What is a Blog?
The term “BLOG” comes from two words … WEB LOG. The concept is a place where you can share your thoughts, feelings, knowledge and general “whatever” with the rest of the world. There are many different reasons to create a Blog and for this conversation let’s focus on two major categories. Business Blogs and Personal Blogs:
In general, many businesses will create a Blog within their website while others may just create one as a standalone property. The purpose for Business Blogs can vary while some just share general accounts of the work the business performs and others try to position that business as a leader in its field.
A great method for Business Blogging is simply letting the world know what you do and how you do it. For example, if a dentist blogged about the worked he did with his patients, it would be a great way for potential patients to understand the type of services that dentist offers. If a patient comes in with a cavity that needs a root canal, write a blog post saying:
“Today a patient came in with a pretty bad cavity. We took x-rays, and decided they would need a root canal. We performed the root canal and placed a crown. We will have the patient come back in about 4 weeks for a routine check up and cleaning.”
I would expect this dentist to be a bit more detailed in their description of the work done, perhaps including where the cavity was, whether posts had to be put in and any other relevant information. This should only take about 20-30 minutes to write and if done every day will yield an impressive showcase of the businesses services.
Have something to share? Want to tell the world how you feel about current events, local happenings, or just your thoughts in general? A Blog is a great way to do that. Some may have the mindset of “who cares what I have to say?” Well, people do, and if they don’t, do it anyway. Use your blog as a sounding board for anything and everything.
Want to be a bit more focused with your blog? Find a topic or two that you are passionate about and just start writing. If you are really into sports, write about your favorite team. If you are into politics, go for it (see my note below about representing yourself while keeping your business in mind). A Blog can be a great way to vent or spark up conversations with people all over the world. Create a quality Blog and you will be surprised with the type of feedback you get and the type of people you connect with.
Networking is important in both a personal and professional capacity. Blogging and other online activities are a great way to meet people, share ideas, and obtain new business. Remember though that for the most part, whatever you say online can be found with a simple search and may be there for a very long time (even if you take it off). That is why Online Reputation Management is so important.
Your online “REP”:
Just like in high school, your reputation can make or break you. If you create a Personal Blog, be mindful of the affect it may have on your clients’ perception of you and in turn, your business.
When I speak to someone for the first time, whether it be on the phone, at a networking event or just casually, I often do a simple Google search to learn more about them or their business. It is important to have a positive online presence and reputation for both yourself and your business. More importantly, make sure you are comfortable with the way you represent yourself. If you don’t mind putting up whatever you want and sharing all of your feelings with the rest of the world, then do it. Just be prepared for any backlash or “Negative Rep” that may ensue.
Control & Privacy:
If you have personal content online that you do not want people in your professional atmosphere to see, either remove it or make sure that privacy settings are enabled where applicable. Facebook, for example, has just instituted a whole new set of privacy options that will make it easier for you to choose who sees your content. You can also choose to remove your Facebook page from SERPs (Search Engine Results Pages). This should be utilized by most people in an attempt to better control your Online Reputation.
I would suggest staying away for “touchy” subjects when blogging. Try not to get into politics because your customers may not share your same viewpoints and could lead to a loss of business.
What to do now:
Register a domain name (www.mygreatnewblog.com) or use a free service like WORDPRESS, BLOGGER (by Google), or BLOGSPOT. Start with the default template (the look and design) and just begin writing. Try different topics until you find ones that you like and other people respond to and then keep going. Promote the blog by linking to in from your Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn accounts. If you have any questions, ask someone in their teens or twenty’s, they will usually be able to give you a hand. If you are still having trouble, just Google it, you will find the answer.
CEO – UBE, Inc.
A Long Island Based, Website Design & Search Engine Marketing Company