Bosses who blog are few and far between, but do it well and it can reap the rewards for your business. So for the toe-dippers out there, we’ll be looking at 10 chief executives who blog and look at their different approaches …
But first, by way of introduction, you may want to read our first post Is it time your chief exec started blogging? There you can read the competitive reasons for CEOs to put blogging on the agenda again – but also where to exercise caution.
And if you’re already down with the business reasons to blog and want to have a go, here’s a few top-dog CEO bloggers who are leading the pack. Note how there are a number of different approaches to take and ask which might suit your business and your abilities best?
1. Guest blogging: Alex Connock, chief executive, Ten Alps PLC (UK)
You don’t necessarily have to have your own blog. Occasional guest blogging can be a useful solution to time pressures and less risky for your business. For example, Alex Connock blogs on a monthly basis about the media sector for our Grant Thornton’s entrepreneurs’ blog, Elevate - for Business Leaders.
2. Be useful: David Terrar, CEO, D2C (UK)
A revolutionary concept, but being useful to your potential clients and customers can attract business. David Terrar’s Business Two Zero blog helps demystify Web 2.0 technologies and put them into plain English for business people. It’s both his personal blog and D2C’s blog, but also has the occasional guest blogger posting, too.
3. Demonstrate expertise: Mark Rogers, CEO, Market Sentinel (UK)
Mark Roger’s blog approach is to demonstrate thought leadership in the online monitoring and analytics sector by reviewing new developments and being on top of industry trends.
4. Be anonymous: CEO’s Diary at AccountingWeb (UK)
If you have the urge to blog, but want to test the water or build up your skills first, try the approach of this anonymous CEO – it’s a personal (but general) write-up of the daily business grind of a chief exec, but it feels refreshingly human as he (or she) can write more freely. Three years and counting as a popular CEO diary (before that it was the FD’s diary).
5. Beat blogging: Jim James, Chairman of EastWest Public Relations (China)
Pick a subject that you are passionate about and interested in, and others will be, too. For example, want to know all about entrepreneurship in China? Jim James – ‘the smiling entrepreneur’ – is a beat blogger and well qualified on this subject.
6. A short post every day: Michael Hyatt, CEO, Thomas Nelson Publishers (US)
Posts don’t have to be long but they should be frequent to encourage loyal readers and keep your business name up there on the search engine results. Michael Hyatt posts almost daily on leadership, productivity, publishing and other subjects – helping to keep his publishing company up there as the largest Christian publisher in the world.
7. Amplify company messages: Bill Marriott, Chairman & CEO of Marriott International (US)
You can also blog directly about your company and its work, acting as a mouthpiece to a much wider audience. A great example of this is hotel magnate Bill Marriott’s blog – note how his posts aren’t dry press releases, but personal opinions and comment about, for example, the charitable work of his hotel chain.
8. Process your thoughts: Matt Blumberg, CEO, Return Path (US)
Matt Blumberg blogs about entrepreneurship, leadership management, his work in email services and also processes his thoughts on being a first-time CEO. He sums up a lot of issues regarding CEO blogging in this post, You’re Only a First Time CEO Once.
9. Blog for your peers: George Colony, CEO, Forrester Research (US)
The opposite of the newbie blog above, ‘The counter-intuitive CEO’ blogs his expertise to other CEOs advising on how they can drive success. As well as building his personal brand online, it most likely also results in sales leads for Forrester.
10. Be controversial: Jason Calacanis, CEO, Mahalo.com (US)
Because controversy sells. Outspoken Jason Calacanis blogs about technology, conferences, startups and his CEO’s diary, sending lots of real-time posts direct from his BlackBerry. But he also likes to stir it up and uses his blog as a public forum for generating industry debate with other tech CEOs. For example, after turning off his own Facebook page, he then wrote an exposé of some heavy-handed tactics getting him to turn it back on, while simultaneously challenging Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg in an open letter to carry out five suggestions for making Facebook trustworthy again. It’s a dangerous game to play – you must have the courage of your convictions and enjoy public battle – but it’s one way to achieve online infamy and get your name out there quickly.
Transparency: Grant Thornton’s chief executive, Scott Barnes, is indeed a CEO blogger – for the Grant Thornton intranet. He blogs his diary every week and helps keep staff abreast of the latest developments and conversations with clients and staff alike as well as answering any questions.
Image: © Cheon Fong Liew