A short while ago, I complained about a television advertisement that criticized blogging as an ineffective means to reach customers. I don't want to leave it at that. Instead, I think I should outline reasons why you should blog.

MarketingProfs is a wonderful business blog; I subscribe to their daily newsletters and spend a lot of time reading their material. Back in 2004, they were ahead of the game and published an article explaining Seven Reasons Why Businesses Should Blog Now. These are great arguments for any business:

  1. They fan the flames of customer evangelism
  2. They function as an instant-feedback mechanism
  3. They compel you to "Napsterize" more of your knowledge more often
  4. They facilitate the spread of buzz
  5. They allow you to have more simultaneous conversations
  6. Most blog service providers offer good-looking templates
  7. They help position you as a knowledgeable expert

I'm not going to waste my time reinventing the wheel. If you want to know more about each of these points, check out the original article. Instead, I'm going to focus on why individuals should blog:

  1. Blogs help position you as an industry expert - Your resume can only say so much about your skills, abilities, and personal style. A blog, on the other hand, can list hundreds of details about your background and worldview.
  2. Blogs help you practice your skills - If you're job searching or working somewhere that's not your dream job, skills you'll need to get that dream job might become rusty with time. By blogging about your field of expertise you can keep your mind focused and continue to hone those skills.
  3. Blogs solicit feedback - Most people feel empowered by the Internet to do and say things they wouldn't in person. By posting your ideas in the free market, you will get more honest (and just more) feedback than if you asked your coworkers and friends point-blank.
  4. Most blogs are free - It takes maybe 20 minutes per day to write and publish a quality post. Combined with the FREE interfaces of Blogger and WordPress, there is absolutely no reason not to blog. Watch one less TV show in the evening or skip that third cup of coffee in the morning and blog.
  5. It makes you Google-able - In the information age, having a presence in Google search results is important. Most hiring officers will plug your name in a search engine before they call you for an interview - are the results actually talking about you? Having a blog throws you towards the top of the results page.

Blogging is easy, cheap, and brings a massive return on almost zero investment. We all know why businesses should blog - individuals should blog for the same reasons! An old DirecTV ad pokedĀ fun at blogging; in reality, they just didn't understand the power of having your voice heard on the Internet.

Do you have a blog? Does your business? Why or why not?