Until recently I had not noticed so much but now I realise there is a disease spreading through blogs and I see it getting worse. Most affected are product blogs, particularly in my beloved digital photography niche. What is this disease I am so fearful of?
I am sure this problem affects all types of content, I have no doubt newspapers and trade magazines are the worst offenders. In fact I used to work with people who relied on it.
The problem is using press releases as filler.
As bloggers one of the things we need on a daily (or more) basis is content. Content is the fuel of our endeavour. Press releases seem like ideal content, I can see the temptation.
- Well written (seemingly)
.. most of all it’s news.
So what is the problem? What’s wrong with that?
For a start, every other blogger has the same press releases so your reader will have seen the self same post for the Nth time today. You are not going to get the reputation as a “go-to blog” just repeating verbatim what everyone else has already regurgitated.
Secondly by just repeating what someone else has said you are just buying into their marketing spin. Is it really a revolution? Or is it more likely the CEO and board are hoping it will revolutionise their creaking bottom line?
Thirdly, if search engine traffic is something you care about, you are not going to show up for this content. PR syndication services are regularly indexed by search engines for their own news services, they will get there first.
Fourth and most important, it’s boring. A press release, no matter how well written, is not a good blog post.
I am not saying you should ignore the press releases, they are often the main source of news in your industry or niche.
The answer? Add value!.
People visit your blog to hear from you. They can go to Canons own site or PRWeb to find press releases. Add commentary. Counter the spin. Say why this piece of news is important, or why it’s not important. Start bursting some PR bubbles or hype up the good stuff that you are really excited about.
If you are only going to copy and paste then your blog is spam. Do what you set out to do – write. You have your opinions, share them!