From The Editor | August 24, 2011

Why Blog?

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By Mike Monocello, chief editor

I recently stumbled upon an article on why magazines should utilize blogging. In the article, the author asked a group of publishers why they blog. While the reasons varied, there was a common response that I think can be applied to VARs. It's this: As a provider of value-added services, you have a responsibility to your customers to address their needs and keep them educated and informed on new technologies, how they can improve their businesses, and security threats. You also need to be able to respond to their inquiries. A blog can help you efficiently perform all of the above.

I know, you might be thinking, "here's just another thing to consume my already precious time." You're right. Blogging takes time. However, if you're writing about things that matter to you, it shouldn't be difficult and you'll come across as a thought leader. The reward for your hard work will be strenthened customer relationships and the potential to engage new customers.

Assuming you have no experience with blogging, here are some tips from the mentioned article (Folio Magazine).

If somebody reading this article has no experience with blogging, what five things should they know before they start?

1. Blogging is about people not blogs: focus on creating value for the people who comprise your audience (it's about "them" not you).
2. Blogging takes places in the broader community not just at your own blog: participate with other blogs and bloggers, not just your own.
3. Blogging is an open exchange; it's also an exercise in ethics: be honest and transparent with your readers as this will facilitate trust in your brand.
4. Blogging requires an investment of time more than money: allocate resources to fulfill this need so readers can depend upon recent, relevant information and feedback.
5. Blogging should never be outsourced: don't put an intern or a third party in charge of your blog; only place professionals that understand the brand and can communicate its value to readers in charge of the blog.

If you're looking for examples of blogs, there are two I frequently check out. One focuses on time management/leadership (www.jimestill.com) and the other focuses on what we care about most, the VAR community (www.jeffsvarblog.com).

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