Pardon the fun title (you either get it or you don’t, but I am leaving it there) - I guess I should have asked - Are you a two post chump that gives up on blogging after only posting twice during an entire month, one of which was a press release? You walk away saying, blogging is not a good fit for our company, it did nothing for us. If this is you, and you find yourself saying this – you are absolutely right to walk away, you two post chump.
If you wanna redeem yourself, and figure out where you may have gone wrong, then keep reading. I honestly did not want to post about this today, but after reading a post talking about only 16% of consumers trusting corporate blogs it got me thinking, and it got me a little irritated.
I love blogging, and I know I am not the best at it, but in my posts, I am always trying to provide useful information that gets people to act, and engage (besides just informing). I try to provide information that is real and can help people make choices about what they are looking for (no matter what it is). I have other blogs that I run then just this Internet marketing blog here, I have other corporate blogs that do well. I have had many people, on many occasions tell my sales guys that it is because of the information on the blog that they went ahead an made the purchase. That’s all I need to hear to keep blogging.
Why Do People Fail At Blogging?
I think the reason that only 16% of people trust corporate blogs is because only a small percentage of corporate blogs are doing it correctly. I have spoken to many of these corporate types that have told me they tried blogging, but it just didn’t work for them. I try to dig a little deeper to find out what they were really doing with the blog, and come up with a reason why I think it failed. Most of the time these big corporate types (IMO) have no clue about social media, and the only thing they have heard about related to social media is that MySpace is a place where child molesters hang out.
I find out that they used their blog as a place to share the company press releases, official statements or policies, and looked at me with a clueless stare when I asked them if their blog was optimized for social media. All of this equals a fail in my book, especially when they have given up on their corporate blog that hey have been running for only two months, and have a total of 4-6 posts. That will never cut it my friends.
One of my buddies, Nate Moller from Moller Marketing, who teaches people how to start an online business, recently had the chance to interview Shoemoney (a huge name in the blogging community) and asked him if people running a corporate blog should be personal or professional (ie; press, official news etc) and he said they should 100% be personal and leave all the press release BS out. People don’t know how to connect with sites that aren’t personal, and that don’t provide real information that can help them make decisions, and act.
Tips for Running A Successful Corporate Blog:
- Be personal – This is the most important step, and without doing this – everything else you do on your blog will be a failure. Let your readers get to know you, and the people behind the company. They want to trust you, so help them trust. The most trustworthy online referral method is getting an email from people you know, 77% in fact – so this should be an eye opener how important trusting an individual is, and the only way you will gain trust is by being personal.
- Know your target audience - Don’t create a blog thinking you are going to appeal to everyone in the world. Understand what your industry and niche is, and write for those people and not the masses. If you keep your writing niche specific and direct to your audience, your blog will experience HUGE success.
- Provide useful information that gives people reason to act – If you are just throwing up posts because you know Google likes content, then again you have just failed. If you are paying to things like your web analytics, then you know what people are looking for, and this can give you a better idea of what to blog about. If you go and look at any article site, or Yahoo Answers (as example) you will see the questions that real consumers are asking. All you need to do is to be the one that provides that information.
- Be honest – If you are sharing testimonials, and reviews then make sure they are real and from real people who have used your services. My father-in-law bought something from one of my websites a while ago and the question he made to me was; “Are all those testimonials real?” He thought they were, and felt good about my business, but he stated that most he reads seem made up and fake. I think people can usually sniff that kind of stuff out.
- Speak whats on your mind - Be open with your readers. You are never going to make 100% of the people happy 100% of the time, and you just have to learn to deal with that. Many of my greatest posts that got the most people linking to them, brought the most traffic, and the ones that rank the best are those that had a little controversy associated with them. You also need to learn to grow thick skin, especially if you start writing stuff that is good enough and worthy to show up on the bigger social networks like Digg. NO matter what, there will always be someone that wants to argue with you, they get off on that, so just get ready and don’t let it effect you!
- Be consistent – You are not going to be able to gain readers, or trust if you are not constantly giving people reasons to come back to your blog and read more. If you are posting everyday, and people know they can come back to you for reliable, useful information, and that you will have new posts, then that is a GOOD thing, and you have not failed. When you do it for this reason, it has a positive effect with the search engines. If they have reasons to keep coming back to your content everyday because you are adding, and they want to make sure they have the latest index of your site, that too is a GOOD thing. Just make sure you are doing it for the right reasons.
- Give them information they can act on – If you know what people are looking for in your industry, and you provide them that exact information they are looking for, then give them options based on what you offer, they will act on those options. They are already invested on your site (and hopefully trust you by now) and will more then likely purchase from you once all their research is done.
- Be real - You can have fun with your posts, and provide information while making people smile. All of your posts don’t have to be exactly related to your site and business. Once you figure out the balance, this will boost your blogs credibility times ten!
There are many other things that could be on this list, but I feel these are the most important for now. Remember, I did not intend on writing this post, I just felt like I needed to (for my sake). Don’t be a two post chump and give up on your corporate blog that easily. There is power in blogging and getting the right information in front of the right people.
Bloggers need to start thinking differently if they want to be noticed. I don’t have any problem with link bait (I preach it), and doing what you can to be picked up by sites like Digg, but blogging, and having a corporate blog goes far beyond the hopes of one of your stories making the FP of Digg. Think about your customers, and what kind of information they are looking for. If you can be the blog that provides them with what they are looking for, and gain their trust – it will be a great day for you, and your company!