May 22, 2014

Head Smacking Realities: Why Blogging Isn’t Doing a Thing for Your Business

published this at 6:09 am

By Tracy Vides

“Have a blog and you’ll start getting inbound leads.”

“Blogging helps you gain traction and develop a community.”

“Companies that have blogs make more sales than those that don’t have one.”

If you did hear one (or all) of those statements but are often wondering why nothing seems to be happening, you aren’t alone. There are millions of blogs that do nothing but exist.

Corporate or business blogging is even more difficult as it’s like asking businesses to set aside resources to make it happen (compared to individual bloggers who are intrinsically motivated). Nothing happens without a reason and there are plenty of reasons why your blogging efforts aren’t doing anything to meet your goals yet. Here are some of them:

No plans, no gains

Remember those days when everyone used to carry around business cards? You’d get yourself a set of cards too. Then, everyone and their neighbor got themselves a website and a bunch of social accounts and followed suit. Blogging, more or less, seems to have been bitten by the same bug. You blog because blogging apparently is the “baby steps” of inbound marketing.

Starting to do something is good, and I won’t bite you for that. Not having a plan in the sense of not knowing why you blog for your business in the first place is a sore wound.

Do you blog purely to drive sales? Or do you blog to become a thought leader? Do you blog to proliferate your brand name or do you engage in all-out blogging efforts? (Hope you end up getting inspired by How Jon Morrow Writes, as narrated by Demian Farnworth of Copyblogger.)

Figure out why you think you have to blog in the first place. What’s all this trouble for? Write it down and think about it over a cup of coffee.

You pay attention to worthless stuff

Driven by the incredible amount of information available on digital marketing (most of it is farce, unjustifiable, or maybe just hype), your mind starts to nibble at things that don’t matter at all: all the drive for “SEO domination” lets you believe that keywords should guide your content creation.

The truth is that keywords won’t matter because the bots don’t buy; people do. All that time spent on social media takes your time away from creating awesome posts. Your blogs are way too short or perhaps way too long. Instead of thinking about your readers, you worry about Meta information, alt text, and backlinks.

There are many of those little gears that have to click in place to make your inbound marketing strategy work, starting with your blog.

Are you doing it right?

It’s not about words, links, or technobabble; it’s about people.

Bloggers often forget that they are writing for people. Companies are even quicker when it comes to forgetting that blogging is an effort to promote brands, establish credibility, engage with potential and current customers.

David Silverman, author of Typo, and professor of business writing at Harvard, gives this test to his students:

Can you rewrite this bunch of babble into a word or two?

“It is the opinion of the group assembled for the purpose of determining a probability of the likelihood of the meteorological-related results and outcome for the period encompassing the next working day that the odds of precipitation in the near-term are positive and reasonably expected.”

Businesses just worry about tools used, platforms that blogs should be based on, and the kind of voice, words, or personality that they expect blog posts to express. Of course, all this counts; individuality does matter, and these are what make blogs different from academic articles. Yet, you shouldn’t forget that you are writing for people. Relationships still matter. You’ll need to get off the screen and meet actual people. You should be able to sell at a flea market before you can sell online.

Self-centered content strategy

First, your content strategy is self-centered. All that you blog about is how great that vacation has been, how life changing your moving to paradise was, how Venture Capitalists are now trying to break down the doors just so that they can invest, and how you grew your blog from 0 to 67,987 subscribers in 3 months.

What are some of the best examples of narcissistic and self-centered blogs, you ask? Go pick any of those nomadic vagabonds who try to sell you location independence and travel while working. It’s not to say that there’s no value from such blogs. But more often than not, there’s the “me syndrome” creeping in with “Where I Was Last Week” and “Exotic Destinations I’ve Been To.”

Stand back for a moment. No one cares about you. Your customers – you know, the ones reading your blog – wouldn’t care if you just signed up a million dollar deal, bought another company, merged with a bigger one, or if you now float on $4 billion of excess cash balance in the bank.

All that your customers care about is what you can do for them. How many of your blog posts talk about your customers really? Can you actually count the number of blog posts that share something that doesn’t have anything to do with you, your business, the brand, the products or services?

Crappy content

Your content qualifies as crappy if there’s no value given to your readers by the end of the post. There’s nothing it for them to ruminate, chew dry bread on, or ponder about. Your blog posts have nothing new to say.

I will repeat that. Your content is dry, sounds like a term paper, and makes readers scroll faster than ever. They won’t read most of it – they’ll just scroll through and escape. And you’ll never see them again!

Stop wasting time with blogs that don’t make an impact. Stop hiding behind words. Show up with some guts and talk to your customers like they were your best friends. Be afraid to own up, accept your mistakes, speak your heart, and get bolder.

Great companies go to the extent of admitting their faux pas. Online marketing firm SEER Interactive admitted screwing up in their link building methods. AirBnB’s Brian Chesky wrote up a self-deprecating post to own up the apparent horror that a customer had to face.

Doing this takes guts. Can you do it too?

Blogging needs you to post awesomeness regularly. It requires you to show up and be real. It demands that you use the fact that you are human to get other humans to buy from you, believe you, or accept your point of view. It requires you to multi-task. Blogging requires your belief to be brought to fruition by your determination and will.

As long as you produce blog posts because you should, your customers or readers will make it a point to leave because they can.

Author’s Bio: Tracy Vides is a content creator and marketer, who loves to blog about subjects as diverse as fashion, technology, and finance. She’s always raring to have a discussion on startups and entrepreneurship. Say “Hi” to her on Twitter @TracyVides. You can also find her on G+ at gplus.to/TracyVides.

Filed under Blog Basics, Successful Blog, Writing | 3 Comments »


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3 Comments to “Head Smacking Realities: Why Blogging Isn’t Doing a Thing for Your Business”

  1. May 22nd, 2014 at 8:15 pm
    Chery Schmidt said

    We all need to know why we blog? Yeppers! what is your game plan in the sense of Why You blog for your business in the first place! WOWSY!!

    I love this article I do not do keyword research and now know why HEHE e-bots don’t buy–>>people do. TO FUNNY!! HEHE It is all about People NOT those e-bots..

    These are your customers =, what can you do for them, that is what they are there for, So give them what they want. I do agree you need to talk to them as they are your best friends. After all people do business with people they know like and trust Right!

    This was such a Great Article.. Thanks for sharing Chery :))

    P.S. I did land here today VIA Kingged

  2. May 23rd, 2014 at 2:54 am
    Rob Herr said

    I beg to disagree, blogging just like other stuff are hit or miss. It can either make or break your business. Its called taking risks.

  3. May 23rd, 2014 at 1:45 pm
    Rohan Bhardwaj said

    Blogging is an on-going venture in business. One needs to give the readers a great reason to come again for their stuff.

    I have seen many blog’s which talks about the success of their business, but the successful ones talk about improving the quality of their service for their customers.

    If one stuffs sales link in every blog post, then it just becomes like a spam and kills the essence of blogging.

    If done right, business’ grows with blogging. Anyway, I found this article on kingged.

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