It seems like every website I visit these days has a Blog tab. It’s usually right up there near the end of the tab structure, just before the obligatory Contact Us tab. I’ll bet your website has a Blog tab, doesn’t it? Why wouldn’t it? They all do.
Nearly as predictable as the Blog tab is the disappointment I feel after clicking said Blog tab. A few of the things I’m likely to encounter on the resulting Blog page are:
- Posts that are six months to a year old.
- Posts that nobody cares about, e.g., your upcoming tradeshow schedule (which needs to be on your website, just not in a blog post).
- Posts that regurgitate industry news without adding any insight.
- Posts that are really just sales pitches or big ego trips.
- Posts written by a third-grader.
- Posts that make me cry.
Sadly, what I rarely find on these pages is useful information that someone out in the industry might actually be interested in reading.
It may seem paradoxical that I’m griping about blogs in what can arguably be described as a blog post, but that’s kind of the point. I try very hard to publish content on a regular basis, using information that you actually care about, without barfing up useless news, while being careful to avoid the hard sell, all in a well-written manner that doesn’t make you cry. I may not always succeed, but I promise I give it my best effort.
In other words, writing a blog takes commitment. If you’re not willing to commit, just delete that tab from your website and move on. Likewise, if you don’t have something to say, keep your pie hole shut.
If your blog sucks anyway, nobody is going to miss it. But if you leave it up there, I guarantee someone will notice it – and not in the way you’d like. If this describes your situation, stop reading now and delete that section from your website immediately. I’ll go grab a sugar-free Monster while you’re gone.
Even among blogs that do well enough in other areas, writing quality is often dismal. The competition for eyeballs among content publishers has become so intense, it’s easy to get fooled into thinking that quantity trumps quality. It doesn’t.
If you have great ideas, but less than stellar writing skills, hire a pro to help you out. There are plenty of us out there, and we’re well worth the money.
Finally, it’s very important to remember that your blog – like absolutely any marketing you do – needs to support your brand. It needs to have a voice – a personality. You don’t want readers to think you have the charm of Siri on 8% battery.
For example, sometimes in my CUInsight posts, I sound like kind of a jerk. That’s because sometimes in real life, I am kind of a jerk. Other times, I go beyond mere mortal jerkiness. That’s part of my brand. You either like it or you don’t.
My blogging philosophy distills down to this: Write often, write well, write relevant, and write with conviction. Or don’t write at all.