We're not trolling you. Your blog could be a hindrance instead of a help...
Blogs are great, aren't they? You can share them via social media to engage your audience. They give your organisation a voice. And they're a chance to show your value as experts in your field.
SEO 'gurus' might tell you that every website should have a blog – it'll boost your rankings and increase traffic. There are so many positives, so what could possibly be bad about having a blog?
Well, here at Lark we believe that while blogs often work well for businesses and charities, there is such a thing as a bad blog. In fact, we have been known to advise our clients against having a blog altogether. And even we, a content agency, have questioned our need for a blog. Why?
Here are five signs you should consider deleting your blog:
1. When your blog posts aren't actually blog posts.
Blogs are typically defined as a kind of journal. A place for chronological entries made by individual authors, where they voice opinions, talk about their experiences, share knowledge and interact with readers.
So, if your blog posts are less about thought leadership and much more about events, announcements and press releases from your organisation, then perhaps it's time to replace that blog with a news section.
2. When your blog is a dumping ground for "stuff".
You have some content you want to put on the website (eg your annual report or a temporary customer service announcement) but don't know where to put it. You might not be able to find a relevant home for it or you're restricted by your existing CMS/website template.
It's tempting to just publish this content on the blog. But if you do, it will not only look out of place but also be lost in the archives over time – making it harder for you to find and harder to keep updated. Do you really want that blog post about the 2014 Christmas postal delays still showing up in Google search results?
It's time to ask: Is this content relevant to your audience? Is it engaging? Is this what your blog is for? If it isn't, then does it really have a place on your blog? (Probably not.)
3. When you can't/don't update it regularly.
Picture this: you visit an organisation's website and on their homepage they feature their most recent blog post. The only thing is, you notice that the post is dated two years ago. You think to yourself, "Why is their website so neglected? Are they still in business? Am I going to get a reply if I need to contact them? Perhaps I should just go to [competitor's site] instead..."
If your content creators don't have time to post on your blog regularly, you could potentially lose business or traffic.
4. When nobody in your organisation wants to write for it.
Social media managers are great at micro-blogging and engagement – but, if they're not also copywriters, they might not be interested in (or skilled at) writing long-form blog posts.
If so, then who's going to write for the blog? Forcing some poor reluctant soul to do it is a recipe for disaster. They won't be used to writing, so they'll take a long time to do it, when they could be doing more productive things. And they won't enjoy it – which can come through in their writing and create an uninspiring, unhelpful blog.
5. When nobody reads it.
This one might sound a bit obvious, but there are more downsides to unloved content than you might think. You're investing time and resources in creating blog posts now, there'll also be time and effort involved in promoting that content. And in the future you'll have to maintain that content – regularly reassessing the value and relevancy of it (a bit like clearing out the attic). If nobody is reading it, then is it worth it? Or could you be using that time and energy more productively elsewhere?
So, don't just blog for the sake of it, make sure you're tapping into the needs of your customers/users – this should be part of your strategy's core.
Next time you write a blog post, ask yourself: Will people care? How is it helpful? Has this been said many times before by our competitors/someone else?
The bottom line
You take great care to make sure your services and products are high quality, but if your blog isn't high quality too it can reflect badly on your organisation.
It's perfectly okay to not have a blog.
It's not okay to have a bad blog.