For my Integrated Marketing Communications class, we were tasked with finding a local small business who we could make a free marketing campaign plan with so that we could learn the ins and outs of real world marketing. Initially I wanted to nominate my blog as a small business for the project because I’m always open to new marketing strategies for my blog. But after a bit of thought I wasn’t quite sure if my blog qualified as a business. So that led me to write this article today; can blogs be considered businesses?
In our textbook, Integrated Advertising, Promotion, and Marketing Communications by Kenneth E. Clow and Donald Baack, a blog is defined as “online musings by an individual or group.” The book then dedicates a page and a half to describing how blogs are a great way for consumers to write a product review or for a company to create a sponsor page for their business where they can get connected to customers. While this information is invaluable from a marketing standpoint, it still didn’t completely answer my question.
If a blog is providing a service isn’t that blog considered a business? Afterall some bloggers get paid for their contributions and all bloggers have to market their site like any other business has to market their product/ service. I will admit that some blogs could be exempt from being called a business such as blogs that act more like diaries. However even if I don’t get paid for blogging, I do mentally treat it like a business. I created a logo for it and have spent a lot of time marketing said blog using the techniques I’m learning about in college. But just because I take my blog and it’s content seriously because I use it to give myself an edge in the professional world, that doesn’t make it a business in the eyes of the business world.
However, I did find this quote from Better Business Blogging which helped in answering my question: blogs are still often described as Online diaries however, this is now akin to describing a PC simply as a Word Processor. The definition of what a blog is has constantly been changing and to say that we have finally defined what a blog is would be a very premature statement. The idea of a blog is still relatively young and as this quote above shows, blogs have already progressed very far in such a short amount of time.
Even after scouring the web and my business textbooks for answers I am still in the dark as to whether a blog could be considered a business. It seems that the only connection blogging has to business is that it can be used as a tool to connect with consumers. But, on the other hand, what about blogs like (though I hate to mention it) Perezhilton.com where the author’s paycheck comes directly from their blog’s success. Doesn’t that make the blog a business since it provides a service and pays the content provider? What do you guys think? Can a blog be called a business or is it just an element of marketing?