Recently, USA Today published a story on the death of blogging. The article, “More companies quit blogging, go with Facebook instead,” touched on some companies that have let their blogs die. Unfortunately, the article put blogging in a rather negative light, highlighting older statistics and poor strategies. There are risks to starting a company blog and it does require some investment, but the benefits of a properly-deployed blog far out-weigh the potential risks. We’ve decided to highlight some kill-moves for a blog, which may or may not have contributed to the blog-deaths the USA Today article mentioned.
1. Have No Strategy. Launching a blog with no over-arching strategy, detailing how the blog will contribute to business objectives will result in untimely death of your blog. As the business continues to dump resources into the blog and sees no contribution to business strategy, resources will inevitably be severed. Will your blog position your company as a thought-leader? Is your goal to capture lead data or perhaps drive traffic to your website? As blogging hit a boom, many companies launched a blog just because of shiny-object-syndrome. It was done haphazardly, with no consideration of the business value.
2. Post only corporate news and press releases. Successful blogs are interesting collections of useful, emotional, humorous, or informational stories. Remove yourself from your company’s perspective and think… “Would I read this post?” Chances are, not a lot of people care that you’ve brought on a new team member or are opening a new wing. This is the type of content you want to save for an internal blog. Blogging like a narcissist, consistently talking about your company and what you’re up to is a surefire way to murder a blog.
3. Have no original thoughts. One of my favorite sayings is… “To be a thought leader, you have to have thoughts.” If your blog consists of rehashed material from third-party websites or refuses to take any risks by posting original perspectives, then why would anyone subscribe? It brings nothing to the table and has nothing to offer. In the age of Google Reader overload, every subscription must bring value to the reader or else it is just taking up space.
4. Don’t integrate your blog and your other social mediums. The great thing about a blog is it can help further leverage your social properties by getting your social followers to your website. It also helps give your blog posts further reach. By customizing social content around a blog post and presenting your follower base with engaging information, you not only further leverage the blog post but you get more miles out of your social followers. A dying blog will either auto-post title and descriptors from a blog post to social properties or not even link out the post.
5. Be inconsistent. When your asking users to subscribe, they bring you into their reading routine. If you post four times per week, then not at all for two weeks, you are breaking your readers’ routines. When you fall out of their routine, it will be even harder to get them back. Consider the reasources it will take to keep a blog updated for the long-haul and allocate properly on a fixed content schedule.
6. Expect immediate results. Time and time again, companies will launch a blog expecting results within the first few weeks. When desired results are not achieved, resources are pulled from the project. Evaluating the success of a blog after 1 month or even 3 months is like a dieter stepping on the scale hourly to check results. Not only is this counter-productive, but it can be a strong demotivator.
Hopefully, you haven’t fallen into any of the bad habits above. You can always bring a dying blog back from the brink. Just because you didn’t start it off properly doesn’t mean you cannot rectify the situation! We’d love to help you correct a dying blog or start a new venture off right.