What Are the Core Values of Your Blog? What Do You Stand for?
A business blog is not only a blog it's also obviously a business. A business has to have some core values to be able to succeed in the long term. The market is volatile so that you need some stability.
A business blog often does not sell products and services or at least not directly, it provides first and foremost value.
What kind of value do you offer? To provide value you have to know what your core values are in the first place.
Today I considered my core values on this blog. As my regular readers know I write for several business blogs by now. They differ significantly, by topic, by language and by business model.
On the other hand the core values I represent on all of them are very similar and only the focus changes a bit. So ultimately it's not just about your blog but the question also is: what do you stand for as a blogger and a person?
The most important core value of this blog is to empower people. I want my readers to learn how they can make their websites earn more money, make the people happy and save the world. Thus it attracts not only readers from the SEO industry but also self improvement experts or green activists. I even considered to redefine the SEO acronym as Social Empowerment Online.
Also I'm a firm believer in progress. I don't accept everything that is new, especially in technology, as progress but I know that humanity can move forward in the right direction. Sometimes it's back to the roots, when it comes to environment, sometimes it's up to the stars when it comes to science. On a personal level I want that someone who has never been on my blog before can improve his website and search + social strategy in the long term in such a way that s/he can see the progress.
I'm grounded in ethics as in its truest sense. I don't mean white hat SEO as in "not cheating search engines". Ethics in business and beyond is much more than that. I use renewable energy sources, buy organic food, even dink Fair Trade tea. I have a bank account with a small ethical bank that focuses on investment in sustainable projects instead of weapons manufacturing and nuclear energy like most other banks do.
Altruism is the best egoism. Even Darwin meant that the only the strongest (species) survive. By that he meant those that cooperate in the most effective way. He gets misquote all the time by egotists who who want to explain their selfishness. On the Web it's so much easier to cooperate. It only takes a few clicks in many cases. the more you share the more you get. It's like Jesus feeding thousands of people with two leafs of bread.
I grew up in a dictatorship as a kid and then I had to flee my country of birth at ten. Thus freedom is one of the most important things to this day for me. Many people in the US or the other old democracies take freedom for granted but I don't. I know that you have to vigilant all the time and sometimes fight back those who want to limit your freedom. It's one of the reasons why I'm not a Google fan boy.
Honesty is very important to me, it's already part of the ethics mentioned above. Still I want to point it out separately as bloggers must be even more honest than other people. You can't be honest beyond a certain line though. It hurts people. Thus honest is not the first thing I care for while at the same time it's crucial. Also you have to protect yourself and your privacy on the Web. You can't give away too much.
Respect is the reason why you have to limit your honesty. Over the years I have attacked quite a few people personally on this blog. When Jaamit died I had to rethink this. I decided to add one more core value to my list, it's respect. Sometimes respect requires you to limit your honesty. You don't have to lie. You can refrain from saying something that might hurt a person. Always remember, this person could die the next day and then the last thing you said and s/he remembers is the vicious attack you launched.
What are your core values? I didn't consicioulsy know until I considered writing this post here. You have to slow down a bit and listen to your heart to find out but then the words apear by itself in your head. Don't forget: it's not just business and blogging, it's about you. What do you stand for?
* Image: Stand your Ground by Akshay Moon.