Of Course Boring Blogs Die

A new report from by Forrestor last week doesn’t have great news for us blogging enthusiasts. It says that B2B corporate blogging has taken a nosedive so far this year. The numbers are pretty startling. Forrestor states that only three of the companies in their survey have started blogs in the first quarter of 2008. This compares to 36 for 2006.  Pretty steep fall by any standard. However, my initial reaction to this was pretty ho-hum.


I read that 38% of marketers rated blogs as “marginal” to their marketing strategies. And they are citing the low return on investment (ROI) on blogs as the main reason. I can appreciate that ROI is a legitimate reason to readjust a marketing strategy. However, I am not convinced marketers really understand why their blogs may be nonperforming in the first place.

Because the answer in my mind is pretty simple. In my mind the number one reason new blogs fail is because of the absence of a distinct voice.  Actually, let me put it in a more direct way. The reason why blogs fail is because they’re boring. That’s right, blogs fail when they are boring. And most corporate blogs are exactly that, boring. For some reason marketers at B2B companies or those who are of the corporate marketing types seem to think you have to publish white papers and press releases on their blogs. While you can do that from time to time, but to date I have yet to meet anyone who reads a blog regularly becuase it press releases with that easy to read corporate speak.

The very essence or blogging involves a free conversational type of writing, mixed in with some personal opinions, added to some technical topic and not limited by any ideas of what should and shouldn’t be included in a blog. And while you’re at it you should include some funny videos, interesting news stories, personal anecdotes and a few flamboyant articles that really exposes who you are as a blogger. Yep.

As a reader, that’s also what I’m looking for. The main reason I subscribe to blogs and read them is because they’re interesting, fun and very informative – all at the same time. In other words the blogs have personality. And the topical focus doesn’t seem to matter. I mean I’ve read some great stuff on analytics blogs, tech blogs, mortgage blogs and religious blogs. I mean these are not the most interesting topics to most people, but the writers behind them make them very interesting. They certainly keep me coming back.

So, my message to corporations is that if they want to gain traction on their blogs they need to do the same thing they already to their other ads. Make it interesting. Tell a story, provide tips, talk about what makes your products and services fun. Get rid of the press releases and corporate speak.

If you do this and you still have a low ROI, then we need to have a serious discussion.

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