To blog or not to blog

Editor’s note: This article comes to OU courtesy of Mike Walker, who featured it in his newsletter, “A Minute with Mike,” in September.
By B.L. Ochman
With alarming regularity, I get inquiries from companies who want me to create a blog for them – usually for the CEO. And nine out of 10 times, I talk them out of it.
The top 10 reasons I tell companies not to blog are:
1. The blogs most companies want to create are guaranteed to join the 900,999 out of every million blogs with no readers. Why? They’re boring.
2. A blog has to have a personal voice. If you sound like a corporate drone, nobody will read your blog.
3. You need original content. The blogosphere is too much of an echo chamber already. What can you add that’s original? Or significantly better than anything else in your niche?
4. Blogging takes time – lots of it. Let’s even say a CEO is a great writer who enjoys researching and crafting posts. And let’s say he or she will write about what people want to hear about and not just write about what the company wants to say. And he or she is willing to update a few times a week. All of that takes anywhere from two to four hours a post.
5. You need to read constantly to be a good blogger. That includes blogs, but also media outside the blogosphere – feeds, forums and mainstream media – so you can keep your readers informed about your topics.
6. A blog is not a substitute for a marketing campaign. It is simply a potential part of corporate communications.
7. A blog is not a substitute for advertising – if you need to fill a new hotel, or sell a product by a certain date, advertise.
8. A blog is not a quick fix – the results come in the long term, the same way they do with PR.
9. Blogs are not cheap. A good one requires skilled programming to set it up, a professional graphics designer to make it part of your corporate identity, a talented and dedicated writer or editor, full time.
10. You need to drive traffic to a blog. There are many ways to do that. All of them require time, effort and money. Ways to drive traffic to a corporate blog include:
• Advertising on blogs, where you can be incredibly niche specific and cost-effective; buying Google keywords; and including your URL in traditional and online advertising.
• Promotion – you can drive traffic to a blog with skillful promotion though other blogs, by becoming a respected part of social networking communities frequented by your customers; with contests, viral marketing, and the use of a variety of Web 2.0 promotional methods discussed frequently here and in other blogs that cover social media marketing.
Note: Please don’t tell me that you’re not spending money because all you’re spending is time. Time is money. ◊
B.L. Ochman, president of (, is a social media strategy consultant to Fortune 500 companies including IBM, McGraw-Hill, American Greetings and others. She publishes the popular “What’s Next” blog (, the No. 1 woman-authored blog in the AdAge Power 150. She also is co-founder of (

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