Why Real Time Business Blogging is Cool

Blogging has been around for the better part of a decade from some – and more than half that for many of the rest of us.

At the BlogWorld Expo last week we learned from a Technorati survey that the majority of bloggers are hobby bloggers.  Only 13% classified themselves as entrepreneurs who blog to support their business.

We are still in the beginning stages of the evolution of blogging.  

Ironically, the evolution of blogging shares some remarkable patterns with another trend from nearly 50 years ago, one that happens to have a similar ring to it – jogging.

The Evolution Blogging and Jogging

In the late 60’s the practice of  jogging – (think running if you are under the age of 30) – began to catch on.  New Zealand track coach Arthur Lydiard is credited with popularizing jogging.  He introduced the concept to legendary coach Bill Bowerman, co-founder of Nike, who brought it to the United States.

Prior to that there were just us nerdy runners – rail thin, and doing it for nothing more than the joy of it.

Just for the joy of it – doesn’t that also describe the early days of blogging?

Unlike today, seeing joggers on the streets was awkward, mainly because many of them didn’t really understand what they were doing.

This also describes the early days of blogging.  I’ll admit it if you will, because I was there too.

People didn’t understand the mechanics of running, how to dress comfortably, and other essentials, such as stretching.  To say the least, being a jogger was not very cool.

Then, in the late ’70’s the science of aerobics began to breathe new life into jogging.

Aerobics helped people understand the benefits of running.  Before long the word jogging became passe as it morphed into something else – aerobic training.

We even had personalities that made running cool, such as Steve Prefontaine, who once held every American running record over 5,000 yards – and was coached by Bill Bowerman.

Running for aerobic benefits was for serious athletes looking for practical results – like Pre.  Suddenly, running made sense.

That’s what took it mainstream – and that’s what we need for blogging.

That something is actually here right now.  Maybe it just needs a cool name like aerobics.

Blogging and Real-Time Marketing

We definitely have bloggers now that are personalities – that are cool.  Yet, the mainstream public still considers blogging to be a waste of time – something that nerdy technophiles do for fun – for the joy of it.

Blogging doesn’t fit their picture of what business is all about.  In other words, they don’t get it.

Just as with the word jogging, blogging will soon become passe. In fact, I encourage you to stop using it and just refer to your blog as your website – or more simply, your site.

Last week I lost a paid speaking opportunity because the buyer thought I was … “more of a blogger than a professional speaker.”  She evidently hadn’t considered that blogging is writing, and before you can give a great speech, you have to write it.

Blogging makes you a better writer.  It’s a practice that builds essentials skills for many business disciplines beyond speaking, including sales, marketing, and customer service.

What could be more relevant to business success today than a vibrant online presence that is ideally driven by content that you distribute from a site that you own?

I believe they call that a blog.

Here’s more.  Just last week Google released their  “Freshness Update” – which gives greater relevance to fresh or timely content for those searching the web.

There is no question about it. The future of business marketing is real-time marketing – and your blog is your online hub from which to distribute your message.

If you own or manage a business, you know how cool it is to get leads and referrals from your web presence – it’s magical.  As with running, this can become an addiction – a healthy one.

Running produces endorphins that make you feel good.  Blogging makes you feel good too – by producing new business opportunities that make for healthy profits.

The future of blogging is secure.  We just need to help mainstream businesses understand how this practice works – and make it cool.

I’ll keeping trying if you will.

In the meantime, be cool.  Your time will come.

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Enjoy your weekend,  Jeff

Photo Credit:  Dark Matter

Why Great Writers Always Cross the Finish Line

Great writing is not something that naturally emerges from talented individuals. It is the result of doing the work until a result is achieved – regardless of whether that result meets with success.

The attribute of  finishing what you start is what makes talented writers great – and competent writers better.

Runners are often coached to run past the finish line because that is where the race is often decided.

Great athletes give their best regardless of the competition. They compete against themselves. It is the same with your writing.

Of course, as a writer you are not competing against anyone, or are you?

Getting better as a writer means giving your best from start to finish – and that is only possible if you endeavor to always cross the finish line on every piece of writing that you take on, whether that is memo, article, or a book.

Easy Victories are Rare

If you are a runner you vividly remember those races where your performance was effortless. Not only did you achieve a victory or a personal best, but you enjoyed the process from start to finish.

Writers know what this is like too. Once in a while you start writing and the ideas bubble up and flow just like magic. The end result is a beautiful and insightful work that is nearly flawless.

Easy victories are rare, but can nevertheless be achieved with greater frequency by adhering to one benchmark – finish what you start.

For writers, this means every single piece of writing – without exception.

The Only Failure is Not Finishing

When you cross the finish line you achieve a result that leads to more victories. It gives you something to build on.

Incomplete efforts are failures. How can you build on something that is unfinished?  You can’t.

Have you not completed a letter or article and reviewed it to only exclaim to yourself:  “This is going nowhere; it makes no sense.”

Then you edit.

Why is it not going anywhere?  It’s a simple puzzle to solve. Did you not start well, get off track in the middle, or not finish well?  It’s usually one or a combination of those three things.

These are not failures. They are actually the raw materials for success.

Compare that to quitting.  You can quit from the start, in the middle, or just as you approach the finish line.  Any one of those is a failure because no result is produced that can serve as a foundation for improvement.

There’s Always Another Finish Line

Writing is a skill that develops when you practice it consistently. Assuming that you are writing for others, the only way to determine if you are making progress is to get your work out there where you can get feedback from your target audience.

An incomplete message cannot be evaluated, so you have to first finish the work. Whether you achieve a victory or something less than that, you have still crossed the finish line.

As a former competitive runner,  I know with certainty that once you quit a race in the middle it gets easier to do it again – much easier.  While it can be embarrassing to cross the finish line at the back of the pack, it is far less damaging to the human psyche than quitting.

Like running, writing is a mental game – one in which your confidence grows with each successful completion.

Great writers celebrate every finish line because they know there are only two results – victories, and victories in disguise.

Leave a comment below or share this with your community on with any of the share buttons below – or on the little red bar at the bottom of this page.  

Until tomorrow,  Jeff

Image Credit: Photostock