Over at Blogspotting, Heather Green reports on a Forrester survey that says only 16 percent of people who read company blogs trust them. The report doesn’t distinguish between small company blogs and big company blogs, but I have the sense that it’s mostly about whether large corporations benefit from blogging. I wanted to highlight it, though, because blogging is frequently discussed as way small business owners can raise their profiles online. (Some companies even outsource their blogs.)
To put that 16 percent in context, that’s a lower percentage than trusts online news sites (which rate a sobering 39 percent) or direct mail (25 percent). In light of Forrester’s findings, is business blogging worth it?
I’d say it depends. If all you’re doing is pasting press releases into Wordpress, probably not. (That might increase your visibility in searches, but I don’t know if that’s a good reason to do it.) But if you write about things that matter to your customers, as Forrester’s Josh Bernoff suggests, and you do it in a conversational, straightforward, and interesting way, then maybe.
Small businesses are already much closer to their customers than big corporations. I think that goes a long way toward bridging the credibility gap the Forrester survey identifies. Done right, blogs can extend and deepen relationships with customers and introduce your company to a broader audience in an authentic way.
So I’ll put the question to our audience: What company blogs do you read? What makes them worth reading? And to small businesses blogging right now, what benefits have you seen? Are the benefits worth the time it takes?