In Part 1 we discussed how a "blog" differs from a website," (at least in usage) and some good reasons to opt for a blog, or add a blogging component to your website. Today, we're going to discuss reasons why some webmasters really should NOT try to blog.
1) Blogging may not be a good idea if you really have no time or interest in blogging. If you are not going to update your blog regularly, it will have no more benefit to you than a static website, and it will just appear to be a failed experiment to the people who visit your website looking for information about you. If you really don't have time to blog, you're better off setting up a really good static website with contact information, so that people can find you on the web under your name or the name of your business, and just leave it at that. You're unlikely to attract search engine traffic under any search term other than your name, but at least when people find you, they will see a good representation of your and/or your business.
2) Blogging may be unnecessary if other social networking efforts are working better for you. If you have been very successful and enjoy using a social network like Twitter or Facebook, you may find that is a better option for you. Those profiles rank higher in the search engines than most websites or blogs, anyway, and in some cases, adding a blog might just dilute your effort. The adage, "If it isn't broke, don't fix it," just might apply here. If you're doing a very good job elsewhere, and that's working for you, keep doing it. Your webpage can still just be a very good point of contact for potential clients or customers wanting more information. Just be careful that you don't use Twitter or Facebook as an excuse not to blog and your blog as an excuse not to Twitter or Facebook, and end up not doing anything.
3) Blogging may be futile if you're in a highly-saturated industry online, and really don't have anything unique to add to the discussion. I've seen blogs and websites that did nothing, really, except aggregate content from other blogs and websites, and regurgitate them into a feed. This type of blog can easily be flagged as a "splog" (spam blog) by the search engines, and running one of these can do more harm than good - particularly if you include ads on your site. This particularly applies to local businesses in popular industries that want to have a website. Unless you have an idea for a blog that will provide fresh, relevant content to you your ONLINE customers, attempting to run a blog that simply duplicates already existing content can be a waste of time.
4) Please don't start a blog on your business website if you just want to "express yourself." Unless your target audience is your family (and even most of them probably will only pretend to be reading after awhile, anyway), the web is not a good place to keep a personal journal of self discovery. Yes, I know in Part 1 I said that a blog is a good way to "humanize" your business. But this should be done selectively, and with great care. Sharing a personal story anecdotally, or including a funny photo (not a humiliating one, just a "funny" one), or including a personal opinion from an expert's perspective on industry news is a great way to "personalize" a business blog. Sharing your daily progress in overcoming an addiction to corn chips while going through a divorce and dealing with a troubled teenager may not be. Even if you have an exceptional sense of humor, and can make your daily life entertaining enough for others to want to read, it is likely your soon-to-be ex-spouse's family and your troubled teen may not appreciate the over-share. And your customers want to see you as "human," but not necessarily "pathetic."
So, there are some very good reasons to blog and not to blog. Do you have others you would like to share?