I’ve heard many successful bloggers tell business people interested in blogging to “just jump in and start.” At first glance these experts don’t appear to be taking a careful and reasoned approach. Shouldn’t they be advising people to gather data, research the arena, establish goals, and plan their execution? Isn’t promoting the “jump in and start posting” philosophy a bit impulsive and perhaps even irresponsible?
It can certainly seem odd that experts will on the one hand promote the blogosphere as a sophisticated and powerful new medium (with the power to “destroy brands and wreck lives” according to the cover of Forbes) yet on the other hand appear to be saying “don’t plan, just execute.”
The advice to “start blogging now” is really quite consistent with a carefully thought-out and competently executed business blogging strategy. The experience gained from launching, designing, and posting to a simple “starter” blog is a critical component in the obligatory “data gathering” phase of developing an informed business blogging strategy.
The individuals involved in determining how a company may or may not blog should at least set up their own small-scale blogs and get a feel for what the process is like, and how the tools work.
In other words, you can’t effectively plan until you have some relevant direct experience. Your company doesn’t need to have an “official” blog yet, but key decision makers should at least open accounts and start posting about whatever strikes their fancy; their pets, favorite restaurants, or great business books they’ve read. These blogs don’t even need to be publicly accessible at first. Many blog services allow for password-protected sites that even the search engines don’t visit.
Learning to be a successful blogger is not unlike learning to be a good swimmer. Reading and listening to experts will only take you so far. You have to get into the pool, and the sooner the better! Once you splash around for a while in the shallow end and get a feel for things, then you can better understand how to swim in the deep end and keep your head above water. Eventually you can head out into the ocean and ride the waves.
The “just start blogging” strategy can seem like a major risk to most businesses. But from a person with experience, my advice to you would be to “just jump in and get started”.