Having a blog is an absolute staple of most websites, but why? How many business owners and marketers could actually explain the value their blog delivers?
Don’t get me wrong, blogs can be immensely powerful, but 9 out of 10 are a complete waste of time. Here’s why:
1. Most blogs have no clear strategic objective
Here are some good reasons why you might create a blog:
– To demonstrate and enhance your expertise
– To reinforce your brand
– To provide content for your social or influencer strategy
Here are some terrible reasons to create a blog:
– Because your competitor has one
– Because you’ve heard it will help your SEO
– Because the design came with one and now you feel you should probably do something with it
Unfortunately most blogs exist for the latter three reasons.
2. Most blogs have no sense of brand
Even if your blog is the exception to the rule and you know exactly what you’re trying to achieve, I’d bet the princely sum of three English pounds that it has almost no relevance to your brand. The reason I would make such a bold wager is because 99% of businesses don’t even have a clearly defined brand, so hoping to communicate it through the blog is an impossible tasks. There will be no running theme or coherent message. It will simply be a shambolic mess of tenuously connected topics all pointing in slightly different directions.
3. Most blogs are created for the wrong audience
Blogs tend to be particularly common on B2B and professional service websites – law, accountancy, consultancy, marketing, architecture, IT, etc. If these businesses are any good, they should be able to clearly articulate their target audience, and yet 99% of the time you’ll find that the blog has absolutely nothing to do with their client’s world. It’s all about their own.
You’ll notice a degree of hyocracy about that last point. After all, here I am writing a post about marketing and it has very little to do with any of our target markets. There are definite benefits (such as demonstrating expertise and reinforcing the brand) but unless I’m trying to sell to other marketers then there’s no question that this is of limited value, which is why for every one post I place here I place about 5 elsewhere, in a special location where I know my ideal audience is already captive.
I love blogging but it’s important to ask some simple questions before throwing yourself into it:
– What are you trying to achieve?
– Do you truly understand your brand?
– Is your ideal target audience actually going to see it, and if not then where else do you need to be appearing in order to really capture their attention?
Until you’ve answered these questions, don’t bother. Your time is better spent elsewhere.