Today I ran across two compelling, albeit slightly contradictory, articles. One is “Why you Should Blog” by Rand at SEOMoz, and the other is “Would you read your own blog?” by Ahmed Bileal at Search Engine Journal.
Rand’s article is a great survey of the solid reasons to get into blogging (and many of the same reasons that I’ve been recommending our customers start their own). Unfortunately, rampant low-quality personal blogs and conflicting press lead to some confusion about what blogging is and whether it’s something you really want your business to be doing. While blogging certainly isn’t the best move for every business, any larger organization than can afford the time or money to have a blogger keep on top of it should have one.
The counterpoint in the “Would you read your own blog?” article asks the reader to take a hard look at their blog objectively and evaluate whether they would find it worth reading. This is a fair question, especially as blogs explode in number and the amount of content balloons to epic levels. Coming up with original, startling, original content week after week is a challenge not for the faint of heart, but if you keep a keen eye on your readership, you should be fine. After all, you don’t need to write something that you can’t find anywhere else, but something that your readers would rather hear from you rather than anywhere else.
Regardless of their limitations, blogs are here to stay and I suspect nearly all businesses will choose to host one as an essential piece of PR within the next couple of years. Customers love being to know about a company before and after they make first contact, and blogs are an opportunity to speak without wearing the “I’m selling you something” hat. It’s a challenging, ongoing commitment, but so is running a business, and where else can you get a consistent marketing message, a personal touch, industry authority, and search engine rankings all at the same time?