Freelance Blogger …?

by Dina on November 19, 2007 · 3 comments

in Blogs & Blogging,Brand 2.0,Enterprise 2.0,Social Media

…. does this breed exist? I got a call today asking whether I would like to blog on a freelance basis for an Indian software start-up, on their site. They sent me this email when I turned it down, and requested that their name is kept out because “we don’t want to advertise we outsource our blogging”:

“We are looking for someone to maintain our blog. The frequency of articles would be around 2-4 per week. This is not a full-time position and a freelance blogger would be ideal for it. Of course, given that we are in the software industry, it would be ideal if the blogger has a good grasp on technology. So if you know of anyone that could be fit for this position I would highly appreciate you forwarding them to us.”

Let me know if you’re interested …. and I will put you in touch with them.

Am a little uncomfortable with the thought of this sort of freelance corporate blogging. Just yesterday I got a call from a friend who has just taken on a CSR role in a large MNC here – and she asked me whether she should ask her PR Agency to run the company blog. I put her off the thought – while PR Agencies can guide blogging strategies – I don’t think they should be the ones to hold conversations and do the talking.

I feel there’s a lot of potential in there for a corporate blog, but it must be from a person who is really passionate about the area, talking from her or his heart about issues like rural development, green practices (we’re talking of CSR here!) etc,. Unless that happens, it just isn’t going to work. You don’t want a mouthpiece – you want to foster a conversation space. And conversations come from the heart, the best ones are those that reflect your own personal and professional passions and beliefs.

Extending this thought, I’m not suggesting for a moment that it is wrong to do a corporate blog – it is the terms freelance and outsourcing blogging and what’s implicit in them that get me. I think personally it is easier to do it on your blog, and then say I am working with these guys, so when you are talking about their product you are sharing that you have some form of relationship with them. The company then is getting access to my network, my capability to influence and to keep it in a context and balance, that equates to my enthusiasm and general understanding of the category. It’s been done by Robert Scoble with Microsoft, who I am certain got paid for it. It’s been done by Rob Paterson with NPR, although I am certain he wasn’t paid for his blogging – he consulted with them and is truly passionate about the change he wants to affect in the organization.

Encouraging bloggers to build stories for your category is good. If they are just shills for the company then that is no good at all.


{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Preetam Rai November 20, 2007 at 11:28 pm

I think it might help in cases where a company wants the readers to better understand the space and needs someone to link to and write about the industry in general and not just their product. They might not have enough in-house resources to do it.

2 Dina November 21, 2007 at 12:13 am

Absolutely! It’s about the category or industry. There are many who do this well.

3 Alena December 10, 2008 at 5:35 am

I recently came accross your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first

comment. I dont know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this

blog very often.


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