Some of the most popular websites these days are corporate blogs (Open Forum, anyone?) — not traditional news publishers, and it’s easy to understand why many small-business owners are wondering if they too should jump into the game. And perhaps they should — after all, blogging is a great way to raise a company’s profile, connect with new clients and strengthen SEO.
But that doesn’t mean blogging is right for every company. Here are five signs your small business isn’t ready to blog:
- You think you need a “review process” for each post that involves multiple people and more than a few minutes. You get a double-NO if any of those mandatory reviewers are lawyers. For content marketing and social media to really benefit your small business, you have to trust your people and give up at least a little control here. If you don’t trust your workers to represent the company appropriately, you have much bigger problems than whether you need a blog. Go address those first.
- You’re not patient. It takes a while to build trust in your content, especially if you’re a vendor in an industry. You will see quick payoff in your SEO results if you’re using your long-tail keywords intelligently, but actual sales that come specifically from leads generated by your blog are going to be much slower in coming. In fact, even if the blog is a success, you may never be able to link a single sale directly to it. Your primary goal here should be to position yourself as a trustworthy source of information about your industry.
- You’re terrified of the notion of linking directly to competitors’ content. A robust industry blog will require you to have civilized, public conversations with your competitors. A generous spirit in this regard is what will make you a thought leader in your industry; it also has some powerful SEO advantages.
- You don’t see the point of any content that isn’t a sales pitch. A blog that primarily features company press releases and repackaged sales materials is a blog that no one is going to read. (This is a common flaw in white papers and webinars, too.) A successful business blog focuses on what the desired audience wants to read, not what the company wishes the audience wants to read.
- You’re mostly excited about the fact that it’s “free.” Indeed, the relative ease of setting up a WordPress account, grabbing a free template and slapping in your logo is appealing, especially if you’ve been investing heavily in traditional marketing and advertising with little payoff. But that approach isn’t likely to lead to success. To make a true comparison between the cost of content marketing vs. traditional advertising, you’ll need to look closely at the real costs. For a blog, that includes setting aside some money for a good web designer upfront, as well as the time it will take to produce the content and promote it effectively.
What are some other signs that a small business isn’t ready to blog?
Image credit: RapidEye