There was an interesting article online a couple of weeks ago about blogging, posted by the Blog Reputation Capital.
The gist of the article was that just because blogs are becoming increasingly popular doesn’t mean that they’re right for every business, particularly smaller ones.
The underlying rationale of the piece was that popularity doesn’t equal compulsion.
The article listed 9 good reasons why you shouldn’t bother blogging. Well, we thought we’d have a look at the reasons why you shouldn’t blog over the course of the next couple of articles, and see if we can’t debunk some of the myths that surround this appealing and effective art. From the tone of that statement you’ve probably guessed what our opinion of the matter is: yes, blogging is good for business, so don’t believe everything you read.
Businesses can’t spare the time to be writing: selling is what counts.
If a company hasn’t got an employee capable of writing regularly, say an hour a week or so, then it’s best if you don’t bother. The thinking is that it’s better not to start something you can’t complete, then to write for a couple of months and then not bother again. It looks sloppy, and conveys the message that your business really doesn’t care about its audience. Well, we agree it can be time-consuming and difficult if you’re struggling for ideas, but it’s still worthwhile. If your business is going to blog, then do it consistently. If there is genuinely no one in the business who can write or spare the time, then consider outsourcing your blog to experienced copywriters. It’s estimated that approximately 10 percent of companies currently do this. It may cost, but at least your target audience is guaranteed to get a regular fix of what you’ve promised: that is relevant, informative and engaging content.
Businesses don’t know what to say.
Writing is difficult when you don’t have a clear idea of what you’re going to say. If you begin with this sort of attitude then you’ll either produce irrelevant and rambling content, or just regurgitate the same old stuff week after week. It won’t appeal to the audience, and, more importantly, it won’t enhance the reputation of the business. If you’re struggling for inspiration, then focus on the core business and its target market, and come up with 3 or 4 basic topics. Let’s say your company specialises in outsourced internet marketing, then think about the key elements of this specialisation. What sort of strategies do you use? You might decide to concentrate on internet marketing, social media marketing, website design and usability and search engine optimisation. All a business then needs to do is research these areas, and blog about what happening in the market: what the latest news is, handy tips you’ve picked up online that you’d like to share with your audience and any relevant reports and statistics that you come across. Your readers will find this sort of information relevant and interesting.
If you don’t have a realistic goal, then don’t bother blogging.
The argument here is that many companies start blogging for the wrong reasons. The business doesn’t know why it’s doing it, but feels it has to because everybody else has jumped on the bandwagon. Well, that’s a recipe for disaster if ever there was one. Blogging can work wonders for businesses so long as they know why they’re doing it. You have to know what you want to achieve, and you also have to be realistic. Content writing generally won’t boost sales – well, not dramatically at least. So if that’s what your business ultimately wants, then it’s probably better to spend the time and resources on good quality SEO, or a decent PPC campaign. What blogging is capable of is increasing the visibility and popularity of your brand. Blogging brings greater exposure to your target audience which will hopefully translate into increased sales.
You don’t have anyone capable of writing.
This is often one of the biggest obstacles for businesses. They feel that if there is no-one in the organisation capable of writing grammatically correct content, then they’re better off not bothering. In some ways that true, but as we said earlier there’s always the option of outsourcing to professionals. Successful blogging depends on two things: credible and accurately written content, without typos, and a consistent writing style. Sorting out the grammar is easy with a spell checker and gets easier the more you do it. Establishing a company voice, or a consistent business writing style is probably a little harder, but certainly not an insurmountable obstacle. What businesses need to do is to write in a way that makes the readers feel comfortable and welcome. For some more serious businesses this might mean keeping it formal and regimented: for others sectors it may mean writing in a more relaxed and informal manner. Context is everything. If you know and can identify the type of people you do business with, then you’ll be able to understand your audience and know what style will suit them best. Once you’ve established this company-wide writing style, then you can apply it consistently across the whole of your website. You never know maybe other people in the organisation can start writing the occasional piece too.