We have read your blog

Warning: this content is older than 365 days. It may be out of date and no longer relevant.

One thing I’ve heard much more ever since joining the world of public relations and started pitching (read: selling) new business is people saying, “Oh, we’ve read your blog”. At first glance, this appears to be simple due diligence – prospective customers have read the blog, excellent, we share some common understanding.

Seattle 2013

But that got me thinking – there’s more here that’s being said, more that underscores the importance of having not just a blog, but a great blog. We often think of our blogs as part of the content marketing engine – crank out some content that has a home you own so that you can share it on your social media outposts. We tend to think of individual posts as granular, individual, discrete segments.

We forget that the blog is also a legacy and a big picture view of our entire body of work over time. That portfolio is something people looking to hire you (or your company) will leaf through as though they were meeting you for the first time and getting a sense of what you’re all about, and they’ll encounter great, good, mediocre, and poor posts all at the same time.

That’s why it’s critical that your content not suck, that you not just phone it in. Better to skip posting than to post something bad, because when that prospective customer starts reading, you want them to run face-first into a wall of awesome.

Here’s a tip, a production secret I use on this blog: I’ll go through my analytics for previous years and identify the posts that never really hit the mark and rewrite them, especially on days when I can’t write something “new” due to time or constraints. I’ll then go back, redirect, and erase the old post from the back catalog. This accomplishes two goals: fresh content that’s good (because my writing skills have logically improved through the years) and elimination of underperforming content that someone really doing their homework might unearth.

Remember this above all else: when someone is checking out your blog for the first time, they’re probably going to look at more than one post and see a bigger picture than a regular reader. Make sure that what they’re likely to see is worth their time.

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