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Isn’t any advertising and exposure a good thing for your company? Why shouldn't you use your blog to tell the world about hot sales and special discounts?

I can sum that up succinctly in one phrase: your blog isn’t a billboard. It’s a better place to start conversations than promote products and services for most businesses. As a broadcast tool, you lose the opportunity to use your most important tool (for attracting new visitors, engagement, and search engine optimization). Instead, converting it into an advertising medium. And that's when bad things start to happen.

Don’t believe me? Here are just a few of the consequences…

Google Has No Interest In Promotional Posts

Some business marketers will rationalize posting ads announcements to their blogs under the misguided assumption that the articles can qualify as “news” in the eyes of search engines. Google’s engineers are on the record as saying they feel differently, and that any type of overtly promotional content is going to be discounted or outright ignored.

That means you could lose the chance to attract search engine visitors, and potentially harm the visibility of other, non-promotional pieces of content you put online. Essentially, you stick out as a marketer who is willing to use spammy tactics, and that’s not going to be good for your SEO campaigns.

Subscribers Don’t like Reading Advertising Material on Your Blog, Either

It shouldn’t shock you to know readers and subscribers aren’t going to flock to your blog to see which products or services you are flogging on a daily basis, either. In fact, your blog might just lose subscribers if they get the sense your posts don’t have much to offer in the way of real value or fresh ideas.

Even worse, promotional blog posts aren’t going to attract any form of engagement. Readers aren’t going to comment on them, and they certainly aren’t going to share them with their friends and colleagues. This further devalues the content (and by association, your website) in search.

Using Your Blog to Promote Products or Services Directly Hurts Your Credibility

For all the attention paid to what search engines like and don’t like, however, I don’t want you to overlook the fact that the big loss here has to do with your credibility as a marketer. When visitors – who could be important prospects or influencers – come to your website and see non-informative posts with no engagement or shares, it makes a very poor first impression.

The goal of any inbound marketing and online lead generation strategy is to attract interest from qualified men and women. If the value of your content seems suspect, you’re never going to make it past that initial first glance, no matter how strong or weak your SEO is. Once engagement and new subscriptions dry up, you have “just another brochure website.”

You don’t have to have a lot of experience in this industry to understand why using your blog to sell directly is a losing proposition (use it to attract instead). I understand how tempting it can be to want to use your blog like a billboard. If you don’t have many readers yet, then you might feel like any content is new and you aren’t doing any harm; and if you do have an online following, you want those people to know about what you have to offer.

Resist the urge to be promotional on your blog, though, and you can gain real trust and engagement. That’s always worth more than a few clicks to your product pages, especially over time.

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