brands. Paradoxically, those in this thread who feel daunted by coming up with something interesting to say day after day or week after week are actually probably more blogworthy than many of those who are putting things out there…
There are excellent points. I recently discussed the importance of blogging in terms of personal development, thought leadership and knowledge acquisition.
“… blogging is a practice in thought development. Blogging requires you to write down your thoughts and crystallize your opinions. The direct feedback you receive defines you as a leader, further shapes your ideas, and provides you with insight….
Future leaders will be judged on not who the influence in-person but also how far their influence reaches online….”
Blogging is not just about saying your piece, it is also about going out and joining the conversation where it is happening. It’s about reaching out to people and exposing yourself (steady!) to new ideas. Some giving as well as all this taking back we focus on.
very good article, I was always wondering what is the driving force behind the blogging and what is the difference between it and between the previous static web page or writing notes in your personal agenda,…your article is convincing and it is really constructive way to listen to each other and to share experiences..I will start developing this blogging habit.
Good article, I so much agree about that. Although blogging is a new thing to me, I see that I can communicate and share my ideas on global area. Your blog is your personality. Recently I wrote the same article. Check on mine 🙂 http://elenaseptelic.wordpress.com/2010/09/08/why-blogging/
This is an old post but when re-reading it you are reminded that the basic principles about blogging are fundamentally the same.
Most importantly blogging is a good avenue for networking as you can make friends and meet people with common interests.
Thanks for the article. Dave Buchere, I totally agree. It’s the most authentic way to find and connect to the people “exactly” matching with the blogger’s interests and pains.
Love the part “What your saying isnt half as cool as what others are saying.” I love this because it really speaks to the fact that blogging IS social. I recently wrote a post on the importance of blogging today. Check it out here: http://www.mysmn.com/to-blog-or-not-to-blog/
I really dont see anything special on blogging unless you are some big company or the news but this article really did show some nice points why people work on a blog now and then.
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