Blogs give everyone a voice. But just because you have a voice, doesn’t mean any one wants to hear you talk. Sometimes being a blogger just isn’t worth your time.
If you have been around the world of search engine optimization in the last four years you have been bombarded with two buzzwords that go hand in glove: content marketing and blogging. SEM gurus and ninjas have touted content marketing as the future of SEO since 2010 or ‘11. After Google rolled out its Penguin algorithm (the algorithm that did a pretty decent job of sweeping away common types of link spam and making many types of traditional link building obsolete) content marketing was seen as the solution. If you build great content and promote that great content you will attract natural links. Natural links = Great Ranking. For most SEO services, the fastest way to build and scale great content was to snap a WordPress blog onto every site.
This has created a glut of blog content across the web. Some of it good, most of it average, a decent percentage of it just plain bad. There is so much content out there floating around on the web that SEO experts have begun to talk about a thing called peak content, which is the concept that eventually there will be so much content out there it will become irrelevant. Yet, if you sign up for an SEO service, the first idea you will get pitched is a blog filled with “awesome content”.
The dirty truth is that blogging is not for everyone. There are certain types of websites and certain businesses that get almost no benefit from having a blog. For these websites, a blog represents a waste of time and marketing spend.
1. Home Remodeling and Improvement
At first blush a blog about home remodeling seems like a natural fit. The reason why it seems like a natural fit? Because everyone else and their brother’s mother has thought about or done it. When you are trying to figure out if a blog is right for your business’ website ask yourself, Has this been done? Has somebody done this bigger, better and with way more marketing muscle than you? Can you really add anything new and unique to the discussion?
The reality is that your home improvement and remodeling blog will never get the same level of respect that a blog from HGTV will.
If you want to read about food the chances are you are already reading Eater, Pen and Palate, Death to Sour Mix, or any of the blogs listed on Saveur’s Best Food Blog Awards. The people that spend a lot of time reading about food – foodies – want either news about restaurants or expert opinion. They will not read a blog about how great your restaurant’s food is, because your restaurant’s food is always going to sound great when you are writing about it.
Alternative: Optimize your restaurant’s website for mobile search. Make sure that people can find your menu and read it on a phone. Also, optimize your Yelp listings and encourage your loyal customers to leave sparkling reviews.
3. Service Based Industry
Service based business defined as HVAC, water damage and fire damage restoration, maid services, carpeting cleaning companies, and junk / trash removal companies. Modern air conditioning may be a fascinating subject, but when your air conditioner is broken you really do not want to take the time to read about it. These business represent industries where people need a service and need information about the service you provide. Period.
Alternative: Beef up and fix up your local SEO by sprucing up your local listings (you can use tools like Yext or Moz Local). Videos also go a long way towards supporting SEO and growing your brand recognition. ServPro is a champion in this department.
Alternative: A heavy focus on local SEO and dedicate some of your marketing budget to an Adwords campaign. The right kind of email marketing can also bring in leads. Careful on the spam, however. An email promotion every couple of months will probably do just fine.
Blogging With a Purpose
When Matt Cutts declared guest blogging dead the SEO community came up with the concept of guest blogging with a purpose. It is time for the concept for blogging with a purpose and content with a purpose. Content marketing is beginning to have a lot in common with the Underpants Gnomes’ business strategy.
1. Make Awesome Content!
It is time to realize that, yes, blogging can be great, and content marketing works with the right emphasis, but a one sized fits all approach to every industry and every business does not work. What works for some, does not work for all. So, by all means, blog but do it right, for the right reason, and for the right industry.