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The 4 Worst Types of B2B Blog Posts
When it comes to creating B2B blog content, it’s usually the more the merrier. Usually.
When it comes to blogging for business-to-business SEO and lead generation, quantity has a quality all its own. We’ve seen the results first-hand. The more we publish, the more traffic we get.
That means leads. And that means money. And that’s good.
It’s never a bad thing to write more. In fact, it’s encouraged.
That said, there are some types of B2B blog posts that are just … bad.
Will these posts get readers?
But will they tick those readers off? Or – at best – be a slog to write?
With that in mind, here are the four worst types of B2B blog posts. If these come up in your next content planning meeting, just say no.
#1: A Topic You Don’t Know
The modern web makes it easy for anyone at any B2B company to become a writer.
The key word here is “easy.”
It should be easy for you to create the content you’re trying to create. If you start stretching the bounds of what you know, there’s no good reason for anyone to read that content.
Why would they?
A real expert probably wrote the same thing.
If they know it and you don’t, you just wasted your time.
You need to create authoritative content that you have expertise in. Once you step outside of that realm, folks will be less likely to listen to you.
In fact, they shouldn’t listen to you.
So stick to what you’re good at, and you’ll be golden.
There’s also the ease factor. When you write outside of what you know, you’re not going to enjoy the experience. Instead, you’re banging your head against the wall doing hasty research.
Because you don’t fully know the content.
You especially see this when B2B writers try to tackle provocative, highly searched topics. Instead of a 30-45 minute write, they’re writing and editing – and editing again – for a week.
Add it all up, and this might be the worst type of blog post. It’s not a good experience for the reader or the writer.
Stick to what you know.
#2: The Thinly Veiled B2B Sales Pitch
This wasn’t always one of the worst types of blog posts. There was a time you could get away with it!
You’ve definitely seen it. (And hell, we’ve written it.)
The web is littered with scintillating posts like:
- “3 Things to Look For in Marketing Automation Software”
- “5 Ways to Find Out if the Your Consultant Is a Good Fit”
- “10 Reasons to Forget Everyone Else and Buy OUR PRODUCT Right Now”
You know, something along those lines.
Once in a blue moon, you’ll produce one of these for a strategic purpose. Google sometimes likes the format. (And it’s also just an easy framework to write in. Which is nice.)
But most of the time, it’s just a writer providing a thinly veiled sales pitch.
And sometimes they actually believe that they’re convincing someone to buy what they’re selling!
“I’ll give them a guide to what to what to look for … and it’s exactly what I have!”
News flash: Readers can see right through that.
If you just need to write something, go ahead and present your product’s features this way.
You might even get some eyeballs! SEO is funny that way. And that’s a good thing!
Just don’t base your lead generation strategy on this format. In a vacuum, these posts are not going to convince anyone to plunk down their credit card.
And here’s an even better idea: Present what you’re selling in a more honest way. Everyone knows you’re describing yourself. Talk about what you do and why you do it. Readers will appreciate it.
#3: A Knockoff
First off, nobody likes a copycat.
Ever hear a 4-year-old scream about how her friend KEEPS COPYING HER?
Lily doesn’t like it. And there’s a reason for that.
It’s annoying. For everyone.
Even if you don’t care about being annoying, there’s a strategic reason that knockoff content is one of the worst types of B2B blog posts.
It’s always worse than the original.
Star Wars came out in 1977. You might have heard of it.
It was a smash hit, pulling in $775 million at the box office.
And then came the ripoffs!
In 1978, there was Starcrash. Does this sound familiar?
“An outlaw smuggler and her alien companion are recruited by the Emperor of the Galaxy to rescue his son and destroy a secret weapon by the evil Count Zarth Arn.”
In 1979, Star Odyssey came out. Laser swords and “an army of robot androids”!
A year later was Battle Beyond the Stars, featuring a young farmer fighting for good. Hear of that anywhere else?
Obviously, all those are pale imitations of George Lucas’ masterwork.
The lesson to bloggers: If all you’re doing is following someone else’s lead, you’ll never match them.
They picked their topic for a reason. They put days or weeks of work into it, and built on their experience. If all you do is try to re-do it fast, you won’t have any of that.
Original B2B content is always better than a knockoff.
Now, there are ways to take cues from competitors. If they’re covering topics you’re not, you might want to plug the holes in your strategy. But there’s no point in letting someone else drive your content calendar.
#4: The Unnecessary ‘Series’
Again, there was a time for this type of blog post.
When HubSpot and content marketing were just getting started, blog series were all the rage. Problem was, these “Part 1 of 5” posts didn’t get read the way we wanted.
You see, series posts take time. They stretch out over weeks or months.
Bloggers were hoping readers would come back to read the next thrilling installment. They could even turn it into a white paper!
Problem is, Google cares more about comprehensive content.
Why do you blog, anyway?
For SEO, right?
You want more visibility. But what Google wants is to give readers the best possible answer to a user’s query. So dividing up content doesn’t actually work in your favor.
It’s doing the exact opposite.
Instead of a comprehensive answer, a series post ensures that you’re only providing a partial response. That’s not Google-friendly, which means it’s not driving traffic.
(And no, those repeat visits aren’t going to magically start materializing. Have you ever set a Google Calendar reminder to come back to a corporate blog? Didn’t think so.)
Instead, Google and users want a single solid, informative article. Lay that out as your white paper.
If you’re considering a blog series, just remember that bigger is better when it comes to posting in 2020. So what if the blog is a little lengthy? We promise you, nobody is upset that you provided more information on something.
So don’t do series. Write it all in one shot.
It’s just better.
The Worst Types of B2B Blog Posts: Summing it Up
Look, we’re not saying that you should never write these posts. There are reasons – from ease to user intent.
Just don’t build your plan around these types of blogs. They’re tired, annoying and Google-unfriendly.
Instead, focus on what your users actually want from you. In other words:
- Topics in which you’re an expert
- Comprehensive answers to their questions
- Fresh, original content
- Something of value, not just dishonestly hawking your wares
Do this, and blogging will be easier on you … and better for both your readers and Google’s robots.
Present it all on a fast, accessible website, and you’ll win the content game.