Ten reasons to blog – even if nobody reads it

Building an engaged community through a business blog can be extremely difficult — sometimes impossible. Look at companies like General Electric who do an amazing job with their blog and yet have almost no “community” or comments at all. There must be some good business reason they do it, right?

There better be. Every corporate marketing activity must somehow be tied to creating shareholder value and blogging is no different. Let’s look at ten legitimate business reasons why your company should be blogging — even if you can’t seem to build a community of active readers.

1) Search engine benefits — This may be the most obvious business benefit of blogging. Search engines give preference to websites that have fresh, relevant content. Hubspot research shows that sites with blogs get 55% more traffic than sites without blogs — even if there are no readers!

2) Marketing differentiation — Finding a way to stand-out may be the most difficult chore a business faces. Do your competitors have a blog? If not, this might be an opportunity to establish the voice of authority in your industry and enhance your brand image with customers.

3) Infinite search life — A few weeks ago I received a call from a potential new customer in the Middle East looking to me as a possible marketing consultant.I had to wonder how in the world they found me! Turns out they were looking for somebody who could help explain where the future of social media was going and when they entered this into Google, a blog post I wrote a year ago popped up!  Your content keeps working for you month after month!

4) A cost-effective sales call — You might not be able to visit your customer every week or every month but a blog is an excellent way to provide a constant drip-drip-drip of communication to remind them of your products, services, and why you’re special.  If they don’t read your blog, re-purpose the content in customer newsletters and sales materials.

5) Your content engine — Your investment in a consistent stream of quality content can be leveraged in many ways to support a content marketing strategy. I use links from blog posts to answer customer questions, as the basis for speeches, newsletter content, and as reading assignments for workshops.

6) Direct sales — Sure, you can sell through your blog!  SAP does a great job advertising training services in a sidebar on its blog. This is valuable real estate! Why not use it?  Wegman’s grocery store employees blog about seasonal recipes and show how to use their food products in new ways.

7) Indirect sales — Featuring blog-only promotions and offers or opt-in content can expose new sales leads.

8) PR — Blog posts have the opportunity for massive reach. When one of my posts gets picked up by an aggregation service like ragan.com, my message has a chance to be heard by hundreds of thousands of people. That opportunity would not occur with a press release or status update.

9) New product development — Many companies use blogs as a way to engage customers to solve problems and create new ideas. Caterpllar has blogs dedicated to each major product line. Starbucks blogs about customer ideas as a way to crowd-source new product innovation.

10) Crisis management — A blog is an essential channel to explain the facts amid chaos. In less than an hour after the earthquake hit Haiti, The Red Cross blog had news of their activities and information on how to donate.  Company responses through blogs are often quoted by mainstream news sources.

So when your company has seemingly unrealistic expectations about building an online blog community, pull this blog post out as a reminder that there are many solid business reasons to have a blog, even if the crickets are chirping in the comment section!   Is a commenting community important to you and your company or do some of these benefits make sense?

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  • May I add an eleventh reason? To become a better writer. Regular blogging is excellent writing practice.

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  • Amy Howell

    Great post Mark! Blogging also helps you because you learn so much in the process. It also makes you a better writer and also makes you more credible. I believe you can really tell your own story by blogging. As usual, you are one of the best examples *walking the talk*. Keep writing! Amy

  • Mark

    @Catherine — I could probably come up with another list for personal blogging (hey — yeah, I will!) and your suggestion would be at the very top! I have learned so much from blogging! Thank you for your comment Catherine!

    @Amy — Well said! I think that goes for corporate or personal blogging. Thanks so much for your support Amy.

  • Mark great thoughtful post as always. I had no idea about the SEO stuff. Though I link blog posts on my business site it’s separately hosted.

    I want to add a #11. I noticed that often blogs that talk deep theory, philosophy etc don’t always keep readers attentions. But the fluff stuff isn’t life. Real deep strategy and details is. My previous blog had few readers but I have a nice group of posts that when needed I can use as reference. They often are ammo to show I was ahead of the curve on topics. They also serve as data sources, why research something again? Think of it as a professional diary of sorts that you can easily search or link anytime you need too.

    Keep up the good work!

  • Mark

    @Howie — You definitely, absolutely, positively need to move the blog to your website to capture those search engine benefits. Number one thing you can do for SEO.

    I use that same strategy. My blog has become a little reference library for me! Thanks Howie!

  • Eva

    Good Post!, is 100% oriented to marketing and sales.
    When I’ve seen the title I’ve guessed other motivations like creativity or thoughts organizing.. Of course we have completely different types of blogs!… 🙂

  • Mark, awesome list. And as you and Catherine have noted above, there are plenty of personal benefits in blogging [especially for a college student like myself].

    All of these things lead to differentiation, and that is most certainly what’s necessary in a world with more choices than ever.

    Thanks for a great post [as usual]!

  • Mark

    @Eva — I’m all about business benefits. Gotta deliver the goods! Thanks!

    @Jordan — Great to hear from you! I LOVE your blog. Has a lot of heart in it. Would love to hear more about your college blogging experiences. If young folks hope to get a job in marketing, I think it is a highly-marketable skillset to have, so good job on that! Thanks for taking the time to comment.

  • In addition to your (excellent) reasons, and further to Catherine’s point, I find that blogging contributes to a better understanding of the subject being blogged about and communication skills in general. If you are a business blogger, this can only add to your credibility when engaging with existing and potential clients.

  • It is not what you Blog.
    It is why you blog. Your purpose makes all the difference. 🙂

  • thanks for posting this. i got more inspired to blog.

  • Mark

    @Ronika — I like that idea about building subject matter expertise. Thank you!

    @Niko – I agree there should be a strategy and thought behind a corporate blog. Thanks for adding to the discussion!

    @Penworks — Glad it helped!

  • Amy Howell

    Woke up to a google alert on ‘Amy Howell’. It was an alert on my name popping up as a result of commenting above on this blog. There’s the seo proof!!!!! #Just Sayin! Lol.

  • All good points.

    I think many people underestimate the potential for a corporate blog; according to the Connected Kingdom report, only 21% of companies in the UK blog.

    Like you mentioned, a blog has enormous potential, both for search and for conveying a corporate culture.

    It’s something I looked at in a recent Delineo blog:


  • Great post Mark, thanks for sharing!

  • Mark

    @Amy — SEO makes me dizzy. Powerful example. Thanks!

    @Tom — The UK would be right in line with the U.S.: 22% of Fortune 500s blog, however 45% of the Inc 500 (fastest-growing) blog and 65% of non-profits blog. Thanks for the comment and the link!

    @Rae — So nice to “see” you! Thanks!

  • I have to agree with Niko that your purpose for blogging is the most important reason. In my experience, it will make or break your blog depending on how it is defined so it has to be powerful but realistic.

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  • TODD

    ADD to the personal- meeting deadlines, assuming you give yourself deadlines

  • Crisis management is definitely a significant issue. In our company, we had a major competitor pull out of our industry which also put some negative press on companies like ours. Our blog helped us calm the waters and provide some good PR when it got picked up by a few other influential bloggers/magazines in our industry. That moment alone made our blog worth it.

  • A commenting community is a gift to me. I sometimes think of my blog posts as opening the window for light and fresh air. I know what I know and I share what I think or feel others may wish to know too ~ and then, I open the window.

    In the comment streams, I discover varied perspectives, deeper insights, new information and sometimes needs and vulnerabilities that I might be able to support or assist with in future blog posts.

    Comment streams also allow for meandering on unexpected, yet meaningful, paths of connection which the limitations of a blog post did not allow.

    Connection via a Comment Community can serve two purposes: it can develop social support networks and it can also create power or empowerment through interaction. It infuses humanity into your message and invites mutual support, shared experiences, acceptance, belonging and {grow}th.

    Your benefits definitely make sense and your commenting community has enriched it with added value. Time is such a generous gift to share with another ~ commenters gift it in abundance for the benefit of all.

  • Impeccable timing! We just re-launched our company website and one of the new features is our blog.

    This is exactly what I was trying to convey to my fellow employees and now I’ve got proof!!

  • Great post! It’s also worth noting that a corporate blog ties in with other marketing channels, both online and offline. For example, blog posts can be great conversation starters on Twitter and Facebook, and company brochures can refer prospects to the blog for on-going dialogue. A blog shouldn’t be a stand-alone tactic. Integrate it into your overall marketing strategy.

  • This is great advice. It’s so very true, even if no one reads your blog, Google will and you will accumulate page rank over time and thus improve your websites rankings.

  • I love this post. For B2B marketers I’d also throw out there that a blog forces you to have a thought out point-of-view. I’ve had several prospects that researched my blog to learn how I think.

  • Great ammo for talking to the c-suite. I also like to added comments of the personal reasons to blog. Writing down my opinions and ideas in a blog helps me really think an idea or opinion through. Sometimes by the time I finish I’m headed down a different path…just because the process of writing challenged my beliefs.

  • Mark W Schaefer

    I’m in iPhone mode today and apologize for not being able to provide more personal, detailed comments. Tremendous ideas and insights as always from the stellar {grow} community. Thanks to everyone for adding to the discussion. I’ve learned a lot from you today!

  • Thanks, Mark for another informative post. You are in my “must read” list – and almost always pass along.

  • Great advice here Mark!
    I think that this advice is great for anyone with a blog, but especially businesses.
    I write about 4 blogs (not including my companies blog) but I don’t have a lot of readers or commenters. Do I let that stop me? NO! I know that if I keep going there could be many other benefits that may come in the future.
    Do I care that no one really reads my blogs? A little, but not really. I’m just going to keep plugging away because I love doing it, and if something comes from it, that’s even better.

    Sheldon, community manager for Sysomos

  • Mark W Schaefer

    @Leisa– A high compliment indeed and much appreciated! Thank you!

    @Sheldon — Way to carry the flag! Great attitude! Thanks for taking the time to comment today.

  • Let me add 1 more to the above list!

    11. Managing internal communication. Many a times, there a huge difference between what top management thinks, and what workers at the ground understands. A blog (which could be solely internal too!) can help by explaining the strategy in a simplified manner.

  • Funny- I just did a blog post about adsense- come to find out, I was making money off a site I no longer update, and had totally forgotten I had adsense on!

    And I love that people can stumble upon your old blog posts at any time- how cool is that?

  • Oh yeah, and I will definitely pass this link along as recommended reading for my blogging class!

  • Well said. A couple of more, if I may

    A. Increasing your own knowledge. I have, on more than one occasion, had to do some research to confirm the thesis of a blog post.Doing that research raises my own expertise on that topic

    B. Refines you verbiage on a topic. There are questions we are asked by clients that fall into the category of “I know the answer but I can’t really explain it”. By writing about the topic you develop, concise, articulate verbiage on a topic which helps next time you are asked about it.

  • @Mark “Being seen” is wonderful. Thank you!

  • I would add at least one more reason: you develop a great library of reference material for future publication. Ready to write your book? All the source material is there in your blog. Great column.

  • Thanks for this. I’ve found many of these reasons to be true for me…like being called about a speaking op and realizing later that they had found an obscure blog post I did on the topic months prior! But another reason I appreciate the discipline of blogging is that it forces me to have a POV about relevant topics and issues where I otherwise might be lazy. More than once I’ve found that a prospective client will bring up an issue and I’ve already put some research and thinking into it rather than having to “get back to you.” And, finally, after blogging a year, I started to hear verbal and email feedback from people that they appreciated the posts. Now, not a single one of these ever commented on the blog itself! But I think it’s possible, or even commonplace, to have a “silent community.”

  • Thanks, Mark! This is just the reminder I needed. So helpful I’m linking to it from my own blog now!

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  • Mark

    @Ideas — Superb addition thank you.

    @Carolee — Funny. Thanks for passing this along!

    @Rick — I’m beginning to think I need to re-write the post. So many good ideas. Thank you!

    @Rae — Thanks!

    @Joe — Yeah I am tossing that one around!

    @Dorothy — Yeah, I get these “sleeper comments” all the time. They really keep you going don’t they? I had a call recently once with a woman who had nver commented yet said i had taught her so much and had a positive impact on her life. Wow. What motivation! So, give your favorite blogger a virtual hug today : ) Thank you!

    @Cori — Outstanding. Glad it helped. Thanks for taking the time to tell me!

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  • @Sally, I always love reading your comments. They’re always so thoughtful and inspiring. Just sayin 🙂

    I love this kind of post. Perfect ideas and the response from the community is a clear illustration of just how significant a blog can be when it comes to engaging a community.

    Personally, I blog to think – as well as all the other stuff. It’s through the act of writing that I work out my ideas. I write to think more clearly. But sometimes it’s all a bit of a blur 🙂

  • What an encouraging topic to write about, Mark. I’d just love to see someone take issue with anything you have to say here 🙂

  • Mark

    @Jon — Like you and others on here, my views sometimes change in the course of researching and thinking through a topic. Kind of unsettling but healthy to self-correct. Thanks so much for commenting today Jon!

    @Marjorie — Hey there! This is probably the only post I have ever written where somebody didn’t throw a bomb at me! So far any way! Ha! Thanks!

  • I found this article to be very interesting and helpful. I have just recently started a blog and I didn’t care for it to much when I first began. Now I love blogging. I am currently blogging just for my college class but I think after I finish this semester I will continue blogging about things that I personally care for. Thanks for the great topic and showing people why blogging can be fun!

  • Mark

    @Sam — Very cool. I feel strongly that all college business and journalism (at a minimum) students should be blogging to develop this important and marketable skill — not to mention the advantages you will have at interview time. Good job!

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  • These are really great points. I also blog as a place to store my ideas. When I first started blogging, realizing it was a great place to capture my ideas, is what kept me going.

  • Mark

    @Mike — I do that too. When I get an idea, i go into WordPress and write a “headline” to save it for later! Thanks.

  • Awesome, insightful, important stuff as usual, Mark. I’d love to comment more, but I gotta go … WAY behind on my blog!

  • Great post. We posted a related presentation on SlideShare a couple weeks back, http://slidesha.re/c09QB3

  • To echo @Traci: Thanks for the very C-suite ammo!

    And @Howie, indeed blogs can demonstrate you’re ahead of the curve on topics.

    Furthermore, they offer a glimpse into your brain, your philosophy, how you deliver value. This enables prospects to self-select, Since not every one will be a great match, better for everyone involved that decision is made earlier in the process, no?

  • Mark

    @Steve — Go get ’em! Thanks!

    @Trevor. Thanks for passing this along. I’ll try to look at it a little later today.

    @Suzanne — Well said. Thanks for taking the time to comment today.

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  • Phenomenal post, Mark! #5, in particular, has been the richest unexpected benefit of blogging for me and for professional firms like accountants and lawyers that I know. Searching my own blog to find what I wrote about “that,” and sending it to a prospect after a discussion about “that” really cements my knowledge AND passion in that area. And when they can see that I’ve written about it a few times — especially years ago — they know that my stated interest in “that” is not just lip-service, it’s proven.

    Will be forwarding this post to EVERYONE. 🙂

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  • Mark

    @Michelle — Thanks so much for you very kind comment. I’m so glad this was helpful and congratulations on your success!

  • Tia

    We’ve witnessed the results of #1 time and again. In fact, we created a news blog that we knew at the onset would not be very engaging, but it provided a lot of relevant information in my client’s industry. As a result, they see a steady stream of search engine traffic, which was the overall goal. The engagement it does receive is seen as an added bonus!


  • Well thanks for this post. I was actually writing a post of my own on 5 reasons to blog. After reading this, I see I need to start over. Your post is much better than mine was. 🙂

    I am still amazed at how many companies still refuse to blog and see no benefits to it. The SEO is only one reason but it makes a damn good case on its own.

  • All good points, but I especially like #5 and #10. They really hit the nail right on the head.

    On a separate note, one could easily argue that if you’re blogging with all of these 10 points in mind, you’ll inevitably have readers, and a really good number of them too. 😉

    Good post, Mark. Brought a couple of new ideas to my mind. Thanks.

  • This was an outstanding article! The content was great and the comments were awesome. Thanks to everyone for their contributions. This is a great example of the real value of social media – sharing something of value and allowing for self-directed learning. Thanks again!

  • Mark

    @Tia — Wow, that is so great! Really excited to learn about your progree. Good for you and thanks for sharing!

    @Chris — Sorry about that. That happens all the time to me too! Go ahead and write the post. You can probably build on the ideas presented here?

    @Geno — Yes, this idea of content engine is key. Content is the currency of the social web and what better way to fill the bank than on a blog? Thank you so very much for taking the time out of your day to comment Geno!

    @Sardek — Yes, this community rocks. They take me to school every day. The bad part is, after these comments, I feel like I should re-write the article! The comments on {grow} are almost always better than the original post I am humbled to say! Thank you for being part of the dialogue.

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  • That was a good read that gave me a bit of a laugh. The reason I was laughing is because I have a blog that I still go back to know and then and blog on but that no-one reads. I have wondered time and time again why I continue to do so but reading through this has given me a bit of encouragement.

  • The 10 reasons and all the comments are great. I would like to add one more reason to create and nourish a corporate blog – so that a company and it’s leaders can ‘Discover their TRUE selves’. Over time, it is impossible to write without truly learning who you are and what you stand for. In our difficult times – this will be a good exercise of real discovery for organizations.

    [email protected]

  • Mark

    @Gerri — Great! I’m glad you got a little encouragement today!

  • Alex

    Nice post, but title is misleading..
    If noone reads your blog, then only #1 reason (SEO) is valid.. the others require some audience in order to have an effect..

  • Over the past few weeks I have been encouraging my daughter and my nephew to start writing a blog. They are both 15 years of age and have very different interests to each other – my daughter is into fashion and my nephew is into sport. I know that if they work hard and build successful blogs that there could be some financial reward for them in the long term – i.e. if they get enough traffic they could sell advertising, and/or sell something. However, they haven’t been able to see the intrinsic value of writing a blog – i.e. blogging as a way of discover themselves in relation to their subject matter. The post you wrote is brilliant and explains the importance of blogging even if nobody reads it for business reasons. But, are there ten good reasons for people to blog for personal development reasons? I could really do with some help on this so that I can help intrinsically motivate my daughter and nephew. Thanks for helping in advance. Goga

  • Yair ‘Jay’ Harel

    Great post.
    Another reason to blog: it’s the best (and arguably the cheapest) way to practice productizing nebulous concepts, turning them into products that people may actually want to consume.

  • @Goga-

    Just like Journal Writing, Blogging can be good for the soul….

    You meet great people from around the world, and read different blogs about self development.

    And they will always have a record of their goings-on which may help out one day if they decide to write a book.

  • Mark

    @Barry — Great point. It really does bring clarity to the process and distills what is important. Thanks!

    @Alex — Point well taken. I struggled with different versions of this headline but everything seemed either too inaccurate or too long to be easily tweeted (headline writing is difficult!). It would have been more accurate to say, “Why to blog when essentially nobody is reading it”, but I’m sure you’ll agree the final version is punchier and doesn’t lose too much. However, of course i agree with you. Thanks for this contribution.

  • Mark

    @Goga — That is a wonderful idea and I have been thinking of writing a post just like that. I especially encourage students to start blogs so you are providing sound advice. By the way, there are two teen girls in my area who are now making six figure incomes from their video blog on fashion. Thanks, for the encouragement. I will write this post for you — will probably be in December.

    @Jay — that is a fascinating concept. I hope you might consider adding another comment with some examples? Fantastic observation. Thanks!

    @Carolee — Thanks for jumping in on that one. Super advice. Thank you!

  • @Carolee thanks so much for your suggestions. I agree blogging is good for the soul – I haven’t been blogging for long but I must say that it seems like its having a positive therapeutic effect on me. You’re right about meeting great people from around the world.

    I’m just wondering – will the information on a blog that is in the public domain still be of value in a book as its available online? I think I can answer this myself now that I have written out the question. I suppose that it has value as it packages up the information all in one book. It would be good to get your view on this though. Do you know anyone who has written a book based on their blog info? Thanks for your help.

  • @Mark thanks for your reply – I’m really looking forward to reading the post your going to write in December, it will be so helpful for me. I think it will be something that will have great value to lots of adults who are encouraging young people to start blogging and not just for the money.

    It’s amazing that two teenage girls are earning six figures from their video blogging. I have already read this out to my daughter and she seems to be really inspired!

    I just suggested to her to write out a list of all the things that she thinks she would gain from blogging and all the things that she thinks that she might lose from blogging. I was so impressed as she wrote in her gain list:

    ‘Fashion inspires me and it will help me to explore new ideas’,
    ‘Get to talk about something I love to people who are interested in it’,
    ‘I like giving advice’,
    ‘I like writing about something interesting’,

    She said she hasn’t got anything to write in her ‘lose’ list.

    I’ll keep you posted on her development – thanks Mark 🙂

  • Great blog post and you’ve stimulated a great conversation about it too, which is typically a key objective of a blog – engagement should be another reason to blog.

    You’ve given me some compelling reasons to start….. having that POV and being brave enough to put it out there…. OK! Thanks!

    Patti Pokorchak
    Speakers With Impact!

  • Mark

    @Goga — Plenty of people have written books based on accumulated blog posts, including Chris. So pleased your daughter is interested in developing this skill. Thanks for letting us know!

    @Patti — So pleased this post helped you. Best wishes on your efforts!

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  • Great views. I never thought that it is possible to just blog even if you don’t know whether people would read it or not. Most people would really think that before you start blogging you need to have an audience, but clearly you don’t need one because somehow people are just gonna stumble upon it.

  • outus

    @Niko Amen. I wrote a blog piece recently to give people with few comments (definitely not the case here!) some heart … and some ammunition when the powers-that-be ask why they’re wasting their time. (If you are bored… http://toughlovemarketing.blogspot.com/2010/11/dont-give-up-on-your-blog-or-your-e.html)

    While I would argue that the ‘what’ is important, the ‘why’ is definitely the starting point. And “everyone else has a blog” is not that reason!

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  • markwschaefer

    @Trevor Heisler Thanks for sharing!

  • markwschaefer

    @Marjorie Clayman (@margieclayman) Thanks for your kind words!

  • C_Mazza

    I can see your points on blogging, may start one some day. What about if no one seems to be listening in Twitter, Mark?

  • C_Mazza

    I can see your points on blogging, may start one some day. What about if no one seems to be listening in Twitter, Mark?

  • markwschaefer

    @C_Mazza Kind of hard to tell isn’t it? Some people call twitter “earned media.” My recommendation is to get into a habit of sharing aritcles and information that is interesting to you. Try tweeting at different times of the day and actively engage with those who interest you. Also, if you look in my archives under Twitter best practices you will find lots of other ideas. Hope that helps!

  • Jannis

    Great info! I think you wrote this just for me and I thank you! I wrote an article yesterday for my blog and realized how badly I had neglected it. The article turned out to be much longer than I wanted so I ditched the intro which explained my abscence – addiction to the ease of using social media in place of blogging. No excuse when I consider your points.
    I needed to be reminded of some things and educated about some others. Very timely. Thanks!

  • markwschaefer

    @Jannis Thanks for dropping by tdoay. In the “blogging best practices” part of the archives it provides other articles that may help you. Thanks again!

  • roto

    This was a great read…and there are no crickets chirping in these comments! 🙂

  • roto

    @markwschaefer @C_Mazza Twitter…where everyone is talking and nobody listens.

  • C_Mazza

    @markwschaefer Thanks Mark for your reply and your tips, will let you know how it goes.

  • jhoders

    Nice blog, Mark. At our agency, we blog to demonstrate:

    1) Industry expertise, 2) That we understand industry trends in our niché and 3) Most importantly, we blog to communicate with our target audience. Yes, blogs have the potential to reach the masses, but ours are tailored to our industry, professional services marketing (specifically law firm & accouting firm marketing). Creating conversations online via blogs, etc. and offline are essential to growth and development for any company.

    Jeremy Hoders, director of client services at Moiré Marketing Partnerswww.moiremarketing.com

  • jhoders

    Nice blog, Mark. At our agency, we blog to demonstrate:

    1) Industry expertise, 2) That we understand industry trends in our niché and 3) Most importantly, we blog to communicate with our target audience. Yes, blogs have the potential to reach the masses, but ours are tailored to our industry, professional services marketing (specifically law firm & accounting firm marketing). Creating conversations online via blogs, etc. and offline are essential to growth and development for any company.

    Jeremy Hoders, director of client services – Moiré Marketing Partners

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  • Anonymous

    Great post and spot on. Blogging is very important today. Very good reasons, even if no one reads it. For SEO, you really need to embed keywords, especially early in the post. And creating content for reuse is very valuable.

    Jeff Ogden, the Fearless Competitor
    Find New Customers

  • Thanks for commenting Jeff!

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  • Hi Mark, I will share this link with my seniors, I too feel, it is a must, that official or non official blog remain alive, whether you see it as profitable or not for the business.

    — Isabella from Qalixa Announcement Team.
    Note : We have just launched our first version of Community Edition at http://www.qalixa.com and we are entering B2B & B2C market as well.

  • Great post Mark 😉 I’ve been tryingbto get one of my friends to start a business blog for a long time. He’s the CEO of a SMM company and has yet to make a solid commitment to building a community through a corporate blog. I’ve emailed him this post to help him realize the multiple benefits to blogging that you mention here. Thanks again for the amazing advice!


  • Always look forward to hearing from you! Thanks for the comment.

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  • Thanks Mark, all good points. I do agree with Jeremy…size doesn’t always matter. Most of my clients are SME’s and often have a niche target audiences who are often C Suite. The point is that they are unlikely to comment because of their high profile.
    I remind clients their blog remains a vital component of their brand positioning – that new /potential clients and their staff and competitors will definitely be going to site to see what you have to say even if they never comment.
    PS I almost never get comments on my blog but I get frequent phone calls and emails from clients and industry associates as a direct response to a specific post.

    Steve MacAlpine http://www.stevemacalpine.com

  • Great points, Steve. Comments are actually rare on most company blogs! Well said.

  • Riet

    Thanks for your post!
    I translated it in Dutch and put in on my blog: http://goo.gl/kr9Ox

  • Wonderful Riet. Thanks for sharing it.

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  • This gives me hope. Thanks

  • Awesome!

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  • Bobbi Jo Toy

    Why not?

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  • Hi Mark,

    I had to read this blog post because of the title. Spend my time writing blogs and so what if nobody reads it? As you know, this has been a major concern with me on our corporate blog since I started the initiative. Ok, so after I read the post I dont necessarily believe you are saying that nobody will read it, but that nobody will participate in the comments section facilitating a feeling of community – am I right? If so, I feel a lot more confident and definately agree with all points made. There are a multitude of benefits from blogging aside from generating a community of active comments (but these are really nice to have too!). A few things I find valuable and hope my audience does too is the opportunity I have to get better at writing and communicating. Another positive is that blogging has encouraged me to stay abreast of what is going on in my industry and formulate my point of view on topics – its making me smarter. As a side note, I dont get very many comments even with hundreds of subscribers, but my content has sparked some conversations, gained me invites to guest blog and has been a great sales tool for my team. Comments, shmomments, we must be doing something right.

  • I think every business should have a blog. I think the aim should be to create a community even more an active one where comments etc are left. Should this judge if you have an active comm.? No but it is an indicator.

  • Great post!
    I’m wondering what you think about a corporate blog residing on a company’s website or seperate of the site and what those pros & cons are.

  • There are no pros to having it separate. The number one benefit of a blog may be SEO benefits. Why not have those benefits accrue to your website instead of something that is disconnected from your business?

    This post will help explain some of the other benefits: http://www.businessesgrow.com/2010/11/07/ten-reasons-to-blog-even-if-nobody-reads-it/

  • Guest

    Rex I can help with this one.

    Last summer we decided to turn our complete corporate site into a blog. Apart from the e-commerce functionality http://adnams.co.uk runs entirely on WordPress. With a heavily customised theme. Back-links, the main stay of SEO, are growing at the rate of 1000 a month. This is with no proactive action, other than publishing new content.

    Customer feedback is very positive, integration of social media is made easy due to the platform and updates can be handled by any administrator due to the easy to use WordPress Admin interface. In addition online sales are growing significantly as a direct result of traffic coming through the corporate site.

    With a well thought out Theme and the right business considerations, the question to ask is why shouldn’t the main site be a blog.

  • Great answer Sean, Thanks!

  • abu bakar

    Agreed, It’s hard at first — especially for writers because most work is edited. But practice and the realization it helps you become a better writer eases the “personalizing” of things. It’s a great business skill.This is my first time I have visited this site. I found a lot of interesting information in your blog. From the tons of comments on your articles, I guess I am not the only one! keep up the good work..i also work on this topic.my site name is 

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  • Susan Abramson

    Good question, do you need both a website and a blog if a blog can have all your information and even now look like a website.  I have both and consider that every day… for now it’s double the exposure but I wonder…

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  • CMO

    I also blog even if no one reads it. And I have no readers on my new blogs. When they appear on search results, they are read. The problem is when they apper there, and your blog has 4-5 articles. Well, this won’t provide you great reputation, and most likely visitors won’t read it. So I found out from my own experience that it is essential to blog for building strong reputation. Thanks for talking about other benefits – I will blog more accurately 😉

  • Thanks for your comment Mike.

  • Helen Appleby

    Being myself new to the so called “blogosphere” this is a really interesting article! Thanks! 

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  • Kenny Rose

    I use my blog as a placeholder – where I can develop a relationship with readers and post content on areas of interest and some personal posts about the reasons I do what I do 🙂 It is an outpost where I can engage the social media community and engage in a broader conversation.  Primarily it is a “holding blog” as prelude to the launch of my main site. 

    Lots of food for thought here Mark, as ever interesting read. 🙂 

  • Cool idea, thanks!

  • i am late to the party here (your Twitter promotion pays off Mark) – but #11 – it is fun / it is educational – for those that are writing.  the staff tasked with writing the blog will develop a sense of ownership / a sense of pride in their product that can only benefit staff morale – idea generation etc….  
    Do you advise tasking as many (reasonable #) folk as possible to contribute to the promotion of company through blog efforts??

  • Yes this makes a lot of sense and as I say to clients at the very least you want a blog attached to your website to update regularly and include all the stories that you use regularly to explain issues to customers. This gives you a platform to go into detail about topics that come up again and again, and you can then share the link with them after you have had the same discussion so they have a more expanded written version that they can digest in their own time and sets you as the person who knows their stuff.

  • Well said. Thanks for the additions.

  • The same adivce I give to my clients and students. Thanks!

  • Very good question.  I think you have to look at resources, talents and the company strategy. An advantage of tag-teaming the blog is that it spreads out the duties and adds fresh voices to the dialogue.  A disadvantage is that it is difficult for readers to make a human connection with a revolving door of writers.  If you are trying to encourage dialogue, it is best to try to stick with one, or a handful of writers.

  • Solid advice.  2 and 4 especially resonate with me.  Actively doing more of 5 for the benefits you mention is something I really need to consider more in the presentations and networking activities I participate in.  Thanks for being the take away of the day for me.

  • I think a bonus point could have been the benefit to and enrichment of the blogger him or herself (or blogging team as the case may be). I will be saving this post for future reference.

  • Sarah

    Another fine example is that today this blog just got sent to a listserve with over 4,000 people, and I read your blog. Great blog. Great tips. Thanks for keeping up the encouragement for us writers.

  • Fantastic article.  Thank you Mark!

  • You’re welcome!

  • Awesome. Thanks!

  • Great point Mike!

  • Wow. Thanks for the nice comment!

  • Anonymous

    Nice post, Mark. I started blogging a couple months ago and have been enjoying it, despite a limited (but growing) audience. I think there are a couple additional big benefits. First of all, in a way it’s become the new CV – it’s where you can demonstrate your experience, thinking and value to potential employer and partners. In addition, as it’s been commented on, a big benefit is simply the development of your own ideas – writing forces you to distill and organize your thoughts further and in a way that they can be iterated to others. This cannot be undervalued. Thanks.
    Michael Baer

  • Nynette Sass

    Thank you for the highly informative advice. Started to blog a few years back, only because i love to write and now that i have started consulting, i see enormous value in getting those blogs out on a regular basis. Much appreciated.

  • Well said, Nynette, Thank you!

  • Two superb points Michael. I often recommend blogging to job hunters — it extends the interview and certainly can provide a competitive advantage. Thanks for the great comment!

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  • I agree that Industry Expertise is an important component of blogging. When you put together a corporate website and create your main site content…the temptation is there to just forget about it. Including a blog pushes you to keep abreast on the latest developments both for your company and in your industry. It also reinforces the integrity of your static site content. Excellent comment Jeremy!

  • Very good point. Thanks Shona!

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  • Talese Hall

    I am going to be using this post as part of my pitch to the owner of our company as to the need and reason for a blog.  Thanks for the great info!

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  • I guess blogging is a way of establishing your brand (especially if you are starting out) and also finding your brand identity. Great article! Thanks for another great read. 

  • Hi Mark,
    I ended up here after reading Raman’s post “punching through blogging barriers to find business benefits” as it is genuinely hard for me to stay focussed on blogging with low readership. The benefits of long term search should be enough for me a I started it to be a useful resource as far as seo is concerned. However after just rebuilding after our website was hacked and taken down last weekend I will also use it for a bit of crisis management to explain our hiccup in delivery times over the next few days.

  • Cool Alec. Maybe it’s time to shake it up like Raman did — re-define your topic or perhaps your audience?

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  • Good post. The best reason to blog I have seen can be credited to Pay Flyn. He started his blog as a place to keep his college notes and ended up creating a million dollar blog.

  • Great thoughts here, Mark! For me, there’s an 11th reason to blog – for professional development.

    I have been blogging for about 2.5 years now, and I am now editing a blog for marketers at my company (http://blogs.sas.com/content/customeranalytics/). I have found that as a blogger, it puts me in a position where I think about my content from the audience perspective, whereas before (as a “traditional” marketer) my perpective was very inside-out.

    Only after a year of blogging did I start to realize that I now approach my work as a marketer differently, and in a way that I think is in tune with my audience. Now, I think in terms of engagement and not purely “campaigns,” and I give priority consideration to search, relevance and “share-ability” – even with tradeshow sponsorships. And I truly believe it’s all come about because I am a blogger.

  • We talked about this and just found it! Great stuff that is timeless!

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  • Nabla765

    Thank you for this blog post! It gives us the courage to keep posting…

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  • I notice that this blog was written 2 years ago. Do you update your blogs with fresh content and post them?

  • It’s pretty easy to see that I do Jay. In fact, I post every day. What do yo find about this post that isn’t “fresh” just because it was written awhile ago? It still helps people so I post it on Twitter every now and then.

  • Thanks!

  • I was not commenting on this blog but whether it is a good blog practice to update older blogs with new material. Does that have affect on SEO, Google, etc.?

  • Nabla765

    Wow! Once again! Just one little word like that can make the difference! And that’s the importance of… getting an answer! Especially from a famous person like you are! Thank you from the bottom of my heart! Your answer makes me happy!

  • Once I write a post I leave it alone for the record unless I find a mistake. I don’t do a very good job of “recyclng” the evergreen content into new posts but I need to do that more often since I have so many new readers. Thanks Jay.

  • Ha! I am just a guy. I try to get to as many comments as I possibly can because that is the polite thing to do : )

  • Nabla765

    Thanks Mark Shaefer! I like your blog!

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  • Interesting..hopefully still relevant.

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