I’m weird and I have an addictive personality. It means when I get an idea in my head, I become obsessed with making it happen or finding out everything I can about it. It’s why I have 101 plans and spreadsheets written down – balancing this craziness isn’t easy!

An example of my madness in action…

This week I was researching for a piece of client work, and I stumbled upon a website. The overall proposition was good, and the content they were publishing – blogs, case studies and white papers – all very interesting.

But there was a problem…

The date of the last blog published was 20 June 2016…

And the case studies and white papers were published in 2015.

This company claimed to be ‘the market leader’ in their particular technology. But from looking on their website, I wasn’t even sure if they were still in business (I checked, they are).

Keeping your blog updated is a common problem

It’s an issue I see a lot when I’m researching local marketing agencies that I might want to work with. They have an incredible proposition, the portfolios and case studies show they’re delivering amazing work, and they’ve obviously got a team of very talented people…

But they’ve got stuck in business-as-usual, prioritising client delivery over their own marketing. The result is a sad, neglected blog, which isn’t delivering the value it should – and worse, it’s damaging their brand…

How can you advise someone they need to be blogging regularly when you don’t even do it yourself?

24% of companies haven’t updated their blog this year

So after seeing the market leader’s website, I became obsessed with people’s blogs. I sat down and did some research. Looking at the websites of 71 consultancies within IT & tech (26 companies), business & management (19 companies), and marketing & digital (26 companies)…

Nearly a quarter of blogs are sad

Figure 1: comparing blogs that have been updated in the last year (happy blogs) with those that haven’t (sad blogs)
Figure 1: comparing blogs that have been updated in the last year (happy blogs) with those that haven’t (sad blogs)

These sad blogs have sat neglected for over a year. The worst offender last updated their blog on the 04 August 2014!

What message is that giving people?

That you don’t care, or have nothing interesting to say?

Perhaps that you’re too busy with client work, so you don’t need any new business?

Or maybe that you’re out-of-business?

If you’re going to commit to having a blog, you need to be updating it regularly, otherwise it’s going to cause more damage than do good.

A quarter of companies haven’t posted in the last six weeks

Figure 2: of the companies that have updated their blog in the last year, identifying who has updated it within the last 6 weeks (as at 07 August 2019)
Figure 2: of the companies that have updated their blog in the last year, identifying who has updated it within the last 6 weeks (as at 07 August 2019)

For the remaining 76% who have posted this year, yes, on the face of it, it looks good. But scratch below that statistic and you see that 23% of them haven’t posted in the last few weeks – some haven’t bothered posting since the beginning of the year!

Nearly two-thirds of companies are posting without a strategy

Figure 3: of those blogs that have been updated this year, identifying those that have an obvious strategy, where they’re being updated regularly with valuable content
Figure 3: of those blogs that have been updated this year, identifying those that have an obvious strategy, where they’re being updated regularly with valuable content

YOU SHOULD NEVER CREATE CONTENT FOR CONTENT’S SAKE.

I don’t know how many times I’ve said/screamed/shouted that now.

Content that’s created without a purpose adds no value and wasted your time and efforts.

When I looked at the 76% of companies who had posted on their blog in the last year, an incredible 63% seemed to be doing so without any real thought. Common problems I saw included:

A dump: everything has the same date, which to me signals that you created a new website and added a blog ‘because that’s what you do’. And then you returned to ‘business-as-usual’ and didn’t think to put a plan in place to continuously update that blog with new and interesting content.

Bursts of activity: one month there would be 4-5 things published and then nothing for weeks. So what happened? Did you suddenly get inspired? Or perhaps things went so quiet client-wise you had time to focus on your marketing? If so, why are you so quiet? Is the company in trouble?

Everything stopped: some blogs looked amazing, full of great content being posted regularly…and then something happened. Everything stopped and we haven’t heard from you since. So what happened? Did your marketing person leave? Were they fired (why?)? Were they made redundant?

Weird stuff: I spent five minutes searching one website to find its blog. Why? Because they’d called it ‘Angles’ – now ‘Insights’, ‘Knowledge’, ‘Musings’, I get, but ‘Angles’?! Another decided one post was enough. And there were two blogs that asked me to download it, rather than view it on-page – why?

And the worst offenders?

The marketing & digital agencies who should know better, but who are probably ‘too busy’ creating all that wonderful blogging content for other organisations; 85% of the agencies I researched had no obvious blogging strategy:

Figure 4: comparing sectors to identify the worst offenders for lacking a blogging strategy
Figure 4: comparing sectors to identify the worst offenders for lacking a blogging strategy

A shameless plug

Yes, I say this as someone who offers blogging services. But I mainly say this as someone who loves reading blogging content…

Blogs are an amazing tool for demonstrating your knowledge and insight to your target audience…

They’re also a great tool for providing insight into all the exciting activity that’s going on in the company…

And they’re very effective at creating inbound leads for your sales pipeline…

But they don’t have to be a burden. If you can’t dedicate the time internally to updating your blog, either remove it from your site, or outsource it to someone who can give it the love, care and attention it needs.


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