Company blogs, for the most part, stink. I'm just going to put that out there. If you and I were sitting across from each other, and I'd just reviewed your company blog, I might also tell you that your blog stinks.
It might or might not be your fault. Someone gave you the job. Worse, you might have even asked for it. But now what? How do you unstink that blog? I offer some nearly-humble thoughts.
Make it Easy to Subscribe
By easy, I prefer sticking a big fat email subscription box in the corner. Your blog doesn't feature (and I mean feature) email subscriptions? Silly. Sixty two percent of my readers get my high-tech futuristic ponderings via their 1990s email account. Get on it.
Write About Them
The #1 thing most company blogs do wrong is that they write about themselves. It seems like the thing you should do. It really does. And frankly, you can be really tricky about this, because the secret is that if you write about them, and talk about them, they'll come to your blog more often. (Them = the people who should care more about your stinky blog.)
If you must write about your products and services (that's why you started this mess in the first place, right?), then sneak it in like product placement. That's right. Sneak it in there. For instance, if you're a guitar company, write about all the cool local shows you're attending, and talk about the people you met there (by name), and then talk about how you were so proud to see the bassist break out your signature two-string bass. But then rush on to talk about several other not-your-product things.
If you're writing over 300 words a post, you're probably straining your readership. The other day on my blog, I did two 1400 word posts in a row. Traffic dipped and click-throughs were abysmal. People skim at that level. The only trick about this is if you want people to bookmark your site more. Then, write a super long post that they believe will be really useful to them, and you'll get tons of bookmarks, because people will want to come back and refer to it often. Otherwise, keep it brief.
Ask a Question
The old media world was one-way. I type. You read. Done. The new world is two way. The conversation is part of this. If you want to have a really active blog, be really active in the comments section. No, you don't have to answer every single comment. Yes, you have to leave in the comments where people say you stink. But if you want action, ask questions near the end of the post. And here's a second hint: don't ask, "how awesome do you think we are?" No one wants to tell you.
Why Write Stinky Blogs?
If you're phoning it in, hang up. No one wants to read it. You're not producing it. Cut it out and take on another avenue. You might just not have the right chops to blog. You might not be passionate about it. But, if it's just that you're writing stinky blogs, then try writing unstinky ones and see if that amps up your readership.
Chris Brogan is the New York Times bestselling author of the NEW book, Social Media 101. He is president of New Marketing Labs, LLC, and keeps an unstinky blog at chrisbrogan.com.