Does Every Website Need a Blog?

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.

3 thoughts on “Does Every Website Need a Blog?

  1. Even for the shy person at a specialized business service, I really believe a blog can transform their business (as part of a comprehensive inbound marketing strategy).

    For the people in the world that need a liquid freight backhauling broker, when they go to Google and search for “liquid freight tips” or “how to find a safe liquid freight driver” they could be finding articles on your client’s blog. The whole point of the internet is very specialized content. Some day, there will be a hub where people from the liquid freight hauling industry hang out online. I would think your client would want that hub to be on their blog, instead of someplace else.

    The great advantage for a specialized busienss like theirs is there are probably very few if any blogs on the topic – so they have a big opportunity to be the only one! So, I would say that even if they really too shy, then they either need to change that or hire someone to create content (like you). I have not yet found a business that could not benefit from starting a blog.

    Now, a different question entirely is “are they ready?” and “do they want to blog?” I cannot make someone blog if they don’t want to, no matter how convincing I am. But I think as their trusted marketing advisor, you should really continue to push them in this direction (blogging and inbound marketing).

    PS – Check out our blog optimizer technology, I use it all the time when writing our blog articles and it helps me optimize them ( http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ek3qpUhRpWI ) you might like it for your blog or client’s blogs.

  2. Excellent argument, Mike. I’m especially convinced by your point that they could be the leaders in the (eventual) liquid freight hauling blog community.
    I’ll go check out your blog optimizer — thanks for sharing.

  3. Great points, Mike. I especially liked

    For the people in the world that need a liquid freight backhauling broker, when they go to Google and search for “liquid freight tips” or “how to find a safe liquid freight driver” they could be finding articles on your client’s blog. The whole point of the internet is very specialized content.

    Thanks.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.