The smart people over at Hubspot sent out a missive recently saying, among other things, that every website needs a blog.
I’ve been wondering about that. On the one hand, blogs are great for search, traffic, and conversion. They let you rank for multiple keywords, they drive traffic (for some of my clients, blogs are their major source of traffic), they let you hold a conversation with your clients and customers, they provide an avenue for announcing news about your company, they give your website dynamic content, they bring people back to your website frequently — what’s not to like?
You really need a blog if…
- you sell something. If you have products, then your blog lets you show those products, give tips for their use, and generally let people see what great stuff you have. Retailers all need blogs.
- you have news. If you bring out new versions of things, attend trade shows, are a good source of information on regulations or conditions that affect your customers, know stuff they might not know, or participate in community life, then you need a blog.
- you have relationships with your clients or customers. When you know the people you work with, they’re likely to be interested in knowing about you and about one another.
But does every website need a blog? I was mentioned in the Wall Street Journal a week or so back, and since then I’ve had lots of folks taking advantage of my offer to do a quick free web analysis. Most don’t have blogs. So, as I check out their websites, I think about whether I’d recommend that they have one or not. Lawyers? Industrial manufacturers? Moving companies?
Actually, I could imagine blogs for all those websites. I could even write blogs for all of them. Great ideas for that moving company are even now crowding my brain.
But I’m working right now on a website for a bulk liquid freight backhauling broker, and I haven’t suggested that they add a blog to their site.
Perhaps you don’t need a blog if…
- you won’t keep it up. If, like the dog in the picture above, you find writing exhausting, then you shouldn’t have a blog unless you’re going to hire someone to keep it up for you. A blog that isn’t posted regularly is worse than no blog at all.
- your services are narrow and highly specialized. This is the case for the people at Liquid Dispatch. If you happen to need a bulk liquid freight backhauling broker, you know what they do. There aren’t many nuances. They could still have a blog — Marilyn and the boys are really interesting people, and I for one would read about their adventures, but they tell me they’re “guys with phones.”
- you’re shy. I’m still trying to persuade the people at Liquid Dispatch to let me put their names on their website. I felt a bit of triumph when they decided to allow me to make them an “About us” page. They’re not going to share their recipes for mojitos or tell us about their patio parties.
So if you are a shy person with a highly specilized service business who doesn’t really want a blog and won’t post to one if you have one, then you might not need a blog.
Maybe a Squidoo lens, though.