In the movie “The Social Network” young Mark Zuckerberg gets dumped by his girlfriend and goes home to publish some pretty rough stuff about her on his blog.

According to the real Zuckerberg, none of this is true but the image of the blog as a venting-platform for nerds and other socially awkward personalities has prevailed in many people’s minds.

Blogging is like diary-writing. The more personally revealing, funnier, angrier, the better. Right?

Well, there’s blogging and then there’s blogging and blogging.

Diaries Vs In-Depth Coverage

The Huffington Post would have never been sold for $315 million dollars, if it weren’t for the bloggers. (Also, its founder wouldn’t have been sued, had she paid them better. But that’s a different story.)

Journalistic blogging provides one of the best forms of in-depth coverage of any event, especially if the blogger is independent and doesn’t carry out the uniform opinion of his editorial board.

So there are the vengeful nerds and angry geeks blogging about the highs and lows of their daily lives. This is the subjective approach. Then there’s journalistic bloggers. That’s the objective approach. But there’s a third kind, as well.

Whereas the first form (blogging as an online diary) and the second (blogging as news coverage) imitate earlier media, the third kind cannot be compared to any previous way, shape or form of expression.

I’m talking about the audience-builders, attention-magnets and opinion-shaping folks!

Bloggers of The Third Kind

Those are the people who use the medium of blogging unlike anyone else. They use it as a direct extension of their personality but in a very conscious and focused way, thereby…

  • creating an audience
  • spreading their influence
  • generating leads, sales, etc.

Some people believe it’s “immoral” to use blogs for business. After all, a newspaper, ok, but who would want a diary with ads in it?

That’s a misunderstanding. This third kind approach to blogging is not about simply publishing sales-letters and calling them blogposts.

Instead, it’s about providing readers with as much helpful information as possible. Period. The business part happens when you get readers hooked. They know from experience that you deliver. This creates trust. And they are more likely to purchase products or premium services you offer or follow recommendations.

But you don’t have to be no Seth Godin to benefit from this approach to blogging.

Anyone can do it. Sure, it’s not easy. Especially at the beginning. But if you want to drive traffic to your homepage, get more people to sign up for something or purchase products or services, this is way better than spending hundreds of dollars on Adwords clicks.

Why?

  • (almost) zero cost: If you’re already running a homepage somewhere, adding a blog won’t cost a dime. Also, whether you write one post per week or 20 won’t have any impact on your wallet.
  • increased creativity and focus: Blogging increases reflectivity about what you do. By writing a professional blog you’ll get more ideas about what you do and how to present it from as many angles as possible.
  • networking: Facebook & LinkedIn is great, but writing a blog and connecting to your readers and other bloggers is priceless. It’s the difference between running in between one-room apartments in a tenement building or throwing a pool party.

So, whether you’re an online teacher, author or small business owner, consider building a blog if you don’t have one, yet or re-launch one that never quite took off.

Next time I’ll talk about common mistakes while building blogs and what to do about them.

Got excited?

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img: Attribution Some rights reserved by Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com