So, most of the regular readers of this blog probably know I’m a dual blogger–I blog here as well as on the Zillow Blog. I thought I’d take a minute to highlight some of the differences between personal blogging and business blogging.
The main reason that I started my own blog was that I wanted to write on a wide range of topics. I grew up with a balanced background in terms of interests & skillsets. I’ve definitely grown up a do-it-yourselfer (with the help of my father) — I’ve built computers, undertaken numerous electrical wiring issues, coded web pages, built a deck, put shingles on a house, love history books, jacked up a house, torn apart numerous car engines, installed car stereos, etc. That said, I still like to focus my writing on business and technology (but want the feedom to branch off to other topics). The fact that I can state my opinion without “speaking” on behalf of a company is a great change of pace. IF I feel the need to blog about a political issue, I can (though I try not to). Blogging is meant to be personable (IMO). A personal blog allows you to be that to the extreme. Also, please take a quick look at my personal branding post from a couple months ago for a couple more reasons to start your own personal blog.
One thing I really like about business blogging is the collaboration. It’s always good to get a second and third opinion about an article I write. On that same note, a distributed workload is possible–meaning it’s possible to have fresh, quality posts 5 times a week (though we don’t always manage to post everyday at Zillow Blog) without writing all day everyday. Business blogging forces you to put your best foot forward (that’s why posts are reviewed by others on our blog team prior to setting live). A key difference is that, with business blogging, you have to think about PR implications of every post–opinions written on a corporate blog may be cited by the press in print and be held to a much higher standard than that of one employee’s particular opinion on his/her personal blog. The requirement to stay on topic is both a plus and a minus (depending on your personality) for biz blogging. Not in every case, but certainly in my specific case, business blogging provides a larger reach for your content.
Neither type of blogging is better–they are just different. I think personal & business blogging compliment each other quite nicely. I believe customers want to build some form of relationship with a company–allowing users to build a relationship with employees through a blog is one way to do that very cheaply. Just look at Robert Scoble, who has revolutionized corporate blogging at Microsoft and proved customers want more information about employees of companies whose products they use–simply by being part of the conversation.
I think one’s preference is really a matter of personal likes/dislikes. If you do both, which do you prefer?