The ultimate test of a real blog & it’s value
Do you blog on sites that are not your own? If so then consider the following questions:
Would you copy & paste the entire blog entry on to your own site?
Would if you were a magazine editor include the blog as an article in the magazine?
If your answer is no to either of these questions then what you have written is not a blog. Of course here I am talking about people in the main that run a business, and not personal bloggers.
Advert or Marketing?
Some definitions to get us started:
Advertising: The paid, public, non-personal announcement of a persuasive message by an identified sponsor; the non-personal presentation or promotion by a firm of its products to its existing and potential customers.
Marketing: The systematic planning, implementation and control of a mix of business activities intended to bring together buyers and sellers for the mutually advantageous exchange or transfer of products
Or this shows it nicely:
All blogs are marketing or promotional of some kind, that is a fact. However it is the intent that really differentiates.For blogging is about sharing, not for the direct intention of “selling” of positioning.
In a recent blog by Robert Craven on the business blogging site ecademy When is a blog an advert? opened up a recent and valuable debate about blogs and their content.
Why do I read blogs?
This got me thinking, because much like Robert I like to learn from others, and I (rightly or wrongly) want to learn about the topic in the title, not read a poorly disguised attempt at an advert. Now that sales script (advert) could be directly for a product – or indirectly for a service, such as a blog that contains something like:
such as a blog which is posted on a site that basically says:
So check out his article In nnnnnnnn – a useful reminder
Followed by a footer which is promoting the same site as the article is on.
No value to the reader in the post without having to go to another site.
A blog should be like an article in a magazine, you read what is on the page and in itself it is of some value, the need to “go elsewhere should be an option to find out more – not to get the “useful” stuff.
To me blogs like these are poor adverts, and a “cop out” for creating content.
Tim Waters (in the Craven blog mentioned) put it neatly this way:
My view on this is pretty straight forward:
Hunting – major turn off
Fishing – I’ll let you off just don’t turn into a hunter
Requests for advice – Glad to help if I can
Educational Blogs – Really appreciated and go a long way to demonstrating credibility/knowledge
For me fishing is OK, requests for advice, sure, and education – yes please.
But a direct promo…. why? The direct promo may not be for a product but may be a “you need to go here for the good stuff” – that is an advert – not a blog.
The blogs on ecademy and other catalysis sites are a powerful MARKETING or brand awareness tool, a tool to show users of the site and the whole world about your expertise and credibility. Post the “wrong messages” and they will stick like mud to your shoes.
Learn to add “stand alone value” with a blog content. Even a short piece of the “blindingly obvious, may be a light-bulb moment for another person, so share.
When blogging for business you do not need to:
- Send people off to another site – that is what your footer is for.
- Do a sales pitch
- Make a controversial statements on a regular basis to get comments & engagement
The simple reality of social media is that many, many people read, few will “like”, even fewer will comment, and only the tiny minority create content for people to read. having few comments or “likes” is not the end of the game, many read good content and move on to the next. If they carry a part of your name/ company Brand with them, then the piece has done its job. The 90-9-1
“rule” whilst may not be 100% scientific or factual, does provide a useful indicator of expectations around all aspects of social media, blogging and community based sites.
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