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Having a Blog Can Be Bad For Business
Despite what Seth Godin said today - This is a counter post to his "Just one Post" comment and my post on "Having a Blog Can Help Your Business" and is meant to present the arguments against having a blog. I would argue that it's like having a dog, for the most part they are great, but there are times, places, and people when it is not a good idea.

A Blog is viewed today, in 2007, a lot like a web site was viewed in 1996, with hesitation, misunderstanding, and excessive hyperbole. There are people would have lived through both waves who can help. I have been there and back and it looks like I am going again. It is not for everyone.

I will give 10 reasons why a Blog can be bad for a business. (I hope that others will add more in the comments.)
  1. Spend too much time on SEO (search engine optimization) and not enough on useful content. John Chow may be "evil" but his content is useful to many people.
  2. Obsess about blogging - anything done to an extreme is usually bad for you. You can drink too much water and upset the balance of your system to such an extent that you cannot recover.
  3. Share too much information about personal things. Unless your selling tool involves people knowing intimate details of your life it is better to save that for another place.
  4. Trolls - people who search the Internet just to find ways to bother others. If you get one it can be aggravating, frustrating, and expose a side of you best kept to yourself. Don't fight with them, you have more to lose, and they have everything to gain by it.
  5. Starting and then abandoning a blog looks bad. They do not go away easily and it just looks like your company does not finish. If you start on your own domain and stop, take it down. I f you start on a different domain you may have trouble getting rid of it.
  6. If you do maintain a blog, but you do it badly it will not reflect well on your company brand or you. Check your spelling, your facts, and your emotions. Not categorizing, or using strange post titles will just make it hard for people to find things. The best way for people to work with you easily is for you to make it easy to work with you.
  7. Reveal too much about your company, product, or service too soon. It is easy to get excited about a new product, but if you generate excitement before you can deliver, then you may just be setting the table for someone else to eat at.
  8. Fight with customers, former employees, or trolls online - Like say, Dell. If you do, or someone in your company does, then remember - What is done in secret should be apologized for in secret. What is done openly should be apologized for openly. Someone is going to spread that email anyway.
  9. Lie - consider the fact that there are over a billion people on the Internet and that search engines keep things forever, the chances that someone will uncover your lie are nearly 100% Just ask the Los Angeles City Attorney who prosecuted Paris Hilton Opps!, His wife did the same thing and only got a fine.Yell
  10. Whine. Whine about how unfair the competition is. Whine about how you are misunderstood. Whine about anything you like. It will not help you at all. No one cares except maybe your mother and she probably does not subscribe to your RSS feed.

This is not a post to discourage you from having a Blog. It is a post to discourage you from having a BAD Blog. If you need help figuring out what to do just send me an email drrogera [at] modernmagellans.com or any of the other email addresses you have for me from the past 15 years- (Caltech, atcg, and so on) they are almost all forwarded to me somehow. You can also check out the people I respect: see "blogroll" to the right. I should have more but I am trying not to boost their rankings over me.

8 Comments/Trackbacks

» Having a Blog Can Help Your Business from ModernMagellans
It's me again - drrogera - Maybe I actually agree with what Seth Godin said today in his Just One Post entry. This is a counter post to my post on "Having a Blog Can Be Bad For Business"  and... [Read More]

Good list, Roger. The word "blog" is permanently lodged in my brain (I blog about blogging), so I'm well aware of its dark side.

Having a blog that everyone knows about and then using it poorly (or not at all) can be REALLY bad for a business, especially when people are expecting something from it - a timely announcement, an apology, etc.

I suppose the follow up question to this is "why do you blog"

Easton & RC - motivation is a very good question. To blog just to have a presence is not a terrible thing, but in my mind to do anything in a business setting without purpose is silly.
At home, doing things without a clear purpose can be fun. That is what Saturdays are for!

This list all seems a little silly, Roger. I mean if you do anything poorly you will likely see negative consequences.

Why not just say shoddy work is bad for business? It doesn't matter whether it is on a blog, in traditional marketing, or with customer service.

I agree that a business blog should have a purpose and be executed well. But I mostly run into the other side. Many of my clients don't go running half baked into blogging. They tend to be extremely cautious and nearly obsessed with the potential down side to blogging.

You are correct that any kind of shoddy work is usually bad for business. What I wanted was to list specific ways that a blog or blogging could be done poorly. I am also looking for comments that highlight additional mistakes that people make, that I did not list.

As you say "Most" or Many" of your clients don't make these mistakes. I therefore can assume that some do. Hence I do not think the post or the list was silly.

Thanks for stopping by and leaving your comment. I hope you will continue to visit and let me know how you feel.

» Taking Seth’s Advice from Scatterism
This is not a post to discourage you from having a Blog. It is a post to discourage you from having a BAD Blog — Roger Anderson, Having a Blog Can Be Bad For Business It is true that having a “bad” blog can hurt your busines... [Read More]

» Why Have a Blog at All? from ModernMagellans
The two posts about how a blog can be good or bad for business generated more email than any other posts I have written. It also reminded me that I have not yet written about a contest that was put... [Read More]

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