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Blogging is one of those social media tools that has been gaining popularity for years, yet its purpose in the business world is still very undefined and misunderstood by many. As a personal blog owner, I’ve been intrigued by the process of blogging and how it might affect businesses in future years.  I conducted a private experiment about a year ago that seems to correlate to the importance of blogging for businesses.

I was going through a terrible break up, and I felt that I needed to pour my thoughts out in a forum. (Doesn't it seem that some life-altering situation like that always initiate the birth of a popular blog?) I had created a blog site years prior, but I had ignored it for quite some time. I decided I was going to bare all to the cyber world – no matter the cost. I was going to be open about the details of my life (given that it wasn't outwardly offensive material about specific people) and I was going to continue writing regular posts no matter how overwhelming the process became. That was my angle, and I was committed to maintaining that tone in order to keep a successful blog.

It was a little bit thrilling to enjoy the mystery of sharing my life’s details and never really knowing who might have read it. That’s the thing with blogging: The writer can never really know just who and how many people are reading their material. It’s not always like the film Julie & Julia where the blogger can physically watch their reader count rise as people visit the site. This very idea is one of the main turn-offs of business blogging. Some businesses see it as a waste of time because they don’t see a lot of quick feedback, but there is a happy ending to my story.

I went months on my personal blog without hearing a word from anyone I knew about it. The link to my blog was posted on my personal Facebook page, so I knew that most people  who knew me had access to it if they looked hard enough. Regardless of the lack of feedback, I continued the blog anyway as I had dedicated myself to doing. Then something strange happened. A barrage of unrelated people started mentioning my blog to me in conversation. They were all touched in different ways by my posts, and I realized that I truly did have an audience—a big audience. I was shocked at such a large response, and it made me wonder just how many people I was unaware of who kept up with my life via blog.

My personal blogging experience is a prime example of how business blogging can distinguish a company. In the age of technology, people tend to want to know everything they can about a subject, and they are willing to dig deep to find their answers. Even without any advertisement, a blog can display value to a company and its customers by providing in-depth information about its products or services. Sometimes even the most basic discussion proves insightful to a customer.

I understand why implementing a blog could be an intimidating idea. It sets a tone and creates a permanent, public idea of an individual or a company. Though this seems daunting, I would argue that this is the beauty of a blog.

• It allows a company to tell the story of who it is as an entity – to humanize its brand, in a way.

• It provides the company at least one media outlet that is guaranteed to present accurate information to the public, which is priceless in a society full of misstated quotes and scandalous gossip.

• Blogging also has the ability to relieve some of the uncomfortable or mysterious tension often felt between a business and its clients. It seems evident that clients would be more willing to trust a company who is somewhat open about their business.

I recently got a new job at a marketing firm, and now I get to embark on the journey of creating a blog for the company. I hope this post encourages those who read it not to be too intimidated to try blogging if you think it could benefit you or your company. Though it may feel like a big, scary step, blogging just might be a step in the right direction.

Erin Whatley works with Lemonade Marketing Firm in downtown Albany, Georgia. While the company blog and website are under construction, check out Erin’s personal blog at You can also visit (read: “Like”) Lemonade’s Facebook page at