Everything you need to set-up, develop & promote a successful Business Blog

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    Blogging in the News - UK Blogs
    Some articles which have appeared in the UK online press over the past week which looks at blogging (primarily business blogging) and its uses. If you find any good articles that could be highlighted here, then please post the links below or send them to me directly at mark[at]betterbusinessblogging[dot]com and I’ll do the rest.

    Who says blogging’s not journalism?
    An interesting take on the alleged conflict between bloggers and journalists in the wake of the Engadget / Apple memo issue.

    Blogging is a conversation not a code
    A short article from Mike Butcher on the attempts to create a Bloggers code while referring back to the concept that blogging is about conversations.

    Avis rolls out blog site
    Avis has decide to set up and run a blog to support their customer service efforts – at last someone else is listening (about this use for blogging, I mean!!). Lots more posts to come on this!

    Blogosphere threatened by Google downtime
    It may not sound a lot, but in my book part of the reason why Blogger is never going to be the best choice for a business / corporate blog.

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    A useful article from Robert Plummer last night on the BBC website entitled Business bites the blogging bullet gives a nice overview of certain aspects of Business Blogging and from two separate standpoints.

    On the one hand, he looks at the world of Blogs from the standpoint of the large corporates which need to monitor what is being said about them in the blogosphere, ideally so they can enter into the conversation and participate in the debate to put their own side. On the other hand, the article identifies the ability of blogs to act as a powerful promotional tool to drive awareness, develop brands and ultimately create sales.

    For me, I particularly enjoyed the headings which summed up a number of different aspects of Business Blogging:

    Dell Hell
    The example of Dell and Jeff Jarvis’ blog, Buzzmachine, is well founded because of the impact it has had on their reputation. The viral nature of blogs in developing ongoing conversations is powerful with negative commentary as in Dells case, but equally so when used to positive effect.

    Its good to read the word opportunity associated with Business Blogging I still all too often see the word threat used, generally by companies which worry about not being able to control what is being said about them or PR companies worried about the changing face of their marketplace. One of the opportunities is now you know what is being said and can do something about it.

    Marketing Disruption
    Just as the change from mass media advertising to a more individual and personalised marketing focus caused a great deal of consternation in the marketing, so Business Blogging as part of emarketing has taken it a step further. Its now given the opportunity to interact with a vendor, develop a relationship and build trust with them.

    Micro-brand boost
    Blogs have also given businesses the opportunity to develop their own brand like never before and the tools to communicate to a wide audience both what they do and what they stand for. Dominating a niche is clearly not easy but the new marketing opportunities on offer, such as Blogs, does make it possible.

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    Neville Hobson in his post Business Blogging: Hills to Climb in Europe gives an interesting overview on the current level of understanding about Business Blogs based on the findings in the UPS Europe Business Monitor survey.

    What is clearly shows is that there is still a lack of awareness as to how Business Blogging can be used effectively from a business perspective. It indicated that even when it came to using blogs as an information resource, fewer than 10% of the executives were making use of the opportunities on offer. These figures dropped further when it came to monitoring their companys profile and reputation in blogs or using them as marketing or communication tools.

    All of these aspects are ideally suited to Business Blogs and its certainly worth restating the reasons why.

    • Business Blogs as information resources
      As an individual or as a company, we need to keep up to date with the latest developments and information. This is increasingly difficult using traditional media where papers and TVs select the items that they believe will be of interest to us rather than what we want to read. With Blogs, and to a lesser extent other online media, we can subscribe to the RSS feeds from Blogs covering the specific areas that we wish to read about and have the information delivered to us. Instantly.
    • Using Business Blogs to monitor your companys profile
      While PR companies offer services to monitor what is being said about your company in the traditional media, this is now only one of the avenues used to distribute comment and opinion, as well as being the slowest. News spreads much faster online so ensuring that you know what is being said as soon as it happens gives you a headstart in being able to deal with it or take advantage of it. Online resources such as Technorati or BlogPulse offer the opportunity to do this quickly and easily, giving you the ability to react much more quickly to what is being reported.
    • Using Business Blogs as a proactive marketing and business tools
      There is then the use of Business Blogs to as communication tools, allowing you to interact with your customers (and potential customers), display and share your knowledge in your area of expertise, undertake educational marketing etc., all of which will help to develop your own companys reputation on line.

    There seems to be a change of mindset required to realise that the information sources and the marketing methods that we have traditionally used have changed substantially over the past 10 years. They shouldnt be discarded totally but rather integrated with the newer methods such as Business Blogging – it also seems clear that companies in the UK currently taking steps in this respect are likely to gain a real advantage over their competitors.

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