But Is It a Blog?

By Kristin Sundin Brandt, CFMP

Blogging. Everyone’s doing it, right?

According to Wordometers.co, over 2 million blog posts have been written today (it’s just before noon), and there seems to be no slowing down. The internet is rich with articles and advice about how and why you should blog for business. And according to various studies, most marketers and business owners name blogging as one of their top marketing priorities for the coming year.

Preparing to teach this year’s content marketing class at ABA Bank Marketing School, I found myself reflecting on the nature of most business and bank blogs, and whether they are, in fact, blogs.

In the beginning, blogs were online diaries, or “web logs” where people shared their personal thoughts or experiences in journal-style entries (or posts) which are displayed in chronological order. The idea of posting these entries online is nearly as old as the internet, but it was the introduction of services such as Blogger, Typepad, and WordPress that really contributed to the explosion in blogs by removing technological barriers.

Today, I would say the personal blog is alive and well—where the trouble starts is the business blog.

Over the last year I have looked through hundreds of bank and business blogs in preparation for class, and for the most part, banks and businesses have figured out the mechanics, filling their sites with posts related to a variety of financial advice and tips.

Here’s an example of good web content for a bank.


But I have to wonder…are these blogs?

Taking the blog concept to its logical extreme, can anyone imagine curling up under a cozy blanket with a beer, a great pen, and new journal, to share their personal thoughts about the fundamentals of home equity lines of credit?

I think you know what my answer is going to be.

Most of the content banks and businesses are sharing through their blogging platforms is really articles delivered through a website. It’s a serial newsletter that drives traffic. Supports social selling. Improves customer service.

There are some banks and businesses that are truly blogging. Through my wanderings, I found examples—personal accounts of time spent volunteering, a personal perspective on a careera personal perspective on the role money plays in equality, a personal story about buying a first home. Do you see the trend?

Personal experiences. Personal ideas. Personal perspectives.

That’s not to say that good quality content needs to be personal. But it’s important to be clear on what we’re doing. We can’t call them blogs.

Kristin Sundin Brandt, CFMP, is the president of Sundin Associates Inc., Natick, Mass., an agency specializing in financial services companies. She is also a faculty member of the ABA Bank Marketing School.