A blog can be many things to many people.  For the reader it can be a resource, an inspiration or a window to a world you wish you were a part of.  For the author it can be a way to share your thoughts and feelings, promote yourself or to simply to let off steam.

What about for a company?  What does a blog represent to them?

1) A way to connect directly with your audience.

Unlike with traditional media coverage, your message goes directly from your keyboard to your reader without any publicists or journalists getting in the way.  And equally important, you can read through comments to determine how your audience feels about a topic and how well you are connecting with them.  Tap that audience for some User Generated Content and you take your blogging to a whole new level.

Canucks.com incorporated user comments and tweets to remember our favourite on-ice moments of Markus Naslund. By simply asking their fans for their input, they were able to create a blog post that better captures the admiration and respect that Vancouver has for it’s one-time Captain.

2) A way to share the details that make you special.

In business there are a lot of things that happen on a day-to-day basis that are noteworthy and special, but that don’t warrant a major announcement or marketing campaign to promote them. I’m talking about everything from program updates that solve minor glitches to the company baseball team winning their league championships. A blog can be a great way to recognize minor accomplishments that may be of interest to your fans.
Check out this post on Strategic Shaving at the 1-800-Got-Junk blog to mark the end of Movember. Newsworthy? Not really. But special and blogworthy to be sure.

3) A way to stay top of mind.

Not every company is offering a product or service that someone needs to use on a daily or weekly basis. A blog is a great way to keep the conversation with your audience alive, even if they may not need you at that time.  Eventually they will be ready to take action and your company will be top of mind because of all the interesting and useful information you’ve been providing in your blog.
Grouse Mountain is gearing up for another ski season, but in the mean time they’ve used their blog to update us on the hibernation plans of their two bears. By using their blog to stay in touch with Vancouverites, they are able to bridge the gap between their summer hiking season and their winter skiing season.

You’ll notice that “A way to make more money” didn’t make my list.  Not that blogging isn’t an important business activity, just that in most cases it is part of the brand building aspect of your business. Use your company blog for what its good for – interaction, communication and providing consistency.  Embrace what blogs are good at. Don’t try to make it into something its not.

It’s a conversation. It’s a journey.  It’s an adventure.

Enjoy it.

As I said in my intro – we all blog for different reasons.  Why do you blog?