With alarming regularity, most recently yesterday, I get inquiries from companies who want me to create a blog for them – usually for the CEO. And nine out of ten times, I talk them out of it.
A version of this post first ran in September 2008, and it’s gained even more relevance in the past two years, so I’ve updated it as a public service.
The top 10 reasons I tell companies not to blog are:
1. Your blog will be about what you want to tell people rather than what people want to know. The blogs most companies want to create are guaranteed to join the 900,999 out of every million blogs with no readers. Why? They’re boring.
2. Your blog will have a corporate voice. A blog has to have a personal voice. If you sound like a corporate drone, nobody will read your blog.
3. Your content won’t be original. The blogosphere is too much of an echo chamber already. What can you add that’s original? Or significantly better than anything else in your niche.
4. You don’t have time to blog. Blogging takes time – lots of it. Let’s even say a CEO is a great writer, who enjoys researching and crafting posts. And let’s say he or she will write about what people want to hear about and not just write about what the company wants to say. And they he/she is willing to update a few times a week. All of that takes anywhere from two to four hours a post.
5. You don’t have time to read a few hours a day. You need to read constantly to be a good blogger. That includes blogs, but also media outside the blogosphere – feeds, forums, mainstream media – so you can keep your readers informed about your topics.
6. The purpose of the blog is to drive sales. A blog is not a substitute for a marketing campaign. It is simply a possible part of corporate communications.
7. A blog is not a substitute for advertising – if you need to fill a new hotel, or sell a product by a certain date, advertise.
8. You expect the blog to produce results and build a loyal following quickly. A blog is not a quick fix – the results come in the long term, the same way they do with PR.
9. You think the blog will be a cheap marketing tool. Blogs are not cheap. A good one requires skilled programming to set it up, a professional graphic designer to make it part of your corporate identity, a talented and dedicated writer or editor, full-time.
10. You think that if you write it, people will read it. You need to drive traffic to a blog. There are many ways to do that. All of them require time, effort and money. Ways to drive traffic to a corporate blog include:
- Advertising – on blogs, where you can be incredibly niche specific and cost-effective; by buying Google keywords; by including your URL in traditional and online advertising
- Promotion – you can drive traffic to a blog with skillful promotion though other blogs, by becoming a respected part of social networking communities frequented by your customers; with contests, viral marketing, and the use of a variety of Web 2.0 promotional methods discussed frequently here and in other blogs that cover social media marketing.
Note: Please don’t tell me that you’re not spending money because all you’re spending is time. Time IS money.
“IBM’s Irving Wladawsky-Berger explains it so beautifully in a recent post: ”
If this all sounds like work – it most definitely is….”