From The BlogTo Blog or Not to Blog
So, let’s get one thing straight. Blogging is one of the most effective types of marketing you can do.
But it’s not for everyone. There’s many benefits – it builds credibility with your audience, it gives clients a reason to come back again and again to your website, and it establishes you as an expert in whatever industry you’re in. Not to mention it gives you great, shareable social media content on a regular basis. But blogging isn’t something you should enter into lightly as a small business owner. Here are five questions you should ask yourself before you dive headfirst into the blogging world.
1. Do I have time for this?
If you want blogging to be effective for you, you have to be committed and doing it consistently. The top bloggers out there (who do it as a full time job) are posting new content at least three times per week, if not more. For most small businesses, we recommend once per week. This way it doesn’t totally take over your life, but it keeps people coming back for more. At the very least, you should be blogging once per month. In any case, however often you choose to do it, YOU MUST BE CONSISTENT. If you aren’t, don’t beat yourself up about it, but also don’t expect to see the results you were hoping for.
2. Am I Prepared to work my Butt Off?
A good blog doesn’t take just a couple of paragraphs and then hitting the publish button. You need to think about all kinds of different elements. For example, is your blog integrated into your web-page? Are you using the proper fonts and colours for your branding? Are you proof reading it to make sure it looks and sounds professional? Is there a call to action at the end of each post? Am I linking to external and internal web-pages for the best results? How’s my SEO? Do I know what SEO is and why it matters? What images am I using? Do I have the rights to those images? Are the images formatted properly? Do the images represent my brand? Do they represent what I’m talking about?
And so on. There are a million things that go into the making of a good blog. It’s not something that you can plan to spend 10 minutes on and then be done. Make sure you’ve got time carved out in your schedule to work on it.
3. Am I a Good Writer? Do I even Like it?
Be honest. Writing is a really specific skill set that can sometimes take years of practice and dedication. You don’t have to be Jane Austen, but if writing is something you struggle with, then blogging might not be for you. On the other hand, you can always reach out to trusted friends and colleagues to have a look at your work and make suggestions.
4. Am I prepared with Interesting Topics that are Relevant to my Business?
This may seem obvious, but you need to have at three blogs ready to go before you officially launch to the public. And of course, they need to be relevant. You want to build up your expertise to your clients so they know that you know what you’re talking about. As tempting as it may be to gush about how all your grand-kids are doing in soccer this summer, don’t. Save that for a personal Facebook posts that will help your audience get a better sense of who you are (for more social media posting tips, check out our blog for fresh ideas).
And – while you might think you’ve got tons of ideas whizzing around in your head, take the time to write them down. We cannot count the number of times we’ve had ideas for great blogs only to get distracted and forget about them 10 minutes later. Keep a running tab of all you’re great ideas and you’ll never struggle with writer’s block!
5. Do I want to do This?
This might be the most important question. You have to, on some small level, want to blog. If you don’t, it’s going to be incredibly difficult to be publishing posts consistently enough for you to see results. We’re not saying you’re going to jump out of bed everyday and think “Huzzah! I get to write a blog on XYZ today and I cannot wait!”. No. Hopefully though, you recognize that even if it’s not your favourite, the benefits are too great to ignore.
Blogging is an awesome way to market your business. But it’s also really time intensive.
Make sure you know what you’re getting into before you start.
Thoughts? Are you blogging with your business? Why? Why not? Let us know at @cc_socialmarketing on Facebook and Instagram.
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