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10 Reasons Why Your Company's Blog Sucks (and what you can do about it)
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10 Reasons Why Your Company's Blog Sucks (and what you can do about it)

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This is my presentation from Beyond Social 101. Learn what sins companies frequently commit when blogging and why you're only as good as your last brand impression.

This is my presentation from Beyond Social 101. Learn what sins companies frequently commit when blogging and why you're only as good as your last brand impression.

Published in Business , Technology , Education
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  • 1. 10 Reasons Why Your Company’s Blog Sucks (and what you can do about it) t
  • 2.
    • In a study conducted in 2008 by Forrester Research, only 16% of those who read corporate blogs say they trust them.
    • Ever wonder why people aren’t reading your company’s blog?
    • Too often corporate blogs are hijacked by overzealous PR folks who fail to understand the value of authenticity.Once you start following corporate blogs, you’ll notice that a lot of them are the result of a PR person saying you have to a blog because “everybody’s doing it.”
    • Even companies with the best intention can end up with a ghostwritten executive blog. Being a shrewd man, Mr. CEO says he doesn’t have time to write a blog, he’s not a writer, etc. So, PR Lady explains that no CEO actually writes their own blog, just like no one writes their own press releases. So for the next year, PR Lady Inc writes monthly posts on behalf of Mr. CEO and no one read them. 
    • Why Should People Trust You?
  • 3.
    • Action Step #1:
    • Start by examining your motives for blogging. What about having a blog appeals to you?
    • Your readers want to get to know YOU.
    • Action Step #2:
    • What results are you hoping to accomplish with a blog?
    • Action Step #3:
    • How realistic are your expectations about your blog?
    • Bad. Bad. Bad.
  • 4.
    • Know-able
    • Believe it or not, people want to know your brand. They want to get to know the people behind your brand and trust that they are actual people.
    • If you take away nothing else from this session, remember this.
    • In order for your blog to be successful, it must be:
    • Share-able
    • Your content has to be something that your readers can share with their friends. More importantly, it has to be compelling enough for them to want to share it.
    • Relate-able
    • PR-speak is great, but your readers want to hear from an actual human.Talk to and with your readers, and not at them.
    • The Three Cardinal Rules of Blogging
  • 5.
    • Are you a good writer?
    • This is a tough one because you have to evaluate your own writing ability. And you have to be honest about it. But ask the hard question before you start to blog.
    • If you can’t definitively say that you are a compelling writer, then then you will be swallowed alive by the hordes of great writers out there.
    • How do you know if you have any business blogging?
    • Who Should Blog?
  • 6.
    • Does it make sense for you to have a blog?
    • Do you have content that people will actually want to read? Is your industry one that should be written about? If not, then blogging may not be for you.
    • How do you know if you have any business blogging?
    • Who Should Blog?
  • 7.
    • Do you have a compelling point of view?
    • In other words, what can you say that isn’t already being said? A unique point of view requires creativity. And if you don’t have a creative bone in your body, your blog will bore everyone to tears. You might be a great writer–a great technical writer–but that doesn’t translate well to a blog.
    • How do you know if you have any business blogging?
    • Who Should Blog?
  • 8.
    • Can you focus your ideas?
    • Write about whatever inspires you and your readers, however, keep the content tight and compelling. Flagship content provides a true North on the compass: a direction, a focus. As a blogger, you should almost always steer in this direction. That also means you don’t treat your blog as a meandering diary or brain dump.
    • How do you know if you have any business blogging?
    • Who Should Blog?
  • 9.
    • Can you teach people something?
    • People turn to blogs to learn something they may not be able to learn in their everyday lives. What makes you an authority?
    • How do you know if you have any business blogging?
    • Who Should Blog?
  • 10.
    • Frequency is key.
    • In the initial stages, stick to a blogging schedule. If you can’t, don’t expect a high readership.
    • However, you can get away with random blog posts if your readers subscribe via RSS. Once they have subscribed to your blog, they’ll probably remain subscribed.
    • How do you know if you have any business blogging?
    • Who Should Blog?
  • 11.
    • Size matters.
    • Rule of thumb:
    • - Daily posts should be short and pithy
    • - Weekly posts should be longer and more informative
    • - Monthly posts should be long, deeply-researched, and valuable.
    • You can post once a month, but you’ll have to make each one count. Otherwise people will just ignore you.
    • How do you know if you have any business blogging?
    • Who Should Blog?
  • 12.
    • Talk to the people.
    • Not allowing comments is blog suicide. Great blogging is about creating a dialog. Observation has shown that places where the feedback loop is closed lose readership. People want to be part of the conversation. This also helps generate future content, plus giving the reader the choice is all about what the web is becoming. If you plan on “not dealing” with comments, so be it. But don’t say I didn’t warn you.
    • How do you know if you have any business blogging?
    • Who Should Blog?
  • 13.
    • Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.
    • Your blog is boring. Why should anyone care about your brand, let alone your blog? Is it relevant to your readers? Can you write content that comes from a real human being, rather than dabbling in "corporate speak?" If not, don't blog.
    • And how to make them suck less.
    • So Why do so Many Corporate Blogs Suck?
  • 14.
    • Ho-hum.
    • Your content is lame. What can you say on your blog that hasn't already been said before? Can you put a fresh spin on topics that have been done to death?
    • And how to make them suck less.
    • So Why do so Many Corporate Blogs Suck?
  • 15.
    • You set it and forget it.
    • You don't commit to it. It takes time, talent, and resources to do it right - from writing the content to programming and designing the blog itself. If you don’t continue to contribute content, people will forget about you.
    • And how to make them suck less.
    • So Why do so Many Corporate Blogs Suck?
  • 16.
    • Hello? Anyone home?
    • You can't be bothered to update content on a regular basis. Assess your reasons for blogging - do you want to build steady readership or SEO (Search Engine Optimization)? If you're going to blog, you need to do so as often as is appropriate for your goals, not just when you have time to update.
    • And how to make them suck less.
    • So Why do so Many Corporate Blogs Suck?
  • 17.
    • Who are you talking to, anyway?
    • You're out of touch. Is your content only about your company and its services, and nothing else? Stay current on topics that interest your readers and show how your brand relates to it.
    • And how to make them suck less.
    • So Why do so Many Corporate Blogs Suck?
  • 18.
    • Oh…you have a blog?
    • You're losing readers. What's the point of a well-written blog if only a select few can access it? Add feed content to your blog so that readers can subscribe, share, and enjoy.
    • And how to make them suck less.
    • So Why do so Many Corporate Blogs Suck?
  • 19.
    • Keep it in your pants, already.
    • You forget that a blog is NOT advertising. If you need an ad, contact an agency and have commercials or print materials produced. Your blog is your opportunity to build a relationship with your readers.
    • And how to make them suck less.
    • So Why do so Many Corporate Blogs Suck?
  • 20.
    • Flack me.
    • People already don’t trust corporate blogs, so ask yourself this - why should readers trust your blog's information any more than a press release or an advertisement?
    • And how to make them suck less.
    • So Why do so Many Corporate Blogs Suck?
  • 21.
    • No one knows your blog exists.
    • Think of your company blog like the proverbial tree in the forrest: if no one reads your blog, does it matter how awesome it is? Spread the word and drive traffic to your blog.
    • And how to make them suck less.
    • So Why do so Many Corporate Blogs Suck?
  • 22.
    • You give up too soon.
    • In marketing circles,we take metrics pretty seriously and we like to track effectiveness. Unpredictability, brand-building, and other “touchy-feelies” just don't hold water when we can track the ROI, right?
    • Otherwise, people tend to believe that blogging isn't working because people aren't commenting on their blogs, thus they give up before they have a chance to see actual results. Take the time to analyze the numbers before you move on.
    • And how to make them suck less.
    • So Why do so Many Corporate Blogs Suck?
  • 23.
    • So what are you going to do about it?
  • 24.
    • When it comes to building your company’s brand, think of Kleenex.
    • In other words, be the brand.
    • Brand is the personality that identifies a product, service or company.
    • Some people distinguish the psychological aspect or brand associations like thoughts, feelings, perceptions, images, experiences, beliefs, attitudes, etc, that become linked to the brand.
    • It’s All About the Brand
  • 25.
    • Believe it or not, people are paying attention to what you say.
    • Second chance? What’s that?
    • You never get a second chance to make a first impression.
    • Research is the key to a successful brand impression.
    • You’re Only as Good as Your Last Brand Impression.
  • 26.
    • Action Step:
    • Imagine your reader wearing a sign that says, “make me feel important.”
    • Converting the casual reader to a brand evangelist.
    • What does your reader want to know about you?
    • What do you want your reader to take away after reading your blog?
    • Picture Your Reader
  • 27.
    • Action Step:
    • Research the needs and preferences of the target audience
    • Get to the heart of what your reader wants and needs.
    • Identify what features and benefits truly appeal to the consumer, as well as which ones will motivate the consumer to form a favorable impression, purchase, etc.
    • Design a message that maximizes the impact and impression of your business. Your messaging should make your product stand out as fun, relevant, or useful.
    • Creating the Right Impression
  • 28.
    • Believe it or not, people are paying attention to what you say.
    • If you build it, they’ll talk.
    • You never get a second chance to make a first impression.
    • Research is the key to a successful brand impression.
    • Creating a Positive Brand Experience
  • 29.
    • What am I going to write about?
    • Here we go with that writing thing again
    • Content is King
  • 30.
    • Check your inbox.
    • What are people talking about? Are there any questions you can answer?
    • Here we go with that writing thing again
    • Content is King
  • 31.
    • Comment on someone else’s blog.
    • What blogs or news sites are you reading? Do you have an opinion about what they're saying?
    • Here we go with that writing thing again
    • Content is King
  • 32.
    • Offer advice.
    • Most of the time, people read blogs because they're looking for ideas and advice to help solve their own problems. Are there any services that you can offer to help solve these problems?
    • Here we go with that writing thing again
    • Content is King
  • 33.
    • What have you been up to?
    • Can you offer behind-the-scenes stories or insights?
    • Here we go with that writing thing again
    • Content is King
  • 34.
    • Comment on the state-of-the-union.
    • Are there any new developments in your field? Can you discuss real-world applications?
    • Here we go with that writing thing again
    • Content is King
  • 35.
    • Photos and videos are priceless.
    • People love to see the proverbial "man behind the curtain" at work. Be transparent and let your clients in on what you really do.
    • Here we go with that writing thing again
    • Content is King
  • 36.
    • Offer something more.
    • E-books are incredibly valuable when you offer something that your readers can't get anywhere else, plus they are a natural blog entry. Offer something readers can’t get anywhere but on your blog.
    • Here we go with that writing thing again
    • Content is King
  • 37.
    • Share the love.
    • Share your presentations with your readers. Have someone video your latest presentation or upload your slides on slideshare and let your readers get a feel for what you presented.
    • Here we go with that writing thing again
    • Content is King
  • 38.
    • Be the News.
    • A blog is a great place to announce the latest developments at your company - new hires, awards, new developments, technology updates, etc.
    • Here we go with that writing thing again
    • Content is King
  • 39.
    • Dialog is the new black.
    • Use your blog to generate debate and/or discussion with your readers. This will help spark future topics, as well as generate reader loyalty.
    • Here we go with that writing thing again
    • Content is King
  • 40.
    • t: twitter.com/sbarton1220
    • f: facebook.com/sara.barton
    • e: [email_address]
    • http://sarabarton.wordpress.com
    • Thank You!