Everyone should have a blog!! Wait a second, is that really true? Maybe not. Let’s look at the reasons we are often told to start a blog:
“It’s a good marketing tool.”
True, but a blog is just one of many possible tools you can use. Every business is unique, so you should tailor your marketing strategy accordingly. That strategy may or may not include a blog. Does everyone advertise via billboards? Magazine ads? Flyers? No. And not every business professional needs a blog.
“It’s a way to share your thoughts and opinions.”
That’s very true, but the question is – do you want to share them frequently and publicly, and can you present them in a way that will make readers want to return for more?
“It will improve your writing skills.”
Blogging could potentially help you become a better writer, however you probably don’t want to start publishing online until that day comes. Starting off with poorly written or mediocre content won’t help your personal or business image; in fact it will do just the opposite.
As a professional, your time and energy and expertise are all valuable resources. Creating and maintaining a blog may or may not be the best use of your resources. Ask yourself these questions before taking the plunge:
Do I have time to administer a blog?
Most experts recommend that you post several times a week; some suggest even shooting for once a day as your goal. Are you willing and able to invest that kind of time? Can you stick with it and be consistent? You don’t want your blog to look like a ghost town when someone stops by. When I visit a blog and see that the owner’s last post was two months ago and reads something like this “Sorry I haven’t written anything lately but XYZ happened…..” then I quickly pass that blog by.
Do you have the basic skills to make a blog successful?
While being Shakespeare is certainly not a requirement, you will need to have good writing skills for a successful blog. Even photo bloggers and recipe bloggers have to use words in an engaging style. If the written word is a weak point for you, or if composing and typing makes your eyes glaze over, then blogging might not be for you. It will become a drudgery and something you will dread having to face every week. Having decent photography skills, or the means to acquire engaging images and graphics, is also a plus for bloggers.
Do you have a plan for your blog?
Every area of life can benefit from purpose, and blogging is no exception. It helps to nail down a few things like who your target audience is, what your main focus will be and what the actual purpose of the blog is. Is it just to share thoughts and opinions? To publish photos of your work? To give advice or answer questions? Or simply to keep customers updated about store news and sales?
If you’ve read all the above and thought “Ok, blogging is not for me” I just want to close by saying it can still be done, even if you are not actually blogging. How? Consider allowing someone associated with your business to blog for you. If you want to spend 100% of your time on product development, perhaps a friend or son or daughter might be interested in running your blog. Or, if you are a larger business, consider hiring a writer to be the official company blogger. Guest-posting on other blogs is another option. You can “test the waters” and see if you like blogging enough to do it full-time. You can also see what kind of response your guest posts get. In addition, your blog post will draw attention to your business, your website and your social media pages.
Don’t ever start a blog just because everyone says you have to do it. That’s a poor reason to do anything! If you are going to blog, do it purposefully. Make it interesting, make sure you can stick with it, and make sure it’s something YOU want to do!