July 25, 2011
When people ask me, "what do you do?" I usually reply: Give advice.
Does that mean I'm a consultant, speaker, author or blogger? Fundamentally, I would say that I'm an idea author that does a great deal of research. Even though I've been writing this blog for almost five years, giving a piece of advice every post, I would NOT describe myself as a blogger. That's why I post about two times or so a week, and never on a schedule per se. It's not my job.
Blogs are just a tool for me to share, promote and develop ideas for my customers. That's why I blog when I can, and not on a rigourous schedule that impedes my ability to do my work. What makes a person a blogger, then? GaryV is a blogger because his wine blog is the engine of his business growth (directly for Wine Library and indirectly as a driver of his profile - which fuels his 'social media expertise' and street cred.) Seth Godin is a blogger, because his postings create a profile that sells his books and enables him to drive The Domino Project via his audience. Chris Brogan is a blogger because his blog drives his Human Works business as well as the sale of his books. PereZ Hilton directly makes money on his blog via ads and paid-links. Take the blogs away and all four of them will see a noticeable drop in their earning power.
For many of my friends, such as Marcus Buckingham or Mark Sanborn, blogging is just a way of promoting or sharing. Like me. Sure, I've picked up a speaking gig or two via someone reading a blog post, but it's not how I make my money.
Blogs then, should be included along with Facebooking, Tweeting, Newsletter writing and other online promotional tools - and not an albatross that hangs over our head every working day (have you blogged yet???). For bloggers, daily publication makes sense. For myself, and maybe for you, it's a matter of your schedule. Let this liberate you immediately, along with my pronouncement that you must OWN your social media tools and not let them falsely own you.
In a previous post (You Don't Need A Social Media Strategy) I argue that we must have a central business or brand strategy and leverage all social tools (including blogging) to work within that framework. Tech is the tail, not the dog. For most of you, your blog is a tool, not the tool kit. If you put too much time into it, and not enough into your core - you'll shrink your business as each new publishing innovation demands your adoption.
Ten years ago, before there were blogs, we wrote newsletters to promote, share and build out business. But for most, it wasn't our engine of economic value. Ten years from now, who knows what publishing tech will offer us the same opportunity or requirement.