As a digital marketing nerd who works in digital marketing, I consume a lot of information about the topic on a daily basis. This comes from various sources, and includes blogs, marketing news sites, opinion pieces, research etc. 90% of that is awesome content I enjoy reading and share via social media or email (old school, I know).
As part of my job, I also find myself reading blogs trying to offer digital marketing advice from a position of authority, when they clearly have very little idea themselves. SEO is a great example of a topic many, many authors try to write about, but only have a top level or fuzzy idea what it actually entails. Top tips such as write fresh content, get links and use keywords are often thrown out there, without any detail or specifics on the “why” or the” how”.
The purpose of a business blog
The purpose of a business blog, in my opinion at least, is to:
1. Create a voice for the business and engage with your target audience
2. Position the company in line with the brand values e.g. authority, fun, useful, etc.
3. Create a reason for people to come back to your website by writing compelling content
4. Build links and social shares through that compelling content
The only way I can see a business achieving all of this, is by producing content that engages with the target audience. And the only way I can see a business blog author writing engaging content, is by writing about topics they understand. Journalists and full time bloggers can afford to research a topic they know little about, and they will likely have the writing skills to cover up any gaps. As a business, do you have the resources to do that? It’s unlikely.
Writing about the truth
By writing about what you know, your blog posts are easier to write, and you can go in to a lot more depth. As a result they will have a sense of “truth” about them readers will appreciate. Readers of your blog will not read superficial, quickly cobbled together blog posts that don’t feel “true”. For example, if you have never used Pinterest, don’t attempt a “Top X tips for using Pinterest” style blog post. You can’t cover it in the level of detail needed to be a satisfying read.
Writing about topics you don’t fully understand also has a negative branding effect on your business. When it comes to marketing a business, I’m a firm believer in either doing it well, or not at all. Accepting anything else creates what can be described as “negative value”. The action actually makes things worse that if you had done nothing.
Using great ideas you can’t write
Despite all this, all is not lost if you have a great idea, but don’t know enough about the topic. I occasionally have one about Photoshop or web design, but I don’t know enough about them to write one myself. Instead, I’ll pass it on to one of our designers to write. I appreciate not every business has this luxury, so if this is the case for you, start by asking yourself what you want to achieve with your business blog. From here, make a list of the topic you would need to write about to achieve this. Go through identifying those you know you can write yourself in detail. If you have some cracking ideas for blog post titles, but don’t know a lot about them, you can look to outsource them.