Why Do Business Blogs Fail?

by Jay Deragon on 07/13/2008

Many times we portray business as a faceless entity without properly expressing it as an entity of human needs and expectations. The ironic chasm is that sometimes when people get organized as a business the subsequent behavior doesn’t always seem human.

From Galvin O’Malley at Mediapost: Forrester: B2B Blogging Takes Nose Dive , B2B marketers should embrace strategies prominently used by mainstream bloggers to attract readers, build conversations, and engage community members in sharing their experiences with their online peers, the report’s author advises.

To track B2B blog progress, Forrester reviewed 90 company blogs from Fortune 500 and top technology firms to see how blogging has matured since 2006.

Rather than a crop of new, successful examples, Forrester was disappointed to find that the number of new corporate blogs took a nose dive.

“The gap between blog hype and reality widened in 2007,” said Laura Ramos, Forrester analyst and chief author of the report. “After counting 36 companies that started promoting corporate blogs on their Web sites in 2006, the number of B2B firms starting up blogs dropped sharply to 19 in 2007.”

Additionally, with just three new blogs discovered in the first quarter of 2008, Forrester estimates that only a dozen or so firms will get fresh blogs off the ground this year.

Corporate bloggers are apparently struggling to sustain a conversation, while many B2B marketers are failing to realize that good blogging style should resemble a coffee shop conversation, not a whitepaper.

As a result, most B2B blogs are dull, drab, and don’t stimulate discussion, according to the Forrester report. More than 70% of the corporate blogs it reviewed stick strictly to business or technical topics and don’t share much personal insight or experience.

There is and always has been a chasm between business purpose and human needs. Closing the gap between the two requires innovative thinking combined with an understanding of the human social need and subsequent behaviors that can be facilitated with advanced technology, a social matrix. On one side of the matrix is the profit needs and on the other side is the human needs.

Do you think business has a human side?

In progressive organizations survival and profit are seen to be subservient to relationships, the human side. Jon Maloney writes: “In the patently dysfunctional, criminal enterprise, monstrous govt, and overreaching orgs like Enron, Arthur Andersen, Soviet Union, statism, UN, etc. ad nauseum, the reverse is manifest, e.g., survival trumps relationships. It is why businesses fail.

Business Socialutions require you to act, speak and relate as a human, not as a business.

What say you?


name September 1, 2008 at 12:39 am


name August 31, 2008 at 8:41 pm

Good day!,

Jay Deragon July 15, 2008 at 9:34 am


Thank you for taking the time to comment. Your perspective is spot on and very helpful. I intend on referencing it in an upcoming post. I also visited your site and found it very valuable.

Thanks again

Chris Baggott July 15, 2008 at 9:09 am

What is broken in the Forrester study is the overall “goal”. They keep talking about community, comments, and repeat visitors as the main objective of corporate blogging. These are metrics that are doomed to fail.

Successful business blogs have two characteristics.

First, rather than top down from the “C” level, they open up by having widespread employee participation. Prospects and Customers are not the ones to write frequently about your business….but you hire smart, passionate people who like their jobs, like the customer, are proud of your products….let them blog about it.

Secondly, ROI need to be measured based on search & conversion. Blogging is a content and engagement strategy. Widespread employee blogging generates lots of great topic specific, keyword, frequently updated and authentic content. The more content you generate like this, the more traffic you generate. Most successful Corporate Blogging programs in our system drive three times or more traffic than their traditional sites.

When the searcher lands on a page with a post that specifically matches their search intent…written by a real human being and addressing a similar situation…they convert. They take the next step in the relationship.

The business blog is basically a one shot encounter. They search, they find the blog, they convert to either email, phone or a sales relationship (if we are talking about B2B)

Blogging for search is legitmate, valued by the searcher and highly effective if executed properly.

Chris Baggott
Compendium Blogware

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