For all the hype (yes, some of it from me) about the potential of a corporate blog to connect with and motivate your customers, the fact remains that many corporate or organizational blogs are, er, dull. They talk about… themselves. Us. Our product. Our service. Yuck. I mean, do we really care? I was reminded of this sad truth by the revealing column published by longtime blogger and entrepreneur Joel Spolsky (see here: Let’s Take This Offline).

In his column, Joel writes:  “So, what’s the formula for a blog that actually generates leads, sales, and business success?”

The answer, which Joel gleaned from author Kathy Sierra at a conference:

“To really work, Sierra observed, an entrepreneur’s blog has to be about something bigger than his or her company and his or her product. This sounds simple, but it isn’t. It takes real discipline to not talk about yourself and your company. Blogging as a medium seems so personal, and often it is. But when you’re using a blog to promote a business, that blog can’t be about you, Sierra said. It has to be about your readers, who will, it’s hoped, become your customers. It has to be about making them awesome.”

He then goes on to give some specific examples: for example, if you sell camera attachments, don’t write about technical specs. Instead blog about “10 Ways to Become a Better Photographer.”

Those words, for me at least, come from the Department of Redundancy. I’ve said them myself so many times. They are in my book, THE CORPORATE BLOGGING BOOK, which was first published in 2006. I’ve said them on this blog. Read a blog post from Feb. 15, 2005. I’ve said them in countless presentations.

Thanks to Joel for making the point again. I should also note that Joel’s column is an official announcement that he is retiring from blogging. He says it takes an enormous amount of time that he now wants to put elsewhere, in order to reach a non-blog reading audience and also grow Fog Street Software.

Posted via email from Debbie Weil’s Posterous.