Five Great Ways to Kill Your Blog
As content marketing gains more momentum, blogging seems to be regaining some of its lustre.
While blogs may not have the sex appeal as Twitter, Facebook or YouTube, they are the work horses of social media that provide much-needed content, as well as delivering insight and information to target audiences.
The reality about blogging is it’s not easy. It involves people, ideas, creativity, planning and a constant commitment. Blogs are creatures that demand a lot of attention, and success is often a long-term proposition as opposed to overnight success.
In reviewing hundreds of blogs recently for a research project, it was interesting and troubling to see how many corporate blogs fail to perform well or properly.
Here’s a list of five pitfalls.
1. Infrequent blog posts. Posts that appear haphazardly don’t work because an important part of what makes a blog work is consistency. By giving people an expectation of when content is going to appear it is easier attract and build an audience.
On many blogs, there is no rhyme or reason for when a post is published – sometimes it’s is once a week, sometimes once a month. This suggests there is no editorial plan and/or content is created only when resources become available.
2. Dead blogs. It’s bad enough to write posts on and off, it’s even worse to have a dormant blog. This not only suggests a company has given up on its blog but shows it doesn’t have the insight to place it on the sidelines rather than front and centre on the Website. Simply put, dead blog reflect badly on a brand.
3. Content that is all-corporate, all the time. Even the most interesting brands can’t write about their products and activities all the time. It’s like having conversation with someone who just talks about themselves. It is always surprising to discover blogs that have a steady stream of inwardly looking posts that don’t meet the needs or interests of target audiences. If this is your blog, it’s time to change your stripes.
4. Not providing value-added insight or information: As much as a brand wants to talk about their products, a key part of blogging is showing your willingness and ability to talk about key issues, trends and developments that interest or impact your target audiences.
Blogs give brands the ability to stand out from the crowd by exposing people to new ideas, people and products. Some good examples are the Mint blog, which provides insight and ideas about personal finance, and the Kissmetrics blog, which delivers a steady flow of great marketing content.
5. Not linking to other sources: A key part of blogging is providing readers with easy access to other blogs or Websites where they can get more information or different perspectives. Rather than driving people away from your blog, this approach makes your blog more interesting by establishing it as a place where people can get lots of value. Linking to other Websites also helps to build relationships within the industry ecosystem by showing you’re able and willing to acknowledge the efforts of other people or brands.
By not falling into any of the above traps, corporate blogs can be successful and, as important, serve their audiences.
For more insight into the blogging best practices, check out Paul Boag’s post, “10 Harsh Truths about Corporate Blogging”.