This post was originally published in March of 2012, and since then the world of blogging, social media, and community building has changed quite a bit. That said, I stand by what I wrote here, and have republished it in its original form.
Let’s be honest for a minute here. Blogging is not a lucrative business practice.
You may host a company blog, a personal blog, and give every employee in your business a blog and never see any tangible results. Partly that’s because most companies hear they need a blog so they set it up and ignore it, and partly it’s because they don’t give any incentives for visitors to join the conversation. That said, blogging is far from worthless.
Because of the massive amount of content available, you shouldn’t start blogging because you want to make a million dollars (as some charlatans will tell you that you can do) or instantly get a million new customers. Blogging is important, but it is simply a small piece of building a community around your brand.
Blogging serves 4 primary functions
- It lets customers know you’re paying attention to the industry
- It lets customers know what your business is doing to improve their experience
- It gives your brand a personality through long-form writing
- It might help you with search engine visibility
So should my company even have a blog?
If you are considering it, you better be committed to it because without commitment, your blog will be a worthless, money-wasting time suck. Only bad businesses would want that…Don’t be a bad business.
Here are some questions to ask yourself before you start a company blog
- Why do we need a blog?
- Who will be the voice of our company on the blog?
- When will we update the blog?
- What kind of content correctly reflects our company’s brand?
I’m going to make a bold statement here and say that most small companies don’t need a blog. Social networks can be less time-consuming and more effective at reaching your customers. Remember, your customers are probably using Facebook, Twitter, Google+, or some other niche social network already. If you force them to visit your blog or website, that’s one more element of friction between your followers and your message…Don’t add friction.