It’s the sequel to “Your company doesn’t need a podcast”.
Seriously though, there are some very compelling reasons why your company should not have a blog. If you’re thinking of setting up a blog as a communication channel please make sure you’re doing it for the right reasons: communicating openly with your consumers/clients and interacting with them on a positive level.
Blogs aren’t soap boxes. If you’re using the blog simply for trumpeting how great you are, your blog will fail – especially if your consumer/clients have reason to believe their brand-experience differs from what’s promised. You want press releases for that. Better still, post links to off-site articles by 3rd parties under a heading like “More information here” or “More about the [BRAND] experience here”.
Blogs are about conversations. If you’re not going to engage with the consumers/clients leaving comments on your blog, your blog will fail. People who read them want to be able to comment on what you’ve written – should the mood take them. And those comments may be negative. If you’re not going to let them comment or you’re not going to acknowledge their contribution, then rather not set up a blog.
Blogs are high-maintenance. On a blog, content is king. Quality content is what compels your readers to return to the blog. Of course, you’re going to have to find someone to create that content, unless of course you’re going to generate it yourself. A word of warning: you’re going to have to do it regularly. Some people will tell you you should only blog when you have something worthwhile to say and while that is true, you’re going to have to find something worthwhile to say on a regular basis. Personally, I believe if you’re not blogging at least once a week, you’re not making full use of your blog. Essentially, it’s just 52 posts; but it has to be 52 kick-ass, quality pieces of content that are not replicated anywhere else in your business. So that means no copy-pasting from your print brochure.
Blogs need to be marketed. A lot of people will tell you the best bit about blogs is that “If you build it, they will come.” Bollocks. You need to market your blog. And that takes time and effort. You need to build your rep in the blogosphere and manage your presence on a day-to-day basis.
How you can make your blog work:
- Set your blog up as a suggestion box. Let your clients tell you what they want and where possible, you can react. Plus by monitoring the conversations on the site, you can seem to be pro-active to their suggestions.
- Contribute to other blogs. Give away real knowledge for free. People will appreciate this act of sincerity and it will come back in bucketloads. Remember the only people who cling to ideas and suggestions are the ones who have them in short supply.
- Give me a third suggestion. Seriously. What’s your best tip for building and maintaining a successful blog?