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June 16, 2008

Impact Your Industry Through Blogging

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Jeremiah Owyang had a great post on Friday about the opportunities and challenges of corporate, team and personal blogs. A lot gets said about blogging. People talk about how it’s a great way to add content to your Web site, to establish yourself as a leader, to join the conversation, to put out fires, etc. You’ve all heard the arguments for why blogging is a worthwhile branding strategy for your company. But I don’t think any of those reasons represent the real power of blogging.

If you tuned into SEM Synergy last week, you may have heard Bruce, Virginia and Susan talking about corporate blogging (or not, there seemed to be some sound difficulties with the recording). During their chat, which I couldn’t participate in because Susan had locked me in a closet, Bruce touched on a benefit of blogging that I don’t think gets nearly enough attention – The ability to form your industry and help set its course.

Even if you’re just now getting the hang of marketing your company on these Internetz, you probably haven’t missed much. Whatever your industry, chances are it’s only in the very early stages of being formed and cutting out its presence online. By joining the blogosphere and developing a strong industry voice, it gives you the ability to help shape it. What other medium affords you that?

We’ll take Bruce Clay as an example. Coming back from SMX Advanced I took an unpopular stance and argued that SMX Advanced had perhaps veered off course. Part of me wishes I hadn’t written that post because of all the personal attacks and infighting that occurred, but I know that in the end it was worth it. It started a conversation that needed to be had. What is advanced search engine optimization? Does black hat SEO fit into that? Where is our responsibility? Is it a matter of risk vs reward? I think it was an important conversation to have. It’s one that will help shape the way advanced conferences are run in the future, and in turn, what direction our industry will take.

That’s what blogging is about. And that’s what I love most about it.

If you’re not really invested in your industry and are just out to make a quick buck, then don’t even worry about it. But if you got involved in whatever space you’re in because you care, then blogging gives you an enormous platform to steer the conversation and the actions of your industry. Yes, doing this will undoubtedly help you establish yourself as an authority in your field, but even bigger than that is how it helps shape the industry itself. It ensures that the important issues are discussed and debated in the open. It encourages progress.

If there’s a topic that’s affecting your kind, blog about it. Get others to blog about it. Use your blog to push the conversation along. Don’t repeat what everyone else is saying or join the bandwagon. Stick up and fight for the industry issues you believe in and the ones you don’t think get enough attention. You may get a few rocks thrown your way, but at the end of the day, you’re doing something that matters. Sure, you’re building your brand and creating content for your Web site, but you’re also laying the groundwork for the future of your industry.

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One response to “Impact Your Industry Through Blogging”

  1. Chris Miller writes:

    Great find – but if I can suggest a sequel to this post, how do you decide what kind of blog is best for your branding objectives? You can use WordTracker, the Bruce Clay Toolset, and a few others to make a guess for SEO purposes, but how do you find out what kind of blog will best help your company shape it’s industry?



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