Please. Stop making your company blog suck.

Let’s face it.  Company blogs suck.  They just do, at least most of the time.

But they don’t have to and I’m on a mission to bring the world my message of blog anti-suckology.  I’ve been giving a lot of presentations lately and this has been one of my most popular!

I haven’t been using Slideshare too much but thought you would enjoy this particular presentation, which I have embedded above. Highlights include:

A few stats on blogs
Ten reasons to blog, even if nobody reads it.
New directions in corporate blogging.
Ten super huge ideas to make your blog less sucky.

My presentations are very funny, lively and conversational so I know some of the slides might seem cryptic since I don’t read off the slides, but I think you’ll get the gist of it.

By the way, I don’t do much self-promotion, but of course I’m available as a corporate trainer or speaker for your next conference, sales meeting, or event.  I can do anything from an hour to a full day.  In addition to blogging, some of my favorite speaking topics include:

  • Social media strategy executive overviews
  • Social media for non-profits
  • Social media for governmental organizations
  • Social media for economic development
  • Business networking through the social web
  • The Tao of Twitter
  • Power and Influence on the social web
  • Business blogging
  • The three things all small businesses should know about social media
  • Digital Distance – The future of social media and customer engagement

Does it make sense to share more slide presentations from my speeches?  Or, are you too busy to really look through something like this? Be honest, I can take it!

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  • Mark – That’s a great no-nonsense take on business blogging, thanks for sharing the slides of the presentation. It’s amazing that even with all the supporting evidence and proof of effectiveness, there are so many companies that still aren’t blogging. 

  • Mark, 

    Since you want me to be honest, alright, i’m gonna be honest with you…. I want the sound of you speaking Lol!! It will give me more context. PRETTTYYY PLEASE??? perhaps a slidecast? :))

  • I especially like the slide “the myth of community building” Sometimes frustrating, but it is fact

    Kind regards from Germany

    Hansjörg

  • Anonymous

    Mark as Aaron said can we get some slidecast on this please. As always you really cut crap out and go straight to points and i pay you much respect for that. I think sharing more slide share is good idea as you know pictures / slides are worth of 1000 words. Looking forward to more from you soon. Thank you again for sharing your ideas. 

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  • Mark. I enjoyed the content but I agree with Aaron and JKCallas that in some cases context was missing. I looked at this presentation because it was yours, and I knew it would not be ordinary.

    Generally I feel I see so many powerpoints that I can’t stand to see another one. I understand why you wouldn’t want to record your voice–it would be nearly as good as having you live, but an occasional comment, explanation or contextual reference beyond what is on the slide would be helpful.Thanks for sharing. 

  • Kind of ironic that the organiztions with the most money and resources do the least amount of blogging : )   Thanks Dave.

  • Maybe you can help me think this through Aaron.  I recognize the value of what you’re suggesting, but it also presents a dilemma. People can flip through these slides in five minutes. That is about the maximum level of attention I can expect for a piece of content on the social web. When I talk through the presentation, it’s 45 minutes. Even if I just hit the top highlights it would be 30 minutes because it’s pretty high level as it is.  I guess I could break it into sections and have different posts? A video of the presentation is another option, but unless I pay for the work, it is usually low quality and you can’t really see the slides well without extra editing, which I would also have to pay for.

    The enigma is, the more work or money I put into it, the less people will view it. So why spend an hour narrating or paying for video if it will be less effective?  My perspective. That’s the challenge here.   What do you guys think? Do I have it wrong?

  • Thanks for the encouragment Jure.  PS Did you get my DM about the book?

  • That might be an interesting hybrid approach.  I might play around with that. Thanks, Alice.

  • I liked it and felt as if I got some good info. Still, like Aaron pointed out, I was also missing some of the “oomph” that you probably provided in person. What about a paid webinar platform? That way you are paid for the time and effort that you’re putting forth and we get the benefit of hearing you first-hand without the potential airfare. 🙂 

  • But won’t the ones that look at it (the longer vids) actually be your most important and serious client Mark? The way I see it, you’re likely not going to get a gig with the 90-95% that’s in a rush to ‘take the content and run’. But the 5%, or even 1%, that are actually looking for a speaker, I certainly think they’ll take the time to review. Thus, the views are much, much less but the ROI is way, way more.

    At least, that’s been my experience.

    The idea of shorter clips, maybe in conjunction with the slide share, makes a lot of sense as well, at least in terms of pleasing both types of ‘customers’.

    Good stuff Mark,

    Marcus

  • Yes, I’d echo that it would be awesome to hear the whole presentation, but I also feel that I got value from the slides themselves.  Not to mention that any presentation that includes Austin Powers gets an automatic thumbs up, baby!

  • Mark, marketing Information from you is always welcome in any presentation format you decide! Thank you for sharing… 

  • Oh stop being so intelligent. Obviously you went to a great university : )

    Yes, of course you are right. Very good points Marcus. I need to focus on making the content as great as it can be.

  • An interesting option. I have looked at a few ideas along those lines but frankly have not had the time to make it a priority. I’ll re-visit it. Thanks for caring enough to comment.

  • Yes I was feeling a bit Randy that day perhaps? : )

    Definitely see a theme emerging here in the feedback. Thanks!

  • Much appreciated Dr. Rae!

  • Hi, Mark. I’m new here- came in from a Twitter retweet. I like being able to flip through the slides (it appeals to my short attention span), but a full-length audio version option would be nice, too. Honestly, when I want to watch/listen to a long presentation, it runs in one tab while I work in others.

    As for this specific presentation, thanks for including the engagement slide (46). Today is a rare day for me to be part of the 2% who comment, and it’s a nice reminder that comments don’t necessarily equate to engagement!

    Regards, Kara

  • Welcome Kara. I appreciate your feedback very much. Will look at this option for the future. Glad you enjoyed the slides and welcome to the community.

  • We took great pains to have a company blog that is useful AND entertaining. We didn’t want to suck. Let me know what you think: http://www.zillow.com/blog/

  • My pleasure Mark!

  • Mark, interesting perspective. One point struck me though (and maybe, as others have said, more commentary with the slides would have addressed this). 

    You list reasons to blog even if no one is reading your blog. However, most of the benefits rely on readership. Is your perspective to blog now, so readership can follow? For example: search. If your blog is helping you on the SEO front, it IS being read. If it still isn’t being read, it isn’t really doing anything for your SEO.

    What am I missing in the benefits here?

    Note I am a proponent of blogging for a number of reasons, I’m just having difficulty with the some of the benefits you list if no one is reading

  • Mark ,

    I think you know my feelings on this. I think I could brand myself as the “The guy who can make your corporate blog suck less.” I wonder if that could be my niche :). Corporate blogs are terrible for so many reasons. What’s amazing is the amount people have to work with in terms of their budgets. I think too much red tape and fear of taking risks gets these blogs being absolutely terrible.  What amazes me is that if you gave a relatlively popular blogger 3 grand a month to work with and said build our blog, they could blow away what most corporate blogs are doing today .  As far as presentations on slideshare I do think they’re absolutely worth sharing with us, so please continue to do so. 

  • I suspect the problem with corporate blog suckage (for lack of a better term) is largely due to those who wind up in the blogosphere but aren’t really sure where to go after arrival. It seems to me that a lot of companies – small and large – feel the need to tack on to the blogosphere’s coattails with rapid-fire immediacy, because, after all, that’s where the money is, right? So once you’ve reached blog land… what’s next? I’m here, now what do I write about? That’s why tutorials like these are so valuable for young businesses, but even more so for older businesses who’ve probably been in the game for years and may have some trouble adapting to the Internet marketing playing field.

  • Nice slide deck, Mark. I recognize some of the graphics from the ebook. Who did the drawings? They’re great. 

  • MLT Creative sponsored that eBook as part of their webinar series.

  • Thanks so much Emma.  Very hard to manage these things effectively in a large bureacratic environment!  Speaking from experience!

  • Great perspective on the issues in corporate blogging. I think red-tape is a big issue but so is content development (from ideas all the way to having time to write). I would love to hear your thoughts on ghost-writing and corporate blogs. In many ways I think that can help solve some of the content development issues, but depending on the ghost-writer and how the blog is presented, it can also detach the blog too much from the actual people who work and run the corporation. What do you think?

  • P.S. I love the slides! Definitely piques some intrigue into what your presentations are like. I think another commenter mentioned that it would be nice to listen to the full audio of the presentation–I totally agree! The slides are great, but maybe you could offer an option to listen to the full content too.

  • It was very cool to see your second suggestion on how to not suck – Entertain.

    It seems like a lot people drop the ball on this point. When it comes to business blogs people ignore this important factor thinking, “Hey, it’s business. Gotta be ultra-professional.” The thing is though, “Professional” in these circles usually realizes itself as “Boring, plain jane, vanila”. No one’s gonna bored into buying.

    Text books don’t sell to the masses. Entertainment does. When you can fuse your awesome content with your personality in an entertaining way, you get people wanting to hear what you say.

    Loved your slides. I like doing them too but I hardly ever do. They take time but they’re fun to tell a story with.

  • Mark,
    I enjoyed the ability to fly through your content under my control. While I’m sympathetic to Aaron’s desire for your verbal context…I admit your reply to him has me nailed. I probably wouldn’t have stayed through 45 minutes…and I’d therefore miss your on-target tactical advice at the end.

    That said, if you have time, I do want to know what “Don’t Write, Rewrite” means–I figure either you are discouraging a lot rewriting, encouraging a lot of rewriting, or encouraging repurposing.”

    Cheers,
      Ken

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  • “There is no such thing as great writing. Only great re-writing.” – James Thurber

    I agree. : )

  • Not exactly the main theme in company boardrooms is it? : ) Yet it is what we need to stand out.

  • Thanks for the input Ashleigh!

  • I have written quite a bit about that but it is probably time to address it again. In the meantime, here is a blog post to help you: http://www.businessesgrow.com/2009/09/02/how-to-be-a-friendly-ghost-blogger-that-is/

  • I’m not so optimistic. There are many legitimate obstacles to having a successful blog in a large organization no matter how much money you throw at it. Regulations. Politics. Legal approvals. In-fighting. Management changes. Resource issues. It’s not as easy as you make it out to be for many companies, I’m afraid. My 2 cents.

  • This is superb. Congratulations on this!

  • Every blog is better with readers!

    But in the event you don;t have many, you can still accrue SEO benefits. If you update your relevant blog on a regular basis and your competitor has a stale website, obviously you will have an advantage. Similarly, I have an example in my talks about a new customer who found me through one obscure blog post I had, because it matched the unique keywords he was looking for. In a crisis, it’s important to have a forum for your point ot view, even if you never had a reader before the crisis occurred. Any way, those are a few examples. Would take too long to explain the whole thing point-by-point. Hope that helps!

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  • Blog “Anti-suckology”! You should trademark this as your term!  LOL!  

  • Suckology. Not to be confused with psychology.  Or, maybe we should. : )

  • Thank you for this, Mark. The 10 reasons why you should blog even if nobody reads it part is my favorite, and information I will definitely put to use. As you showed, there are benefits to blogging, even if it “looks bad” if there’s no comments.

  • I admit I was kind of hoping this is what your bullet meant. Just another reason I usually agree with you. 😉

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  • Love it. Lots to take from this. Especially one of the later slides that talk about content being power. On my Marketing Assassin blog Power (me) is the content!

  • Mark, thanks for the response. Yes, the connects the dots and makes a lot more sense, the benefits are about the right readership down the road, targeted, when you need it, etc. 

  • I hear ya, Mark! I’ve been wanting to explore the paid webinar option for the online PR world for a while now. I need to make it a priority too. I’ll keep you posted — and you do the same. I would gladly sign up for yours. 🙂 

  • Thanks for letting me know it was helpful. Much appreciated!

  • There you go. Thanks Rene!

  • Anonymous

    great stuff! would it be possible to share source or user base group for slide 45 data? Cheers!

  • Thanks! I’ll check it out!

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  • Love the slide show. I probably wouldn’t listen to anything longer (clearly I’m in the 90-95% that The Sales Lion mentioned). Great stuff!

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  • Slides 44-45 really struck a chord with me. Setting expectation levels properly with the folks paying for the blog is a must. Don’t over-sell your case.

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