I was sitting at a meeting recently and we were discussing the proper way to provide “content” on the internet. The meeting was called “Content is King” and was part of the Flagstaff Communicators luncheon. The speaker, Jerry Thull (a teacher at NAU), was discussing the options for adding content in your media releases, and the conversation moved over into how to do this on the Internet. We quickly began talking about how to use a Blog and there was a bit of a mixed opinion on how to write for one. So, I decided to write up my thoughts on the topic.
I believe that there is at least two ways to write correctly for a Blog. The first way, which was what everyone was focusing on, was the idea of writing a very “Topical Driven” Blog. This idea is what the sheer majority of Blogs are like on the Internet. The whole concept revolves around having a purpose or mission, and to write everything featuring these ideals.
A very good example of a “Topical” Blog would be something like an “Environmental Blog”. If you work for an environmental organization or company, or even are simply really into environmental studies, then you could create a Blog that would be all about that topic. You would regularly pick a concept within the realm of the environment and write about it. So, you could have features on things like recycling, global warming, energy efficient housing, etc… This would then end up creating a very organized and targeted group of articles that are all about a single topic. It is very driven, very topical, and is very good for general Search Engine Optimization (SEO). And, you would most likely begin getting readers that are into that sort of thing and would regularly be interested in what you have to say.
The other type of Blog is something that isn’t as widely used, but I feel is more appropriate from a marketing value for small businesses and non-profits. I believe that most people don’t have time to write extensive articles on a single topic, and that it also limits you to what you can and cannot write on your Blog. What I’m proposing is a random oriented Blog that someone writes practically anything they have going on. The idea is to consider the Blog more an element of your Social Media, then an article driven site. It’d be nice to have lots of regular viewers (like the “topical” Blog), but you are really trying to simply get your name in front of people in all the social mediums.
With the advent of the wide variety of Social Media and the intra-linking of all of these elements (click here for my lecture presentation on Social Media integration), a Blog can easily feed the information into lots and lots of places all at once. You can have your Blog send your postings into your Website, other Websites, FaceBook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and many other places. So, why limit yourself to one type of posting that you probably don’t really have time for anyway.
I believe that small businesses and non-profits should post whatever they have going on whether it be a full article about their particular topic, a simple statement about something they are doing, an event announcement that could be two lines of text or fifty lines, a quote of the day, or even something more personal that happened in the office today. Sometimes writing two words says it all…!
The whole concept is to get a more personalized set of information out there about who you are and what you do. People like stories and it doesn’t always have to come out in a topical article oriented format. Free yourself from that formula, and write whatever you damn well want to write about. Let the information speak for itself and allow yourself to write a little or a lot based on what you have going that day or week – instead of feeling like you have to write a novel. It is much more global; is appropriate for a ton more places that you feed out the information; and allows yourself the brevity to write whatever comes to you.
So, those are my thoughts on Blogging. I believe that both concepts are good based on your circumstances. If you are really into writing and have a topic, then create your Blog to talk about that idea. If you are simply trying to get yourself out there a bit and have thoughts you want others to know about, then use the Blog as Social Media platform and write in a free-form way. They both work!