Why NOT To Start A Company Blog
There are a few things that really grind my gears. Two are superficial. One is deadly serious. It has to do with why not to start a company blog.
Here are the three things:
First, my Uber rating of 4.95. It used to be 4.97. Whyyy? What did I do? I always tip, make small talk if the vibe is right and offer profuse thanks to the driver at the start and end of the trip.
Second, the stubborn hatred that the Capulets and Montagues bore for one another. What happens when two families forbid their respective kids from marrying each other? A bunch of people die.
Third, when companies want (or feel like they should) start a blog and post content with zero strategy or process behind it. Then they quickly abandon the blog because they don’t see results or they underestimated the amount of work running a blog requires.
Guess which one is deadly serious for me.
The needless death of Romeo, Juliet and their relatives is no laughing matter. But for me, the deadlier item on the list is when companies start a blog without a strategy or process in place. Not only does that fail to produce results, but it also wastes company resources and turns off companies from blogging. But when done correctly, blogging is such an effective way to bring in business.
Benefits Of Starting A Company Blog
Before deciding why or why not to start a company blog, it’s crucial to know the tangible benefits that blogging offers. Hubspot provides a fantastic rundown of blogging benefits here. Below are the benefits that blogging–when done strategically–I’ve found particularly useful for my clients:
- Brings organic, or unpaid, traffic to your website. 70-80% of internet users reported that they prefer organic results to paid ads. 57% of marketers reported that blogging has brought them new clients. Finally, people are 61% more likely to purchase products from a company with unique content. (Source)
- Increases brand awareness. This is one of the most common reasons why companies start a blog. If this is you, you’re not alone. 90% of B2B companies use content, such as blogs, to promote brand awareness. (Source)
- Builds industry authority. This is another popular reason why companies start a blog. You’re an expert in your field, right? A blog is the perfect place for you to demonstrate that expertise. When you post authority-level content, you indicate to Google and other search engines that you’re an industry expert. Therefore, Google will rank you higher in search engine results pages (SERPS). Furthermore, readers begin to trust you as an expert and are more likely to purchase from you.
- Generates qualified leads. Ahh, one of the ultimate ROI metrics. Brands that blog produce 67% more leads per month on average than those that don’t. (Source)
Your company can reap these benefits too. But if you’re interested in starting a blog, you need to evaluate several factors in your business first.
In other words, if you don’t have a blog strategy and process, those are reasons that indicate why not to start a company blog. If that’s the case for your company, no sweat. Your marketing budget is best spent elsewhere.
Today’s blog teaches you how to determine whether starting a blog is the right move for your company. You might realize that not starting a company blog is a smarter decision.
Did you know Hey Sarah can launch and run your company blog for you?
How Well Do You Know Your Company And Customers?
One reason why not to start a company blog is if you don’t deeply know your company’s differentiators and audience. Blogs that rank high in SERPS and attract qualified leads speak clearly to the pain points of the company’s target audience. Those blogs promote the company’s offering as the best solution on the market. In other words, a profitable blog matches the company’s market differentiators with the target customers’ needs, goals and pains.
Creating content that marries your differentiators with audience pain points takes work. As a marketer or business leader, you know the importance of doing the work to clarify your company’s differentiators and target audience. But many companies think they’ve already established what makes their company stand out in the market. They think they know exactly what makes their audience tick. In many cases, they’ve even done market research and held extensive meetings to do this work.
But here’s the thing.
In my experience, when I begin to help a company determine topics for blog posts, they struggle. We find that they need to dig deeper into their market differentiators and target audience in order to write clear, effective content. They need to question and tweak their differentiators, conduct more research on competitors and learn more about their customers.
Failing to clarify your company’s competitive edge or know your target market deeply will cause your blog to be unfocused and confusing. Therefore, your readers are less likely to become customers. As the famous saying goes, “A confused mind says no.” Is your company able and willing to do this deep work on your differentiators and audience analysis? If not, that’s a great indicator as to why not to start a company blog.
Why Not To Start A Company Blog Unless You Do This
Establishing your company’s competitive edge and customer personas is work. The good news? You don’t have to do this work alone. This is a company-wide effort. Here are a few ways to begin clarifying your market differentiators and gain deep knowledge about your target audience:
- Create a Google doc for sales, product and customer service teams. Sales reps, product managers and customer service teams interact with customers and prospects everyday. They are the closest to your target audience and can provide invaluable knowledge to your marketing team. Have these teams note repeated questions, objections, needs, pains and goals that they hear. Create a shared document that these teams can complete as they collect data from your target audience. A shared document avoids the hassle of scheduling regular huddles. It also allows teams to complete on a running basis. Your marketing team can pull from the document to get effective ideas for blog topics.
- Schedule 20-minute calls with prospects and customers. Ask particularly friendly customers or prospects if you can pick their brain for 20 minutes over the phone or Zoom. Ask them: What are your current frustrations with [how you solve their frustrations]. For example, if you’re a digital marketing agency that specializes in running GoogleAds for yoga studios, ask: What are your current frustrations using GoogleAds to promote your yoga studio? Offering an incentive such as free advice or a nice discount is a great way to get prospects and customers to talk to you.
First, it can be hard to get everyone in your company to not only agree on your market differentiators, but also communicate them in simple language. Second, even if you think you’ve captured them, there’s always room for more specification. Finally, customer needs and goals can change quickly, and staying updated is an ongoing process. But if you want to have a blog that delivers results–qualified leads, regular traffic, industry recognition–there’s no avoiding that work.
Top 3 Resources Needed For A Profitable Company Blog
A profitable company blog requires a significant amount of resources, and a willingness to dedicate them to a blog. Below are some of the top resources you’ll need.
- Strong writer with high bandwidth. Blogs with long form content of at least 1,500 words perform better than short form blogs. Recent Semrush research reported that articles with 7,000 words were the leading performers. They drive 4x more traffic and more than 40% shares than content with 1,200 words or less. Furthermore, the more frequently you post, the faster Google identifies you as an authority and ranks you high on SERPS. What does all of this mean? That you need a writer who has the time to write long form blog posts on a regular basis.
- SEO manager. Great content means nothing if Google and other search engines can’t crawl it and make it easy for readers to find you. You need an SEO manager who can provide keyword and formatting recommendations to your writer. Your SEO manager also needs to have technical expertise to work on the backend of the blog. This might look like setting up Google Search Console, creating a backlinking strategy, improving site speed and more.
- Access to high-quality images and graphics. Semrush found that blogs with one image receive 2x as much traffic as blogs with zero images. While there are royalty-free image libraries out there, you can find much more engaging images from a paid stock library. Even better, have your graphic designer create custom icons, infographics and more to elevate your authority and increase reader engagement
By now, you’re aware of the work involved in starting and maintaining a company blog. You know that a post-it-and-forget it approach will not deliver results. If you’re able to take only that approach, that’s a great reason why not to start a company blog.
Why Or Why Not To Start A Company Blog
To sum up, the decision to start a company blog should not be made lightly. A well-executed blog has the power to be your biggest source of qualified inbound leads who become paying customers. If executed poorly, a blog can make your company look unprofessional and even suspicious, and thus turn off customers.
Why or why not start a company blog? Ask yourself and/or your colleagues this question:
Is your company willing and able to dedicate the resources outlined above required to start and maintain the blog?
If the answer is “yes,” go forth and blog! Did you answer “no”? That’s a great indicator that your resources are better spent on other marketing tactics. Finally, how about “maybe” or “I don’t know”? That’s okay!
If you’re in the “maybe” or “I don’t know” category, here’s what I recommend. Do the work of clarifying your company’s differentiators and immersing yourself in your target audience. This will provide invaluable insights that you can use right away to tweak other marketing efforts. And when you are ready to start a company blog, you’ll be able to launch quickly since you’ve already done that work. Win-win!