This is an interesting topic Jenna, and I don’t think I’m a entirely decided. I think the long and short of it is that blogs are all different and have different audiences. If you are a single individual writing on a dedicated topic, then I agree with Ali–the burden should be one of quality, and while posts should come regularly, every day is perhaps overkill. However, if you write for a company blog, if you are part of a group that tries to establish that company as a thought leader in an industry through blogging, then perhaps you should be at it every day. I have seen many companies who essentially run a fulltime media company on the side just to stay on top of their industry, and I don’t think that is a waste. Customers and prospects will go to that blog as a source of genuine news, and to maintain that role and image a company has to be posting just about every day. @ryoatcision
I agree with the second part of the comment but not with the first part. Blogs are not something nice to have and neither are Facebook pages and Twitter profiles. No matter what your business is, it really doesn’t matter. No matter what the client’s vertical has been, we always been able to find at least 1,000 people who care. True story. No matter what! The long tail, well-tapped, can make any company that leverages social media quite a bit more successful.
Anyway, here’s my comment reply:
Ryo, Every day is not overkill unless one insists that each blog post need be War & Peace — really, everyone generally have enough inspiration to write one paragraph, to ask one question, to share one professional insight, to share one photo of the office — really, people really need to remember that, in blogging, people are much more interested in the deleted scenes, the bloopers, the making of, and the commentary of what we do and who we are than they are in the finished product. Like with Twitter and Facebook — as well as parenting, dating, managing, and with friendships — it is much better to be there, to be predictable, to be honest, to be open, and to be reliable — trustworthy — than it is to be perfect. Blogging is about cutting a hole into the side of your head and your offices and allowing someone an honest, relatively informal look in, warts and all.
As my mentor used to remind me, “many hands make light work,” — and since we have dozens of people working with us, you would think it would be simple to assure that this blog has many voices several times-a-day. Nope.
It is like extracting eye teeth to get my very own team to blog — it tends to be just me, sometimes Phillip J Rhoades, and now Jenna Jevy — but this is her job at Gerris digital now.
That said, these same staffers and analysts who are decidedly side-stepping blogging for Marketing Conversation are blogging, tweeting, Facebooking, moderating, messaging, engaging bloggers, and YouTubing on behalf of our clients for clients services every day of the year for the obvious reason that blogging, tweeting, Facebooking, etc, is a cost for my company versus it being billable when it is client work.
I really can’t complain because during a time of growth and expansion, one needs to collect coal for the steam engine and not for the potbelly stove at home. The cobbler’s children go unshod.
And you’re right. Those who do it best indeed “run a fulltime media company on the side just to stay on top of their industry;” however, the difficulty of finding people who are natural bloggers, trained up in social media, and who are passionate about the space on a daily basis is really hard if not prohibitively expensive and this is probably the number one reason why we here at Gerris digital are thriving. People are reticent to set up a full time media company on the side in times like these so outsourcing to companies like ours is a much less risky prospect.
Outsourcing to us, for example, can be the perfect turn-key solution as a test of concept, as a way to test the waters, as a way of winning over the board of directors or investors, or even as a sort of all-hands social media boot camp.
I don’t mean this post to be a shameless self promotion but I really think that social media cannot be a part-time job for companies, it cannot be an after-thought, it cannot be bolted on, and it surely should not be something out-of-sync and out of touch with the parent company.
It is essential that it becomes a natural part of the process. Which is weird because most companies never miss a staff birthday, produce all these wanky internal newsletters and even promotional weekly, b-weekly, and monthly email lists as well as white papers, marketing materials, promotionals, circulars, ads, advertisements, television commercials, radio spots, and the lot — and yet most of them are completely foiled when it comes to social media and it’s close relative, “blogging every day.”
It really must be a mental block — maybe people still believe that blogging is self-indulgent sentimental tripe or maybe they tend to get the same sort of blank page anxiety that novelists tend to suffer.
It’s really a lot easier than most of my students make the whole thing out to be. Maybe at the end of the day they’ve all heard stories about getting sacked over saying the wrong thing online and they’ve done the sort of risk analysis that suggests that offering to communicate on behalf of the company is better left to someone much more brave or with a severe career death wish.