A Spoonful of Commitment Helps the Medicine Go Down
This is a blog post for all of you that were very excited at the idea of having a blog for your accounting, consulting, or other professional advisory firm, but are now bummed out because your firm isn’t blogging at all or is blogging somewhat slower than molasses flows outdoors on a wintery day in Fairport, NY.
Sorry to break the bad news, but your firm is suffering from the heartbreak of blog abandonment syndrome.
Remember when you touted the manifold benefits of blogging, stroked the egos of subject matter experts by promising a huge boost to their personal brand, and even created a comprehensive and finely honed publishing schedule that got approved… and then saw the rush of posts slow down to a trickle?
Yep. You got it. The heartbreak of blog abandonment syndrome.
And what about that enthusiasm when you launched? Remember releasing the balloons and doves? The fireworks display? The marching band? OK, so maybe that’s a bit of an exaggeration but it was exciting, right?
And everything was humming along hunky dory until a partner begged off of an obligation for writing their blog piece or a subject matter expert told you they were too busy with client work to do marketing, or those gosh darn compliance deadlines kept on getting in the way. Then you looked up and realized that your blog was lifeless.
That migraine you’re experiencing is a symptom of BAS.
The Bottom Line: Blogging Doesn’t Work Unless it’s Done Consistently and Persistently
Inbound marketing professionals would agree that abandoning a blog, but still having its remnants on your website, is worse than having no blog at all. Seeing a firm that publishes 4 or 5 posts in a year on an inconsistent basis, or seeing that the most recent blog post on the website is older than dirt is poor marketing at best and, at worst, a breach of trust with your audience.
When you abandon a blog, you’re telling your clients and prospects that you don’t care, or that you don’t have any thoughts on an issue, or that you don’t consider yourselves enough of an authority to add your thought leadership and takes on pain points your stakeholders may be facing.
I’m very well aware of the fact that blogging isn’t easy, and requires an investment, commitments, and resources that most professional service firms haven’t considered in the past. At the end of the day, when done consistently, persistently, and in a non-advertorial way, blogging has the potential to deliver a huge ROI.
- It increases search engine rankings, drives more traffic to your site, and makes Google love you more.
- It leads to new connections and new business.
- It creates loyalty and a framework for competitive differentiation.
- It gives meaning and purpose to your social media accounts and increases their utility as a driver to your website.
7 Cures for the Heartbreak of Blog Abandonment Syndrome
If you do have an abandoned blog, resuscitation is always an option, but it’s not going to be easy. It’s never too late to re-prime your blogging machine, and here’s a list of 7 things you can try:
- Re-invigorate your management team by refreshing their understanding of the benefits of blogging. Get their public support for the blog via firm wide emails and other internal communications.
- Hire a blogging coach/writer to work 1 on 1 with partners and subject matter experts to assist them in blogging, including writing first drafts for them.
- Put together a competitive analysis of what your key competitors are doing—or not doing—relative to blogging. Competitive juices will come to life if you show how they are getting their butt kicked by competitors that are consistent and persistent, and using their blog posts for both lead generation and search engine optimization.
- Make partners and subject matter experts (especially reluctant rainmakers) accountable for blogging by tying a part of their compensation to blogging.
- Create incentives to blog by using contests or bonuses for blog quality and quantity.
- Repurpose blog content into other materials, like whitepapers, and show contributors how a modest amount of effort on their behalf results in multiple publication opportunities and multiple promotional opportunities using the firm’s social media accounts.
- Carefully watch and report on metrics like blog views and share using social media… BUT… manage expectations! A professional service firm blog post that gets dozens of views is quite commendable, but don’t expect that thousands of prospects will be flocking to a blog post on a change to tax code.
A 100% Surefire Way to Avoid the Heartbreak of BAS
If you’re suffering from blog abandonment syndrome, there’s a number of different cures that might work for your firm, but if you are at the very beginning of developing a blog, here’s a solid piece of advice you can take to the bank.
Don’t blog unless your management team really understands the value and requirements of having a blog, and you get their enthusiastic, full commitment and support.
If you don’t have this, your blog is a non-starter and your time and energy will be better spent on other marketing strategies and tactics. In other words, you can’t suffer the heartbreak of blog abandonment syndrome if you’re not blogging… but be well aware of the consequences like Persistent Posterior Pain that’s the result of the butt kicking you’re getting from competitors who are using their blog to publish thought leadership that’s giving them competitive advantages through differentiation.
It’s that spoonful of commitment that makes the medicine of blogging go down!