I had a recent meeting with a client where we discussed the business, keywords, and brainstormed business blog ideas. In our discussion, the client expressed that they didn't want ot provide certain information in their blog posts, and rejected some blog post ideas because of that. The client didn't want to give away information that could help their competition, and didn't want to gie away information that would cause potential customers to help themselves versus purchasing the client's services.
These concerns beg the question: is there anything that shouldn't go in a business blog or blog post? Of course, there are the obvious things, like anything that breaks client or employer confidentiality, topics that aren't appropriate to discuss in a professional setting, or topics that have nothing to do with your business or industry. But, is there anything business or industry relevant that should be avoided? Shoudl busienss blogs avoid writing about things that coudl help their competition, or could help their potential customers help themselves to the point of getting something done for free?
Competitors Can Read Your Business Blog
Although I am going to respect my client's wishes because avoiding such information doesn't hinder business blogging in general I would argue that there isn't any information outside of the obvious that should be avoided. The bsuienss blog, in and of itself, will be viewable by the competition as well as potential customers and other readers. The comeptition can use any information you put on the blog to their advantage, even it if's just for business blog ideas that they can use themselves. It's impossible without inside knowledge to know what kind of information your competition would or would not want or need. So, it would be tough to dtermin what shouldn't be given to the competitor.
Potential Customers Need Information, But Won't Take Action
As for potential customers, there isn't much information that's SO helpful to them that you'll be given away the farm. For example, if you're a home repair company, and you do a blog post on how to fix a leaky faucet, it's not as if that one blog post will eliminate any and all business you'll get from people who need leaky faucets. There's more that's preventing customers from helping themselves other than a lack of knowledge, such as a lack of time or ability. Not everyone who reads that post will follow it and fix their leaky faucet. Some may do it wrong. Others may not have the time or patience to follow the instructions. Simply giving them knowledge won't be enough to empower them to take the initiative to solve the problem. Plus, the reason for providing that information in the first place is to present your business as the solution, as the thought leader who can help solve customer pain points.
If there is informaiton that might be considered "too helpful" or might be too juicy for the competition, then you can still present it in the form of a white paper or a marketing case study. Either of these can be offered for free in exchange for contact information, so the person who gets the white paper or case study turns into a lead. This way, you can still get them to purchase your service while giving them information they want.
Keep in mind that the business blog is for customers and potential customers, and that censoring information isn't necessarily in their best interest. Make sure information moves them through the buying process.
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