Police Psychology | I Said Blog – Not BLOB
The police force has been around for years, and yet police psychology is a relatively new field. This is a really fascinating concept, because police stress is not a new thing—it’s as old as the job itself! But expanding police psychology is not the only thing that needs to be updated in this field: blogging and creating a strong online presence is also important in order to help cops deal with police stress.
I often hear the question, “Is blogging really important? Can blogging really have a strong impact on your company and the world?” The answer to this is an emphatic “yes.” A “yes” with an exclamation point. Blogging can be extremely beneficial for your company and your own personal career advancements, and I’m going to explain why. But first, let’s explore the history behind blogging.
The History of the Blog
Although blogging seems very popular today, this wasn’t always the case. The first blog was actually not created until 1994, when a college student named Justin Hall decided to share his favorite links and ideas with his friends and the world. At this time, he had to manually upload links to a website he called Links.net. In 1997, Jorn Barger coined the term “weblog,” replacing the term “personal webpage” that Hall had used. Eventually, this term was shortened further into the common “blog” that we know today.
Blogs pretty quickly gained popularity. In 1998, The Charlotte Observer blogged Hurricane Bonnie in order to provide the public with live updates on the hurricane before their competitors. Quickly, blogs were not just used for personal updates and the news, but they spread into the political and corporate spheres. Blogs have also sparked a number of controversies. For instance, when political candidates make controversial comments, it is often blogs that call the public’s attention to these facts. One famous example of this was when U.S. Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott made a comment in support of Thurmond, who was a supporter of racial segregation. This comment was largely overlooked in the media, however, many bloggers called attention to his comment, creating a strong outpouring of unrest among the public. In addition, in 2002, Heather Armstrong was fired for bashing her employer and discussing her job on her blog. “Dooced” (named after her blog) became a verb that means, “fired for blogging,” and can be found in the Urban Dictionary, and has even been used as a question on Jeopardy!
But not only that, a 2009 mainstream movie, entitled Julie & Julia, documented the true-story of a food blogger. In this movie, which won many academy awards, Julie Powell (played by Amy Adams) decides to challenge herself to cook every single recipe recorded in one of Julia Childs (played by Meryl Streep) recipe books in one year. Powell documented her journey on a blog, and this whole experience changed her life completely. Interspersed with scenes based on Child’s autobiography, this film explores how the advent of blogging can change a person in many ways, providing people with new meaning and purpose. This film is the first major motion picture that is based on a blog.
And then there is the best blogger out there, Stan, the Dog with a Blog. It is a Disney show about a talking dog that blogs about his secret ability and canine views to the delight of an audience in the millions. Now that is a blog I wish I could read weekly.
Since its beginnings, blogging has amassed a strong following, escalating to hundreds of thousands of blog posts being updated every day. Amid all this clutter and noise from the blogosphere, you must be asking yourself, “So is there any point in creating my own blog?” Well, like I said earlier, you should definitely invest the time and effort in doing so. In fact, I’m going to make the claim that if you don’t have a blog that you update regularly with interesting and original content, your company can end up a little behind the times.
The Benefit of a Blog
Blogs are beneficial to your company for a number of reasons: they increase your company’s visibility on the web, drive traffic to your website, increase your rankings, help you develop better costumer relationships and build trust, and they even mark your company and brand as a leader in your respective industries. How?
When you write an interesting article on a topic that your client-base cares about (for instance, if you are a clothing store owner, you should write about your products and how to style them), they will want to explore your website. This also proves to them that you know what you are talking about, that they can trust your expertise and opinions. You’re not just telling them that you’re the best, you’re showing them and proving to them why you are worth their time and money by writing blog posts that demonstrate your knowledge and skills. In other words, blogging is a way for you to market not just your products, but your skills for business and services, as well. The more varied posts you write, the more you are proving to the world that you are a well-versed expert, and an authority in your field.
In addition, blogging helps you get your brand image and your vision out there for people to see. When embedded in a website, it increases your search engine rankings so you will be positioned higher on the lists. Lastly, when you communicate your ideas in your blog and reply to other people’s comments, you are building relationships with the consumer. In the future, they will turn to you for your advice, for your product, for your skill, and for your company.
Now, here is a benefit that wouldn’t be obvious. Blogging helps you personally by helping you organize your thought. If you are an older person, it helps you put on paper what you have learned through the year. If you are a younger person, it helps you to learn more things by researching the content. And there is probably a strong therapeutic effect of getting out opinions and ideas. It generally is pure magic for catharsis in these ways.
So can you change the world with a blog post? Maybe not the whole world yet, but definitely a part of your world. You can influence thousands and hundreds of thousands of people who read your blog and learn to trust your advice. You can get recognition for your company, and you can create a new organization to the way people view something. Should you start a Blog? Decide what you want to achieve and go for it. My goal was to bring police psychology to the forefront of law enforcement officer’s minds and make officers more aware of police psychology. What will yours be?
- Write frequently and get others to write for you. Writing is like anything else, the more you do it, the better it is. Guest blog for others first, maybe even for a year. You must get in the habit of writing frequently and in one format. You can only do that through writing.
- Write original content. You can have a blog that reproduces others works, but the most effective blogs produce their own content. If this is too much of a challenge, or too time consuming, get some college kids or graduate student to write first drafts for you. Remember, people love being reminded of what they already know and have forgotten.
- Listen to your viewers—if they request a certain topic, write it for them, reply to their comments, communicate with them, listen to their ideas and critiques, etc. An open ear beats an open mouth all the time and in blogs that is crucial.