Company blogs are long passed the early adopter stage of their lifecycle. But does that mean all (or even most) businesses should have a blog by now? Should your business have a blog?
Blogging has several benefits to businesses in a marketing and PR capacity, from direct sales conversions to visibility and exposure within your industry. However, it isn’t right for every business. To determine whether or not business blogging is right for you, you’ll need to evaluate those benefits along with some of the risks.
Benefits of Business Blogging
Business blogs can do a lot to help your business–to help you build an audience, grow your company, increase revenues, and more. Here are some of the specific benefits of launching a blog for your small business:
- You can offer company news directly to your customers, readers, subscribers, etc.
- You can provide customer support.
- You can receive customer feedback (free market research).
- You can network with colleagues, potential customers, and others in your niche or industry.
- You can sell products (or services).
- You can earn advertising revenue.
- You can build brand awareness.
- You can position yourself as an authority source of information.
Risks of Business Blogging
Business blogs can certainly do a lot of good for your business, but there are also risks. If you’re careless with a company blog, you can damage your professional reputation and even lose business. Here are some of the risk factors of business blogging:
- You can damage your company’s credibility if false or misleading information is published in haste.
- You can face legal consequences if posts are libelous or infringing on others’ rights (another risk from the ease of publishing without strict editorial control).
- You can turn customers against your brand if you don’t handle two-way communication effectively (such as deleting constructive criticism or becoming rude with customers through your comments).
- You can lose further credibility if you use a blog solely for SEO and not to actually educate, inform, entertain, or have conversations with your audience (publishing constant links with the same anchor text, posting keyword-stuffed garbage or content that’s practically illegible, etc.).
- You can hurt your overall productivity if executives spend too much time blogging and being engaged in other social media outlets while losing some focus on the larger objectives of the company (they can be a time drain).
How to Decide if Business Blogging is Right for You
For many companies, the benefits of a business blog outweigh the risks. Whether or not that applies to your company is up to you and your staff. One of the most important considerations before jumping into business or corporate blogging is whether or not you have anyone in the company capable of carrying it out.
Blogging isn’t a one-off project. It’s a commitment. More than that, it’s a responsibility. If you don’t have dedicated staff or contractors who can keep the blog updated regularly and be present to answer reader questions and respond to comments then your business probably isn’t quite ready for blogging yet. But if you do, kick off your business blogging the right way–through proper planning, just as you would any other aspect of your business. Every blog won’t offer every benefit. Decide what your blogging goals and motivations are, and work out a plan of attack before making that first post. That’s the best way to get the most out of blogging while minimizing the risks.