Writing a blog about your industry can be a very useful way to start discussions with influencers in the area that you work. By publishing your views you become an influencer yourself as people will read and share your articles - assuming that what you have to say has some intelligence and insight.
I contribute to the corporate blog my own company publishes and I contribute here for a different audience on the Huffington Post.
But when you start out thinking of how to publish a blog that is related to your work how do you decide whether to just go it alone and publish a new blog on your own terms or to start contributing to an established journal like this?
There are some pros and cons on both sides. Trade journals and trade associations are usually happy to publish great comment from people in their industry. It gives their readers good information direct from leaders in the industry, but of course anyone approaching an editor with articles that are just an overt sales pitch will be shown the door.
The big advantage of getting a regular blog in a journal that is already established is the audience and credibility. You will be publishing in a journal that already has a lot of readers and probably has a good reputation in the industry. Let's face it, The Huffington Post is one of the most widely-read journals in the world so this is a great platform for talking about how various industries are developing.
However, you need to maintain a good quality of comment, avoid the sales pitch, and keep on finding interesting areas of your business to comment on. You also need to jump through the editorial hoops a journal will put in your way. There might be some exciting breaking news that you want to blog about, but with a couple of editors checking your copy it is unlikely you can get any comment online immediately and if it looks like you are trying to pass off a corporate press release as a blog then there is no way it will be published, and rightly so.
If you do it yourself - perhaps on the company website - then you have complete control over what you say and the time it is published so you get far more freedom, but building an audience may be a struggle. The truth is that even with great content that should be of interest, a blog can languish with very few readers if it is not promoted in some way.
Going it alone or using an established journal each have their benefits and if you can use both in a combined communication strategy then it's even better for your brand. Try emailing a few trade editors in your industry - they might just like your ideas!
Follow Alistair Niederer on Twitter: www.twitter.com/aniederer