Are Blog Posts Useless Self-Promoting Content?

are blog posts useless content

You manage a Linkedin group, and you feel offended when someone submit a link to their last blog post.

Yes, you.

Why am I saying this?

Few days ago, as I was joining a new Linkedin group, and was reading the welcoming statement of the manager/owner of the group, I read: “Do not post blog posts, instead share valuable insights and interact with members.”

As I was reading these words, I couldn’t help but thinking, aren’t blog posts full of valuable insights and the best way ever to interact with others?

I think that this type of thinking comes from the belief that blog posts are useless self-promoting pieces of content, which business owners only use to lure clients or customers.

Well, if you ask me, that’s a huge mistake to think this way.

What do you think?

I would love to hear your feedback about this in your comment below, but first, let me tell you in detail why I think that’s not right to think this way.

 

Where does the Idea that Blog Posts are Promotional come from?

Tell me if I’m wrong, but I feel that the idea that a blog post is of little value comes from the days when a blog post was a load of keyword stuffed with nonsense, if not just a big advertisement opportunity for the blogger’s product or service.

I have read such blog posts many times in the past.

I even have to admit that I’ve written blog posts for clients asking me to stuff my content with ridiculous keywords that made the article barely readable to a real person.

The problem was that Google loved it at the time, and was ranking that garbage pretty high on their algorithm. So they were only encouraging this nonsense.

Then, later on, closer to us, you had those bloggers who wrote blog posts with the sole purpose of selling their product. And as a result, of course, their content was of little to no value.

But is that still the case?

Are blog posts today only promotional pieces of content, with no more value than what I’ve just mentioned?

My short answer is no.

This is why…

While business owners and marketers have blogs to help promote their business, I know loads of bloggers who write very valuable, researched and detailed content full of tips and advice, which they would never include in a Linkedin or any other social media three line message.

As a matter of fact, most people really caring about their blog, would always keep the most valuable piece of content for their own blog, and would use that content to create extra content for social media, such as a Linkedin article, for example.

That’s what I do, and that’s what most bloggers do too.

It’s premium content for their blog and derived content for social media.

This alone is a pretty strong argument that there’s no reason to put blog posts down on a social media group.

 

Why a Blog Post Today is Way More than Just Promotional Content

As a matter of fact, I read blog posts that are zero promotion and all valuable content.

The only promotional part of those type blog posts is a call to action at the end of the post, but that’s only fair to be able to do that at the end of a piece of content in which you’ve put lots of research, time and energy.

I like to think that whether I’m writing for the Huffington Post, FluentU, Chamber of CommerceMedium, or my own blog posts, right here at home,  I deliver valuable content.

The type of comments that I receive from my blog posts on a weekly basis are testimonies that I don’t just promote my stuff with my content. I truly help, inform and educate my readers and potential clients.

Here are very recent comments I’ve got:

“I m a freelancer and this post really motivated me and changed my way of working online. Thanks”.
“It’s my first time on your blog, and surly I’m impressed what I’m seeing…”
“Thank you so much Sylviane for your inspirational post…”
“Awesome posts as usual. You don’t know how many people you are motivating…”

I could go on and on…

Yes, I’m proud to say that you can learn a great deal about writing and personal development topics just by reading my blog. And you can get an amazing amount of knowledge just by reading blogs out there. I know I do as a blog reader as well.

So I totally disagree that blog posts are just promotional content, not deserving to be posted on a Linkedin group.

This is just a preconceived idea, that doesn’t hold when it comes to today ever so becoming more and more valuable blog content.

 

How I Make Sure I Create Valuable Content for my Clients’ Blog

Many of my clients contact and hire me for two main reasons.

1- They don’t have the time to handle the writing and content management facet of their blog.

2- They don’t know where to start when it comes to writing for a blog.

So, that’s where I come in.

Some of my clients have been in the blogging business for years, and they know exactly what a blog post should be made of. They know that they want blog content that is valuable, no BS promotional type. Something that their audience will be able to learn from and refer their friends to.

And some of my clients who have never been bloggers, are not sure what a blog post should even look and sound like. Some of them even think that a blog post is all about promoting their business and services…

In such case, it’s my job to educate my client and explain to them that they need to focus on the needs of present and potential customers, rather than on themselves.

In order to be better able to create custom content for my client’s blogs, I ask them specific questions to gain as much insight as possible about their business, so I can translate that information into valuable and useful content.

I ask them questions such as:

  • In What specific business are you in (what is it that you provide to the world)?
  • What is your ideal client/customer?
  • What type of client/customer are you not interested in attracting?
  • What type results do you want your client/customer be able to experience with your product/service?
  • How much do you value your audience?

The more my future client is able to answer those questions precisely, the better I’ll be able to do a great job for them.

This is so important that if they are not able to answer those questions, it’s not uncommon that I’ll help them to find out the answers. So, I can start my work on the right tracks.

 

What’s the Best Way to Make sure you Write Valuable Content for your Blog

Here are 3 main points that are going to help you create great content that people will love.

1) Make sure you have defined your target market.

As a businessman friend of mine always says, make sure you know “what business you’re really in,” in order for you to make sure that you can rightly define your audience and their needs.

This will help you to tighten up your content, and make it more specific in nature. Thus more helpful and valuable for that specific audience.

2) Make sure you address your audience needs specifically.

Here is my own example…

For the life coaching side of my business, if I were to simply sell happiness or success, I wouldn’t be able to get any client that way. What I need to do, is address one specific problem at the time. Define a specific pain point for each person and address it in that particular blog post.

Vagueness doesn’t work and certainly doesn’t sell.

It doesn’t work for the blogger, and it doesn’t work for the reader either.

Something to keep in mind.

3) Make sure your content is easy to read.

Let’s be honest, many blogs out there are boring, and some blog posts are very poorly written.

Both those problems will make your content hard to read. And if it’s hard to read, you know what people will do, right?

If you don’t know how to write entertaining and interesting content in good English, you are not going to attract any business with your blog, for once, but  your content won’t be of high quality either.

If for any reason, writing is not your thing, it would be worth it for you to hire a professional that can write content for your business blog.

 

Conclusion

Blog posts’ content should not be put down as much as it is by some so called knowledgeable business people who put their social media platform in high esteem.

However, not all blogs are easy to read and worth our time.

But this said, most blog post content out there, nowadays, is a little encyclopedia of its own, on any given subject. Those blog posts have a minimum of a thousand words, and in many cases much more than that. So, let’s keep in mind that blog posts should not be considered negligible content without value.

I for my part, always write to inform and educate my readers, and they certainly confirm that to me every week.

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28 Comments

  • Harleena SinghTwitter: harleenas says:

    Hi Sylviane,

    Good to be back on your blog after a while, and I guess you too had been busy all this time 🙂

    I totally agree with all that you’ve written, as I’ve also seen such LinkedIn group messages, and at times, they tend to get too strict and even remove posts, which they feel are self-promotional. Yes, as bloggers and writer’s we do provide value through our blog posts, which are written FOR the people, and to help them in more ways than one. Very few are the kind’s that would be really promotional, or sponsored, or any such kinds, which one is careful not to promote, where it’s not allowed.

    Being a writer myself, I agree about clients wanting us to write such kind of content, for various reasons, as you mentioned, but that doesn’t mean we write such posts on our blogs – in fact, I think we provide a lot of variety, and if such posts are allowed to be shared on the various LinkedIn groups, it would only provide value to the group members. Glad you wrote about this.

    Thanks for sharing. Have a nice week ahead 🙂
    Harleena Singh invites you to read..10 Ways of Creating Family Connections for Building A Strong FamilyMy Profile

    • Sylviane Nuccio says:

      Hi Harleena,

      I’m glad I’m not the only one thinking this way.

      Yesterday I wrote a Linkedin article linking to this one, and someone said “yes blog content is important and great for engagement. But as a group leader on LI, I’ll tell you that many members of our group complain that they don’t want articles or blog posts posted in the group. They want to engage in relevant interactive questions” and I get that. I would not like someone answering my question with a simple blog link, that’s not what I’m referring to here. What I’m saying and which you understood very well, is why would it be bad to say, hey guys I’ve got a good post here that I would love you to read and get your feedback on. That’s all I’m saying.

      Thanks for your input, Harleena.

      ~Sylviane

  • Stella Chiu says:

    Hi, Sylviane

    It is sad to see the narrow mind of the group owner in Linkedin. He may just read a few bad blogs and drew that conclusion. If I were you, I will not stay at that group.

    In the blogging world, there are many, many good posts which provide so valuable information that I thought they are information from professional journals. Look at the your posts and Harleena Singh’s posts, nobody can denial that they are classic informational posts. My one-year-old blog is still informative one with insight about achieve good life effortlessly.

    We can’t change their minds until they”ll come across more good quality posts. However, we can continue write good quality posts and also do what you are doing by alert the public about that.

    Thanks for your sharing!

    Stella Chiu
    Stella Chiu invites you to read..The Mystery of the Law of AttractionMy Profile

    • Sylviane Nuccio says:

      Hi Stella,

      In any case, Linkedin is not the most blog-friendly platform in the sense that more people on Linkedin are employees than entrepreneurs so they may not see the value of a blog.
      Anyways, not a big deal about this particular group, I can always jot down insights taken right off of my blogs 🙂

      Thanks for coming and for your input.

      ~Sylviane

  • Lisa Sicard says:

    Hi Sylviane, I don’t mind one pitch at the end as long as it’s not intrusive. But if all they do on the post is try to sell you something, especially as an affiliate I tend to get turned off.
    I would say if you are posting other places like LinkedIn to keep a few without your own promotion is awesome but I understand the why of it too.
    Great topic of discussion, love to read what others will say too.
    Have a great day Sylviane.

    • Sylviane Nuccio says:

      Hi Lisa,

      Yes, I understand the point too, but I just wanted to discuss the fact that blog posts can really contain great insights and information, and not to treat a blog post, just because it is, as negligible.

      Now as I said above, if I ask a question and someone send me to a link to answer my question, I would not like that at all. So, common sense is always a good thing to have 🙂

      Thanks for your feedback, and nice to see you by the way. Long time no see.

      ~Sylviane

  • MarkTwitter: coach2coachguy says:

    Very well said as usual Sylviane!

    You have raised so many excellent points, with regards to the mindset
    of certain administrators.

    However, thank goodness, there will always be room and demand, for the
    extremely valuable and helpful content, experts such as yourself provide!

    And while it’s definitely true,just as you so honestly pointed out, sadly, some bloggers, don’t even attempt to hide the fact, they are shamefully promoting their products or services,
    throughout their thinly veiled blog post!

    Even though in the long run they make it good for the experts such as yourself, that constantly go out of their way to provide over the top, high level, quality content!

    In the short term, every body gets temporarily pre-judged because of their missteps!Great job!Thanks!
    Mark invites you to read..How Savvy Retail Appliance Entrepreneurs Can Literally Mop The Floor With Their Nearest Competitors!My Profile

    • Sylviane Nuccio says:

      Hi Mark,

      Maybe I’m a bit touchy on the subject because I know so many bloggers that over deliver, and I try to do too, it’s a bit annoying. But anyhow, we’ll have to do with what we have.

      Thank you so much for the kind words and for coming by.

      ~Sylviane

  • Mitch Mitchell says:

    I go both ways on this. I don’t necessarily mind seeing blog or article links posted in groups. What I hate is that people post these things without offering any perspective on why they’re sharing them. Then if you leave a comment it’s almost always ignored, as if the originator could have cared less and had some kind of agenda for posting it in the first place.
    Mitch Mitchell invites you to read..How Are You? Life And BloggingMy Profile

    • Sylviane Nuccio says:

      Hi Mich,

      Yes, you’re totally right. All of that has happened to me too.

      It’s funny, but online you have different cultures, and there is a culture out there that don’t value comments on their blog or even elsewhere, such as YouTube, for example. I don’t know or understand why, but that’s a fact.

      Thank you for you input.

      ~Sylviane

  • Fabrizio Van Marciano says:

    Hi Sylviane, how are you? It’s been a while since I last visited your blog.

    I wanted to say you raised an interesting point here. I see this on many social media groups that I suddenly become a part of. Folks just randomly adding me to their groups without my consent, it’s hilarious. I’m totally honoured of course, but I often wonder what these groups are really about, because most of them don’t allow the sharing of your own blog posts. they clearly quote no spamming.

    I don’t see how any valuable piece of blog content is self-promotional or even spam. Sure as you say a lot of businesses use blogging to try and boost the customer interest and their bottom line, but I know for a fact that I bust my chops every time I write a blog post on my site, and most of the time I’m giving away free value. Teaching people how to do things that will benefit them, solve problems for them and all the rest of it.

    So for me I try and stay away from groups for those very reason, unless I want to learn something new. Anyway, great writeup again Sylviane, my humble apologies for not visiting your blog as often as I should.

    Have a great rest of the week – Fabrizio
    Fabrizio Van Marciano invites you to read..A Day In The Life Of A BloggerMy Profile

    • Sylviane Nuccio says:

      Hi Fabrizio,

      No apologies needed 🙂 I have not visited blogs nearly as much as I used to in the past for months, but I’ve got to do that more often again, because as we’re saying here, yes, blogs are valuable pieced of content and people put much effort and research into it, as you do yourself, indeed.

      The reason I join groups it’s because it’s useful, mostly for my coaching business, but I shake my head when I see these types of announcements. Thinking of it, it’s a bit dictatorial. An online social group in a free country should allow sharing an article we feel could benefit someone, but at times, people don’t even see what they’re doing.

      Anyways, thank you for coming and I’ve got to go see what you’re up too as well.

      ~Sylviane

  • Tom Southern says:

    Hi Sylviane,

    You raise some good points here and you’re right about insights and useful content being contributed from different people. Other people can add a broad base of information.

    I know what may have prompted that group manager to add such a notice. I’ve come across a few who do. I’m also in several groups where the same people keep posting links to their own content and it’s a little annoying I have to say. Mostly because they don’t add much else to the group.

    I do share links to my own content but only when I think it’ll be useful to the group, or their readers.

    Your examples of comments you’ve got from group members shows you do the same.

    You also show that it’s knowing your audience and what it is they want that makes your
    content valuable.

    – Tom

    • Sylviane Nuccio says:

      Hi Tom,

      I totally agree with what you’re saying. If all you do is posting links, then yes, it really becomes spamming, and I know some people would only do that, but a good way of handling this would be to penalize those people, not everyone. As for me I do like you. The best way to share and participate in groups.

      Thank you for coming by and sharing your thoughts.

      ~Sylviane

  • Ernest says:

    Hi,

    This is awesome and informative post. I learnt alot after going through your article.

    Thanks for sharing.

  • Manidipa Bhaumik says:

    Hey Sylviane,

    This post surely ignites some thoughts on the way blog posts are being perceived.

    True indeed. It is mainly because of the early blogging days & the types of posts that used to get higher rank in the search engine. But definitely it is changing gradually.

    As bloggers, one needs to write & promote many types of contents. But we must make sure that, whatever we are sharing, it must add some value to the readers. And need to understand the promotional rules of every platform and segregate the shares as per that.

    Thanks for sharing the thought. Take care.

    • Sylviane Nuccio says:

      Hi Manidipa,

      Indeed, our blog posts must contain value, if not I don’t see the point in blogging, because purely promotional blogging doesn’t work anymore.

      Thank you for sharing your thoughts.

      ~Sylviane

  • Dana says:

    Hi Sylviane,

    I wholeheartedly agree.

    My blog posts basically take everything I would say to someone and make it easy to refer to in one place. How are we supposed to get something across otherwise?

    I can’t tell you how often I’ve gone to answer someone’s question and realized “hey, I actually have your answer and more all written down already in this post.”
    Add in the fact that the discussion continues in the comment’s section and there’s quite a bit of insight that can be gained from someone looking for this specific info.

    I personally find the group thing tough to be honest. You get some who write fantastic content coming from the heart and others who are just out to get traffic.

    I wasn’t into blogging when it first came to the scene. When I started, people like you, Adrienne and others were writing these amazing articles that didn’t sell anything, but talked about what you KNEW. So with this, we wanted to know more, right? Then we’d follow you because of what you shared with us.

    Personally, I can’t follow the keyword rules, etc.I write what I write. Sure I have a few CTA buttons around if they apply to the topic. We give a LOT of ourselves away in our posts, but many of us are looking to build a livelihood based on an honest model. We use our blogs as our business cards, as Donna so eloquently phrased it in one of her posts.

    The idea is to do this with some class and integrity.

    It all comes down to intention, in my opinion. The real motives are always clear.
    Thanks for bringing this up Sylviane. As usual, great insights.
    Dana invites you to read..“I’m Stuck In A Rut – Now What?”My Profile

    • Sylviane Nuccio says:

      Hi Dana,

      As always, excellent comment you’ve left here.

      Yes, I feel the same thing. I can answer three or four sentences in a group, not to be rude and answer just with a blog post link without a word, but frankly you’ll find more in the post than I can say in a couple sentences, so I don’t get that no post rule.

      Like you I’m never too worry about keywords. Anyways keywords come naturally. If we write about roses, well the word roses will come up naturally in the text, right? So no sweat here.

      Thank you so much for your great insight.

      ~Sylviane

  • Nishadha Silva says:

    I’ve moderated few popular groups and forums and almost always I see people just coming in to dump the link. So although I agree that blog posts have become more than keyword rich text, link dumping is still a serious problem.
    Very few people take the time to actively participate in a group or a forum. They just add their link and leave, doesn’t check out others posts or participate in any other way.

  • Taposh Kapuria says:

    Hi Sylviane,
    Good to be back on your blog after a while. No. No. Blog post is really worth for me. Awesome post. I love all of your tips. Killer content writing, Blog engagement is very important for any website. I agree with you. We can do with it in many ways. We can create compelling content. Content that is well written with bunch of bullet points, important information, well formatted can change the environment. Thanks for sharing this.

    Warm Regards,
    Taposh Kapuria

    • Sylviane Nuccio says:

      Hi Taposh and welcome back.

      I’m glad that you still enjoy blog posts, I do to.

      Thanks for coming and commenting.

      ~Sylviane

  • Aravinth says:

    Hi Sylviane,

    An excellent post on content importance.

    Your discussion and tips are really good.

    Surely it will be useful for the bloggers who really concentrating on their contents to grow traffic.

    Thank you.

  • Tamal Anwar says:

    This post made me think, are blog posts really a piece of promotional material? Well maybe or maybe not but I know that when I originally started my blog, I did it to help people with ideas. So over time I have made it a business, but so what? I cannot just spend all my time helping for free. I am not charging any money for my content -so the mods and admins should realize what it takes to carefully craft a piece of content.

    • Sylviane Nuccio says:

      Hi Tamal,

      Of course, while we want to make our blog content interesting, we also need to make money, that’s why we need to find that fine line between valuable and productive for us as well.

      Thanks for your excellent feedback.

      ~Sylviane

  • Kevin says:

    Hi Sylviane,
    You raise some good points here and you’re right about insights and useful content being contributed from different people. Other people can add a broad base of information.
    I know what may have prompted that group manager to add such a notice. I’ve come across a few who do. I’m also in several groups where the same people keep posting links to their own content and it’s a little annoying I have to say. Mostly because they don’t add much else to the group.
    I do share links to my own content but only when I think it’ll be useful to the group, or their readers.
    Your examples of comments you’ve got from group members shows you do the same.
    You also show that it’s knowing your audience and what it is they want that makes your
    content valuable.

Comments are closed.