Is a Blog Really Necessary?
Updated: 5 days ago
There's a fierce debate happening in the search marketing world all about blogs. Some say they're no longer required for modern, connected companies. Others say they're critical. My answer: It depends.
The Case for Blogging
There are plenty of great things companies can accomplish with a blog, and arguably, those things are impossible to do without one.
Blogs make sense because they allow you to:
Generate linkable content. This is critical for companies hoping to leverage social media and email marketing. Those channels work best when you have new, fresh content on your website. Why should anyone read your product descriptions (again) or your About Us page (which no one likes)? A blog is something new, and it's almost guaranteed to capture interest.
Chime in on a thorny subject. You may not want to cover every nuance of a product on your product pages. You can discuss it much more effectively on a blog. Here's an example. Your company makes soap, and your products have no palm oil. A blog post about why palm oil is bad for the environment and why you're taking a stand could be incredibly helpful for loyal fans, but too far in the weeds for casual shoppers.
Keep your website fresh. Why should people visit your site over and over when there's nothing new to talk about? Blogs are, by their very nature, made for updating.
Win critical keywords. Imagine that you want to dominate the SERP for a particular keyword. You could plaster it on product pages and see lift, but if you have a few applicable blogs with the same term, those could also show up.
Where Good Blogs Go Bad
Blogs are almost universally helpful, but they require work and planning. Companies that don't devote the time or effort to them won't see any benefit, and they probably shouldn't be blogging.
Companies go wrong with blogging when they:
Write inconsistently. Have you ever visited a webpage with a dead blog? The last post is from 2-3 years ago, and the advice is woefully out of date. It happens, and it's a reputation killer. If you can't devote ongoing time and space to a blog, don't bother starting one at all.
Aren't planned. Your blog should cover topics close to your heart. When blogs veer from topic to topic, they're less likely to pull down a dedicated fan base.
Become spam magnets. Keyword stuffers love dead blogs. They head to the comments and fill up the space with links to their own websites. (My favorite involves a guru that aims to keep couples together. He shows up in almost every blog comment section I've seen lately). You must manage the comments on your blog. If you can't, turn the comments off altogether.
Final Blog Thoughts
It's my firm belief that the benefits outway the drawbacks. If your company doesn't have a blog now, it's probably worth starting. But remember to manage it well.