Why Companies Abandon Their Blogs and What To Do About It

I was in a new business meeting the other day and suggested that starting a company blog had the potential to increase visitors to the company’s website. We all know (don’t we?) that Google rewards dynamic content so posting regularly will eventually boost your rankings.

Why Blogs are Abandoned

The designer I was with said “Oh, no” that won’t work. I couldn’t blame him. He had designed websites and blogs for a number of clients and within a short time the blogs had been abandoned.

It’s a commitment to write a weekly or twice-weekly blog. Who will write the blog – someone inside the company or will we outsource it? What will we write about? Where will our ideas come from?

These are legitimate questions, but I believe it is a lack of will and commitment from top management that is behind the failures.There isn’t a plan in place to keep the blog going and building momentum.

Tips for Bloggers

So, if you, or your company, have abandoned your blog here are some steps to take:

  • Make a commitment. Decide that you want to increase traffic to your website by x% within six months, or whatever benchmark you want to establish. A blog will help you do that. Static websites don’t cut it.
  • Choose categories, or “buckets” of stories. Suppose you’re an accounting firm. You could decide to write about how to finance your retirement, tips for cutting taxes, and estate planning. Over time you could add more buckets.
  • Assign responsibilities. Like any other marketing activity, you’ve got to allocate the necessary human and financial resources. Identify content experts in the company as sources for information the writer will need. Think carefully about assigning revenue-producing employees to write. They will usually find an excuse not to do it – I have a client calling, or I need to go to a new business pitch, etc. Better that they supply the writer with the facts she needs. Let accountants be accountants. Let writers be writers.
  • Build an inventory of posts. Set a launch date for your blog and then prepare a schedule of posts for the first three months. Write your launch post and at least four other posts from different categories before you begin publishing. The first day, have a launch post that introduces your blog and why you are writing it. At the same time, publish the first four (or more) posts. Why? Because a single post will look like an orphan all by itself. The posts will contain great content and encourage readers to subscribe.
  • Offer an incentive. Give readers a reason to subscribe, such as a special report, or something free that would otherwise cost them.
  • Solicit guest posts. Ask clients and other experts to write guest posts. You will get backlinks to their sites (another SEO boost) and provide your readers with differing points of view.
  • Post to social networks. Now that you have a blog you can automatically distribute new posts to social networks such as LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook and Google+. You will be reaching new audiences who may visit your website and decide you’re a company they would like to do business with.
  • Repurpose the content. Turn your blog posts into articles, slide shows and electronic brochures. You will be leveraging your investment and distributing your content through other communications channels.

Beat the Competition

Illustration from The Pied Piper of Hamelin

It’s true that many companies have abandoned their blogs. Shame on them. They are missing out on a great opportunity to establish the company’s authority on topics of interest to clients and prospects.

Most people still get their information about a company from its website. Your blog will serve as a sort of Pied Piper, luring in readers searching for valuable information to improve themselves and their businesses.

Why not have them come to you and not a competitor?

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Comments

  1. Great post! I write articles for online and local businesses. Great reasons why businesses should hire a writer to keep a blog going if internal resources to make the commitment are not available. Thank you.

    • Jennifer — while as a writer I personally like the idea of outsourcing the writing, companies also need to understand they need to provide the content experts as a resource for the writer. We can research topics for sure, but we can only get the company’s POV and the language they use from the company. Without that access, it makes writing the assignment that much more difficult.

  2. Great information Jeannette. It really does not take much to keep a blog up and running…dropping a link to a simple article of interest to your public onto a blog post is one way of keeping it alive.

    Having said that, it is better to take a blog down than to abandon it for months and then on to years. It sends a message to the public that you are not with it enough to keep a blog up and running.

    So, if you decide to blog, be prepared to stick with it, or just don’t blog!

    • Bea — you make a good point. Not every blog needs to be a masterpiece. Making your readers aware of an interesting article is also providing good service. Of course, I learned everything I know about blogging from the master — you!

  3. I was just thinking about this the other day when I was visiting the blogs of many reputable design agencies here in Los Angeles. Most had been abandoned or are slowly chugging along. You’d think agencies with a plethora of work share would have something to right about. But it really is a lack of commitment. My company may not be a huge design monster in the industry, but my blog gets updated once a week and I’m proud of that. 🙂

    • Dennis – you’re the perfect example of a small business that has committed to writing a blog. You make the case that it can be done — and done well because not only are you a terrific designer but a wonderful writer, too. I know, because I read you blogs and enjoy them so much.

  4. Great points! I think many business’ biggest challenge is that their blog isn’t a straight line investment to a revenue stream. It’s not easy to correlate those posts and all that blogging effort or investment to revenue but it exists! The right content, the right site structure and the right contributors and you can have a very successful and engaging medium.

    • Daniel — it is difficult to directly trace revenue to blogging. But I know examples of blogs where that has happened — and certainly the professional bloggers such as Chris Brogan are making a very nice living by blogging. I visited your blog. Excellent content and I left you comment about those mysterious “alt” tags in images.