The Seven Deadly Sins of Company Blogging
We all know that blogs, when used properly, can be excellent tools for promoting your organization and expanding your client base, while providing insight into the interworking of your company. They are also an effective way to generate organic search engine exposure, and with the right content, quality inbound links for your website.
However, blogging is not something to be taken lightly, isn’t right for every organization, and if done incorrectly can actually harm your company’s online reputation and branding. Below are the 7 deadly sins of company blogging and what you can do to exorcise those demonic blog traits, and convert to an angelic blogosphere existence.
Lust – It is a craving, an overwhelming longing that often leads to self indulgent behavior. Your company’s blog is not the place for self indulgence; it is not the forum for promoting your personal desires. Your content needs to consistently reflect the wants of your organization, the goals of your company. This doesn’t mean you can’t add some personal insight to your posts, as a good writing voice can add humor, create a connection with your readers and generate interest in future posts. But don’t use them as a sounding board to express your undying love for all things Star Trek, photos of that flashy new sports car you purchased to compensate for that receding hair line, or to declare your undying man crush on Tom Brady.
Gluttony – Don’t over do it. Don’t blog just to blog. You should carefully consider what your company’s blog focus is and stick to it. If 5 people in your company have been assigned to write regular posts, make sure that there is equal time for each, and that there posts are evenly spaced out. While your readers want fresh material, creative posts, and entertaining content, they don’t want to be over inundated with minutia, useless information, or a 100 page manifesto on why you believe the company’s choice to stop “Hawaiian Shirt Fridays” will lead to its ultimate demise. Your readers don’t need to know every small detail of your life, or the daily activities of your organization. That’s what Twitter is for.
Greed – Your blog posts should not be advertisements. They should not be used to constantly promote your organization’s products and services. If you have a new feature or service that is truly exciting or offers something new and innovative to your clients, then by all means let your readers know. But don’t keep posting about ongoing promotions, limited time offers, or program benefits. Your readers are coming to your blog to get information, to be entertained, and to learn more about your company. So don’t be the Shamwow guy (in more ways then one), and remember your readers won’t come back if all you are offering is a constant sales pitch.
Sloth – Don’t be lazy! Nothing looks worse then a blog that has only a few posts and hasn’t been updated in months. Set up a blogging schedule, assign each blogger in your organization with a submission timetable, and make sure everyone writes on a consistent basis. If you don’t think you can dedicate the time or resources required each week to create an interesting post, then simply don’t start a blog. It is much better to go without, then it is to look lazy, out of touch, or just slothful. Unless of course, you happen to have three toes.
Wrath – Take the high road. Occasionally someone may leave a comment on your blog that is disparaging towards you or your company. Don’t get caught up in name calling or let your emotions fuel your response. Even if the rant or comment is unjustified, you must maintain a constant level of professionalism and should only respond with fact, never with emotion. Remember, you are representing not only yourself, but you are also representing your organization. Don’t write something that you might later regret, or that could come back to haunt you.
Envy – Don’t be envious of others and of their achievements. This can be towards other companies, bloggers, coworkers or industry colleagues. Always give credit where credit is due. If you find something of value in articles or blog posts of others, link to it, and discuss why you see value you see in it. Your company blog is not the place for resentment, competition or jealousy. It’s nice to be important, but it’s more important to be nice.
Pride -This blog isn’t about you. This is not your personal blog, your Facebook page, or your MySpace profile. The company blog is not the place for promoting your folk band’s appearance at the local coffee shop, your neighborhood yard sale or your prized MVP award from last year’s Summer Drunk Kickball League. And most of all, this is not your personal soap box, or the forum to laud yourself on recent professional achievements. Blatant self promotion is a turn off. And while personal branding is at an all time high, your company blog is not the forum for it.
If you are like me, you probably enjoy a little sin and occasional debauchery in your live, but when it comes to your company’s blog, it is best to practice virtue in your posting routines. By avoiding these 7 Deadly Sins of Blogging, you will soon be on your way to the heavenly rewards of a blog well done.
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When do you find it “right” to recommend a blog to a client….vs……a client that just “shouldn’t go there”.
What I mean is…
In what circumstance is a blog fundamental necessity to one’s business? A minor recommendation…..or, red flag?
Looking forward to your response.
Good question and this response may actually need to end up as separate blog post. Personally, I would say that a blog is never fundamentally necessary for the success of an online business. With a good SEM strategy that includes solid SEO, aggressive Link Building, PPC and Social networking, you can find success without incorporating a company blog into the overall strategy.
As each client, their resources and their objectives are different you really have to carefully evaluate when to recommend a blog on a case by case basis. I would say that these are some factors that should be taken into consideration before making a recommendation:
Resources – If the company is a small organization, then they more then likely do not have a marketing department or someone within their company that can dedicate the time needed to write on a regular basis. Some questions to ask: Do they have someone within their company that is a good writer, or several individuals that can contribute regularly? Can they dedicate several hours a week to preparing content for the blog? Do they like to write?
Content – It is also important to determine if the client will have content that they can regularly add to their blog. Some questions you might ask are: Do they release new products and/or services often? Do they attend trade shows and conferences? Do they frequently add new clients? Do they regularly send out press releases? Do they have a company newsletter? Do they have multiple offices? Do they ever publish articles in trade magazines? Does their industry seen regular changes in pricing, marketing, regulations, etc? If their answer is no, then they may be hard pressed to find good content to post.
Competition – If they are in a competitive market, and if their main competitors are utilizing blogs, then it is something they should definitely consider. Not only does it assist them with generating inbound links and possibly increased organic exposure, it also prevents their competitors from having a competitive edge with their blog. However, the client would still need to be able to dedicate the resources and have good content for their blog.
Desire – Finally, when it comes down to it, the client really has to want to have a blog. If they are hesitant, unsure, or not 100% behind the idea, then chances are they will soon lose interest, stop updating it and the blog will eventually be forgotten.
I’m sure I may have missed other criteria and would be interested in other comments or responses.