Could blogging be bad for business?

Blogging bad for businessOK, I hate to say it, but here goes. Blogging isn’t for everyone. There are all sorts of reasons why starting a blog might not be the best thing for your business. Perhaps you just don’t have the time or the skill. Maybe you don’t know what to write. It’s entirely possible that the people who are most likely to do business with you just don’t read blogs.

Of course, you can overcome the challenges of time and skill by paying someone like me to write your blog for you. Then again, that depends on you having the right resources. However, there are still times when blogging could just be bad for business if you don’t get it right. Here are just a few.

Putting your foot in it

Sometimes a controversial blog can be a great talking point. If you present a view that’s at odds with ‘how things have always been done’ you could find yourself sparking change. Or you could end up with customers leaving you in droves. It’s worth remembering that the internet is full of people who will take things the wrong way. Just glance down the comments section of any online article and you’ll find people who’ve completely missed the point. Or who just don’t understand sarcasm.

Of course, that doesn’t mean I’m recommending your blog be bland and generic. Talking about the things that make you and your business unique is vital if you want to stand out. But if you’re talking about something where you’ve rejected received wisdom, do it carefully. Present your way of doing things as a positive step which benefits your customers.

Oh, and I hope this is obvious but never be rude about your customers. New readers won’t read it and think ‘I’ll be OK because I don’t act like that’. They’ll just run away because they don’t want to risk lighting your fuse.

Letting your blog distract you

Writing a blog can be enormous fun. It can also be a great way to procrastinate. Unless you’re a writer, then you’ll find yourself putting off writing to clean the house or catalogue the contents of your shed. Blogging can be bad for business if you spend time doing it when you should be prioritising other tasks.

Think about where your time is best spent. Would you be better off writing your blog or going to that monthly networking event to meet new clients? Do you spend time writing when you could be making new products?

Not having a plan

If you have a personal blog you can write about anything you like, within reason. Even then you might find that your core audience starts to wander off if you dramatically change direction. If I started reading a parenting blog then found that it suddenly veered off into international politics I’d wonder what had gone wrong.

Writing a successful blog takes a fair bit of refinement but that will happen over time. The important thing is to have a clear idea about what you stand for and who you want to talk to. You’ll keep people reading if they know that your message will be broadly consistent with your values (and theirs) over time. Abrupt changes just put people off.

Staying silent is bad for business

Don’t build an audience then disappear. A blog that starts then stops abruptly makes people think you’ve gone out of business. They won’t contact you to check, they’ll just move on.

Equally, if there’s a big talking point in your industry, talk about it. It shows people that you’ve kept up to date and they’ll trust your expertise. Staying silent could have the opposite effect.

Are you avoiding starting a blog because you’re worried about getting it wrong? Leave a comment and let me know!

Further reading

These blogs talk about how to identify your ideal customer and start writing for them.

Here’s a really in depth blog about marketing to your super customer from The Girls Mean Business