Then, you only had blogs, the websites that enabled anyone with a thought to create a web page (a post) and publish it. But those websites and those who blogged kick-started a near-revolution in how people expressed themselves and who did that self-expressing.
That time is epitomized in Hugh MacLeod’s “Read my blog” cartoon from 2005.
Today, the blogging landscape has changed radically, with myriad tools and channels that offer platforms for you to to create and communicate something online in ways that not only present words (and audio, video) to others to read and maybe comment on, but also potentially reach audiences that exceed the circulations of traditional printed newspapers.
Today, your content is shared, discussed, criticized, praised, retweeted, repurposed, plagiarised, republished, and otherwise spread far and wide – yet the chain of links usually connects everything back to your original thoughts.
So what do others think about blogging, what it offers you, and where it’s going?
Recently, my friend Stephen Waddington – @wadds to his legion friends, fans and followers online – emailed a group of his friends to ask them about the future of blogging, and to share the benefits they’d experienced from blogging.
That ask has resulted in a 27-page ebook that Stephen edited and published yesterday entitled “The business of blogging.”
It contains short essays from bloggers 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.
It’s a terrific collection of experiences and future thinking from people who have been blogging for business for years, a worthy reference/source of inspiration if you’re thinking about blogging or would like to be inspired by what others have done.
Here’s the full table of contents:
01 Welcome to the Business of Blogging | Stephen Waddington
02 A Building Block for Business | Lee Odden
03 A Shop Window to the World | Stuart Bruce
04 Building a Network and a Business | Rachel Miller
05 Thinking, Connecting, and Sharing | Dan Slee
06 Blogging with a PR-Specific and Global Mindset | Judy Gombita
07 Building and Serving a Community Better Than Mainstream Media | Rich Leigh
08 Your Start with Blogging | Neville Hobson
09 Open and Transparent Thinking | Mat Morrison
10 Reasons to Keep Blogging | Heather Yaxley
11 A Career Development and Personal Reputation Platform | Andrew Grill
THE FUTURE OF BLOGGING
12 Blogging Reframed | Richard Bailey
13 Creation, Curation and Community | Philip Young
14 Excellence is Hard to Find | Heather Baker
15 The Evolution of Blogging | Chris Lake
Read it right here or download it from Slideshare:
As Stephen notes in his introduction to the ebook,
[...] 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.
My contribution includes some thinking that I’ve written about in this blog recently, especially these six steps to get started:
- Blogging is about the content not the platform. The primary point is your content not where it’s published.
- You’re telling a story not writing a press release or a sales brochure. Write informally, conversationally, avoiding jargon, and with passion.
- Be selfless and generous in your references to others. Attribute, cite, link.
- Disclose any conflict of interest. If in doubt, always disclose.
- Make your content eminently shareable. Eg, enable sharing buttons, make your headline concise enough that it’s simple to tweet it. Make the place your content is published on easy to use: a blog, in other words, not a corporate website.
- Be clear on your strategy and the measurable goal you wish to achieve. This is all about clear business intent.
“The business of blogging” is a great resource you should download right now.