If My Blog Falls in the Forest…Does It Make a Sound?

To restate this (arguably) clever question differently, “If it seems like no one is reading my blog, is it a bad idea to take it offline?

As a marketing consultant, it’s a question I hear with surprising frequency, because while many companies feel they need a blog, few actually want to deal with a blog. Why? The reasons are numerous, but here are the four ones I hear most often:

  1. We can’t agree on a direction.
  2. It takes too much time.
  3. We don’t get any leads from it.
  4. No one reads it or comments on our posts.

While certain extenuating circumstances might require taking a blog offline (think legal, impending company closure, etc.), the statements above don’t really reflect the blog’s failure and here’s why:

  1. Lack of agreement about the direction or vision of the blog is typically a result of adding a blog before it is fully baked or a personnel change involving the blog’s champion.
    Solution: Get the key marketing and executive-level players in a meeting ASAP and don’t unlock the doors until a direction and a blog champion(s) has been determined.
  2. The time complaint isn’t completely inaccurate – blogs do take time and energy with selecting the topics, drafting posts, adding them to the blog, etc.
    Solution: Think process for the tasks associated with the blog and work toward creating a streamlined approach. If you simply don’t have the time, consider outsourcing your copy writing effort.
  3. Not getting any leads from the blog is a tough nut to crack because most blogs aren’t overt lead-generating mediums like PPC advertising, email marketing, trade shows, etc.
    Solution: Set realistic expectations before you launch the blog. Blogs are great ways to demonstrate thought leadership, develop brand awareness, gain a readership and boost SEO. And, when done properly, you’ll get some leads from it too.
  4. The lack of an easily identifiable readership and/or comments is not the only indication of how well the blog is performing.
    Solution: Make sure you have a stats package that’s tracking your page views, keywords, etc. because you might find certain posts are ranking for valuable keywords – and bringing in visitors. Improve comments by asking people in your professional network to weigh in, promote it with updates on Twitter and Facebook, etc.

By thinking through these challenges and identifying potential solutions, you’ll be able to make peace with your blog and avoid the temptation to axe it.

What’s your biggest blog woe? Please comment below.

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