5 Reasons Every Official Team Should Blog

by Shannon Paul on February 11, 2009

The following is a very official guest post from the one and only Liz Strauss.

She’s quite possibly one of the wisest people I know when it comes to blogging, social media communications or anything else for that matter, so pay attention! Oh, and thanks. :)

Big Voice on the Field, Bigger Voice in the World

lizstrauss5

I sat at a negotiation for a screwed up business deal. A sales rep had continuously misrepresented what I would be paying for. The contract was etched in ice and she didn’t walk on water.

Finally I went to the guy who was the General Manager. I said, “She’s young, made too many mistakes, and I’d like to move things forward. We’re only regular people trying to do business here.”

He said, “No you’re not. You’ve got hundreds of thousands of hits on your name.”

I spoke quietly, “Sir, if I had a dollar for every Google result — it was close to 2 million under that algorithm — I’d be a rich lady, but I’m not … That just means I have a very loud voice.”

In his business, that man’s voice was the loudest and most powerful. On the Internet, mine outspoke his and his company’s by miles. To this day if you Google liz my work appears soon after Liz Claiborne and long before Liz Taylor.

That’s the power of a blog.

The Reach and Power of a Very Official Blog

One misconception that many nonbloggers have is that blogs are the poor person’s website. Appearances aside, the differences put that idea in the dust. Blogs might better be described as websites and intranets evolved. Google loves blogs. Blogs offer constant updated content and Google is in the business of serving content to searchers so that they can sell their ads.

Blogs are entirely different technology based on content management. Fortune 500 companies might not have a noisy online blogging presence, but companies such as CNN, The New York Times, the FBI, the CIA and Homeland Security all have blogs.

What do they know?

  • Blogs are inexpensive to start and run.
  • Blogs require relatively little technical expertise to use.
  • Blogs offer sophisticated content management systems that can handle daily updating by multiple users.
  • Blogs are interactive. They invite communication.
  • Blogs can easily be accessed from all kinds of internet connections–even telephones.
  • Blogs offer a flexibility of uses to meet the needs of the moment.

Just as we upgrade our skill sets, blogs are 21st-century websites and intranets. New blogware such as WordPress 2.7, MU, and Enterprise can manage the most complex content system, but they are more entrepreneurial — faster, more flexible, more innovative and accessible — and they do it at smaller business costs.

Blogs can be as beautiful as any website . . . and they’re smart too. Blogs don’t have to just sit there. They can actually hold an intelligent conversation in real time. Imagine getting to know your fiercely loyal fans and getting them to bring back their friends to talk with you. No website has room for that.

Blogs are promotion. They are customer relations. They are community and communication. They are even team meetings across continents. Blogs are problem solvers and a fine way to establish a team brand.

Do you have blogging in your strategic plan? It’s not hard. A blogger can show you how in a few hours.
And they can amplify and official voice with the speed and the reach of the Internet.

Liz Strauss is the founder of SOBCon09, Biz School for Bloggers. She writes at Successful-Blog.com

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{ 22 comments… read them below or add one }

February 11, 2009 Danny Brown 1

Great points, although there is the flip-side to this.

Blogs take a lot of time and effort to work properly. An unloved blog (from the author’s point of view) is just as bad as not having a blog at all.

There are millions of blogs that are started with good intentions, which then fall by the wayside when people realize how much time and effort is actually needed to make an effective blog.

Not every business owner has that time.

Unless you have the time and *love* that a blog needs, starting one and then letting it slide is the probable end effect.

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February 11, 2009 David Niall Wilson 2

Particularly if you are in a business where you offer something in the way of services, product, or quality that your competitors cannot, blogging can give you the edge. If your content is updated and relevant, you can draw in the people looking for exactly the solutions you provide…and if you handle SEO well, yours will top the list when people go to look.

Just as in any other opportunity or competition, though, you can’t win if you don’t play.

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February 11, 2009 Yael K. Miller 3

Liz, I really like this post. It says very clearly why blogs are good (great). I will definitely be using this when trying to explain to people why blogs are important.

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February 11, 2009 Ed Richardson 4

Great post Liz,

The conversations that I’ve enjoyed from blogging and the contacts and friends that have transpired from blogging is only one aspect of the benefits I’ve found.

Creating discussion and further engagement, not only increases your knowledge of your subject or visitors, but gives you the opportunity to legitimately continue expressing your expertise on a subject.

The technology required to blog is simple and most can get involved in the process.

The one thing that is required is a degree of commitment to the cause. There’s nothing worse than a comment falling on deaf ears.

Cheers Liz.

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February 11, 2009 mobasoft 5

Each new blog is yet another silo of information. They don’t need to start their own, they simply need to find an already existing or emerging site and join in on the conversations currently taking place.

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February 11, 2009 Todd Smith 6

I got Shannon on Liz’s blog yesterday and now Liz on Shannon’s blog today. Love you both.

Yes, my experience is that google loves my blog more than any other part of my website.

One thing I learned from you, Liz, is that blogs are a great way build relationships – not just get hits.

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February 11, 2009 Hetty4 7

Good, concise points, Liz. However, I strongly agree with Dan Brown who commented earlier. A blog has to be well written and meaningful — or in Dan’s words, “well-loved” — to be successful. If you don’t have the person or people with the time and the skills to write passionately, the blog will be lost in the clutter and possible have a detrimental effect on your brand or products. No amount of good design or easy-to-use technology will replace quality content.

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February 11, 2009 Stephen 8

I’ve been telling my clients that it would be in their interest to start blogging and 95% of them are loathe to do so.

I think it’s the fear factor combined with the time factor from the feedback I’ve had, however, if they want to be heard then it’s in their interest to overcome the perceived obstacles and get on with it.

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February 11, 2009 Shannon Paul 9

Liz,
Thank you so much for writing a guest post for ME!!!

I’m sure we’re all aware of the pitfalls of keeping up a blog — I’m definitely no exception. :) However, reminding people of the power of blogs is extremely important! If companies or individuals are ready to roll up their sleeves and harness that power, the information exists to support their decision. Liz is also a great guide (and example) in that process for many of us.

Thanks for the great info and for sharing it here.

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February 11, 2009 Liz Strauss 10

No worry, Shannon.
I darn right agree.
Not everyone should blog — only the ones who want to have a voice, and to have a voice you have to stay in the conversation.

Yeah, yeah, yeah, a blog without commitment is a waste of bandwidth. So is a sports team without a heart or a game face. So is a car without an engine.

I trust the folks that read Shannon’s blog to know a commitment when they make one. :)

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February 11, 2009 Liz Strauss 11

@Danny,
I agree that it’s best not to start a blog unless you know how much love a good blog needs to grow. I’m with you.

@David Niall Wilson
That’s just it. If you love your business, your product / service, a blog can use the speed and the reach of the Internet to attract folks who love what you do.

@Yael
Sometimes it’s good to go back to remind ourselves too. Getting basic again gets us all to reflect on why we do what we do. Being able to tell others is definitely a benefit. :)

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February 11, 2009 Liz Strauss 12

Hi Ed!
I’m so glad you added that. One of the first things I tell folks is that blogging isn’t about the writing — it’s about the people. The connections and community is what keeps us going through the ideas and the thinking and the work to put it altogether on our blogs. Don’t you think?

Hey mobasoft,
I guess it would all depend on whether they have something truly new to say. If they don’t I hope they do what you’re suggesting. The Internet has too many forms of content “copying.”

Todd,
You know I live for the relationships. (Though my relationship with Google isn’t one of them.) You are one of the best folks that I’ve found this year. :)

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February 11, 2009 Liz Strauss 13

Hey Hetty4,
I’m so with you. Nothing is worse than a bored blogger blogging. Gotta be someone what actually likes people and wants to connect with them, someone who has something to say. That’s why the header says “Bigger Voice in the World.”

No voice and I hope they keep their lack of ideas to themselves. Yeah. Cool design over empty talking doesn’t do anything.

Hi Stephen!
They gotta have a reason that fits into their lives. Just like we have to have a reason to do things that we didn’t want to do at first too. When the ones who want to connect find out that it’s connections, they want to blog. Maybe some who don’t want to just know they’re not bloggers.

Someone suggested I blog in 1998. I started my first blog in 2005. I listen slowly. :)

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February 11, 2009 Liz Strauss 14

Shannon,
It was a pleasure to be here. Thank you for sharing your blog with me.

Thank you also for coming over to help with my own yesterday. :)

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February 12, 2009 Todd Smith 15

Thanks, Liz. I’ve been thinking the same thing about you–you’re awesome! You always give the same simple message: build relationships, but every time I think I’ve got it, you raise the bar a notch! I’m almost flying now! :)

Now I know… the reason I started blogging last year was so I could meet amazing people like Liz.

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February 12, 2009 Hendry Lee 16

A blog is not for everyone. It takes a lot of planning and hard work (or love). I can’t agree more with that.

But the definition about boring is relative. Find the right audience by being specific. We can’t satisfy everyone. In my blog, people call me names but I focus on those who tell me regularly how useful my blog posts are.

I’d rather have 100 loyal readers and fans than 1,000 skimmers.

I think it is part of the strategy to create bigger voice?

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February 12, 2009 Krev18 17

I agree completely with the article and think that it is excellent. However, how important is blogging for someone such as myself? I’m a tennis playing, college student in Michigan. I do not have a lot of cool projects or insights that I can give to readers besides things in my daily life.

I have a friend who is an engineering student at Purdue University who has started a blog with insight just to his daily life. Is that really worth starting when the only people who care are people like me, his friends?

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February 12, 2009 Liz Strauss 18

Hey Todd!
You’ve found your mix. You keep your voice authentic and keep it out there. :)

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February 12, 2009 Liz Strauss 19

Hi Hendry,
As you say, the definition of “boring” is relative. So is the the definition of “bigger.”

I said at BlissDom this past weekend I’d rather have 100 readers who are right for my blog than 100 million. I sure meant that.

When you’re voice is right, you know.

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February 12, 2009 Liz Strauss 20

Hi Krev18,
The most important thing about a blog is knowing why you’re blogging. Some folks blog for readers; some blog for self-expression; some blog to keep in touch with people; some blog offer service to their customers.

Not everyone needs to be blogging.

I do believe there are reasons to own your name online, though. It’s where you can tell your personal story from your own point of view. In this day of Facebook and other things our friends are doing and saying, if we don’t do that someone else can tell our story.

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February 12, 2009 Shannon Paul 21

Liz, thanks for having me and thanks for sharing your voice over here. I can’t wait to hang out again!

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March 30, 2009 Sybil 22

Thanks, Shannon, for the tips on blogging. I stumbled on your blog through another blog. I just started a blog three weeks ago and often wonder what it takes to be good at it. Thanks again.

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