Corporate blogging became so popular so quickly that many companies made the mistake of thinking that they could get away with thinly veiled advertorial blogs that served no real purpose for their readers. Some companies out and out lied about their blogs and the results permanently harmed their reputation. If you are thinking about using a corporate blog to increase your sales, there is a way to go about it and keep your blog real.

Fake Corporate Blogs

1. Always publish content that your readers can use.

Blogs that read like an informercial are not interesting and chances are, you will lose readership in a very short time. There is a way to sell a product with your blog without making it sound like an advertorial. For example:

The Wrong Way: Buy our sports shoes, they are on sale today!

The Right Way: Recent studies have shown that a lack of proper foot support can contribute to sport’s injuries. Experts recommend using a (insert link here) certain type of shoe that can limit the amount of stress put on your joints.

The first one is a blatant attempt at advertising that serves no real purpose, other than to attempt to sell shoes.

The second is an interesting post that focuses on news and subtly brings in a product mention without being blatant. You’re leaving it up to the reader to discover what type of shoe they need to have to prevent injury, increasing the likelihood that their curiosity will induce them to click the link, and you are providing them with something that they actually need, ie: something that will prevent injury.

That is the perfect way to sell something on a blog.

2. Never attempt to fool the public.

There have been classic cases of “personal” blogs that were in fact thinly veiled sales pitches from a corporate entity. You may think that you’ve done such a good job that no one will figure it out, but the internet is a very small place. It is full of people who love to bring down companies and gain the prestige of being the person that “outed them.”

Deception is a very bad business practice no matter what industry you’re in, and it can only backfire. If you need to sell products with your blog, be honest about it. Never attempt to pass of a blog as something that it is not. The blogs that provide useful information, such as the one detailed above, are far more interesting than a fake blog that can only serve to harm your company’s reputation. Bottom line, if you are lying, someone will find out and the results will not be pretty.

Corporate blogs are powerful tools, but like anything that is powerful, they must be managed correctly. Honesty is always the best policy and although it is tempting to try to cash in on a blog, you’ve got to do it the right way. They can and will increase your sales, but only if you do it properly.