More often we’re being asked to build a blog for clients who’ve been told they must. Of course it’s great that businesses large and small now accept the potential of blogging, and probably we should just take your money, offer you an excellent WordPress blog, then let you get stuck in.
However, as with all aspects of online marketing, blogging must be carefully considered before you set about it. Be careful of who you heed; just because someone says that you “must be blogging” does not necessarily make it the best thing for your business.
So – for all of you who ask us to build a blog for you, and for anyone that wants to know how to figure out whether blogging is likely to be useful or not, we bring you:
7 ways to work out if blogging can work for your business
- Time: Before anything else, consider the time you have, or someone in your team has, available for this aspect of marketing. Do you have a couple of hours or more available for blogging? Every week? Spending just half an hour a fortnight on this is unlikely to reap many rewards.
- Money: If you don’t have time, can you afford to pay someone else to work on your blog for you? Someone who may be better at it and so attract the business you hope for. Do you actually need your own blog or could guest blogging on other relevant blog sites achieve what you want?
- And talking of guests – will you welcome them? This can be a good way of adding content that your visitors/clients/readers will appreciate while taking the pressure off you to constantly create.
- Perhaps even consider a wider focus for the blog and work together with complimentary businesses – definitely something to consider if you want to share the work (and the glory, true, but working together can get you there sooner).
- Expectation: Really think about and decide what you expect of your blog. Is it something you just want to write because you’ve been told it is essential for your business, or do you really have something to share? Can you write things that people actually want to read? What do you have to say?
- Style: And what style of blogging will your readers, your clients new and old, enjoy most and be most likely to share? What can you give them that is worthy of their time? Can you actually write in a style that your customers will enjoy reading or do you need to get someone else working on that? Writing because you want to but not for the people you want to attract is vanity – fine if that’s what you want, go for it, but not necessarily best if you want more business.
- What’s the point? Do you expect your blog to result in x amount of business, or do you simply want to teach people how to do stuff themselves, thereby showing that you really know what you’re talking about? Of course you can include bits of everything, but the core purpose needs to be clear in your mind to be the success you expect. For soft marketers (and this is the camp I am firmly within, no matter how I try other methods) this can be a great way to attract people – helping others to DIY while also building your reputation and brand.
- Can you stick to the point? Or might you possibly get a bit carried away with this blogging lark. It’s easily done – I could merrily blog all day but that does not get the actual work done. If you enjoy writing it is tempting to do nothing else, so a little discipline is likely to be required for those of us that get carried away 😉
Blogs are brilliant – I love blogging and encouraging others to blog in a way they are comfortable with and that brings rewards, at whatever level – purely for pleasure or as a way to grow their business. But it’s not for everyone and merrily setting about something without first figuring out the what, why and how is less likely to result in success.
With thanks to Sarah for her suggestions on the 7 ways – they had me in fits of laughter and inspired more blog posts!
PS: If you’d like to bounce the idea around with us, pop an email to me at firstname.lastname@example.org with your answers to the above and we’ll offer you some honest feedback (really – if we cannot see that blogging is going to bring you what you want, we’ll tell you but also offer other social media avenues that may be more profitable for you).