Is blogging really a marketing activity?

Blogging amazes me. And scares me. I’m a far from expert blogger, and the purpose of this blog makes the spontaneity which makes the medium so powerful seem inappropriate. But I love blog reading. I love the uninhibited candour of those who can and will get up and share the contents of their mind with strangers. I love the edginess of their blogs. I love the vigour and sexiness. I have frequently found myself brought to tears, made to laugh out loud or placed in sheer awe of the writing skills and unexpected enthusiasms of the authors. But is blogging really a business skill?

In a large business, I’m not certain that it is. The endevour of blog producing will always be likely to seem contrived, as though something essentially ‘free spirited’ has been coerced for commercial gain.

But not so in a small business. The blog of a hairdresser, or a painter and decorator, or a software developer, or an accountant or, dare I say it, a copywriter, can be personal, informative and image building. It can establish authority in the field and introduce the author to a new, loyal and affectionate readership some of whom may, in time, become customers.

If you plan to blog on behalf of someone else, as a copywriting task, be warned: it’s very hard indeed to simulate the passion of ownership which good blogging requires.

But if you plan to use it as a tool in your own business, then go ahead. If you get it right, you’ll enrich the world.

6 Responses to “Is blogging really a marketing activity?”

  1. Catherine

    I imagine it can be difficult to get the tone of these blogs right, since they occupy a middle ground between the personal and purely professional. I suppose experience and common sense are the best guide as to what is ‘too much information’ for prospective clients!

  2. Russell Cavanagh

    I have had work off the back of my blog – devising and writing a PR campaign for a management consultancy and a regular web/national print spot – so I recommend pasting in blog URLs into email signatures, etc. It’s working for me!
    http://uneviedematelot.livejournal.com/
    I find the blog allows expression of opinion as well as distribution of information and to some degree a further writing showcase opportunity.
    Thanks for the “tools” by the way.
    Hope all is well with you.
    Regards.

  3. Laurence Blume

    Ah! But the point is not as to whether a ‘real’ blog, which yours most certainly is, is worthwhile (which clearly it is); the point is whether the kind of blog contrived by a company for marketing purposes can ever feel as though it has the ‘guiding passion’ which makes a real blog worth reading.

  4. Russell Cavanagh

    That’s the basic conundrum of copywriting surely? When hired to write persuasively on something one does not necessarily care about … potentially underestimating the intelligence of the target audience … agreeing with the client that something can be done when perhaps it should not be attempted …
    Even people with the little education and limited life-opportunities are probably sufficiently media savvy these days to spot a contrived (or just lifeless) blog.
    BBC R4 very recently broadcast a programme about “method acting” and it occurs to me that there is perhaps a place for “method copywriting”. (Sounds like a new course that someone will devise and advertise on the web … and it might actually be a good one)

  5. Laurence Blume

    Method Copywriting! That is a concept of real genius! Module One will involve helping copywriters to think themselves into the space of someone who cares passionately enough about someone else’s provincial IT networking consultancy on a sustainable day to day basis to be able to write entertainingly and informatively even when they don’t feel like it!