Every brand has a blog,
but not every blog is a brand publisher.

This little brain twist, reminiscent of LSAT much-hated logic games, does have a purpose. Its purpose is to get us thinking about the purpose of our blog. Is our blog just a digital soap box for our brand, a way to say “hey look, we’re blogging too!” – or is it more sophisticated. You may think so; you may believe that your blog that addresses your business from A-Z is simply a phenomenal online representation of your business, but you’re probably wrong.

There are likely two things wrong with your blog presence:

1. You’re blog doesn’t engage anyone.
2. You’re still a blog when you should have evolved to a brand publisher.

The Great Blog: A great blog, even if it isn’t at the level of a brand publisher yet, should be looking to engage readers through targeted content that focuses on what appeals to the reader – and not just what going on in the life and times of the blogger or blogging company. You can also create quizzes and surveys, offer contests with coveted prizes, and interview star people in your industry or cover industry news, as a way to give people what they want. The golden rule of blogging is to not always talk about yourself.

I personally know a very talented entrepreneur who you could learn a hundred lessons from in business excellence, marketing, and sales. However, when you sit down with him you’ll notice that he’s the only thing he talks about. He goes on about his company, his clients, his business challenges and triumphs. He never once asks you about you … ever.

This is not how you want your blog to come off.

A blog that just speaks but doesn’t look to interact with readers is about as cumbersome as the person in the room that does a lot of speaking and very little listening. There’s one thing the blog and the person have in common – they don’t know they’re boring everyone even if they are brilliant.

The Brand Publisher: Once and only once you’ve established the great blog, are you ready to move onto being a brand publisher. If you want to be a brand publisher, you’ve got to think like a publisher. In a real world scenario, a blog is like a dime store newspaper run by the local starving journalist. Conversely, a publisher is a powerhouse fueling an entire ecosystem of journalism.

Your business may not be news media but you need to treat your branded blog like a publisher. This means having an entire ecosystem built to support your brand – and your blog is a part of that system.

Obviously, if you’re struggling to update your blog content regularly, then you’re not going to be very successful as a brand publisher. A way to side-step this if you’re a one man show is to curate content. However, original content is still the most coveted form of content – and it can be secured through guest bloggers and a team of freelance writers. Contently calls it as having a team of journalists. In an article titled “Scaling: How to Grow Up From a Brand Blog to a Brand Publisher,” recommends creating an in-house brand newsroom that looks a lot like the main floor of a publishing house.

The only reason a company doesn’t succeed to establishing themselves as a brand publisher is because they don’t allocate the necessary resources. Getting to a brand publisher status requires a commitment that your one-off hired or contract blogger cannot possibly ever get to. The situation is dire across most agencies as HubSpot’s 2013 State of Inbound Marketing attested to, reporting that “only nine percent of companies employ a full-time blogger, and inbound marketing teams typically have fewer than six publishers.” The statistics don’t match up with the lofty goals I know most company blogs have, and the fault is down to nothing less than poor long-term planning and an overall continued unwillingness to really invest in digital media.