When I was first starting, I drank the Kool Aid. Every business NEEDS to have a blog. The quality of the business blog doesn’t matter. The type of business doesn’t matter. The customers of the business don’t matter, and whether those customers even *read* blogs is absolutely irrelevant. You run a business? You need to have a website with a blog. End of story.
And, because marketers were damn good at their jobs, a lot of companies drank from the same sippy cup. Business websites were popping up everywhere, complete with blogs that were full of keyword-oriented trash. You had accountants offering a few posts about why their clients needed financial action plans. You had tree services explaining why you shouldn’t cut down trees on your own. Essentially, companies put out blogs that nobody engaged with or responded to.
Some of the high-pressure marketers said that you could achieve HUGE results in a limited amount of time by using blogs. Just get that blog to go viral, and you’ll get millions of views for your website, and your tiny little company in Iowa will find itself vaulted onto the national stage. More companies got on board because of that, because they bought into the concept of winning the lottery as a business plan.
Now. We’ve got blog shambles everywhere. There are companies which haven’t updated in years, yet the ‘gosh golly gee whiz’ first post of ‘I’ve dun got a blog’ is still up there. Worse yet, you can see the dreadful keyworded dreck strategy playing out on this shell of a blog like a hair metal band in this day and age. “Car Repair Detroit” as a blog post title, indeed.
The complaint was heard across the land, “This doesn’t work!”
And yet there were other successful places who were running blogs, getting business off of their blogs, growing, and thriving because of their blog. The statistics were out there to prove that running a blog on the site could bring in wealth, make amazing connections, and cure cancer. Why weren’t the Hubspot and Moz content strategies working for Frank’s Tire Shack?
Put quite simply, it’s the difference between signal and noise.
- Signal, for a blog post, is something which is amazing, entertaining, informative, outrageous, or useful. It’s a piece which resonates with the audience, something which offers value to the target demographic. If you can get your target to laugh, FEEL, learn, or trust, you’re one step closer to having a new customer.
- A post which does nothing for the reader. They read like a politician wrote them, without the feel good parts. These are what the keyword stuffed posts were… noise. And while these types of posts may have done well in the search engines, they didn’t pay well with those who opened their pocketbooks.
The Moz and Hubspot people talk about the amount of work that it takes to get to that level. They let people in on the secrets. They offer the content calendars. They invite experts to talk about what it takes to make award-winning blogs. Even though the pros are talking about the nuts and bolts of creating a top-notch blog, there are a lot of people who aren’t listening – hence the boulevard of broken blogs.
It’s not much of a secret, but the blogs that aim for signal (i.e. try to hit the mark on one of those qualities) every time tend to rise to the top. Those that don’t… well, they end up in the detritus-filled blog graveyard.
Should my company have a blog? Are you willing to devote time to providing your readers with more signal, rather than noise? Quality over quantity? That’s where the money is.
Are you willing to devote time to providing your readers with more signal, rather than noise? Quality over quantity?
Creating a business blog is a commitment, but if you’re willing to make that commitment and do it right, the rewards are amazing.