[Warning, there's math in this post.]
“If you won’t have a blog, don’t bother sending us your manuscript. That’s a pretty strong statement…” The article starts.
I like strong statements because they speak in absolutes and are a great tool for facilitating conversation around the less absolute aspects of a position. Before reading the article, I would have agreed with the statement in full. After reading the comments, I still agree, but I’d phrase it differently.
“A blog should be considered to be part of an overall plan, not a requirement. If a blog makes sense, then it should be used, but it’s by no means a necessary piece…”
IMO, he’s reacting to the word “blog”. But, I’d like to define two things about blogging that are really separate:
- The posts themselves. Blog posts imply writing, more writing than a quick tweet or status update. They also imply that readers want more detailed and insightful commentary (they may not).
- Then, there are the characteristics of blogging that make it so compelling. I believe these characteristics to be critical in developing a social media strategy. These include the ideas of non-static content, content marketing, inbound marketing, and “becoming the expert“.
It’s this second area that’s really critical, and why everyone (EVERYONE, not just aspiring authors) should have a blog. By that I mean
they should have a web site that has dynamic content to enable inbound content marketing, and become the expert (at something) so that people want to give you business.
It’s not about the blog posts necessarily, it’s about being the expert.
When it comes to establishing and demonstrating your expertise, blogs are the new black.
Your blog is your professional face, it’s your online modern resume, and it’s your portfolio (even if you’re not an artist).
Why? Why not Facebook, or Twitter, or LinkedIn?
Simple. Those tools are extremely valuable, even to the point where statistics show brands’ Facebook pages to be more popular than brands’ websites. However, as an individual/professional (and my target audience for social media coaching are professionals and professional organizations) you have a different objectives. Your objectives are to be findable, to differentiate with value/expertise (not price), and to maintain a long-term presence in your profession.
The tools above will help you do that, but you need to bring it all together in a single place that is YOU.
When you have a “blog” (and by blog, I mean “Media Hub”) you:
- Own the content
- Own the layout
- Own the roadmap
You’ll have outposts on other sites, and they may be your prime point of engagement with your community. However, when someone wants to make a decision about doing business with you, they no longer walk in your door, nor do they call you on the phone. They come to your web site. And, if it doesn’t represent your professional distinction, you’re at a disadvantage to others and will have to compete on price. (Another absolute statement that’s not absolute.)
And, for Kelli, who passionately said
“Rejecting a brilliant manuscript because that author doesn’t have a blog isn’t just harsh, it’s foolish and short-sighted.”
It’s like mathematical probability. Once you have the manuscript, they’ll judge it by it’s marketability. (Once a coin is tossed, it is either heads or tails, it’s no longer 50% one or the other.). However, over a large sample size, what’s the probability of a single manuscript being selected… that’s where a successful blog social media hub comes in to play.
In closing, there were some good points made about engagement with the target market on twitter and facebook in the comments. And, I fully agree with these points – go to the consumer, where the consumer is and communicate the way the consumer prefers. However, from the professional’s perspective you also want to tie that content back into your social media hub so that others that stumble across you see it too. And, they’re more likely to stumble across you on your site if your content is there. So, it’s a bit of a self-fulfilling mechanism.
I’ll leave you with this thought…
None of the major social web sites are public yet. Meaning, they don’t answer to shareholders. Google has to answer to shareholders. Could this be why they can’t seem to compete with Twitter, LinkedIn or Facebook? What happens to today’s social media companies when they go public? Or worse, what happens if they get MySpaced? Do you still want them owning your content? You need to get out ahead of whatever happens to this market so that you can own your own professional career.
Image credits to: http://www.hetemeel.com/einsteinform.php