Paul Boag of Boagworld authored “10 Harsh Truths About Corporate Blogging.” In it, he knocks common corporate pitfalls like using a blog to publish press releases or treating it like a straight marketing tool (rather than as a means to form relationships with individuals).

Blogs aren’t intended to be packed with marketing jargon or attempts to up-sell. Readers confronting such commercial-style content likely will be dismayed because they didn’t find genuine personality in that brand’s informal communication vehicle. Those readers might even cry. (But probably not.)

So when clients tell us, “I’m told I need a blog,” we always ask, “Why?”

If they want to “get more sales,” then we might explore additional methods for attracting leads — and leverage a blog secondarily to add more context for helping users make decisions. If the client wants to “connect with audiences” through accessible, two-way communication, then a blog might just be the perfect solution.

Either way, clients who are willing to put forth the time and effort it takes to produce valuable blog content that’s useful, interesting, or capable of building communities will best position themselves to land a loyal readership that helps them learn and grow overall.