So. This probably seems like strange advice from a guy who, you know… blogs. Here’s the thing, though:
Suspension of all blogging activities – even if the hiatus is temporary – could very well be the smartest thing you do for your brand in the coming year.
I know what you’re thinking. Content is what everyone wants. Content is what we’ve got to have – now! And the more of it the better. Everyone knows that. You update your blog thrice weekly, after all, just like
you’re supposed you were told to.
Some brands may very well benefit from publishing several posts each week. Others may publish several posts per day. And if they’ve determined that’s what makes sense for them, great. But for many brands, it’s a different story.
Why do you blog?
Before your organization started blogging, there was a big meeting. You discussed the topics you could address for your audience. You asked questions like:
- What could a blog do to help readers?
- How would you make each post useful and meaningful?
- What kind of editorial process would guide the actions of contributors, editors, and administrators?
You asked all these questions because they’re things you should always ask before starting a blog. Every brand starting a blog should go through these obligatory motions.
But maybe you didn’t.
Maybe you didn’t have this meeting. Maybe the decision to blog was made in haste. And maybe – this would be really bad if it were true, by the way – you forgot to ask the most important question of all: Why do we need a blog in the first place?
Because if you had asked this question, you might have decided that blogging was 100% unnecessary for your brand – that some other form of digital communication would be far more appropriate.
When might your brand not need a blog? Let’s say your audience consists of busy C-level people in the hotel business. What makes you think they’re going to subscribe to updates, gleefully share your every 400-word post on the Twitter accounts they don’t have, and build trust in your brand (your favorite cliché? Mine, too!) over the long term?
They won’t. It’s not what they’re about.
Know what audiences like this want? They want a white paper that proves you know what you’re talking about. Or an easy-to-digest service description. There’s no time for much else!
So if you never asked yourself why your brand needs a blog, stop blogging right now. Ask the question. Spend time coming up with the answer.
And have that meeting.
Who’s digging your posts? Anyone?
Let’s say the above doesn’t apply to you. You had the meeting. Your brand, it was decided, could very well benefit from blogging. So now you have a blog. Swell.
The thing is, nobody cares. It’s been a long time, and hardly anyone has commented on a post, whether publicly or privately. What’s more, there’s little evidence your blog is delivering the ROI you were after. Very few leads can be traced to your blogging efforts, and management is wondering if the whole thing’s just a fad.
If nobody’s digging your posts, you, too, should stop blogging. At least for awhile. On your hiatus, you should engage in all of the following activities:
- Perform a content audit. Determine whether what you’ve been publishing is useful to your audience. If it’s not, revise or remove it.
- After the audit, decide whether any content is out of date or obsolete. There probably is some. There may be a lot. Once again, revise or remove said content.
- Create a plan for your content. Devise (dare I say it?) a strategy.
Because the problem isn’t the existence of your blog – and that’s good news! It’s that you’re not using the blog in a way that’s valuable to your organization.
If it ain’t broke…
Look, I called this post “Stop Blogging” to get your attention. A more complete title might be “Stop Blogging. For Awhile. Maybe.”
Needless to say, if your blog is captivating readers, generating new leads, and bolstering your illustrious reputation, by all means soldier on (even if you see others giving up).
Stopping is for when things aren’t working well. When you feel like your efforts are in vain. Or when there’s evidence your efforts are in vain.
That’s when you should set your blog aside for awhile. Step back. Consider how you’re managing it – or whether you even should be.