Starting a blog is a great way to show the world your unique identity. Even an “amateur” blog can let customers, friends, and coworkers know you are serious about establishing yourself online.
Of course, exposing one’s self to the praise and criticism of the entire world may not sound appealing. Is it really worth it to take the leap into blogging? Let’s weigh your options.
Pro – It’s Free!
From Blogger to WordPress to TypePad to Tumblr, there are dozens of sites out there that will let you start a free blog. Just sign up for an account and get started setting up the style and layout just how you’d like it. Many even offer design templates to help you get started.Forget Random House and HarperCollins – get published for free.
Con – Start at square one
Once you’re signed up, the empty space of your blog can be intimidating, especially compared to bloggers who have years of experience and tens of thousands of posts. You are faced with the task of filling up a digital journal with an unlimited number of pages and an unlimited number of readers. But you’ve got to start somewhere.
Pro – Unlimited possibilities
Blogging is a great way to share your professional knowledge, but your blog need not pertain to just your work life. Infusing your personality can be a great way to connect with your audience on a more human level. Do you love ’67 Mustangs? Start a blog like 67mustangblog.com. What about obscure timepieces? Check out watchismo.blogspot.com. Jack-of-all-trades? Curate posts that show off your wide-reaching interests in a one-of-a-kind space on the web.
Con – But would anyone read it?
You have to give the world a reason to read your blog – they won’t come flocking to you. Letting friends and family know is a great way to get started, but ultimately you need to build your audiencethrough dynamic, interesting content targeted at a niche subject. The Internet is a big place with a lot of competition.
Pro – Establish your Brand
Whether you’re a CEO or a student, you owe it to yourself to create and incubate an online identity for yourself or your company. 45% of employers will conduct an online search to screen potential employers – do you control what they will see?
Con –Watch what you blog
There may not be any official standards to what you can and can’t blog, but you have to live with everything you post, for better or for worse. Just ask novelist Alice Hoffman, whose rant against negative reviewers badly damaged her online reputation. Keep it mature.
Pro – Squash Rumors
Not everyone has crazed fans who start outrageous rumors. Everyday people can find themselves a victim of spamdexing, a phenomenon where your name is repeatedly used on unscrupulous websites simply to generate unique traffic. Your web identity gives people a detailed picture of who you are, so keep what is said about you under your control.
By our count, that’s four pros and three cons. In other words, while there are some risks to blogging, if you’re careful about how you use it, having your own blog is a great tool for protecting your reputation online.
Here at ReputationDefender, we recommend being proactive about your online reputation. If you need more advice on how to get started with your own blog, along with other ways to help protect and manage your reputation, contact one of ReputationDefender’s trained consultants today.
For additional information on ways to improve your online reputation through social media, check out these articles from the ReputationDefender Blog:
Common Sense Social Networking Rules for Kids(these work for adults and their blogs, too)