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Exploring the business of blogging

Blogging is 20 years old. It took off in the late-90s with the development of consumer broadband in Europe and the US.

By now it was predicted to be a dominant form of media, and in Europe at least, it isn’t. Why is that?

I sought out the opinion of respected bloggers in my network and asked them about the future of blogging. I also asked them to share the benefits they’d experienced from blogging.

The responses were varied. The business of blogging involves learning, professional and personal development, networking and profile. It is evolving but for those individuals and organisations that are prepared to invest the effort it has a strong future.

I originally envisaged sharing the responses in a blog post. But as you’ll see that wouldn’t have done the topic, or the responses, justice.

Instead I’ve compiled them into a series of essays and published them in this ebook and published it on Slideshare. You can download it using the save button.

My thanks to Richard Bailey, Heather Baker, Stuart Bruce, Judy Gombita, Andrew Grill, Neville Hobson, Chris Lake, Rich Leigh, Rachel Miller, Mat Morrison, Lee Odden, Dan Slee, Heather Yaxley and Philip Young.

I recommend that you look up each of the authors online and connect with them via their blogs as I have done over the last 10 years. Their contributions show that the business of blogging is alive and well.

Here’s a link to each of their blogs, and a summary of what they each had to say.

A building block for business

Lee Odden“We have invested in more than a million words about topics our target audience cares about. The payoff is virtually no cost of sale and bringing major companies in as clients from McKesson to Dell to LinkedIn along with being cited by the Wall Street Journal, The New York Times and The Economist.”

Lee Odden, TopRankBlog.com

A shop window to the world

Stuart Bruce“Real blogs that express opinions are the future as they chime with the increased demand from people for increased openness and transparency from companies, organisations and government.”

Stuart Bruce, A PR Guy’s Musings

Building a network and a business

Rachel Miller“Blogging translates thoughts from my head into action in my network, and is the lifeblood of my business. As a professional communicator, it has allowed me to experiment with style, format and content and connect and collaborate with like-minded people.”

Rachel Miller, All Things IC

Thinking, connecting, and sharing

Dan Slee“I’ve blogged for five years. Why do I blog? Because I can flesh out an idea far easier online than in practice. I can capture or share. It’s changed how I think, how I work and I’m finding doors opening that the blog has led me to.”

Dan Slee, The Dan Slee Blog

Blogging with a public relations-specific and global mindset

Judy Gombita“I can attest that being involved in a global, collective blog that consistently produces high-calibre articles has had a significant impact on my professional profile and global network.”

Judy Gombita, PR Conversations

Building and serving a community better than mainstream media

Richard LeighPRexamples.com serves a very useful purpose of fostering a community based around quickly-highlighted examples, providing me with a supplemental income stream and delivering more than just eyeballs, something traditional media fails to do half as well.”

Rich Leigh, PRexamples

Your start with blogging

Neville Hobson“Writing and publishing something that sets out what you think about a topic is one of the easiest – and pleasurable – uses of your time that can put you at the heart of discussion, debate and people’s attention.”

Neville Hobson, NevilleHobson.com

Open and transparent thinking

Mat Morrison“The sense of having an audience, however small, keeps me thinking about new research peripheral to the work that I do from day to day; this keeps me fresh.”

Mat Morrison, The Magic Bean Lab

Reasons to keep blogging

Heather Yaxley“In an increasingly competitive world for individuals and organisations, it is not enough to simply be able to ‘do’ things or even to do them well. You need to be able to know why something is the right thing to do – and be able to explain this to others.”

Heather Yaxley, Greenbanana

A career development and personal reputation platform

Andrew Grill“I am also certain that every new role I have been offered has in some way been helped by my blogging profile and presence. I know that the requests I receive to speak at conferences have been a direct result of my blog presence.”

Andrew Grill, London Calling

Blogging reframed

Richard Bailey“There’s a strong case to me made for personal publishing, and a blurred line between the personal and professional. A student blogger using free, open source WordPress is using the same tool as many professional sites across commerce, media and government.”

Richard Bailey, PR Studies

Creation, curation and community

Philip Young“Blogs are undeniably elitist – only a limited number of people have the skills to create engaging content, whether in terms of writing ability or having something to say. “

Philip Young, Mediations

Excellence is hard to find

Heather Baker“The reality is that most blogs are poorly managed, attract dismal readership numbers and are soon abandoned. Does this mean that blogging is dead? Of course not. It just means it’s not easy. Like most things in business the blogging market is subject to the basic principles of supply and demand.”

Heather Baker, The B2B PR Blog

The evolution of blogging

Chris Lake“The blog has hugely surpassed our own expectations in all areas. It now underpins our social media activity, our email and search strategy, and more than a million stories are read on it every month. It also generates a very healthy profit for our business.”

Chris Lake, Econsultancy

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Stephen Waddington

European Digital & Social Media Director at Ketchum and President of the CIPR. Author of Brand Anarchy and Brand Vandals; and editor and contributor to Share This and Share This Too. Visiting Professor of Practice in Public Relations at the University of Newcastle.