Now wouldnâ€™t you want to be part of this network? I believe that any business blogger would jump at the chance to be included in the new blog network that Forbes has launched. It is not that easy though. Based on the news report by Brand Republic, it seems that not everyone can join Forbesâ€™ new baby:
Participation in the blog network is by invitation only and Forbes said that all blogs are vetted by its editors to ensure appropriate content and that it is in keeping with the Forbes editorial brand.
According to Forbes, the launch of the network is recognition of the growing importance that blogs and networks of blogs have within the media landscape.
Jim Spanfeller, Forbes.com president and CEO, said: “There is no denying the growing importance and influence of blogs within the media landscape. Forbes.com can ensure advertisers are reaching a hard-to-find and very desirable audience within safe, well-lit environments by exclusively inviting ‘best of breedâ€™ business and investing bloggers to our new Business and Finance Blog Network.”
I think that instead of being detracted, business and finance blog owners should see this as a challenge. It is true that it will not be easy to become part of the network but IF one reaches that goal, then it would be a huge achievement in itself, donâ€™t you think?
Blogging has been around for quite some time and as with most things, change is inevitable. I am sure that we have all foreseen these changes, although we might not have seen specific things about it. I like what I read at Conversational Media Marketing and how they outlined the changes in the blogosphere. More importantly, though, they presented some of the more significant changes that are taking place this year and beyond. Here is an excerpt of the blog post:
1. WordPress is now considered a lightweight CMS platform, not just a blog platform. (Has been for a while.) It’s becoming more common to see entire Web sites being built using WP or some other blog-related CMS. For example, two real estate news Web sites, RIS Media and Inman News, have now completely coverted their sites to blog-based platforms.
2. WordPress is also morphing into a social media application, as is Movable Type, which now has a social network version. I can imagine other blog platforms will follow suit.
3. New blog platforms continue to be built.
4. The widgetization of the web is a trend that will contribute to the welfare of blogs, as widgets can be plugged into the sidebar, extending the functionality of blogs as more of a social networking platform.
5. Blog posts will be less anecdotal and more article-like in their format. More of what Brian Clark refers to as value blogging. That, to me, spells maturity. The less important, more transient content now ends up on Twitter, Facebook or Utterz. This leaves the blog as the repository for more thoughtfully prepared material.
Indeed, blogging is becoming more mature and we can find great content in a lot of blogs today. Being aware of these changes can help us keep up with them and allows us to continue to have a strong presence online.
There are people who automatically blame others for their failure. These people find someone else to blame and in fact, blame everyone else â€“ except for themselves. My parents raised me wrongly, my classmates bullied me, my professors duped me into believing something false, my colleagues ganged up on me and so on. On the other end of the spectrum, there are people who always take the blame upon themselves. I did it. This happened because of me. I didnâ€™t do enough thatâ€™s why I failed. As you can see, both points of view are quite extreme and probably not healthy.
Yet what Chris Sandberg shares in his blog kind of struck a chord within me. He shares:
A few weeks ago at Russell Brunsonâ€™s 12 Month Internet Millionaire Workshop, one of the speakers said something to the effect of: if you are not successful itâ€™s all your fault. This implies that you have control over your future, meaning that if you really are not successful you have the control to change it. Success doesnâ€™t happen immediately but by taking control of your life and taking the actions necessary to become successful, you will become successful.
I get his point â€“ we may not have control over all the circumstances that we encounter but we do have control regarding how we behave and how we react. Seen from this point of view, then it should follow that we can all be successful â€“ it just depends on how we handle the situation. What are your thoughts on this?
I love the technology and gadgets â€“ I donâ€™t feel more comfortable than when I have my laptop in front of me, reading blogs, browsing web pages, and writing for my blogs. Yet there are times when I just yearn for the feel of the pages of a book instead of having the mouse in my hand. Maybe some of you feel that way sometimes as well. If you do, then hereâ€™s a good book for you to read when you get that urge to turn those pages.
Blogging for Business: Everything You Need To Know And Why You Should Care is written by Shel Holtz and Ted Demopoulos. It tells you why you should welcome business blogging with open arms. More so, it gives practical tips and ideas on how to go about it. Some points that you would encounter in the book are:
â€¢ How to tap into the power of blogs
â€¢ How blogs are different from e-zines, Web sites, and message boards
â€¢ Why businesses need to monitor blogs that discuss their products and services
â€¢ How to use an internal corporate blog as an effective knowledge sharing tool
â€¢ Future iterations of blogging, such as podcasts and vlogs
â€¢ Legal considerations
In fact, many other people appreciate this book and what it has to offer. Take Paul Bakerâ€™s review of the book. If you need more information on the book, check out Amazon â€“ they have it on sale right now.
If the article that Report On Business published over the weekend is to be believed, blogging indeed adds a certain something to being a good CEO. However, statistics show that only a small minority of CEOs of the Fortune 500 companies have taken up blogging. Socialtext lists only 54 Fortune 500 CEOs who are blogging.
So why should CEOs blog? Take Jim Estill, CEO of a Canadian company. His company was taken over by Synnex Canada Ltd several years ago. At that time, he felt (and rightly so) that he was merely a name to his new employees. They knew nothing about their new boss. So he took it upon himself to take steps to change that and he chose blogging as the medium. Beginning with that simple reason, Estill started blogging and is now, perhaps, one of the most popular CEO bloggers in the country. What started out as a means to reach out to his new employees is now something that reaches out beyond his company. His employees, customers, vendors, and people not even remotely linked to him are now his readers.
Jim Estill is not alone. There are many CEOs out there who are into blogging. And they all say that they are better CEOs for it. However, if this is really the case, why arenâ€™t all CEOs blogging? I suppose there are many issues, one being legal concerns. Another thing is that it takes time â€“ something which not many CEOs have. The bottom line â€“ understand what blogging can do to make you a better CEO and better your company as well. Then decide if it is for you.
Letâ€™s take a look at a couple more reasons your business blog could be a flop, according to Ben Stephenson.
You have no idea how your blog is supposed to support business objectives and therefore you have no content strategy.
This is one of the biggest mistakes that business owners commit when it comes to their business blogs, I believe. They hear about how blogging has turned around so many businesses and how blogging has increased the revenues of others dramatically so they think, Hey, we should do this ourselves! There is nothing wrong here â€“ except when the understanding is not expanded to how blogs can do something for the business. I assume that the reason you are reading this blog is precisely because you want to understand â€“ and thatâ€™s a good thing. So, before you immerse yourself in the blogosphere, make sure that you know what you expect from your blog and how you can achieve that.
You think the IT department should run it.
I particularly liked this reason because I have heard so many business owners say this about blogs. Oh, theyâ€™re for IT because itâ€™s a technical issue. Nothing could be more incomplete of a picture! Of course, there is an IT side to it â€“ it makes use of technology! However, just because one is an IT person does not mean that he can blog and that he can make the blog work to the businessâ€™s advantage.
Again, the bottom line is in understanding what the business blog can do for you and how you can manipulate it to achieve the results that you want.
In the last post, we saw two reasons your business blog may be a flop. Here are some more reasons behind the â€œunsuccessâ€ of your business blog.
Your comments are turned off.
You may think that this is common sense but believe me, there have been too many cases of blog owners not being aware of this fact. Comments for blogs have been created for a purpose â€“ to entice and encourage interaction between the blogger and the reader and the reader and other readers. If your comments are turned off, the chances are that your readers will be turned off as well! What use is it to them if they cannot voice out their thoughts and opinions on what you have to say? If that is the case, then they might as well visit other blogs wherein they can share their ideas OR read news sites.
Youâ€™ve never heard of links.
Or maybe you have but you donâ€™t use them. Why would any blogger NOT use links? Perhaps they donâ€™t know how. Or maybe they donâ€™t think it is important. Well, hereâ€™s a wake up call â€“ linking is an integral part of blogging! You need to establish your presence on the web and one of the most effective ways is to link out to others so that they will know that you exist. In this way, you can expect others to become aware of your blog and who knows, they might start linking to your blog as well!
Letâ€™s look at more reasons in the next post.
I know â€“ where is the positivity in the title? Nowhere, really. I just ran across this entertaining but quite genuine blog post about why business blogs â€œsuck.â€ The post was written by Ben Stephenson over at Remarkablogger. Letâ€™s see what he has to say and what we can learn from it.
Itâ€™s duct-taped and stapled onto your existing site with no thought to how to integrate blog and web site or an overall redesign.
Ok, that is pretty self-explanatory donâ€™t you think? You may be laughing or snickering and thinking â€œWho would ever do that?â€ Well, the truth is, there is a good number of businessmen out there who do not know much about the Web and what they can actually do with it. They simply know that it is vital to the growth of their business so they take a dip in the water without really knowing what they are doing. This is the key â€“ if you are going to join the bandwagon and establish your web presence, make sure that you at least have a working knowledge of your strategy and implementation. You donâ€™t have to be a tech expert â€“ you can hire people for that if you have the means to do so. However, do make sure that you know the direction you want to take and how you are going to get there.
Itâ€™s on Blogger, which makes you look cheap and/or like a spammer and nobody likes Bloggerâ€™s commenting system OR Itâ€™s on TypePad, which means itâ€™s probably ugly and because itâ€™s hosted someplace else from your main site, you have a very fractured idea about its visitor analytics combined with your business site.
The message? Get your own domain. Weâ€™ve talked about this in previous posts – branding your blog.
More to come.
In the last post, I was talking about some tips to promote your blog. With all the blogs that exist today, what are the chances of other people finding your blog? It just might very well be like the proverbial needle in the haystack! Well, that is if you do not exert a real effort in promoting your blog so that other people will be able to find your blog even if they do not even know that you exist â€“ yet.
The last of the three tips we talked about was focusing on originality. How does one define what is original? I suppose you can look at it in two ways. One, original in the sense that it is your own work, ideas not lifted off someone elseâ€™s blog or web site. Two, original in the sense that the post does not merely repeat what you have said one or two posts ago.
So ask yourself, just how original is your business blog? Are your posts merely full of quotes from other blogs or web sites? Now, donâ€™t get me wrong. I donâ€™t find anything wrong getting inspiration and ideas from other sources â€“ thatâ€™s how great posts begin actually. But if you do quote from other sources, at least mention it! Also, throw in your own perspectives â€“ those are what make your posts your own.
On to the second point â€“ do you merely repeat concepts and ideas over and over again in various posts? Sometimes this is necessary, especially if there are many aspects to a certain concept. However, make sure that there is something new that you are presenting â€“ it may be the same topic but with an additional point of view, perhaps.