Don’t do a business blog to “be cool”

Blogging has been hot for awhile and has become part of the mainstream enough now that many business owners, from CEOs of Fortune 500 companies to coffee shop owners, think they need to get in on the game. But should they?

I worked for a large organization where two of the senior managers decided that they needed to have a blog. Both blogs failed miserably. Why? For one, neither of these executives were readers of blogs. They basically used their blogs to try to post very high-level, generic statements and then ran out of things to say. Then they wondered why no one posted any comments.

Business blogs, in my experience, are best when they provide insight into the thinking of the person, and, by extension, the inner workings of the organization. They may not lay out every detail and secret of their business for all the world to read, but should provide more than just trite comments or PR fodder.

Writing is hard work, and writing a blog can be harder.

If you’re a business owner or top executive that wants to start blogging, consider the following:

1. Define your goals and your audience. Who are you trying to reach? What do you want your audience to know? If you are a real estate agent, you might consider talking about the community in which you work and your perspective on where things are going in the real estate market.

2. It’s okay to give away some of your expertise! Some people might try to sell or buy a house without a Realtor, but once they see the complexity of such a transaction, they’re more likely to come to someone who clearly demonstrates they care about the community, their profession, and their customers. For an example of this, see Austin’s Crossland Team’s blog. Apparently only about 2% of real estate professionals have a blog, so blogging could give you an edge over the competition.

3. Be consistent. If you set the expectations of your readers up front and state that you will be posting your thoughts once a week or once a month, and stick to your plan, you have a better chance of keeping your audience. My friend Emee of EJP Events has been posting at least once monthly in her Portland Wedding Coordinator blog.

4. Be controversial. Don’t be afraid to address issues that may be controversial and state your opinions. That is what people want to hear – what you really think.

5. Read other blogs and comment on them. Then use references to others’ blogs. That is the great thing about blogging and social media – the community and the conversation that it engenders.

That’s just to get you started thinking.


1 comment so far

  1. Jeffrey on

    Could you please surreptitiously send this post to my bosses? They keep launching half-baked new websites willy nilly and tacking the word ‘blog’ on to their titles.

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