I hate to reference the movie “The Social Network” so much in my blogs; but when something’s applicable, well, it’s applicable. Mark Zuckerberg was a brilliant, online-savvy business owner in the making in “The Social Network”; just like I’m sure many of our business-owner readers are both brilliant and online-savvy. But even Zuckerberg fell victim to what the Harvard Business Review (HBR) calls online indulgence. At one point in the movie (which, of course, is based on actual events), Zuckerberg impulsively blogs controversial matters. If the most brilliant and online-savvy of business owners is susceptible to what’s described in this HBR article, it should be a cautionary tale to all entrepreneurs that think they can be their own business blogger.
Many business owners were able to build a business in the first place because they had a strong opinion about the way a business ought to be, in the industry in which their business operates. But mix an opinionated business owner with a controversial industry issue and an unchecked outlet in the form of a business blog and, well, you have a recipe for an online indulgence disaster. A business blog is a unique outlet for a business owner in that, should you be online savvy enough, you could produce an entire business blog all by yourself. But if you were to go this do-it-yourself route when it comes to a business blog, you’re leaving yourself one ill-advised (no matter how right you may be), controversial rant away from polarizing your audience.
Take businesses in the healthcare industry, for example. Just for the sheer amount of controversial content in the online world surrounding the healthcare industry, the online marketing landscape is a veritable misstep minefield for any business owner blogging where the lines between partisan opinion and objective business practices start to blur. A business owner’s passion and opinionated nature is a wonderful (but potentially dangerous) resource for a blog; and it should absolutely be a tapped resource. But filtering the brilliance of a business owner through a marketing team and onto the pages of a business blog is the best way to ensure that all of the strong thoughts and opinions shine through, without any of the negative side effects of unchecked online indulgence.