Blogging with Integrity: the Simple Truth
Many people in today’s enormously competitive marketplace are looking for ways to get ahead, stay ahead or simply keep from drowning in the tough economic times we find ourselves facing. The Internet has become overwhelmingly important in a fairly short amount of time, and many businesses are still trying to determine the best ways to make the Internet work for their businesses.
Tons of businesses have jumped on the Facebook wagon, and many have learned that blogging is the heart of the social media world because blogging is a platform on which a business or an individual can have a real voice in a time when it can be difficult to determine what is honestly real.
Consider This Very Important Question
This brings me to today’s topic and an important question all bloggers should ask themselves – how important is the integrity of my content? If your blog has a voice, it should be the voice of your company and if you don’t think integrity is important… Well, let’s examine this question a little further.
Honesty is the Best Policy
One of the first rules of blogging is that the writer should be transparent (the modern term for honest). I heard a story at a blogging conference from a well-known blogger who was paid, as many bloggers are, to review a company’s products via her blog. This happens all the time. The problem occurred when the writer failed to tell the readers that she was actually being paid by the company for her reviews. After the dust settled, she had lost her credibility among her readers and had to work very hard to rebuild trust!
It’s ok if a blogger is getting paid to review various products as long as he or she is up front with the readers and offers honest reviews rather than ones that only please the company who’s footing the bill. The lesson to be learned is that the importance of being transparent when blogging cannot be stressed too much for any newcomer to the blogosphere.
Another rule in the world of blogging is that to gain a following among our audience, we need to become an authority on the subject on which we write so that readers will find value in our content. No one knows your company quite like you do and the best way to have people return to your blog is to give readers valuable content that offers something worthwhile. If you can employ several people within your company to write for your blog, that’s even better – then you can develop a whole team of experts on your blog.
Avoid Free Articles Like the Plague
If you don’t have the resources to keep up with a blog, there are ways to get good content for your blog, but steer clear of free blog articles that you can find all over the Internet! This might seem like a quick fix, but it is also the quickest way imaginable to have visitors lose interest in your blog.
These free articles are generic, usually stuffed with unnatural sounding keywords and phrases; they certainly will not convey your own voice of authority. Most importantly, duplicate content is not well regarded in any way by search engines and your content will not rank, plus you may even be penalized if the search engines discover duplicate content on your site. Unfortunately, you can rest assured that free content can be found on many other websites.
Stick to the real thing and write articles for your blog that matter to those who drop by to read what you have to say. Hopefully they will come back.