What if you could broadcast your company news, brand attributes, or something especially cool about what you do with a few disciplined hours each week at your computer? Of course, you know that you can….by start blogging. You’re thinking, old news, right? Sure it is. But I’m here to reinforce the newsy part in the interest of good old truthiness: It’s another essential communications channel you can no longer ignore.
Blogging helps get out your message but it also — and perhaps, more importantly — optimizes search engines looking for new subject matter. These web spiders or bots, as some call them, are hungry like — Halloween metaphor warning ahead — blood-thirsty vampires and need fresh blood (content) all the time. So the more you post, the higher your name, brand or blog will come up in search rankings. As a moderator during a past webinar explained, in the online world, we are writing for robots now (I know, English and Humanities teachers are everywhere groaning in their chains).
They’re a lot of Blogs Out There (But Who’s Counting?)
If you look at the number of people blogging, it’s daunting (so don’t look — just do it). According to a February 2010 posting by Hat Trick Associate http://hattrickassociates.com/, a content creation company (yes, they will write your blog for you, if you can’t — and so will any good PR consultant), “the current estimates say there are about 400 million ‘active’ English language blogs right now, but that number varies according to the source. (Technorati estimated about 200 million blogs at the start of 2009) Of course, these numbers change every day, however, as new blogs are started by the thousands or tens of thousands every day, and a large number of blogs have also reached the point where they could be defined as ‘abandoned’ and should be subtracted. When including non-English in the total number, there may be over one billion blogs worldwide.”
How many people follow these blogs?
The Hat Trickers have this viewpoint: “This question is just as difficult to answer because there is no reliable tracking mechanism. But certainly, we are talking about many hundreds of millions of people, maybe 500 or 600 million total. If you include non-English blogs, we can easily assume a number well above a billion people, perhaps even more than 2 billion, or about 1 out of every 3 human beings on the planet.” At that rate, before long blogging will be a birthright in every country.
And I concur: “…. an active blog is absolutely VITAL to establishing a strong web presence for your company or brands because this allows you to regularly share “fresh” content, the kind that has become key to solid search engine (SEO) rankings from Google, Yahoo, Bing, Ask.com and every other major engine…whose web crawlers are constantly seeking out and indexing new content.”
Recently I was asked to write a short essay about why lawyers should blog for a law firm’s newsletter. Here, in part, are truncated highlights from that piece:
- “Real Lawyers Have Blogs,” written by Kevin O’Keefe at http://kevin.lexblog.com/. A trial lawyer, O’Keefe’s site says his blog “is a leading source of information on the use of blogs and social media for law firm marketing.” He looks like he aggregates blogs from all over the place and a myriad of practice areas. Bookmark it.
- We found other blogs like the one from a New York Personal Injury Blog that asks if lawyers should blog about their cases. This seems like a legal minefield to a non-lawyer. But the fact that an attorney or someone on the outside can read and learn about the pros and cons of that issue readily underscores why lawyers should blog.
Blogging as Contemplation (for you and your readers)
- After putting together a marketing and public relations campaign for the non-profit organization, the tireless Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet Ministries Foundation, a blog site was added for the then-Executive Director, a nun. It was called “The Blogging Nun.” The first day that Sister Irene’s first blog was posted, a reporter from Reuters News based in Saigon emailed her back and wanted to know if any nuns were blogging in his neck of the woods! A good dialog ensued.
- The good sister mentioned above continued to blog two-to-three times a week and found that in some ways, it was a powerful contemplative practice that allowed her some quiet time to reflect on her work and the deep social issues that the foundation deals with hourly. Sure, she’s predisposed toward contemplation. But a blog done right — which some have rightly compared to an open diary — is a perfect communications tool to utilize in framing the intentions and the impacts of what a smart, reliable attorney [or, insert your occupation here__________] does every day.
If the only thing that’s ultimately holding you back is getting started, a recent column by the Pioneer Press’ superb technology reporter (who’s also written a popular book about Twitter), Julio Ojeda-Zapata, offers some keen insights into what platforms to use, based on his experience. Plus there are many online resources to help you get going as well. Check out Julio’s advice at: http://www.twincities.com/techtestdrive/ci_16218569?nclick_check=1
See you in blogland!
For more resources, see the Library topic Public and Media Relations.
Martin Keller runs Media Savant Communications Co., a Public Relations and Media Communications consulting company based in the Twin Cities. Keller has helped move client stories to media that includes The New York Times, Larry King, The CBS Evening News with Katie Couric, plus many other magazines, newspapers, trade journals, and other media outlets. Contact him at email@example.com, or 612-729-8585