Our recent webinar on corporate blogging resulted in more questions than we had time to answer so we’ll provide a personal reply on our blog to each question over the next few days.
Question #2 comes from Michelle:
I hate the blog I started for our company now. It has become completely disconnected from our strategy as I’ve found my voice and learned about blogging, tagging, SEO, organization, etc. Even the name of the blog is no longer connected to what we’re doing! I want to just start over, but my partner disagrees. Would you start over?
Mark Schaefer: If your blog is as bad as you say, I’m wondering why you have continued it this long? I mean, the blog didn’t go off strategy — you did, right? The blog doesn’t write itself. So why can’t you get yourself back on track?
As a company’s strategy changes over time, the blog should change too. My own blog has evolved and adapted over a period of time as I’ve found my voice. I mean changing isn’t hard to do. You just start writing about something else. If your blog sucks, just un-suck it.
Even if you change the name of the blog, the URL will be the same so people who were coming to the blog even when it was bad can still arrive safely at your landing spot.
So what’s keeping you from nuking the thing? I don’t see a downside. I have a hunch the real issue isn’t the direction of the blog, it’s agreeing about the direction of your company with your partner. Perhaps he doesn’t think it is off-strategy. In that case you might have bigger problems than the blog!
As I said in the webinar, everything starts with strategy. If you and your partner can agree about the strategy of the company, the direction of the blog should flow right with it.
Martine Hunter: I can relate to your frustration, Michelle. Changing your blog URL does affect its built-up SEO; however, if getting found with your current look and disjointed content turns off visitors or prospects, perhaps a change is warranted.
Questions to ask yourself:
- Is a new strategic direction and focus worth the temporary loss of page rank?
- Can you resuse/edit/refresh old blog posts with new knowledge of your company’s building/changing keyword list?
- Would a new blog title better address your purpose, ongoing content and future blog topics?
- Are there limitations or restrictions to your blog that you’d like to change or upgrade?
- Do your readers and/or subscribers have similar reactions to your blog?
If you answered yes to any of these questions, maybe it’s time to look at a redo. Think of it as revamping, not starting over. Plan the launch of the new blog. Do some research on perspective titles. Build out your editorial calendar for the first three months. Invite guest bloggers who mirror your strategic vision. Announce it in a big way and keep up the the content, especially for the first six months. Good luck!