10 Reasons Why Your Business Shouldn't Start Blogging

tribalcafe
Gary Fox Founder, TribalCafe

Posted on April 16th 2013

10 Reasons Why Your Business Shouldn't Start Blogging

Blogging isn’t for everyone and it isn’t for every business. This is contrary to all the news, reports and hype that you find on the internet, but does it make sense?

With more businesses now blogging you would expect that everybody should be recommending businesses to jump into the fray and start blogging. Yet if you look further at some reports, many businesses consider blogging ineffective. If you were to consider the benefits of blogging it may seem hard to understand why every business isn’t blogging:

  • blogging improves your SEO ranking – builds total number of web pages and helps define your niche
  • increases traffic to your website – source Hubspot The State of Inbound Marketing Report
  • provides relevant and useful information to your potential customers – source: social marketing forum
  • provides a platform for engaging customers
  • helps build trust with potential customers

It is clear that companies that are used to promoting their business through more traditional routes, e.g. generating ads and pushing messages, are finding it hard to generate relevant content for their audience and enough of it.
business blogging

10 Good Reasons Not To Have a Business Blog (and what to do about it)

1 Because Others Are Blogging

original content
More business blogging and more content generally means more noise on the internet. The hard part for most people is finding good quality content not just more content. If you are going to develop a blog it is important to recognise that it isn’t free, it takes time, commitment and resources to make it work.

To stand out from the crowd you need to develop a clear focus on what is going to separate your blog from your competitors and what is going to make it stand out.

Key marketing actions:

  • Set a clear goal for a blog aligned to your business goals e.g. increase website traffic by 200% in 6 months, provide a percentage increase in leads
  • Set out a clear purpose for your blog and how it fits to your target audience e.g. how will your blog help solve your customers problems, build trust and convey your brand

2 Because You Don’t Do Social

content marketing
The reports all suggest that marketing budgets are being pumped into digital marketing with content and social seeing a major increase.

There are still many businesses that have not empowered their employees to be social as part of their strategy and purely use social as another advertising channel. Being social without content as your central hub is hard. Content forms the fuel for how your brand generates the conversations around it. It is also the voice of your brand, the personality – the human side of your business.

Out of all your content your blog forms a major role in helping to develop conversations with your audience.

Key marketing actions:

  • Plan your social strategy to fit to the profile of your target audience.
  • Generate simple marketing personas around them. Use these to identify which social networks they use and start to listen to what they are interested in, what problems they have…
  • Use your blog to reach out to the questions and topics that interest them
  • Use the social channels to promote your blog and build engagement

3 Because You Don’t Want To Give Away Useful Information To Your Competitors

marketing
Outside of research projects or new services there shouldn’t be any excuse not to provide useful information to your customers. If you are not sure on this then simply Google some terms. If you understand your customers and how they buy, the customer journey, you can provide real value simply by helping them with information that answer their questions during this process.

Imagine for a moment you were selling an integrated HR planning platform and your target audience is HR directors. You would want to get their attention and become a trusted source for quality content. Ideally you would want them to subscribe to your blog and build a relationship.

At the time they are looking to then buy you are a known brand and trusted expert. An example blog posts might be “5 trends affecting HR directors” or “10 ways HR professionals can save time”. These blogs could provide helpful news and tips for HR directors. Giving information away when others don’t helps you not hinders you.

Key marketing actions:

  • Map out the typical problems that your customers face when buying. Dig into how you make provide helpful information that makes those decisions easier.
  • Look at what topics your customers share on Linkedin groups, Facebook and Twitter
  • Make a list of key topics and headlines you can use.

4 Because You Just Can’t Write

blogging challenge
Writing for a blog is not the same as developing an essay back in the day when your were in school. Blogging is generally more free style and you need to adapt to writing to your audience rather than in some form of academic style. Being natural is key.

There is a fear factor most people get about being judged, or not being liked…the truth is if you are passionate about what you are writing about then the est comes easy. The best way to develop your style is simply by doing it, but plan first and it will save you the scary part of looking at a blank piece of paper and endless doubts filling your head.

Key marketing actions:

  • Pick a topic you know is of interest to your customers and develop some headline topics that you know will interest them. Build this out until you have enough for a months worth – (this depends on how many posts per month is right for you)
  • Before releasing your blog, practice by building out 10 blog posts and then ask some friends for feedback to help edit and refine them. By the time you come to release them you will be a pracitced blogger!

5 Because You Simply Want To Tell People Your News

business blog
How many websites have you visited that used to have a news section but no news! PR is of course worthwhile and has its place but too much spin can turn customers off. Good PR is relevant to its audience, involves them or entertains them and delivers a clear brand message.

But thinly disguised press releases regularly chucked into a blog do not warrant being called a blog.

We all like stories and are hard wired to tune into them. So creating stories that are about your people, your customers and have a unique angle form part of your blogging editorial.

Key marketing actions:

  • Research your customers: ask them directly, use your sales teams and when you meet them. Find out the heroes amongst them.
  • Build out stories that fit to your brand – your passion for your business, your quality of service or products, your attention to customer service. Who would have thought that a blender was that exciting – http://youtu.be/ZWP8OUytprE 1.9M views!

6 Because You Don’t Have The Time

blogging best practices
Businesses often think that the blogging has to come 1 person e.g. someone from the senior tea or the head of marketing.

The truth is you probably can spread the load of blogging across your business and as a result get a greater variety of posts, more ideas and more regular content.

Key marketing action:

  • If you are going to use a team then set out clear roles and responsibilities
  • Define an editorial process including a review process
  • Set clear goals, objectives and measures for your blogging
  • Meet regularly to review performance, discuss editorial ideas and adjust editorial calendar based on results

7 Because You Don’t Have The Know How

The first thing to do is make the commitment to blog. Then set out a project and timescales to learn and develop your capabilities.
blogging strategy
If your doing this as a team, then split out roles and share our learning together e.g. one person looks at general case studies, another competitors blogs, another reads a book on blogging best practice.

Key marketing actions:

    Some useful resources and books:
  • Copyblogger – great tips and methods on how to blog
  • Problogger – packed full of useful videos and resources
  • Content Rules – this covers more than just blogging and it is a great read.
  • Corporate blogging – a book looking at how you integrate blogging into broader communications mix
  • Use Technorati to search on blogs and posts in your sector

8 Because You Are Not Creative

content marketing
Many people already believe they are not creative yet this can easily be overcome. Each one of us is a special kind of artist. Every one of us is born a creative, spontaneous thinker. The only difference between people who are creative and people who are not is a simple belief. Creative people believe they are creative.

There are lots of ways to generate useful and relevant blog content for your target audience. You can of course ask them as well what they would like from you.

Here are some ideas that you can build around:

  • interview leaders in your sector and write about it
  • report on trends in your market, how they will affect your customers and what they do about them
  • write about big events that take place and summarize your thoughts on them
  • look at any industry reports and put your own angle and perspective on it
  • produce a survey or poll and then write a blog on the results

9 Because You Don’t Have a Good Website For Blogging

SEO
A good blog deserves a good home. To blog consistently you need to have an easy to use content management system (CMS) to publish your posts.

Many business have hard coded websites or CMS’s that are not user friendly. By far and away the best platform is WordPress (there now over 80M WordPress websites/blogs).

Key marketing actions:

    • Review your current website and CMS and assess if it is fit for purpose
    • If you are investing a lot of time and resources make sure it looks good and reflects your brand
    • Add in style elements to your blog to break up the format and make it more interesting

Make it visually appealing and large – the web is getting easier to read!

10 Because You Don’t Want To Change

The last one is the hardest and a good reason why many businesses don’t blog. Many businesses are still uncertain of the benefits of blogging and unsure of any return on investment.

I may be controversial here but I still see a generation gap in the digital world. Some people have embraced it whilst others still are wary of it particularly at older senior levels of management. Some people simply prefer to stick to what they know and have tried before.

In larger businesses it is often a cultural shift on a larger scale that is needed and blogging is part of a broader social marketing strategy.

Key marketing actions:

If you have internal resistance to change then build the case for blogging/social marketing:

  • Produce a business proposal for how social marketing and blogging can benefit your business
  • Use case studies (here are some interesting ones from Warwick Uni for instance)/ reports and best practice.
  • Lobby people internally and find out who is blogging anyway! on their own blog

Well, there you have it: 10 reasons a business shouldn’t blog. What do you think -- should every business blog?

 

tribalcafe

Gary Fox

Founder, TribalCafe

Gary Fox is the founder of TribalCafe a Social Marketing & Training Agency. He advices government, brands and non-profits on how they can harness social media and online marketing to improve their performance and connect with people.

He has worked with brands such as Nike, Hp, Microsoft, Gillette, BSkyB, Nokia and Kraft at European level on marketing strategies and implementation of plans. He is passionate about helping startups and brands expand and grow internationally.

See Full Profile >

Comments

I do get the points but I genuinely believe that a business that does not invest in blogging will lose out to competition and find it very difficult to compete effectively.

Kay, totally agree I think some businesses will / are losing out. This happens everytime changes happen some get on board some don't. Those that do win and often if early grab market share as a result.

Interesting times.

Thank you for taking time to read the post.

best

 

Gary

I think show me a business and i will show you how they can benifit from business blogging. They need to be answeering their customers questions and addressing their pain points. Creating content that show off their personal side and help their custoemrers.

Saying that htye have to keep crerating great contwent as a negative is hogwash. It these things that willo set them apart from their compettitors.

We all find time for the things that matter and a couple of blog posts will not mean success. Like everytihng in life you have to work hard at it.

 

Kevin, this post is a bit tonque in cheek. As I poionted out at the beginning and you have also highlighted the benefits outweigth the negatives. These were just some common barriers that businesses often put in the way of blogging. I do believe that good quality content trumps volume though so; quality over quantity.

Thanks for the comment and I think we are all on the same page with this.

 

best Gary

Yes gary yopu asre right, great post. 

Small business (1 owner and a very small staff) especially have a difficult time with blogging. They have a lot of the weaknesses you point out in your article and many who attempt don't keep up with it or don't use all the important features (short, use of photos, use of links, great content) that blogging requires. One other reason not to blog is TIME. Where do you find the time? Not only consider themselves not creatice but they have just as hard of a time believeing they can "write". 

Good information!

 

This is a clever and helpful post. I'm excited to contribute to our blog at work, but I know I might at times become discouraged and start making excuses not to mess with it. Thanks for the ideas.