Why Your Blog Is Boring (And What To Do About It)
Let’s face it: most business blogs are boring.
Go to any website that sells a product or service, and you will notice that the ‘blog’ is a thinly veiled attempt at promoting the business or selling to the customer.
But this is not the true purpose of your blog.
It’s meant to be a way to enlighten your customers, grow brand trust, and (ideally) help people live a better life.
Because there is so much information online today, most people won’t read anything that isn’t relatable to them. So to make your blog actually worth reading, you have to make it valuable to the people who visit your site, and who buy from you.
The History of The Blog
Blogs have evolved a lot over the past 25 years. Initially, they were a place where people shared their ideas and experiences outside of conventional publishing.
The very first blog was created by Justin Hall and called Links.net. At that time it wasn’t actually called a blog, just as a ‘personal homepage.’
In 1997 the term ‘weblog’ was coined Jorn Barger, an influential early blogger. He created the word to reflect the process of ‘logging the web’ as he browsed. ‘Weblog’ was shortened to ‘blog’ in 1999 by programmer Peter Merholz.
In 2004 Merriam-Webster declared ‘blog’ their word of the year. The description was ‘Online journal where the writer presents a record of activities, thoughts, or beliefs.’
Businesses Start to Blog
Of course, any popular trend is soon translated into business. As businesses began to create websites in the late 1990s and early 2000s, it became more common for each site to have a ‘blog.’
But unlike with a personal blog, typically these were a place to share company news and updates. Similar to a PR release, they were pretty bare-bones and not very interesting to most people who visited the website.
From Inbound to Content Marketing
About ten years ago, Hubspot kicked off the content revolution and started creating vast volumes of written content on their blog.
Most Hubspot posts were geared towards answering marketing questions that customers had. Then, by offering online courses and resources, they would gather the email address of the customer for sales follow up. This process became known as Inbound Marketing, which Hubspot is best known for today.
As more businesses began to follow this model, the content marketing revolution kicked into gear. Suddenly every company was creating posts to engage and interest their potential audience.
This approach to content worked well for a while, but soon people became aware that all this free information was just a means for most companies to try to sell you. They would entice you with a few free pieces, then get your email, then start pitching products and services.
How To Make Your Blog Worth Reading
In 2019, blogging still has a place in business. But it has evolved yet again.
A blog today should be a representation of who your company is and offer engaging, valuable, insightful information. It should also be a way to share the personality of your team. Most company blogs fall short of this by only trying to promote their services as part of their content.
A blog is not just a record of everything you do as a business; it should be a balance of helpful, insightful, and useful ideas that help your customers.
Promoting products, services, or your business should come second to offering valuable information to your customers and prospects.
A great strategy that has helped us to evolve our blogging and vlogging is to discover what questions and issues our customers are dealing with.
Whenever a client has a question that we can answer, it becomes a piece of written and video content to help prospects with the same issue.
This approach has benefits both in growing organic reach and also gaining trust with customers. The more questions you answer around a given topic, the better Google will see you as an authority on the subject. You are more likely to appear in the search results for a topic you have written in detail about.
Share Your Expertise
Another issue is that very often seen on business blogs is that there is one writer in the company. Having only one author limits the breadth of topics that can be written about.
In our company, we have a team of experts in different areas: web development, SEO, PPC, branding, design, etc.
Because of the range of knowledge and experience, we encourage everyone to share ideas for blogs and to work with our writers to make them into valuable content. In this way, we make sure to share their knowledge and experience through our blog posts.
Perhaps the biggest mistake a lot of business blogs make is to only write in bursts. They write three or five pieces at the launch of the website, then taper off. Soon there is only a post once a month, or every few months.
If there hasn’t been anything published on your blog for a few months, it makes the site appear out of date.
If you can only manage one post every few weeks, that is ok, but be consistent. Create a content calendar and commit to it. If you need to hire a writer to keep you on track, it can be a big help.
A good quality company blog and vlog can be an amazing asset to your business. Not only does it grow your organic reach in search results, but it also builds trust and relationships with your customers and prospects.
A few hours a week or a month can help you make your blog something worth reading, and grow your sales over the long term.