10 Reasons Your Company (Destination) Shouldn’t Blog

With alarming regularity, most recently yesterday, I get inquiries from companies who want me to create a blog for them – usually for the CEO. And nine out of ten times, I talk them out of it.

The top 10 reasons I tell companies not to blog are:

  1. The blogs most companies want to create are guaranteed to join the 900,999 out of every million blogs with no readers. Why? They’re boring.
  2. A blog has to have a personal voice. If you sound like a corporate drone, nobody will read your blog.
  3. You need original content. The blogosphere is too much of an echo chamber already. What can you add that’s original? Or significantly better than anything else in your niche.
  4. Blogging takes time – lots of it. Let’s even say a CEO is a great writer, who enjoys researching and crafting posts. And let’s say he or she will write about what people want to hear about and not just write about what the company wants to say. And they he/she is willing to update a few times a week. All of that takes anywhere from two to four hours a post.
  5. You need to read constantly to be a good blogger. That includes blogs, but also media outside the blogosphere – feeds, forums, mainstream media – so you can keep your readers informed about your topics.
  6. A blog is not a substitute for a marketing campaign. It is simply a possible part of corporate communications.
  7. A blog is not a substitute for advertising – if you need to fill a new hotel, or sell a product by a certain date, advertise.
  8. A blog is not a quick fix – the results come in the long term, the same way they do with PR.
  9. Blogs are not cheap. A good one requires skilled programming to set it up, a professional graphic designer to make it part of your corporate identity, a talented and dedicated writer or editor, full-time.
  10. You need to drive traffic to a blog. There are many ways to do that. All of them require time, effort and money. Ways to drive traffic to a corporate blog include:  (Advertising) – on blogs, where you can be incredibly niche specific and cost-effective; by buying Google keywords; by including your URL in traditional and online advertising. (Promotion) – you can drive traffic to a blog with skillful promotion though other blogs, by becoming a respected part of social networking communities frequented by your customers; with contests, viral marketing, and the use of a variety of Web 2.0 promotional methods discussed frequently here and in other blogs that cover social media marketing.

Thoughts// Great post from B.L. Ochman on blogging.  I would look at this from another angle…here are some points to consider before you start blogging.  Also, note that she is speaking from a bit more of a corporate / CEO perspective, rather than a travel industry perspective, which I think would be two different blogging techniques.

But, for all of you considering a blog, make sure you can address all of these questions first.

3 points to highlight, #3, #5 and #6.

#3 You need original content. How long have we been saying this? In most cases online, great content is the only thing that separates you from everyone else. You have to give people a reason to want to read your blog everyday…because they probably have better things to do.

#5 You need to read constantly to be a good blogger. Could not agree more.  In total each of my (our) posts probably takes 2-3 hours to write, including all of the reading and research that go into each one.  You have to become an expert on your specific subject, in this case your state or community, otherwise readers will dismiss your blog.  That takes a lot of reading…blogs, news, magazines, more blogs, twitter, etc.  Which is another reason that outsourcing this type of social media marketing is difficult and usually requires an in-house expert.  Plus, you must be timely.  Blog posts and tweets only last for a few days, so you need to be relevant right now…what is going on in the area, what are others talking about…if you have pre-written your posts for the next month (don’t do it!) how can you expect to be relevant to your audience?

#6 A blog is not a substitute for a marketing campaign. Not only that, but a blog is not just part of a marketing campaign.  You should not have a blog for 4 or 6 months or just the length of the campaign.  A blog is a long-term (read forever!) commitment to your audience, not a piece of a campaign that will be ‘turned off’ next month.

So, when you and your team start planning a blog, refer back to these key points and make sure you can answer each one of them.  Otherwise, don’t do it.

Comment? @travel2dot0 or email.