If you want to grow your blog into a lead generating machine for your business, you will need to have an open mind when it comes to feedback. This post explains why and what the pay-off is for you and your business if you get it right.
Black, white and many shades of grey
Very few things in life are truly binary, black or white, good or bad, right or wrong. With most things, there are many valid and equally correct opinions. For example, if you love the taste of honey and someone asks you what honey tastes like, you will say it tastes great and be telling the truth. If I hate the taste of honey and someone asks me what it tastes like, I will say it tastes awful and I will be telling the truth too. Those 2 different answers to the same question were both true and each opinion was valid.
As a blogger, if you fail to accept that there is more than one truth, your posts will read less like approachable, informed opinion and more like diktats. Equally, it is almost impossible to grow your blog into the business asset it should be, without embracing external feedback, even if it runs counter to what you currently believe.
Feedback helps you to improve
The most interesting, educational and compelling blog posts are often those, where people examine a topic from different perspectives. Even so, many bloggers are against the whole idea of people taking a counter opinion to their own. One blogger once commented to me that he deleted any comments that either disagreed with him or which disproved something he had stated. That’s one way to try and develop a blog, but I recommend another approach.
Last year, I wrote a post here about copyblogger, asking Sonia Simone and Brian Clark if they would add dates to their blog posts. Every post on copyblogger is published with no reference to the date. So, you could be reading a post that was a day old, or 6 years old. After writing the post, I did some research. I removed the dates from the posts on this blog and immediately figured out why they did it on copyblogger. It dramatically increased the number of times older posts were shared on social media and the number of page views per reader. As soon as the data was in, I wrote a new post, saying that I was wrong to ask for them to add dates to their post.
The lesson? My follow up post about removing dates from blog posts became the most read post on this site last year! This, despite my having to admit my initial thoughts were incorrect.
The most effective way to grow a successful, lead-generating blog, is to open your mind to feedback. Testing and measuring what you see, then using the results to make better decisions, is the foundation of all great marketing. Business blogging is no exception.