Blog Rule 1: Don’t Go Undercover – 007 You’re Not

Here’s my first rule of blogging: Don’t lead a double life.

Blogging was not invented for James Bond. His role in preserving the “free world” is to be secretive and physically agile. A blogger’s job is to be open and sedentary at the keyboard.

I’m sometimes asked to review people’s blogs. The first thing I generally do – after reading a few posts – is go to the “About Me” page. I want to know something about the author and if he or she has any credibility whatsoever. And, I’m always stunned by the number of blogs that are still written anonymously.

I’ve come across some excellent blogs with no identified author.  I stop reading them. If you don’t want me to know who you are, I don’t want to read what you’ve written. I’d rather follow a less-perfect blog written by a real person, than a smoothly crafted blog with no attribution. Heh, if you’re afraid of letting people know who you are – don’t blog.  Blogging is about expressing your voice and being who you are.

Here’s one exception: What if you’re a corporate employee or whistleblower and don’t want to reveal your true identity? Fine. Then, at least admit that you’re blogging undercover and let your readers know why you’ve chosen a pseudonym. Identify yourself as 007 versus James Bond. That, at least, is genuine.

The 3R’s of social media marketing, according to author Mike Moran, are Real, Relevant and Responsive.  Notice that Real comes first.  Without it, everything else is irrelevant.

Rhona Bronson

Rhona Bronson started down the social media path in 2006 with her blog and there’s been no turning back. “It opens you up to the world of possibilities,” she notes. She has helped dozens of executives enter into the social media world as part of their marketing growth plans. Her background spans both the B:B and B:C world with experience in publishing, printing, consulting, association, small business and corporate marketing and communications. She came to marketing from the communications side, starting with training in journalism from Syracuse University. With experience in all marketing genres — from Twitter to Transit Advertising — she brings a broad toolkit of skills to any marketing project. Her ability to integrate clear writing with creativity has made her a sought-after expert in developing results-oriented marketing programs for today’s challenging times. Today, she leads the Plaza Consulting Group as its Marketing Strategist specializing in integrating social media into business marketing plans. 


  3 comments for “Blog Rule 1: Don’t Go Undercover – 007 You’re Not

  1. September 13, 2009 at 2:08 pm

    I certainly see why readers can get turned-off by a blogger doing a John-Doe-type blog. I’m kind of guilty of it myself.

    The first blog I did (and still do) was

    Basically the blog’s name was designed as a joke; it was supposed to be the blog of a fictional “Usedcarsalesman” character, a guy who people traditionally perceive as dishonest. But this character was claiming that he was “telling it like it is” since he could afford to be honest on his own blog.

    It was all supposed to be a ‘front’ of sorts so I — the blogger — could do my “company” job and still lay down a few opinions in my free time. And it actually worked like that just fine.

    But like you say basically Rhona, I think readers were pretty well confused and turned-off by the whole “who’s writing this blog” deal.

    I guess I was ok doing it like that 1) for job conflict reasons and 2) I’m one of those people who, if I dig what I am reading, I don’t much care who is doing the writing.

    But on 2) I am probably in the minority of readers. People understandably want to know who they are reading.

  2. September 13, 2009 at 3:01 pm

    I fully agree with Rhona.

    Having said that, I think at the other end of the spectrum we find blogs that are overtly self-promotional and which do not offer any real value. A kind of ‘ego-trip’ of sorts.

    Striking a happy balance is what we must aim at.

  3. September 13, 2009 at 4:12 pm

    Good thing I said there was an exception because that’s exactly where you fit in, Chris! Oscar is also right — the 180 degree mistake from anonymity is shameless self-promotion. That’s supposed to be reserved for a web site!

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