Whether you’re blatantly throwing money away on bad ideas or losing potential revenue by failing to capitalize on good ones, here are some surefire ways to make the least out of your investment.
This next stupid idea is less about wasting money than about wasting time on things that aren’t relevant to your business just because you heard “everyone else is doing it”. Of course, if you waste time on unhelpful practices, that means you’re not spending time on profitable ones.
Stupid Idea 10: Insist On A News Section Or Blog
It’s a strange, anomalous leftover from the 90’s when a lot of people weren’t quite sure what to do with a website besides plunk it up there on the web and claim the rights to it.
Other than tell the world “About Us”, what else could you do except maybe publish a couple of news articles to make it look like you were paying attention? News sections barely worked for people then (think of all those site sections perpetually “coming soon” or those with the latest news dated three years earlier) and they’re not doing much better now.
That’s not to say that news sections can’t be useful but they’re far from required and should never be used unless you actually have timely and frequent news. You could be wasting your time and squandering your credibility (both of which translate to money) by keeping a boring, dated news section.
Which leads us to blogs.
First the obvious… you don’t need a news section if you publish a blog. In fact if you’re publishing news or other content on a regular basis you should probably move all that content to a blog. A blog affords not only the opportunity for you to share information but to get feedback and gather information from readers.
Blogs are also great at helping you organize content into searchable categories and are probably easier to use and less expensive than updating a page of your web site.
Which leads us to the question of whether you need a blog at all. The instant a new technology or medium emerges, a host of gurus will tell you how wonderful and indispensable it is, with amazing profit potential. Don’t believe them.
Before you jump headfirst into the rage-du-jour ask yourself whether it fits your business, can have a true benefit for you and is something that you’re willing and able to commit to making work. A lot of companies jumped on the blog bandwagon and a lot of companies were left with blogs that were little more than abandoned news sections.
A blog can be a great medium for some companies but that doesn’t mean it will work for everyone. Before you either jump into the fray or dismiss it out of hand you’ll need to assess your business needs.
Brainstorm the ways that a blog can work, by building a community around your products or services, by sharing important information in a direct, no-nonsense way or by getting feedback from customers and potential customers that can help you improve your products, refine your services and polish your image.
Then figure out how you’re going to maintain the blog. Will you write content yourself or outsource it? How often can you feasibly publish without taxing your time, resources or relevance? Will you be able to respond to comments in a productive and timely fashion?
If a blog can work for you and you’ve got the resources to manage it, fabulous. The point is to think before you act and it’ll save you money and aggravation in the long run.
No matter what the books and articles and “experts” say, you don’t need a strategy that doesn’t work for your business. If you’re giving up your valuable time to pursue a trend, investing in resources to manage a marketing strategy that isn’t effective or losing your hard-earned credibility and professionalism, stop and change course.
The internet is too full of opportunities to get stuck on “what everyone else is doing”.
Do you have a news or blog section? How often do you update it?
Read More In The “How To Waste Your Money” Series
- Stupid Idea 1: Hire someone to do it “cheap”
- Stupid Idea 2: Fabricate an FAQ section
- Stupid Idea 3: Just start building the site
- Stupid Idea 4: Worry about search optimization “later”
- Stupid Idea 5: Believe the person who tells you they can “get your site to be number one in Google”
- Stupid Idea 6: Don’t pay attention to your domain name, where it’s registered or when it expires
- Stupid Idea 7: Get the cheapest hosting you can find
- Stupid Idea 8: Write the copy yourself
- Stupid Idea 9: Don’t worry about whether your site or database is being backed up
- Stupid Idea 10: Insist on a news section or blog
- Stupid Idea 11: Brush off social marketing as something that’s too hard/not relevant for your business
- Stupid Idea 12: Be too busy to study your analytics and decide it doesn’t really matter anyway
- Stupid Idea 14: Say “I don’t know” a lot
- Stupid Idea 15: Launch the site, breathe a sigh of relief and cross it off your to-do list