by Neil Friedman and Melissa Ruttanai
Blogging on the internet may seem like a new concept but blog posts have been around for years. While mainstream readers may still wrestle with the definition of blogger, the truth is that if you follow Fortune 500 companies, you’ve probably read a blog. If you search on the web for advice on medicine, cars, or household goods, you’ve probably read a blog.
Consumers and researchers often trust blog articles more than direct advertising. Blog posts have perspective and audience-centered purpose. As a result, writers are joining the blogosphere and companies are expanding their marketing budgets. Blogging is a game changer and the professional blogger is now the new addition to the departmental meeting, helping to supplement traditional advertising with innovative online strategies.
As a result, bloggers are being invited on press trips and to conferences formerly reserved for starch-collared types. Newly created positions as social media coordinators and community managers are going to people with blogging experience. Bloggers are even getting invites to be contestants and judges on reality television shows like Project Runaway and King of the Nerds. Although reality shows may annoy some viewers, their popularity can help predict the future of content marketing.
But why should the average Internet user even care about bloggers?
In the digital age, individuals, their stories, and their voices are now considered valuable assets. Content marketers are using bloggers’ stories to help educate, entertain, and hook potential long-term clients. “Content is critical for us because it’s the currency that drives our relevance and therefore consideration for our brand,” says Dan Vinh of Marriott International. In this case, bloggers are producers and not simply media consumers. They command respect and garner competitive salaries for their hard work.
What is a blogger?
A blogger is in essence the voice of a Website or a brand. A blog is a web log, a set of ideas published on the World Wide Web part of the Internet. So a blogger is a web logger.
But really, a blogger is an online publisher. We are writers, marketers, photographers, payroll agents, and staff managers. In the past, many people thought bloggers sat up late into the night, ranting about whatever was on their minds. Modern day bloggers are entrepreneurs who own their own digital magazines and are corporate employees, designing WordPress sites from scratch.
A majority of bloggers write in order to help others and to develop a creative footprint on the world’s web of interconnected bytes. Our articles are fueled by passion and personal experience. Readers intuitively understand this and therefore relate more easily to this mode of information. As a result companies have an ability to leverage the authority of bloggers to reach a global population.
Neil Friedman and Melissa Ruttanai are teachers and founders of the WorldWinder.com blog. Over the last two years they have traveled to 16 countries and published articles for traditional print and online media, attending industry events and collaborating with bloggers from around the world.
Join Neil and Melissa at the Nyack Library from 7-9p on Wednesday, March 27 for a program called Introduction to Blogging to learn terminology, strategies, and career options for blogging.
On the following Wednesday, April 3 from 7-9p, Neil and Melissa will present Introduction to Social Networking. This workshop presents the differences between the major social networks such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, and Instagram.