Businesses can benefit from blogging, both internal and external blogging. But, before any employee begins to blog, he or she needs to answer some important questions.
1.) What policies and/or tools does your company have in place to guide you if you decide to start blogging?
Some enlightened companies have policies and tools available, particularly for internal blogging. They provide sites for employees to blog. Some even have a blogging champion. The really enlightened companies have clearly articulated policies that regard information that may not be revealed or disclosed, in blogs or other public forums. If your company has such guidance and policies and you decide you want to blog, you need to answer the next question:
2.) What is my objective for blogging?
Do you want to blog to become notorious? (bad idea) Do you want to blog to make lots of money? (unrealistic idea) Do you want to blog because you have nothing else to do? (better have a trust fund). If, however, you decide that you want to blog because you want to build deeper relationships with your clients, because you want to hear what’s troubling them, because you have something worthwhile to say, you have identified good objectives. Many other positive things will come from blogging, but decide right up front that you’re not blogging to rant but to listen. Then, give some very serious thought to the next question:
3.) Am I ready to make the commitment to blogging?
If you aren’t prepared to spent 10-15 hours each week in planning, writing, editing and responding to your blog, get out now. Blogging takes that much time. Most successful bloggers post every week day, and some on the weekends. These people spend time thinking of subject matter that will fit their purpose and connect with the interests of their targeted audience. Then the bloggers attach their backside to a chair and begin writing. Anyone who writes knows that writing takes lots energy and focus…and time. Then, if you're lucky enough to hit on a hot topic and dozens of people respond to your post, you have an obligation to respond to them, as well, within a reasonable time. After all, when it is done well, blogging creates a conversation.
Techorati has identified over 110 million blogs. The vast majority of those blogs are not read. They come and go, or they come and stay on a server in blog limbo. If you decide to create and write a blog for business, you have made a wise and important business decision. But, you must do it correctly. You must clearly understand your objective and your audience and you must commit the time and energy that will be required. Then you can blog for your business. But make sure you know what you're doing. Your company reputation and brand may depend on it.